The Medieval Queens Book Tag

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a tag but this one has such an interesting theme, I just had to do this one. Thank you to A Couple of B’s for tagging me, and to Jess from Jessticulates for coming up with the tag!

EMPRESS MATILDA (1102-1167)

After her father, Henry I, died naming her his heir, Matilda’s cousin, Stephen, subsequently took the throne for himself. Matilda never stopped fighting for what was rightfully hers. Though she would never be named Queen of England in her own right, she was able to convince Stephen to name her son, the future Henry II, his successor over his own children.

Choose a book with a protagonist who stands their ground.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – Harper is one of my favourite characters and I love how fierce and fearless she is, and how she always stands her ground.

ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE (1122-1204)

Before she married Henry II and became Queen of England in 1152, Eleanor was Queen of France as the wife of Louis VII. She sought an annulment from her marriage to Louis, and he eventually agreed because 15 years of marriage had produced no sons, only for Eleanor to go on to have eight children with Henry—five of whom were sons. Ouch!

Choose a book or series in which the heroine has more than one romantic relationship.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – The heroine actually has a few relationships throughout this series! It’s not something I’ve seen that much, as most often books seem to follow the protagonist on one romantic journey.

ELEANOR OF CASTILE (1241-1290)

A keen patron of literature and a successful businesswoman in her own right, Eleanor was Edward I’s first wife. He was so heartbroken when she died that he erected the Eleanor Crosses, twelve stone crosses marking the places where her body rested overnight on its journey from Lincolnshire, where she died, to her burial place in London. Three of the crosses still survive today.

Choose a bittersweet book.

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu – No spoilers but this series had such a good, albeit bittersweet, ending! I was tearing up at the end.

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April 2021 Wrap Up

I’ve not been blogging as much this month because life decided to get in the way of everything. I’ve been busy at work and we’re going to be trying to sell our house soon so we’ve been doing lots of cleaning and tidying, and it’s all just left me feeling a bit exhausted. So things might still be a bit quiet around here for a little while but I’ll still be posting and reading all your awesome posts when I can.

Links take you to my reviews!

Malice by Heather Walter ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I was really excited to get an eARC for this book. It’s a Sleeping Beauty retelling from the perspective of the villain and I absolutely loved the world building and Alyce’s character journey.

Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I’ve read so much fantasy this year, that I really enjoyed reading a scifi book for a change. This YA space opera is so much fun, and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out!

Light by Michael Grant ⭐⭐⭐.5 – The final book in the Gone series. I have finally managed to make it to the end. It’s taken me eight years to read all six books. I have quite mixed feelings about this series, but I am glad I’ve finished it.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I don’t generally enjoy short stories that much, but I like how these ones were connected and had a thread running through them, following Simon’s journey as he progressed through his training.

For once, I actually managed to keep up a book buying ban? I didn’t buy any new books this month. I did place a couple of pre-orders for special editions which won’t arrive until August/September, but other than that, I didn’t buy any books.

I successfully hit my 20,000 word goal for Camp NaNoWriMo, which I am really chuffed with! I am so nearly finished my second draft, so that’s quite exciting. I think I will definitely finish it in May. And then I just have to read through it again, since I edited a lot of the chapters out of order, I will need to read it through and make sure I’m happy with the order of everything and check for consistency errors.

What books have you enjoyed this month? Chat with me in the comments!

WWW Wednesday: 21 April 2021

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The three W’s are:

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What are you going to read next?

RECENTLY FINISHED – Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer

This book was so much fun! I really enjoyed this YA space opera, which sees the main character on a planet-hopping adventure. It’s fast-paced with lots of humour. Highly recommended!

CURRENTLY READING – Light by Michael Grant

I am finally reading the last book in this series and although I did like these books, I’m kind of glad to be finishing them. There is so much grim, gory, horrific content in the Gone series, and I’ve already had to skim read a few scenes in this final book because it’s just too gruesome for me! But I really want to know how the story ends, so here I am, persevering.

