Monday, June 27, 2016

THE CRYSTAL TOUR:Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova ARC Review




           Crystal Crowned Release Date: July 12, 2016



Crystal Crowned Synopsis

Long live Solaris.
One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

Exclusive Excerpt

With just the one weapon and a leather jerkin, she struck a course northward. Given all the reports she’d been receiving, it seemed like the most logical location for her Emperor. A red sunrise streaked across the sky, mirroring the crimson land before her.
The casualties had been heavy, heavier than she expected given the number of soldiers who had been in the Western force surrounding the city. But the hulking corpses of giant winged beasts offered a chilling explanation. Teeth longer than her body jutted out from their massive jowls. They had almost canine-like heads but with thick leathery skin pulled taut against oddly shaped muscles. Some had two arms, some had four, one even had six. They had the wings of a wyvern and scorpion-like tails. It was a creature that the Gods had never intended to exist, and the now-dormant crystals embedded in their bodies glinted like dull obsidian in the sunlight, slowly cracking into dust.
A handful of men and women were surrounded, forced to their knees. Soldiers waited around them, sorcerers and Commons alike, ready to execute the traitors who had ridden in to kill them all on the backs of monsters. The lean figure of a man was mounted before the lot—an Emperor casting judgment on those who fought against his throne.
“. . . forsake the false king.” Vhalla could hear Aldrik’s words as she approached. “Those who give information will be rewarded with their lives.”
No one spoke.
“You protect a coward,” Vhalla called out, announcing her presence. Aldrik turned in surprise as she rode up next to him. “You stand with a man whose power comes not through his own merit—as he would have you believe—but through theft.”
“What would you know?” one of the kneeling sorcerers demanded, curiosity drawing the words from him.
“I know all too well,” Vhalla replied quietly, “because I was the one whose powers he stole.”
Now she had their attention.
“Victor could not open the caverns on his own; he wasn’t strong enough to manage the crystals. I know because he needed me to help him do it. When he had what he wanted, he stole my magic to make him immune from the taint.”
“Lies!” one sneered. “The taint only affects those of weak will, Commons, and lesser sorcerers.”
Desperation carved the way for stupidity in the hearts of men.
“You can’t possibly believe that. Is that what Victor has told you? That you are the strong ones and immune?” She shook her head with a bitter sorrowful laugh. “He has written you off as expendable with his lies.”
“Are you really the Windwalker?” a timid voice asked from among them.
“I was.” Vhalla spoke only to the man who had asked. “I was the Windwalker until he stole my powers. Now I am a Commons. It was my magic that unleashed this monster upon the world—”
“Vhalla . . .” Aldrik had a cautionary note.
“—but because of that, no one will fight harder than me to do what is necessary to right that wrong.” The words hurt. They hurt like the wind still hurt on her cheeks, plain and un-magical. But it was finally the right kind of hurt. The hurt of a confession that needed to be said. “This is but a night. The sun will rise again, and I stand with the dawn.”
She looked to the Emperor. His eyes were a chameleon over the past few weeks, constantly changing to match the woman she was becoming.
“Who will stand with the sun?” He tore his eyes away from her to make his final demand.
The man who had asked his timid question stood slowly. “A false king sits on a false throne.”
“You disgrace sorcerers,” another loyalist spat. “You’ll follow a liar and a Commons.”
“Strength channels its own magic,” the man said in reply, looking directly at Vhalla.
“Who else will stand with us?” Vhalla demanded.
Two more stood.
“Why take pity on them?” a Western soldier finally spoke. “They fight against your Empire. Put them to death.”
“Because a wise woman taught me that no soul is beyond saving,” Aldrik replied easily.
Vhalla’s chest tightened, instantly thinking of Larel.
“Those who stand with us, live; those who do not, die. Make your choice. Dawn comes and it will wait for no man.” Aldrik turned back to Victor’s sorcerers.
Two more stood, five in total. That was all who were spared. Vhalla bore a silent witness to the other sorcerers who died for Victor’s ideal. Men and women who had become so tainted with his lies that they valued his dogma more than their lives.
Vhalla counted every man and woman put to death. Twenty-three in total. She shifted in her saddle and felt the sword pulling heavy on her shoulder. The next time she saw Victor she would stab him herself, Vhalla resolved, twenty-three times.

