Book Review, Books

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft by Mabh Savage

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DID NOT FINISH – ★

If you have been following my book journey for a while, you will know what I’m about to say. I don’t have rules about reading a certain book, but there is one thing I always stick to:

I give a chance to every book that comes my way. If I have it in my physical library – it will be picked up at some point. 

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft is a book I won from a giveaway. It is not usually a genre I go for, but I do love witchcraft and spells. It intrigues me.

This book focuses on the Celtic Witchcraft and explains what it means to firstly, be a witch and what Celtic culture is all about – the beliefs, the customs etc.

After reading 30 pages, I decided that this book is not for me. This is, therefore, the second ”Did Not Finish” for 2019.

It starts very slow, gives detailed information of all things Celtic and the history of Celtic Witchcraft. It was a very boring introduction for me.

Then I got involved in a few life lessons without any added benefit really, and a full overview of a moon cycle followed by a detailed report on how the author’s behaviour changed during all these phases. This might be something you are interested in, but I felt like wasting my time reading someone’s daily moon diary. This was the moment I decided to close this book and move on.

I can understand why some might like this book, and you are valid! I am aware a lot of you will love and appreciate this book for what it is. And that’s okay. I just don’t seem to fit into this group. I love learning about witchcraft, witches and find out new things, but this book didn’t give me what I was looking for.

Better luck next time!

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Book Review, Books

Eternal Soul by Karimah Colden

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★★★

Eternal Soul by Karimah Colden was a mysterious and adventurous read for me. The author contacted me and the book seemed to have an interesting plot, so I said – yes, I would love to read it.

Reign is a very private person and keeps everything close to her heart. She is a descendant of powerful hoodoo magick and her family has some dark secrets.

One day, her father appears in her life, which happens very rarely. She can feel trouble and danger, and before she knows it, her world is full of magick and discovering herself again. The one thing that she always denied – her powers – will now be something she will have to embrace and live with.

I really liked Reign and how she was portrayed. There was great character development, which was something I really admired. I loved how she slowly was finding herself throughout the book and did what felt was the best decision for her at each time. I am not sure about the romance and the relationships she formed with both men. It all happened too fast, too unrealistic and too predictable. The book also had a lot of repetitiveness as well, especially in the many scenes when it came to fashion choices and Reign was standing in from of her closet. It felt like deja-vu every time I read about it.

But I still enjoyed Eternal Soul a lot.

Despite the deja-vu’s, despite the grammar errors. It is a cute short-ish read and I loved finding out what happens next. I also have the second book of the series as well, and will definitely be reading it soon.

If you like something young-adult, with a bit of magic and self-discovery, and something new and different, go for it, and you might be surprised! Definitely worth giving it a chance!

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Book Review, Books

The Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★ (3.8 ★, to be exact)

Sometimes, we enter a library, not really knowing what we are looking for. One day, I entered the library, only to return a few books. Instead, I returned with two more. The first one didn’t impress me, but the second one was this book –The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. I only picked it up, because I liked the cover. And I know, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I guess the magic worked on me this time around.

This book featured six stories, all six magical and beautiful in their own way. Some attracted me more, some a bit less, but I, overall, feel delighted to have read this book. I haven’t read Leigh’s previous books, so I didn’t know about this world before, but these are apparently the same woods featured in those books as well.

I will give a brief opinion on all stories, and the main rating will be the average from them all. Let’s go.

1. Ayama and the Thorn Wood – ★★★★

‘’Interesting things only happen to pretty girls.’’

A beautiful tale that will show you how beauty comes from within. The King and Queen have two sons – one is a beautiful man, the future king, and the other one is a monster. They are scared and ashamed of the monster-boy, and let him live his life in the labyrinth they made for him. In the village, in a poor family, there are two daughters, one as beautiful as the sun, and the other one ugly. When the monster escapes the labyrinth and starts ruining fields and make disasters, everyone is scared to go and talk to him and beg for forgiveness, so the ugly lady is sent to her woods – quite certain she will never return…

‘’This little prince was shaped a bit like a boy but more like a wolf, his body covered in slick black fur from crown to clawed foot. His eyes were red as blood, and the nubs of two budding horns protruded from his head.’’

2. The Too-Clever Fox – ★★★★

‘’Freedom is a burden, but you will learn to bear it.’’

I loved this story the most, out of all six of them. It reminded me of home, and of how we tell stories back there. The whole ‘’Once Upon a Time’’ is real, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The winter theme, the hunting, the girl and the fox. This is a story that will teach you to not be assured you can outsmart everyone. Foxes in stories have always been presented as the smart ones, outsmarting every animal in the woods. This reminds me of Aesop’s Tales, which I really loved as a little girl. But sometimes, you will get outsmarted, and it might cost you your life. The twist was definitely unexpected, but indeed satisfying.

3. The Witch of Duva – ★★★

A story where girls disappear, and one girl decides to go into the woods and try to figure out why. This story upset me, and I didn’t like it. But deep inside, it’s a good one. Very creepy though, and very horror-y, but worth reading. Turn the lights off, get under a blanket, turn your torch on, and only then you will be ready to know the deep secrets this story tells you.

