Book Review: A Thousand Heartbeats by Kiera Cass

Thursday, 15 December 2022

A Thousand Heartbeats by Kiera Cass

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK for the advance copy of this book to read for an honest review.

The story follows Princess Annika who has lived a life of comfort but it isn't hers to control. Her father the king has gone cold and is forcing Annika into a loveless marriage for the kingdoms gain.

On the opposite side of the coin Lennox lives miles away devoted to the Dahrainian army working to help them reclaim the throne that was stolen from them. The idea of love to him is merely a distraction.

However when love finds them both they are bound by its call. From two completely different worlds they couldn't possibly be together but love will not let them stay apart.

I was a massive fan of the Selection series so jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of this book.

A classic enemies to lovers trope executed well into an easy read I got through the book quite quickly on holiday.

However I fear I may have grown abit too old now for these types of stories despite my nostalgia for the selection books.

It was all abit too much of a cliche to me with some very cheesy elements and lines in the story. Major plot arcs and losses are forgiven very quickly giving this almost a Disney film type feel as it is all in the name of love. This just felt abit unrealistic to me however the story was an easy read and if I could suspend that critical thinking enjoyable hence the 3 stars.

I just feel I may no longer be in the age ranged demographic for this type of fiction anymore. I'm sure if you are a young adult this would be an enjoyable read.

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi

 The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy of The Last Tale of the Flower Bride to read for an honest review.

The story revolves around the mysterious woman Indigo Maxwell-Castenada her story told through her Bridegroom, he a scholar of myths. They exchanged gifts and stories of the otherworld with one promise he would never pry into Indigos past.

However when Indigos estranged aunt is dying the couple are forced to return to the House of Dreams. Here the Bridegroom is unable to resist delving into her past. In the house lurks the shadows of another girl Azure, Indigos childhood best friend who disappeared. As the house reveals its secrets the Bridegroom will be forced to choose between the fantasy and the reality of his marriage.

The story started off abit hard to get into for me but once I got further into the story I was hooked.

Roshani Chokshi has a poetic and haunting way of writing. This book reads as a gothic fairytale and is beautifully crafted.

I loved the inclusion of all the myths and fairytales shared to explain different elements of the story and I was caught up in the chapters from Azures point of view.

A haunting and fascinating read perfect for lovers of gothic fiction. 

Thanks For Reading! 

Krakow: Krakus Mound

Friday, 2 December 2022

Krakus Mound, Krakow

Looking for the best panoramic view in Krakow? Look no further than the Krakus mound! While this mound is a fair walk around 3km outside of the centre located in the Podgorze district of Krakow Poland.

The history behind this mound is that it is thought to be the resting place of Krakow's mythical founder the legendary King Krakus. The Krakus Mound is one of Krakow's two prehistoric mounds and the oldest man made structure in Krakow.

It was was quite an easy slow incline walk up to the top definitely not a hard walking hike and the views really did pay off. We sat up here for a while snapping a few pictures and then just soaking in the view and living in the moment.

Please enjoy a few of my snapshots from this viewpoint and if you are visiting Krakow anytime soon definitely tick this view point off of your list.

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for Reading!

Paris: Notre Dame

The Notre Dame 

One of the sights I was most looking forward to seeing during my trip to Paris was the Notre Dame. After seeing it in photos online over the years I just knew that I wanted to see this stunning bit of architectural history in person.

The day we were there it was amazingly sunny and incredibly busy we opted to go inside and to also pay for tickets to go up to the top to admire the views over the city. We were incredibly lucky getting tickets for this and managed to get the last few so if you are visiting and want to go up to the towers it is always best to book this in advance particularly during the Summer months. 
The Cathedral and its stained glass windows were stunning to view inside and out, as you can tell this trip was a while ago now and I was devastated by the news that the Cathedral had gone up in flames in the April of last year. This building is certainly one of the first architectural sites I think of when I think of Paris and it is a devastating that the history of the building has been lost.

