Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · Fantasy · Romance · young adult

Heartless, by Marissa Meyer (Fantasy Review: WARNING- SPOILERS!)

TW: This Review Contains Potential SPOILERS!

Good afternoon you B-e-a-utiful Bookworms!  ^_^
Do I have a post-Valentine’s Day treat for you.

Today’s review is for a true masterpiece- Heartless, by Marissa Meyer. This spectacular novel delves into the fictional world of Hearts, part of the world created for Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Caroll in 1865.

https://burst.shopify.com/photos/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=alice&button=

 

When writing the original Alice in wonderland, Lewis Caroll had this to say-
‘I pictured to myself, the Queen of Hearts, as a sort of embodiment of ungovernable passion- a blind and aimless fury.’

 

 

With that in mind, I felt that Marissa Meyer stayed true to Caroll’s original characters, particularly to Catherine’s overwhelming sense of passion and fury, as mentioned above. Meyer possesses a most unique style reminiscent of Caroll’s own. Her’s is a rather matter of fact style that describes (in great detail) the world of Hearts and all its wonders.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the main review.

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer:
Genre: Fantasy / Fairytale Reimagining
ISBN: 1509814132

‘Before she was the Queen of Hearts, she was just a girl that wanted to fall in love.’

Heartless,Alice in Wonderland, Marissa Meyer, Lewis Carol, Mad Hatta, Cheshire Cat, Hearts, Fantasy, YA
Catherine Pinkerton, daughter to the Marquess of Rock turtle Cove (in the land of Hearts) longs to open up a bakery, to make use of her greatest talent, but her vindictive stepmother and less than useless father have more fanciful notions in mind for their child.

From start to finish, I loved Catherine’s character. She is brave, intelligent, witty, and above all, tenacious. Even her dreams give birth to strange plants, with roses and lemon trees appearing out of thin air. But, Catherine was by no means my favourite character.

Get Heartless for just 0.99 p (Amazon)

Although Hatta and the Cheshire Cat did transfix me and stir laughter deep inside me, there was one other character that surpassed them all- Jest.

 

We are first introduced to Jest, the Court Joker at the King’s Black and White Ball, where Catherine finds herself the centre of attention, being the only one wearing blood red. The mysterious Jest is the only other person who seems out of place in the grand palace and soon enough, his fate begins to entwine with Catherine’s. Being a  most charming entertainer, Jest also proves himself to be a perfect gentleman, with the uncanny ability to make people laugh, especially Catherine.

https://burst.shopify.com/photos/chocolate-brownie-in-tray

To Catherine, Jest appears to represent the idea of a real, tangible future, where she could be seen as an equal, and pursue her dreams of opening a successful bakery in the land of Hearts.

Every scene with Jest is so intricately described that it felt like I was walking onto a magnificent canvas, only to see a splendid work of art unfolding before me.

 

I adored Meyer’s intricate descriptions of Hearts, and applaud her ability in resurrecting some of Lewis Caroll’s best loved fictional characters. Everything from the rocking-horse-flies, to the unbirthday cakes and flamingo croquet had me thinking back to the Alice in Wonderland Disney Movie that I loved so much as a child. The characters had the same feel to them emotionally and now I’m even more excited to read Caroll’s original tale.

In Meyer’s story, there is a lot of inner turmoil for Catherine as she is pursued romantically by both the King of Hearts, and Jest. While Catherine strives to make her dreams of owning a bakery a reality, those around her (bar Jest) only seek to hold her back.

With regards to the tone and pacing of the novel.

Heartless began with a lighthearted feeling, which made me feel as though I were walking on air. Then, as the story progresses, the tension builds, and the existence of the Jabberwock (an evil, man-eating beast) becomes known.

Anywho…

I found it rather refreshing that I made it half-way into the novel before the concept of real love was first introduced. Although Catherine knows she shouldn’t (as she has obligations to the King of Hearts, who longs to have her as his wife), she begins to fall hard for Jest.

The following two quotes both express Catherine’s extraordinary sense of passion when it comes to her heart and her personal choices.

‘Sometimes, your heart is the only thing worth listening to.’
‘My heart is not a game piece, to be played, and discarded at will.’

