Stay at Home Book Tag

I do love a book tag but I’ve not been able to find many inspiring ones of late, but when I saw this Stay at Home tag I knew I needed to take part! The original prompt came from booktuber Princess of Paperbacks please check out her original post!

Laying in Bed – A book I could/have read in a day

I don’t often get the opportunity to read a book in one sitting but the last book I remember reading in one day was The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw, it was utterly compelling and every time i tried to put it down I picked it back up again soon after. Before I realised I only had a few pages to go. You have to suspend your belief a lot for this one but it is fantasy after all.

Snacking – Guilty Pleasure Book

Most of you will know that I’m not a huge romance reader, that doesn’t mean that I don’t read it from time to time! I have to say that I do like a little bit of steam in my reads and I find that Indie books are always the way to go! One of my favourite Indie Romance authors is C.M. Owens, she honestly writes something for every genre and has some pen names too for her really dark stuff, which I’m not into so I don’t know what they are!

Netflix – A Series you want to Start

I keep hearing loads of great things about the Stalking Jack the Ripper books by Kerri Maniscalco and I have to say that from everything I have seen about them I think they are the kind of books that I’m really going to enjoy. I’ve promised myself no more new series until I have cleared a lot more of my existing TBR!

Deep Clean – Been on you TBR for Ages

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean was a book that I got in an Illumicrate box a very long time ago, It came to me at a time when I had read a lot of amazing Asian inspired fantasy and I felt like a bit of a break, I’ve not yet come back to it though because I have had so many other books added to my TBR since then.

Animal Crossing – A book you recently bought because of hype

Not so much recently but in December I went to Edinburgh for my birthday, it was at the time when The Waterstones exclusive edition of The Night Circus came out and for no reason other than I had seen a lot about it and everyone loving it, I bought it with my points! I’m happy to say it’s one of my favourite reads this year!

Productivity – A book you learnt something from or had an impact on you

ACOTAR is a book that had an impact on me. When I first picked this up over 3 years ago I had been reading resolutely Indie on my Kindle, but I went camping and wanted to take a paperback as I didn’t want anything to happen to my kindle and honestly I have not looked back since. The feel of having a paperback in my hands and the realisation that there were years of traditionally published books that I had to discover, I loved this book and led to the start of my bookstagram!

Facetime – a book you were gifted

Last year on Indie Book Store day I was lucky enough to be picked on twitter by the lovely Bex Hogan to win a book of my choice, I chose Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy – it’s actually on my TBR to read this month!

Selfare – what is one thing you have done recently to look after yourself

Honestly I have not had too much time to look after myself but I have been making sure to keep sending my mum little gifts during lockdown because she is alone, this week I sent her some flowers from Bloom and Wild and honestly her reaction was all the self care I needed.

Bonus – Name a book coming out soon


Bookish Ramblings: April Wrap up

When lockdown began in March my reading took a real hit, like so many of you I felt my creativity dip and I struggled not just with reading but also being able to articulate my thoughts into reviews. Then part way through April something magical happened, I read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and I felt like it brought me back to life figuratively with my reading and blogging. The power of books is strong and I’m so glad to have had them to bring me comfort in what has been a very difficult month. So here is my April Wrap Up

My 5 Star Reads
My 4 Star Reads
My 3 Star Reads

It not surprising given my opener to this post that The Night Circus was a 5 Star read, Venom absolutely broke me, Beneath Black Sails was 4.5 but I’ve rounded it up to 5 for these purposes because it was a great adventure and Ascent had some very well done Polyamory rep. I didn’t make it to Looking Glass this month and I had all manner of nightmares getting hold of a copy of The Red Queen, I have an almost undamaged copy now which I’ll have to live with and I’m going to read today and hopefully start Looking Glass this weekend as I feel terrible for not being able to get a review for Titan Books out for release day.

I’ve also changed up the feel of my bookstagram part way through the month, we’ve had some lovely sunshine and natural light always makes pics feel better. I hadn’t really been enjoying my feed recently, I think because of the darker more wintery feel I had but I’m so happy with it now!

