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Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Burning Glass by Kathryn PurdieBurning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
Series: Burning Glass #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 1st March 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

I’ve been let down by yet another debut fantasy book. This is the third or fourth one this year and I’m seriously regretting requesting all of these books from the publishers. YA fantasy is the next big fad right now, and it makes sense that there are some duds hiding amongst the awesome, but right now I feel like it’s the other way around. I need to find something that kickstarts my reading again in terms of fantasy, because I’m feeling more than a little drained at the moment.

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword by Victoria AveyardGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 9th February 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

I requested Glass Sword right after finishing Red Queen because the book was just THAT GOOD. I couldn’t wait. And I absolutely flew through Glass Sword as well because it certainly didn’t disappoint.

I’ll start with the negatives first because I like to get those out of the way. And, really, there’s only one major point that I want to bring up. Cal and Mare is obviously a relationship that has been building up since Red Queen, and in Glass Sword it made a bit more progress. I was okay with that. I don’t OTP them, but they’ll do as a ship. But what I didn’t like was the fact that Mare kept repeating the fact that Cal was oh-so-bad for her and she “can’t let him go”. She said this so many times, and it was annoyingly redundant and repetitive. I was unimpressed. Like, I ship it, but you’re in the middle of a war and there’s no need to keep telling me what you should do but can’t at the most inopportune moments.

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DNF: Beyond Redemption by Michael R.Fletcher

DNF: Beyond Redemption by Michael R.FletcherBeyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 16th June 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: DNF

Faith shapes the landscape, defines the laws of physics, and makes a mockery of truth. Common knowledge isn't an axiom, it's a force of nature. What the masses believe is. But insanity is a weapon, conviction a shield. Delusions give birth to foul new gods.

Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken—men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. High Priest Konig seeks to create order from chaos. He defines the beliefs of his followers, leading their faith to one end: a young boy, Morgen, must Ascend to become a god. A god they can control.

But there are many who would see this would-be-god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own Doppels, and a Slaver no one can resist. Three reprobates—The Greatest Swordsman in the World, a murderous Kleptic, and possibly the only sane man left—have their own nefarious plans for the young god.

As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. When one's delusions become more powerful, they become harder to control. The fate of the Geisteskranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath.

The question, then, is: Who will rule there?

This is going to be an incredibly short review. Not even a review, really, just more of a brief explanation as to why I couldn’t make it past the first fifty pages. Spoiler: It was the writing style. It was all very bland. We were thrown into this world with little explanation, and then we were told what the characters were doing. Not shown. Told. And they weren’t doing anything interesting either, just talking a lot about a load of nonsense. The German names and words were also off-putting. I didn’t like it.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria AveyardRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 10th February 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart ...

I had put off reading Red Queen for over a year. In the beginning, it’s just because I forgot about it, and then the mixed reviews started rolling in and no matter how hard I tried to avoid them, I still caught a glimpse of people’s thoughts or star ratings. I honestly wasn’t going to pick this up any time soon, until Joan asked if anyone wanted to buddy read it with her. I jumped at the chance because I needed motivation, and 48 hours after the buddy read started, here we are.

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A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie BrennanA Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
Series: Memoir by Lady Trent #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 5th February 2013
Publisher: Tor
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

A Natural History of Dragons is one of those books that you should love. It has pretty much everything you could want: fantasy elements, DRAGONS, a badass main character, some action, a bit of mystery… but for some reason I just couldn’t enjoy it fully. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, but I didn’t love it.

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