Review Rendezvous: 8/11/18

The Steel Sentinel by Kyle Williams
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 292
Publish date: March 15th, 2018
Purchase: Amazon

TSSWar and Chaos bound together
Death is all alone
Life is lake and forest plenty
Peace sleeps with the bones

It all began with death, a mysterious woman, and a poem. The balance of the world is in jeopardy. The Guardians of War, Chaos, Peace, Life, and Death have all gone missing. The world threatens to tear itself apart and at the center.

There is Kyah.
An unassuming girl from a small village in Canada obsessed with the lore of our people. In the very oldest lore of our people, they tell of a child. A child who will rise up when the world is in its darkest hour.
And now, That time has come.

The world is on the verge of darkness and destruction. She has charged herself with finding the guardians and restoring the balance.

I’m always down for a good mythology story, so I loved getting into this book. There is a great balance of action and character building, which can sometimes get lost in stories that fall in the fantasy category. I highly enjoyed getting to know the character of Kyah, and could definitely relate and see a bit of myself in her.

Overall, I thought the pacing was quite good and really enjoyed the voice and style of the writing. The ending also grabs you and sets up further entries into the series very well. I look forward to future additions to this world.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


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Review Rendezvous: 4/7/18

The Last Man by Tobias Wade
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, fantasy, philosophy
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 646
Publish date: September 2017
Purchase: Amazon

TLMEmbark upon the fantasy story of enlightenment through these seven surreal worlds.

Test your bravery to pass the land of fear and pain. 
Resist temptations to pass the land of pleasure. 
Clear your mind to pass the land of illusion. 
Trust your heart to pass the land of love and loss. 
Keep your word to pass the land of truth and lies. 
Know yourself to pass the land of identity. 
Forsake the world to pass the land of attachments.

All the while pursuing a desperate course to the center of the Earth where a primordial force awaits its freedom with the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. 

An epic and insightful adventure filled with magic, monsters, dragons, betrayal, and transcendence!

Before I begin, let me clarify things just a bit. This review is for the entire series, but the books can be read individually. That being said, I may end up with a few mild spoilers even though I try not to include them in my reviews.

Our main character Farris is quite the unlikely hero. The only reason that she is drawn into this quest is because she wants to save her brother Tom, who has become a victim of the ‘chosen one’ trope. I will admit, it was quite interesting to see a book from the perspective of someone who disbelieves everything in the beginning, only to be forced on the adventure later. Most of the time, people just blindly except crazy things, so I liked that her main motivation was her brother, rather than saving the world.

Farris must work her way through six different ‘layers’ of the earth, each containing a species that has long left the surface of the world after a great battle between man and serpent. The two were locked in mortal combat and sealed away, and now Tom has been selected to open it and see who has won after many years.

The series is mostly from Farris’ point of view, though we do get a few chapters with Tom, Sasha (Farris’ love interest) and with one of their companions on the trip. Farris is also certainly not perfect by any means, and may even seem crazy at times. There’s something endearing about a flawed character that makes the story even better.

Also, while there is romance (Farris has been crushing on Sasha for a while at the beginning of the book), her price for beginning the journey is all her memories of him, so that complicates things a bit. The romance is also such a side plot that it doesn’t distract at all, which is a very nice change from other YA.

All in all, great series. Loved how it contrasted with the majority of the books and themes I’ve read recently. Definitely a bit philosophical and hard to decipher at times if, like me, you’ve had a long day and you’re brain dead. But, still worth the read, and highly recommended ūüôā

I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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Review Rendezvous: 3/24/18

The Crowns of Croswald by D. E. Night
Book stats:
Genre(s): Fantasy, young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 320
Publish date: May 21st, 2017
Purchase: Amazon

CrownsIn Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…¬†

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald‚Äôs mysterious gems. When Ivy‚Äôs magic‚ÄĒand her life‚ÄĒis threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

I tried to start this book like three times and kept getting interrupted. But, I finally hunkered down and read it. Quite glad I did, actually. At first, I was struck by the similarities to Harry Potter. But, as I kept on reading, I found the world to be very immersive and entertaining.

We first meet Ivy as a lowly scaldrony maid (that means she’s in charge of the beasts that function as ovens for the castle’s meals). In quite the turn of events, she gets herself chased out of the only home she’s ever known, left only with a note from a mysterious visitor she’s made friends with.

Ivy is then thrust into the real world, full of magic that had been kept from her by a stifling spell. We experience quite the harsh introduction to the world as the poor girl is thrown directly into the madness of preparing for the first day of school and the renowned magical academy.

