Book Reviews

Blog Tour: Once Stolen by DN Bryn

I was a huge fan of DN Bryn’s Our Bloody Pearl (as you can see from my review!), so when I saw they were returning to the world of These Treacherous Tides for the start of a new series, I was delighted!

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TBR Spotlight: All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace

I’m late putting today’s post up, but here’s what the random number generator picked for me this week: book #290 from the TBR, All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace!

Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses.

No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.

To save herself and Visidia, Amora embarks on a desperate quest for a mythical artifact that could fix everything―but it comes at a terrible cost. As she tries to balance her loyalty to her people, her crew, and the desires of her heart, Amora will soon discover that the power to rule might destroy her.

I really enjoyed the first book in this piratical duology, All the Stars and Teeth (check out my review here), so I’m really looking forward to seeing how the story wraps up! This was a gift from Justine at I Should Read That for my birthday this year – I did also have an E-ARC from NetGalley, but these covers are so beautiful I really wanted to own the books in hard copy. I think I’m going to try to make time for this in August, because although the first book wrapped up in a satisfying place, there’s so much more to see of Amora’s journey and I’m really in the mood for something swashbuckling and exciting like this. It’s going to be a fun time!

Have you read this duology? I’d love to know what you think and if the second book lives up to the first!

Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: A Selection of Cats!

As you know, I am very much a cat person, and I’m always on the lookout for books featuring cats, in any age range. We’ve recently loved Mooncat and Me, which I reviewed here, and here are four more books for little ones that have cats! All of these books were sent to me, but that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Cat Chat by Dr Jess French and Penelope Dullaghan, from Nosy Crow

This is a wonderful introduction to the body language of cats! Each page has a brilliantly expressive illustration of a different cat, and a rhyming description that explains simply what each cat is feeling (“Say hello cat/let me go cat” for example). I think this will be invaluable as a tool to show my toddler when it’s safe or unsafe to approach our cat, which is something I’m hyperaware he needs to learn – Tomte is a gentle giant, but he’s still a cat with claws and teeth! I like that there are more detailed explanations of how to interact with cats at the back of the book, with an emphasis on when to leave cats alone and how to get them to feel comfortable with you – it has just the right balance of teaching kids to be wary while also acknowledging that they probably badly want to touch the cat! I’m very impressed with this, and will be glad to have it on hand for the future. Highly recommended for those who own both cats and toddlers.

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TBR Spotlight: Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

This week the random number generator picked book #89 from the list, Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West!

Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting. An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two – now three – after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors? She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince’s band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.

Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular debut.

I have absolutely zero recollection of this book. It very much sounds like my cup of tea, and the blurbs compare the style to Kristin Cashore, Robin McKinley, Garth Nix and Naomi Novik, all of whom are favourites of mine, so I can definitely see why I bought it, but other than that I have no idea where I heard about it or when I picked it up! I’m intrigued to see how the blend of fairy tales and other sources works, and I’m hopeful that it will manage to swerve the traditional YA tropes as I’m a little bit burned out on some of them – but this sounds like a unique take.

I’ve not seen anyone talking about this book, I don’t think, so I’d love to know if you’ve read it or if it’s on your TBR!