Review | A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

torch.jpgTitle: A Torch Against the Night (2016)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Read: 24th – 30th June 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt Elias and Laia as they flee the city of Serra. Laia and Elias are determined to break into the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison to save Laia’s brother, even if for Elias it means giving up his last chance at freedom. They will have to fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene, Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike. Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own, one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape … and kill them both.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

* It goes without saying but, as this is a sequel to the first novel An Ember in the Ashes, there will be spoilers for the events/ending of the first book within this review. However, there will not be specific spoilers for the events, or ending, of A Torch Against the Night. *

Continue reading

Review | An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

emberTitle: An Ember in the Ashes (2015)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Read: 22nd – 24th June 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels. But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire’s greatest military academy. Should she fail it’s more than her brother’s freedom at risk… Laia’s very life is at stake. There, she meets Elias, the academy’s finest soldier. But Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

Continue reading

Review | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Title: The Cruel Prince (2018)
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Read: 19th – 22nd June 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

“One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal. As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong. But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan…” (Synopsis from the publisher)

Continue reading

Review | The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Title: The Hazel Wood (2018)
Author: Melissa Albert
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 8th February 2018
Read: 25th – 30th March 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen, by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world from her grandmother’s stories. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began…”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

Continue reading

Review | The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Crime (2015)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Read: 6th – 12th January 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy/dystopia
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust… While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

Continue reading

Review | The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

girlfromeverywhere.jpgTitle: The Girl from Everywhere (2016)
Author: Heidi Heilig
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Read: 13th – 16th February 2018
Genre: fantasy; young-adult; historical fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for very much longer.

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in question… Nix has grown used to her father’s obsession, but only because she’s convinced it can’t work. But then a map falls into her father’s lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it’s that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

Continue reading

Review | The Fandom by Anna Day

Title: The Fandom (2018)
Author: Anna Day
Publisher: Chicken House
Read: 12th – 15th January 2018
Genre: young-adult; dystopia
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

“No story is worth dying for … is it? Violet and her friends love being part of the fandom for The Gallows Dance. But at Comic-Con, they’re somehow catapulted into the story itself – for real. Trapped in a twisted world where they’ve accidentally killed the original hero, Rose, there’s only one way to survive: Violet must fill Rose’s shoes and put the plot back on track… A fast-paced, genre-flipping YA fantasy adventure from a brand new author, writing in homage to the best YA fiction.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten 2015 YA Fantasy Reads

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which was created by The Broke and Bookish and each week those lovely ladies decide on a topic around which you create lists (because who doesn’t love a good list) of ten books that fit the given theme. This week’s topic is based around Top Ten Best Books I Read This Year. There’s a lot of freedom with this one, to choose the top releases of 2015, or simply the 10 best books you read in 2015 or the top of x genre you read, but I’ve had a look over how my reading looked this year and settled on: Top Ten YA Fantasy I Read In 2015.

The reasoning behind this is that I always say I enjoy fantasy but 2015 was the year in which I realised, what with university and assigned reading, I hadn’t actually read that much fantasy lately. This coincided with discovering Booktubers such as Sam from Novels and Nonsense and Lindsey Rey and Reagan from PeruseProject, all of whom read a lot of fantasy. I’ve discovered some books via their channels that I wouldn’t ordinarily and I also have a lot of the recommendations now on my “project books” TBR list to get to in the future. So, it’s safe to say, in the last year or so, I’ve learnt about a lot about what’s on offer in the fantasy genre, particularly the YA and urban fantasy genre which I hadn’t actually been all too aware of before Booktube. So, my tentative forays back into fantasy have been varied this year and I thought I’d take this opportunity to celebrate the top 10 of those I read this year. Continue reading