Blood & Sand, C. V. Wyk – Blog Tour

Blood And Sand


30975382The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus…

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus…


*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Trigger Warning – Slavery, Sexual Assault/Abuse, Physical Abuse, Suicidal Thoughts.

I need a minute to gather my thoughts here, okay? This one was an amazing, amazing story and such a wild ride. And that ending? Gosh, that left me needing more immediately. Can we have the next book right now? Because I would very much like for that to happen.

Blood & Sand seemed to be inspired from Pompeii (the Kit Harrington movie) on a lot of fronts. Maybe it was co incidental, maybe it wasn’t but I thought of that movie more than once while I was reading this story. And not just because they have a very similar setting. Especially with regards to Xanthus, the male lead in the story.

What I loved best about the book was Attia, for sure. Her character is absolutely amazing. She’s defiant, stubborn and brave. She values honour above all and she’s the last of her kingdom who is remaining after the Romans invade. Not knowing her royal heritage (she’s the crown princess), they assume her to be just a warrior and take her as a slave to Rome where she’s bought by a merchant. He buys her as a gift for his gladiator, Xanthus, who is called the Champion of Rome – the best gladiator around. I love how doesn’t give her trust freely and doesn’t have any naive notions of the life that’s ahead of her. She’s fierce and unafraid and she isn’t scared to protect those who are dear to her even if it means fighting multiple men at once. She is a really good role model.


Xanthus made me really emotional more than once. All the guilt and pain he carries is a little too much. I’m surprised he’s able to breathe after all that he feels. He’s kind and caring – something the Romans were never to him. He’s an honourable man in every sense of the word. Not in the way Mark Anthony calls Brutus with contempt and disgust, but the honourable man Julius Caesar believed Brutus was (I’m sorry! Reading this has awoken the Caesar nerd in me). He maybe his master’s champion and he may get a few concessions, but he’s still a slave and he hates what Romans have made of him – a murderer who kills people for sport. Yet, he handles himself in front of a crowd beautifully and never lets people see the demons he carries. He’s such a good person beneath it all and it makes my heart ache that his life has been full of so much bloodshed.


The romance in this so subtle, at times I forget it’s even there. I absolutely love the slow burn though. And I love how both Attia and Xanthus cross the bridge slowly. They first learn to trust each other and then they become friends, sort of, before crossing the line into becoming a couple (even though they’re not actually a couple because the master believes she’s his concubine). But, yes, the feelings are there and they care about each other very deeply. They fall in love by the end of the book and it happens gradually over a period of time, which I adore. They learn things about each other that are hidden from the world and actually see who the other person is before they learn to love them. I love how easily they accept each other. Their relationship is really beautiful and I loved watching them grow throughout the story.


Now, the plot. It’s really, really good! Somethings were predictable and I saw them coming but I enjoyed reading them unfold just the same because they were really well written. The pacing of the story is great and I didn’t find myself wishing for it to go faster or slower. I didn’t get bored. What I love is how the author didn’t shy away from showing gore. The action/fight scenes were brilliantly written and I particularly enjoyed them. And that ending! GAH! Like I said, I need book two now!

This was a truly riveting read and you should definitely go grab it ASAP!





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1/7 Tour Stops

Review – Dani Reviews Things

Review  – Flyleaf Chronicles

Interview – Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews

1/14  Tour Stops

Interview –Library Of A Book Witch

Review – Novel Cravings

Review – Inkdin Book Blog

1/21  Tour Stops

Review – Boundless Bookaholic

Review – OMG Books And More

1/28 Tour Stops

Review – One Way Or Another

Excerpt- Literary Legionnaire

Review  – A Gingerly Review

Guest Post – Emily Reads Everything



15262213C.V. Wyk is the author of BLOOD AND SAND, debuting from Tor Teen in winter 2018. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Wyk now resides on the east coast along with a precocious mini poodle and demanding guinea pig.

In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys playing MMORPGs, kayaking, coding, hiking, staring listlessly at blank walls, and nursing a totally healthy coffee addiction.

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Hinder, Kristin Ping – Blog Tour



35145741Ethan Sutcliff seems like a normal seventeen-year-old—at least that’s what he’s trying to portray. In a secret society run by the Supernaturals, Ethan is what witches call a Bender. Benders are Witches’ Guardians, who are able to control a witches’ ability, bend it, or move it away from harming humans. In Ethan’s case, he is able to bend the Earth element. But at the age of fifteen, he lost all connection to it, and the reasons behind it could only mean one of two things: His Wielder is either dead, or hiding out somewhere.

Alex Burgendorf has been living in her aunt’s locket for the past sixteen years with her mother—a Fire Wielder, and her father—a Water Wielder. For sixteen years, her parents vowed to protect her, and they have, as she is the last Earth wielding witch. However, time is running out. Alex must find her Bender, or the fate of the Supernaturals might be at stake.


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Week One:

1/1/2018- Book-o-Craze – Review

1/2/2018- Darque Dreamer Reads– Review

1/3/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/4/2018- Jen Brown Writes– Review

1/5/2018- Book Huntress’ World– Review

Week Two:

1/8/2018- Books and Ladders– Review

1/9/2018- Fire and Ice– Review

1/10/2018- Jrsbookreviews– Review

1/11/2018- The Inked In Book BlogExcerpt

1/12/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

Week Three:

1/15/2018- Hooked To Books– Excerpt

1/16/2018- Pervy Ladies Books Review

1/17/2018- books are love– Review

1/18/2018- Literary Musings– Excerpt

1/19/2018- Hauntedbybooks13– Review

Week Four:

1/22/2018- A Reader’s Life– Review

1/23/2018- Wishful Endings– Excerpt

1/24/2018- SimplyAllyTea– Review

1/25/2018- Dani Reviews Things– Review

1/26/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

Week Five:

1/29/2018- Blushing Bibliophile– Review

1/30/2018- BookHounds YA– Review

1/31/2018- Abooktropolis– Review





Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house. She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender’s novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing. When she isn’t writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house.

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Want to win a Mac. Every two to three months, Kristin Ping is giving away a mac, all you have to do is subscribe to her newsletter, confirm to the confirmation email that will either be in your inbox or spam, and open the letter. Find the secret facebook group, join and enter the giveaway. It’s as easy as that. We even give you extra entries by inviting your friends to subscribe too. We already gave away the first laptop.

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Pre Order Giveaway:

PRE ORDER HINDER FOR 99c. Yes, you’ve heard right. The pre order special is 99c only. The price will go up to 2.99 in it’s first month, think of it as a release day blitz, and from the second month it will go up to it’s normal price of 4.99c. So it’s a major deal of getting the pre-order for just 99c. GRAB YOUR COPY NOW AND CLAIM YOUR GIFT: CROWS OF WINTER.

CROWS OF WINTER is a bundle of three stories. Two of them were exclusively written for Hinder Pre-Order drive. They will not be up for purchasing.

Lucian’s Ascension written by Adrienne Woods, Venom, a Novelette also by Adrienne Woods and introduction short story of Guardian of Monsters written by Kristin Ping.

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Rebel Of The Sands, Alwyn Hamilton – Review


24934065Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

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Cathadeus, Jeff J. Peters – Blog Tour



It has been six hundred years since the Alchemists fused together men and beasts to form strong, mindless slaves. Now, their most vicious creations have attacked the mystical Walking Gates, slaughtering their Keepers and isolating their cities. Wounded in the brutal attack, Braxton Prinn’s mother is on the verge of death and he makes a desperate journey to find the reclusive elven master who can save her. But when he discovers an ancient magic, Brax is caught up in an even greater struggle and soon finds himself hunted for his power. Drawn into the chaos of an impending war and pursued by enemies on all sides, Brax must fight to save his mother and her race from slipping into darkness. Though his untamed magic may be the greatest threat of all . . .

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The Chosen Knights, Mary Ting – Blog Tour

The Chosen Knights
Mary Ting
(The Angel Knights #1)
Publication date: March 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

(HIGHLY recommend to read prequel first–The Angel Knights)


***City of Bones meets The Da Vinci Code.

Urban fantasy lover’s dream! Demons, vampires, angels, witches, and fallen angels all set to the back drop of high school in Hawaii, and astral travel to the past to Knights Templar era.


A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD’tale Magazine

Book trailer:

When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.

There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.

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Dragons of Nova, Elise Kova – Blog Tour



31686500Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.


*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Dragons of Nova is the second installment of The Loom Saga Trilogy by Elise Kova. This book picks up exactly where Alchemists of Loom left off and explores the world of Nova.

What I loved here was all the dang character building we got! It was so great. This was a shift from the action packed, plot driven first book. Kova paid more attention to character arcs and building them than on the action. Not to say that she forgot about the plot, because the plot of this story was just as intriguing as the first one and there were many twists that I did not anticipate. So, it was a treat to readers with both plot and character building. Of course, there was also action and magic and just all round awesomeness happening throughout the book.

What I loved here was that Ari & Cva’s relationship was hashed out and explored so minutely. They had their ups and downs and all arounds, but god! These two gave me so many FEELS! Their relationship was all over the place and though it was so obvious that they cared for each other deeply (not to mention some shocking declarations by Cva about his intentions), they left things on a bad note in the end of this story and I REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AFTER! I mean, I just want them to be okay and together and happy and just… happy. I hope that they find happiness (hopefully with each other) by the end of the third book.

The characters were all their badass selves in this book too. I loved that though they grew, they still were the same people that I met at the start of the first book. It was so neatly written!

This book had a whole lot of stuff for everyone – there’s drama, action, romance, politics, magic, mayhem. See, something for everyone! Just go and read this! Pronto! 😀




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Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media.

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Alchemists of Loom, Elisa Kova – Book Review


31549513Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.


*Review Copy received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Alchemists of Loom was my first foray into actual steampunk fantasy and let me tell you, I absolutely enjoyed it. So much! 😀

What I loved about this story was this carefully crafted world with so many intricacies and divisions. It was amazingly crafted. But, the thing that I have issues with is the fact that nothing about the world was really explained to the reader as the story started totally action packed. Now, I don’t want the world to be just available for me to read about and understand as soon as I  start chapter one, but some explanation would have been nice. I spent so long in trying to understand what was going on and who was what that it moved me away from the story a little bit. But, amazing worldbuilding.

Another thing that I love about this story is that the dragons aren’t actually dragons but humans who are descendants of dragons. They don’t breathe fire, but they have strong powers and their magic levels are off the charts – so I guess that compensates for the fact that they’re not cool enough to breathe fire.

Okay, moving on. Ari is such an awesome character! She’s a thief and has gray morals, so yay! I mean, I love me some gray MCs. They’re always the best. But, Ari is more than that. She’s a good friend too. She’s hella smart and intelligent. She is very determined and intuitive and doesn’t stop at anything to get what she wants. So, of course, I love her. She’s so awesome and she does all these amazing things on heists and she’s an amazing fighter and really, just a great MC. I really like her. 🙂

Then, there’s Flo. She’s so cute and adorable! I loved her throughout the story and her character arc was all sorts of amaze. Of course, her friendship with Ari is the best thing. I love how they’re so in tune and would do anything to protect each other. Gosh, they’re #FriendshipGoals 😀

Then, there’s Cvareh. He’s sort of my new book boyfriend with all his swoon. He’s so great! He is kind of self righteous in the beginning and there is a lot of things I can point out that I didn’t like, but as the story progresses, he learns more about himself and those around him and his views change. I love him! 🙂

I loved this book because it was so fast paced and action packed and just all types of awesome. Definitely a must read for fantasy fans! 🙂





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8306309Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media.

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The Disappearances, Emily Bain Murphy – Book Review

The Disappearances


30971685What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.


