The Quicksilver Court by Melissa Caruso – Review

Published: October 12, 2021

Publisher: Orbit Books

Series: Rooks and Ruin #2

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 544 (Paperback)

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
The Quicksilver Court
 continues the wildly original epic fantasy series bursting with intrigue and ambition, questioned loyalties, and broken magic that began with The Obsidian Tower.

 
Ryxander, Warden of Gloamingard, has failed. Unsealed by her blood, the Door hidden within the black tower has opened. Now, for the first time since the age of the Graces, demons walk the world.
 
As tensions grow between nations, all eyes-and daggers are set on Morgrain, fallen under the Demon of Discord’s control. In an attempt to save her home from destruction, Ryx and the Rookery set out to find a powerful artifact. But powerful enemies are on the hunt and they’re closing in fast.


BIG SPOILERS AHEAD!

Continue reading

Currently Reading: 10/11/21

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
I was counting down the days until I got my Audible credits so I could pick this one up! I really adore the characters in these books and this one is extra exciting because we get to learn more about Elizabeth’s past adventures.

The Quicksilver Court by Melissa Caruso
Another very exciting sequel! I took this with me on vacation the week before last, but didn’t have time to check it out so I’m making up for lost time. I expect I’ll actually be finishing this one up today and I can pick up another exciting book this week. 

Stacking the Shelves: 2/1/20

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly (or in my case monthly) meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and it’s all about sharing the books you’ve added to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. You can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!


Received for Review:

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The Shadow Saint by Gareth Hanrahan
As always, the folks at Orbit were kind to me this month! The Shadow Saint was pretty awesome and a review will be coming up in the next couple weeks.

The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso
YAY!!! More Melissa Caruso books set in the same world as her last series!! This time it’s set in Vaskandar and the main character is mage-marked with broken magic.  I’m so excited to start reading this. It will be published in June by Orbit.

The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold
This was one of my recent Waiting on Wednesday features. The synopsis was irresitible – private investigator to all things fantastical? Sign me up! Thanks to Orbit for the finished copy.

City of Stone and Silence by Django Wexler
Django Wexler is killin’ it with this series! Thanks to Tor Teen for the finished copy and stop by tomorrow to read my review!

Mazes of Power by Juliette Wade
A cavern city, brother against brother, and political power struggles! This book was right up my alley and the cover is super weird so I decided to give it a go. Many thanks to DAW for the finished copy.

The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell
The synopsis was cool, but the real selling point is that Brandon Sanderson blurb front and center. Thanks to Saga Press for the eARC.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
Here’s another recent WoW feature! I stumbled across this on Edelweiss shortly after that feature and downloaded it because I have no self control. Thanks to Flatiron Books!

Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha
Oh boy oh boy!! Mercenary Librarians! I picked this up on Edelweiss shortly after featuring it on my blog as well. Thanks to Tor Books for making the eARC available!

My Purchases:

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Here we go – the recently acquired subscription box books! Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian and Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco were in the December FairyLoot box. I was a little sad to cancel that one, but I can only handle so many YA books at one time. This really cool edition of Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim was in the January OwlCrate box I featured recently.

My recent audiobook purchases have kept things interesting throughout January. In the Woods was a welcome change of pace and you can check out my review HERE. Protect the Prince was a solid follow up and Steel was AWESOME. Can’t wait to share some more reviews in the coming weeks!

The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso – Review

Cover- The Unbound Empire

Published: April 30, 2019

Publisher: Orbit Books

Series: Swords and Fire #3

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 560 (Paperback)

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

The final volume of the Gemmell Morningstar Award-shortlisted Swords and Fire fantasy trilogy, in which political scion Amalia and her bound fire warlock Zaira must save the Empire from a ruthless, magical enemy. Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce, The Queen of the Tearling, and Uprooted.

