Round-up 2020 – Books with a lasting impact!

Hey guys!

As you might have observed, I have been doing round-up posts with a focus on genres read this year.

However, in this post, I wanted to focus on books that left an impact on me that lasted well after finishing the book. This year, I discovered a lot of new books spread across various genres, but a few were just amazing! These books gave me something to think about, brought out a lot of emotions or just sent me on a wonderful adventure filled with fun and learning!

Click on the book image to read my review of the book

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Historical Fiction

The Violinist of Auschwitz The Lost Village

Fantasy Fiction

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (The Cursebreaker Series) Finale (Caraval, #3) A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4)

Middle Grade Fiction

 Sol Invictus (The Eye of Ra, #2)

General/Contemporary Fiction

337

 

Do share your thoughts in case you have read the above books. If you have recommendations for such reads, please leave a comment so that I can add the book to my ever growing TBR pile!

Round-up 2020 – YA Fantasy Fiction series!

Hey guys!

As you might have observed, I have been doing round-up posts with a focus on genres read this year.

However, in this post, I wanted to focus on fantasy fiction book series that I have read in their entirety and enjoyed. I will focus not only on series that are completed, but even ones which have an upcoming sequel or final book.

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The Ember Quartet by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4)

This is the most talked about series and I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the books. I started the series at the beginning of this year and worked my way through the first three books! I fell in love with Laia, learnt to hate and then love Elias and create various relationships with the various characters we meet through the journey!

A wonderfully fast-paced and explosive series, the plot has all the elements of fantasy, romance, action, war, friendship, family and so on! You name it, it will be there!

The series came to a conclusion this December with the release of the final book, A Sky Beyond the Storm. I am glad that I read this series and was able to follow through until the end.

Caraval series by Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval, #1)Legendary (Caraval, #2)Finale (Caraval, #3)

Another series that I thoroughly enjoyed this year was the Caraval series! Having read book 1 last year, I followed up with Books 2 and 3 this year. I know that I was a little late to the party, but better late than never right?

I would have regretted not taking the journey with the characters and playing the game! A wonderful concept, the author brought to us a whole new world and a new concept with characters to love, hate and wonder at. In the end, we cannot help but fall in love with the characters, the concept and the world! A complete roller-coaster of a ride, this series is definitely worth it’s popularity!

Read my reviews of Legendary here and Finale here.

Cursebreakers series by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)  A Heart So Fierce and Broken (The Cursebreaker Series)

Yet again we have another critically acclaimed and famous series that is currently doing the rounds thanks to the anticipation of the upcoming final novel: A Vow So Bold and Deadly.

This is a story of love and loss, of friendship and relationships, bonds between siblings and people. The author has crafted a lovely plot that will have the readers hooked from beginning to end.

I also love the way the author has played with words in the titles of the books and the meaning they have with respect to the sections of the plot covered in each book. The series has been worth reading so far and I cannot wait for the last book.

Check out my reviews of A Curse So Dark and Lonely and A Heart So Fierce and Broken.

Ash Princess trilogy by Laura Sebastian

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1) Lady Smoke (The Ash Princess Trilogy, #2) Ember Queen (The Ash Princess Trilogy)

This is a gripping series that follows Theo as she navigates the palace that once belonged to her mother and finally finds a way to fight for what is hers. The journey is split among three books and the series is definitely worth reading!

I absolutely enjoyed reading about Theo and the various characters in the book. I have somehow missed to review the books on my blog, but I hope to get to it soon.

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These are just a few of the wonderful book series that I have read this year! I look forward to discovering and reading more in 2021!

Do share your thoughts and recommendations for new series!

Round-up 2020 – YA Fantasy Fiction books!

Having read a whole lot of books this year, I have decided to do a sum up of the different genres and list my favorite books among those read in 2020!

These posts will help me with the final round-up of favorite books read in 2020 at the end of the year (in another 15 days! :D)

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In this post, I am summarizing the list of YA Fantasy fiction books that I read and enjoyed this year! They are not listed in any particular order and I truly enjoyed all of them.

In recent times, I have enjoyed reading all the new YA fantasy fiction series that have come out. Some have really stood out and stuck with me, some were so so, but I still enjoyed them. I think that this means I enjoy this genre no matter what! 

I have provided summaries or snippets from my reviews of the books. To read the complete review, you can click on the book title.

Read on to get to know some of the books I read this year!

A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir

A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4)

A Sky Beyond the Storm is the conclusion to the epic Ember Quartet, a tale that began with an introduction to characters who have become beloved to us! We have gone on long journeys with them through this series and Sabaa Tahir does a brilliant job bringing everything together in this epic conclusion.

