A CROWN OF TALONS by Katherine & Elizabeth Corr

Fight or flight . . . or both?

Three months after Aderyn’s coronation the court is celebrating the Solstice, but Aderyn is preoccupied by Lucien’s continuing hostility. The celebrations are interrupted by the arrival of nobles who have escaped from the neighbouring country of Celonia – the flightless have risen up and overthrown their rulers. The world is changing.

As people being to question whether Aderyn and Aron are strong enough to rule, there is an attempted assassination on Aderyn’s life. Siegfried and Tallis have made their move – they have formed an army, declared war and will take the throne, by any means necessary.

Aderyn must fly to unchartered territories and risk the lives of everyone she loves to defeat her enemies, secure her throne and unite her people.

Epic, dangerous and impossible to put down, this finale takes you on a soaring journey through grief, strength and determination to fight for what is right, what you love and what is yours. 


Title : A Crown of Talons
Author : Katherine & Elizabeth Corr
Series : A Throne of Swans #2
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 352
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Hot Key Books
Release Date : January 7, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

How did I not realise this was a duology and not a series? I’m pretty pleased I got the culmination in book two and this was a pleasant realisation towards the end. I didn’t have chance to re-read the first book before diving into A Crown of Talons but I needn’t have worried, these authors caught you back into the tale with ease and without repeating lots of info. I knew where I was within a few pages and I was totally wrapped up in the story in those first few pages too.

The world of A Throne of Swans is built on humans that can transform into birds of flight but also an under class of the flightless and I’ve loved that it’s a historical fantasy world. This sequel brought war, leadership wrangling, marriage difficulties, betrayal and so much eye-glued to the page. I enjoyed reading the politics as Aderyn slowly and delicately considered and worked towards a place of equality for those of these lands. The politics in the book weren’t onerous but they were all part of the strategy and plot development.

Adaryn, Aron, Odette and of course Lucien were the characters I was dying to find out what was happening with. There were some gutting and clever twists to the story but I was always hoping. No spoilers here, you’re just going to have to read.

The Throne of Swans world has been one I’ve been so happy reading in despite book two not being a happy book as such. Talons was a fairly fast paced read but it also had times where you got to catch your breath and take stock.

This YA fantasy duology is such an all-encompassing reading experience with beautiful covers as well. These are going to look so pretty on my shelf and I will continue to recommend these reads to anyone who enjoys the genre.

Thank you Hot Key Books and Kaleidoscopic Tours for the review copy.

YOU HAVE A MATCH by Emma Lord

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones. 


Title : You Have a Match
Author : Emma Lord
Format : eARC
Page Count : 320
Genre : YA contemporary
Publisher : Wednesday Books
Release Date : January 5, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

Hoo boy the emotions this book made me have. So many. Yes, this has a cute cover, yes it’s YA and from the author who gave us the hilarious TWEET CUTE last year but.. this still hits and some of those hits land hard.

Yes, yes, I cry easily, it’s a very poorly kept secret that isn’t a secret at all but even during some of the not-as-emotional moments, Lord somehow just handled certain moments with such.. I don’t want to say care but, understanding? I felt so much of everything through the author’s writing. Whether it was about struggling with awkward and unrequited feelings for your best friend, feeling second best, or a failure, whether it was wanting to bury things deep within just to avoid dealing with them, with confrontation, I could go on and on. We only get one POV and yet I felt all this from our lead and felt just as much for the secondary cast.

If you’ve read the plot, you know there’s likely to be some drama and angst an some messy family discussions on the horizon and oh boy are there ever. Things got messy but there was less of that for the sake of drama and more the feeling of actual pain, loss, heartbreak. While one character jokes their life has taken on the hue of a CW tv show, they aren’t wrong, exactly. But it still feels very real.

And as for the friend dynamics? Chefs kiss. So many varieties, so many layers, all the complications that ensue as a result. But they were wonderful even when things were going awry. Like, truly, what made me cry more? The family stuff, the friend stuff? Who can say!

Anyway, this is definitely a funny (not quite chockfull of outright lolz, so maybe I mean charming?), heartwrenching, delightful, and totally compelling read. I devoured it in a few short hours because I could not tear myself away.

I do just want to leave a brief note that, as of the time of me reading this (and keep in mind it’s an ARC..), there were quite a few references to a certain Wizarding World universe as far as Houses and traits. While I don’t know if they will make it into the final copy I thought it worth a mention. So if that is triggering for you, please just be mindful.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

GRACELING by Kristin Cashore – double review!

