Review Tuesday: The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott

I borrowed The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott from a friend of mine. It was one of those, I was perusing her bookshelf, came across it and asked to borrow it. I was definitely not disappointed. This is my favourite book of the year so far.

shattered-courtFrom Goodreads:

Entangled in a court ruled by tradition and intrigue, a young witch must come to terms with newfound power and desire—and a choice between loyalty and survival.…

The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately bound by rites of marriage. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth—ensuring good harvests and predicting the weather. Any magic more dangerous is forbidden.

Lady Sophia Kendall, thirty-second in line to the throne, is only days away from finding out if she will be blessed—or perhaps cursed—with magic. When a vicious attack by Anglion’s ancient enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector by happenstance is Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the royal guard, raised all his life to be fiercely loyal to the Crown.

Then Sophia’s powers manifest stronger than she ever imagined they would, and Cameron and she are inextricably linked in the process. As a witch unbound by marriage rites, Sophia is not only a threat to the established order of her country, but is also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it. Faced with old secrets and new truths, she must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the delicious temptation of power.…

This book starts off simple enough – you meet the two main characters Sophie and Cameron at the very beginning. Their life is a rather ordinary one. Cameron is a Red Guard – which means that he is a royal guard and someone who can do battle magic – and Sophie is a lady-in-waiting to the Queen. She is turning 21 and when she does she will find out if she has powers or not. If she does, she becomes an item auctioned off to the noble who will benefit the Crown the most. Oh, the joys of being a woman. Obviously, as it says in the description, Sophie does come into power. And she is unbound by marriage rites. What does this mean? It means that her powers are fully her own, and when you’re in line for a throne (even far down the line) that makes for a very dangerous situation.

The plot of this book is engaging and engrossing. The magic (what you know of it) is interesting, and the intrigue of the court, and who is responsible for certain things keeps you on the edge of your seat. Nothing is quite like it seems. I will admit however, that it is a little frustrating at times because you learn things slowly and only as Sophie learns them. I want to know all of the things, and I want to know them now!

The other thing that makes this book so enjoyable is Sophie and Cameron. They start of indifferent to each other and slowly (and then quickly) a bond grows between them. An unshakeable bond. These two characters and their relationship brought me joy. I want them to succeed. I’m rooting for them all the way. I’m smiling right now just thinking of them.

The book ends with many things left unanswered. It is definitely written as the first book in a series. I am so excited for book two – which is suppose to be coming out this year but that’s all I know. This is definitely a book that I’m going to be buying for myself and most likely reading again – maybe even again this year.

Review Tuesday: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

My bestie Jay recommended The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher to me. I was a little wary at first because I’ve read the first book or two of his Dresden Files series and didn’t really like them, but because Jay had recommended it, I check it out and was immediately intrigued by the description:

aeronauts windlassFrom Goodreads:

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

Sounds awesome right? Well I decided to give it a go (thank you public library), and I flew through it. It is my favourite book of 2016 so far.

The book has 6 main characters – including Grimm – that it filters perspectives through. The main group of characters are a diverse group, and that compliment each other very well. Each character plays their role perfectly, and each character always ends up surprising you with what they accomplish, or their self-realization. None of these 6 characters are two dimensional. They are incredibly multi-facetted and always ended up surprising me as I progressed through the book.

The plot line itself I found incredibly engaging. This is book one in a new series by Jim Butcher, so there is some obvious set up happening for a larger plot that the reader at the moment isn’t aware of. However, the plot was interesting, new and different, and kept me guessing. There was the main plot of the book and what was happening, which led well into the greater plot of the series. The flow of the storyline was really great, (I only thought that one part was a little too long and unnecessary) and the different characters’ perspectives kept everything fresh and interesting.

The world building is fantastic. There was enough of it that you understood how the world worked, but there wasn’t much origin story as to why it was that way. I liked that aspect because there was no massive explanations interrupting the flow of the story.

Overall, this was a fantastic book, and definitely my favourite of the year so far. I highly recommend it if you’re into fantasy at all, plus I mean come on – ships sailing in the sky? How cool is that?!

Song Wendesday: Tap and Irish

Once upon a time I use to Irish dance. I competed and won some medals. It was a lot of fun, and every time I hear a reel my toes start to move almost as if on their accord, dancing some steps that my brain only foggily remembers.

This is one of my favourite dances from Riverdance (the second edition of Riverdance).