A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows- Book review

Here is my review of A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows – a queer, romantic fantasy

Velasin vin Aaro never planned to marry at all, let alone a girl from neighboring Tithena. When an ugly confrontation reveals his preference for men, Vel fears he’s ruined the diplomatic union before it can even begin. But while his family is ready to disown him, the Tithenai envoy has a different solution: for Vel to marry his former intended’s brother instead.
Caethari Aeduria always knew he might end up in a political marriage, but his sudden betrothal to a man from Ralia, where such relationships are forbidden, comes as a shock.
With an unknown faction willing to kill to end their new alliance, Vel and Cae have no choice but to trust each other. Survival is one thing, but love—as both will learn—is quite another.

Review

A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows was one of my anticipated reads of 2022 as I enjoy books with intrigue, fantasy, magic and very occasionally a bit of romance and this book seemed to have it all. But I have to admit to feeling a little disappointed.

Continue reading “A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows- Book review”

The Wild Court by E.G. Radcliff – Book review/Blog tour

I’m pleased to be part of the The Write Reads blog tour for the The Wild Court by E. G Radcliffe- a YA fantasy with faeries, magic, power, love and Aed, the former Hidden King.

Book Info

Genre: YA Fantasy

Length: 488 Pages

Published: 29th June 2021

What perils await on the other side of the veil?
In the seventh year of Áed’s reign, night descends on the autumn festival. But a time of revelry turns into one of fiery destruction—as fae pour across the veil and the Gut becomes a battlefield in an otherworldly war.
Determined to protect his kingdom and the people he loves, Áed finds himself catapulted into a realm as unfamiliar as it is dangerous, where magic is king and wild courts vie for supremacy.
While the faerie Queen’s missing consort holds the key to life and death, tenuous alliances raise questions about Áed’s connection to the mysterious Bone court. His survival hinges on cunning as much as illusion.
On a mission like no other, only one thing is certain: no one will survive unscathed.

Book review

The Wild Court by E. G Radcliff continues Áed’s, the half-faerie King, story and journey as a leader.

Continue reading The Wild Court by E.G. Radcliff – Book review/Blog tour

The Silver Queendom By Don Koboldt- Book review

Here is my review of The Silver Queendom by Don Koboldt- my favourite kind of fantasy with lots of magic, action and a clever heist.


They may be bad at running an inn, but they’re the best team of con artists in the Old Queendom. When a prospective client approaches Darin with a high-paying job, he knows he should refuse. But the job is boosting a shipment of priceless imperial dream wine, the most coveted and expensive drink in the world. And, thanks to a stretch of bad luck, he’s in deep to The Dame, who oversees criminal enterprises in this part of the Queendom.
If they fail, they’re as good as dead, but if they succeed… well, it’s enough money to get square with the Dame and make all of their dreams come true. Plus, it’s an option for Darin to stick it to the empress, who he has good reason to despise. Then again, there’s a very good reason no one has ever stolen imperial dream wine.

Review

I love a good heist story especially when it’s a heist story with magic and The Silver Queendom by Don Koboldt doesn’t disappoint.  This was an easy, quick and fun read.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

The book is told from the points of view of the four main people carrying out the con- Darin, the charismatic leader, a reluctant magic wielder and a magnet for trouble. Evie, the noblewoman fallen from grace, Tom, the friendly muscle and Kat, the newest recruit.

Darin and his gang pull off con after con but they always seem to end up in more trouble after each one and they hope this heist will be final.

The heists are suitably twisty and clever. The plot is fast-paced with plenty of swordfights and crossbow action. There is just a hint of romance between Darin and Evie ( which was perfect) and the magic was subtle enough to enhance the story but not overpower it. The world-building was easy to understand as is the politics. The characters were a little predictable, but I loved all of them with their little quicks.

I’m not sure if this is part of a series but I really hope we read more about Darin and the Rooster Inn gang.

Perfect for fans of

The Six crows or Hustle or Knave of Secrets ( review here)

Content warning

Reference to domestic violence, child labour

Genre: Fantasy      Source: Angry Robot and Netgalley  Publication: 23 August 2022

Tune in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn- Book review

Here is my review of Turn in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn- The Curious, Calamitous Cockamamie Story of Starr Weatherby and the greatest Mythic Reality Show ever. I think the title says it all.

