GUSH Spoiler Free Review: The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2)

Author: Rin Chupeco

Pub. Date: March 20th. 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS FIRE

Pages: 528

Buddy Read: Melanie from Meltotheany

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON

    

I read The Heart Forger, sequel to The Bone Witch around the time of its release and have yet to find any single book or trilogy to top it in my favorites. Buddy reading this one with Melanie from Meltotheany who loves Rin Chupeco’s world building and characters as much as I did only further enhanced the whole experience. There are but a few authors I can count on one hand who can transport you with their writing the minute you start a new chapter. The Bone Witch books are so much more than a story about Necromancy and a demon slayer. With so many layers and complex well fleshed characters, it’s a story about the bonds that keep us close to those we love most. Once again I found myself riveted and absorbed into Tea’s world not wanting the story to ever end. This Asian inspired Fantasy has introduced me to one of my favorite authors of all time & for that I am very thankful! 💜

Photo from Pinterest, not my own.

The events of The Bone Witch changed Tea and she voluntarily went into exile last we saw her. The Heart Forger picks up with Tea in exile waiting for the day when all would descend upon her. Bard the Chronicler is back with Tea documenting all of her life, both the good & the bad. Although things have already come to pass when we start the book, Chupeco worked her way back to the events leading up to where they are now. Too much can be considered spoilery & so I will stick to what I loved most about this sequel. Once again, the characters proved to be one of my favorite parts of this trilogy. Tea is definitely in a dark place but I won’t deny LOVING her I don’t give a hmm attitude! she’s come to be this powerful necromancer who can defeat Daeva aka demon creatures or control them. She chooses to control some and seeing her empathy with these creatures makes her more human where most of the time she’s viewed as cold and overly ambitious. Tea is still bonded to her brother Fox who passed away (given fact at the very beginning of The Bone Witch) and nothing makes me more happier than seeing the relationship between these two. Theirs is an unusual relationship given Fox is deceased and their bond allows them to be in each others head space. Yet Chupeco chose to maintain the same issues all siblings deal with which made for an authentic read. I enjoyed the moments where they practiced their fighting skills together & when they shoved each other out of one another’s mind in order to experience the more private sentiments alone.

With such a fantastic cast of main & side characters, It’s hard to choose a favorite! I did enjoy seeing Likh back in this world and standing up for what they believe in. Likh’s heartless is silver which means they’re fully intended to go study with the soldiers. However, Likh is a lover of all things fashion and design, life as a soldier is not something they can quite imagine a life in. It was AMAZING to see this character receive so much support by everyone. My heart legit felt full, the outpouring of love and support they received was one of the BEST scenes in this book. We also get to see Prince Kance on a different path where he’s taking his  royal responsibilities very seriously & perhaps realizing that Tea may not have a place in his future. Prince Kalen is back in the tinker room making Heartglass and setting up to be the next great one in his field. Prince Kalen, *giggle* yea…this guy was an unexpected surprise considering how much time he spends trying to protect Prince Kance from the dangers that come with being by Tea’s side. Hate to love relationships are one of my top fave tropes! and I say this with no shame! the relationship in this book was a slow burn but when it takes off, it soars! so many swoon worthy moments 💓 but if I had to pick a favorite, Tea remains my #1 💜 I love this character to the moon & back simply because she’s unapologetically herself.

