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.

 

 

 

Review of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

crookedkingdom Crooked Kingdom
By: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 27th 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

My Thoughts:
This book was beyond fantastic. I am unable to really articulate how much I loved this book. It is no surprise to anyone that follows me on Instagram or Twitter but I am such a fan of Bardugo’s writing. I have loved each of her books and think that Crooked Kingdom might be my absolute favorite.

Bardugo takes her readers much deeper into each character’s backstory in CK. We get so much more development and understanding about each of their pasts. I found these bits so incredibly emotionally moving. I don’t cry often in books but this one had me in tears several times. I have such a deep love for each character I am still not over how heartbreaking it was to see this series end.

Though I love each, Kaz has got to be my very favorite. There’s just something about him that pulls me in- I love how even with how tragic his past was he still has the capacity for kindness (in his own twisted way). I love a character that straddles good and evil and Kaz did this. I never knew exactly what he’s capable of which always keeps me guessing.

Once again the city of Ketterdam was a living and breathing place. Bardugo was capable of putting so much detail into her descriptions I felt like I was there (not always a good thing!) Her descriptions of each character’s relationship to the city helped to color the setting and give it life. Since the stakes are so incredibly high the pacing was fast and I flew through the pages. I tried to savor this read but I found myself progressing far too quickly. I wanted it to never end.

The novel had an amazing finish and most of the character’s story lines had closure. There was however a character that didn’t get a full ending so I’m hoping that well see more in the future. I can’t accept that Bardugo is done with Ketterdam and its citizens.

One question I’ve been asked several times- do you need to read the Grisha series before Six of Crows? Well, I think you completely could but you will miss some of the backstory of the world and some characters do cross over. I feel that every reader should dive into both series and I personally prefer to read in publishing order though technically you could read SoC prior to the Grisha books.

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Final Thoughts:
Crooked Kingdom was an impeccable finish to Six of Crows. I can’t really complain about any aspect (even my tears) and I only hope that Bardugo weaves a couple of The Dregs into her future stories.

Now tell me- how do I live without more Kaz stories? The only thing I’ve found to fill the void left by this series ending was to purchase SoC/CK merchandise. I thought I’d share some of my favorite things…

cktote ckcandle

Crooked Kingdom Tote by Evie Seo
No Mourners No Funerals Candle by Lumiere Candle Shop
No Mourner No Funerals Art Print by Her Bookish Things

I attempt to review Six of Crows and share a drawing

SixofCrowsCoverSix of Crows
By: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 29th 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was gifted to me by the publisher. They made it clear that it was a gift and did not have any requirements to review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

My Thoughts:
If you follow me on social media you know I’m a big fan of all things Leigh Bardugo. I’ve met her at a signing and I think I was the most nervous I’ve ever been meeting an author. We talked about old fantasy novels we both loved. I was so star-struck I’m not sure I even formed coherent sentences. So, you can probably imagine, when I opened that package for SoC I cried. I flailed. I was awestruck. And, I didn’t wait at all before dropping all things to read the glorious book in my hands.

I’ve sat on this review since JULY and I’ve still not been able to adequately write anything. Here’s what I wrote directly after reading the book and these two lines have been sitting in my drafts since…

I really feel that the writing in SoC was even stronger than in the prior three books.

I love Kaz and I desperately need more backstory. I loved how brutal he could be but also the insights into his self doubt and past

I think it’s safe to say this book left me somewhat speechless. I really do think that it builds upon the past Grisha world and has just enough hints of the first three books to give fans a wink, but for me, I don’t think new fans would be lost or unable to grasp the world. I’d love to hear from someone who’s not read the prior books if SoC was easy to digest for them.

As with all of Bardugo’s books the characters are well rounded and developed. As I mentioned above-Kaz was so incredibly well done and will forever hold a place as a favorite character. He was so complex and the tidbits into his past were so heartbreaking. I also loved his dialog and he is truly my favorite type of character.

And for those that wonder about the romance– there was just the right amount that kept you eager for more but never overtook the story. Bardugo added in just the perfect amount of swoony scenes and kept me shipping one couple so very badly it was painful to finish the book.

And speaking of the end of the book…it was rather painful because where it leaves off you’ll be desperate for more and yet…we’ll all have to wait.

Just to recap you’ll probably enjoy this book if you are a fan of…

  1. sweeping world
  2. incredible characters
  3. shippy romance
  4. leaves you desperate for more

As I was trying to brainstorm words that might possibly describe my feelings towards the book I decided I’d draw a bit. I present to you…a crow. My son saw my drawing today and decided that he wanted to draw his own ‘finished’ crow. He was upset I didn’t draw the crow in its entirety.

CrowDrawing BrennanCrow

Have you read Six of Crows yet? Did it blow you away too?

Review of Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)Ruin and Rising
By: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Hardcover

This is the last of the Grisha series so this review will contain spoilers from the first two books. You can read both reviews:  Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm

My Review is SPOILER FREE for this last installment of the series.

My Rating:
star

Read More »

Event Recap-Fierce Reads Tour

I’m so excited that I was able to attend the Fierce Reads tour stop at Blue Willow Bookshop. I got to see Leigh Bardugo and Jessica Brody again (saw them at Houston Teen Book Con a few weeks back) and meet Ann Aguirre and Gennifer Albin. I’ve not read the Crewel series yet but am excited to start it hopefully soon.

You can tell these ladies have been touring and have a great repertoire with one another. There were many laughs and a few tears and overall just a really great time had by all. I got so caught up in the panel that I actually didn’t take a lot of pictures (oops) but I tried to jot down some of the questions and answers to share with you.

When asked about their favorite scary stories Ann Aguirre shared that she found the world we live in to be the most terrifying thing. She went on to explain the Jewel Wasp which I’ll leave for you to read about. So creepy!

How do you celebrate after finishing a book?
Jessica said she cleans her house since it’s a wreck after she’s been ignoring it while writing. Ann said she takes a celebratory shower and Gennifer steps out into the sun and then buys a pie. Leigh tends to ignore people when in the writing bunker so she tries to socialize.

If you knew you were dying at midnight what would you do for the rest of the day?
Gennifer had a running joke about eating pie (and was really excited about trying Houston’s House of Pies) so she wasted no time in saying, “eat pie!” Jessica said she would finish the second season of Scandal. And then there were questions about the details of this imminent death. Was it world wide? Just them? How long in advance did they know they were dying at midnight- Would they have time to fly home to see their families? Ann said she would either fly out or be on the phone with her family. After the seriousness of this answer Leigh said she’d pass on answering.

What superpower would they want?
Ann knew the answer to this immediately, teleportation. She had really thought out all the details and questions related to teleporting. Jessica said she would want an immunity to calories so she could eat all the sweets and gain no weight. Leigh talked about how she had read somewhere that those that picked flight were hero types and those that chose invisibility were villain types. She’d choose invisibility.

Everyone went on to explain that Leigh was house Slytherin so of course she’d be a villain. Then they announced which house they would belong to.
HogwartsHouses
Ann- Hufflepuff, Jessica-Ravenclaw and Gennifer is Gryffindor. So of course I had to take the quiz myself


Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?

Many more questions were asked and answered it was one of the best panels I’ve seen.