Publication date: 16th of August 2022

Genre: Sci-fi/humour

Source: With thanks from the publisher Rebellion

She’s just a small town girl, with big mythic dreams.
Starr Weatherby came to New York to become… well, a star. But after ten years and no luck, she’s offered a big role – on a show no one has ever heard of. And there’s a reason for that. It’s a ‘reality’ show beyond the Veil, human drama, performed for the entertainment of the Fae.
But as Starr shifts from astounded newcomer to rising fan favorite, she learns about the show’s dark underbelly – and mysterious disappearance of her predecessor. She’ll do whatever it takes to keep her dream job – though she might just bring down the show in the process.

Review

I can safely say that Tune in Tomorrow by Randee Dawn is unlike any other book I’ve read- a strange concoction of sci-fi, fantasy, expose of behind the scenes of a reality TV show, humour and romance. But despite this, it was a fun and easy read.

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

Starr Weatherby( or Sam) is the easy-to-like main point of view character and you could sympathise with her conflicting wonder and bewilderment of suddenly being part of a reality TV show for mythical beings ( which is actually scripted). But Starr has to learn about this new world all the while trying to deal with the homicidal lead actress, Fiona.

The world-building was unique and it is safe to say there isn’t a fantasy world quite like this- a television studio filled with mythical creatures with horns and tails and brownies as well as an unseen audience.

I found some parts of the book really funny and it was a quick enjoyable read. There is a hint of romance between Starr and her leading man ( or men) as well as a hint of an unsolved mystery- what happened to Amelia the actress who vanished before Starr started.

I thought Fiona felt a little two-dimensional as a villain and a bit boring considering how vivid the other characters are. The book was sometimes a little confusing and I found it hard to figure out what was going on.

Perfect for fans of

The closest book I could compare this to would The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Into the Broken Lands by Tanya Huff- Book review

Here is my review of Into the Broken Lands by Tanya Huff – a road trip mixed with an epic fantasy quest

Shattered by mage wars, the Broken Lands will test the bonds of family and friendship, strength and sanity. To save their people, the Heirs of Marsan have no choice but to enter, trusting their lives and the lives of everyone they Protect, to someone who shouldn’t exist, who can’t be controlled, and who will challenge everything they believe about themselves. 

Review

Into Broken Lands by Tanya Huff wasn’t all that I was hoping it would- I loved her urban fantasies but it was still an enjoyable read.

I received I copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

The book is your classic fantasy quest involving a group of different and unique people, taking a perilous journey to reclaim a substance to keep a flame burning in a city far away. There has been a devasting mage war which has devasted the lands and Ryan, the heir by default after the death of his three older Brothers has to travel to the Broken Lands with a mage-made sentient being to bring back the flame and indirectly prove his right to rule.

The book is told from several points of view over two time periods which works well particularly to show how Nonlee the mage-made weapon become a real woman. Ryan was realistic as the reluctant heir who develops confidence in himself and I loved the hard-as-nails, take no prisoners Captain Yansav.

The story was slow to start with and I did struggle with the first third but I’m glad I stuck with it.  This book may look like a bog-standard fantasy quest, there is a deeper story of accepting who you are warts and all, especially when people expect you to be something you had no interest in ever being.

The world-building is detailed with some great descriptions but this is a book without much humour ( something I enjoyed in her previous books).

Perfect for fans of

Epic fantasy.

Source: Thank you Net Galley and DAW books

Date of publication :2 August 2022

Advocatus by A R Turner -blog tour and book review

I’m so pleased to be part of the Write Reads Tour for Adovactus by A R Turner- fantasy with humour.

Advocatus tells the tale of Felix, a junior lawyer with one last case before he can strike out on his own.
His client? A terrifying magical warlord accused of, amongst other horrifying crimes, two counts of Attempted Genocide (and six counts of Theft). His plea? Innocent, of course! All in a day’s work for Felix.
Psychic frogs, downtrodden goblins, time-travelling wizards, and a whole host of other magical defendants become his caseload as Felix begins trying to make a name for himself as a successful lawyer in a world rife with sorcery.
The biggest case of his life: defending humanity in front of Habeus, the God of Justice himself. Lose, and it’s all over. Not just for him, but for the whole of mankind.

