Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour- Author Guest Post

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I have been a long time fan of Morgan Rhodes and the Falling Kingdoms series. These books have been so much fun to read and just look at those covers. I am so excited to have Morgan Rhodes here on my blog today.

About the Book

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An epic clash between gods and mortals threatens to tear Mytica apart . . . and prove that not even the purest of love stands a chance against the strongest of magic.

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he’s no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption. LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise. JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey. AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she’ll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge. And what kind of darkness will descend–and who will be safe–after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?

Author Guest Post

Throughout the series so many of your characters have changed allegiance and grown in so many ways. Has there been a specific character that has surprised you the most as you’ve written the series? Which one and why?

If we take the one character I believe has grown up the most over the six books of the Falling Kingdoms series, I would have to pick Princess Lucia Damora. The adopted (aka: kidnapped from her birth parents) daughter of King Gaius, the “King of Blood”, Lucia is the subject of a prophecy that she’s a sorceress. The king wished to use her magic to strengthen his reign. When we first meet Lucia, she is overprotected and naïve and has no clue about these rumors

Through many painful lessons, Lucia goes on a journey where she went from denial to acceptance of her magic; from hate and blame over those she feels have betrayed her; and to the knowledge that if she isn’t part of the solution, she’s part of the problem. Lucia has made a lot of mistakes throughout the series, and is an excellent example of “power corrupts.”

The only question remaining is, in IMMORTAL REIGN, the sixth and final book in the series, will Lucia finally step up and use her magic for the greater good?

Tour Schedule

WEEK ONE (Book One: Falling Kingdoms and Two Book: Rebel Spring)
January 8  Adventures of a Book Junkie  Intervieww
January 9  The Book Nut  Review and Playlist
January 10  Quirky and Peculiar  Review
January 11  I Fangirl About Books  Creative Post
January 12 Lovely Loveday  Author Guest Post
WEEK TWO (Book 3: Gathering Darkness)
January 15  Glimpses of my Books Cover Art and Author Gust Post – her inspiration for the character Magnus Damora?
January 16 Book Briefs Book Review
January 17 In Wonderland Review
January 18 Star-Crossed Book Blog Review
WEEK THREE (Book 4: Frozen Tides)
January 22 Ex Libris Interview
January 23 Ensconced in Lit Review
January 24 Step Into a Book World Review
January 25 Ria Reads Review
WEEK FOUR (Crystal Storm)
January 29 My Friends are Fiction Author Guest Post
January 30 Adventures through Wonderland Review + Instagram
January 31  A Thousand Books to Read Interview
February 1 A Page with a View Review
February 2 Never Too Many To Read Book Spotlight and/or Review

Blog Tour- Review for Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk + Giveaway

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I am excited to be reviewing Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk today! I love gladiator stories and a fierce female lead. This book has both in spades!

About the Book

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Blood and Sand
By: C.V. Wyk
Release Date: January 16
Publisher: Tor Teen

FORGED IN BATTLE…
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA…
A LEGEND WILL RISE

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic—and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus…

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire—an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves. 

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end—and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…

The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.

My Review:

I am so excited that more books are being released that feature gladiators and Roman times! This historical novel reads less historical and more fantasy to me (pacing and depth of world etc). It was fast paced and a quick read. I immediately was captivated by the characters, especially Attia. She was amazingly fierce, determined, and relatable. She was groomed to take over Thrace but instead is captured and sold as a slave. Instead of giving up she used her strengths to start a change. Got to love that!

Wyk did an impeccable job describing ancient Rome and the people living in it. Her descriptions were well done and she didn’t hesitate to write about the violence of this time period. The action sequences were really well done and I could really see this book as a film.

The bond between Attia and Xanthus was perfect-I loved that they slowly warmed up to one another (slow burn is my ultimate favorite thing). There wasn’t an instant connection between these two. Both didn’t want to really see good within the other but eventually they really related to one another. I thought it was beautifully (and realistically) done.

The side characters weren’t ignored- you really cared for them and feared for their futures. This made the choices Attia made more realistic since not only would she be impacted but the people around her would be too. Since you cared for each character it was really a tense read in parts.

I honestly don’t know too much about Spartacus (I haven’t watched the show or researched the story) so I can’t tell you how well this accomplished the retelling aspect. But, I can say that no prior historical knowledge is needed to become immersed in this book and characters. And, you might even find yourself Googling Spartacus after you read it.

