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.


You know those books that you love — or just like — but don’t have a lot to say about? Yeah, me too!

Welcome to Mini Review Roundups! Here, I list a whole bunch of mini reviews in one place for your convenience!

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

I really don’t know what I was expecting from this book – I picked it up because of the title. I mean, a Southern Book Club? And vampires? I was sold from the get-go.

I’d never read a Hendrix book before, so I was going into this book without any knowledge of him or his writing. I did see some reviews that said it was slow, but I do like a good slow paced book. I liked the writing of the book, and felt it flowed. It was slow paced. The build was very, very slow and I felt that it heightened the overall tension of the book as you got further along.

Another thing I’d like to comment on is the fact that the characters felt alive. They were amusing, annoying and aggravating in turns, but it added drama to the book when it was needed. It very much worked for me.

The plot was funny, and I think that much of this was also a type of character study to go along with what seems like a very strange plot! Yet somehow it all seemed to fit and work together in the best of ways.

Overall, this was a book I very much enjoyed and found fun for a diverting afternoon.

The Sun Down Motel

This is one of the books that comes up on you unexpectedly. This book was recommended to be when I asked for paranormal/ghost stories on bookstagram. I am SO GLAD I picked this up because this book and I meshed really well, as it had all the things I could ever ask for in a ghost story.

It takes place in two times: past and present.

There is a mystery that has to be solved.

There are ghosts.

There is atmosphere.

It occurs in a liminal place: a motel.

I mean…it checked practically EVERYTHING. I was into this book from the first chapter to the last chapter. A review of this book is hard to write, because so much of it relies on tension and surprises throughout the book, and I loved that. I had never figured out what was going on until the end. I think it was so well done because it was leading you to that one point…

Suffice to say I highly enjoyed the book, and this is definitely a book I want to reread and see what I missed the first time that I read it. I feel like there were clues I should have picked up on…

Overall, I felt that this satisfied what book need I was looking to fill at the time. 

The Happy Ever After Playlist

Things I wish I had known before I read this book: it was a sequel. Yup.

I still liked the book, but I HATE the angst subplot randomly stuck in the middle. Like, where can I just get a cute book without all the angst. Anyways, I thought it was adorable, and I liked the characters.

I mean…what else is there to say? This one didn’t blow my socks off, but it didn’t make me unhappy either. It was one of those fun afternoon pass me by books that I enjoy reading.

Lady Hotspur

Gratton is going to be hit or miss for people. She is very wordy, very prose filled and the books are long and drawn out. Saying all that, I actually do like her stuff. I think she’s a great writer, and I always find myself immersed in her worlds.

I will admit, it had been a hot minute since I read Innis Lear, and when I picked this up it was something like a continuance of it. Suffice to say, I struggled remembering some of the older characters. It wasn’t a huge detriment however.

With Gratton’s works, I feel like you’re not supposed to always like the characters in the books. I feel as if they’re supposed to be almost terrible. Yet still redeemable. Anyways, I did like that the characters were all very multi-faceted. And there is A LOT of betrayal in this book.

There are also some great romance moments and friendship moments. There are some queer moments and some not so much, and well, this book should come with a whole bunch of warnings such as forced marriages of queer characters to people they don’t love etc. The way it is portrayed is well done though, but do be warned there could be some uncomfortable moments.

This book is mayhem. Also a lot of moments when you want to shake characters.

I enjoyed it. I really did. I love the world building Gratton does, I always get so engrossed.

And that concludes my first mini reviews post! Have you read any of these? Did you like them?