The 5 W’s Book Tag

These upcoming weeks are a bit mad work wise so my apologies if I don’t post as regularly but one of my blogging goals this year was to stick to my posting schedule. This might mean that you’ll get a few more book tags than usual as they’re always fun and easy to do. I’ve seen a lot of people do this tag and I always love reading other peoples answers so I hope you enjoy reading mine. Let me know if you’ve done this tag in the comments as I’d love read your answers.

1 – WHO? Who is an author you’d love to have a one on one with?

I’ve already met Sarah J Maas but I’d love to go out with her and just gush to her about all her books and characters! I’d also love to go out with Leigh Bardugo and maybe get some insider knowledge about the TV show adaptation as well as persuading her to cast me as an extra or something. I’m thinking a ladies lunch or afternoon tea somewhere where we can discuss all our favourites books and characters.

2 – WHAT? What genre or style do you most gravitate to?

Fantasy! I just love exploring different worlds as well as all magical and mystery elements they have. My aim this year is to read more adult fantasy but also to challenge myself and read genre’s that I wouldn’t usually read. It’s going well so far as I’ve read a lot of contemporary and romance reads, books that are all getting me in the mood for Valentines Day!

3 – WHERE? Where do you prefer to read?

I love curling up somewhere cosy wether it be on my sofa at home or in my bed at university, I just like to be warm and comfortable.

4 – WHEN? What time of the day do you prefer to read?

I’m a morning person, so I usually like to read a bit of my book before I start the day but at the same time I always enjoy a quick read in the evening before I go to bed. I think reading is always a good way to start and end the day.

5 – WHY? Why is your favourite book your favourite book?

I don’t really have one ‘favourite’ book, instead I have about 5/6 so I’ll just pick a few of my absolute favourites.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson – I apologise as I swear I mention this book in every post  but it honestly is incredible! The characters, the world, the storyline, all of it is wonderful and I can’t wait to read more of his books this year.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I’m obsessed with all the magic in this book and its ability to transport the reader to the beautiful yet mysterious world of the Night Circus. If you haven’t read this book yet then I highly recommend that it finds a spot on your TBR pile.

Eagle in the Sky by Wilbur Smith – I haven’t mentioned this book for a while but this is the first book (aside from the Harry Potter series ) that I read and instantly fell in love with. This book is a tragic romance that made me cry more than I’d care to admit, but Smith’s writing captivates you and presents such a beautiful story.

BONUS! How do you go about selecting what you’ll read next?

My downfall is that I don’t have any – I just pick anything. But one of my reading goals this year is to tackle my TBR pile and I’ve started setting myself monthly TBR’s to help give myself a bit of structure. The only thing is that I keep getting distracted by new releases and titles up for request on NetGalley!

Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Spoiler Alert

It’s taken me far too long to pick up this book, but I’ve finally got round to reading it and I wasn’t disappointed! I still prefer the first book but that doesn’t mean that this book didn’t lack action as it was a heck of a journey and adventure that saw the highs and lows of emotions, wit, and humor between characters and of course the usual swindling and planning which was cleverly revealed and pieced together at the end.

Crooked Kingdom is the sequel (and final book *sobs*) to the brilliant Six of Crows duologue and picks off right where we left off, in the middle of all the action and plotting. Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.  As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Bardugo’s writing style is utterly perfect as it is so compelling and her ability to juggle so many different perspectives amazes me. The world of Grisha she has created is so detailed and beautiful and I need more of it. And her characters are some of my favourites and it’s one of the elements that make this series so unique and loveable. We even get a bit more romance in these books between Kaz and Inej which I loved, everything he did for her including reuniting her with her family, melted my heart! We also saw Wylan and Jesper get together (yasss) which I didn’t expect and loved as they are both completely different but balance each other out! I need more! I’m still however heartbroken over what happened between Nina and Mattias, they were so close to freedom and a happily ever after but that was all stolen from them! Many of you will probably know that I’m also a huge fan of Leigh’s other series ‘Shadow and Bone’ and I got very excited when we were introduced to some of the characters from that series especially Nickoli who I just adore, it was a nice little surprise!

I don’t think this book could have had a better ending, it left me happy and satisfied yet wanting more, more of these characters and their adventures. This book hit me hard in the heart and I truly don’t want it to end, so Leigh if you’re reading this please continue this series because these characters are so of my all time favorites and I need more adventures with them!

Overall I loved this series and Leigh Bardugo is a bloody genius so I don’t think it’s a surprise if I give it 5/5 stars! If you haven’t ventured into the world of Grisha yet and picked up one of Bardugo’s books then I highly recommend you do as they are all action packed fantasy adventures that I can guarantee you will enjoy!

My Top 5 Favourite Authors

I thought I’d do something different from our usual book reviews and share with our follows my favourite authors and hopefully encourage some of you to pick up some of their books! Please feel free to share your favourite authors in the comments as we are always on the hunt for new authors and books!

  1. Sarah J Maas – The Queen of fantasy and the author of my favourite fantasy series ‘Throne of Glass’. All her books are action packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole novel. Not forgetting her incredible and badass characters who I look forward to reading more about in ‘Empire of Storms’. I have also been lucky enough to meet her and she is one of the loveliest people ever!
  2. Leigh Bardugo – She was one of my favourites when I read the ‘Shadow and Bone’ series but after reading ‘Six of Crows’ she is now one of my all time favourites who I adore! Again her world building and characters are so unique and loveable and I am counting down the days until ‘Crooked Kingdom’ is released.
  3. Wilbur Smith – He’s probably an author that many of you havent heard of, nevertheless I think he is one of the greatest authors as his writing is so captivating and beautiful that it is hard to put one of his books down. He also wrote my all time favourite books ‘Eagle in the Sky’ and I can’t stress enough that everyone needs to read this book as not only is it incredible but truly heartbreaking.
  4. J.K.Rowling – Of course J.K.Rowling had to make an appearance on my list of favourite authors because her writing and storytelling is just so magical and without her we wouldn’t have such a brilliant and iconic book and movie series!
  5. Morgan Matson – She is one of my all time favourite contemporary authors as her books and characters are always so cute and are hard not to love. I recently read ‘The Unexpected Everything’ and I have to admit that it is one of my favourite books of this year and it certainly in my top 5 all time favourite contemporary novels. If you’re looking for a really lovely contemporary that will just warm your heart and make you feel all the feels and emotions then definitely pick up one of her novels!

Amy

Ruin and Rising – Leigh Bardugo

The final instalment of one of my favourite series and what a final book it was, Bardugo knows how to end a series with a bang! And I mean seriously, it was so dramatic! I laughed, I cried and I freaked out a lot thanks to the storyline and Bardugo’s wonderful characters who I love so much.

The capital has been overthrown as the Darkling now rules Ravka. Alina and her team of survivors must now hurry to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers before it’s too late and save whats left of Ravka. However on their journey Alina discovers many secrets about the past and everything she knows and loves.

The storyline, I thought was really well paced, at times it was quick and fast which left me on the edge of my seat however there were also times where the story slowed down for a bit which enable me to catch up and take in everything because there was just so much going on!! Behind every page, I swear there was another battle or fight which I loved because you can’t have a final book of a series without a heck load of action. The final battle I enjoyed reading and I was satisfied with the ending though there were some outcomes of characters (I won’t say whom) which I was a tad disappointed with but I have to admit everything else was very dramatic at the least.

Alina was brilliant in this book and really shone (pardon the pun!)! She proved she could be a could be kick-ass, strong, manipulative and the no-bullshit-type character however I was disappointed to see when the final battle came she wasn’t as badass as I’d hoped. I really loved her ending even if it was particularly plain and ordinary but it shows that she didn’t need a dramatic ending to be happy.

Mal, I also began to like more and his relationship with Alina is just so cute! He finally realized how Alina’s power is a part of her and that she doesn’t need changing. She’s special for who she really is and her talents bring out exactly that. He definitely became the main brick of support for Alina.

Baghra, was a character I never thought I would grow to love, she was brilliant. She finally shared her secrets with Alina and I certainly wasn’t expecting anything. From there her secrets began to learn more and by the end of the book it all became clear. There was a scene in the book between Baghra and the Darkling which really saw the dynamic between them and I have to admit, I did shed a tear. The Darkling was gorgeous as ever but even after all of his actions, I can’t seem to hate him!

The secondary characters like Nikolai, Zoya and Genya were also brilliant and helped bring humour throughout the story through their sassy, arrogant and badass personalities!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am very disappointed that this series has come to an end, as it a wonderful and unique series I recommend everyone reads and I am happy to award it 5/5 stars! On the other hand, I can’t wait to read Leigh Bardugo’s next masterpiece ‘Six of Crows’! I just read the synopsis and it sounds amazing!

