Book Review: Savage Monarchs by Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook!

Savage Monarchs is the final book in the Nocturnal Academy series by Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook (though the story does not end here- the next series they wrote is a direct continuation of what happens after this book!). As always, I received an ARC of this book and am re-posting my review here as a courtesy to the authors! I originally reviewed this book back in February on Goodreads.

Here’s the blurb:

Escaping the academy was just the beginning.

I’ve made it out of Nocturnal Academy.

No longer do I exist to please the vamps. Now, as a member of the Winter Court, my job is to execute them. But maybe my new standing is no better than being a courtesan. Now I am to become an assassin for the King of the Winter Court. The rules of the game might’ve changed, but I’m still a pawn.

If the King of the Winter Court thinks that I’m going to turn into a mindless soldier after everything I’ve been through, he’s in for a rude awakening. I’m going to do this on my terms while keeping a wall around my heart at all times.

I will not be vulnerable again.

Life, however, has other ideas. Like throwing in a friend from my past and worse, Thorsten, a handsome jerk of a vampire who has messed with my mind and feelings one too many times.

I might’ve left Nocturnal Academy, but I’m far from safe.

Enter a magical world where a half-fae will fight for her voice to be heard!

And the cover:

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And my review!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Savage Monarchs wastes no time jumping right back into the action of the previous books! It begins with the vampire Thorsten witnessing everyone freaking out over Onyx escaping the Academy. He doesn’t quite know where she went, but he is happy she escaped- and he hopes to see her again.

Meanwhile, we find out that Onyx has actually been spirited away by her father, who is King of the Winter Court. This confirms what Onyx suspected all along- she inherited ice magic from her father. She is pretty wary of her father, because she thinks he saved her so her could mold her powers to use for his own devices. Despite this, she wants to train and become a warrior princess for the Winter Court. Her goal throughout this novel is to find a way to kill Volthus, the vampire that “bought” her at the end of the last book.

I enjoyed this book, and I thought the ending was kind of sweet. I have to wonder, though, how this girl so quickly became a warrior. One minute, she’s at the Academy barely able to conjure any sort of magic; the next minute, she can fight and outsmart vampires (and fae) that are way older and more experienced? Anyway, this is still a pretty good story! Supposedly the next few books in the series will focus on other characters (neither of whom I’m very fond of), but hopefully we’ll see more of Onyx someday!

I gave Savage Monarch 4/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: The Fracture by Margo Ryerkerk!

In January of this year (just like my last book review, geez) I read and reviewed a short story by Margo Ryerkerk. It’s set in the Ardere series universe (which is now called the Dark Legacy series, but whatever) so yeah… on to my review!

Here’s the blurb:

Oh… there is no blurb. Moving along…here’s the cover:

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That guy has a totally smackable face, ugh. I don’t know why but he bugs me and doesn’t really look like the character he represents in the book! Anyway, here’s the review I posted on Goodreads:

This book begins with Gavin and Cooper training for their final exams at their high school. Gavin is showing promise as the best in his class, but all he wants is for he, his two best friends (Cooper and Dominic) and his girlfriend (Pia) to stick close together after graduation. Unfortunately, during this training, Dominic decides to go take a walk and is murdered. Gavin subsequently blames himself for some reason (as if Dominic needed a babysitter or something!) and develops a whiny, woe-is-me attitude.

Despite this, Gavin still ends up graduating as the top Dragoon in his class and has many great opportunities laid out before him. However, he can’t get over Dominic’s death, and he continues to pull away from everyone and everything. This ultimately costs him his relationship with Cooper and Pia, but sets the stage for the beginning of Fluidis Rising! This was a nice little backstory that I really enjoyed reading!

I gave The Fracture 4/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Vicious Royals by Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook!

I know I have been posting my monthly gaming recaps, and I do have one for May! However, I’m so damn slow at actually putting out blog posts, I’ve accumilated quite the list of posts I want to do. So instead of doing my recaps, I’m going to tackle that list- in the order I wrote them down in- so I can finally get all my posts done. I’ll still throw my recaps in there- at this rate, I’ll do my May recap in December. Whatever, I suck, moving on….

