This Chick Read: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Seventeen year old Vhalla Yarl works quietly as a library apprentice shelving and reading books all day unless required to research a project. When her crown prince becomes poisoned, she and the other apprentices work night and day trying to identify that poison and the notes Vhalla takes finds its way into his hands. What she doesn’t ever imagine is that that Prince Aldrik would seek her out wanting to meet the young apprentice who helped him get well. What he finds is a girl with a unique talent of sorcery, a magic that hasn’t been seen in a long while and is feared by many, but may help them win the war they’re fighting. It’s Vhalla’s choice to embrace her sorcery or eradicate it and live as a normal human, but that decision may be taken out of her hands.

The first novel in the Air Awakens series, this story is all about the awakening of Vhalla’s talent and her growing friendship with Aldrik one of the greatest sorcerer’s in their kingdom. Aldrik has his own agenda, of course, wanting to use her talents to help them end the war but knows that not everyone will be as happy as he is to find Vhalla in their midst, for her kind were thought to have been eradicated in the past. As Vhalla researches her own kind, she discovers hatred and bigotry which makes her nervous to embrace her magic. She also has to face how what she has become changes the way her friends view her and how she is treated.

I was intrigued by Vhalla and the world she inhabits. The parallels of her world’s magical inequality, genocide, and bigotry by using sorcery in place of race or religion was interesting and as a reader you can’t help but draw similarities between what goes on in the real world and in this made up place. Vhalla was treated pretty harshly, even by those she called friends and I can’t help but think she will get her revenge in future novels. As a young seventeen year old, her ideals seem so young. Some of the things she goes through in this novel make her grow up pretty quickly and I’m curious to see how it shapes her character in the books to come.

I can’t end this review without saying something about the cover art for Air Awakens. It is eye-catchingly beautiful and is definitely the reason why I gave this new to me author a chance. I feel strongly enough about this story that I immediately purchase the second book in the series and can’t wait to get started on Vhalla’s next step of her journey! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this book!* Air Awakens (Air Awakens Series)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (8/23/21)

A rainy weekend is the perfect time to read on the couch while listening to those drops hit you window. The only thing that would be better is if the temp was a little bit chillier. I started two books this weekend, one of which is an audiobook and both were fantasy novels. I seem to be in that mood!

JUST FINISHED

This cover is totally romance worthy isn’t it? But that title is all fantasy novel! I ran across this on Amazon and as it was a Kindle Unlimited book and I’m a subscriber I thought I’d give it a try. I read the reviews and they said this was good and I have to admit, I really enjoyed the story! It was a lot darker than I’d been prepared to read but I guess when you start off with a dragonrider kidnapping a young woman to be his bride it’s not your typical romantic fantasy. The characters were very interesting and the story took me somewhere completely unexpected. It’s not often I’m surprised and in a good way! I’ve already gotten the second book in the series and can’t wait for another rainy day to read it.

JUST STARTED

From the same world as Kill the Queen and Protect the Prince, Capture the Crown is the story of Gemma the Gargoyle Queen. I’m listening to the audiobook of this novel and hope it captures my interest as much as her previous series. I loved the action-filled story and the side-story romance. Will Gemma be as interesting? We’ll see!

Which genre is your go-to genre when you want to get away from real life drama? I’ve been on a total fantasy kick lately! Let me know in the comments.

Have a great Monday!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (8/16/21)

This past week saw my first foray back into an office environment. Although my company has opted for a hybrid setting, two days in the office and one day at home. It was good to see everyone face to face, although really we only see people’s eyes nowadays since we’re all masked up in person, but that camaraderie is hard to replace over a Zoom call. LOL. I don’t know about you, but I must be one of the few who enjoy working at home more than I do in the office. I relish the quiet and being able to make a business call without having 20 people listen in on my phone conversation. What does this have to do with what I read this week? Well, I used my audiobook to cut out the conversation around me and finished up a fun science fiction novel. Let’s get to discussing books!

