The Cruel Prince – Spoiler Free Review

The Cruel Prince is a tale of goblin fruit and hidden ambition. Star speckled skies and moss shrouded forests. The taste of poison on your tongue and hands on your waist. Blood spilled on tree roots and collars wound tight. This is a tale of beauty, intrigue, betrayal and power.
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Other than The Spiderwick Chronicles, I haven’t had the chance to foray into Holly Black’s other work, so going into this I didn’t quite know what to expect. Faerie books are quite an alchemy to get right as they can so easily fall into over extravagant work that becomes lost in it’s own grandeur and tropes. This book did not fall into that category. Holly was able to create a fae world that tumbled out the pages and grew, blossoming as the story went on. A world with all the wonderment and stark beauty you could expect from a faerie land, but with the dark twisted underside of a world with as much darkness and deceit as beauty. A harsh playing field of political moves, beings who can lie but manage to deceive at every turn and bitter rivalries as sour as unripe fruit.

I was blown away by the intricacy of the plot in this novel. There were so many different aspects to this story that this book felt like many different genres merged into a completely unique take on a YA fantasy. There was complex political manoeuvres, deep roots of emotional family connections, jealous rivalries and self discovery. The story was crafted in such detail I never knew what would happen next and development of not only the plot but all the characters was incredible. There really is something for everyone held between these pages, whether it’s a certain character or plot line, this story is vast and it is enchanting.

This is a book I feel you should go into knowing as little as possible so in the few words I have left all I will say is this. The Cruel Prince is a dark and deeply beautiful book that will keep you hooked from the first page and hungering for the rest. It is brutal, fast paced and enchanting. I really can’t recommend this enough, especially if you are a fantasy lover, this is a must read.


Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young – Review

“Ond eldr” 

Breathe fire. 

From the first page of Sky In The Deep we are thrust into the brutal, chaotic beauty of the Nordic setting that grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. This is a world of fog shrouded fjords, hard eyed warriors and warring clans.

As someone with Noridc heritage, I have always been on the lookout for a novel set in the time of Viking history and folklore. Until now there hasn’t been any books paving the way for this niche in YA literature, until now. Sky In The Deep follows the story of Eelyn. Eelyn in an Aska warrior who has lived her whole life in her village on the fjord. Every fighting season she meets the rival clan of the Riki at Aurvanger, the blood soaked setting for every year of conflict. When she sees her dead brothers face through the fog soaked battlefield wearing the armour of the enemy, it sets in motion a journey that will change her life forever.

This is a stand alone fantasy book and it is utterly refreshing. The story doesn’t rely on cliches so often used in YA novels but explores the themes of family, betrayal, honour and self discovery. The characters are well developed, real and visceral in their depth of emotion. This was the case for not just Eelyn, our main character, but all the other cast in this novel. These characters will leave a mark on you that will be hard to remove.

I have to commend Adrienne Young on her beautiful representation of the Viking and Nordic culture. In this novel we get to explore what life was like in a Viking village and fighting clan. The sacrificial ceremonies and traditions, the moral codes and eye for an eye justice, as well as the age old animosities between rival clans borne from fabled law of wars between Gods. I really hope this novel paves the way for more Viking based fantasy because this era of history in fascinating.

What really made this book sing however was the writing. Adrienne has a beautiful yet subtle way of making her words so visual that I felt I could reach out and touch the world around me. The wood clad halls, smells of burning sage, snow capped forests and roaring battlefields all burst of the page in wondrous quality. This book played out like a movie in my head making my reading experience unforgettable. The action is some of the best I have read as it is both co-ordinated and unpredictable. The fighting techniques used by the warriors and fighting mates such as the clicking of tongues to signal movements and orders was thrilling. Within the bloody chaos of battle our characters managed to find oddly beautiful and serene moments that brought not just bloodshed and death to the fight, but also emotion.

I could keep talking about this book for hours so i’ll have to wrap this review up. You don’t read this book, you experience it. Sky In The Deep is a unique, thrilling and emotional exploration into Viking life and self discovery. I loved every page, every character and I will not be forgetting this story anytime soon. If you like fantasy, history or are just looking for a quick but thrilling read then pick this up. It comes out in April so get your pre-order in and step into this beautiful and brutal world.

