Review: House of Roots and Ruin (Sisters of the Salt #2) by Erin A. Craig

House of Roots and Ruin (Sisters of the Salt, #2)House of Roots and Ruin by Erin A. Craig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



House of Roots and Ruin is the second book in Erin A. Craig’s tremendous YA-Fantasy series, Sisters of the Salt.

I looooooooved the first book, House of Salt and Sorrows, so much and I couldn’t wait to return to this beautifully-eerie world. It was one of my most anticipated YA-releases of 2023 and it did not disappoint.

This story takes place years after the conclusion of the first story. In this one, we’re following Verity, who I believe is the youngest of the remaining Thaumas sisters.

Verity is 17-years old and has spent her whole life living at the family estate, Highmoor, now run by her older sister, Camille. The rest of the remaining sisters are all all living in various places around Arcannia.

While Verity loves Camille and loves Highmoor, she’s beginning to feel stifled. She wants more.

Any time she broaches the subject of leaving the estate with Camille, however, her hopes are quickly dashed. It seems her sister wants to keep her trapped there, but why?

It’s as Verity is struggling with this issue that she receives word from her sister, Mercy, that the Duchess of Bloem is interested in hiring Verity to paint a portrait of of her son.

Verity is more than intrigued. This sounds like exactly the kind of opportunity she needs and the son, Alexander, is a young man just her age. This could be just what she needs, but how will she ever convince Camille to let her go?

As the sisters battle it out, the truth about why Camille wants to keep Verity at Highmoor is revealed, leaving Verity more confused than ever and more determined.

Verity decides she can’t wait any longer. Under the cover of darkness she flees, making her way to Bloem.

Once there, she’s entranced and impressed with her new surroundings. Bloem is stunning. The Duke is a celebrated botanist and the entire estate is replete with vibrant gardens and active greenhouses.

Additionally, Verity is smitten with Alexander. He’s handsome and charming. Their days together fill her with a sense of happiness she has never felt before.

Unfortunately, before long, Verity begins to be plagued by nightmares and dark feelings. Is her past catching up to her, or is something more going on in Bloem?

Reading House of Roots and Ruin was such a beautiful journey. It’s different than the first book, because of the setting. We’re now removed from the sea and thrust into a more botanical scene, but I still really enjoyed it.

In my opinion, Craig’s brand of gothically-infused horror imagery is unmatched in the YA genre. She brings such a rich atmosphere and the spooky imagery is A++.

The romance between Verity and Alexander was so pure and it was sweet watching it evolve. Verity has never had any sort of relationship like this, so she struggled a bit fitting her experiences with her expectations.

I thought that felt very real for a young woman and I enjoyed how Craig let her work through that versus just following a standard romance format.

I also enjoyed very much the complexity of the familial relationships, both Verity’s and Alexander’s. While the atmosphere was the highlight for me, I think the character work and the way the relationships played out deserve top marks as well.

We know a lot of Verity’s family history from the first book, and we do get a bit more here, but learning about Alex’s family, the Laurents, was so intriguing. Without giving too much away, I sort of feel like their last name should have been Moreau…

Craig did a great job of steadily building intensity. There is also an overriding mystery that kept me on my toes.

As the end approaches, everything begins to move at warp speed. I couldn’t put it down until I got to the end. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out and there were some twists getting there that I definitely didn’t see coming.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a darker Fantasy story, particularly if you enjoyed House of Salt and Sorrows. While I could see people enjoying this as a standalone novel, I think it would be most impactful if you read the first book prior to this one.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m not sure if there are going to be more books in this world, but if there are, I will absolutely be picking them up!!

View all my reviews

Review: Guardians of the Dawn: Zhara by S. Jae-Jones

Guardians of Dawn: ZharaGuardians of Dawn: Zhara by S. Jae-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Guardians of Dawn: Zhara is the start of a new YA Fantasy series from S. Jae-Jones, author of the Wintersong duology.

I have been awaiting this release for a while and the wait was worth it. I really enjoyed this and read it so quickly.

In this story, we meet Jin Zhara, an apothecary’s apprentice, who spends her days trying to control and hide her magic, caring for her visually impaired younger sister and appeasing her cruel stepmother’s every whim.

