Tag Archives: Magic

Caught by the Tides by Diane Whiteside

Image result for beyond the dark angela knight book cover

Title: Caught by the Tides
Author: Diane Whiteside
In: Beyond the Dark (Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Emma Holly & Diane Whiteside)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Historical romance, Magic, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 11th May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Jove
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Boom!


Diane Whiteside does it… in an alternate universe of Regency magic where two lovers are threatened by a vicious mage and swept up in a turbulent war off the Cornish cliffs.


I really enjoyed this novella. The historical / regency setting is one that is seriously familiar to me at the moment (I seem to be diving into a lot of regency romances at the moment). But it had that great added twist of magic throughout. Something to provide a bit of a different spin on things that I haven’t quite seen yet. And definitely an enjoyable system / storyline.

There seems to have been a few books on my shelves lately that have featured a mysterious man being washed, naked onto the shore. Alright, the lead male in this isn’t actually naked (that I remember). But there is still that sense of the ocean brining true love to someone’s unwitting door. It gave the whole story a sense of joy and mystery that swept me away (like the pun there?). The windswept Cornish coast just added to that fantastic feeling throughout.

All in all, this was a seriously fun and enjoyable story. I have read one or two novellas (or were they short stories) by Diane Whiteside and always find them to be good fun. I’m glad that this story was not different. Definitely one that I would read again.

<- Dragon DanceQueen of All She Surveys ->

Image source: Amazon

Devils and Details by Devon Monk

Devils and Details (Ordinary Magic, #2) by Devon Monk

Title: Devils and Details
Author: Devon Monk
Series: Ordinary Magic #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 26th April 20
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Odd House Press
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Thank you so much, Thor.


Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea…

Police Chief Delaney Reed is good at keeping secrets for the beach town of Ordinary Oregon – just ask the vacationing gods or supernatural creatures who live there.

But with the first annual Cake and Skate fundraiser coming up, the only secret Delaney really wants to know is how to stop the unseasonable rain storms. When all the god powers are stolen, a vampire is murdered, and her childhood crush turns out to be keeping deadly secrets of his own, rainy days are the least of her worries.

Hunting a murderer, outsmarting a know-it-all-god, and uncovering an ancient vampire’s terrifying past isn’t how she planned to spend her summer. But then again, neither is falling back in love with the one man she should never trust.


I forgot how much I enjoyed the world building in this series. I love the idea of gods on vacation and having a sheriff to try and control the insanity that will surely follow. I mean, after all, gods are known for being unpredictable, and well, frankly, nuts… so it makes sense that they need a sheriff to keep them all under control. The fact that it’s Delaney and her sisters just makes it all that much more likeable.

This story careens from insane moment to insane moment. It left me smiling and giggling all throughout. And, for most of the tale, I wasn’t really sure of where this story was going to take me… I mean, god powers being stolen, vampires being murdered, past loves trying to reconnect… there is a whole lot in this that is fun and sassy. And completely unpredictable. Which I think all stories of gods should be if I’m being honest.

I did kind of predict what Ryder’s secret and reason for breaking up with Delaney were. Even then, the actual explanation was a little more than I had hoped for (yay). I loved their dynamic throughout this. Alongside the protectiveness of Delaney’s two sisters – I mean, what are sisters if not beautifully and ridiculously protective?

This story ends with a war on the horizon, and a missing vampire. I can’t wait to see where they went / what happened and where the story is going to take us from here… bring on the next novel in this series!

<- Death and RelaxationGods and Ends ->

Image source: Goodreads

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone : Leigh Bardugo : 9780805094596

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1, Grishaverse #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Magic, Young adult
Dates read: 4th – 5th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: He didn’t say a word to me, and as the hours and days wore on, I started to worry that I’d somehow offended him.



Orphaned and expdnable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first rek across the Shadow Fold – a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dromant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of roaylty and intrigue, as she trains with the Grisha – her country’s magical military elite – and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she lvoes and the very future of a nation.


I can seriously understand why this series, and this story in particular is so damn popular. I knew that I’d probably love it from the fact that I have loved all of the short stories which Bardugo has written. But I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy this. I mean… wow. It is an amazing, unforgettable journey and I can’t wait to read more of this series! hopefully before the Netflix series comes out…

Alina is a lovely and soulful lead character. I honestly fell in love with her from the very beginning. There is something about her loyalty and strength that makes you love her from the first page. And the fact that she will do anything for the boy that she loves… that just makes it all so much sweeter and cuter. Particularly when you discover the depths she’s actually gone to for him…

I seriously can’t wait to dive into the rest of this series – not just he trilogy, but the whole Grishaverse. Alina and Mal may have found a way to escape the first obstacle. But there are so many more to come. And the Darkling doesn’t seem like the kind of villain that is going to be easy to escape – he is kind of terrifying if I’m being completely honest.

I love that this is most definitely a friends to lovers romance. Particularly since you can see Alina’s loyalty and love from the very beginning. Boys are stupid and tend to take a little bit longer, but that tie is there from the very beginning. I can’t wait to see how this all grows and blossoms throughout the series. Everything about writing this review and reading the story just make me want to pick up the next novel in this series!!!

All in all this is an amazing story. One that has pulled me into the Grishaverse reality completely. I can’t wait to read more of the series. And then, hopefully, when I’ve finished, dive into the Netflix show too…

<- More Leigh BardugoSiege and Storm ->

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Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

Sapphire Flames :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Sapphire Flames
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Catalina Baylor Trilogy #1, Hidden Legacy #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Strong women
Dates read: 4th – 31st March 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: It wasn’t a question, but I answered it anyway.


From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Ilona Andrews comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House – and her heart.


This book is just as amazing, wonderful and phenomenal as all of the other Andrews books. There is just something wonderful about the writing that makes it almost impossible to put down the book from the very beginning. Something that draws me in and leaves me grinning like a fool. Each and every time.

You got a bit of an introduction to Catalina in Diamond Fire, but it isn’t until Sapphire Flames that you really get a feel for her. I mean, what would it be like to constantly have to hide who you are so that you don’t bespell anyone? Catalina’s power seems more like a curse to me and one that made me incredibly sad. Although, I am seriously looking forward to finding out more about how it will evolve as the series continues… I mean, there are so many hidden depths in these books…

Throughout this story, my heart broke for Catalina multiple times. Not just because of her power, but because she’s trying to go against her nature constantly. That her love for Alessandro is not unrequited like she thinks but is definitely going to hurt them both in the future. Then, there are the family dynamics which also make everything difficult. I mean, seriously, how much pain can one girl go through?

Alessandro is a very intriguing lead character. A total enigma, and, like Catalina, I can’t wait to see how his powers work. Plus, he’s obviously not an assassin, and he has a mission. But I’m just not quite sure about the ins and outs of this. It makes me itch to pick up Emerald Blaze. I just need to finish a few of the books that I’m currently reading though.

Then, to top off all of the mystery in this story – there is a weird connection to Linus. I have a few guesses, but I can’t wait for yet another mystery to unfold as Catalina battles the new threat to the societies and families in Hidden Legacy.

<- Diamond FireEmerald Blaze ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Beautiful Beast by E.J. Hill

Beautiful Beast (Beautiful Queens, #1) by E.J. Hill

Title: Beautiful Beast
Author: E.J. Hill
Series: Beautiful Queens #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Magic, Retellings
Dates read: 1st – 8th January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: ARC, eBook, Novel
Publisher: E.J. Hill
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: Dear, it is nothing you have done.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


My name is Kalista. They call me the beast.

Kalista has been cursed by a powerful sorceress and is now a prisoner in her own palace. As petals fall from an enchanted rose, her fate and the sorceress’s victory draw nearer. But Kalista refuses to be defeated so easily and uses her own magic to push against the bindings. Yet what if it is not enough and the only way the curse might be shattered is through the help of another?

When Arawn crosses into the beast’s domain, he has one motive: revenge for his brother’s death. But as he draws nearer to the beast and is surrounded by invisible servants, magical banquets, and an enchanted forest, he realizes that this beast is much more complex and much more human than he first thought.

