Book reviews

Book review: A Thousand Fires (Blog Tour)

Hey all!

Today I bring you a book review of a book that I requested an excerpt from at Netgalley, and really liked it so I also requested the full ARC, and signed up for the blog tour. Luckily, it did not disappoint so here I am!

This book tour is hosted by Tale Out Loud (link) and Afire Pages (link).

Title: A Thousand Fires

Author: Shannon Price

Goodreads / Book Depository / Wordery

TW: heavy drinking, drugs use, self-harm (mentions and on-page), gun violence

A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price

Summary: Valerie is a girl who has lost her younger brother to the Wars two years earlier, and since then, she’s determined to avenge him by joining the Herons. Too bad for her, the Stags get to her first on the night of her eighteenth birthday, and she becomes a Stag. Still, she wants revenge for her brothers death. Together with the rest of the Stags, she finds out what the life in a gang really looks like, how the rules work, and what it will cost her.

I requested an excerpt on Netgalley and really liked it, so when I got approved for the whole ARC, I was happy, but also afraid it’d disappoint. This is a book I’d not pick up myself as easily, which shows that Netgalley can be really useful to stimulate readers. The idea of the gangs intrigued me, especially since there isn’t a lot explained in the first part of the book.

Valerie’s one and only goal is to avenge her brother, which I do respect, but sometimes I wish I could slap her since her actions are not always as easy as she thought they would be. I read this book in almost one sitting (considering I have school during the day and I do have to sleep sometimes, I read it quite fast), and flew through the story.

I loved the friendships that formed in the book, the feeling of a gang being “home” for most of the members, and most of all, the feeling of family. The feelings of guilt (as she thought it was her fault her brother died) eat up Valerie so much, she sometimes harms herself. The gang helps her to think of other things, which takes away the urge sometimes.

There is definitely diversity representation in this book, although not a lot of LGBTQ+ rep, and while that’s not a must, I wish it would have been more than one sentence.

The story was strong, and there were definitely some parts I didn’t see coming. Overall I really liked it, and would definitely recommend it. I didn’t specifically see the “retelling” part, but that might just be me…

And last, but definitely not least: the cover is gorgeous, as with most books that tend to attract me.. ^^;


Author info

Shannon Price is a YA author living in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from Santa Clara University with a degree in English, she interned and later worked for Counterpoint Press in Berkeley, CA. As a publicist at Counterpoint, she garnered coverage for her clients’ books in media outlets like the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street JournalEntertainment Weekly, and many more.

In 2014, she was accepted into the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School at the University of Edinburgh where she studied Creative Writing and Contemporary Literature under the tutelage of best-selling Irish writer Ruth Gilligan. In college, she worked as the Art Editor of the Santa Clara Review and represented the Review at AWP 2015 in Minneapolis, MN. She was a mentor in the second round of Author Mentor Match and regularly attends writing events around the Bay Area.

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Book reviews

Book review: Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Xpresso Book Tours)

Hi all!
Today I bring you a review I should have posted yesterday, but I had it all scheduled up and ready to post when I wanted to change some sentences, and then I (too late) realized I didn’t schedule it for posting again, so here it still is!
Thanks to Netgalley and Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a digital copy for reviewing. This did not affect my personal opinion of the book in any matter.
Title: Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga #1)
Author: Jill Criswell
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Tw: mentions of rape, suicide.
Summary: Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.

Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.

When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.

As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun.


First of all; the cover! As always, I am a cover-lover at it’s finest and this one instantly caught my attention!

I really liked how the book sounded when I first heard of it, and was definitely intrigued. The story about a girl who is god-gifted, but doesn’t like how she has to use it, about a boy from strange lands who she should hate but can’t.. it definitely sounded right up my alley.

I mostly liked the book, I thought the way the world worked is amazing and well-thought, and the combination of that world in the world of Lira herself, with her clan, her family and friends, it came together so well.

Lira is a character I found difficult to like sometimes, as she is definitely powerful, not only because of her gift, but also because of the swordfighting she’s able to do. I am always up for strong female characters and she surely is one. The only thing I sometimes didn’t like was the choices she made. Of course, that’s part of the story but I just felt like she chose too much for Reyker where she “told” me she cared so much for her family.

