Review: Cuckoo’s Flight

Title: Cuckoo’s Flight
Author: Wendy Orr
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A new gripping Bronze Age story from Wendy Orr, internationally acclaimed author of Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance

Clio can’t remember a time when she didn’t share a bond with the mare Grey Girl. On the whole island of Crete, she and her Trojan-born father are the only people who raise and ride horses—and she couldn’t live without it. Between the freedom of the pasture and the safety of her grandmother Leira’s pottery studio, Clio always has had everything she needed.

Then an accident stole Clio’s ability to ride, or even to walk without a crutch. The weather changed and summers grew drier. Now raiders are preying on nearby towns. As anxiety builds, a terrible pronouncement is issued by the palace: at the spring festival, a girl between the ages of twelve and fourteen will be chosen to save the town from disaster. She will be sacrificed as an offering to the mother goddess.

In Cuckoo’s Flight, internationally bestselling author Wendy Orr returns to the Bronze-Age setting of her critically acclaimed novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. With her signature blend of striking prose and emotionally taut verse, she immerses readers in a thrilling coming-of-age story as Clio battles the political power of the palace and her own feelings of inadequacy to save her town, her horses, and perhaps even herself.

Review:

In the Bronze Age, Clio lives with her family and grandmother who makes pottery. Clio has a bond with their horse Grey Girl, but after falling off her, Clio must walk with a crutch and can’t ride anymore. When raiders approach their town, everyone is on edge. The oracle announces that there will have to be a sacrifice of a young girl. Clio feels like she’s destined to be the sacrifice, but she does everything she can to save her village.

This story was set in the same world as Wendy Orr’s books Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. The stories are related but you don’t have to read the others to understand this one. I love the format that these books are written in. Most of the story is written in prose, but some parts are written in verse. The verses reminded me of Ancient Greek texts. The story is accessible for a modern reader, but it has the appearance of an Ancient Greek story.

This story had representation of a disability. Clio fell off a horse and damaged her hip. She had to walk with a crutch and she couldn’t ride a horse anymore. Her father built her a chariot so she could still travel with her horse. Though this story was set in a different time period and Clio had restrictions that a child today wouldn’t have with a disability, this story had great representation of a child with a disability that I haven’t seen often in children’s books.

This is a beautiful middle grade story.

Thank you Pajama Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr

Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

Other books in the series:

Have you read Cuckoo’s Flight? What did you think of it?

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?

Review: Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1)

Title: Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Chain of Gold, a Shadowhunters novel, is the first novel in a brand-new trilogy where evil hides in plain sight and love cuts deeper than any blade. .

Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When her father is accused of a terrible crime, she and her brother travel to London in hopes of preventing the family’s ruin. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. Soon Cordelia encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms, secret assignations, and supernatural salons, where vampires and warlocks mingle with mermaids and magicians. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else.

But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London. These monsters are nothing like those Shadowhunters have fought before—these demons walk in daylight, strike down the unwary with incurable poison, and seem impossible to kill. London is immediately quarantined. Trapped in the city, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.

Review:

Cordelia Carstairs’ father was accused of a crime and arrested, so her mother and brother brought their family to London to start over their lives. Her mother wants Cordelia to be married, but Cordelia is interested in learning how to fight as a Shadowhunter. Cordelia is reunited with her childhood friends Lucie and James Herondale. The world of the Shadowhunters has been quiet for years, without demon attacks to train the younger generation. However, after Cordelia arrives, they encounter some demon attacks during daylight. These demons aren’t like ones they’ve ever fought before because they appear in the daytime. The new generation of Shadowhunters has to figure out how to defeat the new demons while also dealing with their personal relationship problems.

This is the first series I’ve read that follows different generations of a family. The Infernal Devices, which is about the parents of the characters in this book, is one of my favourite series. I loved this continuation of their story. I thought I would miss the parents in this story, but they were in the story enough. There were things the kids had to keep secret from their parents, including their demon battles, which made the story exciting.

Though there were about 6 primary characters in this story, they were all distinct people. It would definitely be helpful to read The Infernal Devices first, because the parents of these characters were introduced in those books. I actually had to make a family tree when I first started reading so I could keep all of the characters straight. However, they each had different personalities and storylines, so it was easy to keep them distinct in my mind.

I loved this start to the new Shadowhunters series!

What to read next:

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Other books in the series:

  • Chain of Iron

Have you read Chain of Gold? What did you think of it?

Review: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)

Title: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Review:

The Shadowhunters of the London Institute must find Mortmain before he can release his automatons on the world. Tessa and Jem are engaged to be married, but the countdown is on when his condition worsens. After a battle with the automatons, Tessa is kidnapped, leading the Shadowhunters on a mission to save her and stop Mortmain.

