Book Review: Curse Breaker (Kingdom of Runes #2) by Audrey Grey

About the Book:

Curse Breaker (Kingdom of Runes, #2)

Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Holly Black, this enemies-to-lovers adventure romance should come with a book hangover warning.

All magic has a price.

Haven survived the Devourers, but she isn’t any closer to breaking the curse. Meanwhile, her forbidden magic rages brighter and more dangerous every day.

To control her powers and stand a chance against the Shade Queen, Haven made a bargain with two enemy immortals. Now her waking hours are spent fighting alongside the Sun Lord, but her dreams belong to the Shade Lord.

Only the closer she ventures into the wicked Shadow Kingdom the more her magic shows itself—and the more she struggles with whom to trust. The golden but wounded Sun Lord or the darkly charismatic Shade Lord.

Both are off-limits.

And both have the ability to save her . . . or destroy her.

With the Shade Queen closing in and Bell’s time nearly up, Haven will sacrifice everything to break the curse—but will it be enough to stop the mortal realm from falling into darkness forever?

Welcome to the Kingdom of Runes where immortals and humans clash, light and dark magic reign, and mythical creatures lurk in the shadows. If you like fierce heroines, enemies-to-lovers romance, wild plot twists, and endearing characters that stay with you long after you reach the end, you need to discover the book readers are calling dark fantasy at its best. Just make sure to clear out some space on your calendar first!

**Curse Breaker was previously published in the boxed set Shattered Worlds. This is a revised second edition. The Kingdom of Runes series is upper/mature YA and contains mild cursing and adult situations, including romance.**

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Kingdom of Runes series by Audrey Grey. Teeming with both dark and light magic, Haven is struggling to find a way to control her magic, learn to use it and at the same time break the curse to get back her best friend, Prince Bell. In addition to this, she makes deals that she is not sure she can keep up, considering that they are with two enemy immortals.

In this book, Haven is drawn into a love triangle between the Sun Lord and the Shade Lord. She knows that both of them have feelings for her and she is conflicted in her emotions towards each of them. I love how charismatic each character comes off as and it is quite entertaining to read about these budding romances. However, there are some things that irked me during these sections, especially how Archeron’s feelings suddenly changed and then the whole group dynamics.

On the other side, we see some of Prince Bell and what he is going through. A wonderful human being, he brings out different sides of people including the creature who saves him from being ripped apart. This is an interesting dynamic to say the least. A lot of the characters are shrouded in darkness and have a ton of secrets which take a lot of time to actually be revealed.

The pace of this book picked up and was quite gripping. It was better than the first and focused more on the adventure and action. I enjoyed this second book in the series and am looking forward to reading the next one.

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!

Book Review: Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

I received a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book:

Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

A tragic mystery blending sleuthing and spirituality

​An exploration in grief, suicide, spiritualism, and Inuit culture, Winter of the Wolf follows Bean, an empathic and spiritually evolved fifteen-year-old, who is determined to unravel the mystery of her brother Sam’s death. Though all evidence points to a suicide, her heart and intuition compel her to dig deeper. With help from her friend Julie, they retrace Sam’s steps, delve into his Inuit beliefs, and reconnect with their spiritual beliefs to uncover clues beyond material understanding.

Both tragic and heartwarming, this twisting novel draws you into Bean’s world as she struggles with grief, navigates high school dramas, and learns to open her heart in order to see the true nature of the people around her. Winter of the Wolf is about seeking the truth—no matter how painful—in order to see the full picture.

In this novel, environmentalist and award-winning author, Martha Handler, brings together two important pieces of her life—the death of her best friend’s son and her work as president of the Wolf Conservation Center—to tell an empathetic and powerful story with undeniable messages.

My Thoughts:

This book follows the life of Bean (yes, this is a very unusual name for a person and I was surprised with it. I thought it was a nickname.) as she navigates life post her brother’s death. We are given glimpses into the lives of the family members before Sam’s death and of course how they each cope after it. Being closer in age, Bean was very close to Sam, closer than she was to her two older brothers. Sam’s death somehow brings the family together with each person re-discovering and establishing bonds with each other.

Of course, there is some mystery surrounding the death and Bean, troubled as she is by all this, makes it a point to find out the truth . Bean believe that her brother did not commit suicide and if he did, they should have been able to see the signs. The story is quite tragic, filled with lots of grief and some moments of understanding and even happiness. In this myriad of emotions, the author seeks to bring about an awareness of different belief systems, people’s ideas and ideologies. This is an interesting aspect of the plot and was quite an eye opener.

I was a little put off by Bean’s attitude at times, but in retrospect, it was probably a reflection of her grief and coping mechanisms. The story is well-written though a little confusing at times, but it is definitely worth a read! I enjoyed the references to animals and how the author weaves the story around people’s belief systems without sounding like she is preaching. This book is well worth the read especially to admire the bonds of friendship and family that forms the backbone of the plot.

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: Vampire Royals (Books 1-3) by Leigh Walker

About the Books:

Book 1: The Pageant

The Pageant (Vampire Royals #1)

Who’s the fairest of them all?
Young women from every settlement in the land are being handpicked to enter The Pageant, a beauty contest reminiscent of Miss Universe from the old days. Gwyneth West’s social-climbing mother wants her to compete, by Gwyn isn’t so sure…
The Pageant is government-sponsored. If you’re lucky enough to be chosen, participation is mandatory. Aggressive competition is allowed, even encouraged.

And then there’s the prize…
The winner of The Pageant gets a marriage proposal from Dallas Black, otherwise known as The Dark Prince. Dallas is the son of King Black, who won the last world war and now governs the new settlements. The Royal Family is mysterious. Rumor has it they don’t sleep. Rumor has it they eschew the sun.
Rumor has it they’re immortal.
When Gwyn is thrust into The Pageant, she fights to survive the competitive nature of the other contestants.
But even if wins…can she survive a vampire fiancé?

 

Book 2: The Gala

The Gala (Vampire Royals #2)

 

FOUR WEEKS. TWENTY CONTESTANTS. ONE PRINCE.

The Pageant is almost over, and Gwyneth West knows she can win—except the prince is a vampire, and some of the other contestants are turning out to be quite beastly.

What do you do when the person you love…might want to eat you alive?

Struggling to hold onto her position in the palace, Gwyn knows her vampire prince could slip through her fingers in an instant. And when human rebels threaten to storm the vampire royals once more, Gwyn finds herself caught between two worlds: her people, and the vampire she loves.

Leigh Walker writes action packed futuristic sci-fi, sweet romantic vampire novels, and stories that capture your heart and then make it race.

 

Book 3: The Finale

The Finale (Vampire Royals #3)

A ROYAL WEDDING IS COMING…BUT WHICH CONTESTANT WILL BE THE BRIDE?

Gwyneth West’s a finalist in The Pageant, the dating competition that’s gripping the settlements. Down to the final week, the dashing Prince Dallas Black will choose one young woman as his fiancé.
One small issue: Gwyneth’s a human and the prince is a vampire. What’s worse? Gwyneth’s family are sworn rebels, out to take back the settlements and overthrow the crown. What’s worse than that? Gwyn’s own rebel brother is a prisoner in the castle dungeons, but the king and queen don’t know his true identity.
Gwyneth and Dallas want to show the settlements that vampires and humans can live together in peace. But as their differences threaten to tear them apart, Gwyneth discovers her love puts the prince at risk.
How do you choose between love and duty?

 

My Thoughts:

This series is very similar to ‘The Selection’ series. However, there are some differences including the fact that the Prince and his family are Vampires. The author starts this off as rumors which are later shown as the truth. The concept of vampires and humans living side by side and co-existing is a strong idea that both the Prince and Gwyn, the heroine of the story, share. The story is indeed fun to read, following the very cliched concept of a competition to find the best suitor for the Prince. However, the idea behind this is to find a way to unite all the settlements and to bring peace while trying to keep the rebel groups at bay.

The synopsis of the story promises aggressive competition, but nothing about the story is aggressive. The story centers on the chemistry between the Prince and Gwyn, giving us only minor glimpses of the interactions with the other contestants. To keep in line with the contest, there are some sections of the story devoted to etiquette training and history of the kingdom and the settlements. However, there is not a lot of character development for the other girls in the story and this takes away from the main theme of the contest.

The story then continues into the two other books, focusing on the Prince’s interaction with the girls, bringing it down to the top four contestants and his relationship with his parents. Each girl is unique in her own way and it is wonderful to read about their rivalries but also about how they come together in the end. We are also provided some insight into Gwyn’s background and her family and her relationship with the King and Queen. The love and understanding that develops between her and the prince is beautiful to read about.

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!

Book Review: Prism (The Color Alchemist #1) by Nina Walker

About the Book:

Prism (The Color Alchemist, #1)

What if color held the secrets to powerful magic?

Forced to move into the palace, Jessa begins training as a Color Alchemist under the direction of the kingdom’s most eligible bachelor, Prince Lucas. As an alchemist, Jessa must capture and harness the color of living things. Every color has a unique purpose, except red. Red is the untapped magic no one can access—until Jessa.

Prince Lucas is running out of time. His mother is deathly ill and healing magic hasn’t worked. When Lucas suspects someone is using alchemy to control her, he sets out to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

PRISM is the first installment of a unique young adult romantic fantasy series where a dystopian world with a Victorian flair meets the dynamic magic of color!

My Thoughts:

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.

We are introduced to Jessa, who accidently discovers that she is a color alchemist and tries to hide the truth from everyone. Once discovered, we come to know that she might be very powerful and is brought to the palace for training. The author introduces us to a dystopian world where the King rules the New Colony and a certain order is established. Anyone who shows an inclination towards Color Alchemy is brought to the Palace at a very young age and then undergoes rigorous training to join the Guardians of Color (GC).

Jessa faces a lot of push back from everyone at the palace including the other alchemists as she is already sixteen. It seems to be quite late for her to be here. There are many interesting characters including Sasha and Reed who are not easy to get a read on. The reader will not know what anyone’s intentions are until the very end. But, one thing is clear, Jessa is special and an asset to the King for whatever plan he has up his sleeve.

In addition, we are introduced to the Prince, who seems to have a different view of things than his father and is trying to find a way to save his mother who is quite ill. Add into the mix some chemistry between the two main characters and the author provides us with the perfect recipe for a book filled with magic, romance and a wonderfully new concept of magic drawn from colors!

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!

Book Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

About the Book:

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

A dark and enchanting fantasy adventure perfect for girls who prefer their fairytales with a twist.

Every four years, two girls are kidnapped from the village of Gavaldon. Legend has it these lost children are sent to the School for Good and Evil, the fabled institution where they become fairytale heroes or villains.

Sophie, the most beautiful girl in town, has always dreamed of her place at the School for Good while her friend Agatha, with her dark disposition seems destined for the School for Evil. But when the two are kidnapped they find their fortunes reversed…

My Thoughts:

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. Struggling to accept the situation, Agatha feels out of place as she never wanted to be here in the first place. Sophie on the other hand has always dreamed of going here and finds it difficult to settle down at the School for Evil.

As the story progresses, we follow the children through their days, getting trained to be either heroes or villains. The author brings in several twists and drops several hints as to why these girls are where they are at the school. The story is a little slow and at times the content is repetitive which made me slow down while reading.

However, at the end of the day it was a decent read and I did enjoy the premise of the story. I liked the idea that children are trained to be a certain way and then they eventually end up as characters from the fairytales we know so well and love. 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!

Book Review: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

About the Book:

New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as Le Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of Le Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sèbastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

My Thoughts:

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!

At first, it took some time to get into the book and understand the context and setting. We are introduced to Celine, our main protagonist, a very strong-willed woman who keeps her own council and is not afraid to speak up. At first we see her struggling to conform to the rules of the convent where she has been taken in in New Orleans, having fled from Paris. However, she catches the eye of first Odette and then Sèbastien Saint Germain, all part of a group simply known as Le Cour des Lions. Little does she know that she has stepped into a completely different world, shrouded in darkness and surrounded by the dead, quite literally!

A very well written tale, the setting of New Orleans is very well described, especially the streets and nightlife. The characters are intriguing and well developed. At times, I must admit to getting a little annoyed with Celine, but it was not enough to pull me away from the book. As we are introduced to the creatures of the underworld and Celine starts to discover the existence of the paranormal, a series of murders leads to questions of motive and who the real target is. Not to be left out, Celine tries to conduct her own investigation having the feeling that she is indeed a target.

The developing romance between Celine and Sèbastien is both natural and forbidden and is interesting to see develop. The courtship (a suitable word for the time in which the story is set) is not without it’s problems and when murder and mayhem are thrown into the mix, we have all the ingredients for an entertaining story! 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!