Book Review: Kingdom of Copper

Title: Kingdom of Copper

Author: S. A. Chakaraborty

Series? Yes, 1 of 3

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Goodreads | Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Note: This review will contain spoilers for the prequel, City of Brass. There will be no spoilers for Kingdom of Copper.

Read more…

Midnight Designs: The Gilded Wolves

The Gilded Wolves is Roshani Chokshi’s best work yet. It’s populated by an endearing and diverse cast of characters, each trying to carve out a space of their own in a historical era that’s wont to erase them.

The prose are lyrical and brings this fantastical re-imagining of the Belle Époque to life, and there were so many great quotes to choose from that I could not refrain from turning a few into phone wallpapers.

Important:

  • Characters and quotes belong to the talented Roshani Chokshi.
  • The phone wallpapers are free for your personal use only.
  • Please do not edit, repost, redistribute the images.
  • They are made for iPhone 6, but should fit most smartphones.
“If you are furious, let it be fuel.”

DOWNLOAD HERE. This one is currently my own wallpaper, because I love the sentiment of channelling your anger into productivity and be an agent of change. God knows the world needs it. Severin is pretty much the living embodiment of this quote, it’s how he broods and schemes so well.

“Don’t capture their hearts, steal their imagination.”

DOWNLOAD HERE. Leaders everywhere could use this counsel. It comes from the mother of one of my very favourite characters in this series – although it’s very hard to pick just one. Laila gets my vote because baked goods and grand gowns hold the key to my heart. Hypnos shares the spot though, can someone just show my boy the love and attention he craves and deserve?

“Wolves were everywhere. In politics, on thrones, in beds.”

DOWNLOAD HERE. Don’t you just love the moment where the title of a book or movie is referenced directly in the text itself? This quote has got to be one of my favourite examples of that in recent memories. It fits the context of the setting and the constant changing character dynamics within the L’Eden crew so well. I can’t wait to see what Roshani has in store for them in the future.

  • Find more of my free book-related designs here.
  • If you enjoyed these free graphics and want to support me, you can find me on Society 6.
  • Alternatively, you can commission me for your custom graphics by contacting me.
  • Finally, you can grab me a cuppa via Ko-fi here.

Have you read this book? If so, please tell me who your faves are and how much the ending wrecked you on a level of 1 to catatonic. No spoilers, though, please!

Book Review: The Wicked King

Title: The Wicked King

Author: Holly Black

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Series? Yes, 2 of 3

Goodreads

The Book Depository | Booktopia | Dymocks


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Allen and Unwin in exchange for an honest rview. This review will contain spoilers for the first book, The Cruel Prince. It will be spoiler-free for The Wicked King itself.


Ahhh, back to world of Elfhame, once ruled by faeries who are as cruel as they are capricious. Since the end of The Cruel Prince, Jude Duarte, a mortal girl, now dictate the fate of faerie-land from the shadows. Her proxy is a chaotic and unpredictable King Cardan, who has ideas of his own about the rule of Elfhame. Watching these characters grapple with their newfound positions was an absolute delight, especially as it is accompanied by the deadliest will-they-or-won’t-they known to YA. The result is an addictive page-turner that left me reeling and begging for more by the last pages.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Wicked King”

Bookish Low-Buy Goals for 2019

I have not done New Year resolutions in a long time. A reflection of my spending habits, especially in the last three months, have made me realise that I’ve been using retail therapy as a crutch for dealing with stress. For the coming year, I want to develop better financial habits and follow a stricter budget, so I am embarking on a low-buy/no-buy across the board. I won’t bore you guys with my goals for beauty/skincare/clothing etc, but I did want to share my goals book-wise with you.

Why I’m Doing a Low-Buy

Although I have always been a collector of books, but since I joined blogging and bookstagram, I have to admit that my consumption has gone into over-drive. Personally, I don’t have the physical space in my life to store all of these books – and the frequent need to unhaul and donate is a source of constant stress. I can’t help but feel I am being wasteful whenever I do a clean-out, especially if it’s for titles I have not read before. It makes me want to examine the books that I plan to purchase and whether they will become a permanent addition to my collection, or just another source of stress later on. I am currently purchasing/receiving more than I can read, and I felt this needed to change.

