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review 2019-08-19 16:28
Review: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir
A Torch Against the Night - Sabaa Tahir

Set in a rich, high-fantasy world inspired by ancient Rome, Sabaa Tahir's AN EMBER IN THE ASHES told the story of Laia, a slave fighting for her family, and Elias, a young soldier fighting for his freedom.

Now, in A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, Elias and Laia are running for their lives.

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf the Empire s most secure and dangerous prison to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars' survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene Elias s former friend and the Empire s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape...and kill them both."

4.5 ★

This book starts off right where we were left last book. So if it has been a while since you read book one it might be helpful to read a recap or something like that, because it throws you right back into it.

In this book we’re also getting Helene’s POV and I really liked that. She was a important character from book and now we get to know her better and see her thought which I really liked.

I wasn’t sure about her in the first book, but now I really do like her and feel for her. I think out of all of them she had the toughest journey. Laia….. umm I’m torn when it comes to her. Sometimes I can’t stand her and other times I feel bad for her. She definitely grows in this book but still sometimes it feels she is not sure of anything or herself. Sometimes she is like she doesn’t know anything and unsure and other times she almost seems overconfident. I think that was part of me not really likening her at times.

Elias, I liked him and he also had a rough time in this book, but I think he handled it pretty good…… for the most part. I’m super curious to see what will become of him.

I thought the beginning of this book was a bit slow but oh boy did it pick up, the last half of this book I read though in one sitting because I didn’t want to put it down.  This book also gave me emotional whiplash for sure. There are so many twist that will make your head spin. It’s filled with action, betrayal, shocking discoveries , heartbreak. The last few chapters were brutal not just the onslaught but also emotionally.

I honestly have to say though sometimes I had a Game of Thrones flashback   in some scenes.

Yes, there is romance but I don’t think it takes the foreground all that much. In some parts it is important but others not at all.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot. I rate it 4.5 ★

 

 

Available NOW

Amazon *** B&N  *** Kobo

 

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review 2019-08-15 15:44
Review: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes - Sabaa Tahir

 

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

 

 

I finally got to this book that been sitting on my shelf forever and I’m so happy I did.  I really enjoyed this book, it was a bit different from what I thought it be but that made it even a bit better.

I really enjoyed this setting, its dark, twisted and cruel world they live in but it was fun to follow them and see how they will survive,  if they survive.

The first half was a bit slower as far as word building and character introduction but I actually in this case really enjoyed the slower pace. It didn’t give you the feeling of too much info dumping which was nice.

The book has duel POV, Elias and Laia , but we get an even bigger view into their world from each of them . Elias the soldiers and other view and Laia the slaves and some of the resistance, both are not pretty but fun to follow each and their journeys.

I really enjoyed the characters for the most part, I liked Elias right away, but Laia took a bit getting used to not sure why. But I ended up liking her. I also liked Helene very much, there were a few I wasn’t sure about and that I didn’t trust as much, and still don’t at the end but we shall see.

The romance I wasn’t sure what we get … a love triangle, love quadrangle or what….. I had some theories but that got squashed shockingly like a bug on the windshield.

There are some pretty good plot twists some will give you whiplash, some I saw coming others really surprised me.  We also get plenty of action and some heart breaking moments.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to see what happens next.  This was a great first book into a new series that I really enjoyed.

I rate it 4 ★

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available NOW

Amazon *** B&N *** Kobo 

 

 

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review 2019-01-21 17:35
The thrilling sequel to ‘Reign of The Fallen’ takes us back to a very different Karthia; this time foreign invaders, political unrest, and Odessa’s relationship take center-stage
Song of The Dead - Sarah Glenn Marsh

This is the thrilling sequel to ‘REIGN OF THE FALLEN’, a novel that introduces us to Odessa, a necromancer in Karthia, where she has the special magical ability of raising the Dead. She is able to cross into the spirit world called the Deadlands, and she also is a fierce fighter; when monsters called Shades start kidnapping Dead nobility, Princess Valoria has Odessa and her fellow necromancers investigate (including Evander, someone who she loves deeply).

Odessa and her friends do all they can but  it’s not enough to save someone she loves; a Shade rips apart and kills Evander, and Odessa turns to ‘potions’ to cope with her loss.

 

Without revealing ALL details of the book (because you need to be reading THAT NOW before you read ‘Song of The Dead’!), by the end of the novel we have Odessa leaving Karthia aboard The Paradise to pursue Evander’s dream of seeing unknown. So where will the sequel lead us?

 

SONG OF THE DEAD

 

With Karthia behind them, Odessa and Meredy are aboard Kasmira’s ship The Paradise, ready to discover new lands and bring word back to Queen Valoria about the new world. They discover a friendly land, Sarral, where people keep dragons, and the Dead only come out at night, and before they get a chance to get settled, news of unrest back in Karthia has them back on their ship sailing for home, their long trip cut short.