Working and homeschooling has continued to be a challenge and this week we’ve taken a very hands off approach, yes screen time for them is up 90% but we have felt sane and they have been calm. Thankfully they are not of the ages where they have important exams coming up so I think we can let a few weeks slide!

I’m feeling in a good place at the moment, in fact I even have several blog posts scheduled and ready to go, which never happens! Please check back tomorrow and see what my May reads are going to be, remember I’m always happy to buddy read or hear thoughts or recommendations, just email me at

Stay safe and look after yourselves!

The Deck of Omen’s Playlist – Guest Post by Christine Lynn Herman

I’m ridiculously excited because today it’s my stop on The Deck of Omens blog tour! A huge thank you to Sarah Mather and Titan books for not only providing me with a copy of the book for review, but for inviting me to take part in the blog tour by hosting a guest post from the author herself, Christine Lynn Herman! I was so ready to return to Four Paths to find out how the story ends and honestly it did not disappoint, the conclusion was everything I hoped it would be. My guest post today is talking about the music that helped bring those pages to life – so if you want to know what The Deck of Omens playlist is, read on!

The Deck of Omens Playlist by Christine Lynn Herman

I’m the kind of writer who is heavily inspired by music. So needless to say, playlists are an integral part of my drafting and revising process. As I gear up for THE DECK OF OMENS’ release, I’m excited to share five of the songs that helped me write it with you all…plus a little non-spoilery insight into what exactly they inspired.

1. Did It To Myself by Orla Gartland

One of the most prevailing themes throughout this duology is responsibility and blame, especially in relationships (platonic and/or romantic). Did It To Myself perfectly encapsulates the way some of the characters (….one in particular) feel during THE DECK OF OMENS, and their worries about self-sabotage.

Isaac Sullivan’s POVs are an important part of this book, and this song helped out a lot when I needed to channel his mindset–he feels a lot of guilt for everything that’s happened to him in his past, and trying to sort out what is and isn’t his fault is always simmering in the back of his head. 

The audio engineering of the song also got these emotions across to me: the percussion, the guitar, the resignation in the vocals, the perfect understanding of when to strip the sound down and when to build it up. Highly recommend a listen if you want to feel angsty :).

2. Dynasty by MIIA

May Hawthorne is another new POV character in THE DECK OF OMENS, and the perspective she provides on her family was both challenging and exciting to write. May is a closed-off, quiet person–for reasons that are thoroughly explored in this book. Her arc talks a lot about what happens when the things you’ve always believed in turn out to be flawed–shaken faith in a family, in a destiny, in your own power and purpose.

I put Dynasty on this playlist the moment I heard it because I could see how perfectly it tackled all of that, and how much it felt like May’s journey to me–things falling down and crumbling. But there’s a whole lot more to May’s story than despair, and I’m so excited for readers to watch her grow.

3. Bad Decisions by Bastille

Supernatural powers might seem fun at first, but when you stack up the consequences–malevolent forces in the woods, big responsibilities, ill-advised pacts with said malevolent forces–it’s easy to see how quickly they become overwhelming. And with overwhelming stakes come…well, Bad Decisions.

All of the main characters in THE DECK OF OMENS have to handle a lot, and they don’t always handle it well. To me, Bad Decisions encapsulates a part of this book where everyone is struggling, whether internally or externally. It all culminates in a very dramatic series of scenes where big secrets come to light and big decisions get made, some positive, some very self-destructive. And I had Bad Decisions on repeat while I brainstormed all of it.

4. Organs by Of Monsters and Men

Sometimes, when I was a teenager, I would feel things so strongly that it felt as if pieces of myself were being destroyed. The lines between emotional and physical pain blur often in adolescence, or at least they did in mine, and so I tend to write characters who are handling similarly big feelings.

Organs is a song about being so overcome by things that you want to take yourself apart piece by piece, and it’s also a little gruesome in its imagery. So obviously it was pretty on-brand for a book about supernatural manifestations of trauma, and it also affected me deeply as I wrote said book. There are moments where every single one of the five main characters in THE DECK OF OMENS feels this way. They’ve been given more responsibility than anyone should have to bear, but they need to find a way to shoulder it. And they can’t do it alone. Some things are too big. Some things, you shouldn’t have to handle by yourself.

5. Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire by Rogue Valley

Which brings us here, I guess. I like writing books about darker topics and themes, but I also like emphasizing the way community and support can help lift the burdens life places upon you. This song has always emphasized the importance of those bonds to me: that while we can’t control what life throws at us, with good friends, we can make it a lot easier to deal with. 

In Four Paths, my main characters have to handle a dangerous corruption coming from the Gray, worsening tensions between their families and the rest of the town, and even more dark and deadly secrets that just might be the death of them all. It’s the kind of problem that was never meant for just one person to solve. Writing a duology where five very different teens learn how to trust one another despite all odds was incredibly rewarding, and I’m excited for readers to see just how they all deal with all these obstacles in THE DECK OF OMENS.

Thank you for reading and thank you to Christine Lynn Herman for this fantastic insight into her story and characters, I am a little in love with Isaac Sullivan – but don’t let my other book boyfriends know! The Deck of Omens is out now and available through Titan Books!

Review of Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman

The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home.
Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.
May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.
Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.
With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.
But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…

I was so ready to return to Four Paths, The Devouring Gray was a stand out read for me last year, and I could’t wait to get back to it’s forests full of secrets and twists. If you can read book one again before picking this up, then I would really recommend that you do, it took me a beat to get back in the mindset and remember which character came from which founder and what their powers were, it’s not essential but I think I would have been absorbed by the world more fully had things been fresher in my mind. The one thing The Devouring Gray left me with was questions, honestly, I got answer’s in abundance in what is probably the most satisfying conclusion to a story I’ve ever read.

With the presence of the corruption comes a ticking time bomb that drives the story forward in a way full of urgency. The group must find answers whilst also traversing the messy and fragile emotional connections they have made, trying to find their way together following the conclusion of book one. There are power struggles and a strong sense of morality which ultimately leads them down the same path, even if they take different roads to get there. I also enjoyed that the Beast takes their own little dig at how they can’t keep up with the ever changing friendships between them. Breadcrumbs of a story to follow are left in respect of the lives of the founders themselves and I really enjoyed each discovery and revelation as the pieces of the true history start to lock into place. It really is one hell of a ride so you’ll need to hold on tight for it. The only thing about their investigations that frustrated me was that every time the main four discovered something huge, their parents were all like “yeah we knew that – oops guess we should have told you.” As a parent, I can totally understand wanting to shield your child, for me it would have worked better if some of what they discovered came as a surprise, especially given just how great the interference from Augusta is in adjusting peoples memories.

Isaac remains my favourite character of them all, beautiful, sorrowful boy that he is. The return of Gabriel brings with it the truth behind what happened that fateful day at the Sullivan manor and it will break your heart just a little bit more for him. All the characters really come into their own in this book, they’re sensitively written and the weight of responsibility against trying to make sense of their own feelings is incredibly well balanced. Their time in the Gray feels more naturally part of the story this time which becomes clear why as we move forward, but the relationship feels more symbiotic as May explores her power with the cards through the roots of the Hawthorne tree. I really felt drawn to May in these moments, her readings of the cards and how they relate to players in the story was interestingly done, especially when her father returns to the scene. Harper I felt for greatly, displaced from her home and then pulled between the Saunders and the Hawthorn’s, she knows she needs help with controlling hew new found powers but knowing who to turn to to not be used for personal gains is just so much for her shoulders. I do feel that the emotional strength she obtained through her ritual really helped her through this. Violet, so much the focal point of book one did feel a little like a sidekick this time round sadly.

The Deck of Omens, is an incredibly hard book to review though because on almost every page there are spoilers, so I hope I’ve been able to convey how much I enjoyed the story and characters without giving anything away. I felt that everything was wrapped up beautifully, with spectacular answers to earlier questions and as I said at the start a wonderfully satisfying conclusion.

A huge thank you to Titan books for providing a finished copy for review – Deck of Omens is out now!

