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Book Review: Aofie’s Quest + Giveaway

This is my stop during the bookstagram blitz for Aofie’s Quest by Angela J. Ford. Aofie’s Quest is a New Adult Fantasy Adventure book with Celtic mythology, strong heroines, magical weapons, mythical beasts, gods & goddesses and a slow burn romance.

This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. This bookstagram blitz runs from 15 till 19 March. See the tour schedule here.

Don’t miss the tour wide giveaway! One lucky winner will win digital copies of Angela J. Ford’s Night of the Dark Fae series. You can enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Aofie's Quest coverAofie’s Quest
Gods & Goddesses of Labraid #1
By Angela J. Ford
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: March 26, 2021

A warrior princess with a dire future embarks on a perilous quest to regain her fallen kingdom.

Eighteen-year-old Aofie’s Mor is an outcast princess, hiding in the sacred forest of the centaurs. She’s spent her life training for one purpose: to take back her kingdom from the angel of death.

When she comes of age, the centaurs prepare her to reunite with the humans. However, on the morning of her departure, she learns a horrific truth that leaves her questioning her true identity.

Frustrated, but taught not to question the will of the gods, Aofie travels deep into perilous lands in search of her birth mother. Along the way she accidentally frees a dangerous goddess, befriends a mysterious iceman, and meets a magic-wielding nymph.

But threads of betrayal and corruption run deeper than Aofie imagined. As she faces trials and tribulations, she begins to question everything she’s assumed to be true. Caught in the ultimate war between good and evil, Aofie must make a choice about her future.

Will she have the strength and courage to take back her kingdom? Or will she turn her back on fate and choose her own destiny?

Welcome to the land of Labraid, a war-torn world where demons rise and the gods and goddesses toy with the desires of humans.

Aofie’s Quest is a dark and exciting fantasy adventure. If you like fierce heroines, treacherous royals, mischievous immortals, wild plot twists and Celtic Mythology, buy Aofie’s Quest today.

Links:
Goodreads
Bookbub
Amazon

Aeofie's Quest

Review:
What first attracted me to Aofie’s Quest was the cover, or more specifically the illustration of Aofie on it. She looks like the warrior she’s supposed to bebroad shoulders, muscular arms, leather armor (but not useless sexy leather armor), even one forearm that maybe looks bigger than the other, as I’d expect for an archer (though that may just be the angle of the picture). I thought, “Here is a author/illustrator who made an effort to genuinely depict a physically strong woman” and I very much appreciated that.

I’m uncertain if that carried through into the actual book though. Aofie does not come off as physically strong for a lot of the book. I don’t think she shoots a single arrow (losing her bow very early on) and she barely fights, which is only an issue since her being a warrior princess is emphasized several times. But she does survive quite a lot and undergoes a lot of emotional growth. One strongly senses that this was just the beginning of a longer journey for her. I feel this is the book in which she grew into the warrior princess title, rather that the one in which she actually is a warrior princess. I’m a bit disappointed by that, as I’m a little burned out on such Young Adult books. But I can’t penalize the book for being what it isa YA book.

The writing is quite readable, though there are a few anachronistic phrases tossed around on occasion and I thought the editing a little rough in patches. Though I’ll state for the record that I got my physical copy directly from the author and it might be an ARC, which wouldn’t have had it’s final edit yet. It’s not labeled as such (which is why I’m mentioning the editing), but I happen to know that e-copies that went out at roughly the same time were labeled as ARCs. So, there’s a chance this was meant to be. And if that’s the case, this whole editing comment can be disregard.

Romance is a strong subplot here, not the main brunt of the story. But I felt cheated by it. I appreciate that the man filling the possible love interest role for most of the book is a bit more gray than we’re used to. But the sudden departure from the established path that the romance took at the VERY END made me feel like every previous romantic hint should have just been left out entirely. I got a bit of whiplash from it; though I admit to liking the individual at the end better. (I hope I managed to write that sentence in a suitably vague and non-spoilerish way, but also convey my meaning. It’s often a challenge.)

All in all, I didn’t dislike Aofie’s Quest by any means. But I feel I’d probably like future books more than I did this one. It’s strong in the YA and that’s not my bread an jam. But for those for whom it is, I think Aofie will steal hearts.

