BLOG TOUR: A Thousand Fires

A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price

Title: A Thousand Fires

Author: Shannon Fires

Publisher: Tor Teen

Edition: eARC

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository

 

 

 

synopsis

 

10 Years. 3 Gangs. 1 Girl’s Epic Quest…

Valerie Simons knows the city’s gang wars are dangerous—her own brother was killed by the Boars two years ago. But nothing will sway her from joining the elite and beautiful Herons to avenge his death—a death she feels responsible for.

But when Valerie is recruited by the mysterious Stags, their charismatic and volatile leader Jax promises to help her get revenge. Torn between old love and new loyalty, Valerie fights to stay alive as she races across the streets of San Francisco to finish the mission that got her into the gangs.

-EDITORIAL REVIEWS-

“Modern, unflinching and filled with haunting, lingering imagery, A Thousand Fires gives the story of the Iliad the bare-knuckled update it deserves.” –Colleen Oakes, author of The Black Coats

“A Thousand Fires pulls you in close and shows you the essence of what it means to keep fighting. Shannon Price is one to watch.” –Gwenda Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds

“Brutal and beautiful, A THOUSAND FIRES broke my heart. A fast-paced tragedy of love, betrayal, and vengeance.” –Heidi Heilig, author of FOR A MUSE OF FIRE

“Fast-paced… Vivid descriptions and intricate details bring San Francisco to life … A promising debut.” –Kirkus

 

review

 

I will be honest, I didn’t quite expect that I will not like A Thousand Fires. I don’t know if I’m the problem or the book. I can’t distinguish if the reading slump I’m right now is the reason. Or I’m still can’t recover from the huge book hangover that the last series I’ve read gave me.

I did enjoy the first quarter of the book, but as I proceed in reading, I find it difficult to understand what is happening. I have lots of questions that keep on coming like who is this character again and the likes.

With this, I don’t understand what the story and character are all about. I tried everything, but I can say that the story is not for me as of the moment.

On the positive side, I can say that I found the writing style unique in the first part. I can say that it is the kind of story with a fresh start that lets the readers not be overwhelmed. It is with the ease that readers can say that they will enjoy and grasp the story fully at their own pace.

If I set aside the negative things about the book, I can say that A Thousand Fires is the book I can enjoy and give a chance to re-read it for the second time around.

 

MY RATING: 

3.5 STARS

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For more info and reviews, you can check the schedule for the A Thousand Fires Blog Tour

A Thousand Fires Blog Tour Schedule

 

BLOG TOUR: The Dragon Warrior

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Title: The Dragon Warrior

Author: Katie Zhao

Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Kids

Edition: ARC

Pages: 330 pages

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository

 

 

 

synopsis

As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret.

Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon–and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, by commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. That is, if she can prove her worth and find the island of the immortals before the Lunar New Year.

With Alex and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. But becoming the Heaven Breaker will require more sacrifices than she first realized . . . What will Faryn be willing to give up to claim her destiny?

Inspired by Chinese mythology, this richly woven contemporary middle-grade fantasy, full of humor, magic, and heart, will appeal to readers who love Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta.

 

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review

 

Being used to reading Greek Mythology, I was hesitant at first to read The Dragon Warrior as it talks about Chinese Mythology. But later on, I found myself loving Chinese Mythology as well as I love Greek Mythology.

If you’re familiar with Rick Riordan’s famous The Lightning Thief, you’ll find that The Dragon Warrior has some similarities with it. Despite having similarities, The Dragon Warrior has its uniqueness and distinction that everyone will surely love.

After reading the first chapter, I found myself putting the book down not because I didn’t like it, but loving it that I immediately made an IG story predicting it was a five star read with just the first chapter. Oh my goodness, Katie Zhao, the author itself notice it and post it on her own IG story.

Regardless of the things that I’ve shared, I can totally say that The Dragon Warrior is a fast-paced story packed with adventure-driven story. It has a total package where you can find and learn great things about family and friendship.

Definitely looking forward to the next book to find more about Faryn and Ren’s next adventure. And to find more answers about the hanging revelation and questions that we encountered in the end.

 

MY RATING:

4.5 out of 5 stars

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

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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. 

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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

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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.

 

The Dragon Republic ( ARC Review)

Title: The Dragon Republic

Author: R.F. Kuang

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Edition: ARC

Pages: 654 pages

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

 

 

synopsis

The searing follow-up to 2018’s most celebrated fantasy debut – THE POPPY WAR.

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.

 

 

review

 

I received an ARC in exchange of review from Natasha of Harper Voyager UK. With this, my review and opinions are purely on my own.

 

Bolder. Fiercer. Stronger. And more determine. That is just the words to describe Fang Runin or Rin as we know after the ending of the epic and debut novel The Poppy War.

The Dragon Republic started with Rin as the new commander of the Cike planning and vivaciously organizing a way to kill the Empress. With the help of a new ally, Moag, Rin together with the Cike got stronger and have more resources to kill the Empress. But not as what they plan, an unexpected event happens that resulted two members of the Cake to leave, and learning that Moag is not an ally after all. With this, Rin and the rest of the Cike got to see an old friend, whom they thought died the last Poppy War. With this, they also met Nezha’s father and new characters that will help them eliminate the Empress.

With the help of their new allies, Rin successfully learn new things that she didn’t know she was capable of. She also learns to control her addiction to opium. Everything goes according to plan until Rin got to understand, and learn things that everything she knew was all a lie and she was used by the people whom she trusted.

Just like the Poppy War, Kuang didn’t disappoint in giving her fans a book that gives them a roller coaster ride. She still writes beautifully in terms of plot writing and strategic military scenes. Even if it’s a 654 pages book, you won’t find it irritating but hoping that the book will have more pages.

You will not like what happens in the end but later on, realize that Kuang did it for the Dragon Republic and the next book to be enticing and for fans to thirst more of what will happen next.

To those who will read the Dragon Republic, here’s an advice, get ready to cry and smile and get mad for the things that happen in Rin and the Cike’s life.

 

MY RATING:

5 out  of 5 stars

5 stars

 

Thanks for reading and checking my review. You can also check my review of first book, The Poppy War.

 

The Girl the Sea Gave Back (ARC Review)

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Title: The Girl the Sea Gave Back

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Edition: ARC

Pages: 324 pages

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

 

 

 

synopsis

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

 

review

Thank you to Wednesday Books for sending me an ARC for review. With this, my review and opinion are on my own.

They said that Sky in the Deep is better than The Girl the Sea Gave Back. And some said The Girl the Sea Gave Back is better than Sky in the Deep. For me, who hasn’t read Sky in the Deep can say that maybe they are right, that is it better.

Despite being a fast-paced read, I find The Girl the Sea Gave Back a little bland. For fantasy, the plot makes the reader confused with the use of flashbacks. Flashbacks are okay to understand the past of the characters and to know about the plotline. But I find it unnecessary as the flashbacks are in the wrong chapters. Instead of knowing what will happen next, flashbacks that don’t have connections were on the present plot.

Upon reading the book, you can also predict what will happen next. There are also lots of characters and terms that don’t have an explanation. Because of it, this makes the story difficult to grasp. It also lacks a connection with the two main characters. It made the reader understand if they are romantically.

They said that it is a standalone, but I hope that they will release another book as there a lot of unanswered questions about it. The ending doesn’t justify the plot and the characters’ situation.

I don’t find The Girl the Sea Gave Back to be a good read, but for those people whos into Vikings, I highly recommend it.

My rating is three out of five stars, but with the fast-paced style of it, I’m giving it a four out of five stars.

MY RATING:
4 out of five stars

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Blog Tour: Eclipse The Sky

Eclipse the Skies (2019)

Title: Eclipse the Sky

Author: Maura Milan

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Edition: ARC

Buy LinksAmazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository

 

 

Thank you to Shealea for picking me to be part of the blog tour and to the author for the review copies.

 

synopsis

 

Ia Cōcha never thought she’d be working for the Olympus Commonwealth. But that was before she found out her trusted brother Einn was trying to tear apart the universe. Now, Ia, the Blood Wolf of the Skies, has agreed to help the Royal Star Force on one condition: when she finds him, she gets to kill Einn herself.

Brinn Tarver has just come to terms with her Tawny identity when the public lashes out against her people, crushing her family. At her breaking point, she starts to question everything she believes in—including Ia.

After the death of his mentor, Knives Adams is doing his best to live up to a role he didn’t ask for as Aphelion’s new headmaster. Still, with each new step deeper into war, he feels torn between his duties and the pull of Ia’s radical—sometimes criminal—ideas.

As they fight to keep darkness from eclipsing the skies, their unpredictable choices launch this breathtaking sequel to explosive new heights.

 

review

 

Set in a world full of space and galaxies, Eclipse the Sky is a sequel that will tear everyone’s heart.
Up until now, I still can’t believe that it’s already over. I haven’t even recovered yet, with Ignite the Stars and here I’m writing my review for Eclipse the Sky. To Maura, how dare you for writing the two books like that.
But kidding aside, Eclipse the Sky is a story written beautifully and it screams how Maura wrote with such ease. It is the kind of story where readers can feel what the author wants his/her reader to experience.
Reading the book at first makes me learn things for the first time. It let me remember what are the things that happened and who are the old and new characters. But with the author’s writing style, I didn’t find it hard to grasp the new things that the book has.
One thing that makes the story interesting and enjoyable is the characters. I love the way how the characters grow. The characters have responded well with the situations they have met and with the characters that they have acted with. You can see that they evolve in a way that readers will learn to love them and not hate them. With their characteristic, the readers where be able to sympathize with them and understand who they are. All in all the characters are one of the things that make the book perfect for the readers.I want to say more but I should stop to avoid spoilers.

