The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven KingTitle: The Raven King
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: April 26th, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5) Continue reading

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

ConspiracyTitle: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke
Author: Anne Blankman
Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: April 21, 2015
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5) Continue reading

Book Review: A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd

Title: A Cold Legacy
Author: Megan Shepherd
Series: Madman’s Daughter trilogy
Rating: ★★★★

A Cold Legacy

I didn’t realize how much I liked dark retellings until this series. The Madman’s Daughter was not a book I would have usually picked up. And then I loved it and had to read Her Dark Curiosity. And then I was even more in love and couldn’t wait to read A Cold Legacy.

Juliet is engaged to Montgomery. She’s finally admitted that while she cares for Edward and the Beast, she truly loves Montgomery. She’s also a little horrified by the actions she took at the end of Her Dark Curiosity. She’s afraid she’s turning into a madwoman, taking after her father. She doesn’t want to go down that road, but she feels a pull towards it anyway.

Juliet, Montgomery, Edward, and Lucy travel to Ballentyne to escape from police after the events of Her Dark Curiosity. There, they find a new mix of people and questions. Juliet discovers a secret that would push her beyond her father’s legacy and she must decide what her road will be.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot, as I think everything is best discovered as you read, but I will say I could not put the story down. I read page after page, and didn’t even want to stop to sleep. The Scottish moors location provides the perfect backdrop for the dark tale. I only really had one issue with the book, and it happens at the end of the story. I felt like a storyline was left just a little too open and unresolved.

I am happy Juliet decided to be with Montgomery. Even if she can’t see it, when she chooses Montgomery, she also choses the kind of scientist she wants to be. Edward and the Beast represent the mad desire she wants to run from so badly, and Montgomery represents the other curious, but respectful side. I think, in making her choice between the two, she unknowing decides the type of scientist she will be. She might question herself and keep secrets, but I just think she doesn’t really understand herself until the very end.

My only issue with the book is how much emphasis is put on which parent she will take after. It was a little frustrating to read, over and over, how Juliet didn’t want to end up like her father, but she also didn’t want to end up like her mother. It seemed like Juliet, as well as her friends, never really voiced the opinion that Juliet is Juliet; she doesn’t have to end up like either of her parents. Just because she was their daughter does not mean those are the only two paths she has.

A Cold Legacy was an almost perfect end to a wonderful series. I would still recommend it, though. It’s definitely not a book series for everyone, as it’s dark and a little gruesome at times, but it still is completely fantastic. If you’re up for a little darkness, the entire Madman’s Daughter series is perfect.

If you’d like to read A Cold Legacy, you can purchase it here:
Barnes and Noble

Thank you to Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Title: Her Dark Curiosity
Author: Megan Shepherd
Series: The Madman’s Daughter trilogy
Rating: ★★★★

Her Dark Curiosity

I really enjoyed The Madman’s Daughter and was anxious to read Her Dark Curiosity. I became even more anxious when I read it was inspired by The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

There are certainly issues with this novel. Juliet definitely made some stupid decisions. There’s a love triangle and some people just aren’t fans. But those issues never took me out of the novel. Shepherd explains them, or they play such a big part of the story that they make complete sense.

Take Juliet, for example, and some of her more unintelligent decisions. She feels compassion for the Beast and Edward. She trusts him when she probably shouldn’t. She keeps secrets when she shouldn’t. But each time she does one of these things, it makes sense. She herself isn’t completely human, so she understands Edward and the Beast in a way. She questions whether she can truly be at peace with what she is if she treat someone else created is a negative way. She knows and recognizes how mad her father had gotten, and she knows how far she fell after he was cast out. She fears that admitting she has the same curiosity means she will end up like her father, and telling people those secrets scares her.

I get it. I understand why Juliet sometimes comes off as making bad choices. She makes stupid decisions, but I can understand the reasoning behind them.

As for the love triangle, I never really felt like it was done to make people love one person and hate the other. The two interests mirror Juliet’s feelings about herself. There’s Edward and the Beast on one side, playing to Juliet’s fear of her father and her own madness. On the other side is Montgomery, showing Juliet that science doesn’t have to mean madness. I thought it was really well done.

Her Dark Curiosity continues the amazing journey The Madman’s Daughter started. It makes you think about what makes people good and evil. It’s fantastic in its descriptions and story. Like its predecessor, it’s dark, but wonderfully so. I am loving this series.

If you’d like to read Her Dark Curiosity, you can purchase it here:
Barnes and Noble