Giveaway: “The Ikessar Falcon”

35661274._sy475_Book: “The Ikessar Falkcon” by by K. S. Villoso

Publishing Info: Orbit, September 2020

Where Did I Get this Book: ARC from the publisher

Book Description: Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worse as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and unimaginable horrors – creatures from the dark, mad dragons and men with hearts hungry for power.

To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen and everything she could never be.

The price for failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.

Giveaway Details: I really enjoyed the first book in this series, “The Wolf of Oren-Yaro” when I read it earlier this spring. So I was super excited to see that the second one would be coming out this fall, so soon after.

The first story introduces us to Queen Talyien, a young queen who is anything but beloved by her people. Abandoned by her husband and left with a young son and a country that is barely holding itself together, Talyien strives to hold the fraying bits of her life together. When she attempts to reconcile with her husband several years after the fact, everything seems to go wrong and Talyien begins to discover that her problems may be even bigger than she had thought.

There were a bunch of things I really liked about the first book. The writing was strong and confident. The world-building was unique but not to caught up in itself. But most of all, I really liked Talyien. Talyien was that type of heroine that defies all of the stereotypes one typically finds when looking up examples of “strong female protagonists.” Yes, she’s smart, a good fighter, and independent. But she’s also flawed, self-aware, and has made choices that aren’t also good, and realizes it! Beyond this, it’s always nice to have an adult woman as the heroine. Too often fantasy stories focus on very young female characters. Not that I have a problem with those characters and the often very lovely romances they bring with them, but it’s also nice to have a change. Talyien is a grown woman who’s seen the ups and downs or romances and marriage and has a small child of her own. Her problems and outlooks on life are very different than the young woman just setting out in the world.

The end of the first book left Talyien in a situation all the more dire than the one she started in, so I’m excited to see what she gets up to in this one! I’m not really expecting rainbows and butterflies, but man, can’t something go right for this woman? My full review will be up this Friday. In the meantime, we’re giving away a copy of this book. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on September 23.

Enter to win!

Giveaway: “The Love Interest”

31145148Book: “The Love Interest” by Cale Dietrich

Publishing Info: Feiwel & Friends, May 2017

Book Description: A thrilling YA debut about teen spies disguised as “love interests”–whoever gets the girl lives; but the one she rejects, dies.

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection.
Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome.

The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

From debut author Cale Dietrich comes a fast-paced adventure that is full of both action and romance and subverts common tropes.

Giveaway Details: I don’t know about you guys, but given how much garbage is going on in the world right now, escapist reads are really calming. You can pick up a book, get lost in it, and not think about pandemics, political corruption, systemic racism and racial violence, and a kneecapped Post Office… etc etc etc. I was looking at my shelves the other day, trying to do another culling, as the libraries being a little more difficult to maneuver these days has meant that I’ve turned to eBooks, NetGalley, and buying from indie bookstores when I’ve wanted to read. The last of those options has meant that my shelf has become a bit cramped. So that means that you guys get to benefit from it, with a fun, flirty, and action filled escapist read called “The Love Interest”!

“The Love Interest” takes tropes from spy books, romance books, rivalry books, and more, and has a fun time subverting them. Caden and Dylan are on the surface the perfect examples of the tropes of a YA love triagle. Caden is the sensitive nice one, Dylan is the bad boy with deeper layers than he lets on. They have to pursue the same girl, and whichever one she chooses gets to live. Dietrich, however, decides to have some fun with the tried and true love triangle storyline, and what we get is fun, action packed, and fluffy. This isn’t high literature, but it doesn’t have to be to be enjoyable and something that some of us need right now.

If you are looking for and easy read that has fun by not taking itself terribly seriously, this is the giveaway for you! This is a hardcover ‘Book of the Month Club’ Edition of this book, though I’m pretty sure that just means there is a BOTMC stamp on it and not really anything else? This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and ends on August 24th.

Enter To Win HERE!

