Book Review: Blood for Blood – Ryan Graudin

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Title: Blood for Blood (2016)
Series: Wolf by Wolf – Book 2
Author: Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Extent: 496 pages
Release Date: October 6, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Description

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

Review

Blood for Blood is likely one of my most anticipated releases of the year — I freakin’ loved Wolf by Wolf from start to finish and that book was in fact one of my rare five-star reads. I was really, really worried that the sequel wouldn’t live up to expectations… but I’ll tell you now: it really did. This review will contain spoilers for Wolf by Wolf, so please tread with caution.

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Book Review: The Winner’s Kiss – Marie Rutkoski

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Title: The Winner’s Kiss (2016)
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy – Book 3
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: Young Adult, Historical
Extent: 484 pages
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

Review

Finally, the last book in this political and war trilogy! I tore into this book pretty much right after the great adventure that was The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime, and while I didn’t love it as much as its predecessors, it’s still a pretty solid book. This review contains spoilers for the earlier books, so please turn back now if you’re planning to read them. 🙂

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Book Review: The Winner’s Crime – Marie Rutkoski

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Title: The Winner’s Crime (2015)
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy – Book 2
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy
Extent: 416 pages
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Review

I picked up The Winner’s Crime right after finishing The Winner’s Curse (thank god for e-books), and… what do you know, tensions are thicker, stakes are higher, our characters more developed. This review contains spoilers for the first book, so please turn back if you haven’t read that yet and plan to. 🙂

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Book Review: The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski

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Title: The Winner’s Curse (2014)
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy – Book 1
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: Young Adult, Historical
Extent: 355 pages
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Review

The first time I saw The Winner’s Curse, I thought it was something akin to Kiera Cass’s The Selection, which I DNF-ed pretty much instantly. The cover, after all, is similar: there’s a girl in an extravagant ball gown, and her expression is not a happy one. Well… let me just say that the two are very, very different, and I regret not reading this book sooner.

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Book Review: My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

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Title: My Lady Jane (2016)
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy
Extent: 491 pages
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

Review

I actually picked up My Lady Jane more or less on a whim. The cover didn’t interest me. The synopsis didn’t interest me. The authors didn’t interest me. But after hearing so many of my trusted bloggers say that this book was surprisingly funny and unique, I just couldn’t resist — and let me tell you right now that it was the right decision. 😛

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