REVIEW: Fireborne – Rosaria Munda (ARC)

36578543Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1)
Author: Rosaria Munda
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

There are not enough words to describe my feelings about this book. Finishing this book left me feeling utterly speechless. I’m awestruck that this is Rosaria Munda’s debut, because it was nothing short of amazing. Fireborne is a thrilling, thought-provoking, powerful, gripping story that I can confidently say is easily my favorite book of the year, hands down.

Fireborn had been pitched as “Inspired by Plato’s Republic…Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons, set in the aftermath of a bloody revolution.” This is literally the most accurate book description I’ve read in my life. The story is told from the dual POVs of Lee and Annie. Lee is the only remaining survivor of the previous aristocracy who were massacred during the revolution. Annie is a orphan whose family suffered at the hands of that former aristocracy, and thanks to the new regime is offered an opportunity that would have been previously been unheard of. I found both Lee and Annie’s characters to be extremely compelling and well-written, and the complexity of their relationship was one of the highlights of the story. Both characters also had tremendous character growth by the end of the book and I was totally invested in them.

As for the book’s best feature: the political intrigue and turmoil. I’ve never said this before in a review – because in my opinion it’s in a league of its own – but if you enjoy the political intricacies and the grayness of which side is right/wrong, you will absolutely love this. This is a book in which the “good” guys do bad things, and the “bad” guys can be sympathized with. And books that have that aspect are my favorite, because in the real world there are no absolutes. Rosaria Munda does an excellent job developing those intricacies in her world and bringing adding an emotional depth to them.

Another thing I absolutely loved was the dragons! Many times, there are so-called “dragon” books, but the actual dragons are barely featured within the pages. That is definitely not the case in Fireborne. The dragons are heavily present in the story, and there are plenty of action-filled scenes with them! I also liked that the action scenes were descriptive enough to follow along and picture the scene, but not overdone to the degree where they become tedious or confusing. There are plenty of heart-pounding, page-turning scenes to love in this book!

I could go on and on about this book. I honestly had to force myself to put it down. My entire drive home from clinicals and work I fantasized about getting to read more chapters. I thought about the characters and the plot while I was in class. Fireborne is a politically-savvy, emotional, intoxicating story, and if it’s not already on your TBR, it needs to be.

REVIEW: The Storm Crow – Kalyn Josephson (ARC)

38330596Title: The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher.

“Crow or no crow, one way or another, you will fly. You were always meant to rule the sky.”

The Storm Crow had been on my radar for a while and so I was ecstatic when I learned an ARC would be included in the December FairyLoot box! Who wouldn’t want to read a fantasy about elemental crows that can be ridden?! The Storm Crow was a fun new fantasy full of magic, strong female friendships, and a handsome tortured prince. 

The action begins right from the first chapter, which is the best way to hook me in. There were a couple slower moments, but for the most part The Storm Crow keeps the plot moving forward with plenty of action. The writing is excellent; Kalyn Josephson is a talent writer and does a great job pulling the reader into the story and painting a vivid picture. 

The author also does a fantastic job handling Anthia’s grief and depression. She doesn’t gloss over the character’s feelings and is very forthcoming portraying the emotions. It’s not hard to feel for Thia and want her to succeed in her journey!

As far as the romance, I will say that I feel kind of led on by the synopsis? The romance went in a direction I was not expecting. There’s nothing really wrong with the love interest per se; it was justv ery insta-lovey and meh. I’m not sure if we’re going to get a love triangle in the next book – some of the things Thia says towards the end make me feel doubtful – but I think I speak for the majority of people who’ve read this book in that we’re all rooting for someone else 😉

The Storm Crow was an entertaining story and I cannot wait for the second book! I look forward to more of Thia, Ericen and storm crows! 

A Game of Booksathon Reading Challenge

I’m so excited to be joining the #AGameofBooksathon Reading Challenge created by Noura @ The Perks of Being Noura! This challenge looked way too fun to pass up, and since it’s Game of Thrones themed, it was an obvious choice for me to sign up. I’ve tentatively created my TBR for the reading challenges, but the books may or may not change as I go on.

If you’re interested in the challenge or want more information about it, head on over to this page! The readathon will begin as follows:

  • Round One: June 1st – July 1st
  • Round Two: July 2nd – August 1st
  • Round Three: June – December 31st

For each round, participants should choose the levels they want to follow as they complete the challenges:

ROUND ONE

  • Knight: 1–3 Categories
  • Noble: 4– 7 Categories
  • King/Queen: 8–11 Categories

(NOTE: You can double up prompts. 11 prompts is pretty ambitious so you can read the same book for more than 1 prompt.)