 

https://burst.shopify.com/photos/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=chess+&button=

Catherine views her heart as being hers alone to give away, as she rightly should. She refuses to have someone-else make her life decisions, a subject that remains key throughout the entire novel.

Having reached the half-way point now, I was presented with a far more realistic time-frame for characters to fall in love than we see in most modern-day books.

In fact, it is Jest’s sheer belief in Catherine and her talent that had me loving him from the start.  Such encouragement and pride demonstrates a real depth of love, and not just some fairytale infatuation.

Now, this is where the TW comes into play! SPOILERS!

The end of the story cut me to my core. With Catherine ignoring the warning of the three creepy sisters in the well (as she, Jest, and Hatta cross through The Looking Glass), my favourite character was suddenly no more, their demise being a most brutal one at that.

With Jest torn from Catherine’s side (ironically being her own fault for returning to Hearts from The Looking Glass), we see her character sink further and further into despair. We soon see the significance that the white roses  play (we see the Queen of Hearts ordering them painted red on the Disney movie, AND in Meyer’s book, toward the end), with Catherine no longer able to bear the sight of them as they remind her far too much of Jest and the first night they met, when he handed her a single white rose. Catherine simply cannot stand to be reminded of the life she could have had and becomes a bitter and vengeful individual.

My Rating: 5 stars.
Recommended? Definitely! For fantasy and fairytale lovers.


 

If you enjoyed this review, then you may enjoy:
Of Flesh and Fire (YA Fantasy Review)

 

 

Advertisements
Find uncommonly good books at Biblio.com
Books Reviews · Fantasy · paranormal · Romance · suspense · young adult

Of Flesh & Fire, by Tuesday Cross (A Fantasy Review)

‘I’m a twenty three year old sacrifice, and he’s a two thousand year old vampire.’

Good afternoon fellow booklovers,
Today’s review is for a book I absolutely adore- Of Flesh and Fire, by Tuesday cross.

When a young girl is discovered, unscathed, in a burnt down orphanage, she is whisked away to a land of magic, where she is to attend University. She soon learns that she is part of an ancient prophecy between dragon and vampire kind,where her true name, Nyminia originated, and soon falls into an unconventional romance with a two thousand year old vampire veteran, Marcus.

vampire,of flesh and fire,dragon,mage
I came to love Nyminia’s character for she is brave, headstrong, and of high intelligence, all qualities that I admire. I shared in every one of her victories and losses, as though I were actually part of her personal journey.

Her unusual appearance captivated me: hair as white as snow, pale skin, and with stunning violet eyes that scream unique beauty. As for her personality, Nyminia possesses the naivety of youth, but simultaneously boasts the wisdom of a century’s old being alongside a sarcastic sense of humor.

Buy the Book on Amazon.com

Nyminia’s blossoming romance with Marcus, a gentlemanly vampire and mage, was beautifully developed and had my heart thudding within my chest.

.

Another loveable character comes in the form of Rowan, not another vampire, but a young werewolf girl and Nyminia’s first and best friend at RBU. We instantly see the pair form a tight bond and sense that Nyminia loves her dearly from day one of their meeting- ‘How could anyone be so instantly likeable?’ Rowan’s bubbly and adorable personality contrast strongly with Marcus’s dark and somewhat brooding nature, though both characters are steadfast in their loyalty to Nyminia and do anything they can to protect her from harm.

I loved the author’s personable style and conversational tone as it made this book easy to dive into, with characters I could relate to on a deeper level. I loved how dramatic the storyline was and believe I’ve found a new favourite author.

vampire,dragon,of flesh and fire
https://wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=73671

 

I now leave you with one last quote from the Headmistress of RBU. The quote is taken from near the start of the novel when the prophecy concerning Nyminia is first mentioned.

‘Our universe was born from fire, and by fire- all things must end.’

This quote instantly reminded me of how quickly the world around us can change and how the natural circle of life functions in the daily progression of our lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend that you give it a read.

I’m rating it as 5 stars.
Recommended for lovers of fantasy and folklore.

 

If you enjoyed this review, please feel free to share it over social media using the range of sharing buttons below.  Also, why not visit Wattpad for some FREE chapters of  the Reader’s Favourite YA Fantasy novel, Phoenix.