Vicious Royals is the 2nd book in the Nocturnal Academy series by Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook. I reviewed this book in December 2019 on Goodreads! Here’s the blurb for the book:

A sadistic vamp lord. A rebellious fae. A vicious hunt.

The first term of Nocturnal Academy is over. Majors have been assigned.

I’ve made choices that brought me closer to the guillotine. But the fight isn’t over, not yet.

I must get through the spring term. Not an easy feat when the vamp students are planning a sacrifice and have a bone to pick with me.

But even if I survive the prison academy, someone will be buying my contract after school is out, and rumor has it that the king of sadists is interested in me.

Whatever he wants, he gets.

But if he thinks I’ll go down without a fight, he has another thing coming.

I’ll even ally myself with Thorsten, the vamp guard whose family the sadist has wronged.

But working together with Thorsten brings new problems. The handsome jerk seems to hate me, yet keeps putting his head on the line for me.

My mind is growing more and more confused with him while my body craves him.

If I’m not careful, I’m going to leave Nocturnal Academy not just with a slavery contract, but also a broken heart.

Dive into a world where vampires rule over fae, and one girl is determined to change it all!

Vicious Royals is the second book in the Nocturnal Academy trilogy.

Book three will be published in winter 2020.

And the cover:

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And my review!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Vicious Royals is the second book in the Nocturnal Academy series (formally Nocturna Academy- the name was changed!). This book was mostly told from Onyx’s point of view, though occasionally it is told from Thorsten’s point of view- more on him in a second!

Vicious Royals begins with Onyx in class for her courtesan major. Because of her (in my opinion, dumb) stunt she pulled at the end of the previous book, she is basically training to become a sex slave for a vampire. The teacher tries to make it sound enticing, saying shit like “You are more than someone to sleep with… you are his companion, his champion, his muse…” Yeah, okay. That’s ridiculous!

Thorsten, meanwhile, is a vampire guard at Nocturnal Academy who has helped Onyx on several occasions. He’s pissed about her recent decisions, but still tries to keep her best interests in mind anyway. Onyx can be a little hard to deal with, though. She really is quite baffling in this book- sometimes she seems quite haughty, as if she is better than everyone else. I’m not sure where the attitude comes from, but maybe she’s just trying to grow a thick skin so she can survive her situation!

In the end, Onyx knows she doesn’t want to be sold off, so she forms a daring plan for her escape. Vicious Royals ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

I rated Vicious Royals 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Rogue Blood by Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook!

Rogue Blood is a short story set in the Nocturnal Academy universe. I originally posted this review on Goodreads in December 2019! Here’s the blurb for the book:

As a half fae, Onyx Logan knows not to trust anyone since they might have contacts to the vampires, who’d love nothing more than to enslave a fae like her.

However, when Onyx and her mother are threatened by their landlord, Onyx becomes desperate to keep a roof over her head and accepts a waitressing job.

The bar has a lot of strange customers, and Onyx promises herself to get out as soon as she saves enough money.

Just as she is about to quit, something horrible happens…

Dive into a world where vampires rule over fae, and one girl is determined to change it all!

Nocturnal Academy is a four-book series (prequel and trilogy)

The prequel, Wicked Nobles has been released as part of the Academy of Magic boxset.

Book 1, Cruel Elites will be released on the 5th of December.

Book 2, Vicious Royals will be released on the 18th of December.

Book 3, Savage Monarchs will be released in winter 2020.

The cover:

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And my review:

Rogue Blood is a short story that takes place in the Nocturnal Academy universe, just before Onyx begins attending the Academy. The story begins with Onyx at school, where rich, snobby girls are making fun of her. She tries not to react to them, because her mom told her rich people are often involved with vampires. This means that if they find out that Onyx is half fae, she could be in big trouble!

After school, Onyx discovers that she and her mom are about to be evicted from their apartment because her mom couldn’t afford to pay the rent. She is unsure of what to do but wants to help out somehow. It just so happens that she meets a woman at a bookstore, who in turn offers her a job at her bar. I wanted to slap Onyx and say “NO! Don’t do it!” Of course, she ends up taking the job because she doesn’t want to be evicted.

