Ruination: A League of Legends Novel by Anthony Reynolds

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

The first ever novel set in the blockbuster universe of League of Legends, one of the most popular video games of all time, Ruination is an epic tale of magic, revenge, and an empire on the verge of ruin.

Camavor is a brutal land with a bloody legacy. Where the empire’s knights go, slaughter follows.

Kalista seeks to change that. When her young and narcissistic uncle, Viego, becomes king, she vows to temper his destructive instincts, as his loyal confidant, advisor, and military general. But her plans are thwarted when an assassin’s poisoned blade strikes Viego’s wife, Isolde, afflicting her with a malady for which there is no cure.

As Isolde’s condition worsens, Viego descends into madness and grief, threatening to drag Camavor down with him. Kalista makes a desperate gambit to save the kingdom: she searches for the long lost Blessed Isles, rumored to hold the queen’s salvation, if only Kalista can find them.

But corruption grows in the Blessed Isles’ capital, where a vengeful warden seeks to ensnare Kalista in his cruel machinations. She will be forced to choose between her loyalty to Viego and doing what she knows is right–for even in the face of utter darkness, one noble act can shine a light that saves the world.

My Review
5 out of 5 stars

I’ve been playing League of Legends since season 2. I’m hardstuck silver, so 10 years of playing this game certainly hasn’t paid off. I am addicted and keep playing on though. Anyway, 10 years of playing this game and finally they release a book about some of the champions I have known for ages! Playing League of Legends and reading are literally my only two hobbies, so you can imagine my excitement. This novel follows the origins of the Ruined King, Viego, and his military general niece, Kalista. Viego’s wife, Isolde, is terminally ill and in need of a miracle cure. The thought of losing Isolde puts A Thousand Cuts into Viego’s heart. She needs to be saved or Viego will lose his mind and the kingdom of Camavor will suffer for it. After trying countless methods to cure her, it seems all hope is lost until Viego decides to try to find the legendary Blessed Isles for a cure. He doesn’t trust anyone to go and look for them other than Kalista, for she has grand Martial Poise. Fate’s Call then sends Kalista on a journey to save her queen from Damnation. Hopefully it isn’t a Death Sentence.

It’s a pretty straightforward fantasy plot with Kalista going on a journey to locate a Fountain Of Youth-esque island, but develops into its own unique story with League’s lore. I think the best part is the fact that I finally get more to the LoL lore, and I really enjoyed learning about the origins of the Kalista and Viego and how they got to where they are in the game itself. A handful of other champions do make an appearance and are integral to the plot as well, but I don’t want to spoil it. A side note– in the print version of the book there is character art at the end of the novel for each of the champions that do make an appearance, so just another way to avoid spoilers if you want to go in blind (like Lee Sin!). There are also many Easter eggs relating to the game itself. If you’re a fan of League of Legends, you’ll certainly enjoy this. I think it does also work well on it’s own, and people unfamiliar with the game will still enjoy a well-written fantasy quest story. The pacing of the novel is quite smooth– I think it’s well edited and doesn’t linger unnecessarily at any parts. It had good flow and kept the story interesting.

Understandably given League’s gameplay, there are quite a bit of action scenes. I personally tend to struggle with action scenes and generally skim them to get a gist of the outcome. Here, though, I thought all of those were written very well– they were easy to picture and kept me engaged.

If this book had a League of Legends rank, I’d give it Diamond (5 ranks of Iron – Diamond for the Goodreads 5 star scale). LemonNation gives it a nod of approval.

This first in what I hope is a whole series of LoL novels is certainly not a worrying trend for Riot Games. Riot pls give us more!

See this review on Goodreads and on Storygraph.

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The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few…

– Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.