4. Little Knife – ★★★★

The shortest story in the book, but by all means not the least intriguing. A story that features a woman that is too beautiful, that men lose their mind as soon as they see her. To get the chance to marry her, men will have to go through a various of tasks. The twist at the end is incredible, and I really liked it. It starts off as a usual story, but it goes wild.

5. The Soldier Prince – ★★

This was a story I enjoyed the least. It all screamed ‘’The Nutcracker’’ to me, and I couldn’t see it as original. It was a re-make, and it was very different that the story we know, but it just didn’t work for me. This is a story about a man who makes toys and gives them life. And when one toy sort of ‘’wakes up’’, interesting things start to happen. Quite a creepy story. I usually like those, but this one was not my cup of tea.

6. When Water Sand Fire – ★★★★

‘’ We were not made to please princes.’’

This one is the longest story in the book. It features a world of creatures living underwater, and Ulla, who can sing and create magic, but who, as the people believe, is not a true born, but a mix between the underwater world and the humans. She is asked to help the prince become a king, but when the magic price is too high to paid, it doesn’t seem like she has a choice. I truly enjoyed this story, as it’s a beautiful mix of emotions while you read it. It was a bit disappointing that it seems as a remake of the creation of the character of Ursula from The Little Mermaid, at least to me.

Have you read this book, or any of Leigh Bardugo’s books? Let me know in the comments, I love to chat with you!

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Book Review, Books

Curses of Scale by S.D. Reeves [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★

Book Description:

Sixteen-year-old Niena wants nothing more than to attend an elite bardic college, but when the dragon that shattered the empire awakens again she finds herself on the run, through the fey realm of Fairhome, to the city where she was born. On her trail are her army veteran grandfather, thrown into a commander’s role he doesn’t want, the lord of the fairies, trying to steer her to his own ends, and the husband she won’t meet for fifteen years. If she kills the dragon, she’ll save everyone she holds dear. But if she kills the dragon, she’s cursed instead to become it.

”Dreams starve and die if not fed by imagination.”

My thoughts:

A uniquely designed plot, intriguing and different. I was so excited to read this book. The cover was mesmerising and the synopsis was promising. It made me eager to start the book and I couldn’t wait to dive into this fantasy world.

The first couple of chapters were very slow for me. I had to re-read chapters twice, and I didn’t quite understand what is happening. After a while, things became clearer, and I started to enjoy the story a bit more.

I loved Niena’s character. She was a typical being, where one part gasps with bravery, and the rest gasps with fear. I loved how realistic she was at moments, knowing to be scared when supposed to, and fierce when needed of her.

The story gasps with a lot of intense scenes, full of adventures, that I am sure you will all love and appreciate. From trying to fight a dragon, to running away, to the amazing plot twist right at the very end, this book made me restless, after I started enjoying it.

The only reason I am taking two stars away is because I had to read the first 60-ish pages two-three times, until I finally dived in and started enjoying the story.

”A fairy bargain can live no deeper than your lips, it always dies before reaching the heart.”

A beautiful tale, full of magic, adventure and time travel. And a cover that suits it so well.

If you seem to like these types of books – don’t wait and grab your copy now:

Thank you to the author, S.D. Reeves , for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review, Books

Ignite (Midnight Fire #1) – Kaitlyn Davis [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

Kira Dawson has the power to burn vampires to a crisp. The problem is, she doesn’t know it yet. The even bigger problem is, she’s dating one.

When Kira Dawson moves to South Carolina, she meets Luke, a blond goofball who quickly becomes her best friend, and Tristan, a mysterious bad boy who sends shivers down her spine. Kira knows they’re keeping secrets, but when she discovers Tristan’s lust for blood and her own dormant mystical powers, Kira is forced to fight for her life and make the heart-breaking decision between the familiar comfort of friendship and the fiery passion of love.

Ignite was another book from Tea’s Wishlist challenge. I did enjoy this book, even though I found it slow at first. We have a familiar setting of a girl that moves to a new place, makes friends and enemies right away, and discovers secrets. And, it turns out the boy she loves is a vampire.

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The first though I have in the first chapters, and I believe you did too, was – Twilight much? But, no. Once you get to read further into the book, you realise that Kira is nothing like Bella. And Tristan is nothing like Edward either.

This book is so different, and somewhat refreshing from all vampire books I have read so far. It isn’t even a book about vampires. It’s a book about this girl that can mirror the sun’s light and heat from her hands, and is able to hurt only vampires. With her friend, Luke, Kira will discover that she has this ability, and so much more, she will discover secrets about her past that will change her life forever, and she will have to choose between her best friend or the love of her life.

I thought that this book might have used more action, as I felt a bit bored, especially at the beginning, and sometimes during some parts of the book.

I loved Kira’s character – she is the typical girl that moves and tries her best to fit in.

I loved Tristan – he proves that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and sometimes people aren’t what everyone thinks they are, and your environment doesn’t define you as a person.

I didn’t like Luke – I know he was there with a mission to tell Kira her secrets and protect her – but what friend would make you feel guilty about every single choice you have to make in your life. He is like, the very attached and overprotective boyfriend, that isn’t her boyfriend.

Overall, it was a great refreshing read, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. If you love vampire  high-school stories, women that discover they have powers, a lot of forbidden love and paranormal fantasy – you will really enjoy this book. Solid 4 stars from me!

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