While winter snows keep the Witch Lord Ruven’s invading armies at bay, Lady Amalia Cornaro and the fire warlock Zaira attempt to change the fate of mages in the Raverran Empire forever, earning the enmity of those in power who will do anything to keep all magic under tight imperial control. But in the season of the Serene City’s great masquerade, Ruven executes a devastating surprise strike at the heart of the Empire – and at everything Amalia holds most dear.

To stand a chance of defeating Ruven, Amalia and Zaira must face their worst nightmares, expose their deepest secrets, and unleash Zaira’s most devastating fire.


The Swords and Fire trilogy is one that has taken me by surprise – I truly had no idea what to expect when beginning and it has ended up being one that has blown me away. I’ve absolutely enjoyed every page, staying up far too late on several occasions so I could get past a critical plot point. This being said, I would highly recommend checking out the first book, The Defiant Heir, and also warn against possible spoilers in the paragraphs below.

Unbound Empire was a solid and rather satisfying conclusion to the Swords and Fire trilogy, however…. Yes that’s right, there’s a bit of a caveat here… it wasn’t as epically amazing as the second book. That particular installment was really in a league of its own. Unbound Empire was a great continuation of those events – battles, the Witch Lord gathering, a volcano nearly blowing up half the country.

Amalia Cornaro continues her fight for the Falcons to have their freedom while at the same time she’s trying to outmaneuver the witchlord at her country’s borders. Ruven has been trying to infiltrate the city through any means and his mind control potions and his chimeras are quite terrifying. I continued to find Kathe and Amalia’s courtship to be one of simultaneous delight and UTTER FRUSTRATION. Good grief, so much waffling back and forth! The whole book was rather full of emotion and action and ended on a pretty satisfying note.

Overall, I was pleased with the book and the series as a whole. It definitely ended up being a series I enjoyed far more than I initially expected I would. The characters were likable and the plot was engaging to the point that I was a little bit mad when I finished reading them because it meant a year wait until the next one!

Stacking the Shelves: 4/13/19

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly (or in my case monthly) meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and it’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. You can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


Received for Review:

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A Time of Blood by John Gwynne

I’m pretty excited to see where this goes. Honestly, I need a little refresher on the events of the previous book (I have vague rememberances) before I really dive into the sequel. Many thanks to Orbit for the finished copy.

The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso

I had to have a finished copy of the first book I was ever quoted in! Thanks to Orbit for the finished copy. Also, I’ve already read this and I loved it!!

Knight by Timothy Zahn

This was a surprise arrival from Tor that I hadn’t heard of before. It looks like it’s actually the second book in a series, so I’ll probably end up donating this one.

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

This sounds REALLY COOL! If I’m looking at things correctly this is actually already out in the UK (2017) but will be making it’s US debut in June. Many thanks to Jo Fletcher Books for the epic black stained pages copy!

Beneath the Twisted Trees by Bradley P. Beaulieu

I can’t believe this is the fourth installment of the Song of the Shattered Sands series already! What drama will unfold and which of the kings will survive this round? Thanks to DAW for the eARC.

Priest of Lies by Peter McLean

Another really awesome new sequel arrived in my approval emails recently. I could hardly put the first book down and I expect this to be equally epic. Thanks to Ace for the eARC.

Crowfall by Ed McDonald

And to round out the cool new books I get to read, we have this one! I can’t wait to see how this series ends – the synopsis promises more Misery than we’ve ever seen. Thanks to Ace for the eARC.

My Purchases:

Age of Legend by Michael J. Sullivan

I backed the Kickstarter for this so I could get a hardcover book this summer, but the biggest perk may have been that I got the eBook earlier this week! I’ll be making time to read this VERY soon.

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence

I’ve been wanting to read this because it’s so very unlike Mark’s other books and best of all? It was FREE on Amazon!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I finally made time to listen to this book on audio and it was sooooo good! Can’t wait to share my review.

City of Lies by Sam Hawke

I saw some great reviews of this when it was released and decided to go ahead and check it out. I’m very glad I picked this up!