My Review
3 out of 5 stars

This book mainly works well as a character-driven novel. The plot does sounds really cool, but it doesn’t resolve in a super interesting way. I thought all of the characters were introduced well, and each initially felt that they would be a distinctive voice from the others. There are six total main characters, and each chapter is told from one of the six’s point of view. I think it does alternate evenly between all six, but it doesn’t necessarily feel that way. The way each character is introduced is through them individually meeting Atlas and Atlas extending an invitation to join this elite magical society, though it’s a selective invitation in that they invite six but only choose five. You know that they’re all going to volunteer for this opportunity if you’ve read the synopsis, so it’s a bit of a slow start, but it was a good way to get to know all of these characters. After those first initial chapters though, it became evident that the author has clear favorite characters who are better developed and more important to the story. This is why I can’t say for sure if there was an actual even distribution between all of the POV chapters. I definitely started to loose interest in half of the characters, and two of them I couldn’t even really remember who was who (Tristan and Callum– I know that each had a distinct magical power, but I couldn’t remember which power went to which person). I definitely wish all POVs felt even and important to the story, but it doesn’t resolve that way. The book is a first in a series, so it’s possible that it will even out.

I also had some issues with the writing style. It was overwritten in my opinion. In one particular example, a character is having a phone conversation with her boyfriend, and instead of holding an active conversation with the boyfriend, it provides flashbacks of the day’s previous events that the character is thinking about when asked a question by her boyfriend, but by the end of it, she isn’t going to share since this magical society is secret. I would frequently forget that she was talking to him. Honestly I felt the boyfriend’s frustration in being left hanging from an actual response to his questions. The style does fairly well for creating a character-driven novel because it can focus on the characters’ internal thoughts and reactions, but I felt it was a little too much.

As for the plot, it sounds cool, but it isn’t really focused on action or learning or performing magic. It’s more centered around an aspect that is spoiled in the synopsis, and in the tagline for the book. I won’t say more than that, but the book doesn’t really sell the point or the atmosphere of becoming a member.

At the point, I’m unsure if I would continue on with the series. Again, I liked some of the characters (the ones that are well developed). I’m not the biggest fan of the writing style, and I’m unsure if the plot will get more interesting than what this was. I also thought the ending of this was predictable, at least in terms of the main point, but not necessarily all the nitty-gritty details. Left feeling lukewarm overall.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a free eARC via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

See this review on Goodreads and on Storygraph.

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #7)

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you’ve already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company.

There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again.
It isn’t as friendly as Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
And it isn’t as safe.

When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her Home for Wayward Children, she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.

She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming…

My Review
3 out of 5 stars

I’d like to start off this review with the fact that this is number SEVEN in this series. I’ve read SEVEN books in this series? Wow! Granted, these books are very short, and I read the first book in 2017, so it hasn’t quite been seven years, but man, time flies.

This installment is similar to the first book in that it is setting up the subsequent books in the series. After 6 books following Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, it’s time to introduce a counterpart to her home, one that teaches wayward children to deny their portal worlds and move on. While it’s an interesting direction for the series, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book overall. This is in part due to me thinking, from the title, that we would go to Cora’s Mermaid/Siren/Ocean world, The Trenches. Though Cora had an event happen to her in a previous book that had her questioning her world, I was interested in exploring it, and maybe having Cora interact with it in a negative way. However, Cora does not go to her world, and instead goes to this other home to get away from her old world’s influence. I just wasn’t interested in the overall plot; it was not as whimsical as other books. It does incorporate some characters from the previous installments, and introduces characters who I’m sure we’ll go explore next. But this book is mainly setting the stage for the direction of the rest of the books.

I do want to give some credit to Cora. She is probably the strongest and most developed character in the series. She has to deal with being bullied or judged due to her weight. Her perspective is one that is body positive. Cora’s a good character to lead the way in showing the negative impacts of portal worlds on children; she’ll overcome them.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a free eARC via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

See this review on Storygraph and on Goodreads.

30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

When a British Indian woman’s life hits rock bottom, she decides to change her stars by falling in love…with herself–a hilarious, heartfelt story from outrageously funny novelist Radhika Sanghani.

Nina didn’t plan to spend her thirtieth birthday in jail, yet here she is in her pajamas, locked in a holding cell. There’s no Wi-Fi, no wine, no carbs–and no one to celebrate with.

Unfortunately, it gives Nina plenty of time to reflect on how screwed up her life is. She’s just broken up with her fiancé, and now has to move back into her childhood home to live with her depressed older brother and their uptight, traditional Indian mother. Her career as a freelance journalist isn’t going in the direction she wants, and all her friends are too busy being successful to hang out with her.

Just as Nina falls into despair, a book lands in her cell: How to Fix Your Shitty Life by Loving Yourself. It must be destiny. With literally nothing left to lose, Nina makes a life-changing decision to embark on a self-love journey. By her next birthday, she’s going to find thirty things she loves about herself.

