Blog Tour: Spin the Dawn Graphics and Thoughts

Spin the Dawn Preview

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of Spin the Dawn from the publisher via Caffeine Blog Tour.

2019 has been a wonderful year for East Asian fantasy releases, from The Girl King, to Descendant of the Cranes, to Wicked Fox, and now Spin the Dawn – we’ve seen an exploration of a diverse array of Asian culture and history through YA fiction.

Mini Review

Spin the Dawn had two distinct story arcs, each breathing fresh air into the tropes of high-stake tournaments and impossible quests. As a daughter of a tailor, I felt a kinship to Maia, her plight and her utter devotion to her craft. Here is a heroine that did not sought to change the world with physical might or sharp wit – she altered the fabric of the universe with a decisive cut of her scissors – and I found that imagery beautiful.

I prefer my fantasy to be character driven, and this is exactly what Spin the Dawn delivered with its introspective heroine. The relationships that Maia developed over the course of this novel, especially her slow-burn friendship turned romance, was satisfying to behold.

My favourite thing about Spin the Dawn was the way the tale took familiar notes of East Asian folklore and weaved it into the fabric of its lore and legend. The resplendent robes Maia was tasked with completing called to mind the myths of Weaver girl. More than that, the story reclaimed the narrative of unfortunate girls being transformed by beautiful dresses – and placed the power back into the hands of a girl who created them.

Graphics

Spin the Dawn was rich in beautiful imageries expressed through both Maia’s embroidered creations and Elizabeth Lim’s lyrical proses. I could see no better way to celebrate than through a collection of wallpapers, to pay homage to both the book and its beautiful cover.

  • Characters and quotes belong to Elizabeth Lim.
  • The phone wallpapers are free for your personal use only.
  • Please do not edit, repost, redistribute the images.
  • They are made for iPhone XS, but should fit most smartphones.

Spin the Dawn 01

DROPBOX LINK Continue reading “Blog Tour: Spin the Dawn Graphics and Thoughts”

June Reading Updates

June Reading Updates.png

It’s been a while since my last update since most of April and May left me with very little time for blogging. I just wanted to do a quick catch up on what I’ve been reading and what I plan to read in the coming month.

What I’ve Read

Almost 100% of the reading I’ve done in the past two months have been done via audiobook. Bless them for enabling me to finish all these novels while I completed my chores or during my morning commute, I would have fell into a book slump without them. I know at the beginning of the year I said I would cancel my Scribd account, but since I read so much via audio now, the set up is working great for me.

These aren’t even in chronological reading order because I am a Mess.

 

  • Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★☆
    This novel is best enjoyed via audiobook, sorry I don’t make the rules. TJR has a way of making her characters feel so raw and real, if I didn’t know any better I would have been searching for the discography of Daisy Jones & The Six after completing this novel. Epistolary novels don’t always work for me (see: Illuminae), because I sometimes find it hard to connect to the story. 100% not the case here, and I loved how utterly flawed everyone was allowed to be. To tell the truth, I didn’t like most of them, but they sure captured my imagination.

 

  • The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang ★★★★★
    HELLO IS ANYONE SURPRISED I AM COMPLETE TRASH FOR THIS BOOK. NO? OK.
    Ahem. With complete objectivity, this book was a stunning follow-up to The Poppy War. It’s more introspective, it deals with PTSD, it brings in all of the threads that complicates and muddies the war Rin is waging on Nikara and with herself. The ending left me literally reeling and screaming in random DMs for weeks. I still have not completely stopped and I fear I will never be coherent again. Give me book three or give me death.

 

  • Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey ★★★★☆
    I finished this book about two hours ago and edited the post to include it. Although it contained the familiar tropes like a magical school, a jaded private detective, a dark prophecy, a hidden world of mages, a murder mystery – Magic for Liars combined them in a way that kept the plot fresh and engaging. Imagine if Aunt Petunia never married Vernon Dursley but instead became a private investigator – who’s then called back to Hogwarts to unravel a murder, with Lily as one of the professors on tenure. Except better, because the character work in this book is freaking top notch. Just go read it OK, this is the gay and messy magical school we all deserve.

Continue reading “June Reading Updates”

Midnight Designs: Descendant of the Crane

Descendant of the Crane teaser

I knew that I would make a graphics post for this book as soon as I saw the cover. Feifei Ruan’s artwork is actual magic. The book is endlessly quotable and so vivid in imageries. Bring those two things together and I simply can’t help myself.

I have a new phone now, so these are larger than the ones I’ve always made ❤

  • Characters and quotes belong to the brilliant Joan He.
  • The phone wallpapers are free for your personal use only.
  • Please do not edit, repost, redistribute the images.
  • They are made for iPhone XS, but should fit most smartphones.

DOTC 1

DOWNLOAD HERE.

“Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.”

A++ leadership advice, would follow to the ends of the earth. I grew up watching c-drama featuring court intrigues and warring concubines, so seeing Descendant of the Crane play with and subvert these tropes was an absolute delight.

 

DOTC 2

DOWNLOAD HERE.

Carve your path path, little bird.

While the coming-of-age meets weight-of-destiny is a common narrative structure in fantasy, I loved how it was written in this book – especially because so much of it was focused on family and its complicated ties. Although Hesina’s father was never physically present in the novel, his decisions and his mentorship guided the novel through twists and turns.DOTC 3

DOWNLOAD HERE.

But in trying time, truth is the first thing we betray.

Speaking of betrayals, this book has taught me to never trust again. Godspeed, friends, as you make your way through all of the intrigue and reveals of this novel.

  • 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.

Descendant of the Crane is set to release on April 9, you still have time to submit your preorder receipts for character art cards! Fly, friends!

Book Review: Descendant of the Crane

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Rating Four Star

Title: Descendant of the Crane

Author: Joan He

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Series? Yes

Goodreads

Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was captivated by Descendant of the Crane the moment I saw its enchanting cover (illustrated by Feifei Ruan). It promises intrigue and magic in a world deeply inspired by China’s rich and varied history. The reading experience was one that left me reeling from the many clever twists and turns within the story. While my lack of attachment to any of the main characters meant that I could not wholly love the book, I am impressed with the breadth of the world-building and complexity of the plot. If this is what Joan He is capable of at the beginning of her career, I await eagerly to see what she will bring out next.

Descendant of the Crane Review.png Continue reading “Book Review: Descendant of the Crane”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 7-8

It’s time to revive my reread of The Poppy War, I just recently received an eARC of The Dragon Republic and wanted this reread series written and published before my mind gets the two novels mixed up and inadvertently spoil you! TPR 7-8.png

Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

REREAD INDEX

Chapter 7

The chapter begins with the rough patch between Jiang and Rin after her refusal to study Lore at the end of last chapter. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 7-8”

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”