2012 End of Year Book Survey

I stumbled upon the End of the Year survey from Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner. This is her third year of compiling a list of bookish related questions to share with her readers and she encourages anyone who wants to join in and take part.

I love making lists and taking surveys so I jumped at the chance to share my thoughts regarding books and whatnot for 2012.

best books read in 2012

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

Contemporary: A Fault in Our Stars by John Green (just finished it today and need to wait a few days before writing a review or it will just be one big fangirl gush-fest)

Fantasy: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes or Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic: Divergent by Veronica Roth or Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Adult Fiction: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Undeadly by Michelle Vail. I felt a little let down by this one. It had a lot of promise but just missed something in the execution.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 


Probably Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I wasn’t expecting to like it at all – I mean it’s a Cinderella retelling set in New Beijing and Cinderella is now a cyborg. Sounds absolutely crazy – but it works and I can’t wait to read the second book in the Lunar Chronicles – Scarlet – when it’s released early next year.

 4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

A lot of the ones I’ve mentioned so far – Divergent by Veronica Roth, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Delirium by Lauren Oliver and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I love recommending Aussie authors to people I know as well so I’ve been pimping A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty and Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart.

 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

I discovered Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead this year (and her adult paranormal series, Georgina Kincaid). I’ve found a new favourite paranormal author. I also discovered Wool by Hugh Howey and Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep and completely enjoyed them too.

 6. Favourite new authors you discovered in 2012?

This is turning into a bit of a love fest for me… sorry! But there are so many authors I’ve not read prior to 2012 that I adore now. Veronica Roth, John Green, Maria V. Snyder, Richelle Mead, Stephanie Perkins, Brigid Kemmerer… my list would go on all day if I don’t stop myself now.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I’ve usually steered pretty clear of fantasy. It’s not something I’ve read a lot of but this year I read a few books and I’ve discovered a new appreciation for the genre.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

I love unputdownable as a word. I usually call these books my “cereal for dinner” kind of read. They’re the kind that I get so engrossed in that I can’t stop for something as mundane as cooking something to eat. No – I must keep reading and manage to pour a bowl of cereal and some milk with one hand whilst holding my book with the other – no time wasted!

This year I remember doing this with a few books. The most recent was Poison Princess by Kresley Cole. I wasn’t trying to make my self a meal whilst reading this one but I was on a plane. I was the last person off the plane because I was trying to get to a point in the story that I felt I could take a break and not go mad with the anticipation of what was going to happen next…

This also happened with Only in Spain by Nellie Bennett. Only in Spain is a memoir about a woman who was fed up with her day job and essentially ran away to Spain to learn flamenco dancing… I don’t read a lot of memoirs but I loved Nellie’s narration and her complete disregard for her own safety!

 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

Very hard to say. I don’t re-read very much at all. There’s so many books out there that I’d love to read that making time to re-read an old favourite doesn’t happen very often. If I was going to re-read any – it would probably be Crewel by Gennifer Albin. This is one that I think I would benefit from reading the ending of before the next book in the series comes out. 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)

This is one of those covers that means so much more to me after I’d finished reading the book. I thought it was cool before but after – it just fit the story so perfectly that I kept liking it more and more every time I see it.

I also liked these covers – for entirely different reasons. Finding Mr Darcy is adorable… and cravats are instantly likeable. The building, the font, the colours – I just adore everything about the cover on my version of A Discovery of Witches. And the cover of Only in Spain completely embodies the spirit of the story.

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 

Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass. Or Chelsea Knot from Speechless. Both completely different but I found them memorable for their strength.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

I thought the Fault in Our Stars by John Green was beautifully written. As was the Lovers Dictionary by David Levithan. 

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – I had a lot of problems with this book. Not the writing or even really the plot. It was more how it made me look at the issue of suicide and blame. I probably have an unpopular opinion regarding my thoughts and feelings that the book brought up but it’s probably the book that made me think the most.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

 15. FAVOURITE Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 

I am terrible at remembering quotes. Even the ones that at the time of reading I thought were brilliant for all sorts of reasons. All these ones are from books I remember highlighting passages from but then promptly forgot all about.

