Reading Lately: January 2021 Edition

Well, it seems like the holidays were the time for me to read. I ended up finishing 7 books since last time, mainly because I had time to just sit and read. It was nice.

Reading Lately: January 2021 Edition | Book reviews of Kill the Queen, Protect the Prince, Crush the King by Jennifer Estep;  The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick,  Marie Brennan; The Future Is Yours by Dan Frey; Nyxia Uprising by Scott Reintgen; A Blight of Blackwings by Kevin Hearne | Puppies & Pretties

What I’ve been reading lately

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep: I read this entire series in about a week. These books are ones you can just sink into and all of a sudden, you’ve read 100 pages. Evie is about 17th in line for the crown, an orphan, no noticeable magic and gets all the royal jobs no one else wants to do like teas and baking pies for a delegation. Then her cousin, the crown princess, kills the queen and all the other Blairs she can find. Evie just barely escapes because of her hidden magic and flees to a gladiator troupe. There, she learns to fight so she can attempt to take the kingdom back from her cousin before she plunges it into war. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked the characters, especially Evie. Plus the secondary characters are top notch too. The magic is fun and there are gladiators!
4 out of 5 stars

Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep: This picks up shortly after book one. Evie succeeded and is now queen. But now she has to try to pick up the pieces her cousin left and make amends with the neighboring country, Andvari. While Evie is always on the lookout for assassins, here she realizes she also has to protect a prince so that their countries aren’t pulled into war. This book sees Evie growing into her role as queen, even as she questions if she really should be.
4 out of 5 stars

Crush the King by Jennifer Estep: Evie is still queen, she protected a prince and now she has to face off with the king that started this entire thing, the king of Morta. Everyone gathers for the Regalia Games – a three day festival where all the countries gather to see the best gladiators and other skills. This book is a culmination of all the things that Evie has learned – who she is, what she can do, and what she is willing to do for her country. I loved the ending; as we have heard throughout the series, Bellonans play a long game. If you are looking for a fun series that has interesting characters, magic, politics, action and a little romance thrown in, pick up this series.
4 out of 5 stars

The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick, Marie Brennan: Ren and her sister are back in the city they grew up in before they fled to pull the biggest con of their lives. Both grew up on a crew that thrived on thievery and cons. Now Ren is attempting to con the elite of the city by being one of them and eventually be accepted by one of the noble houses. But there is a dark magic swirling around the city, and it seems that Ren is right in the middle of it. I really enjoyed the characters in this one. The plot was also solid. How can you go wrong with cons, political intrigue and an unknown backer? The only miss for me was the magic – I just wish it was explained a bit more. But I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan to pick up the next book.
4.5 out of 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

The Future Is Yours by Dan Frey: This was an interesting read. Two best friends that met at Stanford – one an extroverted sales guy, the other an introverted genius. They build a company around a device that can more or less see the future one year in advance. The story follows the two as they build the company and get closer and closer to going pubic with the device. But things start going wrong – what if the device destroys the world? This really delves into the relationships between the two friends along with the rest of their circle. It is told through memos, emails and text messages, so that takes a bit getting used to. I’m still not sure what I think about the ending on this one though. It is an interesting twist and not exactly what I was thinking would happen. A solid book about tech, relationships and how far people are willing to go for their dream.
3.5 out of 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

Nyxia Uprising by Scott Reintgen: I had read the first two books in this trilogy awhile ago. Finally picked up the finale. It picks up right after book two with Emmett and the rest of the team trying to get back home to Earth with the few Imago that are left. But they have to get past Babel first. Oh, and the world they are on is about to end due to the moons colliding. This book was a little heavy handed with the “what is right” if you ask me. But it is full of action and the characters are pretty good. I’m glad I finally finished this series.
3.5 out of 5 stars

A Blight of Blackwings by Kevin Hearne: It’s been awhile since I read the first book in this series, so it took me a bit to get back into the world. But once I settled in, man this was good. This series is told mostly through a bard telling the stories from multiple viewpoints, with “current time” mixed in between. There is cool magic (aka kennings), there is political intrigue, and action. All of my favorite things. The characters are fantastic too. Even though there are a lot of characters, you don’t really “lose” any of them because the pacing of the story is so strong. Definitely recommend this series so far and can’t wait until the next one comes out.
4.5 out of 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

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