Here's hoping that the reconstruction saves what is left of this once amazing monument so that future generations can have the chance to see this building in person.
The views from the top of the cathedral were fully worth the cost to go up and once this hopefully reopens in 2024 this is a sight I would eefinitely recommend visiting if you are in Paris.

Below are a few of my images from the top of the Notre Dame.

Thanks for Reading!

Book Review: Unraveller Audiobook by Frances Hardinge

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Unraveller Audiobook by Frances Hardinge

Thank you to Macmillan UK Audio and Netgalley for the audio book of Unraveller for an honest review.

In Kellen and Nettle's world anyone can create a life destroying curse but only one person has the power to unravel them. Not everyone is happy about this and suddenly the two are in a race against time to save themselves and others who have been touched by magic.

An original and creative YA fantasy from Frances Hardinge involving magic, curses and creatures of myth. I loved the idea of the story however the audio book felt overly long which made me loose interest. I think there was just too much crammed into the story. Too many cases of Kellan and Nettle going to different towns meeting new characters learning their stories and unravelling their curses.

As we met so many characters through these many sub-stories I found myself forgetting who was who a bit. Therefore I felt some  of this could have been cut down in the story.

That aside the narration on the audio book was very good and Hardinge's writing as usual was eloquent and captivating.

The story itself was a very creative and original idea and well worth a read or listen. I did enjoy it however I just felt there was a few too many characters and sub-stories added into this title which led to confusion and disinterest as it felt a tad repetitive. Which is why I have rated the title 3 stars. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao

4.5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for the advance reader copy of this book for an honest review.

Lan spends her night as a song girl in Haak'gong a city transformed by conquerors who invaded her kingdom, killed her mother and outlawed her people's magic. She is searching for anything she can find of the past trying to understand the mark burned into her arm by her mother, her last act before she died.

The mark is mysterious and untranslatable and no one else but Lan can see it. That is until a boy appears at the teahouse and saves her life one night.

Zen is a practitioner of the Last Kingdom who's magic was rumoured to be drawn from demons they communed with.

Zen can see Lan's mark and he recognises that she is a practioner with a powerful hidden ability. The mark isn't anything like he has ever seen but he knows deep in the pine forests that there is a school of practitioning masters who are planning to overthrow the Elantian regime who may have some answers.

Working together both of them have secrets that they hide and both hold great power. Fate has connected them but their destiny remains unwritten.

A fantastic start to a new fantasy series steeped in Chinese folklore. With well crafted characters and well written plot lines full of adventure and magic.

The story was fascinating and addictive until the very end. Lan and Zen are both likeable yet flawed characters both with complex backgrounds.

The aspects of Chinese mythology were woven well within the story and gave great insight into the cultures folklore.

A fantasy novel I would highly recommend reading full of many twists and turns that were not obvious and well crafted!

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Cruel Illusions by Margie Fuston

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Cruel Illusions by Margie Fuston

3.5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance reader copy of Cruel Illusions by Margie Fuston for an honest review. 

Ava has been determined to avenge her mothers death ever since she was murdered by a vampire when she was a child. However no one has seen a vampire in years and she isn't sure she will ever find one until she stumbles across a hidden magic show where the illusions she sees cannot be anything but real. Maybe these magicians can lead her to the vampires that she has been searching for?

The magicians are part of a secret society who have true magic, power which Ava also has in her blood. They want her to join them and in return they will teach her to hunt vampires and help avenge her mother. However to do this and keep the power being offered she must take part in a deadly competition putting on the performance of her life. In this competition illusion and reality blur and the stakes are deadly. 

This book is described as Caraval meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer so I was incredibly excited to read this as Buffy is my favourite TV show and Caraval is one of my favourite book Series. 

You can 100% tell that aspects of this book were inspired by Buffy a girl discovers a power she has and needs help in training. The brooding and moody antagonistic love interest Roman gives Angel vibes. The initial love interest and friend is called Xander and the other trainee in magic who becomes her best friend is called Willow need I say more. 

