Release Day Blitz & Giveaway

 

Happy Paperback Release day to the fabulous Richelle Mead’s The Glittering Court!

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

To celebrate the release of this novel, PenguinTeen is hosting a giveaway, and you could win 1 of 10 copies of The Glittering Court!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of ten (10) copies of The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 28, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 5, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 7, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 

Not familiar with Richelle Mead? Well, just look at her fabulousness!

RICHELLE MEAD is the #1 New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Vampire Academy series and its spin-off series, Bloodlines. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in Seattle, Washington.

 

Book Review: Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.

MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

Release Date: December 15, 2015

I have so much love for this series and I am already kicking myself for reading this installment before it was released because that is so much MORE time that I have to wait until the next novel!

Rhodes has really hit her stride with the Falling Kingdoms novels at this point, and I’m starting to really appreciate the point of view changes since all of the important characters are spread over the entire kingdom of Mytica (except for Magnus and Cleo, who are together and you can cue all the sappy love music).  She has also somehow perfected the subtle cliff hanger between each chapter point of view change, which made me have to learn to restrain myself and not skip ahead to the storyline I wanted to keep following!  Be proud, I didn’t skip ahead at all!

The readers are finally introduced to the kingdom of Kraeshia and can find out how Princess Amara became so ruthless as to kill her (spoiler) own brother back in Gathering Darkness. Her family is terrible to her and we see that Kraeshia is the ultimate patriarchal society.  Amara does her best to subvert this, however, and you’ll have to read Frozen Tides to see how.

I really enjoyed the deconstruction of King Gaius as a character over the last two novels, because the man that was a terror in the first two novels has really begun to lose his grip on his family and Mytica as
a whole.  Plus, he is kind of grasping at straws sometimes during Frozen Tides.  I can’t tell you much more because of…

But moving on:

Lucia is still pretty angry and angsty about Alexius’ betrayal and is pretty supportive of the Fire God and his ridiculous plan to kill the eldest watcher.  I mean, Rhodes kind of makes it seem sympathetic since he was trapped in a rock for a while, but mostly he is the embodiment of anger and rage.  To me he acts more like a petulant child than an old immortal being, and I’m sure that this will be his downfall later in the series.

The last few chapters had me on my toes and I just can’t gush about them without giving away all of the feels. (*cough* Mangus & Cleo *cough*)

This installment was every bit as good as the previous, if not better.  I look forward to this series continuing and I honestly will be desperately waiting for the release of ANY information about the 5th novel.  Title, Cover, ANYTHING!

5 Bards for Frozen Tides!

fivebards

Frozen Tides: A Falling Kingdoms Novel


New From: $8.87 USD In Stock

Blog Tour: Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

frozen tides banner

 

As a huge fan of the Falling Kingdoms series, I was honored to be offered a chance to participate in the blog tour for the release of the fourth installment, Frozen Tides.  Yesterday you will notice that I posted my review of the third novel, Gathering Darkness, and you will get my review of Frozen Tides on Thursday! Today, for the tour, I am hosting author Morgan Rhodes’ Frozen Tides book playlist!

Be aware that there are possible spoilers for Falling Kingdoms books 1-3 in this! Let’s get started!

Protectors of the Earth – Two Steps From Hell


Super epic music (Two Steps from Hell produce music used in a lot of big budget movie trailers) which could definitely set the tone for the Falling Kingdoms series!

Royals – Lorde

I think ever since I saw this song used in a Reign promo, it’s stuck in my mind when it comes to dealing with teenaged princes and princesses and their daily dramas.

 

Gravity – Sara Bareilles


This song has Team Magneo written all over it…from Magnus’s POV at the end of Gathering Darkness, anyway!

 

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri


Another super angsty song for the heir to his evil father’s throne.

 

Time is Running Out – Muse

This song would definitely suit a Rebel-Jonas-in-training montage, while he’s thinking/pining away about Cleo.

 

Just a Girl – No Doubt


This song makes me think of Cleo back when she was more of a party princess with no responsibilities than a royal rebel.

Breathe Me – Sia


This song has so much atmosphere and emotion that it would definitely suit many of the complicated, twisty – may I say angsty again?? — romantic situations in the Falling Kingdoms series.

 

Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys


Don’t mess with Lucia. Two words: fire magic. She will torch y’all.

 

Freedom Fighters – Two Steps from Hell


A powerful, victorious anthem for the rebels who are trying to bring down the evil King Gaius. Just before everything goes horribly wrong, of course.

 

Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd


That feeling when you’re falling for someone who probably isn’t someone you want to fall for? Yeah, that.

 

Holding out for a Hero – Bonnie Tyler


I’ve always loved this song…but in the Falling Kingdoms series I think my characters are at their strongest when they stop waiting for someone to save them and they save themselves instead! And yes, this video is about as retro as they get! Viva The Eighties!

 

Poker Face – Lady GaGa


I once made a joke on Tumblr that, secretly, Prince Magnus really loves Lady GaGa. Now whenever I hear her music I think of him. I think he’d listen to Poker Face with headphones (if such things existed in his world) so no one would know. Also, since he does pride himself on his own poker face, this is a song match made in heaven!

Happy Reading! (and listening!)

Morgan

You can visit Morgan on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook!