 

Giveaway: “Ashes of the Sun”

52822248._sx318_sy475_Book: “Ashes of the Sun” by Django Wexler

Publishing Info: Orbit, July 2020

Where Did I Get this Book: ARC from the publisher

Book Description: Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world, in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy

Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

Giveaway Details: I’ve only recently rediscovered Django Wexler. Several years ago, I read a military fantasy by him which I really liked. But for some reason (too many books!) I never got back around to finishing the many other books in that series. Then this past winter, I was blew through two of his new YA fantasy books, and it really cemented him as an author worthy keeping my eyes on. So I was really excited when Orbit sent me an ARC for his upcoming fantasy title releasing this summer. It’s been a challenge holding off on reading it right away as I had many other books I wanted to get to and review first, but finally the time has come!

The story seems to be some combination of a post-apocalyptic tale and a traditional fantasy story with a bunch of new elements. It also seems like Orbit has went all in on this “siblings on the opposite side of a battle” theme, as this will be the second fantasy story from them I’ve read with that premise this spring/summer. But, while I wasn’t a huge fan of “The Ranger of Marzanna,” I have full faith that Wexler will be able to better pull off this type of set up. Mostly, I know that he can handle multiple POV characters in one book, the most important element in this type of storytelling. Both the military adult fantasy novel I read several years ago and the second in the YA fantasy series I read last winter had more than one POV character. I usually had preferences for one over another, but I always liked reading about them both. So I’m super excited to see what he’ll do with these two characters!

I’ve also skimmed through the book and noticed that there is a fairly extensive glossary of terms at the end of the book. That, and books that have maps, are often some of the first signs I look for in a fantasy book that has a lot to offer. An extensive glossary, in this case, hints that the world-building and magic system are extensive and complicated enough to warrant this type of added explanation.

So, overall, I’m really excited to jump into this one. I’ll have a full review of this book coming out this Friday. But, as the book itself doesn’t come out until later in July, make sure to take advantage of this opportunity to win an ARC copy of this book (I also had an eARC so this copy is completely untouched). The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on July 15.

Enter to win!

Giveaway: “The Obsidian Tower”

50147675._sx318_sy475_Book: “The Obsidian Tower” by Melissa Caruso

Publishing Info: June 2020, Orbit

Book Description: The mage-marked granddaughter of a ruler of Vaskandar, Ryx was destined for power and prestige at the top of Vaskandran society. But her magic is broken; all she can do is uncontrollably drain the life from everything she touches, and Vaskandar has no place for a mage with unusable powers.

Then, one night, two terrible accidents befall her: Ryx accidentally kills a visiting dignitary in self-defense, activating a mysterious magical artifact sealed in an ancient tower in the heart of her family’s castle.

Ryx flees, seeking a solution to her deadly magic. She falls in with a group of unlikely magical experts investigating the disturbance in Vaskandar—and Ryx realizes that her family is in danger and her domain is at stake. She and her new colleagues must return to the family stronghold to take control of the artifact that everyone wants to claim—before it destroys the world.

Giveaway Details: I really enjoyed Melissa Caruso’s original trilogy, so I was super excited when I saw that she was coming out with a second series set in the same world. Her first trilogy stood out for its amazingly competent and practical leading lady, the strong female friendships, a completely unique world, and an interesting take on a love triangle. From this description, it looks like we’ll have at least one of the same: an interesting-sounding young woman protagonist!

This description doesn’t really clarify when this story is set in comparison to the original, but I have to imagine it’s some time after. One of the things I’m most intrigued by is the fact that it is set in Vaskandar and our heroine hails from that nation. In the previous series, Vaskandar was largely an enemy nation. Their vivomancers wielded incredible power and their succession system was full of conflict. It will be interesting to see what this story has to offer featuring a main character from this land. Are the political tensions the same? I’m assuming she will feature in some type of heroic role, so how will that feature in Vaskandar’s competitive and sometimes brutal society?

I’m also really interested to learn more about Ryx’s broken powers. In the previous book, our main character herself didn’t have any magical abilities, but instead was a Falconer for her powerful, fire-wielding friend. And we know that Riverra and Vaskandar place very different values on those with and without magic. How will Ryx feature in this when she technically seems to have abilities, but they’re so dangerous that she accidentally kills her fellows?

I’ll have my full review for this book this Friday. But in the mean time, make sure to enter to win an ARC copy of “The Obsidian Tower.” The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on June 17.

Click here to enter the giveaway!

 

Giveaway: “The Ranger of Marzanna”

51113661._sx318_sy475_Book: “The Ranger of Marzanna” by Jon Skovron

Publishing Info: Orbit, April 2020

Where Did I Get this Book: ARC from the publisher!

