A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

img_2167Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses 
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Trilogy
Next Book in the Series: A Court of Mist and Fury 
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: Print 419
Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a Young Adult Fantasy fiction novel that follows the journey of Fayre. Fayre is an outspoken, energetic, defiant female character. She has taken on the responsibility of ensuring the upkeep of her family by serving as the provider. After her father’s accident and her mother’s death, Fayre decided to take care of her family as a promise to her mother. She must hunt, kill, and trade with the people of the village to feed her father and two sisters. Unfortunately, one kill may be her last. Fayre lives in a land separated from the High Fae, which are magical beings with a variety of powers. The High Fae are known to have a disdain for humans and have slaughtered them in the past. Fayre hunts for survival, when she encounters a wolf in the woods, she has no choice but to kill it. She has no idea that the wolf she murdered is a fairie until she is taken back to the other side of the wall meant to protect them. The High Fae who takes her is wearing a mask. Fayre discovers all of the occupants of this kingdom are forced to wear masks due to a curse that was placed on the entire kingdom out of hatred. Fayre must find her place in this new territory, learn who trust, and fight for the man she loves.

Favorite Quotes:

“Tam told me that your first shot was to save the Suriel’s life. Not your own.” ” It seemed like the right thing to do.”

-I loved this interaction between Lucien and Fayre after she survived an attack that could have killed her. This quote shows a compassionate side to Fayre that I did not get to see earlier in the novel.-

“I’m sending you away because it makes me sick thinking about you in their hands.”

-These were the words Tamlin uttered to Fayre before sending her away to be safe. He made a decision to do what was best for her. I cried when I read this part.-

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I thought this was a great novel. I loved the development of each character, especially Fayre. I also enjoyed the backstory of Lucien and the history of how he became a part of Tamlin’s closest friends. I enjoyed the building of Fayre and Tamlin’s relationship. Tamlin’s strong character fit well with Fayre as they both worked to decide their importance to each other. Fayre is portrayed as a strong female character and faces many obstacles throughout this novel. The writing style of this book was particularly important to me since this book is over four hundred pages. The author did a great job capturing my attention during the entire story. I loved the plot twist, and I especially loved the last few chapters of the book where there is a significant action scene. I think throughout this entire book I hoped that Fayre would overcome her disdain for the High Fae and that she would become a key component in them breaking the curse. There were a lot of moments in this book where I was mainly on the edge of my seat, and I loved it. I enjoyed the build-up of each vital scene and the interaction between each character. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in young adult fantasy fiction. If you are giving this book to a teen, there is a bit of a tame love scene in the middle of the novel (be mindful of this). I am excited to see Fayre and Tamlin’s characters developed more in the next book in this series. I hope to learn more about a particular part of the ending that had me question why Lucien’s father would come to his aid in those challenging moments. (If you’ve read the book then you know what I am referring to.) My feelings were all over the place once I finished this novel. I was angry, and I cried for a moment. I felt a secure connection to each character and that only happened because of the fantastic writing by Sarah J. Mass.

Will I continue to read the remaining books in this series? Yes, of course!
Will I read more books by this author? Yes!

Have you read this series? If so, what were your thoughts?

Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com

The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield

img_2051Title: The Book of Storms
Author: Ruth Hatfield
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pages: Print 357
Rating: ★★★★.5

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I purchased a copy of this book on my own from book outlet. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher.

This Middle-Grade fantasy fiction novel follows the life of Danny. He awakes one morning to find out that his parents are missing after a harsh storm that occurred the night prior. Danny searches outside in hopes of locating his parents and discovers the sycamore tree in his yard has been struck by lightning. As he examines the tree more closely, gazing upon the charcoal color, he finds a piece of the tree that looks different. Danny reaches to pick up the stick, and from that moment on he can hear the sounds of the earth. This startles him, and he takes the stick places it in his pocket and heads to school assuming his parents will be home when he returns. Danny returns home and realizes his parents are indeed missing. He must journey to find his parents and uncover their secrets. While searching his parent’s room for clues, he stumbles upon a journal that explains that his parents were storm chasers. With the help of the neighborhood cat, Mitzy, Danny journeys to the home of Abel Korsakof in hopes of discovering what the Book of Storms is. Danny must learn who to trust and who not to trust. He must also find his parents, the Book of Storms, and try not to be killed by Sammael. Will Danny see his parents or will he be killed?

Favorite Quotes:

“What would you do if you woke up and your mum was missing?”

Danny said this line to his cousin Tom after arriving at his Aunt’s farm.

“He waited for an uncountable time in the hop of seeing the earth re-form and rise up into the shape of the great gray dog he had loved, but there was nothing there.”

This was one of the saddest parts for me. Even though I know Sammael is the villain in this story, he still had a heart for his dog. I am assuming Sammael will seek vengeance for the death of his dog and still continue to try to control the storms.