*ARC received as a part of a blog tour. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.*

Where do I even begin? Gosh! This book is so amazing. I love it. I adore it. I just have a lot of feels for it. Okay? So, yes, this will have a lot of flailing, because that’s what I do best!

Let’s start with the plot – so fucking genius. Like, really. It is absolutely amazing with the right amount of mystery and magic and fantasy and romance and friendship and family. This book has it all. And they all form such an important part of the story and the characters that it’s just amazing. I love how the author went about hashing everything out and how she had all these amazing characters who were so very important in their own way. And I loved that all the subplots just meshed so well with the story. Nothing felt forced or out of place or anything. It was like this was meant to happen, you know? So, of course, so many points for such an amazing plot. And then, brownie points because she took such an amazing plot and then meshed it with the brilliance of Shakespeare and literature and made it into a treasure hunt. So, yes, amazing af plot, okay?


Okay, moving on. The writing. It was so structured. And it flowed so well. The chapters were written in alternating POVs and I never felt that it deterred me. I haven’t read fantasy with changing POVs so it was new for me, but it didn’t take anything away from the story like I was afraid it would. And, there was clear distinction in who’s side a particular chapter was, even though the author didn’t go with the traditional XYZ POV on top of each new chapter. But, there were different markers and it made it very easy for me to understand what was going on.

And then, there’s the characters. Aila is such a good MC. She’s not particularly miss goody – two – shoes, but she stays out of trouble. However, she doesn’t think twice before sneaking out of the house at night to go race. She loves her little brother, but they argue so much and there’s times that she’s so mad at him that she’ll say something and he’ll say something and the whole thing will just blow over. And she is so passionate about reading, like all of us. She is always, always, always reading something or the other and that’s nice. Then, of course, there is her need – want – to clear her mother’s name from the blame game of the Disappearances that happen in Sterling and the lengths she goes to to do that. She’s determined, yeah. All in all, she has the makings of an amazing MC who comes off as a real person with flaws and contradictions. She’s absolutely amaze. I really like her.


The love interest, Will, is a little less likeable. He does the typical fuckboy things and pulls Aila in and then pushes her away, but he’s a nice boy overall. He gives Aila all these thoughtful presents and he makes sure to include her in stuff seeing as she’s new to town. He takes care of Aila’s brother, Miles too. He always makes them feel welcome in his home and he’s passionate about finding variants to substitute the Disappearances just like his father. He’s a good friend. And though he gets irrationally jealous at times and does stupid things (come on! He’s 17 for god’s sake, of course he’s going to be stupid!), overall, he’s a nice a guy. The romance between them is so cute and there are a few scenes that just make me want to go inside this book and hug Will because he was being so thoughtful and caring towards Aila and it melted my heart.


I like the open endedness of the book. Aila has helped Sterling with all that she could, but now it’s time to go back home. What will happen once she does? We haven’t a clue. Will her relationship with Will survive? And her friendships with the townsfolk that were forged during her time in Sterling? We don’t know. How will she cope being in her house without her mother? What will her father think of what happened? We don’t know anything about this. I like that. Aila herself is just 17 and she has the whole world ahead of her. She could do anything, be anything and her story could end anywhere. So, I think the open ending was pretty resonating. I like that.

All in all, this was an amazing book and you should definitely read it. Go, buy it now!




7/9 Tour Stops

Interview – The Hermit Librarian

Mystery Board – Pondering The Prose

Review – The Inkdin Book Blog

7/16 Tour Stops

Review – Bayy in Wonderland

Review – Lost in Ever After

Unique Post – Dani Reviews Things

Review – Mikayla’s Bookshelf

Review – Little Book Wyrm

7/23 Tour Stops

Interview – Blame It On The Books

Review – Reading in the Rain

Unique Post – YA and Wine

Review – Tine’s Reviews


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14865445Emily Bain Murphy grew up in Indiana, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and has also called Massachusetts and Connecticut home.

She loves books, Japanese karaoke, exploring new cities, and anything with Nutella. Her debut YA fantasy, THE DISAPPEARANCES, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017.