Last year when I read The Bone Witch (see review hereI was BLOWN AWAY by Chupeco’s writing! Beautiful lush descriptions of a world that gave me Memoirs of a Geisha vibes with a Fantasy twist. I wasn’t expecting to get one of the BEST sibling relationships in all of YA, gender role positivity, actual dark necromancy, special bonds with animals & demons, and a steamy romance as the cherry on my sundae 💜 yet that is exactly what I got and so much more! If per chance you happened to have read The Bone Witch and felt that possibly it was a bit slow paced, worry not! The Heart Forger is a real page turner where the author stays true to their writing style while adding on awesome action sequences and vivid imagery. Chupeco actually gave us scenes where her necromancy was in over drive and Tea sees herself putting back together the bones of the dead! also, she’s learning some pretty neat runes and testing them out on herself & her brother was fun to watch. The character development is also worth mentioning, whether it be purposefully or not, Tea is much darker and willing to take risks and go the extra mile for those she loves. I’ll be honest, I’m a little worried about the consequences of how far she stretches the limits. Nonetheless, I am really looking forward to the final installment in this trilogy and also super curious about how it will end and whether Tea will get what she’s after…


Hello Bookworms! Hope you’re all having a FAB Friday! 💜 have any of you read The Bone Witch and/or The Heart Forger? if so, comment down below with your fave character/aspect of these books 💓


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Waiting On Wednesday

Children Of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 6th 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 448 pages

 

 Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at @Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

This is the 1st Waiting On Wednesday I’ve been over the moon excited to share in a very long time! Although I have plenty of books on my radar, only 1 takes the title of most anticipated for 2018 in my planner & that is Children of Blood and Bone! I’ve been patiently waiting for a cover reveal & it was absolutely worth the wait *heart eyes emoji* the words beautiful & stunning come to mind but really don’t do it justice. Children of Blood and Bone is slated to be the biggest YA Fantasy of 2018, steeped in African Culture with its own Mythology, the world building alone calls my name. I am eager to meet these characters, learn their magic/world, and welcome them in my heart. As most of you know, I am passionate about Diversity & to see it make its way into YA feels like a victory!

Children of Blood and Bone is already being adapted for the big screen (see here) & the author, 23 year old Tomi Adeyemi is said to have scored one of the biggest YA book publishing deals of all time. The article I’ve linked above mentions talk of Children of Blood and Bone being called “Black Lives Matter-inspired fantasy”…If this hasn’t convinced you to add this book to your TBR’s maybe the authors profile bio will…

Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. Her debut novel, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, comes out March 6th, 2018 and the movie is currently in development at Fox with the producers of Twilight and The Maze Runner attached. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she received a fellowship that allowed her to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. When she’s not working on her novels or watching Scandal, she can be found blogging and teaching creative writing to her 3,500 subscribers at tomiadeyemi.com. Her website has been named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest.

I would love to know if any of my fellow bookworms are anticipating this title or any other diverse YA Fantasy books you are looking forward to reading. Drop those comments down below <3’s! 

Review: Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

25895524Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence

Published by: Ace

Publication Date: April 4th 2017

Genre: Adult Fantasy/LGBTQ

Pages: 432 pages

Format: eGalley (Netgalley)

Rating: ★★★★★

HUGE thanks to Ace, Netgalley, and Mark Lawrence for the eGalley of Red Sister in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own.

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I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

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My very 1st Mark Lawrence read & boy was it something! nothing could’ve prepared me for what lay ahead but the first few pages in the first chapter did manage to leave me wide eyed. Right off the bat we are introduced to a 8 year old Nona & the harsh reality of the world she lives in. The opening scene had me asking strangers on the train “oh! so no man, woman, or CHILD is safe under Mark’s pen huh?!?!” well the answer to that is NO! no one is safe & plenty are hungry enough to sell their children to avoid starvation. Nona is literally saved from the noose at the very last second by a Nun from Sweet Mercy Convent which is by no means your typical convent. This also won’t be my typically styled review, I finished this book days ago & have gone above & beyond to avoid a book hangover. I will try my best not to fangirl all over this review, back to the Plot…

Sweet Mercy Convent gave me Hogwarts mixed with a Ludus (like in Spartacus) vibes. The nuns at Sweet Mercy all specialize in one skill or another ranging from fighting to magic. Everyone in this world is a descendant from of the following four tribes:

Hunska: Speed (faster than your average human)