The Bear And The Nightingale & The Girl In The Tower – Series Review

The Bear And The Nightingale 

“Solovey will take me to the ends of the earth if I ask it. I am going into the world, Alyosha. I will be no one’s bride, neither of man nor of God. I am going to Kiev and Sarai and Tsargrad, and I will look upon the sun on the sea.”
― Katherine ArdenThe Bear and the Nightingale

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I have always had a personal love and interest for Russian history and folklore. For this reason, when I first heard about The Bear And The Nightingale, I was immediately intrigued. This first book in the trilogy introduces us to a girl named Vasya. Living with her family in a small village situated in the wilderness of Northern Russia, she is a wildly spirited and inquisitive girl who finds herself drawn into an adventure to uncover the things most people can’t see. A winter king, an enchanted horse, a one-eyed man and spirits that have been forgotten and overlooked by the people of Russia in their unchallenged worship of God.

From the first page this book ensnared me and held on from every page after. It was exciting, enchanting, beautiful and inspiring. There were just so many aspects of this book that made the whole story sing. You have the dark and twisting magic steeping the pages that made this book read like a Grimm’s fairy tale. The expertly crafted use of Russian history, from the inequality and struggles of women within this time to the richly described landscapes of wild Russia and the importance of faith to it’s people.

As a main character Vasya was the perfect person to follow along on this journey. She is brave, strong-willed, spirited, and her curiosity allows you as a reader to face the unknown and stare into the eyes of the magic within this story. She is a very inspiring character, especially for young girls and it’s great to see such an empowering character in a YA fantasy who I think will be a leave a lasting impact on a lot of people.

“All my life,” she said, “I have been told ‘go’ and ‘come.’ I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls and surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed me.”
― Katherine ArdenThe Bear and the Nightingale

I loved how developed she was just within the first novel and I really can’t wait to see how far her character grows within this trilogy.

I really just can’t recommend this book enough. If you are a fantasy lover, are interested in history or just love to read a good adventure full of twists an turns, magic and inspiring female characters, then pick this one up.

The Girl In The Tower

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Sweeping us back into the rich and mystical wilderness of Russia, The Girl In The Tower brings us back into the tale of Vasya on her adventure of self discovery and magic. Following on from the events of the first book, Vasya is heading out on her first solo journey outside her small Russian village to discover the wonders of the world she has so long dreamed about. Experiencing the realities of travel through a winter shrouded land however, Vasya soon discovers troubles on the road of both man and magical kind.

With the first instalment of this series being so incredibly vivid and enchanting I had very high expectations for this novel and it did not disappoint. This book expanded the world so much and added even more texture and depth to this already beautifully crafted book. Held within these pages are the golden gilded domes of Moscow city, political games played by kings and lords as they move their pieces into position, horse races across sun lit ice and winter kings who hold more warmth than cold in their hearts. From start to finish this book was a dream. The writing was lyrical, the settings were alive and the whole book was steeped with well crafted underlying tones of family complexities, the inequality of women in the time period, and the trials of self discovery.

I don’t want to say much more as I think you should know as little about this book as you can before diving in, so all I will say is that I can’t recommend this series enough. The first book was incredible and The Girl In The Tower was even better. I can’t wait to read the next book and discover more of this world as we follow Vasya once again. If you like fantasy, Russian history, folklore, or just a really good book with a strong female lead then definitely pick this series up!

Top Reads Of 2017 So Far

This year is passing by in a blur and somehow we already find ourselves in the cold but beautiful grips of Autumn. Although we still have a few months left I have already read a multitude of wonderful books that have become some of my favourites. I thought I would write this post to share that with you because a good book is made to be shared.

The Secret History – Donna Tartt 

70897First up is the novel that was actually my very first read of the year. After hearing about this book for months I thought I would give it a go and it’s safe to say this book is now one of my all time favourite books ever. The toxic, twisting story, the incredibly complex characters who you both love and suspect make this a deliciously dark and engaging book to digest. Tartt has such a beautiful style of writing that just hooks you to the page. After reading this book I immediately wanted to re read it and I’m sure every time I do there will be something new to discover.


