Super Quick: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns + Ink, Iron, and Glass + Fawkes

by - 1:38 PM

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)
Published on October 10, 2017 by Philomel Books |
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars |

🐍 retellings: Fairytale retellings are some of my favorite stories to read and villain origin stories are right up there. It's no surprise that going into this novel I had extremely high expectations and admittedly compared this in my mind to Marissa Meyer's Heartless. Xifeng is a driven girl who will stop at nothing to achieve her a goals but she wasn't as likable as Heartless' Katherine and this ended up turning of me off from the story. I found myself disconnected from her as the protagonist to the point where I didn't care much for her success.
🐍 romance: Wei and Xifeng are another couple on my growing list of ships I'm not a fan of. While this ship doesn't sail for long before rapidly sinking, I couldn't feel the pain and tension that I believe was the author's purpose of including Wei's character in the story. Since I wasn't connected with either character, Wei felt like an unnecessary character that didn't have a concrete role in the story which is unfair to him since he is such a sweet guy.
🐍 darkness: This was my favorite part, well one of them. This story has all the lovely dark elements of the Evil Queen that I wanted. Xifeng has the blessing of the Serpent God and his dark magic which is quite gruesome, but I enjoyed the sinister aura it gave the story. The price of beauty comes often at the cost of blood.
🐍 Asian background: This aspect of the story was what drew me in at first and it was also what kept me reading. I loved the rich Chinese-inspired background with court politics and traditions. Having the classic story of Snow White set in such a familiar setting was exciting to see as well as comforting because it felt like this tale was set in a world I understood culturally.
🐍 Read this book? Check out my Goodreads review for my spoiler thoughts!

Ink, Iron, and Glass (Ink, Iron, and Glass, #1)
Published on February 20, 2018 by Macmillan/Imprint |
My rating: 3 of 5 stars |

🖋 scriptology, alchemy, mechanics: The premise of this world is so fascinating and unique. At first it was a bit difficult to grasp everything, it felt like the author was just info dumping so much and that we were being thrown into the midst of an already progressing story but things did become more understandable eventually.
🖋 Elsa: It took me a good while before I grew to like our main character. To be honest, I'm still not the hugest fan...nothing about her really stands out to me and I despised how she was portrayed as aloof and uncaring because that transferred into how I cared about her. Eventually, (that seems to be my buzz word for this review) I grew to accept her but I'm still iffy on how I feel about her character development.
🖋 Skander: He's not even a main character, he's just an octopus like figure with wings but honestly he was one of my favorite things about this book.
🖋 cliches: This book feels like there are just so many of them that while the events weren't predictable on my part (I'm pretty bad at guessing) once things were revealed it felt underwhelming...
🖋 sequel?: I haven't decided if I want to continue...there isn't much that's compelling me to keep reading other than to see how events play out...and to see more Skander in action :)

Published on July 10, 2018 by Thomas Nelson |
My rating: 4 of 5 stars |

A copy was provided for an honest review by BookLooks - all opinions are 100% my own.

🗡️ historical fiction + fantasy: I had little to no knowledge of the Gunpowder Plot so I was going into this novel without much background information. With that being said, this book was amazing in delivering enough historical fact to give the reader a fair sense of the plot while twisting certain elements to incorporate fantastical elements.
🗡️ racism: This novel deals so well with the idea of racism in such a unique fashion. There's this aversion to people with Stone Plague that captures the essence of how people react to people of color and personally, the way the author interwove those two just felt incredibly compelling and powerful.
🗡️ color magic: I adored the magic system in this world. While I would have like a bit more explanation about the specifics, maybe that's just me being a nerd, the basic gist is that you can control everything that fits within the Color you have bonded with (more or less). The idea of a mask holding one's power and the tradition of fathers and mothers creating masks for their sons daughters gives it more of a symbolic meaning.
🗡️ white light: There are hints of religious appeal with the "character" of White Light - Keepers fear its immense power and Ignitors crave it, but as the source of all colors, White Light simply wants to connect with the people. The character progression of Thomas in particular was incredibly powerful as he began to form his own answers rather than following with the preconceived biases of the present sides.
🗡️ Read this book? Check out my Goodreads review for my spoiler thoughts!

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  1. I love Forest of a Thousand Lanterns! It is a beautiful and unique retelling :D

    Camillea Reads

    1. It was definitely so different than anything I've ever read :)

      Thanks for saying hi ♥Rivalie