Category: Reviews

Book Review: Sing to Me of Rain by E.B. Dawson

Book Review: Sing to Me of Rain by E.B. Dawson

This book has been high on my TBR since I first heard about it, and my Calligraphy Guild comp list was the nudge I needed to finally buy it. I’m not always a huge fan of E.B. Dawson’s short stories, but I don’t think any of her novels have let me down yet and Sing to Me of Rain is definitely my new favorite of her works!

What is Sing to Me of Rain about?

An innocent naiad. A wounded boy. An adventure that will change their lives forever.

Plip is a naiad of the Great Waterfall, destined to one day sing the songs that send rain out into the world.

Akino isn’t destined for anything but trouble. His father long gone, his mother working on a plantation far away, he doesn’t really belong in the village below the Waterfall. And the villagers don’t let him forget it.

When Akino convinces Plip to travel down the mountain with him, for his own selfish purposes, he launches them into a world more dangerous than either of them could imagine. A world where people are not always what they seem and the rain does not fall evenly across the land.

Review

I rarely underline in fiction books. It took me long enough to be comfortable underlining non-fiction, and something still Continue reading “Book Review: Sing to Me of Rain by E.B. Dawson”

Book Review: The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

Book Review: The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

This week, I am pleased to announce that I have found another book off the Calligraphy Guild comp titles list which I actually enjoyed. The Story Peddler was a great read, and I’m quite excited to get my hands on the remainder of the series. But before we get into it, what is The Story Peddler?

Blurb

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too.

Review

The Story Peddler suffered from a little bit of Continue reading “Book Review: The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin”

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”