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.”
― David LevithanThe Lover’s Dictionary

 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 

Longest — A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness at 690 pages

Shortest — Probably Fearless or Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer – but they were both novellas which are intentionally exceptionally short 

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Rapture by Lauren Kate. Most of this book was a bit of a WTF moment for me. I just… couldn’t rationalize their actions. They were just so stupid! They would risk the one person who held the fate of the world in their hands on stupid stuff.

18. FAVOURITE Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I liked the romantic relationships of Anna and St Clair in Anna and the French Kiss. Also the instant connection (even if it pushed at insta-love but considering the title that has to be expected) of that between Hadley and Oliver in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. 

But for all relationships – I liked that between Hazel and her parents in The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

19. FAVOURITE Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter. I read some of her adult paranormal series before and some were a hit but most were a miss with me. Alice was fantastic and I’ll be taking another look at some of Gena’s other books.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

A Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

I have friends who are Nerdfighters who kept insisting I read this book – since before it came out. I’m glad I did. I loved it.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein. And Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor… and about a thousand other books.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

I made a list of ten that I can’t wait to be released a few weeks ago.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

In the past 7 or 8 months that I’ve been blogging I’ve learnt a lot. I’m happy with how my blog is developing so far. My main goal for 2013 is to start learning how to do more with graphics and develop the overall look of my blog (I still have the default picture… which I do like but I think I need to develop the necessary skills to personalize it a little more).

Reading wise I think I need to branch out a little more. Read a little more extensively with regards to genres. There’s a lot of paranormal romance in my repertoire and I endeavour to cover more variety in the next year.

Survey done! And it was both harder and more fun coming up with my answers than I thought when I started.

There’s probably a dozen books that I have forgotten about but I consider myself lucky to have read so many fantastic books this year and “discovered” a lot of authors I’d never had the opportunity to read before.

2012 was great and now I can’t wait what 2013 will bring. 🙂

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Book Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

With the world coming to an end tomorrow (or so TV is trying to tell me), I decided it would be appropriate to review an apocalyptic novel – and I’ve chosen Poison Princess written by one of my favourite paranormal authors, Kresley Cole. I love her Immortals After Dark series and have been wanting to read this book for a very long time. I was delighted to see how Ms. Cole tackled a book in the Young Adult genre.

You know how some people have a list of things they adore and love to read about? This ticked just about every one on my list: motorcycles, gorgeous Cajun bad boys, kick-arse heroines and story that kept me hooked well after I finished the last page.

Title: Poison Princess (The Arcadia Chronicles #1)
Author: Kresley Cole
Genre: post-apocalyptic, dystopian, magic, paranormal, romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: October 2012
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

My Review:

Evie is the golden girl – she’s dating the school’s handsome quarterback and together with her three best friends, she’s one-quarter of the most popular clique in school. But when Evie starts having gruesome visions, her mother ships her off for the summer to a house for disturbed teenagers.

With the start of a new school year Evie tries to ignore the oddities around her and concentrate on her friends, her boyfriend, and the fact there’s only two more years till graduation and then college. Just two more years.

That is until the gorgeous bad boy, Jackson Deveraux, comes to town. Complete with his best friends from the Bayou – Lionel, Clotile and Gaston (Okay… not that Gaston) – they’re there to shake things up. Instantly there’s tension between Jack and Evie. He sees her as the pretty little rich girl who never has to work for anything in her life and Evie sees Jack as a perverted thief from the wrong side of the tracks. But personalities aside – there’s plenty of attraction at first sight from both sides.

Evie’s visions and hallucinations keep getting more bizarre, scary and frequent. When Evie figures out that her nightmares are actually warnings and premonitions of the future- it’s too late. The Flash has devastated the world.

