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.

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Magic Lessons (Practical Magic, #0.1)

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Published October 6th 2020 by Simon Schuster

416 Pages

Goodreads Summary: In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.

Review: From the moment I knew this book was coming out, I desperately wanted to read it. Practical Magic is one of my all-time favorite movies that I watch every year in October. I love magic and witches but even more than that, I love the stories of the Owens women. When Alice Hoffman wrote The Rules of Magic, I fell in love with that one just as much as I loved Practical Magic. And what could be better than traveling back in time to where it all began… Maria Owens.

It didn’t take me very long to completely love this book. Reading about Maria and how she grew up and what circumstances brought her to Massachusetts. Maria is such a great character and Alice Hoffman did a wonderful job writing her from the baby that Hannah Owens took in and raised as her own, all the way to the very end of the book as a woman who was strong and independent and helped those in need. I loved so many of the characters in this book, especially Maria and Samuel Dias though. From the moment they met, I desperately wanted them to end up together. Another thing that I loved about this book were the historical settings. They were all written so well that I could easily visualize myself walking beside Maria as she experienced everything in those places. One of my favorite things in this book were the additions to Maria’s Grimoire. I almost felt like grabbing a blank journal and writing everything down to make my own Grimoire.

This story and the writing were so magical and lyrical. This is definitely a book to be savored and not rush through. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

5 Stars

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

WWW Wednesday – September 2, 2020

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words.
Each week we answer the following three questions:
-What have you recently finished reading?
-What are you currently reading?
-What are you reading next?

It’s been a really long time since I’ve done a WWW Wednesday! This year has been so crazy and everything feels like it’s topsy turvy. All of my blog posts lately have been book reviews which is so weird for me! It’s been fun though because I have been reading some pretty good books including a new favorite that will be featured in today’s post.

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  • Fable by Adrienne Young – This novel was absolutely incredible. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of it and I loved every second of it. I preordered a finished copy and also preordered the sequel which is due to be published in March! Check out my review here!
  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo: Another advance copy that I ended up really loving! A super fun graphic novel of Beast Boy’s origin story. Definitely left me wanting more. Check out my review as well as a book trailer and sneak peak here!
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  • The Lost Queen by Signe Pike – The tagline for this book, not to mention the cover, had me totally hooked. “Outlander meets Camelot…” yep, I am there for it. I’m not too far into this but so far I am really liking it. I love the setting and the characters are definitely growing on me.
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  • The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike – The sequel to The Lost Queen. I have an eARC of this and it publishes on September 13th so I definitely want to dive right in after I finish The Lost Queen. Really looking forward to this one!

As far as anything else, I’m not really sure. These are both fairly dense books so I think they will pretty much take my entire focus over the next week or so. We will see though.

What have you been reading lately?

Fable by Adrienne Young

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Fable by Adrienne Young

Fable #1

Expected publication: September 1, 2020 by Wednesday Books

368 Pages

Goodreads Summary: As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

Review: I had been seeing this book making the rounds on bookstagram and one of my good friends, Tricia @ Bookworm Coalition, also read an advanced copy and highly recommended it to me (click on the link to read her review) so I was super excited to be approved to read an advanced copy of Fable. The cover is so incredibly beautiful and just grips you the more you look at it… I mean, look closely and you will see a little glimpse about what happens in this book.

Almost right off the bat, I was hooked. Fable is stuck on the island of Jeval after her father abandoned her there after her mother tragically died. It’s a dangerous place for anyone let alone a young woman but so magical at the same time. Fable makes her living as a dredger – she dives down to the reefs and extracts stones called pyre. And this is where one of my second favorite characters enters… West. Every couple of weeks, West shows up on his ship, the Marigold, to buy pyre from Fable and Fable only. You can definitely tell that something was going to spark between them eventually. Fable is so close to getting enough copper to get herself off this island and go find her father when s*** hits the fan and she is forced to flee sooner than she had planned.

From that moment on, I did not want to put this book down. So many things happened and days after finishing it, I’m still thinking about it. I was completely captivated by this world and the characters in it. Especially Fable, West, and Willa. I kind of visualized the places as a cross between the different Pirates of the Caribbean ports and the lost boys village from Hook. There is a cliffhanger ending and I am dying to find out what happens next in the sequel, Namesake.

This book had absolutely everything I could want in an adventure novel – action, thrills, heroics, camaraderie, and a bit of romance. With the current state of things in the world today, this was exactly the kind of escape I needed. I have a copy of this book AND the sequel preordered already!

5 Stars

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