Blog Tour : Kingdom of Ash and Briars – IRL Fairytale

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kingdom-of-ash-and-briarsKingdom of Ash and Briars
Published September 16, 2016
by Hannah West

Building on homages to CinderellaSleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular and wholly original debut.

Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, lands in a fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she has elicromancer magic in her blood. Elicromancers are an ancient breed of immortal people, but only two remain in Nissera. Bristal joins the ranks of Brack and Tamarice without knowing that one of them has a dark secret . . . Tamarice is plotting a quest to overthrow the realm’s nobility and take charge herself. Together, Bristal and Brack must guard Nissera against black elicromancy. There are cursed princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge and fierce monsters to battle—all with the hope of preserving peace.

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IF HANNAH WEST WERE A  FAIRY TALE CHARACTER

If You Were a Fairy Tale Character
It’s hard to compare your personality to a fairy tale character without sounding full of yourself, but I’m probably most like a combination of Disney’s Belle and Elsa. Every book lover identifies with Belle, I think, but I also identify with her empathy and compassion, and would say that those are probably two of my better personality traits. And humility, of course *winks.*

I relate to Elsa because she’s afraid of the world, mostly because of what it will show her about herself. I struggle with social anxiety (and general anxiety), which sometimes makes me want to hole up in my apartment. But what’s weird is that I don’t fear people or situations as much as I fear punishing myself for them later – losing sleep over something stupid that I said or did. But I think like Elsa, I’ve learned to give myself a break and live my day to day life without those fears cropping up.

In terms of loving animals and talking aloud to them, I’m full-on Cinderella. But regardless of the traits I have in common with these characters, if I could choose to be any fairytale/legend character, it would be A) Disney’s Mulan because she gets to actually go on adventures and have an impact or B) an evil queen because MAGIC. I would simply change my ways and spend the rest of my life righting my wrongs and being okay with coming in as the second most beautiful person in the kingdom. That ain’t a bad life.

 If we’re talking magic powers, though, being the fairy godmother would be pretty dope. Which I guess brings us to this point! Despite countless fairytale retellings, the character of the fairy godmother seemed pretty under-explored when I got the idea for KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS. Making Bristal a shapeshifter and weaving her story around classic fairytales was an exciting way to leave those tales almost untouched while giving the minor character of the fairy godmother a whole new identity and story.

Review : The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

17347389 The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Published: September 17, 2013

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

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I never expected to really enjoy this series and I was surprised  I was flying through this book. Although it wasn’t as exciting as I thought The Raven Boys was, it still had plenty to keep me satisfied. Especially the back story behind my baby Ronan </3  This book focuses mostly on Ronan which I enjoyed because there’s a lot behind this quiet trouble maker.

This book also revolved a bit around Adam and Adam just decided to take my heart and shatter it into a million pieces and I adored everything in regards to Adam’s character this time around because he had more substance. And as always Blue’s family is probably my favorite bunch of people right now.

So, this book really focused in on Ronan’s ability to bring things out of his dreams and into real life. And I think the build up to everything that happens in this book is really quite a bit slow, and could have been a bit quicker. I dont want this seen as a complaint though because Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is absolutely amazing. I love it, and the way she writes is so captivating I can’t get enough! Anyway…on to the third book!

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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

10194157Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 5, 2012

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

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I feel like I’ve been on a really good lucky streak with amazing books. I literally devoured this one in about two days and that’s really uncommon for me. I’ve picked up Shadow and Bone before but I didn’t really get into it so I put it down a couple times actually, and this time it actually stuck with me.

The Darkling captivated me as I’m sure he swept away most other readers, and Alina was awesome but I kept begging her to get over Mal. I think that was the one thing that really bothered me was the tug at a love triangle, but at the same time I HATED that Alina was so hung up on Mal. Not sure why, he’s a pretty good character, but I still couldn’t get over it for some reason. Maybe it’s because I got caught up with the Darkling (whoopsie! But I mean seriously…come on).

The overall plot and storyline was super engaging! No true lulls to the story and a constant stream of motion and action. I hope to see more of this Grisha Universe though, I read Six of Crows and I’m liking the more in depth look into the Grisha and who they are and how they work etc. etc.  I’m a bit worried as to what will happen in Book 2 since this book finished on a pretty solid note…

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Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys12913325
Published: March 22 , 2011

It’s 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin’s extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It’s a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?


I never thought I’d pick up Shades of Gray and enjoy it as much as I did. I’m the kind of reader who absolutely loves high fantasy and such. Basically nothing close to historical fiction. I was insanely surprised by this!

I have never read a Ruta Sepetys book before. And I’m so glad that I did because I am now a HUGE fan! Her writing is so flawless and beautiful and keeps me wanting more, more and more. I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a historical fiction novel and if I have it’s been a REALLY long time. I had to slow my pace down for this book because I didn’t want it to end.