As the saying always goes, if something is too good to be true, it probably is… and Onyx ends up getting herself in a really sticky situation. I feel bad for her, though, knowing that she is doing all of this for her mom… and her mom just ends up selling her to the vamps! Anyway, I enjoyed this fun little story, and it was interesting to get a glimpse into Onyx’s life before Nocturnal Academy!

I gave Rogue Blood 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Cruel Elites by Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook!

Margo Ryerkerk has been a busy lady! She’s been putting out a lot of books lately, and is still so kindly sending me ARCs to read and review. I already posted my review for the prequel to the Nocturnal Academy series back in March, so here is the review for Book #1, Cruel Elites!

I originally reviewed this book on Goodreads in December 2019. Here’s the blurb for the book:

In a world ruled by vamps, being half fae and magicless sucks.

Surviving the summer term at Nocturna Academy taught me three things.

1. There’s no escape out of the castle.
2. I’ll be trained as a servant to the vampires or worse—a courtesan.
3. I can fight for what I want from the inside out.

In the last few months, I’ve lost my mother, my best friend, and my freedom.

I’ve done unimaginable things, but I’m not broken.

The Placement Tests are coming up, and I will crush them. I refuse to end up as a vampire’s plaything. I’ll become the 1 out of 100 fae who gets to shape her own fate.

I don’t care how hard I have to work or how improbable my chances are.

My relentlessness and desperation will pay off.

Or at least that’s what I thought.

Because between a mysterious vampire guard confusing me, my nemesis circling in on me like a viper, and a new teacher hating my guts, all my efforts seem to only make everything worse.

If I’m not careful, I won’t end up as a courtesan, but as dead meat.

Immerse yourself into a world filled with magic, danger, and romance.

If you love Richelle Mead, Jaymin Eve, and Bella Forrest, you’ll love Nocturna Academy.

Cruel Elites is a fae academy novel and the first book in the Nocturna Academy trilogy. It is highly recommended to read the prequel Wicked Nobles first, which can be found in the Academy of Magic boxed set.

Book two and three of the trilogy will be published in December 2019 and January 2020.

And the cover:

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Here’s my review!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

Cruel Elites is the first book of Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook’s new series, Nocturna Academy. They released a prequel for the series which I recently reviewed! I recommend reading it first, as it does give you an excellent backstory for Onyx, the main character. Anyway, Cruel Elites begins with Onyx debating what the hell she should do with herself, because she accidentally killed a fae prince named Preston. Preston had offered to help her escape Nocturna Academy over the summer, but as it turns out, he was nothing but a giant creep. Onyx only wants to get away from him, but she ends up summoning ice and killing him- despite the fact that she thought she had no magical abilities.

With that being said, Onyx resigns herself to the fact that she is pretty much stuck at Nocturna Academy. As was explained in the prequel, she was sold to the vampires by her mother and forced to attend Nocturna Academy so she could learn how to be a good little slave fae for the vampires. In the prequel, she was all about escaping, but in this book she’s a bit more conflicted. She still wants to escape, but she sometimes feels as though maybe she should just accept her fate and try to impress the vampires so she can get a better job with them.

All the classes Onyx and the other fae are taking are meant as practice for their Placement Tests so they can see what course of study they will take for the remainder of their time at the academy. Only one fae receives Independent Study, which means they can choose their own course of action. Onyx spends the entire time trying to hide her magical powers because she doesn’t want anyone knowing what she can do. No spoilers here, but in the end, Onyx does something that I saw as extremely dumb! She may have thought she was being selfless, but to me it was a little out of character and just made no sense. Let’s hope that her decision plays out well for her in the next book!

I rated Cruel Elites 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

P.S. I mentioned this in my prequel review, but in the prequel as well as Cruel Elites, Nocturnal Academy was actually called Nocturnal Academy before the authors changed it- so I didn’t make a type there 😉

Book Review: Wicked Nobles by Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hooks!

