Posts     Comments    

Are You Following Me?

Grab My Button

My TBR Pile

Darkfaerietales's to-read book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Word Cloud

ARC Tour Book Expo of America Contemporary Contemporary Romance Contest Winner Convention Deadly Destinations Dystopian Erotic Romance Fantastic Fables Fantasy Gena Showalter Giveaway Guest Post Historical Historical Fiction Horror Interview Jennifer Estep Julie Kagawa Kimberly Derting Movie Mystery New Adult New Releases Paranormal Paranormal Romance Review Richelle Mead Romance RT Convention Science Fiction Spooky Legends Steampunk Supernatural Smack Down Taking Cover Thea Harrison Thriller Trailer Thursday Urban Fantasy Vampires Waiting on Wednesday Winner Young Adult Zombies 12 Days of Christmas (31)
ARC Tour (326)
Artist Alley (9)
Author Spotlight (11)
Author Update (7)
Awards (14)
Blog Tour (76)
Book Haul (8)
Book Talk (7)
Book Trailer (6)
Contest Winner (440)
Conventions (94)
Cover Judge (2)
Dark Faerie Tales Launch (10)
Dark Faerie Tales Team (17)
Dating Games (2)
Deadly Destinations (95)
Discussion (29)
Event (36)
Fall Carnival (37)
Fantastic Fables (89)
Feature Friday (20)
Fifty Shades of Sensuality (2)
Fifty Shades YA Boys (15)
Giveaway (155)
Graphic Novels (5)
Guest Blogger (7)
Guest Post (141)
Help Wanted (7)
Interview (83)
Mating Games (19)
Movies (31)
New Releases (53)
Pick of Six (8)
Poll (1)
Publishing News (10)
Read-a-long (5)
Reading Challenge (25)
Review (1,483)
Spooky Legends (35)
Supernatural Smack Down (71)
Taking Cover (287)
Teaser Tuesday (7)
Television (5)
Trailer Thursday (22)
Video Games (5)
Waiting on Wednesday (32)
Year in the Life of a Romance Review (3)

WP Cumulus Flash tag cloud by Roy Tanck and Luke Morton requires Flash Player 9 or better.

I Belong

Review: Unforgettable by Shannon Richard

January 27th, 2015 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

UnforgettableTitle: Unforgettable

Author: Shannon Richard

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Country Roads (Book #4)

Publication Date: January 13, 2015

Format: Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 1455588458 (Forever Yours)

ISBN-13: 978-1455588459 (Forever Yours)

Reviewed by: Bridget


One long, hot summer would never be enough…

Attorney Hannah Sterling lives a life she’s worked hard for. So when she unexpectedly inherits an inn, Hannah decides to take that long overdue holiday and settle her eccentric grandmother’s estate. She knew there would be challenges, but what’s hardest about returning to Mirabelle, Florida, is facing the man who gave her the most passionate summer of her life-and then broke her heart.

Nathanial Shepard never forgot the redheaded goddess who lit up his world and got away. Now that she’s home, Shep vows to make up for their years apart-and if the fire in her kiss is any indication, they’re well on their way. But when a devastating secret from their past threatens their future, Shep must fight to heal Hannah’s heart. Because this time, their love will truly be unforgettable…

Quick & Dirty: Adorable romance full of great characters, wonderful humor, and awesome sexy times. I would highly recommend this entire series to anyone that likes an entertaining contemporary romance series.

Opening Sentence: Hannah Sterling snapped her cell phone shut for the fourteenth time, hanging it up with a loud thwack.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Hannah Sterling has what most people would call a very successful life. She is a big time lawyer and a very confident woman that doesn’t need a man in her life to be happy. She has had a bunch of relationships in her life but none of them quite as life altering as the one with Nathaniel Shepard when she was 18 years old. But that was 13 years ago and she has moved on or at least she thought she had. Then her beloved grandmother passes away and leaves her an old inn that is located in the town of Mirabelle, Florida. The place that she met Shep all those years ago and the town that he still lives in. Going back brings back more feelings then Hannah wanted to feel and running into her first love is a lot harder then she thought it would be.

Nathaniel Shepard or better known as Shep, has lived his life pretty carefree. He works as a bartender at the family owned bar and has an amazing group of friends. The one thing he doesn’t have is a woman in his life. For a long time he enjoyed being a player, but a few years ago his grandfather passed away suddenly. In their last conversation his grandfather expressed how disappointed he is that Shep still hadn’t settled down and started a family of his own. Ever since Shep has been trying to lay off the casual hookups, and has tried to find someone to settle down with, but he hasn’t had any luck so far. Then the one girl to ever steal his heart comes back into town, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him. Letting Hannah leave him all those years ago is one of Shep’s biggest regrets in life and he vows that no matter what it takes he will win her back. But will their past and the hurt that they caused each other be too much for them to start over?

The mysterious Hannah has always intrigued me ever since I learned that she was the only woman that Shep has ever loved. I was very excited to meet her and get to know her story as well. She was very different then what I was expecting and for the most part I really loved her character. I loved her feisty attitude and I can really respect that she has made something of her life since leaving Mirabelle all those years ago. She is a very sweet person that hasn’t been shown a lot of love in her life, but that hasn’t stopped her from expressing love to others. The one thing that did bother me was how her actions would contradict her decisions so often. I get that she wants to be careful with her heart, but she would make a decision and the next thing you know she would be doing exactly what she said she wouldn’t. This wasn’t a huge flaw to her character but it did bother me at times throughout the story. Overall, I thought she was a great female protagonist and a great match for Shep.

I loved Shep from the very first book in the series. He is a sweet sexy guy and such a great friend. He has always had a lot of charm and been quite the ladies man. But he doesn’t really do relationships, at least not since Hannah. He is always giving advice to his friends and family about their personal lives, but when it comes to his own life he very rarely follows his own advice until Hannah comes back to town. Shep was so adorable with Hannah and I loved how determined he was to get her back. No matter how much she pushed him away he never gives up on her, which I really loved. They have a lot of history that they have to work through but that doesn’t stop Shep from going after what he wants. I loved reading his story and he was just as hunky in this book as he has been in all the previous books!

Unforgettable is a very cute contemporary romance that was entertaining to read. This is the fourth book in the Country Road series, and while this wasn’t my favorite book in the series, I still enjoyed it. I was really looking forward to reading Shep’s story, but I was a little disappointed with it. The rest of the books in this series seemed to bring out more emotions in me then this one did. I also felt like the story felt a little repetitive. I realize that the whole story is based off a second chance romance which can easily make a story feel repetitive and unfortunately this one did. I’m not saying that this wasn’t a good read because it was; I’m just wanted to point out why I didn’t quite like it as much as the previous books. Even though I didn’t love everything about this book I still loved reading it and thought that it was an adorable romance full of sexy times, and great characters. I loved seeing glimpses into all the previous characters I fell in love with, but it was fun to get to know the new characters as well. Like all the previous books in the series there is also lots of great humor spread throughout the story. I have really enjoyed this entire series and I am sad to see it end, but I can’t wait to see what Richards comes out with next. Overall, I would still recommend this to anyone looking for a fun steamy contemporary romance.

Notable Scene:

Hannah had immediately noticed Nathaniel Shepard the first time she’d seen him thirteen years ago. It had been at a distance, but there’d been no denying how good he looked. He’d worn his black hair long and shaggy, and even at eighteen his square, chiseled jaw had always been covered in five-o’clock shadow. As he’d been wearing sunglasses, she hadn’t seen his eyes then, but later she’d discovered the deep blue color that reminded her of sapphires and how they were surrounded by thick, dark lashes women everywhere would covet.

He’d been without a doubt the most attractive guy she’s ever seen.

And now? Now he was thirty-one and about thirty-one times more attractive.

Country Roads Series:

1. Undone

2. Undeniable

3. Unstoppable

4. Unforgettable


FTC Advisory:  Forever Yours/Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Unforgettable.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

January 26th, 2015 Kaitlin Posted in Review No Comments »

Second StarTitle: Second Star

AuthorAlyssa B. Sheinmel

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: May 13, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 256 Pages

ISBN-100374382670 (MacTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0374382674 (MacTeen)

Reviewed byKaitlin


A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete’s nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she’s falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up–and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

Quick & Dirty: This book, despite a somewhat ridiculous romance, was beautifully written and a good read.

