ARC REVIEW: The Wolf and the Woodsman – Ava Reid ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Title: The Wolf and the Woodsman
Author: Ava Reid
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by Harper Voyager through NetGalley.

The Wolf and the Woodsman has been one of my much anticipated releases for 2021 and I’m so thankful and excited to report it stood up to every expectation–and then some–that I had for it. A dark, woodsy adult fantasy filled to the brim with atmospheric writing, angsty enemies-to-lovers romance, and Jewish folklore.

My hand curls around the hilt of my knife. “Would you let me destroy you, then?”
“It would be just as well,” Gáspár says miserably. “I should be struck dead, for wanting you the way I do.”

The writing in this book is absolutely spectacular. This is Ava Reid’s debut novel and it is very obvious how talented of a writer she is. Vivid descriptions. flesh out characters, and faultless pacing come together to create the perfect story. Her words effortlessly conjure an atmospheric setting and easily captivate the reader’s attention.

“There is another world in which we might have stayed in the cradle of tree roots forever, our words rising in cold whispers but our hands and mouths warm.”

The enemies-to-lovers romance is the stuff of dreams. I could not have asked for the relationship between Évike and Gáspár to be written any better. The angst, the yearning, the tension; all of it was brilliantly constructed.

“What a foolish thing for a prince to do.”
A breath comes out of him. “You’ve made me a fool many times over.”

The Wolf and the Woodsman also focuses on important issues as well. The themes of oppression, ethnic cleansing, and genocide are explored throughout the book. The story borrows heavily from Jewish folklore and Hungarian history. I was compelled by Évike’s journey of survival and identity.

Given the title of the book (I’ll read anything that has the word “wolf” in the title) and the synopsis, there was no much convincing needed to add this to my TBR. The Wolf and the Woodsman bewitched me from beginning to end. The atmospheric setting, phenomenal writing, and angsty slow-burn romance provided a lethal combination that had me flying through the chapters. I highly recommend checking out this dark, woodsy adult fantasy and I look forward to more stories from Ava Reid in the future!

Top Ten Tuesday: Titles Featuring My Favorite Animal 🐺

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is animals from books. I did a freebie post last year featuring book covers with my favorite animal–the wolf–and have been wanting to do another wolf post but with book titles instead and this week is the perfect opportunity for that! There are a few upcoming releases with the word wolf/wolves that I cannot wait to get my hands on!

#SixforSunday: 2021 Books I’m Excited About

#SixforSunday is a weekly meme hosted by Steph @ A Little But a Lot. This week’s topic is about which books we are most looking forward to this year. I won’t lie, it was pretty difficult to narrow this list down to simply six books; there are so many I’m excited about!

I’ve always dreamt of a Nutcracker-inspired fantasy and I’m so excited this book is coming out and my dreams are finally coming true! The synopsis for this sounds spectacularly whimsical and I’m really hoping I can get my hands on an early copy because they are absolutely STUNNING.

534183942. FOR THE WOLF
This book has been on my radar for quite some time and I’m so excited that it’s almost out in the world and ready for me to finally read! Any book with the word “wolf” in the title automatically gains my attention, but this synopsis sounds amazingly dark and woodsy.

Let it be known that this is the year for wolves and stories with dark, woodsy vibes and I’m totally here for it. This is another 2021 debut that drew me in with the mention of “wolf” in the title, and any book that’s pitched for fans of Spinning Silver and The Bear and the Nightingale is a book for me.

Can we talk about about the fact that JLA is releasing these books so quickly? Let’s make 6 months between books in a series instead of 12 the new normal. I enjoyed A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire way more than From Blood and Ash, and after that cliff hanger of an ending I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

51591631._SY475_5. LAKESEDGE
There are so many gothic fantasy stories with monsters and magic releasing this year and this is just one more that I cannot wait to read. The synopsis sounds like this book is going to be right up my alley, and I hope it gives me everything I had wanted in Down Comes the Night but didn’t get.

48727813._SY475_6. SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN
I don’t think I’ve ever added anything as quickly to my TBR as I did when I saw the words “Mulan” in the description of this book. Everything about this queer, Asian historical fantasy sounds like the making of my new favorite adult SFF series.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ½

Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V.E. Schwab
Rating: ★★★★½

“But it is a lonely thing, to be forgotten. To remember when no one does.”

Like many other Schwab fans, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Addie LaRue for many years. And this book proves that I will gladly read anything she writes. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is mesmerizing, visceral, and heartbreaking. It’s a truly beautiful story and deserving of all of the high praise it has received.

Addie LaRue is both long and slower paced, and yet I had absolutely no problem powering through the chapters. Both the captivating writing and chapter structures help pull the reader easily into the story. There was a sense of yearning and urgency within the pages that makes the book unputdownable.

Another aspect of the book that I really loved was how atmospheric the settings were. There’s nothing enjoy more when reading than getting lost in the pages and feeling transported into the book. Addie LaRue had me feeling nostalgic for times and places I have never been, which is another testament to V.E. Schwab’s capabilities as a writer.

I’ve seen and heard a lot of people find the ending heartbreaking, but actually felt a profound sense of hopefulness. The ending was stunningly perfect and nothing less than expected. Addie LaRue is a special gem of a book and I encourage any lover of stories to add it to their library.

BOOK REVIEW: The Traitor Queen – Danielle L. Jensen ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ½

Title: The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom #2)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Rating: ★★★★½

The Bridge Kingdom was everything I had patiently waited for last year, and I’m really pleased that The Traitor Queen was the perfect follow up! The plot picked up right after the cliff-hanger ending of the first book and there was plenty of high-stakes action to propel me through this book.

One of the best parts of this book was Lara. She had tremendous character growth in The Traitor Queen; she spent the entirety of the novel making up for the mistakes she made and attempting to make amends. I was frustrated with some of her choices and rationales in The Bridge Kingdom so I was really happy to see her exhibiting more level-headed decision making.

After the ending of the first book, I was curious how the romance was going to play out. I had absolutely nothing to fear, as the romantic angst and tension was just as good–if not, better–than in The Bridge Kingdom. The hate-to-love aspect was definitely turned up a notch and I could not have been happier.

Danielle L. Jensen is such a talented writer and I wish her books were more popular! I’m loving the increasing trend of new adult fantasy romance and these books are perfect for any reader looking for an excellent mix of the two genres. We need more books like this!