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Fantasy Romance Review: Master of Crows by Grace Draven

Master of Crows by Grace Draven


bought as part of Darkly Dreaming anthology

Synopsis from Goodreads
What would you do to win your freedom? This is the question that sets bondwoman, Martise of Asher, on a dangerous path. In exchange for her freedom, she bargains with her masters, the mage-priests of Conclave, to spy on the renegade sorcerer, Silhara of Neith. The priests want Martise to expose the sorcerer's treachery and turn him over to Conclave justice. A risky endeavor, but one she accepts without hesitation--until she falls in love with her intended target.

Silhara of Neith, Master of Crows, is a desperate man. The god called Corruption invades his mind, seducing him with promises of limitless power if he will help it gain dominion over the world. Silhara struggles against Corruption's influence and searches for ways to destroy the god. When Conclave sends Martise as an apprentice to help him, he knows she's a spy. Now he fights a war on two fronts--against the god who would possess him and the apprentice who would betray him.

Mage and spy search together for a ritual that will annihilate Corruption, but in doing so, they discover secrets about each other that may damn them both. Silhara must decide if his fate, and the fate of nations, is worth the soul of the woman he has come to love, and Martise must choose continued enslavement or freedom at the cost of a man's life. And love.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US($2.99)/UK(£1.83) | The Book Depository | Fishpond

9.5/10

* * *
 Oh my god, why am I so lucky with fantasy reads these past few months?! It's freaking me out.

Master of Crows is mind-blowingly amazing, peeps, and that's that. Anyone who loves fantasy romance should drop whatever they are doing right now and start reading it.

The Postman Knock #97

Hey, peeps!
Just a quick post today.
Have you seen my video review? Shall I review something like that again? Opinions, please :)
Here is what I READ:


DREAMS MADE FLESH was a wonderful compilation of stories, which helped to connect the dots for a lot of stuff happening  on book #3 of this series. Loved it! TANGLED WEBS was awesome, a great story about a very twisted, haunted house which kept me on my toes. FOREVER STARTS TONIGHT was a beautiful novella about one of my favorite menages in Roni Loren's books. *sigh* So sweet!

BOUGHT:


 KINDLE FREEBIE:

This was on my wishlist, so I'm glad it was free on kindle!

 This is it for me, peeps! Have a a wonderful weekend, and I'll speak to you next week,
Tchau!

Fantasy Audiobook Quick Audio Review: Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop

Queen of The Darkness by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels #3)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

Jaenelle Angelline now reigns as Queen-protector of the Shadow Realm. No longer will the corrupt Blood slaughter her people and defile her lands. But where one chapter ends, a final, unseen battle remains to be written, and Jaenelle must unleash the terrible power that is Witch to destroy her enemies once and for all.
Even so, she cannot stand alone. Somewhere, long lost in madness, is Daemon, her promised Consort. Only his unyielding love can complete her Court and secure her reign. Yet, even together, their strength may not be enough to hold back the most malevolent of forces.
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository | Fishpond

9/10

* * *

Today I'm trying to do something different, ladies and gents, so I decided to create a quick audio review for an audio book. If it works I'm sure we'll do it again.

Excuse the quality, it's all done with my camera (for taking pictures) but next time I'll try to learn how to do it properly.  Right now this is just spur of the moment thing...

video

What do you think?
Shall I do something like that again?

* * *
Я уже говорила, что мне эта серия фэнтези безумно нравится, и я считаю, что Королева Тьмы на настоящий момент её лучшая книга. 

Это очень тёмное фэнтези, и в этот раз Анн Бишоп просто убивает огромное количество характеров, которые мы успели полюбить да так, что я чуть ли не прослезилась в нескольких местах. Однако все линии сюжета завершены аккуратно и помимо печальных моментов в этой книге много моментов светлых, так что концовка вас удовлетворит полностью, мои дорогие.

Дэймон в этой книге играет значительную и очень сильную роль, и он единственный характер, озвучивание которого Джон Шариан, рассказчик, делает достойным этого героя. С остальными персонажами у него конечно беда, но к третьей книге к его стилю кое-как но привыкаешь.

В общем, прекрасная книга, очень многое в ней происходит, всем поклонникам Жаклин Кэри - читать надо! Очень рекомендую!