Opening Sentence: I can smell the bonfire before I even get out of the car.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Wendy’s siblings are missing. They found their broken surfboards but not their bodies, or any other evidence. Most people assume they are dead. But Wendy refuses to believe that. Her search to find the twins leads her to Kensington, a gorgeous beach occupied by homeless kids that live in abandoned houses and get by with stolen food. She learns to surf with the gorgeous Pete and starts to feel something for Jax the drug dealer. The rest of her family think she’s insane for her searches, but Wendy is determined to realize the truth, one way or another, and if that means asking help of the Kensington crew, she’s not afraid to go to certain lengths to do so. A light and easy read!

Prior to reading Second Star, I hadn’t heard the best things. I knew that people had called it “laughable” and although the cover was deceivingly gorgeous, many hadn’t found it a good read. That made me wary when I started reading Second Star. However much I disliked some aspects of the plot, however, I found myself enjoying the book for its gorgeous writing style and beautiful ending. Maybe I liked it more because I was reading it when I was in Hawaii — after all, many of the scenes were at the beach and the descriptions of pale sand and blue skies fit my scenery. It was a pleasant environment to settle down with a simple book. I’m tempted to buy it so I can reread and display it proudly on my bookshelf. I mean, look at the purples and the silhouettes!

Second Star is a retelling of Peter Pan. The characters, or at least most of them, have names remarkably similar to those of the classic fairytale. Take our main character Wendy, for instance. And Pete, the homeless surfer she meets who teaches her how to “fly” through the waves. Jas is Captain Hook, which is confusing to me, because Jax sounds nothing like Hook — you infer that he’s the Neverland’s villain because he’s the drug dealer. Jas sells “pixie dust” which is a highly addictive substance that you swallow tablets of, and makes you increasingly weak the more you eat them. Her brothers, Michael and John, are obviously Wendy’s brothers from London. I thought the similarities between the story and the novel were enjoyable without being distracting. And the ending — uch! My favorite part by far, but so torturous! I understand why the author ended the story that way and how it related to Neverland’s but it didn’t make it any less hard for me to swallow. I want a sequel, even if those chances are doubtful.

Wendy is shy, without a somewhat flat personality, but her love for the water and how she described surfing made me like her as a character. I mean, the whole love triangle between Peter Pan and Captain Hook was kind of ridiculous. Why was she falling for the drug dealer? I mean, that was just a lack of common sense. Weirdly enough, however, I wasn’t repulsed by Jas and he grew on me so by the time I ended the book I kind of missed him. It was funny how his personality and his profession didn’t really fit. I didn’t like Pete as much. The second time they met — the second time — they kissed. I was not feeling that relationship. Luckily enough by the end of the book she has only one of them that she’s fallen for. Pete was probably better for her than the drug dealer, at least. There’s that.

Altogether, even though sometimes I’d laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of the plotline, I actually liked this book. The writing was simple but beautiful. The side characters were interesting, Beth as Tinkerbell and a few others as the Lost Boys. I wish they hadn’t made stealing out to be okay, as they did, but I guess the Kensington boys needed some way to make ends met. And I did appreciate the descriptions and imagery of surfing, and how it related to flying. Though it was obviously a retelling, the story stood on its own, and I liked how it managed to have its own unique aspects as well as those of the original story. I thought this book was a nice read that I would recommend to people who want a calm, pretty book that they can read on a warm summer’s day.

Notable Scene:

The reeds begin to thin out, and the sand beneath my feet becomes sugar-white and flour-soft, and slightly wet, as if it was covered in water not long ago. I can hear the ocean, but the waves sound different here. Even though I can’t see the water, somehow I can tell: these waves are perfect.

The path opens up onto a small but pristine triangle of beach, bordered by the reeds on one side, rocky, sloping cliffs on another, and then the sparkling water. The sun reflects the ocean like a million fingerprints.

I look around, searching for the boy with the freckles on his face and the sand on his back.


FTC Advisory: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Second Star.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

January 24th, 2015 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

Princess of ThornsTitle: Princess of Thorns

Author: Stacey Jay

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: December 9, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages

ISBN-10: 038574322X (Teens@Random)

ISBN-13: 978-0385743228 (Teens@Random)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it’s too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Quick & Dirty: Gorgeous, unique retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale. I loved everything about this book and would highly recommend it to everyone!

