Book Review: When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

This. Book. Was. Amazing.

It’s been so long since I’ve read a novel of magical realism that touched me as deeply as When the Moon was Ours. It’s hard to live up to 100 Years of Solitude in terms of magical realism, but hell yeah McLemore has earned her spot in my heart along with García Márquez.

This story is so much deeper than what the synopsis implies; in fact, I find the synopsis doesn’t do this narrative justice. I wish that it would mention how inclusive this story is and how beautifully it explains the fears, memories, and secrets that everyone holds inside them wishing no one would hear or discover. I interpreted Miel’s roses as a way of expressing how those things can affect our outward world completely, and while we all don’t have roses growing beautifully and painfully out of our wrists, our emotions affect how we present ourselves to those around us. So much applause for McLemore on this.

Be aware that magical realism might take a few chapters to draw you in, but stick with it- it’s worth it!

Seriously, this review is going to be me gushing for the most part.  I understand the town that McLemore has created around Miel and Sam. The small town where any weirdness is outcast and those who don’t fit into the picture of normality are the topic of hurtful gossip, name calling, and more.  It’s so realistically done even though the narrative is told specifically through the eyes of Miel and Sam.

This is probably a spoiler, so I’m going to preface it by saying that, but Sam’s journey throughout this novel was absolutely wonderful. Sam is a transgender boy and I can honestly say I’ve not read a passage from a book about transgender identity that has described the experience for those individuals better than this one:

The endless, echoing use of she and her, miss and ma’am. Yes, they were words. They were all just words. But each of them was wrong, and they stuck to him. Each one was a golden fire ant, and they were biting his arms and his neck and his bound-flat chest, leaving him bleeding and burning.

He. Him. Mister. Sir. Even teachers admonishing him and his classmates with boys, settle down or gentleman, please. These were sounds as perfect and clean as winter rain, and they calmed each searing bite of those wrong words. 

Beautifully written with the narrative full of lush depictions of nature this is a book you don’t want to miss. Anyone looking for an LGBTQ book recommendation: here it is. Read it, Love it, and Share with others.

4.5 Bards to When the Moon was Ours.

Book Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

theravenkingNothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey…and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

When I walked into the Raven Boys fandom earlier this year, around two months ago, I was a good four years late.  My experience coming into the fandom so late was kind of like this gif:

Everyone was freaking out about Gansey, Blue, Adam, and Ronan and I was just coming in with pizza and asking to join in the fun.

You can check out my reviews of The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves. I was a bit slack and never wrote one for Blue Lily, Lily Blue because I was too excited about the release of the final installment.

Now, this gif can also kind of describe how I felt going into the final novel of the Raven Cycle anyway, because I was expecting to just be completely surprised, duped, and amazed by what I read.

I was.

First and foremost let me address the obvious: Yes, Gansey DOES die.  I appreciate Maggie being so open and positively adamant about Gansey “going down,” to put it in her words.  It was poignant and necessary, and despite having known about his impending doom since the first page of the first installment, it still was so amazing.  We got everything we desired out of it, the true love’s kiss and all.

The story picks up very soon after the end of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and readers are thrust immediately into the aftermath of Maura’s return with Artemis (who is literally hiding in a closet), and how it is going to affect the overall arch of the story.

Stiefvater’s writing is just as succinct as in the previous installments, and even the introduction of three new characters was seamless and felt absolutely necessary to the progression of the narrative.

Shippers will be so happy with this installment as Lynch x Parrish finally becomes officially canon (which was confirmed by Maggie herself, so don’t come screaming spoilers to me! *hides*).  I’m not going to lie, I immediately texted Olyvia to tell her that it was happening, and that I was not ready for the goodness.  While it isn’t an overly descriptive section of the novel, it is perfectly done in order for readers to be able to imagine it on their own, and it gives plenty of leeway for those fan fictions that I know are already floating around in the internet-sphere.

