Search Results for: The Waking Land

REVIEW: The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Read: June 25-27, 2017

Format: ARC Ebook

My Book Rating: 5 Stars

Publisher: Random House, Del Rey Books

Release Date: June 27, 2017

Genre: YA / NA Fantasy

Pages: 400

Reading Challenge(s): Flights of Fantasy

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the lush and magical tradition of Naomi Novik’s award-winning Uprooted comes this riveting debut from brilliant young writer Callie Bates—whose boundless imagination places her among the finest authors of fantasy fiction, including Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir.

Lady Elanna is fiercely devoted to the king who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder—and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition—powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.


REVIEW

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

First of all, can we look at this cover? How cool is this cover! And it’s entirely appropriate for this book. Like, I can’t think of any cooler cover for this book. It perfectly sums up the story and the character Elanna.

So, as far as I can tell this is a stand alone fantasy novel. It’s billed as YA, but it’s really more upper YA into NA due to one steamy scene. I hope this becomes a series though, because I was blown away. I’m just not sure what is left of the story to tell… but I’d still read it!

This world and magic system is so cool. Basically, El lives in a country where magic is outlawed. If someone is suspected of magic, the Witch Hunters are called, and it’s a death sentence. So El doesn’t tell anyone that plants come alive around her – one touch of her finger and she can make them grow. She has big plans of going off for further training to be a botanist. Of course, the king might have other plans, like an arranged marriage.

No worries about that whole arranged marriage by the king thing though, because the king is murdered. Oh, and El is one of the prime suspects. And aside from taking her away from her parents and homeland at five years old to become a political prisoner—due to her father leading a rebellion, she actually kind of liked the guy. So begins her tale. She goes through a lot of changes of heart in this book, starting with not wanting anything to do with her parents. Not wanting to accept her magic. Wanting things to stay the same for her in King Antoine’s court.

El’s journey is a long one. Like, this book could have been broken into like, at least a trilogy, but it wasn’t, and I’m glad the author chose to keep it as one book. It meant no wait time to finish this journey!

The magic in this book is so cool. The land is literally alive and that power lives inside Elanna. There’s a lot of talk of the ancestors and ancient magics and so on. I loved it.

The romance? I don’t know if I was just in the mood for this kind of romance or what, but I immediately fell under Jahan’s charms. His personality was just so… charming! And he’s got secrets of his own. He was very easy going and had a nice sense of humor.

This review does this book no justice. Seriously, none. I can’t even describe all the feels. I can say this though, I did not want to put this book down. Most times I have my specific reading times and I stick to them. With this book? That went out the window. I read and read, and then I read some more. Until I’d devoured this entire thing in 3 days time—which is pretty quick for me for a book this long.

So, long story short: fans of YA fantasy tales with really cool and unique magic systems and a swoon worthy love interest will enjoy this story.


Get the Book here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks

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QUOTES

 

It’s been fourteen years, last night. Fourteen year since King Antoine took me hostage; fourteen years since I’ve seen or heard from my parents.

 

I’m supposed to be safe here, safe to taunt myself with a magic I am not supposed to possess. A magic I still don’t understand.

 

I have no power but the king’s mercurial affection, which would vanish as soon as anyone named me a witch.

 

For a moment, I forget to be afraid. I just want to listen. I want to understand what the plants are saying.

 

“Jahan what?” I demand. “And I’ll thank you to state your intentions as well!”

A snort escapes him: He’s definitely trying not to laugh. “Jahan Korakides, at your service, demoiselle. I swear to you, my intentions are nothing but honorable.”

“Indeed?” I say. “A man takes a woman—by magic—and knocks her senseless, and she comes to on a horse in the middle of the night, and she’s supposed to assume his intentions are honorable?”

 

But I won’t use my magic to help them. It’s too dangerous, and it gives others ideas. It makes them think I might be what they want me to be.

 

“But you never came for me,” I say. “You left me there. You left me—”

“No,” she says fiercely. “I was always with you. Every day. Every moment. I am your mother, and I was with you.”

 

There’s a story in which Wildegarde makes an entire forest grow overnight; the next morning, the trees rip their roots from the ground and walk.

 

“…The Ereni had to fight their way through shifting forests and hills; they drowned in streams that appeared out of nowhere and valleys that seemed never to end. So by the time they reached Barrony, they wanted more than conquest. They were half mad. They wanted blood.”

 

The earth knew what I wanted. It did as I asked.

 

“So you trust me now?” His breath touches my face; his fingertips linger on my neck.

“Maybe,” I say with a laugh that catches in my throat.

