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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fantasy · romance

*BLOG TOUR* Nightborn – Jessica Thorne ★★★★

Blurb; Like deep dark water, it pulls them down. The faint fire of magic within them flickers and dies. Their eyes turn black as night. They are nightborn now.

Grace Marchant has been many things: streetwise orphan, rebellious servant, and now beloved companion of Prince Bastien, heir to the throne of Larelwynn. But their sunlit happiness is not destined to last. The golden magic which brought them together in purest passion is threatened by strange and ancient forces. Innocent people are becoming nightborn – cruel, deadly, unrecognisable to their loved ones – and these two young lovers are the only ones with power enough to stop it.

In times of peace, striking a deal with their closest enemy would be unthinkable, but now their only hope is to ally with the neighbouring Valenti royal family: manipulative, cunning, and always with an eye on the Larelwynn throne. The partnership comes at a devastating price… if Grace wants to defeat the nightborn, she must watch Bastien marry a Valenti princess.

Grace knows she must make this heart-wrenching sacrifice for the good of the whole kingdom – but she also fears the magic in her veins, usually so warm and bright, is turning cold as deepest midnight. A beguiling darkness whispers to her from within. Is Grace herself becoming nightborn?

Time is running out. With Bastien promised to another, and a stony distance growing between them, will Grace find the source of the nightborn curse before every last soul is consumed by the darkness?

My Review; Nightborn is book two in The Hollow King series/trilogy. Best read in order. Oh wow. Readers are in for a rollercoaster of a ride with this one. Up down up. Plenty of magic. Plenty of evil and there’s some good too. Some romance. Some enemies. This books got it all. Very fast paced. There’s always something to keep you reading on. Brilliantly written. Was great to be back with these familiar characters. Some chapters were a little long for my personal liking but nevertheless it didn’t put me off. Beautiful cover too.

What a cliffhanger that was… I’m praying & begging to see what happens next. I’m unsure if this is a series or trilogy but either way I’m waiting & don’t want it to end. Brilliant. Perfect for fantasy lovers. I loved it. Enjoyed it. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend. I need more Grace & Bastian in my life.

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