Murphy currently lives in San Francisco with her family and is at work on her second novel.

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The Star Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi – Book Review


25203675Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.


The Star Touched Queen is the story of Maya. Maya, a princess of Bharata, has a terrible horoscope which states that her marriage will result in death and destruction. Because of this, she is shunned in the palace. All the bad things that happen around her are blamed on Maya’s horoscope, stating that her presence was the bad omen which made bad things happen. Maya just wants people to stop treating her the way they do. She dreams of being a scholar, because she knows that after knowing her horoscope, no one will want to marry her and she couldn’t descend to the throne as she is a girl. But, her life changes when her father arranges for a swayamvara, for her to chose a groom for herself from a platoon of princes, for a political alliance. Maya choses Amar and starts to fall for him, but he has his own secrets, which cause a rift between them and leave Maya in a place where she is fighting, not only for her own life, but for that of the world.

What I absolutely loved about the story was the writing. It was lush and beautiful, full of imagery and context and simile. The narrative is captivating and you can’t help but love it. Yes, the extreme amount of ‘purple prose’ used got on my nerves in places, but it was such a refreshing change to read something like this. A feast for the eyes. This book is extremely well written with SO MANY PRETTY WORDS. I adore that!

The plot is basic and simple. I think that is the beauty of it. The motivation of characters to act the way they do is simple – love, jealousy, revenge. It shows how far a person can go to just extract revenge for something they believe is the fault of someone else. The whole book revolved around the revenge plot of one woman who felt that Amar had wronged her.

I liked Maya, the MC, an okay amount. She started as this headstrong girl who wanted to break free of the patriarchy and carve her own path herself. I really admired that about her. But, halfway through, she did such a stupid and naive thing. I mean, I couldn’t believe she did it. Her character arc for the first half had shown that she was reluctant to trust anyone, but then, suddenly, she’s blindly trusting this one person, just because she saw one memory of the two of them together. I didn’t like that part. I mean, Amar had been trying to gain her trust for half the book and she didn’t trust him, was quick to write him off, but she trusted this person within seconds of meeting them. It didn’t make any sense to me. Especially since the story started moving forward only from there.

And then, there’s Amar. He was an enigma and mystery in the beginning of the story and he stayed that way till the end. Literally. By the end of the story, all I knew about Amar was what job he had and that he loved Maya unconditionally. That is it. Amar and Maya had maybe 10 complete, meaningful conversations in the story and more than half of them were before Amar could tell Maya anything about him and his kingdom. I would have liked to know more about Amar, about who he is as a person. Is he kind, smart, charming? Or is he villainous and cruel? I don’t know. I wish I did.

The worst disappointment about this book is how stilted the romance is. Maya and Amar both are prima facie great characters and they had amazing chemistry in the beginning. Their relationship could have been beautiful, but, it was not explored in the story. I wish they had interacted more, spent more time together, gotten to know each other. Amar appears after 5 – 6 chapters in the story and the second half is virtually free of him. He only appears in the last 30 pages. So, yes, he didn’t have much screen time, but what time they had together is glossed over, just saying that Amar was showing Maya around the palace and all its intricacies. They could have been a great couple and I wish that their relationship had been given more screen time. I really do.

What I absolutely adored about this book was all the references to Indian Mythology that were scattered throughout the book. Some of them wove into the main theme beautifully and some were mentioned in the passing as stories and folk tales, but I loved them all. It felt so good to read about them.

I felt that this book could have been so much more beautiful if the author had explored Amar’s character more. There were good things and bad things, but overall, reading TSTQ was a beautiful journey and I enjoyed it, for the most part.





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13695109Roshani grew up in Georgia, where she acquired a Southern accent but does not use it unless under duress. She has a luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She is the 2016 finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and a 2016 Locus finalist for Best First Novel. Her short story, The Star Maiden, was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

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Roar, Cora Carmack – Release Day Review

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Now available, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Grab your copy today!


About ROAR (Stormheart #1):

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

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