I bought Shielded for the cover because I was doing a challenge with that needed a blue cover but I’m glad I picked it up. It was a great action-adventure, military fantasy.
The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.
As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.
Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.
I really enjoyed this book for several reasons one was a smart female protagonist, sure she has a couple of encounters where she survives on luck, but she’s been trained as a fighter and uses that training to help herself and others when needed. Jenna is also eager to Turian ways once she arrives, something that helps her throughout the novel. I will admit I can appreciate how much time she spends in the library trying to solve the problem.
Her betrothed is also no slouch he’s not some wooden cut out character, and he trains, unknowingly with Jenna and tries to help her solve the problem of the mages that Jenna is spending so much time in the library with. What’s more he trusts Jenna with protecting his sisters, which turns out to be very important, and ends up figuring out just who Jenna is before she reveals it.
Their romance isn’t overly mushy which I respect in a novel, they both consider duty before their love for each other and eventually they come to a sweet conclusion. I can’t wait to read the sequel.
We explored the sign Cancer and how they like home and family and how if they get in fights its usually to protect their home and family. While many characters fit the trope of loving home and family I thought I’d highlight a few of our Cancer characters traits by showing a few of Crab examples.
Red, White and Whole
Despite her wanting to pull away early in the book like a normal teen, she really does love her family deeply, and they really do love her. She’s willing to fight her own issues and fight for her mom. That’s why I think Reha is one of our Crab characters willing to at home with the family and only willing to start a fight when it comes to them.
What Stars Are Made Of
Libby is definitely a character who cares for her family above all else and is willing to put her work and her heart into making sure that her family is okay. In fact the whole plot of the book is her making a deal with the universe to make sure that her pregnant sister has a healthy baby. So she definitely fits our Crab type
Autumn is another character I could see as being one of our Crabs while she chares about her family she also cares about her two new friends and the animals around her as well. Also when she does fight in the book its because she fighting for something that she cares about animals, like Cancers do.
These are just a few examples of Crab characters or those who fit the Cancer traits I’m going to get back to my Zodiac posts now that I have everything established. There will be updates throughout the month on how I’m doing and more Zodiac and Tarot content.
Another Readathon I’m doing called the Realm a Thon, it’s a military fantasy based readathon. But you can read lots of other types of books basically the idea is fighting for your country by reading book to add magic to your realm or take away magic from realm. You pledge magic to one of the countries. I’m pledging my magic to
I decided to pick Eskana because it was snowy and in the mountains. I like that snowy mountain atmosphere. Also the sub-prompt was polar fantasy so I figured there were a few of those on my list that I’d probably read.
For this readathon you can use up to 5 prompts for one book and they are repeatable they just have to be all negative or all positive so I see myself using a lot of the books I’m doing for Orillium here as well.
However there are a few polar fantasies I’ve been putting off that I’ll do on this one since I get extra points
Ember and the Ice Dragons
Ember St. George is a dragon. At least she was before her adoptive father—a powerful but accident-prone Magician—turned her into a human girl to save her life.
Unfortunately, Ember’s growing tendency to burst into flames at certain temperatures—not to mention her invisible wings—is making it too dangerous for her to stay in London. The solution: ship Ember off to her aunt’s research station in frigid Antarctica.
Though eccentric Aunt Myra takes getting used to, Ember quickly feels at home in a land of ice storms, mischievous penguins, and twenty-four-hour nights. She even finds herself making friends with a girl genius called Nisha and a mysterious orphan named Moss.
Then she discovers that Antarctica is home to the Winterglass Hunt, a yearly tradition in which rare ice dragons are hunted for their jeweled scales. Furious, Ember decides to join the hunt to sabotage it from the inside.
But being an undercover dragon isn’t easy—especially among dragon hunters. Can a twelve-year-old fire dragon survive the dangers that come her way in the Antarctic wilderness and protect the ice dragons from extinction?
All Ekata wants is to stay alive—and the chance to prove herself as a scholar. Once Ekata’s brother is finally named heir to the dukedom of Kylma Above, there will be nothing to keep her at home with her murderous family. Not her books or her experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness, and no one can find a cure.
In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s captivating warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love . . . or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s magic and power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield them both.
Seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen hates the sled race, especially after it claimed both her mothers’ lives five years ago. Alone on her frozen planet, she makes money any other way she can–until she double-crosses a local gangster.
Desperate to escape, Sena flees with his prized fighting wolf, Iska, and takes an offer from a team of scientists. They’ll pay her way off-world, on one condition–that she uses the survival skills her mothers taught her to get them to the end of the race. But the tundra is a treacherous place. When the race threatens their lives at every turn, Sena must discover whether her abilities are enough to help them survive the wild, and whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.
I’m sure I have some more polar fantasies I will find as I’m looking around my shelves as well as other books I want to read for this readathon that don’t fit Orillium. I’m looking forward to this readathon because it’s unlike any readathon I’ve done lately, I think it’s a very unique concept that I will enjoy and hope my nation wins.
I’ve been meaning to read Fire Becomes Her for awhile but I finally got the hardback copy and I’m glad I did. This is one book I want to have a hard copy of the author has said inspirations were drawn from the 2016 Presidential Election, but as much as this is a story about politics and power, it is ultimately a story about love.
Ingrid Ellis thinks she know what she wants knows who she loves. She wants power and she’s going to find it on the arm of Linden Holt, the man she love, or does she, but she has no background monetary or magical and Linden’s father won’t acknowledge her and will never approve of her hoped for marriage to Linden
Unless she agrees to spy for the other side.
Gwendolyn Meyers, Holt’s opponent is everything Ingrid wishes she could be, independent. She speaks her mind shares her love with another woman. Gwendolyn and her staffers show Ingrid a different kind of love and family than she could have ever imagined. Then there is Alex, a friend at first until Ingrid could see him as something more.
But there is fire on the horizon, and it’s coming for the Meyers campaign when a fire rocks the Presidential Ball and soon after Ingrid’s secret is revealed. She soon finds herself going back where it all started and working with someone who could make things equal for everyone if only they can make things work.
With a lot of hope and a chance for forgiveness Ingrid is about to face down one of the most powerful men in the country by herself? Will the truth prevail?
Review of Fire Becomes Her
This book was engaging from the first page because at first you don’t want to like Ingrid. But that’s because Ingrid doesn’t want to like Ingrid, as the book goes on and Ingrid sees more of love and learn more about what love can be and the many ways it can be expressed she becomes happier and more comfortable especially when it comes to her relationships with Linden and Alex.
I love the different identities represented in this book this is great and I really want to read more of Rosiee Thor’s work.
Though you may think of astrological work and tarot as more associated with Halloween we do have the Vernal Equinox coming up so I decided to start a series of posts of books each Zodiac sign, might like based on traits traditionally assigned to the sign. Now we’re going to make it a little interactive by making some polls by how well you think these fit, with maybe some stickers up as prizes.
Eastern and Western
We will be explore both Eastern and Western would like now I want this to be interactive too, I’m personally a Libra Sun, Capricorn Moon Taurus Ascending in the Western Zodiac. And a Metal Horse in the Asian Zodiac.
Now if you have now idea what that means that’s okay these post will kind of an intro to how to figure out your Zodiac and the astrological world in general it will also help me bring two of my favorite things together. The astrological world and tarot and the book world and reading. As for the Tarot portion I’m going to be doing books that would fit all of the Major Arcana, it’s okay if you don’t know what that means either we’ll be taking a dive through tarot as well.
Feedback and Tags in Astrological Posts
I definitely want everyone’s feedback especially if they are particularly drawn to a card or sign, do you think my book predictions are spot on please tell me #astrolistbooks or #tarotlistbooks and please tell me if I’m wrong and you have better ideas feel free to turn this into a tag if you want to we are going to start out tomorrow with Aries and go from there. As for the Tarot posts we will be starting with the Fool the day after. I look forward to learning more about tarot, teaching you guys and pairing up books with signs.
I can’t wait to hear from you guys in the comments or on Twitter.
I’m doing the challenge for the Vegetable Garden with Cuddle which encourages you to read more women of color. I really hope I can participate in this challenge since I missed the last two due to working on my readathon and medical appointments.