Noah. My sweet baby Noah. You deserved to live.  You deserved to be there and celebrate the culmination of the narrative with your best friends.  You deserved so much.  But, I love how Stiefvater still made him so intricately involved in the plot.  He was the most excellent example of a character who had lost his “muchness,” (to quote Alice Through the Looking Glass), but was still so important to the entire Raven gang.  I really wish there had been a little bit more closure between him and Blue, but that is beacause I think they had such a beautiful friendship.

Speaking of developing friendships, I really could not have been more pleased with the development between Ronan and Blue, as I really think they are almost two sides of the same coin.  The loves of Adam and Gansey’s lives, respectively, with hot tempers and overtly opinionated personalities.  A small gesture in the epilogue really brought it to fruition and I loved it.

There were disappointments and great successes in the culmination of The Raven Cycle, and overall I think that the entire plot was well executed and what I would consider the best of Stiefvater’s writing so far.

Olyvia and I both really enjoyed it and we were both left with some questions, as every good novel should provide, but the story was just wonderful.

Make way for 5 Bards for the Raven King!

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Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

You can check out my review of the first Raven Cycle novel here.

I couldn’t help but immediately dive into The Dream Thieves as soon as I finished The Raven Boys.  I have officially succumbed to the Raven Cycle fandom and I am not ashamed.  I’m so glad that I finally picked these up because I am enjoying them immensely.

Dream Thieves picks up not long after the events of Raven Boys, but I can say that I’m really glad I was able to read these two back to back.  Not that it is too confusing or anything, but there is a lot of detail that Stiefvater put into these novels that I’m sure would have required re-reads during the long time between them in order to remember everything important.

dreamthievesquotesThere was a significant change in the point of views for this novel, because while the first was mostly Blue, Adam, and some Gansey with a hint of Ronan, this one is 85% Ronan.  I missed getting the nice third person limited views of the of the rest of the group, but it was surprisingly relaxing to read the inner workings of Ronan Lynch’s mind.  He really has had a very haunting life, one that readers barely glimpse in the first novel.

I appreciated the addition of Kavinsky as a major player in this novel as well, even though he is an asshole.  Stiefvater did a great job of providing a character that is similar to Ronan,  but with much darker intentions, in order to show us that Ronan really is a hero and worthy of his ability to pull things from his dreams.  There are a lot of circumstances of his life that come to light in this novel and there is the addition of thugs and assassins in order to raise the stakes.

I am ranking this one a bit below Raven boys in my ratings, only because, while I really enjoyed this one, I liked the first installment a bit more.

So much for the sophomore slump in a series, I say, because Stiefvater kept my attention the entire time.  I have already started the third installment, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and I cannot wait to see where she takes us next.

4 Bards

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Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I can honestly tell you that I’ve not been a fan of Stiefvater’s previous work.  I found the Shiver trilogy unenjoyable and The Scorpio Races a bit boring. Don’t get me wrong, these are just my personal opinions of those novels and it’s very possible they were just not my cup of tea.  I encourage everyone to form their own opinions of them and read those novels.  However, I would rather you skip all of those and go directly to The Raven Boys.

I finally see what magic some readers have been seeing in Stiefvater all this time, because this novel was addicting, astonishing, amazing, and a host of other positive adjectives that don’t start with “a.”

by tumblr user: sturmhond

Not only has Stiefvater created a world that I didn’t want to leave (I immediately read The Dream Thieves and am currently reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue), but she has also given readers a group of characters that are so different but yet still have aspects of someone you know within them.  Blue isn’t necessarily exactly like everyone, but some aspects of her personality or her behaviors are familiar.  Everyone knows someone who seems to have two sides, one that they show to the world and the other they reserve for their friends, just like Gansey.  There’s the person who has to work hard for everything they have, like Adam.  And Ronan, well, he is damaged and aren’t we all a little damaged? I can’t say much for Noah, other than we do all know someone who is dead.  We aren’t necessarily literally haunted by them as Noah has corporeal form, but we are haunted by memories.