The first thing to come across about Ivy’s character was her care for magical creatures. She takes along the scaldron that got her kicked out of the castle, naming it and offering to keep it with her as a pet. She’s also very adventurous, and doesn’t like the sound of the word ‘no’.

I will admit, a few of the things that she gets away with are a bit suspect, like it shouldn’t have been so easy for her to do the things, but if higher ups were supporting her, then it might end up making sense. I’ll have to read further books to fully understand that one. This book sets up a lovely segue into a sequel, so I’d be overjoyed to read more.

Also you should definitely check out the author’s website. Very nice and polished, one of the best author sites I’ve seen. Also, after you’ve read the book, you might realize that the author’s name sounds familiar… ūüėČ

I was kindly provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


If you liked this book, check this one out:

Harry Potter

If you’ve never heard of this book, you have been missing out on life (and possibly living under a rock)

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Review Rendezvous: 2/3/18

The Oathing Stone by J.Z.N. McCauley
Book stats:
Genre(s): Fantasy, romance, young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 184
Publish date: March 13th, 2018
Purchase: AmazonBook DepositoryBarnes & Noble


After a year blissfully hidden together in a small village on Ireland’s lush green, Catherine and Bowen are ready to tie the knot. The joining of an ancient druid doctor and a woman blessed with druid magic from the sacred oak tree calls for nothing less than a traditional Celtic ceremony. For this, to connect them to their ancestors and the sacred place where they marry, a key item must be chosen for the ritual, the oathing stone.

Their need for discretion allows for only a gathering of Catherine‚Äôs closest friends and family. But after the couple’s first night together, strange and sudden events unfold. Blood mingles with fire, and Catherine‚Äôs magic becomes unstable.

Meanwhile, the mysterious Faerie Kings send a Fae spy to witness Catherine’s magic which disrupts not only her life but her best friend Bella’s when she becomes his sudden obsession. Just after Bella goes missing, it is up to Catherine to get her back, but it is only the beginning of their problems as she finds they’re embroiled in the middle of a Faerie civil war.

Before I begin, this review has the need for a spoiler warning as I am about to review the second book in this series! If you haven’t read the first book, Oak and Mistletoe, go read that and then come back here! See ya later!

Now that I’ve successfully warned about potential spoilers, let’s get on with the review!

My first impression about this book is that it was amazing, simply because of the setting. I honestly can’t recall a book that actually had a setting in Ireland, and I adore the country so I was stoked to read a book set there!

There is so much going on here – Catherine and Bowen’s wedding, her magic, Bella’s abduction! I could not put the book down for a second because I needed to know what happened. Plus, the drama with the fae made it even more intriguing. I’m all for fun, cutesy little fairies, but it’s also perfect when author’s depict them as the mischievous and untrustworthy sort that they actually are in myth.

Catherine has so much on her plate to handle in this novel, I couldn’t even imagine doing it myself. She might potentially lose her love and her best friend, and the only way to help them is to deal with the fair folk who really don’t want to deal with humans at all.

Then there is the ending. I feel like it’s just cruel, leaving us to wait to more like that! I seriously cannot even handle the time between now and the next release date!

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


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Review Rendezvous: 1/27/18

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Book stats:
Genre(s): Romance, fantasy, young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 400
Publish date: April 5th, 2016
Purchase:¬†Amazon¬†– Barnes & Noble –¬†Book Depository

GlitteringBig and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide‚Äôs deception. Complications soon arise‚ÄĒfirst as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

All I need to say is that if you haven’t read Richelle Mead’s books, what are you doing with your life?!

I should really just end the review there. Just kidding. But no, really, I adore her writing style, and this series is so unique!

So, with this book we have a bit of a trickster on our hands. Adelaide’s family used to be one of the more revered, but it has since fallen out of favor and they are on their last legs. One of the solutions is for the young countess to obtain an advantageous marriage, which she is entirely opposed to. In order to escape that fate, she disguises herself as a lady’s maid and ships herself off to a finishing school.

She has every intention of floating through in the middle of the group so as not to draw attention to herself, but she is too much of a spitfire to do so. Throw in a handsome young man that she can help by getting herself to the top scorers of the group, and there is a recipe for disaster brewing. Of course, I definitely didn’t expect things to pan out exactly as they did, so be prepared for some twists!

One of the most interesting things about this trilogy is that all three books are set from a different girl’s perspective. There is some overlap in the timeline, but I love being able to read from the difference positions and see all the struggles that each girl faces. Currently, I’m thinking this book is my favorite, but the third book,¬†The Emerald Sea, is yet to be released, so I’l have to wait until then!


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