“Tarnished City” is the second book in the “Dark Gifts” series and is the sequel to “Glided Cage”. “Glided Cage” was one of my favourite dystopian novels with a variety of plot twists every few chapters. I didn’t know who I could trust and I suspected everyone of having a hidden agenda (which they all did seem to have). I truly enjoyed “Glided Cage” and look forward to returning to that world. You can find my review here:
Official Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
In a modern Britain where magic users control wealth, politics—and you—an uprising has been crushed. In its aftermath, two families will determine the country’s fate. The ruthless Jardines make a play for ultimate power. And the Hadleys, once an ordinary family, must find the extraordinary strength to fight back.
Abi Hadley is a fugitive. Her brother Luke, a prisoner. Both will discover that in the darkest places, the human spirit shines brightest.While amid his family’s intrigues, Silyen Jardine dreams of lost powers from an earlier age. As blood runs in the streets of London, they will all discover whether love and courage can ever be stronger than tyranny.How do you choose when you can’t save everyone…?
I was late for the July and August SPCA booksale so my mother thought to remedy that by waking me up at 7AM. On a Saturday! I don’t know if she’s aware of the fact that I often work Saturdays and my days off are sacred. Anyway we got to the booksale at about 9AM (which is good since that’s when Bargain Books opens). After a quick browse, I came up with an armful of books as well as a collection of kids magazines such as “Sabrina’s Secrets” and “Make it Groovy” . My inner kid was overjoyed since I loved Sabrina’s Secrets but never had more than one issue since I subscribed (should the correct phrase be “my parents subscribed” since I was only ten at the time?) to Make it Groovy. Eventually that subscription was cancelled (Damn recession) and I was left a sad child. But not anymore *cackles evilly* I am an independent woman and I will have these kids magazines. The guy at the SPCA asked me if I finished the books I bought last month. I admitted that I didn’t read as much as I bought each month and he laughed. (I’m going to get to them one day okay!)
Obviously after this I visited Bargain Books. I knew I wanted Melissa Delport’s “Legacy” series but things didn’t actually go as planned. There was small hiccup where “A Million Worlds with You” didn’t scan as part of the 3 books for R150 deal. I don’t think I have ever visited Bargain Books and not had an issue at the till. The manager had to be called to fix this and she greeted me warmly before asking if I had finished my last batch of books from their store. I swear I felt so attacked. I laughed and admitted that I hadn’t and she said she thought as much since I had visited the store a few weeks ago. This is what freaks me out- I cannot remember visiting Bargain Books in the past month. Either I have a doppelganger or I’m going book-shopping before blacking out.
Before leaving the Crescent I popped into Waltons to check their colouring pencils and I also quickly looked at the SPCA books again. Fun fact- they have more than just books. I found some DVDs.
After this the only bookish thing I had left to do was use my Exclusive Books voucher. I knew that I wanted to buy “And I Darken”. Unfortunately there were no copies at the store so I ended up coming home with Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas. I also caught a quick glimpse of Somizi who was visiting the store. Sadly there were too many people for me to take a pic but I was thrilled nonetheless.
I came home totally exhausted but so happy. I got a great haul of books and other items and I loved it!
I had major doubts going into this book. It had been about a year or so since I read “As I Darken” and while I did enjoy it, I wasn’t sure that “Now I Rise” would be as good (second books rarely are). I was wrong. “Now I Rise” was infinitely better and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. Since I read “As I Darken” so long ago, I was sure that I wouldn’t remember much of the plot or the characters. In fact, I read about two pages before I realised I didn’t remember the events of the last novel (of course the only thing I remembered was the love triangle between Radu, Lada and Mehmed). Thankfully the novel recounted characters and events from the first book so I was able to read this without having to reread “As I Darken.”
“Now I Rise” follows Lada, Radu and Mehmed as they each go after the thing they want most. Lada wants to be prince of Wallachia, Radu wants to be respected by Mehmed (but any sort of positive attention from Mehmed makes Radu happy because he has an unhealthy obsession with Mehmed) and Mehmed just wants Constantinople. However for each of the characters to get what they want, they have to make difficult decisions- decisions that involve lies, betrayal or brutal deaths.