Book Description: When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths—one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it—in this thrilling new Russian inspired epic fantasy from Jon Skovron.

Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.

When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.

But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he’s fighting for the empire.

I was excited to receive an ARC copy of this book from Orbit. For one thing, the cover is absolutely stunning and the exact sort of thing that would draw me in when browsing the shelves at a bookstore (oh, how I long to return to browsing shelves…). I was also really interested in the idea of two siblings coming towards some sort of conflict. The book description definitely focuses on the sister more, so I’m curious to see if this book will be a duel narrator situation or what. Her side alone, however, sounds pretty badass!

My full review for the book will go up this Friday. But get a head start on things and enter to win an ARC copy of this book. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on May 20.

Enter to win!

Giveaway: “A Cerulean Queen”

45046550Book: “A Cerulean Queen” by Sarah Kozloff

Publishing Info: Tor Books, April 2020

Where Did I Get this Book: from the publisher!

Book Description: The true queen of Weirandale has returned.

Cerulia has done the impossible and regained the throne. However, she’s inherited a council of traitors, a realm in chaos, and a war with Oromondo.

Now a master of her Gift, to return order to her kingdom she will use all she has learned—humility, leadership, compassion, selflessness, and the necessity of ruthlessness.

Previously Reviewed: “A Queen in Hiding” and “The Queen of Raiders” and “A Broken Queen”

 

Giveaway Details: Continuing my partnership with the publisher, I’m back to offer the final giveaway for the final book in the “Nine Realms” series! I’ve included links to my reviews for the first three books, so check those out to see how far we’ve come and what my thoughts were on each of those. A quick review though, I liked them all and particularly enjoyed the most recent book, “A Broken Queen.” On that high note, I was excited to see how things would finally wrap up here at the end. My review for “A Cerulean Queen” comes out this Friday.

For those who have been keeping pace with the series (I love this publication style, but I’ll admit it’s a challenge, the best kind, of course, to keep up with things), here’s your opportunity to win a finished copy of the final book in the series. Of course, even if you’re still a bit behind, now’s your chance to have the last book all queued up for when you do catch up!This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on April 22.

Enter to win!

Giveaway: “A Broken Queen”

45046564Book: “A Broken Queen” by Sarah Kozloff

Publishing Info: Tor Books, March 2020

Where Did I Get this Book: from the publisher!

Book Description: Barely surviving her ordeal in Oromondo and scarred by its Fire Spirit, Cerulia is taken to a recovery house in Wyeland to heal from the trauma. In a ward with others who are all bound to serve each other, she discovers that not all scars are visible, and dying can be done with grace and acceptance.

While she would like to stay in this place of healing, will she ever be able to leave the peace she has found to re-take the throne?

 

Previously Reviewed: “A Queen in Hiding” and “The Queen of Raiders”

Giveaway Details: In partnership with the publisher, I’m happy to be able to offer an ongoing giveaway for each book in this series as they come out! I’ve reviewed the first two in the series and am excited to see what come in the third book! There was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of the last, but luckily, due to the quick publishing schedule for this series, I haven’t had to wait long to find out! My review for “A Broken Queen” comes out this Friday.

If you, too, have been speeding through this series and can’t wait to find out what next, here’s your opportunity to win a finished copy of the third book in the series! And don’t forget to check back in April when we host a giveaway for the fourth and final book. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on March 25.

Enter to win!

Giveaway: “The Queen of Raiders”

45046587Book: “The Queen of Raiders” by Sarah Kozloff

Publishing Info: Tor Books, February 2020

Where Did I Get this Book: from the publisher!

Book Description: The soldiers of Oromondo have invaded the Free States, leaving a wake of misery and death. Thalen, a young scholar, survives and gathers a small cadre of guerrilla fighters for a one-way mission into the heart of an enemy land.

Unconsciously guided by the elemental Spirits of Ennea Mon, Cerulia is drawn to the Land of the Fire Mountains to join Thelan’s Raiders, where she will learn the price of war.

