Book reviews · Books

Book review: Four Dead Queens

Hey all! Today I bring you a review of a book that I’ve been looking forward to read ever since I read the first few chapters as a preview! I am glad I read this after the last semester was done because it would have definitely kept me up all night!

Title: Four Dead Queens

Author: Astrid Scholte

Goodreads / Book Depository / Wordery

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Summary: The kingdom of Quadara was once one kingdom, but after the king died, four Queens took his place. For each quarter of the kingdom, one Queen is responsible

  • Eonia, where the scientists are. Eonists are never to show emotions.
  • Archia is most known for their agriculture, where no technology is used. The Archians provide the food for everyone
  • Ludia is known for entertainment en culture. Ludists are seen as extravagant and joyous
  • Toria is where the exploration happens. Torians are known for their curiosity

 

Besides the ruling, each Queen represents her own quadrant. The borders between the quadrants are permanent. However, to Keralie, borders don’t mean anything. Keralie is an originally Torian smuggler, working for Mackiel. Anything she smuggles can be sold at the auction. She’s been working for Mackiel for quite some years, and she’s his best. One day, he sends her to steal a comm case, with chips in it. Comm chips are used to recorder memories on, and she needs to get them off of a messenger. The messenger is from Eonia, and when he shows up at the auction, she knows something is wrong. When they end up in a situation where the only possible option for her seems to be to swallow the chips. From the moment she sees the memories recorded on the chips, everything changes. The memories she sees are the deaths of the Queens, all four of them. Together with Varin the messenger, she has to find out who did this, and why the palace hasn’t told anyone yet.

 

This book was honestly AMAZING. I got to read a preview on Netgalley earlier this year, talked about it, and I preordered the book as soon as I was done. Now, I finally had time to read it and good gods, this was one hell of a ride (in the good way of course)!

Most books, as I’ve mentioned before, have a “twist” that you can see coming or not. Most times, I can guess the twist somewhere halfway and sometimes even before I start reading, and luckily this doesn’t take away a lot of fun. This book, however, is full of twists and honestly, none of them did I see coming! At some point I really thought I had it, and even then I was pleasantly surprised to find it was absolutely not the thing I thought it would be.

The plot is quick in the beginning, slows a little in the middle, and just leaps towards the end, and I flew through most of it in one afternoon. The story is told from Keralie’s point of view, and the Queens have some chapters as well. I came to care for the Queens more than I thought, and the story they tell is how they deal with the murders, how the rules affect them in the palace, and how well they know each other. It was amazingly frustrating to read the things about the Queens and then read a chapter from Keralie in which she just has to guess the same things!

The characters are all well-evolved. Keralie is a smuggler, and she knows how her job, how her life works more than anyone. Working together with anyone, let alone a messenger from Eonia, is difficult. Trusting anyone is not something happening at all, not the way she’s learnt it. She is from Toria, always on the lookout, always wanting to know everything, and Varin just seems like a stone-cold brick from Eonia, not showing or telling anything. Throughout the book, they get to know each other, a little, and learn how the other works as well. I liked that it’s not immediately love at first sight, because it definitely isn’t.

The Queens are very well representing their own quarter, each one exactly as their own land should be. However, there are a lot more secrets underneath, and finding them out was like discovering hidden candies in the store. Each chapter brought me more and more information and more interest to read on.

The ending came together really well, at some point I had no idea how this was ever supposed to end well, and I can’t say a lot without spoiling, but this book really had me at the edge of my seat at most times.

All in all, I loved it, and I really look forward to reading more of this author’s work!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Books · on the horizon

On The Horizon: Loveless by Alice Oseman

Heya! This is the second “official” post for my “On The Horizon” feature, in which I will be talking upcoming releases that I’m excited about! 🙂

This week I will talk about the new book from Alice Oseman: Loveless

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Blurb from Goodreads: The fourth novel from the phenomenally talented Alice Oseman – one of the most authentic and talked-about voices in contemporary YA.

Georgia feels loveless – in the romantic sense, anyway. She’s eighteen, never been in a relationship, or even had a crush on a single person in her whole life. She thinks she’s an anomaly, people call her weird, and she feels a little broken. But she still adores romance – weddings, fan fiction, and happily ever afters. She knows she’ll find her person one day … right?