This book is nothing like what I would usually read. However there is just something about this series that drew me in and refuses to let go. I NEED to know more about these characters. Will Lada get her throne? Who will Mehmed choose? Will Radu ever grow a pair? (Can you tell he’s my least favourite Dracul sibling?) I need answers to these questions ASAP.
There was amazing character development in this novel. Both Dracul siblings see that their way is not always the best and they may need the other. Lada is as bloodthirsty in this novel as she was in “As I Darken”- but this time instead of just threatening people she is a girl of action and I loved seeing that side of her. She is fierce, she is vicious and it is incredible.
“Now I Rise” has a compelling plot and flawless writing which makes the book impossible to put down. Definitely get yourself a copy. NOW!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I thought that this seemed like an interesting read and I eagerly added it to my TBR…and then I looked at the author’s name- Olivia Drake is the author of the “Cinderella Sisterhood”. More importantly, this book is the latest in that series so I now absolutely have to read ASAP!!! I love the “Cinderella Sisterhood” novels. They’re historical fiction loosely based on fairytales. And somehow, they have something to do with magical red shoes. I’m sharing the full synopsis below:
Synopsis from Netgalley.com:
Scandal begins with just one kiss. . .
Aurora Paxton was once the belle of the ball, the most sought-after debutante of the season—until a scandalous mistake ruined her.Shunned by her family, Rory was banished to the country to live in disgrace. Now she’s been summoned back to London by her stepmother, who is being blackmailed by the least likely person Rory can imagine: Lucas Vale, Marquess of Dashell.
Lucas is someone Rory’s known for years—a man as devastatingly handsome as he is coldly disapproving of her. What in the world could he want from her or her family? Rory intends to find out as soon as she comes face to face with her old foe. What she never expects, however, is that the icy aristocrat has a soft spot for her—and a secret plan to redeem her status. Could it be that Lucas has been in love with Rory all along. . .and has finally found a way to win her heart?
Release Date: October 31st 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
I think this book was a good read but just not a very realistic one. Both stories deal with the supernatural and of course love is the answer for these two couples. However while Nora Roberts normally uses these elements flawlessly, I found this novel difficult to follow.
The first story, “Spellbound” tells of a couple who have been separated through death and are now brought together. But while Bryna accepts their destiny together (since she has always known Calin is the one for her), Calin is far more disbelieving (which is ridiculous considering he had a childhood of the supernatural). However the story betwen Bryna and Calin is sweet and well-developed despite it’s relatively short length. I really enjoyed this story.
The second story, “Ever After” was just a really painful read. There was too much of insta-love and I did not find any of it believable. The characters seemed weak and I found the entire story to be over-done.
I warn anyone considering this book to proceed with caution.
I didn’t really enjoy the first two books in the “Throne of Glass” series and I’m not really following it. But like “Game of Thrones” it is impossible to miss any news about this series. And with my order of Crown of Midnight (which I already read and cannot forgive Aelin for- SHE KNEW WHO SHE WAS! HOW DARE SHE NOT SHARE THAT WITH THE READER? I KNEW WHO SHE WAS AND I FELT SMUG THAT SHE DIDN’T KNOW BUT SHE BLOODY WELL KNEW!!! DAMMIT ALL) and Heir of Fire coming in a few days, I’ve begun to feel pretty excited for the release of “Tower of Dawn”. I really liked Chaol and I can’t wait to see his story.
Official Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
In the next installment of the New York Times bestsellingThrone of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.
Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.
His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.
But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined
The day that my mum and I went to the SPCA, we didn’t really get to go to any stores. My dad was off and he needed the car so we just bought books and that was it. So when it was Woman’s Day (August 9) we decided to go back to the Crescent. I accidentally ended up buying some stuff:
“Maybe Someday” and “Unforgiven” were both on sale. However “Maybe Someday” was R70 (part of a buy 3 for R150 deal but I owned all of the other books on sale so I either had to miss out on the bundle price or leave the book behind- obviously I would never do that). “Unforgiven” is part of the “Fallen” series. I thought it was the last book I was missing in the series but I was mistaken. I didn’t own a copy of “Unforgiven” but I also didn’t want it. The book I was missing in the series was “Torment” (which was probably somewhere in the store since several of the “Fallen” books was on sale). Sigh. Oh well. Maybe I’ll get it next month.
