Posted in blogs, dark fantasy, fantasy, MG & YA, Reading, YA

Book Talk Sarah J. Maas’s Heir to Fire (Book 3 Throne of Glass series) Traci Kenworth


Book Talk 9/4/2020: Sarah J. Maas’s Heir of Fire (Book 3 Throne of Glass series)

Traci Kenworth

Heir to Fire by Sarah J. Maas. Bloomsbury 2015. YA.

Amazon’s blurb: Celaena Sardothien, heroine of the New York Times bestselling series, rises from the ashes to burn even brighter than before.

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak-but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life-and her future-forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

In this USA Today bestselling third book in the New York Times bestselling series, Sarah J. Maas again delivers the epic fantasy, heart-stopping pace, and heady romance that have won her readers the world over. Look for a teaser for the fourth book in the series, Queen of Shadows, out in this same season!

My Review: Caelena Sardothien has been sent to her homelands to kill the king and queen there. She finds herself unwilling to complete her orders. While she contemplates what to do, a fae by the name of Rowan, sworn to her aunt Maeve comes to retrieve her. Maeve wants to know what Caelena wants. Caelena asks about the Wyrdkeys. Maeve says she must serve her before she will answer. Rowan begins training her, showing no mercy for her weakness in her human form.

As Caelena begins to remember her former life as Aelin Galathynius, Princess of Terrasen. She remembers who the assassin was who killed her family. One sacrifice saved her. As she mourns the memories, enemies the King of Ardalan has sent to her homelands close in. They work to drain her but she finds forgiveness in her suffering and rises up against them.

Can she do the same with her Aunt? And old enemies who wish her dead? She finds unexpected allies.

The read was an absolute delight! I’ve already started the fourth book in the series, Queen of the Shadows. Three more to go!

Posted in blogs, dark fantasy, gothic, MG & YA, Reading, traditional, YA

Book Talk 8/21/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Added Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo.

Bestselling in Baby. Forehead Thermometer, digital. Playtex Diaper Genie Refill Bags. Diaper Wipes Pampers Aqua Pure. The First Years Stack-up Cup Toys. Pampers Swaddlers Diapers, Size 4. Manual Breast Pump. Baby Foot Exfoliation Foot Peel.

Posted in blogs, dark fantasy, horror, MG & YA, Reading, traditional

Book Talk 3/3/2020: Tessa Gratton’s Strange Grace Traci Kenworth


cover of Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

Book Talk 1/17/2020: Tessa Gratton’s Strange Grace

Traci Kenworth

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton. Margaret K. McElderry Books. Sept. 18,2018.

Amazon’s Blurb: “Gloriously dark and romantic.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
“An alluring and seductive fairy tale.” —Justina Ireland, New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation
“Horrifying, heartbreaking, and heartwarming, a lush fairy tale rooted in a moral quandary.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“An eerie, consuming tale of sacrifice and faith. Haunting and unique.” —Booklist
“Evocative.” —BCCB

Once, a witch made a pact with a devil. The legend says they loved each other, but can the story be trusted at all? Find out in this lush, atmospheric fantasy novel that entwines love, lies, and sacrifice.

Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure their prosperity, when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man into the depths of the Devil’s Forest.

Only this year, the Slaughter Moon has risen early.

Bound by duty, secrets, and the love they share for one another, Mairwen, a spirited witch; Rhun, the expected saint; and Arthur, a restless outcast, will each have a role to play as the devil demands a body to fill the bargain. But the devil these friends find is not the one they expect, and the lies they uncover will turn their town—and their hearts—inside out.

My Review: Each year the Slaughter Moon rises, a boy is sacrificed to ensure the best in the valley. Something went wrong with the last run. Now, the moon has risen early and the boy Mairwen loves may be sacrificed for nothing. Together, she, another friend with a troubled past, Arthur, and the Runner or Saint in question, Rhun must battle the devil to find the truth of the tale. Was a bargain really struck between a Grace witch and the devil? Or is it all a lie the Grace witches tell. Can Mairwen, a Grace witch herself, even trust her mother?

I LOVED this story! It wraps a hold on you fast and drags you in! You’ll love the odd characters of Mairwen, Arthur who suffered through childhood dressed as a girl and later is revealed to be a boy and who shares a deep secret with Rhun, and Rhun, the boy who must tackle all to save those he loves. The characters were deep, three-dimensional beings. The story haunting. Terrible. Wicked. The truth must come out. The truth will come out. But can anyone handle it? The devil of an old story-with a new twist on it!

Posted in blogs, dark fantasy, MG & YA, Mystery/Thrillers, Reading

Book Talk 3/2/2020: Francesca Fiore’s Diamond City Traci Kenworth


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Book Talk 1/24/2020: Francesca Fiores’ Diamond City (Book 1)

Traci Kenworth

Diamond City by Francesca Fiores. Jan. 28, 2020. Wednesday Books. YA Thriller genre.

Amazon blurb: “A thrilling adventure, through a vibrant city as alive as any character, about a girl willing to do anything to better her circumstances. ” – Emily A. Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints

Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy―and risk losing everything.

Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores’ breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more!

My Review: Aina grows up under the protection of Kohl after the deaths of her parents. She does everything he expects of her, grateful to him for pulling her from the streets. When he offers her a chance to open her own business with his blessing, she jumps at it. But is there more to the offer than she knows? After word reaches Kohl that her targets lives, she’s thrown to the wolves and must fight to survive with the help of a friend and the brother of the man she was hired to kill. Will anyone survive the city?

It was a really cool story and I enjoyed getting to know the characters of Aina, Marcus, and Rhuu. The journey through the city was pulse-pounding and everything under the sun is thrown against the trio.

Posted in blogs, dark fantasy, horror, MG & YA, Reading, traditional

Book Talk 3/1/2020: Shea Ernshaw’s “Wicked Deep”


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Book Talk 1/31/2020: Shea Ernshaw’s Wicked Deep

Traci Kenworth

Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw. Simon Pulse Mar. 8, 2016.

Amazon’s blurb: “A wickedly chilling debut.” —School Library Journal
“Complex and sweetly satisfying.” —Booklist
“Prepare to be bewitched.” —Paula Stokes, author of Girl Against the Universe
“A story about the redemptive power of love.” —Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be
“Eerie and enchanting.” —Jessica Spotswood, author of The Cahill Witch Chronicles

Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them.

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

My Review: Penny is waiting like the others in her school for the three-day solstice when the sisters return. Bo Carter is a new arrival who Penny warns to leave the island before it’s too late. The tide comes in and things change like never before. Who have the sister’s chosen as their vessels? Two local boys lock one girl in a barn outside town convinced she’s one of them. This year the urge to kill the innocents hiding the sisters grows. All the girls in town find themselves targets. Penny tries to stay away from the town but keeps getting pulled there by her friend and then Bo. She is afraid like never before. You see, she can see the sisters in the girls’ bodies and they know. Will it be too late to save herself? Or Bo? Or will both of them get sacrificed by a town unwilling to live with the curse anymore?

Posted in blogs, dark fantasy, MG & YA, Reading, traditional, Writing and Poetry, YA

Book Talk 2/28/2020: Rebecca McLaughlin’s Nameless Queen Traci Kenworth


click on cover to buy at Amazon

Book Talk 2/28/2020: Rebecca McLaughlin’s Nameless Queen (Book 1)

Traci Kenworth

Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin. Crown Books. Jan 2020. Netgalley.

Amazon’s blurb: One girl must make a name for herself–or die trying–in this royal fantasy where an unknown peasant becomes the ultimate ruler. But how long can she keep the crown if everyone wants her dead? Perfect for fans of Furyborn, Red Queen, and Everless.

Everyone expected the king’s daughter would inherit the throne. No one expected me.

It shouldn’t be possible. I’m Nameless, a class of citizens so disrespected, we don’t even get names. Dozens of us have been going missing for months and no one seems to care.

But there’s no denying the tattoo emblazoned on my arm. I am queen. In a palace where the corridors are more dangerous than the streets, though, how could I possibly rule? And what will become of the Nameless if I don’t?

“A thrilling tale of identity and found family wrapped up in epic, politically-charged worldbuilding. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop…on the list of my favorite fantasies, Nameless Queen has won its way to the top!” – Crystal Smith, author of Bloodleaf

My review: Coin is an orphan on the streets just trying to take care of herself. No one is more surprised than herself when the king dies and the tattoo that names his successor lands on her arm. She tries to run but when someone she feels responsible for is captured by the crown; she has no choice but to follow their rules: enter a duel for someone else to claim the throne. She has no shortage of enemies both on the streets and in the palace. She’s not sure which place is more deadly. She only knows she must rescue Hat despite the costs and somehow keep the Nameless from being trodden under by the crown.

I REALLY enjoyed this! The characters are superb. Reminds me a bit of Sarah J. Maas’s Glass of Throne series.

Posted in blogs, Craft, dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, Indie, MG & YA, Reading, traditional, writers, Writing and Poetry

Book Talk 2/26/2020: What I’m Reading in YA Traci Kenworth


Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Book Talk 2/7/2020: What I’m Reading in YA

Traci Kenworth

Nefertiti’s Curse (a House of Night novella) by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast, Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard, Sightwitch by Susan Dennard, The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman, How to Write a Children’s Book from the Institute of Children’s Literature, The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith, The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco, Dark Alley by Mike Anka, Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin, and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I will shortly be adding to this list and hope to add, an arc by Robbie Cheadle. #reading #book #books #dark fantasy #fantasy #craft

Posted in blogs, dark fantasy, fantasy, MG & YA, Reading, traditional, YA

Book Talk 12/20/19: Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood & Bone Traci Kenworth


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Book Talk 12/20/19: Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood & Bone

Traci Kenworth

Children of Blood & Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Henry Holt & Co. Mar. 6, 2018.

