Book Review: Flamecaster (ARC) by Cinda Williams Chima

This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through Edelweiss. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, adiposity Fantasy

Pages: 

544 pages

Part of a Series?:

1st of the Shattered Realms Series. This is a spin off series of the Seven Realms series

Release Date: 

April 19th, shop 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Adrian sul’Han, treat known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

My Review:

I can’t even begin to explain how much I absolutely loved this book. When I saw that I was able to get my hands on an eARC…I nearly cried. This series is a spin off of my FAVORITE series by Cinda, the Seven Realms…and I knew that I was just going to love it. And sure enough I did. I don’t know why more people don’t read her because honestly, I think she has such an incredible handle on fantasy. And not just YA fantasy, but fantasy period. The world building skills that she shows in here just blow my mind. Its hard enough to build a world and make it last for four incredible books, like she does in the Seven Realms but to take that world and expand it and make it just as good, if not better, is just a skill that I could only dream of. Both Ash and Jenna are fabulous characters, one that I adore so much, and I can’t wait to read more of their stories. I like that they both are so different from Raisa and Han but they are just as compelling, just as interesting, just as addicting. They have their own paths to travel and that is what makes Cinda so good at what she does.

I think the biggest thing that I like about this book is that it has that beautiful familiarity to the world I already totally fell in love with in the previous series but it stands alone as well. It brings in new characters and new ideas, even new magic. There’s so much that is different about it and I just love it from bottom to top, beginning to end. Its a complete, beautiful story in just one book but you know that the series is only going to get more amazing as more books come out.

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Tuesday Top Ten – My Favorite TV Shows

10. Gossip Girl

I don’t care how insanely cheesy or ridiculous or completely unrealistic this show is. I love every single moment of it. A bunch of bratty rich kids and their drama going down in the glitz and glam of the Upper East Side of New York…I was sold so fast. And I swear it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Leighton Meester is absolutely adorable.

9. Supernatural

Two guys traveling around the country, information pills chasing down demons and all sorts of fun stuff? Sign me up. And while it did take me a bit to get into the show, sickness it didn’t take me long to get hooked on it. Especially once angels entered the scene. I loved a good angels and demons story, and Misha Collins is fabulous. I do think they’ve overstayed their welcome but I don’t totally complain when I see these three beautiful faces on my television screen ;)

8. Shadowhunters 

Okay, this is totally cheating because its not even a show yet. They’re still filming and it has a very tentative release date for 2016. But you guys know this is one of my favorite book series PERIOD so I’m really excited that it got a second chance in TV form. I really have high hopes for it, I love the cast so far and and I’m super looking forward to its release next year. I am hoping so so much that it’ll quickly become my favorite.

7. Firefly 

I LOVE THIS SHOW. Is anyone else as depressed as me that it only got one season and a movie? Wait, I know the answer to the question…if you aren’t depressed, you’re absolutely insane. This show is so good, a great mix of science fiction and romance and western and its just perfect. I love everything about this show. Sigh. I would do anything to bring this back.

6. Agent Carter

I was so excited to hear that this was going to be a TV show. Marvel isn’t totally the best when it comes to keeping up with the ladies. So to hear that there was going to be a show focusing on a badass lady, back when ladies weren’t supposed to be badass…I was so excited. And I loved every single moment of this show. I literally squealed with excitement when I heard there was going to be a season two. Everyone just rocks in this show and I can’t wait to see more, especially of Hayley Atwell!

5. The Flash

Its funny because I don’t watch Arrow, and The Flash is the spinoff of that show. But for some reason, there was something incredibly fun and exciting about this show. Plus I had heard Robbie Amell was going to be in the show and after the disappointment of The Tomorrow People being canceled after one season, I needed more of him lol. I’m glad that I decided to watch it though because its absolutely fabulous and I’m counting down the days until season 2.

