Friday, 22 April 2016

The Reflections Of Snow White by David Meredith | Review

Genre: Fantasy , Fairy tale retelling , romance
Date published: October 2nd 2013
Pages: 155
Rating: 4/5 stars

What happens when "happily ever after" has come and gone? 

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fiancĂ©, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing: 

The king is dead. 

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old. 

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means? 

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The concept of "after happily ever after" is what made me want to read this book. I love fairy tales but I have never read any retelling similar to this one. It's more of a continuation rather than a retelling as it plays on the reality that Snow White and Prince Charming would grow old and have human problems. I think that from reading the blurb you can tell that this is going to be a sad book but wow , I did not expect it to be so heartbreaking. 

I flew through this book! It only has 155 pages which is so short in comparison to most books that I read but we get to know the character of Snow White so well and learn a lot about her life. It's absolutely worth the read , I really can't recommend it enough.

This version of Snow White is human. She isn't crazily badass or obviously strong , she's flawed and does stupid things but learns from that and regrets some things from her life , as most people do. 

You really need to read this book! It was one of those reads that make you feel so satisfied that you took the time to enjoy. You can purchase the eBook on amazon here.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare | Review

Genre: Fantasy , YA , urban fantasy.
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 8th 2016
Pages: 668
Rating: 5/5

In a kingdom by the sea…
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

Firstly , this was my most anticipated release for the past two years and let me tell you  , it did not disappoint. Cassandra Clare's other Shadowhunter series are the first YA books I ever read and The Infernal Devices books are my favourite trilogy of all time. If you haven't read any of the other books , I would really recommend reading them before you start this new series. This review is obviously from the pov of someone who has read all of the shadowhunter books and I think that all of the books are more enjoyable when read together. 

So this is the first book in The Dark Artifices and we follow our two primary characters Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs , who we met back in City Of Heavenly Fire when they were 12 years old. They are now parabatai and with that comes many problems and blessings. I really enjoyed the fact that we knew most of the characters in this book already , even if it was 5 years later. It was amazing to see what had changed in the time that you hadn't been reading about them! I also really enjoyed catching up with the old characters like Jace etc!

I felt like I was instantly invested in this new generation of shadowhunters , which is something Cassandra Clare always pulls off brilliantly! I struggled to connect with Emma for a lot of the book but I still really enjoyed her character. One of the great things about Clare's writing is that there are so many characters to love so you'll definitely click with someone! I loved the family dynamic to this book and the love and devotion that Julian had for his siblings brought me to tears many times.

I just want to talk about my favourite character from this book for a little bit as we have never  met her before , Cristina Rosales. She is from the Mexico City institute and she is studying in the LA institute. She is also Emma's best friend and honestly ,she is everything you could ever want in a friend. She's trustworthy , kind , gentle but brave. If you plan to read this book , look forward to her because she was one of the highlights.

Another highlight is that this book is definitely the most diverse out of all of Clare's books. As I mentioned earlier , we meet Mexican shadowhunters for a wonderful change. One of the Blackthorn siblings , Ty is on the Autism Spectrum and another , Dru is described as being bigger than the typical shadowhunter with their warrior like bodies but it's dealt with in a really great way and it's not negative at all! Their Uncle Arthur has a host of mental problems like brain damage. Another brother , Mark is polyamorous and bisexual. I loved seeing how these things are dealt with in this fantasy world!

This book was hilarious and heartbreaking and I never knew what to expect. As usual with Clare's books ,there are so many twists and turns that you never know who to trust or love. I would absolutely recommend this book. It's her strongest first book to date , which is saying a lot because as I said , TID is my favourite series.

Have you read this book or plan to? Leave me a comment!