The Stolen Kingdom – Book Review

The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme

Synopsis:
For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir―and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

Review:
Maralyth has had to keep her magic a secret from everyone, but it turns out the reason is that she’s a secret descendant to the true royal family. Instead, a family sits on the throne who has stolen magic – a power with destructive capabilities. But as Maralyth embeds herself as a reluctant spy, she begins to develop feelings for Prince Alac.

The Stolen Kingdom had an intriguing plot that grabbed me from the start. Both Maralyth and Alac are great characters – and it’s easy to root for them. I loved the twist that the object of the heroines’ affection is someone who she’s supposed to be complicit in assassinating. Full of intense suspense, intrigue, magic, and romance – this is a fantastic YA adventure. This clever story has a lot of twists and turns, that made it hard to put down. This has definitely been one of my favorite reads this year so far!

Marvel Comics: The Variant Covers – Book Spotlight

Marvel Comics: The Variant Covers by Insight Comics

Marvel started experimenting with “enhanced” comic covers, which soon became “Variant” covers and grew in popularity since the ’90s. This fantastic collection is an oversized book full of hundreds of artwork from a variety of titles and artists across 216 full-color pages.

This book spans the past several decades from Marvels’ vast spread of characters. I don’t collect variant covers. But this book is a lot of fun and contains a lot of amazing artwork. It will take me quite a while to go through all of it in depth. There are sections on themes, monsters, characters, and artists. And the centerfold by Daniel Acuna, spreads out across 4 pages. This would be a great gift for Marvel fans. It’s definitely a collector’s item. It’s an impressive collection of stunning artwork with something for everyone.

Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook – Book Review

Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook: From Aphrodite to Zeus, a Profile of Who’s Who in Greek Mythology by Liv Albert (Author), Sara Richard (Illustrator)

Synopsis:
Greek mythology continues to appear in popular movies and books today but have you ever wondered about where these characters started out? Discover the origins of your favorite characters from Greek mythology with this collection of profiles to tell you who’s who in classical lore!

In Greek Mythology, you will discover the backstories of the heroes, villains, gods, and goddesses that enjoy popularity in today’s shows and films. With comprehensive entries that outline each character’s name, roles, related symbols, and foundational myths, you can get to know the roots of these personas and better understand the stories they inspire today. With this character-focused, handy reference, you will never be confused about Ancient Greece!

Review:
There is a nice introduction that explains the basics of Greek mythology and the basic history. Then, the next section is detail on the Olympian gods and goddesses and what each are known for. They have nice, full-color, artistic representations of each. The third section is on the non-Olympian deities – Titans, minor gods, monsters, etc. Each character has several pages on what they’re known for and any notable stories. And the forth and final section is on the Heroes and Mortals of Greek mythology – some were familiar to me, but several I had never heard of. Bold and colorful illustrations are peppered throughout these sections. I enjoyed the little factoids for most of these lesser-known characters. This makes for a great, quick reference guide for Greek mythology fans or those new to Greek mythology. There’s a lot of information packed in this impressive book.

Birds of Paradise – Book Giveaway!

Courtesy of Titan Books, I have a copy of Birds of Paradise by Oliver K. Langmead for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends April 15. I’ll draw a name on April 16, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read more

Received in March

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received last month for review and/or giveaways:

Amulet:
In the Hall with the Knife: A Clue Mystery, Book One by Diana Peterfreund
In the Study with the Wrench: A Clue Mystery, Book Two by Diana Peterfreund

Atria Books:
Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest

Del Rey:
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra by Sarah Kuhn

Disney Hyperion / Marvel:
10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston
Gamora and Nebula: Sisters in Arms by Mackenzi Lee
Curse of the Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke
Aru Shah and the City of Gold (Pandava Series, 4) by Roshani Chokshi
Stuffed: Into Darkness by Liz Braswell

Fandemonium:
STARGATE SG-1 Female of the Species by Geonn Cannon

Harper Teen:
Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Saga Press:
Among Thieves by M.J. Kuhn

Simon Children’s / Aladdin:
The Revenge of Magic: The Timeless One by James Riley

Simon & Schuster / Adams:
Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook by Liv Albert

Subterranean Press:
The Physicians of Vilnoc by Lois McMaster Bujold

Titan Books / Titan Comics:
Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda edited by Jesse J Holland
Adler by Lavie Tidhar

Tor / Tor.com:
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

Tor Teen:
The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme

The Bone Maker – Book Review

The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst

Synopsis:
Twenty-five years ago, five heroes risked their lives to defeat the bone maker Eklor—a corrupt magician who created an inhuman army using animal bones. But victory came at a tragic price. Only four of the heroes survived.

Since then, Kreya, the group’s leader, has exiled herself to a remote tower and devoted herself to one purpose: resurrecting her dead husband. But such a task requires both a cache of human bones and a sacrifice—for each day he lives, she will live one less.

She’d rather live one year with her husband than a hundred without him, but using human bones for magic is illegal in Vos. The dead are burned—as are any bone workers who violate the law. Yet Kreya knows where she can find the bones she needs: the battlefield where her husband and countless others lost their lives.

But defying the laws of the land exposes a terrible possibility. Maybe the dead don’t rest in peace after all.

Five warriors—one broken, one gone soft, one pursuing a simple life, one stuck in the past, and one who should dead. Their story should have been finished. But evil doesn’t stop just because someone once said, “the end.”

Review:
I haven’t read many long, fantasy novels lately, as I have so many books in my TBR pile. But this sounded like a unique twist on magic, and I’ve pretty much read (and reviewed) almost every children’s and YA novel written by Durst. She’s a favorite author of mine. So, of course, it didn’t take any coaxing to check this out. And I wasn’t surprised at all to quickly get caught up in this story.

Kreya lost the love of her life 25 years ago, but has been trying to bring him back ever since using illegal magic. But the past evil that killed him seems to be back. This is an exceptional fantasy packed with engaging character, gruesome magic, and a complex and captivating plot. It’s a thrilling read with adventure, drama, friendship, romance, and intrigue. I enjoyed every bit of this impressive novel.

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