As their paths intertwine, Kalista must risk opening her heart to another, while Arawn must learn to see past his hate and prejudice. Together, they struggle against spells, wolves, and time itself to break the curse. If they fail, Kalista will fall asleep and will never again wake.


I received this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I got this book as an ARC through Book Sirens. It’s the first of (I’m hoping) many books that I receive in this way. And boy, was it a great way to start getting books through this group. Books that will, hopefully, blow me away like this one did. Because I definitely plan on adding more E.J. Hill to my reading lists! It was brilliant and beautiful. The kind of book that most definitely swept me off my feet and left me feeling giddy, happy and just… complete. Like all good books do.

You can never really go wrong with Beauty and the Beast retellings to my mind. It is still one of my favourite fairy tales, and I have honestly loved each and every retelling that I have had the privilege of reading. Yet, this was somehow my favourite. The motif of roses is strong and repeated throughout, Hill is able to seamlessly weave different aspects of the Disney original throughout her words. And there are just generally so many parts of this retelling that are… well, impossible to step away from. It’s fantastic, wonderful, and, yup, is making me rave about this fantastic retelling.

Doing a gender swap on the Beauty and the Beast was a great and intriguing way to start off this retelling. That, and the fact that the curse placed upon the ‘beast” was brilliantly described in this story. I love that by starting with the curse and a child being cursed, you were able to feel so much more sympathy and fear for the characters in this story. I also like that Kalista is portrayed as the beast, even though she is physically unchanged. The multitude of different gender comments that this made left me smiling like a fool the whole way through reading this story.

Not only were the fairy tale aspects of this story brilliant, but I also loved the characters. Arawn and Kalista slowly fall for each other in this beautifully organic way. And although you already know some of the background for each of the characters, you only slowly get the full stories revealed. I can’t wait to see what Hill does as a follow up to this fantastic novel! I have all of my fingers and toes crossed in anticipation!

<- More E.J. HillUntitled ->

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha): Children of Blood and Bone  (Legacy of Orisha): Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Series: Legacy of Orisha #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Africa, Fantasy, Magic, Young adult
Dates read: 31st August – 17th October 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: MacMillan
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: “Thank you,” I whisper into her fur.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide




This is one of those books that I keep looking at, and seriously wanting to pick up. But then, because I’m somewhat of a child… I get distracted, see something shiny and find something else. Plus, it’s a pretty big book, so I did found it somewhat of an intimidating idea to read. And now I’m regretting not reading this as soon as it came out and found a home on my shelves. Because this is freaking awesome. As in turn the final page and then just stare into space with a really bad book hangover kind of awesome…

This story is all about oppression and power. The inequality and narratives that are often told to justify marginalising and preying upon another group. Whilst this is loosely set in Africa, there were many moments throughout this that were cringe-worthy as I thought about what has been done to Australia’s First Nations Peoples. It is a story that is sadly told across the world, and I loved how this novel dealt with such an issue. How a very, very difficult conversation is had in the pages of this story that will, hopefully, help a whole new generation understand a little bit more about the past.

Zel and Amari are the most fantastic female leads I’ve come across in a while. Zel is all hard edges and aggression. She is so obviously trying to fit into a world and identity that is too small for her. But, there is also a lot of sadness and despair there. Which I can’t wait to see how she continues to grow. Because boy does she mature throughout this novel. And Amari is nothing like what I would have expected as a counterpoint. She begins as someone who seems to be all soft edges and gentleness. And then, as the story continues, you find that backbone of steel and strength. And that gentleness and understanding that Zel lacks. I really hope that these two become best of friends, because I can’t really imagine it turning out any other way…

This is an amazing novel. It introduced me to aspects of African culture, which of course I know next to nothing about. It reminded me of my White Privilege. And it manage to intertwine all of this with an amazing young adult fantasy story of magic and mayhem. Power and triumphing over evil. I really can’t wait to see where Adeyemi takes Zel and Amari next…

<- More Tomi AdeyemiChildren of Virtue and Vengeance ->

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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles (The Belles, #1) by Dhonielle Clayton

Title: The Belles
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Series: The Belles #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Fantasy, Magic, Young adult
Dates read: 8th – 10th October 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: She touches the textured pattern of my gown.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


I am a Belle. I control Beauty.

