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Jepp, Who Defied the Stars 

This was a really a tale where it hooked me, with little trouble at all, it did all the work to make me interested in it. Jepp’s story, begins at an inn, slowly moving to the court and eventually finding out who he is. 

And what a set of twist it had, the way almost all of it slowly builds Jepp before revealing more about his life. His background and even who he was. This story slowly went with Jepp, who was a really interesting and good character from the very beginning. His fascination with his identity, which get sidelined because of him entering the court. 

Then, he starts to know more about the court. And at the end, his entire background was within the court itself. Which is a really nice thing, to come full circle and come together. 

As for the two girls that takes up Jepp’s life, Lia and Magdalene are very different. Lia wanted to be free, even if it meant she died. But if she died free, it was even better for her. As for Magdalene, she was an interesting character, with the knowledge and talents which I really like. She is someone who I really can like, and see why Jepp liked her. She isn’t afraid to admit when she’s wrong, but stands firm on the ground when it’s needed. 

I didn’t think that this was historical fiction at first, eventually I really liked it when at the end all of this characters had a part in history. All of them, had a place in history. Some had bad endings, some had better endings. But I was completely fine with the liberties taken, Magdalene deserved better and Jepp was a really good choice. Tycho, being one of the most accurate astrologers and having an artificial nose was interesting. 

And most importantly, was dealing with Jepp who barely left a name in history. The way he would end his story, is like what I would say perfect. It doesn’t botch up history, but nonetheless creates a happy ending which I enjoy. And I nonetheless prefer. 

For all that Jepp suffered through, all that Jepp been through. I enjoyed the fact that Jepp having moments of doubt and moments where he is firm. That he is a master of his one destiny, and that he is what drives it. Rather than the other way around. 

And the writing, it had to be the reason why I liked it in the first place. It managed to grip me, all the while maintaining this style. The way that it seemed to have been from a long time ago. The way it was simple to read without me ever wondering where it was heading. That takes a lot. 

So, I loved this book. The way everything was handled. Surprisingly, I really did. And if you like a book which deals with fate astrology, and uses actual history, then you should check this out. It is the perfect fit for you. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Worlds Of Ink And Shadow 

A book about the Bronte family, in which three of the women became famous writers in a time where no woman is actually encouraged to do it. And I really was curious, as to what their personalities were like. But their entire character feel flat and even dull. 

And that it can be rather messy, sonetimes we are in their heads, in another world or in daily lives. Those aren’t the easiest way to discern what is happening amongst them, and more often than not I was confused. At least until half way where it was explained what Vendropolis was to them. 

And all of a sudden, the fantasy becomes important and is inserted. I would have liked a little more hints, a little more time to develop this. Such as Charlotte actually thinking about what it is. Although I do see why Charlotte is careful not to cross over when it is revealed. 

As for what Emily bargains at the end, I do admit that it is well thought out given the biography of them. That she and Anne died within a year of each other, and young too. 

But the characters are bland and tasteless, they barely have any other personality other than what you could read from their books. There is really no life to them, no real complexity in their characters. The fact that they dream, they write and eventually manage to get critical acclaim. I would have wanted more on their personal lives, there is a degree that the author could have taken liberties with. 

But keeping some traits associated with them would have been understandable. But other than that, nothing is really developed about them. Their relationship, I could say they could have a lot more nuances and a lot of flaws more than just what I see. They barely were characters and I barely even cared about them, least of all think them as actual people who existed in history. 

So, I just didn’t care enough about this book. Although the fantasy aspect was interesting, but the characters could have been developed better, to be more vivid and real. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Death Sworn 

What did I like about it? It doesn’t have a heroine who becomes either too perfect or too stupid by the end of the book. She is somewhere in between, and she is extremely relatable. She is someone that basically lost all that mattered to her, yet I don’t read about her moaning about her loss of power. 

She instead just chooses the best routes, the best choices for herself. She makes the decision herself. And I like the way even after being bullied, she doesn’t give up. She doesn’t make excuses for herself. 

Even though the scope of this book is small, we are restricted to a cave. Nowhere else. A cave. Filled with assassins who are male. I get the feeling that many of you would be thinking that this would be a reverse harem. Nope, none of them are interested in her. 

The one guy that even has some form of feeling for her, still isn’t the usual idiot who would sacrifice all for her. He is guarded, he has his own plans. And his loyalties is to the master first. He doesn’t just magically fall in love with her. 

