Review: Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers #2)

Title: Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers #2)
Author: Lana Popović
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Book 2 in the Lady Slayers series, about French murderess and fortune teller Catherine Monvoisin

In 17th-century Paris, 19-year-old Catherine Monvoisin is a well-heeled jeweler’s wife with a peculiar taste for the arcane. She lives a comfortable life, far removed from a childhood of abject destitution—until her kind spendthrift of a husband lands them both in debt. Hell-bent on avoiding a return to poverty, Catherine must rely on her prophetic visions and the grimoire gifted to her by a talented diviner to reinvent herself as a sorceress. With the help of the grifter Marie Bosse, Catherine divines fortunes in the IIle de la Citee—home to sorcerers and scoundrels.

There she encounters the Marquise de Montespan, a stunning noblewoman. When the Marquise becomes Louis XIV’s royal mistress with Catherine’s help, her ascension catapults Catherine to notoriety. Catherine takes easily to her glittering new life as the Sorceress La Voisin, pitting the depraved noblesse against one other to her advantage. The stakes soar ever higher when her path crosses with that of a young magician. A charged rivalry between sorceress and magician leads to Black Masses, tangled deceptions, and grisly murder—and sets Catherine on a collision course that threatens her own life.

Review:

In the 17th century, Catherine Monvoison is a 19-year-old wife of a jeweler in France. She was an orphan who had an encounter with a witch when she was a girl. She has the witch’s grimoire that she is dedicated to studying. One day, her friend Marie takes her to the dark side of the city where Marie reads palms. Catherine can see the future, so she starts reading for some of Marie’s clients. Catherine slowly builds a reputation as a seer, which leads her to the dangers of the King’s court.

I love stories about dark parts of history. This series is about women who were “lady slayers” throughout history. I hadn’t heard of Catherine Monvoison before, probably because she was a woman in the 17th century, but this was such a fascinating story.

I found this story to be a quick read. Catherine went through many stages of life, going from an orphanage to a middle class home and eventually to the French Court. The dark arts that Catherine practiced were fascinating to read about. Catherine was a seer and also created poisons from her grimoire. These fantastical aspects made this story exciting and fast paced.

This was such a great story!

Thank you Amulet Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Blood Countess by Lana Popović

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Other books in the series:

Have you read Poison Priestess? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – March 31

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein. The expected publication date is April 27, 2021.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An exciting debut contemporary young adult novel perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Mary H. K. Choi 

Grace Welles had resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid in her class from being beat up. With a single aim of a slingshot, the monotonous mathematics of her life are obliterated forever…because now there is this boy she never asked for. Wade Scholfield.

With Wade, Grace discovers a new way to exist. School rules are optional, life is bizarrely perfect, and conversations about wormholes can lead to make-out sessions that disrupt any logical stream of thoughts. 

So why does Grace crush Wade’s heart into a million tiny pieces? And what are her options when she finally realizes that 1. The universe doesn’t revolve around her, and 2. Wade has been hiding a dark secret. Is Grace the only person unhinged enough to save him?

Acidly funny and compulsively readable, Mercedes Helnwein’s debut novel Slingshot is a story about two people finding each other and then screwing it all up. See also: soulmate, friendship, stupidity, sex, bad poetry, and all the indignities of being in love for the first time.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Blog Tour Review: Tigers, Not Daughters

Title: Tigers, Not Daughters
Author: Samantha Mabry
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say. 

In a stunning follow-up to her National Book Award–longlisted novel All the Wind in the World, Samantha Mabry weaves an aching, magical novel that is one part family drama, one part ghost story, and one part love story.

Review:

A year ago, Ana Torres fell out of her bedroom window to her death. Her younger three sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are dealing with their grief in different ways. Jessica acts out and has a dangerous relationship with her boyfriend. Iridian finds comfort in books and writing. Rosa tries to help animals. Strange things begin to happen in their house, and the girls decide that it must be Ana’s spirit communicating with them. They have to figure out what Ana is trying to tell them.

This was an intense story. The sisters were grieving for their sister, but their dad had other ways of dealing with the pain. He checked out of their lives, so they had to look after themselves. They had to grow up quickly, but they each had their own ways of coping.

I really liked the magical realism aspects of this story. Ana’s ghost appeared to her sisters and to the neighbors next door. She didn’t always appear as a person, but she would do things around the house to let them know she was there. There were also some storms that happened around her appearances, which added to the spooky atmosphere.

This was such a beautiful story!

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry

The Marrow Thieves by Cheri Dimaline

Have you read Tigers, Not Daughters? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Places in Books I’d Love to Live

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Places in Books I’d Love to Live. Here’s my list:

1. The Burrow

2. Genovia

3. Pemberley

4. Elfhame

5. The London Institute

6. Luna

7. The Night Court

8. Ketterdam

9. Red London

10. Narnia

(All book covers from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Review: The Princess Will Save You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #1)

Title: The Princess Will Save You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #1)
Author: Sarah Henning
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Litjoy
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a princess’s commoner true love is kidnapped to coerce her into a political marriage, she doesn’t give in—she goes to rescue him.

When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown.

But Amarande was raised to be a warriornot a sacrifice. 

In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.

The Princess Will Save You is a YA fantasy adventure inspired by The Princess Bride, in which a princess must rescue her stable boy true love, from the acclaimed author of Sea Witch, Sarah Henning.

Review:

After Princess Amarande’s father dies suddenly, she is given orders to marry before she can become Queen. The Kings and Princes from the surrounding kingdoms arrive with marriage proposals, but she doesn’t like any of them. Amarande is in love with Luca, the stable boy. One evening, she goes to see Luca and finds a note that says he has been kidnapped and will only be returned if she marries Prince Rennard. Amarande leaves, following the tracks they left behind. She must save her love and her kingdom.

This story was inspired by The Princess Bride. I’ve never actually read or watched The Princess Bride, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I really loved this story!

I thought I had the story figured out pretty early. There was a note that appeared in the first few chapters after Amarande left to find Luca, and I thought that note had the solution to the kidnapping. There were some bombshell reveals in the final chapters, which really surprised me. I love it when a story can completely shock me at the end, even when I think I have it all figured out.

This was such a great story with a surprising ending! I can’t wait to read the sequel!

What to read next:

Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Have you read The Princess Will Save You? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – March 29

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – March 28

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… The Princess Will Save You

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading The Princess Will Save You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #1) by Sarah Henning.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a princess’s commoner true love is kidnapped to coerce her into a political marriage, she doesn’t give in—she goes to rescue him.

When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown.

But Amarande was raised to be a warriornot a sacrifice. 

In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.

The Princess Will Save You is a YA fantasy adventure inspired by The Princess Bride, in which a princess must rescue her stable boy true love, from the acclaimed author of Sea Witch, Sarah Henning.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Blue and Green Books

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Blue and Green Books. Here’s my list:

1. The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

3. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

4. Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler

5. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

6. We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

(All book covers from Goodreads)

Did you make a Six for Sunday list?