WWW Wednesday #16

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words in which the three W’s stand for:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

M3SFH_vwWHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Realm of Ruins by Hannah West

 

 


35298956WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. This is one of my new favorites by this author!

 

 


23510085WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

REVIEW: A Dangerous Collaboration – Deanna Raybourn (ARC)

30518319Title: A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4)
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Upon receiving the email that I was approved for this, I immediately put aside all other plans for reading because that’s how much I love these books. 

A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth installment of the Veronica Speedwell series, and while I wouldn’t count it as my favorite, it was just as enjoyable as all the others. One of the things I loved best about this one was the setting. In A Dangerous Collaboration, Veronica and Stoker find themselves in a remote island off the coast of Cornwall, in a possibly haunted castle, as the guests of Lord Malcolm. The entire plot/setting is very reminiscent of a murder mystery dinner and it was so very fun to read! Other than our beloved protagonist and her partner-in-solving crime, there is a full cast of interesting characters, including Tiberius, Stoker’s eldest brother.

The pace of this book was a bit slower than the others, and it took a while for it to really pick up. However as with all the other, it was full of thrilling adventures, witty conversations, sexual tension, and of course – murder and mayhem. I’m always equal parts frustrated by my inability to discover the true killer before the reveal and yet impressed by Raybourn’s writing that she is able to keep me in the dark for so long. 

And I cannot write a review without again touching on the relationship between Veronica and Stoker. Things were a little different this time around, because it has become apparent – not just to the readers, but also to Veronica – that there is definitely something between the two of them. Veronica and Stoker spend a majority of this book fighting their attraction/feelings for one another, but the ending makes it so worth all the waiting!

If you haven’t had a chance to read this series yet and you’re a fan of murder mysteries, historical fiction, and slow-burn romances, then please do yourself a favor and pick up the first book! A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth book of this wonderful, thrilling series and I’m highly anticipating the next (and I believe last) installment! 

MINI BOOK REVIEWS: Rebel of the Sands Series – Alwyn Hamilton

Thank you to everyone who voted in my polls, either in my October Wrap-Up post or on Twitter, and helped me pick which long-overdue trilogy I should read while I was on vacation. The winner ended up being the Rebel of the Sands series by Alwyn Hamilton! Since I read all three books back-to-back, I decided to do something a little different and review all three at the same time with mini reviews. 


9780451477538_RebelOfTheSands_JK.inddTitle: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Rating: ★★★★

I actually read Rebel of the Sands back when it was first released, but just never kept up with the rest of the series. It was almost like I was reading the book again for the first tine, because I hardly remembered anything that happened. I’m also glad I reread it because I ended up enjoying it tremendously more than I did the first time around.

We meet our main character, Amani, a gifted gunslinger in a small town in the Last Country. I loved the world-building done in this book: Miraji is a Middle-Eastern inspired setting with Old-West aspects + magic. And if you’re wondering if it’s as awesome as it sounds, the short answer is yesThere is so much action and fun stuff happening here. We have amazing characters, a slow-burn romance, treks across the desserts, an abundance of princes, and a kick-butt heroine that I adore. This fast-paced book is full of plot twists and plenty of action. I flew through it in one day and then immediately picked up the sequel.

 

Title: Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)31574408
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Rating: ★★★★

Traitor to the Throne picks up after a bit of a time jump, but it’s very easy to fall back into the story and figure out what is going on. I’m thankful I was able to read this right after finishing Rebel of the Sands, because otherwise I think my experience would have been a lot different. This book focuses more on Amani and is a lot slower paced than the previous book. Instead of a plot filled with action and adventure, we get introduced to political intrigue and court machinations. Beloved characters from the first book – including Jin and their romance – are sadly missing for a good portion of this book, but there was so much happening that it never bothered me. A few new key characters are introduced and there were two that I absolutely loved getting to know: Rahim and Sam! As with Rebel of the Sands, there was plenty of magic and plot twists to keep things interesting. The action starts to really build towards the last few chapters, and by the end we’re left with a big cliffhanger! 

 

35406534Title: Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Rating: ★★★★

This was such a thrilling and wonderful conclusion to the series! In Hero at the Fall the fast-paced and action-filled plot returned, and now the stakes are raised. I was happy that Jin and Amani were together again in this one, because I love the way their relationship changed and grew over the course of these books. I also loved the relationships Amani had with all of the other characters, but especially her friendships with with Shazad, Amed and Sam. More of the book’s mythology was included, and I really enjoyed reading those bits of stories and their creativity. As much as I loved everything that went on, we also said goodbye to some characters, including one of my favorites. And while I liked the ending/epilogue, I do wish that a couple of the characters were given more a more satisfying conclusion to their stories. Hero at the Fall was the perfect wrap-up to the series and I had such a fun time reading these books! 


Have you read this series? Did you like it? This is the first time I’ve done a mini series review so let me know what you think! 

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fanart

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a Thanksgiving freebie, and I was inspired by Melanie’s post to showcase some of my favorite fanarts! I’m so thankful for all the talented artists who bring my favorite characters/book scenes to life: you all are so amazing, seriously. 

I was really excited to get into my old Deviantart account to find all my favorite pieces, but when I finally figured out how to login, almost all of them were missing my favorites folders 😩 Since I could only find the artwork from recent months, I tried really hard not to turn this post into Jude/Carden Fanart Appreciation post 😂 These artists are all so talented and I highly suggest checking out their work! (p.s. if you haven’t read Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo yet, spoilers ahead!)


wolvesofspring  →  “The Taste of Dreams”

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of fanart I’ve ever seen, and I’m really thankful it’s of one of my favorite characters, Sansa Stark. Look at this masterpiece. Look at it. 