Alot of the references felt very on the nose and I almost felt the book became a tad predictable because of this homage as some of the side plot lines were very similar to Buffy plots lines and this took away from the story abit for me unfortunately as it was too similar. 

This is a shame as the other aspects in the story were very unique including the whole magic system and how the magicians gain and boost their magic. As well as Ava's quest to avenge her mother and overcome her past trauma. That aside I did really enjoy the writing style and found myself being drawn into the competition and all the magical acts described and fantastical elements described. 

The main love triangle was very similar to Buffy season 1 and it was clear who Ava would end up with following that theme. The twists and reveals did keep me engaged overall and I did enjoy the writing style and the story. 

The many comparisons just made me feel like the book didn't quite hit the mark hence the 3.5 star rating. 

Overall an enjoyable YA fantasy read and a good choice if you still don't want to let go of spooky season. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: City of Nightmares by Rebecca Schaeffer

City of Nightmares by Rebecca Shaeffer

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC of City of Nightmares by Rebecca Schaeffer.

The book follows Ness who has been terrified of Nightmares ever since her sister became a man eating spider and slaughtered their father and others. In Newham dreaming means waking up as your worst fear, this could be becoming an actual monster or just waking up to look like one.

Ness does not want to be a victim so she joins the Friends of the Restful Soul an organisation that may be a cult.

After a job gone wrong Ness needs to prove herself worthy to remain so she takes a job delivering the post via boat. This however blows up in her face quite literally. After the boat is targeted by an assassination attempt Ness is one of the only survivors along with a boy who is a living nightmare. They must work together to uncover the sinister truth and return back to Newham, but can Ness get over her fear of Nightmares and work together with this boy?

I really loved the premise of the book it was a refreshing idea and the story was executed very well! I enjoyed follow Ness's character arc and her bond with her best friend Priya. It was refreshing that as the main heroine in the book Ness is flawed and working through her past trauma to overcome her fear of nightmares.

Helping her to do this is Cy's character who became a vampire via nightmare because his father is one and he did not want to be his father.

This book had lots of good twists and turns. The setting was great reminiscent of Gotham and the monsters ad nightmares were pure chaos you didn't know what would be faced or appear next.

A well crafted fantasy story that I would recommend everyone read, it was a refreshingly different take on the trope of dreams affecting real life and it was highly enjoyable.

The ending leaves the book open to a sequel and I look forward to seeing what comes next in this series.

Thank you again to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for the advance reader copy for an honest review.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

Friday, 4 November 2022

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for the advance Reader copy of this book.

The story follows Cambridge professor Emily Wilde a genius and scholar intent on writing the world's first encyclopaedia of fairy lore. Her research takes herself and her dog Shadow to the village of Hrafnsvik. Despite being a scholar Emily is not good with people and does not intend to befriend the townsfolk. Unfortunately her academic rival Wendell Bambleby arrives into town, he manages to charm the townsfolk and get right in the middle of her research.

While studying the secrets of the Hidden Ones (the most elusive of all faeries) in the forest outside of town. She finds herself being drawn also to uncover the mystery of Wendell Bambleby and what he really wants.

I wasn't sure if this book was for me on reading the synopsis but reading the arc completely changed my mind I absolutely loved it.

The book itself is set out in a diary or journal format where Emily is keeping notes of her research and finds in Hrafnsvik. This format made the book itself a quick and engaging read with short chapters or diary entries.

The slow burn dynamic between Emily and Wendells characters works really well with a ton of clever dialogue. You can't help but have a complete soft spot for Wendell throughout the whole story he is definitely a loveable rouge type character. He was definitely my favourite character.

I thought I was done with my faeire fantasy fiction phase but this book just dropped me straight back into it. This story it one I would recommend for fans of The Cruel Prince or Namomi Noviks work. 

Overall this was an incredibly heartwarming and cosy read that reminded me a tad of watching a comfort show or a Studio Ghibli film. I would definitely recommend giving this a read and I will be looking out for more of Heather Fawcett's work. 

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger

Monday, 31 October 2022

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger

Thank you to Netgalley and Legend Press for the Advance Reader Copy of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six for an honest review.

This story follows three couples who rent a luxury isolated cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway. Hannah's tech brother Mako has rented out this cabin for friends and family for a relaxing weekend away as a birthday gift to her. Joining them are Mako's wife Liza, Hannah's husband Bruce, their best friend Cricket and her boyfriend Joshua.

Unbeknownst to everyone this dreamy weekend is about to turn into a nightmare.

Unfortunately for me this book didn't quite hit the mark while it was a quick and easy read it felt more like reading two stories in one. These separate plot lines do link up eventually but there is a lot of jumping back and forth which took me out of the story quite abit.

As well as this the main story we are following is based at the cabin however everything happens on the first night with little build up, there isn't much too this weekend break which if you read the synopsis seems to be the whole point of the book.

This also means we meet the characters but there is very little character building to some of the side characters which made the story lack a little depth. This is probably due to the fact that we are following this alternate storyline with a character called Henry who's mom was murdered at a young age leaving him an orphan. Over time Henry starts researching his family to learn where he comes from and stumbles across many partially related family members who are being murdered one by one.

It made sense to have this alternate storyline otherwise the whole premise of the book and the motive would not make any sense and I feel Henry's character was much more developed but this is due to the fact that the parts of the story relating to him focus on him solely. While with the rest of the book we are trying to get to know 6 other main characters.

Overall this was an easy read, the concept of the DNA tests left for everyone at Christmas was an interesting plot point however who left them for everyone ncad why is never fully resolved. The title had all the makings of a good thriller story but in many aspects the book just felt a bit rushed and lacking in depth.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Thursday, 27 October 2022

The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Thank you to Netgalley and Daphne Press for the advance reader copy of The Luminaries by Susan Dennard.

I have to start by saying that I really enjoyed this book, the story gave me a lot of nostalgia for the 2014 dystopian era when the Hunger Games and Divergent were incredibly popular.

The Luminaries are an ancient order who protect the town of Hemlock Falls from the monsters and nightmares that are in the forest. The book follows Winnie Wednesday who wants nothing more to join the Luminaries and become a hunter like her mother and grandmother before. 

Unfortunately Winnie's family are outcasts after her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor. However on her 16th birthday she can take the luminary hunter trials to restore her family's name. 

Winnie enlists the help of ex best friend Jay Friday to train her to survive. However the two uncover a dangerous new nightmare in the forest that no one has ever seen before one that can traverse all the boundaries put into place and does not fit the rules of any of the nightmares they know of. 

I really enjoyed the concept of this book, the writing style was easy to follow meaning I completed it in a few days when I did happen to sit down to read. The story was well paced and the characters were likeable. The ending while a little lackluster (I was hoping for a larger cliffhanger or reveal than what we received) sets the story up well for a sequel. This I will definitely read as there are many questions and theories I have that have been left unanswered. 

Overall if you are a fan of the dystopian/fantasy type genre this was a really fun read with a new take on an old concept. As mentioned above I really enjoyed the themes that reminded me of the dystopian YA era of reading. I would definitely recommend giving this book a read. 

Travel Bucket List

Friday, 7 October 2022

Travel Bucket List

If you are new to my blog let me introduce you to my love for travel! I love visiting new countries, experiencing new cultures and seeing all the wonderful sights on offer. I wanted to share with you my current travel bucket list with all the countries that I currently would love to travel too! Here is my list:


While this one is on the bucket list a trip has been booked to Singapore linked with a trip to Thailand. I am so excited to see the amazing sites of this wonderful country. Part of our plans include visiting the Bay Gardens to see the Super Trees, the Cloud Forest with a one night stay at Marina Bay Sands with access to that famous infinity pool. 

