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 –

Read Read The Book GIF - Read Read The Book Melissa Mc Carthy - Discover &  Share GIFs

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: Defy the Night (Defy the Night #1)

Title: Defy the Night

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: September 14, 2021

Pages: 496

Pub: Bloomsbury YA

Genre: YA SFF Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads


From New York Times bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer comes a blockbuster fantasy series about a kingdom divided by corruption, the prince desperately holding it together, and the girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.

The kingdom of Kandala is on the brink of disaster. Rifts between sectors have only worsened since a sickness began ravaging the land, and within the Royal Palace, the king holds a tenuous peace with a ruthless hand.

King Harristan was thrust into power after his parents’ shocking assassination, leaving the younger Prince Corrick to take on the brutal role of the King’s Justice. The brothers have learned to react mercilessly to any sign of rebellion–it’s the only way to maintain order when the sickness can strike anywhere, and the only known cure, an elixir made from delicate Moonflower petals, is severely limited.

Out in the Wilds, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade is tired of seeing her neighbors die, their suffering ignored by the unyielding royals. Every night, she and her best friend Wes risk their lives to steal Moonflower petals and distribute the elixir to those who need it most–but it’s still not enough.

As rumors spread that the cure no longer works and sparks of rebellion begin to flare, a particularly cruel act from the King’s Justice makes Tessa desperate enough to try the impossible: sneaking into the palace. But what she finds upon her arrival makes her wonder if it’s even possible to fix Kandala without destroying it first.

Set in a richly imaginative world with striking similarities to our own, Brigid Kemmerer’s captivating new series is about those with power and those without . . . and what happens when someone is brave enough to imagine a new future.
Continue reading “Book Review: Defy the Night (Defy the Night #1)”

Book Review: A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3)

Title: A Vow So Bold and Deadly

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: January 26, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Face your fears, fight the battle.
Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace.

Fight the battle, save the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But after enjoying decades of peace once magic was driven out of their lands, some of her subjects are angry Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. As Grey’s deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara questions if she can be the queen her country needs.

As two kingdoms come closer to conflict, loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces who could destroy them all, in this stunning conclusion to bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series.
Continue reading “Book Review: A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3)”

Cover Reveal! – A Vow so Bold and Deadly

Something really exciting and highly anticipated by me, and everyone else was revealed over the weekend.

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Now, most of you have probably already seen it, but Brigid is a friend and I feel the need to share it on here as well and help her out. Also, as a fan, I can’t keep my cool about this cover. It’s gorgeous, I love it and I’m so damn excited to read it.

I’ve loved every single cover in this series, and with each new one, it becomes my new favorite. I love all the covers in this series and love how they fit together and how they look together.

I remember talking with Brigid back in January – which feels like a lifetime ago – about what the title was and what color the cover could potentially be.

Y’all I freaked out when Brigid told me the title. Like, legit shivers down my spine due to the excitement and anticipation for whatever is to come next.

I mean…A Vow so Bold and Deadly…it holds so much promise…so much pain. To quote Brigid’s most notable gif –

Evil Girl GIFs | Tenor

Ugh, I cannot wait. January 2021 is so far away, though at the speed 2020 is whizzing by, maybe not so much. I’d kill for a chance to read it early.

Pssst, Brigid, can you hook a friend up? Lol

Needless to say, I’m so not upset with the red. I was really hoping for a burgundy/wine red color, and as you will see (or have seen) I’m not disappointed in the slightest.

With all the teasers leading up to Cursebreakers #3, everyone thought the cover was going to be purple, and while purple would have looked good with the blue and green of books 1 & 2 I cannot wait to see the red with them.

Anyways, let’s get to why you’re all here, and why I’m doing this post! The cover!

Though, one last thing…well two last things before we dive in. If you’re interested, you can check out my reviews for A Curse so Dark and Lonely and A Heart so Fierce and Broken.


Synopsis:

 Emberfall is torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under the true heir, Grey. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Rhen, and in that time, Rhen has sought the assistance of a spy despite Harper’s doubts.

Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But some of her subjects aren’t happy that Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. As Grey’s deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara is forced to question whether or not she can remain allied to his cause.


Drum roll, please!

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I now present to you (two days after it’s early release) the cover for Cursebreakers #3 –

A Vow so Bold and Deadly!

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Jfc, it’s stunning. It hints at Emberfall’s colors…and the crown! My excitement and curiosity for what Brigid has in store for us knows no bounds. I’ve been dying for this book since finishing Heart last year…oh wow, it’s been a year, or a little over one…

I have no doubt that she’s going to make me fall in love with Grey some more, want to protect Tycho – I really hope he has a kitten – I might want to furiously take Rhen by the shoulders and shake him, then give him a hug, and I really can’t wait to see if there’s a potential for a friendship between Harper and Lia Mara. I’m beyond curious and beyond excited for this book, and I know Brigid isn’t going to disappoint!

If you haven’t already, then you should really go read A Curse so Dark and Lonely and then go read A Heart so Fierce and Broken. You have time to get caught up, so do yourself the favor and get on it! If anything, buy the books for solely how pretty they are and how good they look on a shelf.

Janauary 2021 will be here before we know it, and we’ll be diving back into the world of Emberfall with Rhen, Harper, Grey, Lia Mara and Co.

Book Review: A Heart so Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2)

a heart so fierce and brokenTitle: A Heart so Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2)

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: January 7, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Find the heir, win the crown. 
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom. 
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?


This will be a spoiler free review, but I won’t be censoring any details that might come up from ACSDAL.

I’ve been sitting here all day trying to start this review. Unsure of whether or not I could even write it…and if I’m being completely honest, I’ve been sitting for two and a half weeks thinking about how I’m going to write this review.

I loved this book, maybe even more than A Curse so Dark and Lonely. Watching Grey grow into himself, learn to accept who he is and find himself was just so incredibly heartwarming. In Curse, he had it so rough, and to see this softer side to him, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

But, before I get into my review, I just need to scream, so bear with me for aa moment.

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Okay. I’m fine.

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I knew going into this book, that it had the potential to wreck me, most of Brigid’s books do. Since, her words, not mine “I like to take a happy concept, with happy characters, tie them to a brick and throw them off a cliff and see what happens” and if you’ve read any of her books, you know exactly how good they are and how true that statement is. Heart was not exempt from that.

img_4968For months, Brigid teased about a scene that wrecked her in this book, and when I got to it, my jaw dropped, and my heart hurt, and I wanted to cry. It’s a tough scene and I completely get why it wrecked her, it wrecked me. It’s kind of the inciting incident for Grey, and Brigid told me how it was originally going to go down, and trust me, be glad she didn’t do it, because omfg. Brutal. There would have been no redemption, no coming back.

Every character in this book (old and new) goes through a lot of changes. Rhen is ruled by his fear of magic and it coats every decision he makes, clouding his judgment on all things. Harper is ruled by her love for Rhen, and even though she’s smart and full of common sense, it creates a slight blind spot concerning him. Grey is ruled by his desire to protect Rhen and ignoring his truth. Lia Mara is ruled by the fact that her mother never chose her and that leads to the need to prove herself. Tycho is ruled by his adoration of Grey and that puts him in precarious positions. Karis Luran is ruled by her thirst for power and it blinds her. Jacob is ruled by his desire to return home with Noah and get back to their lives. Nolla Verin is ruled by the fact that her mother chose her, but on some level, she wishes she hadn’t. And Iisak is ruled by his determination to get home by whatever means necessary. By the end of the book they’ve either come to terms with the changes, or they’ve ignored them. You’ll have to read the book to find out their fates.

I think my favorite new character would have to be Tycho, and I’d legit die for him if it came down to it. It would be a rush as to who would lay down their life first, me or Grey. The correct answer is me. He’s just so innocent and even though he’s been through…so much, he still somehow manages to see the good in people. Once he deems you worthy, he’ll never leave your side.

