Book Review: Forging Silver into Stars (Forging Silver into Stars #1)

Title: Forging Silver into Stars

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: May 3, 2022

Pages: 560

Pub: Bloomsbury YA

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


When ancient magic tests a newfound love, a dark fate beckons . . .

Magic has been banished in the land of Syhl Shallow for as long as best friends Jax and Callyn can remember. They once loved the stories of the powerful magesmiths and mythical scravers who could conjure fire or control ice, but now they’ve learned that magic only leads to danger: magic is what killed Callyn’s parents, leaving her alone to raise her younger sister. Magic never helped Jax, whose leg was crushed in an accident that his father has been punishing him for ever since. Magic won’t save either of them when the tax collector comes calling, threatening to take their homes if they can’t pay what they owe.

Meanwhile, Jax and Callyn are astonished to learn magic has returned to Syhl Shallow — in the form of a magesmith who’s now married to their queen. Now, the people of Syhl Shallow are expected to allow dangerous magic in their midst, and no one is happy about it.

When a stranger rides into town offering Jax and Callyn silver in exchange for holding secret messages for an anti-magic faction, the choice is obvious — even if it means they may be aiding in a plot to destroy their new king. It’s a risk they’re both willing to take. That is, until another visitor arrives: handsome Lord Tycho, the King’s Courier, the man who’s been tasked with discovering who’s conspiring against the throne.

Suddenly, Jax and Callyn find themselves embroiled in a world of shifting alliances, dangerous flirtations, and ancient magic . . . where even the deepest loyalties will be tested.

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you so much to Brigid for gifting me an ARC to read, and thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for a honest review.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve read Forging Silver into Stars – I probably should have written my review sooner, but I literally had no words. My whole being was just this –

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No, seriously. Anytime I tried to articulate my feelings after finishing, I just wanted to scream and do that wiggle thing we all do when we’re giddy and in love with a book. So many times while reading, I had a stupid smile on my face because I was just so in love and so utterly invested in what was going on. I wasn’t bored for a single moment reading this book – and when I go to the end, all I wanted was the next one.

My first message to Brigid after finishing was legit –

If you’ve been around for a while, then you know that I fell in love with Tycho in A Heart So Fierce and Broken and would die to protect him. He’s baby. Well, it’s been four years since the events of A Vow so Bold and Deadly and Tycho is still baby, but he’s 19 now, and things have changed. Tensions between Syhl Shallow and Emberfall are starting to boil over, lines are being crossed and chances taken. Efforts to bring the two nations together are difficult and are being undermined at every turn.

Tycho is struggling to truly find his place while staying true and loyal to those he cares about. His arc in this book is so good – I am so in love with the direction that Brigid takes in this book. And there’s this scene (which leads to a handful of other scenes) that she didn’t plan for, and it’s 100% one of my favorite moments in the whole book. I could’ve never guessed it would pan out that way, but I’m so glad it did.

There are some slice of life scenes that absolutely melted my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed that Brigid included them. With everything that happens in this book – and it’s a lot – I liked the slightly slower moments, the more emotional ones. With tensions so high and the repercussions potentially dangerous and deadly, seeing these characters just get to breathe and feel…

Y’all there is one moment with Grey that nearly broke me. The way I saw it in my head, the way it came to life – nope, can’t talk about it because I’ll get all caught up in the feels and then I’m just going to have to re-read the book again.

*deep breaths*

I needed to gather myself for a moment lol.

Moving past the softer moments, let’s talk about Jax and Callyn – the main two new editions to this world and Tycho’s life. I loved them. Well, I loved Jax from the beginning. I like Callyn, but due to her history and general unease, she spends a lot of this book making choices that made me want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her. Hard. On one hand, I can wholly understand why she made the choices she made, and I’ll back her every time. On the other hand, she was a dummy lol.  

I just loved how natural it all felt – the friendship between Jax and Callyn – and her little sister Nora (who is utterly delightful and I love her – spicy romances ftw) was just so effortless. I didn’t need convincing that their friendship and feelings were genuine. I didn’t need convincing that the path their relationship takes wasn’t organic. Again, tensions are high, loyalties are being tested and choices have to be made.

I think it was inevitable for things to change, and the way Brigid wrote it was perfect. She executed this all so flawlessly and I loved every minute of it. The introduction of Tycho into the mix just leaves you wanting more and again, loving every minute of it.

And the way Callyn and Tycho describe seeing Tycho the first time is so perfect and explains their personalities so well.

As for Alek – another new character we get to meet – I’m honestly lowkey conflicted. In any other fantasy book, I’d probably consider him the protagonist and root for him. I don’t think he’s necessarily a bad guy, but he goes about things the wrong way. It’ll be interesting to see where Brigid takes his character in the next books.

