Review: Fortune’s Fool, A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (Book 3)

By: Mercedes Lackey

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Overview:

Blurb: This is the third book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series; while it can be read as a stand-alone, it does make more sense if you have read The Fairy Godmother with certain characters that make an appearance. Katya, a daughter of the Sea King, is a spy for her father. She is sent ashore and meets a kitsune who she aids in defeating a demon. While on another mission, Katya meets the Seventh Son of the King of Led Belarus, another kingdom of the Five Hundred Kingdoms.

However, this kingdom has no Fairy Godmother, just the magic of Sasha, the Fortunate Fool and Seventh Son. Katya and Sasha fall in love, quite quickly, and end up separated when Katya is kidnapped by an evil Jinn. Katya and Sasha have separate adventures, including run-ins with Baba Yaga herself and the Queen of the Copper Mountain, as they strive to get back to one another.

Katya isn’t the only one that has been kidnapped. Because of The Tradition forcing his hand, the Jinn has been taking women of magical abilities away and keeping them to drain of their powers. One of the Swan Sisters has been stolen away by the Jinn, another captive is an actual ghost who is earth-bound. A snow maiden and shapeshifter have also been taken.

As ever with a Five Hundred Kingdoms, they also help many others along the way. All in all, a nice, happily ever after sort of story, with magical beings and multiple folk tale characters abounding.

Trigger Warnings:

Bastardization of Mythology, Blood, Bullying, Death, Disabled Character (sort of), Food, Murder, Off Screen Sex, Poor Coping Mechanisms, Purple Prose, Sex, Toxic Masculinity (mentioned in passing), Unsafe Sex, Violence, Violent Imagery, War

Body Count: 2, technically? Does it count if they’re already dead?

Continue reading “Review: Fortune’s Fool, A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (Book 3)”

Review: Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

By: Emily Carpenter

Overview:

Blurb: Althea Bell is an addict with a troubled past and a dying father. There’s a mystery surrounding her trouble mother’s past, and it may be the key to unlocking her own troubles. With a little car theft, a bit more lying, and a lot of help from her childhood friend, this is a dangerous race against the clock ticking towards her thirtieth birthday.

Trigger Warnings:

Ableism, Animal Abuse, Blood, Blackmail, Bullying, Child Abuse, Death, Drug Use (Illicit), Drug Use (Prescription), Elder Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Food, Gore, Gun Violence, Infidelity, Mental Illness, Murder, Off Screen Infidelity, Off Screen Sex, On Screen Sex, Poor Coping Mechanisms, Racism, Suicide, Theft, Unsafe Lifestyle, Unsafe Sex, Violence, Violent Imagery

Body Count: a lot

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Review: Lost Lake

By: AUTHOR

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Overview:

Blurb: Lost Lake is all about the magic in the ordinary and the beauty of taking a chance. Eby Pim decides to give up her beloved, but much deteriorated, Lost Lake resort to developer and real estate mogul, Lazlo Patterson. Lazlo’s been trying for years to get her land. But when Eby’s great-niece Kate Pheris shows up unexpectedly, her daughter Devin in tow, things go topsy-turvy and stay that way for the summer.

Trigger Warnings:

Arson, Child Abuse, Death, Food, Infidelity, Murder, Off Screen Infidelity, Suicide, Suicidal Thoughts

Body Count: 4

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Review: One Good Knight, A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (Book 2)

By: Mercedes Lackey

Available at: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Read as part of the 2020 Golden Trio Reading Challenge, prompt Arithmancy!

Overview:

Blurb: This is the second book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series and it absolutely can stand alone as a novel, but makes more sense if you’ve read The Fairy Godmother. This book focuses on Princess Andromeda of Acadia. Unexpectedly, a dragon invades their kingdom. It is by Princess Andromeda’s own research that she uncovers what can appease the beast: virgin sacrifice. It is a terrible solution for a terrible problem. Things get even worse when Andromeda herself is chosen as one of the sacrifices. A Champion of the Tradition rescues Andromeda from Adamant, and together they pursue their magical quarry across the kingdom. Things are not as clear cut as they seem, though, and brother dragons Adamant and Periapt end up more friend than foe.

Trigger Warnings:

Ableism (sight), Bastardization of Mythology, Blood, Bullying, Child Abuse, Death, Emotional Abuse, Food, Mental Abuse, Murder, Off Screen Sex, Violence, Violent Imagery, War

Body Count: not countable, for those lost at sea and more.

Continue reading “Review: One Good Knight, A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (Book 2)”

Review: The Fairy Godmother, A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (Book 1)

By: Mercedes Lackey

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Read as part of the 2020 Golden Trio Reading Challenge, prompt: Transfiguration!

Overview:

Blurb: The first book of a series, The Fairy Godmother introduces us to the world of the Five Hundred Kingdoms and the Tradition. Elena Klovis was to be her kingdom’s version of Cinderella, complete with an evil step-family and the nickname “Ella Cinders”. One problem: the prince is eleven. Elena seeks out work and is taken as apprentice to a real-life Fairy Godmother, her own fairy godmother no less. She begins training to become a Fairy Godmother herself and all the wonders, and troubles, that come with it. One of those is a Prince by the name of Alexander that turns out to be a total ass. Well, at least he turns into one after trying to mow down Elena. Now, Elena has more kingdoms to take care of, a royal jackass on her hands, and a lot more adventure on her plate than she first assumed she would encounter.

Trigger Warnings:

Blood, Bullying, Child Abuse (mentioned), Death, Emotional Abuse, Food, Murder, Violence, Violent Imagery

Body Count: Human: 3, mentioned but not displayed.

Continue reading “Review: The Fairy Godmother, A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (Book 1)”

Review: The Rules of Magic

By: Alice Hoffman

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Read as part of the 2020 Golden Trio Reading Challenge prompt: Rowena Ravenclaw.