Final Thoughts:

I thought this was a great story. I liked the way this book was written and felt the same feelings Danny felt. Danny was in complete shock at the beginning of the book, not realizing his parents were indeed missing. He struggled to come to terms with the fact that he had to journey alone to find them but continued to seek out help from others such as Mitzy and the creatures of the earth. I did not wholly understand the power that Sammael had or the importance of his dog, other than being a companion. I also did not understand the concept of a Lurcher and felt that could have been explained more in the book. Overall, I thought this book did a great job of capturing my attention and had me on the edge of my seat a good portion of the time. I recommend this book for anyone in middle school interested in a fantasy novel that focuses on the importance of working together. I assume the overall lesson in this book is not to give up and to seek out help when needed. It is also important to be careful who you trust because Tom made a mistake in this book towards the end and I am curious as to how his error will affect everyone else.

What would you do if you came home and your parents were missing?

The Forgotten Lands by Jennifer Strain


Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was given a copy of this book from the author Jennifer Strain, in exchange for my honest review. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author.

The Forgotten Lands by Jennifer Strain is a fantasy juvenile fiction novel. It follows the story of Sadie and her two cousins. The Forgotten Lands is a short story, being only seventy-five pages long but it is filled with adventure. It makes you remember those stories you grandfather used to tell you as a kid. The stories about when they were younger and how they loved to go on an adventure. This is exactly how this story begins. Sadie’s grandfather tells her the tales of this mysterious apple in the family’s orchid that will lead any child who finds it, on a wonderful adventure through the forgotten lands. I don’t want to give too much away since this is a short book. I do recommend this book to anyone who has a child and is interested in reading it. It is a quick read and is appropriate for any child learning to read chapter books as this is not too overwhelming.

If you are interested in purchasing the book or learning more about the author, use the links below.

Link to purchase the Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1684014522

Link to learn more about the author:  https://www.instagram.com/theforgottenlands_books/

Illusional Reality by Karina Kantas

68AA5AEC-42A0-42BE-96A5-BC1123764D06.jpeg*I was given a copy of this book for my honest opinion.*
This book was a very interesting read. It is a fantasy fiction YA novel that provides a bit more on the romance side. The main character Becky is transported to a new place where she is deemed to rule. In the beginning she thinks she is dreaming. The challenge this novel faces to resolve is the challenge of saving her new found land from evil. What happens if the evil is destroyed? Will peace ever be restored? This is a lot of pressure for someone who has lived a life her whole life unaware of the powers she possesses.

I liked the romance and the action but I wanted to know more about the unique power that Becky possesses. I also wanted to know more about the people and their unique powers. Why is she so strong and why aren’t their others like her.

The novel is well written and I would recommend it to others who like a contemporary fantasy YA novel. I give this book  4 out of 5 stars.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

IMG_1158*Rating:5 out of 5 stars*

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is a Young Adult Fantasy Fiction Novel. The story begins with Mare, a seventeen-year-old thief, who picks pockets to feed her family. She does not have an apprentice and expects to be sent to the war on her eighteenth birthday unless she gets a job. The novel begins with a battle in the arena against the Reds and the Silvers. The Silvers have unique abilities of the high court while the Reds are left to fill servants jobs and live in unlikely conditions. Victoria Aveyard did a fantastic job with novel and explained each classes abilities extensively. As we journey through the book and learn more about Mare and the King’s court, we grow to love Mare and find out she is more than what meets the eye. Mare is given a chance to work for the Kings court as a servant, not knowing how she received the job but suspecting a connection. She is shocked when she finds out who is behind her new employment. (I am not going to spoil this for you. There are a lot of plot twists in this novel.) Mare faces many challenges as she discovers who she is and what fight is worth fighting. She must decide how many lives must be sacrificed for a more significant cause and determine if someone is an ally or an enemy. The ending is one of the best ends in a book I have read so far. It makes you question the entire novel, and it is definitely worth it.

This book is fantastic! I did not think I would love a book that focuses on class, but I do. I love the clash between the different classes and how some classes have powers while others do not. The plot twist is my favorite part. I do not want to ruin the book for anyone who has not read it, but you should read it. It has this historical fiction vibe to it, and the teens who are the main characters are portrayed well. Imagine being so rare that you present a problem and a solution. Imagine if you realized your whole life was a lie and now you are confused. If you are intrigued by this, then you should read this novel. The more I read the novel, the more I understood the title and the heavy meaning behind it. Red Queen is the first installment in the Red Queen series, and I am planning on reading the next few novels.

I did not want to provide too much information because I want you to read this book and find out more about Mare and the Kings court on your own. Just know, there is a lot of betrayal, love, loss, and defiance exhibited in this novel. If this does not entice you to read it, then nothing else will.

I give this a 5 out of 5 stars. It left me on the edge of my seat wanting to choose between sleep or finishing this novel.

