21 Apr 2018

Weekend Wrap-up #6

The Sunday post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you have received.


Hey there, Lovelies, here's what happened to me since my last wrap-up:

My mum's birthday was this week so I got her photos printed for her. She prefers photos on paper, she loves organizing them. Since we haven't had her pictures printed for some time, it was a long procedure to pick out the best ones and place the order for them. In the end we got 352 photos, the ones taken in Rome last year included.

I'm enjoying the sunshine a lot, suddenly it's summer and I can take long walks around the town. The blooming flowers are very pretty.

Reading has gone well too. We're getting closer to the end of the Red Queen read-along and I'm still on track, yay! I've picked up an urban fantasy this week too, The Last Sun by K. D. Edwards. It's pretty entertaining and it's full of strange creatures. 

Recent posts on the blog:


Wednesday: WWW Wednesday #11




My Red Tent Giveaway is still running, you can participate until April 30th! 
Click on the picture to go to the giveaway post!

 


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that makes it possible to share with other bookworms what books you added to your shelves physical or virtual during the week.

 ARC:

Title: In Azgarth's Shadow

Author: Cassie Sweet

Publication Date: April 23th, 2018

Source: NetGalley

Goodreads

It seems like these days I come across many LGBTQ urban fantasies that I find appealing (The one I'm reading right now, The Last Sun, is the same genre). I'm excited for In Azgarth's Sahadow because there are fae in the story and also necromancy... They actually bring the MC back to life, wow!

  


Purchased ebook:

Title: The Women in the Walls  

Author: Amy Lukavics  

Publication Date: September 27th, 2016

Source: Amazon

Goodreads

I may have bad dreams after reading this and I'm sure I'll be afraid in the dark for some time like I was after watching Woman in Black in the theatre... but... it was a dollar and a half on amazon and I couldn't resist buying it. I read mixed reviews and I want to check the creep level out for myself. It's time to make my peace with evil spirits and haunted houses...



How was your week? Don't forget to leave your STS and Sunday post links below! I'm dying to know what's up with you, guys!

20 Apr 2018

Review - How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

Title: How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1)

Author: Adriana Mather

Synopsis:

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.

My Thoughts:

"As all of you know," says Mr. Wardwell, "when citizens of Salem were convicted of witchcraft in 1692, they were sentenced to hang. Witchcraft was a capital crime, and people believed that if they killed the individuals practicing it, they could keep the devil from taking root in their communities."

Holy moly, have I just found my favourite YA book of the year?? Of course there's always a chance there'll be competition but at the moment I doubt I'll soon come across another young adult novel that will capture my attention as much as How to Hang a Witch did.

Adriana Mather (an actual descendant of Cotton Mather, a man who played an important role in kick-starting the trials) draws a clear parallel between what happened to those poor women in 1692 and modern day bullying. While she provides plenty of information about the trials, she also gives us a modern tale that we are all sadly familiar with; Samantha is tormented by her peers at school as well as by an unknown antagonist.

Samantha Mather moves to Salem with her step-mom after her dad falls into a coma. Her last name doesn't really help her win the heart of the locals (she always ends up in situations where people ask for her family name. Let the girl get a library card without having to suffer your reproving looks FGS, people!). She especially clashes with a group of girls who call themselves 'The Descendants' and treat Sam as enemy no.1 from the first moment she steps into class.

I absolutely enjoyed this old-new setting, this mixture of past and present. The Descendants, the great-great-great (?) granddaughters of the women who were hanged back in the 17th century, wear black clothes and practice strange rituals. I didn't think actual witchcraft would be present in the novel, but it was, and not only did it manage to make the plot all the more colourful, it also added the feel of real danger to the story.

Not only the former and present inhabitants of Salem came off the pages but the city itself too. The places Samantha visits are described vividly. Some of these are dark and menacing, those were my personal favourites (the black house, the hanging location...). In the Author's note Ms Mather writes about her first visit to Salem, when she found accommodation in a mansion that was roumored to be haunted. Her spooky experiences in the town are just as much woven into her book as the past of her family, which just makes How to Hang a Witch all the more fascinating.

The plot was really well done, the author showed us masterfully how group hysteria works inside a community. The fact that even the adults appeared to hate and blame Sam for the suddenly high mortality rate in Salem was shocking (I'm looking at you, Mr Wardwell!). Towards the end things seemed to be a bit rushed for no reason, but eventually everything got wrapped up nicely.

If you've heard about How to Hang a Witch before, you probably already know that there is a love triangle and if I also let you know here that Sam is a clumsy teenager with no verbal filter you will see that the book has its general YA novel traps. Because... *shouts* We've seen it before! But hey, I promise you'll fall for Elijah, the ghost boy with a heart-breaking past, and he spends an awful lot of time around Sam so... (Just pretend Jaxon doesn't exist, shhhhh). Okay, I'll stop before I go into full fangirl mode... What I wanted to say is that I wasn't bothered by the love triangle this time.

I also loved that the story involved strong family ties that were worth to fight for. 

"It is the greatest evil of all, to separate people who love each other."

I could get carried away and write pages about this novel but I don't think it's necessary in order to convince you that I totally fell in love with How to Hang a Witch. I'll pick up the second book, Haunting the Deep, soon to see how Sam's adventures continue.


19 Apr 2018

Book Blitz - Wings of Flesh and Bones by Cathrina Constantine















Title: Wings of Felsh and Bones

Author: Cathrina Constantine

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: April 13th, 2018

Synopsis:

An Angel. A Witch. A Demon. And A Choice.

Creatures from outer realms suck, as any gatekeeper worth their salt will tell you. Welcome to Rogan’s life, an orphaned seventeen-year-old who lives and trains with other misfits under her uncle’s roof, keeping Earth safe from non-human realm jumpers. Rogan’s biggest issue concerns her uncle’s short leash with her freedom—that is of course, until she’s taken by a notorious witch, and her life begins to unravel. Soon, the supernatural beauty discovers there’s a reason her uncle kept such a tight lock on her whereabouts, and that she has more than angel blood running through her veins.

Eighteen-year-old Max is an angel, and Rogan’s mentor and guardian. He’s well aware of her tenacious inability to obey orders, though he also knows she’s a fierce fighter. When he’s involved in a scheme that ultimately gets Rogan kidnapped, he must battle his way back to her in an attempt to save her from the darkness threatening to possess her.


***Excerpt***

She toggled the knob to blast the shower and saw dried blood on her hands. Max’s blood. 

The crimson fluid had painted her fingers right into the beds of her nails. Shivering with lamenting self-pity, she tried to regulate her breathing before she passed out. 

Stepping in, she raised her face to the spout, hot water sprayed over her trembling body—thawing her icy resolve. Max’s blood swirled around the drain, taking with it her heart, her dreams, her happiness. She was disintegrating, piece-by-piece.Sheer grit locked her bones from splintering into the bath. If I can’t handle death, then I can’t handle life, and I’m no good as a gatekeeper. This wasn’t the first time she’d had to rethink her life.


About the author:


I am blessed with a loving family and forever friends. My world revolves around them.

I grew up in the small village of Lancaster, NY, where I married my sweetheart. I'm devoted to raising 5 cherished children, and now my grandchildren.

I love to immerse myself in great books of every kind of genre, which helps me to write purely for entertainment, and hopefully to inspire readers. When not stationed at my computer you can find me in the woods taking long walks with my dog.




Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebookAmazon




Giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 Book Blitz Organized by:

18 Apr 2018

WWW Wednesday #11

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words

WWW stands for three questions:
 
What are you currently reading?
 
The first Percy Jackson book and the Red Queen are still ongoing projects but I've started an urban fantasy this week as well:

(The Tarot Sequence #1)
by K. D. Edwards
 
 
Synopsis:

Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home.

With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family's death and the torments of his past?
 
This book is hilariously funny so far, the banter between the two main characters is priceless!


What did you recently finish reading?

by Salina B. Baker


 
Read my review here.
 
(How to Hang a Witch #1)
by Adriana Mather 


My review is coming soon!
 
 
What do you think you'll read next?

by Amy Trueblood


Synopsis:

Grace Lafferty only feels alive when she's dangling 500 feet above ground. As a post-World War I wing walker, Grace is determined to get to the World Aviation Expo, proving her team’s worth against flashier competitors and earning a coveted Hollywood contract.

