ARC Book Review: Wicked As You Wish

Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: A Hundred Names for Magic, #1
Length: 432 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated….

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Gretel Graphic Novel Review

Gretel by Ben Meares
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 148 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Gretel’s story has been more nightmare than fairy tale ever since the tragic events of her childhood involving her brother and a maniacal witch. These events have left her cursed with a life that will span centuries.

After consuming the heart of a psychic witch, Gretel has been gifted the power of premonition. But when she has a psychic vision foretelling the end of the world, Gretel must open old wounds if she wants to try and prevent it from coming true.

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Book Review: Five Dark Fates

Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake
Rating: 4 Stars
Series:  Three Dark Crowns, #4
Length: 452 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
After the battle with Katharine, the rebellion lies in tatters. Jules’s legion curse has been unbound, leaving her out of her mind and unfit to rule. Arsinoe must find a cure, even as the responsibility of stopping the ravaging mist rests heavy on her shoulders, and her shoulders alone. Mirabella has disappeared.

Queen Katharine’s rule over Fennbirn remains intact—for now. But her attack on the rebellion exacted a high price: her beloved Pietyr. Without him, who can she rely upon when Mirabella arrives, seemingly under a banner of truce? As oldest and youngest circle each other, and Katharine begins to yearn for the closeness that Mirabella and Arsinoe share, the dead queens hiss caution—Mirabella is not to be trusted.

In this conclusion to the Three Dark Crowns series, three dark sisters will rise to fight as the secrets of Fennbirn’s history are laid bare. Allegiances will shift. Bonds will be tested, and some broken forever.

The fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens.

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Kingdom of Souls Book Review

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Kingdom of Souls, #1
Length: 496 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
THERE’S MAGIC IN HER BLOOD.

Explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend, where one girl must sacrifice her life, year by year, to gain the power necessary to fight the mother she has never been good enough for.

Perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas, Tomi Adeyemi and Black Panther

THERE’S MAGIC IN HER BLOOD.

Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.

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Book Review: Reverie

Reverie by Ryan La Sala
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 384 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Ryan La Sala’s debut fantasy is an #OwnVoices story following Kane Montgomery, a gay teenager piecing his life back together after an attack robs him of his memories. As Kane searches for who he was, he uncovers a war for the creative rights to reality itself, each battle played out in an imagined world turned real: a reverie.

Reveries are worlds born from a person’s private fantasies, and once they manifest they can only be unraveled by bringing their conflicts to resolution. Reveries have rules and plots, magic and monsters, and one wrong step could twist the entire thing into a lethal, labyrinthine nightmare. Unraveling them is dangerous work, but it’s what Kane and The Others do.

Or did, until one of The Others purged Kane of his memories. But now Kane is back, and solving the mystery of his betrayal is the only way to unite his team and defeat reality’s latest threat: Poesy, a sorceress bent on harvesting the reveries for their pure, imaginative power.

But what use might a drag queen sorceress have with a menagerie of stolen reveries? And should Kane, a boy with no love for a team that betrayed him, fight to stop her, or defect to aid her?

Reverie is about the seduction of escaping inwards, about the worlds we hide within ourselves, and the danger of dreams that come true.

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Ascender Review

Ascender, Vol 1: The Haunted Galaxy by Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen (Illustrator)
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Ascender, #1
Length: 136 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Powerhouse creative team Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen launch an all new series in Ascender! Set 10 years after the conclusion of Descender’s storyline, here magic has taken the place of machinery and the rules are very different indeed… Mila, the daughter of Andy and Effie from Descender, spends her days exploring the lonely wilds of the planet Sampson and trying to stay out of the clutches of the evil disciples of the all powerful vampire witch known only as Mother. But like her parents, Mila doesn’t like to play by the rules and when a certain robot pal of her dad’s shows up, nothing will ever be the same! With all the scope and heart of the sci-fi classic, Descender, Lemire and Nguyen reunite to take readers on an unforgettable fantasy quest!

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Book Review: Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 3 Stars
Series: The Grisha, #1
Length: 369 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

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Book Review: Song of the Crimson Flower

Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Rise of the Empress, Companion
Length: 288 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Will love break the spell? After cruelly rejecting Bao, the poor physician’s apprentice who loves her, Lan, a wealthy nobleman’s daughter, regrets her actions. So when she finds Bao’s prized flute floating in his boat near her house, she takes it into her care, not knowing that his soul has been trapped inside it by an evil witch, who cursed Bao, telling him that only love will set him free. Though Bao now despises her, Lan vows to make amends and help break the spell.

Together, the two travel across the continent, finding themselves in the presence of greatness in the forms of the Great Forest’s Empress Jade and Commander Wei. They journey with Wei, getting tangled in the webs of war, blood magic, and romance along the way. Will Lan and Bao being to break the spell that’s been placed upon them? Or will they be doomed to live out their lives with black magic running through their veins?

In this fantastical tale of darkness and love, some magical bonds are stronger than blood.

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Graphic Novel Review: Mooncakes

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker, Wendy Xu (Artist)
Rating: 5 Stars
Series:  Standalone
Length: 259 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

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Book Review: Dragon Curse

Dragon Curse by Lisa McMann
Rating: 5 Stars
Series:  The Unwanteds Quests, #4
Length: 432 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
At last, after harrowing battles and devastating losses, the three Stowe siblings are reunited. Back in Artime, however, their joy at finding one another is short lived. Fifer loses her leadership position and struggles to find her place and purpose, while Thisbe is relentless in her determination to return to the land of the dragons and help Rohan rescue the other black-eyed children. Aaron fails to ward off increasing opposition from a resentful Frieda Stubbs and the dissenters, leading to a shocking and dangerous turn.

Meanwhile the Revinir pursues Thisbe and Drock all the way to the seven islands, putting the people of Artimé in peril. To save them, Thisbe makes an unthinkable sacrifice that leaves Fifer, Aaron, and the others to face political eruption and destruction in the formerly peaceful magical world.

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