Between Shades of Gray is about a family, Lina, her brother Jonas and her parents and how they get separated from their father on the way from Lithuania to Siberia to work in desolate farm. Her family was taken in the dead of night by the NKVD (from what I understand they eventually become the KGB) for crimes they have not committed and crimes they don’t understand are being charged against them and the whole Lithuanian race.

I absolutely loved the strength in this book. There was so much of it seeing these people go through so much pain, turmoil, and just hard times. The way that they kept hope and life alive among them, it was absolutely stunning. I cannot believe the power and just the sure will in all of these characters. Even ones you don’t think are strong as others, are incredibly strong.

Although I don’t know must about the historical aspects of this book, you could tell Ruta Sepetys did a very VERY good job of researching and accuracies. But this book was very moving, informative, powerful, heart breakingly beautiful and all in all one of the most amazing reads of my year.

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Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

17927395 A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Published: May 3rd, 2017

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.


DISCLAIMER: IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK YET, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW, IT CONTAINS SPOILERS

For the love of everything good in the world, get ready for the mother of all reviews. Because fasten your seat belts kids because here we go! I don’t even know where to begin with all the perfection that came from this book, I literally have NO bad words about this book. I’ve already re-read it 2 times coming to a total of 3 times read. So I’m just going to write this review the only way I think makes sense right now. Topics. DO NOT READ THIS POST IT WILL CONTAIN A MILLION SPOILERS

Characters:
I hated Fayre at the beginning of this book, I was so over it that she was just a lump of nothing. I understand PTSD and what not but after a certain extent I feel like Fayre could’ve stood up for herself a good while before she actually did. Other than that I love who Fayre has become. I cannot believe how strong and just bad ass she’s become. I think the most amazing character development happened with Fayre and I loved every minute of it.

Ugh Tamlin. GTFO please. I cannot deal with him anymore. I just want him to go away, he made me so mad especially selling himself out. I can’t even hear his name without getting mad at what a douche he’s become (YES I KNOW I HAVE STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT THIS.)

 OH MY SWEET BABY. BLESS THE MOTHER AND THE CAULDRON AND EVERY SINGLE STAR IN THE SKY BECAUSE I JUST CANNOT. From the moment he appeared in this book I couldn’t stop. I’m a woman obsessed for Rhysand. He’s so hard and soft and he’s so complex and amazing .  I loved seeing his true self and the place he calls home and the way he protects the beauty of Velarys (I literally gawked at Velarys) And I have to say, the fact that he knew Fayre was his mate from the start and just kept himself contained and let HER come to her own decision about him and her was absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t handle it. I loved his back story and how he got his what I like to call squad.

But all in all these characters were amazing. I want to be a part of the Court of Dreams! I can’t believe how amazing they all are. I just want more of these characters they’re all so different and dynamic and I can’t express how much i love every single one of them.

World: I WANT BE IN THE NIGHT COURT FOREVER. I cannot deal with how amazing it is. I cannot applaud Sarah J. Maas anymore because my hands will fall off because the world building was absolutely amazing! I love love LOVE Velarys and everything it stands for! I couldn’t get enough of it all

Plot/Story Line:  There is absolutely everything you could possibly need in a book in this one. Love, Romance, Action, Gore, Mystery, Cliff Hangers… I really want to go into every aspect of this book but I honestly can’t because this review would take FOREVER. There was so much in this book. From the moment Rhysand comes to take Fayre where you hate him for taking her away, and watching Fayre grow into herself.  And then the aspects of like The Weaver in The Wood which I STILL CANNOT GET OVER AND THAT EFFING RING OMG. There was just so many good things. And as always very well written. I cannot get over it. This book has so many elements to it and not in a bad way. Maas finds a way to cram so much into a book and make it feel like you went through a 700 page book in a matter of minutes. I literally finished ACOMAF in 3 days and I need more.

I loved every angle of this book, every word, absolutely everything. For that reason, I refuse to rate this star wise, because I feel like it exceeds the 5 star rating we usually use.

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ARC Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

27190613 And I Darken by Kiersten White
Published : June 28, 2016

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.


Okay people, be prepared, here comes an unpopular opinion!

I received an ARC of this book from the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I can’t express how excited I was for this book. From the most amazing cover to the “It’s like Game of Thrones” enticement. And who wouldn’t want to read about a female Vlad the Impaler?! I was super stoked and all I kept thinking about was how bad ass this was going to be and all the action that was going to be in this REALLY HEFTY book.

But I was quite let down. For such a good sized book I felt like nothing really happened. I understand a lot of it was more geared towards the political moves almost like chess. And it made it more of a slow burning book but I didn’t have it in me to keep going and going with such small and sporadic action scenes.

The only thing that really carried me through the book was Whites AMAZING writing. Her writing is beautiful, I loved it. The way she wrote gave me hope that something better would happen, something BIG, ACTION, SHOCKING. And I just missed it really. I think Radu was a redeeming character as well and I had a lot of faith and hope in Radu, and I hope he’s an epic bad ass by the end of the series.

