Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson Review

screenshot_20190704-1844424074577087030507279.pngTitle: Vow of Thieves
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher Info / Release: Henry Holt and Co. | August 6, 2019
Source: ARC
Rating:  5/5 *’s

Synopsis:

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them—the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor’s Watch will be a kingdom, and Kazi and Jase will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and they soon find themselves captured in a tangled web of deceit woven by their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies, a place where betrayals run deeper and more deadly than either had thought possible, and where timeless ambitions threaten to destroy them both.

If you have not read Dance of Thieves or The Remnant Chronicles, you will be spoiled.

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Dance of Thieves-Mary E. Pearson Review

screenshot_20190704-1843208995428301406303102.pngTitle: Dance of Thieves
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher Info / Release: Henry Holt and Co| August 7, 2018
Source: Purchased Finished Copy
Rating:  5/5 *’s

Synopsis:

A formidable outlaw family that claims to be the first among nations.

A son destined to lead, thrust suddenly into power.

Three fierce young women of the Rahtan, the queen’s premier guard.

A legendary street thief leading a mission, determined to prove herself.

A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent.

When outlaw leader meets reformed thief, a cat-and-mouse game of false moves ensues, bringing them intimately together in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

The Remnant Chronicles
The Beauty of Darkness
The Heart of Betrayal
The Kiss of Deception

—If you have not read The Remnant Chronicles, there will be slight spoilers in this duology.–

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Guest Post: Bronwyn Eley

Topic: How travel consistently inspires ideas for you.

Answer:

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen something or experienced something while travelling that made me stop and pocket an idea for a future story. More accurately, my mind would stop and take note. 

Sometimes it’s a place… 

Like this time I was at the Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain, and literally spent the whole time there taking photos of the incredible interior because I knew I had to use it as inspiration for the setting of a future series. I just knew. In my gut. The whole place spoke to me. I felt like the dorkiest tourist, taking ‘happy snaps’ of every single thing… but that wasn’t the reason! I wish I could have worn a sign that said ‘I’m a writer; everything I do is in the name of research’. 

 

Sometimes it’s a moment…

When I was in Mongolia, our tour group emerged from the wild and isolated Steppes into ‘civilisation’ in order to witness the Naadam Festival, an incredible spectacle that celebrates and presents ‘the three games of men’. In Mongolia that is Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery. Driving around in our seatbelt-less Russian vans, we were a little lost. I mean… it’s not like here where there are signs everywhere and people to direct you. There isn’t some grand stadium where the events are held. No, the first event – horse racing, which consisted of tiny, tiny children racing bareback across the plains – was out in the middle of nowhere.

There was no one in sight. But then we spotted it: a single vehicle parked in all its loneliness in the creeping fog that blanketed the plains. So we drove up to it and were excited when we realised it was, in fact, a police car! Huzzah! Surely, this kind officer would direct us to where we needed to go.

The morning of Naadam - photo by Bronwyn Eley

How wrong we were. The first thing we saw was a large boot dangling out of the passenger window. Asleep? Dead? Murdered in the night by a faceless fiend? Who knows!? One of our guides, Tsenkhee, approached the car and spoke with the – clearly alive, phew – man. When Tsenkhee returned he explained that the policeman had absolutely no idea and absolutely no interest in helping us find our way. 

All at once it hit me – like the dramatic opening to a movie at the cinema, with a screen so large it utterly dominates your entire vision. What hit me? The opening to another story I want to eventually write. This one was very different to what I write now, it wasn’t fantasy when it came to me but I would love to rework it somehow. 

The point is… travel opens doors for writers because of one simple fact: we experience things out of our ‘norm’. This has a very powerful effect – it amazes us, shocks us, confuses us, humours us… and these are key ingredients to writing. You need to be amazed, shocked, confused and humoured by what you write. Travelling makes me feel alive and so does my writing. One feeds into the other. Travelling inspires new ideas and writing inspires me to look at the world and see endless possibilities. Endless ideas. Endless chances to learn and experience something new.

All I can say is this: travel, my friends, travel.

RELIC, Bronwyn Eley’s debut fantasy novel, is slated for release September 12.

About the author

Bronwyn joined the military right out of high school, where she learnt (among other things) to disassemble and reassemble a rifle blindfolded. After that she spent a lot of her time travelling around the world. Her favourite places (so far) are Scotland, Mongolia, Iceland and Ireland.

Bronwyn finally found her natural habitat when she landed her first job in the publishing industry. While she has always been a writer, it was only when surrounding herself with books that she realised her life’s dream was to become an author. Relic is her first novel.

Bronwyn lives in Sydney and spends her time eating chocolate, reading and practising her martial arts.

Author Links!

 

 To Purchase:

  • For those in Australia & New Zealand:
    Talem Press
    Booktopia (signed edition!)
    -Better Read than Dead – Bronwyn & Talem are having a release party, check out their socials for more information
  • Amazon (will link once available!)

Relic by Bronwyn Eley – Review & Interview

Title: Relic
Author: Bronwyn Eley
Publisher Info / Release: Talem Press | September 12, 2019
Source: E-ARC
Rating: 5 / 5 *’s

Thank you to Talem Press for sending me an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Synopsis:
In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.
As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.
It’s an appointment that will kill her.
As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.
A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs..
As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.
Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.

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Rise by Ellen Goodlett Review

screenshot_20190704-184713118800523852689638.png

Title: Rise
Author: Ellen Goodlett
Publisher Info / Release: Little Brown Books for Young Readers| June 11, 2019
Source: ARC
Rating: 4.5/ 5 *’s

Synopsis:

Sisters Akeylah, Ren, and Zofi are all a step closer to their dying father’s throne, a step closer to the crown that will allow one of them to rule over Kolonya. But the sisters’ pasts continue to haunt them. Each hides a secret marked with blood and betrayal, and now their blackmailer is holding nothing back. When King Andros discovers the sisters’ traitorous pasts, the consequences will shake the entire kingdom to its core.
As Kolonya’s greatest threat stalks closer and closer, weaving a web of fear and deceit around Ren, Zofi, and Akeylah, even the people they love are under suspicion. If the sisters are going to survive, they’ll have to learn to trust each other above all else and work together, not only to save themselves, but to protect everyone and everything they hold dear.
With shocking reveals and suspenseful storytelling, this breathtaking sequel to Rule will keep you guessing until the very last page.

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Recommendation Wednesday

If you liked Roar by Cora Cormack then you’d like Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer.
Both have incredibly magical worlds that sucks you in. Here are a few reasons why you should check them out and I’ll include the synopsis for each beneath. 

  • Royalty ✓
  • Strong female leads ✓
  • Swoony badass men ✓
  • A group coming together ✓
  • Elemental magic ✓
  • Beautiful, unique worlds ✓
  • Addicting storylines ✓ 

Roar Synopsis
In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.


Heart of Mist Synopsis

In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

I also want to note that I am on the street team for both authors and I have to say, both Cora and Helen are incredibly sweet, lovely people and I’m so excited that I have been honored with the chance to work with them! 

TO PURCHASE: 
Roar by Cora Carmack
Amazon / Kindle
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer
Amazon / Kindle
Talem Press

 

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson Review

screenshot_20190609-1645052444770510663541965.pngTitle: Sorcery of Thorns
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher Info / Release: Margaret McElderry, Simon & Schuster / June 4, 2019
Source: E-Book from KT Literary
Rating: 5 / 5 *’s

Thank you to KT Literary for gifting me a copy of this book!
Synopsis: 

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

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