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Book Review: Crown of Coral and Pearl

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen…and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Oh did I enjoy this book. I started this book with absolutely no expectations. But I found Mara Rutherford’s dark and magical world of Illara so inviting that I now never want to leave. From page one, I was completely hooked. I adore Nor and Zadie, in ways it reminds me of the relationship I have with my own sister. I did find that Nor was a tad weepy. Someone get this girl a tissue! After I finished the book, I immediately googled Rutherford and I was so pleased to find out that this is going to be a series and I cannot wait to see where she goes with this story. It is definitely far from over. 

The ending was incredibly enjoyable though unexpected. A giant four star rating for this gem of a book. I would like to personally thank Mara Rutherford, NetGalley, and Harlequin Teen/Inkyard Press for the opportunity to review this title. 

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

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Book Review: Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep #1)

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Who doesn’t love a badass viking chick? I love the harsh truth of viking culture within this book. I will admit, this book was not on my radar until I received an ARC of the sequel. I found myself drawn in almost immediately. I love how fiercely loyal viking clans are portrayed and how even if you are a woman you are equal on the battlefield. 

The writing in this book really sticks with you because of its sheer poetic beauty. I love that most of the characters are strong women. We need more of these in today’s fiction!
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley.