Rule of Wolves

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo is the sequel to the King of Scars duology.

As war looms and Fjerda prepares to march, Ravka and it’s allies must find a way to endure. Nikolai Lantsov must make peace with his inner demon and use all the tools at his disposal to ensure the survival of Ravka, but a darker threat inches closer every day and even he may finally be out of ideas.

Meanwhile, Zoya Nazyalensky no longer knows what she is. Instead of embracing her new powers, Zoya fights against it, refusing to lose any more of herself and those she loves.

Deep undercover in the very heart of Fjerda, Nina Zenik stamps down her grief and will risk it all for her country. But her thirst for revenge may threaten her mission.

Three souls at war with themselves, with the future in the balance. Can they overcome and save Ravka before there is no Ravka to save.

All of the Grisha books are good reads. But I read Six of Crows before any of the other ones and I can’t help but compare them all to it. That being said, this one gets bumped up an entire half-star for me because Kaz, Jasper and Wyland make a mini appearance and, without giving anything away, the very last sentence of the book hints at a third Six of Crows books–squeal!

I feel like I felt this way with King of Scars but there were a few too many narrators for me in this book. I liked each of the stories but I just thought the same goals could have been achieved with fewer. And I didn’t really think we needed the Darkling’s narration at all. It didn’t really further the story for me much.

Zoya and Nikolai’s flirtatious banter was probably my favorite aspects of the story. Nina’s storyline didn’t quite grab me the way it did in Six of Crows.

Overall, this was a good read to pick up if you enjoy the Grisha universe, which I do. This one gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Maya and the Rising Dark

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron is the first book in a new juvenile fantasy series about Orisha’s and their battle against the Dark.

Maya thinks she is just a normal twelve-year-old girl, until the day time freezes. No one seems to notice and she chalks it up to a bout of madness, that is until she sees werehyenas and is attacked by a shadow man, twice! As her friend try to come up with explanations for these weird occurrences, Maya keeps thinking about how similar these events are to her papa’s stories.

When papa goes missing, Maya is thrust into a word of gods and goddesses and learns that she is actually a godling–half orisha/half human–and that her papa is the guardian of the veil. The veil is fading and now that papa is gone, it is only a matter of time before the Lord of Shadows breaks through and wages war against the human world.

Can Maya save her father and stop the Lord of Shadows before it is too late?

I enjoyed this book a lot. It has just the right amount of fantasy mixed with African mythology for me. Maya’s journey from everyday girl to future guardian of the veil, was fun to follow and the characters were interesting and diverse. I especially want to see more of the orisha’s and see what Maya’s future “training” will entail. I don’t know why, but I see some sort of school for orisha coming.

One thing that bothered me a little bit was the loose ends. There are a lot of questions that still need answering, but I can’t be too harsh being that it is the first book in a series. Maya is learning all of this as she goes and we, the reader, are learning it right alongside her.

Overall, this was a fun read. Probably good for that 4-7 grade range. I’m going to give it the low end of 4 stars.

That’s all for now!

-M-

A Court of Silver Flames

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas is the fourth book in the ACOTAR series, but this one is narrated by Nesta and Cassian.

The War with Hybern is over and a tentative peace is in the air, but for Nesta Archeron the war within herself has reached it’s peak. Ever since she was Made, she has been a danger to herself and others. In the hopes of helping her move past the horrors of the war and her forced making into a High Fae, Nesta is forced to train with Cassian, a male she both can’t stand and can’t live without.

As Nesta attempts to take control of her life, treacherous new alliances are forming and the peace that was so hard won, is once again threatened. Can The Night Court head off the coming darkness or will it swallow even the stars?

Seriously, I’ve already read this. No really, I must have downloaded the wrong book and already read it. I swear, that is the thought that went through my brain almost every time I closed the book at night. I checked Goodreads and my downloads on at least three separate occasions.

When I first started reading, I vaguely remembered reading a sample chapter, so I kept waiting to get to what I hadn’t read yet but damn if I didn’t have deja vu the entire time. I mean, Nesta and Cassian’s story isn’t all that different from Feyre and Rhysand’s. The circumstances and the trauma behind the struggles are different but that’s really it. I mean seriously, a major turning point for Nesta happens at the House of Wind during the star ceremony thing… just like Feyre.

So let’s tell this how it is. These books are pleasure reads. Pure and simple. They are fun to get lost in, we root for the characters and, admit it, we’re in it for all the steamy bits. Other than the seriously similar plot, I guess my only complaint is that the book was almost too focused on Nesta and Cassian’s relationship and we didn’t get as much plot as we do from the other books. That’ll probably change in the next book, which I hope is written from multiple perspectives, not just N&C.

This book is what it is and I knew that going into it. It gets 3 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Mask Falling

The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon is the fourth book in The Bone Season series.

Paige and Warden are on the run from Scion London and the Rephaim. Seeking shelter in Paris, Paige agrees to work for an underground organization, working as a spy to bring down Scion. But she did not escape London unscathed and the road to being healed will take all her mental and physical strength.

With Warden, Arcturus, at her side, Paige must heal her body and soul, traverse the catacombs of Paris and risk herself again and again for revolution. But how often can one face death and come out alive… and whole?

Man, I really do love these books, but Samantha Shannon, you are killing me! There is just sooo much time in between each book in the series. Book three came out in 2017. And although, I remember most things, I am sure I am missing those little intricacies that would make the story even better. NOW, don’t get me wrong, I know why these books are taking so long. Just looking at all the research and language injected into this book, I am sure Shannon spends a ton of time on each one. But that still doesn’t make it any easier to be left hanging so very badly for so very long. Sigh.

I sort of loved that this book revolved around Paige and Warden. Their relationship has be up and down and it is great to see them working side-by-side again. I also really like the Parisian underworld. The tunnels, the masks and the new characters all really contribute to the story. But man, that twist. I thought I saw what was coming and it turned out to be very different than what I thought.

I’m in for the long haul with this series but let’s hope this next one is out in under four years!

This one gets 4 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Dark Archive

The Dark Archive by Genevieve Cogman is the 7th book in The Invisible Library series.

Irene is back and in more trouble than ever. After several assassination attempts threaten, not only her life, but her position within the Library, she is determined to find the source of these attempts.

Meanwhile, Irene’s new Fae assistant is proving to be more difficult than she anticipated. When yet another assassination attempt threatens, Irene is forced into bringing her assistant directly into the fray.

In order to stop these attempts, Irene, Val and Kai must search for the truth and uncover the real threat waiting in the shadows. But when an old foe returns from the dead, will our band of protagonists overcome the shock or will they buckle in the face of a seemingly unbeatable force?

The Invisible Library is just a fun series. Each book could passably stand on its own, but it is even better when read in sequential order, following our protagonists through each adventure. Even though each book is its own mystery/run in for Irene, Kai and Val, you can see that there are pieces coming together for a eventual end game. When that end game is coming, who knows but I am enjoying the ride.

I have to say, I have been waiting for “the bomb to drop” and we finally get it in this book. Religious followers of the series, know what I am talking about. I can’t wait to see how Irene reacts to this in future books, especially in light of the epilogue.

I also enjoyed the additional of Irene’s Fae assistant. It seems apropos for Irene to have a rebellious teenage as an assistant, and a Fae one at that. I was not as big of a fan of Kai’s brother and hope he isn’t going to be a big regular to the series.

The only thing that could have made this one better is more Library time. We didn’t get much of the Library and I missed Irene’s interactions with her peers and supervisors.

This one gets 4 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-