But I really do appreciate the writing, there are so many beautiful quotes one could pull from this book, I adored her fluidity and it felt like every single word was just so precisely chosen for a purpose, it was really beautiful. I can’t emphasize that enough.

I also think Mehmed is also an awesome character. Loved his snark and his first encounters with Lada. I think he brought out a better side of her but there was still something about her that didn’t really sit right with me. I wish almost this book started when Lada was a bit more mature, I think then she would’ve started off with a bit of angst but a good sense of maybe poise and maturity that would just escalate from beginning to the end of the series.

All in all I think this book will definitely be one of those Love It or Hate It books. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. I think it’s a wonderful book for the right person. I’ve seen TONS of wonderful reviews for this book, which is why I got so excited to read it as well. But I think Kiersten White deserves a very big hand for her strong and beautiful writing throughout this book, and I’m excited to hear more about the rest of the books to follow.

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March Read Along and Giveaway!

March is around the corner and we’re all thinking about what we’re going to read. I know my TBR pile is a good four books tall right now, but there’s one that I’m looking forward to reading and hoping all of you will read it with me and Taylor. For the month of March Taylor and I will be reading  The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine and we hope you’ll all join us through means of social media and goodreads discussions.

We’ll be using #bibliomonthlyreads as a tag on instagram, twitter, tumblr and facebook. And when using these tags you’ll automatically be entered to win in our read along giveaway this month for a copy of  A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas! So please join us in enjoying this newly released book! And please comment with any questions at all!

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March Read Along Giveaway!

Today we’re announcing our give away book for the month of March! and as a reminder here’s what we reading for our March Read Along!

23299513The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
Published: February 16, 2016

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.


We’ll be reading this book for the month of March and we’ll be posting to social media using our #bibliomonthlyreads . This hashtag is to be used throughout instagram, twitter, and facebook.  So please join us in reading and enjoying (or not, we never know) this book! We’ll be also doing a give away with this book, as per usual.

This whole year will be spent as a giveaway year due to the fact that Bibliophile Gathering is one year old this year! And we could never have gotten this far without you our followers and fellow readers.

And for the month of March, We’ll be giving away:

16096824A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beastwith faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!


 

And as a reminder here’s our schedule for the rest of the year, give away books to be announced soon!

March 2016- The Shadow Queen by C.D. Redwine
April 2016- Tell The Wind And Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
May 2016- The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
June 2016- This Savage Song – Victoria Schwab *We’ll be reading this with Bibliophile Academy Group*
July 2016- Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
August 2016- The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter
September 2016- A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
October 2016- The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith
November 2016- Heartless by Marissa Meyer *We’ll be reading this with Bibliophile Academy Group*
December 2016- Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys

December Read Along!

Book-of-The-Month

Hey guys! I know our October Read Along was a bit rushed and didn’t happen as well as we hoped it would.

So with that being said, we’re prepping the whole month of November to give you guys a great Read Along for the end of the year.  Taylor and I will be reading a fairly new release we think a bunch of you have your hands on as well as  WANTING to get your hands on this amazing book.

We decided to read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


 

We’ll be reading this beginning December 1 and going to the end of the month with discussions which we’ll post all up at once at the beginning of the month so you can go through the discussions at your own pace and don’t have to wait for us to post up discussions.

We’re still trying to figure out the best way to post up discussions and have as many people participate so help us out and let people know you’re participating in our read alongs!

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Join Us In Our October Read Along!

Book-of-The-Month
Another reminder that this is happening and it is a giveaway! Please join us! None of us like to read spooky books alone. So let us all join in in the creepyness and the thriller that is The Dead House!

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We’ll be reading The Dead Housetogether week by week and having just open forums at the end of the week/during the week on our Goodreads Group. We know everyone loves a good creepy read along with the tradition of Halloween.

I will be posting the schedule for the week later today, as well as on here and the read along goodreads group. We urge you to join that group to be a part of this read along just because it’s easier to have threaded discussions on there than on our blog. We really do hope you guys join in on this one. It’s $9.99 on Kindle (how I’ll be reading it) and I DO believe $8.99 as a paperback. It’s supposed to be super immersive too, and I’ve only heard good things, but here’s a synopsis:

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.


ALSO, We’re changing our giveaway book to Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman! I’m currently reading this book and falling IN LOVE with it. So if you haven’t picked it up yet, please enter our giveaway all you have to do is join our goodgreads group, follow us on some sort of social media of your choice and post during out discussion weeks and you’re automatically entered for this giveaway.

So, here are some links to social media if you’d like to follow us there as well as on here, and we hope to hear from you during our October Read Along. We’ll be doing about 100 pages per week, schedule to come.

Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram: @bibliophilegathering