BLOGGER AWARD #3 | Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award
Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award
Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award logo

Hi, everyone! I was nominated for the Ideal Inspiration Award back in September by Anna over at Anna’s Book Nook, and I figured I should, ya know…finally get around to it, lol. Thank you to Anna for nominating me! Lemme just point out before we begin that this award was originally created by Rising Star @ Ideal Inspiration Blog.

Content warning: I wanna forewarn y’all that I do talk about alcohol in the second question I answer, in case that can be sensitive for anyone!

Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog.
  • Answer their questions
  • Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions
  • Notify the nominees through their blog by visiting and commenting on their blog.
  • List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo.
  • Provide the link of the award creator of Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award as Rising Star from https://idealinspiration.blog/

Why did you start blogging?

I wanted an “official” spot to talk about books and create bookish content!

What is your favorite fall tradition/activity?

So I love watching all the scary Halloween movies, but I also enjoy trying all the new hard cider flavors my local apple orchard makes every year.

If you could live in any book, what would it be?

Priory of the Orange Tree! I loved the world-building and the aesthetic. Not to mention the characters! (but let’s be real, I’d most likely die from…something. pretty easily, lol)

Are you more of a coffee or tea person? Cold or hot?

Cold coffee and hot tea!

If you could change the ending of one book, what would it be and why?

Crooked Kingdom. Y’all know why.

Nominees (Please don’t feel pressured to do it! If you don’t want to, that’s totally okay 😊)

Questions

  • what was your last 5-star read or read that you loved?
  • any reading resolutions or goals for 2021?
  • what books are you hoping to get to this year?
  • do you have any comfort meals or foods?
  • if you read or were read to when you were younger, what was your favorite childhood book? if not, what book(s) got you into reading?

And that’s it! I hope y’all enjoyed this award post. I’m curious — let me know what sort of fall, winter, spring, or summer activity/tradition you love to do! See y’all next time. 😊

Kait | sixcrowsbooks
Kait | sixcrowsbooks

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REVIEW #64 | PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Priory of the Orange Tree

Author: Samantha Shannon

Series or Standalone?: Standalone

Publishing Date: 26 February 2019

Synopsis (Goodreads):

“A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.

“The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.

“Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

“Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

“Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.”

Trigger/Content warnings:

  • executions
  • character deaths
  • gore and blood
  • violence
  • miscarriage/death of a newborn

Representation:

  • f/f relationship
  • m/m side relationship (prior to the events of the book)
  • characters coded as people of color
  • a woman character dealing with depression and anxiety

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

So I think I’m Samantha Shannon trash now? I now have a desperate need to read the rest of her books. As someone who is just dipping their toes into adult high fantasy, The Priory of the Orange Tree was absolutely amazing.

The Priory of the Orange Tree is a political high fantasy novel that follows several characters in different parts of the world as the dreaded Nameless One (the evil dragon baddie, if there ever was one) begins to rise from its slumber to destroy the world.

First, there’s Ead, who is one of the helpers for Sabran, Queen of Inys. She is actually part of a secret mage society but is working undercover to keep the Sabran safe from harm. Then we have Loth, a Lord from Inys and one of Sabran’s closest friends. He and his friend Kit are sent to another country, where both a plague and support for the evil wyverns are rampant. However, not everything is as it seems. Niclays lives in the East, having been banished from Inys years before. When he helps a stranger hide, his sheltered life begins to crumble. Tane is a young woman who has been training her whole life to be a dragon rider, someone that protects the East with the help of the mythical god-like creatures. Things start to go awry, though, when she helps to hide a castaway she meets on the beach.

As the story unfolds, these four characters are instrumental to what happens, either making decisions that help move the world toward destruction, or further away from it. The four of them have such rich backstories — along with the other characters — and I loved learning about them. They each have their own distinct desires and motives, and they’re not all black and white. For those of you who’ve known me for a while, you know how much I love books that focus on its characters, and this is definitely one of them! Oh, and you know what’s even better? When all of these seemingly separate stories become interconnected —- it’s simply *chef’s kiss*.

Along with that, I truly believe that the writing is such a strong aspect of this book. The language used is beautiful and easy to understand. I didn’t have to strain to find out what was going on and, on top of that, the language could be very pretty and/or moving. It was accessible, and sometimes that can be hard to find in adult high fantasy.

I will say that the ending is a bit rushed for my liking, but in the grand scheme of things, I wasn’t bothered by it. The climatic battle didn’t feel all that climatic, but at the end, I still felt like The Priory of the Orange Tree is its own contained story. I think it does well as a standalone, but of course, I will always be happy with a sequel (or even a prequel!). It was a very fun world to visit, and I can’t wait to see what Shannon does next.

