BLOG TOUR: The Camelot Betrayal – Kiersten White (ARC Review)

Welcome to my stop on the The Camelot Betrayal book tour! Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

51372640Title: The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising #2)
Author:
Kiersten White
Release: November 10, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA Fantasy

Everything is as it should be in Camelot: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

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REVIEW

ARC provided by Random House Children’s through NetGalley.

The Camelot Betrayal takes place shortly after the events of the end of The Guinevere Deception and it was surprising how easily I was able to fall back into the world of Camelot and this story. This book focused a lot on Guinevere and her character development and I was 100% here for it. 

Guinevere continues to struggle to figure out how she belongs in Camelot and her place as Queen. Throughout The Camelot Betrayal, she has to make tough decisions and she ends up questioning herself, especially when it came to the use of her magic. Character-driven books are either hit or miss for me, but since I was so invested in Guinevere I absolutely loved the focus on her growth.

Another aspect of the story with a heavy focus is Guinevere’s background, thanks to the arrival of Guinevach, the real Guinevere’s sister. New pieces of information are revealed and speculated upon, but nothing is confirmed. Guinevere’s background is one of the thing’s that intrigues me the most so I was hoping for more concrete information, however, even with the small crumbs we were given I was happy that I had guessed one of those pieces correctly. I’m really looking forward to learning the whole picture in the next book!

I know I’m in the minority with this opinion, but I really loved Guinevere’s budding romance with Arthur! Maybe it’s because I was never a fan of Mordred, but I found it to be very sweet and realistic. There is clearly a lot of respect, trust, and friendship already between theme, and the spark of desire that has now been flamed was perfect. I don’t believe they’re without flaws and I’m not sure if I even believe they’ll actually fan into anything more, but a girl can dream! 

For the most part, the plot was pretty forward moving. There were a few spots where it seemed to slow down too much for my liking, but it picked back up pretty quickly afterward. I will admit that I had expect a bit more action-wise regarding the Dark Queen and magic and struggled to find the “main plotline” for this book. Once I came to terms that there really wasn’t more going on other than important character development for Guinevere and other smaller plots involving beloved side characters, I was able to move past my reservations and enjoy this more fully.

The Camelot Betrayal was an excellent installment for this series and continued to be full of all the Arthurian folklore I love. The story is more focused on Guinevere’s character growth than anything, but it was all beautifully written. I cannot wait for the third book! 

★ ★ ★ ½


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kiersten White author picKiersten White is the New York Times bestselling and Bram Stoker aware-winning author of the And I Darken trilogy, the Paranormalcy trilogy, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Slayer, The Guinevere Deception, and many other novels. She lives with her family in sunny San Diego, California, where she perpetually lurks in the shadows.

 

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BLOG TOUR: Winter, White and Wicked – Shannon Dittemore (ARC Review)

Welcome to my stop on the Winter, White and Wicked book tour! Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

51075440Title: Winter, White and Wicked
Author:
Shannon Dittemore
Release: October 13, 2020
Publisher: Abrams Books
Genre: YA Fantasy

Twice-orphaned Sylvi has chipped out a niche for herself on Layce, an island cursed by eternal winter. Alone in her truck, she takes comfort in two things: the solitude of the roads and the favor of Winter, an icy spirit who has protected her since she was a child.

Sylvi likes the road, where no one asks who her parents were or what she thinks of the rebels in the north. But when her best friend, Lenore, runs off with the rebels, Sylvi must make a haul too late in the season for a smuggler she wouldn’t normally work with, the infamous Mars Dresden. Alongside his team—Hyla, a giant warrior woman and Kyn, a boy with skin like stone—Sylvi will do whatever it takes to save her friend.

But when the time comes, she’ll have to choose: safety, anonymity, and the favor of Winter—or the future of the island that she calls home.

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REVIEW

ARC provided by Abrams Books through NetGalley.

Winter, White and Wicked has been constantly described as Mad Max meets Frozen. And while I can’t attest to the Mad Max aspect, I can without a doubt say that this book definitely exudes a Frozen-esque dystopian vibe that just worked. Winter, White and Wicked was exhilarating, page-turning, and full of non-stop action. 

