Friday, April 12, 2019

Review - Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Skyward (Skyward, #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Pages: 528
Publisher: Gollancz
Release Date: 6th November 2018

Blurb from Goodreads:

Spensa's world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity's only defense is to take to their ships and fight the enemy in the skies. Pilots have become the heroes of what's left of the human race. 
Spensa has always dreamed of being one of them; of soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father's - a pilot who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, placing Spensa's chances of attending flight school somewhere between slim and none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is still determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They've doubled their fleet, making Spensa's world twice as dangerous . . . but their desperation to survive might just take her skyward . . .

My Review:
*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley*

Spensa's ancestors came to the planet of Detritus while escaping an alien race called the Krell.
Ever since, the survivors have been struggling to defend their new home and pilots have become heroes.
Spensa has always dreamed of being a pilot, but she is the daughter of the only pilot to flee a battle, something that she is never allowed to forget.
Can Spensa achieve her dream of becoming a pilot?
Can the inhabitants of Detritus win against the Krell?

Skyward was my first Brandon Sanderson book and, after hearing so much praise for his books, I'm very disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.
I liked Spensa overall but there were times when she was very juvenile - although I think this was probably a defence mechanism.
My favourite character was M-Bot the talking spaceship. I would like to find out more about where/when M-Bot came from.
I found the setting interesting, especially the debris that formed a protective layer around the planet.
I feel like Skyward could have been a lot shorter. I know that this is the first book in a series so it was setting up the series, but not much really happened. Some of the cadet training was a bit repetitive. The twist at the end was interesting but I'm not sure if I'll read the next book.
I liked the writing style and I do want to try another Brandon Sanderson book.

Overall this was an enjoyable but disappointing read.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Blog Tour + Excerpt + Giveaway - Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake

 On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Through the White Wood
By Jessica Leake
Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 416 Pages
April 9th 2019 by HarperTeen

The Bear and the Nightingale meets Frostblood in this romantic historical fantasy from the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore.

When Katya loses control of her power to freeze, her villagers banish her to the palace of the terrifying Prince Sasha in Kiev.

Expecting punishment, she is surprised to find instead that Sasha is just like her—with the ability to summon fire. Sasha offers Katya friendship and the chance to embrace her power rather than fear it.

But outside the walls of Kiev, Sasha’s enemies are organizing an army of people bent on taking over the entire world.

Together, Katya’s and Sasha’s powers are a fearsome weapon. But as their enemies draw nearer, will fire and frost be enough to save the world? Or will Katya and Sasha lose everything they hold dear?

Inspired by Russian mythology, this lushly romantic, intensely imaginative, and fiercely dramatic story is about learning to fight for yourself, even when the world is falling down around you.


Other Books in the Series

Beyond a Darkened Shore
By Jessica Leake
Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 384 Pages
April 10th 2018 by HarperTeen

The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle, the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love...even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

Praise for the Book

"Beyond a Darkened Shore is thrilling and romantic. This is a must-read for lovers of fantasy, mythology, and folklore." - Kody KeplingerNew York Times bestselling author of The DUFF and Run

“With undead armies, flesh-eating spirit horses, and a powerful heroine, fantasy, romance, and historical-fiction readers will have a great time.” - Booklist

“While Morrigan and Odin are terrifying, raven-haired Ciara is the star. Beautiful, strong, and independent, she is the perfect warrior princess. Epic historical fantasy filled with deadly creatures, simmering romance, and nonstop action.” - Kirkus Reviews

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Then, without another word, he climbed into the driver’s seat, gathered the reins, 
and pulled us away from the only home I’d ever known, of a prince they said was 
a monster.
But then, they said I was one, too.
I promised myself I wouldn’t look back, but I did it anyway, squinting through 
the snow at the thirty-seven villagers who silently watched me leave. It was easy to note the ones who were missing. While the ones who remained stared at me accusingly, I reached down to rub at my wrists where the ropes had once bound them.
Babushka stood apart, looking frail and alone. I could still feel her hand on my 
cheek, her words in my ear—were they absolution?
 I am not your babushka, she’d told me long ago, but you may call me by that name. 
 My life with her had not been easy or warm, but at least it had been mine.
I turned to face the front of the sleigh and squeezed my eyes closed. I thought I’d 
known loneliness, but it was nothing compared to this . . . this utter exile. The cold 
seeped in, hardening my already icy skin, and I wrapped my arms tighter around myself. 
I tried desperately not to think of the one time I had felt warm, the only time I hadn’t felt 
as though I was carved from ice. But the memories surfaced anyway.
Screams echoed in my mind as the tingling reminder of the cold fire crept over my palms. 
That terrible power that was nothing like my usual ability.
I pinched my arm to keep the sensation from spreading, but it did nothing to stop the 
memory of how I’d felt that night. How I’d felt none of the nagging feelings of guilt . . . 
only blissful warmth.
I felt regret now.


