Book Traveling Thursdays #9 – Freebie Week

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme hosted by Danielle @ Danielle’s Book Blog and Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much. Each week, you pick a book related to the theme and choose different editions of the cover: the original cover, the cover from your country (if different from the original), your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. To see more information and a list of themes check out the Goodreads page!

This week is a freebie week, which is almost worst because it took me forever to decide which book to feature! I decided to choose a book most of us all know and love: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Although I only have one set of Harry Potter books, I’m a believer that one cannot have too many copies of the series. The Scholastic 15th Anniversary editions and Bloomsbury 20th Anniversary Hogwarts House editions are both stunning, and I can’t wait until the day they join my bookshelf!

ORIGINAL COVER – UK Edition

72193

COVER FROM YOUR COUNTRY – US Edition

3

FAVORITE COVER – Scholastic 15th Anniversary Edition

17372039

LEAST FAVORITE COVER – Finnish Edition

Finnish-Book-1

REVIEW: The Dark of the Moon – E. S. Bell

35719003Title: The Dark of the Moon (Chronicles of Lunos Book I)
Author: E. S. Bell
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I requested this book, but I’m enthralled by what I read. The Dark of the Moon is an expertly written novel that is sure to please any lover of epic fantasy and nautical adventures.

The world created by E. S. Bell is wonderfully crafted. Lunos was once a solid land mass, but now is comprised of many different islands. The descriptions of the world are vivid and inventive, and it was easy to imagine myself there. The different religions and gods were intriguing to read about, as were the aspects of magic. In addition, the inclusion of other fantastical creatures and species added greatly to the complexity of the world the author created. The Vai’Ensai are one example of such and I greatly look forward to learning more about them in the future books!

All of the characters were well developed and complex. Selena was a wonderful protagonist and I felt myself rooting for her throughout the entire novel as she embarked on her quest. She was fierce, kind, unwavering in her faith, brave, and real. I also really enjoyed Sebastian as the other main character. Once driven by his need to avenge his family, he now wants to move beyond his dark, dangerous past. The taciturn, brooding man was easy for me to love, despite his menacing nature. The cast of secondary characters were engaging and delightful to read about also, and each have their own distinct personalities and backgrounds. 

There is romance in the book, and from the blurb you can pretty much figure it out, but I absolutely adored the way it unfolded. It was very believable and well-developed, built slowly throughout the story, and didn’t take away from the plot but rather added to it. This book is not without its twists turns, however, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how events unfold in the next one.

I want to comment on how excellent the writing is. I was in the middle of reading another series when I started this and had to stop because it was just too good to put down. Before starting, I actually was not aware the E. S. Bell was a pseudonym for contemporary romance writer, Emma Scott, and I honestly never would have guessed. Not many authors can go from writing one genre to the next so seamlessly. The Dark of the Moon reads like the work of a seasoned fantasy writer and I am very, very impressed.

The Dark of the Moon is a captivating novel that readers of fantasy and adventure books will absolutely love. I highly recommend it and I promise you will it will not disappoint!

P.S. Right now it’s free on kindle unlimited! 

REVIEW: The Last Magician – Lisa Maxwell

30312855Title: The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Rating: ★★★★★

That cover is completely stunning, and I’m not even a little bit ashamed to say that it’s what originally drew me to the book. Thankfully, I was pleased to discover that The Last Magician is just as magnificent on the inside, as it is on the outside. No one should make the same mistake I did: this book needs to be in your TBR pile.

The Last Magician is like a magical Ocean’s Eleven set during the gilded age New York. Other than magic, the book also features a badass heroine (who also happens to be an accomplished thief), time travel, warring gangs, murder, betrayal, plot twists, handsome men wearing cravats, and a romance that develops slowly over the course of the book and doesn’t overshadow the story. The author crafts a wonderful novel with intriguing characters, great world-building, and superior writing to tie it all together. A really excellent read and I cannot wait for the sequel!

Top 5 Wednesday: Books Set Outside the Western World

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. If you want to join or find out more information about the weekly themes check out the Goodreads pageThis week’s topic is about books that are not set in the Western world (i.e. North America/Western Europe). I really love reading retellings, so I decided to focus more on fantasy stories that were based on mythologies and fairy tales, but whose settings were obviously not of the Western World.

18798983THE WRATH AND THE DAWN – A very popular fantasy retelling of A Thousand and One Nights that seems to be either hit or miss with most people. I absolutely loved it. Renée Ahdieh proves herself to be a marvelous storyteller and I loved the romance between Shahrzad and Khalid. 

 


29939047A CROWN OF WISHES
– This book seems to be on a lot of my lists lately, but who can blame me when it was just so good. Roshani Chokshi is such a talented writer and vivid storyteller. A Crown of Wishes is dark fairytale-esque story with elements of Hindu mythology and two wonderful protagonists. If you want to hear more of me gushing about this book, you can check out my full
review!

 

23308087THE FLAME IN THE MIST – Mulan is my absolute favorite Disney movie. I wish so badly that they were more retellings of this story, or stories similar to it. Renée Ahdieh does an excellent job creating a wonderful retelling of Mulan and I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series.

 


21396155THE FORBIDDEN WISH
– Jinn are on of my favorite aspects to read about from Islamic mythology. Jessica Khoury writes a fabulous retelling of Aladdin with a strong, female protagonist, wonderful side characters, and a beautiful forbidden romance.

 

 

28375641SPINDLEA retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with a few elements of Rapunzel, but in a middle eastern setting. The story is a very well-crafted fantasy full of magic, adventure, and romance. I ended up liking this way better than the first book, A Thousand Nights.

REVIEW: Godblind – Anna Stephens

32072924Title: Godblind
Author: Anna Stephens
Rating: ★★★★★

This book was nothing short of amazing. I have to confess that this was my first grimdark fantasy book, after trying and failing to read the works of both Mark Lawrence and Brandon Sanderson, but I absolutely devoured it. Godblind was utterly fantastic and completely engrossing to read. As all the other reviews have mentioned, this book is very dark and not for everyone, so I felt that I should point out that it does contain torture, rape, graphic violence, human sacrifice, mutilation, and other things of that nature, for those who may be bothered by it.

I typically don’t care for multiple POVs, but each character had a distinct voice and it was very easy to tell them apart. Not only that, but I became engaged in a few of the different characters’ storylines. Each character was unique and I enjoyed that more than a few would be considered morally grey. I loved reading from the narrations of Rillirin, Dom, Crys, and Tara. Godblind contains excellent worldbuilding, great writing, and a plot that was both very fast-paced and gripping. The romance was present, but not overly done, and added another strong element to the story. For some reason, I went into this book believing it to be standalone, but thankfully it is a part of a series, especially with the cliffhangers we were served at the end. I’m looking forward to reading more about this world and these characters and can’t wait for the next one!