All I can say and recommend is you should read the two books. I promise you that you will not regret it.

 

MY RATING: 

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Blog Tour: My Fate According to the Butterfly (Book Review)

MFAttB coverTitle: My Fate According to the Butterfly

Author: Gail D. Villanueva

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Edition: ARC

Buy LinksAmazon

 

 

 

“Thank you to Miss Gail. Shealea, Kate and Cara for including me to the blog tour. Thank you also to Scholastic for providing the ARC”

 

synopsis

Light and deep, smart and funny, crushing and hopeful all at the same time, My Fate According to the Butterfly will open your eyes to both the world’s potential for magic, and to its harsh realities.
* “Villanueva’s debut is a beautiful #ownvoices middle-grade novel. Tough topics — the brutal war on drugs in the Philippines, family reconciliation, and recovery — are addressed, but warmth and humor… bring lightness to Sab’s story. This immersive novel bursts with life.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

When superstitious Sab sees a giant black butterfly, an omen of death, she knows that she’s doomed! According to legend, she has one week before her fate catches up with her — on her 11th birthday. With her time running out, all she wants is to celebrate her birthday with her entire family. But her sister, Ate Nadine, stopped speaking to their father one year ago, and Sab doesn’t even know why.

If Sab’s going to get Ate Nadine and their father to reconcile, she’ll have to overcome her fears — of her sister’s anger, of leaving the bubble of her sheltered community, of her upcoming doom — and figure out the cause of their rift.

So Sab and her best friend Pepper start spying on Nadine and digging into their family’s past to determine why, exactly, Nadine won’t speak to their father. But Sab’s adventures across Manila reveal truths about her family more difficult — and dangerous — than she ever anticipated.

Was the Butterfly right? Perhaps Sab is doomed after all!

 

 

review

 

To be honest, the first time I saw the book I wasn’t interested at all as I don’t do Middle Grade except Rick Riordan. But when I learned that the author is Filipino, I told myself “Carmel, you  should definitely read and support it.”

Here in the Philippines, it is common that when you saw a butterfly it is more likely that someone is going to die or bad things will happen. Sabrina or Sab is a 10 year old character in the story that believes she is going to die because she saw a black butterfly inside their house. Now, torn between reconciling her sister and father Sab learns the harsh truth of what it is really happening in the Philippines.

Plotwise, Gail wrote My Fate According to the Butterfly with such ease that readers can vividly enjoy and imagine the reality of the world through the perspective of a young girl. Different scenarios like eating the famous dirty ice cream and kwek-kwek in the street is so refreshing to the eyes. There’s also the MRT scene which is a common scenario here that shows that a country has its flaws sometimes.

When reading the book, you can see how beautiful Sab and Pepper’s friendship is even they are just children. You can see that no matter what the world throws them they are still with each other’s side.

One specific thing in the book is where there’s an Operation Tokhang where Sab, Pepper, Nadine and Jepoy got a ittlee involve.  For those who didn’t know Operation Tokhang it is a thing here in the Philippines where police is raiding a specific place to capture the people who uses or sells drugs. And that for me is kinda alarming because a 10-year old child got to experience that kind of brutal thing. I know that even if your young you should be knowledgeable about it. But being a teacher, for me children should not see and experience it as their consciousness is still fragile. They are things that children should not experience as it may help them to have trauma and be accustomed with that thing. But with the world today we cannot avoid that and we mature and old people should just guide them.

One funny and interesting in the story is Sab’s pet. Not just like the other book, Sab’s pet is a freaking DUCK. Can you believe it? It’s a DUCK as in D-U-C-K. Nevertheless, it’s so cute and refreshing.

To wrap it all. My Fate According to the Butterfly is a refreshing story about the harsh truth of the world through a perspective of young girl.

 

MY RATING:

Actual rating is 4.5 stars

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About the Author

GailDVillanueva

Gail D. Villanueva is a Filipino author born and based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer, an entrepreneur, and a graphic artist. She loves pineapple pizza, seafood, and chocolate, but not in a single dish together (eww). Gail and her husband live in the outskirts of Manila with their dogs, ducks, turtles, cats, and one friendly but lonesome chicken. Her debut novel, My Fate According to the Butterfly, is coming from Scholastic Press on July 30, 2019

Author Links:

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

 

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