Review of A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.
A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.
Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids

Firstly a thank you to Rebecca Crunden for providing me with a copy of her novel for review. Whilst there was a lot about this book that I did enjoy, there was also a lot that I unfortunately didn’t. The start is strong, the opener is vivid and really drew me in, the mystery of the person who escaped the gallows only to be treated with utmost cruelty was intriguing and the hints of characters from whom I expected big things from. However, we then cut to a period two years later and that’s where things got confusing. The blurb helps and I wish I had read it again before starting the book, however, I was left with a sense of not really understanding who our characters were, why they were in their current situation and why they sounded like a down and out, alcoholic old married couple, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. I struggled to like either of them, which was a surprise given how much the prison guard from the opener had instantly endeared himself. Because of this I didn’t really feel like I was attaching enough weight to things I should have in this first part. These 2 are our protagonists Catherine (Kitty) and Nate and truly I didn’t feel like I got to grips with them until they found themselves on the run which is when they started to come into their own.

Kitty has the bigger arc of the two, she starts as your typical bratty daddy’s girl but her ability to quickly adapt to her surroundings and become resourceful was great to read. The two find themselves in situations which aren’t for the fainthearted and I found many parts compelling and I was quickly swept up in their journey. I struggled with Nate throughout though, despite his physical plight, I did not enjoy his attitude towards Kitty and the way he felt she should respond to his unrequited feelings, The narrative choice was to reveal things as the story went on, giving me little lightbulb moments in which the confusing opening stages started to fit into place, personally this didn’t work for me and I would have liked some hand holding at the start as I think had I felt clearer I would enjoyed the first part of the book a great deal more.

The author pitched the story to me as a sci-fi/dystopian/romance, usually I’m not a huge romance reader and whilst there is not a large amount in this book, it’s clearly a prelude to what comes next. This will be a relationship that I know I will find problematic because of it’s beginnings. We are firmly into enemies to lovers territory with the whisper of a potential awkward triangle looming. Kitty and Nate however, do make a great team despite their medical anomaly forcing them into it, they bounce well off one another to find ways around their problems.  The sci-fi is subtle and I particularly liked the way the showers worked with their healing lotions and potions, but other than the use of the hovers to give a futuristic twist we’re quite firmly into traditional dystopian territory.

Crunden has a lovely descriptive writing style though and I really felt in the moment for most of the story. I could visualise clearly the landscapes and Nate’s deterioration as well as the happier moments when they are camped. The final stage had a completed different feel to me and almost had a historical fantasy vibe which i actually quite liked, Kitty’s transformation is wonderful and despite the situation she finds herself in it’s clear that everything she has been through has built to that point. It was both frightening and uplifting with an ending which felt that the story had found itself finally comfortable in it’s skin.

This is a story which has a ton of potential and I can see why so many have found it enjoyable, it just didn’t quite hit the mark for me.



Six for Sunday – Books from my TBR that I predict will be a 5*

Continuing on with the TBR prompts, this week’s #sixforsunday is asking me to predict which books will be a 5* read – this is really hard because it’s asking me to make an unreasonable demand of a book before I’ve picked it up. I usually go into a book with the view it will be a 4* read, that way I’m not putting it on a pedestal but not putting a downer on it either – I hope I’m not setting myself up for a fall with these!

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Honestly the Night Circus was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read, every page was a wonder and every turn and reveal blew me away. Also the writing style was totally me, the words really felt lyrical and thoughtful, I’m therefore hoping that same style has been passed to The Starless Sea and I love it as much as the Night Circus.

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

Skyward was one of my runaway favourites of 2018 and it was one of the last that I read that year so it only just made it into my top 10! Great characters, fantastic space battles, a really cinematic feel and a great mythology, I’m annoyed at myself that I’ve not read Starsight yet, but I’m hoping to rectify that soon!

Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart

Another continuation from a book one that I loved, Grace and Fury also made it into my top 10 of 2018, it was a little tropey but I do love it when they are done well and this certainly did just that. I think I may well read Grace and Fury again before picking this one up, it’s a short read and I think I’ll get more enjoyment from picking straight up given that there was a huge cliffhanger and the impact will still be there when I go into Queen of Ruin.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I have to my shame never read a V.E. Schwab book, I see so many people raving about her writing and I knew I had to make a start. I decided on Vicious as I felt it was different from a lot of what I have been reading lately and I have now read a LOT of YA fantasy, I’m hoping that this will be the breath of fresh air that I need as I’ve heard amazing things about it! (I also have Vengeful just in case I need to dive straight back in!)

Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman

This is one that I’m on the fence about as The Devouring Gray was a 4 star read for me, however, this one has a different tone to it and early buzz has me excited, especially after the way book 1 ended. I’m hoping that by returning to established characters and a built world I can just totally immerse myself this time.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

My mum loves it so that’s good enough for me! Although in seriousness this is another book that I have heard nothing but praise for, and the premise sounds phenomenal – not to mention I manged to grab one of the beautiful hardback editions for just £5 at YALC!

Are there any on this list that are 5* reads for you?

Review of Beneath Black Sails by Clare Sager

Sometimes it takes a pirate to catch a pirate.
With weather magic on her side, Lady Vice is the bane of the high seas, but she isn’t captain of her own ship. Yet. If she can persuade her captain to give her a command, she’ll be in charge of her own fate.
To pay off his family’s debts, Knigh Blackwood hunts pirates for the Royal Navy. And he’s damn good at it. When the bounty on Lady Vice increases, he’s determined to make her face justice, even if that means using unorthodox methods.
Forced to work together, neither can deny their mutual attraction. As the pair faces battles at sea and schemes aboard their ship, they discover hints about a long-lost treasure that could be the answer to both their problems.
But treasure isn’t the only thing buried. Secrets best forgotten lie in wait that could blast them apart. And the closer Vice and Knigh grow, the greater the threat – to her freedom and to his family. Because for one to succeed, the other must fail.

Beneath Black Sails is a high seas adventure, full of pirates, fae, amazing characters and some steamy romance, it’s a great read and I’m grateful to the author for providing me with an advance copy for review.

Having read part of the authors earlier series, one thing for sure is that Clare Sager is brilliant at writing amazing characters, Lady Vice is no shrinking violet, she is able to hold her own against traditionally male counterparts, and as the story continues she is a character with many complex layers and vulnerabilities forged through her earlier life experiences. I initially, albeit briefly, struggled to warm to her though I have to admit, I think I found her early scenes to be a little hammy and I was worried that she would be a bit like a female Jack Sparrow, however as soon as she finds herself on deck with Knigh, the story and her character find their flow and she was wonderfully compelling to read. Knigh as well, vastly went up in my estimations as their characters become more entwined and their complicated back story comes to life. I have to come clean and say enemy’s to lovers is probably one of my least favourite romance tropes, but I never hugely felt that this was a large part of this tale, the story moves quickly and it’s clear from their first meeting that the enemies part really never came into it much. The steamy scenes are written well and whilst little is left to the imagination it doesn’t feel over the top – hand fans at the ready people.

The story is very much driven by it’s two leads, however, I found Vice’s friend Perry to be a lot of fun, she is great counsel too and is a good balance to Vice’s sometimes careless ways, I also have to say that as animal sidekicks go, Barnacle the cat is up there with my favourites and I had to enjoy the little nod back to the Counterfeit Contessa series with the mention of Sabrecats!  I do hope we get to spend more time with her and Vice’s friends in the next book. I’m also trash for Fae so I’m crossing my fingers for some greater fae involvement next time too, especially as Vice’s talents with the oceans and the weather is one of the biggest mysteries of the story. Whilst I’m happy to accept that’s just the way it is for this book it’s too huge a deal to not know more about, I also get the feeling that there is more to Knigh’s talents to find out about. Thinking back it’s clear that there is a lot of groundwork laid for future books in the series and it’s nice to have some questions hanging in the balance.

