Mini Reviews #1

Mini Reviews #1

Sometimes I like and dislike books but have very little to say about them (or can’t even begin to express how I feel).

Royal Elves (The Hisime Ara Chronicles #1) and The Pit (The Hisime Ara Chronicles #2) by Misty D. Billman

A slave with no hope. A brother she can’t save.
Beaten, battered, and enslaved, Hisime is determined to stay alive, if for no other reason than to look out for her brother.

Freedom is a dream they will never have…

Or will they?

When powerful elves who are envoys from the royal family come to visit, Hisime sees a way out. However, the elves aren’t there to sightsee, they’re there for Hisime and her brother.

Now she must make a choice: escape and leave him behind, or stay and fight for both of their lives. One choice means freedom, the other is almost certain death.

Blood runs thicker than water.
Is it possible for Hisime to save them both? Or will the elves carry them off to a worse fate?

This is a serialization (every book is a short episode–which often ends with cliffhangers). I liked the first and second book, but I have yet to read book three. I believe there will be 4+ books (don’t quote me on that). Find on Goodreads for other reviews.

The Consorts (Forbidden City #3) and The Cold Palace (Forbidden City #4) by Melissa Addey

China, 1700s. Lady Qing has spent the past seven years languishing inside the high red walls of the Forbidden City. Classed as an Honoured Lady, a lowly-ranked concubine, Qing is neglected by the Emperor, passed over for more ambitious women. But when a new concubine, Lady Ying, arrives, Qing’s world is turned upside down. As the highest position at court becomes available and every woman fights for status, Qing finds love for the first time in her life… if Lady Ula Nara, the most ambitious woman at court, will allow her a taste of happiness.

These books are not fantasy (shh), but I liked them well enough to feature them here. I haven’t (yet) read a lot of Chinese HisFic, so any suggestions are welcome. Find on Goodreads.

A Dream of Ebony and White: A Retelling of Snow White (Beyond the Four Kingdoms #4) by Melanie Cellier

Snow has always lived under the shadow of her cruel stepmother, with only her beloved father and her childhood friend–the huntsman, Alexander–to make life bearable. When her father dies, she should be crowned queen, but instead she finds herself fleeing for her life. With no allies, no skills, and no food, her future could be over before it has truly begun.

But there’s more at stake than just one life. If Snow can’t claim her throne, her kingdom faces destruction. Snow has to make a choice: focus on her own salvation or put everything on the line–even those she loves the most. And if she’s going to succeed, Snow must fight the hardest battle of all, against her own doubt and weakness, and gain new skills and strength she never imagined possessing.

Alexander is ready to help her. But if she lets him, the consequences might be more than she can bear–because her heart is in as much jeopardy as the kingdom.

I’ll read anything Melanie Cellier writes. What more do you need to know? Goodreads

Fearless (Unfortunate Souls #2) by Madeline Freeman

To save the sister he loves, Alonzo will return to a life he thought he left behind.

When his plan to locate his sister Aria fails, Alonzo must team up with a man he doesn’t trust if he has any hope of seeing her again. But when deception is part of the game, it’s only a matter of time before even the best-laid plans begin to unravel.

Fearless, an Aladdin retelling, is the second book in the Unfortunate Souls series and shouldn’t be read as a stand-alone.

You can read my review of Speechless here. I liked Fearless but I don’t have a lot to say about it. Goodreads

The Luckless (Second Age of Retha #1) by A.M. Sohma

Welcome to Retha, the full submersion video game where you can be the hero of your own adventure. Unfortunately for Kit, it only takes one moment to turn the game into a nightmare.

When Chronicles of Retha experiences a software malfunction, Kit—a disenchanted veteran player—is stuck in the game without a way to log off. Even worse, she’s trapped playing as the most defective character possible, an elf dancer that was meant to be a prank.

Thankfully, she receives word that there is a way out. But the only escape route is to defeat the game’s ultimate villain. Kit, in her joke character, must fight her way through some of the worst Retha has to offer. Her only help is a party of low-leveled players just as powerless as she is, and the occasional act of mercy from one of the best players in the game, the taciturn (and aloof) Solus Miles.

Can Kit and her new friends finish the quest, or will Retha be their end?

A.M. Sohma is the same person as K.M. Shea. I’ve been wanting to read LitRPG books by women, so I jumped right on into this book. I’m currently reading book two. Goodreads

Ice Crown, Wind Crown, Dust Crown (The Elements of Kamdaria #1, #2, #3) by Kay L. Moody

The competition could save her life…
But only if she wins.

Talise can manipulate the elements with ease; water, air, earth, and fire all bend to her will. As a citizen of the Storm—a crime-laden land where death is the only constant—her only chance for a better life is to become Master Shaper.

A competition for the position takes place at the end of her training years. If she wins, she would live in the palace, work for the emperor, and escape her inevitable death in the Storm. But she’s not the only one with a chance to win.

Aaden is another talented student. As a citizen of the Crown, he was born with unlimited privilege and resources. When someone from the Crown wants to win, they do. End of story. And his shaping is unlike anything Talise has ever seen.

Complicating matters, Talise’s loved one in the Storm gives her reason to abandon the competition altogether, forcing her to make an impossible choice.

Torn between duty and freedom, she must learn that clinging to the past, might destroy her future.

I LOVE this series. Read it. Goodreads

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