The Ivory Rite by Johanna Hartford

The image was taken from the following site: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35987785-the-ivory-rite

**I was contacted by the author give an honest review of this book!** Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
The Ivory Rite by Johanna Hartford is a Young Adult Fantasy Fiction novel. It is a compelling novel that centers around the ceremony know as the Ivory Rite. The main character struggles with redefining a role she was forced into and in the process figuring out herself. She fights hard against the norms and traditions and challenges others who challenge her authority. She is an advocate for her rights and is diligent in ensuring her values are represented by the public accordingly. Diem focuses more on doing what is right versus doing what is required. I love the way Johanna portrayed Diem in this novel, and I liked how she focused on the strengths that women possess and the struggles women in power face. Margaret, Diem’s Aunt, focuses more on her becoming the person she needs to be instead of who she wants to be. Margaret despises Diem due to her skin color and hair color that is not of the Elite. She continually is showcasing her disdain for Diem every moment she can. -“Can’t you appear to be deserving of your crown for one night?”- These words and others resonate with Diem throughout the entire novel. She faces a long hard battle between love, family, birthright, and not losing her values in the process.

I do not want to give away too much information, but I do recommend you read this book. Johanna provides explanations for each act that occurs in this book. The connection between Diem and Adair, second in command of the guards, is a continually changing and it makes the novel even more interesting. I love the added romance in the book and the history of Diem. The explanations in this novel are well thought and concise with the story. There were a few plot twists that added to the overall suspense of certain aspects of the story. There is no better way for me to convince you to read this story or than telling you that is filled with exciting twists, turns, and moments of valor. Diem is a strong, witty, caring, and direct primary character who faces a great deal of turmoil the entire novel. She continues to prove her worth and stay active in her values which in turn makes her an excellent representation of women in power. It challenges the idea that women in high-ranking positions have to change their view to fit the aspects of society. She continues to forge her path with the guidance of only those she trusts the most. Diem faced many challenges, and this book is just the first. The story ends on an enticing cliffhanger that has me wondering when the next book will be released.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars due to the explanations, portrayal of a female lead character, and the focus of the family. Just because it is your birthright does not mean it has to be your only right.

If you would like to learn more about the author, please visit her site at johannahartford.com. A link to purchase your copy of this book is located on her site. Thank you for reading!

Court of Fives by Kate Elliot

court of fives
This image was taken from the following site: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18068907-court-of-fives

Court of Fives by Kate Elliot is a Fantasy, Romance Young Adult Fiction novel that is set in a different period. The general problem of this story is that Jessamy wants to participate in the Court of Fives, which is a series of complex challenges with one overall winner. The top winner is seen as the best competitor and moves on to more higher ranks in the Fives. Jessamy is birthed into a family with a mother who is a Commoner and a father who is a Patron in the army. This type of relationship is frowned upon due to the Father’s class. Jessamy has three other siblings, but she is not the attractive sibling. Her father is not aware she has been secretly training for the Fives and planned to compete. He arrives home from the war and invites them all to the competition, which is uncommon since the family is of a lower-class. Jess sneaks out of the watch party, competes in the tournament, and purposely loses. Kalliarkos is the competitor who she let win. She runs into him when she returns to the watch party, and he asks about her skills and why she threw the competition. Jessamy has made a friend that will become both her lover and her competitor. She must choose between getting her dream or letting Kalliarkos getting his.

I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator has a British accent that was fitting with the book. This book was an intriguing read for me. I enjoyed a lot of the content and the romance.  I would have liked more information about the setting about the land they live in and how they got there. It is very intriguing how the author described Jessamy and her family as well as their traditions. There are a lot of myths and tales that are similar to old wives tales told to me as a child. The world is not filled with fairies, but there are a few unexplained instances that occur. Like shadows swallowing people whole, sparks dancing on the walls, and a baby who was given life after being declared dead. There is a lot of suspense throughout the entire book. I was on the edge of my seat, biting my fingernails, and waiting for the moment in the book when they are all safe. This book takes you on a thriller ride through love, family, honor, class, strength, and freedom. Jessamy is a sharp, witty, and smart main character of this novel serves as a role model to all of her sisters. Even though she gets teased and treated differently for her lack of beauty she still excels and manages to showcase strength instead. I would recommend this book to others who are looking for a book that has a medieval romance feel to it with young and older characters.

I rate this book a 4 out of 5 due to the lack of more background information. There were a few instances in the book where I was a bit confused. I will likely read the remaining items in the series but at a later date.

Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross by Marie Lu, http://marielubooks.tumblr.com/, is a Young Adult Fantasy Fiction novel. The book focuses on the game Warcross with the main character, Emika Chen, serving as a Bounty Hunter. Emika Chen is tasked with the challenge of catching a “criminal” in a virtual reality game setting. The book begins with giving a background history on Emika Chen and how she started her career as a bounty hunter.
I was a little skeptical about this book prior to reading it. I noticed that it has been a popular book since the release this year. I absolutely loved this book. I loved the virtual reality, the romance, and the plot twist at the end. I did not expect that and I did not expect that cliff hanger. I am hoping for the best for Emika and Hideo. I am hoping their romance flourishes into something great but for now I will have to make assumptions. I see there will be a second book releasing for this series some time next year, I hope.
I give this book 5 out of 5 star rating! I recommend it for others interested in YA Fantasy.
*This image was taken from the following site:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29385546-warcross *