Blog Tour: The Orchid Throne (Book Review + Excerpt)

Orchid Throne_cover

Title: The Orchid Throne

Author: Jeffe Kennedy

Publisher: St. Martin’s

Edition: eARC

Buy Links: Macmillan

 

 

Hello and welcome to my stop for the The Orchid Throne Blog Tour. Today, I’m glad to share to all of you my review and an excerpt that will surely encourage you to pick and read The Orchid Throne. I would be happy also for you to see the photo that I’ve taken with The Orchid Throne. 

71549361_629066570833226_8886768543559843840_n.jpg

Excerpt from The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy

“Arise, Your Highness. The realm awaits the sun of Your presence.”

The ritual words cut through the thick smoke of the nightmare, bringing me awake with a start. A bad omen that I hadn’t come out of the dreams on my own—and a sign that gave the images the power to linger in my mind, stains refusing to be scrubbed clean.

The wolf fought its chains, howling in hoarse rage, shedding fire and ash.

The sea churned, bloodred and crimson dark, bones tossed in the waves, white as foam.

The tower fell into a pile of golden rubble, then to fine sand, the grains sliding against one another with soul-grinding whispered screams.

I loathe dreaming, where I have even less control than in the waking world. Calanthe Herself sings sweetly to me of the seas, the plants, and the creatures that walk Her soil. But outside our fragile island, the abandoned lands beyond cry like frightened children in the night. I can’t help them. It’s all I can do to protect Calanthe, and most days I despair of being able to do even that.

Still, with no one else to hear them, they call to me in chaotic images, the nightmares dashing me from one dark scenario to the next. No matter how the dreams plague me, I usually wake when the light of the rising sun reddens my eyelids. I keep my eyes closed, pretending to anyone who checks on me that I’m still asleep. Pulling the pieces of my composure together, I listen to the morning song of Calanthe. The birds sitting high in the canopy to catch the first warming rays of the sun show me the sky. The fish swimming in the sea speak of clean water and plentiful food. Even the trees, the flowers, the small insects in the soil all hum to me of their lives.

All reassure me of the balance, that Calanthe, at least, is peaceful and vital.

Only I and the land I’m tied to exist in that time after sleep and before true waking, in what I call the dreamthink, an almost enchanted bubble where I belong entirely to Calanthe. The emperor does not own me. The crying lands he’s orphaned are silent. My ladies have not yet woken me to wrenching reality and the trials of the day ahead.

Dreams always seem to me a terrible price to pay for the succor of sleep. Neither my naturalists nor my physicians seem to be able to explain the purpose of such dreams. And of course, Anure killed all the wizards, so I have none to tell me if magic can answer those nighttime screams. So without answers, and like the exorbitant tithes I’m forced to send to the emperor, I do pay the price, and nightly. The dreamthink is my reward, my time with Calanthe. A gift arising from waking Ejarat of the earth welcoming the return of Her husband, Sawehl of the sun. In the dreamthink, in Calanthe’s sweet communion, I can believe the old gods are with us still, that they haven’t abandoned us. That I have reason to hope.

“Euthalia, wake up. We’re ready,” Tertulyn whispered in my ear. My first lady-in-waiting, doing her duty as always. She couldn’t know she’d woken me from the nightmare instead of the dreamthink. Or that starting my day this way meant it would be certainly cursed.

No one believes in omens or curses anymore. Or hope, for that matter. In this, too, I am alone.

Euthalia is a mouthful, but no one calls me that except for Tertulyn so it doesn’t matter. Only Emperor Anure has the rank to address me by my given name, and I avoid conversation with His Imperial Nastiness to the best of my ability. Tertulyn has called me by my name since we were children, but only when no one can overhear, as etiquette demands.

 

A PRISONER OF FATE

As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people

free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

 

Huge thanks to Miss Natalie of St. Martins Press for inviting me to join the blog tour for The Orchid Throne.

The Orchid Throne is a fast-paced story that enables the reader to captivate the beauty of a slow burn romance. It is the kind of story that has a low impact in the beginning. But venturing through the rest of the story, you will find yourself engaging your time reading it.

Reading the book, you will find yourself reading a contemporary rather than a fantasy. Fear not as it doesn’t affect the story but makes it more unique and a one of a kind story.

One aspect of the story that made it written beautifully is the characters. It is a two perspective point of view that makes you know who’s who. You can distinguish who is doing his POV even without the name at the beginning. With the personality of the character, you’re aware that he is the one who’s having the POV.

The characters’ relationship is the one that hooked me. I love it specifically Con and his companionship. They act like they are family despite having no blood relationship. Every time it’s Con’s POV, I don’t find any dull moments. I always look forward to his part. Lia’s part is also good but not as Con’s.

