Adventures on the High Seas and Pirate Politics... ARC Review: Fable

Tuesday, 11 August 2020
Author: Adrienne Young
Edition: St Martin's Press Netgalley e-ARC
Releasing: 1st September 2020
Series: Fable #1 (Duology)
Pages: 368 approx.

**Huge thank you to the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC (Netgalley) of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn't who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they're going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

I adored this book. I should start this review by saying I'm pretty obsessed with the sea and pirate-esque stories. I don't know where this obsession comes from but ever since I was little, I've just loved the water. One of my favourite memories is from when I was on holiday and I was just swimming and floating about in crystal blue water so clear, I could see all the way down to the white sand below on the sea floor (we were out at sea on a boat trip for the day). I just loved the feeling of how boundless the sea felt around me, water stretching out below and away on either side of me. So pretty much from Fable's first dive, this book hooked me in. 

A YA Fantasy Book Recommendation for Every Colour of the Rainbow!

Thursday, 23 July 2020

So I thought I'd do a fun wee post today - I'm going to recommend a book for every colour of the rainbow! I thought this would be a fun wee take on a recommendations post and who doesn't love adding even *more* books to their ever-growing TBRs?!? I'm also going to try and include as many underrated picks as I can. Before I get on to the post, I'd also just like to say: book bloggers, I see you, I appreciate you and you work so hard and deserve all the recognition in the world. Now, on to the post...

#WWW Wednesdays | 15/07/20

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where we discuss The Three Ws: 
  • What are you currently reading? 
  • What did you recently finish reading? 
  • What do you think you'll read next?

This is my first post for WWW Wednesdays so I'm pretty excited. It has been a looong time since I've taken part in any bookish blog memes and I've missed it! On to my Three Ws for this week!

A Lethal Warrior and a Spy Willing to Risk it All... Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes

Monday, 13 July 2020
Sabaa Tahir
Edition: HarperVoyager e-Book
Released: 4th June 2015
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1
Pages: 465 approx.

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

An Ember in the Ashes has been skirting around in my periphery for a very loong time. I'm not sure why I put it off or didn't think to pick it up earlier. I knew a lot of people had read and loved it and I knew it sounded exactly like my kind of book. But for whatever reason, I just never found myself picking it up. Maybe the hype just made me a bit nervous. However, this all changed when I retweeted a tweet about needing to finally get on to reading it a couple weeks ago and my lovely friend, Finn, suggested a buddy read. And if it hadn't been for Finn finally giving me the nudge I so desperately needed, well I wouldn't have discovered a new favourite.

Info Dump Bookish Tag

Monday, 6 July 2020

Hey guys, the queen of finding book tags in which she has not been tagged (but is adamant she is doing  anyway *ahem*) is back! Are we shocked?? Hell no. Whenever I'm struggling to find the inspiration for blog posts, I always tend to try find a fun book tag. I came across this one, created by Books and Chocoholic. It looked like soo much fun and focuses on our individual reading habits. I always love finding out how everyone reads and what some of their favourite bookish things are so... if you'd like to find out how many books I read in a month, favourite romance tropes, the kinds of character archetypes I gravitate towards amongst other fun, bookish things (plus who I'm tagging), read on!

A Big Book Haul

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Okay, so I bought myself a lot of good books the last few weeks and I couldn't not write a post spotlighting them because I am SOO EXCITED!! So here we go...

Author Interview with Nia Lucas!

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Hey guys, today on the blog I have a great interview with author, Nia Lucas. In this interview, we get to find out more about Nia and her latest book, Choices Shape, Losses Break, as well as discuss her writing process, her favourite fictional world, what she wishes there was more and less of in the Young Adult genre and much more. Read on for the interview!

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

Monday, 22 June 2020
Hey guys, today I'm going to be doing the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag. I can't quite get over the fact we're halfway through this year already, never mind the fact we've been in isolation for about half of it as well! Anyway, I love a good tag and I've been seeing this one about everywhere so I couldn't resist it any longer. I'm not sure who came up with it but if anyone does, please let me know so I can give credit!!

Now on to the tag...

How Book Blogging Has Changed Drastically in 10 Years: My Experience

Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Before I begin, I'd really like to direct your attention to these two great discussion posts which inspired me to write my own blog post:
As I will outlay in the following post, it is so so so important to support your fellow book bloggers so please give these posts a read and, if like me, they inspire you, write your own response to the topics discussed and/or leave them a comment or interact in some other way!

How Book Blogging Has Changed Drastically in 10 Years: My Experience
I am going to (figuratively) stand here and lay everything bare to you all today. Since dabbing my toes back in the book blogging waters a few short weeks ago, I have found myself so unbelievably overwhelmed. It is so, so different to the book blogosphere I left a few years ago and, in complete honesty, I have absolutely no idea where to start or how everything really works anymore.

Book Review: Foundryside

Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Edition: Jo Fletcher Books Paperback
Released: 21st August 2018
Series: The Founders Trilogy #1
Pages: 503 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

In the city of Tevanne, you either have everything, or nothing. For escaped slave Sancia Grado, eking out a precarious living in the hellhole known as the Commons, nothing is just one misstep away.

So when she is offered a lucrative job to steal an ancient artefact from a heavily guarded warehouse, she leaps at the chance.

But instead of a way out of Tevanne, she finds herself the target of a murderous conspiracy. Someone powerful wants the artefact, and Sancia dead.

To survive, Sancia will need every ally and every ounce of wits at her disposal – because if her unknown enemy unlocks the artefact’s secrets, the world – and reality – will never be the same.

I first came to hear about this book through Regan's booktube channel, PeruseProject. You've probably heard of her, she's pretty popular in the booktubing community, and also a pretty big fantasy nerd like myself. Out of all the booktube channels I watch, I've always found my taste in books to be the most aligned with Regan's so whenever she raves about a book and the blurb catches my attention, I tend to want to pick it up pretty quickly. Bennett's Foundryside was one of those books.

My June TBR: #MakeYourMythTaker & Olympic Games Readathons!

Saturday, 30 May 2020
Hello, hello!

In the month of June, I have somehow managed to put myself forward for not one, but TWO readathons. I think I've only ever taken part in one other readathon previously (and a good few years ago now *smiles nervously*), so going from that to two in one month?? Pfft! Easy!!

Okay, so not easy but both of these readathons just sounded so good. It's all about having fun anyways and I really want to see what all this readathon hype is about... Wish me luck! (I'm gonna need it, let's be real here!)

#MakeYourMythTaker Readathon

So the first readathon I'm taking part in is the #MakeYourMythTaker readathon. You can watch the video introducing the readathon and hosts HERE. Basically, by following set prompts, you can create your own fantasy-inspired character. There are loads of different character 'types' to choose from and all of their prompts range, but each character type is also paired with another meaning you can switch from your original character to its pair halfway through, if you wish. I'm going to have my character switch from the warrior Viking path to the rogue Pirate path.

My Favourite Fantasy Books Over The Decade!

Sunday, 24 May 2020
So I've been book blogging since I was 12. Blogging, in general, for even longer than that but this book blog? It's coming up on TEN WHOLE YEARS!! In honour of this, I thought I'd take a look back at all my favourite fantasy books from over the last decade.

**Lil disclaimer: the following books have not necessarily been published in the last decade, just that I have read/loved them during this time!**

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

No need for an introduction here...

Okay, I'M SORRY! I told myself I wasn't going to do it; told myself I really, really, really didn't need to include Harry Potter (because everyone knows your love for it already, Rachel, so enough!!) but I JUST COULDN'T DO IT! I owe a lot to these books for many (MANY) different reasons but one is most assuredly for opening my heart up to the fantasy/magical genre. I mean, just looking for this gif and thinking about these books nearly made me cry and then want to re-read them (for the MILLIONTH time!!) so if that doesn't show you the extent of my love for this series, I don't know what will. But okay, okay, I'm done, let's move on!

Book Review: The City of Brass

Friday, 22 May 2020
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Edition: HarperVoyager eBook
Released: 14th November 2017
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy #1
Pages: 521 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

Among the bustling markets of eighteenth century Cairo, the city’s outcasts eke out a living swindling rich Ottoman nobles and foreign invaders alike.

But alongside this new world the old stories linger. Tales of djinn and spirits. Of cities hidden among the swirling sands of the desert, full of enchantment, desire and riches. Where magic pours down every street, hanging in the air like dust.

Many wish their lives could be filled with such wonder, but not Nahri. She knows the trades she uses to get by are just tricks and sleights of hand: there’s nothing magical about them. She only wishes to one day leave Cairo, but as the saying goes…

Be careful what you wish for.

I ADORED this book! Honestly, I'd brace yourselves for a gushy, nonsensical post instead of a review because SULEIMAN'S EYE, I have a lot of feelings!!

Book Review: When Wishes Bleed

Thursday, 21 May 2020
Author: Casey L. Bond
Edition: Independently-published eBook
Released: 30th October 2019
Series: When Wishes Bleed #1
Pages: 462 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

One Prince. One Witch. One Fate. The upheaval in my life began the moment a prince stumbled into my house and asked me to read his fortune. Any other night, I might have made an excuse to get him to leave, but this was no normal visit. My fingers prickled to touch him. So, I granted his request by handing him a single wishbone. When he snapped it, the wish … bled.

Hearing me suck in a shocked breath, he asked what it meant. Such an ominous omen could only mean one thing: his death was imminent. Fate revealed that he wouldn’t die of natural causes. Someone wanted him dead. Stunned by the revelation, the man I now knew as Prince Tauren disappeared into a night I feared he wouldn’t survive. The following day, I received an invitation to the castle. While it seemed the prince believed I could intervene and uncover who was plotting his death, his motives didn’t stop there. I was being summoned to join twelve other women in vying for the opportunity to be his wife and future queen.

Going could mean jeopardizing my plans to reclaim my heritage and resurrect the House of Fate. But staying would guarantee Tauren’s death, and the blood of his wish would be on my hands.

Okay, so in true quarantine style, I finally bought myself a kindle. And, honestly? I love it. I really can't believe it took me this long to get one... Anyway, whilst setting up my new, snazzy kindle, I discovered kindle unlimited. Immediately reeled in by the prospect of a free kindle unlimited subscription for two months (for being a student), I signed up. This title I came across not long after and the synopsis just drew me in. So began my first kindle unlimited experience.

I'M BACK!! Catch Up & My Life in Books Book Tag!

Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Well, ehm, hi, hello. *waves awkwardly*

I would introduce myself but as it is, I'm the same Rachel who started this blog ten years ago... Oh hell, I'll reintroduce myself anyway. HI AGAIN! I'm Rachel and I'M BACK!! You may or may not remember this blog. After all, I have changed the name and the whole layout etc. Once upon a time, this was a preteen/YA book blog called Booktastic Reviews. Well *ahem* now it's had a whole, snazzy makeover (which I have spent DAYS fretting over because I am now SO FAR BEHIND on how this modern blogging and book blogosphere work!!) *cries* So please feel free to tell me I'm doing okay for being the archaic blogger I now have to admit to myself I am! Also, whilst on the topic of archaic, I am now no longer 11 or 16 or even 18. I'm now 22 whole years old, some say a fully fledged adult - I'm not quite sure I would agree but, yes, I am now a whole lot older.