The battles and ship boarding are done particularly well, there is a lot of attention to detail here to paint the picture of the masts and deck – and hours of me playing Assassins Creed: Black Flag, probably helped a little too. The closing stages are wonderful reading, I honestly couldn’t put it down from the moment they arrived in Albion to the end page, devastating and exciting my heart was pounding for a lot of it, willing the story to play out the way I was hoping, holding my breath at every turn. It looks like book 2 will be out this year and honestly I can’t wait to see where the adventure goes next!

4.5 Stars

Bookish Ramblings: Five Things Friday

You may have noticed that I didn’t post last week, honestly I was feeling pretty down and after I re-read what I had scheduled I felt that it would not have been an enjoyable read. I’ve left it to today to write this post and I’m glad I did, this week has not been 100% but I have spent a lovely morning with the children, we have played 2 hours of Just Dance together and not only did we have a ton of fun, I feel like it’s the best exercise I’ve had in ages and it’s also helping make sure I’m drinking enough water. My water to wine intake ratio hasn’t been the best I have to admit. So without further ado, here is a more cheery (hopefully) 5 things friday!

New to my Queue

It’s here!!! Finally after a lot of not knowing I finally have my hands on Chosen One’s by Veronica Roth. This was a book that I had pre-ordered to collect from my local Waterstones, which obviously couldn’t happen. It took a bit of time but Waterstone’s got in touch and kindly offered free delivery – it arrived yesterday! It’s beautiful, It has a wonderful embossed hard cover under the dust jacket and it’s been signed by the author too 🙂

Favourite Book this Week

I still have just a few pages left but I think it’s safe to say that The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is not only my favourite book this week but maybe my favourite book this year! The writing style is perfect for me, the world is rich and the characters complex. I’m also buddy reading this book which is amazing and we’re bouncing all kinds of ideas and theories around which is loads of fun.

When I wasn’t Reading

Like everyone else at the moment we’ve been watching Tiger King on Netflix, we’ve been watching a couple of episodes each night and finished last night, it’s a difficult watch at times but I’m glad we saw it. I have also been floating around an idea of a booktube, which probably won’t amount to anything but it’s nice to be thinking creatively again. Unsurprisingly I have also been playing a lot of Animal Crossing!

Pic of the Week

Last year I manged to get one of the exclusive Fairyloot editions of Girls of Storm and Shadow which was the follow up to the amazing Girls of Paper and Fire. Unfortunately the publisher sent out some of these editions to bookshops in error and by way of apology they created a brand new dust jacket with artwork on the reverse! I have to say that I prefer the original cover but I like the direction they have taken with creating a cover that is in contrast. I think I will keep the new one on for now but it’s nice to have the option to change.

Looking Ahead

The Easter Holidays are coming to an end yet the lockdown hasn’t. I’m preparing myself for a tough week ahead whilst I go back to juggling working and childcare with my husband who is also fortunately able to work from home. I’m trying to get as much reading in as i can this weekend because I might not be feeling it next week. Sadly my copy of The Red Queen didn’t arrive so I’m going to be behind on my read and review of Looking Glass, but I’m hoping to have a review as close to release date as I can!


Review of Ascent (Return of the Elves #7) by Bethany Adams

A lost prince
Between years surviving on the streets and an ill-advised stint with Kien’s group of half-blood fae, Fen has seen his fair share of darkness. Sure, he helped capture Kien and put an end to the trouble he caused, but his actions contributed to one of the greatest upheavals of all—the return of magic to Earth. Now Fen’s mother has named him the heir to the Unseelie throne, and he has discovered he has two mates he is unworthy to claim.

A deadly healer
The daughter of a Seelie artisan and a human woman, Maddy can’t find anyone among her father’s people willing to teach her to heal without causing harm. But finally, she has hope—a healer on Moranaia has agreed to help her. The problem? Maddy will have to travel to their world, leaving her girlfriend Anna unprotected on Earth. For the return of magic has awakened Anna’s latent water abilities, and the temptation of the nearby river could prove too much without Maddy near.

