ARC Review: The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. Greathouse

Special thanks to JABerwocky Literary Agency, Inc. for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: The Hand of the Sun King (Pact and Pattern #1)
Publisher: JABerwocky Literary Agency, Inc.
Published: 05 August 2021
Genre: Adult Fantasy

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

My name is Wen Alder. My name is Foolish Cur.

All my life, I have been torn between two legacies: that of my father, whose roots trace back to the right hand of the Emperor. That of my mother’s family, who reject the oppressive Empire and embrace the resistance.

I can choose between them – between protecting my family, or protecting my people – or I can search out a better path . . . a magical path, filled with secrets, unbound by Empire or resistance, which could shake my world to its very foundation.

But my search for freedom will entangle me in a war between the gods themselves . . .

TL;DR: My review turned into an essay because I had so much to say about this book and still, it does not do it justice. Safe to say that I enjoyed the heck out of this fantasy and I’m still surprised that it’s J.T. Greathouse’s debut novel?! Please, give me more! This is such a stunning fantasy and deserves so much more attention. If you’re a fan of wonderful prose, intricate world-building, fascinating magic, and messy characters that you can’t help but root for, I would highly recommend you check this one out!

Continue reading “ARC Review: The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. Greathouse”

Book Spotlight + Excerpt: Paladin Unbound by Jeffrey Speight


Hi, friends! I’m delighted to share a book spotlight + excerpt today as part of the tour hosted by Storytellers on Tour for Paladin Unbound by Jeffrey Speight!

Be sure to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour by clicking the banner below.

Goodreads: Paladin Unbound
Publisher: Literary Wanderlust
Publish Date: 01 July 2021
Genre: Epic Fantasy

The last of a dying breed, a holy warrior must rise up against a growing darkness in Evelium.

The most unlikely of heroes, a lowly itinerant mercenary, Umhra the Peacebreaker is shunned by society for his mongrel half-Orc blood. Desperate to find work for himself and his band of fighters, Umhra agrees to help solve a rash of mysterious disappearances, but uncovers a larger, more insidious plot to overthrow the natural order of Evelium in the process.

As Umhra journeys into the depths of Telsidor’s Keep to search for the missing, he confronts an ancient evil and, after suffering a great loss, turns to the god he disavowed for help.

Compelled to save the kingdom he loves, can he defeat the enemy while protecting his true identity, or must he risk everything?

CW/TW: Gore, Violence, Racism, Body Horror, Torture, Human Trafficking


Continue reading “Book Spotlight + Excerpt: Paladin Unbound by Jeffrey Speight”

Goodreads Monday – The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.*

*Sorry if a book has been featured twice. I need to make better note of which ones I’ve done already!

This week’s featured book is The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso. This is an Asian epic/high fantasy that was released last year and is Villoso’s debut novel. 😍

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Blog Tour Review: Steel & Stone by Kate Haley

I’m back with another blog tour with The Storytellers on Tour for Stone & Steel (The War of the North Saga #1) by Kate Haley. Thanks to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Stone & Steel (The War of the North #1) Publication Date: 06 May 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Epic Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Ten years. Thousands dead. No memories.

The amnesia was supposed to be a good thing. Other soldiers bask in its freedom. Except for Elvac it doesn’t feel right. When he returns from his first year at war he can’t shake the niggling sensation that something is missing. His life has been turned upside down, yet he can’t remember being gone. The only proof of his time away are the scars, and the haunting dreams of fire.

With the help of his friends, Elvac begins to regain his lost memories, and with them uncover the truth of his missing year, and what the Church of Sunne is really doing with their War of the North…

BUY NOW: Amazon (US)

Continue reading “Blog Tour Review: Steel & Stone by Kate Haley”

Book Ending Spring: The Cinderella Effect

Hello, hello, friends! Welcome back to another post for #BESpring2020! As per usual I am a day behind but since today’s post is about bujo’s and I don’t have/use one, I thought I’d answer yesterday’s prompt made by Sam @ Fictionally Sam!

A quick recap for those who don’t know, Book Ending Spring (2020) is hosted by Sam and Clo @ Cuppa Clo, and it’s one of the quarterly events running under the umbrella term “Bookend Events” that aspires to bring the book blogging community closer together! You can find more information on the announcement page and you can sign up to join as well, if you want in on the blogging fun!


  • Answer the prompts
  • Tag some friends
  • Link back to the original post and be sure to mention the creator (Sam @ Fictionally Sam)
  • Have fun!

Now without further ado let’s get to the prompt: The Cinderella Effect! For this prompt we’re naming five books that you couldn’t wait to get your hands on but turned into a pumpkin (a dud) when you got it. So for this prompt I’m looking at the books that I was so excited for but didn’t end up loving as much as I hoped. Maybe that’s not really focusing on books that were total ‘duds’ because I still rated them okay, but they were just disappointing!