Have a pleasant day, 

~Daccari.

 

 

Find uncommonly good books at Biblio.com
Books Reviews · Uncategorized · young adult

A Daffodil for Angie (Historical Fiction/YA Review)

Good afternoon fellow #booklovers, today I’m reviewing A Daffodil for Angie,
by Connie Lacy, author of Time Telephone, and VisionSight– A Novel.

ISBN: 978- 0- 9996084-0-1  |  Publisher: Wild Falls Publishing (2017)
|  Genre: YA / Historical Fiction


‘The message of this novel will stay with me for life. A Daffodil for Angie is one of those rare literary jewels.’

angie2

Set in the late 1960s, the reader follows Angie, a teen with a beauty queen sister, controlling mother, and a father stationed in Vietnam. Connie Lacy (author) dedicated this very novel to her own father, who fought in the Vietnam war himself. In fact, the characters (especially Angie) felt so complex and relatable that it makes me wonder whether the novel’s events were also based on Lacy’s own experiences.

Angie’s school year is full of changes: the cutest jock, Craig has the hots for her, her hair has stunning blonde highlights, but that’s not all- she is about to help spark a revolution.
The reader gets an instant feel for what Lafayette High (Angie’s school) is like within the first sentence. ‘The road to popularity is paved with pompoms.’ This first sentence hooked me and make me chuckle, something not many (if any) books have managed to do.

 

.

A new year at Lafayette High also sees Angie make two new friends, Stan, an activist with scruffy hair and a great sense of humour, and Valerie, an African American girl. When Angie decides to befriend Valerie, ignoring snide comments from some of her more unfavourable peers, a revolution is sparked.

With the integration of such African American students into Lafayette High, we see a rise in racist behaviours, which Angie aims to put an immediate stop to with the help of new friend, Stan.

At the start of the book, Angie appeared more concerned with her general appearance and finding a boyfriend, but as I followed her, Stan, and Valerie’s journey of activism and self-discovery, I saw Angie transform into a young woman of true beauty and substance. We see her navigate the torture of Lafayette High and its various bullies, to be reborn as a confident young activist that aims to change the world, for the better.

Valerie is joint star of the novel, having moved into an all-white neighbourhood during a time of great oppression for African Americans of the United States. Valerie’s bravery and strength are something to be admired, as she deals with her torment in silence, in an attempt to spare her family more trouble. Valerie is such a kind and selfless young woman. Is she was based on a real person, I’d honestly want to meet her. I cannot stress enough how important and incredible a character Valerie is.

angie
Back to Angie’s side of the story…

It was refreshing to see a character that eventually decided to shun typical fashion, so she felt more like her true self. Her character’s rebirth (as symbolized by the beautiful daffodils that grow in her home garden) is one that inspired me and will stay with me until my dying days.

Find: A Daffodil for Angie (Amazon.com)Find: A Daffodil for Angie (Amazon.com)

.

The ending to this novel wrapped everything up in a neat little package. I was utterly speechless at how much this story moved me. It is a true credit to Connie Lacy, holding more raw emotional power than most probably realize.

An inspirational read that blew me away.
Without a doubt a 5 star novel.

Recommended for lovers of young adult and historical fiction.

Okay guys, that’s all from me for today. If you enjoyed this review,
then you may like my review for Frostblood, by Elly blake.

Fantasy Books 411 Official Frostblood Review

Have a pleasant day,
~Daccari.

 

 

 

Find uncommonly good books at Biblio.com
Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · Fantasy · paranormal · Romance · Uncategorized · young adult

Burning Captivation (A Fantasy Review)


Burning Captivation, by Lucretia Stanhope:

 

Good afternoon you beautiful bookworms!  ^_^
Today, I’m reviewing Burning Captivation, by Lucretia Stanhope.

Burning Captivation is the extraordinary fantasy tale in which Gwen, a young witch is to be the future bride of vampire master, Dmitry. The story is told from two main perspectives, that of Gwen, and Dmitry himself.

bop.jpg
Moving away from the belief that vampires are unfeeling creatures, unable to feel the true depth of compassion, Dmitry’s character (although an adept at hiding his emotions from Gwen) practically oozes it. From the beginning, I could see how much he cared for Gwen in his own way, his sarcastic and somewhat cocky attitude making him a rather intriguing and likable character.

