3 Books That Wonderfully Surprised Me

Sometimes we go into books having no expectations.
Sometimes we go into books because a friend raved about them.

Sometimes we go into books because the cover is pretty.

Or the synopsis sounds amazing.

Or for really any reason imaginable.

They either come out on top, or they just fall flat.

Okay, there’s a whole range of places any one book can fall on an enjoyment factor – but you get what I mean.

These three books are ones that I had some expectations going in – based on the synopsis I figured I was going to enjoy them, but really didn’t know just how much that would end up being. This is one of my favorite things when it comes to reading. When a book just wow’s you and you’re left in a puddle of emotions, sitting there wondering what the fuck you’re going to do now. How you’re going to wait for a second book, or deal with the fact that there isn’t a second book.

Each of these books left me desperate for more, and only one of them is part of a series – the other two are standalones. So, needless to say, I’ve been silently suffering for a while now.

One of these books ripped my heart out when I got to the end

One gave me strong Anya and Dimitri vibes.

One has a kickass heroine fighting for her life and her kingdom.

I have reviews for all three of these books, and I’ll link them. See if you can figure out which book is which and let me know if you’ve read them. If you have read them, let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments. If I’ve convinced you to pick them up, then I hope you enjoy!

Shieled (Shielded #1) – KayLynn Flanders


For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.

Of Silver and Shadow – Jennifer Gruenke


Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.

Soulswift – Megan Bannen


Gelya is a Vessel, a girl who channels the word of the One True God through song. Cloistered with the other Vessels of her faith, she believes—as all Ovinists do—that a saint imprisoned Elath the Great Demon centuries ago, saving humanity from earthly temptation.

When Gelya stumbles into a deadly cover-up by the Ovinists’ military, she reluctantly teams up with Tavik, an enemy soldier, to survive. Tavik believes that Elath is actually a mother goddess who must be set free, but while he succeeds in opening Her prison, he inadvertently turns Gelya into Elath’s unwilling human vessel.

Now the church that raised Gelya considers her a threat. In a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. But will this release stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will it be the cause of the earth’s destruction? And as Tavik and Gelya grow closer, another question lingers between them: What will become of Gelya?

A dark, epic fantasy about a girl who must reevaluate everything she believes after she is betrayed and hunted by the religion that raised her—from Megan Bannen, author of The Bird and the Blade. Perfect for fans of The Winner’s Curse and The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

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