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BOOK TAG #17 | Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to another book tag. I actually did this same one last year (here’s the link!), but I figured I would makea habit of doing it every year ’cause my answers would change! Without further ado, let’s get into it! 🙂

Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Ya know, for the best book I read in 2019, I haven’t read the sequel yet (and I read it back in January). But seriously, I loved A Darker Shade of Magic. The characters, magic system, plot, narration… Literally loved everything about it. 10/10.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

Honor Bound by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I was about to say that I haven’t read any sequels this year, but look! I read one! It’s the only one I read, but I really enjoyed it. In this rare case, I thought the sequel was better than the first book.

New release you haven’t read but want to

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Look at the gorgeous cover, and tell me you don’t feel the urge to read all 800+ pages right this second. There’s queens, dragons, and queer ladies. What’s not to love?

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller

I have two because I can’t just choose between two of my auto-buy authors. So we have Ninth House, which sounds mysterious and dark and cool. Then there’s Belle Revolte, a queer fantasy that already owns my heart.

(So apparently I’m a Dumb Queer who doesn’t understand release dates: Belle Revolte isn’t published until 2020, but I’m still counting it. Bite me.)

Biggest disappointment

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Here I was, thinking that I was going to read this cool sci-fi classic, and what do I get? Slow, repetitive, misogynistic nonsense! Ugh! (If you want to read my full [semi-rant] review, here it is, y’all). Oh well, you don’t love them all.

Biggest surprise

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I swap one sci-fi nocvel for another! Seriously, I was not expecting to like Honor Among Thieves as much as I did. I mean, going into it, I just hoped I wouldn’t hate it. But I ended up absolutely loving it, and all the characters are my kids. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. (Here are my mini-reviews for Honor Among Thieves and its sequel, if you’re interested!)

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

This is the year that I hope to read all of V.E. Schwab’s work. I’ve only read two, but I’m so down to read more! Just. Wow. I love everything about her writing.

Newest fictional crush

I don’t really do fictional crushes, but I would protect Beatriz from the Honors series with my whole life.

Newest favorite character

I don’t know about my bestes favorite character ever, but Rook from An Enchantment of Ravens was a fun character to read about. I enjoyed his interactions with others, as well as his personality and quirks.

Book that made you cry

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

As far as I remember, there hasn’t been a book this year that has made me cry yet. However, a book that made me sad was We Are Okay. It was such a powerful and moving read, and I really felt for the protagonist.

Book that made you happy

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab! I dunno, it just made me excited to read a middle grade novel again. It was super fun, and I can’t wait for the sequel!

Most beautiful book you bought (or received) so far this year

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Look at this cover! I can’t wait to start Girls of Paper and Fire, and even if I wasn’t interested/knew the story, I’d buy it because of the cover. Just saying.

What books do you need to read by the end of this year?

Here’s a short list:

  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • Check, Please! Vol. 1 by Ngozi Ukazu
  • I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  • Now I Rise by Kiersten White
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • all of the new releases this year, let’s be honest

And there is 2019’s Mid-Year Freak Out tag! I hope you all enjoyed seeing the different books/reactions I’ve had so far this year. Let me know if you’ve read any of these, or maybe what your fav and less fav books of this year are so far!

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Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

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LIST #12 | Top 10 Anticipated 2019 Fantasy Releases

Hi, everyone! Today, I have another list for you. It is similar to a Twitter thread I did a month ago: anticipated fantasy releases. However, while most of this list will be similar to the one on Twitter, these particular books are ones that I am personally excited for. Now, let’s get to it!


10. Over the Moon by Natalie Lloyd

Release Date: 26 March 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

Over the Moon sounds like an action-packed read! In a town where boys work in the mines and girls become servants for nobility, the girl protagonist knows she would not be able to stand a life such as that. Instead, She is chosen to train flying horses in order to battle against monsters below the town. It is extremely dangerous, but the pay off? Her family would then be well-off for years to come.

9. The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Release Date: 5 February 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

Ohhh, this book has dragons. I always love dragons in fantasy. The Ruin of Kings is focused on an assumed orphan who is actually claimed by the royal family due to political tension. However, it is not about a boy who willingly goes along with everything, but one who slowly become an antihero, refusing to live for anyone except himself.

8. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Release Date: 15 January 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

A book based on Korean mythology! I love that, and I cannot wait to see what Dragon Pearl brings. A girl who has so-called fox magic, which she is urged to hid, travels around the universe in search of her missing brother. It seems to have a mix of mythology, fantasy, and sci-fi, which is interesting!

7. Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Release Date: 2 April 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

Three teens have to team up to murder the king in order to live peacefully. Honestly, this description is enough to get me excited for any book. On top of that, sometimes I just need a darker fantasy, and this sounds like something that is right up my alley.

6. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Release Date: 6 August 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

Based on Mexican folklore, Gods of Jade and Shadows is about a woman who released the God of Death. Now she has to help him get is throne back from his brother. It also takes place during the Jazz Age, which honestly? If everything from here on out was set in the Jazz Age, I would be a-okay with it.

5. Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen

Release Date: 17 April 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

This looks so amazing! Seriously, the cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I cannot wait to read Pilu of the Woods. It is a graphic novel about a girl helping a lost tree spirit back home. It’s ultimately a book about emotions, family, and learning to control one’s feelings in a healthy way.

4. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Release Date: 2 April 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

This book has such a beautiful cover! And honestly? I love books with characters forced into thrones or royalty; one of my favorite tropes when done correctly. There’s alos a woman of color protagonist, and Descendant of the Crane is in a Chinese-inspired world!

3. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Release Date: 15 January 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

Six of Crows made me fall in love with heist books, so of course I had to get excited for another one. Gilded Wolves takes place in 1800s Paris, during the International Exposition, when a group of teens has to steal/find treasure in order for a boy to earn his inheritance.

2. The Pirory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Release Date: 26 February 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

I know I have been talking about this book a lot the last month or so, but still. Once I heard about The Priory of the Orange Tree, it soon became one of my most anticipated books of 2019. What’s not to love? There’s powerful women and dragons!

1. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Release Date: 5 March 2019
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

We still do not have a cover yet, and I feel personally attacked. You know what I alos feel attacked by? That cliffhanger at the end of Children of Blood and Bone. Seriously, I was not ready for that, and every time I think about it, I want to read its sequel.



And those are my top 10 most anticipated fantasy releases of 2019! Are any of yours on this list? Do you have others your looking forward to? Let me know!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY #4 | Most Anticipated 2019 Releases

Hi, everyone! Another Wednesday, another T5W! Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme brought to  you by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. There’s also a Goodreads group if you want to look at the prompts and participate, too! This week’s prompt is most anticipated 2019 releases… Get ready for lots of fantasy because I just did a thread on Twitter about 2019 fantasy releases not too long ago.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it!


5. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Gonna be honest, I have yet to read the Grisha Verse trilogy. But I did read Crooked Kingdom, and a few of the characters from the trilogy appear in it! So yeah, I’m pretty excited for this book, less because it’s about Nikolai, and more because it’s another Leigh Bardugo book.

Publishing Date: 29 January 2019

Goodreads

Pre-order on Amazon

Pre-order on Barnes and Noble

4. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

I’ve been meaning to read The Hate U Give for the longest time, but still haven’t gotten to it. When I heard that Angie Thomas was coming out with a second book, I still got excited along with everyone else. A YA book about hip-hop?? Yes! Who’s ready for this book to be on the NYT Best Seller’s list for more than a year? I am.

Publishing Date: 5 February 2019

Goodreads

Pre-order on Amazon

Pre-order on Barnes and Noble

3. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

I absolutely loved Children of Blood and Bone when I read it earlier this year. That ending kind of ruined me, and ya know what? Zélie deserves nice things. And if she doesn’t get these nice things, I’m rioting. Full on rioting, I don’t care. This girl has been through enough. I’m also (im)patiently waiting for the cover to come out because I know it’s going to be just as gorgeous, if not more so, than the COBAB cover!

Publishing Date: 5 March 2019

Goodreads

Pre-order on Amazon

Pre-order on Barnes and Noble

2. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

This is one of the books I saw when creating the fantasy releases list. I read the synopsis on Goodreads, a few reviews, and I fell in love. I’m really thinking of pre-ordering it, and I rarely pre-order books. And that cover??? Is absolutely gorgeous, my goodness.

Publishing Date: 26 February 2019

Goodreads

Pre-order on Amazon

Pre-order on Barnes and Noble

1. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

I’ve been seeing the hype for this book since almost the beginning. I follow Mason on Twitter, and they’re just as excited to see this book out on the shelves than all of their friends who’ve read it (probably more so, honestly). It’ll be the first YA contemporary about a non-binary teen that I’ll be reading, and I’m so excited!

Publishing Date: 14 May 2019

Goodreads

Pre-order on Amazon

Pre-order on Barnes and Noble


And these are my top 5 anticipated 2019 releases! I’m so excited for all of them, and I hope you all are, too.

What books are you excited for in the new year? Let me know!

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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