Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Summer Reading Reviews: Fantasy

Posted by Caitie F on September 23, 2015

Well, it is later than I had hoped, but here is the third post in my reviews of ALL the books I read this summer.

Title: Burning Skyburning
Author: Sherry Thomas
Pub Date: Sep 2013
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Rating: +++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Iolanthe is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—the one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant teenager with no training. Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

Review:

This book has been on my radar for a while, and when I finally read it, it was so much better than I thought it would be! Both main characters are fantastic – smart, flawed, brave, and totally kick ass. The world building is incredible. The magic is super creative and cool. Everything about this book was awesome. I really need to read the next book in the series – if you like high fantasy, read this book.

Title: The Magician Kingmagician
Author: Lev Grossman
Pub Date: Aug 2011
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Viking
Rating: ++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Quentin should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring. Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they’d hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia’s illicitly-learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.

Review:

It took me so long to read this book because I really didn’t like how the first book ended. Lev Grossman likes to stomp on your heart repeatedly. But this was a very good second book. It still stomps on your heart. A lot. You will still want to smack some sense into the characters. In a good way though. It was great to be back in this world and Grossman is an extremely talented writer.

Title: The Wrath and the Dawnwrath
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Pub Date: May 2015
Hardcover: 388 pages
Publisher: G P Putnam for Young Readers
Rating: ++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Review:

I was worried when I read the description of this book. It sounded like it could be a little Stockholm sydrome-y. Or insta-love. But it isn’t either. Instead, it is a beautifully woven tale with an amazing heroine. I loved the other women in this book – the relationships are what makes it go from good to great.

Title: The Witch Hunter witch
Author: Virginia Boecker
Pub Date: Jun 2015
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown for Young Readers
Rating: +++++

Summary:

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate

Review:

Woah. This book is intense and super suspenseful. Be prepared to read this book all in one siting if you can, I know I did. This is exactly how I like my YA fantasy books – really hard choices, learning everything you know is wrong, and figuring out how to try to make up for your past. I want the next book so badly.

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