BLOG TOUR: Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas

Kingdom-of-Ashes-GalleyCatKingdom of Ashes (A Wicked Thing #2)
by Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 23rd, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Fairy Tales, Romance, Magic, Fiction, Teen

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OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
A Wicked Thing (see my review for it here)

SYNOPSIS: Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss, Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale. But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.

Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.

REVIEW: Let me start off by saying that this series is a commitment. There isn’t a lot of resolution in each book, but I think the overall series will be able to accomplish that. That being said, the pace of this book is slow. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Aurora is in her head a lot so it sometimes keeps the story and the plot from advancing as quickly as it could (so just be ready for that). At the same time, I feel like we as readers really get to know Aurora well and understand her feelings and motivations. It’s just kind of a trade-off there. Sometimes it can get tiresome with all of the, “Should I kiss Finnegan? But no, I shouldn’t. But I really want to. But I can’t.” Just kiss him already!

Outside of Aurora though, I have a hard time figuring out some of the other characters and why they’re doing what they’re doing (i.e. Finnegan, Orla, Nettle, Tristan, etc). It seems like everyone is really secretive and nobody is telling Aurora the whole story. It’s almost like we’re all still playing catch-up with her from when she was asleep. This was hard for me at times because I typically like to feel like I know more than the protagonist does. In this case, we’re just as uncertain as she is who to trust.

Lastly, even though I feel like I get Aurora, I had a hard time understanding what exactly her end goal was which made it hard for me to care all the way about the plot of the story. Does she want to be queen? What does she want to do with her magic? Does she intend to stick around for a while? We don’t really know the answers to any of these questions.

Overall, I liked this book and I will continue with the series. There were some things that I disliked about it, but they were all personal preferences and I would not consider them fatal flaws in any way. My last bit of criticism is that I wish we had been given a more complete description of the dragons. They become a big part of the story, but I had a hard time picturing them.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: None
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: None
Sexual Content: None


giveaway

Click on the above picture or this link to be taken to a Rafflecopter giveaway


RhiannonABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England.

As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog FeministFiction.com, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective.

I don’t hang out on Goodreads much, so if you want to contact me, please swing by my personal website or message me on Twitter.

Website|Goodreads|Twitter|Tumblr|Instagram


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Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

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A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

Aurora has been awoken. Now the sleeping beauty, her true love, and the rest of the kingdom will be able to live happily ever after. Except…Aurora doesn’t love Rodric, the prince who woke her. She knows that she’s nothing special so how is she supposed to live up to everyone’s expectations?

17930904I love a good fairytale retelling so this story is interesting to me since it starts at the end of the fairytale. The prince has arrived and now our story begins. I thought the beginning was solid, but I didn’t know what the plot could be. There wasn’t much conflict beyond Aurora feeling like she couldn’t live up to expectations and whatnot. I was almost sitting here wondering, “Okay, when’s the story going to start?” Even at the end, it didn’t feel like much had happened. Mostly it felt like this book exists to set up the rest of the series. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not going to capture as many readers right off the bat as it could.

The characters are fine. Again, I don’t feel like we really learn too much about them in this book. Aurora seems nice and I’m glad that there isn’t too heavy of a romance. Overall, I felt like Aurora was a realistic character. She seemed realistically conflicted at times. Other characters…not so much. But I won’t get into that because spoilers.

In the end, this was probably just a three star book, but for some reason I did find myself liking it more than that. The plot doesn’t really drive the pace of this book forward, so I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly fast read. I think the next book will definitely have more action and plot in it and hopefully some more character development as well.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: None
Violence: Heavy, but a lot of it’s “off-screen”
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: None

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Releases That I Missed

top-ten-tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t

I couldn’t pick just 10…so here are 17 books that I really, REALLY meant to get to in 2015, but just didn’t.

1) The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall – Released 1/13
2) The Prey by Tom Isbell – Released 1/20
3) Shutter by Courtney Alameda – Released 2/3
4) The Distance Between Lost & Found by Kathryn Holmes – Released 2/17
5) A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas – Released 2/24
6) The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord – Released 3/31
7) City Love by Susane Colasanti – Released 4/21
8) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Released 4/28
9) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas – Released 5/5
10) The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West – Released 5/5
11) The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – Released 5/12
12) Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway – Released 6/25
13) Armada by Ernest Cline – Released 7/14
14) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Released 7/28
15) Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs – Released 9/22
16) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow – Released 9/22
17) A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis – Released 10/6

Did any of you read these books? How did you like them? Which ones should be at the top of my list for 2016?