 

REVIEW: The Memory of Fire by Callie Bates

The Memory of Fire Book Cover The Memory of Fire
The Waking Land #2
Callie Bates
YA Fantasy
Del Rey / Random House
June 5, 2018
Digital ARC
464
NetGalley
March 12 - 14, 2018

The land has awoken, and news of magic's rebirth has traveled across the sea. Jahan, a daring noble who has been concealing his powers, is finally ready to stop hiding. Now he returns to the imperial capital, where the use of magic carries a death sentence. There, he must face his dark past, learn to embrace his gifts, and prevent an all-out war across the kingdoms.

My Review

Last year I read and fell in love with The Waking Lands. When I learned there was a sequel coming (and a third book next year! SCORE!) I HAD to get my hands on it.

The Waking Lands was told from El’s POV and we were introduced to Jahan, who I quickly fell in love with. (He has a bit of an Adrian Ivashkov thing going on, if you’ve read the Vampire Academy and/or Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead you know what I’m talking about. Totally swoon-worth!)

So quick recap – this is a fantasy series in which magic is a crime and anyone caught practicing is sentenced to a fate worse than death. The magic of the land was awakened in the first book (get it? The Waking Land?). That’s basically what you need to know.

The Memory of Fire is Jahan’s story and picks up after the events of The Waking Lands. We learn so much about his past, especially his childhood. His memories were tampered with by the witch who trained him (against his will) and all he knows is that he has to get his brothers away from her. But when he returns to his adopted homeland in an attempt to act as emissary or ambassador on behalf of El’s land, nothing goes as he expects it to. Due to his alliance with El, he is no longer welcome in his former home. Now he must try to make peace between the two countries and keep himself alive.

I absolutely loved the characters and the entire storyline in this series. I plan to get a copy of the books in print for a permanent home on my shelf. Highly recommended for fans of fantasy! (Bonus: This series has GORGEOUS covers!)


Quotes

“It’s too dangerous. If you stay here, we can fight together.”
“But if I go to Paladis, I can fight for you.”

My secrets are as comfortable to me as a second skin. But that’s not the way it is for Elanna, who holds up truth like a banner.

When she kisses me gently, lightly, I think I can taste the bittersweet tang of tears on her lips. Or maybe the tears are my own.

It seems as if no matter how hard I try to help my brothers, I can never save them.

I came here to win peace for Elanna. I didn’t come here to lead a revolt—not one doomed to failure.

It takes all of my power not to lunge onto the carpet and seize her. But what would I do? I can’t sweep her away like a prince in a fairy tale. Not in front of the entire imperial court. Not with all the witch stones and bells.

Perhaps this is why I was never able to give El the commitment she wants, the honesty she deserves. Because I am not a whole person, and I will never be. Madiya took that from me, but somehow I can’t shake the feeling that it’s my fault. That I did something to deserve it.


My (Writing) Life

Oh boy, it’s been a helluva month! I spent much of May with an awful flu bug. I missed five days of work and spent a week sleeping on the couch so that maybe The Husband could get some peace. It was awful, I thought I was going to die, and nothing could be worse. (I’m a bit melodramatic…. writer ya know?)

I’m finally over that, but barely a week later and I injured my back. Not sure how, but I did it. It was starting to feel better, then like an idiot, I tried to lift a too-heavy bag of potting soil from a shopping cart and – POP! CRACK! – there went my back. Way worse than before. I spent the entire weekend in bed, unable to move, crawling from my bed to the bathroom and kitchen. At my dads recommendation, I saw his chiropractor on Monday and she aligned my hips. My lower back muscles are a solid knot though, and I’m on a steady diet of ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer at night. I’m doing a few stretches she prescribed as well. I’m hoping she can do a little more tomorrow at my next appointment.

So, because of all that, I hope you can forgive me for staying away so long! Even now, sitting at the computer is uncomfortable, but I’m woefully behind on my reviews and I need to get them posted.

I have decided to make a change as far as the blog goes. From now on I only plan to post YA reviews. I know I don’t post a lot of non-YA reviews, but now it’ll just be YA. I figure, I write YA, reading YA is my passion, it just makes sense.

In my writing world…. I didn’t do any while I had that flu. I was miserable and binged TV shows on the ABC Freefom app (all of Siren, Shadowhunters seasons 2-3, and Famous in Love season 2). The back injury has been good for writing though. My goal for JuNoWriMo isn’t 50k words, but rather finding time to write every day. I’ve missed two days, but I’m still improving from where I’ve been before. My YA contemporary romance (code name SIGA) is coming along nicely. I’m getting really close to the end of the first draft. I already have a lot of things I need to add/change/expand upon when I start working on the second draft though, but I’m actually mostly excited for that.

