Labelled as a “witty western that will will enchant both YA and adult readers” Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell was released in North America on May 4th, 2017. While Spellslinger may be hard to stumble across in your local bookstore (here in Canada at least), seeking out this magical book will be worth every bit of time and effort you put into it (coincidentally, if, after reading this review, you want to buy your own copy of Spellslinger, you can pick it up at The Book Depository, which conveniently has free world-wide shipping)!
There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is surviving your sixteenth year. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.
Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage’s duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi – a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She’s difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen’s only hope. The first in a rich and compelling fantasy series bursting with tricks, traps and a devious talking squirrel cat.
“Wicked, wicked to the core, the city will burn forevermore” – Amanda Foody, Daughter of the Burning City
Devilish complex and completely ensnaring, Amanda Foody’s debute novel, Daughter of the Burning City debuted on July 25th, 2017. With a stunning cover, an utterly original cast of characters and a cleverly weaved plot, Foody did not disappoint, and fans of the genre will find themselves more than satisfied with this addition!
Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show. But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that – illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed until one of them is murdered. Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca. Their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all her loved ones disappear.
With the release of Our Dark Duet on June 13th, 2017, Victoria’s Schwab’s Young Adult Duology, which began with This Savage Song on July 5th, 2016, is now complete, and so it felt like it was time to review both books, and the duology itself, as a whole.
The duology itself flows very well together – the story, the characters and the tone of the writing are consistent across both books, and I definitely feel that the story Schwab crafted here was well suited to a duology. More books may have simply dragged the story out for too long, while a single book definitely wouldn’t have done August and Kate’s stories justice (Overall Duology Rating: 3.5/5).
Roar is New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut. Released in North America on June 13th, 2017, this stunning addition to the Young Adult Fantasy genre is sure to please fans of the genre, and capture the attention of even those who don’t normally find themselves gravitating towards YA Fantasy.
In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them. Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people. To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks-storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters. Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.
New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy series that began with Reign of Shadows continues in this lack-luster, rushed sequel, Rise of Fire, released in North America on February 7th, 2017. You can find my review for the first book in this series, Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan, here.
Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever. Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the King discovers both Fowler and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne. Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler but the power she was destined to inherit.
So, it’s been two weeks since I last posted, and you may be wondering – what happened to me? You’re not alone – I’ve been wondering the same thing. But sometimes, life just gets away from you – as it has recently gotten away from me – and I found myself needed a brief break from the world of blogging and reading. But I am back now, and I’ve got lots of new and exciting reviews coming your way – so fans of YA Fantasy, or just Fantasy in general, watch out!
“Adventurous and dangerous! Fate and fires, pirates and shadowmen, Song of the Current will carry you into a treacherous and fantastic world, which you will not want to leave.” —Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval
From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark. Song of the Current by Sarah Tolscer had been on my watch list for awhile, then my June TBR, so as soon as it was released in Canada on June 6th, 2017, I was off to the book store to pick it up! And it did not disappoint – Song of the Current instantly swept me away to a world of fantasy, pirates and danger that is not to be missed!
Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will. Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.
“Without risk, life is far too predictable” – Renee Ahdieh, Flame in the Mist, p.137.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan where Mulan meets Throne of Glass. Released on May 16, 2017 in Canada, Flame in the Mist promised to be one of the best Young Adult Fantasy releases on the season – and Ahdieh certainly didn’t disappoint!
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace. Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.