The Great Faerie Strike by Spencer Ellsworth, A Review

First, I want to say: What a great cover! It’s so unique and full of fun and this image perfectly reflects the vibe of this fabulous story!

Jane is not MAD. And, Jane is not your ordinary kind of girl. After an extended stay in an Asylum, Jane is ready to break free and return to Otherworld. However, after a year of being away, she finds that everything has changed.

Charles is part of Otherworld, a constant part. He is a gnome. But unfortunately he does not live up to the gnomish standards of reliability. Also, he is quite rude! And, I must say, unbearably funny!

This fun and exciting tale combines an old London with the magic of Otherworld, which lurks hidden around every corner if you know your way. There is murder, conspiracy, rioting and, do not forget most importantly, Communism! Mixed in this equally hilarious and intriguing story are the amazing creatures of fantasy: Vampires, Werewolves, Gnomes, Pixies, Bogarts, Redcaps and more.

Do yourself a favor and read this book. I personally had a blast and found that this lighthearted and yet poignant tale was a perfect read for this time period.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead, A Review

This is the third book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and as the series continues, it only gets more and more exciting!

The Dhampir novices that are training to become full-time guardians have a major test to pass, their field experience. This means that for 6 weeks they will each have a moroi charge, a student, that they will need to protect while the official guardians test them on their abilities. Rose just knows she will be protecting Lissa, but, to everyone’s surprise, she is assigned Christian instead. This is only part of the drama, though.

The Bond between Rose and Lissa is growing in strength which is allowing Rose to not feel Lissa’s emotions and see things through her eyes but to even experience pain… and pleasure.. that Lissa is feeling. This is getting interesting bc Lissa is in a very romantic relationship with her boyfriend Christian and honestly… it’s just TMI for poor Rose!

The reason this connection is happening is because of Lissa’s power with Spirit. This power gives her the ability to heal and use extra strong compulsion. When the car accident happened that killed Lissa’s parents and brother, she brought Rose back from the dead, which linked them forever and created this Shadowkissed bond.

I highly recommend the Vampire Academy series, it’s such a fun read and romantic and the excitement is nonstop. Just wait til you reach the end of THIS book, that’s all I’m gonna say, WOW.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

FrostBite by Richelle Mead, A Review

So I want to go over a few basics about this series. Elements that should be clearly understood. Strigoi are the undead Vampires that Dhampir guardians, like Rose is trying to become, protect their mortal Moroi Vampire charges from. Strigoi are immortal and, like I said, undead because they gave up that part of themselves by murdering the one they drank blood from. In a sense, they live to kill, if “living” is what you want to call it. The Dhampir guardians take them on and manage to kill them for good by one of three ways: beheading, a silver stake to the heart, and burning. Moroi, like Rose’s best friend Lissa, have the ability to use magic based on either air, water, fire, earth or, in rare cases, spirit. The Strigoi give this up , too, when they become monsters, and lose what I believe could possibly be a very powerful weapon, if the Moroi would just use magic to fight.

There is a major event in the very beginning of this book that sets the tone for how things are going to play out. Mainly, the Strigoi are teaming up to murder the royal Moroi families one by one. Because of the new threat against the royals, all the Moroi and Dhampir students at St. Vladimir’s Academy are grouping together with their family’s and their guardians at a ski lodge for the Christmas holidays. Interestingly enough, Rose’s mom makes an appearance as a guardian on duty, and I cant help but think, perhaps she’s worried about her daughter, too.

Lissa is on medication for depression, which I think is great. However, this definitely helps with her moods but leaves Lissa without the ability to use her spirit based magic. Spirit is a tricky kind of magic, very little is known about it. What is known is that it creates mental instability the more it is used. I think this is a really fascinating way to discuss depression and mental illness, because this is coming from a magic called “spirit” which isnt drawn from the outside world but from a person’s inner self.

Ultimately, though, this is just a great follow up to Vampire Academy. It’s fun, there is skiing and snowball fights… AND… lots of drama. Not to mention the wild ending. I may have cried for a second or that might have just been dust in my eyes… I’m sensitive, okay?

Anyways, I highly suggest this series! Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski,  A Review

This story begins with Ciri relating her version of what has come to pass to another legendary character, although not a character from this particular legend. This book highlights the depths of storytelling with legends within legends and myths within myths.

Geralt is currently “wintering” in Toussaint, a land of fairytale beauty. Yennefer, however, is a prisoner in Vilgeforte’s citadel. But although her captor and associates are trying to break her down, she keeps her spirit and stays the strong-willed sorceress I love.

