Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Top Ten Tuesday

(As always, a big thanks your to the fab bloggers over at The Broke and The Bookish for this weekly meme!)

This week on Top Ten Tuesday the topic is top of my most recent five star reads. It's a timely subject, because I've been super lucky to be picking up one five star read after another at the moment! It's a high I'm probably going to come crashing down from soon - Red Queen is coming up on my tbr and the more I hear about this book the more I think I'm going to find it annoying more than enjoyble - but here are some of the books I've been throwing stars at lately;

Siren's Song
My most recent five star review and confirming that this is indeed a five star trilogy, I was lucky enough to get the conclusion to Mary Weber's series via NetGalley. But I've pre-ordered a hardback copy anyway. A series this epic deserves pride of place on my bookshelves!

Siren's Fury
It was well over a year between me reading Storm Siren and Siren's Fury because of that ending, but safe in the knowledge that I had the next book to dive into, I finally relented. The themes of this series of freedom, choice and power are woven beautifully in a gripping story. I couldn't put the damn thing down!

Storm Siren
I loved this book! Anyone who follows my blog or Twitter will have no doubt seen me raving about this book and series. It's a perfect storm (no pun intended) of YA fantasy, kickass heroine, incredible world building and swoonworthy romance with an ending to die for. I'm giving away a copy over on Twitter if you haven't already checked this book out, I promise it's so worth the read!

I read Seed for UKYA in the Rain on Ally's blog, although thanks to Google Hangouts going a bit crazy I missed the actual chat and my opportunity to rave about this book.

Longbow Girl
At the time of reading, this was my favourite read of 2016, although it's since been usurped by the Storm Siren trilogy. I picked it up expecting a time travelling sort of female Robin Hood, but what I actually got was a slow burn story about family, friendship and being true to who you are. And I loved it!

Blood Moon
Book three in the Everealm series by J.D.Wright, I first got introduced to this series through the blog tour for book two and fell in love! There's a magical quality to Wright's storytelling. It doesn't have the most traditional structure, with the pov skipping between multiple characters on a whim, but it just makes the fast paced story all the more exciting. Plus it spares pages of extraneous material in order to get one character's pov for an entire chapter.

Arthurian legend meets Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games meets The X Factor. Being Cornish I love anything with a hint of old celtic mythology so jumped at the chance to read this reimagining of Morgan le Fey/Morgana Pendragon. Spoilers come thick and fast if you know the stories of King Arthur, but I still couldn't put the book down. If anything, knowing where the story is going only makes it more heartbreaking.

The Queen Of The Tearling
The Invasion Of The Tearling was a mixed bag imo, but there's no denying that Queen was a breathtaking read, with one of the greatest YA heroines ever committed to print. Completing your coronation with a knife in your back? That's badass!

Six Of Crows
Despite my issue with the ending, I knew I'd love Leigh Bardugo's new series and Six Of Crows didn't let me down! Yes Kaz was a smug git and yes Wylan was only there to make up the numbers, but I was so swept up in this YA Ocean's Eleven that I got passed all that. Plus Jesper was clearly the best character anyway, helped of course by the fact that in my head he looks like Anthony Mackie. Hollywood, make it happen!

We Were Liars
Oh god ... this book! A recommendation from the bookish lovelies on #ukyachat on Twitter, my reaction at the time was best described in emojis as I couldn't string a sentence together for babbling.
It starts with the priviledged but damaged Cady, a pill-popping emotional wreck as she revisits her childhood home and her fellow Liars, cousins Johnny and Mirren and family friend Gat, as the truth about what really happened that fateful summer that changed her life is slowly revealed. And what a revelation!

I've loved the topic this week! I always like revisiting some of my favourite reads! What have been some of your five star reads lately? Leave a link in the comments and I'll be sure to check out your list!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Gorgeous cover art #2

Call me shallow, but I love beautiful books! If the story inside is great, so much the better, but I have been known to buy a book or two because they were so gorgeous. Hey, don't judge me! There are so many incredible books vying for my attention, I won't lie, artwork goes a long way in at least drawing me in. My last round of pretties was way back in October, but since then I'm been under near constant attack from books screaming "buy me, buy me!" With my tbr becoming a genuine health and safety hazard, I'm trying to stick to a "one in, one out" rule for buying books (I'll let you know how that works out!) but ... they're so pretty!