Continue reading “Book Ending Spring: The Cinderella Effect”

First Lines Friday – 28 February

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“Raithe’s first impulse was to pray. Curse, cry, scream, pray–people did such things in their last minutes of life. But praying struck Raithe as absurd given that his problem was the angry god twenty feet away.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 28 February”

Kingshold (Wildfire Cycle #1) by D.P. Woolliscroft Blog Tour – #BookReview

I’m back with another blog tour with the @WriteReads gang and this time it’s for the epic fantasy: Kingshold. I’m so glad that this book was brought to my attention thanks to Dave and that I was lucky enough to receive a copy from the author. This is one fantasy adventure that’s not to be missed!

Goodreads: Kingshold (Wildfire Cycle #1)
Published: 30 April 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Panda Rating:

The King is Dead. Long Live the People!
Mareth is a bard, a serial under achiever, a professional drunk, and general disappointment to his father. Despite this, Mareth has one thing going for him. He can smell opportunity. The King is dead and an election for the new Lord Protector has been called. If he plays his cards right, if he can sing a story that will put the right person in that chair, his future fame and drinking money is all but assured. But, alas, it turns out Mareth has a conscience after all.

Neenahwi is the daughter of Jyuth, the ancient wizard who founded the Kingdom of Edland and she is not happy. It’s not just that her father was the one who killed the King, or that he didn’t tell her about his plans. She’s not happy because her father is leaving, slinking off into retirement and now she has to clean up his mess.

Alana is a servant at the palace and the unfortunate soul to draw the short straw to attend to Jyuth. Alana knows that intelligence and curiosity aren’t valued in someone of her station, but sometimes she can’t help herself. And so she finds herself drawn into the Wizard’s schemes, and worst of all, coming up with her own plans.

Chance brings this unlikely band together to battle through civil unrest, assassinations, political machinations, pirates and monsters, all for a common cause that they know, deep down, has no chance of succeeding – bringing hope to the people of Kingshold.

Continue reading “Kingshold (Wildfire Cycle #1) by D.P. Woolliscroft Blog Tour – #BookReview”

#WWWWednesday: 25 September

YO, can you believe it’s already the last Wednesday of September 2019!? What is this sorcery with the time? I feel like if I close my eyes for too long I’ll open them to find it’s already NYE and the ball’s about to drop! 🙈So it’s time for another WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

Since last Wednesday I managed to finish three other books alongside the one I’m still reading. I already posted my review for Fake Date (read it here!) but tl;dr, I was pretty disappointed and really wanted more from it! I still need to write reviews for The Hating Game (reread) and The Stopover (eARC). Oh hello, what are these things called eARCs you say?! Yah, it’s been a hot minute since I picked one up but I really needed to take a break from Priory and I decided to finally read this one contemporary romance. My review is going up soon but let me tell you, I am hella conflicted about how I feel because I know the relationship was toxic AF and the dynamic between screwing like wild bunnies to fighting over nothing got old pretty quick. BUT AT THE SAME TIME I also couldn’t put it down? Um, Like… What? Why? I don’t know. Is this how people felt when they finished reading the After series? Because if so, I think I get it now LMAO 😂

What are you currently reading?

GOOD NEWS FRIENDS! After whining about my struggle to get into The Priory of the Orange Tree, I’m now 80% of the way through and I’m really enjoying it! It does have me feeling a bit conflicted though. I’m attached to characters, but not necessarily all of the main ones (something bad just happened to one of the main characters and I felt… Nothing?). At the same time, even though I feel like I’ve sped through the last 40%, I also feel like it’s a little endless (I constantly wonder when, if ever, I’ll finish the book). But it’s really not because I’m not enjoying it, it’s just that it’s a tome 🙈 Shit hit the fan quickly and continuously in this story–literally just one thing after another going horribly wrong and it had my heart racing and me screaming out loud. I know that I don’t want to put this down until it’s over (but alas, life), especially now that I’ve made it to the final section of the book. I really can’t wait to see how it all wraps up!

What will you read next?

I’m still going to be keeping these three on here. Might pick up The Bookish Life of Nina Hill first though! I also missed the group discussion for Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) 😅SURPRISE! But I think I’ll still give it a re-read. I’m not sure how I’m feeling about The Light Keeper anymore, as I tried the first three chapters and it just… Wow, confused and annoyed me, and that has me feeling a little yikes about it… Let’s see how it goes!

What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment and let’s chat 🙂

#WWWWednesday: 18 September

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

So… After writing my WWW Wednesday post last week, I managed to last ONE DAY before caving and picking up Godsgrave. That means I abandoned On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, and I do feel guilty about that, but I just couldn’t resist! I NEEDED to know what happened and I’m really glad I picked it up. Kristoff managed to really screw with my feelings yet again, and now I’m holding off on picking up Darkdawn because I know I’m going to be a wreck while/after reading it. I don’t think I’m ready for it 😂 After finishing Godsgrave in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I decided I needed to take a break before moving on to the group read that I’ve been so skilled at avoiding, and I ended up finishing three books: a short graphic novel: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better (check out my review); and two contemporary romances: The Wrong Kind of Love and The Ingredients of Us (check out my review)! The Wrong Kind of Love was my first Lexi Ryan and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would! The Ingredients of Us was a mixed read for me… There was a lot of angst and that played against my anxiety, so I didn’t enjoy that, but it was still good for a debut. Plus I always enjoy books with baking/cooking 😍

What are you currently reading?