About the Author

Jessica Leake is the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore as well as the adult novels Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four young children, lots of chickens, and two dogs who keep everyone in line. Visit her at

Tour Schedule

2 winners will receive a copy of Through the White Wood (US only)
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
Ends April 17th

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday - An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1) by Cate Glass

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a feature hosted at Wishful Endings where people showcase an upcoming book they are looking forward to.

This week my choice is . . .
Title: An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1)
Author: Cat Glass
Pages: 352
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: 21st May 2019
Blurb from Goodreads:
In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence.

Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy's aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment.

Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it. To do so, she’ll have to rely on newfound allies—a swordmaster, a silversmith, and her own thieving brother. And they'll need the very thing that could condemn them all: magic.
 Why I'm Anticipating This Book:

Forbidden magic!
And how gorgeous is that cover?!

Monday, April 8, 2019

FairyLoot Unboxing - Favourites (March Box)

FairyLoot is a UK YA subscription box.

Each box contains a variety of objects and a book with an exclusive cover. 



The March theme was


 Here's what was inside . . .

A pair of socks inspired by Alice in Wonderland. These are from FairyLoot.
A collectable enamel pin to celebrate FairyLoot's three year anniversary.
A Sherwood poster with an extract from the book on the other side.

Two tarot cards with characters from the Six of Crows duology.
Page tabs designed by FairyLoot.
A signed copy of Viper by Bex Hogan which has an exclusive cover and won't be published until the 18th April.

Three art prints which are inspired by The Cruel Prince, Warcross and An Ember in the Ashes. These are by @morgana0anagrom.
A metal bookmark with art inspired by Strange the Dreamer. This was designed by KDP Letters.

How gorgeous is this scarf?!
This was designed exclusively for FairyLoot by Cara Kozik.

The book of the month was To Best the Boys by Mary Weber.
This FairyLoot exclusive has grey-sprayed edges and is signed by the author. There is also character art (from @icandrawthingz) which has a letter from the author on the other side.

Here's everything altogether . . .

Overall I'm pretty happy with this box.
The books sound interesting and I LOVE the scarf.
Did you get the March box?
What's your favourite item in the box?

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Blog Tour + Interview - We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Find the tour schedule here.


We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 2nd 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and 
for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part 
Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of 
the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a 
traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, 
a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both 
offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s 
military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of 
darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if 
they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s 
superior firepower will destroy them–if they don't destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, 
and survival despite impossible odds.

Book links:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo

When did you start writing?

I’ve always had it in my head that I’ve been writing since I was six, but my first memory 
is from when I was seven. I sat down at my little table and wrote a story about a blind 
grandma who saves the world.

How long did it take you to write We Rule the Night?

About two and a half years, from initial notes to “let’s find an agent.”

Who is your favourite character in We Rule the Night?

Magdalena, the cheerful mechanic who works on Revna and Linne’s plane. I’ve even 
written some short stories for her, and I hope you’ll see them soon!

What was your favourite part of writing We Rule the Night?

That’s a challenge, and a little bit of a spoiler. I’ll say that I’m a sucker for writing things 
that make people cry, or make people mad. There’s a scene at the end of the book that was 
really cathartic for me to write, and a scene about ⅔ of the way through that absolutely 
broke my heart. (Insert maniacal author cackling here)

Do you have any works in progress?

I’m working on a standalone fantasy for Little, Brown right now! It’s a dash of the Romanovs, 
a hint of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and a little bit of The Shape of Water, all rolled up into 
one political intrigue court fantasy with an f/f romance.

What are your hobbies?

I love:
-playing games
-loudly discussing story structure and analysing YA novels (usually with my cats, maybe I 
should start a YouTube channel or something productive!) 

Thank you so much!

About the Author

Claire Bartlett lives in an enchanted forest apartment in Copenhagen with too 
many board games and too few cats.

Get more detailed information, like how many board games is too many, how 
many cats is too few, and what book-related beauties I'm working on by signing up for my newsletter.

Author links: