Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron (The Last Witchdoctor #1)

Hey guys!
Another day, another Illumicrate book. Today I bring you Kingdom of Souls, an especially captivating novel!

The Plot (according to Goodreads):

Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

The Rating:

Did somebody say magic? My head pops out of the earth like a gopher. Here we get a super fascinating African setting that was clearly inspired by tribes and their legends.

I love the concept of magic we get here and how it unfolds over the course of the book. Also, there will be another installment, and I can’t wait to read more about this world.

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The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

Hey guys!
In this year’s very first Illumicrate box, I received The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag. The cover art is absolutely stunning and I was immediately excited to read this book. Let’s see how that turned out!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .

As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.

To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.

So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.

The Rating:

This book was promising from the very first page onward. We get magic, we get fairy tales, we get amazing female characters that are not stereotypical. What else could I want?

The worldbuilding is amazing and you immediately get the gist even though some of the ideas might be a little more complex. I would have loved to get a little more background and information on Wilhelm Grimm, though. Where is he from, why is he like this, and what is his actual goal? I have quite a lot of questions here that didn’t get answered throughout the book and I’m a bit sad about it. I think, this would have given the novel even more depth, drawn me into the story and I would have cared more about the outcome.

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Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn

Hey peeps!
With Dangerous Remedy, Illumicrate had included a novel in one of their boxes that had my attention from the getgo. French Revolution? Dysfunctional found family? Dark and dangerous powers?
I’m here for it!

The Plot (according to Goodreads):

Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future. 

The Rating:

I love it when a book teaches me something and this one certainly did. The chapters have a date with them but not exactly in a way you’d recognize. Did you know that after the French Revolution the so-called French Republican calendar had been introduced? No? Me neither! Basically, everything was re-named and split into new categories. It’s quite fascinating, and I spent a good amount of time reading up on that, just because I got curious from seeing it in Dangerous Remedy.

Not only did I appreciate learning something new, but I also appreciate that Kat Dunn paid attention to such tiny details. Hardly anybody would have noticed if she had simply used the regular date but these little things make all the difference in the world to me.

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