After a disastrous summer, Georgia is now at university, hundreds of miles from home. She is more determined than ever to find love – and her annoying roommate, Rooney, is a bit of a love expert, so perhaps she can help.

But maybe Georgia just doesn’t feel that way about guys. Or girls. Or anyone at all. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe she can find happiness without falling in love. And maybe Rooney is a little more loveless than she first appears.

LOVELESS is a journey of identity, self-acceptance, and finding out how many different types of love there really are. And that no one is really loveless after all.

As someone who identifies as asexual, this book means a lot to me. As Oseman herself has said before, it’s a book she wishes she had read when she was younger, so now she’s writing it for everyone who needs it now. And while I know my identity, I know there are lots of people who are still struggling with either coming to terms or just are just generally in the unknown and I’m very happy that there are more books for those now.

I already do have her other books, and read all of them within a day (sometimes two because you know, sleeping is a thing), and loved them all so much. I’m really looking forward to reading this one as well!

Loveless comes out in April 2020 (yes I know, that’s a long time waiting 😦 ) and if you want to preorder the book, find it in the links below!

Are you as excited as I am to read this book? Did you read Alice Oseman’s other books? Let me know!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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bookish talk · Books

The ABC-Book-Challenge: N

Hi all! I’ve decided to do the ABC-Book_-Challenge too! I have been thinking for a while to find something to write next to my weekly reviews and I thought this might be fun 🙂

I got the idea from Sofii @ A Book A Thought, so thank you! Like her, I don’t know the original creators so if you do, please let me know!

I know I said I could post more regularly, but I also said my schedule for summer break would be crazy, and I wasn’t wrong.. Specifically this month is very hectic. From September 1st to September 4th was Castlefest, a lovely festival we go to. September 6th to September 8th was our treehouse mini-vacation with the kid, packed with activities during the journey to and back home. On September 11th, my boyfriend and I will be on the plane to the United Kingdom at 8am (meaning alarm goes at 3am.. RIP), and we’ll fly back on September 21st. Then, we have a few more days to do ALL THE LAUNDRY, finish everything, and then on September 26th, the “normal” life starts again… who ever said vacation was meant for not-being-busy..? 😉 

Memorable titles that start with the letter N

  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: a book that I read when I was younger and loved so much, I actually read it another few times. I’ve seen the movie 3 times too.
  • The Night Circus: This book totally astonished me, I really loved how everything was described although some things were overexplained and I didn’t understand the relationship that was going on. Review here
  • Night Watch: another Discworld, yes I know. But this one is special because it’s about Vimes and it really is a beautiful book. I’d recommend it to anyone, but only if you’ve read more Discworld books, specifically The Watch subseries. It makes the book a lot more understandable and better ❤
  • Norse Mythology: I really like mythology books and I read this one within an evening. I loved how the myths were told, and it got me into Neil Gaiman’s writing. Review here

Books on my TBR that start with the letter N

If you’ve read any of those titles, please tell me your thoughts!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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bookish talk · Books

The ABC-Book-Challenge: M

Hi all! I’ve decided to do the ABC-Book_-Challenge too! I have been thinking for a while to find something to write next to my weekly reviews and I thought this might be fun 🙂

I got the idea from Sofii @ A Book A Thought, so thank you! Like her, I don’t know the original creators so if you do, please let me know!

 

Memorable titles that start with the letter M

  • The Martian: a book that took me by surprise. I loved this book, and I never knew what would happen right until the last page, it was fantastic.
  • Maya und Domenico: an original German book that’s been translated to Dutch. I loved this whole series as a kid and will definitely reread them sometime to bring back the feeling of me and my sister just fangirling over them.
  • Mythos: give me some books about mythology and I’m sold. This one by Stephen Fry was especially fantastic, because, well, Fry, but also because of the way he is telling them. He is using metaphors and comparisons from the current world, and it makes all amazing.
  • The Mechenical: this is a book that I’ve originally had on my TBR but did read in between of writing and posting and it’s done a lot with my mind. It’s quite difficult to explain it without spoiling, but it’s on my list of Reviews-To-Come. It’s definitely a book that’s made me think about certain things in life.

