Monday, June 26, 2023

Book Review: "The Crown of Oaths and Curses" by J. Bree

Title: The Crown of Oaths and Curses
Author: J. Bree
Series: "The Mortal Fates" #1
Genre: NA Fantasy Romance
Page Length: 663 pages
Publication Date: May 27, 2023
Rating: 5 // 5 stars

J. Bree has done it again. At this point, we can just call 2023 the year of J. Bree as, of the 46 books I've read so far this year, 20 of them have been J. Bree books. She's become a new favorite auto-buy author and this newest book of hers didn't disappoint in the slightest. 

The Crown of Oaths and Curses is the first full-length book in her new Mortal Fates series. Now, J. Bree had written seventeen books before this series began but this is her first high fantasy series. We've got witches, fae, and a setting in a world not our own. I was so excited for this one but deep down I was a little worried it wouldn't be as good as the other books I'd read by her as the first step into fantasy can be difficult.

I never should have doubted at all because this series is phenomenal so far. The two prequel novellas, The Scepter and The Sword, were stellar introductions and got me quite excited for this book. They provided invaluable backstory of who the characters were and how we got where we were in the few hundred years before the actual novel. And then this book just blew me away.

I think my absolute favorite thing about this book was the characters, as is typically so when it comes to J. Bree books and any of my favorites for the most part. Our main female character, Rooksbane, in particular was my favorite. I loved her, I loved her inner strength and outer strength, I loved her dedication to nature, I just...I loved her. She was so passionate and honestly kept a way better hold on her temper than I would have. When it comes to Soren, our male main character, I enjoyed him a lot but what I'm going to enjoy even more is seeing his growth in the future books. One thing I've seen this book criticized for is Soren's attitude and it gets me a little confused, if I'm honest. The same people who complain most books marketed as enemies-to-lovers don't have actual enemies are now getting upset at the characters being actual enemies and hating each other? I don't get it. 

I am hoping we see some more side characters in the future books. I loved the side characters in this one but I know that there's other characters we met in novellas and are mentioned in this book that don't get much page time, if any at all. It's my great hope that the sequel is going to feature some of these characters strongly and that it'll cause some glorious tension-filled scenes. 

The magic is wonderful and the world is fascinating. I'm especially intrigued by the idea of fate and if you go against it there's serious consequences for the world. I also just want to know more about all the different magic types and kingdoms. I can't wait to explore this more in the future books. I'm hoping we get to see the Goblin kingdom in particular as it's one that's mentioned often and it sounds fascinating. 

The plot is pretty intriguing. Sometimes the fight for the throne plot can get repetitive, but I think the way this one is being done is just different enough for me that I'm not feeling like I'm reading the same thing over and over. 

All in all, I think my reading experience can be summed up by the fact that I read the two novellas and the entire 660+ page beast in less than 24 hours. I read this one in just one sitting, ignoring all my responsibilities and even food. I didn't want it to ever be over, but I also needed to know everything that was going to happen. It was addicting.

I cannot wait for the next book. I'm hopeful that we'll see it before the end of 2023 but I'm not sure. I just know that I'm obsessed with this series and, once again, J. Bree has me in a chokehold. 

Thanks for reading!

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Sunday, June 4, 2023

May 2023 Book Haul

May was, once again, a bigger book haul than I was expecting. There were definitely some impulse purchases for sure. However, there were a few that I ordered and paid for ages ago that finally arrived so that makes it a little easier. I got 10 books this month so let's just dive in!

The first book I got this month was Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros. I caved to the hype and went out and got a copy of this the week it released. I then had to spend the entire work week until my weekend off waiting to be able to read it. I then read it in one sitting and have not stopped thinking about it since. It's a definitely new favorite of all time and I cannot wait for the next book coming in November. Because I loved it, I then decided to get the Australian paperback edition to annotate in the future. So I actually got two copies of it this month and I'm not upset at all. 

The next book I got was my preorder of the Waterstones edition of One For My Enemy by Olivie Blake. This is one of her previously indie-published books that has been picked up for traditional publication. I was lucky enough to get the indie version before it went out of print and I also wanted a copy of the new version. I decided on the Waterstones edition as it was normal price and I would get it on release over any of the book boxes. It is a beautiful edition and I'm very much looking forward to reading this one. 

Then I picked up a copy of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This has been a popular book for years and I've been intrigued by it but never picked it up until now. Then a friend was talking about wanting to read it and I saw a copy at the grocery store for cheap so I picked up two so that we could both get into it soon. 

I also grabbed a copy of Falling Hard for the Royal Guard by Megan Clawson. I've been following Megan on TikTok for a couple years now and have always found her account interesting. She lives in the Tower of London and always has these cool stories about the history. She recently wrote this romcom and I knew I wanted to pick it up, so when I saw it for cheap I impulse bought it. I'm hoping to read it this summer.

Then my copies of the Crescent City Fairyloot editions arrived. I'm a massive SJM fan so of course I ordered these last fall and they've finally arrived. Of course, mine came damaged but replacements are being provided so I'll eventually have nice copies on my shelf. I'm still not sure how I feel about them. I was hoping having them in person would make me like them more after the initial reveal. I think mainly it's a difference in art style. I like the slipcase, the spine, the embossing, and the endpages. However, I don't particularly like the dust jackets or the sprayed edge design. I'll keep them for now until the final book comes out and then make my decision on if I'll keep them or not. 

Then I got Six Scorched Roses by Carissa Broadbent. I began my journey into reading the books of this world this month and I knew I wanted to read the novella as well. It's very beautiful and I had a good time reading it. The world itself is super intriguing and I am definitely excited to see how these characters play into future books. 

Then I got The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King by Carissa Broadbent. This is the second novel in the series and after I read the first book, I ordered this one alongside Six Scorched Roses. I'm currently reading it and enjoying it quite a bit, though I do think I currently prefer the first book. I've got about 200 pages left and I'm really wondering where it will all go. 

The last book I got was Yellowface by R.F. Kuang. This book has been very highly anticipated because of the rest of the author's books. I've read Babel and really enjoyed it while The Poppy War is still on my TBR. This one is a literary fiction and I've heard great things. It also addresses the publishing industry and, as an aspiring publishing professional, I think it's right up my alley. 

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, June 2, 2023

May 2023 Wrap-Up

May was an interesting reading month for me. I didn't get to read as many books as I wanted due to lots of overtime but everything I did read was amazing. I read a total of five books (and got through 400+ pages of another) and every book was 4 stars or above. So while I didn't read very many books this month, the quality of the books were great. Let's dive in!