Rage (Stormheart #2) by Cora Carmack

While this review is spoiler-free for Rage, tread lightly if you haven’t read Roar yet as this review has spoilers for the first book.

Anticipation is a tricky thing, friends. I loved Roar so much that I had incredibly high expectations for this sequel, and unfortunately, I was a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, this is a solid sequel, one that I enjoyed and would recommend, but some elements of the story didn’t work well for me.

“I wanted to choose my own life, rather than having it chosen for me.”

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Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

My favorite reading experiences are when a book takes me by complete surprise. It isn’t often that I pick up a book without any influence from other readers, but I picked Roar up at just the right time. I don’t even know how to write this review, which is probably why I spent half an hour contemplating which Stormling affinity I would have (⛈️ Skyfire, if you must know). If you enjoy incredibly vast world-building, magic systems, found families, with a dash of morally grey and corrupt characters then you need to pick this one up immediately!

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Kingsbane (Empirium #2) by Claire Legrand

“With the Fall of the Blood Queen, the magic that had once illuminated humanity’s path to the empirium had vanished. And, somehow, Eliana had to find it again. Find it, and control it.”

Friends, this was a wild ride of a sequel and if I am being honest took me days to formulate my thoughts on this book (I still don’t think I did this book justice). One thing I can say for certain: my heart hurts and need the next book NOW. The Empirium Trilogy is set in an intricate and complex fantasy world, and just when you think you have it all figured out you find out you were wrong. And I am just putting this out there now: your heart will break and there is an evil cliffhanger in this book.

I am conflicted. Reading Kingsbane was at times arduous for me, but then again I’ve thought about nothing but this book and the mindf*ck of a cliffhanger for over 24 hours. When I sat down to write my initial thoughts for this review (my first drafts are usually bullet point lists of word vomit), it sat at over 1,000 words. The best of books challenge you and stay with you, and this one has invaded my mind.

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Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

“Occasionally, there are minutes that get extra seconds. Moments so precious the universe stretches to make additional room for them, and this was one of them.”

Reading this book was very much like the universe stretched out time and space for me… and all I can say is: Holy book hangover, batman! I was fully immersed into the world of Caraval for three days in a row, reading all 1,336 pages of this trilogy in three days. And I am a little conflicted here because while I really enjoyed Finale, there were some things that never got explained that kind of bother me(spoiler at the end of the review). But I am primarily here for these characters and was swept into this heartbreaking, beautiful, and magical end; a satisfying conclusion to a stellar trilogy.

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Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

The magical game of Caraval is about bravery and sacrifice, and friends let me tell you that the magic isn’t yet over as there are some debts to be paid. This world is so magical and ethereal that it is easy to get swept up into the narrative, and while I slightly prefer Caraval, this installment of the trilogy lives up to its predecessor and shatters all notions of Middle Book Syndrome!

“Legend has chosen you to play a game that may change your destiny.
In honor of Empress Elantine’s 75th birthday,
Caraval will visit the streets of Valenda for six magical nights.”

The magical performance typically only happens once per year, but within a week the troupe is heading to the Meridian capitol Valenda for a special game. But is this one just a game? Or is it something more?

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