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And the true gem of this haul is my Subterranean Press edition of Morningstar by Pierce Brown! It’s truly lovely and I have all the matchy-matchy numbered editions of the first three books now.

Stacking the Shelves: 12/22/2018

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and it’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. You can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


Books for Review:

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Soulbinder by Sebastien de Castell

Installment #4 already!? This series has absolutely been zooming by! Many thanks to Orbit for the finished copy.

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

One of my (and many others’) most anticipated releases of 2019 showed up rather unexpectedly. I can’t complain – many thanks to Ace for the ARC!

The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso

Guys, not only am I ultra excited to read this but MY REVIEW OF DEFIANT HEIR WAS ALSO QUOTED INSIDE!!! I have peaked as a blogger. Thanks to Orbit for the surprise ARC!

A Parliament of Bodies by Marshall Ryan Maresca

I’m so looking forward to another Maradaine Constabulary story and I see it features Dayne Heldrin from the recently released The Way of the Shield. Can’t wait to dig into this before its March release. Many thanks to DAW for the ARC.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

HarperVoyager sent the loveliest surprise package containing this and an ARC of the next book in the series.

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

I LOVED the first book in this series which I read several months ago and failed to review (woops). I imagine the sequel will be equally engaging/emotionally traumatizing. Thanks to Harper Voyager for the ARC.

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

This is series finale #3 in my latest haul and another that I’m incredibly excited to read. Vasya’s story has been such an interesting journey. Thanks to Del Rey and Netgalley for an eARC.

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke

I watched this movie sooo long ago and don’t remember much about it but I was rather intrigued when I came across this book. A creepy fairytale that comes along with illustrations was a definite yes. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the  eARC.

My Purchases:

New Moon by Ian McDonald

This was the Tor.com ebook of the month and it’s been touted as Game of Thrones meets sci-fi, so I was sold. Can’t wait to check it out when my review list gets low!

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts

I grabbed an audio copy of this on release day since I COULD NOT WAIT!!! I loved the first book and was so excited to start on this one. This is shaping up to be a fantastic series.

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

I decided to do a read through of this series before A Little Hatred is released in Fall 2019. I read this 6 or 7 years ago and remember almost nothing about it, though my opinion is much higher than it was the first time around!

The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso – Review

Cover- The Defiant Heir

Published: April 24, 2018

Publisher: Orbit Books

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Swords and Fire #2

Pages: 480 (Paperback)

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

Across the border, the Witch Lords of Vaskandar are preparing for war. But before an invasion can begin, they must call a rare gathering of all seventeen lords to decide a course of action. Lady Amalia Cornaro knows that this Conclave might be her only chance to stifle the growing flames of war, and she is ready to make any sacrifice if it means saving Raverra from destruction.

Amalia and Zaira must go behind enemy lines, using every ounce of wit and cunning they have, to sway Vaskandar from war. Or else it will all come down to swords and fire.


I thought The Tethered Mage was a pretty good debut, but Melissa Caruso has taken things to an ENTIRELY new level of awesome with The Defiant Heir. I devoured this book and now I’m all hyped up and ready for the sequel, but it’s a whole year awayyyyyy. WHYYYYY. But really, I loved this book leaps and bounds more than the first, which is no small thing as the The Tethered Mage was all kinds of good.

One of the big things for me is that the characters seem to mesh so much better in this book! Zaire is much more tolerable and has toned down the resentful hot-headedness. Marcello and Amalia are now ogling at one another less frequently and they are both taking their respective roles very seriously. Amalia is now a major political player and has a ton of influence. She’s a character to be admired. There are many new players in this book and it was just fantastic. I loved Kathe and thought he and Amalia were a fine pair of conniving little birds. Also, he’s a much more interesting paramour than good ol’ Marcello. Kathe is a love of games and (SPOILER) his being a Witch Lord means he can play games on a much bigger scale. The introduction of all the other Witch Lords was pretty awesome – I loved the descriptions of them because they seem like such fey beings and it gave them depth beyond the evil warlords they’re made out to be. Not that that isn’t what they are.

