Book Review: Assassin Witch by Ashley McCleo!

Assassin Witch is the 2nd book in the Bonegates Series by Ashley McCleo. I reviewed the book for her recently on Goodreads! Here’s the blurb for the book:

Doing away with an evil fae queen to help her kingdom is Princess Lana’s ultimate goal.

But first, allies must be secured. Which means embarking on diplomatic missions that make the introvert in Lana cringe.

Even with the assistance of Garret, her friend, and maybe something more, Lana hates the idea of being an ambassador. And as it turns out, she’s not a natural either.

As her struggles deepen, doubt creeps in. Is she simply an imposter? Can she span the cultural divide between what she knew in the human world and mafias of fae or tribes of giants? Will she deliver on her promise to make a difference in the lives of the fae of Lyonesse?

Lana must convince the skeptics that although she’s not a pure-born elf of Faerie, she’s a worthy leader. And she will fight to improve their lives.

Because war is coming to Faerie, and she could lose everything she’s come to love if she fails.

Assassin Witch is perfect for fans of the Throne of Glass Series and The Cruel Prince. With a slow-burn romance, intricate world-building, and danger lurking in every faerie wood and mafia-run city, it will keep you enthralled long past the last page.

And the cover:

45912695. sy475

Here’s my review!

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

Assassin Witch is the 2nd book in the Bonegates series. The book begins with Lana getting her much-anticipated conversation with her father, the king of Lyonesse. She has such a desire to talk to him and get to know him, she is so happy to finally get some one-on-one time with him! After they talk about her life, make other small talk, etc., he drops a bombshell on her: he wants her and her siblings to assassinate Queen Pari of Buyan!

Naturally, Lana has her doubts, because she barely has control over her powers and doesn’t feel quite strong enough to carry on an assassination attempt. Nevertheless, she tries to fake it til she makes it, and it is painfully obvious for her that she is unprepared and knows little about how things work in Faerie. Because of this, she finds it hard to gain her sibling’s respect.

Lana struggles quite a bit throughout this book, because she finds it hard to balance becoming a more knowledgeable Princess General and becoming more friendly with her siblings. In the end, she devises a half decent plan to go after Queen Pari… though it doesn’t go exactly as planned. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and definitely leaves me wanting more!

One thing I wanted to add: at one point, a strange fae approached Lana and said to her “Your father is a bad man. He brings the darkness with him and will drown out the light… especially yours, princess.” This makes me wonder just how benevolent the king actually is, and what his true intentions are. I cannot wait to see what happens next!

I gave Assassin Witch 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Hawk Witch by Ashley McLeo!

Ashley McCleo is such a busy lady! She has been releasing a bunch of awesome books this year, and I’m amazed at what she is getting done! She recently began a new series called The Bonegate Series, which is kind of a companion to The Fanged Fae Series (some characters and stories overlap, which is quite interesting!). In May, I reviewed the book on Goodreads. Here is the blurb:

Blood calls. Soar, surrender, or die.

Lana Shea is a mediocre witch, a lackluster student, and a loner with no clear path in life.

But when a shifter delivers a scroll bearing strange clues to her father’s whereabouts, one thing becomes clear.

She must search for the father she’s never known.

Lana races across Dublin solving the obscure clues until finally, she is transported into a bleak kingdom in Faerie.

A kingdom her father rules.

When asked to participate in the Successional, a violent royal tournament, Lana accepts. As do twelve of her new siblings. To earn her father’s attention, she must win.

Under the tutelage of her handsome guard, Lana learns Faerie is darker than she ever imagined and as a competitor, there is more than just her father’s love at stake. In fact, the fate of fae she’s come to know and cherish may be on her shoulders.

Can she master her magic in time to win? Is Lana willing to spill the blood of her newfound siblings to better her life and help those who need it most?

For fans of Throne of Glass and the Cruel Prince comes Hawk Witch, an epic Faerie tale with a dark twist and slow-burn romance. Warning, Hawk Witch is dangerously addictive and may keep you up late into the night!