No one’s ever questioned Grace’s ambition until Henry Patton, a mechanic with plenty of scars from the battlefield, joins her barnstorming team. With each new death-defying trick, Henry pushes Grace to consider her reasons for being a daredevil. Annoyed with Henry’s constant interference, and her growing attraction to him, Grace continues to test the powers of the sky.

After one of her risky maneuvers saves a pilot’s life, a Hollywood studio offers Grace a chance to perform at the Expo. She jumps at the opportunity to secure her future. But when a stunt goes wrong, Grace must decide whether Henry, and her life, are worth risking for one final trick.
 
I've read some great reviews about this novel, I'm ready to give it a try and see how I like it.

What about you? What books have you picked up recently? Please leave your link and comments below!

16 Apr 2018

Goodreads Monday #11

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren @ Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link back to Lauren’s Page Turners and link up to the inlinkz so others can see what you picked!

 Let me show you a promising novel that's been on my wishlist for a while. I'm excited to learn more about Canadian history while losing myself in this historical romance.

by Genevieve Graham


Synopsis:

Summer 1755, Acadia

Young, beautiful Amélie Belliveau lives with her family among the Acadians of Grande Pré, Nova Scotia, content with her life on their idyllic farm. Along with their friends, the neighbouring Mi’kmaq, the community believes they can remain on neutral political ground despite the rising tides of war. But peace can be fragile, and sometimes faith is not enough. When the Acadians refuse to pledge allegiance to the British in their war against the French, the army invades Grande Pré, claims the land, and rips the people from their homes. Amélie’s entire family, alongside the other Acadians, is exiled to ports unknown aboard dilapidated ships.

Fortunately, Amélie has made a powerful ally. Having survived his own harrowing experience at the hands of the English, Corporal Connor MacDonnell is a reluctant participant in the British plan to expel the Acadians from their homeland. His sympathy for Amélie gradually evolves into a profound love, and he resolves to help her and her family in any way he can—even if it means treason. As the last warmth of summer fades, more ships arrive to ferry the Acadians away, and Connor is forced to make a decision that will alter the future forever.

Heart-wrenching and captivating, Promises to Keep is a gloriously romantic tale of a young couple forced to risk everything amidst the uncertainties of war.


"But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep." 

Seems like Goodreads Monday always makes me want to recite poems... When I worked in London I had a colleague who loved quoting this particular line from Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. It's a lovely piece of poetry and since Genevieve Graham's book title always calls it to mind, I want to read the novel even more.

15 Apr 2018

Book Tour + Review - The Shipbuilder by Salina B. Baker

Title: The Shipbuilder

Author: Salina B. Baker

Publication Date: April 10th, 2018

Publisher: Culper Press

Synopsis:

In the summer of 1869, beleaguered for-hire killer Zach Dimitru arrives in Eastport, Maine, bearing an amulet and searching for absolution. His salvation is dependent on the Benoit Family, who are also pitiless and tormented. Zach's deliverance is reliant on Juliette Benoit. The young woman is grieving the loss of her soul mate, whom she believes has reincarnated without her. Miraculously, the amulet imparts messages to Juliette. The fate of both Zach and Juliette, as well as the town, depends upon her ability to learn and convey those lessons before the arrival of a hurricane--one with the force to devastate Eastport.

My Thoughts:

The events in Salina B. Baker's The Shipbuilder play out on two levels: physical and spiritual. Of course I noticed in the synopsis that reincarnation as a belief would be present in the story but before going in I had no idea that spirituality would be a central motivator in the plot.

While on the one hand the spiritual side of the story was fascinating (since I next to never read books that involve reincarnation into their plot), on the other, sometimes beliefs in The Shipbuilder were a bit confusing, given that reincarnation got mixed with christianity. If I tell you that a bit of Obeah (a kind of sorcery that was widely practised in the Caribbean area at the time) was thrown in as well, you can imagine the complex inner routes that are travelled in this book.

Don't get me wrong, I don't say spiritualism ruins your understanding of what's going on but you have to know that at certain points I found myself asking loads of questions that only got answered at the end. Anyway, the characters fully compensated me for the mild difficulty of the challenge that this 'less tangible' side of the novel provided.