The plot is wholly original with the nice Arthurian spin to it, and I just can’t praise it enough.  I loved the use of magical realism, and I adore Blue’s family and all of the secondary characters.  Even just reading this, I’ve learned more information about the tarot than I already knew and hope that the rest of the novels continue to teach me.

I found the POV shifts to be a bit rough toward the beginning of the novel, especially since they were each in third person limited.  However, once the novel established the characters a bit more fully, then the shifts seemed more organic and it became more flowing as if these characters almost share a stream of consciousness, even though they do not.

Overall, I’m giving this first installment 4.5 Bards and keep an eye out for my reviews of The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

I’m seriously kicking myself for waiting to pick these up.

four.fivebards

Book Trailer Release

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arrowsA modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements
of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV’s Teen Mom. 

People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.

Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.

A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?

Release Date: January 26, 2016 from Delacorte Press

“This tale of Cupid meets teen mom is unique . . . for fans of fantasy fiction and mythology, such as Aimee Carter’s ‘The Goddess Test’ series or Rick Riordan.”—SLJ

“A sweet high-school twist on Greek mythology with added substance about teen parenting and breaking out of a bad relationship.”—Booklist

“A great mythological take on love, heartache, and teen pregnancy.”—VOYA

You can buy this novel here:

Amazon : Barnes & Noble

melissaauthor

Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a former magazine editor and columnist who believes love is everything. She is a proud member of the SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens and the Class of 2k16.

She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and family.

Follow Melissa on social media!

Website : Twitter : Instagram : Facebook

 

Here’s the book trailer!

 

 

Giveaway!

Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US only.

Please see terms and conditions for full contest rules. Some restrictions apply.

1 Winner will get an amazing Arrows Valentine includes:
– Signed hardcover of the book
– Stella & Dot arrow wishing bracelet – “Adventure awaits. This Arrow bracelet is the perfect reminder to fulfill your dreams.”
– The official Arrows makeup bag by Gracie Designs
– A Valentine from the author

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Blog Tour: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

Today is Midsummer’s stop on the blog tour for The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore! Check out our information on the novel, the author, read an excerpt, and enter to win a copy from St. Martin’s!

theweightoffeathersThe Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet in this stunning young adult novel about two teens who fall in love despite the almost impossible odds against them.

The Palomas and the Corbeaus have long been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation.

Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows-the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

About the Author: 

annamarieAnna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and grew up in a Mexican-American family. She attended University of Southern California on a Trustee Scholarship. A Lambda Literary Fellow, she has had work featured by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, CRATE Literary Magazine’s cratelit, Camera Obscura’s Bridge the Gap Series, and The Portland Review. The Weight of Feathers is her first novel.

 

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Excerpt: 

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Copyright © 2015 by the author and reprinted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Griffin.

 

Giveaway: 

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Blog Tour: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

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Welcome to A Midsummer Night’s Read’s stop on the Blood and Salt Blog tour, hosted by Penguin Teen!

Check out the book synopsis below, listen to the book playlist, and enter to win a hardcover copy of the book.  My Review of Blood and Salt will be up tomorrow!

 

bloodandsalt“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.

As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.

Release Date: September 22, 2015

Blood and Salt is full of creepy goodness, but there’s also a scorching hot romance.

This is the official Ash and Dane playlist directly from the author herself! (Click on the song title to listen!)

1) Neighborhood #1— Arcade Fire

I love this song– I think it captures that all-consuming feeling of first love.

2) I Never— Rilo Kiley

“I’ve got nothing to give, except everything. The good and the bad.” The ache in this song is so real.

3) Flow — Sade

This is a seriously sexy song. I can just imagine this playing during the lake scene.

4) Use Me— Holly Golightly

I think this shows Ash’s attitude to her brother’s warnings.

