Saturday, 8 May 2021

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Review: The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad


Published: 14th May 2019 | Publisher: Scholastic | Source: Won
Nafiza Azad's Website

Azad's debut YA fantasy is set in a city along the Silk Road that is a refuge for those of all faiths, where a young woman is threatened by the war between two clans of powerful djinn.

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population -- except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

In this William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist novel, Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.
From The StoryGraph


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Wednesday, 5 May 2021

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Review: The Black Khan by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Black Khan by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Black Khan by Ausma Zehanat Khan


Published: 11th July 2019 | Publisher: HarperVoyager | Source: Bought
Ausma Zehanat Khan's Website

To fight against the cruel and superstitious patriarchy known as the Talisman, members of the resistance group known as the Companions of Hira have risked their lives in a failed attempt to procure the Bloodprint--a dangerous text that may hold the secret to overthrowing the terrifying regime. Now, with their plans in ashes, the Companions of Hira have scattered, and the lives of two brave women at the center of the plot--Arian and Sinnia--face unprecedented danger.

Yet a spark of hope flickers in the darkness--the Bloodprint has survived. It is hidden in Ashfall, the seat of Rukh, the Black Khan, whose court is ruled by intrigue and conspiracy. Treacherous enemies ruthlessly maneuver for power behind the throne, including the autocratic Grand Vizier; the deadly and secretive Assassin; the Khan's deposed half-brother; and the commander of Ashfall's army, who is also Rukh's oldest friend.

The Companions of Hira must somehow reunite, break through Talisman lines, and infiltrate Ashfall. A master of treachery himself, the Black Khan joins forces with these powerful women to manipulate them for his own ends. But as Ashfall comes under siege, he is forced to make a deadly calculation... one that could cause irrevocable damage to the Companions and their fight for freedom.
From The StoryGraph

My other reviews of The Khorasan Archives Series:
The Bloodprint

WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.


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Saturday, 1 May 2021

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Review: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal


Published: 27th August 2019 | Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books | Source: NetGalley
Hafsah Faizal's Website

People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.

Nobody knows that Zafira is the Hunter. Forced to disguise herself as a man, she braves the cursed forest to feed her people. If she is exposed as a girl, all of her achievements will be rejected.

Nasir is the infamous Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If he refuses he will be punished in the most brutal of ways.
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya – but neither wants to be. And when Zafira embarks on a quest to restore magic to her suffering world, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve magic and kill the hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds, and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine...

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, Hafsah Faizal's We Hunt the Flame – first in the Sands of Arawiya duology – is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.
From The StoryGraph

I received this eProof for free from Macmillan Children's Books via NetGalley for the purposes of providing an honest review.


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Tuesday, 27 April 2021

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Review: On This Unworthy Scaffold by Heidi Heilig

On This Unworthy Scaffold by Heidi Heilig

On This Unworthy Scaffold by Heidi Heilig


Published: 27th April 2021 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | Source: Publisher
Heidi Heilig's Website

Jetta's home is spiraling into civil war. Le Trépas--the deadly necromancer--has used his blood magic to wrest control of the country, and Jetta has been without treatment for her malheur for weeks. Meanwhile, Jetta's love interest, brother, and friend are intent on infiltrating the palace to stop the Boy King and find Le Trépas to put an end to the unleashed chaos.

The sweeping conclusion to Heidi Heilig's ambitious trilogy takes us to new continents, introduces us to new gods, flings us into the middle of palace riots and political intrigue, and asks searching questions about power and corruption.

Acclaimed author Heidi Heilig creates a rich world inspired by Southeast Asian cultures and French colonialism. Told from Jetta's first-person point-of-view, as well as with chapters written as play scripts and ephemera such as songs, myths, and various forms of communication, On This Unworthy Scaffold is a satisfying finale to the epic fantasy trilogy. It will thrill readers who love Claire Legrand's Furyborn, Laini Taylor's Strange the Dreamer, and N. K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season.
The StoryGraph

My other reviews of the Shadow Players Trilogy:
For a Muse of Fire | A Kingdom for a Stage

WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.

I received this eProof for free from Greenwillow Books via SparkPoint Studio for the purposes of providing an honest review.


Continue reading Review: On This Unworthy Scaffold by Heidi Heilig

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

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Most Anticipated 2021 Retellings

Most Anticipated 2021 Retellings

Most Anticipated 2021 Retellings


Titles marked with an asterisk (*) were gifted to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


As regular readers will know, I'm a huge fan of retellings, and I've recently discovered a few coming out this year that I'm super excited about.

I know, I know; it's April, and we're over a quarter of the way into the year, so I'm quite late in writing this post. But hopefully there'll be a few titles to add to your TBR here, so you'll forgive my lateness. On with the list!
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Saturday, 17 April 2021

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Review: The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan


Published: 19th October 2017 | Publisher: HarperVoyager | Source: Blogger book swap
Ausma Zehanat Khan's Website

A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination—a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.

But there are those who fight the Talisman's spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim—the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her apprentice, Sinnia, skilled warriors who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy’s oppressive ways. Now, they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world.

Finding a copy of The Bloodprint promises to be their most dangerous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies—a loyal ex-slave and Arian’s former confidante and sword master—both Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.
The StoryGraph

I received this proof in a book swap with a fellow blogger.


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Sunday, 11 April 2021

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Review: Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Thorn by Intisar Khanani


Published: 24th March 2020 | Publisher: Hot Key Books | Source: NetGalley
Intisar Khanani's Website

A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own.

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.
The StoryGraph

I received this eProof for free from Hot Key Books via NetGalley for the purposes of providing an honest review.


Continue reading Review: Thorn by Intisar Khanani