The members of the families whose past and present are intertwined in Eastport have to face themselves and each other to answer for past wrongs and present grudges. Ben Benoit is in love with the family's black maid, Seneca. He knows that at some point he has to let his mother know about their relationship but he is terrified of the reaction of the people around them. Adele, Ben's mother has lost the deep connection she'd had with her children before her husband died. She is having a secret affair with Daniel, the head of another family. Daniel's son Aaron is a womanizer and he also had a secret relationship in his past. We see some serious character developments in all these cases.

I liked the interracial  relationship and the true depiction of the difficulties Ben and Seneca had to go through to be together.

Zach arrives into this tight community with a mission. He has to save himself and some others on Moose Island from the storm. Whether the storm is symbolic or real I won't say, because you might like to find out for yourself.

Altogether I enjoyed The Shipbuilder because it had a lovely set of characters that ended up in tough situations and helped each other out of it. If you liked my review, don't hesitate, give it a try!



Prologue

Shelby Rolle’s hands shook as he threw his fishing net into the blue water. His knuckles, stiff with arthritis, ached as he pulled the cast net toward the shore. The pain didn’t matter—he had to hurry. He could smell it coming, riding on the horizon as it rushed toward Cat Island. Soon cumulus clouds would appear, gray swirling monsters packing killer winds, which commanded palm trees to bend their fronded heads; winds that formed rain into blowing sheets of vertical glass and lifted waves into mountains of destruction until the storm surge finally swallowed the land.

Several small fish were trapped in Shelby’s net. He plucked them out one at a time and threw them toward a dune. The fish flopped around in the loose sand. He cast again and again all the while muttering an Obeah prayer, pleading with God to find his family worthy and to grant them safety. He tried to picture the local Obeah men huddled in their huts, chanting in an effort to tap the source of a higher supernatural power. In that power, they would find the ability to turn the storm away from the island. Shelby silently pleaded for them to achieve the spiritual plane and channel the necessary strength.

The smell of the ocean intensified as the clouds, now churning at the edge of the eastern horizon, stirred up the pungent odor of salt water and seaweed. He looked toward the sand dunes. The roof of a plantation house was visible on the other side. Its once grand stature had crumpled with age like the spine of a stooped old man. Fifty years of tropical environmental elements had eroded the dwelling. It was Shelby’s home.

The house had fallen into Shelby’s hands ten years earlier. It once belonged to an Englishman named John Monroe. At that time, John had been the master of the cotton plantation. Shelby had been a slave, a field hand born to third-generation Africans who had lived in the Kingdom of the Kongo until the Trans-Atlantic slave trade took them to the Caribbean. But there were things much worse than servitude. Shelby’s daughter suffered under the groping hands of John Monroe. She had pleaded with her father to deliver her from her living hell. He turned to those whom he believed had the capacity to help, but the Obeah curses and attempts at poisoning the plantation owner did nothing to stop the abuse.

Her salvation appeared imminent when the British abolished slavery in 1834. Despite the law and rebellious uprisings, John held fast to his Bahamian dream, refusing to free his slaves for two more years. Under pressure from the local authorities, he succumbed to the mandated emancipation. Without slaves to toil in the fields and seed the cotton, the plantation dissolved. John Monroe, with his wife and children, took their belongings and moved to Nassau. Among John’s personal belongings was Shelby’s daughter.

The cast net sailed into the water. The sea undulated as the rising wind heaved rolling white caps toward the shore. Shelby’s son came down to the beach. The young man’s white cotton shirt billowed like a sail in the wind. He gathered the fish from the dunes and tossed them into a basket.

The young man waved his hands at Shelby. “We have enough fish to ride out the storm!” the young man yelled. “Come on now, Father. Let’s go. Mother is waiting.”

Shelby gathered his net in his arms and ran to his waiting son. The entire island was wrapped in swirling gray clouds. The wind pushed at their backs as they made their way to the plantation house. Rain spurted from the sky. Shelby looked back toward the beach. What he saw stopped him in his tracks. The mast of a clipper ship appeared on the horizon. Its sails hung limply on their rigs as it glided on the tumultuous ocean.

“Can’t be,” Shelby said to himself. He cupped his hands above his eyes to block out the rain and wind. He squinted. There was no mistaking it. His daughter’s salvation floated before him as if the day was sunny and the winds were calm.

