Quick-fire reviews

As some of you may have noticed, my project for this month has been a brand new Instagram account! I’ve set up this bookstagram purely to share beautiful images of my books and connect with more people who enjoy reading and may benefit from my reviews.

If you’re interested, please do check it out. You’ll find me at: @beauteaful.reads on Instagram or via the links on my homepage and in the side bar.

With that in mind, here’s my first collaboration post to bring my blog and bookstagrams together!

Today’s bookstack features a selection of the white/cream/beige books that I own. As Britian is currently enjoying (or suffering) a heatwave I thought these crisp, clean covers could make some good summer reads. Here’s some quick-fire reviews and thoughts on those I have included!

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Review: Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #3)

Title: Hero at the Fall

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Pages: 506

Published: 1st February 2018

⭐️ 5 / 5

I loved the first two books in the Rebel of the Sands series so I was really excited to jump into the concluding novel as soon as I could get my hands on it.  The novel picks up almost immediately after Traitor to the Throne finishes so we are thrown straight back into the action.  One of my favourite things about this series has been the pacing.  It’s been great fun from the start of book one to the end of book three and Alwyn always seems to perfectly balance the fast paced action sequences with well timed rest periods which usually let us explore the world she has created for us.  This leads me nicely to the world building.  I mentioned in my review for Traitor to the Throne how much I enjoyed the step up in world building and how we got to see further reaches of the Sultan’s realm.  This continues into Hero at the Fall and the details allow me to feel that these cities are tangible places that I could visit, although I’m not sure I’d want to what with wars and battles going on in the streets.  I’ve always loved Alwyn’s writing style and her descriptions make it so easy for me to ‘direct the cast’ in my imagination.  I cannot wait to see where she takes us after this smash-hit debut series.

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Review: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #2)

Title: Traitor to the Throne

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Pages: 592

Published: 2nd February 2017

⭐️ 5 / 5

Although I’ve had the second instalment of Alwyn Hamilton’s series sat on my shelf for quite some time (since October in fact), I’ve only just got around to it now and I’d completely forgotten how much I love this series!  The press tour for the third and final book in this series is currently filling my twitter feed which gave me the kick I needed to jump back into this world.

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Review: The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury (Sin Eater’s Daughter #3)

Title: The Scarecrow Queen

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Pages: 336

Published: 2nd March 2017

⭐️ 4.5 / 5

I’m more than a little obsessed with this series at this point.  I honestly don’t know how I was so late to the party in reading this.

The Scarecrow Queen is the third and final instalment of Melinda Salisbury’s series The Sin Eater’s Daughter.  If you’ve read my reviews for books one and two you’ll know I’m a bit of a fan.  I panicked a little bit when I flicked through this book because my pet peeve is switching POVs every few chapters and I could feel it coming owing to the fact the previous books left us with two equally important protagonists that both have a voice.  Whilst Melinda did do this and switch POVs between Errin and Twylla I loved the way she did it in much larger chunks rather than ricocheting between the two every chapter, which would have left me reading only out of loyalty to the series and the characters that I needed to know what happened to.  This technique did mean that there was a lot that happened to the protagonist that wasn’t narrating that chunk by the time we got back to them which caused some overlap and some gaps that we had to work hard to fill in ourselves but I don’t feel that impacted the story or my enjoyment of it.  The split narrative worked well because it allowed us to see what was happening on both sides of the revolution as one protagonist remained with the rebellion and one was unfortunately imprisoned so we could see the ramp up to the final battle from different angles which I loved.  The narrative of this book somehow managed to take even darker turns than the previous instalment with the Sleeping Prince, Aurek, employing some really disturbing methods of torture and war tactics.  As horrific as his character is, I really enjoyed it and love that Melinda is not afraid to make her ‘bad guy’ truly disgusting and dark and twisted.  There’s nothing better than an antagonist who you can hate with all of your heart.

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Review: The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury (Sin Eater’s Daughter #2)

Title: The Sleeping Prince

Author: Melinda Salisbury

Pages: 367

Published: 4th February 2016

⭐️ 5 / 5

Warning: minor spoilers ahead in the form of fangirling over a character pairing

This is the second instalment in Melinda Salisbury’s The Sin Eater’s Daughter series.  This is the first book in a long time that I ran through in one sitting.  After immensely enjoying the first book in the series, I was initially disappointed as this novel seems to drop Twylla from the narrative completely and instead picks up with an unknown character.  All I desperately needed to know was how Twylla was getting on after the events of her story and instead we move to a struggling village in a neighbouring part of the realm and follow Leif’s younger sister Errin.  I was not happy.  However I was far to quick to judge because she became one of my favourite fictional characters to read about in 2017.  She is young, snappy and hungry (name that musical 😉) to survive the changes in the world she sees around her.  After Leif’s departure from their newly broken family home, Errin is forced to give up her trade as an apothecary to care for her sick mother.  She must resort to illegally making remedies, poisons and other lotions and potions to pay for her survival and to ensure the villagers don’t turn on her mother who is looking increasingly like she is possessed by something sinister.  She has grown up in a society firmly rooted in fact and science, which is the polar opposite to what we have seen with Twylla.  However with their world facing the reawakening of the Sleeping Prince, a being of legend, Errin’s people are not able to place as much surety in science as they are used to.  Errin must watch her family life and the society she has always known and loved crumble before her and watch her neighbours take up some of the odd practices of the devout citizens in the part of the world we know through Twylla.  The only constant in Errin’s new life of despair is her strange friendship with the mysterious Silas.  Enter my favourite couple of the series.

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