Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle

The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle is the first book of the Hollow Kingdom Trilogy. It brings the worlds of goblins and elves into the human world. Two sisters, Kate and Emily, are going to live with their closest living relatives after their father passes, and they find that the goblin king is looking for a wife in Kate, who is the eldest. She ends up going to him to help her sister and they have to acclimate to life underground and amongst the goblins. They find they actually like it with them and Kate, despite being married to the goblin king, learns to love it there as well.

This book is good on so many levels. The character and plot development are both great, and the characters are intriguing enough that you know who they are but there aren't so many that you get confused about things. Marak is one of the best characters, he has a great sense of humor but is able to be serious when necessary. I loved seeing how the characters developed and changed throughout the story, it was very well done.

I don't really have a complaint about this book, but if I did I guess I could say that the goblin way of doing things isn't exactly favorable. The kings kidnap their wives and they are forced into marriage right away. Now they aren't forced into bed, which I appreciate, but still.

I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it for readers of YA Fantasy.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May

The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May was an amazing conclusion to this trilogy. I really have no words to describe the emotions in my heart as I try to process this book. Aileana wakes up with no memories and has to figure out who she is and how to break the curse of Kiaran. They end up encountering the Morrigan, a very powerful and evil fae who wants to be free of her prison. The price for defeating her, though, is steep and Aileana has to decide if she's able to pay it.

There are so many emotions and so many things to learn about the characters in this book. It's really interesting to think back on the first book and remember the impressions you had of the characters there and then look at them in this one to see how incredibly different you view them. I cried at this book, so may raw emotions come out in this book. I don't want to give spoilers, you'll have to read it to get more.

The thing I didn't like is someone died who I didn't want to! But I can't give anything else away. It was a good emotional impact in the story, but I still didn't want this character to die. But it fit the story so this is just me being an emotional wreck 20 minutes after reading it.

I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it for readers of YA fantasy and faerie books. Again this book is violent and has sexual implied scenes so I recommend parents read this before allowing younger young adults to read this book.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May

The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May is an exciting and action-packed sequel. Aileana finds herself captured by one Lonnrach and is subjected to his torture until she is rescued. Time passes differently in the fairy realms though, and it is hard for her to come to terms with how long she was gone. She has to regain the trust of people who knew her and figure out herself how to deal with the trauma she endured at the hands of Lonnrach. Aileana also learns a great deal about herself and how the whole mess between the fairies started. She ends up unlocking her power and is very powerful. However, at the end of the book it's not quite enough and she has to accept something else.

Oh my goodness this book was such a good read! I really just charged through this book, it was very well done! Thankfully Aileana is reunited with some of her friends when she comes back. It is hard because she has a lot of darkness she has to deal with and she gets the truth about things which makes it hard for her because the truth is never easy. The magic and the fighting and relationships are all incredibly well written and very enjoyable. I think Aithinne is the best character ever, and I would love to meet her if that was ever an option.

The only thing was that I was a bit confused in the beginning about what exactly had happened, but I guess Aileana was too so it kind works? But I was a little confused. And I was kinda hoping the romance would go a different direction but what she did makes sense and is good so not really a complaint :)

I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it for readers of YA Fantasy and faerie stories. This book does have violence and some sexual implications, I recommend parents read it before letting younger young adults read it.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer by Elizabeth May is a fascinating story about a girl destined to kill faeries. It's set in the mid-1800s in Scotland and has a bit of a steampunk vibe to it. Aileana is the only daughter of a marquess and finds out after her mother is murdered that she has powers specifically suited to killing faeries who want to kill humans. She has a fairy mentor who teaches her and a pixie who lives in her dressing room, giving her advice. She has to deal with her own feelings, her abilities, and mixing with society while trying to make sure her reputation isn't damaged as she hunts the evil faeries.

This book is very enjoyable because the characters are so vivid. Aileana is struggling with how to handle her mother's death, and the main way she does that is to kill faeries. She goes against her instructor's warnings and kills without him which alerts the faeries to her existence. Aileana also has to figure out her feelings for her instructor, who is a faerie and therefore warns her not to humanize him, and also for a childhood friend who is come back from college and happens to have some powers of his own. I think Aileana's emotional struggle was very well written, especially at the end when she is trying to save the city. There is, of course, a cliffhanger so I suggest having all three books in the series on hand so you can just dive right on into the next one.

I can't necessarily think of anything to dislike right now, I think the author did a good job of keeping the time period while adding steampunk into it. I might have something later, but at this point I really enjoyed the book!

I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it for lovers of YA steampunk fantasy and faerie stories.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix

Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix is one of the most delightful books I have ever read. It's about a girl whose heirloom emerald is stolen and she sets off to London to see if she can figure out who stole it and why. She ends up disguised as a man so as to arouse less suspicion, and along the way she encounters vile villains and all sorts of compromising situations.

This book is SO much fun to read. I actually listen to the audiobook rather regularly. Truthful Newington, called 'Newt' by her cousins, is forced to disguise herself as a man while managing her coming out when her family's heirloom is stolen. She is paired with a Major Charles Harnett, who has a few secrets of his own, in her disguise in an attempt to retrieve the emerald before it can be used for ill. They go on quite a lot of adventures and Truthful has to battle her growing attraction to him for a multitude of reasons. Her eccentric aunt helps along the way, providing magical assistance and some good advice. It truly is an enjoyable read all the way through.

I have a hard time finding anything to dislike about this book. I feel that with Garth Nix books either you like a book or you don't, and this one I really like.

I give this book a 10 out of 10 and highly recommend this for lovers of YA historical fiction and fantasy.