Review

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased review

 I was intrigued by the blurb for Advocatus by A R Turner and I have to say it was different from my usual read.

It took a while for me to get into the story but it was a funny and humorous book with an unusual concept- a lawyer fighting for the future of humanity while dealing with the bureaucracy of court, unreliable witnesses and temperamental judges.

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The Councillor by E J Beaton- Book review

I was so happy to win a copy of The Councillor by E J Beaton, a book that has been on my TBR list, and here is my review of this fantasy.

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Won in a giveaway

Series: The Councillor ( book 1)

When the death of Iron Queen Sarelin Brey fractures the realm of Elira, Lysande Prior, the palace scholar is appointed Councillor. Publically, Lysande must choose the next monarch from amongst the city-rulers vying for the throne. Privately, she seeks to discover which ruler murdered the queen.
Resourceful, analytical, and quiet, Lysande appears to embody the motto she was raised with: everything in its place. Yet while she hides her drug addiction from her new associates, she cannot hide her growing interest in power. She becomes locked in a game of strategy with the city-rulers – especially the prince Luca Fontaine, who seems to shift between ally and rival.
Further from home, an old enemy is stirring: the magic-wielding White Queen is on the move again, and her alliance with a traitor among the royal milieu poses a danger not just to the peace of the realm, but to the survival of everything that Lysande cares about.

Review

The Councillor by E J Beaton has been on my to-read list for ages, so I was over the moon when I won a giveaway for this fantasy.

Lysande is the main point of view character ( third person )and is deliciously grey.  A woman who is unapologetically unafraid to be herself with no angst and will go after anything and anyone she wants.

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Silk Fire by Zabe Ellor- Book review

I was so happy to be approved by NetGalley for this science-fiction fantasy set in a Matriarchal world with political intrigue,twists and dragons. Here is my review of Silk Fire by Zabe Ellor.

Genre: Science fiction Fantasy

Publication date July 2022

Source :Netgalley

Koreshiza Brightstar is a courtesan on a planet-based matriarchal city where magic and technology work together. He thirsts for revenge against the aristocratic father who betrayed him as a child. But a chance encounter with a dying god leaves him with powers that could change the world, he realises he will need to trust others to pursue his vengeance and keep his secret safe.

I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased review.

Review

This book has one of the most memorable opening sentences from a character I have ever read!

The world-building in this book is ambitious in its scope and truly amazing- the blend of magic and technology blends together perfectly. In this world, Hovercrafts and Dragons share the sky. The underlying premise is that of essence, something ethereal that only a few people possess which is greatly desired, a commodity to take and hoard is unusual. I love reading   Matriarchal worlds in fantasy as opposed to the usual patriarchy, but this society isn’t perfect and is a good reflection of what sexism and misogyny looks like from the other side.

Koreshiza or Kore is a courtesan, a man who uses his body and brightness (from his essence) to build influence. Now he wants to use this influence to take down the father who betrayed and abandoned him and his mother. The book is written in the first-person from Kore point of view and it took a while for me to get used to the tangential nature of his narration but then this does fit his fragmented and broken personality. He trusts no one and for years has kept his true self hidden but while trying to influence the succession he finds himself falling for a man and a woman who loves him despite his flaws.

The plot is fast and moves quickly with plenty of twists and revelations. The political intrigue is as riveting as the action scenes.

This is definitely a book for adults who are not squeamish about ‘scenes of sexual nature ‘ as there are many sexual encounters in the book. I admit to skimming through most of them as I just wanted to get back to the story and action (except for the scene in the first part of the book which forms a key part of the book).

Content warning

Physical violence in sexual encounters with dubious consent, sexual abuse,(off-page), domestic violence, threats of sexual violence.

Perfect for fans

I think anyone who likes Kusheil’s Dart would enjoy this

Half a soul by Olivia Atwater- Book review

I enjoyed Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater, a romantic fantasy set in Regency England featuring a heroine with half a soul, a grumpy magician, meddling guardians, dances and faeries. Here is my review.

Series Regency Faeries Book #1

Genre: Fantasy

Source: NetGalley and Publishers Little Brown and Orbit

Publication date: 30th June 2022

‘Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment – a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season – but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.
If Dora’s reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.

Review

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

I enjoyed this romantic fantasy- Half a Soul by Olvia Atwater was lovely and entertaining read.

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