Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.
Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.
But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.
“We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. We’ve all made mistakes. Your demons might be louder than mine, but we each have one or two hanging around.”
Long ago the Lyandors were threatened by other Silver(magic) wielders and king Tallis Lyandor created the The Silver Purge, which sent royal armies across Erdis, to destroy all magical families. Leaving the only magic left in the kingdom belonging to the crown, why the only silver wielders in the past 100 years had been Lyandorswielder . A rebellion is stirring to topple Lyandor family from the throne. The only hope resides with girl Ren, an orphaned thief and a pit fighter, who also a hidden Silver wielder.
A wonderful Ya fantasy that is creative and fast paced right from the get go.
The LGBTQ is notable in this riveting storyline was handled properly and without over embellishment. Political tensions and seamless narration with multiple POV’s characters adds depth and drama.
Jennifer Gruenke is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, where she studied communication and writing. She grew up among the redwoods of Northern California, and now lives in Charlotte with her books and the houseplants she hasn’t killed yet. If she’s not writing or reading, you’re most likely to find her in a cafe, music venue, or the aisles of Trader Joe’s.34
“A splendid tale of faery magic and adventurous siblings, all told in gorgeously rendered watercolor panels: this is exactly my kind of thing.” —Ben Hatke, author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy
“It’s got dragons. It’s got drama. It’s got depth. And it’s got me impatiently awaiting Ethan M. Aldridge’s next eye-popping adventure.” —Tim Federle, award-winning author of Better Nate Than Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate!
“A compelling story about finding identity in a world where magic dangers lurk just around the corner. I loved Estranged!” —Molly Ostertag, author-illustrator of The Witch Boy
“As richly imagined in the full-color illustrations, the worldbuilding is both accessible and as familiar as those genre stalwarts… this should easily resonate with preteen and teen fans of both Holly Black and Neil Gaiman.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Worthy of inclusion in any fantasy collection.” —School Library Journal
“[F]un, daring, and dark…with themes and art that fall into the realm of Neil Gaiman, Michael Ende, and Jim Henson. Coupled with the beautifully toned watercolor art, the interdependence of and tension between the two protagonists makes this book stand out.” —Publishers Weekly
“The deliciously captivating start to this adventure series will leave readers hungry for more.” —Booklist
Enter a world of faerie magic and epic adventure in this spellbinding sequel to Estranged—a rich fantasy graphic novel perfect for fans of Amulet.
After years of pretending to be human, the changeling Edmund Carter has assumed his rightful role as Cinder, king of the World Below. But not everyone at the royal palace is happy about his return.
Meanwhile, Ed is adjusting to human life in the World Above. His birth family treats him with a kindness he never knew growing up in the Fay court, but Ed misses the sense of purpose he had as a knight.
When a mysterious new threat emerges in the World Below, Cinder must call on Ed and their older sister, Alexis, for help. But nothing can prepare them for the family secret that awaits at the end of their perilous quest.
With over two hundred pages of gorgeous watercolor paintings, The Changeling King invites readers on an epic journey through a magical world—one they will not soon forget.
You can purchaseThe Changeling King at the following Retailers:
Thank you to Wunderkind PR and HarperCollins for providing a finished copy for review.
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
Estranged The Changeling King by Ethan M. Aldridge is the next installment to Edmund and Cinder’s life changed when they went back to their own worlds.
A perfect sequel to the first graphic novel in the series, The Changeling King is a beautifully rich fantasy world, that the very talented Ethan Aldridge has created.
Ethan M. Aldridge, gorgeous artwork and vibrant characters, the tale comes to life with creative impressive imagery.
The story picks up right away where the first left off, plunging the reader head first into fast action and suspense. King Cinder is still trying to adjust to his royal obligations as king of the Fae in the World Below. All the while keeping up is obligations, he starts to take note that the magic is getting weaker and Cinder must find a way to keep magic from disappearing all together.
Ed is trying to navigate the World Above. He’s the epitome of the perfect son and brother. However, his parents and sister Alexis are worried about him since he’s struggling to find his purpose in the human world. In a series of events, a royal letter from Cinder requesting the help of Alexis and Ed.
I found The Changeling King to be so much more emotionally charged than Estranged The internal struggle is more defined, with both boys trying to find answers that they both are desperately seek. Ed battles with his purpose and why the Fae Queen chose him. Cinder struggles with being abandoned and is frightened of losing the one family he’s ever known to Ed. I had several heart string tugging moments in this sequel.
The character development and world building is incredible, and gives the reader even greater insight. The the side characters three dimensional, and should be noted
Estranged,The Changeling King. A captivating coming of age book. Within a graphic novel , that focus on self discovery along with the importance of friends and family.
Stellar artwork along great diversity with LGBTQ representation. I definitely recommend it to young adult readers from grade 6+ and up .
Photo Content from Ethan M. Aldridge
Ethan M. Aldridge is a bestselling author and illustrator. He is the creator of the fantasy graphic novel ESTRANGED (a Junior Library Guild selection, Indie Bestseller, and YALSA Great Graphic Novel For Teens), and it’s follow up THE CHANGELING KING (coming fall 2019).
Ethan was raised in a small town in Utah. Growing up, Ethan’s favorite things to draw were monsters and whatever dinosaur he liked that week. He now does more or less the same thing for a living. Ethan lives in New York City with his husband, Matthew, and their dog, Kitsune.
Ethan has had the pleasure to create work for HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Random House, and EA Games.
From the acclaimed author of DEFY, Sara B. Larson, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful magic
“The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes…”.
Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world―including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.
On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out―leaving Zuhra virtually alone with their emotionally broken human mother.
For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything changes
Received an arc from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
“I didn’t know… would probably never know. That not knowing was like an itch beneath my skin, unreachable and, at times, unbreakable.”
Captivating ya fantasy comes to life. Intriguing world building with mesmerizing magic Engaging swoon-worthy romance, with twists that were completely unexpected but perfectly placed. And the bond between the sisters is powerful and heartwarming.
18year-old Zuhara has been trapped at the Citadel of the Paladin within an enormous sentient hedge that grew over night upon the the birth of her younger sister, Inara.
Inara’s magic born, inherited from their vanished Paladin father, which gives her power over plants, It also comes a hefty price. Living with their unstable Mother in complete isolation. She has forbidden all things Paladin when the girls father disappeared after Inara’s birth.
Inara is often lost in her own dreamy mind, with only brief moments of lucidity, leaving Zuhra feeling alone, longing for sort of real connection.
In a change of events, Halvor, a scholar of the Paladin breaches the hedge, Zuhra is intrigued by his revelations of the world and motivated to escape, but the mysteries of the citadel pose more dangers than any of them know, threatening both realms.
A wonderful portal fantasy story of two sisters, trapped by circumstance and freed by accident. Zuhra and Inara’s bond is brilliantly and empathetically depicted.
A great cliffhanger ending that had me wanting more.
．Don’t forget to to follow along on the other stops on this incredible book tour ．
he worn soles of my leather shoes—old Paladin ones found stashed in a closet—made a soft slap against the stone floors. I moved quickly through the hulking innards of the citadel, eager to reach the main door and fresh air—and my sister—beyond. The oppressive heat rose up while the emptiness pressed down as I passed shut door after shut door. I’d never understood how thelackof something could be felt so acutely, I only knew itcould, because that pulsing, aching hollowness was a constant companion on the rare occasions when I was able to wander through the citadel alone. When Sami or Mother or even Inara was by my side, the sensation melted away, chased off by their voices or maybe just their mere presence. But when I was by myself, slipping through the endless hallways and stairs, a single being traipsing through a place intended to house hundreds, sometimes the sensation ofvacancywas enough to send a chill skittering over my skin.
Brushing off the familiar but still unsettling feelings, I tipped my chin at Terence, the name I’d given the Paladin statue that stood, unmoving, at the top of the stairs like a sentinel, feigning a braveness that didn’t quite reach my soul. I should have been used to the statues scattered throughout the citadel, but no matter how many times I walked past their glittering lapis lazuli eyes, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the stone likenesses of the beings who had once truly walked these halls were still watching me as I passed, somehow marking my presence in their domain. No one had ever said how old the citadel was, but itfeltancient. I’d often wondered if it had been hewn directly from the mountain it perched beside eons ago, long before Mother, or Adelric, or Gateskeep, or possibly even Vamala itself. Had the Paladin merely claimed it as their own once they arrived here, to save us from the rakasa? I didn’t know . . . would probablyneverknow. Thatnot knowingwas like an itch beneath my skin, unreachable and, at times, unbearable.