Bangkok, Khao Sok and Phuket, Thailand

Linked with our Singapore trip we will be visiting the above locations in Thailand. Visiting this country has been a bucket list dream for years! Other than the destinations the only specific plan that we have booked is to visit the Elephant Hills in Khao Sok, here we get to meet and feed the elephants with a mixture of jungle trekking and canoeing. Other than that we are looking forward to lots of temple visits, good food and sandy island beaches with maybe a visit to the Phi Phi Islands from Phuket.

Marrakech, Morocco 

Marrakech is another destination that has been on the list for a while with a cancelled trip in 2021 due to Covid. We have rebooked this for 2023 over my 30th birthday and I am incredibly excited to wander the Souks, have a day trip to Essouria, visit the Atlas Mountains and the desert.

Copenhagen, Denmark / Malmo, Sweden

Copenhagen was a trip that is also going to be rearranged after being cancelled due to the pandemic, hopefully for 2023. I am going to be visiting here with one of my close friends and we are planning on having a day trip over to Malmo in Sweden.


One country that I have never been to is Germany which as it is such a short flight from the UK needs to be remedied. High on my list are Berlin, Stuttgart or Munich. I would be happy to visit any of the three and immerse myself in the culture and history that this country is rich with.


We hope to link a trip to Germany and Switzerland together due to the countries sharing a border. I would love to see the views of the alps and visit the major cities like Zurich or Geneva to get a real feel for the country.

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is a picturesque city in Belgium perfect for a small weekend getaway. A great small city for wandering the cobbled streets, eating lots of good food and sampling all the Belgian chocolate that you can.

Ljublijana, Slovenia

The capital of Slovenia and one of the more recent up and coming European countries to visit. Known as a green capital with lots of green open spaces in the country that are stunning and a must visit including Tivoli Park and Lake Bled. I would love to explore this stunning country.

Riga, Latvia

A new addition to my bucket list is Riga in Latvia located in Northeastern Europe being one of the three Baltic States another city with lots of culture and good food that I would love to wander around.


Japan has been the top of my bucket list for years with cost being the only thing keeping me from going. I would love to do a tour of this country visiting Tokyo, Kyoto,  Nara and Hoikkado. There are just so many sights and experiences in this country that I want to partake in including visiting Mount Fuji, taking part in a traditional tea ceremony, experiencing the Japanese Onsens, visit all the insane shops and cafes in Tokyo. There are just so many sights that I want to see in this country and I am hoping for a 2024 visit fingers crossed.

Those are my current travel plans and wishes. Where is on your travel Bucket List? Comment below and let me know.

Thanks for Reading!

Book Review: Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder Books for the advanced reader copy of this book.

Foul Lady Fortune is a reimaging of As You Like It and follows on from the These Violent Delights Duology. Having not read These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends prior to this book I will say there are a fair few spoilers for the prior duology.

The book takes place in 1931 Shanghai following the main character Rosalind Lang who four years ago was brought back from the brink of death. However the experiment that saved her prevents her from sleeping and ageing and allows her to heal from all wounds. 

With these new abilities and desperate for redemption from her past she becomes an assassin for her country with the codename Fortune. 

As a series of murders starts to cause unrest in Shanghai with suspicion surrounding the Japanese Imperial Army Rosalind has a new mission. To infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot. To do this she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy Orion Hong. Both have clashing personalities and secrets of their own that they want to keep buried. 

I must admit I did struggle with the first half of this book and it was not the writing I believe it was because this isn't the usual type of genre that I read. However by the second half of the book I was caught up in the twists and turns of the plot. 

Regarding the characters I found it difficult to care for some of them as they seem very much sidelined. Maybe if I had read the prior books I would already have a bit more background on these characters and a vested interest. My main interest in this book was the interaction and banter between Rosalind and Orion's characters and I found these parts of the story the most enjoyable.