My Review
3 out of 5 stars

This was an easy and light read about a 30 year old Indian woman, Nina, learning to love herself. After a breakup with her fiancé, she has to move back in with her mother. Her older brother is clinically depressed and also lives with the mother. Nina is close with her family but it’s not without her mom being nitpicky about her lifestyle and choices. I thought the relationship Nina had with her family was very realistic. The story loops in Nina helping her family with their problems– supporting her brother’s mental health, and encouraging her mother to start dating again after years from their father’s passing. Nina also spends a lot of time with friends– meeting new people as well as dealing with some issues of old friends.

There really isn’t much romance in this book. It does have a strong message of loving yourself, so perhaps a strong romantic plot or subplot would take away from that. There’s a lot of drama in Nina’s family and friend life though, so you can certainly be kept interested throughout the whole story. I do think the point of this book is that life isn’t always perfect, but you can learn to love yourself through all it’s ups and downs. In the end, this isn’t a book I’d normally pick up, but it was pretty enjoyable. I’d recommend if you typically enjoy contemporary women’s fiction, and/or you would like one with no focus on romance.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a free eARC via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

See this review on Goodreads and on Storygraph.

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

A deeply moving and mind-expanding collection of personal essays in the first ever work of non-fiction from #1 internationally bestselling author John Green

The Anthropocene is the current geological age, in which human activity has profoundly shaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his ground-breaking, critically acclaimed podcast, John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet – from the QWERTY keyboard and Halley’s Comet to Penguins of Madagascar – on a five-star scale.

Complex and rich with detail, the Anthropocene’s reviews have been praised as ‘observations that double as exercises in memoiristic empathy’, with over 10 million lifetime downloads. John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this artfully curated collection about the shared human experience; it includes beloved essays along with six all-new pieces exclusive to the book.

My Review
4 out of 5 stars

I first read John Green’s most popular work, Looking for Alaska as a high school student. As an undergraduate, I read two more of his books, but I haven’t picked up any of his other works in a long time. It felt like I knew what story I was going to get when I picked up a John Green book, and they were just kind of the coming of age sad contemporary that I haven’t been in the mood for in a very long time. I still watch him and his brother’s YouTube channel from time to time. Both he and his brother always seem insightful about the world and generally offer a wider perspective. When I found out that this was a nonfiction title written by the author that is a collection of essays that reviews all sorts of things relating to the human world, I thought it may be similar to his YouTube channel. And it is, I can vouch for that. I went into this book already familiar with his views in regards to front lawns, so I knew his review on Kentucky Bluegrass would not be very high. I also found out that this book is based off the Green brother’s podcast titled the same. I haven’t listened to the Podcast, so I can’t say how much of the information is new here. Even if this information is a little rehashed, John Green’s writing here is very polished and still offers a delightful yet philosophical read. It’s a personal experience tied into humanity as a whole. It’ll make you feel happy, sad, angry, and hopeful as life tends to do.

The book also starts with Mr. Green’s experience on his last book tour. His previous book, Turtles All the Way Down, was about a teenage girl’s experience with OCD. Mr. Green himself suffers with OCD, and he felt uncomfortable being asked questions relating to a fictional teen’s experiences. It led him wanting to write a nonfiction book despite primarily being a young adult fiction writer. I could feel for that, so I’m glad I was able to support a book that helped the author personally. I’m also glad it turned out good, and hope Mr. Green’s future work is still able to give him room to explore.

See this review on Goodreads and on Storygraph.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

My Review
3 out of 5 stars

 This was… fine. It was easy to read and it had a message to share. Honestly it reads like a Hallmark movie meets a self-help book.

Nora’s life ends up being cut short, and she finds her afterlife starting in the Midnight Library, a place full of books that can take her to her life’s infinite possibilities. What if she actually did stay in her brother’s band? What if she did marry the guy she ran away from? What if she did study to be a glaciologist? Nora didn’t find her current life all that meaningful, so this Midnight Library gives her a chance to see how everything would’ve played out differently.