4. Sherlock

I mean…Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, updated versions of the old Arthur Conan Doyle stories? WIN. Just…win. Everything about this show is just fabulous. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, its just so good. Its written well, and they do such a great job with updating Sherlock Holmes while also keeping a good honor in the old stories. I love it. I don’t love that we only get a few episodes every three years or so…

3. Arrested Development 

I have to give credit where credit is due. My ex boyfriend made me watch this show. I remember at the time I was so head over heels that I was pretty much willing to do anything for him so I was like, whatever, fine, we can watch it. Now I’m like, well we broke up but thank you for introducing me to one of the FUNNIEST shows I’ve ever watched. This show is amazing and I can watch it over and over again, and it still is funny. In fact, I really would like to watch it again…

2. Game of Thrones

I tried to read the books. I did. I read the first two and don’t get me wrong, I definitely liked them. But they aren’t my style. They’re heavy and just not my type of thing. But I fell in love with the TV show right away. Its hard not to love. Its dramatic and bloody and addicting. And you kind of want to keep watching because you never know who is going to die next and that’s pretty exciting.

1. Doctor Who

Of course. Its the only TV show that I have a tattoo from. Well, Shadowhunters but I don’t think that counts haha. I fell in love with this show and I’ve gobbled down each and every episode I could get my hands on. I love that each Doctor and each companion brings something different and unique to the show. I love that because of that, the show gets to continue. Its the longest running science fiction show. Its science-y and dramatic and emotional and romantic and hilarious and I love every minute of it, even the minutes that aren’t as good as the others ;)

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Tuesday Top Ten-My ‘Auto-Buy’ Authors!

Hello everyone! Welcome back to the Tuesday Top Ten!

I honestly have had a crazy week, and I’ve been so incredibly busy that I honestly couldn’t even remember if I did a Tuesday Top Ten last week. Turns out I did!

I got the idea for this week’s top ten from my dear friend Kayla’s blog! She did a booktag where she posted what authors she owned the most books of from her auto-buy list. I thought it was kind of fun but…I have over 500 books and I don’t have bookshelves so that’s a lot of work for me. But then I thought, well, I don’t have an idea for this week’s Tuesday Top Ten so voila! Now I have one.

All ten authors are authors that from right this moment (and perhaps before), I will buy everything they release, without even thinking about it. You know what I mean. Those kind of authors that you’ve read enough books to trust them, so that when they release a new book, you immediately want to pick it up and read it. Those ones.

Here are my top ten, erm, eleven:

11. Richelle Mead 

Its funny that a year ago, I would have scoffed at this, rolled my eyes at the cover of Vampire Academy, and never known how amazing this author is. Luckily, I put aside my vampire prejudices and read this book. Now I’m addicted to VA and Bloodlines, absolutely adore Richelle and I have a VA tattoo now. I will buy anything she writes because she takes something that has been done over and over again, has been beaten to a pulp and makes it fun, fresh, adventurous, sexy and amazing. Richelle Mead is incredible and I will be picking up every single one of her books from now on, easily.

10. Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is a very…I will buy everything she publishes from here on out. I don’t own everything by her at this point. I have read the entire Lux series (so far) and I don’t own it all. I have read the entire Covenant series and again, don’t own them. But I’ve read so much from her now, and I’ve been so thoroughly impressed by her, again and again, that any time there is a new release for her, I’m determined to head to the bookstore in order to purchase her new book. I trust her to take me on adventure, to make me laugh and to have perfectly steamy scenes that leave me panting for more.

9. Marie Lu

After reading the entire Legend trilogy, and being completely blown away from beginning to end, I’ve developed not only an addiction to Marie Lu, but a complete trust in her. I was ready to dive happily into her new book, The Young Elites, and worked my ass off to get a copy of it at ALA. I read it just last week and it blew my mind. I already have my ARC of it but I know that when it is released in October, I will totally be picking it up. I trust Marie Lu to write an incredible story every single time, and she will be one that I will be following for quite some time.

8. Veronica Roth

The Divergent series means so incredibly much to me; I don’t get tattoos of series just because I feel like it. I love Veronica Roth. I love her characters and her stories. I picked up the Four collection and read it in about an hour. I trust her, and I want to read everything that she puts out. She’s the same age as me so I know that she has a great future as a writer in front of her. Right now, I am unsure of what she is working on. Everyone is just talking about the new Four collection and I don’t think there’s anything set in stone planned for the future. Whatever it is though, you can definitely count on me to purchase it on the day it comes out.

