Publisher: Wednesday Books

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Oct 02

Can’t Wait Wednesday #21 – The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2)

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #21 – The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2)The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2) by Roshani Chokshi
Published by Wednesday Books on February 4, 2020
Pages: 416
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads

Returning to the dark and glamorous world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with another riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever.


They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

I absolutely loved The Gilded Wolves when I read it earlier this year, and am so so SO excited for the next installment of this trilogy! It’s killing me to wait until February but I didn’t even bother requesting an ARC because 1) I think it’s going to be super popular and I’m a rather small blogger, and 2) ARCs of highly anticipated books tend to stress me out in a major way. Yes, I know, I’m weird. Also, I can’t wait for the ACTUAL cover to be released! Apparently this is just a placeholder. I really hope it matches the first one in some spectacular way…

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Jun 12

Can’t Wait Wednesday #8 – The Girl the Sea Gave Back

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #8 – The Girl the Sea Gave BackThe Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
Published by Wednesday Books on September 3, 2019
Pages: 336
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

I am SO stinking excited for this book! I loved Adrienne’s debut novel, Sky in the Deep, and SERIOUSLY need some more Viking-type fiction in my life. I have this pre-ordered and absolutely cannot wait!

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Mar 21

The Gilded Wolves

Book Reviews 1 ★★★★½

The Gilded WolvesThe Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1) by Roshani Chokshi
Published by Wednesday Books on January 15, 2019
Pages: 388
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreadsfour-half-stars

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It's 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history—but only if they can stay alive.

Wolves were everywhere. In politics, on thrones, in beds. They cut their teeth on history and grew fat on war.

My heart was both incredibly full and totally shattered when I finished this book. I immediately raced off to see when Book 2 is due out, and *gasp* there’s not even a DATE yet! How shall I survive? *melodramatic scream*

Characters

The Gilded Wolves is the story of friends. The most unlikely group of misfits who, despite their myriad differences, fit together and work together and love each other – even if they won’t come out and say it in so many words. I love this squad so much! Jury is out on whether it will be on par with my current favorite squads (a tie between the Lunar Chronicles gang and the Night Court circle). There is a TON of diversity as far as nationality, color, and sexuality. The diversity actually feels natural, too, not just “thrown in” for good measure the way it does in so many books published recently. I think part of this is because the author herself is of a mixed heritage and it gives her a unique viewpoint from which to write.

“You know how moths look at a fire and think, ‘Oooh! shiny!’ and then die in a burst of flames and regret?”

“Vaguely.”

“Right. Just checking to be sure.”

I loved Severin and Tristan, the brothers-not-really. Loved them so, so much. I really wish a little more of their back story had been explained, because while there are little tiny pieces of Severin’s story told through flashbacks (usually only a couple of paragraphs long), it really just wasn’t enough! Must. Have. More.

He wished he didn’t know what he had lost. Maybe then every day wouldn’t feel like this. As if he had once known how to fly, but the skies had shaken him loose and left him with nothing but the memory of wings.

Severin, the leader of this merry (or not) band, is a complex character. I’m a complete sucker for anti-heroes, so I was predisposed to like him, buuuuut at the end he is super super shitty to Laila. I understand WHY – he’s hurting, and either to keep himself from hurting or as an attempt to ease the pain he lashes out at her. Not to mention freezing everyone else out as well, but especially her. That was…completely uncalled for. Laila, being who she is, sees beyond his heartless words and actions to the pain underneath. Their relationship is far from resolved in this book, but I hope – I really hope – that Laila remains true to herself, regardless of her feelings for Severin. It could turn into a toxic relationship very quickly unless Severin actually allows himself to heal.

Laila, the magnificent baking queen with a mask of glitter and sensuality. She is amazing and so, so strong. Despite being very young she kind of gives off the mama bear vibe and I adored it. Her relationship with Severin is unique in YA in that they actually have history, it’s not insta-love or even lust. As I said above…it’s not resolved, at all, and I’m very interested to see how it goes in the following books.

