Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.


5 stars because it made me cry

I am generally easily pleased with any King Arthur retelling. I grew up on Mary Stewart, Stephen Lawhead, TA Barron and Marian Zimmer Bradley. I loved all of those books. But one of the books that made the most impact on me was a book titled, “I am Morgan Le Fay”, which was all about our favorite sorceress from her POV. Think Marian Zimmer Bradley lite. So I was never more pleased than when Kiersten White wrote from Guinevere’s perspective, and when Tracy Deonn took a whole new take on the Arthurian myth. I love when things get mixed up. So obviously when I heard Laura Sebastian was taking on the Lady of Shallot I was so beyond excited. I love when myths take women and put them front and center.

Elaine was an amazing character, and I love the way Sebastian incorporated her into the myth with more agency. And I adored Morgana in this one. Actually, I liked all the characters to be honest. I got really invested in them despite knowing what happens in the end. You would think that by now I would be used to the fact that it would be a sad ending.

I cried my way through this book. It made me feel so many emotions and I could not contain them. Instead I had to hold the book and rock myself through the feelings. I didn’t quite succeed.

I will say there definitely was a queer overtone to the book which I liked. I just think there were a few slow parts in the book that were a bit of a struggle to get through, but didn’t drag the book down overmuch.

I love Sebastian’s writing style. She drew me in and kept me reading. It was so easy to read honestly. It was an enjoyment.

I gave it five stars because it made me feel all the emotions and cry. I need Sebastian to write more like this, because I enjoyed it SO much.

If you ever like MZB, you will probably like this book.

From holy cup comes holy light;

The faithful hands sets world aright.

And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,

Mere man shall end this endless night.

It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order couldn’t stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.


What does one rate this book? I honestly waffled between three and four stars. I knew what to expect going in based on early reviews, gory, bloody, violent, tons of profanity and vulgarity. None of that particularly bothers me (mostly because I skip if it gets really descriptive gory), but I know people thought it was excessive. Personally, I didn’t find it excessive. I rather think that was the point. Anyways, that isn’t the point of my review in any case. I wanted to talk about the things that I did and didn’t like about this book and whether or not I’m going to continue the series!

the good

-The World building.
I enjoyed the world building in this book. It was a little convoluted at first, but things were explained as we went along through the book.

-The Characters
I liked most of the characters. I found them annoying and intriguing in turns. I like how they all had different personalities, and I didn’t feel like they were replicated over and over, or copy and pasted characters. They were morally grey and treasonous. It’s best not to trust any of them.

-The Plot
The plot was good, and I liked how we went back and forth through time. I was honestly guessing about the status of characters throughout the book. I will say one part really made me sad, but I can’t say that I was surprised about it, because I had guessed it from the beginning on the book.

the not so good

-The Length
This was a monstrosity of a book. It was huge and long, and oh boy, that was not fun to get through. Very, very, long.

-The Pacing
I think it was because of the length, but the pacing wasn’t great. I would get bored at some parts and have to resist a desire to skip through. Not all of it was bad, just some of it was a bit frustrating and extraneous I felt.

Did it really need to be so long?

more thoughts

Really, the length of this book is intimidating, and this book does have a lot that happens, but mostly it feels like it is setting up for the next book in the series. Hopefully it will improve from this one. Will I read the next one?

Yes, yes I will. I might not read it right away however.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune’s signature warmth, humor, and extraordinary empathy. 


oh no oh NO

I was so excited for this book that I preordered the signed, sprayed edges edition from Waterstones. The book is stunningly gorgeous, I will say that. Last year, House on the Cerulean Sea topped my list of favorite 2020 books. And previously his indie series were some of my favorites. I went into this book expecting to love it, especially because so many people said it made them ugly cry. I was prepared; I brought tissues and everything for my lunch break, 100% prepared to have to explain to my coworkers why I was sobbing my heart out in the middle of the day. Little did I expect…that I wasn’t going to like the book.