“Father?”

“One minute,” Shelby said to his son. Rain soaked his hair and clothing as he stared at the clipper ship. In his heart of hearts, he knew that she had finally been emancipated. He sensed something else. A strong aura of kindness enveloped him. It radiated across the hurricane crazed waters and reached out to him from every timber of the ship.

The ghost-like clipper moved further down the horizon. Soon it would be out of his range of sight. He raised his hand to his throat. His fingers searched for the chain that no longer hung around his neck. Ten years had passed since the amulet lay on his chest, the cool silver a reminder of its power. He had given it to his daughter for protection the day she was taken from her family.

“Father, come on!” His son’s words, scattered in the wind, were barely audible.

Shelby turned his back on the clipper ship and climbed the sand dune. He and his son walked the short distance to their home.

Three hours later, at the height of the hurricane, the plantation house roof collapsed, killing Shelby and his family. The Obeah men had failed to harness the power they sought or perhaps, they had unknowingly redirected it.


Review from Fantasy Author: 

The Shipbuilder is moody and somewhat grim. It has a strong undercurrent of fate and magic at its core, strongly reminding this reader of the work of Daphne du Maurier and Emily Brontë. With her passion for history and the accurate portrayal of the period, author Salina B Baker brings this time and place to harsh, vivid life. In doing so, she’s crafted a resonant and compellingly readable novel. 

Susan Rooke, author of The Space Between

 

About the Author:



Salina is an avid student of Colonial America and the American Revolution. Her lifelong passion for history and all things supernatural led her to write historical fantasy. Reading, extensive traveling and graveyard prowling with her husband keep that passion alive. She has three forthcoming novels in the works for 2017. Salina lives in Austin, Texas and is a member of The Writers’ League of Texas.





Contact Information:

Website: https://www.salinabbaker.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalinaBakerAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SalinaBBaker

Blog: https://salinabakerauthor.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16506911.Salina_B_Baker

Book Tour organized by:
 
RABT Book Tours & PR

14 Apr 2018

Weekend Wrap-up #5

The Sunday post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you have received.


This week was about job interviews for me and my boyfriend too. Fingers crossed we'll soon be able to start our life together in earnest because we've been waiting for long enough to do that.

I watched The Greatest Showman recently and I CAN'T STOP listening to the soundtrack. I hum the songs all day and dance to them too when no one's watching. I'm totally obsessed with the film, it's pure magic.

This week I posted my Red Tent review at last and my first ever giveaway is live too (please check below). No one has entered it yet, I don't know if it's because of a lack of interest or perhaps I messed something up with the giveaway itself (?) I'm a little worried, haha.

This was altogether a good reading week for me, I finished The Shipbuilder by Salina B. Baker (My review is coming tomorrow) and I'm making good progress with all three books I'm reading at the moment (see the titles in the 'Currently reading' section on the sidebar).

Posts on the blog this week:



Wednesday: WWW Wednesday #10


Friday: Book Beginnings on Friday and the Friday 56 #12

Click on the picture if you'd like participate in my Red Tent giveaway!

 

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that makes it possible to share with other bookworms what books you added to your shelves physical or virtual during the week.

I added a new e-arc to my collection this week. I read Stephen King's Salem's Lot earlier this year and since it was a pleasant surprise I thought maybe the time has come for me to take a few tentative steps towards the horror genre and try some other scary books. I sincerely hope I won't be afraid of cats forever after reading Clowders, haha.


Title: Clowders

Author: Vanessa Morgan

Publication Date: March 1st, 2018

Source: NetGalley


Synopsis:

Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” - to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they've arrived in paradise. It soon becomes clear, though, that the inhabitants' adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is darkly, horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night out in the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something horrible waiting for them? Something unspeakably evil.

Aidan and Jess' move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.

How was your week? Any good news? Any new books? Let me know in a comment below!

13 Apr 2018

Book Beginnings on Friday and the Friday 56 #12


Guess what? It's Friday again! I'm looking forward to the weekend, I'm planning to read and sleep a lot. I'd also like to do something outdoors if the weather holds.


As always, Friday is the day of snippets.

Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56 are weekly memes hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda's Voice.