From the moment this book started – I was hooked. I somehow managed to not inhale it (I blame work and having to sleep at reasonable hours). And while I would have loved to read it in one go, I did like taking my time. The wait for book 2 is already going to be long as shit, as it is. I think it took me a little over two weeks to read the whole thing, and honestly it was perfect. I’m already planning on re-reading it again before release, because I loved it that much.

Brigid put so much into this book and it’s nonstop. From the first page to the last, so much happens and the ending leaves you utterly desperate for more. I’m still kind of dying waiting and wanting more. The ending is a whirlwind of omfg moments that leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more.

I cannot recommend this book enough. If you loved the Cursebreakers Series – Rhen, Grey, Lia Mara, Harper and Co. then you’re going to absolutely going to love this next installment. It’s perfectly crafted, the vibe and tone of it is everything I want in an Upper YA fantasy book. The dash of spice Brigid includes is *chef’s kiss* perfect. I loved this book so much and I’m surprised I got through this review. I’m still very much a giddy excited mess that just wants to throw this book at everyone and yell that them to read it. Seriously, get your pre-orders in and dive into this book as soon as you can. You’re going to love it, and then be left desperate for more.

Book Review: The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash #4)

Title: The War of Two Queens

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: March 14, 2022

Pages: 628

Pub: Blue Box Press

Genre: NA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


From the desperation of golden crowns…

Casteel Da’Neer knows all too well that very few are as cunning or vicious as the Blood Queen, but no one, not even him, could’ve prepared for the staggering revelations. The magnitude of what the Blood Queen has done is almost unthinkable.

And born of mortal flesh…

Nothing will stop Poppy from freeing her King and destroying everything the Blood Crown stands for. With the strength of the Primal of Life’s guards behind her, and the support of the wolven, Poppy must convince the Atlantian generals to make war her way—because there can be no retreat this time. Not if she has any hope of building a future where both kingdoms can reside in peace.

A great primal power rises…

Together, Poppy and Casteel must embrace traditions old and new to safeguard those they hold dear—to protect those who cannot defend themselves. But war is only the beginning. Ancient primal powers have already stirred, revealing the horror of what began eons ago. To end what the Blood Queen has begun, Poppy might have to become what she has been prophesied to be—what she fears the most.

As the Harbinger of Death and Destruction.
Continue reading “Book Review: The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash #4)”

Book Review: A Hunt of Shadows (A Trial of Sorcerers #2)

Title: A Hunt of Shadows

Author: Elise Kova

Pub. Date: March 1, 2022

Pages: 382

Pub: Silver Wing Press

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


The second book in A Trial of Sorcerers is filled with forbidden magic, shadowy intrigue, heart-pounding action, and slow-burn romance.

Eira is now a champion of the Solaris Empire. She’s off to a land she’s only dreamed about. But a nightmare awaits her.

Her sworn enemy has escaped. His allies are powerful and deadly. And Eira finds herself tangled in the dangerous web of the undercity of Risen where the mysterious Court of Shadows and lethal Pillars battle for the fate of the kingdom.

But vengeance has a price. When Eira is captured by her enemies, it’s not only her life, but the lives of her friends, and the man she loves most, at stake. The woman she was won’t be enough to turn the tides churning against her from long before she was born. She’ll have to become something more. She’ll have to love deeper and fight fiercer than ever before.

The only way to kill a legendary champion, will be to become one herself.

Experience Eira’s adventure in the A Trial of Sorcerers series by USA Today bestselling author Elise Kova today, for readers who enjoy young adult, epic fantasy, filled with sorcery, deep friendships, forbidden romance, and tales of faraway lands.

A Hunt of Shadows takes place after the events of A Trial of Sorcerers. Readers should begin with A Trial of Sorcerers before reading A Hunt of Shadows.


This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to Elise Kova for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I love being a part of her reviewer team, and it was so much fun being back in this world. I highly recommend diving into her Air Awakens Universe – you really won’t be disappointed.

If you’re interested, you can check out my reviews for the Air Awaken Series – here.

As well as my review for the first book in the Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles Series – here.

And ultimately, the first book in this new Air Awakens book – A Trail of Sorcerers here.

I really can’t recommend these books enough, or any of Elise’s other books – The Golden Guard Novellas, The Loom Saga, The Wish Quartet and the Married to Magic Series. You’re really in for a treat.

And even better A Hunt of Shadows is out now, so you don’t have to wait!

But let’s actually jump into why we’re here – why I’m writing my first blog post since November 1, 2021. I know I’ve been MIA – it wasn’t planned, and the longer I went without posting, the harder it was getting back into it.

Elise was kind enough to send me an eARC of this second book in the A Trial of Sorcerer’s Series, and I couldn’t have been more excited. Like I said, I’m a huge fan of this world she’s created and I’m always thrilled to dive back into it. If you’re like me, and needed a little refresher of what happened in the first book, and everything Eira went through, Elise has got you covered! She’s written up a summary of everything that happened in A Trail of Sorcerers and let me tell you – it was so helpful, and jogged my memory just enough that diving into this second book was seamless.

Eira’s journey is really just getting started. She’s still dealing with everything she went through in the first book. She’s pushing people away, getting lost in the need for vengeance and her emotions. She’s reckless and runs headfirst into everything. She’s a bit chaotic and I love it.

Upon arriving on Meru, her choices and actions lead her to secret societies and danger. She meets new people, takes bigger risks and put herself and those she cares about in jeopardy. But that doesn’t stop her.

I love that her friends are there for her – her relationships with them felt real and grounded. I loved that even when they wanted to coddle and protect, they had no problem calling her on her bullshit either. Alyss is amazing, such a sweetheart. She always has Eira’s back, and cares so deeply – she’s definitely the “mom” of the group. Noelle is wonderful, her attitude is so much fun, but I love her fierce protectiveness she has for Eira – especially after some things come to light. She might be snarky, but she’ll stand up for those who need support.

Then there’s Cullen. I was really excited in book 1 to see how his arc was going to play out. I hate to say it, but I’m just a smidge disappointed. The progression of feelings in this book happens so fast, and it made it hard to really buy into it. The appeal of him in the first book was that there was a bit of a rivalry between him and Eira, he was brooding and secretive. I know a lot has happened since then, but he kind of felt like a bit of a different character. I just felt a little underwhelmed by the progression of his feelings in this book.

As for Ferro, he can kick a bag of rocks. I can’t believe that Elise had me at one point kind of in love with this guy. Kudos to her for writing him so well. The reveals that happen surrounding him in this book are pretty good, wasn’t really expecting them. Though, his actions – they sucked, and they’re why he can kick a bag of rocks. Hard. Leading with his pinky toe.

One other little issue I had, was that everything just happened so quickly. I honestly don’t mind fast paced books, and I didn’t necessarily dislike that events were happening quickly. But I kind of wish they’d been drawn out more – especially with everything Eira was getting into. Just like with certain feelings and emotions, everything felt like it was on fast forward. And time does pass in the book – so maybe it’s just the time jumps that made it feel quick. Either way, I wish it had been a little slower. I loved the events that Elise wrote into this book and all the shit she put Eira through. Yeah, that sounds terrible, but I love chaos and drama and figuratively flinging characters off a cliff so they can fight their way back to safety and solid ground.


Overall, this was a good second installment and true to Elise Kova fashion, the ending leaves you dying and desperate for the next book. I don’t know how I’m going to possibly wait, but it really might be time for another Air Awakens Universe reread.

If you read and loved A Trial of Sorcerers then I highly recommend checking out this book, and I’m going to figuratively chuck the first Air Awakens book at you and yell at you to read it. If you know me in real life, then I’m literally going to chuck it at you, because you have no excuse lol.

Book Review: Holiday Hotel (Simona Island #1)

Title: Holiday Hotel

Author: Poppy Minnix

Pub. Date: November 23, 2021

Pages: 246

Pub: City Owl Press

Genre: Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


Sometimes, it takes a corset and an island getaway to bounce back from a disastrous breakup.

In the winter chill of New York City, Cozette Fay attempts to turn up the heat with a fun and sexy Ms. Claus roleplay. Unfortunately, her aloof boyfriend is more confused than aroused.

She says fa-la-la to her fizzled relationship and escapes to the tropics for Christmas where she meets Nico, a van-driving beach-hunk who secretly owns the hotel on private Simona Island. He upgrades her room, takes her on adventures, and can’t seem to keep his eyes or his hands off of her despite claiming there’s a non-fraternization policy.

It shouldn’t matter that Nico won’t share anything about himself outside of their tropical snow globe—she’s there to reunite with herself, after all—but the closer they get, the more it seems he may be the Santa to her Mrs. Clause all year round.

Readers who enjoy Christmas with You from Tracy Alverez or The One Night Stand Before Christmas from Jana Aston would enjoy Holiday Hotel.
Continue reading “Book Review: Holiday Hotel (Simona Island #1)”

Book Review: When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards #2)

Title: When Night Breaks

Author: Janella Angeles

Pub. Date: October 5, 2021

Pages: 480

Pub: Wednesday Books

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Goodreads


The competition has come to a disastrous end, and Daron Demarco’s fall from grace is now front page news. But little matters to him beyond Kallia, the contestant he fell for who is now lost to this world and in the hands of a dangerous magician. Daron is willing to do whatever it takes to find her. Even if it means embarking on a dark and treacherous journey, risking more than just his life, with no promise of return.

