Thursday, 20 June 2019

In Fallen Woods - R N Merle Review


Long ago in England, and far away to the west...
In the dark heart of Fallen Woods, Darklin, a sixteen year old witch and her mother Gressyl, live hidden among the tangled trees. They are bound to a secret coven practising dark and cruel magic. Darklin is taught to be merciless and to despise humanity, to believe that beauty is treacherous, and that love and kindness do not truly exist. 

But when Darklin has a fateful encounter with a beautiful and kind hearted young man, poweful feelings are unleashed. As urges of attraction and destruction war inside Darklin’s heart, which urge will she give way to, and where will it lead her?


I didn’t know what to expect from this book having not read many books about witches. When I first got the review request the description above pulled me in straight away. 
This book had a really great flow to it considering it wasn’t action based. It had a compelling storyline which I found myself trying to read faster and faster to know what happened in the end. The first quarter of the book I would say is developing backstory and giving you a feel for the witches and I think this was the best part because I loved reading about the witches origin story. Merle really put her own fantastic spin on the legend of witches. 

I absolutely loved Darklin, she was of course, my favourite character. I started off thinking she was awful but once you realise she’s only the way she is becsuse it’s the way she’s been brought up and it’s all she’s ever known. Towards the end of the book I found myself admiring her because she is so strong and finally learns to stand up for herself and to Gressyl. I loved how in tune she ended up with her emotions as well, she went from being overwhelmed with hatred to being kind and loving and remorseful.
The setting was by far my favourite part of this book. Merle painted such an amazing picture of Fallen Woods that I could almost feel the cold and darkness creeping in through my window. 
There was a lot to love about this book and another thing I loved was watching Darklin and John’s relationship blossom.

I believe this book is part of a series called Witches of Vardyn so I am really looking forward to reading more about Darklin and the other characters. I also feel like this book was mainly establishing the world the book was set in and I’m hoping there will be more of where Darklin came from and also what happens to het after the end of this book. It’s safe to say I’ll definitely be reading the second book. 

Overall this book was literally everything I could have wanted from a witch book. It had a lot of good twists and some great characters. There was a little gore and a few times it had my skin crawling. 
I’m so glad I had the privilege of reviewing this book and I can’t wait for the next instalment. 

Would give this book 5 stars!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Priory Of The Orange Tree Samantha Shannon Review

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.
The house of Berethnet has rules Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction - but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic. 
Across the dark sea, Tane has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. 
Meanwhile the divided East and West refuse to parlay, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep. 

*SPOILER ALERT*

There was so much hype around this book when it was first released and I tried so hard not to buy it because I was trying to get through some of my other books. However when I started to see how much people were loving Priory I caved and bought it for myself. 
I also keep hearing that alot of people really want to read this book but it's too big and daunting. I got that feeling too when I saw the 800 page monster, and it took me quite a long time to get through the book but IT WAS SO WORTH IT.

This review is actually proving quite difficult to write and I don't even know where to start. 

First off I'll give praise to the utterly mind blowing world that Samantha Shannon created in this book. I felt totally immersed in the world and  it's stuck with me even after I finished the book. 

One major thing I loved about this book was the dragons! Literally they were so awesome. There aren't enough books about dragons if you ask me, but Samantha Shannon didn't skimp on these beasts. She took dragon mythology to the next level. The dragons in her world were both feared and worshipped like Gods. They are very fierce, proud and loyal creatures which I loved. Also people actually competed to have the privilege of becoming a dragonrider. 

There was so much going on in this book that it took me a while to get my head around who was who and sometimes I would read a page and have to go back to make sure I fully understood it. This didn't make the book any less enjoyable it just meant that if I wasn't concentrating for a page or two then I paid for it because I didn't know what was going on. 

The characters in the book were phenomenal, they were all so well fleshed out and detailed. My absolute favourite character was Sabran Berethnet. She was such a good queen even though she had so much pressure on her and she was so stubborn. She was very hot-headed as well when it came to certain things. She was full of emotion and even when she was acting like a merciless queen I still loved the way she cared for people and forgave them. 
I loved Ead as well, she was a very strong character, especially when she was faced with tough decisions. She never really let anyone tell her what to do and I really found myself admiring her. 

I loved all the characters in the book, apart from Doctor Niclays Roos. I thought he was a very selfish and spineless character. Although towards the end of the book I did find myself feeling sorry for him. 

The part of this book I was most looking forward to talking about was Sabran and Ead's relationship. The journey they went on together emotionally was fantastic to read. Ead started off having to protect Sabran as an order from the Priory, yet when they became good friends and eventually lovers she was protecting her for reasons of her own. 
I loved the two of them as a couple and it was amusing to see the witty comments they would make to one another.
In honesty I didn't see Sabran and Ead's relationship coming but I'm so glad they did. I have to admit it did rip my heart out when Aubrecht Lievelyn was killed. My heart broke for Sabran so I was so happy to see her realise she loved Ead. 


Overall I loved this book, it had the most complex and compelling storyline. There was so much going on and through the 800 pages I felt so attached to the characters and the world that I still miss them now. 
It was one hell of a journey and I almost didn't want it to end. Perhaps at some point I might attempt to give this book a re-read because I'm sure there are lots of things that I missed the first time around. 

Have you read Priory yet? Is it on your TBR? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!