Book Review: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

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Title(s) Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

Author Leigh Bardugo

Rating ★★★★☆

Synopsis 

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to clai
it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Review 

I ended up buying this duology after seeing it all over Instagram, and it’s been on my shelf for quite some time. I finally decided to read them last week, and oh my goodness!

The story had me a bit confused at first, everything was very fast-paced and it felt a bit like you had to know something about the worlds made by Leigh Bardugo, which I didn’t.

That, as well as the fact that she introduced a lot of characters within the first few chapters had me feeling a bit confused and to be honest, lost.

However, you quickly catch on and wow, it just turns into a fast-paced adventure!

The books take place in what seems like an alternate Netherlands, and it’s an intriguing environment. There are street gangs, brothels, corruption and in the midst of all of this, you’ll find a diverse set of characters. The characters are flawed, they’re convicts, runaways, thieves, sexworkers, murderers, you name it and you’ll find one among this cast.

The characters really made this book for me, they were gritty, they were honest and they were flawed. Thanks to the alternate POVs you’ll get a beautiful insight to what’s going on with these characters.

There’s the leader of the gang – Kaz – Dirtyhands – a fearless anti-hero, who is a criminal genius with a secret past.

Kaz narrowed his eyes. “I’m not some character out of a children’s story who plays harmless pranks and steals from the rich to give to the poor.”

There’s the wonderful, absolute badass Inej, who has so much guilt about the choices she’s made to survive.

Nina – a fire-cracker with powers, Matthias the warrior and the relationship between these two is just UGH.

Wylan – just adorable, and has had to adapt and come to terms with lots of things in his young life, oh and he blushes all the time gaaah!

Jesper – the joker with the perfect aim, and a love of gambling.

I cannot gush enough about this cast, each of them have a backstory that will shock you and then draw you in. They’re multi-layered and the females in this story have a wonderful relationship. There’s no love-triangle, there’s no competition over who’s the prettiest, or who can get the man, they are equal and they help each other, instead of tearing each other down, and that was amazing to witness.

There’s also an element of romance in these books, but it’s never something that takes over. It’s natural, and it doesn’t disturb the rest of the story. There are stolen glances, sexual tension, lots of blushing, but it never overshadows the plot and that was great!

Crooked Kingdom dragged a bit on for me, there was a lot that could’ve been left out and that’s why I’ve given the books 4/5.

But honestly just read them, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Book review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Title A Court Of Thorns and Roses

Author Sarah J. Maas

Rating ★★★☆☆

Synopsis Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Review

Ahhh this is the first kind of Beauty and the Beast retelling I’ve ever read, and I really enjoyed it.

And this book has pretty much everything you could ever wish for! There’s magic, betrayal, romance and danger, all ingredients that make up a delicious story.

The world in which this story takes place was original and greatly described, and I was sucked right into the univserse filled with faeries, humans and different courts.

Feyre, the human girl – whose perspective we hear the story from, takes care of her family by hunting. She lives with her father, and two sisters, in a small house barely scraping by.

Feyre kills a particular animal and it turns out to be a crime, and she is taken to the Spring Fae Court, where she is forced to live with Tamlin  – oh be still my heart and Lucien that cheeky bastard.

It takes a while for the three to warm up to each other, and sparks start to fly between Feyre and Tamlin. Their relationship gradually builds over the course of the story, and it is a glorious thing to behold. I like the fact that they take their time to come to terms with their feelings and it evolves in a very natural way.

The story dragged on a bit for me, it took a while before the something really happened, but my goodness when it finally did, holy Cauldron! But really, I wanted more action!

That being said, the writing was great, and every character and every scene were written with so many vivid details that you had no trouble imagining what it looked like.

I am so excited to continue this series, have you read it? What did you think?

 

 

Book review: Caraval

FullSizeRenderTitle Caraval (Caraval #1)

Author Stephanie Garber

Rating ★★★★☆

Remember, it’s only a game … 

With a sentence like that in a synopsis, how can you not be drawn to this story immediately?

I’ve seen so many posts about Caraval in the #bookstagramcommunity and seen rave reviews for it, and let’s be honest the cover of this book is incredible, a bookstagrammer’s dream!

So I had to get it, not really knowing what kind of story I was in for, and what a ride it was.

Plot 

“Welcome, welcome to Caraval … beware of getting swept too far away.” 

The Dragna sisters, Scarlett and Donatella, have never left their tiny island where they live with their cruel and powerful father. Scarlett is set to marry a count in a marriage arranged by her father, and due to the upcoming wedding, Scarlett once again dreams of attending Caraval, a once-a-year performance, in which the audience participates until the very end.

Scarlett has been writing letters to the creator of Caraval for years and years without getting a reply, but now she not only receives a reply, she receives an invitation to join in on the performance.

Alongside her sister and a mysterious sailor, Julian, they whisk away to the show.

And that’s when it happens, Donatella – Tella, is kidnapped by the creator of Caraval, a mastermind called Legend, and soon it becomes clear that the show revolves around finding Tella, whoever finds her first, will be crowned winner.

Scarlett is desperate to find her sister, and she has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is just an elaborate performance. Real or not, Scarlett is thrown into a world filled with magic, love and heartbreaks, and she only has five days to find her sister, otherwise Tella will be gone forever.

The world of Caraval was so intriguing and the set-up was brilliant, I found myself drawn to Scarlett, but even more so to the character of Julian and the budding romance with one of the sisters (I’m a sucker for romance, alright?!)

The relationship between the sisters was a compelling one, and the way they both tried to save each other from their father’s abuse.

All in all, it was a great book, with wonderful writing, however it fell a bit flat, after all of the hype I’d seen. I thought it was going to be something more, something more spectacular, and the ending was a bit of a let-down. That being said, it did have a twist that made me very eager to read the second book in the series.