A canny enemy
When a slip of the tongue reveals that Fen could share a mate bond with both Maddy and Anna, all three must come to terms with their insecurities—and quickly. The poison they believed eradicated has appeared again, and Meren, the traitorous Seelie noble who had once worked with Kien, has returned from hiding. Together, Anna, Fen, and Maddy might be able to defeat the rising threat. But first, they must conquer their pasts.

Ascent has been a book that I have been really looking forward to, Fen finally gets his turn in the spotlight and considering his journey up to this point there was certainly a lot to love. We find out more about Fen’s life before, and during his time with Kien which really served to endear him even more to me.  The main thing that struck me about Ascent was that it had a such a different feel to earlier books, more of the action takes place on Earth which led to a bit more of a contemporary vibe, it also had a more relaxed story giving the characters a much needed breather from the huge battle of Awakening. As heavily indicated from previous books, Fen has the potential to be bonded with both Maddy and Anna, and this is dealt with in a quite beautiful way. As I mentioned before, the book has a more relaxed feel and this is mainly down to this coupling and the time taken to get it right. The way they take the time to communicate, give each other space to consider and consent was fantastic. This is a real testament to Bethany Adam’s writing skill as this Polyamory coupling could have been awkward and clumsy.

Aside from this element though there is still plenty going on and actually thinking back on it there are a number of new threads within Ascent which pave the way for future books. There are a some new characters introduced from Maddy and Anna’s families, and also we get to meet some of those impacted by the release of magic on Earth – they all have great potential and also assist with back story, I’m interested to see where new discoveries take us, mainly in relation to Anna and the new elemental introduction of those who have an affinity with water.

Fen though really is the shining star, he embraces his naming of heir with brilliant awkwardness and more than a little Earth inspired attitude. His time in the Unseelie court is wonderful fantasy though, his interactions with his mother and the pomp of court life are both serious and snarky, but the trio settle in well. I really loved how their coupling really complimented their powers and their situation with Meren forced them to be creative with how they used them – I can’t say much more about that though.

I really enjoyed this return to the world and the series continues to be consistently amazing, I think Fen may have over taken Kai in my affections though!


Six For Sunday: New Additions to my Tbr!

This Week’s #sixforsunday is books that I have recently added to be TBR – with the current situation, I’ve not been getting as many books, which does give me the perfect opportunity to catch up with my new additions!

Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman

I really enjoyed The Devouring Gray last year and I loved hearing Christine Lynn Herman speak during a panel at Yalc. The Devouring Gray, was so captivating and left off with plenty of questions to be answered and fall out to reconcile, I’m so excited for it’s release next month and I’m so grateful to Titan Books for sending a copy for review.

Chosen One’s by Veronica Roth

This one couldn’t be more of a fresher addition! Chosen ones came out on Tuesday but because I had elected to collect from my local Waterstones that couldn’t happen and I still don’t have it. I’m not hugely happy with the way Waterstones handled this, but finally on Friday I managed to get it back on it’s way to me.  The Divergent books broke me, so I can’t wait to see what emotional ruin awaits me this time round.

Looking Glass

I do love Christina Henry’s retelling’s, they take darkness to a whole new level. I’ve just finished Alice and wow did that take a turn that I wasn’t expecting, from the opening pages I knew it was going to be something special, I have Red Queen on its way to me and then onto Looking Glass, a collection of 4 Novella’s which came to be through Titan Books.

Beneath Black Sails

I have dropped the ball a little on this one, I was supposed to have read this already but with my reading slump over the last couple of weeks I’ve not yet got to it, I’m going to try and get that rectified next week though as I have a few days off to hopefully get plenty of reading done! I really enjoyed Clare Sager’s Counterfeit Contessa book’s so I’m excited for this Pirate outing.


V. E Schwab is one of a few authors that I can’t believe that I still haven’t read a book by. I was very lucky and won a giveaway over on IG and I managed to pick up both Vicious and Vengeful! I think I’m going to add one to my tbr for May, I’ve heard nothing but good things about her writing so I have high hopes.

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

A Touch of Death is a book that I know very little about, Rebecca Crunden approached me and asked me to review so I’m excited to go in blind to a book and a new to me author!