While I didn’t hate the book, I also didn’t love it either. It’s a firmly middle ground book that I might try again in half a year or something. As I read it, I just found…I struggled to get into it. I like books with lots of characterization and character focus. Addie LaRue for example. I VERY much enjoyed that book. But this one…just didn’t work for me in the same way. It was slow, but slow in a way that I found uninteresting at best. Which is odd, because I love slow books. Just…something didn’t click with me in regards to this book.

The concept of the book was very neat, and I thought that was interesting, but I kept having to restrain the urge to skip through parts where I felt nothing was happening, plot wise or character wise. Which was very frustrating for me because I was trying to get myself to like the book.


I also liked the variety of characters that were included in the book. I think they could have been so much more interesting, but for the most part I felt apathy about them all. On top of that the romantic relationship just didn’t work for me.

I also love Klune’s writing. He’s got such a great writing style, but in this case, the book overall didn’t work for me with his writing style. I don’t know what happened.

This is one of those books that is going to go on my shelf because it’s a special edition and one that I might see if a change of mood will make me like it.

Suffice to say I am heartbroken and disappointed that I didn’t love the book.

King Midas made me the woman I am today. Notorious. Unattainable. His.

The thing about being confined is that you believe it’s to keep the bad out… Until you realize it’s about keeping you in.

I’m now in a strange kingdom surrounded by liars, with no allies of my own, but I won’t sit idly by and let myself wither. No, there’s something that’s bloomed from the pit of my repression. Something dark. Something angry.

But the last thing I expected was for my anger to call out to him. King Ravinger.

He’s sinister and powerful and entirely too seductive. I’ve learned my lesson with trusting manipulative kings, so why does my chest constrict every time he’s near? I need to tread carefully, or I’m at risk of losing much more than just my freedom.

Regret and revenge war inside of me, and I need to figure out a plan fast before I get tangled up in the schemes of kings and queens.

Because I won’t be caught in a cage again. No, this time, It’ll be me setting the trap… I just hope my heart comes out of this unscathed.


This is my favorite of all the books so far. The payoff is totally worth it in this one. We finally see Auren become strong and sure of herself. We see her become the person we knew she was going to become. But we also get to join in on a little political intrigue between King Ravinger and King Midas. And the interplay between the two of them has some of the best moments in this book. Kennedy really shows off her writing talents in this one.

While I didn’t mind the pacing in the previous ones, in this we do get much better pacing, AND even better plot. I feel like the series is really picking up at this point. And I am definitely rooting for Auren. And Rip. Both of them. That was another great development is their relationship in this book. I feel that we’re finally starting to see them open up. And Auren realizes that she can trust and doesn’t have to be trapped in a cage. Their relationship is definitely swoonworthy.

This book is steamy in the best of ways (finally!) and I loved every moment of it. I loved how Kennedy wrote this book, her writing is as good as ever.

This book is almost impossible to talk about without spoilers – but if you can get past Gild, somewhat enjoy Glint, Gleam is where all the payoff is. This book has everything I could love and more. This was a total five star read for me, and has me eagerly waiting for the fourth book in the series. I think I may combust if I don’t get to read it soon.

We finally also get some more concise worldbuilding and more backstory and secrets are revealed. I do feel like we finally get some payoff, and this was the most enjoyable book of the bunch.

Rip and Auren forever!!!! My heart beats for them. Also the entire Fourth. They are all so freaking amazing and I definitely would love to see more of them!

For ten years, I’ve lived in a gilded cage inside King Midas’s golden castle. But one night changed everything.

Now I’m here, a prisoner of Fourth Kingdom’s army, and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it out of this in one piece. They’re marching to battle, and I’m the bargaining chip that will either douse the fire or spark a war.

At the heart of my fear, my worry, there’s him—Commander Rip.

Known for his brutality on the battlefield, his viciousness is unsurpassed. But I know the truth about what he is.

Fae.

The betrayers. The murderers. The ones who nearly destroyed Orea, wiping out Seventh Kingdom in the process. Rip has power sizzling beneath this skin and glinting spikes down his spine. But his eyes—his eyes are the most compelling of all.

