Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

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Release Date: December 13, 2016

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he’s no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.

LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise.

JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.

AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she’ll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.

And what kind of darkness will descend–and who will be safe–after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: June 28, 2016

Modern-day Toronto: Sisters Crystal and Becca Hatcher are reunited after reclaiming the Bronze Codex and narrowly escaping death. They have no one to trust but each other, and the only thing keeping them safe is the book that sent Becca’s spirit to Ancient Mytica–the same book that their enemies would kill them for.

Ancient Mytica: Maddox grapples to keep his newly discovered powers under control, while the ruthless goddess Valoria hunts him down.

Modern-day Toronto: Farrell embraces his dark side as he unwittingly falls further under the spell of Markus, the mastermind leader of the nefarious Hawkspear Society, who will stop at nothing to find Crys and Becca–and the remarkable book in their possession.

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

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!

 

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!

Book Review: A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes

spirits and thievesCrystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her mother’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language.

Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home.

Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspear Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself….

Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart. 

After finally having caught up on the Falling Kingdoms series, I was able to dive into the the companion series A Book of Spirits and Thieves.  Upon my first reading I can say that the world building in Falling Kingdoms is significantly more advanced than in Spirits and Thieves.  While I can imagine the Mytica made up of Limeros, Auranos, and Paelsia, the only real description we get of Valoria’s kingdom…which is presumably Limeros, is that it is not covered in ice and snow as it is during Falling Kingdoms.  I just think it could have been a great time to show us what the landscape really looked like before winter took over.

The narrative changes in this novel are much more advanced than the first Falling Kingdoms was, and each narrating character, Farrell, Maddox, and Crystal, are already very distinct in their narration style.  I think the only weird thing to me was that there were two narrators from present day and only one from ancient Mytica.  I feel like it may  have been more balanced had we received a second point of view from the past, but I think that the novel is still well narrated regardless.

I felt that the romance between Becca and Maddox was a little forced, and his character development happened very suddenly in the last few chapters, but he was still the most endearing male character in the entire novel.  (Other than Charlie, but he is a kitten)  I really enjoyed the tit for tat relationship between Crys and Farrell, but for the most part he just annoyed me.

As much as I know about the Falling Kingdoms world, I am still confused about what exactly is going on with the Hawkspear Society other than the leader is definitely a time traveler of sorts and has Valoria’s golden blade.  But how he came upon the blade or who he is really is a mystery that I assume we will find out as the series continues.

Overall it was a really great read and for fans of Falling Kingdoms it will provide a little taste of Mytica to hold you over until the release of Frozen Tides in December 2015.

4 Bards

fourbards

Book Review: Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

gatheringdarkness

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

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

1. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

2. The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

3. Pawn by Aimee Carter

4. Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce

5. Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

6. Control by Lydia Kang

7. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

8. After Eden by Helen Douglas

9. Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin

10. Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart

 

What books do you want Santa to bring you?

 

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