Queen of Nothing Review👑

Uhhhhhh

Hi guys,

I’m not entirely sure how to write a proper composed review for this book, but I promise I’m going to try my best!

Before I start let me just say that there WILL be minor spoilers in the review! Do NOT read if you haven’t read the book! Or do, if you are that reckless!

I also want to be real soppy for a second and say how much these books mean to me! I bought The Cruel Prince on a whim because it was in the sale for £5 and the cover was pretty. And then I read it. I don’t think I’ve ever been SO changed by a book series before! Jude is officially my book girlfriend, I love her and I would do anything for her. Thank you Holly Black for creating such a magical and enticing world for so many people to get lost in. I will be forever grateful.

Ok now that’s done, I guess it’s time to actually talk about the book!

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watching reality television, and doing odd jobs, including squaring up to a cannibalistic faerie.

When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking a favour, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal. When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.

I’m in awe. Honestly I don’t know where to start. I love love LOVE the way Holly Black incorporates the faerie word into the mortal world. The introduction and explanation of how far folk survive and live in the human world is so COOL and I’m almost hoping we get a book all about a certain group of people trying to live on the mortal world!

I adore all the new characters, on both sides! I love the new enemies, the old enemies, the new allies and the old allies. There isn’t a character in the book I don’t adore with my whole heart. But what kind of a review would this be if I didn’t mention Cardan at least once?

Cardan. Where do I start? I love that disaster boy, that chaos king. I’m (still) obsessed with his whole character design. Specifically that tail. I’m in love with his tail. I’ve seen some people say that they don’t like how Cardan ‘softened’ in this book but?? Did we read the same book? Personally I haven’t seen Cardan stronger, braver or smarter than in this book. My boy was on the top of his game, he killed it the whole way through and I’m compel they obsessed with him.

JUDE. My wife. I love her. I know some people are sick of seeing her horn hairstyle but I’m so pleased that it was bright back, it was such a lovely homage to the first book and kind of helps to show how much has changed. She is the strongest woman I know and I will stand by Jude no matter what. I relate to her in a lot of ways, so seeing her overcome so much, and doing so well for herself despite how scared she is all the time is so reassuring.

This is the first book series to elicit an actually physical reaction from me. When a certain thing happened near the end of the book I wept so hard it actually gave me a headache. I have shed so many tears of sadness and joy over this series and I couldn’t be happier with the ending. And no doubt I will probably not be able to wait and start rereading the books again by February, so I don’t have to wait long to cry all over again!

I have so much to say about so many things, but I will literally end up writing a whole novel. I’m planning costumes, tattoos, art and lifestyle choices because of these books. Holly Black has truly changed my life with this series, and there aren’t enough stars in the sky to give this book a high enough rating.

But I will sum it up as being about a 10/5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m still not over this series and will be re-reading it all at least once a year for the rest of my life.

Do you love this series as much as I do?

Until next time!

Elizabeth

My Favourite Book Covers!

Hi Guys!

Today I wanted to tell you about all of my favourite book covers!

The books cover is the first thing you see, and although there is that famous phrase ‘Don’t Judge a Book By it’s Cover’, I feel like a lot of us do! And a very bad cover will definitely put some people off!

So I decided to share with you some breathtaking book covers, that also have amazing stories inside!!

The Silent Companions

“Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. For inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself…

This book is an all time favourite of mine! I have spoken about it a couple of times before, but never specifically about the cover! I mean… just look at it!! The details are incredible, I could look at it for hours and still find something new!! And the keyhole is an actual cut out that when you open the book, there is a whole portrait!! I haven’t included photo of that so there is a little bit of a surprise if you buy this book!

This is the hardback edition of the book, which you only seem to be able to buy as used now, but it is definitely my favourite edition! The paperback is similar, but the background is black, and all the illustrations are in a shiny gold instead of a matte gold/brown!

I recommend this book so highly, for both story and cover!

The Way of All Flesh

“Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges.

As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.”

I have not actually read this one yet, so I cannot tell you if the actual book is good, but judging from the blurb, it sounds amazing! I absolutely adore books set in the Victorian Era, especially when there murder involved!