When he turns those black eyes on me, I feel captive for an entirely different reason.

I may be out of my cage, but I’m not free, not even close. In the game of kings and armies, I’m the gilded pawn. The question is, can I out maneuver them?


Glint is book 2 in the plated prisoner series. I liked the first one, but this one is where things really get good. This book is very slow compared to the first book. It feels a bit like nothing is happening at the beginning, but that isn’t quite the truth. Auren is slowly figuring herself out, but she has yet to leave that gilded cage Midas has set up for it. Auren is aggravating in turns. But honestly Rip is totally worth it in this book. He is probably my favorite character of them all. We also get some of the Fourth in this book and get to know more background characters.

We also get more worldbuilding in this one! Yay! I love good worldbuilding. Even if they are mostly trekking through a tundra…anyways. Yes, some of it was boring, but Auren finally starts to get some sense knocked into her. She is kind and she cares immensely, and she struggles to make friends with the saddles.

When a secret is revealed she has to make a bargain…and it doesn’t really benefit her. Auren is still stuck in her belief that Midas saved her – which is ANNOYING but we began to get a bit of romantic tension between Rip and Auren and that is amazing to read about.

Honestly, I liked this book because it was further developing all the characters. As we get towards the end of the book my suspicions begin to be confirmed. I will admit I was not surprised in the least at the reveal that we got at the end of the book. It was predictable, but it definitely wasn’t a bad thing at all.

I also enjoy the fact that the fae in this book don’t seem to be like all the fae in others. It is a nice difference.

Overall, I’m obviously really enjoying this series.

The fae abandoned this world to us. And the ones with power rule.

Gold.

Gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, gold clothes. In Highbell, in the castle built into the frozen mountains, everything is made of gold.

Even me.

King Midas rescued me. Dug me out of the slums and placed me on a pedestal. I’m called his precious. His favored. I’m the woman he Gold-Touched to show everyone that I belong to him. To show how powerful he is. He gave me protection, and I gave him my heart. And even though I don’t leave the confines of the palace, I’m safe.

Until war comes to the kingdom and a deal is struck.

Suddenly, my trust is broken. My love is challenged. And I realize that everything I thought I knew about Midas might be wrong.

Because these bars I’m kept in, no matter how gilded, are still just a cage. But the monsters on the other side might make me wish I’d never left.


First off, Gild is my new obsession. I am literally obsessed with it (and the entire series). I was a little nervous going into it, but I am so glad that I read it. It has quickly become one of my favorite adult indie fantasies. It deserves all the praise that it gets, and rightfully so! This book does come with a lot of trigger warnings, so make sure you check them out before you pick this book up, as I am sure some of them will be triggering. Anyways, aside from that disclaimed I will rec this to people who love complex characters, fae and SJM/JLA books.

Auren is a prisoner to Midas. (We hate Midas FYI. We do not stan). Auren’s sitaution is terrible and untennable. I wanted to throw my kindle across the room on SEVERAL occassions because Midas pissed me off so bad. He’s a great antagonist, but a terrible person. Do not like. Auren is a great character. She starts off reserved and very weak, she believes Midas in everything he does. THey have a past together which is slowly revealed. Auren has to learn to be strong after a traumatic even leaves her essentially stranded and alone among people that dislike her. It’s at this point the book turns around.

I will admit, I struggled to get through the first half of the book – but I pushed through and am so glad I did, because we meet some of my favorite characters later in the series.

I did enjoy the worldbuilding in this book, but it wasn’t all that fleshed out, it left a bit to be desired to be honest. I will say some of it was interesting, but at other times it was a bit confusing. I think it could have used more refinement.

What I really did enjoy was the writing. I love Raven Kennedy’s writing style. It made the parts of the book I didn’t like go a lot faster, but the book was continually on the move and the pacing was well done. The plot was as well, it kept me hooked until the end.

I’m stopping my review here because I binge read all three, and I don’t want to include spoilers for book 2 on this review. Suffice to say, I really did enjoy this book overall, even with the parts that I didn’t like.