Books on my TBR that start with the letter M

If you’ve read any of those titles, please tell me your thoughts!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Book reviews · Books

(ARC) Book review: Shadow Frost

Hey all! Since my last post, I said I might be able to keep up with a blogging schedule.. Guess what happened ^^;

In all honesty, I planned on it, but it took me like half an hour to write three lines so it was a bit difficult. And then on Wednesday night, the kid got brought here, and then it was mostly hot, more hot, more hot and busy! But I did find some time to write the review so here it is!

Title: Shadow Frost (Shadow Frost #1)

Author: Coco Ma

Goodreads / Book Depository / Wordery

43611226

Summary: Asterin Faelenhart is the Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne. When there are rumours of a demon terrorizing the kingdom, soldiers from the royal guard are sent to slay it. Except.. the soldiers don’t come back. Asterin feels terrible for everyone in the kingdom, and when she discovers she may hold the key to defeating the demon, she decides to slay it herself. Although many trained soldiers did not return, and her mother is pleading her to stay, she starts the hunt together with her friends. During the journey, she discovers things about her friends she didn’t know before, and together, they discover a lot more about the demon that no one knew before… although, that’s what they think.

I got approved for this eARC so thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for that! This review is my opinion only, and receiving the eARC did not affect that in any way.

I was excited to receive the eARC because the story pretty much sounded exactly like something I will always read and love. And, correctly, I really liked it. Also: LOOK AT THAT COVER *heart eyes*

Asterin is a princess who loves fighting. I’m all for those kinda characters. She wants to be able to protect her kingdom, so despite her mother’s arguments, she learns how to fight and defend herself. Asterin is omnified, meaning she can wield more than 3 elements. She tries to please her mother but it is difficult because she can’t wield every single one and keeps being pushed to try.

Luna is Asterin’s lady-in-waiting and best friend. She doesn’t remember her past, but has lost both her parents and has trouble wielding any magical element. She and Asterin are very close, and they would do anything for each other. She and Eadric, Captain of the Royal Guard are together.

Orion is the personal Royal Guard of Asterin, and her other best friend. He is teaching her how to fight, and they’re quite close. They’re not in love, but they would do anything for each other, like brother and sister.

Rose and Quinlan are two people coming in later in the book. They are from another kingdom, Eradore, and will be going along with Asterin on her journey. Throughout, they get to know each other, and become great friends.

Harry is a hunter they meet along the way. Harry doesn’t tell a lot about himself but he helps them hunt down the demon and lets them sleep in his house.

The great thing about this book is NO LOVE TRIANGLE. It’s really great that it exists and I’m just so happy. This book has fierce women, something I always love, and appreciate. The guys in this book are mostly regular guys, except that they’re not too shy on talking about their feelings, more bonus points! I won’t get further into relationships because I might give away some spoilers but it was all really awesome.

The story started great immediately. I was hooked from the start, and although it did take me quite a while to finish it, I really was into it. The story follows Asterin and her friends on a journey to slay a demon. During the journey, they find out a lot about the demon they will slay, but they will also find out a lot about themselves. There’s magic, friendship, and many more awesome things.

The magic system works with elements called affinities. There are 9 elements. Everyone who was born was usually born unifinitied, meaning they can wield one element. Those who could wield both are called bifinitied, and people who could wield three elements were called trifinitied. The few people who could wield more than three elements are called multifinitied. The very rare people who could wield all elements are called omnifinitied. Those people were legends, and none of them are known to be living these days. This magic system is different than other books I’ve read. The fact that magic works with stones gives it another nice twist to the story. I liked to see how people in the book use their magic for different things and how it worked for them.

The “big thing” happening didn’t really surprise me since I had seen it coming for a bit. Which is not a bad thing, because I have that with most books. What I didn’t expect, however, was how the characters reacted to it. I really liked the outcome of it all and I could see that they had grown throughout the book.

The only difficult thing was the format on the eARC: most new paragraphs started with half a word and continued on the next line. I don’t think this is something with the book but with my phone because I have this problem with almost every eARC I’ve been reading.

Overall I really liked this book, and I’m happy to have received this ARC. I look forward to the next book in the series!

Did you read this book, or would you want to read it? Do you have any recommendations based on this review? Don’t hesitate to tell me! 🙂

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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