Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

The Burning SkyThe Burning Sky
by Sherry Thomas
The Elemental Trilogy #1
Publication date: 17 September, 2013
Balzer + Bray, Hardcover, 464 pages
Source: Library

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It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she’s been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother’s visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Burning Sky was simply put, magical; completely, utterly, and spectacularly magical. Before having read it, I’ve always thought it would be a typical fantasy novel—some dragons, evil monarchs, inter-kingdom wars—I definitely did not expect magic. Like the mages/wizards sort of magic. Continue reading “Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas”

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Publication date:
26 February, 2013
St. Martin’s Press, Hardcover, 328 pages
Source: Purchased

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Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Rating: ★★★★

I’ve never been in love. But if I were asked to describe what first love would feel like, my answer would be, “Go read Eleanor & Park.” Before reading this book, I would never have guessed anyone could take the clichés of falling in love for the first time and spin them into such an endearing tale, like Rowell did. There were so many aspects of this story that made me laugh, heartbroken, and even at times caused me to nod fervently because I knew exactly how Eleanor and Park felt. Continue reading “Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell”

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & BoneDaughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Publication Date: 27 September 2011
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 418 pages
Source: Library

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Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Rating: ★★★

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

How can anyone not read a book that starts off that way? And that was exactly why I knew I had to read Daughter of Smoke & Bone upon seeing that very first page. As the quote above hinted at, Laini Taylor wrote the entire book in such gorgeous, lyrical and unique prose. Although I’ve never been to Prague, Marrakesh nor any of the alternate realms mentioned in the novel, the magical writing literally transported me to every one of the destinations.

The story started off intriguing and mysterious, making it so hard for me to put down. It was an uncommon but captivating take on the angel-devil/heaven-hell genre and I actually went through almost half the book within the first day! Unfortunately, the leftover pages took me another five days to finish as the plot got rather dull and slow towards the middle and end. There had been too much focus on the romance, which also seemed overly dramatic at time. I really expected more elements of adventure in Daughter of Smoke & Bone instead of romance, and that not being so put me off a little. Continue reading “Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor”