Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Four Dead Queens,” by Astrid Scholte

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date:  February 26, 2019
  • Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
  • Publisher: Putnam
  • Product #: 9781984814128
  • Pages: Hardcover, 432

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This story was very interesting, to say the least, but it was hard to get through.

Now, before you jump into conclusions, I want to say that this 3 starred review is not a bad review, nor because I said that this book didn’t do it for me doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I just felt like the overall story wasn’t interesting to me. The storyline was great, the actual characters we very well developed, and yet, the story fell flat to me.

In this story, we follow the young character Keralie, who ran away from her parents to become a thief under the command of one of her good friends. In this world, there’s a nation divided into four quadrants, each of which has its own queen. The queens live in one palace all together, and from there they rule their respective quadrants. There’s an assassin in this story trying to kill the queens and Keralie has taken upon herself to stop the killings from happening and warn the queens before its too late. With the help of her friend Varin, they set into an impossible task of sneaking away from dangers and trying to save their lives at the same time.

“Loving someone means risking your heart being broken,” … “But those moments you are together triumphs over any darkness.”

As for the logistics of the book, there was a lot going on and too much information to process in the first 5 chapters. I was so overwhelmed by the time I reached chapter five, I had to stop reading the book for a couple of hours and rest my brain for a little bit because of information overload. The writing of the author was odd too. She would use weird words to describe her characters’ physical appearance, which at often times it made her writing seem a little careless. On the other hand, there were times where her writing excelled. She wrote some very powerful and emotional scenes where she could really make us feel what was going on.

The characters were well written, but I still feel like there was much going on. You see, besides Keralie’s POV, there were other POVs throughout this story. The most important ones were the POVs of the queens. Each had their own dedicated chapters to them, but those chapters were so full of information that it was hard to process everything at once. Something that I appreciated about Keralie was how funny she was. She managed to stay upbeat and always looking forward, despite all of her problems. Her connection with Varin was very cute and I absolutely loved their chemistry.

Scholte spends a lot of time in world-building, which I think its a great thing because of the way her world is structured. Her story wasn’t too long but there were times when the story seemed to drag on forever. And I don’t know why, but the ending seemed a little bit rushed to me. I feel like authors struggle with this a lot, they focus so much in giving us a great beginning that they forget about the ending. Although the ending in this book was okay, it still felt rushed but there wasn’t a major cliffhanger that left you feeling incomplete.

Yes, there were some things that fell flat for me in this story but other ones that didn’t. There are many things to look forward for in this book, so please give it a try!

If you like Three Dark Crown, Red Queen, Blood Rose Rebellion, Six of Crows, The Gilded Wolves, etc., then you’ll most certainly enjoy this book. If you are 12 years old and older you can read this book. And as always I want to thank you for taking the time for reading my post, I truly appreciate it.

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Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Warrior of the Wild,” by Tricia Levenseller

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date:  February 26, 2019
  • Genre: Ya, Fantasy, LGBT
  • Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
  • Product #: 9781250189943
  • Pages: Hardcover, 336

Amazing! This book was absolutely great!

An ax swings for my head.

That’s the first line on this book–I was so here for it!

I’ve never read anything by Tricia before, but if her other books are anything like this one, then I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading more of hers in the future. Such a great refreshing story that’s based on Vikings (it is not a retelling perse, but more like a general idea of them) that will have you wanting to read this book in one sitting. It’s also short enough for you to do so.

In Warrior of the Wild, we follow Rasmira Bendrauggo, daughter of the leader of the village and heir to the position to be the next leader. Told from her point of view, we get to see the way these warriors have been training their whole life. In her village, kids at the age of 8 get to choose a career of what they want to do for the rest of their lives and Rasmira choose to be a warrior. Ever since then, she’s been training to become the best warrior in her village, which she achieves with no problem. The day of her trail though, she gets sabotaged and its sent to the wilds to complete a task that ensures her death if she ever wants to return home. So armed with nothing but her ax and a few supplies, she sets off to this dangerous world outside the village where monsters lurk and death is around every corner.

What she doesn’t expect to find, however, are two other guys that have been banished previously from their own village after failing their trails, living in the wilderness. And what she doesn’t expect too, is to form a connection with either of them. Soren and Iric become her annoying friends throughout this journey and they find a way to make each other survive out there in the wilderness.