JUST FINISHED

I previously read this novel but listening to it was a lot of fun too. It’s very fast-paced and our main character is troubled but has a great heart. She grew a lot in this novel, but having read the series I know that her future also has a lot of person growth which I love. There is also a romance component to this series, which adds some sizzle, but honestly the action scenes were what I loved about these novels the most. Check it out if you haven’t read it, this series is a blast!

JUST STARTED

This novel is falls into the romantic suspense genre, which was a perfect sequé from the action-packed fantasy novel I had just finished. I’m about 40% into it and the story starts out fast which our heroine under fire. I have recently discovered Adriana Anders with the first novel in this series and really enjoy her quick and easy style of writing! This is book two so look up the first “Whiteout” if you want to jump into the series. It’s good!

You can see I’m all about the action this week! What genre of book has caught your attention this week? Is it good? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Nesta, the once human sister of Feyre, now turned HIgh Fae, is drowning her memories of the Hybern war by drinking to excess, sleeping with men indiscriminately, and living in a hovel. When her sister and her mate Rhys step in it’s to save her from herself. Now living in their old home 5,000 steps above the city she must train by day with Cassian and spend the afternoon working in the library with the Sisters. She abhors the first and decides to tolerate the second. Her relationship with Cassian has always been tumultuous to say the least and the last thing she wants to do is spend time alone with him despite their attraction for each other. Those feelings change when she befriends a priestess named Gwyn and a shopkeeper named Emerie, who together decide to train as Valkyrie’s and create a sisterhood that would give them strength and courage.

I, too, was not a big fan of Nesta’s during Feyre and Rhys’s story. What was there to care about? She was cold, heartless, and didn’t care about our heroine Feyre at all. She was also pretty brutal to Cassian, a warrior who seemed to care for her despite her bad attitude. In fact, it almost seems he cared for her because of it. In A Court of Silver Flames we finally learn what’s going on in Nesta’s head. I had wondered how SJM was going to turn this character around when legions of fans couldn’t stand her, myself included. It wasn’t the love story (if that’s what you call it) between she and Cassian, at least for me. It was the need to help the priestess’s and her friend Emerie overcome the trauma and abuse they’d taken from men. Through that friendship she rebuilt who I thought she was into the person she was meant to be. Yes, part of that person was lover and mate to Cassian, but more importantly it was the inner struggle and discovery of who she was as High Fae, instead of as human woman.

Cassian was an interesting character. He was the General of Rhysand’s army overcoming his own rotten childhood by being the best at what he was and enforcing that message to the Illyrian’s who tortured him as a child. Through this novel we learned a lot about what makes him tick and in large part that is his relationship with his bro’s Rhysand and Ash. Those three, just as Nesta, Gwyn, and Emerie do in this novel. overcome all obstacles to survive and succeed. It put into strong relief the facade that he wears as charmer and brutish warrior and helped me buy into this pairing with Nesta.

As with any of SJM’s novels, there are so many intricacies. Nesta’s powers that she stole from the Cauldron, Ash’s secretive spying, the revolt by Fall, I can go on and on. Each sub-plot adding to the overall story, but also leading us towards the next novel. I won’t go into details because if you’re a fan, you should have this experience on your own. Did I end my journey with this story liking Nesta more than I did when I started? Absolutely! I’ve read some reviews where readers are still holding a grudge and in my opinion I just can’s see how they can. Nesta has more than redeemed herself in my eyes and ok, I guess she too deserves a whole lot of love and Cassian seems to fit her perfectly.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 5)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

Every century an Everwitch is born who has power over the weather of each season. Clara was born an Everwitch but after her powers killed her parents and her best friend she is afraid to use her powers to her full potential afraid she will lose the people she loves the most. When Sang arrives on campus to help her train his calm Spring powers help give her enough control to try to help repair the climate but as she gains feelings for him she again fears she will bring him harm. Will Clara’s struggles between gaining control of her powers an her feelings for Sang collide?