When I finally reached the grand entrance, with its soaring ceiling high above and the massive door that led to the main courtyard straight ahead, a sigh of relief silently slid past my lips. But even outside the citadel, I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was being watched.
I slipped out the door, into a wall of heat and glaring sunshine. To my left, the dilapidated stables where the Paladin’s gryphons had once lived hunkered against the north side of the citadel. To my right were the orchards and gardens were Inara worked and lived. And surrounding it all was the hedge. It loomed across the courtyard, a hulking monster of vines and thorns. Averting my eyes from it, I hurried toward the orchard and Inara’s gardens beyond. Though I wished to spend all my waking time with Inara, that meant being outside from sunup until the shadows of sunset stretched across the courtyard, and part of me didn’t blame Mother for staying indoors at all times. As much as I longed to be with my sister, I couldn’t stand the sensation of the hedge hovering behind me; a presence so real, so tangible, at times I would spin around expecting to find someone standing there, watching me, only to face an empty courtyard—save for the impenetrable wall of vines, our living captor.
I’d wanted to ask Mother if it had always been that way, even beforeheleft, before it grew into this monster. Had the hedge always been this . . . menacing? Or had he done something to change it that night—something beyond just increasing the size of it?Itch, itch, itch,beneath my plain, human skin. Morenot knowing. . . because I didn’t dare. I knew better than to broach the subject ofbefore.
Inara kept her gardens closer to the citadel itself, on the southeast end of the grounds, where the sun shone longest—when the sun shone at all. Gateskeep was surrounded by sky-scraping peaks and cliffs, including the one the citadel had been built on, that were most often enshrouded in choking clouds and creeping fog. It was normally gray and waterlogged, even in summer, other than the occasional week of unbearable heat and sun, such as this one. I had no doubt that if I’d tried to grow the fruits and vegetables, we would have starved years ago, especially during the winter. But Inara had a way with plants, no matter the weather. Withallliving things, really. Well, all those that weren’t afraid of her.
I headed toward the boxes where she grew the vegetables and herbs in the spring, summer, and fall, winding through the small grove of trees, their branches already heavy with fruit, early even for Inara’s abilities to have coaxed out a harvest.
I found her bending toward one of the tomato plants, her long hair falling over her shoulder like night spilling across the evening sky, muttering in that way of hers, the cadence rising and falling, but most of the sounds unintelligible. The sun was hot on my back, as it had been all week. An unaccountably cloudless and blistering snap of weather, especially for the beginning of June.
“It’s a beautiful afternoon.” I spoke softly, hoping not to frighten her. She paused, her fingers briefly going still, but when she didn’t respond, returning instead to her work, I gently touched her elbow.
Inara jerked and straightened, spinning to face me. Even after all these years, my gaze was immediately drawn to her eyes before anything else—to her irises that glowed like the blue flames closest to the fuel of a fire. Her burning, ever-changing, fear-inspiring eyes.
“Can I do anything to help you?”
Inara cocked her head to the side, staring at my mouth as I spoke. I repeated the question, even as her uncomprehending gaze traveled over me and then moved on. If she’d been lucid, she surely would have questioned my inappropriate attire for working in a garden. Mother and I had spent hours upon hours repurposing many of her finer dresses to fit not only my height, but also what Sami claimed were the modern styles—insisting I be dressed to catch the eye of a potential suitor at any given time, no matter how much I protested the ridiculousness.
Inara, on the other hand, was mostly given Mahsami’s extra clothes, leftovers from the Paladin, or the more drab offerings from Mother’s closet and left to have her ankles (and half of her calves) on display beneath the too-short skirts.
We had no income to speak of, except for the meager funds Sami could sometimes acquire through selling off objects from the citadel, so new clothes were scarce. For some unfathomable reason, Mother’s drive to see me well dressed didn’t extend to selling more, though the massive structure was replete with antiques and valuables of all sizes and worth—including an obscene amount of diamonds, some probably near to priceless. But the fact was, even if Motherhadasked Sami to go to market more often, the hedge wouldn’t have allowed it. It opened for Sami—andonlyher. And only when things were so grim our very lives depended upon it. Mother, Inara, and I had to wait inside the citadel.
“Help,” Inara finally repeated, loudly, almost a shout. I tried not to flinch. “Help.” She shook her head, a short, jerky movement. “Two. Four. Six. Four. Two.”
“Yes.” I glanced past her to the rows of tidy boxes where all of her plants grew, some leafy and wide, others stretching tall and thin with vines that snaked up wooden stakes. The air was full of the loamy scent of earth and vegetables. Most often, Inara spent her time trying to keep the plants from drowning, but not this week. “Do you need help harvesting anything? Or weeding?”
She turned back to her boxes and the words turned unintelligible once more.
I watched Inara silently for a moment, as she bent to prod at the soil at the base of some stakes that were leaning a bit, grown too heavy with beans, before moving forward to stand beside my sister. I’d forgotten to braid her hair that morning, but luckily it didn’t look as though she’d ripped any of it out. She did that sometimes, especially if she was cooped up too long in the citadel. She’d grab at her hair, even her face sometimes, as if trying to claw away the roar in her head. But in the gardens, she kept her hands in the soil and on her plants, leaving her hair and face untouched. She was her most lucid when she worked in the garden, which was why I wished to spend time with her there. Inside the citadel when I approached her, she wouldn’t even respond to me. There was only her incessant chanting and muttering, pacing and jerking, her hands trembling. It set Mother’s nerves on edge, but far from annoying me, Inara’s inability to communicate made me hurt inside, a wound that I couldn’t pinpoint or heal, but that ached constantly. At times worse than others—such as the nights when Mother refused to even acknowledge her younger daughter at supper.
Out here, Inara reallylookedat me sometimes, and on her best days, she even spoke of her plants in brief spurts. There were times when we actually had whatcouldpass for a normal conversation. That’s when the chasm inside me felt the smallest and hurt the least. I prayed today might be a good day; that would at least make the sour tang of guilt at the back of my throat easier to swallow. “Nara . . . these strawberry plants look like they’re wilting.”
She didn’t look up from the beans, so I slowly reached out and touched her elbow again, drawing her attention. When her blue-flame eyes met mine, I smiled and repeated what I’d said, while gently tugging her toward the plants that indeed appeared as if the sweltering heat were a bit too much for them.
“Can I do something to help?”
Inara was fifteen, three years younger than me. Though we were the same height, where I had inherited some of Mother’s softness—my hips were wider, my breasts larger—Inara was leaner, almost too thin. “One, two . . . three . . . one, two, three, four . . .” she mumbled, with a shake of her head.
“Tell me how I can help. Do you want me to fetch more water?” I’d never been able to figure out what the counting meant—but it usually was something she did when she was agitated. I glanced past her to the well, where a few empty buckets were piled haphazardly. An underground river ran below the citadel, and our well was dug down deep enough for us to gather water from it. Just outside the hedge, at the edge of the citadel, a huge waterfall suddenly broke free from underneath the structure, crashing to the earth far below us. It was depicted in multiple paintings and tapestries in the citadel—and though I’d never seen the waterfall myself, I knew them to be accurate because I couldhearthe waterfall on this side of the citadel.
But she ignored my offer to get water and stepped forward, reaching out to the plants.
“Four . . . five . . . five, six . . .”
Her fingers brushed over the brown-tipped leaves and the tiny buds where miniature strawberries had already begun to form with the gentleness of a mother’s soothing caress. Her eyes fluttered shut and her hands stilled . . . and then Inara stiffened with a sharp intake of breath as if she’d been stabbed.
Unbridled elation coalesced through my limbs, laving every trace of guilt away.Thiswas worth almost any cost—even the hurt in my mother’s eyes and the bloodstain on her stockings. “Thank you, thank you,thank you,” I whispered my gratitude to the Great God as the blue fire that constantly burned in Inara’s eyes suddenly flared beneath her skin, racing through her veins—her cheeks, her neck, down her arms to her hands.
The very air changed when her eyes opened once more, so bright I couldn’t look directly into them. There was an acrid hint to the previously dry breeze, reminding me of the smell from striking flint with rocks to start a fire. I could even taste it on my tongue, a bitter, sharp tang.
There was no other explanation for what my sister could do, for the way the strawberry plants immediately straightened, the previously curled, semi-brown leaves unfurling into full greenness, as if woken from a slumber and stretching toward the sun and their full potential. Even the tiny strawberries grew before my eyes, turning a shade closer to red as Inara brushed her glowing fingers over them.
And then, with a groan, as if it took no small amount of effort, she pulled her hands back and the blue fire in her veins dimmed and then vanished.
When I looked into her face again, her eyes had dulled, the fire dimmed a bit. Inara blinked once, and then cocked her head as if listening for something. I heard nothing except for the nearby waterfall and the sound of leaves being rustled by the breeze that had turned fresh again, the bitter scent of her power gone with the disappearance of the Paladin fire in her veins; but I knew Inara suffered under the weight of a roar that remained silent to me. When she sighed, I couldn’t help but do the same, spurred by the sound of bone-deep relief issuing from my sister.
Then Inara looked directly at me,trulylooked this time, andsmiled—the first I’d seen in . . . a while. “Zuhra?”
My answering smile was accompanied by a tightness in my chest that somehow seemed attached to my eyes. I blinked rapidly to hold back the moisture that threatened to escape.Thiswas why I begged to come out with her, why I cajoled Sami into getting more and more seeds for new plants on the rare occasions that she was able to venture to the market, why I prayed for inclement weather—or for days without rain. Why I preferred winter to summer, even though it was cold and dark and miserable and we rarely left the citadel, because that was when Inara had to work on keeping her plants aliveinsidethe citadel, to encourage the vegetables to grow with almost no sunshine and very little warmth, which meant using her power far more often and greater amounts of it, too. And when I got Inara to tap into that magic, to help her plants, I gotthisin return. A handful of minutes with my sister in the summer, and sometimes a couple of miraculoushoursin the winter, before she disappeared again, as surely as the fire in her veins always retreated back to her eyes.
Inara looked past me to the citadel, to the windows of the sitting room. “How long has it been?”
“Not that long,” I assured her, even though it actually had been over a week since she’d been this lucid. She’d tried to explain it to me once, years ago, about the roar in her head, the constant noise that drowned everything else out and threatened to drive her mad.
For some reason, when I got her to tap into her power, it abated and I got my sister—myrealsister—to myself. Even if it was only for a few minutes.
There was so much to say, and yet I couldn’t decide where to start. There were never any guarantees of how long we had.
“Where’s Mother?” It was always the first question she asked, after wondering how long it had been. I forced myself to keep my gaze on her, not letting it trail up to the window where we’d both sat plying our needles for most of the day. My answer, too, was the same as always.
“Inside. She’s mad at me again,” I quickly added to keep Inara from dwelling on the fact that Mother avoided her as much as possible.
“What did you do now?” Inara pulled her gaze away from the empty window. Her words were slightly off. Mother claimed she was difficult to understand, but she was trying her best. I knew it wasn’t possible for us to comprehend how hard it must have been for her to learn language in such brief spurts throughout her life. Her lucid times had lasted longer as a child; I remembered reading stories to her for hours when she was little enough to sit in my lap, pointing out pictures to her, having her try to mimic my words. But as she grew older, her eyes got brighter and her lucid times began to shrink. In my opinion, it was a miracle she could speak at all. And if that meant expending a bit more effort for us to understand her, well, that was nothing compared to what she endured every minute of every day.
“She caught me reading one of the Paladin books again,” I admitted. “I snuck it out of the library. I thought she’d gone to bed, but apparently not. She noticed the candlelight beneath my door and walked in on me before I could hide it.”
“Did you find anything out—anything useful that—”
The eager questions cut off abruptly. Her eyes widened, her mouth falling open at something behind me, her face going pale beneath her sun-browned skin.
I spun around and screamed, stumbling backward.
There was a stranger in the gardens.
Amalestranger—standing next to one of Inara’s trees.
My first irrational thought was that Terence had somehow come alive, but it only took one frantic beat of my heart to realize he was no Paladin. His eyes didn’t glow. And statues didn’t come to life. I’d hoped and feared that for too many years to believe otherwise.
“Pardon my interruption, but I was hoping you could help me. I’ve traveled some distance to visit the Citadel. We’d heard it was abandoned, but . . . obviously . . .” He gestured toward us. “Do you work here—can you direct me where I can go to inquire about lodging?”
I stared. My blood roared beneath my skin, my mouth gaped open. A stranger. There was astranger. Here. Rightnow. I’d never seen a real, live male before, except for vague, time-smeared memories of my father. But this . . . this . . . person was standing there and he was talking and the hedge . . .The hedge had let him through?
The hedge didn’t allowanyonethrough. I still remembered the terror from the last time a group of soldiers had tried when I was ten; their shouts, the smoke from the torches they’d wielded rising above the immovable thorny beast that surrounded us, their screams when they’d tried to cut it down and the hedge had attacked. No one had come since then. No one had dared.
Then where had this . . . thismancome from? Was that what he was? For some reason “man” didn’t seem like quite the right word. He appeared closer to my age than Mother’s or Sami’s.
After all these years—after all of Mother’s dreams that I’d never claimed for myself—she’d actually, unbelievably been right. The hedge had allowed a boy through.
As the disbelieving silence drew out, he cocked his head to the side, then his eyebrows lifted a bit. Was he . . . confused? I belatedly realized I had mirrored his movement. Maybe that wasn’t the best thing to do. I straightened my head again so fast it sent a sharp ping up my neck.
He cleared his throat and his voice was sodifferentfrom mine or Sami’s or Mother’s when he started to speak again. “I realize I may be—” His gaze had been on me at first, as I stood closer to him, but then it flickered to Inara and hestopped. Stopped talking, stopped moving, perhaps even breathing.
It was like having Sami dump a bucket of icy water over my head during the winter months when I needed a bath but firewood had to be saved for more vital uses than warming water. It was unpleasant but effective at forcing me to act quickly. His reaction to Inara was that bucket of water sluicing over my astonishment at his appearance, propelling me to respond.
“Who are you?” My words were halting and uncertain and furious all at once. My legs were strangely stiff—from panic? From shock?—but I forced them to move, to carry my body in front of Inara, blocking my sister from view, though it was already too late. He stared through me as if I weren’t even there, as if he could still see Inara’s burning eyes through my skull. “Whoareyou?” I repeated, my voice rising. An unfamiliar sensation gripped me; I was hot and cold at once, my pulse a rickety thing, my blood careening through my body. Hope and fear clashed in a tangle of confusion.
Then Inara touched my arm—as I often did to her—and stepped up beside me. “Who is he, Zuhra?” Her fingers trembled but she stood shoulder to shoulder with me, the picture of courage— ofpoise. . . if one ignored the dirt crusted around her nails, laced in the grooves of the skin on her hands, the streak of it across her cheek, her ill-fitting clothes, bare ankles, her hair cascading over her shoulders, loose and wild in the breeze.
And her glowing blue eyes.
“I don’t know,” I murmured below my breath.
The stranger couldn’t take his gaze off her, which raised my hackles, the way our cat Louie’s ears flattened and his hair rose when he was agitated. But I couldn’t quite quell the curiosity that also swelled.
“Why are you at our home?” Inara asked, more loudly this time.
He blinked and visibly straightened, as if just realizing that he’d been staring at us—at her—in a daze for far too long. He was tall and angular, as if someone had stretched him a little bit further than they’d intended before he finished growing. His clothes were loose on his narrow shoulders and hips, but they looked fine enough, as if he’d purposefully had them made that way, rather than not having any other options like me and Inara. I scrambled to make sense of his sudden appearance in our garden. Sami was the only person the hedge had allowed through before. Why now—whyhim? My heart ricocheted off my ribs.
“I’m sorry, mymanners. . .” He shook his head, cheeks flushing as he folded his frame forward into a bow. “I am Halvor Roskery, a scholar and traveler.” He straightened and pushed one hand through hair the color of dust, somewhere between light and dark brown with a suggestion of auburn woven through.
