Review: Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers

21421609Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Release date: February 2nd, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Format: Hardcover

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In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

Assassin’s Heart was a book that I was so excited to read. I love the whole assassin aesthetic/concept, which could be due to my love of Skyrim and the Assassin’s Guild, but I digress. The concept really intrigued me and while I enjoyed reading the book it ended up being just alright. Not amazing as I thought it would be, but fun and easy to read.

The book is about Lea, a clipper (or assassin), who belongs to an ancient world of assassin families who murder in the name of religion. Things are very competitive and dangerous, especially for Lea who belong to the Saldana family. Her family is the most prominent group of assassin’s until they are murdered at the start of the book. As the only survivor of the slaughter, Lea takes it upon herself to avenge her loved ones. This puts her on a direct path with her family’s long-time enemies the Da Vias.

While the story featured a lot of overused YA tropes such as the angst kick-ass female MC and themes of heartbreak and betrayal, the story was quite interesting. The world created by the author had a lot of potential, especially its pantheon of gods and goddesses. People from Lea’s city of Lovero worship a goddess called Safraella, who promises her followers rebirth and a peaceful death. Basically, the clippers are empowered by her to take lives in for those people to become new again. Throughout the story Lea travels around a lot in search of help and answers and each place really stood out as new and unique. The story seems to be inspired by Italy or at least that’s what it reminded me of. I just wish that more of the world was slowly revealed and not told to the reader. There was an awful amount of info dumping at the start of the book which made it kind of slow. However, after the first few chapters things really picked up and I just wanted to keep on reading and reading.

The plot was also not very original and often times very convenient, but sometimes that’s ok. I kind of figured out from the first chapter that it wasn’t going to add anything new to the genre. So, I just decided to read on and take it for what it was. And I ended up having a lot of fun with it. Some of dialogue is a bit silly but for the most part I forgot about it because something exciting had happened. I guess you just need to go into the book knowing this is what it is and let the fantasy world allow you to escape your current reality. And that’s why I really loved fantasy books…they transport you to somewhere faraway for a tiny bit and help you avoid whatever is stressing you in your life. That’s what Assassin’s Heart did for me and I’m so happy I picked it up when I did for that reason.

At first I didn’t like Lea…she was too much of a know-it-all, arrogant and stuck up. But she’s one of those characters that grow on you. I just wish that the author would have written her as the kick-ass assassin that she was supposed to be. She made too many errors that seemed a bit off for someone who had been training since a small child. Like, people are not perfect, but if that’s all that she was meant to do since birth, I would expect a lot more from her. Les was a lot of fun! He’s a wannabe clipper and so adorable and awkward. Ahhh….I just loved him.

So, while not a perfect book, Assassin’s Heart was a lot of fun to read. A perfect escape from the real world. I flew through the pages and will totally read the next book in the series, Thief’s Cunning.

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Cover Reveal & Book Info for Circle of Ashes!

circle-of-ashes-cover-final-smCircle of Ashes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh
Release date: April 9th, 2018
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Genre: New adult, urban fantasy, romance

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EVERY WISH HAS A COST BUT WILL THE SOCIETY BE WILLING TO PAY IT?

Once a hacker-for-hire living in the shadows, Josephina “Jo” Espinosa is the newest member of a magical Society. Their mandate? To grant the wishes of mortals. A simple enough task until Jo is faced with an impossible wish – and her inability to grant it might spell disaster for her entire team, if not the Society itself.

Jo is used to high-pressure situations, but after a string of disasters, the last thing she needs is stakes of this magnitude. Especially given that neither she nor the Society know quite what the consequences of failing to grant a wish might be.

The only person with answers is the Society’s aloof and cryptic leader, Snow. Yet while Jo is enigmatically drawn to the man, all their clandestine encounters leave her with only more questions about the true nature of the Society, her magic, and her own history.

Time is running out for the Society, and an executioner will rise from among them to exact the price of failure.


Read-A-Long:

Elise and Lynn are hosting a read-a-long for book one on Facebook. There will have tons of giveaways, discussion questions, exclusive content, and more! Click here for more information.

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Giveaway:

Click to enter a giveaway. You could win a signed paperback copy of Society of Wishes. Good luck!

Blog Tour: Solis by Kat Ross

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I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

36693273Solis by Kat Ross

Release date: February 19th, 2017
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook

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It’s been a thousand years since the Avas Vatras tried to burn the world to ashes. A thousand years since they were imprisoned in the brutal wasteland called the Kiln. But revenge is a dish best served cold—even, apparently, by the children of fire.

In Delphi, Nazafareen joins forces with the followers of Dionysius to rescue her friends from the Oracle’s dungeons and seek out the three talismans whose extraordinary powers stopped the Vatras before. With her own breaking magic growing stronger by the day, she must walk a razor’s edge to control her volatile temper. And if the Vatras find the talismans first, their last hope will die.

In the frozen wastes of the Valkirin range, Victor strikes an uneasy bargain with bitter enemies to keep his tenuous grip on the Maiden Keep. The other holdfasts are coming for him. But it’s a traitor within Val Moraine’s walls that may prove to be his downfall.

While Nocturne was more of a set-up book, establishing the world, key characters, the mysterious Vastras, Solis is totally full throttle ahead. Reading it was exhilarating and beyond fun. It’s one of the things I love most about Kat Ross’ books…they are always fast-paced. Not a single page is wasted in moving the characters and story along. It was seriously difficult to put down!

Without giving too much away about the first book (which if you haven’t read you really should), the story in Solis picks up where the previous book left off. There’s no waiting for the story to start or a long rehashing of what had come before. No, the story jumps right into it. The story largely revolves around the three talismans, which in the wrong hands, could lead to world destruction. I really liked how Ross wrote the Avas Vatras. These people just aren’t messing around! They are brutal and full of long built-up feelings of hate and revenge. I’m really looking forward to seeing just how far she’ll take these characters.

The characters continue to be my favourite part of this series. There are a lot of different points of view and usually, that would bother me, but not here! Ross does a fantastic job of balancing page time and creating transitions that feel organic and natural. Each character has a clear voice and unique personality. So, you without a doubt know which character the chapter focuses on. It’s also great because it really gives the reader a complete view of the story. And finally…..some more page time for my two favourite characters Nazafareen and Darius! Oh, my poor little heart!

Book three is going to be truly amazing. Solis pushed the storyline ahead, answered questions but threw even more at the reader. There are still so many mysteries that need to be unravelled! However, when I check Goodreads there isn’t any information about what comes next. Ahhhh…how am I going to handle this? I was so spoiled being able to read the first two books one after another. I guess I’ll just have to keep checking and perhaps start a re-read of the Fourth Element series?


About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

Click to enter an international Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a paperback copy of Nocturne. Good luck!

Cover Reveal: Unraveled by Kate Jarvik Birch

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I’m very pleased to be taking part in the cover reveal for Unraveled by Kate Jarvik Birch, the third book in the Perfected trilogy.


The Cover:

Unraveled_1600Unraveled by Kate Jarvik Birch
Release date: April 3rd, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, science fiction

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Ella isn’t anyone’s pet anymore, but she’s certainly not free.

After exposing the dark secrets about NuPet’s breeding program, forcing them to repeal the law that allowed genetically modified girls to be kept as pets, she thought girls like her would finally be free. She never dreamed that it would backfire. NuPet may have convinced the public of their intentions to assimilate pets back into society, but Ella knows it’s a lie.

They aren’t planning mass rehabilitation…they’re planning a mass extermination.

Now, with the help of a small group of rebels, Ella and Penn, the boy she’d give up her life for, set out to bring down NuPet for good. But when her group gets implicated in a string of bombings, no one is safe. If she can’t untangle the web of blackmail and lies that extends far beyond NuPet’s reach, she won’t just lose her chance at freedom, she’ll lose everyone she loves.


About the Author:

katebirchbiopic2017Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals, including: Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids.

Blitz: The Viking’s Chosen by Quinn Loftis

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35656054The Viking’s Chosen by Quinn Loftis
Release date: February 12th, 2018
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: Historical fiction
Formats: Paperback, eBook

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His orders are clear: launch a raid against England and bring home the spoils of war. But the prophecy is also clear: General Torben will take a foreign bride—one who is a seer and healer just like his mother. The eldest princess of England is said to be just that…a beautiful, charming, and headstrong woman. But he’s a Viking army general and she’s an English princess—and one who is already promised to the king of Tara.

Two worlds collide in this epic historical fiction centered on an undeniable chemistry that smolders against the odds. Richly written and injected with moments of humor, this action-packed romantic tale will leave you breathless.


Book Excerpt

As a princess, the oldest of three sisters, and future queen of England, I, of course, did the mature thing when my parents told me that I was to marry the King of Tara. I ran. Allete Auvray, noble born heiress of the Britannia empire, ran. No, I did not run away. There would be no point in that. My father would have sent guards searching for me like crazed hounds to drag me back before I even made it to the borders of our land. No, I ran only as far as my familiar old oak tree. The ancient tree that had become a sanctuary to me and my cousin, Thomas, when we were children—our place of refuge. Disregarding the fact that I was clothed in one of my finer dresses, I hoisted myself up on to the lowest branch and then continued, up and up, until I was sitting high enough that I could see the whole of my father’s lands, spreading out before me like a giant green picnic blanket. It was a beautiful and bountiful kingdom, but it was a gilded cage for me. The day that I had dreaded had finally come. I had always known that one day that I would be married off to a nobleman. As the oldest, it was my duty to either marry a nobleman worthy of becoming king of England, or marry another king in order to secure an alliance beneficial to our empire. Every decision was about power for my family, how to gain it, and how to keep it. The king who held the most land and the largest army was the one everyone else feared. It didn’t matter what I personally wanted. It didn’t matter that I would be wed to someone that I did not love, or someone that did not love me. Nothing mattered except what my father, the king, wanted.


About the Author

QuinnQuinn is an award winning author who lives in beautiful Western Arkansas with her husband, two sons, Nora the Doberman, and Chewy the Cat who thinks he’s a dog. She is the author of 17 novels, and 2 novellas, including the USA Today bestseller, Fate and Fury. Quinn is beyond thankful that she has been blessed to be able to write full time and hopes the readers know how much all of their support means to her. Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, crochet, and spending time with family and friends. She gives all credit of her success to God because he gave her the creative spirit and vivid imagination it takes to write.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

Click to enter an international Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box. Good luck! 🙂

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Book Blogger Insider Tag!

Book Blitz_-2Yay! Another book tag! I wasn’t actually tagged in this one but saw it posted on The Book Cover Girl’s blog and thought I should do it too.


Rules:

1. Answer the questions below
2. Credit the creator: Jamie @ALittleSliceofJamie
3. Tag at least 5 people
4. Have fun! 🙂


Questions:

1. Where do you typically write your blog posts?

Usually, it’s at my desk in my bedroom. Sometimes at work when I have a long break and nothing else to work on.

2. How long does it generally take you to write a book review?

It really depends. It’s so easy to write reviews for books that I didn’t like. I can just write on and on. It’s so much harder for books I absolutely adored. I honestly never do the book justice. It basically just me shouting at people to just read it and see. Not very helpful at all!

3. When did you start your book blog?

January 14th, 2016….I can’t believe it’s been 2 years!

4. What is the worst thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

Posting a few times a week. Some weeks I’m full of energy and great ideas. I can just write, write, write. Other times I’m so bogged down with work and other commitments that I just don’t have the time or motivation. Also, my reading isn’t what it used to be. I’ve been going in and out of wanting to read. So, I don’t read as much and lack things to post. But either way, I’m so happy to have this blog. I’ve met some great people and connected with authors/books I don’t think I would have discovered otherwise.

5. What is the best thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

Sharing my love of books with others! Also, discovering books that I don’t think I would have found before. Kat Ross has become one of my favourite authors but her books aren’t mainstream or well known. So…without blogging I probably would have never decided to give them a chance.

6. What blog post have you had the most fun writing so far?

I enjoy all of my blog posts, especially reviews that I had a difficult time writing because I’m so proud of myself for finishing them.

7. What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

Tags for sure! I have a love/hate relationship with reviews. Sometimes I really like writing them, especially when the words are flowing and I have so much to say. I used to make mixtapes for books but just haven’t had the time lately. I really want to go back to making those sometime soon!

8. When do you typically write?

I usually write posts on a Sunday afternoon or after work during the week. It all depends on how much I have pre-scheduled and if a special post needs to go up.

9. Do you review every book you read?

No, I always review books I received from the publisher but that’s pretty much it. If I really felt strongly about a book that I purchased then I will write something about it. I do try to post stuff about all of the books I read on Twitter or Goodreads.

10. How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of coffee or tea? With Netflix? Cuddled with your fur baby?

I usually write my reviews at my desk with a cup of coffee listening to a mix of rain or ocean waves. The sounds are so soothing and it makes blogging such an enjoyable and relaxing process.

11. How often do you post?

Hmmm….not as much as I used to or would like to. I try to post at least twice a week but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Scheduling posts has seriously been a lifesaver!


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Blog Tour: Nocturne by Kat Ross

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I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

35836852Nocturne by Kat Ross

Release date: October 15th, 2017
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook

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Nocturne, a wilderness of eternal night.

Solis, a wasteland of endless day.

Nazafareen is a Breaker, a mortal who has the rare ability to shatter spell magic—although her power carries a high price. With the memories of her former self erased and nowhere else to turn, she comes to Nocturne hoping to start a new life under the triple moons of the darklands.

But when an assassin forces Nazafareen to flee to the sunlit mortal city of Delphi, she finds herself embroiled in a deeper mystery whose origins lie far in the past. Why was the continent sundered into light and dark a thousand years before? And what really happened to the elegant but ruthless creatures who nearly reduced the world to ashes? The new Oracle might know, but she’s outlawed magic and executes anyone caught practicing it. Nazafareen must hide her powers and find a way out of the city—before it’s too late.

As the net slowly tightens, something ancient and vengeful begins to stir in the arid death zone called the Kiln. A dashing daeva named Darius is pursuing Nazafareen, but so are a multitude of enemies. War is brewing again. Can she stay alive long enough to stop it?

It’s no secret that last year Kat Ross became one of my favourite authors. I devoured all of her books and just couldn’t get enough. Her Fourth Element series is my personal favourite. Its a blend of Greek and Middle Eastern history, religion, mythology and magic. Besides being completely unlike anything that I’ve read before, its true strength was its characters. I couldn’t get enough of Nazafareen and Darius and was was heartbroken when the series ended. However, Ross has picked up their story again in Nocturne, which takes place not long after Queen of Chaos (the final book in Fourth Element series) ended. So, while technically you can read this book without having read the previous series, I do highly recommend checking it out. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

Now, it’s sometimes hard to keep things rolling when continuing a story, but this book was absolutely fantastic! From page one it just hit the ground running and I love books that do that. No slow buildup, waiting for the story to start. Its fast paced and full of twists and turns. I enjoyed the blend of old and new characters. Nazafareen and Darius are now hiding in his ancestral home, but things aren’t so good between them. Nazafareen has lost all of her memories and is struggling to piece together who she was and Darius (bless him) believes that it’s best to only tell her half-truths in order to protect her. He means well but Nazafareen needs to know more. So, well my two favourites spend most of the book apart, the new additions more than make up for it. Javid was so much fun to read about and Culach….I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I adored the chapters written from his POV. Wow!

I want to write and say more but I’ll seriously give away too much about the story and spoil parts of the Fourth Element series. This is so difficult! Anyway, it’s key to keep in mind that Nocturne acts as a setup for the rest of the series. A lot of different storylines are put into motion and more questions are asked than answered. If anything, it just makes me want to read the sequel, Solis, right away! (I’ve pushed aside all of my other books and moved it to the top of my TBR pile.)

I could go on and on about how much I loved this book, its world and characters. Ross has managed to create something truly magical, beautiful and complex. What else can I say but JUST READ IT! I promise you that you won’t regret it. ❤


About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook


Giveaway

Click to enter an international Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win an eBook boxed set of the Fourth Element trilogy. Good luck!