These Broken Stars
Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Swoonworthy title aside, I love this dreamy, out of this world cover. The stars, the dress, the redhead (represent!), the colour combinations...it's just beautiful! If that wasn't enough, one of the characters is called Lilac LaRoux, which just became my bookish alias.

Cruel Crown/Glass Sword
Victoria Aveyard

Simple, yet effective. Given that the book is called Glass Sword I'm a bit puzzled as to why there's a glass crown on the cover, but I haven't read the book yet, so maybe it will make sense later. Whatever the reason, a perfect 10 for the artwork!

Rebel Of The Sands
Alwyn Hamilton

Somebody who already has this book, please tell me. Does it come gold foiled? It's gorgeous without, but it would be epically gorgeous with! I adore the font too, it's all very "Arabian Nights", which seems fitting given the book blurb. I loved The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh so I'm looking to read a little more middle eastern-inspired YA fantasy and I think this book would take pride of place on my bookshelves.

The Sleeping Prince
Melinda Salisbury

Like with the cover for the first book in this series, The Sin Eater's Daughter, I can't quite put my finger on what I love so much about this cover, maybe it's the whole thing. The colour combinations, the girl in the jar, the swirls in the water, I just love it. This is another one of those books with a different (albeit ever so slightly) US/UK cover which puzzles me. Don't mess with perfection!

Walk On Earth A Stranger/Like A River Glorious
Rae Carson

I prefer Like A River Glorious because blue is my favourite colour, but both of these covers are so striking I'd happily stare dreamily at either one of them for entirely too long.

Marissa Meyer

Simple but effective. Despite the swirling thorns reminding me of an ex-boyfriend's tattoos, there's so much about this elegant design that I just love; the red on black, the roses and thorns, the sword and crown. Not all gorgeous cover art needs to be complex or intricate, sometimes it's just an ordinary premise done extraordinarily well.

Siren's Song
Mary Weber

After being a little disappointed with the cover of book two in this series, it's back on top form for the finale! Intricate details, snippets of story, the font, the symbolism, the colour ... I'm in love! (And the book's pretty damn good too ...)

The Rose And The Dagger
Renee Ahdieh

The cover for this book's predecessor; The Wrath And The Dawn, turned up in my last gorgeous covers feature and just ... *sigh*. The dagger-y cut outs are a neat little detail over the sunset colours. If the artwork is anything to go by, this book with be just as lush as TWATD, and I cannot wait to read it!

Lady Midnight
Cassandra Clare

I've never been taken with the covers of any of Cassandra Clare's books before. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading them, but the artwork has never struck me as anything special. But this one ... this got my attention the first time I saw it. More the premise than the art itself, it's beautiful, intriguing and slightly eerie, which is a winning combination in my eyes.

With the printed book market actually increasing in 2015 - in the UK anyway, I'm not sure about the figures worldwide - competition is fierce and I do believe that imagery goes a long way to drawing you in. Whether you read the blurb and drop it like a hot potato is another thing, but a beautiful cover is the hook, the story is the sale. And if the result is more of these beauties lining the shelves then long may it continue! Has anyone else been judging books by their covers? Is there any bookish artwork that's caught your eye lately?

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday Street Team - Liars And Losers Like Us

Sunday Street Team is the brainchild of the very lovely Nori over at Read Write Love, shining the spotlight on new releases by new authors. For the March edition, I interview Ami Allen-Vath, the writer of contemporary YA novel Liars And Losers Like Us. And I am in love with that title!


Keep calm and make it to prom night - without a legit panic attack.

For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High. When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.

With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast - as a party of one.

The Author

Ami Allen-Vath is a writer of contemporary YA, lover of ice cream, and an experienced avoider of birds. She’s lived in 9 of the 50 states and currently resides in NJ with her husband, two children and dog, Yoda. Liars and Losers Like Us is her first novel.


The Interview

1) Was there any particular book or author that inspired you to start writing?
I love Judy Blume. As a middle-grader and teen, loved how engaging and personal her books were. I also was very inspired to start writing after reading her book Tiger Eyes. I wrote about this experience for Pop Goes The Reader last year.