With the only like she has ever known is falling apart all around her Evie doesn’t have much option but to trust one of the only allies she has left – Jack. Together the Cajun and the Princess have to try to work together to survive and figure out what Evie’s powers mean.

I couldn’t put this book down. From the start to the final page there was always something happening that intrigued me into wanting to know exactly what was going to happen next.

The highlight was the banter between Evie and Jack. They would constantly bait each other and the resulting conversations were always amusing. I loved the innuendos and playful taunts but also found their more serious interactions just as scintillating. I thought the way Cole wrote Jack’s dialogue was perfect – it was easy to read and get into the vibe of the Cajun lingo. What I liked most about these two is how their relationship developed. It’s not love at first sight – but there is a great deal of lust from their first encounter. And they aren’t perfect – either of them. But they do grow as people and with regards to their relationship with each other. There are misunderstandings and lack of communication skills and whatnot. I loved that things aren’t easy for Evie and Jack.

Evie’s powers fascinated me – I have to admit that I can’t wait to see where she goes in the future. And the journey that she’s on to defeat the Evil players in the game. She may have started the book as a victim but by the end she was a force to be reckoned with! I have no doubt that Evie will be on the winning side of this dangerous battle but I just don’t know if it will be good or evil who will prevail victorious.

The Tarot element in the plot is interesting and unique. I don’t know much about the Major Arcadia (I had to have a bit of a google search to have a look at the cards we’ve met so far) and thought Selena, Finn and Matthew were such contrasting characters with powers that are so different and yet still have a lot of power. With there being so many “cards” not yet introduced – there’s a lot of room for incredible new characters to make appearances later in the series.

Drama, romance, action and magic – this book really does have it all. Without a doubt I can put this down as one of my favourite books of 2012. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Lover Gift Ideas…

I love Christmas – I start my shopping in January and now, just a week before Christmas, and I still have a few things to get. So whilst finishing up my shopping I’ve decided to share some ideas for gifts for book lovers in case anyone else is in the same boat and needing some inspiration for some last-minute gifts.

Book Hampers
The the best thing about book hampers you put together yourself is that you can personalize them. They can be as big or as small as you like. The most important thing is to only include items that the person you’re giving it to will appreciate considering that you are tailoring the hamper for that person.

You can theme them. Things like a recipe book and some cookie cutters; a book and a DVD of the movie. You could even make up your own special ideas for particular books – I may have given my sister a towel and a copy of one of my favourite books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

For a book hamper I made for a friend I included a copy of a book I thought she’d like, a coffee mug, some hot chocolate and a few chocolates that I know are her favourites. I put it all together in a handy tote that she could use as a library bag – or for anything really. Tote bags are fantastically handy.

Some other ideas of what to go into a book hamper – or could be gifted separately – are:

  • bookmarks
  • book lights
  • book ends
  • hollow book
  • book jewellery
  • reading journal
  • book clock
  • e-reader/tablet covers
  • gift cards – I think these are especially good to give if the recipient of your gift likes ebooks or audio books from audible or similar sites
  • literary quote t-shirts
  • tissues (if the book you’re gifting is a bit of a tear-jerker)
  • Literary inspired cookbooks for the culinary adept
  • magazine subscriptions,

This pretty much reads like a letter I would write to Santa – these are things I’d love to receive myself so they are things I would gift to others.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season 🙂

 

Book Review: Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) 
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Mythology
Publisher: KTeen (an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp.)
Publication Date: 24 December 2012
Pages: 384
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…

My Review:

Gwen’s life just keeps getting more complicated by the second. After being tricked into helping Loki escape – the mythological world’s law enforcement officers, The Protectorate, have come to arrest Gwen and make her face trial for her crimes. To add more complexity to the situation, the leader of the Procetorate happens to be the one and only Linus Quinn – Logan’s father. When all this goes down in the first chapter of the novel – and during Logan and Gwen’s first official date – you know that the rest of the novel is going to be action packed and full of surprises and pandemonium.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Mythos Academy and consider it to be one of my favourite YA paranormal series – this latest instalment is no exception. Gwen’s starting to grow up and accept her role in the big battle of good vs. evil. Instead of blaming the gods and circumstances, she’s trying to work out how she can beat Loki – and she realizes she can’t do it alone. Logan, Daphne, Carson, Oliver and Kenzie are all along for the ride along with both new characters and some old faces to help Gwen with the tremendous task in front of her.

