Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Wonder Woman Warbringer
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: August 29th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Buy: Amazon : B&N : Goodreads

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
I was really excited to read Warbringer but I also not sure what to expect. I loved Wonder Woman since I was a kid and watched the Linda Carter series so I wasn’t sure if I could wrap my head around Wonder Woman being a young adult. Of course as always, Leigh Bardugo delivered an awesome novel.

I love Leigh’s writing in her fantasy series and the Grishaverse she created. I was really curious about how it would be to have her write something a little more contemporary. Although Wonder Woman is obviously Superhero realm, it still occurs in the real world. I felt like she did not miss a beat. Her writing was flawless and I love the way that she can keep a story moving. The continuity and pacing flowed very easily.

I thought the way this story was slipped into the Wonder Woman cannon was extremely clever. It fit into the universe but also managed to be it’s own standalone story. I loved the plot and the inclusion of the character of Warbringer. I felt invested in the cast of characters, which of course caused more emotional damage to me when anything happened to them. It definitely had the action and adventure you would expect from something involving a Superhero. I don’t want to give anything away on it because I loved going into it not knowing what to expect and coming out the other side completely in love with the book.

We also had some great settings and lore to add to my overall image of the world. It was great to spend some time on Themyscira. Getting to know other Amazons besides Diana. Also having a little bit of her own origin story. It gave so much more to knowing about Diana and her character.

So as a Wonder Woman fan, I loved the book. I would definitely recommend it to other Wonder Woman fans. It doesn’t matter if you have been following her from the beginning or just recently fell into her story. I think this is a book to be enjoyed by everyone.

The Hummingbird Heart by A.G. Howard

Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: August 15, 2016
Publisher: Golden OrbPress
Pages: 234
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Set 19 years after The Architect of Song:

Shortly after escaping a circus tragedy, young Italian orphan, Willow Antoniette, seeks refuge at The Manor of Diversions—a holiday resort in England born of a ghost story. For eleven years, she’s raised alongside the children of the resort’s owners: Julian, his twin brother, Nick, and their younger sister Emilia. Now that Willow is of marriable age, she's determined to escape finishing school along with everyone's efforts to make her a proper lady. The only man she wants to spend her life with is Julian, after all. Yet how can she tell him, when he thinks of her as nothing but a friend?

As a machinist and engineer, Julian Thornton prefers a governable life. He can't allow his ever-deepening attraction for Willow to distract from his amusement park plans to lure a younger, wealthier clientele to their family's resort. In hopes to escape Willow and find investors, Julian sets off on a transatlantic ocean liner headed for the St. Louis World’s Fair, unaware Willow has secretly stowed away on the same ship.

A tiny, mute orphan named Newton and a pair of haunted Italian shoes bring Willow and Julian face to face on deck. Forced to work together to solve the mystery of Newton and his vindictive, ghostly companion, Julian and Willow can no longer fight their untapped passions. However, time to admit their true feelings is running out, for the ghost and her murderer have enlisted them as unsuspecting pawns in a karmic game of cat-and-mouse that could cost all of them their lives.

Grab book 1!

Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: August 15, 2016
Publisher: Golden Orb Press
Pages: 425
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonGoodreads

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower - intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 17+.


In the dream, Willow was a child again. With each barefooted step around the stacks of baggage in steerage, she found them taking on new shapes: pyramids of clowns, bears, horses and feathered performers, all balanced atop one another. She was back at the circus, albeit a much hazier and dimmer rendition than she remembered. She skipped along the center ring, excited to be home at last. Grit and discarded trash snagged between her little toes. A spotlight clicked on to illuminate a trunk. From within came a thumping sound, and girlish giggles.

“Tildey!” Willow cried out, racing across the distance to find her doll, her pigtails slapping her face and neck upon each bounding step. The creak of abandoned trapezes swung overhead, cutting intermittently through a thick cloud of fog. Yet it wasn’t fog. It was tobacco—a stench that seeped into her leotard, her tights, her very pores, until she could taste it coating her tongue like bile.

The spotlight shifted from the trunk to a trapeze just above her where a shape took form in the light: a graceful silhouette in a shimmery leotard and glistening tutu.

“Mama?” Willow whispered in the dream, forgetting Tildey for the chance to see her mother perform once more.

The trapeze vanished into thin air but the aerialist continued a controlled descent toward her, held in place by harnesses attached to the center pole. A face came into view, painted white like a clown, with bloody eyes and a hollow of a mouth—stretched wide on a perpetual scream. Willow yelped and squeezed her lashes shut, willing away the creature … for it was not Mama.

When she opened them again, the freakish performer exploded into a flock of hummingbirds made of ink. They skittered around Willow, buzzing wings scraping her skin and hair, imprinting tattoos everywhere they touched. She screamed and stumbled backwards, bumping into the trunk which was somehow right behind her. A tinkly, off-key lullaby drifted from inside the giant box. The lid shook and shuddered, as if something wanted out.

