Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

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.

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Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

“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.

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August 2017 Reading List

So here it is – another month of trying to tackle (and overcome) my forever growing To Be Read pile. For every book I finish, it seems like a new one just … appears (I swear, I’ve barely bought any new books this summer!).

So, what will I be reading this month?

Well, after a crazily busy July, I have a lot of catching up to do; I am setting some more reasonable reading goals for myself, and hoping that the few weeks that I do have off in August can be used for some quality reading time! That being said, much of this list may look similar to my recent TBR’s, but there’s some new books on here as well!

  1. Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh (June 13, 2017)
  2. Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers (June 13, 2017)
  3. Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell (May 4th, 2017)
  4. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody (July 25th, 2017)
  5. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (December 11th, 2012)
  6. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller (August 29th, 2017)
  7. Wicked Liked A Wildfire by Lana Popovic (August 15, 2017)

 

So, what will you be reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

DUOLOGY REVIEW: Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab

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).

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Roar by Cora Carmack

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.

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MINI MONDAY: Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan

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.

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June 2017 Fairyloot Unboxing

FairyLoot is a monthly book subscription box that specializes in Young Adult Fantasy books, based out of London, England. Previous themes include Warriors and Legends (May 2017), Dreams and Wishes (April 2017) and Myths and Monsters (March 2017). Every month they have a different theme and select an exciting new title with 4-6 hand selected goodies – like book inspired teas, candles, bookmarks, tote bags, and more!

So, how can you get a FairyLoot box of your own (because once you see the awesome books and all the awesome loot in them, I know you’ll want one too)? For more information, check out http://www.fairyloot.com/

And, if you decide to subscribe? Use the code ONEPAGE5 to save 5% of your 3 or 6 month subscription! How cool is that?

So now, on to the exciting part – the unboxing! The theme for June 2017’s FairyLoot box was “Elementalists”, and it featured some truly awesome stuff! Honestly this may be my favourite FairyLoot box ever – they just keep getting better and better! (Warning: Spoilers for box contents past this point!)

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So what, exactly, was in the box?

  • One of five different Stormheart Candles (I got the Skyfire one!) made by Witchwood Remedies

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  • One of four Bending Lipbalms (inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender) made by Geeky Clean

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  • A Hamsa Hand Bracelet made by In the Moment (see full unboxing photo below!)
  • Clairvoyance Soap made by Ascent Bath and Body

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  • Potion Sticky Notes made by FairyLoot (see full unboxing photo below!)
  • Portable Magic Pillowcase designed by Miss Phi 
  • The Waking Land Sampler
  • Frostblood (Elly Blake) Postcards
  • And, of course, the book of the month – Roar by Cora Carmack, which came with a letter from Cora and a signed bookplate!