Opening Sentence: Having discovered the secret to eternal life, and jealous of his throne, the immortal king summoned a witch to the castle and ordered her to curse his eleven sons, ensuring none would live past their eighteenth birthday, the age at which a Kanvasol prince may become a king.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Aurora may look like a normal girl, but she is anything but normal. Not only is she a princess in hiding waiting for the right time to take back her kingdom, she is also fairy blessed. She has been blessed with all the skills to be an amazing warrior, but she has also been cursed with the ability to destroy the free will of any man that kisses her. She is seventeen years old and has spent most of her life hiding from the evil ogres that stole her kingdom from her. But recently the ogres caught Aurora’s brother and the only way she has any hope of saving him is to enlist the help of Prince Niklaas. One little catch is that Niklaas thinks that she is a boy and she’s not about to tell him the truth till she gets the help she needs to save her brother.

Niklaas has been cursed just like his ten brothers. He has an evil immortal father that never wanted any of his sons to come of age to take his throne from him. So his father ordered a witch to curse the boys. On their eighteenth birthday they turn into swans and live out the rest of their life as a bird.  Niklaas will be eighteen in just a few weeks and he has managed to figure out a way to break the curse. The only problem is he needs to marry a princess. He plans to purpose to Princess Aurora, but he has to find her first.

Aurora is a very likeable heroine and I loved her right off the bat. She is not your average princess that can’t take care of herself, which was one of my favorite things about her. I don’t mind a female character that needs rescuing but I will admit that my favorite type of heroine is one the can take care of herself. Aurora was raised to be a warrior that will lead her people to defeat the ogres and take back the kingdom that is rightfully hers. She is tough, resilient, stubborn and determined to fulfill her destiny. But at the same time she is sweet, caring, and has all the insecurities that most girls have, so she was very easy to relate to. Not only is she a character you can look up to and respect, she is also someone that you can learn from. I loved reading her story and honestly I didn’t want it to end.

Niklaas is everything I could want in a hot prince. He is charming, confident, and very good looking. But he is also sweet, honest, and noble. His situation is not ideal, but he refuses to give up which I really admired. His relationship with Aurora was perfectly done and it developed at a very believable pace. Because he thinks Aurora is a boy for most of the book he is way more open with her then he normally would have been, and that made their romance so much cuter. You get to see so many different sides to him and I loved that. He is far from perfect and he proves that time and time again, but that’s what made his character so believable. I loved him from the very beginning and my affection for him just continued to grow throughout the book.

Princess of Thorns is a gorgeous unique retelling of sleeping beauty. From the first moment I started this book, I honestly couldn’t put it down until I finished it. The world that Jay created was fascinating and so creative. I loved how she included all the different types of creatures in the world, it added an extra element that made the story that much more enjoyable. There were amazing characters that were so likeable and easy to relate to. The romance was adorable and developed perfectly. The entire story was full of great humor and awesome adventure. The plot was surprising and very intriguing. Pretty much this book was the whole package it had everything I want in a great high fantasy story. I loved absolutely everything about it and I know that there has been much controversy with the author on whether or not there will be a sequel, but personally I hope that there is. If there isn’t that is fine as well because the ending of this one was very satisfying and it can easily be read as a standalone. I would recommend this to anyone that loves high fantasy, retellings, or if you are just looking for a great book, pick this one up you will not be disappointed!

Notable Scene:

I realize what he intends to do, but before I can turn my back, his pants slide off his hips, and Niklaas, eleventh son of the immortal king, is as naked as the day he was born.

I freeze—jaw dropping, blood draining from my face—unable to tear my eyes away, though I know I should. But, warrior’s clothes be damned, I’m a seventeen-year-old girl, and what seventeen-year-old girl could look away from a sight like that?

Niklaas may have the face of a golden god, but he has the body of a devil, a creature sent from the Pit to tempt a girl to abandon everything she holds dear for one night, skin to skin, with a creature designed for pleasure. The sort of pleasure that, since the day I kissed Thyne, I’ve known I must forever do without.


FTC Advisory:  Delacorte Press/Random House provided me with a copy of Princess of Thorns. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Early Review: Pretty Smart Girls by Shae Ross

January 23rd, 2015 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

Pretty Smart GirlsTitle: Pretty Smart Girls

Author: Shae Ross

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Series: N/A

Publication Date: January 26, 2015

Format: eBook, 290 Pages

ISBN-10: 1633751376 (Entangled Embrace)

ISBN-13: 978-1633751378 (Entangled Embrace)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Team Ryan
Ryan Rose and her fellow Spartans are finalists in a high-profile entrepreneurial competition. They’re competing for life-changing money and for their futures. They have a solid plan to win. All they need to do is trounce the competition: rich frat boys from an archrival university. Easy, right?

