2020 End of Year Book Survey: Part I

HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS! 🥳

Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA over the last week. My desire to do the absolute bare minimum took over and I’ve done nothing but read (and game) since my last day of full-time work on Wednesday! It’s been grand but okay, it’s time to hop back on the horse! In my typical disorganised fashion, I’ve saved up all the “ending 2020″/wrap up posts for the first week of January, so if you’re sick of looking at wrap up posts now is the time to quit reading 😅

The End of Year Book Survey was originally created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. It’s a bit of a long one and when I did this for the first time in 2019, I split it into three parts, though I think for 2020 I’ll split it into two (combining two and three as they’re shorter)! On that note, let’s dive straight in:

Number of Books Read: 160
Number of Re-reads: 2 (Scythe, Thunderhead)
Genre(s) You Read THE Most From: Young Adult Fantasy, Romance

Best Book You Read in 2020?

I’ve been thinking this over a fair bit since making my top ten favourites but after some thought, I think the best book I read was The House in the Cerulean Sea.


Book You Were Excited About &
Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Oh, it pains me to say it but… Kingdom of the Wicked. I did enjoy parts of it and gave it ★★★ but I thought I’d for sure love it, and then ended up feeling on the fence about it. I’m pretty sure this is more “it’s me and not the book” though because I also ended up feeling “so-so” about SJTR.


Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 

One of my December reads was the non-fiction Bad Blood and even knowing how praised it is, I was surprised by how I sped through it. I’ve got a mixed relationship with NF as most of the time I find them a bit of a slog to get through but I devoured this book in a span of 8ish hours? It was intense. It was amazing. I would definitely recommend it (especially the audiobook)!


Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I think it’s a tie between two books and they’ll come as no surprise either. Plus, I don’t know if I’d say I “pushed” people to read them and also, I doubt it was me who convinced them to read them in the end? 😂 But I didn’t stop raving about both The House in the Cerulean Sea and Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow and often highly recommended them!


Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?

Oof… The best series started is so freaking hard to pick because there were so many that I started and absolutely loved this year… How am I supposed to choose?! 😩 I think I’m just gonna have to go with the first one two three (cough) that popped into my head and that’s The Poppy War, The Kinder Poison and Amari and the Night Brothers. (I’m sorry it’s so hard to choose okay!!!)

For best sequel I’m going with Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, which is book two in the Nevermoor series! For the series ender, I’m choosing Unravel the Dusk because it was a really satisfying conclusion to a beautiful duology.


FavoUrite new author you discovered in 2020?

I don’t think I can just choose one for this because I read so many books by new-to-me-authors that it’d be really impossible for me to pick one. I refuse. So here are some of my new faves: T.J. Klune, Jessica Townsend, Talia Hibbert, Chloe Liese, Kate Stewart, Teagan Hunter, Devri Walls, R.F. Kuang, Zoraida Cordova, June Hur. Basically, these authors are or are close to being auto-buys for me! 😂


Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Hmm… I think I’m going to also pick two books for this one. The first being Bad Blood, as I already mentioned this was a fantastic non-fiction and I’d highly recommend it especially if you like true crime. The second is Children. Although this is fantasy, it was pretty dark and different to what I usually read. It was definitely out of my comfort zone but Larssen’s writing and characterisation were exquisite!


Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I think this one goes to Amari and the Night Brothers. This was packed with action from the go and it was an absolutely thrilling adventure from start to finish. It was so much fun and 100% unputdownable (for me), and I can’t wait for the world to experience its awesomeness when it’s out this month (Jan 2021)!


Book You Read In 2020 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

While I can pick more than one, I don’t tend to re-read very often so it’s gonna be With the Fire On High. Acevedo’s writing is so evocative and Emoni’s story was so beautiful and touching. Not to mention the recipes and all the talk about food made me crazy hungry. I definitely want to re-read it!


Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?

I’m not even going to pretend that I can pick just one favourite cover because there were so many that were gorgeous and I refuse to choose ONE. 🤣 So, feast your eyes on some gorgeous covers:


Most memorable character of 2020?