Instead of the threats of the past, open borders  means the threat of foreign invaders, on top of political unrest, and Valoria is hoping that one of her mages can create a new weapon good enough to fight it all now that the Dead can’t help them win this battle.

 

While ‘Reign of the Fallen’ was filled with monstrous death and loss on account of the bloodthirsty Shades, giving the book a very dark tone, ‘Song of the Dead’ begins with a feeling of hope despite all that the Karthians have gone through. 

The beginning ocean voyage initially made me feel as though Odessa and the crew were going to be gone long from the difficulties of their homeland, and I was worried that things had got too easy for them (!), but the adventure of this book, while quite a departure from ROTF, quickly takes off. The book actually goes through several different ‘phases’, with the ocean voyage, the time in Sarral, the return back to Karthia, and because of the vivid world-building, you will be easily carried through them, experiencing all the different chapters and introducing new characters along the way.  

 

There is a lot of internal drama due to the political unrest in this book (the Karthians start to rise up against the changes that Valoria wants to make) as well as thanks to the new emotional ups and downs experienced by Odessa. The outside foreign threat and new civil crisis are a great juxtaposition, and I actually it think could be seen as a bit of a gamble when the first book was almost entirely  about the Dead and then they barely appear in the plot of the second. I personally think the gamble works.

 

But the biggest twist of all comes late in the novel, and while Odessa is not having to fight Shades or something as gruesome, she finds herself fighting something harder and puts her life on the line to save everyone. I think this twist is especially clever, particularly with how it ties in with the first novel and how Odessa’s magic works. 

 

At the heart of this exciting novel is the relationship between Odessa and Meredy, despite both of them reeling from the loss of Evander. Author Marsh, who champions LGBT romance, devotes plenty of page time to the complicated ‘keep us guessing’ relationship between the two girls. Marsh also includes a number of other characters with relationships on the LGBT spectrum, and the representation feels positive and realistic and actually as though it’s quote/unquote ‘normal’ (whatever that is!). This is a breath of fresh air, because it just feels like it ‘fits’ and there isn’t a lot of posturing or trying too hard. Marsh just gets it.

 

I am fortunate, nay, blessed, to be immortalized in this book as Baroness Katerina (along with my cat), and then to be acknowledged at the end. I will be forever grateful to Sarah for this. I am also so very sad that my trip to the magical Karthia and the Deadlands is now over, but I enjoyed it enormously. I can’t wait for another bookish adventure at the hands of Sarah Glenn Marsh, and I hope many YA fantasy readers enjoy these two books as much as I have.

 

‘Song of The Dead’ is available from Penguin Teen on January 22nd, 2019!

You can buy it right HERE!

 

*Warning: you will want a pink dragon after reading this book.

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/40125269-song-of-the-dead
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review 2015-08-24 08:30
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Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes,Michelle Rowen

So this book came up in a "Books like Red Queen" shelf. So I decided to see if any were as bad or better than Red Queen.

 

Compared to Red Queen this book is WAY BETTER. Doesn't have the misogyny of Red Queen and certainly the world characters are better written.

 

Now about the book itself. Considering everything is LimerOS, AuranOS, WesterO-- wait that last one isn't in this book. Yeah, basically this is trying to be Game of Thrones Lite or something. Without all the rape rape rape. I'm not certain if it does or not because Game of Thrones should disappear forever so I'll never read it.

Lest to say the map is dull, 3 kingdoms stacked on top of each other. One king is EVIL, one is... a drunkard? We Really don't get to learn too much about him other than his daughter is an exotic snake dancer because EXOTIC. Only what she's doing isn't so exotic. And she (I think) is dark skinned, but so is Jonas and probably most of the other Paelsians. aaand TRAGIC GOOD? KING.

Really this book tries to set itself up for greatness only it feels like the entire book is buildup with no real resolution.

The female characters are kinda flat and weak of course. The men are.. evil. The other characters are too enigmatic to really care about so you forget they exist until they have their one page exposition.

Overall this is not a book I like. I don't like all the killing and the death... there's a lot of dying in here for named characters. I wanted to get into the fantasy magical side of the book, but this is more about how the kings are going to kill each other off. It was just boring and didn't seem to spend enough time on the character that matter than the characters that were just an engine to move the characters we really wanted to care about.

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text 2015-01-16 21:33
AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir - Excerpt reveal & Giveaway!

Hey GCReaders!

I am seriously sitting here jumping with excitement! MTV shared an excerpt of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir today, and reading it reminded me of why I LOVED this book so, so, so, much!

Good Choice Reading, along with some other amazing bloggers, will be sharing a lot of post about AN EMBER IN THE ASHES leading up to it's release on April 28th!

Penguin Group/Razorbill has also thrown in an awesome prize for one lucky reader! All you have to do is follow along and enter via the rafflecopter. The giveaway is open all month long!


First, here is a little bit about the book that I am raving about...
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Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.


READ THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS OVER AT MTV.COM 
 
 
 
Pre-order today! 
You won't regret it!
 
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Leave a comment below telling us your thoughts on the first two chapters! What did you think? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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