Halvor Roskery. My fingers twitched at my side; the rough fabric of Inara’s skirt brushed my skin.
“And . . . you are?” he prompted, his gaze still trained on my sister.
“Inara,” she said, her name coming out short, almost clipped. The tension radiating from her only amplified my own; she was shaking so hard I almost took her hand in mine to steady her.
“I’m Zuhra.” It was so quiet in the courtyard . . . could he hear the thundering of my heart? “We’re Inara and Zuhra Montieth.” He’d told us his full name—was that what was expected? Mother had taught me needlepoint but failed to explain how to introduce myself. Montieth was her last name, from before marrying our father. She always told us she used her surname because he left us. But I suspected it was because he had no surname—no Paladin did, from what I’d gathered in my subversive research.
“A pleasure to meet you.” He—Halvor—inclined his head once more, his eyes still on Inara.
“Why are you here?” I knew it wasn’t polite, but my limited time with Inara was wasting away by the second. And he had yet to spare me a second glance.
“Zuhra . . .” Her fingers sought mine and I clenched them tightly.
“No, she’s right to be suspicious.” Halvor mistook Inara’s reaction as scolding, rather than seeking comfort. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry?” I echoed.
“I am going about this all the wrong way. You must understand how . . . unexpectedly thrilling this is, though.”
“Thrilling?”Stop repeating everything he says!
“After years of study and planning and traveling, I’m finallyhere. I made it. And not only did I find the Citadel of the Paladin . . . I found . . . well . . . you.” He gestured to Inara.
“You traveled foryearsto comehere?” I tried to hide my shock at his casual naming of the citadel, but he didn’t even seem to hear me. So few wished to speak of the Paladin in any tone other than fear or anger—but he sounded . . . awed.
The way he looked at Inara went beyond wonder, however, his expression bordering on worshipful. “In all my preparations and hopes, I neverdreamed. . . I mean, to findher—here—alive and in the flesh. I’m sure you’re accustomed to it, being her . . . governess?”
“What? No, I’m hersister.”
“Sister?” he repeated, eyes wide. “That’s not possible.”
“I assure you she is.”
“But . . . you’re a human. And she’s”—Halvor paused and looked to Inara once more—“she’s a Paladin.”
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Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology. Her next YA fantasy, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT, comes out November 5th from Tor Teen. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.
Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press (October 8, 2019)
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Language: English ISBN1536211281/9781536211283
Young Adult Novel/Hardback
Praise for THE RIFT
“Thrilling … A fresh and original story; a standout in the fantasy genre. The romance between Cal and Meg blends envy, desire and uncertainty with a potent authenticity. Written with a sparse lovely poetry, The Rift demands an immersion that is intoxicating. I can’t recommend this enough.” ―Isabelle Carmody, author of The Obernewtyn Chronicles and The Gathering
“Gripping, brutal, tender. You won’t be able to put this book down.” ―Michael Pryor, author of The Laws Of Magic series and Gap Year in Ghost Town.
“Beautiful, dark and deliciously tense – an astonishing world that will hold you in its finely wrought claws.” ―Alison Goodman, author of the Lady Helen series and the Eon series.
“Masterful and brilliant! Beautiful world building, stunning writing, a cracking plot, perfectly paced and hot romantic tension. Craw has outdone herself.” ―Fleur Ferris, best-selling author of Risk, Black,Wreck and Found
Storylines Notable Book Award, 2019 Finalist, New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, 2019
As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two young friends must try to protect the precious Old Herd — and their island itself.
For generations, the rangers of Black Water Island have guarded the Old Herd against the horrors released by the Rift. And Cal West, an apprentice ranger, fights daily to prove he belongs within their ranks. But even greater challenges await with the return of his childhood friend Meg Archer and the onset of a new threat that not even the rangers are prepared for. Now Meg and Cal, while struggling with their mutual attraction, must face their darkest fears to save the island from disaster. In a possible near future where Big Pharma is pitted against ancient traditions and the supernatural, Rachael Craw’s gripping and brutal tale, inspired by Greek mythology, will immerse readers and leave them intoxicated by its richly imagined world.
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This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
When the Rift opens, death follows
Rachael Craw, has created an impressive atmospheric read that will transport you to the island, with imaginative visuals and meticulously details. A fierce and compelling magical realism storyline within a richly textured world. The Rift, is a riveting themed ya fantasy that weaves environmental conservation elements into an urban mythology. Rachael Craw’s The Rift, has stellar writing, a perfection of a survival adventure, In twined with romance and perfectly placed humor.
A stunning backdrop to the plot line, Black Water Island is immersed in tradition, a millennia since The Rift emerged causing the mountain to fracture. The residents of Black Water are isolated from the mainland, For generations, the Rangers of Black Water Island have guarded the Old Herd against horrors released by the Rift.
The Rift by Rachael Craw is told from two different narration between the two protagonists. That of Cal West, an apprentice Ranger with rare abilities living on Blackwater Island and responsible for the safety of an ancient herd of deer, And Meg Archer, the daughter of the Master Ranger swept away to the mainland by her mother to live a “normal life” after a terrible childhood accident. Meg is finely returning to the island after being gone for years.
The two must navigate their way through their growing attraction for one another all while facing their fears to save the island and the Old Herd from disaster.
Beautifully developed, the story line had the perfect blend of ya adventure and romance. Thrown together with the perfect amount of earthly atmospheric magic makes for an incredible read.
Photo Content from Rachael Craw
Rachael Craw began her working life as an English teacher after completing a degree in Classical Studies and Drama at the University of Canterbury. She dabbled in acting, directing and writing for amateur theatre productions and small independent film ventures. Her passion for dialogue and characterisation finally led to long-form writing with the Spark series. Rachael’s enthusiasm for classical heroes, teen angst and popular culture informs much of her creative process. She enjoys small town life teaching, writing and mentoring at the top of the South Island of New Zealand where she lives with her husband and three daughters.
Welcome to my stop on The Night Weaver by Monique Snyman Book Blast
Series: Shadow Grove (Book 1)
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (October 15, 2019)
Praise for THE NIGHT WEAVER“With its boogeyman-like creature based in lesser-known folklore, the novel is unique, as well as creepy and unsettling. It also functions on a metaphorical level, growing stronger by feeding on the negative emotions of the townspeople … The Night Weaver introduces a world of myth, intrigue, and darkness with considerable technique.” ―Foreword Reviews“Simultaneously refreshing and deeply unsettling, The Night Weaver weaves together small-town horror with an intricate otherworldly fairytale to deliver a blend of horror and fantasy that captures the essence of young adult terror seasoned with the stuff of grown-up nightmares.” ―The Nerd Daily
“… a very easy to read page-turner … As the mystery develops it moves deeper into dark fantasy … brimming with ideas.” ―Ginger Nuts of Horror
“I have been searching high and low to find a writer that could intrigue me with writing as witty and crafty as Cassandra Clare, and lo and behold I found one. HOLY HELL what a read.” ―Nadine Maritz, MY HEAD “IN A NUTSHELL“
2018 BRAM STOKER AWARDS® Final Ballot FINAL BALLOT
LOS ANGELES, CA, FEBRUARY 23, 2019 Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior achievement in writing in eleven categories. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Neil Gaiman. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe R. Lansdale. The HWA is home to the prestigious Bram Stoker Award® and the annual StokerCon convention.SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL •Ireland, Justina – Dread Nation (Balzer + Bray) •Legrand, Claire – Sawkill Girls (Katherine Tegen Books) •Maberry, Jonathan – Broken Lands (Simon & Schuster) •Snyman, Monique – The Night Weaver •White, Kiersten – The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein (Delacorte Press)
Shadow Grove isn’t a typical town. Bad things happen here. Children disappear, one after the other, and nobody is doing anything about it. Parents don’t grieve, missing posters don’t line the streets, and the sheriff seems unconcerned.
Seventeen-year-old Rachel Cleary lives on the outskirts of Shadow Grove, next to the creepy forest everyone pretends doesn’t exist. Usually the forest is filled with an eerie calm, and unmistakeable graveyard solemnity. But the trees have started whispering, forgotten creatures are stirring and the night feels darker than ever.
