Three YA Fantasies I Recently Enjoyed

Posted January 23, 2018 by lockhartbecca in Reviews / 2 Comments

3 YA Fantasies I've recently enjoyed that you should check out. Hunted, Three Dark Crowns & Tell the Wind & Fire - unboundpages.com

Yes, I’m doing mini reviews today! I read these three books at the end of last year and never had a chance to review them. In fact, I didn’t have a chance to review many of the books I read last year. I’m working on that this year, I swear. One of my goals is to clean out my ARCs. I know, I know. That’s what I said last year, but I’m serious about it this year! I want to get through a lot of my egalleys and physical ARCs so I don’t feel guilty about taking on new ones!

So let’s play catch-up!

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Hunted by Meagan Spooner was a unique Beauty & the Beast retelling. Plus two more fantasies I've read recently and enjoyed! - unboundpages.com

***I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The review below is my open and honest opinion.

Mini Review of Hunted: 

Hunted was definitely one of the better Beauty & the Beast retellings I’ve come across, but I didn’t quite reach five star level with this one. So four stars it gets.

The Good: 

  • Badass main character: I loved that Beauty was not afraid of anything and she truly could take care of herself. She wasn’t the typical “damsel in distress” Disney character we so often see
  • Sister relationships: I love anything with solid sister relationships. Having two sisters myself and being extremely close to both of them, I relate very well. These relationships felt authentic and genuine. I loved how much these sisters cared for each other.
  • The dog: I love books that have pets in them. However, it always makes me terrified for said pet. Dear authors, don’t kill the pets off!! Anyway, I loved Beauty’s relationship with her dog and I loved that they were together the whole time.
  • The romance: I thought the romance was perfect. It was slow-burn and just the way I like it. The Beast was mysterious and sexy. I loved his character arc and really enjoyed watching him rediscover his humanity.

The Bad: 

  • The book had a bit of a slow start and took me a little while to get into.
  • Honestly, there’s not much that I could point to as saying “bad.” I think I just had a lack of connection with the characters. They were just characters to me. For me to rate a book five stars, the characters really have to become people.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for an awesome Beauty & the Beast retelling with a seriously kick-ass heroine.

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake was an exciting, fast-paced fantasy with interesting magic and sister relationships! Plus two more fantasies I've recently enjoyed! - unboundpages.com

***I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The review below is my open and honest opinion.

Mini Review of Three Dark Crowns

In true Kendare Blake fashion, we’re introduced to a brutal fantasy world full of bloodlust and killing. And it’s awesome. I absolutely loved the concept of this book and I tore through the pages, unable to put it down.

The Good: 

  • The world: I loved the concept of this magical island and the idea that three queens are born, but only one queen can rule. It was a cold, brutal world, but Kendare managed to weave light and joy into it as well for the perfect balance
  • The characters: I loved Mirabella, Katharine and Arsinoe. Although Katharine somewhat annoyed me at times… Each sister is very unique. Mirabella cares deeply about her people and about her sisters. She knows she’s supposed to hate Arsinoe and Katharine, but she can’t. I loved the compassion within her. Arsinoe is very down-to-earth. I loved that she didn’t sugarcoat anything. She knew what she was good at and what she was bad at and she didn’t try to pretend to be something she wasn’t (ok, not entirely true, but you get my gist…). Katharine was the most unlikable of the three. However, I respected Katharine because I think she had the hardest life. She’s brought up with cruelty and it didn’t surprise me that she turned out to be somewhat cruel herself.
  • The magic: I loved the three different types of magic in this story. We had the elementals (able to control the elements), the poisoners (able to consume poison without dying) and the naturalists (able to manipulate nature). I loved that while we had some traditional magic, like elemental control, we also had some unique magic like the poisoners ability.
  • Familiars: The naturalists each had a familiar! Meaning an animal that was basically their best friend. I want a familiar so bad!! I would definitely be a naturalist.
  • Plot: The plot was fast-paced and kept me glued to the pages the whole time reading. There were also some big twists I didn’t see coming. I always love when a book can surprise me!

The Bad: 

  • The romance: I wasn’t super crazy about any of the romantic relationships going on here. I didn’t like the way one particular relationship was handled and the other relationship just always felt weird to me. Although I will say, I did like that none of the queens seemed to need a man in their lives.

 

Overall, I loved this one! I dove right into the second one and really enjoyed it as well. I can’t wait for the next one! But September is so far away!! And then there’s still one more after that. Highly recommend if you love fantasy and want something unique and exciting!

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Tell the Wind & Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised.

Lucie alone knows of the deadly connection the young men share, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Celebrated author Sarah Rees Brennan tells a magical tale of romance and revolution, love and loss.

Tell the Wind & Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan had an interesting world and characters. Plus two more fantasies I recently enjoyed! - unboundpages.com

***I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The review below is my open and honest opinion.

Mini Review of Tell the Wind & Fire

I really enjoyed the concept of this book. It felt very unique with the Light and Dark magic and the way the worlds were divided.

The Good: 

  • The world: I liked that the light and dark worlds were dependent on each other so even though they weren’t exactly friends, each was a necessary evil. It gave a layer of complexity to the story. I also really liked how unique the magic was.
  • Dopplegangers: What an interesting concept that I’ve never really seen in a book before. I loved the unique way these creatures were created and I loved the question posed about their humanity.
  • The message: I loved the themes of equality and human rights present throughout this book. I really enjoyed watching the main character learn to re-evaluate the way she looks at the world and the people around her: both Light and Dark
  • Tale of Two Cities Parallels: I love A Tale of Two Cities and really enjoyed seeing the parallels between Sarah’s world and Charles Dickens’.

The Bad: 

  • Not going to lie, the main character was a bit annoying at first. She was also somewhat one-dimensional and I never fully connected to her. I think she got better as the story went on, but I wanted a little more character development.
  • The pace was a little slow moving at times. It felt kind of stop and go for me. In particular, I felt like there was a bit of a lag in the middle.

 

Overall, I liked the story. I still really want to read her Lynburn Legacy as I’ve heard tons of good things about it!

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Have you read any of these? Thoughts? Also, let me know if you like the mini review format or if you prefer full reviews in the comments!

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2 responses to “Three YA Fantasies I Recently Enjoyed

  1. I thought Three Dark Crowns was so unique, I really liked it!! But I didn’t like any of the romances either. The men were all so annoying! I still need to read Hunted, I’ve heard such good things. Personally I didn’t like Tell The Wind and Fire much but I highly recommend her Lynburn Legacy series! One of my favorites.

    • lockhartbecca

      Yes! I really enjoyed Three Dark Crowns. I wasn’t as crazy about One Dark Throne, but it was still good and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. Hunted was really good! Probably one of my favorite Beauty & the Beast retellings I’ve read. Yeah, Tell the Wind and Fire was okay for me. I did like the world and the idea, but the MC was super annoying at times. I really want to try her Lynburn Legacy soon! I’ve heard so many good things!!

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