The way it deals with familiar tropes and the way it keeps many safely out of the way. I would say is the best part of this book. More importantly was the running theme of whether one life saving many would be worth it, such as the assassins who kill to save so much more. To create a better world. 

This are all important parts of the book. And the romance never takes over. It is more about Ileni trying to find the murderer, training. And the ending, was perfection. That was something I never saw coming, and I look forward to the next book dealing with it. That Ileni would be in the Empire, and the way it was written. It fits her so. 

She is someone that doesn’t like killing, it is explicitly shown and she never changes. She treasures life. She is realistic, she doesn’t whine when life is unfair. To me, that is a real heroine that I would admire. 

So overall, pick this book up if you are sick and tired of the usual tropes. The usual storytelling. And expect something that is quick, but isn’t too heavy or dark.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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RoseBlood

This was a surprise of a book. Once I picked this up, strangely Rune became a very interesting character to read through. Since her gift is also her crutch at the same time, the only reason why she was accepted with a deeper meaning revealed towards the end. And the explanation regarding her entire background, felt so historical and at the same time interesting. 

While this retelling plays around with a phantom hundred of years after, which I greatly liked. Since it deals with all the creepy weird things which to me worked perfectly here. And that Thorn is mysterious, twisted but mysterious. And that I liked that the romance went slow, to them slowly meeting, slowly figuring everything out about them. And all the clues. Since I wouldn’t see them meeting under normal circumstances, 

As for the actual phantom and what he did, such as having Christine for a short period. Actually liking the way it went, where everything didn’t end well for them. And it drove him into further obsession, which I liked the way it was. Even pushing him to get Thorn. 

As for the musical inclination, any book would have gotten into me with just that. It just feels so right, and when her gift both suffocates and glorifies her at the same time. I really enjoyed it, the way that there was so much of exploration of opera. Of music and of her talent. As for the reveal towards the end, I feel that it was rather fitting to have regarding her talents. 

Even more so, her doubts are completely believable. The way that she her father died, the way she nearly killed someone. That was believable in my account that she would stop playing. 

However, I do feel that the issues of this book lies on the fact that his mother feels as though she’s a sex worker just because she had a child out of wedlock. That’s just wrong, really. It feels off. While the romance was on point, and the atmosphere captured me, this just doesn’t sound good at all. Also, where Erik takes him to the whorehouse and forces him to do all that. Yeah, I feel that it’s wrong too. 

Overall, I would say this book is creepy and rather gothic. Precisely the retelling of the Phantom of the Opera I was looking for, but there are issues that cannot be ignored. I would say that the romance captivated me, and the music was the one thing that kept me reading. So, pick it up and just see it for yourself. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Long May She Reign 

This was a pretty surprising book, one where focused on a lot of politics, a lot of mystery. But zero on fantasy. So, if you want action and fantasy, avoid this. But if you like reading about schemes, then this is the book for you. 

And it is the book for me. Watching Freya becoming a queen, all the while facing plenty of revolts, people who do not believe her a queen. Having to win support from the people, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so very much. The romance only takes a small portion of the book, and Freya isn’t too stupid to believe that Fitzroy is completely innocent. And I do like how she even thought of her own father. 

Although the court isn’t as cutthroat as I expected, isn’t making her make the hard decisions as I expected. But it wasn’t anywhere safer. Motives could be as simple as wanting a better future. As simple as hoping for a better kingdom.

What I did like was showing Freya finding herself as a queen and having to assert herself. But I would have still preferred she was dealing with a lot more of hard decisions. Decisions which is very hard to make, both sides are pretty horrible but she has to pick the best of the lot. 

Another downside is the lack of worldbuliding, the fact that there is nothing on it. I would think that this should have been marketed as historical fiction, where it would have been believed way better given the lack of magic and use of science as explanation. 

As for the schemes here, the way the poisoning was done was rather intelligent. Using the king himself, and his own personality traits against him. All the while throwing suspicion off herself. I really like the murderer because it was such a sound plan, and that she has a much better mind. 

One thing that I do like about this book is the way it treats female friendships as important. The world is also not sexist. The court has many female characters. Madeleine gets a special mention, since she clearly is intelligent and although she won’t be able to support Freya in the end. Well, I like her for her intellect in thinking and her ability to scheme which makes me think that she should have been queen. Since she still has her conscience but with enough intelligence to get rid of all sorts of threats. But Freya is a rather nice choice too. 

