Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas ~ Review by Fallon

Ash & Bramble by
Hardcover, 464 pages
Expected publication: September 15th 2015
by HarperTeen 
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:

When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.

Fallon's Review:

Thank you HaperTeen for sending me an ARC for Review this in no way affected my opinion. 

This twist on a fairy tale starts off very bizarre from people who have features of animals. Then people who have no memory of their life before. They are slaves and workers. Pin does not even remember her name but she finds herself working as a seamstress. The only thing she does know is that she was not meant to do the work she was given and she is determined to escape the servitude she finds herself in. Yet nobody has ever escaped before. They either end up dead or punished as an example to all who dare defy Godmother. 

I loved the twist off this story and how Godmother is evil and another villain in the fairy tale was actually working for good but was portrayed in a way that seemed villainous. I also really enjoyed the world building. This was a beautiful and romantic story about fighting the destiny laid out before you and embracing what you feel and that your heart tells you is the path you should lead.

The thing I did not like was that the plot was over complicated and I wish that effort was put more into complicating the  characters. Some of the creatures were very weird and bizarre and I did not feel the concept meshed well within the story.

Ash & Bramble is an extremely unique take on Cinderella and I think everyone should read this upside down and all around take on this fairy tale. I enjoyed this book it is just not a story I would read over and over again.

About the Author

I’m a writer living in rural Iowa with a mad scientist husband, two kids, two dogs, two cats, chickens, and a bunch of goats.
My main thing is writing—I love to write, and talk about writing, and write emails to other writers. And reading. I read a lot. Mostly fantasy, but also romance and regular fiction.
I live on 40 acres out in the countryside, and I’m working to restore the woods and prairie. So basically I’m either writing or I’m outside working on the land, canoeing around our lake, hiking, or gardening. Or wrangling goats.

Author of the Magic Thief series and the Winterling trilogy.

Coming in Sept. 2015 is my first YA, Ash & Bramble.

My website:

Check out the book website,

Tawney Thursday: Legacy of Kings Review

  • Series: Blood of Gods and Royals
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen (August 18, 2015)
  • 3 out 5 stars

GoodReads Description:

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

Tawney's Review:

Here is a book sweeping fantasy and history together in one. Legacy of Kings is about Alexander the great, heir of Macedonia. He is on the verge of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world. At his side is Hephaestion, Heph, his best friend and protector.

 Katerina comes to the palace on her own mission, to kill the Queen. But Kat’s foster brother and love interest, Jacob enters a Blood tournament to prove he is worthy of her. Zofia, Zo, is a Persian princess who is in love with a soldier but is promised to Alexander.

I love ancient history. In fact, Alexander’s story has always intrigued me. There are so many stories interwoven in this book that sometimes it’s hard to keep track. Eleanor did a wonderful job at keeping them weaving together. Especially with the interaction of the characters.

The story is told in the third person from six point of views: Alexander, Katerina, Jacob, Hephaestion, Cynane and Zofia.  Yes, that's a lot of characters. This was what made me give it the three stars. I didn’t feel like I could invest in some of the characters. There were some characters I wanted to see more of like Cynane and Zofia. And it's what drew me away from the book causing me to set it down a couple of times. The pace was slow at the beginning because of the set up for each character. However, I did love the characters! 

Alexander is strong willed and what's best for his country. Heph wants to be the best warrior but he's easily swayed. 

One other character that drew my attention was Queen Olympias. She is just insidious!  She wants whats best for Alexander but what she does to get it is pure evil. 

My problem with the book was just too many characters and too little time to get to know them all. Don’t get me wrong, the story was wonderful. The fantasy and historical facts intertwining together was written beautifully. There were some slight magic elements in the book that left me wanting more. I'm sure the next book will go into further detail, which I look forward to. 

Eleanor's writing was wonderful. She did a fantastic job describing Macedonia. I could totally visualize the city, the clothes and each character. 

The battle scene was epic. I was at the edge of me seat biting my nails with each turn of the page.

The ending was fantastic and it's what made me want to read the second book, where I think things escalate even further. I'll definitely continue this series to see what happens.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys featuring Cat Winters With Review & look at April Genevieve Tucholke's new novel

Follow the tour:

Stefan Bachmann - 8/10 – Winterhaven Books 
Leigh Bardugo - 8/11 – The Hiding Spot 
Kendare Blake - 8/12 – Reading Teen 
A. G. Howard - 8/13 – Page Turners Blog 
Marie Lu - 8/14 – Gone With the Words 

Jonathan Maberry - 8/17 – Bookish Antics 
April Genevieve Tucholke - 8/18 – The Midnight Garden 
Danielle Paige - 8/19 – The Irish Banana 
Carrie Ryan - 8/20 – Katie’s Book Blog 
Megan Shepherd - 8/21 – Jessabella Reads 

Nova Ren Suma - 8/24 - Bookiemoji 
McCormick Templeman - 8/25 – The Eater of Books! 
Cat Winters - 8/26 – Seeing Double in Neverland 
Jay Kristoff – 8/27 Fangirlish

Monday, August 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught YA Fantasy 101

Thank you The Broke and the Bookish for organizing the fun Top Ten Tuesday and for the meme!

August 25th Topic ~ Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught YA Fantasy 101

1. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

2. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

3. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

4. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

5. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

6. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

7. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

8. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

9. Defy by Sara B Larson

10. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Come back next week September 1: Ten Characters You 

Just Didn't Click With!