Shannon Dittermore is a very talented author, there is absolutely no question about that. I was hooked early on and the story’s forward moving-plot and non-stop action kept me reading page after page. The clear descriptions and vivid imagery throughout easily transported me into the book’s setting. I could almost feel the icy wind biting my cheek, see the snowy backdrop, hear the engine of the rig as it made it’s treacherous way through the mountainous path. One of the best parts of reading is getting lost in the world, and Winter, White and Wicked did not disappoint. 

The mythology that the plot and story centers around was very clever and well-written. It was detailed, and contained just the right amount of magic to feel both believable and whimsy. And I really appreciate how the information was given to readers: just enough was introduced in the prologue to pull you in, and then more is gradually added as the evolves. I found this pace perfect. I was able to get grasp of the story and then build upon my knowledge. 

Winter, White and Wicked was an excellent story. The kind of book that will transport you to another world to get lost in for awhile. From the creative mythology to the vivid descriptions, it was easy to fall into the book and be captivated by the pages. I definitely recommend for anyone looking for a dystopian-esque fantasy full of grit, great characters, and magic. 

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

lK2Z5MZQShannon Dittemore is a young adult author, conference speaker, and mentor. Her books include the Angel Eyes novels (Thomas Nelson Fiction) and the forthcoming Winter, White and Wicked, to be published by Abrams Books in the fall of 2020. Since 2013, Shannon has taught mentoring tracks at a local school where she provides junior high and high school students with an introduction to writing and the publishing industry. She writes weekly for Go Teen Writers, a blog recognized by Writer’s Digest three years running as a “101 Best Websites for Writers” selection. Shannon’s stories often feature strong female leads grappling with fear and faith as they venture into the wilds of the unknown. In many ways, she’s writing her own life story.

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BLOG TOUR: Queen of Volts – Amanda Foody (ARC Review)

Welcome to my stop on the Queen of Volts book tour! Thank you to Inkyard Press for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

9781335145864_RHC_prdTitle: Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3)
Author: 
Amanda Foody
Release: September 1, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: YA Fantasy

Return to the City of Sin, where the perilous final game is about to begin…The players? Twenty-two of the most powerful, most notorious people in New Reynes.

With no choice but to play, Enne and Levi are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But any misstep could turn deadly when a far more dangerous opponent appears on the board — one plucked straight from the city’s most gruesome legends. While Levi hides behind a mask of false promises, Enne is finally forced out from behind hers and as the game takes its final, vicious turn, these two must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.

Because in a game for survival, there are no winners…

There are only monsters.

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REVIEW

ARC provided by Inkyard Press through NetGalley.

Queen of Volts picks up shortly after King of Fools, and unlike my struggle with the second book, it was so much easier to be back in the setting of Queen of Volts and remember the plot, characters, and context. 

There are five POVs present in Queen of Volts, which is more than the previous books. However, each POV had a distinct voice and were of importance to the story. With so many POVs, sometimes one or two character voices seem unnecessary, but I can assure you that each POV added to the story and I was equally intrigued by all. 

The stakes are definitely raised in Queen of Volts with the new Shadow Game. All of the major players and characters of New Reynes have been invited to play–some we love, some we hate–and their fates are all dependent on each other. A few new characters are introduced as well and I really enjoyed what they brought to the story. The writing and pacing of the book were perfect. A lot of times with the third book in a series, all of the major reveals have happened and the story is centered around the culmination of plotlines and resolving conflict. And while that does happen (quite beautifully, too) here, there are still more plot twists and unpredictable things that occur that added even more intrigue and excitement while reading. 

Queen of Volts is the perfect conclusion to the Shadow Game trilogy. If you haven’t yet read Ace of Shades, I really encourage you to! And if you’re a fan of the previous books in this series, I guarantee you will find Queen of Volts to be the perfect series ender. Amanda Foody is a talented, wonderful writer who has not disappointed me yet. I am looking forward to whatever is next!

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Photo - Amanda FoodyAmanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a master’s in accountancy from Villanova University and a bachelor of arts in English literature from the College of William and Mary.