Overall, I would say that this is a book filled with court intrigue. If you want fantasy, don’t read this. If you enjoy reading about a queen learning to rule, a queen having to find her own identity as a queen, her own way to rule. Also at the same time, how can someone go from nobody to becoming a queen, and one that indeed does know how to rule all the while keeping her conscience and not having her hands completely stained with blood by the end. Also, with only a touch of romance. Check this out this book as it is for you. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Strange The Dreamer 

What do I think about this book after everything? I enjoyed the way it explored dreams, about them coming true, about them being fulfilled only to have a cruel twist waiting at the end. And this story clearly does that, even though before it is plenty of wish fulfillment for Lazlo. A girl who understands and even looks forward to him, one who doesn’t dismiss his dreams as nothing. All the more the characters here are all developed and fleshed out. 

The entire dream revealed at the end was clearly good. The way that it seemed unreal and that he and Sairai met a few times before loving. Yet, it never came off as strange to me that they would eventually love each other. Now that takes skill to make me not think that it is instalove. 

As for her writing, I have finally gotten used to the way it is written. Rather simple, yet has a very unique touch. I guess I didn’t enjoy her previous book because of it. Here, I feel as though, it should have been written like this. Sometimes short, sonetimes quick. Sometimes playful, sonetimes dark. 

Besides you would be utterly fascinated with Lazlo and where his dreams might bring him. Whether it is about gods, the godslayer or any other thing. Lazlo’s fascination is what draws him to Sairai and the ending clearly shows why he would have been obsessed. 

There are many unexpected twists here, really the way that so many characters have a part to play. Some which you think may have an important part but reveals himself to only have a small part. Also, I really like is the characters who managed to gain a personality, many were memorable and unique. 

And a lot is on the romance, although you don’t have to root for the main couple. And the twist at the ending will be really change how this book is. But a lot of emotions, a lot of passion and the ability to dream. I mean, Lazlo is a guy who spends seven years just writing his own works, without anyone even seeing it at the end. And that he is always dreaming. 

But the weakness lies between the fact that it could have been faster, to me at least. And that it does feel disjointed at the end, from what I was reading at the beginning(it turns quite late in fact to the gods). About godspawn and the gods and how it was revealed. Even though I would say that the world is build really well, and that to me it feels like one unique world. The way that Lazlo often keeps his head in the clouds and the mystery of Weep. 

And really, I like How the theme goes back to being careful of having dreams come true. At least dreams thag don’t need you to work hard or earn it. The way that the ending ends, I would say is quite fine and all. So, would I recommend this? Yes, feel free to check it out. Since I didn’t really enjoy Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but found myself devouring this. So, anyone can really read it and enjoy it. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Blood Rose Rebellion 

The first fifty pages were good, them everything went downhill. What killed this book for me? The romances Anna and various young men that I could barely be bothered to remember in explicit detail. The middle where almost nothing happened. 

I feel as though Anna could have been an antihero, one that was done well. She was angry with them, for condemning her just because she had no magic. That honestly was what was the drawing point, the fact that she didn’t have any powers. But the way it was handled, didn’t leave it much to be desired. 

The execution was rather poor too, the beginning was rather strong. She was sent to Hungary because of her scandal, and I would prefer that Anna had found a real reason why she wanted change. The many lurking reasons why she would have wanted to end this and free magic rather than allow it to continue. But it wasn’t explored at all. It never was really given enough depth at all. And it was like, she wants to break it for people. But she barely had seen some horrible things to say that kind of things. Quite reasonable reasons, but almost no justification. 

I did really like the world, be it about Luminate society, magic, or even about the fact that there was a way to restrict it. I really enjoyed this world regarding the distribution of magic, the way that many choose to abide due to their own worry that they will lose their magic. Or the fact that a rebellion happened, it was bound to occur. 

But other than that, the pacing was slow, and it was in the wrong way. Anna danced, kissed, flirted with all sorts of men. When I see that it could have been turned to the world, the true reality of her world. The way that she would find a reason as to why she should break the binding. And even making the word a little more grey, a little more fleshed out. 

But it all went to the endless romances, with some gone, some dying. Even then, I couldn’t care less about it.

So, overall I would say the world intrigued me, Anna was interesting until she became obsessed with boys and the fact that she thought of breaking the binding for them. There wasn’t really any reason why she should do so. I was expecting more stakes for her, more reason for her to do so. But I was sorely disappointed. 

Rating: 2 out of 5