2) How much of your real life and people you know have made it into Liars and Losers Like Us?
It’s all fiction! I swear! Well...this book was inspired by my high school years and I definitely noticed this in the editing process . As far as the anxiety issues and using humor to cope, I’m a lot like Bree. But I also see a little bit of myself in some of the other characters. And although I wish some of those characters (like Maisey) would’ve had outcomes closer to my real life, it wasn’t my personal story to tell.

3) Do you have a "movie cast" in your head when you write about your characters?
Not really while I’m writing but I’ve created a Pinterest board for LALLU. It’s nothing fancy but I have posted pictures of how I imagine the characters look.

4) Do you write from your experiences, from fantasy, or a little of both?

5) If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give your teenage self?
I would say, “You have made it this far, so you are strong. Channel the energy you use on hating your body and trying to “fix” it, into accepting yourself. You are brave and beautiful. And although it’s not always going to be easy or consistent, happiness and contentment are attainable and worth fighting for.”

6) What three books would you take to a desert island?
Three journals. I’ll keep all the wonderful stories I’ve read in my head, but use the time to write new ones.

7) Who is your favourite character from a book?
Davey Wexler from Judy Blume's Tiger Eyes.

8) What book would you most like to see made into a (good!) movie?
Aside from my own book (haha) I’d love to see The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry as a movie. Smart and witty main character, to die for love story and awesome BFF relationship. The book is damn gorgeous, unique and I demand Hollywood get on this right now.

9) Who would play you in a movie of your life?
Even though we look nothing alike, I’m sure Meryl Streep could find a way. She’s genius.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Siren's Song

With the loss of Tulla still fresh in mind, Rasha’s fate unknown, and Lord Myles taken over by the dark ability, Nym and the few Bron soldiers rush to warn Cashlin’s queen. As the Luminescents are sifting through Nym’s past memories and the queen is reading into her future, Nym is given a choice of how to defeat Draewulf, but the cost may be more than she can bear. And even then there are no guarantees.

With that reality burrowing into her bones - along with the guilt of the lives she will sacrifice - Nym returns to her homeland of Faelen to raise an army of peasants through promises of freedom. But when the few friends she has left, along with the world and citizens she loves, are staring down the face of a monster and his undead army, will Nym summon every element her blood is capable of controlling, or surrender to a different strength - one of sacrifice? Because in the end, death may be more merciful for them all.

*** I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but this has in no way influenced this post. Honestly, it doesn't need to, because this book is frickin' amazing!***

I had mixed feelings about finally reading the final book in the Storm Siren trilogy. One one hand I was dying to get my hands on an ARC so that I could start it as soon as possible, and when I got approval I almost did a happy dance. But I didn't, because when I dance, I look like this ...

On the other hand, I didn't want to read it for two reasons. One, I've loved this series and these characters so much that I don't ever want it to end. And two, I wasn't sure my fragile constitution could take the ending I was fearing.

My fears were unfounded. This book, this series, is absolutely incredible. If you're thinking about maybe, possibly at some point checking it out ... please, please, please do it! I'm lucky to read a lot of books. Most I like, some I love, and others are ok. And then there's that one book that you can't stop raving about. The one that you want to give 10 stars to even though your rating only goes up to five. Books and series that make you remember why you read. Siren's Song is one of those books, and the Storm Siren trilogy is one of those series.

After narrowly escaping Draewulf at Tulla, Nym and her allies race to build an army to stop him before he can absorb the five bloodlines of the Hidden Lands and claim infinite power and immortality. From the crystal castle of Cashlin with its mind-reading Luminescents to the dreamy Valley of Origin with its dirt poor peasant farmers, every land, every character is lushly imagined and realised. I've loved the idea of five kingdoms with five powers in this series, each land and its people unique. Where Cashlin and even Faelen have gotten a bit of a short shrift until now, this is well and truly remedied here. This in one of my ultimate favourite fantasy worlds! It wasn't entirely perfect, there was one aspect of the story that kept bothering me by rearing its head time and time again. It seems unlikely that the king of Faelen would offer to step aside so easily for a seventeen year old girl with zero political experience, even if she is an Elemental. We're told that the throne of Faelen is Nym's birthright because she's the last Elemental, but there's no suggestion that her father was royal and her mother was a mortal, so does that mean anyone with the magic of a kingdom can be in line for its throne? If Colin had been the last Terrene, would he have been handed the crown of Tulla? Are all the Luminescents lining the crystal palace of Cashlin somewhere in line to inherit it? It's a frustratingly fuzzy logic in such a vividly painted world. But it's a minor quibble in an otherwise epic story.