The Wolf Wilder – Katherine Arden 


The Wolf Wilder is the story of a young girl Feo who goes on a mission with her pack of wolves across the Russian wilderness to save her mother and it was utterly beautiful. This story was not only heart warming but also had a lot of meaningful themes that were extremely well handled. Although this is a children’s book, anyone could read this and enjoy every page. Full of the beautiful landscape of wild Russia and the inclusion of Wolves who are extraordinary creatures, this was a lush setting and would be a perfect Winter read.


The Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson



Brandon Sanderson is known as a master of fantasy so I finally decided that 2017 was going to be the year when I gave his work a try and it blew my mind. In the world of the this trilogy people known as Mistborn are able  to burn metals and use their compounds as a abilities. With this power a band of thieves and misfits try to overthrow a crooked hierarchy and it’s leader. With epic fight scenes, complex themes, incredibly detailed world building and a truly mind-blowing story this series was impeccable. There really isn’t anything I didn’t love and this series will forever be one of my favourites.


Lord Of Shadows – Cassandra Clare

33336580I’m an avid Cassandra Clare fan, both her Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series are some of my favourites. So that being said I have read a lot of her books but hands down Lord Of Shadows is her best book yet. I can’t even begin to explain how detailed, complex and beautifully crafted the characters in this series are without making a blog post hours long. This book is not only an exciting adventure with all the magic and mystery you could want, but also a deeply meaningful and diverse read. This book includes characters with leaning disabilities, a transgender character, gay characters and also deals with young carer issues. I can’t wait to carry on with this series, the wait till 2019 is going to be a long one!

Night Film – Marisha Pessl 


I have read a lot of thriller books and have enjoyed most of them but there is just something about Night Film that really made it stand out. The inclusion of photos and files along with the toxic side of the film industry weaving its way through the story made this book addicting. Every time I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down again as the story felt ever-changing and the characters a step away from a discovery or dark end. I’m really interested to read her other work so I’ll definitely be picking up more of her books next year!


Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo 




Leigh Bardugo is one of my all time favourite authors so when this came out I had to pick it up. I have never been a big super hero fan and going into this I knew pretty much nothing about Wonder Woman so I was a bit apprehensive that this would feel like a Bardugo book. I was pleasantly surprised though as this not only had the epic shield crashing fight scenes and a big dose of wonder, but also had a host of meaningful messages and Leigh’s distinctive voice was intertwined all the way through. This was an extremely fun adventure and had a full cast of lively and inspiring characters.

The Last Magician – Lisa Maxwell

35655031This was such a fun urban fantasy read set in the roaring 1920’s of New York City. With magicians, time travel and gang wars, this was an action packed ride wrapped up in a wondrous, alive setting. I loved the time travel aspect in this novel, it was very like Inception and the other abilities were really cool too. I loved the main character Esta, and seeing her try to fit into the constraints placed on women during that time period. This novel just had everything you want from a good fantasy and I couldn’t recommend it enough.



An Enchantment Of Ravens – Margaret Rogerson 

30969741This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it lived up to all the hype. Following the story of a painted called Isobelle navigating her way through the lands of the fae after committing the fatal crime of painting human sorrow in a fae’s eyes, this was a magical adventure. With lush writing, beautiful settings and a unique take on the life of fae this was a really enjoyable read. I loved the simplicity of the story that was just crafted in a perfect way to make a short and sweet story. With just enough magic, darkness and fantasy this will always be a fond favourite of mine.


Daughter Of Smoke And Bone – Laini Taylor

13600168I have been wanting to start this series for years now but finally bit the bullet and did it. This first instrumental made me fall in love with this story after the first few chapters. Laini Taylor has such a beautiful prose that the word sing of the page and straight into your heart. This story full of angels, demons, wishbones and blue hair have me enraptured. I’m about finish the third and final book later today and I’m not looking forward to putting this story down. I’m definitely going to get my hands on everything else Laini Taylor has written because I need more of her work!