I was sure that I was done with books for the month. Until Reader’s Warehouse decided to sell the first three Throne of Glass books for R255. That’s R85 each and a damn good deal. So yeah, I ordered that. And I was so surprised last Friday when I came home and saw this:
My first reaction was glee. New books. And then I felt hurt. Why wasn’t I informed that Reader’s Warehouse was dispatching my books? I have a really unhealthy attachment to that store and I felt like they had dumped me. Until I realised it was way too soon for my books to have arrived. So I inspected the box and realized it was from Penguin Random House South Africa. I had seen Penguin’s releases for August/September and they look amazing! And so were the books inside the package- two books I was sure I would be purchasing soon.
You guys have absolutely no idea how excited I am. “Now I Rise” was one of my most anticipated reads and I’ve been stalking “Final Girls” online because it looks so intriguing. I cannot wait to dive into these books.
What’s on your TBR? Did you cave in and buy books when you weren’t supposed to? I’d love to know below.
Mercedes has an unusual after-school activity. She helps virgins learn how to have sex. Mercedes believes other girls should have the special first-time experience she never did and so she coaches their boyfriends. But Mercedes’ life is about to get more complicated. As she tries to stop her unique service, things don’t work out as planned and everything starts to spiral out of control.
I absolutely loved loved loved this book. It was so well-written and the characters are so well-developed. Mercedes seems like a foolish girl but it’s hard to not feel sympathy for her. I especially liked how sweet Zach was no matter how often she pushed him away. This book was a great coming-of-age novel and I will definitely be reading it again. I recommend this to all fans of YA and contemporary fiction.
I love fantasy novels. They allow me to escape the real world for an hour or two without having to leave the comfort of my bed (which IMO is the best kind of travelling). Here are seven of my top fantasy authors:
Sarah J Maas- Sarah J Maas is my QUEEN! I don’t even care about her “Throne of Glass” series but I am so very obsessed with the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series that I believe she should be mentioned first on this list. If you haven’t read ACOTAR yet go and get it. I promise it will be worth your while.
Rachel Morgan- Rachel Morgan’s “Creepy Hollow” series has the same incredible world-building and crazy plot twists that you can find in a Sarah J Maas novel. Also, she’s South African so if you order her books directly from her you can get them SIGNED!
Renee Ahdieh- I’ve only read “The Wrath and the Dawn” duology but I loved it so very much. I think Renee Ahdieh has beautiful writing and incredible world-building. Also the guy is TWATD is super-hot.
Marissa Meyer- Marissa Meyer writes compelling adaptations for the stories that we know and love. Two of my favourites are The Lunar Chronicles series (a steampunk-ish kind of fantasy) and Heartless (a story about the terrifying Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland).
Melissa Delport- Melissa Delport is another local author. I am utterly in love with the vampire, Drake from her Guardians of Summerfield series (I fall in love with alot of fictional characters if you didn’t already know that).
Richelle Mead- Vampire Academy was one of my all-time favourite vampire series and that makes Richelle Mead one of my all-time favourite authors
J.K Rowling- Because I will love Harry Potter. Always
Who are some of your favourite fantasy authors? Let me know in a comment.
Stella has had a crush on Bear for most of their childhood. However after he turned her down in high school, Stella has to content herself with just being his friend. Until one night when he has a crappy day and Stella is the one who comforts him (and somehow they end up in bed together). But any chance of a happy ever after is ruined when Stella finds out that her brother- and Bear’s best friend- has been badly injured in an accident.
I’ve read most of the Ivy Years series and I really enjoyed it. I love Sarina Bowen’s writing style and her characters. However this book seemed really filled with angst which kinda spoiled it for me. I did still enjoy it but I miss the lightness of the Ivy Years (maybe I should just go and finish the last few books in the series).
I loved the romance between Bear and Stella. I also loved the characters of Hank and Callie and will definitely be tracking down their story. This is a great read that I recommend to anyone who enjoys romance novels.