Steampunk Fantasy Review: Engraved by Karina Cooper

Engraved by Karina Cooper (The St. Croix Chronicles #5)


Egalley thanks to Carina Press

Synopsis from Goodreads
Cherry St. Croix returns to the fog-ridden streets of Victorian London, where the balance of power threatens all that she loves.

I will not wither without laudanum. Sober and determined, I have chosen another way— alchemy, and the pursuit of wellness it embodies. My name is Cherry St. Croix, and though freedom is finally at my fingertips, I return to the blackened streets intent on righting the wrongs I'd left behind.

All is not well in London low. Caught in a war between gangs, men are torn limb from limb, and I am called on to ascertain how. The immoral Karakash Veil is no doubt involved, and Micajah Hawke, a prisoner in his own Menagerie, cannot soften the danger this time.

Armed with the alchemical arts I have learned, my ever present guardian, and what few friends are left to me, I embark on a campaign to rescue the ringmaster I cannot abandon, save the Brick Street Bakers from annihilation, and finally face that which frightens me the most—my own heart.

Amazon kindle US/UK

8/10

* * *
I admit I am prejudiced about anything concerning this series, so my rating is a tad higher than it could have been, but I can't help it. I enjoy it way too much!

Urban Fantasy Review: Premonitions by Jamie Schultz

Premonitions by Jamie Schultz 


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
TWO MILLION DOLLARS...

It’s the kind of score Karyn Ames has always dreamed of—enough to set her crew up pretty well and, more important, enough to keep her safely stocked on a very rare, very expensive black market drug. Without it, Karyn hallucinates slices of the future until they totally overwhelm her, leaving her unable to distinguish the present from the mess of certainties and possibilities yet to come.

The client behind the heist is Enoch Sobell, a notorious crime lord with a reputation for being ruthless and exacting—and a purported practitioner of dark magic. Sobell is almost certainly condemned to Hell for a magically extended lifetime full of shady dealings. Once you’re in business with him, there’s no backing out.

Karyn and her associates are used to the supernatural and the occult, but their target is more than just the usual family heirloom or cursed necklace. It’s a piece of something larger. Something sinister.

Karyn’s crew, and even Sobell himself, are about to find out just how powerful it is… and how powerful it may yet become.

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository | Fishpond

7.5/10

* * *
 Gritty, straightforward and refreshingly ambiguous, - these are the first words coming to my mind after finishing Premonitions.

The Postman Knock #96

Lovely week again, folks! Rainy and cozy and cool. I really enjoyed it despite having a long, exhausting day in Lisbon on Thursday trying to exchange my old Russian passport (which I couldn't because good old Russian bureaucracy reared its ugly head and said my documents weren't in order. You gotta laugh. I don't really need that passport unless I go to see my family, so I'm not in a rush to sort this sh*t out).
 I also tried my hand at recording a spontaneous audio review, which you should see next Friday. :) I had fun, and I really want to do it again, but properly this time :)

Here is a little present for you from the Chinese supermarket we raid every time we are in Lisbon. Because I had to have it! And it's supreme quality... *giggling*


READ:


THE INVISIBLE RING was alright, but because it didn't involve my favorite characters I didn't like it as much. Still, quite a nice fantasy even if the main hero was a proper tool!  ENGRAVED was goood, and had lots of delicious Hawke, but I disliked the abrupt, confusing ending. I want more! PREMONITIONS was an interesting urban fantasy, and I have a lot to say about it. I liked it, and I think this series will only get better. At last, MASTER OF CROWS was delicious, and I finally see why Elizabeth Hunter praised it so much. Really lush!

NETGALLEY:


I swear I'm only requesting things I know I've been waiting for ages, and there is still too much to read!

FOR REVIEW:


Woohoo, looking forward to reading both of these beauties!
BOUGHT:


Anne Bishop is on audio, obviously. And I had to read more Grace Draven. Seriously, buy her, her stuff is so good!

KINDLE FREEBIE:

 It really surprised me that it was free! Grab it while you can.

This is it for me today, and  hope you are enjoying your Sunday as much as I do mine.
Tchau!

Fantasy Audiobook Review: Heir to The Shadows by Anne Bishop

Heir to The Shadows by Anne Bishop ( The Black Jewels #2)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Enough time has passed for the young girl Jaenelle, heir to the magical Darkness, for her physical wounds to heal, while amnesia keeps her frightening memories at bay. But with Saetan--a Black-Jewelled Warlord Prince and Jaenelle's foster-father--to protect her, she will continue to grow. Her magic will mature. Her memories will return. And Jaenelle will face her destiny when she remembers Daemon, Saetan's son, who made the ultimate sacrifice for her love....
Audible US/UK | Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository | Fishpond

8.5/10

* * *
I am happy to say, that Heir to The Shadows is a much much easier book to stomach than Daughter of The Blood.