I have read fantasy novels with witches who control weather but this is the first world where a witches personality is tied to the Season of their powers. As an Everwitch Clara’s personality changes with each season the most difficult transition being from Summer to Autumn. This difference, along with the climate change story really held my interest. I felt for this young girl who wanted to help the world but also just wanted to be “normal” and not accidentally kill her friends.

What I liked the most about this novel was how each season had it’s own magical elements and the descriptions of their magic and emotions during those seasons matching the heat of summer or the coldness of winter made these characters even more interesting. The romantic trials of a bunch of teens who grew giddy during their season could have easily been comical but Rachel Griffin gave them a serious threat to fight which balanced the plot nicely.

I really enjoyed this novel and can only hope for more from this author. I could easily see a series about Clara’s evolution and discovery about her talent and her love for Sang. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this ARC through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase this book!* The Nature of Witches

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Threshold of Annihilation (The Firebird Chronicles #3) by T.A. White

Picking up exactly where Age of Deception (book #2) left off, Kira finds herself back on her ship heading towards Jettie and the other children. Instead of being able to get on the planet undetected she finds that it’s the host of the quorum, a sort of Olympic planetary games and you can only be on the planet if you are competing. Having competed before under an Alias, Kira signs up hoping to lie low and avoid the Tuann. Unfortunately they are also planetside and although wanting to remain hidden Kira isn’t very good at flying under the radar. She is wanted by not just the Tuann and Graydon, but also the Haldeel empress and her Tsavitee enemies. This makes for an action packed novel that I really couldn’t not put down once I was enmeshed in this story.

Why are these books so good? Kira is a strong heroine who has a sad background which makes the reader root for her on every level. We want her to find friends, family, love, kick enemy butt, and have her heroism revealed for all because she is just that awesome. T.A. White’s world building is fantastic and once again I’m looking around through Kira’s eyes and soaking it all in. Her writing is very descriptive and despite the alien landscape you can very easily identify and “see” everything. It is so easy to lose yourself in a novel filled with great characters and vibrant worlds.

Kira is still playing cat and mouse with her love interest and fellow Tuann, Graydon. The most awesome thing about their relationship is not their amazing chemistry, it’s that this man allows her to be who she is and although he’s protective he doesn’t try to shelter her from danger. He see’s her for the person she is and although her actions make him nervous he encourages her growth instead of inhibiting it. You can’t help but love a guy like that.

We learn a lot more about Kira’s character and background because of her foster parent role to her “niece” Elena, the daughter of another lost Tuann child. Her role as mother reveals interesting aspects of her character that I really didn’t expect to see. No, she’s not the most nurturing woman but she is loving and shows that through her mentorship and guidance. Seeing that side of her added depth to her character that surprised me again. Be prepared for quite a few surprises to be revealed in this novel, the plot is now moving along pretty quickly and I can’t wait to see where the next book leads us.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Threshold of Annihilation (The Firebird Chronicles Book 3)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews

Set in the Kate Daniels world Blood Heir is the story of Julie Lennart, Kate’s adopted daughter, 8 years after she followed her Grandmother Erra out of Atlanta. A lot has changed in those 8 years, her magic, her face, and her name. Using the moniker Aurelia Ryder, she finally returns to Atlanta when a legendary evil threatens her adopted mothers life and the only family Julie has known. In fighting this evil she faces not only her own fears, but also people she was close to in the past.

This was a controversial novel for Ilona Andrews to write. Apparently Julie was not a popular character because she always seemed to resent Kate but also because she left Atlanta with out speaking to anyone and there wasn’t any closure. I guess now we know the reason why. I didn’t have these same feelings about her as other Kate Daniels enthusiasts. I eagerly awaited her story hoping that it would answer some questions as well as let me see some of the characters in this world I loved for so long. I got a little bit more of the latter than I did the former. In fact, I have more unanswered questions than I do any unresolved ones. However, I know that Ilona Andrews will eventually check off every one of my questions. Including what happens when she and Derek find each other again.