And the cover:

40382650. sy475

This is my review that I posted on Goodreads:

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

The first book in The Bonegate Series, Hawk Witch, begins with the main character, Lana, graduating from college. She’s a bit of an outcast, as she doesn’t have many friends besides her lifelong best friend, Finn, and her trusty hawk, Naela. Lana isn’t really sure what she’s going to do with her life yet. She does possess some magical powers, however- she is an Illuminator, a light witch. The only problem is, she isn’t very good at magic, and she doesn’t practice like she should either!

Her life is practically turned upside down when she is visited by a shifter elf who proposes something peculiar- solve a few riddles and potentially meet her long-lost father! Of course, Lana can’t resist this offer, and enlists the help of Finn to solve the riddles. After they solve the last riddle, they both touch a stone at the same time (a “bonegate”) and are transported into the land of Faerie.

Once in Faerie, Lana learns that she has many half-siblings because her father (the King of Lyonesse) is at war with Queen Pari of Buyan… and he needs strong magical creatures at his side. Um, yeah dude… way to be an absentee father for like 20 years and then go “Oh yeah, help me fight someone.” Pssh, I would’ve been out of there so fast!

Anyway, the King allows Lana and her siblings to train for a couple weeks before they compete in what is known as the Successional. As the name suggests, the Successional will determine who will become general of the king’s army and second in line to the throne. Some of Lana’s siblings are more competitive than others, and they all display a wide variety of magical talents. While in Faerie, Finn discovers that he is actually one of Lana’s siblings as well… and he never knew he had magical abilities!

I felt like the king was exploiting his children by parading them around and by even holding a Successional in the first place. Despite this, Lana and all of her siblings want to stay and fight, which I thought was a little strange. I mean, no one wanted to go back to their old lives?? Not even Lana, who had a close relationship with her mother? Doesn’t make sense to me.

Anyway! No spoilers, but the Successional’s winner was pretty much who I assumed it would be all along. Also, Lana discovers that her hawk is more than just a pet- she is a familiar, so she is really in tune to Lana’s thoughts and emotions. All in all, I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what happens next!

I gave Hawk Witch 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Faerie Blood By Ashley McCleo!

Faerie Blood is the second (and final) book in the Fanged Fae series by Ashley McCleo. I enjoyed reading the first book a lot, so I was excited for this one. I wrote my review for this book on Goodreads back in May. Here’s the blurb:

War is brewing between the fae and the vampires.

Even worse, Mauri’s evil mother, Queen Nyssa, is to blame.

Mauri, a vampire-fae hybrid, disagrees with her mother’s dreams of dominating Faerie and the human realm through blood and fear.

To stop Queen Nyssa, Mauri journeys to Faerie to enlist an army. She soon learns, however, that the fae do nothing for free. And their price may be steeper than she’s willing to pay.

When other attempts to form supernatural alliances fail too, Mauri must choose the lesser of all evils to align herself with and do it fast.

Because Queen Nyssa has already thrown her plans into action.

And Mauri is the only one powerful enough to stop her.

Faerie Blood is the final book in the Fanged Fae series. It’s a paranormal thriller with cunning vampires, charming fae, sassy witches, and romance.

And here’s the absolutely gorgeous cover of the book:

44785100. sy475

Here’s my review!

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

Faerie Blood, the second (and final) book in the Fanged Fae series, begins with Mauri getting her vampire essence glamoured before she enters Faerie. Fae are naturally suspicious of vampires and are especially inclined not to trust nosferatu- so for Mauri, it is better to appear as a full Fae!

Mauri and her friends are headed to Faerie to try to convince her grandparents, the King and Queen of Ys, to amass an army to fight her mother, who wants supernaturals to reign supreme over both the human world and Faerie. After all, Mauri’s mother is the one who orchestrated the attack that turned her nosferatu and wishes for them to rule the world together.

While the Queen is quite pleasant, the King is very wary and has more of a haughty demeanor. He agrees to help Mauri, but tries to trick her into exchanging a blood oath, but Mauri will have none of it! She is determined to amass an army on her own. With the help of her friends (including an awesome rogue vampire) she gets an army together.