Steampunk Fantasy Review: The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan

The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter: The Fall of The Gas-Lit Empire, Book 1 (The Fall of The Gas-Lit Empire #1)


Egalley thanks to Angry Robot

Synopsis from Goodreads
Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life – as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a travelling circus.

But when she comes up against an agent of the all-powerful Patent Office, her life and the course of history will begin to change. And not necessarily for the better…

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository | Fishpond

8/10

* * *
A curious thing happened to me while reading this book. I couldn't get through the very beginning and got stuck on the first few chapters for a couple of months. The writing felt heavy, unwieldy.

And then I picked the book up again in mid September and read it in one sitting! Go figure. All I'm saying, give The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter a chance to charm you before giving up.

YA Fantasy Early Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas (The Elemental Trilogy #2)


Egalley thanks to Balzer+Bray

Synopsis from Goodreads
After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.


Release date: Sept 16th 2014.
 
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository | Fishpond

 9/10

* * *
 Oh, man... What a book!

"You might be the scariest girl I have ever met," he told her.
"Let's not be dramatic," she said drily. "I'm the only girl you can remember ever meeting."

The Postman Knock #95

Hello, everyone!
We've had rain here, and now it's nice and cool, I am so enjoying the weather! :)
Lots of yummy reads this week, as I was slacking and reading more than I was working. Bad, bad girl!

Also, I gave myself a layered haircut! I can not believe how easy it is and how much you can do yourself after watching a few youtube videos. It looks and feels lovely! Self-sufficiency for the win.

READ:


THE KING was released on Netgalley on Thursday night, and by Friday evening I already downloaded and read it. I can't help it. Tiffany Reisz is my crack. So good! I also downloaded CAPTIVATED which contained two novellas from Reisz and Megan Hart, and again was a lovely read.  I finished listening to QUEEN OF THE DARKNESS almost in tears. Merciless read, really dark, lots of characters I really liked die badly, so it was hard to go through it, but so far it was the best book in the series. THE BULLET-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER caught me by surprise. After a very slow start I thought this book would drag, but after picking it up 2 months later I finished it in one go. Really imaginative fantasy. THE PERILOUS SEA was amazing! I felt like I've been on fantasy high these past few weeks. I keep reading one extraordinary book after another in this genre, and keep dreading the moment when my luck runs out... At last, TAKING CONTROL was a DNF. I loved the first book in the series, but change of POV and frequent sex scenes did absolutely nothing for me in the second book, so I had to stop forcing myself reading it.

NETGALLEY:

First two I downloaded and read in one go, but Bitter Greens was a very old request approved only now, so I'm slightly puzzled.

BOUGHT:
Darkly Dreaming is a collection of 5 full novels from some of my favorite authors, and it's just under $1 as a pre-order.  I already read Hunter (obviously) and have Draven, but I wanted to try Cate Rowan, and her first book cost much more on its own, so this is a lovely bargain. Pre-order it, it's out on Tuesday!

KINDLE FREEBIE:


This is it for me, ladies and gents! 
Have a lovely day with lots of yummy reading :)
Tchau!

Fantasy Audiobook Review: Daughter of The Blood by Anne Bishop

Daughter of The Blood by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels #1)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Anne Bishop's debut novel, Daughter of the Blood, is like black coffee--strong, dark, and hard on delicate stomachs. Within the Blood (a race of magic-users), women rule and men serve, but tradition has been corrupted so that women enslave men, who seek to destroy their oppressors. Female children are violated before they can reach maturity; men are tortured and forced to satisfy witches' sexual appetites.
Bishop's child heroine, Jaenelle, is destined to rule the Blood, if she can reach adulthood. Her power is hidden; her family believes her mad. Saetan, High Lord of Hell and most powerful of the Blood males, becomes Jaenelle's surrogate father and teacher. He cannot protect her outside Hell, where he rules. She refuses to leave Terreille, risking herself to protect or heal other victims of violence. Can Daemon, Saetan's estranged son, keep her safe from the machinations of the evil High Priestess? Or will he lose his battle to control his destructive urges and endanger her?
Readers may find some aspects of Bishop's world confusing; not least that most of the good guys live in Hell. But her protagonists are compelling, sympathetic characters who overcome terrible adversity. If you like Anne Rice or Laurell K. Hamilton, try this one.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK(£2.98) | The Book Depository | Fishpond

8/10

* * *
Alright, peeps, I've been recommended this series often enough to get curious especially after reading Anne Bishop's excellent UF series.  I also noticed that many of you complained that this blog doesn't review that much fantasy.