Looks like we have some great rewards here are some of the books I plan to read
Bo and her mom always had their own rhythm. But ever since they moved to Harlem, Bo’s world has fallen out of sync. She and Mum are now living with Mum’s boyfriend Bill, his daughter Sunday, the twins, Lili and Lee, the twins’ parents…along with a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, a turtle, and chickens. All in one brownstone! With so many people squished together, Bo isn’t so sure there is room for her.
Set against the bursting energy of a New York City summer, award-winning author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a joyful novel about a new family that hits all the right notes!
Amazon: Operation Sisterhood
Across a Field of Starlight
When they were kids, Fassen’s fighter spaceship crash-landed on a planet that Lu’s survey force was exploring. It was a forbidden meeting between a kid from a war-focused resistance movement and a kid whose community and planet are dedicated to peace and secrecy.
Lu and Fassen are from different worlds and separate solar systems. But their friendship keeps them in each other’s orbit as they grow up. They stay in contact in secret as their communities are increasingly threatened by the omnipresent, ever-expanding empire.
As the empire begins a new attack against Fassen’s people–and discovers Lu’s in the process–the two of them have the chance to reunite at last. They finally are able to be together…but at what cost?
Ophelia also likes to grow things but she has a rose garden instead of vegetable garden. Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.
So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control.
But the course of love—and sexuality—never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.
I just finished another book by a black author You Truly Assumed yesterday morning and got one of the secret achievements I’m going to update my vegetable garden today and post it on here later in the week. I can’t wait to see how some of my new rewards look in my garden.
It’s that time of year again. I for one can’t resist the appeal of helping an organization that helps girls and trans youth grow and become fantastic young people but it doesn’t hurt that they have cookies. I have to get my Peanut Butter Patties and maybe a few Thin Mints, but not everyone loves these flavors and everyone has a flavor. So I’d thought I’d represent a few of the cookies as books.
New to the block yet full of life this sweet cookie deserves an equally sweet book.
A little tropical because of the coconut-a little sweet because of chocolate
The book I chose for this prompt was Ophelia After All because it was a sweet book about the protagonist learning about love relating to others and herself.
Girl Scout Smores
This cookie represents friendship and I wanted to pick a book where friendship was the central theme.
The Winterbourne Home for Vengeance and Valor
This is set in a creepy mansion where a bunch of friends must solve a mystery. At first the protagonist doesn’t want friends but slowly warms up to those around her as they help with the slowly unfolding mystery.
One of our classics this is chocolate with a hint of a surprise
The Storyteller- I picked this book because the protagnist believes her great aunt to be Anastasia and however the book turns out she’ll get a surprise. I also picked it because it’s chocolate and her aunt would have possibly come from a rich background like and chocolate is rich.
If you want to do this like a tag please do just tag back.
Happy Lunar New Year! For Chinese New Year thought I’d do a post focusing on Asian authors and main characters. For those who don’t know it’s the Year of the Tiger this year. People born in the year of the Tiger are described as
People born in the Year of the Tiger are born leaders, who walk and talk assertively and inspire respect. They are courageous and energetic, love a challenge or competition and are prepared to take risks. They are hungry for excitement and crave attention.
So I decided to do this Chinese New Year Book Tag.
Answer the questions and share your Chinese zodiac animal (Only if you’re comfortable with it! If you don’t know, you can look it up online based on your birth year!)
Pingback to the creator of the tag (hammockofbooks) and whoever tagged you so we can read your responses!
Tag some of your friends! (But not four because that’s unlucky!)
So Isabelle took it as a challenge to use only books by Asian authors and/or with Asian main characters for this tag and I’m going to follow her suit.
I’m the Year of the Horse so some of the personality traits associated with my year are having personality traits like being warm-hearted, enthusiastic, and positive. As they are lively and active, running in broad areas, so it is also the symbol of independence and freedom.
New Year: A book with a phenomenal beginning
This had an amazing beginning with the main character waking up in a new world and trying to find her way against robots and wondering she can work with the human survivors of the robot world and finding out she has powers. Lets just say this books beginning was very exciting. By amazing Asian author Akemi Dawn Brown.
A very exciting adventure book about a strange forest, a lost princess, and dragons. I’m also a huge fan of Ellen Oh and some of the other books she’s written. You can also find my review of the book here.