Rules: 

Book Beginnings: Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. 

The Friday 56: Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in you eReader. Find any sentence (not spoilery) and reflect on it if you want.

The book I'll show you today is:

(How to Hang a Witch #1)
by Adriana Mather


Synopsis:

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.



Book Beginning: 

"Like most fast-talking, opinionated New Yorkers, I have an affinity for sarcasm." 

 That's fine Sam, don't hold back for my sake :)


The Friday 56: 

"Alice stands in answer and Mary shoots up like she can't get out fast enough. There are still so many questions I need to ask them. And some part of me worries that I am the cause of these awful things. Maybe the curse is part of me?" 

 Such a heavy burden on the shoulders of a teenage girl... She keeps blaming herself when none of what happens is her fault. I hope she realises that by the end of the book.


What are you reading on this lovely Friday? Don't forget to leave your link below so I can go and visit your blog!

12 Apr 2018

Red Queen Read-Along Update #1


Synopsis:

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. 

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.


As you already know, I've joined Brittani's Red Queen read-along at Hope, Faith & Books.

The read-along started on April 2nd and we read 7 chapters each week, which means by Monday I should reach chapter 15.

It's not a fast-paced read-along at all, it allows me to make progress with other books as well, that's why I dared to join it in the first place.

I'm currently in chapter 12, on page 116 out of 388.


My thoughts about the story so far:
  
(With some details but without spoilers. 
The information I've included here appears in the synopsis too.)

I'm happy with almost everything in this novel up to this point. The idea of a fantasy world where social hierarchy is built on the colour of one's blood is frightening but at the same time fascinating, especially with the added plus that Silvers have certain kinds of power.

Our protagonist, Mare, is a Red girl and since she hasn't learned any crafts, she is expected to join the army on her 18th birthday. Mare has other plans but soon she is forced into a third alternative that seems even worse than the war. Because of an unfortunate accident she has to give up who she is and face a joyless life in a world where she doesn't belong. 

Where I am in the story Mare has already started to be invlved in court life and her power got revealed but she doesn't understand how it works yet (me neither, haha). I guess later it will make sense and she'll be able to use it intentionally too.

The Red Guard was briefly introduced, but she hasn't got in touch with them so far at the palace. I'm curious how that'll happen.

At the moment Mare is very preoccupied with thoughts about her family who she can't go home to. It's absolutely understandable, I feel for her. She also has to learn how to play her role at the court because if she messes it up, her life will be in danger. There is real peril here, that's why this fantasy adventure is so thrilling so far.
 

A character I like: Cal. He's swoon-worthy. He seems to be a good person and probably hates his situation as much as Mare hates hers. Match made in heaven (?)

A character I love to hate: Queen Elara. Boy, I've got some Cersei vibes here. Bring it on, evil queens are the best.

A character I want to see more of: Kilorn. Okay... do I really want a love triangle here? No. Do I want him to be saved from the horrors of the war and be around Mare? Yes. I guess you see my dilemma here.


And finally... Last Friday when I featured Red Queen in my Book Beginnings post some of you wanted to know what happens on First Friday (yes, I didn't forget :). I promised I will let you know in this update post because it's not really a spoiler... So here we go, brace yourselves!

"We get to the foot of the hill, where the crowd is thicker, pushing and prodding on all sides. First Friday attendance is mandatory, unless you are like my sister, an "essential loborer"."

"Inside the open-topped arena is just as hot as out, and Kilorn, always on his toes, leads me to some shade. We don't get seats here, just long, concrete benches, but the few silver nobles up above enjoy cool, comfortable boxes."

"Kilorn and I don't really see eye to eye on the Feats of First Friday. For me, watching two champions rip into each other is not enjoyable, but Kilorn loves it. Let them ruin each other, he says. They are not our people.

He doesn't understand what the Feats are about. This isn't mindless entertainment, meant to give us some respite from grueling work. This is calculated, cold, a message. Only Silvers can fight in the arenas because only Silvers can survive the arena."

So what happens on First Friday is a display of Silver power in order to remind the Reds who is the boss. Ouch.

Goodreads | Amazon

I hope you enjoyed this update post. Have you read Red Queen? Are you planning to? 

Happy reading!
 

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