The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

“There is no greater strength than the ability to understand and accept your own flaws.”

Necromancer meets Memoirs of a Geisha – 4.5 stars!

Expected publication in March 2017

Tea is a witch like no other that’s been born into the eight kingdoms for decades; when her powers awakened, she unwittingly used her powers as a necromancer to resurrect her dead brother. As a new and rare Bone Witch, she must follow her path to become a fully fledged dark Asha wielding dark powers that could either save or destroy her world; powers that are misunderstood, feared and frowned upon.

This book is amazing with creative world building mixed with lyrical, engaging story-telling. The Bone Witch has exceeded my expectations, it’s got an absorbing and interesting premise which is used to explore the themes of self-discovery, journey, politics and diversity. Tea’s apprenticeship to become a dark Asha is akin to that of the Memoirs of  Geisha, very interesting! Book 1 sets up well for the sequel which I just can’t wait to read! I also enjoyed how the story was told using foreshadowing, like a story within a story through alternating perspectives. It is very well written and highly recommended read for readers who enjoys a YA fantasy story somewhat similar to Memoirs of a Geisha but with magic, the walking dead, monsters, potions, magical dresses, spells, prophecies, necromancing and amazing world building.

Other interesting quotes:

“you will always have a weakness, and that will always make you believe you have no power when someone exploits it. There is no greater strength than the ability to understand and accept your own flaws.”

“People will never be what you make of them, but at least your own heart stays yours and true.”

– NJ

 

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

4 Stars – Omg the plot twists!

Three Dark Crowns #1

Triplet sisters Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella are graced with very different magical powers (poisoner, naturalist and elementalist). They must follow their predecessors’ steps and fight to the death to become the sole queen of Fennbirn when they turn 16. This book is something of a mesh between Game of Thrones meets Pretty Little Liars meets The Crown’s Game!

I loved the plot twists and the magical powers. Things I thought would happen didn’t (which is great!). I am loving how the game skyrocketed between the three queens after a certain catastrophic event – and who can blame them?! This first book sets up well for the sequel but also has its own shocking twists and turns. The fight for the throne have gone bloody, personal and ever more strategic. I’ve got Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” song ringing my head… Recommended for fantasy readers. I also recommend that you don’t give up at the beginning even though it is a little slow because the plot twists are well worth the read.

– NJ

Book 2 One Dark Throne Review is here!

Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads

 

 

Eon by Alison Goodman

“I found power in accepting the truth of who I am. It may not be a truth that others can accept but I cannot live any other way.” – Lady Dela in Eon

5 stars!

Sensational, epic writing and an unforgettable story about a heroine with a desperate secret…

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Eon, it’s filled with political intrigue, plot gripping action and a deeper, darker story than I expected. To become a Dragon apprentice, Eon must win the annual dragon contest to prove her worth against other candidates in hopes of being chosen by the elusive and mysterious Rat Dragon and to commune with its power; problem is, Eon is a girl disguised as a boy (women aren’t meant to see dragons)…

What I really liked about this book is the exploration of diversity – in particular the diversity of characters such as Lady Dela, Eon, Ryko and Chart, which is rare in fantasy YA novels. Even though our main character has a physical disability, I liked how her strength is represented in other ways such as her capabilities, inner strength, courage and compassion. I also liked how Lady Dela is man dressed as a woman which directly contrasts with Eon who is a girl pretending to be a boy, and showing how such differences are celebrated in one culture but dangerous in another; the contrast between living authentically and living in a lie. Eon for me is a story about identity, of being truthful to oneself, of friendship, loyalty, compassion and courage to overcome adversity and betrayal. I also enjoyed reading about dragons with powers that can shift monsoons, magical world building that’s inspired by myth and legends of Ancient China. I loved the imagination and the fast paced plot which kept me reading through the night. I highly recommend this great read! This is a YA novel that can also be enjoyed by adults. I want to thank author Alison Goodman for coming to our exclusive high tea and telling us about Eon and Eona. I’m proud to have the duology as part of my book collection.

Other intriguing quotes from the book:

“‘And what do you say Lord Eon? Does the acceptance of foreigners into our land dilute our magnificent culture?’…I groped for the only thing I had: experience. ‘I like the coffee that Ari the Foreigner sells in the market, Your Majesty…I do not know about diluting our culture. It is just a drink and he is just a man who sells it.’”

‘“I do not wear men’s clothing because I am a woman in here,’ she touched her head, ‘and there,’ she touched her heart. ‘You are wrong when you say there is no power in being a woman. When I think of my mother and the women in my tribe, and even the hidden women in the harem. I know there are many types of power in this world.’ She turned around to face me. ‘I found power is in accepting the truth of who I am. It may not be a truth that others can accept but I cannot live any other way. How would it be to live a lie every minute of your life? I don’t think I could do it.

– NJ

Click here to read the book blurb on Goodreads