This was a fabulous finale to this trilogy! There was so much love and heartbreak. I felt like there were so many endings to the story. Halfway through, I felt like the story could have been finished, so I didn’t know what would happen next. The same thing happened with 100 pages left. The ending was quite drawn out but it completed each character’s storyline.

The ending of this book was both beautiful and heartbreaking. I didn’t see how the love triangle between Tessa, Will, and Jem could possibly end happily. There was a much more positive conclusion to that story than I could have predicted, even though it was still so heartbreaking.

I’m very curious to see what happens in Chain of Gold, which is the start of the series that follows this one chronologically. The Infernal Devices was such an amazing series!

What to read next:

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Other books in the series:

Have you read Clockwork Princess? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: The Lost Apothecary

Title: The Lost Apothecary
Author: Sarah Penner
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Park Row
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.

Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

Review:

In 1791, Nella is a secret apothecary who dispenses poisons to her female customers. She had two rules: the poison can never be used against a women and she must record all transactions in her record book. One day, her customer is a young girl named Eliza. She visits the apothecary to get a poison for her mistress to administer to her husband who has suddenly taken an interest in Eliza. This meeting creates an unlikely friendship and threatens to destroy Nella’s entire life’s work. In present day London, Caroline is on her ten year anniversary vacation by herself. She discovered her husband’s affair right before leaving, so she decided to take the vacation alone to have time to think. Caroline goes searching on the banks of the Thames for hidden treasures, and finds a mysterious vial. She takes it upon herself to research the history of the vial, and discovers the two hundred year old mystery of the apothecary murders.

This was such an amazing debut! It was fast paced and I couldn’t put it down. The narrative alternated between Eliza and Nella in 1791 and Caroline in the present. The two stories slowly unraveled together. All of the narratives had exciting cliffhangers that made it almost impossible to stop reading. I usually have a favourite narrative in a story with dual storylines but each of these women’s stories were so exciting, I can’t choose a favourite.

London was an important setting in the story. The two time periods had very different versions of London but they were both connected to the apothecary. Caroline had to use historical maps to figure out where the apothecary would have been in today’s London. Even though the city has been bustling since the time of Nella’s apothecary shop, the secret behind the shop had reminded hidden within London.

This was such a great story! I highly recommend it!

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

What to read next:

Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

About the author:

Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, to be translated in eleven languages worldwide. She works full-time in finance and is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit slpenner.com.

Have you read The Lost Apothecary? What did you think of it?

Review: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)

Title: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Review:

The Shadowhunters of London still are not safe as the Clave wants to remove Charlotte as the head of the London Institute. To save her position, they must hunt down the Magister. Will, Jem, and Tessa have to visit the homes of other Shadowhunters to find the secrets to bring down the Magister. Tessa now knows she can’t trust her brother, but she may not be able to trust some of the other Shadowhunters either.

This series has quickly become one of my favourites. The characters are well developed and have many layers. I like that there are hints of a plot line given early, which ends up developing into an important part later in the book or the series.

There were some shocking twists, but I didn’t find the ending to be as much of a cliffhanger as the first one. There were some secrets that began in the first book and were unraveled in this one. Even though some parts of the story were solved by the end, there are plenty of questions I need answered in another book.

I also love the Victorian literature included in the book. Each chapter opens with a short passage of poetry. Tessa and Will communicate through sharing books. Books are an important part of my life, so I can relate to a character who loves books.

This is such a great series!

What to read next:

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Other books in the series:

Have you read Clockwork Prince? What did you think of it?

Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2)

Title: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2)
Author: Julia Quinn
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Avon Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 5, 2000
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, This Author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London’s most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry. And in all truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better…

–Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1814

But this time the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry–he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield–the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes to not make the best husbands–and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister–but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…

Review:

Anthony Bridgerton is the most eligible bachelor of the season. He’s finally decided to marry, but he knows he will never love his wife. He has chosen to court Edwina Sheffield, but her sister Kate keeps getting in the way. Kate is concerned with making sure her sister finds a good husband, not a rake like Anthony. To keep him away from her sister, Kate ends up spending more time with Anthony. When they suddenly kiss, neither of them can think about anything else and they have to be together.

This story followed a very similar plot to The Duke and I. The hero didn’t want to fall in love, but he ends up in a situation where he had to marry the heroine. Anthony also let his father’s life and death dictate his choices, just like Simon did in the previous book. Anthony’s father died in his late thirties, so he believed he would not live past that age. Both men had to come to terms with the fact that they had to live their own lives, without worrying about following in their fathers’ footsteps.

I didn’t find that Lady Whistledown’s articles commented on the events of the story as much as in the previous novel. A couple of times she said that she wasn’t at certain events, but she would report on them anyway. She guessed at what was happening between Anthony and Kate, rather than reporting on what she knew was happening. There were a few hints as to her identity, and since I know who she is, I loved seeing these hints.