Leon

I earned my reputation among magicians for a reason: one wrong move and you’re dead. Killer, they called me, and killing is what I’m best at.

Except her.

The one I was supposed to take, the one I should have killed – I didn’t.

The cult that once controlled me wants her, and I’m not about to lose my new toy to them.

Rae

I’ve always believed in the supernatural. Hunting for ghosts is my passion, but summoning a demon was never part of the plan. Monsters are roaming the woods, and something ancient – something evil – is waking up and calling my name.

I don’t know who I can trust, or how deep this darkness goes.

All I know is my one shot at survival is the demon stalking me, and he doesn’t just want my body – he wants my soul


Her Soul To Take is a great steamy paranormal romance, and was quite well written. This was another Lauren recommendation, and I’m so glad that I picked it up. It was a fairly quick read overall, and was on KU which made me happy. I originally gave this three stars, but on further thinking I think it’s between a three and four stars for me.

I have always loved paranormal romances and this one was a good one too! It involves summoning a demon and a woman. I really liked Rae as a character. I found her strong and endearing. And sometimes a bit in denial. But I just loved that she felt so empowered. She knows what she wants which is a nice change of pace from some characters who don’t.

Leon was a great demon. I loved his relationship with Rae and the world at large. He was a great character because he was a demon but not necessarily evil, which is a juxtaposition to the humans who are evil. I liked that take on it very much.

The banter between Leon and Rae is great, they have an undeniable chemistry and snark with each other. There are several parts that made me laugh out loud. And this book is SUPER steamy. But it also has a bit of a dark tone to it, so be sure you look at the trigger warnings before you read it.

There are a few side characters who are really awesome as well, and I enjoyed all their introductions in this book. I assume they will be in the later books?

The writing was really good. I found myself becoming absorbed in this world and drawn into it. Laroux crafted a world that is so good. But it is also highly atmospheric. You could get lost in this book. It felt so real – and I liked that about it.

I loved the plot – I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next, and if our leading couple would emerge triumphant. Sometimes you’re not sure with these dark romances…anyways, the plot was great. As I mentioned earlier the juxtaposition between good and evil in this book was creative, and I felt drove home the point that what you think is true is not always necessarily true.

I would recommend this book to those who like paranormal romances and are looking for something a little different and well written! 

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.


I absolutely adored For the Wolf. Books that have mysterious forests and creatures set in a fantasy world? Y e p. I love it. Those are some of my favorite things, and this book contained them! Therefore, it was a given that I would like this book. And did I! I was a bit hesitant at first, and I don’t know why – maybe I was worried it wasn’t going to live up to my expectations, but it did! (I mean, I’ve been fooled by covers before, and I love this one, so I’m right to be worried, I swear.)

World building in this book was done well. Whitten has created such a lovely and complex world and I just wanted to know more about it. Because some of the events mentioned in the book take place in the past we don’t know the full story. So as Red learns it, we do as well. This is one of my favorite ways for fantasy books to do reveals, and that is how it is done in this book. The world felt so real to me, and I liked how divided the world felt, and I think that was intentional.

The atmosphere! How lovely the atmosphere in this book. I could just imagine what it looked like, and how it felt, Whitten evoked such a sense of place and atmosphere with her writing. I was fully immersed in this book as I read it, and I read it quickly too. I just could not put it down! All that to say her writing is great as well. It flowed easily and worked well. I didn’t feel that it bogged down anywhere.

The pacing was also wonderful in this book. I didn’t get bored!

The side characters in this book really livened things up as well – and brought new POVs to situations that we didn’t realize were happening.

Red and Eammon were both wonderful. I loved as they began to learn about each other and trust one another. As a romance develops between them you can’t help but smile. As dark as this book was at times, it also held a bit of light and hope.

The other relationship was between Neve and Red, the sisters, and that was skillfully executed as well. I was honestly so impressed with it — I love when we get well done family relationships.

This book has become one of my favorite adult fantasies, and when I first read it I gave it four stars, but I think I’m going to change it to five, thinking back. 

This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet they are all lies…

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong.

