Category: Reviews

Book Review: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Book Review: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

This Calligraphy Guild comp title candidate also made my anticipated releases list for this year. I don’t often read books within only a couple months of their release (unless they’re ARCs for review), but my library had this one so I snatched it up and… I’m really glad I only checked it out from the library. ;P You’ve already seen the cover that helped to snare me; here’s the blurb that played a part.

Blurb

A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.

Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.

To save her mother, Xingyin embarks on a perilous quest, confronting legendary creatures and vicious enemies across the earth and skies. But when treachery looms and forbidden magic threatens the kingdom, she must challenge the ruthless Celestial Emperor for her dream—striking a dangerous bargain in which she is torn between losing all she loves or plunging the realm into chaos.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess begins an enchanting, romantic duology which weaves ancient Chinese mythology into a sweeping adventure of immortals and magic—where love vies with honor, dreams are fraught with betrayal, and hope emerges triumphant.

Review

I hated this book. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. I pushed myself through 500 pages, hoping Continue reading “Book Review: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan”

Book Review: The Reflections by E.K. Seaver

Book Review: The Reflections by E.K. Seaver

Y’all get a bonus review this week because today I have the privilege of participating in the blog tour for E.K. Seaver’s upcoming book, The Reflections!

What is The Reflections?

Everyone in the Alliance knows about the Reflections. It’s the opportunity to get into the University, the only government-recognized form of education, and those accepted are guaranteed success and comfort for the rest of their lives. Thus, when Em Gades receives the silver invitation, her future is secured. The worst that could happen is she gets sent home, right?

Until she arrives, and the rumors about the Reflections prove true. The only way to live is to get into the University, and to do that you must be one of the four remaining Chosens at the end of the competition. Although she was warned beforehand to trust no one, Em quickly forms attachments to her fellow teammates with the hope that as many of them can survive as possible. However, as Chosens are rapidly executed for failing competitions, Em struggles to understand that, if God is real, why he would let something so terrible happen to a group of mostly innocent teenagers. With likely no more than a few days left to live, she and the other Chosens must navigate life or death situations and find answers to the question:

Are their lives worth the deaths of others?

Review

I enjoyed Continue reading “Book Review: The Reflections by E.K. Seaver”

Book Review: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Book Review: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Today, I continue my series of reviews for “books I finally read because I thought they might resemble Calligraphy Guild.” Spin the Dawn has only been on my shelf since August, so it got read more promptly than a lot of books I own. It’s been on my Goodreads TBR for ages because the cover is gorgeous and the idea of sewing magic in an Asian-inspired fantasy world sounded really cool, so I finally bought it while I was out of town and I thought it would be a good choice for my comp titles list for its setting and craft-based magic system.

Synopsis

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Review

Unfortunately, I didn’t click with this one very well.

The first chapter was really promising. It laid out Continue reading “Book Review: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim”

Book Review: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Book Review: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

I decided a few months ago that I wanted to do a series of reviews covering books that I expected to have similar styles or content to Calligraphy Guild, as a sort of extended comp titles list and a way to support other authors in the process of promoting my own release. This means that my blog posts will mostly be book reviews for the next few months, but writing posts will resume sometime around or after Calligraphy Guild‘s release. Air Awakens was the first book I read for this potential comp titles list, and while it doesn’t bear much resemblance to Calligraphy Guild, it was a solid read.

Synopsis

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world.

Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

Review

I liked the characters, first off. Even the ones Continue reading “Book Review: Air Awakens by Elise Kova”

Book Review: Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson

Book Review: Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson

I wrote a book review for the first time in forever! This is actually a review of a reread, since I didn’t review this book the first time but it demanded a review. Adorning the Dark was a 5-star read in December of 2019, and it’s still a 5-star read now.


The first time I read this book I knew that it was beautiful, but it was like Continue reading “Book Review: Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson”