Book Review: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

alchemists of loomThe Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

Published by Keymaster Press on January 10, 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk

Pages: 380 – hardcover & ebook

Format Read: paperback ARC

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Keymaster Press

BUY LINKS

goodreads amazon_button b and n


Blurb:

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.


Review:

*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacted my views and opinions below.*

Wow. It’s a known fact that Elise Kova’s Air Awakens series is one of my all-time favorite books. So you’d understand why I had doubts about going into a whole new world (without Vhalla & Aldrik!) Fortunately, these doubts were unfounded. This was an extremely captivating book, and it was nothing like Air Awakens! I was blown away by the complexity of the world & characters. The imagination and creativity needed must’ve been off the charts! Round of applause to Elise!

When I first started reading, I may have struggled a bit to get past the first 10-20% of the book. This was probably because it took a while to familiarize myself with the world & its characters. Seriously, when I say the world was complex, I mean it. It’s overwhelming to a reader who usually sticks to YA Fantasy. This is high fantasy. However, when I got past the beginning & really started to connect to the characters, I was hooked. The book is told in the alternating POVs of Arianna, Cvareh, and Florence (and occasionally, Leona).

Don’t expect the characters in this book to be the warm, heroic type, because they certainly aren’t. They all come from different backgrounds and have their own agendas. Everyone is cutthroat as hell. I really grew to love everyone, though. Especially Arianna. The way Arianna’s character is written at the beginning makes it hard for the reader to really connect with or even like her. However, as the story unfolds, we get glimpses into her past which really helps the reader put together a clearer picture of Ari. In a way, she reminded me of Celaena from ToG and Arya Stark from GoT.

My favorite thing about this book is the slow burn relationship of Ari and Cvareh. I’m a sucker for the enemies-to-reluctant-friends-to-lovers(¿) trope. I loved how hot and cold Ari’s attitude was toward Cvareh at times and I absolutely loved how Cvareh wasn’t having any of Ari’s shit. Their relationship dynamic was really intense & complicated. There are obviously still quite a few secrets between them; I’m excited to see where they’re headed in the next book! They’re no Vhalla and Aldrik, but I still absolutely adored them.

Of course, Ari & Cvareh’s isn’t the only amazing relationship. The dynamic between Cvareh, Florence, and Ari was phenomenal; I loved reading their interactions! They all have such different personalities that really shine through on the page. Such well-rounded, dimensional characters!

This book wouldn’t be what it is without the extraordinary plot and worldbuilding. The wonderfully set up atmosphere of the story, combined with the extremely detailed world, made for a kickass story. Elise really outdid herself with the worldbuilding in this one. The writing also contributed to the excellent worldbuilding. It really helped further immerse the reader into the story. It was excellent, as per usual.

In conclusion, if you’re a fantasy or steampunk fan, then The Alchemists of Loom is sure to delight you. This is a world where the magical and the mechanical collide. Although it took me a while to acclimate to it, the world is wonderfully built and the atmosphere is wonderfully set up. The characters are very dimensional, with distinct personalities that really shine through on the page. Also, their relationship dynamics were very intriguing to read about. The Alchemists of Loom has it all — a highly intelligent, unapologetic protagonist, an action-filled plot, an elaborate world, and superb writing. I’m so glad Elise Kova blessed us with this!

Follow me on Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | Twitter

Rating: 4 fish!

4 fish

 

Book Review: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

tmk

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

Published by Katherine Tegen Books on April 5, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Pages: 544 – hardcover & ebook

Format Read: paperback

Rating: 4 stars

Source: HarperCollins

BUY LINKS

goodreads amazon_button b and n


Blurb:

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.


Review:

Thanks to HarperCollins for providing my with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacted my views and opinions below.

This was hands down the most epic conclusion to a fantasy series ever. Take notes, authors! Complex, electrifying, and gorgeous, this book managed to wrap everything up perfectly – but not in that cliché perfect way. There were still stuff that everyone had to deal with obviously, but overall this was a very satisfying conclusion to a duology. I admit, at first, it took me a few days to actually get into the book, which was mostly due to the fact that I didn’t reread The Orphan Queen and I forgot a few stuff, but I still managed. So I’d definitely recommend a reread before going into this book.

Okay, can we just talk about how much I admire Wil?! She has to deal with reclaiming her kingdom, which is in pieces, in a time fraught with disaster and chaos. I love how she dealt with the pressure of everything and I think her character growth is off the charts! As for Tobiah, I admit I was iffy about him at the beginning. However, I’ve really grown to like him and become emotionally attached to him.

The secondary characters like James and Melanie were reallyy dimensional. I didn’t like Melanie in the first book, though. This is because I felt like her relationship with Wil wasn’t portrayed very well. For the first half of TMK, Wil goes on and on about the strong friendship bond between them but I really couldn’t bring myself to care about Melanie until halfway through. The Ospreys, on the other hand, were extremely memorable characters. The dynamic and bonds they had with each other were realistic and I just loved their interactions! The characters in this duology are spot on.

The plot of The Mirror King is even more complex than that of The Orphan Queen’s. Literally, there was never a dull moment. The book opens up immediately after The Orphan Queen’s drama – smack-dab in the middle of it, in fact. It really sucks you in from beginning to finish; such a page turner! I was worried about how everything is going to happen in one book because there are a ton of things to be done, but Jodi managed that excellently. The important loose ends were tied, not hastily (thank god), and the character’s troubles were far from over but it was still an excellent conclusion. I can’t even find the words to describe how satisfying it was to finish this book.

In short, The Mirror King features a memorable cast of characters, excellent character development, a hell of an intricate plot, and it was a perfect wrap-up to the series. Props to Jodi Meadows for this exceptional duology!

Follow me on Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | Twitter

Rating: 4 fish

4 fish