This book is less focused on the gang of Mythos students and more on Gwen herself – not to say that there aren’t some fantastic scenes with her friends – but Gwen is more focused on the situation she finds herself in and less preoccupied with the student population of Mythos Academy. I enjoyed Estep’s writing but there were times when I thought some of Gwen’s internal monologues were a little long-winded. The Logan/Gwen interactions were adorable and I loved reading them together.

As in the previous books of the series, I thought the introduction of different mythological creatures, gods and warriors to be incredibly interesting and fantastically woven in with the story. It’s one of my favourite parts of the story to read about stories I know as well as being educated (and entertainingly so) about myths I’m more unfamiliar with.

The climax of the story wasn’t exactly a surprise but – as the saying goes – it’s the journey rather than the destination that is important and I enjoyed how Gwen got there. There was plenty of action, drama and enough romance along the way that kept me reading till the final page.

Midnight Frost, the fifth book in the Mythos Academy, is set to be released in August of 2013 and after reading Crimson Frost I can’t wait to see what happens next in the battle between Gwen, the reapers and Loki – the god of Chaos.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

This review will contain spoilers from the previous five books in the series. I recommend skipping this review if you are intending on reading the Vampire Academy series.

Title: Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Magic, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date: December 2010
Pages: 594
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
They come first.

My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won’t give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri’s face join Lissa’s. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.

The dead could finally have me.

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offence imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

My Review:

Picking up with Spirit Bound left off, Rose Hathaway is in a LOT of trouble. On trial for a murder she didn’t commit and trying to keep the secret of her best friend’s secret sibling from her, Rose is just trying to stay alive long enough for her friends to clear her name. When everything seems impossible, the unlikeliest of allies come to her aid and together, with Dimitri, Rose risks everything she has to save the ones she loves.

I love this series – and this book is no exception. I think it’s well written with a cast of fantastic characters who are three dimensional and entertaining. Last Sacrifice gives some of the lesser characters time to shine whilst Rose is on the run. Lissa really comes into her own and becomes the royal citizen that she was always meant to be. The bond between Rose and Lissa is such a helpful tool for the reader to be in two places at once – and I much preferred how it was utilized in this novel (especially considering my dislike of the convenience of the bond in Blood Promise).

Despite Rose being a kick arse heroine and one who I really enjoyed watching develop as the series progressed – for me this series’ heart was the love story between Rose and Dimitri (and Adrian). I traditionally despise love-triangles. But I really loved how everything played out. I felt like Rose really earned the relationship and the vampire she ended up with.

This book was a satisfying conclusion to the Vampire Academy series. There’s plenty of drama, action and romance to be enjoyed and I loved how everything played out. It’s a series that I’m thrilled to have discovered this year and can recommend it to all fans of YA paranormal novels.

I’m so excited to have the first two Bloodlines books in my possession so I can start reading the adventures of Sydney, Adrian and Jill as soon as possible.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite New-To-Me Authors Read In 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Favourite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012

Richelle Mead – Since “discovering” Succubus Blues (the first book in the adult paranormal series, Georgina Kincaidback in March I have read 12 (that’s right TWELVEbooks by Richelle Mead. I’ve just finished her Vampire Academy series and already I have the first two Bloodlines books in my possession just waiting for me to devour. I love her style of writing and whether it be adult or YA – I just can’t get enough of her books.

Lauren Oliver – I loved Delirium and Pandemonium. I cannot wait to read Requiem when it’s released

Veronica Roth – Sometimes it’s a not such a bad thing to be late to the party. I first read Divergent a few weeks before the second book, Insurgent, was released. It meant that I didn’t have an agonizing year of waiting in between books. The only problem now is that I can’t wait for the as of yet untitled (Detergent!) third instalment for the series.