A man who finds his masculinity threatened by a powerful woman is no man at all.

Now, I want to talk about how badass Rasmira is. She literally fights anything. Like, her and her ax can take anyone or anything for that matter. She’s a great warrior, and despite the fact that she’s only 18, she shows strength and courage like no other. When she goes to the wild, she doesn’t cower and admits defeat over not being able to complete her impossible task and return to the village–but rather, she finds a way of making her task possible and proving herself once again to her people, to her family. She helps Soren and Iric become the best versions of themselves they can be, and together, they make living in the wilderness a little bit more tolerable.

It’s not about giving in to the first boy who ever acted interested. It’s about being interested in the boy who is finally worth it.

In this story of friendship, finding one’s true self, courage, and love, Levenseller shows us that things are not always what they seem. That sometimes, difficult times are better spent with people who truly care and support you and that above all else, you should believe in yourself. Her writing is consistent, never once you get lost in this story. This was a very easy read, and I mean that in a good way. She didn’t drag this story longer than it needed to be, she didn’t linger too much of characters emotions and dragging on the same issue on and on and on, while at the same time making us feel like we were always in connection with the characters in the story. Her world building was great, there’s no cliffhanger, characters are well developed and this story felt very original to me.

If you like Red Queen, A Curse so Dark and Lonely, Everless, Crown of Feathers, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this quick read. For readers 13 years old and older. And as always, I want to thank you guys for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it. Also, check out my Goodreads page for more updates on my readings 🙂

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Crown of Feathers,” by Nicki Pau Preto

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  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date:  February 12, 2019
  • Genre: Ya, Fantasy, LGBT
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Product #: 9781534424623
  • Pages: Hardcover, 496

Hold on and buckle up guys, this is going to be a long one.

First off, it took me 4 days to read this book. FOUR DAYS. Now you may say, “okay, Denia, what’s the big deal with that?” Well, I could’ve read another two books in the time it took me to read that book. It’s not so much its length, it was more its content and I’ll talk more about that later, but first let me give you a basic rundown of the book.

So, apparently, the premise of the book doesn’t explain the story, according to my boyfriend, who had a bunch of questions about the story’s development because the blurb was bad at explaining what this story was about. I’m going to try and explain this story in similar words that I used to explain to him without spoiling.

Basically, a long time ago there were two sisters that were to rule their kingdom together. One sister possessed the magic to control and talk to animals–Animage, the people with that ability were called. Each animage had the potential of becoming a phoenix rider, which in this world is a great privilege. The sister with the power had become a fearless rider and one of the best. A disagreement happened between the sister causing the kingdom to split in half and both sisters to fight against each other, animage against human. The animage sister was defeated and forced to flee her kingdom, making every animage in the kingdom illegal, so they were either executed along with their phoenixes or forced into slavery. Those animages that still lived, now live in hiding in fear of being captured and killed. Phoenix birds were chased into extinction making the finding of eggs and breeding of them even more illegal but more wanted at the same time.

“Dead men tell no tales–and point no fingers”

Enter Veronyka and Val, a bunch of years later. Both of them are sisters, animages in hiding in fear of getting caught, always moving around and never settling anywhere. Val is the older sister and she’s mean like b-word mean. Veronyka, 16, has dreamt all of her life of being a phoenix rider just like the old tales talked about the First Riders. She longed to find a phoenix egg of her own, to hatch it and to form a special bond with the animal just so that she can soar the sky and find her true purpose in life. Val was very controlling and manipulative of Veronyka and one day Val betrays her causing Veronyka to run away from her sister.

Veronyka chooses to follow her dreams of becoming a rider without the help of her sister and that’s when she encounters a camp full of riders in hiding. Only to realize that men are the only ones allowed to ride. Knowing this, she disguises herself as a boy just so that she can make her dreams come true, no matter the cost.

Now, the story itself was great! I loved the whole thing. But it was sooooooo long! Oh my God, I thought I was going to die. By the time I finished reading the book, I had a headache. Now, there are only about 500 pages on this book, but the lining and spacing between the characters were shorter than your normal YA book and the font was smaller too (LOL at least it felt like it). But not only did it felt long because of that but also because of how much information was on that book. It was like a reading a story but reading a history book at the same time. My mind was tired.