Something is stalking the residents of Shadow Grove, changing them into brain-dead caricatures of themselves. It’s up to Rachel to find a way to stop the devouring of her hometown before all is destroyed and everyone she loves is forever lost.
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The Night Weaver
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This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
The Night Weaver is the first installment in Monique Snyman, Harrowsgate Series.
Every once in a while you come across an author that you know by reading their writing for the very first time. that you will be buying anything they write in the future. Monique Snyman, writing is suspenseful and gripping, that made for a nonstop read for me.
Rachel Cleary is trying to make sense of the abductions occurrences in Shadow Grove and the even weirder reactions from the non responsive adults. There are no missing persons posters for the children who have gone missing, no search parties have been organized. This is all very odd indeed.
The town’s history is tainted with the strange and the horrific occurrences. From poisoned school lunches to devastating factory fires. Definitely odd because all events that have been glossed over in the town’s history with nonchalant excuses. The only people who seem concerned about the newest calamity are the kids that have not yet been taken by a strange and sinister presences.
Rachel Cleary’s family, along with her neighbors the Crenchaws, harbor a clandestine, which is a multigenerational obligation. It means they are responsible for guarding the perimeter of the forest at the edge of Shadow Grove. They must keep the boundary intact and closed. By maintaining a sort of peace with the un human creatures that inhabit the forest. It has worked in the past, this delicate balance has been more-or-less kept, even if an occasional shadow does slip through the boundary. Now it seems like something something more usual has made it or her way through the cracks of the boundary .
“There’s something wrong with the forest. It’s waking up.”
Imaginative world building drawing on the inspiration from old English folklore, The Night Weaver does not only prey upon the flesh of children, but also on the grief, fear, and ultimately pain— This dark creature is both the feared monster that is hiding under ever scared child’s bed. Or it’s a glimpse of a sinister dark shadow, maybe something that you think you might have saw out of the corner of your eye. A thing that that preys on the minds of anyone who has experienced a tragedy.
In this spine tingling book of dark fantasy, That captivates you and draws you into it’s unsettling, atmospheric pages The plot is intriguing, and the writing flows perfectly. The characters are well developed and are easily connected to.
The book is a dark chilling blend of horror and fantasy, with an entering dialogue that was easy to follow. A spellbinding storyline that kept me engaged all the way through to the end. Once I started reading this novel I had to finish it, and stayed up all night to do so.
An immensely enjoyable, suspenseful, gripping, page-turner of a read.
Monique Snyman’s mind is a confusing bedlam of glitter and death, where candy-coated gore is found in abundance and homicidal unicorns thrive. Sorting out the mess in her head is particularly irksome before she’s ingested a specific amount of coffee, which is equal to half the recommended intake of water for humans per day. When she’s not playing referee to her imaginary friends or trying to overdose on caffeine, she’s doing something with words—be it writing, reading, or fixing all the words.
NERD BLAST SCHEDULE: http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2019/09/nerd-blast-night-weaver-by-monique.html Monique Snyman lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her husband and an adorable Chihuahua. She’s the author of MUTI NATION, a horror novel set in South Africa, and Bram Stoker Award® nominated novel, THE NIGHT WEAVER, which is the first installment in a dark fantasy series for young adults.
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
Thank you to Orbit Books for gifting me a finished copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January Author: Alix E. Harrow Publication date: September 10, 2019 Publisher: Redhook Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
In the summer of 1901, at the age of seven, January Scaller found a Door. You know the kind of door–they lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, to Atlantis, to all the places never found on a map.
Years later, January has forgotten her brief glimpse of Elsewhere. Her life is quiet and lonely but safe on her guardian’s estate, until one day she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds in its pages, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. A book that might lead her back to the half-remembered door of her childhood.
But, as January gets answers to questions she never imagined, shadows creep closer. There are truths about the world that should never be revealed.
Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Publication date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Redhook, Orbit Book Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 Star Book
One of the most stunning, captivating book of 2019
“Listen, not every story is made for telling. Sometimes just by telling a story you’re stealing it, stealing a little of the mystery away from it.”
Have you ever had penchant for the whimsical? Have you looked sideways at doors ever? Or held your breath as walked through a threshold? Or maybe in a moment of fancy, while staring longing at a wall hoping for for a chance of something magical. An opening, a portal…That just maybe there is something magical in the world.
I have despite voices to the contrary, telling me otherwise.
Are you a readers who remembers what it was once like to have the ability to imagine a wide world of endless possibilities. In Within these pages, January will discover the impossible truth of her own existence– and the harrowing dangers that lurk between the Doors and other worlds.
This fairy tale will have you stepping through the void, into fables, folklore, adventure, love and sanctuary, and the infinite power of words and love. In this completely original lyrical debut, Alix E. Harrow captivating book is a magical blend of both historical fiction and magical realism.
Alix E. Harrow effortless writing is stunning and unconsciously literary.
” I almost didn’t notice the Door at all. All Doors are like that, half-shadowed and sideways until someone looks at them in just the right way.”
The Ten Thousand Doors of January is completely original storyline but written in classical childhood fairy tale style of older work. Beautiful writing that is poetic and the words are fluid in this captivating and lyrical debut. In the turn of the twentieth century, a time of change with inventions and new discoveries, We meet January, an oddly colored, wild and headstrong imaginative girl.
From the first pages I fell in love with January Scaller. When we first meet January, she is seven years old and, though her father is living, she is being cared for by Mr. Locke, her fathers benefactor. Her father travels the world, seeking out exotic treasures to bring back to his employer. Throughout her childhood years, she is herded and tamed into submission, well almost..
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, is lush and richly imaginative book of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the incredible power of opening doors .
Alix Harrow’s has masterly written a captivating illustrious tale with this story. If you love stories that have rich descriptive prose and a within a wonderfulhistoricalstoryline with magical realism then you definitely want to pick this one up.
” Life has a kind of momentum to it, I’ve found, an accumulated weight of decisions which becomes impossible to shift.”
Alix E. Harrow has been a student and a teacher, a farm-worker and a cashier, an ice-cream-scooper and a 9-to-5 office-dweller. She’s lived in tents and cars, cramped city apartments and lonely cabins, and spent a summer in a really sweet ’79 VW Vanagon. She has library cards in at least five states.
Now she’s a full-time writer living in with her husband and two semi-feral kids in Kentucky. Her short fiction has appeared in Shimmer, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Apex, and other venues, and The Ten Thousand Doors of January is her debut novel. Find her wasting time and having opinions at @AlixEHarrow on Twitter.
Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.
Shame and disappointment follow her.
When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.
An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.
This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
Conntent warning about assault. Without getting too spoiler-y, there are several women characters whose past magical, psychological, and physical abuse at the hands of a powerful man is described obliquely, but it’s clear that the women are deeply traumatized by it. So much so that it fuels the motivations of one woman in particular and sets in motion the plot of the novel.
Kingdom of Souls Kingdom of Souls is a gripping, riveting, and ambitious dark fantasy epic. This is the first of a planned trilogy, but there is so much plot crammed into the first book. Vivid, magical, and utterly thrilling. Kingdom of Souls is a story of a girl born to a powerful bloodline of witchdoctors with no powers of her own who discovers that she may be the only one who stands a chance to save her kingdom from being ruined …but she finds this battle to be more personal than she expects.
The authors truly excels is in worldbuilding and character development. The stage she sets is as lush as a jungle and unforgiving as a desert. This is no homogeneous fantasy land. Inspired by West African mythology, Barron infuses her world with a rich tapestry of ideas.
The main protagonist, Arrah, has no magic. Every year she attends a ritual that should reveal her powers, and every year she leaves as magic-less as she arrived. Her father, Oshe, is a skilled herbalist and potion-maker and her mother, Arti, is the third most powerful person in the kingdom. Her father’s love and her witchdoctor grandmother’s compassion make bearable her mother’s seething disgust at her daughter’s shame, as does the affection shared between her and Rudjek, the son of the king’s right hand also known as her mother’s nemesis.She is willing to sacrifice everything for her people, even when they despise her.
Throughout it all, she remains true to who she is while growing into a better version of herself.
Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Arrah’s world is shattered. Children have been disappearing, and fear and distrust is spreading across the city. The temple priests cannot locate them and the orishas—the gods her people worship—are not responding to prayers.
When a friend of Arrah’s is taken, she makes the ultimate sacrifice and trades years of her life to cheat her way into possessing magic. What she discovers next propels her down a path she cannot escape from and a destiny she is ill-prepared for. The Demon King, believed to have been killed by the orishas millennia ago, is rising once more and Arrah’s fate is tied to his. Before this is over, she will lose everything and everyone she loves, maybe even herself.
Throughout it all, she remains true to who she is while growing into a better version of herself.
*They are some uneven pacing issues that should have been addressed before publication, but over all it was a solid ya fantasy.*
Rodrick is a prince of the ruling country of Diar. He has a face kissed by the Gods themselves, with deep blue eyes and long ruby-red hair. Speaking of Gods, he also happens to be the Acolyte of Time. Gifts and curses with this power give him control over aspects of time. And being a dragon-human hybrid has its amazing perks too.
But since childhood, Rodrick has had a target on his back, and his insanely power-hungry father, Demon King Ryton, comes across as his closest but worst enemy. Throw in the workings of an alcoholic mother, a bipolar sister, a recovering addict brother, and an adopted little sister with magical powers, and you have the royal family of Diar.
Things couldn’t get any worse, until he meets the beautiful Princess Arcelia—but Arcelia isn’t the main problem. Her and Rodrick are on now on the run from Rodrick’s father, Ryton. And with the looming risk of world destruction ahead of them, Rodrick is worried about more than college exams.
This book was received as an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.
Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
An inventive fantasy by a debut author, Winnifred Tataw
The Gods’ Scion: Child of Tempus.
Right from the beginning you are swept up into the books enjoyable plot and likable characters that will have you cheering them on. Tataw has Created an urban/contemporary fantasy that takes on a faced passed storyline.
Rodrick a ruling prince of the country of Diar, Being a Acolyte of his time, And dragon-human. But not everything is perfect, with turbulent family dynamics and a Demon King as your Father. Impending world destruction and magical realism with a dash of romance makes this an intriguing and engaging storyline. Great dialogue and magical elements makes for well written book.
If you enjoy Ya Contemporary Fantasy than this is the perfect book for you.
I look forward to reading more books from this creative Author.
Winnifred or Winnie, as most know her by, is an artist, writer, and author of her debut novel: The Gods’ Scion: Child of Tempus. As a military child, Winnie has traveled extensively around the US East Coast and Germany, learning about the history, lore and culture of each region. Winnie has spent the last two years writing and expanding the world of The Gods’ Scion trilogy series. Winnie has had a lifelong love of literature and art. As a new writer she wants to create beautiful fantasy world and with compelling and intriguing characters. Winnie resides in South Carolina and is an undergraduate at the College of Charleston. She loves to spread positivity and joy to those around her, and look at the world through a glittery pink lens.
Huge thanks to Penguin for sending me an early copy of this book!
Trigger warnings for homophobia, abortion, suicide, rape, abuse, forced pregnancy.
‘It’s on every woman in this country. Kept in shame and silence for generations. Kicked out, locked up, taken away. Their children sold in illegal adoptions; their babies buried in unmarked graves. Forced pregnancies and back-street abortions, eleven a day on the boat to England only to come home to rejection and stigma. Insults and prayers and keeping up appearances – and how do you break a curse like that?’
“Some loves ignite like forest fires, burn down entire towns before anybody’s noticed. . . Some loves smolder like a turf fire, are slow to start but will then burn bright and steady through entire winters.”
“A good cup of tea is a witch’s brew,” the old women said together with wicked grins. “Heals all ills.”
The stunning new novel about silenced female voices, family secrets and dangerous truths from the author ofThe Accident Season.
‘Exquisite . . . This is a book to hold tightly to your chest’Irish Times
‘Lyrical . . . Compelling’Guardian
‘Beautiful, visceral . . . A primal scream’Louise O’Neill
Moïra Fowley-Doyle is half-French, half-Irish and made of equal parts feminism, whimsy and Doc Martens. She lives in Dublin where she writes magic realism, reads tarot cards and raises witch babies.
Moïra’s first novel, The Accident Season, was shortlisted for the 2015 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize & the North East Teen Book Awards, nominated for the Carnegie Medal & won the inaugural School Library Association of Ireland Great Reads Award. It received two starred reviews & sold in ten territories. Her second novel, Spellbook of the Lost and Found, was published in summer 2017, received a starred review from School Library Journal and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards.
“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”
Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?
As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.
The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.
Thank you to Caffeine Blog Tours for allowing me to take part in this blog tour, and to Edelweiss and Sky Pony Press for this free e-ARC of the novel.
A House of Rage and Sorrow, picks up a few months after A Spark of White Fire finish. This is an action packed book, that blends Mahabharata Hindu mythology, along with an Epic Science-Fiction to creative an enjoyable powerful Space Opera.
A vivid, gripping brilliant sequel with a turbulent continuous moving plot-line, that readers will not be able to put down.
A House of Rage and Sorrow, starts off quickly from within its first chapters and then just goes full steam. In this second installment, the author continues to masterly create some of the most amazing world building and the characters come to life much more here than in the previous introductory book in this trilogy.
The book is an complexity of political intrigue, and nail biting roller coaster of a ride.
The Authors vibrant characters, and interesting plots inspired by existing Hindu folklore. Sangu Mandanna has masterly recreated the interwoven Mahabharata mythology, while adding her own twist. I was captivated from page one. I found this story to be engrossing, well thought out.
Perfectly paced and captivating with rich imaginable world building. The storyline is engaging and compelling, The novel is so intriguing, and well-written, with absolutely fantastic characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. I really enjoyed the multi-POV’s, I’m fairly sure rarely any reader gets the chance to see a sentient of a warship’s Point of view.
The strength of this novel handsdown is the author’s fabulous characterizations,
I was captivated and totally invested in the characters struggles in this emotional, sometimes heartbreaking riveting tale. A perfectly created explosive, cliffhanger of ending ending.
Make sure to enter the Giveaway!
The prize is for the privilege of naming one of the Book 3 characters. It will have one winner, and the giveaway is taking place onCaffeine Book Tourstwitter! It is of course open internationally.
Named one of the best 25 space opera books by BookRiot!
The first book in a scifi retelling of the Mahabrahata. When Esmae wins a contest of skill, she sets off events that trigger an inevitable and unwinnable war that pits her against the family she would give anything to return to.
In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.
Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warshipTitaniato a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.
It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.
Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories,A Spark of White Fireis a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.
I’m very excited to share this book with you all today! The Devil’s Apprentice in the first book in the incredibly imaginative, and wonderfully entertaining, YA Fantasy series, The Great Devil War.
There will be exclusive content and a giveaway so be sure to read on!
The Devil’s Apprentice (The Great Devil War #1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?
Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think. – Kenneth B. Andersen
“You’re fairly young, aren’t you?” A forked tongue moistened his scaly fingers, and he flipped through more pages. “How old are you?”
“Thirteen?” the beast mumbled, clearly impressed. “It’s not very often they come to us so young. You must’ve done something really horrific.”
“What do you mean?” Philip shook his head. “What is this place?”
“This place?” The monster raised an eyebrow. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? Oh well, evilness and stupidity often go hand in hand.” His crooked smile revealed pointed teeth, and his gruff voice lowered to a hiss. “This, my boy, is the outer court of Hell. That—” he directed a hooked nail at the black gate, “is Hell.”
“Hell?” Philip whispered, and he saw it all again in his mind. The cat that had spoken to him. The shove to his back that had sent him hurtling into the street. Sam’s triumphant howling. The sound of squealing brakes. The car and the elderly man behind the wheel. And the darkness that had followed.
A dream, he’d said as he stood at the top of the long stairwell, knowing deep inside that it was a lie. This was no dream.
The car hit me, he thought. It hit me, and I’m dead. I died, and now I’m in… in…
“Hell?” he repeated, totally confused. How could he be in Hell? Only evil people went to Hell. Right? “I’m in Hell?”