In the opulent world of Orléans, the people are born grey and damned, and only a Belle’s powers can make them beautiful.

Camellia Beauregard wants to be the favourite Belle – the one chosen by the queen to tend to the royal family.

But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favourite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that her powers may be far greater – and far darker – than she ever imagined.

When the queen asks Camellia to break the rules she lives by to save the ailing princess, she faces an impossible decision: protect herself and the way of the Belles, or risk her own life, and change the world forever.


I read this as part of a “underrated book” prompt for a reading challenge. It’s just one of those books that has been sitting on my shelf for a little while, and I figured I’d eventually get to it. And then I did… and WOW. This was really good. And fun. And just… wow. Most DEFINITELY underrated. One of the best young adult books I feel I’ve read in a while… there was just something wonderful, intense and seriously positive about this whole experience.

One of the aspects of this book that I absolutely loved was show much it really made you stop and think about how we define beauty. And, ultimately, the emphasis that we place upon it. The risks that some people take, and the lengths that people will go to be the “most beautiful”. Every moment of horror in this story are completely recognisable and it ultimately comes down to the premium that is placed on looks. There is also the whole idea that beauty is just “skin deep”. It’s when you start drilling down to the person underneath… that, well, in this story makes you seriously shudder in revulsion to be completely frank.

I didn’t pick the villain of this story at first (which was AWESOME). In fact, it took a little while to click as to just who the villain was and what their drivers were. To be fair, I’m still not completely confident on the motivations… I’ve put it all down to “that bitch is crazy”. But she was an amazing villain. Subtle, secretive and with a lot of power. These are the kinds of villains that I find truly terrifying, because it’s hard to imagine how anyone could beat them. I suppose I’ll just have to pick up the next Belle book to find out…

There are a multitude of unexpected twists and turns throughout this novel. They are captivating, make your heart skip a beat, and just downright pluck all of your emotions. It turned this book into not only a fantastic idea with beautiful and poignant themes, but also one which I seriously couldn’t look away from and forget about. It’s going to take all of my self control (again) to finish some of my currently reading books before diving into the sequel…

<- More Dhonielle ClaytonThe Everlasting Rose ->

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We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Owlcrate exclusive copy of We Hunt the Flame by... - Depop

Title: We Hunt the Flame
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Series: Sands of Arawiya #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Arabic, Fantasy, Historical fiction, Magic, Young adult
Dates read: 4th – 19th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: She clenched her teeth and dug in her heels.

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People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.


This novel was just… astounding. Like I am seriously, ridiculously impressed and somewhat jealous of the fact that this is Faizal’s first novel. I always know that I’ve read a good book because I finish it and just… kind of… pause. And stare into space. Which is exactly what I did at the conclusion of this story. I just sat there… staring into space and feeling all of the feelings that this novel bought on.

I love that this is a book unlike anything that I’ve ever read. For starters, I really haven’t read many books that are based on historical Arabia (I think that I’m writing that correctly…). So it was a whole new immersion and experience for me. Plus, the storyline, whilst with a few similarities to some of the storylines in YA books that I’ve read… it somehow felt totally different. Or maybe I just need to read more YA books… not only was the setting and background so completely unexpected, but it also made me feel intrigued to find more authors who focus on similar patterns and moments in history – I have a lot of Regency, Victorian and UK based history books. Now I need to find more like this…

Closing the final page of this book left me with so damn many feelings! I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel! Actually, first thing I did… after staring into space trying to process everything that I had just experienced was to find out when the next book is out and what happens. Yet another book that I have to add to my wishlist and remain hopefully looking out for the publication date. I hope that everything going on in the world doesn’t delay it!!!

Not only was this an amazing adventure set against a brilliant background, it was also a story which beautifully focused on the strength of love and women. From the very outset – it’s about women being able to do what they want and having a strength completely comparable to that of men. Partnered with how love can alter and shape us… save us in some circumstances… it just felt so beautifully optimistic.

<- More Hafsah FaizalWe Free the Stars ->

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Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Hounded
Author: Kevin Hearne
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: CelticMagic, Mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 18th August – 15th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: <May I have some tea, then?>

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona running an occult bookshop and shapeshifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbours and customers think this handsome, tattooed Irishman is about twenty-one years old when, actually, it’s twenty-one centuries. Atticus draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants the sword, and he’s been after Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down and Atticus will need all his powers – plus a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of lawyers, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good, old-fashioned Irish luck – to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.


This story was kind of fun and brilliant. It was filled with action, humour, and my favourite think of all – mythology. In particular, Celtic mythology and the practices of Druids. Don’t get me wrong, the wit and the wonder of the story are thing that I completely love. But it is just all that much better when it’s partnered with some great magic and mayhem. This is one of those books that definitely ticked all of my happy boxes.

Although I’ve always felt a little drawn to Celtic folklore and Druidry, I’ve not really had much exposure to it. So it was nice to not only experience a new folklore / mythos in a book, but to learn so many, many things along the way. I always love when a new fantasy aspect works its way into my reading list. Sadly, I don’t have any of the other books on my shelves… so now I have to wait to throw myself headfirst into this series again, much to my chagrin.

I’ve read a lot of books with great sidekicks. But, I must admit… Oberon has GOT to be my absolute favourite. He is funny, cute and has the exact voice that I imagine my big dog would have (the little one would be WAY more sassy). I love that the sidekick is a dog that can communicate, but rather than giving him a lot of human traits, he’s doglike in all of his desires and drives. I actually bought this book because of the short story The Naughtiest Cherub, which kind of features Oberon in some ways. After all, any series which features a massive dog as a cheerful and happy sidekick and companion… that’s going to make me incredibly happy.

To further enhance my love of this story – Hearne manages to take a lot of the traditional paranormal creatures I tend to come across in many of my fantasy books. But, then he’s added some more Celtic and druidic characters. Including some of the Tuatha De Danan. I love that there is such a heavy Irish tilt to this story, one that I just can’t stop thinking about and quite honestly, just can’t quite get enough of.

<- Clan RathskellerHexed ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1) by Kiersten White

Title: The Guinevere Deception
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Camelot Rising #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Camelot, Magic, Young adult
Dates read: 18th May – 10th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: “He might not be human.”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution: send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife… and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail.

The catch? Guinevere’s real name – and her true identity – is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old – including Arthur’s own family – demand that things continue as they have been, and the new – those drawn by the dream of Camelot – fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long, knotted black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?


I had thought that this would be a fairly easy read. One that I would just whisk through and enjoy without being totally floored. I was wrong. So completely and totally wrong. This story had surprise after surprise after surprise after… every page bought something new to light that I just wasn’t expecting. White managed to turn everything on its head. Repeatedly. Nothing was what I expected. And everything pulled me further into the world that White has so lovingly crafted as her own.

At first I loved the fact that Guinevere is the tough, powerful, magical being in this story. That she’s the one who is to protect Arthur and Camelot. As the story unfolded and things steadily got turned more and more on their head… I started to feel really, really sorry for her. There were so many revelations, difficulties and tragic moments throughout that my heart almost hurt at the end of this novel.

I love that there are a number of strong, independent women in this novel. And those who don’t fit that mould are barely mentioned. It’s nice to read a historical fiction / story of Camelot that doesn’t have women who, although strong are just falling in love and blindly following their menfolk. Rather, there are hints of love and companionship throughout, but nothing that deters Guinevere and her cohort from their chosen path. And, ultimately, when Guinevere is in trouble… it’s the women who ride to her rescue. Doesn’t exactly make me like Arthur all that much… but I’m hoping that in the next novel, he will redeem himself…

The men in this novel kind of drive me nuts. They’re stupid and tend to disregard the women who are by them. In particular, I found Arthur a little too quick to disregard Guinevere’s warnings and power. There may be a few reasons why that are revealed towards the end of the novel… but I still found him annoyingly high-handed and difficult.

<- More Kiersten WhiteUntitled ->

Image source: Goodreads