Magic is forbidden in her society and magicians have been blamed for certain tragic events over the years, rightly or not. When a new plague hits the streets, transforming magicians into monsters, abominations, Zhara’s world becomes more tumultuous than ever.

A chance encounter with an attractive young man, Han, also shakes up Zhara’s life. It exposes her to a whole new hidden world, including a secret magical liberation society called the Guardians of Dawn.

What Zhara has no way of knowing though, is how big a role she will come to play within this group.

It’s believed a demon is responsible for the new round of abominations and Zhara, along with her recently-met friends, must come up with a plan to weed out the demon and destroy it. Only then can balance be restored. If they fail, their society may be left in ruin.

I read this via audiobook and really, really enjoyed it. The narration brought these characters to life. I thought it was so well performed. I was sucked in from the start.

I thought the world-creation was very well done. I enjoyed how it felt historical, yet modern at the same time. Additionally, the story had the perfect balance between light and dark elements.

I enjoyed both Zhara and Han, as well as their blossoming relationship and rapid-fire banter. I liked getting both of their perspectives and watching how they each contributed to the over-arching plot.

From the moment of their meet cute, I wanted them to grow closer. They were both so endearing, yet also a bit clumsy.

I loved that. I thought it worked well as they progressively grew closer and the secrets they had been hiding from one another were revealed.

Their personalities balanced each other out.

One thing I always enjoy about S. Jae-Jones writing is the dark imagery she brings to the page. Even though quite a bit of this story is fun and light, cute and bright, there are darker elements running throughout and when the monsters come, look out! They’re not so cute.

I also really enjoyed and appreciated the cultural richness that can be felt throughout this story. And as mentioned before, I felt those influences were both historical and modern, as I was feeling a touch of BTS in this.

Watching Zhara mature over the course of this story, as well as learning to harness her powers more, was so satisfying. I also liked learning about this secret society and think there is a lot of room for that element to continue to be built out.

I am absolutely continuing on with this series as it goes and am really looking forward to it. I would recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed stories like The Keeper of Night, Stars and Smoke and even Cinder.

Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was definitely worth the wait.

View all my reviews

Review: Something Close to Magic by Emma Mills

Something Close to MagicSomething Close to Magic by Emma Mills
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Super cute, funny and comforting, reading Something Close to Magic feels like a warm hug. Mills has done well with her debut into the YA Cozy Fantasy space.

I’ve loved some of Emma Mills’ YA Contemporary stories and was so excited to see her explore YA Fantasy. Unsurprisingly, she was able to deliver her same heart-warming and humorous writing style to this tale.

In this story we follow 17-year old Aurelie, an overworked and underappreciated baker’s apprentice at Basil’s Bakery.

Nevertheless, Aurelie persists. She keeps her head down and does her work, trying not to attract the attention of the grouchy and miserable bakery owner.

Aurelie’s life is up-ended one day when a determined bounty hunter, Iliana, enters the bakery and asks Aurelie to assist her on a quest in the dangerous Underwood.

Iliana has Seeking Stones she would like Aurelie to use to help her to find a kidnapped Prince and she’s not taking no for an answer.

Seeking is a magical skill that Aurelie has, but it’s not one she utilizes often. Eventually though, Aurelie caves. Iliana is persuasive and as it turns out, she’s got some time off of work anyway, and oh yeah, thanks to her miserable boss, no place to stay during her break.

Might as well go on an adventure!

They set out on their quest, they make friends, they find the hapless Prince, aptly named Prince Hapless and charming hijinks and character growth ensues.

Mills nailed her transition to Fantasy. She delivered her signature witty banter, cutsey romance, cozy vibes, light magic, court intrigue and sweetly-charming characters.

The perfect potion for a fun story!

I would absolutely recommend this to Readers who have enjoyed Mills’ work in the past, or any Cozy Fantasy Readers in general, YA or Adult.

For example, if you loved My Lady Jane, A Far Wilder Magic, or Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries, you should definitely check this one out.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I adored my time with this story and really hope Mills continues on in this space.

