Fairytale Retelling · fantasy

The Sisters Grimm – Menna Van Praag ★★★★

Blurb; Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .

As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.

To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.

So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.

My Review; This is one from my library pile and I must admit I picked it for its beautiful cover. This is a huge book for me at 482 pages long and I must admit again that the thickness really did put me off it. I actually had to take a few days break from it half way through and it did wonders for helping me continue with the book. The book has had many mixed reviews and a lot of DNF (did not finish) but I’m so glad I persevered.

It’s a brilliant story told through each of the characters and in a countdown style towards the grand finale/event at the ends. The end is where it all heats up and will have you turning the pages for fun. The story focuses on four ‘sisters’ (not biological). Bea, Goldie, Scarlet and Liyana. There’s also parts from a bot named Leo who turns out to be the enemy, well working against the girls.

A brilliant other world/other life fantasy story. Really enjoyed it after all that. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend.

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Fairytale Retelling · fantasy

The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Arden ★★★★★

Blurb; Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

My Review; The cover on this book is beautiful. The is the final book in the Winternight Trilogy and in my eyes the best one out of all three. A brilliant ending to the trilogy. I enjoyed the whole trilogy even if book two disappointed me a little but this pulled it back. This story is non stop. Action packed. There is always something happening.

Death. Deceit. Blood. Lies. Love. Religion. War. Magic. This really has it all a very magical read. I didn’t want to put it down its about time Vasya got a break as throughout this trilogy she has defied death, helped wars, hidden and reaked death and tragedy. Which side is she actually on? I have loved her character throughout, very unique. Determined. Strong. Brave.

I am sad I have come to the end of the trilogy but a brilliant trilogy to have read. Enjoyed every moment of it. It will open your imagination to a whole new world. A well deserved five stars from me. Highly recommend.

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Fairytale Retelling · fantasy · Young adult

The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert ★★★★

Blurb; Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

My Review; I picked this up purely because of the gorgeous cover. It’s meant to be a retelling of Alice in Wonderland but I didn’t see much similar other than the main characters name being Alice.

It took me a while to get into it but then it got dark, mysterious and twisted! There is many mixed reviews about this book but I throughally enjoyed it, something different. A happyish ending after everything the poor girl went through… A lot of bad luck following her. There are a few short fairy tales told throughout this story.

A good read and I will be reading her next book too. Perfect for young adult readers, fantasy and fairty tale retellings. It’s well written with short chapters and picks up after the beginning. A well deserved four stars from me and I recommend it. It seems you’ll either enjoy it or hate it.

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