court intrigue

The Heartbreaking “Winner’s Crime”

20443207.jpgThe Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Farrar Straus Giroux: March 3, 2015
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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On Monday, I posted my review of The Winner’s Curse, and naturally, I jumped straight into book two, The Winner’s Crime. From the first page, it was clear that this was not going to be a happy book. There was such a sense of sadness and hopelessness about The Winner’s Crime, that I struggled to read it. But, read it, I did.

The Winner’s Crime picks up directly after the events of The Winner’s Curse. Kestrel is now engaged to the crown prince of Valoria; which is the price she must pay to the emperor for his agreement to back off in warring against Herran. For Kestrel, this means that she must convince Arin that she cares nothing for him, a fiction that Arin eventually believes.

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Court Intrigue and Subtle Romance in ‘Jeweled Fire’

21528313Jeweled Fire by Sharon Shinn
Ace: November 3, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Review source: Free from publisher

I’ll go there again!
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Sharon Shinn has long been one of my favorite authors. I love the futuristic technology mixed with religion in her Samaria series, and the hero/heroine pairings and adventures in the Twelve Houses series.

I remember loving the first book in this new series, Troubled Waters, and after finishing this third installment, I’m pretty desperate to get my hands on a copy of the second: Royal Airs.

In Jeweled Fire, young princess Corene is the narrator and heroine. Corene has lived in her elder sister Josette’s shadow for most of their lives, and so she decides to step out of it, to have adventures, to figure out what path she really wants her life to take. At first, she only admits to herself that she is hunting for a prince, and a crown – the things she has been raised to expect, and which she thinks will give her independence and success. (more…)

The Queen of the Tearling: a swashbuckling fantasy of court intrigue and politics

queenoftearling The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
July 8th, 2014 by Harper (Fantasy)*

My rating: I’ll go there again! (4/5)

Everything changes the day the Queen’s Guard come for Kelsea. Raised in isolation for her own protection from assassins, she must leave her guardians, her books, and her forest to become Queen of the Tearling – if she can. Immediately, she and her guards are set upon by the most famous assassins in the world, and she begins the race for her life. The danger increases as she gets to the capital city to be crowned before her uncle, the profligate, dissolute Regent, can have her killed. While the Regent is her most immediate problem, he is not the only villain – the neighboring Red Queen has her eye on Kelsea, her country, and the jewels she wears.

Kelsea is young at only nineteen, but she has been highly educated by her guardians. Compassionate and ruthless, she has all the qualities that could make her a successful Queen of the Tearling, if she can survive it. Many people depend on her: her people who are shipped into slavery every year, her Guard, the starving serfs, and a thief who calls himself the Fetch. Along the way to her throne, she receives help from the Mace, one of the most formidable warriors in her Guard. The Fetch and the Mace are two very important characters in the story, although they are both shrouded in mystery (which I hope will become more clear in the next novel!). (more…)