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. 

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po. 

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. 

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.


Title : Graceling
Author : Kristin Cashore
Series : Graceling Realm (book one)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 481
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Dial Books
Release Date : October 1, 2008

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

This was another reread for me, and another that I haven’t read in aaages, and honestly I’m not mad at all about ending a crap year with some old favourites which are all turning out to still be favourites. Is there anything better?

When you’re a monster, she thought, you are thanked and praised for not behaving like a monster. She would like to restrain from cruelty and receive no admiration for it.

That said, nostalgia wasn’t the only reason for revisiting this world after so long. As has been the trend for a few older and beloved trilogies, we have a new release coming very shortly for book four in the Graceling Realm world, and I definitely couldn’t pick that up without a solid refresh. Most of the plot points I had remembered but the details, the emotions, some of the characters? All hazy.

Mercy was more frightening than murder, because it was harder.

But oh man was this good. I love when YA stands the test of time. And, in hindsight, Cashore did so many great things with her characters, things we expect now but didn’t always get then, and that’s why it will continue to do well even ten years from now.

The basic premise of GRACELING follows a king’s killer, a Graced individual with the gift for killing, and how she breaks away from his control to be her own person, in control of her own actions, and along the way helps to save another nation, and even find love. Yes, I’m being vague, but a lot of people have read this so why rehash and for those who haven’t? I want to tempt you, tease you, tantalize you into picking this up and learning more.

This is such a fabulous fantasy and I am excited to continue this reread journey; not only to get to the new content but revisit all the things from books two and three that I’ve forgotten — which is pretty much everything!


Micky’s 4 star review

Another late entry to the party on this beloved-by-many series. It took me a little while to get into it but I really enjoyed the characters and world that Kristen Cashore created. The graces that certain chosen ones were bestowed with at birth were varied, interesting and not always for the good.

Katsa swept me away in this book. She wasn’t easy to get to know initially but when she cracked her facade a little, her whole self was so likeable. Po brought out the best in Katsa as did Bitterblue (I can’t wait for Bitterblue’s book). This story had the most vile villain and I loved everything about how that played out.

For me, this was a subtly feminist tale. Katsa was wholly feminist but there were themes that really sold this to me – the haircut and marriage views. I loved this element to the story and that it underpinned Katsa as a strong woman but still a woman with a heart.

This was a story told over time, time for character building and development, for friendships and relationships to really feel solid and for there to be a strong history to how the tale played out. This all makes me think this is so well written, I can’t find fault with any of that. I’m so looking forward to reading on with this and the plan is to get completely up to date with the series this month – wish me luck!

I read and listened to this on an audio/ebook combo and despite this being a full cast audio, I really didn’t gel with it. For me, the ebook was preferable.

A DEAL WITH THE ELF KING by Elise Kova

Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Uprooted, this stand-alone, fantasy romance about a human girl and her marriage to the Elf King is impossible to put down!

The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.

The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.

A Deal with the Elf King is a complete, stand-alone novel, inspired by the tales of Hades and Persephone, as well as Beauty and the Beast, with a “happily ever after” ending. It’s perfect for fantasy romance fans looking for just the right amount of steam and their next slow-burn and swoon-worthy couple.


Title : A Deal With The Elf King
Author : Elise Kova
Series : Married To Magic #1
Format : ebook
Page Count : 338
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Silver Wing Press
Release Date : November 6, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ .5


Micky’s 3.5 star review

This was my first read by Elise Kova after hearing great things about the Air Awakens series. I picked this up on a whim from Kindle Unlimited and it gave me what I was looking for – light fantasy, easy to read and a completed story.

I do like an Elf King-type story and this is pitched as a Hades & Persephone retelling. I can see the retelling in there, but it wasn’t overt. The characters of Eldas and Luella were easy to get to know and the story had page-turning properties. King Eldas was predictably autocratic and paternalistic but there was character growth. I enjoyed Luella’s craft and affinity with plants. Hook the wolf was a lovely animal character.

I enjoyed the kingdoms and description, I do think that the author captured my imagination and painted a picture I could easily see. The story was light but lacking in depth at times. The storyline played out with predictability but it was nevertheless enjoyable to read.

Book one, whilst complete as a story, is the start of a series in these worlds. Having read the bonus epilogue on the author’s website (which I loved), I am definitely down to read more from this world. I’m definitely going to seek out Air Awakens and hope it’s a little deeper.