Book Review: Shades of Magic Series

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This week I finished A Conjuring of Light, the third installment of the Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab. Wow. Just wow. There are so many things I enjoyed about this series. So, let’s start with the most important part of any story.

The Characters.Β I adored the characters. Not only are the characters themselves unique and entertaining, but their individual development and growth throughout the books are wonderfully strategic. Kell, the Antari from Red London that can pass from world to world (and one of the only few left) starts off the story mysterious, but rather stiff. Not necessarily stiff in a bad way, just an inflexible way. Kind of emo, determined, and content to carry burdens alone. Without giving away any spoilers, his characters opens himself up to vulnerability, love, and empathy. Lila, the thief from Grey London, while technically a trope (special snowflake/tomboy) was still amazingly refreshing! In most genres, tropes are unavoidable, but if done right can still be new and fun. Schwab does it right. Lila begins the story reckless, fearless, and very lost. She doesn’t have an anchor, or anything worth caring about, which makes her fun and different to read. By the time the story ends, she learns to stop running and allow herself to open up and care about those around her. Plus, I just loved her quick tongue and sharp words and her odd obsession with wanting to become a pirate. Holland, the Antari from White London. I don’t want to say much about him, but I REALLY enjoyed his character. I love when the line between good and evil are blurred, and Holland was an excellent example of that. Prince Rhy of Red London quickly became one of my favorites, especially given his growth over the span of the series. Genuine, slightly spoiled, yet generous and kind, he starts the story simply fun loving and boyish. By the time I turned the last few pages, be had become a brave, unselfish leader who no longer valued the things he once held so dear. Lastly Alucard, a good looking charismatic captain from Red London with witty banter and incredibly gifted with magic, but his character becomes so much more than that by the end of the books. His relationships with the other characters; his loyalty to Lila, love for Rhy, and distaste for Kell, seriously made the series for me. (Not to mention so many secondary characters that were wonderfully developed.)

The Worlds.Β This is absolutely my favorite thing about Schwab’s writing style. Her ability to create, detail, and explore multiple worlds in such a unique way. She draws things out, and tells you everything. Which I know drives some people crazy, but not me. I’d rather be told too much than not enough. But that’s just my preference. She describes everything lyrically, and she lets her writing set the tempo. In this story we have Red London, Grey London, White London, and Black London. Four different worlds that somehow all overlap with their version of London. Some worlds have magic, some don’t, and some have died because of it. Kell, as well as all Antari, can travel between the different Londons, which becomes complicated as something is found in one London that shouldn’t be there.

The Story.Β The story itself is full of adventure, love, witty banter, pirate ships, murder, magic tournaments, torture, cursed stones, travel between worlds, death, betrayal, and family. You get to witness brotherly love and kinship, wounded and severed love, romance rekindled and heartbreak. While the first 150 pages A Darker Shade of Magic took me a while to get into, once the story took hold of me, I couldn’t stop reading. Once the action and story starts, it doesn’t stop until the last page. You can see the planning that Schwab put into this story, the perfectly organized plot not going unnoticed.

Series as a whole: 5 STARS

If you like epic tales of Fantasy and haven’t read the Shades of Magic series, I would highly recommend them. V.E. Schwab has me as a loyal reader and I can’t wait until the continuation of the story with her next trilogy set in the Londons.

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Do you want an ARC of The Lost Door?

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Would you like an Advanced Reader Copy of The Lost Door before it becomes available for sale? All you have to do is join my promotional team! I’m looking for 20 or 25 people who are willing to help me spread the word about The Lost Door and The Door Keeper trilogy. Here is all you have to do to be eligible:

  1. Be willing to buy the book on Amazon on December 5th. (Paperback or Kindle.)
  2. Leave a review on Amazon of the book with in the first week of release.
  3. Post about the book (Or The Door Keeper) or thoughts about either books & their respective links on Amazon on any one of your social media platforms!

That’s it! If you are willing to commit to doing those three things, I’ll send you an ARC of The Lost Door before anyone else gets their hands on it. (Also, there may be some fun bookish surprises in the mail for you as well!)

Do you have friends who enjoyed The Door Keeper? Make sure you let them know about this cool opportunity.

Email me at steen@thedoorkeepertrilogy.com if you are interested and thanks for all you support!

Blog Tour Participates Wanted!

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Hey Friends! Now that the sequel is deep in editing and my cover is almost finished, I’m looking for several bloggers to work with me on the Blog Tour for the release! My original dates of an early December release are still looking good, so as of right now, December 5th is the start date.

If you have a blog, or would just love to read and review the book and help me promote online and on social media, send me an email at steen@thedoorkeepertrilogy.com and I’ll send you all the information and make sure I get you a spot on the tour!

Please share this info with anyone you think would want to be a part of the tour, or any bloggers you know of that enjoy fantasy. πŸ™‚

Here is all of the official information for the book! So exciting!

THE LOST DOOR

 

β€œYou have every right to be scared. But I promise you this, you come from a lineage of some of the strongest and bravest women any of the worlds have ever seen. You were made to do this; my mother and yours made sure of it.”

It’s been over seven years since Eden learned the truth about where she came from and that her mother was a Door Keeper from another world. Eden’s own daughter, Gabby, is about to turn 18 and learn the story herself, and about the predestined future that lay ahead of her. As fate would have it, the worlds intervene before Eden can tell her daughter the truth, throwing the family into complete and utter chaos. Gabby must find the strength to save her Mom while grappling with unbelievable realizations about herself, her family, and what it all means for her future.

This anticipated sequel to The Door Keeper introduces interesting new characters, opens two new doors into unique and magical worlds, where our heroines must face the harsh elements and mythical creatures long thought extinct. The Lost Door explores the circle of mother/daughter legacy, the unbreakable bond of family, and the sometimes inescapable repetition of the past.

“It’s Not Fair” Book Review

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Because I am a friend of Melanie’s, I got a pre-released copy of her new book It’s Not Fair, Learning to love the life you didn’t choose.Β And yes, she sent me a hand drawn poo emoji card. With in 50 pages of the book, I texted her: I adore you more than I already did, if that is even possible.

As I am sitting here, I am finding it difficult to find the words to put together for a traditional review for this book; because reviewing this book is more like reviewing her life! All I guess I can doΒ is try to tell you how the book made me feel…so here goes.

Melanie warns you in the beginning that at times you might want to hug the book, or you might want to through it across the room. I never once wanted it to leave my hands. As a person who is indeed living a life I didn’t choose, Melanie says all of the things that I have thought at various times over the past decade. She says them with humor, pain, humility, and complete and utter honesty. It is 100% refreshing. This book gives any person dealing with pain and suffering in their life; not only the permission to question God while still seeking him, but the only thing any of us ever really need or want…the confirmation that we are not alone.

This book walks you through everything from stages of grief, to coping mechanisms, to important relationships, and finally, how to recover with your sanity intact and love your unexpected life. While giving practical advice on how to “How to fall apart like a boss,” or sayings to avoid in “Things you should say if you want a Good Face Punch,” Melanie makes you laugh, cry, hurt and heal all within the same chapter.

I will absolutely be buying copies and giving them away to my friends with fuzzy blankets and a good, firm, full-frontal hug. Thank you Melanie, for such a courageous book.

Follow Melanie’s blog or podcast atΒ http://unexpected.org/. Or follow her on Twitter @UnexpectedMel