This second to last book has everything. Daring rescues and all out battle, particularly the Battle of Brenna which is the last in the war that has been raging between the Northlands and Nilfgaard.

Although I loved this book, the ending makes me wonder exactly how this story is going to continue when it feels like it practically already has finished.

The Tower of Swallows by Andrzej Sapkowski, A Review

Right now it is the autumnal equinox, Velen, and the people are celebrating and feasting throughout the land. However, as night fell, this did not hold back the nightmares that came to life, galloping across the midnight skies. Perhaps this was a sign, a sign for a specific occurrence linking many individuals and leaving them awake and gasping, wondering about the meaning of these horrific dreams or visions.

Ciri, very luckily, finds herself in the hands of the learned hermit, Vysogota, and in his hidden and out of the way dwelling in the marshlands. As Vysogota heals Ciri, particularly her wounded face, she reveals her story of what brought her to this place at this time. Vysogota matches her embittered spirit with his own, and they find common ground to create a healing friendship and perhaps lose some of the bitterness and gain some inner strength to keep fighting.

I will say, I did figure out what happened to Yennefer… only to finish this book and be in the exact same situation… not having any idea if Yennefer is dead or alive. I have an idea, but I wish it was clearer. The Witcher, Geralt, is still among his friends, however his story seems to stop about midway through this particular book and I really cannot say what state he actually is in at this time. Time, that particularly would be a good thing to be made more clear in this book.

So… I really did love this book. I did immensely enjoy the intriguing politics and the intricate details that may make other readers, well, bored! I can see how some people would feel that way, and, in fact, I talked to a few people with that opinion. However, that doesn’t mean it is how everyone or even the majority of readers feel, just the handful I talked to.

I have already started The Lady of the Lake, which is the fifth installment and second to last in this series. So far, I am very excited and thoroughly enjoying it!

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

Baptism of Fire by Andrzej Sapkowski, A Review

This, the third book in the Witcher series, begins with Geralt healing in the forest of Brokilon with the help of the dryads while the outside world has erupted in chaos. This is where the reader meets Milva, AKA Maria, whom I did not have a good first impression of, however, that changed throughout the book as I got to know her better.

Milva brings Geralt news of the outside world, accidentally leading him to believe that Ciri has been taken by the enemy, Nilfgaard. This belief sets the Witcher on his journey to rescue Ciri with the help of initially just the bard Dandelion. Geralt’s retinue grows to include a diverse crew of misfits who refuse to leave his side. Much like Ciri and her involvement in the gang, The Rats, Geralt is overcome by unexpected friendships.

The land they travel through is war torn and full of horrific scenes of the aftermath of battle and pillaging. The ghastly leavings of war are not only found in the remains of burned villages, but in the gathering of desperate people. Desperate people that will point fingers and blame anyone weaker than them resulting in pure savagery.

This book eluded to much that was prophesied and did manage to answer some questions. Another thrilling read in The Witcher series, but for all the questions it DID answer, it still left me with more unanswered questions that are driving me crazy!

Next up is the fourth book in the series, The Tower of Swallows! Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski,  A Review

Everyone is still under threat of the Scoia-Tael, the Squirrels, a name for the elves that adorn their hats with squirrel tails and attack and ambush mankind. At the same time, Everyone is still in even more danger from Nilfgaard.

This book begins with Dandelion being attacked by a man named Reince. He portals away but not before Yennefer leaves him marked with distinctive facial burns. Geralt is looking for answers to why this man is looking for Ciri. One thing is for certain, a powerful wizard is assisting Reince in his endeavors.

Ciri, or Cirrilla, is in so much danger because she is believed to be the only remaining person in line for the throne of Cintra which is now under Nilfgaard control. Her grandmother was the great Lioness, Calanthe, a very strong monarch who left Ciri to be called the Lion Cub. Ciri is also known as being The Child of the Elder Blood, which this book makes the meaning of more clear.

Ciri is mainly in Yennefer’s care, who is planning on sending her to school where she will be locked away and hopefully safe. However, Ciri not only has her own plans, but those hunting for Ciri have their own plans that make this impossible.

Geralt wants to stay Neutral while the lands are in turmoil. He doesn’t want to choose whose side he is on. This is becoming increasingly difficult for him as Nilfgaard keeps moving in and is now convincing other strong monarchs to join their side. Eventually, for Ciri, for Yennefer, for Dandelion, Geralt of Rivia will have to choose who he not only stands with but who he fights for.

I loved the complex politics and maneuvering that happened in this book. These first 2 books are so different than the prequels. They are so much more serious and intense and I LOVE IT!!!

(Ps…. there are unicorns in this book, so … yeah, its awesome just because of that alone)

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!