View all my reviews

Review: To Shape a Dragon’s Breath (Nampeshiweisit #1) by Moniquill Blackgoose

To Shape a Dragon's Breath (Nampeshiweisit #1)To Shape a Dragon’s Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To Shape a Dragon’s Breath is an exceptional start to a new YA Fantasy series. The world-building was great and I loved the protagonist, Anequs, and the setting of the Academy.

Also, DRAGONS!!!

This story follows Anequs, a teen girl, who lives on the remote island of Masquapaug, with her family and peoples.

After Anequs finds an abandoned dragon egg, she brings it back to her village and they guard over it, keeping it safe. Once the baby dragon hatches, it chooses Anequs and they are bonded.

The people of the village are delighted. In a previous time, their society had many dragons and those prosperous times are still remembered well in song and story.

After the baby dragon chooses Anequs, She becomes their only Nampeshiweisit; a person with a special relationship with dragons.

Unfortunately, there is no one left alive who remembers the old ways and can teach Anequs what she needs to know to safely raise and train the dragon.

For that and other reasons, Anequs needs to enroll in a private academy, far away on the mainland, where she will be registered as, and learn to become, a dragoneer.

We follow Anequs as she and her dragon, Kasaqua, travel to the city and enroll in the Academy. It’s Anequs first time living amongst the Anglish and it’s jarring; definitely not the easiest transition for her.

We get to meet the other students, as well as the Professors and get a front row seat to their classes and the inherent racism found there.

This story takes us through Anequs entire first year and leaves off in a great spot for the continuation of the story. I’m excited about the possibilities of the second book.

Blackgoose developed a lush and detailed world with this book. There was a lot of information given to the Reader involving the magic system, history and society’s relationship to the dragons.

I tried not to get too bogged down in the details, because I could see how trying to remember every single thing could ruin this experience for some Readers. I trusted Blackgoose to be able to weave an impactful tale without me having to take notes while Anequs was at class.

For me, it worked and I can see, as the series, continues, how things that seem foreign at the start as concepts, will just become old hat, the more you read in this world.

I was torn at the end on how to rate this one. It is very impressive in the scope and the world-building. Also, I enjoyed very much the intrigue as Anequs’s presence at the Academy has the potential to shake up the social order.

I also very much enjoyed the growth we see in Anequs as a character. She literally grew leaps and bounds over the course of this story.

However, it did have some pitfalls for me as well. For one, I felt it was a little too long and perhaps there were a few too many details, as far as the content of her classes went, etc.

The pace was slow, particularly around the middle of the story and some of the social circumstances bordered on repetitive. I waxed and waned and ultimately decided, as recently as this morning, to give it a solid 4-star rating.

I did enjoy this one very much and I am definitely going to be picking up the next book. I would recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a lush YA Fantasy, with strong cultural influences and important social commentary.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Del Rey, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

This is a grand debut and I look forward to reading more from Moniquill Blackgoose!

View all my reviews

Review: Nocturne by Alyssa Wees

NocturneNocturne by Alyssa Wees
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let’s start off this review with a little confession, shall we?

I participated in a Readathon this week where one of the prompts was to read the lowest rated book on your TBR. While this isn’t the lowest rated book overall, it was the lowest rate ARC that I currently had to read.

Always trying to check off some ARCs, I decided to give it a go, but I didn’t go in with high expectations.

Luckily for me, Nocturne turned out to be a pretty great example of why I tend not to look at ratings and reviews before I pick up a book. I know that goes against everything we’re doing here, but it’s the truth.

Reading is an incredibly subjective activity. Pair the right book, at the right time, with the right Reader and magic can happen. Read that same book when your in a certain mood and it can be a total flop.

I’m clearly the right Reader for this book. This story is set in 1930’s Chicago and seamlessly blends Historical Fiction with Dark Fantasy and light Romance.

Our main character is Grace Dragotta, who after being orphaned, ventures out on her own and joins a dancing company. A life she dreamed of. When we meet Grace, she is a teen and on the cusp of being elevated to prima ballerina within her company.

Unfortunately for Grace, raising to this rank is bittersweet. She only gets the role after her best friend, Emilia, leaves her spot as prima to be married. Grace is losing the closest person to her in all the world. She doesn’t know how she’ll get by without Emilia’s comforting presence.

