September 2017 FairyLoot Unboxing

FairyLoot is a monthly book subscription box that specializes in Young Adult Fantasy books, based out of London, England. Recent themes include Otherworlds (August 2017)Tricksters (July 2017), Elementalists (June 2017). Every month they have a different theme and select an exciting newly released fantasy novel, in addition to 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 FairyLoot’s website!

And, if you decide to subscribe? Check out my FairyLoot Page for current discount codes for 3 and 6 month subscriptions!

So now, on to the exciting part – the unboxing! The theme for September 2017’s FairyLoot box was “All That Sass” – is inspired by your favourite sassy characters in YA! If you’re a fan of The Infernal DevicesThe Mortal InstrumentsThrone of Glass and The Grisha Trilogy then you are going to love this box – and even if you’re not, there’s no doubt in my mind you would love it anyways! There’s a TON of fantastic items, including exclusive foiling on the cover of the book of the month. Some of these items have never been included in a FairyLoot box before (Warning: Spoilers for box contents past this point)!

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So what, exactly, was in the box?

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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

In Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens, a skilled human painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince. Filled to the brim with folklore and beautiful prose, An Enchantment of Ravens is a must read for fans of the genre – and especially those who love all things faeries!

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life. Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

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October 2017 TBR

Hey Bookworms! For those of you who have been following my reading journey on my Bookstagram or Twitter, you’ll know that I have a moderately successful reading month in September – I managed to read about half of my TBR list (plus a couple books that weren’t initially on it), and with everything going on, I am pretty proud of that! I’ve still got quite a stack of books to work through, but I’ll get there one day … right?

So, what will I be reading this month?

I am going to try and be realistic with myself this month – with my educational journey as a Teacher Candidate now well underway, I now know my time to read will be limited, so I am under no illusions of believing I will actually be able to finish every book on the below list – once again, even half would be an accomplishment!

  1. The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May (June 13, 2017)
  2. The Changeling’s Journey by Christine Spoors (July 31, 2017)
  3. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (August 29, 2017)
  4. Godsgrave: Book Two Of The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff (September 5, 2017)
  5. Fireblood by Elly Blake (September 12, 2017)
  6. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (September 26, 2017)
  7. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (September 26, 2017)
  8. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli (October 3, 2017)
  9. Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell (October 5, 2017)
  10. Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson (October 10, 2017)

  11. What are you reading this month?

The Falling Kingdoms (Books 1-3) by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms is a fantasy book series for young adults by Morgan Rhodes.It follows the lives of four teenagers, Princess Cleo, Prince Magnus, Princess Lucia, and Jonas (the wine sellers son) as they, and others, navigate through increasingly dangerous political, personal and mythical situations. This review will focus on the first three books in the series – Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring and Gathering Darkness. I will be reviewing the latter three books in a future review.

While I enjoyed Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring and Gathering DarknessI am sad to say that overall,  I found them to be lacking. The character development felt quite forced and artificial, the relationships so “black and white”, so clear-cut that they too felt forcefully constructed, and the world-building was really just lacking – sometimes it was there, and other times Rhodes seemed to just forget about it.

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Falling Kingdoms (Book 1) 

“War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.”

Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen. The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything. Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making. Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.

Falling Kingdoms was definitely an interesting book, but unfortunately I just couldn’t bring myself to love it, for several reasons. First off, this book is perhaps the best example of my earlier statement regarding character development feeling quite forced and artificial. In fact, it was less character development, and more a character suddenly morphing into a completely new person after one singular event – Jonas, Cleo and Magnus are all exemplary examples of this flaw. By comparison, Lucia’s character development felt much more holistic and natural, leaving me quite disappointed that she wasn’t featured very heavily in Falling Kingdoms.

Secondly, the world-building in this one was just all over the place – characters seemed to teleport from one location to another, and then other times travel took a more reasonable amount of time, leaving me quite confused about the actual size of Mytica.

Finally, and this is perhaps my biggest qualm with Falling Kingdoms, the writing simply felt childish. Often, the vocabulary used felt more suited to a middle grade novel than YA. Moreover, the plot development was similarly childish, building for far too long, with a disappointing climax and conclusion, leaving the reader feeling cheated. Overall, this was not a fantastic book, but I maintain high hopes for the rest of the series (2/5).

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Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas

Tower of Dawn is the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. Tower of Dawn follows Chaol , Nesryn and Yrene Towers on their sweeping journey in a distant empire. This may be one of Sarah J Maas best works, highlighting just how adept Maas is at world-building, character development and story-telling.

Please note that the below review may contain some spoilers for Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas, in addition to other books in the Throne of Glass series. 

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken. His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica–the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them. But what they discover in Antica will change them both–and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

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August 2017 FairyLoot Unboxing

FairyLoot is a monthly book subscription box that specializes in Young Adult Fantasy books, based out of London, England. Recent themes include Tricksters (July 2017), Elementalists (June 2017)Warriors and Legends (May 2017). Every month they have a different theme and select an exciting newly released fantasy novel, in addition to 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 FairyLoot’s website!

And, if you decide to subscribe? Check out my FairyLoot Page for current discount codes for 3 and 6 month subscriptions!

So now, on to the exciting part – the unboxing! August 2017’s FairyLoot box was all about “Otherworlds” – this box celebrates other fictional worlds, or fictional worlds within the normal world. If you’re a fan of A Court of Mist and FuryLord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Peter Pan then you are going to love this box! There’s a TON of fantastic items, including some really awesome bonus items. Some of these items have never been included in a FairyLoot box before! (Warning: Spoilers for box contents past this point!)

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Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

“Every story needs a hero. Every story needs a villain. Every story needs a secret. Wink, Poppy, Midnight. Two girls. One boy. One summer. One bad thing. What really happened? Someone knows. Someone is lying.”

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke is an enthralling Young Adult Contemporary read, wherein mystery, deceit and magic coalesce; where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change in an instant. Released in Canada on March 22, 2016, this short, yet intense, YA Contemporary read is a mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange that is a must read for fans of The Raven Cycle (Maggie Stiefvater) and We Were Liars by E.Lockhart.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

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