READING NEXT – The Unbroken by C. L. Clark  

What are you reading at the moment? What are you looking forward to reading next? Chat with me in the comments!

WWW Wednesday: 14 April 2021

I had the second dose of the COVID vaccine at the weekend – hurrah! It has made me feel a bit tired though so I’ve not been doing much the last few days.

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The three W’s are:

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What are you going to read next?

RECENTLY FINISHED – Malice by Heather Walter

This Sapphic retelling of Sleeping Beauty is a delightfully wicked reimagining of the original story. I loved the world building and seeing how Alyce’s character changed over the course of the book. You can check out my review here.

CURRENTLY READING – Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer

I’ve read a lot of fantasy recently so decided to read something scifi and I’m so glad I picked this book up because it’s been such a fun adventure so far!

READING NEXT – Light by Michael Grant

I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to read next, but I might read Light by Michael Grant next. I feel like I’ve been reading the Gone series forever so I want to finish it.

What are you reading at the moment? What are you looking forward to reading next? Chat with me in the comments!

WWW Wednesday: 7 April

I’ve been really busy at work recently, and been feeling very tired and fatigued during my down time, so haven’t spent as much time blogging and blog hopping as I would like. I may be a bit quiet around here for a bit longer, but I am not going anywhere! I’ll be back to posting more regularly again when things are bit less stressful for me, when I’m feeling a bit better, and when I have more time to dedicate to writing good posts.

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The three W’s are:

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What are you going to read next?

RECENTLY FINISHED – The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon  

Although this book was really long, it wasn’t at all slow. In fact, there seemed to be a lot packed in to it. So even though there are a lot of pages to get through, I was never bored at any point during the story, the pacing wasn’t slow at all, as I find in some big fantasy books. Also, it’s a standalone, so even though it’s long, I felt satisfied finishing it having reached the story’s conclusion.

CURRENTLY READING – Malice by Heather Walter

I’m currently reading an eARC of this Sleeping Beauty retelling, I’m about 20% of the way in and enjoying it so far. There’s some interesting worldbuilding and I’m intrigued to see where the story will go.

What are you reading at the moment? What are you looking forward to reading next? Chat with me in the comments!

March 2021 Wrap Up

I didn’t read that many books this month but I did read The Priory of the Orange Tree which is super long and I’m actually pleased with how quickly I read it considering how long it is.

Links take you to my reviews!

Gut Feelings by C. G. Moore ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This novel in verse is a really raw and powerful read. It’s an own voices novel in verse based on the author’s own experiences of living with Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). I really related to the depiction of chronic illness and would really recommend.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This book is basically a mash up of Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games and that is a really cool combination. The Greek mythology is worked into the story really well and this book was a wild ride.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I was a bit intimidated by the length of this book but I am so glad I read it. Even though it was long, I never felt bored while reading it. The world building is so detailed and I loved how all the different characters’ stories weave together.

I got so many books in the post this month, but a lot of them were pre-orders, and a couple should have come in February but were delayed. So many books seemed to come out in March? So here’s a quick roundup – Goldsboro edition of Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Illumicrate edition of Red Tigress by Amélie Wen Zhao, A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth (I had an eARC of this and just had to pre-order because it was so good), Waterstones paperback edition of House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, The Unbroken by C. L. Clark, and Fairyloot edition of Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie.

I made so much progress with the second draft of my book this month so I’m really pleased with that! I hit 72,000 words at the end of March. Still have quite a bit left to go, but I’m hoping I can keep it under 100k as I don’t want it to get too long.

What books have you enjoyed this month? Chat with me in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2021 TBR

This was actually last week’s topic but I missed it so decided to post it this week instead!

Top 10 Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. If you’re interested in taking part click here.

