Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Title: Hunted

Author: Meagan Spooner

Series: It’s a standalone

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 374

Publication Date: March 14 2017

Genres: Retelling, fairy tale, fantasy, young adult

Goodreads: 4 Stars

Synopsis:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones – and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets, and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronesses… or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one pretty: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. The Beast. Deaf to her sister’s protests, Yeva hunts this strange creature back into his own territory – a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin – or salvation.

Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Beauty and the Beast, my all time favourite.

This book has a very special place in my heart. It took me far far away into a distant land, where fairy tales come to life in an ordinary girl’s world. I loved reading this retelling, I thought it was so very well done. It was refreshing and real, I ignored all else when I reading Hunted, and I couldn’t put it down!

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: The Grisha (Book 3)

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Pages: 417

Publication Date: June 17 2014

Genres: Young adult, fantasy, magic

Goodreads: 4 stars

Synopsis:

The capital has fallen and the Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. 

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets,she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction – and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

This book really took off and it was non stop action! I really enjoyed the fast pace and I was torn between wanting the Darkling to turn around and be good, I loved the way Bardugo made us have such mixed feelings about him!
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Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

 

Title: Flame in the Mist

Series: Flame in the Mist

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Pages: 392

Publication Date: 16th May 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical, Japan, Retellings, Gender Bender

Synopsis:

The only daughter of a prominent Samurai, Mariko has always known that being a woman means she’s not in control of her fate. Never mind her cunning or her skills as an accomplished alchemist, Mariko was raised for one purpose only: to marry.

At just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose. But the journey is cut short when her convoy is ambushed by the Black Clan – a group of bandits hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace. 

The lone survivor of the attack, Mariko swears revenge on those who want her dead: she infiltrates the Black Clan disguised as a peasant boy and befriends their leader. The clan warms to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity – but as she gets closer to her enemies, Mariko uncovers a dark history of secrets that will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

Review:

** spoiler alert **

 

I adored this book! Japanese mythology, samurais, feudal Japan, is totally down my alley. With a Mulan twist, which I absolutely loved, how could I resist? I loved the fact it’s only slightly like Mulan, not as predictable but loved the similarities. But don’t get me wrong, Flame in the Mist definitely had tonnes of originality.

Warning… spoilers ahead…

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina

Series: The Illuminae Files (Book 2)

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: October 2016

Pages: 659

Genres: Young Adult/Sci-fi

Goodreads: 5 stars

Holy Guacamole! What a rollercoaster ride Gemina was! This book was amazing and beyond my wildest dreams! I felt like I got tricked so many times! The format continues to capture me and is so good to look at! What an intense book, I couldn’t put it down and it was unpredictable.

First off, Hanna Donnelly. Gosh, what an amazing heroine of the story! She’s smart, beautiful, is awesome at fighting and a fashionista! I could totally imagine all this in my mind as a movie! Hanna was so clever and strong throughout this book. I loved seeing what she would do next and it amazes me how capable she was of pulling this off! I was both amazed and in doubt at the same time!

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight

Series: Nevernight

Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books

Published: August 2016

Pages: 429

Genres: Young Adult/Fantasy

Goodreads: 5 Stars

Synopsis:

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Wow, this book. This was so refreshing! Especially for a young adult/fantasy book. It brings me back to the days that I used to only read fantasy. I miss the journey books of the protagonist learning the art of what they are to become. Mia’s story was intriguing, many protagonists may start like Mia, but the magic system is what really sucked me in. Mister Kindly was such a mysterious and loyal character and he seemed like a great ally to have. But there comes a part in the book that you question all that he is. I loved this! It made us so suspicious of the shadows surrounding Mia.

The opening paragraphs of this book was so interesting. It was so confusing and I found myself rereading these paragraphs to compare the different situations written so similarly. I had to find out what was going on! And I was drawn in by Jay’s writing style. References at the bottom of the book answered some of the questions I had, gave us insight to Nevernight’s world without one character explaining it to another or heavy information all at the beginning of the book and some were quite funny. Eventually the complicated writing style evened out and it became an easier read. The flashbacks at the beginning of each chapter gave us insights to Mia’s past. I really liked this as it kept us curious the more I read and knowing how it linked to the present.
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The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Title: The Assassin’s Blade

Series: Throne of Glass (Novella/Prequel 0.1-0.5)

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Published: March 2014

Pages: 437

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Goodreads: 4 Stars

Synopsis:

The twist of a knife, the birth of a legend…

Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins’ Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.

Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide – from Adarlan’s rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate – and cut her heart in two forever…

These novellas, compiled into one book, forming the prequel to The Throne of Glass series is a must read! I have read everywhere that it should be read before Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the series as it adds a lot of depth and understanding of what happens before Celaena Sardothien is pulled out of Endovier.

At first I thought the book was quite slow, to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered reading it all that much. But then I read somewhere that it is recommended to be before the release of Queen of Shadows, and that someone from the prequel shall be revealed, I thought; gosh I better get started! So I started the book slow, but once I got into it, I wanted to know more! I wanted to know more about Sam, the boy she loved before everything happened, and what he would be like. Definitely you will get to see him throughout the book. As I read on, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, I could see the beginning of Celaena and Sam’s relationship, how it they were always at each other, and then slowly seeing that change as they worked together through the first novella. By then you can see hints of what Sam feels for Celaena, but she is oblivious to it.

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