This book alternates between the POVs of different characters and in between those POVs there are history lessons of who they are, who they were, etc, as if the author was trying to teach us the world as we go along. That being said, the world-building was great. Those phoenixes descriptions could put your mind to wonder. And with all that description she did of the before and now and explaining to us how things were done then and why this and why that, you get a pretty good grip of it. But, that can also backfire, because not only once but multiple times did I find myself getting lost in this book. There was just so much to take in, at times it felt too overwhelming.

That’s the thing with secrets… They never really die. Just when one bursts into flames, another rises up to take its place.

Back to POVs though. This story is written in the third-person narrative, we follow the voices of Veronyka, Sev, and Tristan. There are other characters that have a POV but that’s only like one chapter and they are not that relevant.

Veronyka is our heroine, she’s been slowly suffering taking the emotional abuse that her sister treated her with, that she’s a broken shell of a person when she leaves her side. However, despite her being hurt by the sister she loves, she still finds her voice and fights for what she truly believes in. Even if that means changing who she is (physically). I do like how even in her boy state, she fought for women’s right in their hideout when she was with the hidden riders. She was always questioning why couldn’t girls do this or why couldn’t girls do that. Nyk, her name after, was also strong at the moment that mattered the most and I love seeing that on her. Despite the fact that she was a kid, she showed strength like no other and I loved that side of her.

Sev is a hidden animage soldier that works for the kingdom that hates animages, hence why he hides it. He is telling another side of the story that’s happening with the kingdom itself. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean, but his character is flawed. He’s scared that he’s going to be busted, he doesn’t care about anyone but himself and he’s trying to escape from the holds of the kingdom. But later, due to circumstances coming between his escape, he is forced to choose a side, either choose to be the animage that he is and rebel against the kingdom or die as a lying soldier. He, later on, finds his voice and he makes a decision that changes his life forever. I do admire the strength and courage of him.

And there’s Tristan, son of the Commandant of the riders in hiding. He’s trying to prove to his father that he can be a very strong general just like him, but nothing he does gets his father’s approval. He’s very stubborn, hardheaded and volatile, but there’s something about him that makes him falter, and is the fact that he’s afraid of something that impedes him from being the best rider he can be. I believe this fear is what drew me to him. Tristan can be dark and brooding but deep inside he’s just like the rest of us, fighting our own demons.

There are other secondary characters like, Kade who’s an a-hole but I ended up liking him in the end, although I wish I could’ve had more of HIS end. And then there was my favorite character in the whole book, Sparrow. I was really disappointed that she gave me so little of her. From the little of her that was in the book, I found strength, courage, this great sense of being, she was great. She really is one of the best characters in this book and I sure hope we get to see more of her in the next one. Also, she made me cry like a baby because her scenes were so good.

Overall, I did feel like this book was too long but I also understand why she needed to make it as long as she did. I personally didn’t care for the history lessons but they were there to help me understand the reasoning behind its people and the reason they were doing what they were doing. She provides a glossary and a timeline at the end that I found extremely helpful so I would recommend looking at that before reading the book, just so that you can get an idea of what you are getting yourself into.

Besides the fact that this felt like a mix of a history book mixed with fantasy, I did enjoy the story regardless of how hard the journey was. If you are a reader that liked And I Darken, The Grishaverse, Truthwitch, Three Dark Crowns, Circle of Shadows, etc., I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this book. For readers 10-years old and older. (Moms don’t worry, there’s not even a freaking kiss in this book) (yes, I’m very disappointed). And, I want to thank you guys for taking the time to read my review, I truly appreciated.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Everless,” by Sarah Holland

4.5/5 Stars

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This book is a great way to start the year! My goal this year is to read 100 books. I know, pretty bold of me, seeing as I work full time and go to school full time. But I’m excited about this new year and I cannot wait to read some incredible books that I know are waiting for me in 2019.

Anyways, I’m so glad I picked up this book for my first book of the year because I enjoyed it so much. It was such a simple book and it was very refreshing. It was a fast read for me but with enough content to satisfy my appetite.

The story follows the narration of our main character Jules, she was banished from Everless with her father, both of them ran from the castle to run from evil hands. Unfortunate circumstances have her coming back to the castle as a servant and there she

Jules is very determined and hard headed and most of the time, hard-headed people annoy me in books–but in this case, it works in her favor. Because of her determination, she gets to find out who she is and discover the dangers that looms inside the kingdom.

There are so many things going on and not too many at the same time. It’s like information brought to you is satisfying but not enough. Which is a good thing because the author won’t let you put the book down.

The princess, the queen, Roan, Liam, and every other character is very well developed. The ending of the book is very unexpected. Liam was that unexpected character that you hate to love. And, honestly, Roan is too convenient. He’s like too good to be true. But I’m glad the book ended the way it did.

The actual ending, like in the final chapters, that I didn’t like. I was expecting more from the author. Like, I was expecting that killer cliffhanger that would have me dying until I finally read that other book. But, overall, this story about time stealing, lies and deceit is very interesting and I would recommend it if you liked Wayfarer, Wintersong, Timekeeper, and Ash Princess. Twelve-years-old and older can read it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Escaping From Houdini” by Kerri Maniscalco

Exquisite. This story was absolutely exquisite.

4.5/5 Stars

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I loved the story, big surprise there, but Maniscalco managed to bring me everything I missed from Audrey Rose and Thomas once again. This story was a little bit more confusing to follow than the other ones we read before, but a great story nonetheless.

This story follows Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell join the Etruria, on a week-long trip to New York from GB. Here, the entertainment provided was a circus that the captain brought on board. This circus was directed by a man named Mephistopheles, whose sole purpose was to entertain their patrons. The whole trip turns into a bloodbath and a trip full of terror. Since the first day, these performances turn into targets that kill people, and now, it’s onto Audrey Rose and Thomas to find who’s the murderer.

The world building and character description were very good. Her writing is incredible. Every time I read her stories I feel like I am in 1800s England drinking tea with my cousin. Her writing is consistent and very proper and fascinating. Maniscalco applies a modern fancy English in her writings and I absolutely love it. Is like a mix of Jane Austen and Sherlock Holmes. It’s about reading a novel that has to do with a gruesome murder. And never in a hundred years did I think I was going to like these kinds of story that she writes because for once, I hate scary mysteries and creepy stuff. But I believe that her melodic way of writing makes her murderous descriptions passable and tolerable and somehow enjoyable.

I can sit and eat a big plate of tacos from my favorite Mexican restaurant while reading her gruesome descriptions of whatever murder Audrey Rose just discovered–especially if it is followed by a kiss between Thomas and Audrey Rose.

I am going to say that I was disappointed a little bit with the ending. I was expecting more from Kerri. I got lost in the story a couple times, and I don’t mean that I didn’t understand the story, it was more about, the author losing me as a reader. There were some parts that I thought were redundant and unnecessary. Like, the chain of events that the main characters go through isn’t necessarily part of the conclusion of the book. Unless Maniscalco left some loose ties to tie them up in book four, there are many things that didn’t need to happen or not relevant to this story.

I would recommend this series to anyone 14 years-old and older. If you like mysteries, suspense, and thriller, this is the book for you.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Sea Witch” by Sarah Henning

4.5/5 stars36502054

 

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Seafire” by Natalie C. Parker

4.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Amazing story. I’ve been looking for a story like this for a while, I’ve been meaning to join a sea adventure as great as this one for the longest time and I’m so glad I finally found it. The Dustjacket of the book describes it as a mix between Wonder woman and Mad Max Fury and that’s exactly what you are going to find. An even mix of sisterhood and action, packed with the right amount of adventure–it’s seriously like reading a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.

Caledonia Styx is our main character and it’s written in a third person narrative. She’s Captain of the Mors Navis, a ship with the finest crew on the ocean. 54 girls all under her command and that’s no small job. She’s a very strong woman and with her crew she becomes fierce. Besides her being in charge of a ship and in charge of 54 girls, she’s also very vulnerable. You can notice that she’s still young and that she has so much to learn but I like how she redeems herself. She’s always thinking about the safety of her crew and always puts the needs of her crew before hers. Her decision-making skills are incredible. She’s super smart and you can recognize it in the way she commands her crew and the way she leads them through the sea.

The technical terms are kind of hard to follow, there are many fishermen and boat terminologies that if you haven’t watched Pirates of the Caribbean or read about ships before, you’d be lost. I found myself googling many words because I didn’t know what she was talking about, but nothing that I couldn’t tolerate. Matter of fact, I preferred those terms because I learned more words.