 

Frozen Tides: A Falling Kingdoms Novel


New From: $8.87 USD In Stock

Repost: Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

In honor of the Frozen Tides blog tour, I am reposting my reviews of Morgan Rhodes’ Falling Kingdoms series! Today is the day before my review and Frozen Tides playlist post, so here is my review of the 3rd novel, Gathering Darkness!

Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred—the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic. . . .

THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.

THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia’s overpowering magic—all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.

THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia’s powers to unveil the Kindred.

The only certainty in these dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica. . . . but the four element gods of the Kindred have other plans.

As much as I loved Falling Kingdoms and Rebel Spring, I think that Rhodes has finally hit her stride with Gathering Darkness.  Not only are the character voices completely distinct and on point, but there are so many more details that gave me chills throughout.

Something interesting and different that I noticed in this novel is that we actually start getting a little bit of King Gaius’ point of view, something that readers haven’t had before.  This gives us a little bit of insight into his ridiculous desire for power, but really all we discover is that he really is the vicious asshole we all know him to be.  Unlike Magnus, who’s point of view shows us the intricacies of his character and how his struggle for his father’s approval has driven him to become more headstrong and defiant than ever before.  Cleo is still a bit naive that no one would figure her out, especially since literally almost everyone figures her out and her goals about halfway through this novel.  I still adore her, because while not as powerful as Lucia in a literal sense and not as determined and manipulative as Amara, she still is fighting the only way she knows how.

Speaking of Lucia, as powerful as she is, she sometimes gets on my nerves as a character…same with Lysandra.  I’m not sure why, but they both do.  However, towards the end of Gathering Darkness Lucia finally was turning into the character I wanted her to be from the beginning after her powers were revealed.  Kudos to her for accepting it.  Lysandra I’m still on the fence about, but we will see what happens in the upcoming novels.  Jonas is still the angry, messed up brother and rebel that he has been since the first novel, although he is seriously misguided and really screwed up a friendship that could have been valuable.  Best thing about these books is how realistically characterized they all are.  Every single character has their good aspects and their flaws, and it makes me love them more for how fully realized they are.  (Except for Lysandra. Why does she bother me so much?!)

I’m trying really hard to not fan girl over Magnus and Cleo in this installment, because they are so adorable while they bicker and yet they both have such intense feelings that they’ve led to possible true romantic feelings.  Could the Prince of Blood and the Golden Princess be the key to restoring Mytica? Um, yes please!

The plot moves so swiftly in Gathering Darkness that you will be unable to put it down until you’ve finished.  Okay, well, figuratively speaking.  You’ll definitely be wanting to pick it back up as soon as you can while reading it.  There is so much going on, but everything is so intertwined that you definitely need to make sure to pay attention to little details and off hand comments by characters!

4.5 Bards for Gathering Darkness.  I’m off to read A Book of Spirits and Thieves to try and hold me over until Frozen Tides!

four.fivebards

 

 

 

Be sure to check back tomorrow for my blog tour post for Frozen Tides and Thursday for my review!

Gathering Darkness: A Falling Kingdoms Novel


New From: $5.32 USD In Stock

Book Review: The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

For the love of young adult fairy tale re-tellings, this novel was everything I could have wanted it to be. Fast paced, dripping with what I like to call “quote-ables,” AND a unlikely love story between two very different people, The Wrath and the Dawn is impeccable.

Ahdieh wastes no time setting up the narrative and immediately places the reader in the palace with Shahrzad the first night (of 1001, presumably).  I felt an immediate connection to this stubborn strong-willed, clever, beautiful girl. Shahrzad’s (a.k.a. Shazi) goal is to kill the handsome Caliph in revenge for the murder of her best friend.  I don’t know about you, but a 17-year-old that goes into a situation like this knowing the likely outcome and does it anyway has earned my respect.  Was it the best decision? Definitely not. But it wouldn’t be a good narrative if there weren’t a few bad decisions peppered in.  The first night passes and Shazi is somehow complacent and determined to continue with her plan.

persianfashion

Probably not accurate at all, but the details are brilliant.

The narrative does jump around in third person omniscient between Shazi, her father, her ex-boyfriend, and Khalid, but instead of this causing confusion as in some other novels, I really feel that it just strengthened the narrative arc by providing an entire world view of the story rather than just a focused glimpse into one part of the whole.  Speaking of strengthening the narrative, this entire novel made me hungry for food and clothes more than any in the past.  Ahdieh manages to put in so many lush details without it bogging down the story and she painted a vivid picture of what life could have been like in this world.   I also *may* have stalked the internet to find a representation of what some of the clothing looked like in my mind, but only found one that was close.

Let’s really get down to business now…the love story.  The whole trope of good girl meets bad boy is kind of turned on its head in The Wrath and the Dawn, because while the kingdom believes Khalid to be a vicious killer with no remorse, Shazi really starts to get to know him during her stay at the palace.  Not only does Khalid prove to be secretive and a bit manipulative, but he is also gentle and desires love.  What I really love about the relationship and respect that builds between Shazi and Khalid is the fact that they drive each other absolutely nuts. It is funny, endearing, and heart-wrenching all at the same time.

Thank goodness there is a second installment to Shazi and Khalid’s story because I just didn’t get enough.

I will leave you with a quote and a song, oh, and the final Bard total too.

“You honestly expect me to breathe in a world without air?” From TW&TD

*queues up song*

 

5 Bards to Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn.

fivebards

 

 

 

Be sure to come back Monday, May 25 for my interview with Renee!

 

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