The Wicked King by Holly Black | Review

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Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: January 8th, 2019

Dates Read: December 11th, 2018 – December 12th, 2018

Trigger Warnings: abuse, betrayal, murder, torture, sexual assault

Pages: 336

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Fantasy, young adult

Goodreads blurb:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world


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The Golden Tower by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare | Review

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: September 11th, 2018

Dates Read: September 15th, 2018 to September 16th, 2018

Pages: 256

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Genre: middle-grade, fantasy, urban fantasy, magic

Goodreads blurb:

A generation ago, powerful mage Constantine Madden came close to achieving what no magician had ever achieved: the ability to bring back the dead. He didn’t succeed . . . but he did find a way to keep himself alive, inside a young child named Callum Hunt.

Facing up to what he is, Callum has battled chaos and evil across four years of magical training at the Magisterium, eventually defeating the armies of chaos in an epic battle.

It came at a cost.

Now, triumphant and heartbroken, Callum Hunt has just about had enough, and is ready to complete his training. But the evil Callum faced has not given up just yet…

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October Wrap Up | 2018

Wow, can you believe this year is almost done? October wasn’t super busy for me, I worked a lot, I handed in my last university assignments and I went and saw Taryn from @ Taryn Reads Books for a few days. I also started my Christmas shopping because ya girl likes to be prepared. However, I am so stuck on what to ask for my 21st in December. What did y’all get if you’re 21 or what your siblings get?

In terms of reading, I had a pretty good reading month. I read quite a few novellas but I am not mad about that – a lot of them I have been anticipating for a while.

Let’s just jump into my wrap up though. I don’t want to babble too much, mainly because I am typing this up before work because I was not prepared for this month to end. I read 4, 830 pages and 17 books in total! Let’s jump into this.

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September Wrap Up | 2018

September was a wild month for me. It kicked off quickly with my work experience period starting. I was trained up in reception skills to be useful and underwent some work with the marketing girls. I did so well that the workplace offered to hire me. I will now be working in a casual position but I am so ready to get some money in my pocket and learn more!

I didn’t think I would read that much due to working most days of the week for work experience. I managed to shock myself and read 20 books which equalled 6236 pages. I managed to finish a couple audiobooks this month too on the bus to and from work!

As it is with these wrap-ups, most of these reviews will start appearing in the next few weeks so keep an eye out!

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | Review

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Trigger Warnings: abuse (graphic), suicide, bullying, murder, alcoholism. 

Pages: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


R E V I E W

I had some pretty high expectations going into The Cruel Prince. I said I would stop buying into the hype but as if that’s actually true. I am so glad that it fit all the expectations I had for it! I don’t think I’ve seen a single bad review for The Cruel Prince since the ARCs started being distributed. Quite literally every single one of my friends on Goodreads has loved it. I had a few problems throughout the book, which I will get in to later and a problem that comes from the reviews I read.

The Cruel Prince is a dark twisting tale that will leave you on the edge of your seat. I truly wasn’t expecting what happened at all throughout the novel. At some points I thought I was finally getting a grasp on the plot, but nope. I can tell that this is a book I could re-read hundreds of times and pick up new things each time – the sign of a great book in my opinion.

It was strange the start the year off with a book that doesn’t fit into a traditional YA book. It was too dark for me to really class it as that, honestly. With the motives and the violence throughout the book, I’m not sure it would be suited for a younger audience. Though, I did love the fact it was urban fantasy and not high fantasy. I love when there’s a clear line between the fantasy and the mortal world in books, so I was incredibly intrigued to see how it was going to work throughout The Cruel Prince. 

However, I did enjoy watching Jude try and navigate the inner workings of Faerie. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of familial vibe throughout, I feel that could have been better worked into the plot as I would have liked to see Jude interact with her sisters (Taryn and Vivi) more. Jude did seem like a bit of a naive character at first, I wasn’t sure if I was exactly on her side. But, as The Cruel Prince continues we get to see there are further layers underneath the original one. My favourite character to learn more about was Cardan. Who, I’m not even sure how to view. The book ended and I was like ‘wait, that’s it?’ I instantly wanted to see how his character would develop further to tackle the problems that lay ahead in this novel.

The dark undertones throughout the book definitely provide an anti-villain theme for the characters throughout, especially with the events that occur towards the end of the book – without saying too much. The flawed characters who make mistakes definitely enforce this opinion that little bit more.

Actually, Holly Black manages to give every single character a depth. No one is how they once appear and the more you learn about them the more I am so glad that this world does not exist. It was such a complex and dark world filled with such intense politics and familial battles. I’m truly not even sure I got a grasp on all the characters and concepts.

Her writing is almost flawless with the way it captivates you, the descriptions are absolutely enchanting. A big problem I had with the novel was how confusing the beginning was. It took me a bit to fall into the novel, but once I was in I was hooked. But, that first 20% left me debating whether or not I should DNF and cut my losses. I am so glad I didn’t. I also did take away a star because I guessed a couple things and wasn’t impressed by the relationship between sisters Taryn and Jude. 

The other problem I have doesn’t even fall into the text. It does with reviewers. I’ve seen a lot of reviews for The Cruel Prince and not a single one mentioned the abuse that happens. It is incredibly graphic and I was speechless. I do urge everyone who reads this book to include this trigger because I was not prepared at all.

