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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao ARC {4.5 Stars}

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao ARC {4.5 Stars}

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (Rise of the Empress)
Published by Philomel on Oct. 10th, 2017
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

4.5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

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Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust ARC {DNF}

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust ARC {DNF}

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Published by Flatiron Books on Sept. 5th, 2017
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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rozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Girls Made of Snow and Glass from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

I’ve been being so picky with my reads lately that I have a number of DNF’s that I’d like to talk about. Remember that DNF is my default, so if I’m not absolutely loving a book, I won’t finish it. Therefore this doesn’t AT ALL mean this isn’t a good book that could probably have gotten 3 stars from me if I forced myself to keep going.

Strengths:
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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones {4 Stars}

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones {4 Stars}

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong #1)
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on Feb. 7th, 2017
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Romance
Page Length: 436 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Reflections by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Reflections by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Reflections by Seanan McGuire
Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal
(Indexing #2)
Published by 47North, Brilliance Audio on Jan 12th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 325 pages
Audio Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
How I got my copy: Purchased
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“For her to love me, she had to be willing to kill me. Anything else would show that her heart was untrue.”

The struggle against not-so-charming storybook narratives isn’t the only complicating factor in Henrietta “Henry” Marchen’s life. As part of the ATI Management Bureau team protecting the world from fairy tales gone awry, she’s juggling her unwanted new status as a Snow White, dealing with a potentially dangerous Pied Piper, and wrangling a most troublesome wicked stepsister—along with a budding relationship with Jeff, her teammate.

But when a twisted, vicious Cinderella breaks out of prison and wreaks havoc, things go from disenchanted to deadly. And once Henry realizes someone is trying to use her to destroy the world, her story becomes far from over—and this one might not have a happily ever after.

Indexing: Reflections is New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s continuing new urban fantasy, where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Hunted by Meagan Spooner ARC {5 Stars}

Hunted by Meagan Spooner ARC {5 Stars}

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Published by HarperTeen on March 14th, 2017
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

5 Stars

Hope you all are still enjoying my bare-bones, just-notes reviews when I must!

Note: I received an advanced copy of Hunted from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Indexing by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {5 Stars}

Indexing by Seanan McGuire Audiobook {5 Stars}

Indexing by Seanan McGuire
Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal
(Indexing #1)
Published by 47North on Jan. 21st, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 404 pages
Audio Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

“Never underestimate the power of a good story.”

Good advice...especially when a story can kill you.

For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected—perhaps infected is a better word—by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.

That's where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. When you're dealing with storybook narratives in the real world, it doesn't matter if you're Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the Wicked Queen: no one gets a happily ever after.

Indexing is New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder ARC {5 Stars}

The Rat Prince, a middle-grade retelling of Cinderella, has just enough twists and surprises to keep the story fresh, and the characters – both new and traditional – are charming and delightful.  Readers both young and old will keep turning pages to find out how the story ends.  We know that villains will lose, heroes will win, and love will conquer all …. but just how this fairy tale will conclude is up for grabs until the very end.

Note: I received an advanced copy of THE RAT PRINCE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder ARC {5 Stars}

The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder
Published by Farrar on August 23, 2016
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, MG
Page Length: 260 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Cinderella thinks she must work alone to save her noble family from the ruin and disgrace her stepmother has brought to Lancastyr Manor. She has an ailing father, a sweet, innocent little stepsister, and dependent servants to protect from the wicked Wilhemina--and no way to call attention to their plight unless she figures out how to attend the royal ball.

But Cinderella knows nothing of the ancient pact between the House of Lancastyr and the rats who live within the walls of her ancestral home.

Nor is she aware that the sleek black rat she thinks is her pet is actually the Rat Prince...and she is not alone.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff ARC {4 Stars}

RED Blog Tour Banner

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff is an adorable and whimsical retelling of the classic fairytale and has convinced me that I need to go back and read Shurtliff’s other retelling. I loved the combination of clever spins to the familiar fairytale and additions from other fairytales, along with a story about friendship, family, and dealing with death. Many of you know that I lost my grandmother last year, and this was honestly quite a cathartic read for me and I imagine it would be similarly useful for children who are grieving.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff ARC {4 Stars}

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
Published by Knopf on April 12th, 2016
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, MG
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.
But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Peddler’s Road by Matthew Cody eARC {4 Stars}

The Peddler’s Road by Matthew Cody is a fantastic retelling of the story of the Pied Piper with cameos from several other fairytales and most importantly starring a sister and brother team where the brother has a physical disability and saves the day anyway. I was excited about The Peddler’s Road the moment I saw it because I was pumped about a middle grade fantasy that was retelling the Pied Piper story (since I like  dash of creepy!), but when I started reading, I realized that this story is so much more on top of that awesomeness. This is a book that I will actively put into the hands of young readers, especially young readers who have a disability and want to see themselves as the hero of a story.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Peddler’s Road from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Peddler’s Road by Matthew Cody eARC {4 Stars}

The Peddler's Road by Matthew Cody (The Secrets of the Pied Piper #1)
Published by Knopf on Oct. 27th, 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

It is said that in the thirteenth century, in a village called Hamelin, a piper lured all of the children away with his magical flute, and none of them were ever seen again.

Today tough, pink-haired Max and her little brother, Carter, are stuck in modern-day Hamelin with their father . . . until they are also led away by the Piper to a place called the Summer Isle. There they meet the original stolen children, who haven’t aged a day and who have formed their own village, vigilantly guarded from the many nightmarish beings that roam the land.

No one knows why the Piper stole them, but Max and Carter’s appearance may be the key to returning the lost children of Hamelin—and to going home themselves. But to discover the secrets of the Piper, Max and Carter will have to set out on a mysterious quest down the dangerous Peddler’s Road.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights and the start to a new fantasy series. I listened to the audio version of The Wrath and the Dawn, which messed up my reading experience a bit I think, but it also turned out to be still not the right kind of romance to woo my cold cold heart ;-). Really, if the description of The Wrath and the Dawn appeals to you, you’ll probably love it. If not, then you’ll probably be like me and enjoy the lovely writing, but not fall madly in love with the story.

Note: I received an audio copy of The Wrath and the Dawn from the publisher. Listening to the audiobook greatly influences my reading experience.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Narrated by Ariana Delawari
(The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12th, 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Page Length: 395 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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