Aongela J. FordAbout the Author:
Angela J. Ford is a bestselling author who writes epic fantasy and steamy fantasy romance with vivid worlds, gray characters and endings you just can’t guess. She has published 14 novels, 6 short stories, and sold over 32,000 copies.

Angela is also a Co-Founder of Booksniffer. A new app for book lovers, plus an effective way for authors to market their books to new readers.

She enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing World of Warcraft with her husband. First and foremost, Angela is a reader and can often be found with her nose in a book.

Aside from writing, she enjoys the challenge of working with marketing technology and builds websites for authors.

Angela is passionate about helping indie authors succeed and co-hosts a podcast called Indie Author Lifestyle.

If you happen to be in Nashville, you’ll most likely find her enjoying a white chocolate mocha and daydreaming about her next book.

Author links:
Website
Indie Author Lifestyle podcast
Marketing for Authors website
Booksniffer
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon
Instagram
Newsletter

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the bookstagram blitz for Aofie’s Quest. One winner will win digital copies of the Night of the Dark Fae series by Angela J. Ford. You can enter the giveaway here. Or use the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Prince of Never

Book Review: Prince of Never, by Juno Heart

Prince of Never

I won an Audio copy of Juno Heart‘s Prince of Never from the author.

about the book

A fae prince with a poisoned heart. A mortal girl with a magical voice. Neither one believes in fairy tales.

City waitress Lara has the voice of an angel and no idea she’s marked as the fated mate of a silver-eyed royal from another realm. When she falls into Faery and meets an obnoxious huntsman who mistakes her for a troll, she’s amazed to discover he’s the cursed Prince of Air in disguise. Ever’s mother, the queen, is less than impressed. The opposing court of techno-loving Unseelie wants her as their very own pet. And an evil air mage wishes her dead.

Held captive by Elemental fae in the Land of Five, she’s certainly hit rock bottom.

But songs wield power, and Lara happens to be a true diva. Now if only she can use her newfound magical skill to make the Prince of Never a little less attractive. The first thing she wants is to find a way back home, and the last is to fall in love.

Ever and Lara think they know what they want, but destiny and an age-old curse have other ideas.

Book 1, a standalone with a HEA in the Y.A. interconnected series, each one starring a different cruel prince and his human fated mate.

For lovers of Faery. Above all else, romance rules.

my review

Not bad at all, but also not anything too new and exciting. I liked Laura. I liked that the author showed her thought processes. Rather than having her just talk endlessly, for example, we know she’s made a conscious decision to make a point to irritate someone by talking. I liked Ever and enjoyed that the author did a good job showing his feelings change and his own confusion with them. The writing is clean and easy to listen to, and the narrators both did a good job.

However, I’m bummed that the villain and the plot hinge on the cliched spurned woman. *yawn* Laura’s personality mirrors so many other female YA character—kind and giving above all else—so, seen a hundred times before. And Laura seemed able to mouth off to authority without consequence, an irritating trait in YA heroines. Or rather, not in the heroines themselves, but of the authors and writings of such heroines. I always notice when heroines are allowed behaviors no one else is and want to know why. Especially when the hero then loves that same trait in them. Chicken and egg, anyone?

All in all, I enjoyed it and I’d be willing to read another of Heart’s books.

 

a curse so dark and lonely

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer

a curse so dark and lonely

I purchased a copy of A Curse So Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer.

about the book

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

my review

This was a perfectly passable YA book. It fits the standards of the genre to a T and the writing was skilled enough for a fast reading experience. But I guess I was hoping for something exception. And while it might not be fair to ding a book for that, my disappointment was still very real. I wanted something more than the cliched ‘she’s so special because she’s not like other girls (because other girls are useless in a myriad of way)…he fell in love with her because she’s the only girl to resist his charms…she saved the day by being kind and self-sacrificing…the villain is a scorned woman.’ *Yawn, so many cliches.*

I mean, I liked the characters, Grey especially. If I read the next book it will be wholly to see what happens to him. I appreciated the cerebral palsy and small LGBT rep. As I said, it’s an easy book to read, since it’s nicely crafted. It’s not by any stretch of the imagination a bad YA Beauty and the Beast retelling. It’s just not anything new and exciting either.