I feel like this would be Zofia’s face on the regular.

<<<Then we have…my darling Zofia. Who is about the most awkward human being on the face of the planet, and I adore her for it. I feel like maybe she is on the spectrum, due to the way she immerses herself in projects and reacts to people? Also the ways she takes things literally. I love it so much.

“What on EARTH are you doing?”

“I am imitating patterns of flirtation.”

“Wait. You’re flirting. With…ME?”

“Maybe I have the methodology wrong.”

Oh, Zofia. She’s also a math whiz, and counts to keep herself calm. Also Zofia + Enrique would be awesome.

Oh yes, Enrique. I really feel that Enrique didn’t get enough screen time in this story and I’m hopeful that he gets more in the future books. He seems to have so many layers to him, and he just wants everyone to be happy and get along. Oh, and he’s a historian! Mad props.

Tristan, sweet, spider-loving Tristan (yes really). He reminded me of a little brother that everyone wants to protect and love on, which is essentially what he is to this entire group but especially to Severin. I loved his constant experiments and just his general vibe. Now I have to shut up because SPOILERS but dear god my heart!

I cannot WAIT to see what happens to this awesome squad in the next book! Also kind of terrified because like I already said…MY HEART.

Setting/Worldbuilding

Paris is dual-faced in this book – on one side, glittering and sparkly (hello, Laila), and on the other dark, dangerous, and hateful (oh, is that you, Severin?). In the shadowy places in between is everyone just trying to survive and find their place in a world that would cut them down and leave them bleeding on the street. The magic system was, to me, the weakest part of the story. I still don’t quite understand how forging works? Or how the ability is passed on or down or whatever? It was fascinating but I really need it spelled out in more detail.

Plot

“Nothing but a symbol? People die for symbols. People have hope because of symbols. They’re not just lines. They’re histories, cultures, traditions, given shape.”

The heist! I actually usually don’t like books involving heists, they give me a very Oceans 11 vibe and I get so nervous I literally can’t sit still. However, this one had so many puzzles and clues and different places to go I just HAD to keep reading. It was awesome. Even if I still don’t quite understand the magic behind the forged artifacts, it was enough for me that they were THE most valuable and coveted items on the planet and people would kill for them. How the squad got to them and the allies they had to make along the way was just…aaah! I WAS THERE FOR IT.

Overall, 4.5/5 stars. Half a star off for my confusion over the magic system. All the stars for the squad. This is truly a YA book, with young characters who act young (but not too young), and with sex being more innuendo than action. I loved it. Book 2 please hurry!

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four-half-stars

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Nov 15

Review of Sky in the Deep

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Review of Sky in the DeepSky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Published by Wednesday Books on April 24, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
Pages: 340
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreadsfive-stars
two-flames

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

First of all. This cover. AND VIKING WARRIOR WOMEN. Just take all my money right now, why don’t you. Of course, there’s also a huge danger in being completely taken by a cover and brief blurb…sometimes the copywriter is a better writer than the actual author. So I was sort of kind of worried that might have happened, but I am very happy to report that it most certainly did not disappoint!

YESSSSSSS.

Oh, and btw – I was reading my copy of this book in the bath, and my puppy knocked it out of my hand and INTO THE WATER. There was much shrieking and flailing but the book survived and so did the puppy. The book is now all ripple-y and much thicker than it should be, but still readable. *eyeroll* 

FIRST OF ALL:

Adrienne Young, can we pleeeeeeeease have a sequel where Eelyn and Fiske are a little older?? PLEASE??? Like maybe a NA type? Maybe where the enemy tribe resurges? I know there is a companion novel coming but it sounds like it might be more about someone else and I just need more of Eelyn. Please and thank you. Ok, now I will attempt to write something more coherent…there ARE some SMALL potential spoilers.

Characters:

Obviously, Eelyn. Our fierce Viking shieldmaiden. When the book first started, I was slightly put off by just how ANGRY she seemed to be, as if she had no other emotion (other than feeling pain, I definitely got the sense that she was in pain, but her reaction to pain was MORE ANGER). Did she have reason? Yes, probably more than most of us reading. Life in this time was hard, even if women were treated more equally in this Viking world. Eelyn kicks ass, but beneath her strong soldier exterior she still has a heart, she loves her family and her village more than life itself…which is why it hurts her so deeply when she discovers what her brother, Iri, has done. Eelyn is also NOT one of these heroine who walks and talks like a badass but never quite manages to DO anything badass…nope. She is downright brutal at one point in the book, and I found myself quite literally gaping at the page.

I’d envied Iri my whole life for his open heart, and now mine had been pried open too.

Iri himself is quite…well, I liked him, but I didn’t feel that close to him. I went through about the first half of the books with my arms figuratively crossed on my chest, TOTALLY with Eelyn that nothingbutnothing should have kept him from returning to his family, but then…then things happen. Still, I wanted to KNOW Iri better, because he really seemed like he was a complex character that we just didn’t get to know that well. Eelyn knows him, or thinks she does, and it is from her viewpoint that we see him.

Fiske is something else. He really grew on me, because in the beginning I just thought he was a wuss. No joke. Then we see him interact not only with Eelyn and Iri, but his mother, his little brother…and oh wait, he’s not a wuss, he just thinks before he acts. I loved the slow-burn of his and Eelyn’s romance. I know enemies-to-lovers is one of the OLDEST romantic plots ever, but it’s repeated because it works, both in books and sometimes even in real life! I really wanted to see more of them as a couple, in the village and family dynamics…ah well. 2 flames, because while there are some couple scenes there’s nothing graphic or really all that descriptive.

Inge, the only real mother-figure in the entire book (as Eelyn and Iri’s mother died long ago), is the best. I loved her so much. She is a healer, not a warrior, and yet she is very clearly just as strong as Eelyn or any of the others. I pretty much want to be her, since I’m pretty sure I don’t have the reflexes to be Eelyn.

Halvard!! OMG, this little guy has more guts and spine than several adults put together. And he is so non-judgmental, sees the good in everyone…we all need a Halvard in our lives. I swear the moments when his life is in danger, I went all Mama Bear even just sitting on my couch. DON’T YOU DARE MESS WITH MY LITTLE MAN, YO. At one point I actually thought he was going to be killed off and when I finally got to the end of that passage, I realized I’d been sitting there with my free hand just plastered over my mouth and I had tears in my eyes. THE FEELS.

Plot

The plot is pretty well encapsulated in the book blurb, making this story MUCH more character driven than action driven – despite having some really intense battle scenes in the first and last quarters of the book. The middle bit is really more about Eelyn and her internal struggles with being a captive, and of all the dynamics of the Riki village and Iri’s “new” people. It is heartbreaking, at times.

The words were small but they were true. ‘I’m thinking that I wish you’d died that day.’

Worldbuilding

There isn’t a lot of detail given, which works quite well for this book. We know that the Aska live by the sea, and the Riki live in the mountains, and they have a generations old blood feud. Their culture is clearly based on ancient Vikings, but other than that…this was a book about people and relationships, not one to immerse you completely in a historically accurate time and place. It does immerse you, just…in a much more narrow way. It works much better than I could have imagined, and I was quite surprised that the lack of detail did not seem to hinder my enjoyment of the story at all.

5/5 stars. Highly recommend. My only “complaint” is that I really wanted more, I was very disappointed when it ended…but isn’t that how the best books always are?

I could still see a young Eelyn standing on the beach turned into the wind, a sword in one hand and an axe in the other. I hadn’t lost her. I hadn’t buried her. I’d only let her change into something new.

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five-stars

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