Tagged: Young Adult Fantasy

Three Dark Crowns – Review

About the book:

New York Times Bestseller * New York Public Library Best Book of 2016 Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016 Kirkus Best Book of the Year

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. And don’t miss the highly anticipated sequel, One Dark Throne!

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

Be sure to catch the stunning sequel to this New York Times bestseller, One Dark Throne.

About the Author:

Kendare Blake grew up in the small city of Cambridge, Minnesota. She is a graduate of Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York and received a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Middlesex University in London, England. She loves to travel, is an advocate for animals, and cheats a lot when she plays Final Fantasy. Adopted from South Korea at the age of seven months, she arrived with the following instruction: “Feed her chocolate.” Though not medically advisable, she and her parents are eternally grateful for this advice.

Kendare is the author of six novels: the contemporary SLEEPWALK SOCIETY, YA horror duo ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD (2011 NPR Top 5, Kirkus Top Ten), and GIRL OF NIGHTMARES (2012 Kirkus Reviews Top Ten), and the Goddess War trilogy (ANTIGODDESS, MORTAL GODS, UNGODLY). 

Coming in September 2016: THREE DARK CROWNS, the first book in a fantasy series about warring triplet queens.

Sam’s Review

Hey, everyone, I hope your week has been going wonderfully, and our review will be about Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. On the island of Fennbirn, three queens are born, as is tradition. Each of then have a special gift: a naturalist, able to control the earth, a poisoner, able to withstand the harshest of poisons, and the elementalist, able to summon storms. Three queens, taken apart at six years old, and expected to kill each other for the crown. Sounds a little harsh, right? Well, one queen, the elementalist Mirabella, in the latest generation, refuses to kill her sisters, and hopes to bring peace to the three of them. Boy is she wrong. When Arsinoe, the proclaimed naturalist and trained to be cautious, takes Mirabella’s visit the wrong way, and her friend Jules loses control over Arsinoe’s fake familiar, hurting many at the start of the Ascension year, the year when the queens hunt each other, Mirabella and the poisoner queen, Katherine are both mislead about Arsinoe’s intentions.

Read the book to find out what is to come of the sisters. As the first book in a series, it will leave you begging for more. Luckily the second book is out, however we’ll be doing that book, next week. It gets two thumbs up and five stars for the amazing characters, really amazing places, and the airs of treachery and secrets, and I hope that you enjoy it too.Please subscribe, check out the little floaty link to the bookstore that’s to the right of my head, like, and enable notifications. I’ll see you next Friday! Bye!

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, Hardcover, paperback, audiobook and MP3 CD formats here. [affiliate link]

Other Reviews in this series:

One Dark Throne (book 2) coming soon

The Child Wound in Gold – Short Story Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Megan O'Russell's short story - Child Wound in Gold

About this story:

A little knock taps on the door,
A little girl hiding under the floor,
The safety of the dirt shall build her bed,
While the monster rammoc flies overhead.
For years, the rammocs have tormented the valley, stealing villagers from their homes, destroying crops and cattle so those left behind face the constant threat of starvation.
The only hope the villagers have is the magicians of the convocation. They alone have the power to stop the rammocs. But the magicians demand a price the villagers are unable to pay. Left with nothing but rubble and death, one young girl finds hope in the flames.

About the Author:

Megan O'Russell - Author of Child Wound in Gold, Girl of Glass, Girl without Magic

Megan is a native of Upstate New York who spends her time traveling the country as a professional actor. Megan’s current published works include the Girl of Glass series, How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days (The Tale of Bryant Adams, Book one), and The Girl Without Magic (The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, Book One).

When not on stage or working on her books, Megan can be found blogging on LifeBeyondExaggeration.com

For more information on Megan’s books, visit MeganORussell.com.

Sam’s Review:

The Child Wound in Gold, written by Megan O’Russell, author of Girl of Glass and Girl Without Magic, is a short story. Even though it was but several pages long and had a cliffhanger, it was still enjoyable. Rena’s village has been terrorized by a fearsome creature known as a rammoc.

The Rammoc always attacks, never killing everybody in the village. I guess it knows how to make sure that it’s meals stay plentiful. Magicians are supposed to protect the villagers, supposed to being the key words here. They don’t do their job, but one day, a magician from the convocation (the magician’s council, I’m guessing.) tells the rather close village that they shall kill the wicked beast, but the village must give them something in return. That something must be of value.

Rena, desperate to help, offers her mother’s magician made veil, only to be turned down. The magician attacks her for some weird reason (seriously, there wasn’t an explanation. Maybe he thought that she’d stolen the veil when she clearly said that it came from her mother’s family as a wedding gift.). She finds out that the threads in the veil are nearly indestructible. This gives her the idea of a lifetime.

This was very captivating, and fun to read. This is  a part of the Girl Without Magic series, but Maggie isn’t mentioned until you get to the author’s note. For as much as I liked the story, there wasn’t a whole lot of context, which left me scratching my head in places. I was able to put together some pieces of information, but still.

Thrice Read Books & Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews Megan O'Russell's short story "The Child Wound in Gold", part of the Maggie Trent series on our blog.

Get this story free here from Instafreebie.

Also by Megan O’Russell

Girl of Glass (book 1, Girl of Glass)

Boy of Blood (book 2, Girl of Glass)

Night of Never (book 3, Girl of Glass)

Son of Sun (book 4, Girl of Glass)

Death of Day (Book 5, Girl of Glass)

The Girl Without Magic (Maggie Trent, Book 1)

When Worlds Begin (Series Starter Set)

StoneKing – Review

About the book:

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio February 20, 2018

Fantasy The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Jenn’s review: 

ARGH! I just finished reading StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio, and WOW!

If you haven’t yet read the first two books in the Gemeta Stone series, start with KingletFiskur can be read on its own, and a reader can still get the gist of what’s happened, but I wouldn’t recommend starting this series at book 3 by any means (I’m sure it could stand alone in a pinch, but so many threads from previous books have been pulled into play that it would be a challenge, or a reader might miss far too much of what’s going on).

All those warnings aside, StoneKing is a breathtakingly beautiful work of art. Ms. Migliaccio again writes stunning scenes with an economy of words. Well-rounded and sympathetic characters. I had to put the book down for a few days because of a migraine – usually I can read, despite everything else, but the settings and emotions Ms. Migliaccio writes pulled me in so deeply that the main character’s struggles only enhanced my own problems.

Absolutely nothing is going right for poor Kristan Gemeta. What started as an ill-fated and precipitous visit from a neighboring princess turns into an enlightening adventure, each new stop revealing more and more how poorly things are going for the young king. While everyone (mostly) has good intentions, things are falling apart fast around Kristan, and he’s wedged into tighter and tighter corners as he tries to straighten it all out.

By around the 3/4 progress mark, I was staggering from the plot twists. Book 3 is the antithesis of all of Kristan’s triumph of book 2. Kristan may be the king, but Murphy’s Law reigns supreme in the StoneKing’s lands.

I’ll have to tease the release date for book four out of my contacts, because… the last page. What can I say? I’m already looking forward to it, and my to-be-read pile is already enormous. This is definitely a YA rating (Sam’s 12, and usually reads YA fiction, but I’ve held her off of this series because of some limited content). While this book isn’t as violent as its predecessors in the series, war forces people to make tough choices, and as things settle down, those choices come to light in sometimes brutal or vulgar ways.

In short, Ms. Migliaccio’s writing will pull you in, drag you under, and hold you in Kirstan’s scarred and uncomfortable skin throughout the pages of this book, and will have you begging for more when you finally reach the last page.

Also by Donna Migliaccio

Princeling (Prequel, Gemeta Stone)

Kinglet (Book 1, Gemeta Stone)

Fiskur (Book 2, Gemeta Stone)

Stoneking (Book 3, Gemeta Stone)

Ragis (Book 4, Gemeta Stone)

Stone King – Promo & Excerpt

About the book:

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio February 20, 2018

Fantasy The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Excerpt (reprinted with the permission of the publisher/author)

EXCERPT from Chapter 1

He did not know how long he had been standing in numb silence when a sense of being watched crept over him. He opened his eyes. A dozen paces away stood an old woman, heavy and stolid, swaddled in a blanket and wincing in the frosty air. Beside her was a tabby cat.

Kristan blinked and looked again. A wavering, transparent haze surrounded the cat, as if the little creature was somehow radiating intense heat. Wiche, he thought, and tensed. By the Stone, what sort of trickery is this?

“A cold morning for standing afield,” the old woman said.

Kristan nodded. The cat took a few steps toward him, angling to his left. Now that the morning sun was no longer behind it, the flickering blur had a distinctly human shape; small, slight and somehow feminine.

“Pay her no mind,” the old woman said. “Curious creature, but she means no harm.”

A blast of wind made them all flinch. Malvo shuddered and stamped. Cat and shape skittered backward in perfect unison.

“Are you of the castle?” the old woman asked.

Are you of the castle?

Bright fragments jangled in the ruins of Kristan’s memory: a spring morning, the smell of fields freshly green, the ring of tack and the thunder of Malvo’s hooves. Beneath those shining shards other, more ominous memories shifted, and Kristan twitched his attention back to the pair before him.

“Can you not speak, sir?” the old woman asked.

“I can speak.” Kristan jerked his chin at the cat-thing. “Is she yours?”

The old woman chuckled. “As much as such creatures can be.”

The cat moved toward him again, with more confidence. It lifted a paw, as if to pat at his leg, just as the shape spouted a foggy protrusion that reached toward his cloak. He recoiled and bumped against Malvo.

“Never fear,” the old woman said. “Such a little cat can do you no harm.”

Kristan snorted. “Does she speak?”

Both the cat and the woman froze, but then the old one chuckled again, although this time the laugh sounded forced. “Speak? That would be strange indeed.”

“Why? Is she a simpleton?”

With a loud hiss, the cat disappeared, snuffed like a candle’s flame. In the same breath, the shape solidified into an adolescent girl. She stumbled backward and fell, and the old woman leaped in front of her, arms outflung as if to ward off a blow.

The Girl Without Magic – Book Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

TRB Twit for Girl Without Magic Review
Sam reviews Megan O’Russell’s Girl Without Magic

About the Book

The Girl without Magic; Megan O’Russell
Young Adult; Travel Fiction; 264 Pages

Ink Worlds Press; 2 edition (August 30, 2019)

A land of pure magic hides between worlds, and Maggie is trapped in paradise.

Maggie is dragged out of a wizard’s battle and finds herself in a land of pleasure. But dark secrets taint the days of endless perfection. Secrets that could cost Maggie her life.

As the danger grows, Maggie finds an unlikely ally in the annoyingly charming Bertrand Wayland.

Seeking a chance for survival, Maggie follows Bertrand on a daring adventure and finds herself in a land on the brink of war. As a handsome hero shows her unimaginable beauty, his alluring ways draw her deeper into danger.

A deadly enemy approaches. His thirst for blood is stronger than Maggie’s magic. The fate of a world depends on which life Maggie is willing to sacrifice…

About the Author

Megan O’Russell is the author of several Young Adult series that invite readers to escape into worlds of adventure. From Girl of Glass, which blends dystopian darkness with the heart-pounding danger of vampires, to Ena of Ilbrea, which draws readers into an epic world of magic and assassins.

With the Girl of Glass series, The Tethering series, The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, The Tale of Bryant Adams, the Ena of Ilbrea series, and several more projects planned for 2020, there are always exciting new books on the horizon. To be the first to hear about new releases, free short stories, and giveaways, sign up for Megan’s newsletter by visiting the following:

https://www.meganorussell.com/book-signup.

Originally from Upstate New York, Megan is a professional musical theatre performer whose work has taken her across North America. Her chronic wanderlust has led her from Alaska to Thailand and many places in between. Wanting to travel has fostered Megan’s love of books that allow her to visit countless new worlds from her favorite reading nook. Megan is also a lyricist and playwright. Information on her theatrical works can be found at RussellCompositions.com.

She would be thrilled to chat with you on Facebook or Twitter @MeganORussell, elated if you’d visit her website MeganORussell.com, and over the moon if you’d like the pictures of her adventures on Instagram @ORussellMegan.

Jenn’s Review:

This is the second Megan O’Russell book I’ve read, and I so didn’t want to put it down! Ms. O’Russell has scored another hit with her most recent (January 9, 2018) release of The Girl Without Magic. 

From the starting block, I wasn’t sure if I should be laughing or crying for Maggie Trent, as she stumbles and staggers her way through the first few chapters. (Incidentally, Maggie faces life much like I do – with a sarcastic “Well, this is great. What’s next,” way of viewing and tackling each obstacle in her way. 

She adjusts quickly to her new life, once she realizes she isn’t dead, and decides that she’s going to stick to the lie that she’s not a witch. The adventures and misadventures that ensue had me breathlessly clinging to my Kindle to find out if Maggie and her accidental companions would win the day. (okay, so perhaps some of the breathlessness was the head cold I was fighting… The story was exciting, none-the-less!)

Sam’s Review:

Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Megan O’Russell’s The Girl Without Magic

Hello and welcome to this review about a super new book, The Girl Without Magic by Megan O’Russell. Maggie Trent is a witch. A modern day witch, who is called by the Siren to the Siren’s Realm. Unfortunately, she has no idea how she got there, but a great adventure is in store for her. And I’m not telling. You won’t be getting any spoilers this time. Sorry, but, new book, you can find out what happens in the story. I will however tell you this, it’s worth the read. It gets five stars for a great story, captivating places, and lovable characters. Please remember to check out the fantasy book, and the link. Subscribe, like and enable notifications. I’ll be back next week. Bye!

TRB Pin For Girl WIthout Magic Review
Sam reviews Megan O’Russell’s Girl Without Magic

Buy the book:

 This book is available on Kindle and paperback editions here.


Also by Megan O’Russell

Girl of Glass (book 1, Girl of Glass)

Boy of Blood (book 2, Girl of Glass)

Night of Never (book 3, Girl of Glass)

Son of Sun (book 4, Girl of Glass)

Death of Day (Book 5, Girl of Glass)

Child Wound in Gold (Short story for Maggie Trent)

When Worlds Begin (Series Starter Set)

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