Author: Tessa Gratton, Justina Ireland
Series: Chaos & Flame
Series #: 1
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
ARC?: Yes

Darling Seabreak cannot remember anything before the murder of her family at the hands of House Dragon, but she knows she owes her life to both the power of her Chaos Boon and House Kraken for liberating her from the sewers where she spent her childhood. So when her adoptive Kraken father is captured in battle, Darling vows to save him–even if that means killing each and every last member of House Dragon.

Talon Goldhoard has always been a dutiful War Prince for House Dragon, bravely leading the elite troops of his brother, the High Prince Regent. But lately his brother’s erratic rule threatens to undo a hundred years of House Dragon’s hard work, and factions are turning to Talon to unseat him. Talon resists, until he’s ambushed by a fierce girl who looks exactly like the one his brother has painted obsessively, repeatedly, for years, and Talon knows she’s the key to everything.

Together, Darling and Talon must navigate the treacherous waters of House politics, caught up in the complicated game the High Prince Regent is playing against everyone. The unlikeliest of allies, they’ll have to stop fighting each other long enough to learn to fight together in order to survive the fiery prophecies and ancient blood magic threatening to devastate their entire world.


Thank you to NG and the publisher for an e-arc of this in exchange for an honest review.

Things I really liked about this book: the concept of “boons”. The way the world was structured was also well done. Gratton and Ireland do a great job of weaving this world together.

The opening really grabbed my attention. But in all of Gratton’s previous works, that was also the case.
Caspian. I loved Caspian, and I think I would have preferred if the series focused on him. Alas.

Darling was an intriguing character, as is the mystery surrounding her eyes. I just didn’t buy her romance with Talon as much. I don’t know, I think I am used to Gratton’s slow pace build more so than how fast paced this book was! With the caveat that the first half of the book felt more like building up and the second half where most of the action took place.

I’m very middle of the road on this one, I don’t feel strongly about it one way or another. It was a YA fantasy that I enjoyed.


Author: Sarah Hawley
Series: n/a
Series #: n/a
Genre: Fantasy, urban fantasy, romance
Age Group: Adult
ARC?: Yes

Mariel Spark is prophesied to be the most powerful witch seen in centuries of the famed Spark family, but to the displeasure of her mother, she prefers baking to brewing potions and gardening to casting hexes. When a spell to summon flour goes very wrong, Mariel finds herself staring down a demon—one she inadvertently summoned for a soul bargain.

Ozroth the Ruthless is a legend among demons. Powerful and merciless, he drives hard bargains to collect mortal souls. But his reputation has suffered ever since a bargain went awry—if he can strike a bargain with Mariel, he will earn back his deadly reputation. Ozroth can’t leave Mariel’s side until they complete a bargain, which she refuses to do (turns out some humans are attached to their souls).

But the witch is funny. And curvy. And disgustingly yet endearingly cheerful. Becoming awkward roommates quickly escalates when Mariel, terrified to confess the inadvertent summoning to her mother, blurts out that she’s dating Ozroth. As Ozroth and Mariel struggle with their opposing goals and maintaining a fake relationship, real attraction blooms between them. But Ozroth has a limited amount of time to strike the deal, and if Mariel gives up her soul, she’ll lose all her emotions—including love—which will only spell disaster for them both.


Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an arc!

This book was a super cute witchy romance! It had fake dating (such a fun trope!), demons, witches and hilarity. There was quite a bit of comedy in this book; but I didn’t think it was overdone. I felt that it was about the right amount. One aspect I enjoyed about this book is that Mariel had very supportive friends, and friends who backed her when it came out how toxic her parents were.

I enjoyed the relationship between her and Oz, the demon. I felt that it was spun slowly enough that it wasn’t totally instalove, but as it was a self-contained HEA, it wasn’t a slow burn either. It worked though!

I will say like most romance books, we have a breakup after a get together (which I abhor, along with the miscommunication trope, can we get rid of those please?) which is really why it lost a star.

The beginning and the middle of the book I felt were strong, but towards the late middle and the end I began to get a bit bored, because some parts felt a bit repetitive, but overall it was good.

If you’re looking for a cute witchy romance, then you’ll probably like this book!


Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Gargoyle Queen
Series #: 3
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
ARC?: Yes

Time is running out for crown princess Gemma Ripley. Despite being a cunning spy and a powerful mind magier, Gemma hasn’t been able to track down the most dangerous enemy her kingdom of Andvari has ever seen. Adding to her worries is the Sword and Shield tournament. With gladiators flocking to the capital city of Glanzen, Gemma can’t tell who is friend–or foe.

Determined to protect Andvari at any cost, Gemma hatches a bold plan, but things aren’t what they seem. Soon, everything she holds dear is being threatened, including her burgeoning relationship with Prince Leonidas Morricone.

With the kingdom she holds dear slipping through her fingers, Gemma will have to conquer her fear and unlock the true secret of her magic–or watch her friends and family die and her beloved Andvari fall . . .


Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an arc!

We’re back with Gemma and Leo in this final book – and everything is coming to a head with Milo. I was excited for this final book in the trilogy. I LOVED Gemma and Leo in the first two books, so I was eager to see them in this one.

I want to start with the one part I did not like so that I can get it out of the way and move onto what I did like. Gemma and Leo are still will-they-won’t-they-oh-my-families-we-can-never-be-together. And I get that it is part of the plot, but we just went through two books of this. Can we please move past this. We know you two love each other!!! Anyways, that is my one complaint about this book.

Moving to what I did like: Gemma and Leo’s relationship overall. I love their interactions and I find them amusing. Pretty much any character interactions. Violet is adorable, and I love Grimley, Otto and Lyra as well. Reiko is a badass and I would want her to watch my back.

There is quite a bit of action in this one, and it was a fast paced read. Definitely hard to put down because I kept wanting to find out what was going to happen next. I thought this was a great conclusion to the series and I liked how everything fell out. Clearly, this is building up to another series, so I’ll be excited when that person takes front and center.

It’s hard to review a third book without giving too much away – suffice to say you will not want to miss this epic conclusion!


Author: Anne Bishop
Series: The Black Jewels
Series #: 12
Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
ARC?: Yes

The Queen’s price is to stand against what you know is wrong. To stand and fight, no matter the cost to your court or to yourself. Especially to yourself.

Zoey, a young Queen-in-training at SaDiablo Hall, is wounded…and vulnerable to taunts and criticism. When an opportunity arises to befriend a stranger seeking sanctuary at the Hall, she puts herself and others in danger by ignoring Daemonar Yaslana’s warning to back off.

Meanwhile, the witch Jillian’s family prepares for her Virgin Night, the rite of passage that assures a woman will retain her power and her Jewels. The trouble is Jillian secretly went through the ceremony already. Now she has to explain the omission of that detail to her powerful and lethal family. And the High Lord of Hell’s daughter, Saetien, travels to Scelt to find out about Jaenelle Angelline’s sister–and perhaps to discover truths about herself.

With some guidance from Witch, these three young women will learn when to yield because it is right–and when to take a stand, even if they must pay the Queen’s price.


Thank you to Netgalley and PRH for an e-arc of this book!

First off — I was so ridiculously excited to be approved for this that I squealed. The Black Jewels Trilogy has been a series I’ve read from the time I was a teen — 15 years ago. In a way I’ve grown up with this series. Sometimes when authors bring in children it becomes awkward and doesn’t work. And then sometimes they feel like copy and paste characters of their parents.

What I really loved about this series is our main young characters are not copy and pasted from their parents. While they may share similar traits they are their own people with their own stories. I think it’s very interesting to juxtapose Daemonar and Saeti and who they are and how they are or not interested in their parents stories and lives. Saeti’s story arc is wonderful in this book, and while I hated her in the previous and think she was justifiably punished, I liked her in this one. I felt that there was a lot of character growth for her.

Zoey and Titian are also great characters, they remind me of Jaenelle and her friends (which clearly is supposed to) but to show how quickly good things can go bad. It isn’t all that subtle in terms of how Bishop presents it.

Jillian and Brenda were breaths of fresh air in this book, and I will admit it was nice to have them around to question why things are done certain ways.

Bishop intersperses humor with the darker aspects of this novel, and it works so well. It is very amusing humor, and humor we’ve seen before in previous books, but still works in this one.