Continue reading “Bookish Low-Buy Goals for 2019”

Book Review: Empire of Sand

39714124Rating Four Star

Title: Empire of Sand

Author: Tasha Suri

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Series: Yes

Goodreads

Booktopia  | Dymocks | Book Depository


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Quick aside, I know it’s been almost two months since I updated this blog, but I had some important work assignments and minor life crises occur within the last several weeks. It really took away from my enjoyment from things like reading, blogging, and interacting with you guys on social media.

That chapter of my life is behind us now though, and I feel excited to resume talking about all that good stuff like fictional worlds and new favourite characters. Catch me up on what’s been happening with your life, reading-related or otherwise.

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Onto the book of the day, Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. I listened to this on audiobook about a month ago and it was exactly the kind of comforting fantasy I needed: richly imagined world, a heroine with plenty of fortitude and courage, a slow-burn romance, and fraught with complicated ties between family members. The themes were reminiscent of titles I’ve loved before, such as The Poppy War and The Star-Touched Queen, while being wholly its own. The narrator of the audiobook was also particularly excellent, so I would recommend exploring the audio edition of you have the option.

Personally, I felt most hooked by the opening chapters of this story, as we explored Irinah through Mehr’s eyes and come face-to-face with the prejudices faced by the Amrithi people. There were signs of magic and mysticism from the beginning, seen through the various daiva and Mehr’s own Amrithi bloodline. However, the Ambhan rule has left people fearful to speak of the power that connects the gods to the Amrithi – consequently leaving Mehr uncertain about her potential and her lineage. Another thing I found interesting within the first few chapters was her tense relationship with her family, particularly with her stepmother, Maryam. 

Mehr leaves the walls Jah Irinah within the first quarter of the novel, whisked away by a group of the empire’s most influential mystics. She is betrothed to Amun, who readers quickly learn is also an Amrithi. I love the interactions between these two characters, from their slow burn romance to how they serve as perfect foils for one another. I also loved seeing Mehr’s resilience through these chapters – even in situations where little choices are offered to her, she fights and find a way to make every decision her own. She’s a heroine that empowers herself each step of the way, and while I don’t always agree with her actions, I constantly found myself rooting for her.

Many of the book’s characters are deeply spiritual and intensely connected to cultural practices of their ancestors, from which they derive strength both mental and literal. I loved seeing how the book explored the interplay between the capacity of the Amrithi people for power, along with how they were exploited for possessing that self-same blessing. The book showed us the different ways which the Amrithi people have learned to cope, from Mehr’s resolute resistance to Amun’s stoic resignation – offering no clear answers or judgement. A lot of this novel is deeply introspective, and while it affected the pacing of the book, I felt it added a lot of depth to these characters.

While the book works perfectly as a standalone read, there is a companion novel coming out which will follow Arwa, Mehr’s younger sister. I can’t wait to see how Tasha Suri will further expand this world and its characters.

Book Rant: Kingdom of Ash

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Note: This post will contain spoilers for the entire series, including the ending of Kingdom of Ash! Turn back if you don’t want to be spoiled.

If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you would know that I’ve had my ups and downs with the Throne of Glass series. I read the prequel novellas before the first book was released, and was intrigued by the world and its characters. Throne of Glass itself didn’t impress me, but I followed on because if there’s one thing I can be trusted to do, it’s to follow the hype train. I enjoyed Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, and Queen of Shadows, and have made countless blogging friends through this series, and because of that, reading these books will never seem a waste.

However, I started becoming disillusioned with SJM’s writing with A Court of Wings and Ruin (yes, it took me that long), and haven’t bothered reviewing any of her books since. Kingdom of Ash is the perfect example of why I can’t enjoy SJM’s writing as I once did, so I’m going to do a book rant and get it all out of my system once and for all. As mentioned above, lots of spoilers below! Continue reading “Book Rant: Kingdom of Ash”

Book Review: Girls of Paper and Fire

34433755Rating Four Star

Title: Girls of Paper and Fire

Author: Natasha Ngan

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Series? Yes

Goodreads

Book DepositoryBooktopia  | Dymocks


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warning for sexual assault.

Girls of Paper and Fire is an antidote to the poison that is on the daily news. It’s a testament to the resilience of survivors, filled with fire and fury and hope. If you are in the mood for a read that will set the patriarchy alight, this is definitely one to grab.

Girls-of-Paper-and-Fire

There is a lot to unpack about this stunner of a debut novel. The experience of reading Girls is intensely personal, as the book draws intimately from the Natasha Ngan’s experiences. From the cultural flourishes to the Paper Girls’ shared trauma, every detail within the book is carefully considered to create an emotionally immersive experience. I confess this novel left me in a daze after I finished it, so do approach with caution considering the heavy content within.

The world building in Girls is rich and expansive, helped by Natasha Ngan’s beautiful descriptive writing. Characters within this world are divided into three groups – with the powerless humans of the Paper caste oppressed by the demons in the Steel and Moon castes. There is mythology and founding legend deeply rooted in the fabric of this world, re-purposed by the ruling class to reinforce their reign at the top. I loved the political tension between the different caste and the various provinces of the Demon King’s vast empire. As the world is based in Malaysia, it’s as rich in cultural diversity as its real-life counterpart.

Lei is a Paper Girl, one among a group of nine selected to be concubine to the Demon King. Born to a world where women are routinely robbed of their agency, Lei emerges from the page simmering in anger yet plagued by insecurities and self-doubt. Her character arc is an exploration of self-empowerment and reclaiming of identity in a deeply flawed and misogynistic system. I appreciated that the book presented a multitude of ways in which these women coped, and does not pass judgement on any methods.

The romantic love story within this book is the slow burn F/F fantasy romance readers everywhere have been waiting for. It’s satisfying watching two women learn of each other’s flaws and strengths, empowering one another, and falling in love along the way. It’s so easy to root for these ladies and cheer on their battle against the world.

If you only pick one debut novel to read in 2018, make it this one.

Audiobook Review: Sadie

34810320Rating Four Star

Title: Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Series? No

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Goodreads

Audible ||  Booktopia  || Dymocks


I could not resist picking up this title as soon as it popped up on my Audible recommendations: a full cast of 30+ voice actors take on a revenge story, framed as a true crime podcast? Yes, please. As if that impressive blurb wasn’t enough, Sadie went on to trump every single one of my expectations. It delivers a powerful and unapologetic tale about a girl who’s hellbent on regaining control and exacting justice.

Sadie.png

The audio production of Sadie was incredible and a perfect medium for this story, if you can access it, I highly recommend listening rather than reading to this book. Half of the book features a fictional crime podcast, The Girls, as presenter Wes McCrae follows the trail of the missing Sadie Hunter – who disappeared after the murder of her younger sister, Mattie. The other half of the book, told in alternate chapters, follows Sadie as she tracks down a man she knew as Keith. The voice actors are incredible, especially Sadie’s narrator, who did an excellent job conveying her intensity and emotion. Sadie also has a stutter, and this was portrayed very well on the audiobook. Continue reading “Audiobook Review: Sadie”

Book Review: Muse of Nightmares

39851395Rating Five Star

Title: Muse of Nightmares

Author: Laini Taylor

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Series? Yes, 2 of 2

Goodreads

Book Depository ||  Booktopia  ||  Dymocks


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

The following review will contain spoilers for the first book, Strange the Dreamer (which I have reviewed here). There will be no spoilers for Muse of Nightmares.

Laini Taylor is a wordsmith and a weaver of dreams, she never ceases to amaze me. This duology will go down as my all-time favourite, sharing the throne with The Orphan’s Tales Duology and Six of Crows.

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As long-time blog readers might remember, Strange the Dreamer was one of my favourite reads of 2017. Within the first few pages, I was captivated by Lazlo’s dreams, Sarai’s musings, and the magic of Weep. If the first book in this duology was a languid and indescribably vivid dreamscape, then Muse of Nightmares was a triumphant awakening into a reality equally monstrous and fantastical. To me, Muse was pitch-perfect from beginning to end, marked by Laini Taylor’s inimitable lyrical prose and enviable imagination. Continue reading “Book Review: Muse of Nightmares”