Previously Reviewed: “A Queen in Hiding”

Giveaway Details: In partnership with the publisher, I’m happy to be able to offer an ongoing giveaway for each book in this series as they come out! As I mentioned in my review of “A Queen in Hiding,” I was drawn to check out these books not only because of  the intriguing book description but because of the publisher’s initiative “binge-style” approach to publishing: releasing all four books over the course of four months. What a novel approach! Think of it, being an epic fantasy fan and not only not having to secretly wonder whether your favorite series will ever be finished at all, but knowing that you’ll be able to get your hands on the next book in only one short month! Short enough that many readers might even struggle to keep up with publishing rate! An unheard thing for most of us fantasy fans who are used to grueling waits.

So, if you’ve already gotten through the first book in the series, don’t miss your opportunity to win a finished copy of the second! And don’t forget to check back in March and April for giveaways of the third and fourth books, too! The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on February 26.

Enter to win!

Valentine’s Giveaway!

Valentine’s Day was this past Friday, and in honor of the romantic holiday we have decided to run a giveaway of two romantic novels! Because there’s nothing wrong with celebrating in a belated way, right? Totally!

41150487._sy475_Book: “Red, White, & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston

Publishing Info: St. Martin’s Griffin, May 2019

Book Description: What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

Giveaway Details: Kate really loved this romantic and light story of the son of the President of the United States falling in love with the grandson of the Queen of England. First Son Alex is ambitious and gregarious, while Prince Henry is more reserved, and their initial rivalry, of course, turns into romance. “Red, White, & Royal Blue” was a runaway hit last year, and was one of the recipients of the 2020 Alex Award. It’s funny, heartfelt, and gives you a glimpse into a happier timeline where a woman is President and the U.S. isn’t in political shambles. Plus, both Alex and Henry are likable and easy to root for.

43192642._sy475_Book: “Realm of Ash” by Tasha Suri

Publishing Info: Orbit, November 2019

Book Description: The Ambhan Empire is crumbling. A terrible war of succession hovers on the horizon. The only hope for peace lies in the mysterious realm of ash, where mortals can find what they seek in the echoes of their ancestors’ dreams. But to walk there requires a steep price.

Arwa is determined to make the journey. Widowed by a brutal massacre, she’s pledged service to the royal family and will see that pledge through to the end. She never expected to be joined by Zahir, the disgraced, illegitimate prince who has turned to forbidden magic in a desperate bid to save those he loves.

Together, they’ll walk the bloody path of their shared past. And it will call into question everything they’ve ever believed…including whether the Empire is worth saving at all.

Giveaway Details: This was a favorite fantasy read for Serena in 2019. It’s technically the second book by this author set in her Middle East-inspired world, but it can easily be read alone. What makes it notable for this themed giveaway is the lovely slow-burn romance that develops throughout the book. In the midst of some incredibly unique fantasy twists and turns, it was lovely to watch the slow friendship and trust form between the young widow, Arwa, and the outcast prince, Zahir. Together, they will strive to save their country and learn what they will sacrifice in the name of love.

This giveaway for both books is open to U.S. Residents only and ends on February 24th at Midnight (EST).

ENTER HERE

Giveaway: “Woven in Moonlight”

40877706._sy475_Book: “Woven in Moonlight” by Isabel Ibnez

Publishing Info: Page Street Books, January 2020

Where Did I Get this Book: BookishFirst

Book Description: Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

Giveaway Details: Though it did take me until February to get around to it, I was excited enough about this book to include it as one of the three titles I was most looking forward to in January. And now the time has come! My full review comes up on Friday, so I won’t go into any spoilers as to my opinions here.

I will say that the concept is an intriguing one, intertwining a unique magic system with the political upheaval and history of Bolivia. It’s an ownvoices work, so the author brings much vibrancy to her story and world. And here, the cover artist really upped the ante creating a cover image that perfectly communicates the heart of the story and is sure to draw readers in. I know it worked well on me!

It’s always great to see young adult fantasy escape from the often overwhelming European-centered stories that are everywhere. And this one presents an area of the world and history that I’m sure many readers are only passably familiar with. For myself, I knew very little and, while this book is still clearly fictional and, you know, magic, it did inspire me to do some research of my own into the country’s history.

So, for those of you who still haven’t gotten around to this book, or for those of you who have already read it and loved it (according to Goodreads, there are many of you!), here’s your chance to get your hands on a hardback copy! The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and closes on February 12.

Enter now!