Witch has always been one of my favorite characters, and one huge point in Bishop’s favor is that while Witch is important, she isn’t the sole focus in this book. I sitll love her, and I love who she has become. Her and Daemon’s story still makes my heart hurt.

We have old favorites back too — Lucivar, Marian, Surreal, Karla…it was great.

Then there was some more backstory to Jaenelle and her sister after the purge.

Honestly, I was supremely impressed with this book. I am so eager to see where Bishop takes this story next.


Author: Hannah Whitten
Series: The Nightshade Kingdom
Series #: 1
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
ARC?: Yes

In this lush, romantic new epic fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Whitten, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.

When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.

Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, but King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.

Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne’er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.

But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.


Me: *hates love triangles* 

This book: *hold my mortem* 

Okay, so this book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2023. I loved For the Wolf and For the Throne, and I was BEYOND thrilled when I got an ARC of this book. (Alas, waiting for the sequel is going to be absolute torture). 

This book went so far beyond my expectations. I LOVED it. Gothic fantasy ftw. Lore is such a great main character. I absolutely adored her (in part, because look, my blog is Lore of the Books) and her sass. She was such a complicated character and her interactions with all the other characters was well written. 

Now onto our two male leads, Gabe and Bastian. Different, yet similar. I loved them both. Still love them both really. There is a love triangle here, and as you all know normally I HATE them with a passion. But in this case I love how it unfolds. I keep hoping for something more than a love triangle…but I guess we’ll have to see! 

I loved the banter between the characters, and I love how their backstories are teased out along the way in the book. It worked for me, because I felt like I got to know the characters more. There are some amazing moments throughout the book and *chef’s kiss* the tension is impeccable. 

The magic and world building in this book was fab, as always. I love how religion, politics and gods all play a role and weave together. Nothing is as it seems. I like how some issues arise in this book and you don’t know which way things are going to go. 

There are a lot of moving parts in this book, and if you like political intrigue, and court politics as well as some commentary on religion as well as gothic romance, heavily atmospheric books – this will be the book for you. 

I absolutely adored this book, and was practically tearing my hair out by the end. I didn’t want it to end – I wanted to know what was going to happen next! 

I really don’t want to give too much away about this book. This was a really strong first book in Hannah Whitten’s new series, and I know I am so very excited for the sequel. 

(Also, for when I can finally post quotes. There are SO MANY I want to use.) 


Author: Laura Sebastian
Series: Castles in the Bones
Series #: 2
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: young adult
ARC?: yes

Princesses Beatriz and Daphne have lost their older sister, but their mother’s grand scheme of taking the continent of Vesteria is far from complete. With the country of Temarin now under the Empress’s control, only the nations of Cellaria and Friv remain free from her rule. What’s worse, an ominous prophecy has begun to shine through the constellations: the blood of stars and majesty spilled.

Usurped by conniving cousins Nico and Gigi, Beatriz fears for her life, while in icy Friv, Daphne continues her shaky alliance with the rebels even as she struggles to stay a step ahead of them. But when an unlikely ally offers Beatriz a deal, she finds herself back in her mother’s sights.

With enemies around every corner and the stars whispering of betrayal, Daphne and Beatriz can’t trust anyone–least of all each other. If they’ve learned anything, though, it’s that the Empress’s game is constantly changing. And the arrival of surprise visitors from Temarin just might tip the scales in the princesses’ favor . . . if they manage to avoid meeting their sister’s fate before they can make their next move.


Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-arc of this book.

Hello my friends! Today I bring you good tidings. While book 1 in this series I liked but didn’t love, this one I really liked.

There are quite a few repercussions in this book from book 1, and I was a bit sad as they played out. There was one part that made my heart ache so much. While we still get Beatriz’s and Daphne’s POVs, we also get Violie’s as well. I like her as a new POV character and I found her intriguing. I also liked Gisella to an extent.

I didn’t find Pas or Ambrose all that convincing in this book, and felt that they didn’t add a lot to the book.

Daphne’s character is a bit infuriating in this one — you kind of just want to shake her and say “what is wrong with you?” but it’s easy to forget that she has been manipulated her whole life, and so of course she’s going to struggle when people tell her the truth.