The book ended with many twists that seemed to appear out of nowhere ncad while I enjoyed these twists I feel they could have been built up more rather than just being dropped in at the end. Maybe the second book in this series will build up more of a background on these reveals.

While I enjoyed this book overall it would not be one I rush to read again anytime soon. However I would be willing to give the sequel a chance to see if strengthens the twists in the first book with more background.

Thanks For Reading! 

Book Review: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes by Eric LaRocca

Saturday, 27 August 2022

 Thank you Netgalley and Titan Books for an arc of this title to read and review honestly.

I finished this title in one evening the book comprised of three short horror stories each completely different yet thought provoking and disturbing in their own ways.

The first story follows an exchange between two women Zoe and Agnes which leads to a contract with one woman becoming a sponsor and the other woman a drudge who has to do everything the sponsor says in return for love and money.

The second story follows a couple who have moved to an isolated island during winter season while mourning the loss of their son. While on this island they meet a man who's become stranded and needs help.

The third and final story follows an old man who finds a bone in his yard with his neighbours initials on it. He reaches out to the neighbour and gets involved in a game of betting that gets more sordid per bet.

Overall each story was disturbing in its own way and kept me reading wanting to see how it ended. 

These short stories were really well crafted and perfectly encapsulated the horror genre each for different reasons. 

Some of themes left me feeling uncomfortable and disturbed which was exactly what the author was intending I believe. 

I would recommend this title for fellow horror fans who want a book of short stories they can get through quickly within a day.  

Book Review: Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Thank you to Hodder Books and Netgalley for the advance e-Arc of Belladonna by Adalyn Grace to read in exchange for an honest review.

I must admit I did not know much about this story before diving into it other than the novel had gothic themes and was highly anticipated by many readers.

This book was a massive surprise and the writing had me hooked from the first chapter.

The story follows Signa Farrow who has been able to see death since a young age following the death of her parents. Set to inherit a vast fortune when she turns 20 Signa has moved from guardian to guardian with death always following. Following her aunts death Signa arrives at Thorn Grove where she discovers the Hawthorne family are also plagued by death.

Her cousin Blythe is ill with the same affliction that took her mother Lillian and with days to go Signa must uncover the mystery of Thorngrove and the curse that seems to be upon the family all while keeping death at bay.

This story was a complete surprise to me I was so hooked that I finished this within a day.

I loved the mystery meets gothic theme of the story and the almost enemies to lovers arc between herself and death. The book itself had many twists and turns that it took awhile to decipher. The mystery was well crafted and the revelation of the person who murdered Lillian and has been poisoning Blythe did keep you guessing throughout.

Main plot aside I also enjoyed the interactions between her and death when she is learning more about the powers she possesses and how to use them to solve the mystery.

I also enjoyed the relationship built between Signa and Blythe following their first rocky encounter as they rely on each other more and become almost like sisters. I hope this continues in the sequel.

The book ends on a cliffhanger with another mystery to solve and the announcement of the sequel Foxglove. This is a sequel I will definitely be reading and I recommend Belladonna to anyone who is a fan of mystery fiction and gothic themes.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

Friday, 5 August 2022

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder Books for the advance arc of Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen.

This book had been on my radar for awhile and as it was suggested for fans of The Cruel Prince it was one of my highly anticipated releases of this year and I have to say it did not disappoint.

The story follows Violet a prophet to the king who earned her place by saving the prince's life when they were both children. Under the Kings command Violet has spun many lies based on her visions while growing up. However Prince Cyrus who she saved plans to have her stripped of her title once he is crowned King.

Following previous predictions of a curse only to be broken by the Prince finding his one true love, Violet is tasked to weave her greatest lie of all and as the line between love and hate blurs between Violet and Cyrus the curse and the right path forward become much more complicated.

This book was definitely one for the fairytale lovers out there it had everything magic, prophecy and a curse only to be broken by the prince finding his true love. It had many themes similar to the sleeping beauty tale but with an entertaining enemies to lovers trope added in.