What I love the most about these novels is how fast paced they are. Although if you need to stop to cook dinner, work, or do some chores, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Right from the first chapter I am intrigued by this character who is so different than the Julie I remember from the past. Of course, she now calls herself Aurelia Ryder, and with the name change comes a who new set of magical skills. Oh, and did I mention the new face? That story needs to be read as it’s really a part of Aurelia’s evolution story and shouldn’t be spoiled by a blogger, but don’t take too long to read it, it’s worth finding out!

As with a lot of first novels in a series, this one sets up a lot of plot lines. Julie is now Aurelia, looks different, and has some uber magical skills that match the new name and face. Some of our other favorites are also different. Ascanio, who was her “friend” or at least cohort in her youth is set up as an adversary of sorts, which is different than I expected. Then, of course, there’s Derek, who like Aurelia, has gone through his own transformation. So, what I expected to find, didn’t end up happening and I found myself just a touch disappointed until I just let go of my issues and let myself get immersed in the story. Will it all make a little more sense in the second novel? This one ends on a cliff hanger so you can only hope the answer to that question is yes.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Blood Heir (Kate Daniels World Book 1)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: The Awakening (The Dragon Heart Legacy #1) by Nora Roberts

Breen Kelly’s father left she and her mom when she was a little girl, but she remembers the fanciful stories he told about a land filled with magic. When she discovers her mother has been hiding an account in her name filled with millions of dollars she quits the job she hates, unburies herself from her student loans and travels to Ireland, hoping to find the father who left her behind. Instead, she finds a land filled with magic, and a home that she’d always dreamed of having.

Nora Roberts never lets me down. She is consistent, and even when writing fantasy, I enjoy the yarns she spins. The Awakening was no different. In a world where I’m now having difficulty concentrating on a story, I was so happy to be able to immerse myself and step into a land just as Breen steps into her new world.

Let’s talk about these characters. Breen has been overwhelmed by her mother, told she wasn’t good enough, and led to believe that she couldn’t have the things she dreamed of having. Oh, I hate reading about those kinds of mothers! When Breen went off to Ireland she developed a confidence that was fun to read. I enjoyed seeing her gain her strength and a spark of sassiness. Her best friend Marco was a really fun character. He was her strength when she was weak, but became her biggest champion as she found her voice. I’m hoping he is a bigger part of the second novel in the series. He deserves his own story! Keegan, is the leader (I’m not going to try to say the Gaelic or Fey term that Ms. Roberts used and I stupidly didn’t write it down) of the Fey in Talamh (pronounced Tala). He was arrogant and well kind of not nice. I wondered when he would turn into the hero and felt kind of let down by how he was portrayed. His is another character I hope we see flesh out in a more positive manner in the second novel. Especially since he is Breen’s love interest.

I would call this series romantic fantasy, but only in the sense that Ireland, the Fey, Elves, etc. are romantic to read about. I felt a little bit let down in the romance department, but if I threw out any notion that this was supposed to be a romance I would say I enjoyed this fantasy novel. So that is the reason why I’m giving this novel a 4.0 rating. I wasn’t really sure if there was supposed to be a romance between our two main characters. I mean the kind of romance that ends in a happily ever after instead of uncertainty. This novel definitely ended in a cliffhanger, so beware the abrupt ending! I rather liked it because it led me in an unexpected direction, but if cliffhangers are your thing, I thought I’d give the warning. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase! The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy, Book 1 (The Dragon Heart Legacy, 1)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I may receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles

Kallia, a showgirl in a mysterious nightclub, escapes to the city beyond the woods, where a magical contest will take place to find the headliner for the Circus of the Conquerors. Her ex boss Jack haunts her as she finds her place and becomes friends with the enigmatic Magician Daron Demarco. This is a debut novel that delivers fantasy in a haunting new world full of magic, mystery, and romance.