Beatriz is a great character, through her we find out more about the empyrea, and what relevance the stars have to magic. I loved these little revelations that we got.

This book starts tying more threads together, and it works well. The plot is well done, and has made me curious what will happen next. This book continues with court intrigue and reminds me a bit of GRRM and GOT in how things play out, but in this story we know who the good verus the bad guys are.

Characters from book one make an appearance in this book, and more secrets are revealed. I was impressed to say the least, and I think that this book is better than the first one.

I am eager to read the third book!


It’s January and that means it is a new year! And therefore time for a list of books that I’m excited to read in this upcoming year! As it is the 18th, there may be a few January books that have already published on this list. I’ve compiled the books by month so it’s easier to look at! I’m sure there are some that I’ve forgotten (indies mostly), but throughout the year I’ll keep updating you guys!










What books are you looking forward to this year?

Let me know in the comments!

Author: Heather Fawcett
Series: Emily Wilde
Series #: 1
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: adult
ARC?: yes

Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party–or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.

So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.

But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones–the most elusive of all faeries–lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all–her own heart.


Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an arc in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

Holy smokes! I love anything to do with faeries, and I have since I was a little girl. With all the fae in books recently I felt that this was a refreshing take on them. (Not that there is anything wrong with the others, there isn’t). At first when I saw it was written as diary entries I worried that it would read awkwardly.

It did not. In fact, I really loved how the book read as diary entries. Emily was such an engaging character and getting to know her was lovely! I was impressed with Fawcett who was able to communicate so much through diary entries. Now, don’t think of the diary entries as you would, because they do not read like them. This makes the book flow better.

One side note because I love the way that it was incorporated into the book was how terminology and studies were introduced. I felt like it helped add a lot to the world we were getting to know. The fact that these are not necessarily hidden creatures, but part of the world was well done, it felt like it was more…natural? Really, it felt as if the faeries could actually exist in our world today. Don’t think Maas or Black faeries, think a bit differently than that. It’s very hard to explain without giving too much away.

The romance in this book was humorous. I loved how Emily approached romance and life, because I felt for her. Emily has a great character arc throughout this book, both internally and externally growing as a character. There are spots of humor in this book that worked for me and had me giggling at some points. Wendall is my second favorite character, and honestly he was the funny part of the entire book.

I LOVED the writing in the book, if that wasn’t clear. I was absorbed by it, and just got so engaged throughout the entire book.

The plot was spectacular and I loved how it unraveled, and I’ll say nothing else about the plot as it would lead to too many spoilers.

Another warning, is there are some darker aspects of this book. This is very much a historical fantasy book that has a dose of romance. It is NOT a romance book, so don’t go in expecting that romance will be the focus of the book, it is not.

I do wish the ending was a little bit longer, but it looks as if we’re getting a second book so I can only hope that maybe we get some more!

Some comparisons to this might be Olivia Atwater, Katherine Arden, Naomi Novik are a few that I can think of that have similar vibes.


Author: Mara Rutherford
Series: n/a
Series #: n/a
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: young adult
ARC?: yes

Outsiders are always given a choice: the Forest or the lake. Either way, they’re never heard from again.

Leelo has spent her entire life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty Forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles to accept that her younger brother will be exiled by his next birthday, unless he gains the magic of enchanted song so vital to Endla.

When Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake, she knows exactly what she’s supposed to do. But in a moment that will change everything, Leelo betrays her family, her best friend, and Endla by making an unthinkable choice.

Discovery could lead to devastating consequences for both Leelo and the outsider, Jaren, but as they grow closer, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake—and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself.


ATMOSPHERE. LOVE. DESPERATION. POISON. DEATH. HOPE. What more could you want from a book? Honestly, The Poison Season is fabulous. I enjoyed the author’s previous works, but this one is my favorite. I love the mysterious aspect of the magic and the island and what has happened in the past.

Leelo is an amazing character, because she isn’t ready to give up everything to change the world. She’s scared, she has feelings and she’s not perfect. Her relationship with her family is one of the main focuses of the book, and as I know from previous books Rutherford is an absolute talent at crafting some of the best sibling and familial relationships I’ve ever read. This book is no exception to that. In fact, my heart broke several times throughout this book, because none of the characters were perfect or right or wrong. It was so lovely, and honestly, just don’t have the words for it.