As for the characters ... oh the characters! After spending much of the second book under Draewulf's control, I was so glad to have Eogan back! He may be the king of Bron rather than a humble trainer like he was in book one, but he's still the same wonderful character he was in Storm Siren, the same perfect contrast. His fledgling relationship with Nym against the backdrop of an approaching war that neither are sure they can win is just beautiful. I have to admit I prefer my romances with a little more action and a little less restraint, but it works perfectly in this story. With Rasha missing for a big chunk of the book, it's left to Nym's ragtag group of soldiers to fill the gap in the friendship department. They don't quite manage it, most are fairly interchangeable and nameless, although seven year old Kel is just adorable! I do kind of miss the deliciously slimey Lord Myles too! There's something to be said for the bad guy turned good, but I loved him as the secondary villain in book one!

And then there's Nym. I love her so much! She's the heart and soul of this book, this series, and the journey she's been on from the opening of Storm Siren to the end of Siren's Song is beautiful, heartbreaking and enthralling. The story's central themes of choice and freedom play out through her. After everything's she's been through she'd be totally within her rights to run away and hide, leaving the people who've shunned her to face Draewulf alone, but it's a testament to the strength of the story that you believe that she would stay and fight, that perfect strangers would flock to her banner and that maybe, just maybe, this is a fight she can win. She's a perfectly imperfect character and I'm genuinely so disappointed that I won't get to read any more of her adventures now that this series has ended.

The story itself is fairly standard. In the face of an approaching army that gets bigger and stronger at every turn, Nym is left to rally what's left of the Hidden Lands' nobility and their people under a promise of freedom. But somehow, even though I've read that story what seems like a million times, this time it feels brand new. There's a bit of an overload of prophecy and half-revelations - honestly, this book would clock in at about 10 chapters if characters just said what they knew instead of spouting crytic talk and giving no answers! - but there's something about Mary Weber's writing and the incredibly vivid characters that makes everything feel unique to this series.

I won't spoil the ending, but suffice to say I feel like I've been on an emotional rollercoaster reading this book, and I loved every minute of it. The final chapters in particular are a breathtaking whirlwind where storms rain down upon wraiths, mirages flutter across the battlefield, bombs drop from airships ... it has the potential to be a horribly confusing mess. But instead, it's utterly brilliant. If I was being nitpicky, I'd raise an eyebrow at the convenient powers and plot points that show up in the final act. But honestly, I loved this book too much to care! The conclusion is beautifully fitting, and I'll say no more because once I start raving I won't be able to stop.

I never thought I'd find a fantasy trilogy I loved as much as Laini Taylor's Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, but I have found my new favourite series. I want to shout about Storm Siren from the rooftops, but my neighbours might think I'm crazy and call the police. Instead I'll have to make do with raving online, because this series is awesome. It's imaginative, it's gripping and it's up there with some of the best YA fantasy I've ever read. I can't recommend this book highly enough!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Feature & Follow #8

Feature & Follow is back with a new look! This time, rather than a question, we've got a more open ended prompt. More of a struggle if you're not feeling creative, but luckily you get a pretty good prompt to get you thinking!

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. I've just started getting involved in these features and they're great fun! It's a really cool way to find out what people are reading and connect with other bloggers. Added bonus, the aim of a blog hop is to follow others. You follow me, I follow you. Wins all round! I'm happy for followers on GFC, Twitter, Bloglovin', Goodreads, whatever works for you. I guess I'd prefer Bloglovin' follows if I had to pick one. Make sure you leave me a comment so I know you're a new followers, I'm kind of scatty with keeping track of new followers on Bloglovin' and the like!