This is a story of loss, yes a lot of it, sadness, hatred, but also understanding and forgiveness. The author weaves a magical and spell-binding tale keeping the reader enthralled until the very end. This is a fitting conclusion and culmination of the events that happen across all the books in the series!

 

 

 

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Finale (Caraval, #3)

 

The most awaited conclusion to the Caraval series, Stephanie Garber brings us a well-crafted ending! This is definitely one of the most talked about series in today’s world!

There is so much happening in this book that it will keep the reader hooked until the very end. The entire concept of the series is intriguing and it’s a pleasure to meet our favorite characters one last time!

I thoroughly enjoyed this conclusion and loved the way the author has crafted the plot of the entire series. A well-written fantasy fiction, this series will take the reader on an adventure that is amazing, with colorful characters whom we cannot help but fall in love with! This series is indeed a must-read and is well worth the time spent on it.

 

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)

 

 

House of Earth and Blood is a well-written, fast paced story that has it’s ups and downs. The story is gripping and is a wild roller-coaster until the very end. The author ensures that the readers attention is on the book and nowhere else!

One message which is persistent throughout the book is the meaning of friendship and loyalty. The author also shows us the true power of love above all else.

This book is definitely a must read, especially for fans of Fantasy Fiction and of Sarah J. Maas.

 

 

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

 

The Beautiful has to be one of the most talked about books! I was quite intrigued by the book cover and premise that I had to pick it up! It is a dark and sultry romance with murder, mystery and thrills all thrown into the mix!

The story is a roller-coaster of a ride as we navigate the sub-plots and various supporting characters who add such flavor to the story!

Though there were some ups and downs with the story, it is definitely worth the read!

 

 

 

 

The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White

The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)

 

 

The Guinevere Deception, Book 1 in the Camelot Rising series, is a re-telling of the famous King Arthur story from Guinevere’s point of view. However, this is a story with a twist. Here, the focus is on the heroine, but the story is placed at a time when all magic has been driven out of Camelot and Merlin is no longer present. Arthur sits on the throne, but needs to wed and produce an heir to ensure that his line continues. 

I did enjoy some parts of it and I would recommend this book for those who want to try out a re-telling.

 

 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

 

 

The Red Queen is another first in a series of fantasy fiction that caught my attention. This book has garnered a lot of attention and it talked about a lot. The story follows Mare as she navigates life in the poverty-stricken Stilts. The author has created an interesting Dystopian world, divided based on the color of a person’s blood.

However, one thing about this book is that even though some aspects are predictable, the author keeps throwing some curve balls as us. This brings some intrigue into the mix and thus makes the book an enjoyable read.

 

 

 

Prism (The Color Alchemist #1) by Nina Walker

Prism (The Color Alchemist, #1)

 

 

Prism by author Nina Walker introduces the reader to an intriguing concept of magic and magical abilities and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. The story is well-written and fast paced, keeping the reader hooked until the very end.

The story will draw the reader in until the very end and is not without some well placed twists and turns. With everyone having their own agenda, what happens to the story and all the characters remains to be seen. This book is well worth the read and I am looking forward to finishing the series!

 

 

 

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1)

 

Author Soman Chainani brings us a very dark take on fairytales with several twists and turns. the story follows Sophie and Agatha as they are kidnapped and brought to the School for Good and Evil.

If we go by cliches, one would expect Sophie to end up at the school for Good and Agatha at the school for Evil. But fate has a different plan and the two are swapped.

The climax is interesting and leads to many questions which lay down a good base for the next book.

All in all, give this book a shot! It will take you on a rather enchanting journey!

 

 

Dragon Connection (The Stone Crown #1) by Ava Richardson

Dragon Connection (The Stone Crown, #1)

 

 

Dragon Connection is the first book in the Stone Crown series by author Ava Richardson. It is a well-written, fast paced, YA fantasy fiction novel that follows the life of Narissea as she navigates the mines as a slave and later embarks on a journey to find the Stone Crown.

With a strong desire to thwart Lady Inyene’s plans, Nari embarks on a journey that involves an injured dragon, the Lady’s brother and a mage. Add to this mix some magic and we have the perfect recipe for an enjoyable read! I truly cannot wait to pick up the next book and find out what happens!

 

 

 

I would love to know what you all think about these books, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on this post! In addition, I am open to book recommendations in this genre, so do stop by and comment!

November 2020 – Book round-up!

A huge shoutout to all my readers and fellow bloggers.

I was inspired by other bloggers to post a recap of the books that I read or reviewed during November, 2020 and to highlight my favourite ones. I am hoping to continue this trend and post something similar every month.

I managed to read and review a good number of books last month. I usually do not manage to read so many due to time constraints. Nevertheless, some of them were wonderful and I truly enjoyed all the books!