The Language Of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo

34076952This collection of short stories from the Grisha world was everything I expected it to be and more. They were dark like a Grimm’s fairy tale and had the magical twists from Leigh herself and each one was wonderful. Coupled with beautiful illustrations that moved through the story with you page by page, this is a book that I will treasure forever. The cover is delicately embossed and foiled, the pages smooth and the text inside wondrous. This book isn’t just a great collection of stories but a treasure.


That’s about it for my top favourites of the year so far. I have a lot of other books i really enjoyed, bu these were the ones that really made an impression on me. If you haven’t some of these books before I highly recommend you do, and I hope you enjoy them just as much as I did!

Leave a comment and tell me some of your favourite books of 2017 so far. 🙂

The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington – Spoiler Free Review

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset The Red Ribbon is a story of survival. This is a story of green, yellow, red, and white. A story of loss, hope and friendship. A beautifully woven and truly unforgettable novel.

This book follows the story of Ella, a fourteen year old girl who is a prisoner in Birkenau-Auschwitz, also known as Birchwood. We follow Ella on her haunting journey of survival in a day to day life surrounded by darkness and death. Now, I have read a lot of books and studied this period of history so I already knew a lot about the holocaust. However, I had never heard of the true story of a sewing workshop that was set up in this particular work camp. It was set up by the commandant’s wife who had a select few prisoners with enough skill, to tailor dresses and garments for herself and other officers within the camp. As our main character Ella, has always dreamed of owning a dress shop with her beloved grandmother, the little workshop of silk and thread is a ray of light in Ella’s dark days. However, we journey with her through the good and bad as she has to face the realisation she is making beauty for the very people keeping her prisoner.

Through the utter degradation of life in the camp, Lucy Adlington sensitively reveals the grief, suffering and complete fight for survival that was faced by the prisoners. We get to see Ella face moral dilemmas of answering the question of fight or flight? We see realistically, how being in a situation like that would reveal or change our moral standings. Do you fight for yourself and yourself only? Being in such a dire situation brings out a natural instinct to survive. But do you give into the instinct or help others and stand together? I loved that this book explored these questions that I think a lot of people would have faced, without sugar coating it in any way.

Through the vast cast of characters we see the different ways this confinement and complete genocide effected people. Ella was a great lead character to take us on this expansive story. She was feisty and spirited, creative and sensitive. I loved seeing her develop through the novel and I became so attached to her. The friendship between Ella and Rose that is one of the most significant features of the book is just utterly beautiful. With Ella’s tough edges and Rose’s imaginative, selfless personality, they made a beautiful pair in a setting of snow and sorrow. With many other vibrant characters stitched through the story you really get a sense of how very human each of them were, though they were treated as little more than animals, their personalities burst off the pages into life and colour.

I could go on for hours about how much I loved this book, so before I make this review far too long I need to wrap this up. The Red Ribbon is perfect for any fans of historical fiction, especially the works of Ruta Sepetys, Anthony Doerr and Markus Zusak. This is a harrowing yet charming story that shines light on the power of hope. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough as I truly believe it is one everyone should read.
Read this book to remember. Read this book to learn. Read this book to hope for a better future.

Autumn Reading Recommendations

The winds are changing, the leaves are taking on their golden hue and autumn is finally here. Autumn is my favourite season for many reasons, but especially for reading. There is nothing better than sitting in the crisp morning air, or snuggled under a blanket with the rain hitting your window reading an atmospheric book to match the weather. To help you find the perfect books to read this month I thought I would give you guys some recommendations of books that I think are perfect accompaniments to this tumultuous season.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt 


“Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.”

This book doesn’t only have a dark autumnal atmosphere, but also a story that will twist and turn, leaving you quite literally chilled to the bone. The complex cast of characters and murderous plot make this a classic must read.

The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 11408650

“Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. 
She’s wrong.”

Now this is a book that offers much more than the synopsis offers. This book plays on archetypes, blending the ideas of the hero, villain, sidekick and plot twists. With a complex unreliable narrator and extremely creepy story line this book is perfect for autumn. You will find yourself wading through the paranormal happenings held within the pages and second guessing not only the main character, but yourself.