So, starting Black Jewels served a few purposes, plus I am listening to this on audio which allows me to work through my chores while going through book after book in this series.

YA Paranormal Fantasy Review: Tempting Fate by April White

Tempting Fate by April White (The Immortal Descendants #2)


review copy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Clocker, Saira Elian is back on the run and being hunted by Mongers. The Descendants of War are amassing power in the 21st century, bent on controlling all the Immortal Descendants. Their attempt to kidnap Saira, a rare Descendant of Time and Nature, reveals just how brazen they’ve become. Archer, the vampire who has loved Saira for over a century, is willing to risk everything to protect her.

When a horrific vision reveals Ringo, thief and loyal companion from 1888, being tortured at the hands of the bloodthirsty Bishop Wilder in a Renaissance prison, Saira and Archer realize there has been a ripple in the river of Time, and they must travel to 1554 to find its source and save their friend. Their rescue mission lures them to the Tower of London, site of the most notorious executions in history, where they encounter the mysterious Lady Elizabeth who is confronting a terrible fate of her own.

The time-traveler, the vampire, and the thief will need all of their skills and ingenuity as they race against time to steal a document that could change the course of history and put the Immortal Descendants at the mercy of the Mongers. Can they stop a madman bent on collecting the blood of history’s most powerful Seer before the executioner’s axe falls?

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *
 What a nerve-wracking, delightful piece of young adult time travel fiction!
  
I've already said that April White's Marking Time which I had the opportunity to read last year was wonderful, and I recommended it to everyone left, right and center. In many ways Miss White follows the path carved by Deborah Harkness and successfully interweaves magic, destiny, vampires and time travel.

Steampunk Romance Joint Review: Forged by Desire by Bec McMaster

Forged by Desire by Bec McMaster (London Steampunk #4)


review copy courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca

Synopsis from Goodreads
Captain Garret Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner, Perry, in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.

Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped...

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository | Fishpond

8/10

8.5/10

* * *
Karina:
I admit while I enjoyed this book, I couldn't help but think that it missed out on some juicy plot-related opportunities, which made me feel slightly disappointed. But only slightly, mind you.

Garrett and Perry is a good pairing, and I was curious to see how their relationship will progress from friendship to love, and in this regard Bec McMaster did not disappoint. They are a good pairing, although Garrett committed himself to Perry much faster than she did. However, it was understandable in light of grave secrets Perry wasn't ready to share with him. I might not have understood why she decided not to trust Garrett with that, but I could respect her decision.

What do you think, V.?

The Postman Knock #94

Anyone's enjoying Outlander right now? I am absolutely loving it :) 
Busy week, very hot, but the nights are getting cooler, thank God!
I've been enjoying quite a lot of books...

READ:


HEIR OF FIRE was breathtaking, - such a wonderful book, and I talked about it in my review.  I still need to write a review on DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD and I'm shuddering just thinking about it. It's such a dark, dark fantasy... Great series though! HEIR TO THE SHADOWS is not as horrifying and intense but still very enjoyable too.

BOUGHT:



KINDLE FREEBIE:


This is it for me, peeps. I am trying not to request books for review because I am truly way too busy to read as fast as usual, so we'll see how it goes.
No matter what, there'll still be reviews on this blog just more of the books I bought :)

Have a lovely weekend,
Tchau!
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KARINA IS READING

READING

The Night Circus
Legacy
Gabriel's Inferno
Touch

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The Fault in Our Stars
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In case of zombie apocalypse

Hey, guys! I feel like I should say this just in case :)
If you'd like to sponsor a fellow book addict who sometimes can't sleep at night worrying that she won't have enough books to read if internet goes down in the event of zombie apocalypse (I'm convinced it's one of the top five ways to go for human race) you can donate through Paypal to olivesandacorns at gmail dot com or buy a book through any of the links provided with my reviews which will send me a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay?
Thank you! Love you all

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