The only reason I didn’t give a 5 was because of the love interest and romance displayed throughout the book. There’s this guy who comes along as the prisoner and I don’t think that the author gives them much of a connection before they actually kiss. There weren’t many moments before the kiss were Cala and Oren connected, it felt sudden and there wasn’t much build-up to the moment.

Other than that the whole story was amazing, the cliffhanger was tolerable, characters were amazingly written and world-building was consistent and manageable to understand. I will for sure be looking forward to her next book in the series. I would recommend to any 12 years old and older, if you like Pirates of the Caribbean, Sea adventures and anything boat related. Oh, if you like Wonder Woman and Mad Max Fury, this is the book for you as well.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Smoke in the Sun,” by Reneé Ahdieh

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

4.5/5 Stars

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Wow, once again mind-blown by the beautiful Reneé Ahdieh and her amazing writing. Even though half of the time throughout this books I had no idea what she was saying because many of the words used to described things were in a different language–though there’s an intensive glossary in the back–I didn’t get lost, not even once.

Here we follow the story of Mariko and Okami as they were dragged to the place following immediately after the ending of the last book A Flame in the Mist. In this book, we get different perspectives from various different characters and its written in the third person. Following the ambush of the Black Clan, Mariko has to figure out a way to save Okami and has to find a way to become someone of importance for the Black Clan. There’s political turmoil from within, family’s betrayal, broken hearts, and desperate cries. But at the end, we find our joy.

Mariko is not the same girl we started with in the first book, though in the first book she always seemed full of conviction, in this book we see it being part of her core. Spending time with those men in the woods taught her to believe in herself and to become stronger than she’s ever been before. We see her beeing tested throughout this book time and time again, yet Mariko’s resolved never faultered. She believed in a cause, and one cause only, and she would go to unknown lenghts to regardless of the consequenses, to save her people, to save Okami. She make sure they followed through. That’s something I admired from her in this book, in this story she had to make a choice for herself, could’ve chosen an easier route, but yet she didn’t. She choose to fight, and I truly apprecite divergence.

Ahdieh manages to bring one more time her beautiful writing in this one, and every once in awhile throughout this book I felt like I was reading a beautifully written folklore book that a grandma from Ireland was reading to her children. You know, the kind that passes by generations and that have the kids enthralled all the way to the end of the story. I honestly think she did a great job with world-building and the fact that she used the characters native language throughout this book made the story more diverse, made the story different. The way she portrayed the characters never felt lacking of anything. Renee made you feel the way the characters felt when you read them, if that makes any sense and each of thier thoughts were easy to follow.

If I do have to complain about anything I would say that the book felt a little bit rushed. There are moments throughout this book that I think she could’ve prolonged and/or moments that she could’ve added. There’s still some questions that I need answers to. Some scenes, especially in the last fifty pages or so felt rushed, and the book itself wasn’t very long, so I wouldn’t have mind if she were to add a couple pages to end just so that it can be more solidify. The didn’t necessarily end with a cliffhanger which is why I am confused as to whether there’s going to be another book or not.

Anyways, I would recommend this book if you liked her one, A Flame in the Mist, if you like Mulan, if you like Asian characters, if you like Mulan, oh, an if you like Mulan! There are some sensored sexy scenes in this book, so I would recommend it for ages 14 and up!

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Legendary,” by Stephanie Garber

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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I just finished reading Legendary by Stephanie Garber and OMG it was such a huge improvement from the first one. If you read my review on Caraval which I wrote about more than a year ago, you know I did not like that book at all. I felt like it lacked character and purpose and the actual main character Scarlett truly pissed me off.

In this book, we follow the story of Scarlett’s sister, Tella. Donatella decides its time for her to play the game of Caraval herself this time instead of participating because in doing so she would finally be reunited with her mom who left them a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still the conniving lies, mysterious people, and treatures adventures full of pain, loss, and sacrifice, but somehow in this book there seem to be more of a purpose. In this story, the players of the Caraval tell Tella that this time Caraval is much more than a game–the game is real this time and maybe that’s why I liked it even better.