Gerrant: Physically large & strong

Marjal: ability to do magic on a smaller scale

Quantal: ability to walk the path & more complex magic

The students who enter are sorted by the abilities they’ve shown a inherent skill towards or in the case of Gerrant & Hunska, are visibly on display. The girls also attend classes in various subjects pertaining to each skill and go through ranks in the following order: Red Class, Gray Class, Mystic Class, and Holy Class. Nona will have 10 years of education in the convent in order to become a Red Sister. During her time & training in the convent there are outside forces at work seeking retribution for old wounds. Nona has secrets, ones that she doesn’t want her peers to ever find out for fear they will see the darkness within her. Nona has a bloody violent history leading up to the noose where she would be hung for her crime. We follow her progress in Sweet Mercy Convent as she learns to hone her skills all the while dealing with inside & outside threats.

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We follow Nona from age 8 to about age 11 in this first installment in the Book of the Ancestor series. She has only known violence & the need to survive when she is brought to Sweet Mercy Convent. She is shrouded in mystery & likes it that way, often times making up stories for her past. Perhaps Nona’s biggest weakness is her unquestioning loyalty to those that call her “friend”. In Sweet Mercy we are introduced to the Abess & sisters who run the convent & teach the classes. I found myself enjoying some of these characters like Sister Apple for her specialty which I won’t reveal since it is spoilery. Also, Sister Kettle who watches over the library, won me over with her threat to anyone caught folding pages in books. Besides the vast array of sisters, there were three other girls in Nona’s class we get to follow closely. There’s Clera who has a love/hate relationship with Nona, Arabella who fiercely watches over Nona, and Hessa who is connected to Nona & often plays the voice of reason. Friendships play a center focus in Red Sister, we see Nona learning the highs & lows all the while living in a competitive setting. Arabella was hands down my favorite & seeing their friendship unfold was awesome since as a reader of Young Adult, I don’t often see positive F/F friendships. This was a change of pace & there were definitely betrayals & double crossings in the mix but that’s to be expected in this world where violence is the law of the land. I like my characters flawed & complex and Lawrence delivers with Nona as well as her friends. No one is wholly “good” or “evil” & therefore nothing is ever black or white in this world, we get a ton of gray til the very last page.

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I finished reading Red Sister some time last week & was left speechless…so much so that I couldn’t bring myself to write this review. I needed to digest what was my first ever Mark Lawrence book & gather my thoughts. From start to finish, Red Sister held me in its grip for various reasons including the no holds barred violence that follows our main protagonist. The world building at first seemed like it would overwhelm me but Lawrence weaves in the ranks & paths so well, that there really was no need to refer to the glossary. About the glossary LOL! MAJOR points for placing the glossary at the very beginning of the book as opposed to the very end where no one ever thinks to look haha! although as previously mentioned, it wasn’t necessary other than as back-up info to this world. The writing is very detailed but in a useful way if that makes sense, it wasn’t overkill. The fighting/training scenes were the most detailed & I was able to get a vivid picture almost as if I were watching a movie. Told in third person POV, Red Sister’s opening pages starts you off with a glimpse of events taking place in the future. This alone was a HUGE motivator for me as far as page turning goes, I needed to find out what that whole scene was about & how everyone managed to get to that point…WHAT WENT WRONG?!?!?! to say that I loved my 1st Mark Lawrence book is a HUGE understatement, I’m in it for the long haul my bookish peeps! If you’re a mostly Young Adult Fantasy reader & are considering taking the leap into Adult Fantasy, this may be a great place to start. For fans of bad a** female heroines, vivid  fight scenes, positive female friendships, positive LGBTQIA representation and elements of the Potterverse…this book is for YOU! 😉

Some of my closest book blogging buddies have already read Red Sister & I will spend Monday visiting their reviews to finally read their thoughts & complain about the wait til’ book 2 haha! Is anyone else reading Red Sister? If you have a review up, please drop that link in the box below & I’ll gladly swing by for a chat 🙂