[Blog Tour] A Guest Post from Lexa HIllyer

Hello my lovelies!!

Today I have the wonderful opportunity to share with you a great guest post from Lexa Hillyer, the author of Spindle Fire and its sequel, Winter Glass!!

First, some info about the books if you haven't heard of them.


ABOUT

Title: Spindle Fire
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Series: Spindle Fire #1
Release Date: April 11 2017
Goodreads 
Synopsis:
A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.


ABOUT

Title: Winter Glass
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Series: Spindle Fire #2 
Release Date: April 10th 2018 
Synopsis:
Aurora, torn from the dream world and Heath, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage a winning war against Malfleur’s army of Vultures.

But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice. Devoted half sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen—the threat of losing each other forever.


I asked Lexa, "There are so many fairytale retellings out there. Why were you drawn to writing a retelling and why do you think audiences are so enchanted by fairy tale retellings?


Lexa says, 

            I think there’s something thrilling about seeing the familiar made completely strange and different; of tracing the threads of the fairytale you know and love through a whole new fantasy world. And fairytales in particular are held in our cultural minds as these moral objects; they contain simple portraits of innocence and evil, of a series of trials that ultimately lead to triumph. We often associate them very strongly with our early childhood, so they are very formative in our understanding of storytelling. (Of course, Disney may have had something to do with that! :) ) For all these reasons, they make great fodder for re-exploration in the YA space, where those simple notions can be questioned and challenged, and the symbols can be rebranded to mean something altogether new.

            For me personally, I have always loved to take something I already know and reinterpret it through a new lens. There’s a quote in Spindle Fire: “Men have warred and died for centuries over the interpretation of a few words.” I find it exciting and somewhat terrifying the way a text can be made fungible, can be twisted to serve different purposes. It makes you think that maybe there is really no single “right” version of a story, only echoes of shared images and themes making their way into everyone’s personal reading of it.

            As for Sleeping Beauty in particular, it always struck me as one of the most sexist of all the familiar fairytales, with its main character completely passive for the entire tale—literally the object around which men and politics orbit, rather than an actual actor in her own story. I wanted to change that, and I was intrigued by the idea of putting Aurora in a Miss Havisham-like dream realm, which allowed me to build one fantasy world within another. I loved this idea: we all know the story of Sleeping Beauty but what we don’t know is what she was dreaming while she slept. That was the germ of the concept, and it grew from there, wild and uncontrollable, like the thorny vines that spring up all over the kingdom of Deluce when the faerie curse takes hold!



Thank you so much to Lexa for taking the time to write this awesome guest post!!

You can find the rest of the tour at the blogs below as well as more information about Lexa Hillyer!



SaturdayBook-Swoon
Sunday: Me! (Hi!) 
Monday: Arctic Books
WednesdayThe Story Sanctuary
ThursdayCornerfolds
SaturdayTeacher of YA



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lexa Hillyer is the author of the young adult novels Spindle Fire, Winter Glass, and Proof of Forever, as well as the poetry collection, Acquainted with the Cold (Bona Fide Books), the 2012 gold prize winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Poetry, and a recipient of the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in Best New Poets 2012, and she has received various other prizes and honors for poetry. Lexa earned her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an editor at both Harper Collins and Penguin, before founding the production company Glasstown Entertainment along with bestselling author Lauren Oliver. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, their daughter, and a very skinny orange tree.




Happy Reading!
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[Review] The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross


ABOUT

Title: The Queen's Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Series: Untitled Trilogy #1 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 6th 2018 

Synopsis:
When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

[Review] The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


ABOUT

Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 2nd 2018 

Synopsis:
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

[Blog Tour] Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi + giveaway!




Hello my lovelies!!

I have the great pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi! It's a really buzzed about book right now, and I'm sure you're wondering if it lives up to the hype. Stay tuned for my review and a giveaway!

But first, some information about the book


ABOUT

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi 
Series: Legacy of Orïsha 
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers 
Release Date: March 6 2018
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

I received an advanced copy from the distributor as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.





HOWWWWW DAREEEE YOUUUU. Like How dare you end the book like that???? I am a curious person. I need to know things. AND I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

If you can't tell, the book ends with a cliffhanger. Not in a bad way. I am just impatient and curious af.

Children of Blood and Bone is a novel that follows Zélie, a girl who is visibly a maji due to her white hair. Her people were stripped of their power though, when the king of Orïsha wiped magic from the land and had maji slaughtered, including Zélie's mother. Her people are oppressed and treated like dirt. One day Zélie happens on a way to bring magic back to the land. She teams up with her brother and the rogue princess to do so, all while escaping the pursuit of the crown prince who seeks to prevent magic from ever returning again.

This book is a tome. It's a brick. It's massive. My advance copy is 600 pages long and while it's a massive book, I managed to devour half of it in a single night, staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Children of Blood and Bone is a page turner that has you hooked on the rich world and the complex characters.

And what a rich world Adeyemi has created! It's inspired by west African history and mythology as the author has stated. I have 0 knowledge about this, though I will later probably look it up on wikipedia and at the library simply because mythology is fascinating. There is a crash course video pertaining to an African pantheon of gods which coincides with the inspiration that permeates the world that the author has created. The world that Adeyemi has created has a clear and complex history with its brutal conflicts and its own lore. I've stated before that religions in fantasy novels is one of my favourite things ever and its no different here.

The novel is told in differing points of view, switching back and forth between the views of Zélie, Amari (the rogue princess) and Inan (the crown prince). Through these different points of view we are able to empathize with these characters. They are complex and distinct, with their reasons on why they do the things that they do and really allow you to care about them. While I end up reading multi POV books often even though I'm not a fan of them, in this one it really worked well to see all sides of the story in a more intimate way than the omniscient POV.

If you didn't know, this book was already optioned for film when Adeyemi signed her book deal and I can see why. There's a cinematic feeling to this book that I could really see while reading it. I'm a very visual person and I often visualize things in my head as if I'm watching a movie when I read. There are definitely scenes in this book I would love love love to see on film, especially the bits when Zélie sees the painted images of the gods. I really hope that the studio does the book justice, because this could really be magnificent.

While this book was a page turner and a great read, I wasn't blown away by the book as some were and I didn't understand the screaming about it. That is, until I hit the last 30 pages. HOooooLLYyyyy. Yeah the beginning of this review is brought to you by my own screaming. It ends on the perfect note of wrapping up the book, but also leaving you wanting to know more. I empathize with all those who read this book early and have to wait longer than I do for the sequel.

Children of Blood and Bone is a West African cinematic fantasy novel with rich characters and world that you'll stay up all night to read. I had a great time getting to know these characters and this world and I can now join the others who await the sequel with great need.




If you made it through that whole review, congratulations!!

AND NOW WHAT YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR . . . . . THE GIVEAWAY!!

It's simple really. Retweet the tweet below and follow me on twitter to enter the giveaway for a finished copy of this novel (courtesy of Raincoast Books). This is a CANADA ONLY giveaway!


You can find the other tour stops below!





Happy Reading!
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