This cover is just amazing, I love the font so much, and all the swirly patterns and framing is so stunning! I don’t know if any of the imagery connects to the story, but I’m assuming that the bird and the snake do!

Upon first glance I actually thought the snake was the Caduceus symbol, which is often (mistakenly) used as a medical symbol in the US, but is actually a symbol from mythology! In Roman mythology, is was often shown in the left hand of Mercury, who was the messenger of the Gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, liars, gamblers and thieves! Which honestly doesn’t sound completely ridiculous for this book! So maybe that was intentional?

Anyway, I love this cover, and the map inside is even more beautiful! And I will leave that either as a surprise, or if you want to see if go to my instagram (daintybeth) and look at my post from the 22nd of July 2019!

The Wicked King (spoilers in the blurb!)

“You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself strong.


After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

I adore how the cover art is actually a small ‘hint’ at part of he story! The detail on the crown is amazing, and I love the split perspective below and above the water! The colours are so beautiful, and I am obsessed with the gold foil effect!!

I may be biased, because these books are some of my all time favourites, but there’s just something about this cover that really pulled me in! This and the first book ‘The Cruel Prince’ have such stunning covers, I cannot wait to see what ‘Queen of Nothing’ looks like in real life!! I also can’t wait to read it because that cliffhanger…..

Wakenhyrst

“Something has been let loose…” 

In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father. 

When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened. 

Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past.

Wakenhyrst’s cover is so simple, but so beautiful! I love the dark red spots, the image of the raven and the font is stunning! But honestly my favourite thing about this cover is the texture! I’m not sure I can describe it accurately, but you know how most hardback sleeves are a sort of soft to the tough paper? With a little bit of sheen? This paper is completely matte and a little bit rougher! Like its either old or weathered, or something like that!

I haven’t read this yet, so I’m not entirely sure of the cover links up with the plot, but considering the blurb mentions a graveyard and a ‘battle’, I’m going to assume that it does!!!

This book is actually in the next few books on my tbr, so you can expect a review sometime soonish!!

The Binding

Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Forever.

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

This book is literally so stunning! I bought it mainly for how pretty it is, and I hadn’t even taken so the dust jacket yet! Let me just say; I literally gasped! It is designed like an only book but it’s all shiny gold foil!! The pattern is so intricate and detailed, I was literally in awe!

The artwork on the sleeve is just as pretty, it beautifully matched what’s underneath, while somehow being different! I love all the leaves and the old key! Again, I haven’t actually read this one yet but it sounds amazing, so if the story is as good as the cover is pretty then I think it’s going to become one of my favourites!!

————–

These are just a few of my favourites, but I could go on forever! If enough people are interested, I might do a part two one day! But for now, I hope you have found some new books to read!

What are some of your favourite book covers?

See you next time!

Elizabeth

My Fictional Bucket List!

Hello!

I had this idea to make a ‘Fictional Bucket List’ after working on my real one and thinking about how many thing I would love to do that aren’t real!

I will admit, this list could go on for a very long time, so I am just going to do my top 10! Let me know if you would also like to do some of them, or what some of your own Fictional Bucket List things would be!

1. Go on a Road Trip with the Gangsey!

I would literally cry if I could transport myself into The Raven Cycle books and join the gang on a road trip! Even if it was into a creepy cave to find a long dead king! They are my favourite fictional friendship group, and to be apart of them for just one day would be the best😭 Just imagine driving to Cabeswater and hanging out or exploring mountains or even just being at Monmouth!! The Dream!!!

2. Solve a Mystery with Miss Audrey Wadsworth!

Obviously, crime is not fun BUT if I happened to be thrown into the victorian era and happened to be friends with Audrey and we coincidentally ended up in the same place as these crimes, it would be the most fun to try and solve it with her!! She is so cool, one of my favourite fictional women and I like to think we would be friends! If I was less anxious I truly think I would’ve pursued a medical profession, in which case we would be outcomes together!

3. Go on a Pirate Adventure with Felicity Montague!

Felicity is my main girl, I love her and again with the medically inclined woman! I would totally be down to travel with her on a pirate ship, especially is Sim and Joanna are there too! That would just be the most fun and honestly we would probably be like the pirate version of a powerful girl group and I don’t know what my role would be but it would be FUN so it’s not that important!