Art by: EXY Fanart

Surprise surprise, I think I’m gonna go with… The cast of my favourite book this year! I loved Linus, Arthur and all the kids in this book. They won my heart big time ❤️


Most beautifully written book read in 2020?

Ooh, this one was a really tough pick but in the end I think Words in Deep Blue takes this one. This book was so deeply touching. It was beautifully written and made me feel ALL THE FEELS. It’s a gorgeous book!


Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020?

These books really made me think a lot about history and the society we live in, especially with the murder of George Floyd. The Nickel Boys and The Black Kids are really important, impactful and timely reads that are so worth your time!


Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read? 

I have a tendency to put off hyped books (or, well, many books but mostly hyped ones) because the hype is intimidating a lot of the time, but I was so annoyed with myself for putting off reading Well Met until earlier this year. It’s SUCH a great romance! The banter, the character development, the faire! I loved it so much and can’t wait to read the next book set in this town!


FavoUrite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?

“Words matter, in fact. They’re not pointless, as you’ve suggested. If they were pointless, then they couldn’t start revolutions and they wouldn’t change history. If they were just words, we wouldn’t write songs or listen to them. We wouldn’t beg to be read to as kids. If they were just words, then stories wouldn’t have been around since before we could write. We wouldn’t have learned to write. If they were just words, people wouldn’t fall in love because of them, feel bad because of them, ache because of them, and stop aching because of them.”

Cath Crowley, Words in Deep Blue

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?

Shortest: 56 pages (The Straw King)
Longest: 631 pages (The Toll)


Book That Shocked You The Most

It’s not just the brutality of certain scenes that shocked me in The Poppy War but I was also shocked by how much I loved it! This was definitely one heckuva dark read, especially as the story goes on, as Kuang does not shy away from the gruesome details of war. But it’s brilliant writing!


OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Omg, why is this so hard? Lol I mean, there were so many wonderful couples that I would do this for like Ren & Frankie, Citra & Rowan, Meg & Reid, Yadriel & Julian, and Chloe & Red because I love all their loves… But I think Maia & Edan take the OTP cake this year! So swoon. *sigh*


FavoUrite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I’m a sucker for the found-family trope and strong friendships, and there were some really great ones in the books I read this year but I have to say that my favourites were from Nevermoor. The relationship between Juniper and Morrigan and also the friendship between Morrigan and Hawthorne filled my heart with such joy and warmth. These relationships made me fall even more in love with this book/series!


FavoUrite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Vengeful. I love Schwab and I honestly wasn’t expecting to love Vengeful more than I loved Vicious because that book was *chefs kiss*. It was so great to come back to the devious characters I loved in the first book and I can’t wait to see what else Schwab has in store for these ‘Villains’.


Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.

Get A Life, Chloe Brown/The Brown Sisters series has been hyped everywhere (blogosphere, bookstagram, book twitter, booktube) and y’know what? Even though I’ve only read Chloe’s story, I know the praise is so well deserved. The banter, the romance, the diversity, the disability rep, THE STEAMINESS *fans self*. Ooh, I can’t wait to continue the series!


Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?

Ryder from Only When It’s Us. Um, yes, hello. THIS GUY. Ryder had me from the beginning even at peak broody mountain-man mode. That gruff exterior but soft interior is such a weakness for me. But I loved the disability rep in this book (and the series overall). Also, there’s this scene that involves Ryder + Pride & Prejudice and oh my heart, how I melted and swooned! 😂


Best 2020 debut you read?

It’s honestly hard to believe that The Silence of Bones is June Hur’s debut because it is so beautifully done. I’ve never read a book set in 1800s Joseon Dynasty Korea but the writing made it so easy to picture the historical setting perfectly. The inclusion of the sociopolitical climate of the time was intriguing and the mystery kept me on my toes! Plus, this cover? I LOVE! 😍


Best World building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

There are three books in the Venators series (so far) and Walls amps up the world building with each book we read and it’s done amazingly. I love that we get to explore so many different areas of this world in such great detail. It’s so easy to picture it all coming to life before my eyes and it doesn’t hurt that the characters and plot are fantastic as well!


Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Good for Nothings was such a treat to read and I’m so glad it got put on my radar! It had me laughing out loud so often because the characters, their banter and their many shenanigans were so entertaining. This was a fast-paced, action-packed space drama that I absolutely loved!


Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?

I’m just a *bit* of an emotional reader (read: a big one) so it actually isn’t that hard to make me cry 🤣 Haha what can I say, I’m weak with the emotions! The book that probably made me cry hardest was The House in the Cerulean Sea because FEELS, but also The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones, The Mountains Sing and The Poppy War made me pretty freaking weepy, too! 😅


Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I’m shouting four books that I really enjoyed reading this year (I gave all of them 4-5 stars) but haven’t seen a lot of on the blogosphere. I haven’t spent *that much* time on bookstagram or booktube so I don’t know if they were mentioned there, but I think all of these deserve much more attention: Tristan Strong Punches A Hole in the Sky, The Silence of Bones, The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice, and The Kinder Poison.


Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I really think it’s gonna be The Poppy War. I mean, this book just forking devastated me emotionally especially towards the end. It was… Wow. A lot. It was definitely worth it though! LOL


Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?

Oh, easily the biggest standout for this is Big Girl, Small Town. This was easily the most unique book I read in 2020 especially because it combines so many elements that tend to frustrate me in books, but instead I ended up loving this and the MC, Majella. I learned a lot about The Troubles and the simple, every day life in Northern Ireland. It also made me ridiculously hungry!


Book That Made You The Most Mad
(doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

There were actually a few books that made me quite mad this year and I loved all of them! I got mad at the blatant discrimination and bullying in these books, especially when it’s directed towards a child by the “adults” in the book. I wonder that I can still be surprised at the cruelty of humans when terrible and infuriating situations happen so often (even IRL)!


And that’s a wrap, folks!

Oof, despite all the crazy that happened this year, there’s no doubt that some really amazing books were read and many new favourites were discovered. I’m really hoping that 2021 will continue to be an amazing year for books and blogging! Stay tuned for part 2 & 3 of the End of Year survey which I’ll hopefully post tomorrow! 😉 Hope you’re doing well, taking care and staying safe, friends! ❤️

How was your year of reading? Did you do the End of Year Book Survey too? Have you read any of these books? Any favourites?

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones Review and Favourite Quotes

Thanks to NetGalley, Wattpad Books and author Daven McQueen for providing the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Release date: 16 June 2020
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Panda Rating:



It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t―open, kind, and full of acceptance.

Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days can give rise to an invincible summer.

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Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

“It is also, first and foremost, a story about race. It’s a story about the struggle that it was and is to be black in America. And because that is a hard thing, this story deals heavily with racism in the attitudes and languages of certain characters.”

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The Henna Wars Blog Tour: Review and Favourite Quotes

Hi, friends! I’m so excited to be back with another The Fantastic Flying Book Club tour post today for The Henna Wars by Adiba Jagirdar! I really can’t believe I got picked for this blog tour because it’s a hot one that’s on a lot of TBRs, so I died a little bit inside out of pure happiness because it’s such a privilege to be chosen 🥰 Huge thanks to the FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors for making the eARCs available to us.

Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour! 😊

The Henna Wars
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release date: 12 May 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, LGBTQ+

Panda Rating:



When Dimple Met Rishi meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this rom com about two teen girls with rival henna businesses.When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.

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War and Speech Blog Tour: Review and Favourite Quotes

Hello, friends! I’m back with another The Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour today for the hilarious YA contemporary: War and Speech by Don Zolidis! Every time I get picked to be part of any FFBC blog tour I die a little bit inside out of pure happiness because it’s always such a privilege 🥰 Huge thanks to FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors as well for making the eARCs available to us.

Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour! 😊

War and Speech
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release date: 05 May 2020
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Panda Rating:



Not everyone can be a winner…
Sydney Williams knows this better than anyone. After her white-collar- criminal dad is sent to prison, Sydney fails almost all of her classes and moves into a dingy apartment with her mom, who can barely support them with her minimum-wage job at the mall. A new school promises a fresh start. Except Eaganville isn’t exactly like other high schools. It’s ruled with an iron fist by a speech team that embodies the most extreme winner-takes-all philosophy. Sydney is befriended by a group of fellow misfits, each of whom has been personally victimized by the speech team. It turns out Sydney is the perfect plant to take down the speech team from within.  With the help of her co-conspirators, Sydney throws herself into making Nationals in speech, where she will be poised to topple the corrupt regime. But what happens when Sydney realizes she actually has a shot at . . . winning? Sydney lost everything because of her dad’s obsession with being on top. Winning at speech might just be her ticket out of a life of loserdom. Can she really walk away from that?

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Incendiary Blog Tour: Review and Favourite Quotes

Hello, friends! I’m back with another The Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour today for the amazing Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova! Every time I get picked to be part of any FFBC blog tour I die a little bit inside out of pure happiness because it’s always such a privilege 🥰 Huge thanks to FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors as well for making the eARCs available to us.

Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour! 😊

Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release date: 28 April 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Panda Rating:



I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.

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The Silence of Bones Review and Favourite Quotes

Thanks to NetGalley, Feiwel & Friends, and author June Hur for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Silence of Bones
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: 21 April 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Panda Rating:



I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.


1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

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They Went Left Blog Tour: Review and Favourite Quotes

Hello, friends! I’m back with another The Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour today and this time it’s for They Went Left by Monica Hesse! Every time I get picked to be part of any FFBC blog tour I die a little bit inside out of pure happiness because it’s always such a privilege 🥰 Huge thanks to FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors as well for making the eARCs available to us.

Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour! 😊

They Went Left
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: 07 April 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, WWII

Panda Rating:



Germany, 1945. The soldiers who liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp said the war was over, but nothing feels over to eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman. Her body has barely begun to heal; her mind feels broken. And her life is completely shattered: Three years ago, she and her younger brother, Abek, were the only members of their family to be sent to the right, away from the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Everyone else–her parents, her grandmother, radiant Aunt Maja–they went left.

Zofia’s last words to her brother were a promise: Abek to Zofia, A to Z. When I find you again, we will fill our alphabet. Now her journey to fulfill that vow takes her through Poland and Germany, and into a displaced persons camp where everyone she meets is trying to piece together a future from a painful past: Miriam, desperately searching for the twin she was separated from after they survived medical experimentation. Breine, a former heiress, who now longs only for a simple wedding with her new fiancé. And Josef, who guards his past behind a wall of secrets, and is beautiful and strange and magnetic all at once. But the deeper Zofia digs, the more impossible her search seems. How can she find one boy in a sea of the missing? In the rubble of a broken continent, Zofia must delve into a mystery whose answers could break her–or help her rebuild her world.

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The Deep Blog Tour: Review & Favourite Quotes

Hello, friends! I’m back with another The Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour today and this time it’s for The Deep! Every time I get picked to be part of any FFBC blog tour I die a little bit inside out of pure happiness because it’s always such a privilege 🥰 Huge thanks to FFBC for organising these amazing tours and to the authors as well for making the eARCs available to us.

Be sure to click on the banner above to see the other bloggers on tour! 😊

The Deep
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Release date: 10 March 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery/Thriller

Panda Rating:



Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . . 

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Havenfall Blog Tour: Review & Favourite Quotes

Hello, friends! I’m back with another The Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour today and this time it’s for Havenfall! Best believe I was shook when I got picked to be part of this tour because I thought I stood no chance in hell 😂 It was a great squealing moment! Thanks to FFBC for organising these tours and for the author for making the eARC available to us. Be sure to click on the blog tour banner above to check out the other bloggers on the tour! 😊

Havenfall (Havenfall #1)
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Release date: 03 March 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Panda Rating:


A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .

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Review & Favourite Quotes: Wicked As You Wish

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: 03 March 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

An unforgettable alternative history fairytale series from the author of The Bone Witch trilogy about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong.

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left desolate and encased in ice when the evil Snow Queen waged war on the powerful country. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is in hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them. Tala doesn’t mind—she has secrets of her own. Namely, that she’s a spellbreaker, someone who negates magic.

Then hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, and Avalon’s most powerful weapon, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

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