Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark CrownsTitle: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns Series
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: September 20th, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5) Continue reading

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

New Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Title: Exquisite Captive
Author: Heather Demetrios
Series: Dark Caravan series
Rating: ★★★★★

Exquisite Captive

I loved this book. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it. If I’m being honest, my only real experiences with jinn are those of “I Dream of Jeannie” and Genie from “Aladdin.” Those are not even close to the jinn in Exquisite Captive; Demetrios created an amazing story surrounding her characters.

Nalia is the last jinni of her race. She survived a coup that left everyone she cared about either dead or tortured. She is stuffed into a bottle and sold into slavery. Enter Malek. He is her master. He is abusive. And controlling. And confusing. But he is not a love interest.

I am sure some people will disagree with me on that point. Nalia does have conflicted feelings about Malek, but I don’t believe she ever feels love towards him. Caring? Sure. Sympathy? At times. But not love. Her relationship with Malek is like that of a Stockholm Syndrome victim with his or her captor. Malek has had power and control over her for so long, and has scarred her enough with her bottle, that when his behavior changes, she finds kindness.

The relationship between Malek and Nalia is an abusive one. Nalia recognizes that what she feels for Malek can’t be called love, just as what Malek believes he feels for her is not love. Not once did I get the feelings that I was supposed to want a romantic relationship between them.

On the other hand, Nalia’s relationship with Raif is not abusive. It starts out rough because they each want to use the other for a purpose. Raif wants the ability to save the Jinn races, and Nalia wants to be free from her bond to Malek. However, there is not the same abusive tone with their relationship. They certainly don’t like each other right away, but neither individual abuses the other. They develop their relationship slowly, and I enjoyed every second of it.

I am absolutely enthralled by this story and hate that I have to wait so long for the next book. I want to know what is going to happen next, both on Earth and in the jinn world. There are so many pieces to this story that just as I start to think the book couldn’t get any better, it does.

This is definitely a must read book. Demetrios will draw you right in and, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to put the book down.

If you’d like to read Exquisite Captive, 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.

Review: The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

Title: The Midnight Witch
Author: Paula Brackston
Rating: ★★★★

Brackston is no stranger to writing witch novels. She’s set one in the 17th and 19th century, and now she tackles the time around World War I. I think Brackston’s writing style is one that you definitely have to like, but she can write an amazing novel. The Midnight Witch took a little while to get going, but once it did, I couldn’t put it down.

Lilith is the daughter of the 6th Duke of Radnor. Her father is also the Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. When he dies, Lilith’s brother becomes the 7th Duke of Radnor, and she becomes the Head Witch. From the beginning, her reign in challenged. People aren’t sure if a young female can truly lead the coven. But she has support and eventually gains the respect of the other witches. At the same time she’s learning how to lead, a group of sorcerers are trying to get the Elixir, the secret the Lazarus coven protects. She’s also learning what it’s like to fall in love for the first time. With the threat of war looming, Lilith must learn how to balance all areas of her life before everything she works to protect is gone.

I like Lilith. She knew what she wanted, and even though she had moments of self-doubt, she never backed down when she knew her choice was right. She’s up against great odds, in all areas of her life, but she tries to keep that from overwhelming her. She learns to balance her duties and her desires well. She’s not the typical woman of the time and she knows what it’s time to adjust her ways of thinking to fit the times.

Bram, the love interest, wasn’t my favorite, but he wasn’t horrible. He was devoted and hopelessly in love, even if it felt like it happened a little fast. This might be because we don’t get to see all of their interactions before they declare love, so it didn’t bother me too much. Louis, the man Lilith is engaged to, isn’t too bad either. It’s easy to see how much he loves and cares for her. They’ve grown up together and that’s given him the time to develop feelings for her. It’s clear to see both men will help Lilith in whatever way they can, whenever she needs them.

The storyline was interesting. It started a little slow, with a lot of set-up taking place. I can appreciate it, but it still felt a little slow. Once things began happening, however, I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know what was going to happen next and there was never an easy time to stop. There was always a reason for me to keep reading.

Brackston has another great book on her hands with The Midnight Witch. It might take a little while to get into it, but once you get drawn in, it’s hard to break away. The Midnight Witch takes on a different tone than her other novels, but it’s still just as wonderful.

If The Midnight Witch sounds like your kind of novel, you can purchase it here:
Barnes and Noble

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.