Giveaway:

Tor Teen has provided 3 Hardcovers to be sent to 3 winners in the US or Canada. You must be 12 years or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Jan 8 “ Mary Had A Little Book Blog

Jan 9  Novel Knight

Jan 10  The Book Nut

Jan 11  Short & Sweet Reviews

Jan 12  Rabid Reads

Jan 15  Brittany’s Book Rambles

Jan 16 Powder and Page

Jan 17 Arctic Books

Jan 18 My Friends Are Fiction

Jan 19 Itching for Books

Jan 22 Pretty Deadly Reviews

Jan 23 Chasing Faerytales

Jan 24 Bumbles and Fairytales

Jan 25 Ageless Pages Reviews

Jan 26 Gizmo’s Reviews

Blog Tour- Renegades by Marissa Meyer Villains I Want Redeemed

Renegades-Blog-Tour-BannerAre you a renegade or an anarchist?

You can find out your super power in the Renegades world by taking this quiz. Be sure to let me know your results in the comments!

When asked the question of whether I leaned more renegade or anarchist I knew immediately that I was renegade. I love reading about villains but when it comes down to it I will always cheer for the side of good. I think the reason I love reading about villains and their histories is because I’m always looking for that sliver of good within them. I want them to be redeemed. I thought I’d list for you my top list of villains that I still hold out hope for one day they’ll come around  just imagine what they could do with their powers if working for the side of good!

Some spoilers below- mild but if you’ve not read the Shadow and Bone trilogy you might skip this next portion….

 

  1. Always The Darkling (from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo). He is my favorite villain and I am always pondering his childhood and how he might still be redeemable. I love him so much and I need to read a novella all about his past (in great detail).
  2. Catwomen- is she really a villain? I think she has so much good in her that’s just waiting to show
  3. Dracula- have you seen the old movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula? It paints Vlad as a saddened, love sick guy that just wants to find his beloved. How bad could he really be?
  4. Jareth from Labyrinth- Ok, he is so not THAT bad. He could have been way worse and just because he lives with goblins it doesn’t mean anything. I think he has a real drive to live in the light.
  5. Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs- you know he loved Clarice in some way- he totally helps her out in finding the bad guy

Who are you favorite villains that you want to see come to the good side?

About the Book

RENEGADES_cover imageRenegades
By Marissa Meyer
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Summary:
From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies humans with extraordinary abilities who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Blog Tour- Review of A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess

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By: Jessica Cluess
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Random House

There are spoilers for A Shadow Bright and Burning in this review.

Summary:
The magicians want her to lead. The sorcerers want her to lie. The demons want her blood. Henrietta wants to save the one she loves. But will his dark magic be her undoing?

Henrietta doesn’t need a prophecy to know that she’s in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the bloodthirsty Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook’s system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own.

So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients’ past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series but this one was even better! It had more action, a thickening plot and I really loved most of the character interactions. I feel that Henrietta is really coming into her own more and more and her interactions with Blackwood are some of my very favorite scenes.

The ability Cluess has to write her actions scenes is really remarkable. I was completely enthralled and they are all so easy to visualize as you read. These books really need to be a movie or TV series. The descriptions I see saying this is a mix between Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter actually fit to me- how often does that actually happen?

There is only one tiny complaint I had with this book and that’s Henrietta’s relationship with her childhood friend, Rook. For some reason I just can’t feel the chemistry between these two and I just don’t see any spark. I think it’s because I’m so heavily shipping her with another character. Rook just seems like a hollow character and I feel that as the series progresses his personality declines- perhaps that is the point? I really did love him at the start of the first book but more and more I don’t care about his outcome.

I really felt that the writing was even stronger in this sequel than the first and there are some really dark moments that I just loved. Things felt really tense and I didn’t know what to expect exactly. I am looking forward to seeing how everything plays out in the third book.

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Blog Tour- Midnight Tales

I’ve always loved myths, tales, and folklores. I think that’s why I’ve always been drawn to reading fantasy novels. I love when an author creates a world so vivid and real that it has it’s own tales and myths associated with it. Immediately, when I think of this aspect in fantasy, I think of Leigh Bardugo. Her Grishaverse has become so real to me-it is so detailed and expertly crafted- it’s hard for me to believe that it’s not real!

I am so, so excited for the release of The Language of Thorns (which releases TODAY) because it goes into the myths of the land. I love the idea of reading the folklores that the characters I’ve come to love might have heard about their own history and lands history. I love to think of The Darkling as a child, or a young teen, growing up, absorbing the world around him. What stories might Nina have heard as a child? Plus, even people new to the series (ok, really if you’ve not read these books get on it now) can pick these stories up.

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I’m less of a writer myself and tend to express myself in photography. I love staging pictures (especially pictures of books) so I created an image of some of my Grisha book collection. I hope you’ll enjoy it and I’d love for you to let me know in the comments what types of stories or myths are your favorites? Do you love for your fantasy books to have a rich and detailed world?

34076952The Language of Thorns
By: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Macmillan/Imprint

Summary:
Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange-to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.