Team Jett
Jett Trebuchet’s first mistake was not realizing that Ryan and her friends were the competition. His second was expressing his unabashed confidence in his team’s ability to win. After all, everyone knows the only thing MSU does better than U of M is produce beautiful, easy women…oh, and he almost forgot to say “dumb.” And boy, does his team pay for thatone.

Game On
As each side tries to game the other, something else seems to be getting in the way—attraction. Now Ryan and Jett must keep their teams from getting distracted by the opposite sex…and each other. All is not fair in love and war when it comes to winning this game.

Quick & Dirty: Adorable new adult romance filled with great humor, steamy romance, and fun characters. This was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun romance.

Opening Sentence: “I can’t believe I let you guys talk me into this,” Devi says.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Ryan Rose knows how to win and this spring break she is going to win something big. With her two best friends she is competing in a high-profile entrepreneurial competition where the prize is $100,000 and a chance to work for a fortune 500 company. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and there is no way the girls are going to lose. They have to beat the other team, which is made up of three frat boys from a rival university. But Team Ryan does have one slight advantage: people tend to underestimate three beautiful college girls.

Jett Trebuchet’s has never had a problem with getting what he wants. He is smart, driven, rich, and talented, so things tend to come easy for him.  That doesn’t mean that he hasn’t worked for what he has, but when it comes to winning he really doesn’t know how to lose. So when he finds out that the competition is a group of girls he is pretty sure that his team will win. What he doesn’t expect is the instant attraction he feels towards the other team’s leader, or the fact that the girls will do anything to win!

It is kind of pathetic how much I adore Ryan. She is someone that I am nothing like, but wish I was more like. Her confidence shines whenever she is under pressure and she is never one to back down from a challenge. Losing is never an option and she will do whatever she has to to win. I loved her sassy attitude and how she always seems to have a comeback for everything. But she also has insecurities like any normal girl would, she is just better at hiding them from others. I instantly liked Ryan and as her story unfolds I developed a deep connection with her character. She is someone I wish I was friends with in real life!

Jett is a gorgeous frat boy who turned out to be way different then I originally thought. When you first meet him he seems like your average rich college boy with a major competitive streak, but as you get to know him you see that he is so much more than that. He is actually a really sweet guy that has worked extremely hard for everything he has. He is very respectful, giving, and just an all around great guy. It was really fun to watch the relationship between him and Ryan develop. They are both ridiculously competitive, but obviously crazy attracted to each other. I thought that they had amazing chemistry and in all honesty they are perfect for each other. Jett is a boy you easily fall for and he was a great addition to the story.

Pretty Smart Girls is an adorable contemporary romance with lots of humor, sexy times, and likeable characters. When I read the synopsis for this book I was already cracking up so I figured it was going to be a funny book and I was not disappointed. I found myself laughing out loud plenty of times throughout the story, but I did feel that there was more humor in the first half of the book versus the second half. That’s not to say that there wasn’t any funny parts in the second half because there was, I would have just liked to see a little bit more. The romance was really cute but it did develop very quickly. Personally, this didn’t bother me at all and in many ways real relationships develop quickly as well, but I imagine some people won’t love this aspect of the book. I adored all the characters and I hope that we get to see more of them in future books. I also loved how Ross ingrained emotional moments throughout the story. Not everything was all fun and games, which gave the story a lot more depth than just a fluffy romance. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and would highly recommend it to anyone that it looking for a fun new adult contemporary read.

Notable Scene:

Her index finger presses to her lips, and with a wideeyed expression she hisses out a slow shhh. “I was having a perfectly relaxing morning until you showed up.” She turns her back to me but her mouth is still moving. “it’s bad enough we have to spend the day together. I know you Wolverines like to hear yourselves talk.”

In the time it’s taken her to finish her sentence, I have stepped up behind her and am hovering over her shoulder, as close as I can get without spilling coffee on her.

“Did you just shush me?”