Funny how in the end, I found that the big event that I’m looking forward to didn’t happen. But still, find it hilarious as an unexpected “BIG EVENT” happen between the two main characters.

There are things in the story that didn’t give answers, nonetheless, it’s okay as it makes the reader thirst and look forward to the upcoming book. And find out what will happen next to Lia and Con’s story.

MY RATING:

4 OUT OF 5 STARS

5-stars-e1569305626158.jpg

 

ABOUT  THE AUTHOR

Jeffe Kennedy_credit Pritschow Photography

JEFFE KENNEDY is an award-winning, bestselling author who writes fantasy, fantasy romance, and contemporary romance. She serves on the Board of Directors for SFWA as a Director at Large.

Her most recent works include Prisoner of the Crown and the upcoming Exile of the Seas, from her high fantasy trilogy from Rebel Base books, The Chronicles of Dasnaria, in the same world as her award-winning fantasy series The Twelve Kingdoms and The Uncharted Realms. She is a hybrid author, and also self-publishes a fantasy series, Sorcerous Moons. Her books have won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015, been named Best Book of June 2014, and won RWA’s prestigious RITA® Award.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and on Twitter @jeffekennedy.

 

Advertisements

Grim Lovelies (Book Review)

37570566

Title: Grim Lovelies

Author: Megan Shepherd

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Edition: ARC

Pages: 374 pages

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and NobleBook Depository

 

 

 

synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.

 

review

 

Dark, enchanting,  captivating and surprisingly wonderful.

Grim Lovelies is the book you shouldn’t wanna miss if you love politics, fairy tales, magical realism and plot twisting story.

The book started when five beasties Anouk, Beau, Luc, Viggo, Hunter Black and Cricket found out that their mistress was found dead in her own bedroom. Without their Mada, the beasties embark on a journey where they needed to know who the killer is before the spell that keeps them to be human vanished.

Anouk the protagonist is such a lovely character and a fresh breath of a person. I love how innocent she is at the beginning and how she gets stronger and stronger as day passed. She is the character that you will surely love immediately. Her relationship with the other beastie is one of the most adorable thing that I found about her. Love how she handle every situation well and how brilliant she is when coming up with a plan.

The other beasties and characters are also well portrayed. I love how each of them has complimented each other and how their friendship grows throughout the story.

With regards to the plot. The magical system in the story is so good that reading the story enables you to feel that magic is true. I love how the plot twist gave the readers more reason to finish the book and learn what will happen next in the story.

The story takes place in Paris. With this, I found and experienced how lovely Paris is even though I haven’t visited it yet in real life.

I found Grim Lovelies to be an interesting and amazing book. I can’t wait to read the next book to know what will happen.

 

MY RATING:

5 OUT OF 5 STARS

rate1.jpg

Blog Tour: Lies That Bind Review + Giveaway

Lies That Bind_500

Title: Lies that Bind (Anastasia Phoenix #2)

Author: Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Edition: eBook

Buy the Book: Entangled Teen

Hi and welcome. Today marks the day of my stop on the blog tour of Lies that Bind.  I will be sharing also my what Lies that Bind is, an excerpt, giveaway and of course my review.

Before anything else, here is a teaser of what the book is all about.

LTB-Teaser1.jpg

LTB-Teaser6.jpg

*SYNOPSIS*

What do you do when you learn your entire childhood was a lie?

Reeling from the truths uncovered while searching for her sister in Italy, Anastasia Phoenix is ready to call it quits with spies. The only way to stop being a pawn in their game is to remove herself from the board. But before she can leave her parents’ crimes behind her, tragedy strikes. No one is safe, not while Department D still exists.

Now, with help from her friends, Anastasia embarks on a dangerous plan to bring down an entire criminal empire. From a fire-filled festival in England to a lavish wedding in Rio de Janeiro, Anastasia is determined to confront the enemies who want to destroy her family. But even Marcus, the handsome bad boy who’s been there for her at every step, is connected to the deadly spy network. And the more she learns about Department D, the more she realizes the true danger might be coming from someone closer than she expects…

*MY THOUGHTS*

First of all, I would like to say thank you to Entangled Teen for giving me this opportunity to become a part of the blog tour and review Lies that Bind.

Set in a world where no one should be trusted. Lies that Bind is the continuation of the  tight gripping story of Anastasia finding the whole truth about her parents and what is the mystery that envelop Department D.

Just like the first book, Lies that Bind is the perfect book for readers who love action pack ed adventure that will take you to a roller coaster ride. It is a story that you will not expect what will happen nor predict it. I love how it motivates me to read more of it and discover what will be happen and who are the persons behind it.