Amazon’s blurb: With five starred reviews, Tomi Adeyemi’s West African-inspired fantasy debut, and instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, conjures a world of magic and danger, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

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

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were 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 an enemy.

“A phenomenon.” ―Entertainment Weekly

“The epic I’ve been waiting for.” ―New York Times-bestselling author Marie Lu

“You will be changed. You will be ready to rise up and reclaim your own magic!” ―New York Times-bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton

“The next big thing in literature and film.” ―Ebony

“One of the biggest young adult fiction debut book deals of theyear.” ―Teen Vogue

This title has Common Core connections.

#1 New York Times bestseller, March 14, 2018

My Review: This book got off to a slow start and was hard to draw me in but the more I read, the better it turned out to be until it finished strongly. It is a unique world, the Orisha. I’m not sure if this is based on actual history or a made-up world but it holds its own and wins you over if you give it a shot. The characters were exciting. It’s told from three points of view: the magic warrior, the princess, and the cruel prince. All three add to the tale and take it down different roads than you would think. Zelie is breathtaking in the lead. Her mother’s death, her heartache at the way the king treats them, the destruction of her village. Just heartbreaking. Amari, as the princess, is no less sympathetic as she faces the death of her friend for having magic, the order of her father to attack and detain and perhaps even, yes, kill her for siding with magic. Inan, the prince who can’t wrap his head around why anyone wants magic and seeks to destroy it from the land. Even he isn’t a stock character. What won me over was the depth of the world, the characters, what magic brings or doesn’t bring for all. I was glad to read this and look forward to its sequel, Children of Virtue, out now, I believe.

Posted in blogs, dark fantasy, fantasy, MG & YA, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Book Talk…7/12/19: Stephanie Garber’s Finale Traci Kenworth


cover of Finale by Stephanie Garber

Book Talk…7/12/19: Stephanie Garber’s Finale

Traci Kenworth

Finale (conclusion to the Caravel series) by Stephanie Garber. 2019. FlatIron Books.

Amazon’s blurb: Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in Stephanie Garber’s #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series! 

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

My Review: Tella has been having dreams of Legend and Jacks. Neither, however, makes an appearance during the day. Disgusted, she begs Scarlett to watch over their mother and goes to track down Legend. What she finds, she wishes she hadn’t. Going back to the hotel, she finds Scarlett and her mother gone. Following her mother’s trail, she is shocked to witness her murder, paralyzed to not interfere. Jacks finds her and takes away her pain. Meanwhile, Scarlett has gone to meet with the Count Nicholas. Who should show but Julian who is bent on chaperoning the event and making her see that they belong together. Scarlett announces that the two can fight for her in a game. On the way back to the hotel, they discover that the Fates have come to life and are using their powers on innocent people. Tella searches for a way to kill her mother’s murderer, while Scarlett discovers hidden powers within herself that may lead her to a cruel fate. Will anyone get a happy ending?

I LOVED it! This game is such an extraordinary world. The Fates. Legend. Jacks. They’re all there and all worth the wait for an exciting battle to see where each ends in the game.

Posted in dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, Reading, Romance, Uncategorized

Book Talk…10/26/18 Nora Robert’s Blood Magick


Blood Magick cover
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Book Talk…10/26/18 Nora Robert’s Blood Magick

Traci Kenworth

 

Amazon blurb: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes the final novel in a trilogy about the land we’re drawn to, the family we learn to cherish, and the people we long to love…

Book Three of The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy
Blood Magick

County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch.

Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family—along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love…

She had it once—for a moment—with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion.

Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries.

Don’t miss the other books in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy
Dark Witch
Shadow Spell

 

My review: Branna and Fin have been in love since their teens but when she discovered he was marked by Cabhan, the dark sorcerer, who she is sworn to take down, she cuts their relationship off. For years, Fin has sought a way to rid himself of the curse. Though being of Cabhan’s line of descendants, he still seeks to find a way to help the circle, who are his friends and loved ones. He longs to be gone from the area as it is too painful to be by Branna and not be able to love her. When a dream pulls them both back to the beginning of Cabhan, they realize they must work together to discover how to bring him down. As they research things, despite her fears, Branna draws closer to Fin and the two begin to fall back in love. When secrets from the past are revealed, when Branna and Fin have enough strength to do what must be down?

 

I LOVED it! The characters are so well drawn and engaging. The plot is believable. She writes in an omni vp but I don’t find it distracting at all. In fact, these are the types of books, I long to write. I’m still hoping to come across an idea for one. I love the mix of supernatural and reality. Good versus evil.  It’s not real heavy on the romance, just enough, and other relationships are explored in the book as well but the story is what draws you in.