Recently, Margo Ryerkerk (who graciously sends me ARCs of her books) teamed up with writer Holly Hook for a brand new series called Nocturnal Academy. Wicked Nobles is a prequel to the series and gives us a little insight into the main character, Onyx Logan. Please note that this book is part of a compilation called Academy of Magic, so I don’t think there’s any way to purchase it separately! This is the same compilation that my last book review was featured in, so click here if you want to see the book cover and read my thoughts. With that being said, here’s what I wrote on Goodreads about Nocturnal Academy:

Image result for margo ryerkerk wicked nobles
This is the only cover art I could find for the whole collection- nothing just for Wicked Nobles. Kind of lame, but you get the idea!

Wicked Nobles is the prequel to the forthcoming Nocturna Academy series by Margo Ryerkerk and Holly Hook. The main character is a girl named Onyx (what a bad ass name!). She is half fae, but doesn’t appear to have any magic, which makes her pretty low on the totem pole as far as supernaturals are concerned. Nevertheless, she has to keep her fae identity a secret or risk enslavement by vampires.

Of course, the vampires find out about Onyx’s identity… because her mom SOLD HER. Wow, great mother… anyway, Onyx is forced to attend Nocturna Academy, where vampires and faes go to school together. While the vampires learn how to lead, the faes learn how to best serve their future vampire masters.

Onyx is not subservient and has no desire to conform to the vampire’s demands, so she immediately begins plotting ways to get the hell out of Nocturna Academy. One of her teachers offers to help her, but she quickly learns that everything is not black and white, and escaping may be more difficult than she thought.

This book makes me SO excited for the Nocturna Academy books. The series seems like it’s going to touch on some pretty dark subject matter, and I can’t wait to see what happens to Onyx!

I gave Wicked Nobles 4/5 stars on Goodreads! Also, note that in this book, the academy WAS called Nocturna Academy instead of Nocturnal Academy- I didn’t make a typo there! The authors changed the name after the first book due to… stuff. Haha 😉

Book Review: Phoenix Unleashed By Margo Ryerkerk!

Back in March, I reviewed the final book in The Ardere Series by Margo Ryerkerk- Phoenix Unleashed! Since then, this series has been renamed as the Dark Legacy Series, so that might confuse a few people looking for previous books in the series! Anyways, since this was the 5th and final book in the series, I was really looking forward to seeing how everything ended! Here’s the blurb:

Bahadur has awoken.
His touch will enslave everyone.
Only Sierra can stop him.
Bahadur’s ascension shakes the world. Able to kill with one touch, steal supernatural auras, and turn humans into bloodthirsty henchmen, he’s invincible.

The only person who stands a chance to stop his tyranny is Sierra. Prepared to do whatever it takes to defeat him, she throws herself into danger. Unfortunately, her impulsiveness backfires and puts her in a worse position.

Desperate to undo her mistake, Sierra travels across the world to find the one magical object that might give her a fighting chance against Bahadur.

However, Bahadur is two steps ahead of her and makes a move no one expected.

Will Sierra find a way to triumph over him or will Bahadur succeed and drag the whole world into darkness?

Read it now to unlock the conclusion to the Dark Legacy series!

And the cover:

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Totally gorgeous!! Anyway, here’s my review for Phoenix Unleashed:

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

The final book in the Ardere (oops, I mean the Dark Legacy) series is Phoenix Unleashed. Everything Sierra, Gavin and the others have been working to accomplish over the past few months has been compromised with the rise of Bahadur. Now, the focus is on training each of the Ardere factions to fight against him effectively.

At first, Sierra’s attitude really sucks. She seems high and mighty and acts like she is some brilliant war strategist who knows everything. Her haste almost gets people killed, so she kind of has to reel in her attitude a little bit. Even Gavin notices the change in Sierra, and he tells her at one point that her “sense of duty extends to everything but our relationship.”

While Sierra continues to tap into her Fluidus powers and gains power, she is taken captive by Bahadur. Again, she thinks she is more brilliant than him, and is constantly attempting to outsmart him. Bahadur said something I was thinking the entire time: “You think that after 18 years of being on this planet you can stop a plan that had been in the making for over 300 years?”

Without spoiling anything, the ending is pretty much what you would expect. Everything wraps up really neat and tidy. I’m glad the series ended on a good note, because I really enjoyed it as a whole. At the beginning of this book, I felt almost as though some of the characters lost a bit of dimension, but everyone kind of got their spark back by the middle of the book. Sierra’s know-it-all attitude annoyed me for most of the book, because I felt like it was such a sharp departure from how she is portrayed in the rest of the series. I don’t see her as much of a leader, though everyone around her seems to think she is.

Anyway, despite my minor gripes, this was a really good series that I enjoyed very much. I’m sad it’s over and I can’t wait to see what Margo Ryerkerk writes next! 🙂

I gave Phoenix Unleashed 4/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: The Hansel and Gretel Curse by Margo Ryerkerk!

The Hansel and Gretel Curse is the third and final book in the Cursed Fairy Tale series by Margo Ryerkerk. It wrapped up loose ends from the first two books, and I thought it was a great book to tie everything together!

Here’s the blurb:

A vicious witch.

A dark curse.

A lost kingdom.

After a mysterious woman comes to Gretel’s village, her brother Hansel disappears without a trace. Gretel soon discovers that the traveling beauty wasn’t just any woman, but a wicked witch who steals willpowers, transforming humans into slaves.

Determined to rescue Hansel, Gretel ventures into the lair of the witch, the Black Forest, swearing she’ll either leave with her brother or die trying.

An evil force has befallen General Stefan’s kingdom. The evil witch of the Black Forest is poisoning the royal family and the whole country. She must be brought to justice.

Cloaked in spells, the witch’s forest has consumed countless soldiers and only permits one solider to enter at a time. Unable to bring his army, Stefan must fight this battle alone. Or so he thinks until he meets Gretel. The willful redhead is an unlikely partner and his only ally.

Together, Stefan and Gretel must overcome countless obstacles and trials as well as untangle their terrifying romantic feelings for each other.

Will Stefan and Gretel find a way to outsmart the witch or will they lose their lives and everything they care about?

Buy it now and find out!

Filled with adventure, love, magic, and a strong heroine, this clean YA Fairy Tale is a must-read!

If you liked Kiera Cass, Serena Valentino, and Liz Braswell, you’ll love this!

The Hansel and Gretel Curse is the third book in the Cursed Fairy Tale series. Each book can be read as a standalone. However, for greatest enjoyment, the novels should be read in order.

And the cover:

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Here’s the review I wrote on Goodreads back in January:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

The final installment of the Cursed Fairy Tale series is based off of the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. I was slightly more familiar with this story than with the previous two tales, and I was pleasantly surprised by the way this story was re-imagined!

Hansel and Gretel are twins who are turning 17. While Hansel is excited to be an adult, Gretel is not excited because for a woman, that means she has more responsibilities. Gretel is a bit of a wallflower and prefers to be left alone working in the library, and I don’t blame her! Hansel is the more outgoing of the twins, and the ladies love him.

The twins have a birthday celebration, and Gretel decides not to attend her own party, because she would rather stay in the library and read! Apparently, Hansel took off with a beautiful blonde and never came home. At first, Gretel and the twins’ adoptive mother, Sabina, think he just partied too hard, but soon they suspect something more sinister is afoot.

Sure enough, Hansel was taken by Roswita, a witch that lives in the Black Forest. Poor Hansel was promised to the witch by his mother, so she claimed him the moment he turned 17. That sucks for him! Anyway, Roswita loves to manipulate and bend people to do her will, so she bakes irresistible sweets for people to eat. Once they do, she takes control.

Gretel decides to go to the queen, who also wants Roswita stopped for her own private reasons. The queen sends Gretel to the Black Forest, and she is soon accompanied by Stefan (of COURSE there is a love interest, haha!). Stefan is kind of shady but Gretel begins to trust him anyway. I won’t spoil the rest of the story, but we find out who the queen and Stefan really are, and that just adds a fun twist to the story that I didn’t see coming at first!

Gretel and Stefan put themselves in a lot of danger, but somehow they manage to blend in and not draw attention to themselves for awhile. Along the way, Gretel makes a couple dumb decisions… again, no spoilers but… the library scene made me roll my eyes!

One last thing… dragons! ❤ ❤ ❤

I really enjoyed this book! This was my favorite entry to the series. Now I’m kind of sad that the series is over, but I’m so excited for whatever Margo writes next!! 🙂

I gave The Hansel and Gretel Curse 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: The Bluebeard Curse by Margo Ryerkerk!

The Bluebeard Curse is the second book in the Cursed Fairy Tale Series by Margo Ryerkerk. Here’s the blurb for it:

A devastating curse. 

A broken soul. 

A fearless girl. 

After finding his sister crouched over their dead parents’ bodies, Nolan turns her in. To cope with his crippling loss, he seeks to forget his sorrows in revelries. But trying to escape his life only creates more problems when two girls, last seen with him, drown.

Unable to bear the town’s accusations, Nolan flees his home.

Five years later, he’s forced to return to the city that calls him Bluebeard and accept his count title. His welcome is anything but warm, friends treat him with suspicion, and the worst is yet to come…

Jolie knows servants shouldn’t interact with nobility, but there’s something about Nolan Bluebeard that makes it impossible to stay away even if being close to him jeopardizes everything she has worked so hard for.

While Nolan desperately tries to rebuild his reputation with Jolie’s help, a devastating curse has women around him falling dead one by one.

Will Nolan and Jolie break the curse, or will they die trying?

The Bluebeard Curse is the second book in the Cursed Fairy Tales series. Each book can be read as a standalone. However, for greatest enjoyment, the novels should be read in order.

Filled with adventure, love, magic, and a strong heroine, this clean YA Fairy Tale is a must-read!If you liked The Siren and The Selection by Kiera Cass, K.M Shea and Melanie Cellier’s work, you’ll love this!

Buy it now and join Jolie and Nolan on their journey to break the Bluebeard curse!

And here’s the cover!

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This is my review, which I published on Goodreads back in December.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

First of all, I want to say that I am not at all familiar with the fairy tale this book is based off of! I’ve never even heard of it before, so I basically had nothing to compare it to.

Anyway, this book starts off with us meeting Jolie, a young woman who is a maid for a wealthy count. She likes working for him, but she is nervous when she finds out that his nephew, Nolan, is coming back from a 5 year absence to take back over his estate.

Nolan, unsurprisingly, has a bit of a shady past. His parents were killed and his sister was responsible for their deaths. Then two girls die after a night hanging out with him… so he decides to split for awhile. Oh, and he was nicknamed “Bluebeard” because he used to have a thick, black beard that had a blueish tint in certain lights.

Nolan’s sister, Delilah, was briefly featured in the Nutcracker Curse. Let me just say it right out- she is an awful character! There is not one tiny redeemable quality about her AT. ALL. She is self- absorbed and so full of hatred it’s almost unreal. Normally I can find a way to sympathize with most characters, but not her. She literally is willing to give up 15 years of her life to curse her brother because apparently he is the cause of her “suffering,” when SHE was the one who killed their parents.

Speaking of the curse, this is where the name “The Bluebeard Curse” comes in. It looks like any woman getting close to Nolan a.k.a. Bluebeard better watch themselves, because ladies have a habit of dropping dead around him.

Naturally, Nolan is attracted to Jolie even though she’s of a lower social status. Which… uggh. I find that intolerable. Even though this story was set centuries ago, it still makes me roll my eyes to know that some people care so much about that. Anyway. Jolie becomes a target because she falls in love with Nolan, and she decides that she needs to be the one to break the curse. No one likes to mind their own business I guess! I won’t spoil how the story ends, but ya know… they all live happily ever after and all that jazz.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Margo Ryerkerk’s books very much. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. Her writing is excellent, but the story of The Bluebeard Curse is not one of my favorites. I did become a little more invested in the characters (except Delilah) by the end of the book, but I didn’t really connect with any of them like I usually do. Nevertheless, I cannot wait for the 3rd book in the series!!