Reyker is a boy who Lira should hate, for various reasons, but for some reason, she is unable to. Instead, she saves him from death and patches him up in secret. She talks to him, cares for him, and slowly learns to communicate with him. There is a certain kind of darkness in him that she sometimes refuses to accept, however, later in the book it is explained. He keeps telling her she should not help him, even tries to refuse her help, to attack her for helping him, but nothing stops her.

Lira’s family and clan is something I don’t usually read a lot about in the books I read, but from the beginning on, it’s clear how things work there. The clan has a chieftain, and the clan listens to the chieftain. And no one is there to stop that in any other way than challenging the chieftain to a duel for the position. I personally find that difficult yo read about sometimes because I’m all for own opinions and voices, but it fit with the book very well.

The story was intriguing, and I found myself wondering what would happen next many times. Although at some point I expected something would go wrong, and then got better again, and I got it right, I still really liked reading the book. There are some mentions of things in the book that might be triggers, so I put trigger warnings in my review. I personally was not affected by them.

I wonder what the gods have in mind for Lira and Reyker and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

About the author


Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).
Do you want to own this beauty in a non-digital way? Enter the giveaway for the hardback of Beasts of the Frozen Sun!
Click here to enter! (if the link doesn’t work; copy and paste this in your browser: )
Did you read this book? What did you think? 

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Book reviews

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


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!

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Book reviews

(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


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! 🙂

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Book reviews

Book review: Rivers of London

My boyfriend had the first book borrowed from the library at his work for AGES and said he’d think he’d like the series, so of course I bought the entire series ^^; I read the first one and really liked it!


Title: Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1)

Author: Ben Aaronvitch

Goodreads / Book Depository


Summary: Peter Grant works with London’s Metropolitan Police and he dreams of being a detective. Too bad for him, he gets assigned to the Case Progression Unit, where nothing happens, basically. That is, until he suddenly gets close to a murder, and finds an eyewitness. The only problem is that the witness is a ghost, and technically, they don’t exist.. right? Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale investigates the murders around magic, and Peter finds out that ghosts are the least weird thing in London.

This book was a nice read, in the beginning, it seemed normal, just someone working with the Police, wanting to be a detective, nothing wrong with that. When the ghost appeared, I thought it was going to be a book about ghosts. When the story unraveled further, I got more and more interested in everything that was happening – and more was happening every time.

Peter Grant seemed like an actual “normal” main character to me.. Not that there’s anything bad with anything else, but he was just a guy, wanting a certain job, and then found out he could talk to ghosts, and had magic that he was getting taught. Some things really took him some time to learn, which was nice because it wasn’t the regular “Oh I’ve found out I can do magic and suddenly I can do almost everything”. He got into problems, of course he did, and managed his way out of them (sometimes).

Lesley was his colleague, whom he kind-of-fancied, but who was a great friend too. She believed him and his magic, but didn’t think anything weird of it. She was nice, and it was great that they didn’t fall in love within the first three chapters (I’ll give no spoilers for the rest of the book).

Thomas Nightingale was a bit weird, but a good kind of weird. He taught Peter the magic, and helped him. He didn’t have a lot of story in this book,  but who knows what’ll happen in the books to come – it seems like Peter has a lot more magic to learn.

The various mythical creatures -like the water gods- are written really well, and it made the book a lot more diverse. I loved how those creatures were set up in the book, and how they managed around London. The magic around London wasn’t all that visible, but to the reader, it was. I liked how it was like ancient magic set in modern day, and not a complete new world with new terms, races, and everything that comes with. The references to other (modern day) books/series are also very much there, which was great.

This book also has quite a bit of the dry British humor, and slang, too. I must say, I did come across words that I absolutely had no idea what they meant, but it was great because 1. I knew it was really set in London, and not just some simplified version of London and 2. I learned new words.

Overall I really liked the book and I would consider this an easy read, because it wasn’t too difficult to learn everything magic because it isn’t a whole new world as mentioned before. Sometimes, that’s really nice to read about. I will definitely be continuing the series!

Did you read this book? What did you think?

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