Author: Julie Abe Publication date: August 2, 2022 Genre: middle-grade fantasy My rating: 3.5/5 stars
If you’re a fan of middle-grade books with fairytale vibes and are a firm believer (as I am) that we need more books with dragons, this may be a strong contender for your TBR. It’s got magic, witches, dragons, and a Cinderella story sure to capture the heart of your inner child. This post was originally slated as part of a blog tour for this title last summer; my life turned chaotic and I ended up only posting a Bookstagram review then, but I wanted to add a bit more now! Read on for my thoughts and some quotes I loved from this book.
Author: M. K. Lobb Series: Seven Faceless Saints (#1) Publication date: February 7, 2023 Genre: young adult dark fantasy My rating: 4.5/5 stars
I cannot adequately express how glad I am that this book lived up to my expectations for it–it was one of my most-anticipated reads of this year, and it was just what I hoped for. There was a murder mystery. There were fantasy politics and corrupt religion. There was an enemies-to-lovers arc. There were also things I didn’t expect but was really happy to see–demisexual rep, mental health conversations, and a Soft Boy/Angry Girl pairing to die for. Read on for my thoughts on the book, as well as some personal favorite quotes from it!
Author: H.E. Edgmon Series: The Witch King (#1) Publication date: June 1, 2021 Genre: YA fantasy Audiobook narrator: Dani Martineck My rating: 2/5 stars
Preliminary note: this review is a little spotty, is in part because I read this book last November, so my memory is a little iffy, and in part because the issues that bothered me have stuck in my head and I don’t much feel like talking about the rest. I didn’t like this book much, if at all, which was quite a disappointment, because the ace rep, Native American rep, and OwnVoices trans rep had definitely caught my eye. Ah, well. Not every read can be a winner.
Author: Margaret Rogerson Series: Sorcery of Thorns (#1.5) Publication date: September 17, 2023 Genre: YA fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
This is just a miniature review, as this was a miniature book! This lighthearted novella was a delightful follow-up to Sorcery of Thorns, a book which I (along with practically every bookworm out there) positively adored. Magical grimoires, a librarian warrior, a demon who likes to take the form of a cat, a potent blend of magic and adventure…needless to say, the strength of its predecessor set the bar high. And Mysteries of Thorn Manor certainly rose to the challenge; it was exactly the right mix of cozy and entertaining, with light drama and a splash of romance.
Author: Adalyn Grace Publication date: August 30, 2022 Genre: Gothic YA fantasy/romance My rating: 3.5/5 stars
A murder mystery featuring Gothic vibes and a romance with Death himself. A beautiful cover (seriously, look up what is under the dust jacket on the US versions of this one). An author with an impressive resume (including a stint interning on The Legend of Korra). This book is perfect in theory. And while it certainly delivered on all the vibes and atmosphere, I must confess that the book as a whole was just…okay. It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t live* up to its full potential.
*pun about living (since this book deals with death so much) was not intentional, but now that I’ve noticed, I have to leave it in.
Author: Elizabeth Lim Series: Six Crimson Cranes (#2) (review of #1 available here) Publication date: August 30, 2022 Genre: YA fantasy
After absolutely loving Six Crimson Cranes last year–it was in my top 10 reads of the 2021–I was beyond thrilled to be chosen as part of the blog and Bookstagram tour for the sequel. I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet–back-to-school season caught up with me–but I am so excited for it! My pre-ordered copy from my local indie is currently staring at me from my living room table, begging me to pick it up, so…that will definitely happen soon. In the meantime, here’s some info on the book for you, dear reader:
Author: Gina Chen Series: Violet Made of Thorns duology (#1) Publication date: July 26, 2022 Genre: YA fantasy My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Fantasy politics. Morally questionable main character. Lies and prophecies and the blurry lines between the two. The girl who wants to kill Prince Charming instead of flirt with him. Enemies-to-lovers romance. Have I convinced you yet? Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen was one of my most-anticipated books of 2022, and reader, it delivered. This is the sort of debut that makes me incredibly excited about this author’s future works (and has me chomping at the bit for the sequel!). Read on for my review of this riveting title, along with a (somewhat lengthy) list of quotes I loved from it.
Author: Tori Bovalino Publication date: June 21, 2022 Genre: YA fantasy horror My rating: 4/5 stars
A modern take on the Goblin Market fairytale. Queer rep galore. Themes of belonging, family, duty, bonds, and bargains. Old English villages. Witches. Creepy-as-heck body horror. You’ll find it all in Not Good for Maidens, a dark YA fantasy full of bargains gone wrong, temptations too strong, and yearning to belong, unfolding over two timelines and two continents.. Read on for more of my thoughts, including some favorite quotes of mine from the book!
Author: Rachel Menard Publication date: June 7, 2022 Genre: YA fantasy
Look, I may not have had time to read this one yet (if you knew how many hours I have spent on editing school- and work-related things this past week, you’d see why), but I am quite excited for when I do get the chance. I mean, come on–it is a gender-bent retelling of the labors of Hercules, featuring badass girls and cool magic. Plus, it has sapphic and demisexual characters (perfect for Pride month!), as well as anxiety rep. I’m tremendously looking forward to it. In the meantime, perhaps my posting here will encourage you to give this one a look as well. Read on for a synopsis and more info on the book!
Author: Sue Lynn Tan Publication date: January 11, 2021 Genre: fantasy, mythology, YA retelling My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Come for the gorgeous cover and Chinese mythology; stay for the gorgeous writing and epic scope. This book has been on my radar since it was first announced, so naturally, I was thrilled when Turn the Page Tours presented me with the opportunity to read it for their blog tour! This book is romantic, heartbreaking, and beautiful, with lush details and a strong heroine who grows from naivete into her own person. Read on for my review, as well as a sampling of some lovely quotes from the book.