If you were looking for either of my novella’s at other retailers, I’m happy to say that Peace in Flames is available everywhere now! Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, and I’m working on getting it into OverDrive, Scribd, and a couple other vendors. I’ve also got it available to buy in PRINT at Amazon, B&N, and Lulu. For the time being, Summer of Peace is still in Kindle Unlimited, but on July 28 will be available everywhere.

That’s about it for now. Hoping to get some more reviews posted soon. But we’ll see. You know me, always busy busy!

Deja Revu – July 3, 2017

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
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Original

Meme

Response

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Fantasy

General Fiction

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Contemporary

Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Fantasy

General Fiction

Historical

Horror

Non-Fiction

Paranormal

Romance

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Contemporary

Fantasy

Paranormal

Romance

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Action/Adventure

Classic

Contemporary

Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Fantasy

Historical

Mystery

Non-Fiction

Romance

Science Fiction

Suspense/Thriller

Women’s Fiction

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Romance

2017 Reading Challenges

So many challenges to choose from! Last year was my first and a learning experience. We’ll see how this year goes!

 


Levels

Bonsai – Read 12,000 pages
Shrub – Read 24,000 pages
Dwarf Peach – Read 36,000 pages
Apple Tree – Read  48,000 pages
Oak – Read 60,000 pages
Douglas Fir – Read 72,000 pages
Sequoia – Read 84,000 pages
Redwood – Read 84,001+ pages

I’m sure I can hit Bonsai level – 12,000 pages
I’m shooting for Shrub, 24,000 pages


2017 Retellings Challenge

Hashtag #RetellingsRC2017

The Challenge:

  • For readers to read retellings of stories we know well from their chosen level in 2016:
    • Easy: 1-4 retellings
    • Medium: 5-8 retellings
    • Hard: 9-12 retellings
    • Difficult: 12+ retellings

 

I’m not sure how many more retellings are left for me to read, but I’m looking forward to this!

  1. Snow White’s Revenge by Casey Lane (SNOW WHITE)
  2. Pan (The Untold Stories of Neverland #0) by K. R. Thompson (PETER PAN)
  3. Alice In Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter (ALICE IN WONDERLAND)
  4. Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST)
  5. It Started With Goodbye by Christina June (CINDERELLA)
  6. Tell The Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan (A TALE OF TWO CITIES)


TEAM: HUFFLEPUFF

#BeatTheBacklist

READ:
1. Mortality by Kellie Sheridan
2. Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead
3. Snow White’s Revenge by Casey Lane
4. Amp’d by Ken Pisani
5. Pan (The Untold Stories of Neverland #0) by K. R. Thompson
6. Some Boys by Patty Blount
7. Bad Luck by Pseudonymous Bosch
8. More Than Friends (Friends #2) by Monica Murphy
9. Alice In Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles #1) by Gena Showalter
10. Leaving Yesterday (Laurel Falls #1) by Zoe Dawson
11. Secret Vampire (Night World #1) by L. J. Smith
12. My Delicate Destruction (Wolfgang #1) by Jillian Ashe
13. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
14. The Haunted Heist (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #3) by Angie Fox
15. Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
16. Her Darkest Nightmare (Evelyn Talbot Chronicles #1) by Brenda Novak
17. Cure for the Common Breakup (Black Dog Bay #1) by Beth Kendrick
18. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (republished)
19. Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan: Storm Born Volume 1
20. Paper Hearts by Ali Novak (The Heartbreakers #2) (republished)
21. Live Fast, Die Young by Vanessa Barneveld
22. Pucked by Rachel Walter

 

 

 


Guideline: Read one book of at least 100 pages.

Requirement: Book should have a main character or significant secondary character that fits one of the LGBTQI or A requirements.

  1. 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac

THE GIST: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it’s supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)

THE LIST:
Albania
Andorra
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France – Cure for the Common Breakup (Black Dog Bay #1) by Beth Kendrick
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy – Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Kazakhstan
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Moldova
Monaco
Montenegro
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Republic of Macedonia
Romania
Russia
San Marino
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
Ukraine
United Kingdom – The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
Vatican City


Hashtag #flightsoffantasy

My goal is 10 fantasy reads for 2017. I’m thinking I might be setting the bar low though, so I may come back and reassess at a later date.

 

  1. Snow White’s Revenge by Casey Lane
  2. Pan (The Untold Stories of Neverland #0) by K. R. Thompson
  3. Bad Luck by Pseudonymous Bosch
  4. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  5. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
  6. Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
  7. The Waking Land by Callie Bates
  8. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
  9. Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan: Storm Born Volume 1
  10. Windwitch by (The Witchlands #2) Susan Dennard
  11. Waters of Salt and Sin (Uncommon World #1) by Alisha Klapheke
This entry was posted on December 16, 2016, in .

Deja Revu: February 13th, 2017

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.