5) The Crystal Ship— The Hot Rats

Dark, gritty with a slight hallucinogenic quality. I can imagine this playing during that incredibly hot kiss on page 236.

6) I Want It That Way— Backstreet Boys

If this seems like an oddball choice– you’re right. Read the book and you’ll understand everything. ; )

7) Bloodstream— Stateless 

This song feels like a dream– a perfect combination of anguish and bliss.

8) It Won’t Be Long— Jason Collett

“When you close your eyes, kiss my mouth, I know I’m closer now than anyone has ever been.” Nuff said.

9) Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want— Clayhill

I always think of Dane when I hear this. It reminds me of his focus on Ash– he’s trying to do the right thing, but he’s clouded by desire.

10) Closer— Kings of Leon

“She took my heart, I think she took my soul.” This song is dark, dangerous and sexy.

11) I Want You— Elvis Costello

I wrote an incredibly hot scene to this song that didn’t make it into the final book. But this song belongs on this playlist.

12) Night In My Veins— Pretenders

“It feels good, even if it’s just the night in my veins.” I think there’s a part of Ash that knows this is dangerous, but she doesn’t care. It feels too good.

13) Can’t Seem To Make You Mine— The Seeds

This is such a fun song! Very Ash and Dane.

14) Fall At Your Feet— Boy & Bear

This is a beautiful song, but there’s a certain sadness that reminds me of Ash and Dane.

15) Shade And Honey— Sparklehorse

This song is so romantic and dark and strange. Just like Blood and Salt.

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Be sure to check out some of the other stops on the Blood and Salt tour, and come back tomorrow to see my review!

Good Books & Wine –  9/14
Addicted Readers – 9/15
Jessabella Reads –  9/16
A Midsummer Night’s Read – 9/17
It Starts At Midnight –  9/18

The Book Bratz –  9/21
No BS Book Reviews – 9/22
Once Upon a Twilight – 9/23
Please Feed the Bookworm – 9/24
The Irish Banana –  9/25

Winterhaven Books – 9/28
My Friends are Fiction – 9/29
Fiction Fare –  9/30
A Dream Within a Dream –  10/1
Two Chicks on Books –10/2

Book Review & Giveaway: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season—when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17—is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There’s a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she’ll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she’ll uncover the dark origins of the accident season—whether she’s ready or not.

Release Date: August 18, 2015

When Penguin said that this book would be good for fans of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, they weren’t kidding.  Both books have this ethereal quality to them while they are set in reality…the literary community deems these as Magical Realism: “painting in a meticulously realistic style of imaginary or fantastic scenes or images.”  A classic example of Magical Realism would be Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel, 100 Years of Solitude.  But anyway, while We Were Liars focuses a little on a possible mental and physical trauma that could have caused these imaginary consequences or scenarios, The Accident Season has a whole separate set of rules.

The whole idea behind this novel is that for one month out of the year, their family is cursed with accidents.  Immediately Fowley-Doyle leaves the narrative for a ton of questions.  Is this caused by some sort of curse on their family?  Is it all just a coincidence?  Is it just because they all dabble in believing in the impossible?  Are they all delusional? SO MANY QUESTIONS.  I firmly believe that books like this have to be done in a very specific way in order to excel, and I really think that The Accident Season does.

The narrative is a quick one that takes place over the course of thirty-one days and while the writing styleaccident is a bit discombobulated at times, as it should be for a story like this one, it flies by.  I read this novel in a matter of hours and still really wished I could have had more.  All of the characters are lovably flawed in their own ways: Bea functions outside of reality and is a story-teller, Sam is haunted by the actions of his father, Alice is unhappy in her relationship, and Cara lives in her imagination for much of the story.  Yet somehow all of these characters fit together so easily, and they were so close.  There is the mystery of Elsie, the enigmatic abandoned house, the forest full of strange objects, and the disappearing costume shop that just adds to the magical aspect of this narrative, and I could not praise that more.