I’ve FINALLY picked up The Priory of the Orange Tree. We all know by now that this book is a definite chunkster and I gave up on reading the physical copy the other day because my arms just couldn’t deal with how much of a work out I was giving them 😂 So I caved and bought the e-book and my arms thank me muchly. I’ve also been so intimidated by how big this book is, so I hope that reading it on my Kindle will make it easier to digest! I’m kind of really feeling in the mood for a contemporary romance/romcom as well, so I think I might read Fake Date (Dating #2) by Monica Murphy at some point while reading Priory. I didn’t realize it was part of a series, but I loved the sound of it when I came across it this morning (on Alyssa @ A Lovely Book Affair‘s page), so yeah, IMPULSE BUY!

What will you read next?

After finishing Priory I expect that I’ll be feeling the need for some lighter reads, so I was thinking about picking up The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, which has been very hyped on bookstagram, and I just remembered I also signed myself up for a group read for Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) 😅Woopsies! This’ll actually be a re-read for me. I didn’t like it the first time and didn’t see what everyone loved about it, but I’m wondering if I’ll feel differently this time around? Let’s see! I also need to read the ARC for The Light Keeper, which … is already out (I’m so sorry) and I just haven’t got around to it yet. Grr 😤This panda really needs to work on getting her ARC shit together!

What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment and let’s chat 🙂

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

Today finally saw me leaving the house after not even unlocking my front door yesterday? Yes, it was that kind of Saturday. BUT today I was really thinking about the book that I should be reading because I need to stop putting it off for my group read: The Orange of the Priory Tree by Samantha Shannon. Honestly? I think I’m really letting the INSANE thickness of the book get to me because every time I look at it, I am filled with dread at the thought of picking it up? I’ll be taking it to bed with me tonight though, after I write this post. I will. Really. I promise!

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic. Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

What are you currently reading?

How is it already Sunday evening?! I’m really gutted the weekend is already over and I dread the thought of going back to work tomorrow. I think that might be a sign that it’s time to look for something different soon? I know a lot of my dread has to do with my mental health and how I just feel consistently drained every day, even if I don’t do much, and it’s such a struggle to get out of bed every morning… But this weekend has been pretty low-key. I literally spent Saturday inside and sprawled on my couch. I finished Godsgrave on Saturday morning (5:30am to be exact!) and ugh, this series has absolutely SLAIN me. I am equal parts terrified and excited to pick up Darkdawn. How will this series end and most importantly: will my feels be ready for even MORE slaying!? Stay tuned, folks. I decided I needed a palate cleanser before starting on Priory, so…I ended up finishing two contemporary romances 😬 Despite the extremely minimal movement, my Saturday was pretty productive?

Sunday saw me spending the whole day outside. I helped my friend set up her ‘stall’ at a pop-up art market (check out her work because she’s amazing)! After working hard hammering tacks into a board and setting up, it was a pretty chill day full of coffee, people watching, smiling at strangers (lol not creepily), watching artists paint, and listening to some fantastic chilled tunes. It’s days like today that make me glad I push myself out of my ‘comfort zone’ of staying home all day. Even though I didn’t talk to a lot of people, it was still me getting out of the house!

Reading & Blogging Recap

I think I had a decent good reading and blogging week? I managed to finish five books this week, although one was a very short graphic novel, but I think five is pretty much be average for me! Obviously my favorite read this week was Godsgrave, and I’ll be posting my review tomorrow, so stay tuned 😍I’m really hoping to get into Priory when I pick it up in bed tonight. I am already falling behind on the group read, I’m just very intimidated by this book and I’m quite worried I won’t like it. BUT I don’t want to psyche myself out of reading it before I even properly try, so I’ll just say that I hope to be pleasantly surprised! On that note, check out a recap of my posts this week, in case you missed any:

Top 5 Saturday: Books Set in Space
Friday Favorites: Unfinished Series! (I felt so attacked… lol)
First Lines Friday: 13 September
Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
ARC Graphic Novel Review: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell
‘Lover’ Book Tag!
Review: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
#WWWWednesday: 11 September
ARC Review: The Love Solution by Ashley Croft
#TopTenTuesday: Avoiding Books On My TBR!
Graphic Novel Review: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
Goodreads Monday: 09 September

Also, I leave you with this gem of a song that I can’t get out of my head. Sabrina Claudio’s voice is luscious. I feel like I could drown in it. Her music is so chilled and a little sensual (her voice tho), but so so nice to relax to. It was definitely my vibe today. Have a fabulous and relaxed Sunday, friends!

How has your week been? Hope everyone has/had a great weekend and I hope your week ahead is WONDERFUL! Let me know how you’re doing in the comments and let’s chat, friends 🙂