ROUND TWO:

  • Knight: 1–2 Categories
  • Noble: 3– 5 Categories
  • King/Queen: 6–7 Categories

ROUND ONE

THE GAME OF THRONES: First Book in a Series/Trilogy
📚 Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim

HOUSE TARGARYEN: Book with Mythical Creature or Dragons
📚 Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda

DAENERYS: Book Featuring a Strong Female Character
📚 Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

WESTEROS: Book Set in a Fictional Place
📚 Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim

HOUSE TYRELL: Book with a Plant on the Cover or Green Cover
📚 Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

HOUSE STARK: Book That has a Family Dynamic or Siblings
📚 House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

HOUSE LANNISTER: Book with a Red Cover
📚 Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda

HOUSE GREYJOY: Book with Pirates or a Story Set at Sea
📚 The Beholder (The Beholder #1) by Anna Bright

HOUSE BARATHEON: Book with a King or Queen / Royalty
📚 The Beholder (The Beholder #1) by Anna Bright

A CLASH OF KINGS: Sequel
📚 DEV1AT3 (Lifelike #2) by Jay Kristoff

WILDLINGS: Paranormal
📚 N/A


ROUND TWO

FANTASY
📚 The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R. F. Kuang

HORROR
📚 N/A

SCIENCE FICTION / HISTORICAL FICTION
📚 Emmie and the Tudor King by Natalie Murray

YOUNG ADULT
📚 The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow #1) by Margaret Owen

MIDDLE GRADE
📚 N/A

MYSTERY
📚 N/A

CONTEMPORARY / ROMANCE
📚 Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer


ROUND THREE

My goal is to finish A Dance with Dragons. Between school and work and my ever-growing list of books to read, I haven’t been making much progress with this book. I’m hoping that with this challenge, I’ll have it finished by the end of the year!


HOUSE STARKhouse stark

The Ultimate Game of Thrones Book Tag

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve done a book tag. Thank you so much to Alexandra @ Whimsy Pages for tagging me! As I’m sure most of you have figured out, I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones. And while there were a few things I really enjoyed about the season finale (and final season in general), I was mostly left feeling disappointed and lost. I have a lot of unanswered questions and I’m hoping the ending GRRM has is a little more fleshed out and fully explained (or totally different, let’s be honest here). Anyway, since I love all things GoT, I’m super excited to be doing this book tag!

This tag was created by orang-utan librarian!


PART I

“WE DO NOT SOW” – A BOOK YOU WOULD NOT BE WILLING TO INVEST IN

Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas. But really any upcoming book written by her. I have a lot of issues with her writing and the recurring themes she uses in all of her stories.

house greyjoy


“FAMILY. DUTY. HONOUR.” – A BOOK ABOUT STRONG FAMILY TIES

I recently finished Finale (Caraval #3) and I absolutely adore the loving relationship between sisters, Tella and Scarlett.

house tully


“WINTER IS COMING” – YOUR FAVORITE WINTER READ

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyers and The Bear and the Nightingale series by Katherine Arden. Both have snowy settings, atmospheric writing, are inspired by fairytales, and have a dreamy quality to them when reading!

house stark


“OURS IS THE FURY” – A BOOK THAT MADE YOU FURIOUS.

Hmm, there are a few different books throughout the years that have truly angered me. I’ll never forget accidently ripping a page out of Reached (Matched #3) by Allie Condie as I turned the page furiously. Also, The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass and Dawn of Legends (Blood of Gods and Royals #4) by Eleanor Herman were both t e r r i b l e conclusions to their respective series and had so many moments of WTF that I end up quitting both of them midway through.

house baratheon


“FIRE AND BLOOD” – A BOOK THAT PRODUCED STRONG EMOTIONS IN YOU.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am an emotional reader. However, I will never get over the feelings I felt after reading The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen. I even knew going into the book what to expect and was still wrecked by the ending. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. You can read a review of this amazing book here.

house targaryen


“A LANNISTER ALWAYS PAYS HIS DEBTS” – A BOOK YOU FEEL INDEBTED TO.

There are a lot of books from my youth that helped me become the reader I am today, but The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne have a particular spot in my heart and really cemented my love of adventure/fantasy and nurtured my imagination. 

house lannister


PART II

WOULD YOU WIN OR DIE?

I’ll be the optimist and say I’d win. 


WHAT HOUSE ARE YOU IN?

House Stark 🐺

I’m not even going to take the quiz because there’s literally no other house I would ever feel like I belonged to. 


TAGGING: Nikki | Flavia | Tasya | & anyone else who wants to join!

REVIEW: Dark Shores – Danielle L. Jensen (ARC)

41438037Title: Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Rating: ★★½

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I promise, no one is more surprised by this rating than me. It really came down to the fact that I was expecting an action-pack, high-seas adventure and Dark Shores is neither of those things. I really, really wanted to like this because I love Danielle L. Jensen’s Malediction trilogy, but it honestly just fell flat.

Dark Shores is not a fast-paced book, and coupled with the lack of action, I struggled to get through it and had to force myself to sit down and read a few chapters at a time. Nothing happens for almost 80% of the book. The story is told through alternating POVs of the two protagonists, Marcus and Teriana. While I think the characters themselves are fine, I personally did not feel a connection with either of them, and so it made it really difficult to care about their journeys or their struggles.

Some of the early marketing for the book led me to believe this would be a swashbuckling tale featuring some pirates and epic adventures on the seas, but this is not that book. I know Danielle has worked hard to try to steer clear of that image because it’s not correct, but unfortunately my early ideas of what this book would be made an impression in my mind, and it was hard to ignore those expectations as I was reading. Although Dark Shores wasn’t the story for me, I’m still really looking forward to Jensen’s other new series, The Bridge Kingdom, finally becoming a print book later this year and hope I enjoy that more!