While I absolutely adored the disjointed narration and the magical realism of The Accident Season, I can definitely see where it might not appeal to all young adult readers.  However, I encourage you to give it a try.  You can also enter to win a copy of this book below!

4.5 Bards

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Book Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

I swear that I need to have someone else come behind me and help me choose which books to read as soon as I get them and which ones to put aside until later.  I mistakenly left this novel (and it’s sequel) sitting on my shelf too long.

These Broken Stars is a lot of things rolled into one: it is science fiction, it is romance, it is kind-of dystopian, and it is just a bit magical.  I’ve read some reviews of this novel that says that it was originally hyped as a big science fiction novel by the publisher.  I’m here to tell you that I don’t remember it being hyped as that.  I remember that it was a romance set in space.  Sure, the romance is a HUGE aspect of the novel (and I loved it) but I don’t understand why some reviewers were taken aback by that.  Anyway, I really like that there isn’t a time period stated in the novel or really anything that dates the story.  This means that the narrative will be able to stand on it’s own without being dragged down by cultural references or anything like that.  I absolutely adore novels that can not be dated.  It is obviously futuristic but we don’t know if it is 5 years in the future or a 100,000 years in the future.

The story starts quickly and the action never stops.  I love Kaufman and Spooner’s use of the Journey trope in this novel because it applies not only to the physical journey that Lilac and Tarver take, but also their emotional journeys as individuals and their journey in relation to one another.  I also really enjoyed the rotating narration in These Broken Stars.  I saw Meagan Spooner at a book event not long ago and she mentioned that Kaufman will typically write the male narration and that she will write the female narration.  It works so well!  Lilac and Tarver have such individual voices, but they slowly begin to come together toward the end of the novel, just as they do emotionally.

Lilac became such a strong character over the course of the novel.  She was strong in her own right at the beginning, but she really became so much more relatable and realistic as she struggled to survive without complaint in the strange terrain of the unknown planet.  It is obvious from the beginning that there will be a romantic relationship developing between Tarver and Lilac, but I think that Kaufman and Spooner provided excellent backstories that caused many obstacles to their romance–on top of them being unlikely partners in survival.  Where Lilac became much stronger as a result of her friendship with Tarver, I really liked how she softened him.  He was so closed off through a good part of the novel, but I think that his focus on keeping Lilac alive really showed his true colors.  Two amazing characters.

I loved the concept of the whispers, and I won’t give away anything else about them. Their existence was very thought provoking.  I’ve said too much!S

I really enjoyed this novel and could not put it down. I’ve already started the second installment and I am so glad I finally picked these up.

If you haven’t read these books I highly recommend it.

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Amazon| Flyleaf Books| Barnes & Noble

4.5 Bards

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Book Review: The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

Lilith is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes the title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father’s role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven’s guardianship for their own dark purposes. Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her charming fiancé and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt. 

Until the day she meets Bram, a talented artist who is neither a witch nor a member of her class. With him, she must not be secret and silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves. 

To tell him will risk everything.

Let’s face it: Historical Fiction is going to always be my first love. But if an author puts magical/paranormal elements in a Historical setting, AND one of my favorite historical settings…then the book has already earned itself at least 2 Bards.

This book was filled with charm, romance, and a fair amount of suspense.  I really think I love Lilith as a character (although is anyone else still a little confused about why the name of one of Hell’s most famous demons would be the name of a good witch?) more than Morgana (another infamous evil witch name. I’m sensing a trend). Lilith was easier for me to relate to, and I think that the struggle she had with her obligations as a witch and her desire to have a normal life was so realistic and understandable.

Also, Lazarus as the name of the necromancer coven?  I definitely see what you did there Brackston! Some of the plot line was a little disjointed, but I still think it is a highly enjoyable read for anyone who has previously read any of Brackston’s other novels, or any stories that revolve around witches and covens. This novel is good for older young adult readers and those who are fans of new adult stories as well.

3.5 Bards

3.5bards

 

This novel was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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