Overall, this was a complex novel. A lot of it did feel like filler and setting us up for the next book but it was incredibly fantastic. Holly Black is a master of words in The Cruel Prince, her adjectives and scenarios create such a vivid picture that I can’t help but recommend this book. Especially if you can push past the confusing beginning!


Happy reading everyone!

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The Silver Mask by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare | Mini Review

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: October 10th, 2017

Pages: 200

Publisher: Scholastic Press.

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

A generation ago, Constantine Madden came close to achieving what no magician had ever achieved: the ability to bring back the dead. He didn’t succeed . . . but he did find a way to keep himself alive, inside a young child named Callum Hunt. Now Call is one of the most feared and reviled students in the history of the Magisterium, thought to be responsible for a devastating death and an ever-present threat of war. As a result, Call has been imprisoned and interrogated. Everyone wants to know what Constantine was up to-and how he lives on. But Call has no idea. It is only when he’s broken out of prison that the full potential of Constantine’s plan is suddenly in his hands . . . and he must decide what to do with his power. In this spellbinding fourth book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take us beyond the realm of the living and into the dangers of the dead.


M I N I   R E V I E W

This is simply a mini review for two reasons. One, I got my wisdom teeth out on Thursday and am still getting back on my feet fro it. Two, this is the fourth book in a series and since I enjoy keeping my reviews spoiler free a mini review was the best way to conduct this.

To start off; what a disappointment. I’ve been reading this for five days and it was in no way worth this. It was classic middle book syndrome where basically nothing happens. With the book being as short as it is, it seriously needs something to keep you around. However, The Silver Mask really fails to do that for me. If you’ve seen my other reviews you may know I really enjoyed the first three books of this series. That’s what makes this particular one such a sad tale.

I can’t really tell you what happened throughout this book. The ties of friendship that are so common throughout the others are almost missing. This book is solely about Call and his personal journey through the events that occurred in book three. Unfortunately, I don’t think that was enough to be a full book by itself.

The romance really jumped out of nowhere, too. I was quite shocked by it (though it could have been my wisdom teeth drugs).

All in all, this is still a really good middle-grade series and I will be reading the final book when it releases. Just very disappointed that this book and I didn’t mesh well.

Also, I apologise for how short this review is but I need to do some more packing and nap because these tablets make me drowsy as all hell.


Happy reading everyone!

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The same goes for my Booktopia link, which is a great service for Aus and NZ residents.

The Bronze Key by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black | Review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: August 30th 2016

Pages: 256

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Magic can save you.
Magic can kill you.

Students at the Magisterium are supposed to be safe. Under the watchful eyes of the mages, they are taught to use magic to bring order to a chaotic world.

But now the chaos is fighting back. Call, Tamara, and Aaron should be worrying about things like pop quizzes and magic contests. Instead, after the shocking death of one of their classmates, they must track down a sinister killer… and risk their own lives in the process.

As Call, Tamara, and Aaron discover, magic can only be as good as the person who wields it. In evil hands, it has the capacity to do immeasurable harm, unless it is stopped in time.

In this striking third book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare present us with a school where anything, good or evil, can happen, and the only way to unlock the truth is to risk everything to find it.


R A M B L E

This review will probably be short because I am screaming still from this book. The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare was dark. The previous two books seemed like child play when compared to this book and I am shocked. I am shocked that these two women are geniuses. I haven’t felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest by a book in a long time, but these two authors manage to do it within 200 pages.


 P L O T 

Following the same characters we now know and love, The Bronze Key is a story about friendship, crushes and murder.

Wait, one of those seem out of place. Definitely the crushes.

Definitely the crushes.

Romance hasn’t been a big thing in this series, but it slowly starts to be introduced to the series as the characters are now 14 and undergoing puberty, I presume it’s not in the text. It was a bit disorientating to read about Callum’s feelings and I got confused in some aspects, which was the only thing that brought this book down a star because it was a perfect five.

It seems these kids can’t get a break though because this particular year someone wants to murder Callum. I get he’s annoying, but I’m not sure he exactly screams “murder me”. Apparently, he does though. Along the way the trio makes many discoveries they may wish they didn’t and suffer losses that will break them.


C  H A R A C T E R S 

I haven’t got a lot to say about the characters throughout this book. At least, not enough to make individual parts in this review like I usually do. Callum, Tamara and Aaron go through some series hardships in their Bronze Year at the Magisterium. Hardships no fourteen years should have to face. It is distressing, in a way, at what they do experience and the lack of adults who are willing to help.

The trio takes care of Havoc, while also never letting Callum out of their sight in fear the murderer will strike when they do. The character growth throughout this book was beautiful, but also hilarious in some aspects. Mainly the introduction of romance that I mentioned previously.

I’m beyond excited to see how the trio grows in the future books. I can’t believe I waited so long to pick up this series.


O V E R A L L 

Overall, Cassandra Clare and Holly Black did it again. They managed to have me crying late in the night over their unexpected twists and unflinching way to execute a story. I am beyond excited for the release of the fourth book which comes out later in August.

I still highly recommend this series if you’re looking for a fast paces middle-grade series that is in no way similar to Percy Jackson or Harry Potter. Black and Clare completely make this world their own without cliches or themes from those series and it is amazing.