fantasy · Young adult

Winterwood – Shea Ernshaw ★★★★★

Blurb; Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

My Review; After reading The Wicked Deep earlier in the year and loving it this was a must have, must read. A very lovely friend bought me this for Christmas and I am so grateful. From the beginning I knew this was going to be good, as I started reading I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to read it all in one go, yet I didn’t I savoured it over three days. Honestly loved it! Immersed. Cannot forget it.

I loved how the story was told through the two main characters Nora and Oliver. I loved them both especially Nora. I loved the setting of the book. The background. The whole thing. I think it would make a brilliant film. The cover is gorgeous. We also get to learn about Noras ancestors throughout – the Walkers. Very interesting. Absolutely loved it and cannot recommend it enough. The ending switches and had me like woah. What. Wait a minute. Perfect.

I cannot wait to see what this author brings to the table next, not let me down yet. Another well deserved five stars from me and snuck into my top twenty reads of the read. I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. Worth the wait. Perfect for young adult and fantasy readers.

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fantasy · Young adult

The Girl in the Tower – Katherine Arden ★★★★

Blurb; The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

My Review; The Girl in the Tower is book two in the Winternight trilogy, best read in order. I loved the first one so had high expectations for book two. However, I must say I prefered book one. This one dragged a little for me personally and it was going to be a three star review until the last 100 pages. Boy did it pick up then and get me excited and flicking the pages.

We see most of the characters in book one in this story with the main character Vasya yet again causing more trouble while trying to be a hero. But the end was worth it all. I can’t wait to see what happens in the final book of the trilogy. I need answers. Because of the end it deserves the four stars. I have seen from other reviews that other readers didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the first too, so I am not alone. Is there anything Vasya can’t do?

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fantasy

Strange The Dreamer – Laini Taylor ★★★★

Blurb; The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

My Review; This is one from my library pile it is a long read at 536 pages, so it took me a while but well worth it! A brilliant story. Really enjoyed it…

Brilliantly written, I loved Lazlos charater. The ending of this story though is one that just blows you away, unbelieveable. A major cliffhanger. I have book two waiting to be dived into and answers uncovered. It’s one of those books that you keep thinking about even though you’re not reading it… Something different. I need to know what happens next!

A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend.

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