Not long after her ascendancy, Grace receives word from her Mistress that she has caught the eye of a mysterious, wealthy patron. In order to keep her dance house afloat, the Mistress essentially sells Grace to this man.

Grace is forced to live at his estate, only traveling back to the studio to train and perform. There’s a lot of whispers about her new life, but Grace tries her best to just get on with it.

As she learns the shocking truth about her patron, it’s clear that the life she dreamed for herself will never come to be.

Y’all, I really enjoyed this. It’s not a complicated story. It’s pretty straight-forward, well-written and the concepts are easy to understand.

I should note that I grew up in dance and playing the violin, the two artistic pursuits that the main character engages in. Having my own personal experience and passions in those two areas did increase my connection to the story. I loved Grace and learning about her life.

This feels very much inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I loved those elements. I wasn’t expecting them and every time I would come across something that made me think of that classic tale, it would make me happy.

The relationship between Grace and her Master, was lush and evocative. I really enjoyed the truth of him and what he was offering her. Additionally, I enjoyed the evolution of her feelings for him and her place in his world.

Wees writing is quite beautiful and I liked the way she wrote the initial set-up and then progressed the plot. I thought the pacing of this was fantastic, it kept me engaged the entire way through.

Overall, I found Nocturne to be lyrical, dark and enchanting. Wees successfully swept me up and away into a whole other world. In a way, it felt like a love letter to the healing power of artistic expression. I’m so glad I finally made time for it.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Del Rey, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was gorgeous and I look forward to reading more from Wees in the future!

View all my reviews

Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the second book in Brigid Kemmerer’s YA Fantasy series, Cursebreakers.

I finished the first book in the series, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, earlier this year and had a ton of fun with it. A creative take on Beauty and the Beast, Kemmerer did a great job delivering her own spin to that classic tale.

There’s a lot of information packed into that first book and although I didn’t find it info-dumpy in any way, I knew I wanted to continue on with haste. I didn’t want to forget all I had learned about the beautiful world of Emberfall.

For this sequel, I decided to try the audiobook and I enjoyed that format a lot. The narration was so good and helped to bring the story to life for me.

There is a focus shift in this one, as far as characters go, with us mainly following Grey, Prince Rhen’s right-hand man from book one, and a new-to-us character, Lia Mara, daughter to Emberfall enemy, Karis Luran.

Initially, I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy this as much as the first book because of this shift. I felt like I was going to miss Rhen and Harper too much, but then in a surprising twist of fate, I actually ended up enjoying it a little bit more!

A lot happens in this one, there’s a lot of continued political maneuverings and changes in alliances, as well as threats to the kingdom and our characters.

I am really hoping to continue on with the series very soon, as this one has a bit of a stunning conclusion. I’m excited to wrap up this story and find out what is going to ultimately happen to all of my favorite characters.

Will Kemmerer give me the happy ending I’m dreaming of, or shatter my heart into a million pieces? Honestly, I feel it could go either way…

View all my reviews

Review: A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Curse So Dark and Lonely was such a fun read. I was drawn into this drama so deep, it felt like I was a part of it.

I had my popcorn, I had my sword, I had my opinions on the relationships; it was quite the experience.

I’m super excited to see where it goes from here and will definitely be continuing on with the series. I have some theories, I have some suspicions, I can’t wait to see the conclusion.

I actually read this as Book #15 for my TBR-Haul Project. It feels so good to finally check it off the list!

I originally hauled this book in January 2019. In fact, I was so stoked about its release, having loved previous works from Kemmerer, that I actually preordered it.

Yeah, that’s right. I preordered it, paid full price and then let her sit on my shelves for 4-years, UNREAD. Even I am disappointed with myself.

Nevertheless, she persisted. It is now read and I had such a fun time with it. I loved the whole idea of the portal from the modern world transporting Harper into the magical world inhabited by Ren and Grey.

Additionally, I felt like the influence of Beauty and the Beast was just enough to keep it satisfying, without being stereotypical, or toeing into copycat lane. I may have some further thoughts on this at some point, but for now, this is sufficient.

Onward we go!!!