Burial R17333319ites by Hannah Kent   

“A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. 
Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. 
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.” 

This books barren and windswept setting blows right off the pages an immerses you within the Icelandic tundra. I found this novel not only informative but extremely moving is a subtle heart breaking way. This is a perfect read for any history fans out there.


An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson  

30969741“Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.”

I haven’t actually read this book yet as it comes out on the 26th of September but it is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Faeires, magic and woodland setting?! This book sounds like the definition of autumn and i think it will be the perfect thing to read this month.


Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco 28962906

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.”

This re -working of the famous Jack The Ripper murders is a brilliantly fun novel of wit, atmosphere and mystery. With strong female lead, a chilling smoky setting of London  and a Sherlock/Watson style duo, there isn’t anything not to like about this book. This will keep you highly entertained and creeped out from the first page to the last.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte IMG_0240

“Charlotte Brontë tells the story of orphaned Jane Eyre, who grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, enduring loneliness and cruelty. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane’s natural independence and spirit – which prove necessary when she finds employment as a governess to the young ward of Byronic, brooding Mr Rochester. As her feelings for Rochester develop, Jane gradually uncovers Thornfield Hall’s terrible secret, forcing her to make a choice. Should she stay with Rochester and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions – even if it means leaving the man she loves? A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre dazzled readers with its passionate depiction of a woman’s search for equality and freedom.”

This epic gothic tale that spans lifetimes is a haunting and beautiful story that is utterly unforgettable. Every time i opened the pages of this novel i was transported to ancient manors and dar corridors, wind swept moors and dust filled window seats. The dark tone of this story is fitting for the season and all the secrets it holds.


This is just a small selection of some of my favourite books to read this time of year. I hope you manage to find one or all of these books good accompaniments to your autumn tbr. What books are you reading this month and do you have any good recommendations?

Wonder Woman Warbringer; Review

‘Sister in battle, I am shield and blade to you.

While I live, your cause is mine.’

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As the Six Of Crows duology and The Grisha Trilogy  is and forever will be some of my favourite ever book series, anything Leigh Bardugo writes is an instant buy for me. So, despite the fact that I knew next to nothing about Wonder Woman going into this book, I ended up loving every page of it. Wonder Woman Warbringer is an origin story. It follows Diana as a teenager, living in the Amazon’s homeland of Themyscira, trying to find her place on the island as the only one born of it’s shores. After making the fateful choice of saving a  young girl called Alia, who just so happens to be a direct descendent of Helen Of Troy, also known as a Warbringer, Diana and Alia are thrust into an adventure to prevent a war that will stop at nothing to let ruin and bloodshed descend on the world.

Now, I’m not much a fan of action movies and super heroes, so I was very apprehensive going into this book. Although I love Leigh’s other work I was worried this would fall into the predictable, over dramatic action scene fest we normally see in super hero stories, but Leigh wove her magic and found a perfect balance. This book has everything you would expect from a Wonder Woman novel, the strong female lead, badass fight scenes with beautiful Amazons and a good dose of golden lassoes and shield throwing. Through all this know, you could distinctly hear Leigh Bardugo’s voice. Her messages were profound, her writing lyrical and her character interactions both emotional and comedy gold.

‘Diana felt the cold water beyond the boundary engulf her fully. The sea had her now, and it was not friendly. The current seized her legs, dragging her down, a massive, rolling force, the barest shrug of a god.’

‘ Do you know what the Spartans said when the Persians demanded they lay down their arms and surrender?

‘No,’ said Theo. ‘But I bet it was followed by a lot of yelling and a slow-motion fight scene.’


I also have to take a moment to appreciate the diversity within this book. There were African America  as well as Indian main characters which was so great to see. Leigh also very sensitively showcased the racial differences and double standards between Diana as white and Alia as black. When Diana enters the mortal world she begins to witness and be explained to by Alia the different ways she is treated for being black. She isn’t first and foremost showcased as Alia to the world, but just a black girl. How she has to be aware of how she is acting because she knows the colour of her skin makes her stand out. I was so thankful to Leigh for highlighting this within the novel. Diversity is needed within all literature but especially in YA. To educate young people and allow them to walk in the shoes of someone dealing with racism is so important.

