The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.
As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.
Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.
Shielded is YA fantasy done right. I am so happy that the beautiful cover (which I definitely need in my bookshelf) matches the FANTASTIC story inside the pages. I love the characters, their relationships and development, the dialogue, the steady pace, the plot, the romance, and the world building. That’s is 5 stars right there!
The heroine, Jenna, is both strong yet vulnerable. She is an eccentric princess who uses her brain in tough situations and doesn’t take the easy way out. After a lot of bad things happen to her, one right after the other, she still manages to find her strenght within to keep her going. She is also a bookworm, in fact a lot of these characters are and I AM DOWN WITH THIS. We spend the entirerity of the first half of the book with basically only Jenna for company so she needs to be a pretty good character in order to shoulder the novel. We don’t even get to meet the love interest until about 43% into the novel, and then when we do it is full steam ahead! I loved not only Jenna, but the side characters too like the prince of Turia and his entire family.
Some things were a bit convenient and made things a little more painless–the author could have made us suffer a lot more than she did (and she did make us suffer) but I am just grateful she made the decisions she did cause I don’t think my heart could have taken much more hardship.
The romance is…JUST UGH SO GREAT. The characters work well as a team and support each other’s endevours–a team that works well together is bound to make me happy. There is also a case of mistaken identity (well, a couple of cases of that) and it just makes the tension even better cause…
I love those. They just have this connection that is undeniable, but does not feel forced in the least. Feels completely organic and meant to be ❤
The magic system is interesting. We have magical weapons and artifacts, a lost/hidden library full of treasures and knowledge, the race to uncover magical secrets…It is all very thrilling. The heroine is not well versed in the magic, and this is not a case in which she is totally OP (over powered). She has a decent magic source that she slowly learns how to use to her advantage. The “rules” aren’t many yet, for example I don’t know the limits to the heroine’s ability (what can she do, what can’t she do) but I think, and hope, this is something that will be further explored in the sequel.
WHICH I CAN’T WAIT FOR if you haven’t noticed.
PS; I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks go to the publisher!
On a site note, I was going through my decisions of how many starts should I rate this book. Then the last pages and chapter came to me like a slap. The result is brilliant.
I must say one thing I love about this book is the different moods. You have humor, you have thrill, you have questions and blood, much, much, much blood. The book is called Blood and Honey and I asked myself about the title. Sure Serpent and Dove made sense but Blood and Honey. I still loved it but I was intrigued by it until of course the books tells you and you understand why. Then it makes more sense because at the end of this book you will need some Blood and Honey too.
The book starts with the same crew and where we left them. Lou with Reid, Coco as the fiercest and most beautiful blood witch there is, sweet and innocent Ansel and and so on the rest. This book is all about alliance and keep yourself safe. Morgane is on their tail, hunting them, watching every step and scheming in darkness. They know how powerful the witch is. They also know the Chasseurs are too looking for them with Jean Luc as commander. And they know, they are not enough to bring her down to stop them. So they take action. They decided to visit the blood witches clan of Coco’s aunt, leaving Reid behind as they come across the witches. On their way Lou sees the awful thing Morgane has done to Reid’s family and decides to lie when they meet again. They try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of fox and hunters that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.
Like I mentioned before this book get you on edge, makes you feel bitter and sad. On a quick note, the love between Lou and Reid, I find it annoying in the most beautiful way. It’s perfect. You don’t feel like we’re in love and everything works for it. You don’t see the pink and pretty colors. Sure they are married and they love each other. But going from a relationship to knowing each other, a hunter and a witch. One raise strict with morals and rules and anything out of church is abomination as for the other one a witch full or magic and desire. It not easy to combine. But when they do it’s beautiful. And what I loved about it most, it’s real.
After that ending I can’t wait for the third and final book. It’s been an awesome ride and now that the cliffhanger is on, Shelby, make the third one count as the first two.
Yadriel has summoned a ghost and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
That’s right I said eight reads. Why 8? Because I did 8 last year and why not keep that going eh? These are the books and graphic novels that stuck with me throughout the year and yeah you may be surprised by some that are (or are not) included…
She was raised to be beautiful, nothing more. And then the rules changed . . . In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role is to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot to overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter. And the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully limited life . . . THE GILDED CAGE
Princess Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance. Within the sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio, she’s never seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers. But she’s been schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power. When her betrothal is announced, she’s ready to begin the machinations that her mother promises will take Jenna from ornament to queen.
But the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened or prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors of life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows. If Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born to a soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous path indeed…
Note: I have not read any of Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdoms novels so I can’t speak as to how this relates to those.
Everyone likes incentives right? And incentives that come from doing what we do anyhow? Even better. Now I don’t have unlimited money…but if I did I would probably go bankrupt pretty quick. These are the pre-order campaigns I’ve put into because they’re books I already know I wanted to get.
I’ll be updating this as new ones appear, but some of these end soon so get a move on!
Back on my old blog, Poisoned Rationality, I used to do a round up of helpful posts for the Book Expo n00b. Its been a few years since I did my last one (2015!) so I thought I’d revise and repost some of those blog posts to help anyone looking for a nudge of help.
So you’ve heard about this crazy little thing called ‘Book Expo’ and you say to yourself ‘What in blazes in that?’ First, why are you talking like that? Second, Book Expo is an industry event when publishers, booksellers, teachers, librarians, media and authors all get together to party.
Here’s a low down on the who, what, where, when, why, how and omg in all its proverbial glory.