Gwen, a sassy and at times headstrong individual copes well with all the dramatic twists and turns that come her way. Gwen shows true courage, what with having been thrust into a different realm where she is to one day be used as a weapon.

More Info From Goodreads

Gwen remains calm (as calm as any of us could be in such a terrifying situation) and assesses whatever is happening around her at the time, to assist her husband to be in any way possible.

 

As we watch Gwen take on the quest to find a missing witch, Pauline, we see the actual strain she is being put under from her new life. Being separated from a true love (Sebastian) would drive anyone insane, but Gwen ensures that she remains calm and composed, to best protect her new vampire master. However, we do see Gwen’s true hopelessness and misery at times when it seems like she and her love, Sebastian might never get to be together. It is at these times that she appears to crave the familiar, comforting presence of a loved one that we all crave when at our wit’s end.

This was a beautifully crafted tale of duty and sacrifice that wrapped up nicely toward the end.

Other than Gwen and Dmitry only having known each-other for seven days, there was nothing I could find that I disliked about the book.

I would happily rate Burning Captivation as 5 stars, and would recommend it to lovers of fantasy, vampires, and witchcraft.

 

Thank you for reading my latest review.
I hope you enjoyed it.

P.s. Be sure to grab the book from Amazon using my Affiliate Link below.
Your support of me as an affiliate  is always appreciated.

~Daccari.

 

 

 

Find uncommonly good books at Biblio.com
Bookish Announcements · Books Reviews · Fantasy · paranormal · young adult

Frostblood (Book #1: Frostblood Saga) ~ Fantasy Review

Good afternoon fellow bookworms!

It’s a beautiful snowy day in the East of England, so today’s
review of Frostblood, by Elly Blake seems appropriate.

Title: Frost Blood (#1: Frostblood Saga.)
Genre: Fantasy
Author: Elly Blake
Publishing year: 2017

My rating: 
*  *  *  *  * (5 STARS!)

 

Warning: Potential small spoiler alert!

frostblood.jpg
I was so excited to start reading Frostblood, by Elly Blake. It’s a novel I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages, and I’m glad I did because I absolutely LOVED every moment!

This enchanting narrative focuses on young Ruby Firebrand, one of the last Firebloods in existence. One of the first sentences, ‘I offered my hand to the fire’ intrigued me, making me wonder if the fire was in fact a sentient being.

Although it soon became clear that it was not, the fire did respond to Ruby’s emotions, making it easy to picture when things might escape Ruby’s limited control.

 

Find Frostblood on Goodreads.com

The setting is quickly established for the reader, as are the two warring clans of this fictional world, the Firebloods, and the Frostbloods.

The evil Frost King plays a crucial role in all that befalls Ruby’s character as the novel progresses. He is the symbol of all things evil (at least, from Ruby’s perspective.)

The fast pace of the story had my heart thudding in my chest. Along with exciting clan backstories, I loved the complexity of the main characters, Ruby and Arcus (a hooded monk with many secrets.) Both are stubborn, headstrong individuals that only want the best for their people. Despite being of different clans, they are more similar to one-another than might first be noticeable to the reader. As the pair grow closer, the novel acquires an increasingly heart-warming feel, which had me personally floating on clouds.

One thing that I disliked was the somewhat cliché prophecy storyline. I feel that after Harry Potter and the prophecies foretold in the award-winning series, that no other prophecy storyline can truly measure up. Of course, that’s just my opinion and others are sure to feel otherwise.

I did enjoy Blake’s style of writing (perhaps a little too much) as I found my head lost in the clouds for some time, like I did when I was a kid and life was simpler. The author’s beautiful use of imagery and the detail described throughout are worthy of tremendous praise.

I would definitely recommend that you give this book a read. It was by far one of my favourite reads to date. I really connected with the characters, particularly Ruby as I have often felt (and still do feel) like an outcast.

I am rating this novel 5 stars, although I could easily rate it 10 (if that was allowed!)
I’d recommend Frostblood to lovers of High Fantasy and Mythology.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Frostblood.
~ Take care, Daccari.