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nymre  →  “Painted Blue”

Okay, honestly most of the fanart I had saved on Deviantart were Zutara pieces because it’s 2018 and I’m still not over them and I never will be.

patreon_illust_february2_by_nymre-d8ksn1b


Gabriella Bujdosó  →  “Maya and Amar”

I’m obsessed with this art and if anyone will be getting the December Faecrate, please keep me in mind! (there’s also an amazing Grishaverse fanart by this artist as well and I had trouble choosing between the two!)

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 6.16.16 PM


Melanie Bourgeois  →  “Jude and Cardan”

This is one of my favorite fanarts of The Cruel Prince, and every time I see it I get a little giddy. 

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MORGANA0ANAGROM  →  “Darkling and Alina”

Leigh Bardugo called this “one of my favorite pieces of Grishaverse art ever” and I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.

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Newsha-Ghasemi  →  “With Fire and Blood”

Here we are again with another GLORIOUS piece of Zutara fanart. The details of this are stunning. I want a poster of this hanging on the wall in my room. Untitled


Monica Borg  →  “Jude Duarte”

This amazing fanart captures the essence of Jude and The Cruel Prince quite nicely and I’m loving it. 

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taratjah  →  “Chaol Westfall”

Oh, Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Gaurd and of my heart. This artist does so many amazing pieces of Chaol it was hard to pick my favorite one. Also, she does a m a z i n g  work for FairyLoot. I hoard all her fanart pieces that come in the boxes. I could spend all day looking at her instagram. 

tumblr_oz3xewftj31r80kcoo2_r1_1280


Anne-Marie  →  “Death and Night”

Another beautiful fanart from Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen series. I would absolutely love a print of this to frame on my wall. 

DdxWOfXVAAAmWF-


Nicole Deal  →  “Through the Dark”

Another artist with such incredible work it’s hard to choose my favorite, but this Malina piece is just *Italian chef kiss*

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 6.31.31 PM


 

Honorable Mention: Loweana  →  “Cardan”

Bet you thought you saw the last of The Cruel Prince fanart. I had to include an honorable mention spot because how could I not include this?

DrgzYFHWsAA0Ziz


I hope you enjoyed the list! There were soo many more I wanted to add but I had to restrain myself. I love looking at fanart so if you have any favorite pieces or artists, let me know in the comments! 

REVIEW: The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi (ARC)

39863498Title: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1)
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Roshani Chokshi continues to impress me with her effortless skill and crafting marvelous stories and endearing characters. A lot of young adult fantasy/heist books have been lauded as the next Six of Crows, and so far I’ve been disappointment by the ones I’ve read. And while I’m hesitant to compare The Gilded Wolves to it – they are each their own completely unique story – I truly believe that fans of Six of Crows are going to be as enamored by The Gilded Wolves as I was. 

“I work alone,” said Zofia.
Enrique rolled his eyes. “Most women kill to be alone with me.”
“I have learned that something does not have to be animate in order to use the word ‘kill,'” said Zofia. “Perhaps these women you are referencing are killing their expectations?”

The world created here can only be described as opulent and magical. Roshani has written such a unique story full of dark magic, thrilling adventures, and a diverse cast of compelling characters. From the mysteries and secrets, to the heists and plot twists, there is a lot of good stuff going on in this book. One of my favorite aspects was the interactions between the characters. There are a lot of different dynamics to love and each was written so beautifully and believably. 

Séverin – French-Algerian leader of the group, wants nothing more than to protect and care for his friends. He thrives off the idea of revenge and high-key pines after Laila.

“Neither of them could afford to lose sight of their prize, and so one night in each other’s arms stayed as one mistake, and the memory of it was shoved into the dark.”

Hypnos – Heir of a French aristocrat and descendant of a slave on his mother’s side. Definitely grows on you as the story evolves. He has some of the funniest lines in the book and honestly, he just wants friends. 

“You’ll like working with me, I promise! I’m fabulous at parties, have excellent taste in menswear etcetera etcetera,” said Hypnos, waving his hand. “And if you don’t agree to this, I’ll break every bone in their bodies, and etch your name onto the splinters.”

Zofia – Socially awkward cinnamon roll with a few OCD tendencies. Really loves sugar cookies and mathematical equations. 

Séverin rolled his eyes. “Zofia, tell him he’s pretty.”
Zofia didn’t look up from her tea. “I am personally undecided, but if we’re assessing based on objectivity then according to the principles of the Golden Ratio, also known as phi, which is approximately 1.618, your facial beauty is mathematically pleasing.”

Enrique – Spanish-Filipino, bisexual. Obsessed with history and sarcasm (like me) and full of fun facts that people get tired of listening to (also like me). 

Tristan – Like a brother to Séverin, a bit of a recluse with a large pet spider and an affinity for botanical properties.

Laila – Indian made-up girl with a tragic backstory and the epitome of a mom friend. She’s fierce and loyal and likes to bake and basically has earned the role of My Favorite Character. Give her all the happiness.

Hypnos laughed. “I adore you already! So imperious! I bet Séverin likes to be bossed around a little, doesn’t he?”

And speaking of character dynamics, I love everything going on with the romances. We have one romance which is essentially mutual pining and angst, and it’s like Roshani has read all of my previous reviews of books and wrote this specifically for me. I’m also totally on board for the love triangle Enrique has going on, and although I’m already trash for one of the possibilities, I’m also a big fan of the other possibility as well. 

“What on earth are you doing?”
“I am imitating patterns of flirtation.”
“Wait. You’re flirting. With…me?

Basically, this book is amazing and should totally be on your TBR if it isn’t already. I highly recommend this for fans of Roshani Chokshi’s other works or those who love Six of CrowsThe Gilded Wolves is a thrilling book full of heists, loyal friends, and magic. The ending crushed my soul and I have no idea what I’m going to do while I wait for the next book in the series.