fantasy · Magic · Young adult

Shadows of Winterspell – Amy Wilson ★★★★

Blurb; Stella has been living behind the magic of the forest for most of her life. Lonely, she enrolls at the local school, and as she begins to make friends, she discovers that she is even more different than she thought. But as autumn turns to magical winter, Stella realizes that uncovering her own family secret is the only way to release the forest from the grip of a dark and old magic.

My Review; I was drawn to this by the beautiful cover and ended up buying them all in the end. Another YA story full of magic, fairies, fai, ghosts and imps. An adventure. I absolutely loved it. Another easy read that could easily be read in one setting, a lovely ending.

Stella lives with her ghost nan, an imp and her cat but she wants a ‘normal’ life. She gets herself enrolled in the local school, makes friends and is enjoying life. Until she realises she is part of an old story/myth. One that still needs sorting/fixing and that is exactly what she is going to do. She is one brave, strong and adventurous girl but it won’t be as easy as she thinks.

A brilliant story. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend. I cant wait to read all this authors other stories. I love finding new authors.

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fantasy · Historical fiction

The Kingdom Of Back – Marie Lu ★★★★

Blurb; Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish: to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in eighteenth-century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

As Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

My Review; This is the first book I have read by marie Lu, I’ve heard she’s an amazing author and I do have her others on my shelf waiting. I treated myself to this one purely for the gorgeous cover. How beautiful is that!?

When I started reading it I must admit it wasn’t what I expected at all. But I carried on and before I knew it. I was hooked. It’s a mix between historical fiction and fantasy and it works perfectly. Two completely different worlds. The story focuses on music (piano) by Nannerl and Wolfgang Mozart. Nannerl wishes she won’t she be forgotton and her wish will soon be granted via helping another in a fantasy world herself and her brother created, but everything is not as it seems and she may have got it all wrong.

The story includes the highs and lows of both the siblings. The tasks Nannerl has to complete for her wish to come true but it soon turns dark and twisted. Nannerl has to fix it all before her wish costs her the most important thing (her brother). Brilliant written, imaginative, original. Perfect. I seriously loved it. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me.

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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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