“You need to say that three times before it sinks in?” the demon said, skimming through his book. “But it could be worse. Plenty others have to say it many more times before it sinks in. Ah, here it is! Let me see.” From the breast pocket of his robe he drew out a pair of silver-framed spectacles and put them on. The demon scanned the page quickly, using his finger as a guide.
“Just like I said,” he shouted angrily, pounding the book with his balled fist. “No one was supposed to enter tonight! Not for a few hours anyway, when an entire troop of politicians were to arrive!” The creature shook his head resignedly. “Well, since you’ve already spoiled my night off, I might as well send you straight to your punishment. What is your name, kid?”
Philip didn’t reply, but stared at the demon, dumbstruck.
“Wake up! We don’t have all night. Eternity waits. Your name?”
Philip cleared his throat timidly. “Philip.”
“Philip, Philip, Philip,” the demon mumbled, riffling back and forth a few pages. He wrinkled his brow. “That’s odd. Last name?”
Philip told him his full name, and once again the demon searched in his book. The wrinkles in his brow deepened, and his yellow nails scratched at his scalp. Then he shook his head and clapped the book shut with a sigh. “That name isn’t in the registry. Some dumb fool has made a mistake, kid. You’re not supposed to be here.”
“I’m not?” Philip said and felt a warm relief spreading through him. Then his eyes fell on the inky, thick darkness that enveloped the walls of Hell, and his sense of relief vanished. “Then where should I be?”
“Let that be your first lesson, Philip. Down here, humor is always dark.”
The Devil’s Apprentice, Is the First in a series of The Great Devil War Books
A fun an intriguing adventure fantasy that is full of dark humor, and fantasy world building.
A mistake and a twist of fate, sets in motion the storyline.
Cleverly written in third POV of Philip Engle, a thirteen-year-old boy who lives with his mother and who lost his father when he was very young.
The book is a page-turner, there are heroes and villain and it’s absolutely hilarious. Rich fantasy world building that is both imaginative and engaging.
Descriptive details, along with snarky humor keep you captivated.
The author combines Christian theology, mystery with coming-of-age twisted plot. It made good use of biblical mythology and tries to give a convincing argument as to why evil is necessary. Anderson, creatively draws you into feeling empathy for Lucifer and the fate of his hellish kingdom.
The writing PG since this is a middle grade book but its concept and dark humor might elevate it to an older audiences.
Most of the book takes pace in fictional Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will. A bookish tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective.
Thank you so much for reading book lovers!
I love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please comment below and let me know your thoughts. Do you see yourself reading this book? Do you love the genre?
Have a Wonderful Day
About the Author
I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …
… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.
During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.
In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.
My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.
A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.
I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.
About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.
Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.
Grade Level: 7 – 9
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (January 22, 2019)
Praise for SOMEDAY WE WILL FLY★ “DeWoskin explores a rarely depicted topic. . .A beautifully nuanced exploration of culture and people.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review★ “An unusual portrait of what war does to families in general and children in particular . . . affirms the human need for art and beauty in hard times.” ―Booklist, starred review
“A provocative exploration of what resilience means when you’re pushed to the edge.” ―BCCB
“With pathos and a fine eye for historical detail, DeWoskin (Blind) relates the story of Shanghai’s Jewish refugees during WWII, when Shanghai was under Japanese occupation. DeWoskin captures the crushing destruction of war and occupation, the unfathomable resilience communities can muster through cross-cultural friendships and acts of kindness, and the power of the performing arts to foster hope in times of struggle and desperation.” —Publishers Weekly
“A provocative exploration of what resilience means when you’re pushed to the edge.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
DeWoskin vividly captures this fraught time of dislocation and turmoil, and deftly connects the anguish of Jewish refugees and the agony of the Japanese occupation, elevating this beautiful novel into a clarion call for peace. —The National Book Review
“Rachel DeWoskin’s storytelling features an extraordinary combination of curiosity and kindness, on top of a belief that everyone can have an impact on the world they find themselves in. Someday We Will Fly is powerful, adventurous story of a teenager who confronts the brutal history with courage, love, and imagination. I could not put it down.” —Aleksandar Hemon, author of Nowhere Man and The Lazarus Project
“An engrossing and beautifully-rendered plunge into less-known Holocaust history, featuring the plight of Jewish World War II refugees in Japanese-occupied Shanghai.” —Julie Berry, Printz Honor-winning author of The Passion of Dolssa“Though I have written extensively about the Holocaust in novels, a picture book, poems, I had never before heard of the 23,000 Jews who fled to Shanghai for the duration of the war. Starvation, rough treatment by occupying Japanese troops, the teenagers turning to all kinds of difficult work (including gentlemen’s clubs as dancers and prostitution) to make money for their devastated families. Rampant disease, and early deaths were their daily lot. In Someday We Will Fly Rachel DeWoskin has taken the horrors and turned them into a YA novel that is terrifically moving and full of a kind of poetry in motion that is both terrifying and uplifting in equal measure.” —Jane Yolen, author of Mapping the Bones, The Stone Angel, Devil’s Arithmetic, Briar RoseFleeing Poland 1941, Lillia and her circus preforming family become split: her mother is left behind while the family travels to the last city that will take Jewish refugees: Shanghai. This unique view into a forgotten part of history is told with candid, yet lovely prose. While some aspects of the story are embellished, the book holds true to history. A great companion to Salt to the Sea. —Readers Books “Someday We Will Fly is an intense and immersive novel.” —TeenReadsOTHER HONORS ● Junior Library Guild selection ● Kirkus “Historical Fiction Gems” selection (January 2019) ● Bookish January 2019 Book Club PickWarsaw, Poland. The year is 1940 and Lillia is 15 when her mother, Alenka, disappears and her father flees with Lillia and her younger sister, Naomi, to Shanghai, one of the few places that will accept Jews without visas. There they struggle to make a life; they have no money, there is little work, no decent place to live, a culture that doesn’t understand them. And always the worry about Alenka. How will she find them? Is she still alive? Meanwhile Lillia is growing up, trying to care for Naomi, whose development is frighteningly slow, in part from malnourishment. Lillia finds an outlet for her artistic talent by making puppets, remembering the happy days in Warsaw when they were circus performers. She attends school sporadically, makes friends with Wei, a Chinese boy, and finds work as a performer at a “gentlemen’s club” without her father’s knowledge.But meanwhile the conflict grows more intense as the Americans declare war and the Japanese force the Americans in Shanghai into camps. More bombing, more death. Can they survive, caught in the crossfire?You can purchaseSomeday We Will Fly at the following Retailers:Photo Content from Rachel DeWoskin Rachel DeWoskin has spent much of her life in China, including childhood summers with her parents and brothers, excavating ancient Chinese musical and medical instruments for her dad’s research. Rachel lived in Bejing for most of her twenties, where she became the unlikely star of a Chinese soap opera called Foreign Babes in Bejing. She spent the last six summers in Shanghai, where she researched and wrote Someday We Will Fly.
Rachel lives in Chicago with her husband, playwright Zayd Dohrn, and their two daughters. She is on the fiction faculty of the University of Chicago and is an affiliated faculty member in Jewish studies and East Asian Studies. —Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
3 Winners will receive a Copy of SOMEDAY WE WILL FLY By Rachel DeWoskin.
Series: My Myth Trilogy (Book 1)
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 5, 2017)
Winner: 2016 Publishers Weekly’s BookLife Prize in Fiction, Young Adult
Winner: 2016 Moonbeam Gold Medal, Young Adult Fiction
Winner: 2017 Royal Dragonfly First Place, Young Adult Fiction
Winner: 2017 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award
Nominated for the 2018 Indie Next List
Which reality would you choose? Seventeen year-old Emily’s dad is in prison for securities fraud and her mom’s strung-out on pain meds, leaving Emily to parent herself and her younger brothers and sister. She’s got things mostly under control until a couple weeks before Dad’s release, when voices start whispering in her head, and Gabe, the hot lifeguard at the pool, notices the strange brands engraved on her arm…the ones she’s trying desperately to hide. Emily doesn’t know how the symbols got there or what they mean. They appeared overnight and now they’re infected and bleeding. She’s pretty sure she’s losing her mind. Stress, insomnia, and her wounded egos drive Emily to self-medicate, which has to be why the nightmares from her childhood have resurfaced, why they’re commandeering her conscious even when she’s awake. It has to be why the fairytale creatures she created as a little girl insist they need her help.
Triggered by the return of her childhood abuser and unable to cope with reality, Emily slips completely inside her elaborate fantasy world. She’s powerful in the First Realm, maybe even more powerful than her attacker. It would be so easy to stay there, to lose herself in enchantment…to lose herself in love. But something sinister lurks in the forest shadows. Emily soon discovers her demons have followed her inside her fairytale. They’re hunting her. With the help of the Fae, she frantically searches for the weapons she needs to defeat her greatest fears and escape back to reality before the man who tortured her can prey on her younger brothers and sister, too. Time is running out…*Non-explicit Trigger Warning: This book deals with issues of child molestation and abuse.
Behind-the-scenes picture from the making of the trailer for Secret Keeper (sequel to Riven).
Photo Content from Film 14.
Behind-the-scenes picture from the making of the trailer for Secret Keeper (sequel to Riven).
Photo Content from Film 14.
ABOUT SECRET KEEPER
Secret Keeper is the second part of the My Myth trilogy, and this astonishingly insightful and moving YA fantasy novel takes us even deeper into the painful reality of Emily’s existence. If you thought that the first novel in this young adult trilogy was moving, fascinating, unique and powerful… just wait and see what lies between the pages of this remarkable sequel to the first psychological thriller.
You can purchaseRiven (My Myth Trilogy #1) at the following Retailers:Film 14 is an LA-based film studio.They produce cinematic book trailers, author’s videos, short films, and more. Cinematic Book Trailers leave that lasting impression on the viewer, and remain with the book for as long as it’s in print. They’re stand-alone works of art, and at the same time they compliment the book perfectly. We create these cinematic trailers to give a poignant vignette of the book, which leaves the viewer curious. The tone, the pacing, the details, all generate tangible interest in the book and its author.FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | YOUTUBEPhoto Content from Jane Alvey Harris Jane Alvey Harris has a Humanities degree from Brigham Young University with emphases in Art History, Italian Language, and Studio Art. She’s CRAZY about the visual and performing arts! Jane enjoys playing classical piano, painting & sketching, singing & acting, and especially writing poetry & prose.But her real passion is PEOPLE. She loves to watch and study what makes us tick as human beings. Jane is definitely a dreamer. Her favorite thing to do is weave together sublime settings and stories for characters to live and learn in…herself included.She currently lives in an enchanted fairy-princess castle in Dallas, Texas, with her three often-adorable children and their three seldom-adorable cats.
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
– 2 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of RIVEN by Jane Alvey Harris.
– 1 Winner will receive an Exclusive Basic Book Teaser from Film 14 (Valued at $500.00)
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
Far away and down a rabbit hole sits the magical world known as Wonderland. A safe haven for the souls who lived less than ideal lives in the waking world get to experience peace in their afterlife. Jessica is the newest member of this enchanted land, but after eating a cookie that took away her memories of who she was, she doubts herself at every turn.
Jessica participates in The Looking Glass Ceremony to find her new role in the afterlife, but fate has different plans. As the Queen of Hearts takes Jessica under her royal wing, plots of regicide bubble up from the depths of Wonderland. With the help of new and eccentric friends, Jessica might be able to stop the treasonous threats and bring true peace to Wonderland. But only if she heeds the cryptic words of the Caterpillar.
Familiar faces take on new roles in this fantasy retelling with a dark and romantic LGBT twist This isn’t the Wonderland you’ve experienced before, and you definitely don’t want to be late for it.
“I know you cannot forget what Wonderland is, but the days will grow harsh, and it never hurts to have a reminder. Wonderland, as I see it, is different than most picture it to be. It’s not as dark, or haunted, or frightening as the movies make it seem. Wonderland is calm and quiet. If I were to give it a color palette, I would mark it down as pastel. Have you ever seen chalk paint? It looks dusty and old, yet somehow lovely and calming. That’s what Wonderland is like. There are mountains to climb. Some with flowers and some with snow, and there are fields and forests to dance through. When I say it’s quiet, I mean there is nothing but silence. The feeling you get when you’re cold, and on the verge of crying, and there is nothing more you want to do than scream until your head falls on your pillow is the sound of Wonderland. But, the forests, oh the forests… They are everything you’d want to ask for. You cannot get lost unless you want to, and unlike most forests, you can walk barefoot if you please. The floor is covered in the softest moss, still cool with morning dew, and it protects your feet from harm. The air is warm and humid, making it the perfect weather for dancing. It you’re lost and wish to cry, there are places to hide away. Fairy ponds and cool lakes are scattered among the trees with fresh berries lining the shores. The water never stings your eyes, and you can dive for as long as you want, and the surface will only be an arm’s length away should you need air. Deep within the trees, you’ll find long abandoned buildings ranging from Victorians to cottages. Some are down to their foundations with ivy and other greens taking over their structures. Trees grow from their hearts, and the ceilings reach down to the floorboards. Others are still in living order with soft beds ready for your weary heads. You are alone for as long as you want in the forests, and at the lakes, and in the forgotten homes, but if you ever need companionship, the town is never far. Smiling faces and warm arms to fall into at every corner. There are cobblestones, wooden, and brick buildings along both sides of the streets. Alleys and alcoves, churches and spires, bookstores, bakeries, pubs, haberdasheries, dress shops, hat shops, tea shops, and anything else you could ever want line the streets. It you wander through the alleys long enough, you will find a hidden park tucked away in the corner along the brick wall guarding the townspeople from nothing for nothing can hurt you in Wonderland. The park is simple with a tall tree for climbing or shade, the greenest and softest grass for picnics or late night rendezvous to stare at the stars, and benches for lovers to sit on. There is a long table sitting off to the left side of the park with many chairs of varying styles and sizes, usually sitting unattended. Attached to the tree and the buildings before the park is a string of lit paper lanterns. They have never flickered in all the history of Wonderland. The rest of the world has more ruins for exploring, with castles made from pearl and crystal. Some have moonstone and opal, and others are made from cold stones without a glow. There are crashing oceans full of beasts thought to be mythical or extinct. There are places deep in the southern woods darker than the northern woods, yet not as dark as the ones in films. In those woods, there are faeries, fauns, fawns, mermaids, pixies, and whispers where the cold sets in, and one can sleep to forget themselves and their troubles. The faeries and pixies soothe your mind with dance and song while the mermaids invite you to swim and play in their icy cold waters while they caress your body. But, they cannot hurt you. Nothing can hurt you in Wonderland. Wonderland is where you go to heal, forget, and feel at home again. This is what my Wonderland is. It changes for every soul who goes there, but it shall always be for you.”
This book was received as an ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
Honeycutt has created a riveting , and gripping tale, that totally sucked me in from the start. She transforms Wonderland into a type of heaven, and rather than follow Alice, we follow Jessica Smith while she works to uncover the secrets of the Looking Glass. Once I started reading this one it was hard not to get totally wrapped in this Alice In Wonderland Retelling. The author writes a deliciously fun, and a compelling all consuming page-turner. The author catapults you into a raw and darkish world with deceit and political deception. In this memorable, highly original read familiar faces take on new roles in this fantasy retelling with a dark and romantic LGBT twist
What I enjoyed was the how the author created a storyline where exploration and acceptance is everywhere. Great world building and character development. The novels premise and the writing definitely intrigued me and kept me entertained. The authors development of its supporting characters are definitely worth noting with interesting.
The book cover is creative and fitting for the storyline .
I can highly recommend this book and I will be waiting anxiously for the next book in this series!
The book cover is creative and fitting for the storyline .
I can highly recommend this book and I will be waiting anxiously for the next book in this series!
Aislinn Honeycutt was born and raised in Northern California. Throughout their early teens to young adulthood, Aislinn could often be found writing and creating characters. During college, they found themself more attracted to theater arts than any other study and was proud to be apart of several plays and film projects produced by their peers. Their love for writing came from creating deeper backgrounds for characters they played on the stage and from the constant encouragements from strangers on the Internet. In 2015 they discovered their love for working with exotic animals in zoos and went back to school to earn certificates towards Zoo and Aquarium Sciences through the Animal Behavior Institute. When not writing or working, Aislinn can often be found playing video games and making digital art