 

Jaclyn Moriarty – I was lucky enough to read an ARC of Jaclyn Moriarty’s A Corner of White earlier this year. I loved it. And I loved the style. I went out and bought Feeling Sorry of Cecilia.

Jennifer Estep – I devoured the first three Mythos Academy books. I’m so excited to have Crimson Frost on my kindle (thanks NetGalley!) just waiting for me to read and review. So glad that I found this author.

 

Rhiannon HartMarissa MeyerSarah J. MaasHugh Howey and Gennifer Albin – I’ve only read thing each from these authors but absolutely loved them. The next books in their series have anticipating the plotlines like crazy.

 

That’s my Top Ten for this week. It’s always amazing after I start thinking about the week’s topic just how many I come up with… but I decided not to cheat this week and just stick to the ten.

Book Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Title: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1)
Author: Morgan Rhodes (aka. Michelle Rowen)
Genre: high fantasy, magic, romance
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: 11 December 2012
Pages: 412 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power–brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished–and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past–and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

My Review:

I’ve not read much fantasy in my life but this book is the kind of high fantasy that reminded me of Lord of the Rings or the Song of Fire and Ice books.

There’s magic, castles, forbidden lust and political unrest. In the land of Mytica there are three kingdoms. Auranos led by King Corvin is the land of plenty. Their goddess Cleiona has blessed them with lush forests and plenty of food. Their neighbour, Paelsia, uses all their resources (in a trade deal gone sour) to grow wine grapes that Auranos pays pittance for. Chief Basilius, the Paelsian leader, is a recluse and rumoured to be a powerful sorcerer. The land to the north is that of Lumeros and is ruled with an iron fist by the King of Blood, Gaius. He is a strong believer that the Goddess Valoria (Goddess Cleiona’s sister and magical rival) will prevail as long as all his kingdom conform to his motto: Strength, Faith, Wisdom.

Where things get interesting aren’t with the kingdoms leaders – but rather their next generation. There’s Princess Cleiona, aka. Cleo, the beautiful blonde Auranian princess who is headstrong and acts with her heart rather than her head. Prince Magnus of Limeros who strives to be nothing like his cold, calculating father. And then there’s Magnus’ sister Lucia who may or may not actually be related to him. Finally there’s Jonas Agalleon. He’s a Paelsian peasant who witnesses his brother being brutally being slain by an Auranian nobleman and Princess Cleo over an argument regarding the sale of wine and swears to get his vengeance.

There’s a lot going on and this is just the first few chapters. Warning – don’t get too attached to any of the characters because Ms. Rhodes isn’t afraid to kill anyone off at any time. I loved the action and the uncertainty of whether my favourites would survive or be slain in a bloody battle.

Magic is everywhere within Mytica and the myths of the Goddesses who are believed in forms a big part of the story. Witches, magical healing seeds, one sorceress to rule them all and magical beings in the form of eagles appear right though the novel. Elementia and The Kindred are fascinating concepts and there’s a lot of scope of where things can go in the next novel of the series.

The relationships between the characters are probably what I enjoyed most about Falling Kingdoms. The siblings bonds are shown in so many different forms but they all boil down to one thing. Family who would do anything for the other one. I also liked the contrast between the Kings Corvin and Gaius who could not have a more different relationship with their children.

This is a rather long book but worthwhile reading. There’s a lot of groundwork being laid for what is to come – despite a lot of world building and setting up a lot happens and there is drama from the very first chapter.

I found Falling Kingdoms to be a great change of pace from the paranormal and contemporary YA books I’ve been reading. I recommend this book for fans of fantasy who are looking for a slightly more (although not too much – there’s still a lot of murder, deception and some slight perceived incest) teen version of A Game of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones)

Thanks to NetGalley for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository