A Fate of Wrath & Flame by K.A. Tucker

A Fate of Wrath & Flame by K.A. Tucker

Fate & Flame #1

Published May 25th 2021 by K.A. Tucker

533 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Gifted thief Romeria has flourished from her days as a street kid pilfering wallets to survive. Now she thrives, stealing jewels from the rich under the involuntary employ of New York City’s most notorious crime boss. But when an enigmatic woman secures her services at swordpoint, Romeria is plunged into a startling realm of opposing thrones, warring elven, and elemental magic she cannot begin to fathom.

Her quest is straightforward: Steal a stone from Islor’s sacred garden without anyone discovering her true identity, which would earn her certain death. But the identity she has inexplicably assumed is that of the captured Ybarisan princess—an enemy to Islor after she poisoned their beloved king and queen on the day she was to marry the prince.

Her betrothed, the newly crowned King Zander, detests her with every grain of his handsome being. Fortunately for Romeria, she is more valuable to him alive than dead. Zander gives her a choice: life in a cell, or an acquittal of all charges in exchange for her help in exposing the growing plot against him.

Romeria sees no other option and embraces the tricky role of smitten queen-to-be until she can escape, a ruse that brings her far closer to the king than she anticipated and threatens more than her safety. As she digs deeper into this sacred garden and the ancient feud between Ybaris and Islor, she discovers monstrous truths that could spell ruin for all.

She would know the world of vengeful gods and monsters, and the lengths one would go for love. And nothing would ever be the same for her again.

Review: In the past year and a half, I started reading and loving K.A. Tucker’s novels. I really enjoy romance however, add in the fantasy genre and I am sold. When I first found out about this book, I was so excited! I mean, first of all look at that gorgeous cover! Second of all, did you read the summary?! And I was even more excited when I got to receive an advance copy to review!

First off… the characters… Romeria is a total badass in NYC earning her way by stealing goods for a notorious crime boss when she meets the mysterious Sofie. Romeria is definitely the kind of heroine I love reading about… strong, independent and can defintely take care of herself in tricky situations but has some emotional baggage that you know will come out to play at some point in the story… and boy, just wait until the twist about her dad! Zander is the new king of Islor and most definitely has baggage of his own, some of which involves Romeria, or should I say the original Romeria… *you’ll have to read the book to find out what I mean there, wink*. There are so many other colorful characters that I came to love while reading this book… Corrin, Elisaf, Wendeline, etc.

I don’t even know where to begin with the storyline, and in a good way! Everytime I picked up my Kindle to read, I did not want to have to put it down. I was completely enthralled by this world and the magic system, the different types of creatures, etc. I could not get enough. I think having Romeria end up there was a great help to the reader being new to the world because it didn’t feel like a total info dump on learning about the world as the book went on, it felt very natural. I loved seeing Romeria grow as she learned the new world around her and how she reacted towards the negative as well as the positive.

The closer I got to the end of the book, the more my heart raced as I was reading. The events at the end had me completely shocked and dying to get my hands on the next book! I loved this book so much and hope we won’t have to wait too long for the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy novels and especially for those fans of From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout… this book will be right up your alley!

5 Stars

I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Meet Kathleen

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.

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Namesake by Adrienne Young

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Namesake by Adrienne Young

Fable #2

Published March 16th 2021 by Wednesday Books

368 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Trader. Fighter. Survivor.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception she learns that her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

Filled with action, emotion, and lyrical writing, New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Namesake, the final book in the captivating Fable duology.

Review: Friendly reminder that Namesake is the sequel to Fable so beware of any spoilers head if you haven’t read Fable.

I absolutely fell in love with Fable last year so I had been eagerly awaiting the sequel which luckily enough we didn’t have to wait too long for. Namesake picked up right where we left off with Fable having been kidnapped by Zola and taken on board his flagship where she found Clove, former right hand man to her father, Saint. When she had last spoken to Saint about Clove, he made it seem as though Clove was dead. So when Fable encountered him acting as navigator to her father’s arch nemesis, she was consumed with hatred for him. But of course, looks can be deceiving! I was really surprised with the turns that this book was taking. Most of it I didn’t see coming. Just like in Fable, there is never a dull moment in Namesake. The action and drama keep churning throughout the entire book. I was rather shocked when it came to certain revelations that will remain nameless in this review because major spoilers, so you’ll just have to read the book to find out what I’m referring to. One thing I didn’t really care for though was West’s attitude and his actions. Yes, Fable was kidnapped, but that didn’t give him the right to go around in a path of destruction at every port trying to find her. His character seemed a lot darker than how he was portrayed in the first book. On the other end of the spectrum, I really loved how Saint softened up in this book. I’m a total sucker for father-daughter redemption type stories so there were some scenes in Namesake that really choked me up.

Overall I really enjoyed this final foray into Fable’s world and I very much wish that it wasn’t the end of her story. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did the first book, but that’s kind of to be expected with sequels.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Also… one last thought before I sign off… When I’m reading I often visualize place settings and characters and sometimes if it’s vivid enough I make a connection to an actor/actress and while for this duology, I don’t quite have anyone picked out for the younger crowd, I can’t shake this gent for Saint… Sebastian Roché, aka Mikael from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

Sebastian Roché on Twitter: "Congratulations #Supernatural on ending your  run of 15 seasons, it was such a pleasure to play a small part in this  great adventure and the friendships that ensued,

Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

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Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

Fairmile #2

Published November 24th 2020 by Atria Books

464 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.

Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.

Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home

Review: Quick reminder that this is the second book of the series so if you have not read the first book, there may be spoilers ahead.

I was a little on the fence about reading this sequel because I didn’t quite hit it off with the first book but I decided to give it a shot anyways because I love Philippa Gregory. I was also intrigued by the addition of some new characters from Venice. The storyline seemed a little bit far fetched at times but it ended up really working for the book as a whole. I was a little surprised at how easily Alys was ready to accept Livia’s story of Rob at face value… it seemed a little out of character for her. I was very glad to see that Alinor wasn’t going to be taken in at all until she had solid proof. I really enjoyed Sarah’s journey to Venice to investigate Livia’s claims. She really seemed to come into her own and I loved having a strong female character in this story. James, though…. Oh James… what an absolute idiot. First he tries to come back into Alinor’s life to claim his son 21 years later and then completely falls under Livia’s ridiculous spell. I don’t want to say a whole lot more about all of that drama because for one, spoilers, and for another, you just have to read it to believe it.

One thing that I really didn’t think was necessary in this book was Ned’s part of the story. He’s living in America but the only times he really connects to his family is when Alinor writes him a letter or he sends them goods. I feel like his scenes could have just been cut because they kind of distracted me in a bad way from the drama still going on in England and Venice.

Overall I did end up enjoying this book and kind of hoping there will be a third book.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

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The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

Camelot Rising #2

Published November 10, 2020 by Delacorte Press

400 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Everything is as it should be in Camelot. King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.

Review: *Please note that this is the second book in a series so there may be spoilers for book one* I really enjoyed the first book, The Guinevere Deception, so I had been really looking forward to Arthur and Guinevere’s story continuing on in this sequel. The author’s take on Guinevere and the Arthurian legends are incredibly interesting and in my opinion, a little more thrilling than the usual tale. For the most part, I really liked this sequel. There were some twists, like Guinevere’s realization of who her mother might be, that I didn’t see coming which always makes me happy. With the Arthurian legends being so well known, I think it definitely speaks to Kiersten White’s ability to zig when everyone else zags. My only real issue with this novel was that I got a little tired of Guinevere’s inner monologues, especially about Merlin and knot magic. It felt a little repetitive and kind of detracted from the story’s pacing. But that wasn’t enough of an annoyance to truly bother me. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the third installment!

4 Stars

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike

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The Forgotten King by Signe Pike

The Lost Queen Trilogy #2

Published September 15th 2020 by Atria Books

496 Pages

Goodreads Summary: AD 573. Imprisoned in her chamber, Languoreth awaits news in torment. Her husband and son have ridden off to wage war against her brother, Lailoken. She doesn’t yet know that her young daughter, Angharad, who was training with Lailoken to become a Wisdom Keeper, has been lost in the chaos. As one of the bloodiest battles of early medieval Scottish history scatters its survivors to the wind, Lailoken and his men must flee to exile in the mountains of the Lowlands, while nine-year-old Angharad must summon all Lailoken has taught her and follow her own destiny through the mysterious, mystical land of the Picts.

In the aftermath of the battle, old political alliances unravel, opening the way for the ambitious adherents of the new religion: Christianity. Lailoken is half-mad with battle sickness, and Languoreth must hide her allegiance to the Old Way to survive her marriage to the next Christian king of Strathclyde. Worst yet, the new King of the Angles is bent on expanding his kingdom at any cost. Now the exiled Lailoken, with the help of a young warrior named Artur, may be the only man who can bring the Christians and the pagans together to defeat the encroaching Angles. But to do so, he must claim the role that will forever transform him. He must become the man known to history as “Myrddin.”

Bitter rivalries are ignited, lost loves are found, new loves are born, and old enemies come face-to-face with their reckoning in this compellingly fresh look at one of the most enduring legends of all time.

Review: This book is a sequel so if you haven’t read The Lost Queen then proceed with caution as there may be spoilers ahead. If you haven’t read The Lost Queen…. what are you waiting for?! The Forgotten Kingdom picks up where The Lost Queen left off, which was fantastic because I was dying to know what happened next. I really fell in love with Langoureth and Lailoken so I was very glad to see their journeys continue in the sequel. In The Lost Queen, the book mainly focuses on Langoureth but in this one we are also given perspectives from Lailoken and Langoureth’s youngest daughter, Angharad. Langoureth is still my favorite character but I really came to love Angharad’s story and am very excited to see what is in store for her in the third book. I don’t want to say too much about what happened because, well, spoilers, but I am definitely liking where I am seeing this story going. I love how well researched these novels have been. It’s been fantastic reading about this era in Scotland. What makes it even better is that even though it is well researched, Signe Pike is able to make the story magical and the flow of her writing adds to the mysticism of the time. I really can’t wait to see what happens in the third book.

5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.