Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Title: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Author: Roseanne A. Brown

Performers: Jordan Cobb & A.J. Beckles

Length: 12 hr, 4 min

Series: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, Book 1

Publishing Date/Publisher: June 2, 2020 by HarperAudio

Format: eAudiobook

Review: Did Rebel of the Sands have a love child with The Selection and Children of Blood and Bone??! If so, I’m pretty sure it’s this book. But in all seriousness, this book contains bits and pieces of a number of YA books I have read, including another book I just reviewed: Witches Steeped in Gold. It wasn’t entirely original, but I really loved the way magic was incorporated into the story. I was far less enthused about the romance. It just felt…weak. I don’t really have any other way to describe it. The chemistry between Karina and Malik was extremely lackluster. In fact, for some reason I just found Malik’s character to be lackluster in general. We know he is faced with an impossible choice – kill the princess or let his sister die – but he kind of just accepts it lying down (though I do like what the author did at the end with his character). Karina, on the other hand, also has a difficult choice, but shows so much more strength of character, despite her reluctance to accept her future role as queen. Maybe the author will change my mind about this in the sequel, because the relationship between the two will undoubtedly play a key role in the trajectory of the story. I hope so because I like the world she has created and wish to see more of it.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_Gold
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Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

Lore

Title: Lore

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Page Count: 480

Series: Unknown

Publishing Date/Publisher: January 5, 2021 by Disney-Hyperion

Format: eBook

Review: Greek mythology is a theme often requested when I do Reader’s Advisory, so I was thrilled when I read the synopsis for this book on NetGalley. I was even more thrilled when my request was granted, and the book turned out to be just as good as I hoped it would be. This story is not for the faint of heart. It has a very Battle Royale vibe, but with mythical characters. This being the case, the story is action-packed and never boring. The romance in the story does not take center stage, which I am perfectly alright with. It did, however, lend the perfect balance of heartwarming content to counteract the violence. The ending of this book wasn’t entirely unexpected, but there were a couple twists leading up to it kept it fresh and interesting. It wraps up pretty nicely, so I assume this is a standalone, which is great for reader’s who don’t want to commit to a series.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_Gold
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Fantasy · Fiction · Romance

The Witch’s Heart

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Title: The Witch’s Heart

Author: Genevieve Gornichec

Page Count: 368

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: February 9, 2021 by Ace Books

Format: eBook

Review: For people who loved Circe (*cough* me *cough* *cough*), this is a very strong readalike. The core of the story is very similar to Circe – it’s about a powerful witch living in relative isolation, who still manages to create meaningful relationships and build a family, all while struggling to stay out of the reach of wrathful gods – but the filler is quite different. The children and romantic relationships are entirely different, and the ending is quite different as well. I am a big fan of fiction rooted in mythology, and I was very pleased with this author’s take on Angrboda’s story. Not much mention is made of her in Norse mythology, aside from her being noted as Loki’s mate and the mother of his three monstrous children, so I really like seeing her story fleshed out and made whole. I am very excited to start recommending this book to readers once it is published.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_Gold
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Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

Children of Blood and Bone

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Title: Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Performer: Bahni Turpin

Length: 17 hr, 51 min, 58 sec

Series: Legacy of Orïsha, Book 1

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2018 by MacMillan Audio

Format: eAudiobook

Review: Let me start off by saying, this book deserves all the accolades it has been receiving.  The world building in this story is truly phenomenal, and the African mythology woven into it is masterfully done.  Although lengthy, the pacing of the book moves rapidly and by the end, the reader is left wanting more.  Luckily, this book has been announced as part of a series, and there will certainly be more to come.

When I first started this book, I was convinced that I would be rating it with five stars; however, as the plot progressed, I found myself becoming increasingly disenchanted by the romantic angle that suddenly emerged midway through the story.  The romance not only seemed unprecedented, but rather forced.  Although I could see what the author was trying to do, it just did not seem to fit right with what I knew about the characters.  I think a romance such as this would need a lot more build up to be plausible, but it was sped along in the interest of furthering the plot.  It is not necessarily that I did not want the characters to end up together, but that I think it could have been done better.  For this reason, I lowered my rating to four stars.

Regardless of how I feel about the romantic subplot, I found this to be a complex and well-written story.  As a history major, I could appreciate the parallels to real life events such as apartheid, colonialism, segregation, etc.  There are many layers to this story, and many layers to each character.  It will be exciting to see where this story goes.

As an additional note, I HIGHLY recommend enjoying this book in audiobook format.  Some stories are just meant to be shared orally, especially those with deep roots in traditional mythology.  Bahni Turpin does an excellent job creating personas for each character, and the accents she created really bring the story to life and lend a little something extra to the listening experience.

Reader: Bekah

Rating:

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