We immediately see the differences between the two sisters in this story. Where Scarlett’s decisions were all made out of fear, Tella’s were made out of finding out what came next, her fear pushed her to be more. There wasn’t one time throughout this whole book where I felt annoyed by Tella’s decisions if anything I found myself agreeing to many of the decisions she made and found myself nodding along with her statements while playing the game. Tella is a super strong character, stronger than Scarlett for sure, but after reading this book, I do have to give Scarlett some credit because she did play out of love for her sister when it was her turn in the past book.

We are introduced to more characters in this book, there are some that we already know and that we get to know more intimately, and we are introduced to the Fates in this story who are some sort of immortal beings that ruled the earth centuries ago, who are also apparently evil creatures. Oh, and you won’t believe who’s Tella’s love interest on this one, it made me laugh with her at the end so hard LOL!

The reason I wanted to read this book was that of the letter on the last page of Caraval, the one that Tella’s friend wrote to her, and Garber didn’t disappoint. I have to hand it to her, that women can write! Her world building was beautiful–the way she describes the places and buildings throughout the book made me want to read every single detail of it (because sometimes I do skip details LOL), her descriptions were life if you were able to read music without actually listening to the sounds. The story felt so alive, she made you feel as if you were in the story with the character. Hell, I found myself playing along–participating in Caraval–with Donatella trying to figure who is Legend (which we do find out who he is in this book but I won’t tell you muahaha imagine evil laugh here) trying to find a way of not dooming the whole to the hands of the fates, trying to save herself and also trying to find her mother.

There are many things going on in this book but never once did I get lost nor did I feel like I should put the book down because it got too overwhelming–if anything every chapter of the book made me want to finish it faster, hence why I finished the book at 3 a.m. (not ashamed). Congratulations Stephanie on this beautiful masterpiece, you managed to make me truly enjoy this book and I cannot wait to read the next one, especially with that little teasing note that you left at the end of this one! How dare you?! LOL

I would recommend for ages 13 and up! Read if you liked Caraval, Ace of Shades, Six of Crows, and Crooked Kingdom! You’ll truly enjoy this one!

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Ash Princess,” by Laura Sebastian

2/5 Stars

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Hey, well guess what? Finally got around reading Ash Princess and unfortunately, this book didn’t do it for me. It felt like one of those books that I’ve read before somewhere else. I finished it and I was like, “Meh, I’ve read it before,” which sucked because I really wanted to like this book. TThe cover alone dragged me to it like a moth drawn to a flame, it’s so pretty and if you ever get to hold it in your hands you can feel the 3D feel of the cover.

Here we follow the story of Princess Theodosia, a princess whose mother was killed right before her eyes by the evil King and that now has to work to gain her kingdom back. She’s been in captivity for over 10 years given the title of Ash princess by the man who stole her kingdom. The story itself seems repetitive, there’s a damsel in distress, she has powers, she’s hopeless, defenseless, and abused. There’s promise to this story though, I feel like the author has great potential and her writing is incredible. I just wished she’d written a better story. However, Theo was incredibly strong, the things that she went through because of her people–for her people–are things that I haven’t read in any other books.

The king is as cruel as any king can be–but I’ve yet to read a fantasy book following this kind of line that had a king that was nice.  He was ruthless and mean and he took anything he wanted. He makes Theo wear an ash crown for each time there’s a reason to celebrate something, shaming her in front of her people, hence the title and the crown on the cover. Then there was Soren, the heir to the throne, which I believe has good intentions for the kingdom and for Thora but we’ll see how it develops. And then there’s Blaise, a friend from Theo’s past and he’s sure a keeper–or is he?

I do think that honestly, that true enigma in this book is her friend Crescentia, whom I think the next book is going to be about, and if my suspicions are confirmed, then I wouldn’t mind reading the next book.

I didn’t care much about the “world-building” but since her whole life was inside the palace, there wasn’t much to build. There were some words thrown here and there from her Astrean language that were hard to interpret and also, what kind of name is Kalovaxian for a group of people? But anyways, it just felt like another princess whose kingdom has been taken away and now she must battle to get it back.

I would recommend this book if you liked Red Queen, Blood Rose Rebellion, and any other princess need to save her kingdom book out there! For ages 13 and up!

I’m also trying to be more active in my book social media, so if you guys could give me a follow that would be awesome! @deniareads is my username