Sweet and Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley, ARC Review

Too much love can be dangerous, but too little love can be a curse.

I’d like to start by saying this book has a great map! If you know how I feel about maps then you know how important this is imo.

Tamsin is a witch and will cast spells for the citizens of her village for a very particular price: love. More specifically, the love that person feels for another. She does this because of a curse that took her ability to love, and Tamsin needs and desires to simply FEEL again.

Wren is the opposite of Tamsin in so many ways. She is vibrant and full of feelings and possibly a little naive. She is also a Source which means she is full of magic that can supplement a witch’s own power.

When a plague comes, a sickness that can steal a soul and make the whole world volatile and vicious, everything starts changing for Tamsin and Wren. They begin to work together and start on a journey to the Witchlands to help stop this black magic.

This story is exciting, twisty and turny, and even full of not just magic but references to classic fairytales that make this book even more fun. I adored the light romance and the interesting conversations between Wren and Tamsin that included some funny comments. Overall, an enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend!

Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson, A Quick Review

Rysn travels with Chiri Chiri on her ship Wandersail to Aimia.  And really,  you just need to read and find out what happens because once again,  Sanderson has made the impossible possible!

I loved this short story.  It was heartwarming and full of fun characters that I love reading about,  particularly The Lopen.  I highly recommend this, especially to be read between Oathbringer and Rhythm of War.

Dark Shores by Danielle L Jenson, A Quick Review

Teriana is part of the crew of her mother’s Maarin ship, The Quicense.  But when the land they are currently trading with gets a new leader and finds out there is more to this world than the Cel, Teriana and her people are in a world of trouble.  
Marcus, a commander of one of the most dangerous legionnaire armies, is tasked with going with Teriana and travelling from the shores of the East to the dark shores of the West. 
This book includes an awesome trip by sea with a sea serpent and battles between the gods and more magic.   Not to mention… romance!
Can’t wait to read book two!

Curse of the Divine by Kim Smejkal, A Quick Review

Curse of the Divine by Kim Smejkal was such an interesting read. Much like the first book, I didn’t love the beginning but as I kept reading, the story opened my eyes and I saw the depth behind the imagery. These books question reality and the line between life and death, not to mention the sincere way the characters deal with grief. I wound up really loving this series and do recommend it.

Comes out February 9th!

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke, A Quick Review

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke is definitely an exciting story but it is not without its faults. The world is interesting and well done and I loved the characters but some things felt a little forced. Ren is a badass woman making her way through life by fighting and gambling for money to stay afloat but everything starts changing when Darek enters the scene and recruits her to join the rebel cause to overtake the throne. I enjoyed this read but the ending felt rushed and I simply think everything moved to quickly for me to feel a true resolution. The characters were well thought out. Adley and Lesa, Kellen and Holland, and Ren and Darek, separately were all great teams, but when they finally came together there just wasn’t enough explained for me to feel that there was true camaraderie between them and I feel the same about the romance between Darek and Ren. It’s a good story, I enjoyed the read but not one of my favourites.

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir, A Quick Review

“You are broken.  But it is the broken things that are the sharpest.  The deadliest.  It is the broken things that are the most unexpected, and the most underestimated.”

This book is such a great ending to this series.   I honestly did not know exactly what to expect, was Sabaa Tahir going to break my heart or give me a happy ending? Turned out that the answer is both.
The strength and tenacity of these characters is what makes the story so appealing.   They keep fighting no matter what, and at the same time,  they do not forget to laugh and celebrate life amidst all the tragedy.   This tale shows the essence of the effect war has on young people and their ability to overcome.  I love how the suffering in these books is what brings out the main characters magical ability.  That this hardship creates these unique gifts. 
A truly mesmerising series that I highly recommend!

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang, A Quick Review

The Poppy War by R.F.  Kuang is such an incredible historical fiction fantasy series.   The first book was good, the second was great, and the third, The Burning God,  was devastatingly incredible.   Rin takes on her War  torn country with a state of ruthless unequalled by anyone.  The emotions run high in this saga and in this last book in particular.   This story is something I will never forget.  It is beautiful and painful,  and it’s not meant to be dismissed. 

The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige, A Quick Review

This book is about sisterhood, mixed in with mysterious secrets and, of course, it is brimming with witchcraft.
Vivi is moving on from a hectic life with her tarot card reading mom and moving to Savannah to attend Westerly. This is where she discovers a sorority name Kappa and meets the seemingly perfect Scarlett who will wind up becoming a major part of her life. Kappa is not a normal sorority. It is literally a sorority of witches and their sisterhood overflows with magic.
I definitely recommend this for a fun and quick read. I had a blast reading about all the awesome spellcraft and the more normal day to day life of an awkward college student. Overall a great read.

A Universe of Wishes,A We Need Diverse Books Anthology, Edited by Dhonielle Clayton, A Quick Review

This incredible book of short stories took my breath away. Find the best way to spend a wish. How to make hard choices. Pushing boundaries. Be bold. Not to forget your past. That you may need a partner in crime. Dare to Dream. That wishes can come true. To learn the true story of the heart in unexpected ways. The true price of not feeling heartbreak. To unfold your own myth and be connected across the ages. Stories of beauty. A fairytale in NYC. How love is always real, no matter the form it takes. These stories create an enchanting and, sometimes, heart wrenching way to look at love and I cannot reccomend this higher. I do not think any of these tales will leave me any time soon.

Malice by Heather Walter, A Quick Review

This take on a Sleeping Beauty fairytale with a twist is just as beautiful as it is dark. Alyce is the Dark Grace. She is at least half Vila, which is a different kind of Fae than all the other Graces she works around in the kingdom of Briar. A Grace usually uses her power to make a person more beautiful, more charming or more wise, not so with Alyce. Alyce is marked different, not only by her blood, but by her mainly negative potions she creates for others to use against their enemies. She usually will create something to cause warts, or perhaps hair loss, before a big event. This and the cruel treatment of the other Graces causes Alyce to believe she really is a monster. It is not until she meets Princess Aurora that things change. Princess Aurora has a curse upon her, a curse that will kill her at age 21 unless she receives true love’s kiss. Alyce must find a way to help the princess, grow stronger in her true power, all without becoming the monster almost everyone believes she is. The question is, will Alyce save the kingdom or destroy it? I highly recommend this gorgeous fairytale to fans of fantasy. It is a truly mesmerising story that had me reading late into the night! Expect Malice to be released in April of 2021. I’d also like to thank Netgalley for this ARC!