Lunar New Year: A book that takes place in space
Okay well it’s not in space but it’s on another planet and it has one of my favorite romances and it tormented me for a year waiting for the sequel to come out. It’s also got some of the coolest fighters and great worldbuilding.
This book still makes me hungry, all the snack and meals described within the book. I’d even try the Paneer Pizza. I also loved watching the protagonists growth throughout the book. It’s really one of my favorite food based books.
Gathering With Family: An amazing fictional family
Dua’s extended family was my favorite extended fictional family. There were just so many interesting personalities all interacting with each other. I particularly loved the interaction between Dua and Mahnoor after the latter’s walls came down and then Dua’s crush Hassan and his sister.
Feel free to consider yourself tagged. And expect more posts about Chinese New Year throughout the Month. Until then, feel free to share your favorites in the comments.
Since I did friends I had to do a Romantic Duos too, since we are leading up to Valentine’s Day next month. I’m not big on romance but I’ve run into a few that I think are great so here are my top five. Also this list is kinda queer.
1) The Henna Wars
This was one of my favorite romantic books of a few years ago. I deals with not only issues of romance but of identity, culture, family and finding yourself.
Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. In a fight to prove who is the best, their lives become more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush, especially since Flávia seems to like her back.
As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.
This series of books shows a lot of sweet romantic pairs but the one I identified with most was with Greta and Minette I enjoyed seeing the sweet conclusion of their romance that started in the Tea Dragon Society and left the ending open ended so you could imagine a romantic ending for the two in the future.
Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series! Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Told with the same care and charm as the previous installments of the Tea Dragon series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry welcomes old friends and new into a heartfelt story of purpose, love, and growth.
Both the main characters I loved for different reasons and they come together perfectly as a romantic couple though they don’t realize it at first. Their personalities just match, even though I will say I have bit of a soft spot for Tamsin because of her rough edges. The world and the magic system are also super well thought out. I can’t the author’s next book.
Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.
Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.
When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.
Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first.
The world was key to making this romance work, for the main character to fall in love with her significant other the world has to be set up in a certain way. Also the interplay between the two characters in the seeming love triangle was excellent. Why is it not April already so I can read the SEQUEL!?!?
Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.
The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.
When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.
As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.
This Black Woman Magic version of the Little Mermaid that deftly weaves in West African mythology the original tale and 15th century history. It was one of last years favorites and it also needs a sequel right now. Like now. The romance between the Simi and Kola is very sweet though as the original tale says not meant to be though we’ll see if they find a way around that in the sequel. They face gods, monsters and they do it together along with a great group of friends all for the love of their respective families and maybe love for each other.
Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata—a mermaid—collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.
But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi goes against an ancient decree and does the unthinkable—she saves his life. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy the gods.
To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But all is not as it seems. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail . . .
Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she fails, she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it
Making Friends is a very cute graphic novel for the middle grade set about a Danielle, who is having issues with friendship ever since she got got to middle school.
Danielle needs a perfect friend, but sometimes making (or creating) one is a lot easier than keeping one!
Sixth grade was SO much easier for Dany. All her friends were in the same room and she knew exactly what to expect out of life. Now that she’s in seventh grade, she’s in a new middle school, her friends are in different classes and forming new cliques, and she is totally, completely lost. What Dany really needs is a new best friend! So when she inherits a magic sketchbook from her eccentric great-aunt in which anything she sketches in it comes to life, she draws Madison, the most amazing, perfect, and awesome best friend ever.
The thing is, even when you create a best friend, there’s no guarantee they’ll always be your best friend. Especially when they discover they’ve been created with magic! And this isn’t the only problem magic causes Dany is going to need all the friends she can get to save her school and her friends from a sketch gone wrong.
This is a really cute book you can understand Dany’s troubles whatever age you are, given the power of a magic sketchbook. It would be hard to limit yourself on this power. I love some of the group of friends Dany makes along the way and the conflict between Dany and her newly created friend who has to establish herself away from Dany. It’s a good example of boundaries and independence which is always good when show in work for this age group. I like the fact that the group in the end can be interdependent but no co-dependent. Also the Sailor Moon/She-Ra-eque fight at the end was lovely and that’s the kind of content I need in my life. Very good graphic novel, can’t wait to read the rest in the series. 5/5