Overview:

Blurb: This story follows the three Owens siblings: Francis, Jet, and Vincent as they grow up with the magic of their family bloodline both bringing wondrous things and absolutely wreaking havoc on their lives.

Trigger Warnings:

Alcohol, Blood, Bullying, Death, Drug Use (Illicit), Food, Infidelity, Off Screen Sex, Poor Coping Mechanisms, Purple Prose, Racism, Underage Drinking, Underage Sex, Unsafe Lifestyle, Unsafe Sex

Body Count: several, I honestly lost count.

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Review: Little Women

By: Louisa May Alcott

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

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Blurb: Little Women is a classic story of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March growing up during the American Civil War in New England. It is loosely based on the author’s childhood growing up with three sisters. The March family has its own fair share of trials of relative poverty and domestic squabbles. With patriarch Robert, the father of the four girls, absent as a chaplain in the Union Army for much of the story, Little Women focuses heavily on the interactions between four loving but flawed sisters as they grow up together, and then apart as life goes on.

Trigger Warnings: Death, Slavery (mentioned), Time Period Accurate Racism, War (mentioned)

Body Count: 1

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Review: First Frost

By: Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost: A Novel by [Allen, Sarah Addison]

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Overview:

Blurb: This is the follow up novel to Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells; set ten years after the first book, it shows the lives of the Waverley family as they await the blooming of their magical apple tree at the first frost of autumn.

Trigger Warnings:

Bullying, Death, Food, Infidelity (mentioned)

Body Count: 0

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Review: The Secrets of Ghosts

By Sarah Painter

Available on: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Overview:

Blurb: Katie Harper is turning twenty one and hopes, on this birthday, she will finally come into the powers she has been working towards for years. Most of the Harper women are known for being “wise women”, each having their own abilities. For Katie, her power suddenly appears in the wake of a death at her workplace. Now, she can see and talk to ghosts! Secrets abound with her new-found powers and danger from unexpected sources.

Trigger Warnings:

Death, Food, Gore, Murder

Body Count: 3, technically?

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Review: A Study in Charlotte

By: Brittany Cavallaro

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Overview:

Blurb: Teenager James Watson, direct decedent of that Dr. John H. Watson, ends up in the same boarding school as Charlotte Holmes. She also happens to be the latest generation, but of Sherlock Holmes’ family line. They are nothing to each other, yet, they still end up tangled together in a murder investigation that is far more complex, and life-threatening, than it first appears as not one but three of the old Holmes and Watson adventure are mocked while lives are threatened.

Trigger Warnings:

Blood, Bullying, Death, Drug Use (Illicit), Drug Use (Non-Consensual), Drug Use (Prescription), Food, Gambling (underage), Gun Violence, Mental Illness, Murder, Non-Consensual Sex, Non-Consensual Touching, Off Screen Sex, Physical Abuse, Poor Coping Mechanisms, Purple Prose, Rape (mentioned, off-screen), Self-Injury, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Toxic Masculinity, Unsafe Lifestyle, Unsafe Sex, Violence, Violent Imagery

Body Count: 2

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Review: A Berry Deadly Welcome

By A. R. Winters

Available on: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Overview:

Blurb: Kylie Berry moves to Camden Falls, Kentucky to get away from her no-good, dirty, rotten, cheater of an ex-husband. She’s offered a job at her cousin’s cafe and jumps at the chance. Unfortunately for her, she now owns the cafe and a reputation for being a harlot thanks to her ex-husband’s harridan aunt Dorothy. Things don’t get any better when her admittedly terrible cooking apparently kills her new cook! Life in the tiny town of Camden Falls looks to be trying to take Kylie out at the knees before she can even fully stand up.

Trigger Warnings:

Bullying, Death, Drug Use (Non-Consensual), Emotional Abuse, Food, Gun Violence, Infidelity, Murder, Off Screen Infidelity, Poor Coping Mechanisms, Violence

Body Count: 1

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Review: The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook

By Josie Brown

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Overview:

Blurb: Donna and Carl have three beautiful kids together. Donna strives to be a good mom, which is a little complicated when she’s a professional assassin for Acme.

Trigger Warnings:

Bullying (Adult), Bullying (Child), Death, Drug Use (Illicit), Drug Use (Non-Consensual), Drug Use (Prescription), Food, Gore, Gun Violence, Infidelity, Murder, Non-Consensual Touching, Off Screen Infidelity, Off Screen Sex, On Screen Infidelity, On Screen Sex, Sex, Smut, Toxic Masculinity, Unsafe Lifestyle, Unsafe Sex, Violence, Violent Imagery, War

Body Count: Lost count, honestly.

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Review: The Beauty of Bucharest, A Clean Up Crew Thriller, Book 1

By S. J. Varengo

Available on: Amazon.

Read as part of the Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

Overview:

Blurb: Dan Porter knows his wife Nicole is the love of his life. He knows that as sure as he knows that he has no idea who the dead body in the trunk of his car is, or how he got there. Now, Dan gets to learn all about the business side of his beloved wife and put some stamps in his passport while he does so!

Trigger Warnings:

Blood, Bullying, Child Abuse, Child Prostitution, Death, Drug Use (Illicit), Drug Use (Non-Consensual), Drug Use (Prescription), Emotional Abuse, Food, Gore, Gun Violence, Mental Abuse, Mental Illness, Murder, Non-Consensual Sex, Non-Consensual Touching, Off Screen Sex, Physical Abuse,Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault (mentioned), Slavery, Unsafe Lifestyle, Unsafe Sex, Violence, Violent Imagery,

Body Count: SO MANY

Continue reading “Review: The Beauty of Bucharest, A Clean Up Crew Thriller, Book 1”