Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms #1)

Started: December 13, 2017
Finished: December 17, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

Bravery is a choice that is yours to make. Don’t let fear steal your will.

A few months before the start of the book, Britta’s father – the king’s bounty hunter – was assassinated. As her parents’ marriage was not viewed as legal in the eyes of her kingdom, Britta is not eligible as heir to his home – and in order to survive she has to poach. Only, one day, she is caught by the king’s men and is given a choice; execution, or help hunt down the man suspected for killing her father. Her childhood friend and crush, Cohen.

This book follows a very common YA Fantasy structure; an odd girl is sent out on a quest and ends up fighting evil and saving her kingdom. Done well, that is still an enjoyable way to present a story. But since it is so common nowadays it needs its own twists and turns – and, sadly, I felt that this book lacked some of those. The romance felt weak, the one who turned out to be the villain was not completely unexpected, and a lot of the things that occured throughout the novel felt very predictable.

The ending, however, was not. By that I mean the slight cliffhanger that leads into the next novel – as it hinted at things that I did not expect. Due to that I will probably read the next book as well, just to find out what those things actually meant. And because there were some characters that I found really interesting that I hope will be given more time in the next novel.


Princess of the Silver Woods (Princesses of Westfalin #3)

Started: December 12, 2017
Finished: December 14, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

I abducted Princess Petunia last week. I didn’t harm her; I delivered her to the Grand Duchess Volenskaya, but now she is in terrible danger.

Many years have passed since Petunia, youngest of Westfalin’s twelve princesses, was forced to dance every night for the King Under Stone. But now those powers are stirring again. Every night Petunia dreams that the Prince she always danced with comes to take her away. To get away, she travels to the estate belonging to the Grand Duchess Volenskaya – but on the way there she is abducted by a band of outlaws. And soon a line of suspicious events are unravelled.
In short; the King Under Stone is not coming soon to take Petunia and her sisters away. His people are already there.

This book is the perfect ending to this trilogy. Petunia is the perfect image of a youngest sister; beloved and a bit spoiled by her father, and with a tendency to ignore the wise words of those who are older than her. The story leans on the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale as well as the legend of Robin Hood – and, of course, the tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses. It is an exciting, fun and easy read. Which is why I cannot give it a full 5 stars; there are several things that could have been developed and made more complicated, or explored further, in order to make this an even better story. But it is still a very, very good conclusion and I’m going to miss these tales. Wouldn’t mind a spin-off at all!

Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1)


Started: December 1, 2017
Finished: December 12, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

You want to see people as extremes. Bad or good, trustworthy or not. I understand. It’s easier that way. But that isn’t how people work.

So this book received a lot of negative press just before it was released, because many said it puts a bad light on topics such as race and self harm. And I do admit I was a member of the group that, because of these negative posts about this novel, felt the need to push it away. To not read it and form my own opinion. Which is terribly, terribly wrong.
Believe me; listening to what others say can be a good thing, but when it comes to your opinion on matters, you should not have one unless you’ve read or studied what you’re being opinionated about. Meaning if you’re going to have an opinion about this book, you should read the book and form your opinion based on that and on discussions you have with people who have also read it.

So, yes, I read it and I’ve formed my own opinion. And I have to say that what I read about race and self-harm before reading it kind of makes sense, but I don’t feel like it’s portrayed quite as bad as people made it seem. However I am not the one who can say this for sure, as I have not been subjected to racism nor have I been in such a depression that I have resorted to self-harm. People who have might have a different opinion, one that I want to listen to and take in and understand. But, for now, this review is based on my own opinion.

The setting here reminded me a lot of the setting for Star Wars, which was quite incredible. I’m such a Star Wars geek (thanks, dad) and reading something that could very much be set in that universe was entertaining. Also, the idea of fates was intriguing. I really felt for both Akos and Cyra as they struggled with their fates and what they would mean for how they lived their lives. How it would affect the people around them – and one another.

Compared to Divergent, this story does not hold the same intensity. A lot of it feels quite slow – though that does make it so that you’re totally unprepared for when the action begins. And there was a lot of action – both political and bloody. I am intrigued enough to continue with this series – but I also want to hear the opinions of others who have read this book and felt differently about the controversies.

War of the Cards (Queen of Hearts Saga #3)

Started: November 25, 2017
Finished: November 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

“I am your queen and you will listen to my command.”

Dinah, the exiled princess of Wonderland, is marching to war with her army of Spades and Yurkei warriors. En route to Wonderland Palace, she has to deal with and settle the tensions in camp, while also trying to ignore the dark fury inside of her – and her broken heart. All of this is observed by her real father, Cheshire, who seems all too pleased with her dark mood. And as the war begins, secret upon secret is unravelled, turning Dinah’s life upside-down once more.

I found this to be an interesting conclusion to this trilogy. I’m still not a fan of Alice in Wonderland and I have some serious trouble with Dinah as a character, but I do feel like she grew quite a bit during this story. And the little twists added to story made you interested in figuring out what was actually going on. Who the real bad guy was. So I give this an average rating. Out of the three books in this trilogy, I do believe this was my favourite, though.

The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)

Started: November 16, 2017
Finished: November 26, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

He was not here to retrieve his wife. For his wife was not a thing to be retrieved.

This was a wonderful, amazing sequel!

The story of this book suited me a lot better than the one in The Wrath and the Dawn, simply because it felt more original – and because it showed a different side of both Shahrzad and Khalid. Renée Ahdieh writes beautifully about a land edging towards war, two lovers trying to mend it, and about loss and heartbreak. It told of family and childhood love compared to adult love. About what women were seen as by most – and what their worth actually is.

And about magic. Finally we get Shahrzad learning to use her latent magical powers – and we also get to see how magic can corrupt those who delve into things too powerful to be tamed. The world grows as we meet people with magic from other parts of the world – and that intrigues me even more (can we have a short-story about Artan, please?).

The reason I can’t give this a full five stars? I felt like the side characters – Shahrzad’s sister Irsa, for example – could have been developed even further, as could her sweet little romance. I also felt that Tariq got way too much of the spotlight. But other than that? Yes, this was a glorious book!

Ali-A Adventures: Game On!

Started: November 20, 2017
Finished: November 20, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

“But that’s all impossible, right?”
“Ali, you’re having a conversation with a super-powered talking dog…”
“Oh, yeah. Right. Good point.”

I started watching Ali-A mainly for his Pokémon Go vlogs last year, but then I got caught up in a lot of the other games he played as well. So I kind of knew that I would probably read this book even if graphic novels aren’t my thing. I actually bought it at Gatwick Airport after a weekend in London – and read the whole thing on the flight back to Sweden. Which takes about 2 hours – and I only needed to use half of that time to read.

The story is fast paced and structured like a video game, where Ali’s character looses a life whenever he fails a mission, but is also able to find upgrades after saving a certain number of aliens. It has a few unexpected twists and turns, which was entertaining, and the dialogue was spot on. My favourite character was Eevee – seriously, you’re going to have to look long and hard for a more sarcastic dog!

But even though I liked the overall feel of the story, I do still have trouble with the graphic novel format. I just feel like there’s so much more that could be added by writing it as a non-graphic – but maybe that’s just me.
Still, it was an enjoyable read!

Check out Ali-A’s YouTube channels here and here, as well as his girlfriend Clare Siobhan’s here!

Tarnished City (Dark Gifts #2)

Started: October 30, 2017
Finished: November 12, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

London’s burning, she thought. Burning with the Skill of the Equals.

Such a gorgeous sequel! This was certainly one of those books that just became better and better the more you read, with more and more pieces added to the puzzle. And the complete picture is turning out much darker than you first believed it would.

As Luke is taken north to Lord Crovan’s estate, Abi has escaped the carriage taking her and her parents to Millmoor, intent on finding a way to rescue her brother. She seeks out the Skill-deprived Heir Meilyr, who also hosts the remainder of the Millmoor rebels, and together they start to put together a plan to get Luke out. At the same time, Silyen manouvers himself into a position of power in the House of Light – and with Lord Jardin becoming a temporary chancellor, Gavar begins to worry that his father will push new, harsh rules onto the common folk, and people like his daughter.

Tarnished City is much darker, grittier and more politically inclined than Gilded Cage was. We lose several important characters, but find just as many new and intriguing ones. This, however, makes things a bit complicated as the book has so, so many POVs. Yes, they intertwine with one another, but they also disrupt the flow of the story a bit. I can see the need for them, though, as each POV brings a new perspective on the situation to us readers – but sometimes it takes far too long to get back to certain characters.

Either way, I’m already excited for Bright Ruin!