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Tag / Fantasy


Reviewsday: Joelle Charbonneau’s Dividing Eden

Having read Joelle Charbonneau's Testing series (which has a Hunger Games-esque vibe to it for all of you dystopian novel lovers!), I think I can safely say I was jumping up and down out of excitement when Dividing Eden popped up on my radar.

Reminiscent of The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye, Dividing Eden tells the tale of twin royals, Carys and Andreus, pitted against each other in a battle for the crown after a disastrous accident leaves them with equal claim to the throne. Faced with a power hungry council watching their every move and faceless enemies stirring up trouble, the twins can only do what they've been doing their entire lives – stick together, watch each other's backs and, above all, protect the secret that's been haunting them since birth.

The novel was intriguing from the get go but I felt that Carys definitely emerges as the stronger lead throughout the book with Andreus' story taking a surprising turn that, whilst being beneficial to the plot line, was still a little tough to read through (if you find yourself shaking the book in frustration and wailing “Noooo!”, don't say I didn't warn you!). There a quite a few shady characters that appear in and around the castle which left me questioning almost everyone's motives. Even after finishing the book, I'm still suspicious as to who is really on which side.

Dividing Eden is truly an engrossing read – clear your calendar because you won't want to put it down until you've worked your way through all of the secrets, lies and manipulative madness that await you.

QBD Reviews: The Fate of the Tearling

Loyalties are tested, hearts are broken and a

Queen stands ready to sacrifice it all for her people.

tearling-fate-ofThe day the guards came and took her from her from her quiet cottage life was the day she was exposed to assassins, betrayal, magic and death.
The day she freed the Tearling from slavery to a neighboring kingdom was the day she doomed them with war.
The day she saved the Tearling from war was the day she doomed herself...

On her way to the enemy nation of Mortmesne, Kelsea comes to grips with the reality that she is at the whim of the Red Queen. The woman who enslaved the New world, one kingdom at a time, the woman who wields power such as no one has ever seen, and the woman who has made a pact with the dark.
Can Kelsea overcome the fear and uncertainty to escape from the feared dungeons of the Red Queen?

The Mace guards the Tearling against a revolt, the church at the heart of the problems. Slowly the corrupt are taking the city for their own and betrayal is happening at every turn. The Queen's Guard is all that is stopping complete chaos and the end of the Tearling way, but they will need much more than smarts and swords to save the Kingdom, they will need The Marked Queen, The Glynn Queen, The True Queen.

Wow. This truly is the end we all needed to this epic Trilogy.

The Fate of the Tearling was long awaited, I was practically on the edge of my seat the week before it came out! Erika Johansen transports me every time, whether it be my first reading or my fifth. The words blur and before me is the story playing out. One of the greatest things about this series are the characters. They are so believable. Kelsea is anyone I could meet, someone I went to school with, maybe someone I work with. She is an amazing, inspirational, ordinary person. She is shaped by the fate set out before her and because of this she became extraordinary. And it doesn't stop with Kelsea! Read on and find out about the Red Queen, the Mace, Penn and people from a distant past.

~ Hayley, QBD Hornsby

QBD Reviews: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The stars are seen by all, but are interpreted by few.

star-queenOn the day Maya was born the stars aligned to spell out a fate worse than any before. Her marriage will be filled with death and destruction. Being a daughter of the Raja her only expectation was to marry well to help her father's land, especially now in the time of war. But her fate keeps her from marriage and has her at the mercy of the Raja's many wives who scorn and fear her.

To save her land and family Maya is forced into a political marriage. And in this marriage she finds exactly what was predicted.... Or did she?

She now has magic on every side of her, whispers and shadows in the dark plaguing her, and a voice from a distant past leading her down a path that may prove the end of her.

I loved this book from start to finish! The characters, and relationships between them had me up well past my bedtime! Roshani Chokshi has shown an amazing ability to bring you into the story so you live it as you read it. I felt my hands tingle with magic, my heart race in the heat of battle and my lips twitch in a smile as a kiss is exchanged.

A beautiful telling of a strange land.

~Hayley, QBD Hornsby

QBD Reviews: Raelia by Lynette Noni

raelia

Loved this second book of “The Medoran Chronicles”; it kept my interest all the way through and did not disappoint as some sequels can.

We pick up the story of Alex as she enters the Akarnae academy for her second year of learning - this time with parents in tow. In “Raelia” Alex trains harder than ever before - she has done “remedial training” over the summer break with her combat skills teacher and can now handle a sword with ease. A demonstration during the first class back is enough to cement her position in the class and the respect of her fellow students made the training worthwhile. Alex and her friends meet up again with arch-enemy Aven, visit the mysterious land of Meya and meet royalty. There are tough choices for Alex to make but with the help of her close friends, classmates and teachers she is as prepared as possible to face any adversity.

Raelia” introduces new characters with special abilities, while also further developing favourites from the first book. Alex herself finds enhanced skills emerging whilst in Meya - which will help in any further encounters with Aven and his cohorts. I really enjoyed how this story developed the relationships between central characters so well - I’m loving the tension between Alex and Kaiden, she trusts him but can’t tell him all her secrets. I loved how the elven theme meshed with magic and technology - elements of Lord of the Rings and Narnia with Harry Potter - and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next instalment.

Kerryn, QBD Northland

QBD Reviews: Vigil by Angela Slatter

Vigil

Verity Fassbinder has one foot in each of two very different worlds. Half human, half Weyrd and one hundred percent bitter about the end result of her most recent attempt to protect both worlds (see: maimed by an otherworldly creature), she’s none too pleased when her boss – and ex-lover – turns up on her doorstep with yet another problem in need of solving that her unique skills are perfect for.

Before she can manage to come up with a good excuse to avoid Bela’s request, she’s inundated with more than she’d bargained for. On top of the spike in missing street children, the police have her consulting on the murder of a siren, whose half-angelic baby has vanished and there’s a headstrong, arrogant businessman on her doorstep demanding she investigate his AWOL son. Oh, and there’s some romantic prospects on the horizon if she could manage to find some time for a date in amongst all of the fact-finding, ass-kicking trips she’s having to make around the city to get information out of human and Weyrd alike; all in a day’s job for the daughter of an infamous Weyrd criminal.

Vigil is a stunning urban fantasy novel, jam packed with action and mystery, set in our own backyard. Our fair heroine, Verity, is full of wit, courage, compassion and has a penchant for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time that makes her journey an amusing one at times. Verity’s explorations in her home town of Brisbane and its surroundings and interactions with its Weyrd residents as she attempts to get to the bottom of the myriad of mysteries that buzz around her like flies make for an intriguing read and I, for one, cannot wait for more!