Happy Friday! These posts are really fun to make each week, so I hope you are all enjoying them!
Title: The Huntress
Author: Kate Quinn
It’s hard to explain just how ecstatic I was to learn that Kate Quinn wrote another WWII-inspired historical fiction. If you haven’t learned by now, she is the ultimate queen of historical fiction novels and I devour everything she writes. And even though this wasn’t a five star read for me, it was still an amazing book.
As always, Quinn did such a tremendous job weaving historical facts with fiction to create a totally unique and captivating story. The chapters alternate between the three main characters: Ian, Nina, and Jordan. And if you’ve read The Alice Network, yes that is the same Ian Graham that briefly appeared in that book! In addition to Ian, a few other characters from The Alice Network make cameos in The Huntress, it was so great to see them mentioned! I highly enjoyed Ian and Nina’s POVs, but I wasn’t big on Jordan’s character. Her storyline was very interesting and I always looked forward to her chapters because of the connection to the overall plot, but as I really didn’t connect with her all that much.
Once the story really gets going, The Huntress is a hard book to put down. The readers are told at the beginning what happened, but more and more of the truth and events leading up to it are revealed as the story evolves. The theme of Nazi criminals and the aftermath of World War II and the Nuremberg Trials was absolutely fascinating to me. The author notes at the end of the story were very eye opening and I definitely will be doing some more of my own research on this subject in the future. Another excellent novel by Kate Quinn; I don’t see her being dethroned as my favorite author any time soon.
Author: Gita Trelease
I probably sound like a broken record by now, but I definitely enjoyed this way more than I had anticipated. Since I had just finished An Affair of Poisons fairly recently, it worried me that because I read two books with similar settings so close together, one would end up overshadowing the other. Luckily, other than the historical Paris settings, these are two completely different books. Enchantée lived up to its name: this YA debut seriously enchanted me!
I found Enchantée to have the perfect mix of historical fiction and magic. The protagonist, Camille, was an absolutely wonderful heroine. After struggling in poverty to provide for herself and her sister, she begins to take matters into her own hands. And although I found her to be strong and caring, she did possess some character faults, which only endeared her to me more. There are a few side characters that are also really likeable, and added to my enjoyment of the book.
What really won me over in this book was the setting. Gita Trelease is obviously a talented writer, as it was so easy for me to picture myself in the story, whether it was inside the glamorous French court of Versailles, walking amongst the crowded streets of Paris, or soaring above the ground in a hot air balloon. I was completely transported into the story and I easily found myself lost within the pages.
There are so many elements that make this such a fascinating book. The story is full of high stakes and action, subtle romance, magic, and intrigue. The author did a fantastic job weaving all those elements together to tell a really compelling story. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this and I look forward to more from Gita Trelease in the future!
Welcome to my stop on the An Affair of Poisons 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
Title: An Affair of Poisons
Author: Addie Thorley
Release: February 26, 2019
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Genre: YA Fantasy, Historical Fiction
After unwittingly helping her mother poison King Louis XIV, seventeen-year-old alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced to see her mother’s Shadow Society in a horrifying new light: they’re not heroes of the people, as they’ve always claimed to be, but murderers. Herself included. Mira tries to ease her guilt by brewing helpful curatives, but her hunger tonics and headache remedies cannot right past wrongs or save the dissenters her mother vows to purge.
Royal bastard Josse de Bourbon is more kitchen boy than fils de France. But when the Shadow Society assassinates the Sun King and half the royal court, he must become the prince he was never meant to be in order to save his injured sisters and the petulant Dauphin. Forced to hide in the derelict sewers beneath the city, any hope of reclaiming Paris seems impossible—until Josse’s path collides with Mirabelle’s, and he finds a surprising ally in his sworn enemy.
She’s a deadly poisoner. He’s a bastard prince. Together, they form a tenuous pact to unite the commoners and former nobility against the Shadow Society. But can a rebellion built on mistrust ever hope to succeed?
ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was extremely intrigued. I wasn’t sure what I should expect going into this, and honestly those expectations were not high. An Affair of Poisons proved me wrong in the most wonderful way: I absolutely adored this book so much more than I thought I would.
The first word that comes to mind when in describing An Affair of Poisons is fun. There are a lot of things to love about this book. Female alchemists? Yep. A broody, bastard prince? Check. Enemies to lovers romance? You got it. The writing is completely compelling and the fast-paced, interesting plot easily keeps the reader entertained. The plot is full of magic, murder scandals, and mayhem; all set in a historical French setting and based on real historical events (see: L’affaire des poisons). The story Addie Thorley has created is so imaginative and well-crafted. A lot of time, effort, and research went into creating this book and it easily shows.
An Affair of Poisons was the alternate YA historical fiction story that I didn’t know I needed. I really enjoyed this unique and fascinating twist on historical events and the characters that were written to perfection. I’m looking forward to whatever Addie Thorley has up her sleeve next!
★ ★ ★ ★
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Addie Thorley spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, she decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back.
She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and wolf dog, and when she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods or galloping around the barn where she works as a horse trainer and exercise rider. AN AFFAIR OF POISONS is her debut novel.
FOLLOW THE TOUR
March 5 | The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club
Welcome to my stop on the Dark of the West 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
Title: Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1)
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Release: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy
Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.
Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.
ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
Dark of the West has an extremely fascinating premise. The best way to describe the book would be YA fantasy meets World War II. The story is full of political intrigue, nonstop action, romance, family drama, and interesting characters. The prologue does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the book and promising a story in which not everything is what it seems.
The worldbuilding was very intricate. I loved the blend of fantasy and history and I think Joanna Hathaway did an excellent job combining two different genres seamlessly and in a way that made sense. Plotwise, there is a whole lot going on. And while I really enjoy books that have plots that are complex and multidimensional, with Dark of the West I was confused about what was going on for a good portion of the book. There are so many different conflicts and it took me a very long time to figure out who was fighting who and why. However, as the book went on it was a bit easier to start to piece things together and I could appreciate how complicated everything was. When it comes to war and politics, not everything is black and white.
Dark of the West is told through the POVs of two main characters, Aurelia and Athan. I still remain unsure about how I feel about Aurelia. On the one hand, I found her to be a little naive and didn’t connect with her at all. But as the book went on, she really started to show some significant growth and I thought her character arc was handled wonderfully. Athan was a character that I absolutely loved! He was so extremely interesting to read about, especially with his family dynamics and his internal conflicts. I really loved the complexity of his character and never wanted to be pulled away from his chapters. The romance was okay. The feelings between Aurelia and Athan developed in such a short time that I didn’t come across as genuine. I love a good enemies(?)-to-lovers trope, but I think it could have been written a little differently to have been more convincing. That being said, not everything was revealed and so I look forward to seeing how the consequences of the secrets being held will affect their relationship!
Overall, Dark of the West is a well-written, engaging story full of political scheming, military tactics, romance, and friendship, with an excellent blend of fantasy and history! If you enjoy books with complex plots and intriguing characters, I would recommend adding this book to your TBR!
★ ★ ★
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joanna was born in Montréal and is an avid storyteller who was inspired to write after reading her great-grandfather’s memoirs of the First World War. A lifelong history buff, she now has shelves filled with biographies and historical accounts, and perhaps one too many books about pilots. She can often be found reading, traveling, or riding horses.
Win one(1) of ten finished copies of Dark of the West. US only.
✨ ENTER HERE ✨
FOLLOW THE TOUR
February 5 | The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club