There were so many other inspiring and educational messages woven into this story. The juxtaposition between the ancient beliefs and gods that used to be worshiped to more modern influences of money, wealth and technology which have become a form of worship in everyday modern life. The empowerment of female friendships and holding each other up instead of dragging each other down. The idea of personal battles that we fight every day. Anxiety, insecurity, and all the issues we face at points in our life. We may not all be Amazons like Diana, wielding swords and shields, but we fight our own kind of battle through life and everything that comes with it.

I could talk more and more about this book and all it’s brilliant details but I will wrap this up now before this review becomes far too long. This book surprised me. It was not just a Wonder Woman novel but also a book about friendship, hope and self-identity. It was epic, inspiring and wonderous.

JORD Wood Watch Giveaway

As you all know about me, I am a lover of nature and the wilderness of the wood. So when Jord Wood Watches contacted me asking if I would like to try out one of their wooden watches, I jumped at the chance. A watch is such a timeless piece and can become a constant companion in everyday life that you really want one that you love. I have been on the hunt for such a watch for a long time now but as soon as I saw JORD watches, that hunt was over!

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JORD focuses on creating timepieces modeled after a modern lifestyle. They value sustainability, efficiency, and experiential living. The thing I like most about these JORD wood watches is that they are all made using sustainable woods such as acaia, bamboo and maple. These watches are really designed for you adventurers out there, ready to explore life and take your watch with you for the ride.

My watch is the Hyde series Walnut & Black and it is absolutely beautiful. When I opened the box to find this inside I was stunned by the natural beauty of this watch. The dark walnut colour with the veins of the natural wood showing through is absolutely stunning! With a large watch face and small metal details, this watch is a statement piece.

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Even though these watches are made out of wood they are not heavy or cumbersome at all. My watch is lightweight and sits perfectly on my wrist. With the large range of styles available for both men’s watches and women’s watches you will always be able to find a watch that is perfect for you or a loved one. As these watches are made from 100% hand finished woods, giving them a beautifully natural finish, they are especially perfect for the upcoming autumn season. I’ve already received countless compliments from my friends and family about my new watch, my sister would like to get one for herself as well! There are millions of watches out there but JORD watches really are in a league of their own.

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I’m partnering up with JORD on this blog post to host a giveaway for one of you win a $100 gift card towards your very own JORD wood watch! If that isn’t already good enough, JORD have been kind enough to gift everyone who enters the giveaway a $25 gift card for a wooden watch, so this is an opportunity too good to miss!

This giveaway ends on 01/10/2017 at 11.59pm and the giveaway codes for both the $100 giftcard and the $25 giftcards ends on 31/12/2017 so enter now and share this with your friends so you don’t miss out on the chance to get your very own JORD Wooden Watch!

Click here to enter giveaway!

More Wood Watches Here

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by JORD Wooden Watches. However all opinions expressed are my own.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell Spoiler Free Review

A tale of palatial ballrooms and cobbled streets, jewelled daggers and trap doors. Scarred shoulders and split lips, the thunder of horses hoofs against a smog filled sky. The applause of an audience, a man-made of shadows. City skylines, scarred backs and split lips. A cravat wound tightly around a neck, kisses shared and stolen.

Magic, mystery, betrayal. Welcome, to The Last Magician.

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From the moment I read the synopsis of this book I pre- ordered it because the premise was just so intriguing. I will let you read it for yourself.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

Sounds amazing, right? Well I can promise it was and I loved every second of it.

First off, I would life to talk about the setting of this novel. This story takes place in two different time periods of New York City, one in modern-day and one in the early 1920s. This bustling expanse of city with equal parts glam and grit lent itself so well to creating a brilliant atmosphere for this exciting adventure. I was so interesting seeing our main character Esta, who is a strong-willed protagonist, having to remould herself around the standards held against women during the later period. Also, who can’t love the 1920s with its roaring club scene and amazing fashion? Mix in some time travel and fantasy and it’s an instant hit.