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BLOG TOUR: Where Dreams Descend – Janella Angeles (ARC Review)

Welcome to my stop on the Where Dreams Descend book tour! Thank you to Wednesday Books for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

40144224Title: Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1)
Author: 
Janella Angeles
Release: August 25, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA Fantasy

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

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REVIEW

ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley.

I’m a simple girl. Pitch me a book as The Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge and I’m all in. Where Dreams Descend is a decadent story full of intrigue and magic. The book captivated me from the beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed navigating the many twists and turns along the way. 

The writing in Where Dreams Descend was absolutely beautiful. Janella Angeles uses lush, descriptive writing to create a dark, atmospheric setting that easily transports the readers. The world and the characters are full of intrigue and mystery. The story is full of high-stakes tension from the beginning which only builds further as the book goes on. I was completed invested in learning more about the characters and the world. I do wish there had been more reveals–by the time book ends, I still had a lot of questions and not many answers–but since this is a duology I’m confident those answers will come in the next book. 

One of my favorite aspects of Where Dreams Descend was Kallia and the hardships she faced as a woman. Misogyny and sexism are themes that are front and present throughout the story, and I was impressed by the way the author wrote it in a way that is representative of issues in our own world. I found Kallia to be a determined, assertive heroine, especially when dealing with the misogynistic men involved with the magic competition, Spectaculore.  

The romance was subtle and I have to admit it needed to grow on me while I was reading. There is a slight love triangle, and wasn’t sure how I felt about Kallia’s developing feelings for Demarco. However, I will say that I ended the book feeling satisfied with how the romance plays out (although I would love to learn more about Jack and see more of his interactions with Kallia). 

Where Dreams Descend was an exhilarating, darkly decadent story full of magic and intrigue. I would absolutely recommend this to fans of mysterious characters, lush descriptions, and atmospheric settings. I got a lot of Caraval vibes when reading so I believe fans of that series will also really enjoy this one. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the duology!

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mei Lin Barral Photography_Janella AngelesJanella Angeles is a Filipino-American author who got her start in writing through consuming glorious amounts of fanfiction at a young age–which eventually led to penning a few of her own, and later on, creating original stories from her imagination. A lifelong lover of books, she’s lucky enough to be working in the business of publishing them on top of writing them. She currently resides in Massachusetts, where she’s most likely to be found listening to musicals on repeat and daydreaming too much for her own good. Where Dreams Descend is her first book.

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BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Ember Queen – Laura Sebastian ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Welcome to my stop on the Ember Queen book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

39216077._SX318_Title: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3)
Author: 
Laura Sebastian
Release: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Fantasy

Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo’s blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers.

Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way.

The Kaiserin’s strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart’s sister.

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REVIEW

Theo has survived the Fire mine, and now she’s ready to reclaim her throne and birthright. In Ember Queen, Theo continues to amass an army to help her defeat the Kaiserin, Crescentia, and the Kalovaxians.

This series stayed strong throughout the trilogy. Ember Queen never slows down: the action begins early on and doesn’t let up. The book is over 500 pages long but it felt like half that length because it completely compelled me. I also really loved Theo’s continued growth. You can see her trying to adjust to her new role as a leader of her people and she has to make some tough decisions in Ember Queen. The book also introduces readers to a new and interesting effect of Theo’s trip into the Fire mine that really added some intrigue into the plot.

My only complaint was that I would have like a little bit more of an epilogue. The book ends with all of the action and plot wrapped up nicely, but I usually enjoy more of a “what happened next” in epilogues of series to give a glimpse to readers of what our beloved characters are up to and whether things really improved and are as hopefully as we are led to believe.

Ember Queen was the perfectly conclusion to an excellent and exciting fantasy series! I’ve loved these books since I first read Ash Princess and I’m really glad that the trilogy remained strong throughout, never losing steam or my attention.

★ ★ ★ ★ 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author-photo-300x200Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo)and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes,buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dogNeville to take a walk.

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GIVEAWAY

Win one (1) finished copy of Ember Queen (US only).

✨ ENTER HERE ✨


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