As a character, Leelo’s arc was one of the best I’ve seen in a YA book. There is so much growth and learning from her as a person, and she is willing to admit to herself and others when she’s made a mistake. She wants to be honest, but she also wants to help, and this is the problem Leelo has to face. She has a decision she must make.

There is also a romance in the book, between Leelo and the outsider, Jaren. There are some interesting aspects of this woven throughout the book, and I liked it. I felt that their slowly growing romance and attraction was well done.

I love the world that was created, it was enchanting and mystical, and I like that it had a dark and creepy atmosphere to it. I felt it contrasted nicely with the atmosphere of the town. It gave me the chills at some points.

This is a great winter read, especially if you love evocative, YA fantasy dosed with atmosphere and powerful character arcs.


Author: Rebecca Ross
Series: Elements of Cadence
Series #: 2
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: adult
ARC?: yes

East and West. Humans and Spirits. Breccans and Tamerlaines. The Isle of Cadence has always held itself and its residents in a tenuous balance. But now Bane, the spirit of the North Wind, has pushed everyone and everything in his path off-kilter in a bid to claim dominion over all.

In the West, Adaira struggles to adjust to the more brutal, bitter ways of life among the Breccans. Striving to find her place in the clan, she swiftly realizes that it just might be the last role she desires to hold. And while magic blooms effortlessly for the Breccans in the west, the spirits continue to suffer beneath Bane’s harsh power, felt in every gust of wind.

In the East, Jack is adrift without Adaira until he sings to the ember-weak fire spirits, acquiring a dangerous mission he never expected. One that is destined to lead him westward. Likewise, Torin and Sidra are consumed by a new mystery as sickness spreads first amongst the crops, and then to the people of the Tamerlaine clan. While Sidra desperately searches for a cure, Torin dares to strike a bargain with the spirits—a precarious folly anytime, but especially now as the days grow darker.

With the island falling further out of balance, humans and spirits alike will need to join together to face Bane, and Jack’s gift with the harp will be called upon once more. Yet no one can challenge the North Wind without paying a terrible price, and the sacrifice required this time may be more than Jack, Adaira, Torin, and Sidra can bear to pay.


Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an e-arc of this book! 🙂

THIS BOOK. I cannot express any emotions. I held my hands to my chest and sobbed at one part. Rebecca Ross is such a talented writer and I can’t wait for this book to be out in the wild. I thought that this was a stunning conclusion to this series. Honestly, it made me so emotional, and I had trouble writing this review because I really don’t want to spoil this book.

Ross has some of the best writing that I’ve ever read; it is lyrical and beautiful. The descriptions are lush and beautiful. I love how she created two different atmospheres for the clans, and two different feelings depending on where you were in the mortal world or in the spirit world. And that’s all I’m going to say on that — because so much of this is best read blind. As someone who struggles to picture scenes in books, I love when authors are able to evoke feelings and emotions and make me imagine something.

I loved all the characters in this book so much, Adaira, Jack, Sidra and Torin all have their own journey in this book, and then they come together. That’s something to note — they all are separate and have individual arcs in which we’ve seen them grow as people.

I’ve been left speechless by this book, it just evoked so much emotion in me, and I loved following all the characters, I especially enjoyed Adaira’s story as she comes to terms with who she is. Torin and Sidra’s romance is just as poignant as Adaira and Jack’s, and the juxtaposition of them was done so lovely. I like how we get to see so many different facets of people. Sidra’s story is also one of my favorites, I’m just a sucker for strong women. Seriously, and while Sidra and Adaira are strong, they also have a tenderness to them. I love it.

One aspect of the book that I thought was well done was the plot, and how the present was interwoven with the past. Ross is fantastic at creating a timeline of interest, and not making it confusing. I think that the plot in this book was nicely developed and really rounded out the first book — we learn a lot more from Adaira and her mother in this book. Again, Ross is excellent at creating a fantastic world and showing how two or three places are so different from each other.

Everything ties up so nicely in the end, and I just loved this book. I really don’t know what else to say other than I’M IN LOVE.