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).

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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!

Giveaway: “A Queen in Hiding”

45046606Book: “A Queen in Hiding” by Sarah Kozloff

Publishing Info: Tor Books, January 2020

Where Did I Get this Book: from the publisher!

Book Description: Orphaned, exiled and hunted, Cérulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be.

But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.

Giveaway Details: I was lucky enough to receive two copies of this book, and while I’m enjoying finishing up reading mine, I thought I’d offer a giveaway for the other! I won’t go into my full thoughts on the novel itself, but the publisher is trying something new with the way they are publishing this series: bingeable books!

I’ve said in my reviews of Michael Sullivan’s books that part of my enjoyment is due to the reassurance that all the books in the series have already been completed. This has allowed them to be published one after another every six months. This is an aggressive publishing schedule for any author, but particularly for epic fantasies that tend to run long. Even Brandon Sanderson, one of the most prolific and fast-producing fantasy authors currently writing, has several years go by between books in his epic “Stormlight” series.

With Kozloff’s “The Nine Realms” series, Tor Books is upping the ante and releasing all four books within a  month of each other. That’s incredible, and I’m, at least, not aware of another publishing run similar to this. Even a fast reader would struggle to keep up with a release schedule like that. And judging by the first book that is almost 500 pages long, these aren’t short books! It will be pretty  interesting to see how readers respond to this strategy. If anything, like Sullivan’s works, it’s reassuring to know that the series will be completed in a timely manner. But what’s more, with books coming out at this rate, it should be easy enough to finish one book and simply pick up the next, making the entire series read as one, super long, book all in itself.

So, get started as soon as possible and enter to win a paperback copy of “A Queen in Hiding.” The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on January 29.

Enter to win!

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

Happy holidays fellow book lovers! And in honor of this time of year when presents  giving is everything, we’re hosting our third annual “12 Days of Christmas” Giveaway. But, tricky us, it’s actually two giveaways, each one comprised of six books from our preferred genres. Read on to see what books are included in each prize package and enter for your chance to win! Both giveaways are open to U.S. residents only and end on January 4.

Serena’s Prize Package

“Jane, Unlimited” by Kristin Cashore (My review)

“To the Waters and the Wild” by S. C. McGrath (My review)

“Song of the Crimson Flower” by Julie C. Dao (My review)

“Flamebringer” by Elle Katharine White (My review)

“The Shadowglass” by Rin Chupego (My review)

“The Unbound Empire” by Melissa Caruso (My review)

Click here to enter!

Kate’s Prize Package

“Before She Knew Him” by Peter Swanson (My review)

“The Hunting Party” by Lucy Foley (My review)

“The Last Astronaut” by David Wellington (My review)

“Searching for Sylvie Lee” by Jean Kwok (My review)

“Last Things” by Jacqueline West (Goodreads Info)

“Joyland” by Stephen King (Goodreads Info)

Click Here To Enter!

 

Giveaway: “Realm of Ash”

43192642._sy475_

Book: “Realm of Ash” by Tasha Suri

Publication Info: Orbit, November 2019

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

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.

Previously Reviewed: “Empire of Sand”

Giveaway Details: While “Empire of Sand” didn’t work for me completely, I was still interested enough in this world to be excited when Orbit sent me an ARC of the next book. What makes this one all the more intriguing is that this isn’t a direct sequel, but instead picks up years later following a now grown Arwa as she finds her life taking a sudden, dark turn towards tragedy, estrangement, and isolation. But in these dark places, she begins to also learn of a truth, not only about herself, but of her long-lost sister and the people they both owe half their bloodline to.

As now typical for many of giveaway, I will be posting a full review for this book this coming Friday so I don’t want to spoil my opinions of it too much here. But I will say that I enjoyed this book much more than the first. There are a couple of similarities with regards to pacing that threw me a bit for a loop, but overall I greatly enjoyed the themes of self-acceptance and scholarship, as well as the deep dive into grief and its effects on love and family.

The world itself continued to deliver giving readers an even closer look into this inspired original creation of Suri’s that reads as just familiar enough as to be recognizably drawing from Indian and Middle Eastern influences but also offers enough elements to remain completely fresh and intriguing. Here, the work that was done in the first book, some of which contributed to my pacing concerns there, pays off more fully.

As I said, my review of “Realm of Ash” will go up this Friday, and in anticipation, I’m offering a giveaway for the ARC version of the book starting today. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends December 18.

Enter to win!

Giveaway: “Flamebringer”

40401975Book: “Flamebringer” by Elle Katharine White

Publication Info: Harper Voyager, November 12, 2019

Book Description: Monsters, manners, and magic combine in this exciting final volume in the Heartstone Trilogy—an exhilarating blend of epic fantasy and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—in which a fearless healer and her dragon-riding husband must stop a reawakened evil from destroying their world.

It starts with the inconceivable: Wydrick, sworn enemy of the Daireds, is back from the dead, possessed by a ghast that grants him immortality and inhuman strength. From the isolated northern mountains, Aliza, Alastair, and Akarra chase him into the dangerous Old Wilds, realizing too late that he’s led them into a blizzard. Before he vanishes, Wydrick utters a warning: A terrible, ancient evil has awoken, hungry for blood, and is headed their way.

The danger is closer than they know. The Tekari—sworn enemies of humans—are openly roaming the kingdom and are headed towards the capital, Edonarle. Then unexpected news arrives: riding like a dark dragon on the winds from the south, an ambassador from the Silent King of Els, has left the shores of the distant desert kingdom for the first time in centuries.

Unknown enemy? Or unexpected ally? Plunged into a dangerous world of royal intrigue and ancient grudges, Aliza and Alastair soon realize it will take more than steel and dragonfire to save their kingdom. For the silence of Els hides a secret that could shake House Daired to its foundations, and the time has come to settle accounts.

Silence, it seems, is about to be broken.

Previously Reviewed: “Heartstone” and “Dragonshadow”

Giveaway Details: I’m super excited to read this book! It’s pretty fantastic to see a what started out as a stand-alone fantasy novel turn into such an excellent series. I remember when I first heart about “Heartstone” I was pretty skeptical about the entire concept. I’ve been burned a few too many times on “‘Pride and Prejudice’ but with BLANK!!!” book pitches way too many times. And this one sounded like one of the more bizarre takes? Mr. Darcy rides a…a…dragon?? And Mr. Bingley also rides a magical beast? Something about a giant evil worm? And somehow it’s still “Pride and Prejudice??” Sounded super weird. But never say I’m not happy to be surprised! I loved the heck out of the first book; it was familiar enough to its source material to be recognizable but was in no means beholden to the same story and versions of the characters that came with it

And then there was a second! And here we really got to see the strength of the original world-buiding and= characterization that White had started in the first one. Freed of the trappings of retelling the classic tale, Aliza and Alistair were free to begin adventures of their own as a married couple. All of the wonderful fantasy elements were back and somehow the stakes seemed even higher. In many ways, this book was much darker than its predecessor. But what I appreciated the most about this second book was how it dealt with Aliza’s transition into the Rider way of life, one much more full of danger and uncertainty than her previous life. It also explored a pretty challenging and emotional topic in an incredibly thoughtful manner.

The story did end with some hints about what was to come here in the third story. But so far I’ve been so off-base with expectations of these books that I’m hesitant to even make any guesses as to where the story will ultimately go. I’m excited to find out though!

My review of “Flamebringer” will go up this Friday, and in anticipation, we’re offering a giveaway for the book starting today. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends November 13.

Click here to enter!