FTC Advisory:  Entangled provided me with a copy of Pretty Smart Girls.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Early Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

January 22nd, 2015 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

An Ember in the AshesTitle: An Ember in the Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 28, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 464 Pages

ISBN-10: 1595148035 (Penguin Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-1595148032 (Penguin Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Quick & Dirty: Epic high fantasy that will leave you breathless. I will admit I struggled a little getting into the story at first, but once things picked up I couldn’t put this down!

Opening Sentence: My big brother reaches home in the dark hours before dawn, when even ghosts take their rest.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Laia is a seventeen year old girl living in an Empire with brutal rulers. Her people are known as the Scholars and they were defeated by the Empire many years ago.  Now they live among their enemies but as peasants and are treated very poorly. The Empire can do whatever they like without cause to anyone they feel deserves to be punished, and they are always looking for traitors to the crown. There is a resistance that has risen against the Empire but anyone that is known to be a part of it or help in any way is branded a traitor. One night Laia’s only brother is taken by the Empire and the only way she will be able to free him is by asking the rebels for help. The only way that the rebels will help Laia is if she becomes a slave at Blackcliff, the most dangerous military academy, and spies on the woman that runs the school. It is a brutal mission that many have failed before, but Laia will do anything to save the only family she has left.

Elias is the best at everything inside the walls of Blackcliff. He is at the top of his graduating class and has proven time and time again that he is everything a solder should be, but secretly he hates everything about his life. He never wanted to be a solider but once you are chosen there is no backing out unless you want to pay the price, which is death. Elias has wanted to desert for years but he has been smart and bidding his time until the most opportune moment. But on the eve before he is planning to run away he is chosen to participate in a ruthless competition to become the next emperor. With his plans destroyed his only option is to fight in the competition or die trying!

Laia is a very interesting character that grew so much throughout the story. When you first meet her she is a timid girl that has never done anything to bring attention to herself, but once her brother is taken she becomes determined to get him back. She will do whatever it takes, even if it means becoming a slave for one of the cruelest masters alive. I really respected Laia and how much she was willing to give up to rescue her brother. I didn’t develop an instant connection with her, but as the story progressed, I grew to really love her character. She is a smart and resourceful girl and she grows to be a very courageous person that I really admired. I can’t wait to continue her story and see who she becomes.

Elias was not at all what I was expecting. Ever since he was six years old he has trained to be a special solider for the Empire. His kind is known as Masks and they are the elite of the elite when it comes to fighting. Their training was brutal and they are taught to show no mercy of any kind. Elias has always hated the person he was trained to be, but there is no leaving the Masks alive. It is a lifetime commitment and most see it as an amazing honor to be given the privilege to become a Mask, but not Elias. As you get to know him you see how torn he is between who he wants to be and what he is suppose to be. At first I didn’t know if I was going to like him, but he grew on me. As his story unfolds you realize how much he has been through and you can’t help but feel sorry for him. Eventually, I grew to respect him and in the end I really loved him.

An Ember in the Ashes is a gorgeous high fantasy set in a brutal world with non-stop action, interesting characters, and a fascinating plot. I did have a hard time getting into the story at first, which I think was due to trying to get to know all the characters and the world that Tahir created. This is a very complex story that was full of surprises and at first it was difficult to get a grasp on everything that was going on. But once I finally started to understand everything better, I honestly couldn’t put the book down. It was such a unique story that captivates you until the very last page. I think my favorite thing about the story was all the gray area that was present with all the different characters. You are never quite sure who is good and who is bad, which I really loved. There is very little romance in the story, but I think that there is potential for much more in books to come. The ending was pretty crazy and left me dying to know what happens next. I would highly recommend this to all fantasy lovers, this book is definitely one you should pick up.

Notable Scene:

The slaver nods a greeting to the guards stationed at the gates and pulls my chain as if I’m a dog. I shuffle after him. Rape…disfigurement…branding. I can’t do it. Darin. I can’t.

A visceral urge to flee sweeps through me, so powerful that I slow, stop, pull away from the slaver. My stomach roils, and I think I’ll be sick. But the slaver yanks the chain hard, and I stumble forward.

There’s nowhere to run. I realize as we pass beneath Blackcliff’s iron-spiked portcullis and into the fabled grounds. There’s nowhere to go. There’s no other way to save Darin.

I’m in now. And there is no going back.


FTC Advisory:  Razorbill/Penguin Teen provided me with a copy of An Ember in the Ashes.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Related Posts with Thumbnails