REVIEW:

                                                 *WARNING:There may be some spoilers*
       RATING:
First of all, I just want to say that this book has the most beautiful cover I have ever seen.
I was so not ready to say goodbye to this world and hence I started this book almost 3 weeks after I had received it, I know that most people would have dived straight in but I had to brace myself.
The book started off on a good start, right after where the last book ended so that is a good thing that we didn’t feel like there was something missing. It only got better from there onwards.
All the characters we met previously are there, as well as many new faces, and the bond between them is as strong as ever. Elecia did irritate me a little again but I was very fond of her by the end. Jax brings some light to the dark times with his jokes but we see the man behind the fa├žade and learn a lot about him in Crystal Crowned. Although some his behavior didn’t sit well with me.
The book had adventure and war but it also had friendship and romance. All these elements were well balanced. The romantic element isn’t overpowering but it is just enough to not bore the reader with only the brutality and bloodshed of war. Most of the time, my only thoughts were that please don’t let anyone I like die, which had a habit of happening in the last books.
Lots of surprises and mysteries of the previous books were finally solved. Everyone evolved as people and they were different than who they were at the beginning. I love happy endings and it had one. The ending was sooo sweet and I liked that it had a different POV,I won’t tell you who ;)

I was sad that it had to end but This book was amazing and everyone should read it. 

About the Author


Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she s not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

Goodreads Links

Raffle

This is the biggest raffle yet for the Air Awakens series. There are multiple prizes that people can win:
  • Grand Prize – Complete set of first edition Air Awakens hardcovers signed by Elise Kova (Author), Monica Wanat (Editor), and Merilliza Chan (Cover Artist), plus a swag pack
  • First Runner Up – Complete set of Air Awakens paperbacks plus a swag pack
  • Second/Third Runner Up – Complete set of signed Air Awakens ebooks
  • 4 Air Awakens complete bookmark sets


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

WATER'S WRATH (Air Awakens #4) by Elise Kova

                                                                         

                                                         RATING:

SYNOPSIS:
Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.

The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla's fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she'll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover

REVIEW:
                                      *WARNING:There may be some spoilers*
First of all I would like to tell you that Water has always been my most favorite element.If I could choose any element to have power over,I would choose Water.As such,I was super excited to read this book,especially after the ending of Earth's End.I started with very high hopes that Miss Kova would do justice to this element as well and I was not disappointed.Although it did make me feel unbearably sad.I'd say this was one of the most saddest book I've ever read.It made me cry.
Vhalla, I thought made very idiotic choices in this book,a lot of pain could have been avoided if she had used better judgement.But I suppose that is what made this book realistic as no one is perfect.All I can say is that Elise Kova is certainly a master of surprises.I really did NOT expect whatever happened to happen.I'm thinking the author must revel in tormenting us so much.A death of a much beloved character was a sore point,I want to ask WHYY????? :(
So much was revealed,it seems like in every book something vital comes to light and all the pieces start to fit together.I just know that this is one book which I will be thinking about for a while.I had to close my eyes and take deep breathe after the end of it.Now I really can't wait for the last book but while I'm waiting,I need to go and read a very very very happy book to control my emotions and maybe forget about this one for a while.Despite all the despair,I do not regret reading it and this series has fast become one of my most favorite books EVER.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master's in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she s not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).


Monday, May 23, 2016

EARTH'S END (Air Awakens #3) by Elise Kova


RATING:

SYNOPSIS:

A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

REVIEW:
*WARNING:There may be some spoilers*
Another great book in the Air Awakens series.My first thought is that I finally found out what Aldrik's horse is named,I wanted to know that ever since Vhalla named hers,silly I know.And Vhalla FINALLY started to eat.The great thing about this series is that in every book,we are introduced to some new characters that we can't help but love.In this book,Jax was one such character,he made me laugh at his antics.Other than him,Baldair and Elicia were a big part.Daniel on the other hand was very frustrating but sweet too.A lot happened and there was a lot of detail about the war which somehow wasn't boring at all.We even got answers to some of my questions. Aldrik was very different in this,I still have no idea if that was a good or bad thing.We came to know some new things about him,not all of them good.There were lots of cute moments between Vhalla and Aldrik between the chaos of war which helped to prevent the book from being very grim.Ugghh I wanted to punch the emperor in the face!!What a Jerk! I think Vhalla matured even more during this book and I admired that she took a stand with Aldrik and did not let him bulldoze over her.
I could not help but love this book,even though THAT ENDING!It was heart wrenching and brutal.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master's in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she s not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).




Sunday, May 22, 2016

FIRE FALLING (Air Awakens #2) by Elise Kova:Review


                                                        RATING:

SYNOPSIS:
Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

Fire Falling is the second book in the Air Awakens Series.

REVIEW:
                                         *WARNING:There may be some spoilers*
WOW is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this book.
The starting captured my attention right away and I became engrossed in the book from that point on wards and had trouble putting it down to perform even my everyday tasks.A lot happened in this book, more than what happened in the first one.It showed me the bond of friendship and love.It was good to see how amazing Vhalla's friends were along with her friendship with Aldrik and how their feelings blossomed.Most of the characters were very much likable except a few who although, to my amazement, were not as bad as they seemed at first.This book made me change my opinion on a lot of characters,teaching me an important lesson that first impressions shouldn't always be the last impressions.It was good to see that in Elise Kova's fantasy world,females were a part of the army and were equal to the men.Another thing I liked was how Vhalla had to be trained and did not automatically become an expert on fighting like how it is shown in most books.And her training focused not only on her magical abilities but also on her physical ones,so that she was not only reliant on her magic.I also got to see much more of Vhalla and Aldrik together,which was so cute <3.The moments between them were just amazing.One thing I absolutely LOVED was that we got to see some glimpses of Aldrik's past and thoughts through Vhalla. Another thing in the books favor was that it stayed true to its name and much of it was about fire along with being given information about the different abilities that come with the different elements.I liked how she did not get this information all at once and there are multiple things that the sorcerors can do that we do not yet know about. There are some things that I would love to know more about and questions whose answers I wish were given. 
There are very few books that have managed to make me cry and this was one of them.By the end,I was left emotionally exhausted after experiencing all the feels.But it was definitely worth it.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master's in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she s not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

Saturday, May 21, 2016

AIR AWAKENS (Air Awaken #1) by Elise Kova :Review



RATING:

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:
                             *WARNING:There may be some spoilers*
Let me start of by just saying that the first thing that got me to notice this book was it's cover,which is just so pretty,don't you agree?
Ever since my exams ended,I was stuck in a reading slump and no book was appealing me enough to read.Fast forward to last night at 2am when I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep.I had been meaning to read this series closer to the release of the last book since nothing is more painful for me than waiting for the next book in a series I like to be released and I had a feeling this one was gonna be one of those.So since the last book is gonna be released in July,I figured this time was as good as another.
And I do NOT regret this decision at all!Even though I didn't end up going back to sleep until the sun was in the sky.I just LOVED this book so much!It has 3 of my most favorite things in it,
        1.A Kick-ass Heroine who does not hesitate in cursing out a Prince to his face
        2.A Mysterious and Swoon worthy Crown Prince
        3.And of course MAGIC
Plus,who doesn't love a protagonist who works in a library and loves to read ;)
The letters were a really nice touch,especially in how they were used to explain the history that most authors simply dump in a long boring paragraph and which I then skim over.I found the fonts of the letters to be beautiful and I also liked that they were different for both parties.The budding friendship that was shown between the two leads was only one of the millions of things I liked about this book.There was no Inst-love or perfect friendship like there isn't in real life.So the doses of reality were quite nice,another example of which is that the author wrote a history in which people invaded and destroyed peace in the name of religion,which is true for our history as well. Aldrik was simply amazing and you have to read this book to understand why because I don't want to give spoilers.I even liked his brother,normally in books like these,one brother is set up as evil but it refeshingly wasn't the case in this one. The overall imagery was conveyed in a manner that I had very little trouble following although keeping up with and envisioning the regions and names was a little difficult. It was reasonably paced and how the story suddenly took a turn was very unexpected,which I very much enjoyed.
All in all,it was a great read so I'm going to end this review now and go to read the rest of the books :)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master's in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she s not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).






Sunday, November 1, 2015

POISON STUDY Read-Along Closing Post and Chapters 26-32

This is the last post for the poison study readalong.So here are my thoughts on the ending of Poison Study by Maria V.Snyder.

MY THOUGHTS
That ENDING!Wow! Pretty unexpected.
And the moment I had been waiting for finally came,Valek and Yelena <3 <3
So many answers and I loved how all of them were gradually revealed.From the beginning I had no idea what to make of the Commander,whether he was good or not,this definitely made up my mind for me.The support that Yelena had from her friends and everyone was heartwarming.
This was exactly an ending I LOVE in all books,surprising,happy and still left a lot of chance of new possibilities.A 5 star read for sure.
ABOUT POISON STUDY


Title & Series: POISON STUDY (Study #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Release date: October 1, 2005
Publisher: Luna
Pages: 440
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

DESCRIPTION…

Choose: A quick death . . . or slow poison.
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear. . . .

Thursday, October 29, 2015

POISON STUDY Read-Along Chapters 18-25

Once again I'm late with this post but better late than never :)
Check out my previous posts if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

MY THOUGHTS
These are the chapters where things get really interesting.I just love Janco and Ari!They start training Yelena and quickly become great friends with her.Their bantering never failed to make me laugh.And the rhymes!OMG.
We also see clues as to Valek's feelings for Yelena and get to see some sweet moments between them.Some of our questions get answered and there's a lot of mystery and intrigue.I can't say more without giving away some serious spoilers,just know that its definitely interesting and just not possible to put down.

ABOUT POISON STUDY


Title & Series: POISON STUDY (Study #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Release date: October 1, 2005
Publisher: Luna
Pages: 440
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

DESCRIPTION…

Choose: A quick death . . . or slow poison.
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear. . . .