The characters were all well crafted and I could feel myself getting lost in the story the more that I read. Based on the ending and the questions left unanswered I am hoping this book will become a series.

If you are thinking about picking up this book to read do not hesitate it was great escapism from the mundane day to day and I struggled to put it down once I started reading.

Thanks for Reading! 

The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim Book Review

Friday, 15 July 2022

Firstly I am going to start by saying thank you to both Hodder Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim for an honest review.

This book was one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2022 after receiving Six Crimson Cranes for Christmas and falling head over heels for the story and its Characters. Please be aware this review will contain spoilers so if you have not read this book do not read ahead.

Following on from Six Crimson Cranes we start with Shiori entering the underwater dragon city to meet with the Dragon King to honour Raikama's last wish that the pearl be reunited with its rightful owner, I felt this would be a major plot arc in the story and that we would get more of Seryu's character in this book - maybe even a bit of a love triangle. However while I am glad the author steered away from the love triangle aspect the arc of the plot within this world seems to end rather quickly and Seryu's character is not heard of again until the end of the book. We are also introduced to a few new characters like Gen for example who seem like they are going to become included deeply within the plot only to be dropped a few chapters later. This portion of the story felt almost disconnected as if it wasn't developed enough alongside the main plot arc or the pacing wasn't quite right.

The book then jumps back to the plot with the demons trying to escape the mountain led by the main plot villain Bandur. This part of the story I thoroughly enjoyed, I have just recently finished reading Spin the Dawn and enjoyed that this duology almost is the backstory to how Bandur became trapped on Lapzur island. This part of the story all felt connected and I was hooked on the plot line to see how this would play out.

However again following on from this we then head back to Kiata after successfully trapping Bandur on Lapzur island where the book almost felt like it was at a natural end point but with what looked to be 100 pages left I could see we had more storyline to go but I couldn't see how with the main villain already defeated? Enter again the high priestesses who have been against Shiori since her return as she is the bloodsake predicted to free the demons from the mountain rift. This brings another curse upon Shiori either allow Kiata to burn to the ground  from demon fire or sacrifice herself to the flames. This again felt a bit disjointed from the plot we had just been following with Bandur and the demons and I understand it was linked to the ending however it just felt abit randomly thrown in and not quite as cohesive as the plot of Six Crimson Cranes.

This being said the ending battle following this curse with Shiori, her brothers and Takkan and the Priestesses army had me gripped and I felt incredibly emotionally invested in the characters endings. I will not spoil how the story ends but it was definitely bittersweet in the best kind of way not a completely happy ending but one that leaves Shiori becoming a legendary tale in her own right with a spark of joy left.

Despite some of the story feeling disjointed there were many elements of the book I enjoyed including revisiting the characters I loved so much from the first book Shiori and her brothers, Kiki and Takkan and it was wonderful to get more backstory on Raikama, her past and how she had come to be in Kiata with the Dragon's pearl.  The writing as always with Elizabeth Lim was endearing, magical and eloquent. The descriptions of the different world's and islands visited was compelling and left you feeling as if you were there with the characters while reading.

I just wish the plot with the demons and the plot with Seryu could have been a bit more interwoven with less of a sharp change in storyline. As well as this that we could have had more development of the characters like Gen or Seryu but I appreciate that maybe the length of the book and the story we had to cover could prevent much of this development.

Overall I am incredibly grateful for receiving this advance arc and the title and if you are a fan of the first book or any of Elizabeth Lim's writing this story is definitely worth adding to the TBR. Despite the few criticisms I have made of the story I still feel the plot points I enjoyed, the characters and the writing deserve this book 4 out of 5 stars. Not quite as good as Six Crimson Cranes but then sequels are never as good as the originals.

Will you be reading or purchasing The Dragon's Promise when it is released in August?

Comment below on your thoughts and whether you will be giving this book a go.

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