Books read/reviewed in November 2020:

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

The most awaited conclusion to the Caraval series, Stephanie Garber brings us a well-crafted ending! This is definitely one of the most talked about series in today’s world!

I thoroughly enjoyed this conclusion and loved the way the author has crafted the plot of the entire series. A well-written fantasy fiction, this series will take the reader on an adventure that is amazing, with colorful characters whom we cannot help but fall in love with! This series is indeed a must-read and is well worth the time spent on it.

Dinosaur Adventure: A Field Trip to Remember by Kelly Santana-Banks

This story can be used as a picture book for younger children and as an interactive learning book for older ones. It is truly well-written and interactive making it a wonderful teaching and learning aid.

Prism (The Color Alchemist #1) by Nina Walker

Prism by author Nina Walker introduces the reader to an intriguing concept of magic and magical abilities and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. The story is well-written and fast paced, keeping the reader hooked until the very end.

337 by M. Jonathan Lee

A wonderfully written novel, the story follows Sam as he goes through the motions of living every day. However, not everything is at it seems, and this is a constant theme running in the background of the plot.

This latest book by the author is a pleasure to read and though it raises many questions that ensure the reader is kept engaged long after finishing the book. This book is a must read!

Vampire Royals (Books 1-3) by Leigh Walker

Overall, this series is fun and enjoyable especially for those who love the idea of vampires and human’s together, though there is not a lot of focus on the supernatural aspect of the characters. The books are short and easy to read. They can each be read in one sitting and are a good stress free read!

Ten Days with a Duke by Erica Ridley

This book is a pleasant and quick read set in the time of Christmas in a rather picturesque village! It is indeed the season of love!

The Guardians of the Halahala by Shatrujeet Nath

A truly fascinating story set during the rule of Samrat Vikramaditya, this book is the first in a series of four books. In this book, the author has taken a tiny part of mythology and merged it with a historical setting to bring us this entertaining plot.

The book pulls you in until the very end as each character’s personality unravels and their dynamics together are established and later shift.

This book is truly a wonderful start to a great series and I cannot wait to read further!

Book Review: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

About the Book:

Finale (Caraval, #3)

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series! A ll games must come to an end…

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates were freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella saw Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finally, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun—with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything.

My Thoughts:

The most awaited conclusion to the Caraval series, Stephanie Garber brings us a well-crafted ending! This is definitely one of the most talked about series in today’s world!

There is so much happening in this book that it will keep the reader hooked until the very end. The entire concept of the series is intriguing and it’s a pleasure to meet our favorite characters one last time! With the fates now freed, so much has changed in the empire with Legend now on the throne. Tella and Scarlet have their own secrets to uncover and the story follows three different angles as each of the main characters have a role to play in this final game of life and death, in the Finale! The story gives us a deeper glimpse into the characters and who they become as a result of the games and their lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this conclusion and loved the way the author has crafted the plot of the entire series. A well-written fantasy fiction, this series will take the reader on an adventure that is amazing, with colorful characters whom we cannot help but fall in love with! This series is indeed a must-read and is well worth the time spent on it.

Book Review: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

About the Book:

Legendary (Caraval, #2)

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

My Thoughts:

Legendary is the second book in the series and follows the story just after Caraval has finished. In fact, it is wonderful that this story takes up from the next day! The story follows Donatella, the younger sister as she moves forward from one Caraval game to the next. In the first, she was just a prop while her older sister Scarlett had to play to find her. Moving on from this, the two sisters are free and can try to start their lives again, but Tella has a debt to pay. As the magic and adventure unravel, the reader is once again drawn into the depths of a story where nothing is at it seems or maybe, for once, everything is as real as it seems.

Is it just a game or is it reality? These questions plague not only the characters in the book, but also the reader. The journey to discover Caraval Master Legend’s true name is also a journey of bravery, and love. Tella has many choices to make, even though her path seems clear and in the end, she has to make the ultimate sacrifice for the ones that she loves.

Though Legendary is very well-written and a wonderful sequel, it is not as thrilling as the first book. It is a little slower with more focus on the characters and their identities. We meet a lot of new characters as well and are introduced to the sisters’ past, their family and learn many  truths about many of the people! As Scarlett struggles to find her footing between the one she loves and the one she was arranged to be married to, Tella navigates the game of Caraval again trying to find the answers she seeks. The characters are compelling, you’ll love some, you’ll hate some and there are those that fall in between.

The story is definitely worth the read and the hype and is a fitting sequel to the first, clearing up many things and giving the reader much more in the form of love and friendship. The cliffhanger at the end leaves us wanting for more and will definitely force the reader to pick up the third and final book in the series, Finale!