Mauri’s mother moves fast though, and the battle is a long and tense one. The outcome was a little different than what I expected, which is not necessarily a bad thing!

I really enjoyed this short series! The characters were all well-developed and I enjoyed the way they interacted with each other. I just felt like maybe Mauri needed a little more time to get her act together. I mean, she was turned nosferatu and then a week later she’s fighting her mother? I wish a few more months could’ve gone by so we could see her grow into her powers more. Nevertheless, this was a fun series and I’m sad to see it end already!

I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Blood Moon Magic By Ashley McCleo!

A few months ago, Ashley McCleo released the first book in her new series, The Fanged Fae series! Titled Blood Moon Magic, this duology centers on a character named Mauri coming to terms with her surprising heritage as Fae royalty- with the added twist that she was bitten by a vampire! I wrote the review for this book on Goodreads back in April. Here’s the blurb:

Mauri always knew she was different.

But exiled fae royalty? She never imagined that.

After a vampire bites Mauri, three hunky fae guardians appear and her secret history surfaces. As does the terrifying truth that Mauri must find the attacker—her vampiric sire—and kill him before the next blood moon.

If she fails she’ll become a lethal nosferatu, a creature totally subservient to her sire and a peon any vampire leader would desire to control.

With the blood moon only days away, Mauri is short on time and battling an increasing craving for blood. And her conflicting feelings toward one of her guardians aren’t helping either.

Can her fae guardians help Mauri find her sire before the next blood moon? Or will she be transformed and unleashed on a supernatural world she’s just beginning to understand and love?

And the cover, which might just be one of the most gorgeous book covers I’ve ever seen:

43455343. sy475

Mauri is gorgeous! And the way the red mixes with gold is just beautiful. Anyway, here’s the review I wrote on Goodreads:

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

After reading Ashley McCleo’s amazing Starseed Trilogy, I was so excited to start her next series! Blood Moon Magic, the first book in the Fanged Fae series, begins with the main character, Mauri, getting attacked by a vampire in a parking garage as she is leaving work. She awakens later to find three extremely handsome men with otherworldly characteristics telling her she is in danger and they have to protect her!

Naturally, Mauri has no idea what is going on, but she soon learns from the men (who turn out to be her Fae guardians) that she is a Fae princess! Since she was bitten by vampire, she is in danger of turning into a Fanged Fae, or nosferatu. A Fanged Fae is a powerful, lethal creature that is a cross between a faerie and a vampire. The only way Mauri can prevent herself from turning into one is to hunt down and kill her sire, or maker, before midnight of the next full moon… which is easier said than done!

Mauri is not one to give up easily, so she immediately sets out to find her sire, which leads her into dangerous situations. On top of that, she is also trying to hone in on her magical skills as well as her burgeoning vampiric skills in an attempt to defeat him. As days go on, though, she finds herself wondering if she wants to give up her vampire side.

Without giving away any spoilers, a person Mauri never would have suspected set her up so she would become a Fanged Fae. She has to make some difficult decisions and I feel for her!

I really enjoyed this book. Mauri is an excellent character! She is strong and beautiful and kicks ass too! The supporting cast of characters (her Fae guardians, Rowan the witch, and Elizabeth the vampire) are all wonderful as well. I absolutely cannot wait to see where this series goes next!!

I rated this book 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Rising of Three by Ashley McCleo!

Rising of Three is the final book in The Starseed Trilogy by Ashley McCleo. I posted my review of it on Goodreads back in September, but I’m re-posting it on my blog so I can give the series some extra exposure!

Here’s the blurb from Rising of Three:

Mysterious claimings, kidnappings, and disasters are occurring the world over. Sara McKay knows that can only mean one thing–the fata, magical beings from the planet Hecate intent on ruling Earth, are growing stronger.

With the help of their pneumas, benevolent fata souls residing inside Sara and her sisters Lily and Evelyn, the McKay witches of Ireland prepare for war.