This was another great Bridgerton novel!

What to read next:

An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Other books in the series:

  • The Duke and I
  • An Offer From a Gentleman
  • Romancing Mister Bridgerton
  • To Sir Phillip, With Love
  • When He Was Wicked
  • It’s in His Kiss
  • On the Way to the Wedding

Have you read The Viscount Who Loved Me? What did you think of it?

Review: Miss Benson’s Beetle

Title: Miss Benson’s Beetle
Author: Rachel Joyce
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Dial Press
Source: Once Upon a Book Club VIP
Format: Paperback
Release Date: November 24, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

She’s going too far to go it alone.

It is 1950. London is still reeling from World War II, and Margery Benson, a schoolteacher and spinster, is trying to get through life, surviving on scraps. One day, she reaches her breaking point, abandoning her job and small existence to set out on an expedition to the other side of the world in search of her childhood obsession: an insect that may or may not exist–the golden beetle of New Caledonia. When she advertises for an assistant to accompany her, the woman she ends up with is the last person she had in mind. Fun-loving Enid Pretty in her tight-fitting pink suit and pom-pom sandals seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. But together these two British women find themselves drawn into a cross-ocean adventure that exceeds all expectations and delivers something neither of them expected to find: the transformative power of friendship.

Review:

After an incident of bullying at the school where she teaches, Margery Benson decides to embark on her lifelong dream to find the golden beetle in New Caledonia. She has to find an assistant so she puts an ad in the newspaper. After going through a few different possibilities, she ends up with Enid Pretty, a woman wearing the most colorful clothes and pom-pom sandals. Enid is the opposite of what Margery was looking for in an assistant but she has no other choice. The two women embark on a trip around the world to search for the golden beetle, while also keeping their secrets hidden.

This story was very well plotted. There were a few different plot lines that were all woven together and kept me guessing. Along with the main story of Margery and Enid on their trip, there were a couple of subplots involving people from their pasts. Everything that happened in the story had a purpose and a meaning in the plot.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like the ending. I was loving the story until one thing that happened at the very end. I won’t give any spoilers of what it was, but it was something on the final pages that I don’t think needed to happen for the plot to be completed.

This was a great, original story!

Thank you Once Upon a Book Club for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a subscription box review.

What to read next:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Have you read Miss Benson’s Beetle? What did you think of it?

Review: These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1)

Title: These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1)
Author: Chloe Gong
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 17, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.

Review:

1926: Two rival gangs rule Shanghai: the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers. Juliette Cai is the heiress to the Scarlet Gang. She has just returned from America to resume her role in her father’s empire. Roma Montagov is the heir of the White Flowers. When members of both gangs are found with their throats torn out on the pier, Juliette and Roma have to put their past behind them and join together to investigate what is infecting the city.

Romeo and Juliet is my favourite Shakespeare play. I’ve read it many times, since my class performed it in elementary school. This story is a loose retelling. It doesn’t follow the story exactly, and there were some changes to the original story. Juliette’s and Roma’s families are rivals but they have to work together to figure out who is targeting their gangs, rather than just randomly falling in love and running away from their families.

I liked the little references to people and places from the original play. There was a character named Paul who liked Juliette. At one point, she refers to him as Paris, who was Juliet’s suitor in the play. Roma and Juliette go to a bar called Mantua, which is where Romeo was exiled to in the play. These references to the original play made me smile.

Some parts of this story were intense. The victims were literally tearing out their throats. There were creepy bugs and people being mysteriously infected with a condition that made them kill themselves. These were some disturbing scenes, but they also made the story intense and suspenseful.

This is a great fantasy adaptation of Romeo and Juliet! I can’t wait to read the next book.

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Have you read These Violent Delights? What did you think of it?

Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)

Title: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Review:

1870: Tessa Gray travelled from New York to London to find her brother after the death of their aunt. She was greeted by two women who said they were sent to retrieve her. The women, called the Dark Sisters, kept Tessa locked up until she learned how to use her secret ability, which was to transform into any person. Just before Tessa is sent to marry the mysterious Magister, she is rescued by the Shadowhunters. With their help, Tessa has to find her brother and help save everyone from the Magister.

I love historical fiction and fantasy, so this story was the perfect combination. It was actually quite creepy at the beginning, when Tessa was learning how to use her power. The setting of Victorian London had a dark atmosphere, which added to the fantasy plot.

This was such a great story. I wish I had read it sooner. I can’t wait to read the next one!

What to read next:

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Other books in the series:

  • Clockwork Prince
  • Clockwork Princess

Have you read Clockwork Angel? What did you think of it?