I don’t think it’s the most creative story in the world; I have definitely come across similar ideas before. It’s cool that it’s based in a library, but the setting isn’t unique enough to make it that new. The writing style isn’t super atmospheric either, which definitely would’ve helped sell me on the overall story with the library setting. The ending is very predictable; you can probably guess how it’s going to end before you even pick it up. Given how many weeks this book has been on the NYT Bestseller’s list, I thought it would’ve been at least a little more original. I think people like it because it’s easy to read and provides a hopeful message. Many may have needed it, especially given this past year.

I might have liked this a lot more if I read it before all the hype set in, but as someone who reads too much, I don’t think this stands out. 

See this review on Goodreads and on Storygraph.

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

Sunopsis (From Goodreads)

Immortal warlock Magnus Bane’s life has been long, adventure-filled, and never dull. Though snippets of his past have been hinted at in the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices, here his deepest secrets are revealed: his involvement in the French Revolution, his witness to the speakeasies and sleaze of Prohibition, and his place in the battle between Valentine and the New York Institute…the first time around. But smuggling Marie Antoinette out of France is nothing compared to his befriending vampire like Camille Belcourt…or his first date with Alec Lightwood.


The eleven stories in this collection fill in many a delightful gap in Magnus Bane’s colorful history. Shadowhunter fans won’t want to miss a single delicious detail!

My Review
5 out of 5 stars

Not all of the short stories in this collection are worthy of 5 stars. But I listened to this on audiobook (sometimes following along with the physical text and sometimes strictly listening). The audiobook worked very well for me because I’m so familiar with both the character of Magnus Bane and the Shadowhunters world. I appreciated the light and easy read, and it just felt like home. Doesn’t home deserve 5 stars?

My favorite stories that are worth 5 stars are Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale, The Midnight Heir, and Saving Raphael Santiago. These take place more in the distant past and cover the Infernal Devices/Last Hours characters, which are my favorite. And then Raphael Santiago’s origin story of becoming a vampire was interesting; Raphael has grown on me a lot in the main series.

The later stories that follow Magnus and Alec’s relationship were cute, but to this day I still find the Malec ship creepy despite it all. Magnus is centuries older than poor 18 year old Alec; it’s even worse than the age gap between Edward and Bella! Again, they were cute, but still unsettling, especially since it covers the early parts of their relationship that actually addresses this age gap.

I hated What Really Happened in Peru; don’t get me started on the pointlessness of the story. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the stories that featured Camilla. They didn’t feel as engaging to me.

See this review on Goodreads and on Storygraph.

Dune (Dune #1) by Frank Herbert

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

My Review
4 out of 5 stars

I went into Dune not knowing exactly what to expect. I knew it was a well respected classic scifi, and that it took place in a desert, but that was about it. I read classic works from time to time and there are ones I end up loving and ones I dislike, usually because I find them slow and/or cannot really get into it. The beginning of the book was felt slow, but I still kept my hopes up because I realized it was building this immense scifi-fantasy world that is so well loved by many. The book kept continuing to be slow though, and I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed. It wasn’t really reaching any sort of climax, twist, or high action point that I thought it would.

In the midst of reading it though, I came across this YouTube video by TedEx on why you should read Dune.

It basically summarizes the world of Dune and gives a synopsis for the book. Upon finishing the video, I was like, yeah, it sounds like a really cool book! I could admit that I was introduced to all of those interesting world building aspects and can agree that all of it is there. It helped me gain a new appreciation for the book.

I think the writing style is the type of style that I would end up using if I ever wrote a high or epic fantasy (not that I could match the creativity of Mr. Herbert). It’s not at all action-based; it focuses on all of the little details of the world. You don’t just learn that water is a scare resource on the planet of Dune. You learn exactly how much water means to its people, how it is the wealth of a person, how meaningful it is to share it with others, and all of the technology and methods used to conserve it. This very technical, detail-focused narrative is what makes the world of Dune as rich and vast as it is. I can definitely see it’s influence on much of the speculative fiction published today.

I am somewhat tempted to continue on with the next book in the series. I can’t say that I loved this book, but I definitely appreciate it. I don’t think a lot of my favorites that I do have today would be what they are without it.

See this review on Goodreads and on Storygraph.

Well Matched (Well Met #3) by Jen DeLuca

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

An accidentally in-love rom-com filled with Renaissance Faire flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights.

Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell.

Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire–a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship.

As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch’s family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch’s girlfriend again…something that doesn’t feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they’ve just been putting on an act. But when there’s the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans–and open her heart–for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life. 

My Review
5 out of 5 stars

This is my favorite installment of the Well Met Renaissance Faire romance series.

We follow April, a 40 year-old single mom who is about to be an empty nester. She never really got involved in her small town life, so as soon as her daughter is off to college, she is going to sell her house and move to the city. She needs to prepare her house in order to sell it, so she could use some help. Enter in Mitch, a 31 year-old gym teacher who is known as the Kilt man in the local summer renaissance faire. He certainly is capable to help out, but he needs a favor in exchange; his annual family reunion is coming up and his family has been pressuring him to settle down. He needs a girlfriend to bring with. April agrees, as she’s known Mitch for awhile since her sister is a large organizer of the renaissance faire, and really, Mitch isn’t a sight for sore eyes.

I just incredibly related to April as a protagonist. She cares too much about what people think, and dating the local hunk who’s about 10 years her junior is not something she wants people to gossip about. She also has a hard time admitting her feelings, and it takes a long time for her to come into her own. Readers might be frustrated with this aspect, as it can feel like it is dragged out. But as someone with pretty bad social anxiety, I thought this book was executed perfectly. April was also relatable to me in that she was a homebody and never really got involved in her area. She somehow avoided the renaissance faire every year she’s lived there, despite he daughter performing in it for the past 2 years. I like to think I would get involved in a local renaissance faire if we had one (I am a big ren faire nerd), but I’m also a homebody.

The fake dating troupe was cute here, and there were several instances where the fake dating had to come back into play. If you don’t like that troupe, you’ll grow tired of it here, I’m sure. I also enjoyed getting Mitch’s story since his character was pretty well fleshed out in the previous two installments. He’s a fun and nice fella. I also think this is one reason I enjoyed this book more, as both April and Mitch were a lot more prevalent in the previous two books. The previous book, Well Played, only followed Stacy; the male lead was a new character tossed into the mix.

Unrelated to anything in regards to an opinion of the book, but I was so impressed by April fixing up her house in order to sell it. My partner and I are in the market to purchase our first home and we get frustrated over all these owners who don’t take care of their houses. If only April existed in real life! I’d buy her house– it has a kitchen island! Anyway, the slight direct life correlation also just had me all for this book,

I recommend if you like the fake dating troupe, small town romances, and/or read previous books of this series and enjoyed those. If you’re in it just for the Ren Faire, fair warning that the Ren Faire doesn’t occur until the last 1/3 of the book or so, but honestly it was my favorite part and so worth it. 🙂

I received a free eARC via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

See this review on Goodreads and on Storygraph.

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her firs

My Review
3 out of 5 stars

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that involves a character being possessed by some sort of supernatural being and being able to control and communicate with it. While it’s not a new concept at all, I definitely enjoyed it here. The revenant is a mean grumpy creature that is all powerful, but has to put up with a strong female character who talks her way into getting the revenant to do what she wants it to do. Overtime it is gradually revealed that said grumpy spirit actually has a bit of a heart and starts to care for his vessel, providing advice to keep her healthy and interfering when it will keep her alive. It’s a little predicable as others I’ve read like this are similar, but it is just cute, you know?

I also really enjoyed all the spooky vibes of this book. It deals with spirits that can possess others. There is a hierarchy to the spirits that designates their strengths and abilities. The atmosphere is chilling– crypts are explored, the nuns themselves have to cleanse the dead souls, and old magic is being used to control an army of spirits. Really it’s a great book to read around Halloween.

The characters are all well-developed. I especially liked the relationships that are crafted amongst them. Not only in Artemisia and her spirits, but also with some of the side characters– the nuns, some people she saves, and her friends.

There was some slight pacing issues with some parts of the story seeming slow and not really important, but overall it adds to the new world Ms. Rogerson is trying to create. I’m looking forward to the next installment. It is a lot different from the author’s other works, so if you like her work, just expect something new here; it is her first series after all. I also recommend this if you’re looking for a YA fantasy that has a spooky setting and doesn’t focus on romance (at least not in this first installment).

Thank you to the publisher for providing a free eARC via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

See this review on Goodreads and on Storygraph.

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