I gave The Bluebeard Curse 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: The Nutcracker Curse!

My God, I SUCK at posting and keeping up with everyone’s posts! My main problem is this horrendous fatigue that doesn’t seem to improve with sleep/rest. Oh, and having to participate in other soul-sucking activities such as going to work, etc. Well, eventually I’ll be caught up on everything, so that’s all the bitching I’ll do. I can only do what I can do! 😉 Anyways…

Before finishing up The Ardere Series that I have been reading and reviewing, author Margo Ryerkerk wrote and released a fun little series called The Cursed Fairy Tale series! She wrote three books, each one based off of a fairy tale that she put her own twist on. Each book kind of tied into one another, which I thought was nice. Though I am not big on fairy tales and am for the most part largely unfamiliar with the stories/plots, I was willing to give them a try! I reviewed the first book in the trilogy, The Nutcracker Curse, back in December. Here’s the blurb for the book:

12 days.

4 realms.

Break the curse.

Or turn into a nutcracker.

Princess Clara thought she knew the main threat to her freedom.

She was wrong.

At seventeen years old, Clara isn’t ready to marry, and yet that’s what she must do as the crown princess of Austria.

However, getting to know the foreign princes visiting her kingdom becomes the least of Clara’s worries when she picks up a bespelled nutcracker and unleashes a deadly curse. She has twelve days to find and feed the nutcracker the magical nut Crackatook. If she fails, her soul will be trapped inside the toy for all eternity and her body will turn to wood.

Instead of relying on her suitors or the king’s men to find the cure, Clara saddles her unicorn and sneaks out of the palace. Her childhood friend Philip notices her leaving and makes her choose between returning to the castle or allowing him to come along.

Reluctantly, Clara agrees to him joining her, and soon, they are off to lands filled with mythical creatures.

Will they survive all trials and find the Crackatook in time? Or will Clara’s soul become trapped in the nutcracker and her body turn to wood?

Filled with adventure, love, magic, and a strong heroine, this clean YA Fairy Tale is the perfect festive read!

The Nutcracker Curse is the first book in the Cursed Fairy Tales series. Each book can be read as a standalone. However, for greatest enjoyment, the novels should be read in order.

If you like K.M Shea, Melanie Cellier, and Kiera Cass, you’ll love this!

And the gorgeous cover:

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Here’s what I wrote about the book on Goodreads:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

Let me preface this review by saying this: I am not really a fan of fairy tales. I don’t even know anything about the Nutcracker fairy tale that this book is based off of. Despite this, I wanted to read this book because I am a huge fan of Margo Ryerkerk’s other books! 🙂

This book switches between the points of view of two characters, Griselda and Clara. They are stepsisters who have been separated from each other for 10 years because Griselda has been imprisoned. Naturally, Griselda can’t stand Clara and wants to seek revenge on her, so she decides to release the Nutcracker Curse on Clara.

Meanwhile, Clara is a princess, and she’s not exactly thrilled with being one. She is restless and wants to do her own thing, but her father wants her to get married and become prepared to be a ruler someday.

When the curse is released on Clara, she is told she has 12 days to break the curse. If she fails, her body will turn into a wooden figurine, and her soul will become trapped inside the nutcracker forever. Doesn’t sound like fun, does it?! Anyway, the only way to break the curse is to find a magical nut called the Crackatook and feed it to the nutcracker. Instead of sitting idly by, Princess Clara decides to take her life into her own hands and find the Crackatook herself.

She goes through a lot of trouble to do so! I won’t give any spoilers away, but she encounters many trials to get to the Mouse King, who is guarding the Crackatook in the Inverse Kingdom. The Mouse King is… terrible, to say the least.

I really did enjoy this book, despite being unfamiliar with the original tale. The book ended in such a way that there is an opening for a sequel, so I can’t wait to see what happens next!

I rated The Nutcracker Curse 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!