The plot of The Defiant Heir was absolutely addictive. Within the first few pages, the bodies of a Falcon and Falconer are found and it soon becomes clear that certain key people are being targeted. Surprisingly, it quickly becomes clear that the threat is coming from Vaskandar, though the Witch Lords are sovereign and don’t necessarily answer to one another so they can’t simply all be blamed. This book jumps head first into Vaskandran politics and it’s a bloody and complicated affair, though there are definitely rules – they’re not total savages after all. I’m slightly torn whether the Conclave or Amalia and Kathe’s relationship was my favorite part of the book. I’ll be honest, Marcello is super decent, but Kathe is SO much more interesting to read about he and Amalia have SO much potential to great things! Their combined intelligence resources could make them a hundredfold more powerful than they already are and their word games are a delight.

The Defiant Heir has certainly managed to impress me and I’m totally sold on this series now. I will admit that I’ve been hoping Amalia would suddenly reveal some sort of terrible affinity for magic and that she has a hidden mage-mark or something ridiculous like that… but my delight would be coupled with disappointment because it seems like such an obvious thing to throw at readers. I really just want her to stomp on the powers that be and become a formidable ruler. Oh well, we all have our dreams. Anyway, that aside, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book and if you haven’t read The Tethered Mage first, you should probably do so. The audiobooks are great, but I may prefer reading the physical book over that format. If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear what your favorite (or least favorite) parts were!

Currently Reading: 4/9/18

Cover- The Defiant Heir

The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso

I’m going to keep up with this series from now on! So far, so good. There’s already some intrigue, a few murders, the possibility of spies, etc. and I think that’s a good sign for the rest of the book.

 

 

 

 

Cover- You Die When You Die

You Die When You Die by Angus Watson

This book is absolutely hilarious. I can’t even believe that it’s making me laugh this much. And it’s not just funny, but the world is really cool! It’s like a mix of Viking and Native American culture which is (in my reading experience) a unique mash-up.

Stacking the Shelves: 2/24/18

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and it’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. You can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


Received for Review:

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Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

Harper Voyager was kind enough to send along a finished copy of this book, which I still have yet to read! It sounds really good, just have to find the time before March gets here.

The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso

This was a really exciting arrival – I read The Tethered Mage not too long ago and really enjoyed it. Now I don’t have to wait until April to read the sequel! Thanks Orbit!

84K by Claire North

I haven’t read as many Claire North books as I would like, but I was THRILLED when this showed up alongside The Defiant Heir. I mean, TWO packages on the same day containing awesome books??? Thanks to the awesome people at Orbit for the ARC!

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To Right the Wrongs by Sheryl Scarborough

I realllly enjoyed Sheryl Scarborough’s first book To Catch A Killer so I was thrilled to find out there would be a sequel. It’s a contemporary thriller, which is a nice change of pace from my usual reads. Thanks to Tor Teen for the finished copy.

Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Well, one of my newest favorite author’s is back again with another Maradaine novel. This time we’re back with the Rynax brothers and getting ready for a tough new break-in. Thanks to DAW for the finished copy.

Blood of Assassins by R.J. Barker

I’ve heard SO many great reviews of this already so I was really happy to finally get my copy from Orbit and see what the deal is with this book! Much excite. Very read.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Murder mystery with a Groundhog Day twist. Sounds like my kind of weirdness. I would like to point out that the US title is different than the UK title which has been driving me absolutely mad. I thought I was crazy for just a bit there.

My Purchases:

Cover- Legend

Legend by David Gemmell

I decided to see why there would be Fantasy awards in honor of both the author and the book… I see why now. This book was AMAZING. I’ll have a review up shortly!