The post prompt:
Write a letter to your favourite author

My answer:
Dear Laini Taylor,

I read a lot. The kind of amount that makes visitors double take when they see my overflowing bookshelves. Most books I like, some I love, and a few I hate. And then there are those books that I feel truly privileged to have discovered. The kind of stories that read like a waking dream and make me remember why I feel in love with reading in the first place. Yours are those books.

The Daughter Of Smoke And Bone trilogy were the books that inspired me to start my blog. I had so much love for this incredible story and this unbelievable world populated with wonderful characters that I wanted to share it with everyone and anyone who would listen. Your stories took magic and angels and demons and made them real, if only for a little while. From there I discovered the book blogging community and the rest is history. My friends and family roll their eyes at my bookworm ways and sigh when I emerge from bookshops with heaving shopping bags, so I've been content for years to read quietly and maybe leave the odd review on Amazon. So to find a place to (virtually) meet and swap ravings and rants with people who love reading just as much as I do has opened my eyes to a world I never knew existed. Without your books, I'd never have thought to reach out to bloggers, never had the courage to press "publish" on my first (terrible) post and never have discovered some breathtaking novels that have made me laugh, cry and occasionally want to throw them out the window. Sure, the sensible part of my brain the balances my income isn't thanking you, but my heart is!

Truly, your books are some of the inspirational, beautiful stories I have ever been lucky enough to read. But more than that, they've changed my life for the better.

Your crazy fangirl,

PS. Can't I please get an ARC of Strange The Dreamer?

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Siren's Fury

Siren's Fury by Mary Weber
Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.

When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability. They may require who she is.

Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future. Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?

First off...oh my god! Just...oh my god! I am completely and utterly, head over heels, madly in love with these books! If you're in a bit of a reading slump, pick them up because I guarantee they will bring you out of it!

I've had this book sat on my shelf for well over a year now. Buried behind a load of other books so I couldn't see it and be tempted to read it. After the ending to Storm Siren, I didn't want to read this book until I had the sequel, and final book in the series in my hands. With Siren's Song locked and loaded on my Kindle, I finally began.

This book is intense! I was completely gripped from page one and despite the story leaning heavily on slow burn scheming and political machinations - something which I'm often tempted to skim read - over battles and character driven plot, I just couldn't put it down! On first glance it seems like nothing much is going to happen. After defeating Bron's armies and saving Faelen, Nym stows away on an airship to Bron to save Eogan and stop Draewulf. Much of the story takes place on said airship of in the castle of Bron. Oh, and Draewulf has stolen her elemental powers.

But despite all this, Siren's Fury is just as gripping and exciting as its predecessor. We got a glimpse of the Hidden Lands last time around, but everything is expanded, while still leaving plenty to be revealed in the final book without the reader feeling like they've been short changed. I love a good fantasy world, and we learn more about the different kingdoms and the powers that the people of them possess. The steampunk-esque Bron was beautifully described and the fleeting glimpse of the earth kingdom of Tulla as its under siege from Bron tantalising, and the sprinkling of political scheming is the topping on this sundae of awesome.

Given that Nym loses her powers and gains new ones, there could have been a lot of retreading old ground here. Stripped of her elemental abilities, a desperate Nym turns to a dark power offered by Lord Myles that could help her save Eogan, and then has to learn to control it. There were a few moments where I got flashbacks to Storm Siren and the similar plot point there, but thankfully her powers are so different and the stakes so much higher that it was nice to see this go in a subtley different direction. I've read a few books that use multiple povs or the same storylines that just end up rehashing what you've already read or basically copying and pasting in huge chunks of text and perhaps changing the odd word here and there, so while I was initially dubious, my fears were unfounded. I firmly believe that Mary Weber is too good an author for that to fly. The idea that people could obtain magic abilities from potions, in this case via a witch, was intriguing, and I'm dying to know where this goes in the next book.