4. Fly to Neverland!

Peter Pan is my favourite Disney character, so to go to Neverland for a long weekend would be incredible! I would probably hang out most of the time in Mermaid Lagoon, because it’s so magical and honestly not opposed to being drowned if it meant I then became a mermaid too! Love Peter but probably wouldn’t fit in very well with the Lost Boys so he would pretty much just be my ride there.

5. Find Narnia In a Wardrobe!

I don’t even think I need to say how cool this would be!! I’m alone you are on holiday or something, and there’s an old wardrobe in your bedroom. Just for a laugh you check the back and it’s TREES! And then you get to go and have tea with Mr Tumnus and Mrs Beaver cooks you a nice meal and you get to see the Lamp Post!!! I would pass out with joy, that would just be the most amazing thing!!!

6. Train With Jude Duarte!

I would request we used foam swords instead of real ones, but I would LOVE to be trained by Jude! I’m huge into leaping, so to learn some actual sword fighting from someone as skilled as Jude would be so amazing! Plus…. I might also get to see Cardan sometime….

7. Go to The Ritz with Aziraphale an Crowley!

I love those Ineffable Husbands so much, and it’s always been my dream to have tea at The Ritz, so why not two birds with one stone? Especially if I got to ask them about history!! Oh my I would have so many questions, and me and Aziraphale could totally bond over a love of books!!

8. Attend Hogwarts!

I mean, I think we all knew this would be on here somewhere!! I would love to go to school at Hogwarts, even though I have been out of high school for 4 years, I would totally do it all over again if it was Hogwarts!! The classes would be so interesting, and the robes!!! Just the coolest thing!!! Although I would hate Snape being my head of house….

9. Visit the London Institute!

If I could visit the London Institute whilst Tessa, Jem and Will were there…. that would be the best!!! I would love to explore the halls and the library and see the sanctuary!! I am hoping to go to London in real life and try and find the building/area it’s based on!! If only the Shadowhunters were actually inside😭

10. Stay at Green Gables!

Who wouldn’t want to stay on a cute farm with a wild Anne running around? I imagine it would be so much fun, and I would love to be able to act like a kid again with flowers in my hair and puffy sleeves!!! I would also love to help out in the kitchen and see the animals!! I would also love to meet Diana!!

These are my Top 10 things on my Fictional Bucket List!!! There is actually a never ending list of things but I didn’t want to go on forever!

What would be some things on your fictional bucket list? Let me know in the comments!

See you next time!

Elizabeth

My Auto Buy Authors!!

Hello!

I saw a bunch of people posting their auto buy authors on here yesterday for a ‘top ten Tuesday’ thing, but I didn’t see it until really late so I thought I would do it today instead!!

I’m pretty broke, so to me ‘auto-buy’ means more like auto add to wish list and buy when I have money!! But I hope you enjoy this list, and maybe you will even find a new author to read!

1. Laura Purcell

I love this author SO much. Her book ‘The Silent Companions’ is one of my absolute all time favourites. It is so so spooky, but not so much that it gave me nightmares! It was just perfect! I adore the last minute plot twist she always does, and how I never see it coming! ‘The Corset’ was pretty different to The Silent Companions, it was a lot gorier and it felt like there was more going on. I love all the characters in both books, especially Elsie in TSC! I literally cannot recommend this author enough!!

2.Holly Black

Holly Black wrote The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King among others, but I have only read the two! Her writing is just so smooth, and the story is so captivating that I finished both these book in less that two days!! I am in love with Jude and Cardan and their story, I love the world of Elfhame and I cannot wait for The Queen of Nothing to come out!!! Jude Duarte is such an amazing character, being human in a land of Fae has her at a major disadvantage, but she doesn’t let that hold her back and she is so determined and strong willed she achieves amazing and seemingly impossible things! I am so excited to read her other books!!

3. Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare writes all the Shadowhunter books, and I would just like to thank her. The Mortal Instruments series was the first series that really got me back into reading in a Big way! The characters became so important to me because I was pretty down at the time, so they became almost like both an escape and a support group!

Alec Lightwood will always be one of my favourite characters, because he game some the courage to discover who I am, and the confidence to admit it to myself. Magnus Bane is just so magical (literally and figuratively!), and the fact that he’s canonically bi?? Amazing! And I feel like no one really talks about him but Raphael is the first asexual character that I encountered and he made me feel so seen! And now reading The Infernal Devices I get to read about Shadowhunters in the victorian era!!! I can never thank Cassandra Clare enough for all that these books have done to me!

4. Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater was my first ever favourite author as a teen. I read her ‘Shiver’ series when I was about 13/14 and I loved it so much! I loved the twist on the werewolf legend mixed with romance and teen drama! It was just such an amazing series! And then The Raven Cycle!!! I read these books over one summer, during which I actually went on holiday (complete coincidence) and got to read part of one of the books sitting at the base of Cadair Idris!!

I saw castles that mentioned Glendower and we went into caves learning about old kings. It felt so magical, and doing that alongside reading the books was almost mind blowing. I really felt part of the adventures of the Gangsey! I am literally dying in anticipation of the the release of ‘Call Down the Hawk’!! It’s going to be AMAZING!!!

5. Kerri Maniscalco

Kerri Maniscalco has me completely enthralled with the ‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ series! The first book drew me in because I am completely fascinated the Jack the Ripper, so I wanted to see what a fiction writer thought, and how they adapted it! I was so impressed, she really puts your into the time period and makes you see things as though you are there! She writes about things you don’t get in non-fiction. She wrote about how London felt, she wrote about the fear wandering through the streets after dark. She wrote about individual lives that were effected and relationships that strengthened due to the shared trauma.

The second book, Hunting Prince Dracula, was just as amazing! The setting moved countries and was set mostly in a castle that held a medical school! This book was probably creepier to me than the first one, I think because I already knew a lot about Jack the Ripper so none of the gory details shocked me! But Hunting Prince Dracula was just insane! It was gory, creepy and felt like a fairytale in a weird way!! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!!!

6. Mackenzi Lee

Mackenzi Lee is amazing. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was another book I read so quickly because I was so sucked in! I absolutely adore all the characters, the whirlwind adventure across Europe and the LGBT rep!!! Monty and Percy are my favourites, their love is super taboo for the time and they have to fight against so many things (including themselves a bit), but that just makes me love them more! And Felicity!! I love her son much, I was over the moon when I learned she was getting an entire book about her!!

This is bold of me to say, but I think I like The Lady’s Guide of Petticoats and Piracy better….? I think it’s because of the girl power, the women, the feminist tones, the actual Lesbian, asexual rep and the PIRATES!!! Also the dog, the dog helped! But seriously, I feel like Mackenzi Lee includes diverse characters in her books so seamlessly that they don’t feel forced at all! Even in a historical setting, we’re LGBT people weren’t public with their identities, it felt completely natural! I’m also in love with the ‘3D-ness’ of the character, none of them are just their LGBT or POC identity, they have thoughts and dreams and feelings and they are all proper fleshed out characters! Not a single character feels thrown in just to add diversity, and I love that SO much!

7. Miranda Hart

I don’t have much to say about Miranda, but her book ‘Is It Just Me?’ really helped me feel better about a lot of things! Miranda is so don’t and she talks about a lot of insecurities and worries in this book, but she does it in a way that reassures you! She won’t just tell you what went wrong or what she was worried about. She will the tell you about how maybe it’s not so bad after all! I also love the format of her talking to her younger self! It felt so natural and light hearted, I think that helped to create that relaxed atmosphere of the book!

8. Christopher Pike

I read a LOT of Christopher Pike books when I was 13, my favourite being ‘The Last Vampire’!! I literally modelled myself after the girl on the cover for a good six months! It was the first book I read that was YA instead of the 9-12 section at Waterstones (i think), and it was the first book that included murder, romance and female sexuality! I loved the main character, Alisa so much, I think she was my first book crush! The way she was described, slight with blonde hair but super strong was just the most amazing thing to me!! I love the historical aspects to this book too, how it talks about Alisa’s beginning and her life before she was a vampire! I also read some of his other books including Remember Me which was incredible, and a couple of other stand alone stories too!! I loved everything I read of his, and I truly believe that he was what got me into horror!!

9. Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is INCREDIBLE! I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of this wonderful man, but in case you haven’t; I LOVE HIM! My favourite of his is the book on Norse Mythology! It taught me so much, but in such an easy going and fun way!! I read it so fast, and I’m tempted to re-read it because all the stories are so interesting! I haven’t read it yet, but I also love Good Omens with all my heart! Aziraphale is a babie, I love him and I want to protect him and Crowley is just incredible😍 I have got all editions of the book, and the TV show script book on my wish list because I’m so obsessed!!

10. Katie O’Neill

Katie O’Neill is an illustrator and writer who has put out a couple of books now! my favourite is ‘A Tea Dragon Society’, the art style is so cute and the story is so wholesome and I cannot wait for the release of the new Tea Dragon book!!! I also loved her book ‘Aquicorn Cove’!! It has such a good message in it about protecting the ocean and it’s wildlife, while still being just as magical and adorable as the Tea Dragon story!! I haven’t had the pleasure of reading ‘Princess Princess Ever After’ yet, but it’s about a couple of lesbian princesses and I really hope I get to soon!! Katie O’Neill is my biggest inspiration as an artist! Her style is amazing, and she’s one of the only other people I have found that uses gouache in a similar way to me!! Her carter is where I wish mind could go, I dream of writing books and illustrating them, and creating adorable characters that people love! If you love cute art and even cuter stories, you will LOVE Katie’s books!!

I hope you found some new authors to love, or at least enjoyed reading about authors you already love!! Let me know about any authors that are auto buy for you!!

See you next time!

Elizabeth

The Wicked King Review

Hello again!!

I’m back with another book review! This time I will be talking about ‘The Wicked King’ by Holly Black! I read The Cruel Prince last summer and became completely obsessed! I absolutely love Jude and how Holly Black write about Faeries! And when I heard that she was putting out a sequel I couldn’t have been more excited!

I finally got my hands on a copy of The Wicked King back in February and eventually got round to reading it last week!

Anyway, here is my review on ‘The Wicked King’ by Holly Black!

After learning that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished. Someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves. Now she must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan, in order to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

The continuation from ‘The Cruel Prince’ was very well done, there is a chapter in the beginning that helps refresh your memory about what happened and who these characters are, which I really liked because I usually struggle to remember if there’s a really long time between books!

Jude Duarte is one of my all time favourite characters, she is so strong and clever and literally sacrifices so much to protect her brother. Being Human in a Fae world, Jude has to work twice as hard to make sure that she stays ahead of everyone, which includes protecting herself from any of the Fae influences! She is such a strong character, and although there are elements of romance in this book, it never overshadows her control and power.

One of the things I like most about Holly Blacks ‘Elfhame’ is that although it is a Faery land, it is still on Earth, just of the coast of a real place in America, it’s just protected with magic! This means that all the characters have to do to get into the ‘real world’ is get in a boat! I also like how there are items from the real world bright into the story, like certain foods and items of clothing! It makes the Fae world almost more relatable, or at least easier to imagine it’s real!

Without giving to much away, I swear the ending of this book nearly gave me whiplash it turned so fast and I did not see it coming! So much happened in the last chapter or so and I am anxiously awaiting the release ‘The Queen of Nothing’!

I always find Holly Black’s books so easy to read, because to me they are just so enjoyable! The way they are written makes the story flow so smoothly and she manages to make you like characters that are kind of assholes (*cough* Cardan *cough*).

I liked everything about this book, and I can’t find a single negative thing to say. I love all the characters, I love the story, the twists, the surprise betrayals, the setting and mostly, my girl Jude!

‘The Wicked King’ is definitely a book I would recommend, especially if you have read the first book, ‘The Cruel Prince’! If you haven’t read that, I recommend you read that first and the come back to The Wicked King! I rate this book 5/5 stars!

See you next post!

Elizabeth