Whimpering, Willow tried to back away, but her feet grew heavy. She looked down and ballet shoes, covered in steel spikes, swallowed them up. The empty harness that had held the ghastly aerialist slithered toward her like a snake, coiling itself around her legs and arms to hold her in place.

On the final haunting strains of music, the trunk’s lid popped open, and out from the midst rose a hunched old man, holding Nadia’s haunted shoes upside down. Blood and water gushed out of them—a stench of copper and stagnancy—and the man laughed with a voice that gnawed into her bones like a thousand snarling wolves.

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she's not writing, A.G.'s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Giveaway Details: All International
(1) Grand
prize: Signed set of The Architect of Song & The Hummingbird Heart PB
(1) First Place prize: Signed The Hummingbird Heart PB
(1) Second Place prize: Signed The Hummingbird Heart poster
(3) Third – Fifth Place prizes: Signed The Architect of Song
& The Hummingbird Heart swag pack sets

Ends on August
22nd at Midnight EST!

The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

Title: The Hundredth Queen
Author: Emily R. King
Published: June 1st 2017 by Skyscape
Buy: Amazon : Goodreads

He wanted a warrior queen. He got a revolutionary.

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

The Hundreth Queen is a fantasy story involving magic and the bonds of sisterhood.

I really liked the magic element of the story. I enjoyed the Bhutas and how they each specialize in powers. Also the history of them was also interesting. As we learn truths from lies.

The world is small. Mostly confined to the Palace. There is the traveling between the Sisterhood Samiya and the palace but I wouldn’t consider it vast. More of just a path. We don’t get a really idea of the outside kingdom. I thought the descriptions of things inside the palace were good though. I could form it in my mind.

I really loved the feeling of sisterhood. I loved the dedicated friendship between Kalinda and Jaya. Even some of the other girls who might not have always been on the best of terms with her. They all shared a bond. They often reference recapturing their history of warriors sisters.

I was not necessarily enthralled with the romance. I know there are many who do not enjoy instalove and I guess i would consider this in that vein. I was okay with Kalinda and her fascination with Deven. She had not really even seen a man before him. He was also kind and gentle to her on her travels. I almost might have rather seen her end up with Brac. Someone challenging. I was surprised how quickly Deven fell for her being that he talked about how being a loyal soldier is a part of who he is. Then suddenly it doesn’t matter anymore.

For some reason I often pick up on continuity breaks and so I was bother by Kalinda learning a secret and then being confronted by Lakia. Who talks to her as though she knows that she was learned the secret. There was no basis for her to know that and they both spoke of it too casually.
Then later she questions something that makes no sense for her to question, due to her knowing that same secret. It really annoyed me.

Overall it was an okay read. I enjoyed it but I wish some parts, like the romance had been a little bit more. I did really enjoy the magic of the Bhutas.

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Title: The Waking Land
Author: Callie Bates
Published: June 27th 2017 by Del Rey Books
Buy: Amazon : Goodreads

Lady Elanna Valtai is fiercely devoted to the King who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

The Waking Land is an interesting story about magic that draws you in. With revolution at hand, there is a lot of political and history in play.

For the most part I really liked Elanna. I thought it was really interesting that she displays signs of Stockholm Syndrome but it makes sense. I liked how at first she is very dedicated to the her kidnappers but then starts to see the truth of the situation. You don’t see this explored that often. Most of the time the heroine stands her ground and wants to escape. Elanna actually has affection for the King because he has taken care of her all this time. She doesn’t see herself as a political prisoner.

About 70% of the way I got really really frustrated with Elanna. I didn’t understand the, we need these people to help us, the only way they will help us is if I talk to them….I’ll just stay right here because that’s the right choice. What?? What?? It’s really only that chunk of the book that she irritated me.

Victoire is a character that I wish there was more of. She’s a great friend and strong female. I would loved to have had along for more of the story.

I really enjoyed the magic and that it has a great connection to the land. The wedding the land part was a little interesting. I wasn’t sure what I thought about how she has to wake the land. I also felt like every time they talked about it, it just seemed strange. I did like the idea of the land being a part of her and needing it as much as you need lungs to breathe.

I loved Jahan and the relationship between Elanna and him. I enjoyed their fun and cute exchanges and I liked his character. Although we do learn much about him, I still felt a little more could have been revealed.

I also find politics in Fantasy interesting because despite an author creating their own world. There still has to be rules just like any society. So it’s always interesting to learn about and explore those. I also liked learning about the old ways and how many of the people adapted to their rulers. Old customs become alter versions as they try to blend.

I liked the story, there were some things that I wasn’t completely sure about but overall I did enjoy the characters and plot.