Legendborn by Tracey Deonn

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Malice by Heather Walter

The Unbroken by C. L. Clark

Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman

Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Considering how I am notoriously bad at sticking to a TBR, we’ll see how many of these books I actually get round to reading! I’m currently reading The Priory of the Orange Tree and I am loving it, but it’s taking me so long to read it.

What books are you excited to read this spring? Chat with me in the comments!

WWW Wednesday: 17 March 2021

I’ve not done much blogging or blog hopping in the last week as I’ve just been feeling so tired and drained. Hopefully I’ll start feeling a bit better soon and can get back to posting more regularly!

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The three W’s are:

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What are you going to read next?

RECENTLY FINISHED – Lore by Alexandra Bracken

I loved this book! There were plenty of twists and I was hooked all the way through. I loved the way the author weaved Ancient Greek mythology into the lore of the book and there were so many details that made it come to life.

CURRENTLY READING – The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon  

I’m 25% of the way through this so far. It’s a monster of a book but I’m really enjoying it. There are several different plot strands and I’m intrigued to see how it all comes together.

What are you reading at the moment? What are you looking forward to reading next? Chat with me in the comments!

Book Review: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni (eARC)

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publishing Info: eARC from Hodder & Stoughton

Pages: 416

Star Rating: 2/5

Back Cover Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan is a survivor. For ten years, she has worked as the healer in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, making herself indispensable. Kept afloat by messages of hope from her family, Kiva has one goal and one goal only: stay alive.

Then one day the infamous Rebel Queen arrives at the prison on death’s door and Kiva receives a new message: Don’t let her die. We are coming.

The queen is sentenced to the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals. Aware the sickly queen has little chance of making it through the Trials alive, Kiva volunteers to take her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

And with an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

Thank you so much to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for the eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Prison Healer is the first book by Lynette Noni I’ve read and I was excited to dive into this intriguing sounding novel. The description and concept of a story set entirely in a prison caught my attention, so I was very happy to be approved for an eARC and get the opportunity to read The Prison Healer early. Unfortunately, the opening chapters didn’t capture my attention and I almost DNFed quite early on. I kept on reading and the last quarter or so of the book had me much more riveted, so I was glad I didn’t give up on it. Until that twist on the final page, which left me feeling incredibly exasperated. More on that later.

The beginning of this review will be spoiler-free, with a section at the end containing major spoilers so I can properly explain why this twist ending was so frustrating. I’ll clearly signpost when the spoilers start so you can avoid them if you wish to.

The idea of a book set entirely in a deadly prison is very intriguing. Setting is really important in books located in entirely one location like this, the setting has to be considered as another character. Unfortunately, the setting didn’t have any personality. I wanted to be completely immersed in this dark and dangerous place, but I didn’t feel anything. There was no atmosphere or tension. We’re told people hardly ever leave this prison alive, that Kiva is unique for having managed to survive ten years. Almost everything we know about the prison we’re told, not shown. Because there was no atmosphere, it felt flat. In the latter half we did get to see the darker side to the prison, but for most of the book I didn’t feel afraid for the main character, I didn’t feel the tension that should come from a deadly prison setting.

Read More »

WWW Wednesday: 10 March 2021

I’m getting really behind on all my blog posts at the moment! I’ve been busy at work and not had much energy in the evenings. I still have my review of The Prison Healer and an unboxing of the Fairyloot January box to post, I’ve drafted them so hopefully they’ll be up soon!

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The three W’s are:

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What are you going to read next?

CURRENTLY READING – Lore by Alexandra Bracken

This week is the Fairyloot readalong for their January book. I’m nearly halfway through and it’s brilliant so far! I love the mash up of Greek mythology and a Hunger Games-eque competition.

NEXT READ – The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon  

I have a few days off next week so it seemed like a good time to have a crack at this mammoth of a book. It’s so thick, it’s a tad intimidating. But it also sounds really good and I love dragons.

What are you reading at the moment? What are you looking forward to reading next? Chat with me in the comments!