Once again, I loved Nym! Gone is the scared, often stroppy girl of Storm, replaced by a strong, battle-scarred fighter still driven by the urge to protect others. After possessing so much power and no control in the first book, it was interesting to read the flip side of that as she starts off with control but now power. Her decision to take the other abilities doesn't come across as stupid, the first person pov letting you see why she does something that on the surface would seem downright idiotic. Normally the kind of plot contrivance that propels these twists has me rolling my eyes to the ceiling, but Nym's justifications and desperation to save the one person she may well love had me practically screaming "what are you waiting for!?", even if it was a terrible idea. Character growth is a big part of YA series' and the journey Nym has already been on in just two books is astounding, and her character has changed enough to reflect this, without losing any of the charm that made her so special. I couldn't help but smile to myself when she was cursing like a sailor - I love a good swear! - although as this was in fantasyland speak and maybe a tad excessive/repetitive. I'll happily never read the word "litches" again for the rest of my life!

It was nice to see Princes Rasha play a bigger part in this story, even though she is a bit of a best friend/ally princess cliche that is prevalent in a lot of fantasy YA. I really hope she gets plenty of book time in Siren's Song. Of all the characters, she's probably the one who most deserves a happy ending. Elsewhere, the deliciously slimey Lord Myles, who barely registered with me in Storm, ends up being integral to the story. There's never a dull moment when he's on the page, his questionable morals and fuzzy alliance making for either a bad guy you love to hate, or compromised good guy with a questionable moral compass depending on your pov. Nym and Rasha are very black and white in what they see as right and wrong - even if Nym does waiver a little on this, it's always a means to a justifyable end - whereas Lord Myles is more fluid. And at times you find yourself agreeing with him. It's remarkable that he's gone from such a seemingly bit-player in the first book to such an integral part and driver of the story in book two.

I missed my beloved Eogan in this one though. MIA for much of the book, Lord Myles just cannot measure up as a trainer/mentor! Eogan's presence looms large over the book courtesy of Nym's desperation to free him and the things he taught her still resonating. He is the grounding for the story when it threatens to go floating off on a tangent like a Bron airship and at times seems the only thing from keeping Nym from going completely dark. It would be interesting, if heartbreaking, to see where she'd be without him.

Maybe like Draewulf perhaps? The big bad of the story becomes so much more in this book. As Nym discovers his plans for the kingdoms and more about his past, his character turns from what could easily be a run of the mill, 2D villain to something better. I actually found myself feeling sorry for him at a few points! One of the themes that I absolutely love about Storm Siren that Mary Weber has done a brilliant job of weaving through the series so far is the idea of choice and where the paths you choose to take can lead you, of staying true to yourself and your beliefs in the face of insurmountable odds. The idea that Draewulf simply cannot understand and deal with Nym's love and compassion is truly heartbreaking. His daughter Lady Isobel gets fleshed out too, even though she's still an utter bitch! She may be a young woman desperate for her father's love and approval, but surrounded by her wraith armies she throws any sympathy back in people's faces. Warped, misguided and dressed to kill - sometimes literally - there's a glimpse of humanity offered beneath her cold exterior, but a glimpse is all it is. Airships, shapeshifters, witches, wraiths, the idea of the Elegy - using the blood of each of the kingdom's rulers to fulfill a prophecy promising untold power and immortality -, all of this has me chomping at the bit to start the next book!

Siren's Fury doesn't suffer the mid-trilogy slump that I was half-fearing. While it may not be a better book than Storm Siren - because that book was freaking amazing - it's just as good. Storm Siren sets the bar high and Siren's Fury more than matches it. It's rich, intense, gripping and above all never dull for even a single moment, elevating the story to another level and setting the scene to absolute perfection for Siren's Song. Bring it on!

One thing that really bothers me about this book though - it's nothing to do with the story so not part of the review, I just needed to get it out there after the recent #ukyachat discussion on feminism - Nym is described in the book blurb on the dust jacket as "the beautiful elemental". I mean...really? Not determined, not strong-willed, not resourceful...beautiful. Of all the fantastic characteristics and qualities that Nym possesses that could have been picked as a selling point, that was the one the publishers went for. A few characters make mention of her beauty so we already know it, but it's irrelevant. And it's especially irrelevant in that sentence. YAs already have enough of that crap to deal with, so I was disappointed to see another "don't forget; the main character is gorgeous!" crammed in so blatantly and so unnecessarily. Not cool Thomas Nelson!