The best thing about this book was its cast of characters. Each one was so well-developed they really commanded your attention. Esta was a brilliant lead. She was feisty, intelligent and sympathetic. With such a clear voice she was easy to rally behind and lead you through the novel. I really appreciated the diversity within the characters too. There was also a lesbian character included which was really great. Their romantic interests were not a large part of the story as they weren’t a main character, but it is so important to be inclusive in books, especially YA so I loved to see this put within the novel.

I really felt the magical aspect of The Last Magician was done so well. You can tell Maxwell put a lot of thought into the abilities and Esta’s use of time travel. It’s not just your typical magic you see in a lot of superhero or YA fantasy novels, it was more like the movie Inception, with the idea of levels of time that you can only move through in certain ways and with a lot of risks. It was refreshing to some complex fantasy elements as I was worried it would be a lot of abilities I had seen before.

I don’t want to say too much as this is a book you should go into knowing as little as possible, but all in all this was a fabulous first instalment to what I’m sure will be a winning series. For any fantasy lover this plot is just ripe for picking. With beautiful writing, a time bending setting and an explosive ending this was a 5 star book for me. After turning the last page all I wanted was more. If you like fantasy, are a fan of Six Of Crows or just want an exciting new book to read than i highly, highly recommend you pick this one up.


Exploring Literary Genres

As book lovers, we all read a lot of novels and they are all different. But we all have those certain genres that we always reach for, an attraction to a specific type of book that gravitates towards are unique tastes. Some like those epic fantasies containing huge worlds within their pages, others enjoy romances that while they make you cry also leave you feeling warm inside. We all make a connection to a genre and feel so comfortable wading along its shores, but what happens if you move to the deep end and let the current take you?

I have one of those genres. Well, two actually. For me, fantasy and historical fiction have always been the genres that I go to first. Whenever I’m on the hunt for new books I immediately look into those two genres and most of the books I read within a year fit into those categories. I love fantasy so much because it’s just so exciting. There is nothing impossible in fantasy. A book about shape shifting woodland elves, people wielding the alchemical powers of metal, dragon riders and a ring that can destroy the world? It can all happen in fantasy books. They are escapism in it’s finest and being able to fall into so many different worlds is addicting.

Historical fiction is my other favourite genre because it is just fascinating. I have always loved history. I studied it all through school including my A level final year studies, I watch countless documentaries about different eras of history and I love a good period drama. Reading a historical fiction novel is a way to step into the very shoes of someone from a different time. You get to live a life inside someones head from WW2, 1920s New York, the old west and more, experiencing the past world through their eyes and experiences. It makes some of the painful moments of history so vivid and heart breaking, allowing us to learn so much more about the feelings and experiences people went through.

Although i love these genres dearly and will continue to read them, this year I really wanted to break out of my reading boundaries and try some genres I never really reach for. As a kind of new years resolution I decided I wanted to try to read more classics and adult fiction. The only classics i had read before this year were for school. The only one I tried for myself was the famous Pride & Prejudice. Now this will be an unpopular opinion, but I hated Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t even finish it. After having such trouble with that novel I felt very worried about picking up another classic in fear I would not find one I liked. However, after having had my eye on Jane Eyre for a while, which has a much more mysterious and interesting plot compared to Pride and Prejudice, I decided to pick it up. I fell in love with the it. From beginning to end it was an atmospheric, lyrical story that exuded emotion and meaning. Enjoying it so much it made me realise to not be so scared or intimated by something without trying it out. If i never picked up classics because of my one bad experience of Pride and Prejudice I would be excluding myself from incredible stories.

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It really felt like a lesson learned to me and I wanted to write this post in the hopes that others don’t make the same mistake. If you have a genre that you never read just take a minute to think about why? If there aren’t any major reasons then why not give it a go? I found it really refreshing to read something so different to what I normally do. We are about half way through this year already and I’m so glad I have spent that time reading some books I would have been too apprehensive to pick up last year. I definitely want to dedicate more time of 2017 to picking up those classics and contemporaries, exploring the genres I don’t normally wander through.