Friday, December 14, 2018

An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

“When Lady Katherine's father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn't the only secret he's been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father's mission, and to take it one step further--kill the queen herself.

Katherine's opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare's newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn't know is that the play is not just a play--it's a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.

The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play's leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on.” - taken from Goodreads.com

I really enjoyed this historical twist involving a murder plot centered around William Shakespeare's play, Twelfth Night. Our assassin, Katherine Arundell/Kit Alban, watched her father killed by the local sheriff during a raid on their house for being practicing Catholics during Elizabeth I’s reign. Protestantism was the official religion of England at the time. Escaping, she travels to London to meet up with one of her father's friends. Disguising herself as a boy, Kit becomes involved in an assassination plot for the queen to take place during a private showing of Twelfth Night.

Her plans become a bit derailed when she meets her co-star. Without going into too many details, this book was a great read. I loved the ending of the story. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray (Constellations book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Defy the Stars, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

“An outcast from her home -- Shunned after a trip through the galaxy with Abel, the most advanced cybernetic man ever created, Noemi Vidal dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. As the only soldier to have ever left the planet, it will be up to her to save its people...if only she wasn't flying straight into a trap.

A fugitive from his fate -- On the run to avoid his depraved creator's clutches, Abel believes he's said good-bye to Noemi for the last time. After all, the entire universe stands between them...or so he thinks. When word reaches him of Noemi's capture by the very person he's trying to escape, Abel knows he must go to her, no matter the cost.

But capturing Noemi was only part of Burton Mansfield's master plan. In a race against time, Abel and Noemi will come together once more to discover a secret that could save the known worlds, or destroy them all.” - taken from Goodreads.com

Having separated from each other for what they thought was the last time, Noemi Vidal soon finds herself in a trap to lure Abel back to Earth. When the secrets of Burton Mansfield and Earth are exposed, it is up to Noemi and Abel to escape his clutches and stop the attack on Genesis. Unfortunately, this book ends in a serious cliffhanger that will leave fans eager for the final book in the trilogy.

The story will conclude with Defy the Fates out on April 2, 2019.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Check out Book Series Recaps for a refresher on the first two books in the series.

Check out Recaptains for a refresher on the first two books in the series.

When gunslinging Amani Al'Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she'd join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn't have a choice. Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untameable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn't exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.” - taken from Goodreads.com

Even though it has been 18 months since I've read the second book, it didn't take me long to fall back into Amani’s story. A list of characters and where they currently are at the beginning of the book helped me get back into the action. Lots of action, soul-searching, and the death of several characters will leave readers turning the pages to see if Amani and company succeed in their attempt to overthrow the Sulton. Ms. Hamilton provides a beautiful and satisfying if not a tear-jerking conclusion to her fans. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass book 7)

SPOILER ALERT! This is the FINAL book in the series. Stop if you don’t want to ruin my favorite book series for you.

Please visit the Recaptains blog if you need a refresher on the series.
Check out Book Series Recaps for a refresher on the series.

“Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . .

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together, at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.” - taken from Goodreads.com

An amazing ending to my absolute favorite series. I discovered Throne of Glass as an arc about a month before it was published in the summer of 2012. I immediately fell in love with Celaena Sardothien and could not get her out of my mind. Luckily Ms. Maas was also beginning to end individually publish Celaena’s backstory that's found in The Assassin's Blade and I devoured each novella as it was published. For me, Kingdom of Ash was absolute perfection in how a series should end. At just under a thousand pages, I read the last 500 and under 24 hours. I was unable to put the book down. Sadly I'm going to miss Aelin and her friends. I still consider this to be my absolute favorite book series of all time. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine (The Great Library book 4)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first three books in the series, Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you. 

“To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making...if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.” - taken from Goodreads.com

Finally, all of our beloved characters begin to converge on Alexandria to take down the Archivist and restore the Great Library to its former mission. Told from several points of view, readers will be both captivated and heartbroken by where the storyline goes.

The Great Library will conclude with book five, Sword and Pen, on July 9, 2019.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Royals by Rachel Hawkins (Royals book 1)

“Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part-time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. 

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.” - taken from Goodreads.com

All that Daisy Winters is looking forward to is going to Key Con with her best friend over the summer. Her plans drastically change when her sister becomes engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland and Daisy becomes tabloid fodder when her boyfriend sells their prom photo and gives an interview. To keep Daisy’s image in line with the Royal family, she is forced to spend her summer in Scotland. Unfortunately, her hot throb future brother-in-law has other plans. In a hilarious and sarcastic filled book, Daisy sets out to prove that she is not one for all of the royal trappings. Or is she? 

Book two in the series, Her Royal Highness, is due out on May 7, 2019.

Dances of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson (Dance of Thieves book 1)

“A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty's resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.” - taken from Goodreads.com

I don't know why I didn't pick this book up sooner than I did. I loved Pearson's The Remnant Chronicles and her new series continues along the same path. One doesn't need to read the previous trilogy to understand the story but beloved characters and past history do play a part of the storyline.

Kazi is a strong girl with an undying sense of loyalty to her Queen. On a secret mission to track down a war criminal and bring him back to justice, Kazi soon finds herself in a completely unexpected situation. Jase's father has just died and named him patriarch of the family business. Struggling to keep his family’s control over Hell’s Mouth, Jase finds himself captured by a gang of labor hunters and chained to Kazi. They are able to escape but find themselves still shackled together at the ankle. Keeping secrets from one another, feelings develop between the two of them that throw both of their lives in turmoil.

A fantastic ending to a great new fantasy series that will leave fans begging for more. 

Book two, Vow of Thieves, comes out on August 6, 2019.

Visit Mary E. Pearson’s website.