The characters are well develop and they are the characters who you wouldn’t want to mess with. I love how the story is being told and written. It is not your ordinary story, it is a story that will make you think and analyze. Think and analyze in a way that you will surely want to unravel the mystery that envelop the story.

The story ends with a nice shocking revelation and cliffhanger that will make you want to read next book.

All in all, Lies that Bind is a book that you will enjoy every bits and a book that you wouldn’t want to miss.

My Rating:

5 stars out of 5 stars

*EXCERPT*

“Mom and Dad are either dead or they abandoned us. I’m not sure which is worse,” I said bluntly. “But if they are alive, we don’t know how many people, how many lunatics, think we’re walking maps to their doorsteps. They’ll use us, and they’ll hurt us. Again.”

“Then we’ll stop looking for them.” Keira shrugged like it was easy. “Why do we need to go anywhere to do that?”

“Because everyone on that terrace is somehow connected to Department D, Marcus and Antonio especially!” I stared at the gray sky, aggravated. Did she think I wanted to do this? I was about to walk away from a guy I cared about because of our parents, because of things that they did. They committed crimes, they had an affair, and they put us in danger. All we could do now was survive. “As long as we’re linked to them, we’re not safe. Especially if Mom and Dad are alive. We have to go off the grid.”

LTB-ReviewQuote1.jpg

About the Author:

1404210.jpg

Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of the Anastasia Phoenix Series, three young adult spy thrillers (Entangled Publishing, 2017, ’18, ‘19). The first book in the trilogy, Proof of Lies, was named by Paste Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Best Young Adult Books for March 2017.” Bustle also listed her as one of the “Top Nine Latinx Authors to Read for Women’s History Month 2017.” Additionally, she is the author of three award-winning young adult novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books); as well as a YA short-story collection entitled Mirror, Mirror (Buzz Books, 2013).

She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, a school-based Workshop Instructor for Mighty Writers in Philadelphia, and has been a Writing Instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth since 2015. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia.

Author Links

Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

*Giveaway*

Click here for a chance to win a signed copy of Lies that Bind + bookmark

PH BLOG TOUR: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Excerpt + Giveaway)

 

TitlForest of A Thousand Lanterns Covere: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)

Author:  Julie C. Dao

Publisher: Philomel Books

Edition: ebook edition

Pages: 363 pages

Buy the Book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo / iTunes / Book Depository

 

 

Thank you to Erika of The Nocturnal Fey for allowing me to be part of this blog tour and Penguin Ramdom House for sponsoring the blog tour.

 

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is an East Asia-inspired fantasy and a retelling of the Evil Queen. Below is an excerpt of the book.

 

* Synopsis *

An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

 

Excerpt from Chapter 7

 

The stirring within grew more pronounced and she closed her eyes in prayer. Forgive me, great lords, she begged. Forgive me for the lives I have taken. But there was no answer, and no forgiveness . . . only a rising dread that beaded her skin with slick perspiration.

In the silence, the hunger began—deep and primal and fierce, stronger than anger, more potent than lust. The creature preened, its poison caress sending tingles of need into every fiber of her body. She was helpless in the face of its desire, for its craving was hers as well. Satisfying that hunger would cleanse her and restore the perfection of her face as it should be on a journey to her destiny.

Xifeng stabbed into the rabbits, snapping their bones to find their tiny hearts. She slipped both hearts, still beating weakly with the last vestiges of life, between her lips and chewed. The blood scalded her throat as it slid down deep inside her, and she felt a roar of satisfaction echoing from within. A feeling of sated, lazy pleasure filled her being.

She ran her fingers over her face, now as perfect as it had ever been. Her cheek felt raw and clean, like she had simply scrubbed the wound out. If she were to see her reflection again, this time it might be glowing with well-being, inside and out. The knowledge of this power—and of being able to harness it for herself, whenever she wished—was as heady and addicting as wine.

“Miss?”

Xifeng jumped, dropping the carcasses in her surprise.

Shiro stood nearby. He stared at her not with desire or admiration, as other men did, but with the dawning horror she’d felt the first time Guma had forced her to eat the squirrel’s heart.

Such a look might have made her quake moments ago. But now she felt strong, flawless. “I trapped these for our morning meal,”she said smoothly, with perfect calm. “I wanted to repay you for sharing your boar with us last night.”

 

* About the author *

 

Julie C. Dao.jpg

Julie C. Dao (www.juliedao.com) is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

Author Links:

Official Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Goodreads Author Page

 

* Giveaway*

Win a copy of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Ph only) Giveaway Link