However, with Sara no longer playing peacekeeper between Lily and Evelyn, strong insecurities stemming from Sara’s past make a reappearance in her life. Once the most powerful triplet, she struggles to master the lifesaving skills the pneumas introduce and fully integrate with the supernatural soldiers flocking to Fern Cottage.

Will Sara’s instability help Noro and King Dimia drive a wedge between the triplets the fata forces can exploit? Or will Sara’s issues be just the thing the Triplet Army needs to win an otherworldly war?

And the beautiful cover:

40382565

Here’s what I said in my review on Goodreads:

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

The final book in the Starseed Trilogy did not disappoint! In Rising of Three, Lily, Evelyn, Sara and the rest of their family and friends embarked on the final leg of their journey to defeat Noro and save the Earth from the fata. The sisters have come into their own as far as magic is concerned, and they train hard to be ready for the battle. Because they are starseeds (that is, they have a pneuma living inside them from another time and planet), the fate of the world rests on their shoulders. I don’t want to spoil too much, so I won’t say much more about the pneumas. They are very… weird but interesting!

Rising of Three is told from multiple viewpoints, though we get an extra look inside Sara’s mind this time around. I have to say, I actually did not enjoy her segments very much. She was, for the most part, a complete downer and also a martyr. More than once she either put herself in danger or did things at questionable times because she felt like she needed to. I felt more annoyed by her than anything.

Regardless, I love the way the triplets band together and always have each others’ back, especially considering they did not grow up together. This made me happy because they are three completely different people, but they stick together because they are family.

The final battle was pretty long and intense, and there were a couple deaths that really bothered me. The aftermath of the battle is pretty unique, but again, I don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s just say that the way traitors are dealt with is extremely satisfying!

I’m sad that this book marks the end of the Starseed Trilogy. I really enjoyed this series and can’t wait to see what Ashley McLeo comes up with next!

I gave Rising of Three 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Siren Falling by Ashley McCleo!

Hope all of my U.S. friends had a Happy Thanksgiving! Though I am goth all year round, I do love the holiday season 😉 My husband and I have been decorating our house for Christmas, and it just puts me in a cheery, happy mood! I do have a little goth tree in my bedroom, though! Anyway, on to the review!

I’ve already posted my review for the first two books in the Starseed Trilogy by Ashley McCleo, an author who so graciously shares her books with me and allows me to read and review them! Before I post the review for the final book in the trilogy, I’m going to post a review for a novella written about one of the side characters in the book, Selma. Here is the blurb:

Our stories aren’t always ones we’re proud of, but they’re still our stories.

Selma de Avila, a gorgeous siren cursed with a quick temper is finally realizing a life-long dream. Despite her mama’s beliefs that sirens are particularly susceptible to the vices of city life, Selma is determined to leave her sleepy Spanish island for New York City–the city she believes holds her destiny.

Once in The Big Apple, Selma quickly ingrains herself into high society, all the while trying to find love, conceive of a career, and live the life she’s always dreamed of.
But everything goes awry, including her tight control over her magic, when Selma runs into billionaire Andrew Van de Berg at the Faerie Fall Ball and sparks fly.

The problem? He’s married.

Despite knowing Andrew is off limits, Selma can’t seem to avoid him. Every encounter with the playboy billionaire riles up her powerful magic and manipulates her body and mind. Within days of meeting Andrew, she’s siphoning magic all around New York, enchanting total strangers, and altering the courses of lives, to appear steady and in control of her own life.

Will Selma be able to put an end to Andrew’s persistent attentions and regain mastery of her magic? Will she ever discover what truly called her to New York? Or will her magic take over, toppling Selma into siren madness and pulling the men of NYC behind her?

And the cover (pretty, but I don’t like it as much as the other ones! I think Selma would be much more beautiful without all the henna and the headdress that is covering half of her face):

36896793

Here’s what I wrote for my review on Goodreads:

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

Siren Falling provides us with a little backstory for Selma, who in the Starseed Trilogy is a warm, vivacious character that you just want to hug and be friends with. This version of Selma? Not so much. This is who Selma was before the triplets knew her, and she’s not exactly a pleasant character to read about. I knew she was going to be trouble from the first line in the book: “Selma gazed upon the pristine beach, imagining skyscrapers and thousands of people striding down wide sidewalks in place of turquoise waters and palm trees.” Seriously?! You want to give up easy, coastal living for a crowded city?

Well yes, yes she does, because poor little Selma is bored and wants to be off on her own. From the get go, she manipulates people to get what she wants and tries to justify her actions. THEN she gets busy seducing all the men around because, you know, she’s a Siren, and she needs to do that!

I realize that she put many men under her spell, but I rolled my eyes every time a man called her/ gifted her with something lavish/ left their wives for her. How could Selma not see that she has a problem here?!

Even when shit goes down with her friends (I won’t go into details so there are no spoilers) I literally do not feel sorry for her. I feel like she’s getting exactly what she deserves. Eventually, Selma calms down and realizes she is totally out of control, and she leaves city life behind her in exchange for a more quiet life with a commune of women. No men allowed!

Even though I found Selma quite reprehensible for a lot of the book, I have to applaud Ashley McLeo’s writing skills! I was totally invested in the story and wanted to keep reading. I would absolutely be interested in more novellas featuring different characters, because the Starseed universe is full of quite the cast of characters!

I gave Siren Falling 4/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Souls of Three by Ashley McCleo!

A couple of months ago, I wrote a review for the first book in the Starseed Trilogy, Prophecy of Three. All my reviews for the Starseed Trilogy are up on Goodreads, but I wanted to get them all posted on my blog to give the awesome author, Ashley McCleo, some extra exposure! Anyway, the second book in the series is Souls of Three. Here’s the blurb for it:

Evelyn Locksley, water witch, siren, and heiress is back home in New York City. She’s having a blast, running the boardroom like a boss and frequenting hot clubs for some scandalous siren practice.

That is until Evelyn is taken hostage by fata cronies, the Acolytes of Hecate. Locked in a magically warded basement Evelyn witnesses the Acolyte’s strength and begins to doubt that anyone on Earth stands a chance against the fata.

***

Lily Whiplark is still reeling over the loss of her beloved family member, at the hands of the Acolytes. After hearing of Evelyn’s flamboyant and selfish behavior in New York when she’s supposed to be in Ireland training for a supernatural war, Lily’s grief morphs into fury that not even triplet peacekeeper, Sara, can quell.

When Lily learns of Evelyn’s abduction will she be able to put their vast differences aside to save her sister?

***

Will the sisters be able to overcome their rocky past to band together against the fata and Acolytes of Hecate?

And the gorgeous cover:

35991193

Here’s what I wrote for my review on Goodreads:

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

I couldn’t wait to read Souls of Three, the second novel in The Starseed Trilogy! The characters are so well crafted and fun. This book continues shortly after the point where Prophecy of Three ended. The triplets (Lily, Evelyn, and Sara) are somewhat split up since both Lily and Evelyn wanted to go back to their respective families before continuing their magical training with their birth family.

In the beginning of this book, Evelyn really annoyed me. She seemed as self- centered as ever, though I was surprised to see how much she actually cared about her family’s business. Without giving away any spoilers, A LOT happens to her in this book, and I was pretty sympathetic toward her character in the end.

Lily also has her own problems she is working through in this book, and I felt like she was a bit bratty and self- centered as well at times. The neat thing about Lily is that she realizes she is acting this way, and grows as a person throughout the book. It’s great to see a character who is actively working on making herself a better person.

In this book, we learn that the universe is perhaps in greater danger than everyone first thought because of the fata. The triplets quickly become more comfortable with their powers- though I feel for them, because the weight of the world seems to rest squarely on their shoulders.

Anyway, this book was so entertaining, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next one! 🙂

I gave Souls of Three a rating of 5/5 stars. Soon, I’ll post a review of the final book in the series, as well as a novella. Thanks for reading!