I also really liked the new characters – Tycho, Lia Mara and Nolla Verin, Iisak. The book is told between alternating POV’s (minus the first and last chapter, being Harper and Rhen, respectively). This is Grey and Lia Mara’s story and it’s my favorite kind of fantasy. Journeying through the forests on a mission, all while falling for each other around a fire. I think they compliment each other very well, and I’m excited to see what book 3 has in store for them.

As for Lia Mara, she’s a badass, but not in a ‘I’m good with weapons and can physically beat your ass’ way. Her power is in the long game, to be able to see what others can’t, to be able to tell when brute force and violence aren’t going to win, but logic and reasoning will. Given the chance, Lia Mara will out think you any given day of the week. Her physical strength comes from her unwillingness to give up, and this surprises her – that’s she capable of physical acts of strength, when it’s not a trait usually sought after is Syhl Shallow.

Nolla Verin is Lia Mara’s twin, and while there are similarities, she’s vastly different. I think this is mainly due to the fact that Karis Luran chooses her over Lia Mara, and therefore is a certain image that needs to be maintained. She was an interesting character because there were always these moments that I questioned if she was going to act in the way I expected her to. Just these tiny little moments, before her decision was cast. She is very much set up to be like her mother, but Brigid put these tiny, minuscule seeds of doubt into the book.

And, last but not least, Iisak. Besides the magic Lilith wielded in A Curse so Dark and Lonely and the creature Rhen became, Iisak is the first magical creature to not be introduced hell bent on death and destruction. Not wholly good nor evil, he has his own journey and own reasonings for doing what he does throughout the book. More and more about his story comes to light as he (dare I say) befriends Grey and Co. but there’s still so much more to unpack and so much further he has to go.

Emberfall – it was fun being back in this world. As always, Brigid paints a vivid picture that is easy for me to imagine. It’s not the same kingdom as it was in Curse, things have changed, obviously. With the killing of the beast, and the news of an heir, there is upheaval and dissention brewing and Rhen is terrified which makes him dangerous in a sense. Fear of magic clouds his judgement and the cruel prince that Grey used to know (before their eternity together) is making a reappearance.

img_4965Every moment of this book will keep you hooked, on the edge of your seat, or silently screaming internally because you’re reading on a plane and screaming audibly is frowned upon. And as for the end…you aren’t ready. You aren’t prepared for what Brigid has in store for you. You thought the wait for Heart was bad…waiting for book 3 is killing me. It blew my mind and I did not see it coming, and I wanted to angrily shake a character and punch another. It’s so good but oh my god.

Here’s a screenshot of me texting Brigid upon finishing. It’s censored for spoilers, but I think the devil emoji says it all. It says, you aren’t ready.

If you’ve been dying to get back to this world, with these characters, A Heart so Fierce and Broken will not disappoint. “The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.” You won’t want to put this book down once you start it, and you’ll fall more in love with Grey and fall in love with Lia Mara as they fight to what’s right for all. Out January 7, 2020, you don’t want to miss this.



And EXCITING NEWS!

img_4943In case by some weird glitch in the matrix, you haven’t already seen, but the pre-order incentive for A Heart so Fierce and Broken went live on Monday! It’s a quote print designed by Erica Chan and if you preorder before midnight Eastern Standard Time on January 6, 2020, you’ll receive one in the mail in the weeks following the release of the book. I’ll include the link below if you’re interested!

I think the print is absolutely gorgeous and cannot wait to submit my preorder to get one! Make sure (if you are able) you go and preorder AHSFAB and after January 7, 2020 we can all scream about the book together and support each other through the long wait for book 3.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken Pre-Order Link!

*More info – i.e. rules and regulations – are listed in the link if you have questions!



As a final note, if you’ve already had the lucky chance to read Heart early and need someone to scream to about it to, my DMs on Twitter and Instagram are open! Feel free to message me with all your thoughts and feelings about Grey and Co. I’m likely to share them and quite honestly, I need more people to scream with about this book.