View all my reviews

Review: The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna

The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**


The Gilded Ones follows 16-year old, Deka, a girl who has never felt like she belonged in her Northern community. She looks different than everyone else, due to her Mother’s Southern ancestry, but it’s more than that.

Deka also has elevated intuition that sets her apart. On the day of the blood ceremony, she is filled with fear and dread. Will her blood run red like it is supposed to?

If her blood runs red, she will finally be an accepted part of her community. If not, the end result could be deadly.

Unfortunately, luck is not on her side. Deka’s blood runs gold, the color of impurity and everyone sees. There is no hiding now. Subjected to torturous consequences after the ceremony, Deka feels helpless and more alone than ever.

At the height of her despair, a mysterious woman offers her the opportunity to change her life; to join an army of girls with gold blood, just like her.

She will be trained and ultimately will fight for the emperor with this group, the alaki. It’s an enticing offer and honestly, she has no choice. It’s not like she has other offers coming in. It’s this, or continued pain and torture…

Traveling to the walled city, Deka’s eyes are opened to a whole new world. There’s a lot to learn, but Deka feels up to the task. She’s encouraged by having others around her who may be considered her equals.

She begins to make friends and to understand more about her powers and history. As Deka grows in strength and confidence, the danger she faces grows as well, but not all is as it appears and Deka is determined to get to the truth.

I purchased this book when it was released and then never picked it up. I’m so glad that I finally took the time to read it. It is an incredible YA Fantasy story.

The reason I didn’t pick it up initially is because I was intimidated. It sounded complex and I was concerned that I wouldn’t understand the world, or magic system.

Now having experienced Forna’s skilled writing, those thoughts seem silly. I loved this world and it is complex, not going to lie about that, but it unfolds on the page in a stunning and accessible manner.

Deka is a character that you can easily empathize with from the start. The emotions she is feeling as she enters her blood-letting ceremony, it was so easy to feel that and subsequently, to feel for her. What she goes through in the aftermath of that ceremony, my word.

Forna does not pull punches. This story is violent and unapologetically-so, which I respect. Deka goes through so much and it really shapes her character, her strength and determination are hard-earned.

I loved how quickly the events in this book kick off. There’s not a ton of build-up, you’re dropped into Deka’s life and it’s off to the races from there.

The world is harsh, but so intriguing. Watching Deka and other strong women navigate the patriarchy was impressive. The political aspects of this were quite interesting as well. It’s more than magic and action, there’s plotting and planning; something I tend to enjoy.

The highlight of this story for me though was the relationships that Deka was able to develop. Her friend, Britta, is a fantastic character. She’s the perfect companion for Deka. Their love and support of one another was so pure.

There are many other things I loved about this, I could literally go on for paragraphs and paragraphs, but I won’t. I will say though, that Deathshrieks and White Hands are two of the most interesting things/characters that I have read about this year. Fascinating.

This story felt dangerous, intense and high-stakes, while also being emotional and gut-wrenching in its unflinching look at violence and the horrors of war/conflict zones. Two thumbs way up.

In summation, LOL, this book is BADASS!! I am so excited to continue on with the series. I am hoping to pick up the sequel next month!

View all my reviews

Review: The Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores

The Witch and the VampireThe Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I feel like I should start this review with a little disclaimer.

This review is based solely upon my personal reading experience with this story. It is 100% my opinion, please take it with a grain of salt.

I am by no means an expert on anything. Further, I would recommend that anyone who finds the publisher’s synopsis intriguing, gives this book a shot.

The Witch and the Vampire follows two girls, Ava and Kaye. Ava is a witch and Kaye is a vampire. They’re enemies, but it hasn’t always been that way.

They used to be best friends, but two years ago everything changed. Kaye was turned into a vampire and Ava’s mother was killed by a vampire. Kaye, coincidentally, disappeared the very night Ava’s mother was killed.

Ava, of course, suspects Kaye, or more closely, she blames her for her mother’s death. Ava is now a vampire hunter of sorts, how perfect. On the night of a vampire attack on their town, Kaye flees her mother’s home and Ava runs into her.

Ava convinces Kaye to travel with her into the forest. She pretends she is helping her, when really her plan is to backstab Kaye and get her revenge.