This was such an interesting novel! Set in a world full of magicians. Some of whom work in service using their powers to build, lift, and sew. Basic skills that become a little easier, or more special through the use of magic, yet that skill keeps them on their own social level. Everyone in this world strives to be the most magical, and the elite are performers who draw the spotlight away from the depths of despair the other members of society are doomed to live.

Kallia’s previous life at her nightclub in the woods was a place filled with grandeur, yet she felt imprisoned by the Master. She escapes that place but not him and their relationship changes from friend, to lover, to enemy, to hero (?). She was obviously confused about how she felt about Jack but mine were much simpler. I was fascinated by him. A magician who could plant memories in people? That could be used for good or evil and it seemed Jack rode a fine line. Kallia herself was a mixture of snark, shine, and insecurity. Character traits I’m not usually drawn to but she was actually a really interesting character and I grew to like her. Not to sound like a broken record but Demarco was also a bit…mysterious. His place on the judges panel and his reasons for being on it remained unclear for but his growing involvement with Kallia and his conflicted feelings about her made you want to see the story through to the end.

When Dreams Descend was dark but it was also pretty special. I thought the scenes where the magicians performed were well done and their magic was easy to follow. The author wrote them almost like a fight scene and my imagination didn’t have any trouble following her direction. The story also held my interest and I didn’t have any trouble immersing myself in this fantasy world. A solid book one for this debut author! I can’t wait to read the sequel when it comes out.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* Where Dreams Descend: A Novel (Kingdom of Cards (1))

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews

Six months have gone by since Alessandro left her and Catalina’s broken heart has mended (so she says). As a Prime and head of her family Catalina tries to cope and finally resolves to lose herself in her family’s investigative firm’s caseload. While rescuing an emotional-support pet monkey she and her team are attacked by some amphibious beasts who seem to be controlled by a plant/mechanical device. When she gets called to duty as the deputy to the Warden of Texas, Catalina dives into that investigation finding that the two are connected. When called in for a client meeting she comes face to face with, you guessed it, Alessandro Sagredo, their representative. Unsurprisingly he muscles in on her investigation and they are forced to work side by side. Catalina’s plan? To be professional and distant, but unfortunately she’s facing a new Alessandro. One who is determined to protect her and to win her heart.

Oh goodness, I love this series so much! Emerald Blaze does for Catalina what the three earlier books in the series did for her older sister Nevada. It makes you look past the superficial to see an honorable, tough young woman who’s easy to adore, in part because she doesn’t cave in to everyone’s demands. Finding her own path through grit and determination. The Hidden Legacy series, set in a Houston where magic is power shows how this smaller house (Baylor), and Catalina as its Prime, navigate the house politics while staying independent and increasing their own worth. That’s all fascinating to read, but then when you throw in a hero who is a dichotomy to his outward screen idol facade, and who is determined to protect that heroine? You are guaranteed fiery dialog and sizzling chemistry, and a fun plot that makes those pages flip by too quickly.

Ok, ok, what can I say about this plot. Well, this plot is too intricate to attempt to describe so I’ll just say that as their investigation moves forward the romance takes a back burner and the mystery becomes what I’m truly interested in seeing. Yes, their chemistry is great, but it’s this magical world that Ilona Andrews has created that holds my attention. It’s the supporting characters that give our main characters depth and emotion. Emerald Blaze is not a surface piece of fluff, despite what the cover looks like, there’s actually a lot of meat in the story, and the plot definitely holds my attention.

If you are a fan of this series and are wondering if Nevada and Conner have any part in this novel, the answer is yes. Nevada is actually around for a good portion and as with any favorite characters, it was so good to see her, but Catalina and Alessandro were the stars in Emerald Blaze and really I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Looking towards the future a third book is on the horizon. An underlying story arc was not completed in this book and I’m eager to see how they finish it out! Let’s hope they write quickly! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Emerald Blaze: A Hidden Legacy Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.