The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Hey guys!
Today I bring a book I got in a subscription box. Not Fairyloot or Illumicrate like usual – this one is from Magic Chest and I’ve had it for ages now. So long, in fact, that Magic Chest doesn’t even do subscription boxes anymore. 😂 Well, I finally got around checking it out!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them. 

The Rating:

I don’t know why it took me so long to finally pick up The Storm Crow. ‘Cause once I’d gotten started I couldn’t stop.

The world and the concept we get here are rather cool. A country where just about every branch of the economy hinges of a certain type of crow. I only wished we would have gotten a bit more info on the different types of crows. Sometimes I got a little confused and had difficulties imagining things as intended.

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Havenfall by Sara Holland

Hey guys!
Havenfall was a super quick read for me as I just couldn’t put this beauty of a novel down. Let’s delve a little deeper into the whys behind that!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

A safe haven between four realms and the girl sworn to protect it—at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds—each with its own magic. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic firsthand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens—a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer, Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie—no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…

The Rating:

Guys. GUYS! This was so cool. This book probably features one of my all-time favorite world-building ideas. It’s just so a brilliant concept and the execution is also freaking neat! I like the promise of other worlds and magic out there, yet still, we only get a glimpse of it. Everything that is alluded to here promises such a rich history and fascinating different concepts of magic and just simply life for each of those worlds, I love it so, so much.

Holland treads a fine line of giving us bits of those worlds while still keeping so much a secret. We know enough to understand a little but are also left speculating and wondering. Sometimes, I feel like that’s because authors didn’t fully think things through, but here the reader gets to feel exactly like the human characters in the book. Well done!

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The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #5)

Hello, my darling readers!
This is it. The last installment of the Trials of Apollo series. I was super excited to finally get my hands on this book and see where his journey as Lester would take Apollo. Let’s find out!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

At last, the breathtaking, action-packed finale of the #1 bestselling Trials of Apollo series is here! Will the Greek god Apollo, cast down to earth in the pathetic moral form of a teenager named Lester Papadopoulos, finally regain his place on Mount Olympus? Lester’s demigod friends at Camp Jupiter just helped him survive attacks from bloodthirsty ghouls, an evil Roman king and his army of the undead, and the lethal emperors Caligula and Commodus. Now the former god and his demigod master Meg must follow a prophecy uncovered by Ella the harpy. Lester’s final challenge will be at the Tower of Nero, back in New York. Will Meg have a last showdown with her father? Will this helpless form of Apollo have to face his arch nemesis, Python? Who will be on hand at Camp Half-Blood to assist? These questions and more will be answered in this book that all demigods are eagerly awaiting. 

The Rating:

By now, I’m pretty sure you all know how much I love Rick Riordan’s novels. I read almost everything he wrote and enjoyed every single novel. No surprises here, with the final installment in the Trials of Apollo series he didn’t disappoint.

In short, this was quite a ride. As usually there is a lot of action but also a lot of touching moments that’ll bring you to the brink of tears. But most importantly, there’s a lot of humor!

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Fable by Adrienne Young

Hello, you guys!
Last year I got Fable in a subscription box and boy, I gotta tell you it is one of the most beautiful books I own. I was both excited to finally read the novel and equally scared that the story wouldn’t hold up to the stunning exterior. Let’s find out how things went!

The Plot (according to Goodreads):

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive. 

The Rating:

Okay, so here’s the thing. It took me a hot minute to get into the story but that was 100% my fault. I spent almost my entire life in Austria, where we don’t have an ocean. There are just mountains. Somehow it simply took a bit until I got the world, until I fully embraced the vibe. I am aware of how stupid this sounds. I read countless books set in fantasy worlds and still got sucked in faster. So please, just ignore that.

However, after some initial trouble, I was hooked. The story is fast-paced and the book isn’t too long. So, I soon reached I point where I didn’t want to put it down and just NEEDED to know how all of it would end.

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The Ravens by Kass Morgan & Danielle Paige

Hey guys!
Today I want to have a little chat with you about The Ravens. Would you please look at that STUNNING cover?! I saw that art + there are witches so I was sold before even opening the book. Let’s see if the story is holding up!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches. For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…. When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.

The Rating:

This was pretty cool! Some parts of the book felt very familiar, it’s that typical U.S. college sorority setting. At the same time, there is a unique vibe and I was constantly curious about the little bits distinguishing this novel from similar settings.

The best way to describe The Ravens: somewhere in between American Horror Story: Coven and Scream Queens (only saw like 3 episodes of the latter, but this is the vibe I got from it).

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A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Hello guys!
In a desperate attempt to finally catch up with some of the subscription box books I got, I recently finished A Deadly Education. Based on the premise of the book, I was sure I’d love it. So, let’s see whether my hopes were fulfilled!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students. 

The Rating:

It took me a hot minute to get fully into this book. I don’t know why. But all accounts, I should have loved it from page one. Nevertheless, I was fascinated by the premise and ended up reading up on the Scholomance a fair bit. 10/10 would recommend doing that if you enjoyed the book!

I’m not sure if it was the worldbuilding that startled me or if it simply was the protagonist. El is a tad annoying and, to be honest, acted quite bitchy a number of times. I got quite annoyed with her at the beginning but she did grow on me. So, after a rocky start, I soon got sucked into this dark and scary world full of monsters and magic.

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