Obviously, I am simplifying this a bit, but honestly, that’s really all I can tell you about the plot.

Let’s start with a few positives. The cover is gorgeous. Also, the audiobook is very well narrated. If it weren’t for the audiobook, I most likely wouldn’t have finished this one.

While this book didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, it just wasn’t for me. I felt I didn’t understand the world at all and it lacked the atmosphere I was hoping for based upon the synopsis and cover.

I also felt it had one note throughout, angst. Everything was angst. There was angst every moment of every page, even though I felt like the stakes were never high enough to justify that. Because of this it lacked the highs and lows and nuance I would normally like to see.

There were no moments of levity and it seemed like the more seriously the book took itself, the less seriously I did. Additionally, all the characters felt one dimensional. I struggled to distinguish between the two girls throughout the entire story.

This is the second book I have read from this author. The first, Diamond City, I felt to be in the good-to-really-good range. I enjoyed the world Flores developed in that one. I found it creative and intriguing.

So, while this one fell flat for me, I would be willing to give this author another shot. I definitely wouldn’t pick up another story based in this world though.

With all of this being said, as touched upon in my earlier disclaimer, just because I didn’t connect with this story doesn’t mean that you won’t. There’s a book for every Reader and a Reader for every book.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books and Dreamscape Media, for providing me with copies to read and review. I truly appreciate it!

View all my reviews

Review: Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood

WildbloodWildblood by Lauren Blackwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Exotic Lands Touring Company offers tourists the opportunity to go on the excursions of their dreams through the magical and mystical jungle landscapes of Jamaica.

Victoria is an 18-year old Wildblood, who after being kidnapped as a child, is made to work for the Company. Wildbloods use their powers to guide tourists safely through the dangerous parts of the jungle.

The Company’s latest mission is to help a successful miner, a young man named Thorne, reach an area in the jungle thought to hold vast deposits of gold.

Victoria, recently turned down for a position of team leader in favor of her less talented, jerk of an ex-boyfriend, Dean, is slightly disgruntled as the tour gets under way. One look at Thorne though and she begins to reconsider. He’s quite handsome and he seems to be taken with her too.

Each member of the excursion is assigned their very own Wildblood and as luck would have it, Thorne and Victoria get paired up. The rest, as they say, is history.

I really enjoyed Blackwood’s 2021-debut, Within These Wicked Walls. I loved the atmosphere, rich with gothic vibes and found the plot to be dark and engaging. Therefore, when I heard about Blackwood’s sophomore effort, Wildblood, I was super excited to get to it.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect to this as well as I did with Blackwood’s first book. I feel like this is a personal taste issue, the plot just wasn’t something I found to be engaging, but I know that a lot of Readers will.

Additionally, I was a bit disappointed by the atmosphere. Being set in the magical wilds of a fantasy version of Jamaica, I expected it to be lush, ominous and exciting, but personally, I felt like it could have taken place anywhere.

I did appreciate the various themes explored. The power dynamics amongst the characters working for the Tour Company was of particular interest to me.

Also, the exploitation of local culture, people and resources by wealthy outsiders via eco-tourism was examined. It’s a bit of an overriding concept in the book and I thought that was well done and an important topic to consider.

I found the main character, Victoria, to be interesting. I enjoyed learning a bit about her past and actually wish we could have gotten more of it. Furthermore, I wish the whole-concept of the Wildbloods, their magic system, could have been more detailed as well.

For me, the relationship between Victoria and Thorne took over the show and personally, it was my least favorite part of the entire story. I would have preferred more balance with the other aspects.

Perhaps, if I would have gone into this expecting more Romance than Fantasy, I may have ended up feeling a bit differently about it.

Overall, I recognize that this is a good story, one that a lot of Readers will enjoy. Blackwood is a beautiful writer and I look forward to reading more of her work, even though this one wasn’t a perfect match for my tastes.

I would still recommend this one to anyone who is intrigued by the synopsis, especially if you enjoy romantic fantasy. Also, as an aside, I did listen to the audiobook and loved the narration. I absolutely recommend that as a medium for reading this story.

Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

View all my reviews