In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think…


First off, this book was nothing like I expected it to be; so don’t go in thinking this is a traditional horror book – or mystery – it isn’t. I’ve not read any of this author’s other works, so I was going in a bit blind here. I saw it on NetGalley and it looked interesting, and so I requested it. I think perhaps I might not have been the right audience for this book, or perhaps I just wasn’t reading it at the right time. I definitely didn’t love it the way that other people have. There are some aspects of it that make it stand out – but I do suggest when you finish the book that you read the Author’s Note. I tend to skip those, but I felt that it was important to this book and understanding/resolving the thematic elements of this book.

There are a lot of people who loved this book way more than me, so I feel a bit like the odd one out!

So, first off, I felt that the book presented what happened in an interesting way. There were lots of moments in which you’re shown one POV, only to go back in a later chapter and be shown another. Sometimes all the characters can be a little confusing, but my only advice is to pay close attention. There are lots of little clues spread out through the book that will have you guessing and wondering what is going to happen next.

The characters felt distinct, and Olivia was definitely one of my favorite characters. The writing itself helped distinguish each character from the next.

I’m not sure what to say about this book without talking about spoilers; because once I’ve finished it is hard to go back and think of the rest of the book now knowing the ending.

Overall, I think the book was a good one. I gave it three stars because it was interesting and it was definitely a mystery, but not in the way the summary makes you think. This isn’t like a Stephen King horror or even like a Riley Sager, it reads more as a commentary on the horror genre itself, so bear that in mind when you’re reading this book.

There are some topics this book covers such as child abuse, murder, assault, mental issues, and various other darker topics that some people may find triggering. Just be aware that these are all important aspects of the book, but may make it difficult for some to read.

A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again.

Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain.


Malice is one of those books that was recommended to me and I saw on lots of lists as being such a great read, so I decided that it was time to try it and see if I liked it. I feel like I’m being overgenerous with my three star rating. It was really a 2/2.5 for me. This book just didn’t work for me on so many levels. I love retellings as much as the next person, but something about this book just didn’t work for me the way that it worked for everyone else. I wish it had though.

Malice is a sapphic retelling of the sleeping beauty story, which in concept sounds so amazing. There aren’t nearly enough sapphic books out there that are fantasy like this. I went into it with the expectation it might be something similar to Priory of the Orange Tree which I absolutely loved. Maybe that was my mistake here, because Malice is nothing like that. It is fantasy, but it also is very much a tragic romance story I felt. I feel like there’s something wrong with me that I didn’t like it as much as everyone else did. All I can say is I wish that I had loved it. I had expected to love it.

Where did the book go wrong for me? I think the simple answer is that it took too long to get to the meat of the plot. I was bored for the whole first half of the book. I think I did skim some sections and felt that I didn’t miss anything. The second half of the book is where it picks up, but by that point I was no longer invested in the book, nor did I care about the characters because I wasn’t invested. And that is the fault of the pacing of the book. Which again, was just not working for me at all. It just felt as if nothing were happening. Slow books are one thing, but I felt that there was no character development or plot development. I was left feeling very underwhelmed by this book in that regard.

I lacked the ability to like the characters. I love villains, but I just felt that this one just fell really flat to me. I know I’m supposed to care about the characters or root for them, but I just didn’t care. I was honestly ready for the book to be over. It was a torturous read for me. Not at all that enjoyable. I couldn’t even tell you that much about the characters in the end…it just didn’t work.

The writing style was another thing that just wasn’t for me. I was not meshing with it at all, and that may be the ultimate reason next to the plot and slowness of why this book ended up not working for me. Not every writing style is for everyone, and this one just wasn’t there for me.

I did like the sapphic romance elements in this book, however. I thought had I cared about the characters and had there been some better relationship development I could have really liked this book. I wanted a princess/villain sapphic romance story, but this book was just not it for me.

Alas, I’m sure another one will come along at some point that will be for me. For now, I do think people will enjoy this book, but in this case it was a mix of me and the book being an issue here. The combination of those two things just made the book not likeable for me.