Siege and Storm – Leigh Bardugo

I LOVE THIS SERIES! This is another one of those occasions when I’ve read the first book in the series last year and totally forgotten how much I enjoyed it. Once again the storyline was intense and packed full of action and we were also introduced to some great new characters. I loved the beginning, middle and the end!

After escaping the Darklings clutches, Alina and Mal must must try and uncover the secrets of the amplifiers and how to defeat the Darkling once and for all. With the Darklings new and dangerous abilities, Alina must return to the country she abandoned and fight the forces gathering against Ravka as well as the power she possesses.

Leigh Bardugo doesn’t miss any action, with action and surprises lurking around every corner. The plot was well paced and the world created is just perfect. You can see that a lot of time and effort has gone into creating this world from creating old folk stories and various places each with their own unique environment. The writing is also so imaginative and lyrical yet at the same time funny and witty; it’s perfect.

Alina’s character development is certainly different as she faces the struggles of gaining and asserting power but on the other hand she is certainly beginning to come out of her shell and her actions are now powerful and brave. Alina’s battle isn’t with some external force, it’s with herself. As a female protagonist she is perfect as she is not only brave and badass but kind and protective.

Mal, on the other hand, proves to be a loyal, fierce companion who truly loves Alina but sits in a very difficult position. His relationship with Alina certainly dominates this book although we do have glimpses of scenes between Alina and Darkling alone. Mal, on the other hand, proves to be a loyal, fierce companion who truly loves Alina. Their relationship gets rocky at times but Alina, Mal and Darkling are certainly not in some sort of typical love triangle.

I loved all the new character especially the twins, Tamar and Toya who I thought were brilliant and I can’t wait to learn more about them in the next book as in this book they stayed quite reserved and closed. Their relationship with Alina is genuine and you can tell by their actions they will protect and support her through anything…

I still hold a love for both Mal and The Darkling, there’s now also Sturmhond, a dashing privateer with a careless grin and hidden agenda. I can’t help it, I have a serious weakness for men who have a gift for witty banter. Lets add him to my list of fictional boyfriends (which I know think is well over 50)!

The ending! What a cliff hanger! I currently suffering from a book hangover and I seriously need to my hands on the next book as soon as possible. I’m normally quite good at guessing these things but that totally surprised me and had me screaming at the book itself!

If you like novels such as ‘Red Queen’ or ‘The Throne of Glass’ Series then this series will be right up your street. It’s packed full of surprises and brilliant characters who you’ll instantly fall in love with. Overall, I give this book 5/5 stars and I highly recommend you pick up this series if you have done so already!

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

How could I have waited so long to read a series that has everything I like; magical powers, war, complicated sexy men, and a magnificently flawed female protagonist! Not to mention the alternative Russian setting! I have to thank the lovely lady in Waterstones who recommended this book to me; I’m so glad she did!! I loved the concept of the book and I feel in love with the world of Grisha however i have to admit that the book got a bit boring in the middle. But apart from that it was a good book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

The book follows the journey of Alina, a pale, lonely orphan who discovers a unique power which turns her world upside down as she becomes a Grisha. With this new power Alina must learn to control it as well as trying to follow her destiny. But discovering her power comes with a great risk?

For me the first part of the book was brilliant as it was full of twist and turns which kept you at the end of your seat. However putting a negative spin on things, i thought the middle part of the book when Alina spent time in the court, got a bit dull and boring. But I did redeem itself at the end and for the last 100 pages i was on the edge of my seat as it was packed full of action.

As for the characters, I thought Alina was brilliant; a real strong female protagonist. I loved the fact we saw her turn from a shy nobody to a strong hero with a destiny that could either save or destroy the world. I also loved Mal; the boy from home who grew up to again be a strong warrior. But then there’s The Darkling who is the complete opposite! He’s dark and mysterious; what more do you want. As every other young adult novel there has to be a love triangle and is this case it involves Alina, Mal and The Darkling. In my opinion I want Mal and Alina to end up together as I think they have a much better relationship and i could definitely see them living happily ever after. However we’ve still got two books left so who knows whats going to happen…

Overall I give this book 4/5 stars was it is has everything a fantasy novel needs; magical powers, wars and a great female protagonist!! It is brilliant. If your a fan of ‘Throne Of Glass’ or ‘Divergent’ I recommend you check it out!

And just recently, I found out that David Heyman, the Producer of the Harry Potter films is planning on making this a movie! Yay!!