REVIEW: The Bridge Kingdom – Danielle L. Jensen

46356471Title: The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Rating: ★★★★★

This book was 100% worth the wait. Danielle L. Jensen promised a badass heroine, a lushly unique world, and a compelling hate-to-love romance and boy, did she delivered. The Bridge Kingdom is a book I’ve been waiting for ever since it was first announce and it definitely did not disappoint!

The action begins right off the back and it does not hold back! I was hooked from the first chapter, which instantly had me loving the heroine, Lara. The book first portrays her in a certain intriguing light, however, as the chapters go on, readers begin to realize Danielle L. Jensen has purposely deceived them. Lara is strong, intelligent, and manipulative, but clearly has a soft heart under her tough exterior. I really enjoyed reading from her POV and following along with her sneaky plotting.

The setting was so incredibly unique and interesting to read about! I will admit to feeling a bit confused by the geography at some parts, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying the story. I’m a very visual person so I’m hoping for a map in the future 🙏🏼 The pacing of the book was absolutely perfect. Danielle L. Jensen is an incredible writer and it really shines in The Bridge Kingdom.

This book had everything I was looking for: excellent writing, a compelling story, and a fantastic enemies-to-lovers romance. The Bridge Kingdom is exactly what I wish more NA stories would be. I really loved this and I cannot wait for the sequel!

REVIEW: The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow (ARC)

43521657Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher.

“It is my hope that this story is your thread, and at the end of it you find a door.”

The simplest description of this book would be: beautiful. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is the kind of story that reminds the reader of the magic of reading. Underneath this gorgeous cover lies a book about self-discovery, fun adventures, story-telling, and the bonds that form between people.

The writing is extremely compelling. From the first page, Alix E. Harrow knows exactly how to capture the attention of the reader. Once the plot begins to fully unfold, this book becomes impossible to put down. It’s hard to describe the plot without giving away too much, but the basic storyline follows our protagonists, January, as she attempts to find her father who has disappeared and feared to be dead. She finds a strange book called Ten Thousand Doors, which speaks to her on a personal level about the magic of doors that lead to other worlds.

Besides the main plotline, there’s also a smaller storyline told between chapters that left me breathless. Parts of the story evoked some of the same emotions I had while reading Strange the Dreamer: it was dreamy, nostalgic, sad, and hopeful. The way the author constructed these two separate stories and wove them together was absolutely beautiful.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is an enchanting book that will remind readers about the magic of stories. This is an impressive debut and I highly recommend this to anyone look to get lost in the pages of a spellbinding book.

REVIEW: The Dragon Republic – R. F. Kuang (ARC)

41118857Title: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2)
Author: R. F. Kuang
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss.

This review took me forever to write, because I couldn’t quite put into words the perfection of this book. There is no second book syndrome here, and no need to worry that it won’t live up to the hype: The Dragon Republic shines just as bright – if not more – than The Poppy War. Once again, R. F. Kuang has written a masterful fantasy story. 

Grimdark fantasies can be difficult to get through, but R. F. Kuang does an excellent job blending the darker aspects of the novel with lighter elements and some humorous dialogue. There’s a lot more political maneuvering happening in this book, as well as the consequences of actions taken in The Poppy War begin to make an appearance.

I think I enjoyed The Dragon Republic immensely more than The Poppy War for one major reason: the characters. New characters are introduced in this book that are essential to the story, such as The Dragon Warlord (Nezha’s father). I really enjoyed the complexity of his character and found myself easily understanding Rin’s reasoning for supporting him. Along with new faces, a couple of my favorite characters return from The Poppy War: Kitay and Nezha (!!!). The three of them are together for a good chunk of the book, it was amazing to watch Rin’s relationships with each of them deepen and grow. They really take center stage in this book, which I think is why I loved the book so much. Also, I don’t want to get too spoilery, but R. F. Kuang really gave me the fuel for my ship and my shipper heart was so thankful. ❤️

“Fire and water looked so lovely together. It was a pity they destroyed each other by nature.”

My original review was much different than this, because R. F. Kuang pulls a plot twist out of nowhere and nearly destroyed my will to live. The entire book is action-packed and fast-paced, but the tension really builds during the last few chapters with an ending that is going to sucker punch you in the face. Holy shit. I have no idea what to expect in the next book, but it is riding at the top of my list for most anticipated releases for next year. I’m going to spend my wait obsessively thinking about Rin/Nezha and crying into the void.

The Dragon Republic gave me a serious book hangover. Similar to The Poppy War, this stellar sequel is full of non-stop action, amazing morally-complex characters, political intrigue, and worldbuilding unlike any other. The world is not ready for this book.

 

 

#ARCstravaganza: The Dragon Republic – R. F. Kuang

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post.


ABOUT THE BOOK

41118857Title: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2)
Author: R. F. Kuang
Release: August 6, 2019

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.


I was so excited that I was approved for this ARC because this is literally the first time I’ve ever been approved for anything on Edelweiss and it also happens to be one of my most anticipated releases for this year! Are you excited for The Dragon Republic? Have you read The Poppy War? Let me know in the comments!

#ARCstravaganza: Dark Shores – Danielle L. Jensen

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post


ABOUT THE BOOK

41438037Title: Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Release Date: May 7, 2019

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON
Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense, a ship beholden to the Goddess of the Seas. Her people are born of the waves, and they alone know how to cross the impassable oceans between East and West. 

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET
Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his only family, and even they don’t know the secret he’s been hiding since childhood.

A DANGEROUS QUEST
When a power-hungry ruler captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they help him conquer the unknown West, the two are forced into an unlikely–and unwilling– alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.