7. Tamora Pierce

There is a stipulation to this, even though she’s totally tied for first in the list of my favorite authors. I buy every single thing Tamora Pierce writes as long as its in the Tortall world. Everything she has written in that world has just blown my mind and I love going back again and again and again. She hasn’t put anything out in that world for awhile, which makes me sad, but I always eagerly await a new one. I need to go back and read her Circle books, in the hope of getting an “auto-buy” feeling for those as well :)

6. Andrew Smith

Okay, yes, I need to go back and buy all the books he’s already released since I don’t own all of them, but of the ones I’ve read and own, I just can’t imagine him disappointing me. He is an absolutely incredible author and every book I read makes me love him even more. From now on, every time he releases a book, I will be at the  bookstore, grabbing a copy (or two…or three…) and making sure its in my collection. I trust him enough to always make me a happy reader.

5. Jessica Brody

Did I just use a picture of Jessica Brody from the first time I ever met her, over a year ago at WonderCon 2013? Yes, yes, I did. Apparently when I google “Jessica Brody author”, most of the pictures that pop up are the ones from my blog…which is kind of cool and maybe a bit creepy and stalkerish. But the point is, I’ll buy all Jessica Brody’s books because they’re all so good! I’ve read them all (except the Fidelity Files, which I’m working on), and she makes me laugh and she’s a great writer and I love supporting her. Its easy to imagine going to the bookstore on her release days and picking up her new book!

4. Sarah Dessen

I’ve literally bought every single Sarah Dessen book, on the day its released, since I was about fourteen years old. I doubt that is going to change any time soon, unless she starts writing truly awful books.Even then though… Sarah is one of those authors that usually makes me happy, and I love reading her books. Her last couple have been a little lacking compared to some of her earlier ones but I still buy each one with much eagerness because I know what a terrific writer she is and I always look forward to the great stories she tells. Plus they’re always the perfect summer books and I just love that.

3. Cassandra Clare

Whatever you feel about her, that’s your deal. I ran into a lot of people at ALA who don’t like her, and that’s your deal. But she is literally one of my favorite authors ever, I have a tattoo from her series and I will buy each and every one of her books on the day they come out, no matter what. I absolutely hated City of Fallen Angels, and I’m upfront and honest about that. But that didn’t keep me from continuing to buy The Infernal Devices series or from picking up the next TMI book, Lost Souls, the following year. I will pick up a copy of The Iron Trials (her novel with Holly Black) this fall (though I already have an ARC copy of it), and I’ll pick up a copy of The Bane Chronicles and Lady Midnight and so on. This is one author that I’m definitely going to continue to buy, because even though she writes a dud sometimes, she writes a great book that makes me happy too.

2. Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot has been one of my favorite authors since I was 12 years old, when I first picked up a copy of The Princess Diaries. I’ve literally bought every single book of hers, on the release day, since then. That’s 14 years of complete dedication. In fact, a few months ago, I thought “Wait…how is it Meg isn’t releasing anything this year?” Not even a week later, Meg announced two new adult books, based off of two of her very popular YA series. Those will most definitely be auto buys, without even pausing or thinking about it.

1. J.K. Rowling

She’s my favorite author in the entire world and she’s written a total of 10 books. Which seems like a lot but the first one came out in 1998, and that was nearly 20 years ago. She wrote the Harry Potter series and when that was over, I thought I would never again be able to experience the beautiful and incredible writing and storytelling of her again. Then The Casual Vacancy came out. Not one of my favorites but I did enjoy it and I purchased it immediately. As soon as it was revealed that she was Robert Galbraith, and that The Cuckoo’s Calling was, in fact, her novel, I immediately went on my e-reader and bought it. (I had to; at the time, bookstores didn’t carry enough copies to meet the sudden demand). Just recently I purchased The Silkworm, the sequel. I will continue to buy every single thing she writes, even if its, like, a history of toothpicks or something because I will read anything this queen writes :)

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Who are some of your favorite auto-buy authors? Share in the comments!