After awaking in darkness, Kallia has never felt more lost. Especially with Jack by her side, the magician with who has the answers but cannot be trusted. Together, they must navigate a dazzling world where mirrors show memories and illusions shadow every corner, one ruled by a powerful game master who could all too easily destroy the world she left behind — and the boy she can’t seem to forget. With time running out, Kallia must embrace her role in a darker destiny, or lose everyone she loves, forever
. Continue reading “Book Review: When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards #2)”

Book Review: Luminous

Title: Luminous

Author: Mara Rutherford

Pub. Date: October 5, 2021

Pages: 384

Pub: Inkyard Press

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️.5

Goodreads


Liora has spent her life in hiding, knowing discovery could mean falling prey to the king’s warlock, Darius, who uses mages’ magic to grow his own power. But when her worst nightmare comes to pass, Darius doesn’t take her. Instead, he demands that her younger sister return to the capital with him. To make matters worse, Evran, Liora’s childhood friend and the only one who knows her secret, goes missing following Darius’s visit, leaving her without anyone to turn to.

To find Evran and to save her sister, Liora must embrace the power she has always feared. But the greatest danger she’ll face is yet to come, for Darius has plans in motion that will cause the world to fall into chaos–and Liora and Evran may be the only ones who can stop him.
Continue reading “Book Review: Luminous”

Book Review: Awakened

Title: Awakened

Author: Ciara Duggan

Pub. Date: September 7, 2021

Pages: 288

Pub: Parliament House

Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️.5

Goodreads


After losing her parents in an accident only she survived, Hannah is desperate for answers. Haunted by the events of that tragic night, she struggles to move on, yearning for some deeper truth about her loss.

But when it comes time to turn a new page and move cross country for college, she vows to leave the past behind. After all, Bellcliff University is a thousand miles away from the ghosts nipping at her heels.

Yet when Hannah accidentally awakens a handsome witch from a hidden cave near campus, she realizes he isn’t the only thing stirring out of slumber. Hannah has roused all magic…including the devil herself.

As if spells, curses, and college jitters weren’t enough, this witch claims to know Hannah from four centuries prior—and their connection is more than casual.

Thrust into a world of sorcery and monsters, Hannah must fight to keep the magic she’d unleashed from claiming a price far too steep for her to pay. 
Continue reading “Book Review: Awakened”

Book Review: The Splendor

Title: The Splendor

Author: Breeana Shields

Pub. Date: September 7, 2021

Pages: 330

Pub: Page Street Kids

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


The Splendor isn’t just a glamorous hotel, it’s a magical experience that gives its guests the fantasy fulfillment of their dreams. But The Splendor didn’t make Juliette’s dreams come true. It ruined her life.

After a weeklong stay, Juliette’s sister, Clare, returns from the hotel changed. Her connection to Juliette―the special bond they once shared―has vanished. In a moment of hurt and frustration, Juliette steals their meager savings and visits The Splendor herself.

When she arrives, she’s taken in by the lush and sumptuous hotel. But as she delves more deeply into the mystery of the place, and how they make their illusions work, she grows more and more uneasy. The Splendor has a seedy underbelly, but every time she gets close to discovering something real, she seems to hit a wall.

Meanwhile, Juliette meets Henri, an illusionist who lives and works at the hotel. Henri’s job is to provide Juliette with the same Signature Experience he gives all the guests―one tailored fantasy that will make her stay unforgettable. As he gets to know her, he realizes that not only is he ill-equipped to make her dreams come true, he’s the cause of her heartache.
Continue reading “Book Review: The Splendor”

Book Review: Lakesedge (World at the Lake’s Edge #1)

Title: Lakesedge

Author: Lyndall Clipstone

Pub. Date: September 28, 2021

Pages: 384

Pub: Henry Holt & Co.

Genre: YA Gothic Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Goodreads


A lush gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.

There are monsters in the world.

When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.

There are monsters in the woods.

As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…

There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.

Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.
Continue reading “Book Review: Lakesedge (World at the Lake’s Edge #1)”

Book Review: A Shadow in the Ember (Flesh and Fire #1)

Title: A Shadow in the Ember

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: October 19, 2021

Pages: Not Listed

Pub: Blue Box Press

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, a Maiden as the Fates promised, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.   

However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania—she’s not the well protected Maiden but an assassin with one mission—one target. Make the Primal of Death fall in love, become his weakness, and then…end him. If she fails, she dooms her kingdom to a slow demise at the hands of the Rot. 

Sera has always known what she is. Chosen. Consort. Assassin. Weapon. A specter never fully formed yet drenched in blood. A monster. Until him. Until the Primal of Death’s unexpected words and deeds chase away the darkness gathering inside her. And his seductive touch ignites a passion she’s never allowed herself to feel and cannot feel for him. But Sera has never had a choice. Either way, her life is forfeit—it always has been, as she has been forever touched by Life and Death.
Continue reading “Book Review: A Shadow in the Ember (Flesh and Fire #1)”