Book Reviews

Book Review: The Mapmakers by Tamzin Merchant

Happy Monday bookish people! I hope you are all having a good day today. I am bringing you my review of The Mapmakers by Tamzin Merchant, the second book in the Hatmakers series.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review. If you haven’t read The Hatmakers there is likely to be spoilers for that book here.

The Mapmakers Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

So, in this series we follow Cordelia Hatmaker who is living with her family members in their hat shop and they are one of seven magical families, their hats are created using magic. At the end of the first book Cordelia has just found a map brought to her by a boy who was on the ship with her Father, who she still believes is alive. She thinks that the map will lead her to her Father.
I loved every part of this plot. There are brilliantly created villains, new allies, people who you might not be able to trust and people you might have misjudged in the previous book. One big part of this plot is the quest narrative which I really liked – you as a reader are discovering things along with Cordelia, finding out where the map leads to but the story is filled with intersecting plot points that build up to what happens at the end.

The Mapmakers Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cordelia Hatmaker is the protagonist of this story and she has to constantly find new levels of bravery to keep pushing forward. I felt like in this book you see Cordelia having to grow up a little bit more, and definitely before the time she should be growing up, because the world is changing and a lot of responsibility gets put on her shoulders.

The Mapmakers Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I already knew I loved the writing style of this author. Her plots are so intricate and absolutely filled with magic.

The Mapmakers Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had to give this book four stars because I immediately got back into the hatmakers world and I was recruited to Cordelia’s character, I felt for her the whole way through.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Return to the spellbinding world of Cordelia Hatmaker in this soaring magical sequel to The Hatmakers. Perfect for fans of NevermoorA Pinch of Magic and Harry Potter.

Ever since Cordelia discovered the hidden map in her father’s precious telescope, she’s been searching the streets of London by starlight and trying to uncover its secrets. She’s sure that her missing father is out there somewhere, and that if she follows his map, she’ll finally discover the truth about his disappearance.

She never expects to stumble upon a secret society of Mapmakers – or to learn that magic isn’t limited to the few Maker families, but is instead is all around, if you just know where to look . . .

But danger is lurking around every corner, and Cordelia must convince the rival Maker families to work together for once – not only to bring her father home, but to save the very essence of magic itself . . .

A gorgeous adventure from exceptional new storytelling talent, Tamzin Merchant, featuring beautiful illustrations by Paola Escobar.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoy it!

Book Tags

Easter Time Book Tag!

Happy Friday bookish people! Today I am bringing you an Easter themed book tag that I found on My Reading Escape.wordpress.com

I hope you will all have a wonderful Easter weekend with however you will be spending it, I will probably be spending mine eating a lot of chocolate and using my new coffee maker.

1. Easter Egg: Book that feels like a hidden gem

I have to choose The Lady in the Tower by Marie Louise Jenson for this one because it is a wonderful book that I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else talk about

2. Bloom: Debut Novel You Loved:

I chose The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant for this book because I received it in an Illumicrate box and I read it in one sitting. It is a retelling of Les Miserables set in a beautifully described France.

3. Chocolate Bunny: Book so good you didn’t want it to end

I chose Caraval because it is one of my favourite books and as the prompt says, I didn’t want it put it down! This series is so magical I wanted to keep reading it for as long as I could.

4. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap: Book you bought for super cheap:

I actually was given this book for free by a really lovely bookseller, I was given a few of the little world book day books and this was one of them, I have already read it.

5. Jelly bean: Book you thought was sweet:

This book has a lot of lovely, sweet themes so Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell was the first book I thought of for this prompt.

6. Easter Basket: Filled with many surprises:

For this one I am choosing the entire A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas because although I have only read the first book, I have heard that there are many surprises throughout this series and I am excited to read them.

7. Rabbits: Books you wish would multiply (have a sequel):

I chose House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A Craig because ever since finishing it I really wished there had been a sequel, I just felt there were questions left unanswered.

8. Hunt: Book that was hard to get hold of:

I had to look everywhere for this book, there was only one bookshop that had it and the drive was over an hour, then when we got there I forgot to look for this book (I know, I couldn’t believe I did this either) and so I had to order it.

So that’s the end of this Easter book tag! I hope you all enjoyed it!

Monthly TBRs

April TBR!

Happy Friday bookish people! Today I am bringing you my April TBR which includes what books I will be reading for the prompts of the Easter readathon I am co-hosting this month.

Once again, my TBR game gave me a lot of rolls so there are quite a few books to read this month, I am hoping that my reading will improve this month.

So, onto my TBR!

  • Flower – first book you look at: Small Favours by Erin A Craig – I read her first book, House of Salt and Sorrows and really enjoyed it so I am looking forward to this one
  • Chocolate – Plot twist: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – this is a book that I have been putting off but I am looking forward to reading it
  • Cake – Multiple POV: Daughters of Night by Laura Shepard-Robinson – I think this book has multiple points of view but also, it is a haunting, dark victorian mystery so it sounds right up my alley
  • Bunny – a short read: Rose by Holly Webb – I read this book when I was younger but I love this story
  • The sun – a non-book, self care prompt: I am not sure what I will do for this, probably watch some bookish videos and have a warm bath
  • Moon – a mystery: Lily by Rose Tremain – I am so excited to read this book
  • Carrot – a title starts with a c: The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros
  • The Mapmakers by Tamzen Merchant – I loved the hatmakers so I am very excited to continue this series
  • Down comes the night by Alison Saft – I love Victorian, gothic themed novels
  • Nine Lives by Peter Swanson – I love his books and the premise of this book sounds really good
  • Queenslayer by Sebastien de Castell – I am two books away from finishing this series so I would love to read this one soon
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – this is another book that has been on my TBR for a long time
  • The Five: the untold story of the victims of Jack the ripper – I love anything about the jack the ripper mystery and I think it is great to see the women he killed as women
  • A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske – I got this in my Illumicrate box and it sounds very interesting
  • Cecily by Anne Garthwaite – I am looking forward to reading historical fiction again
  • Only A Monster by Vanessa Len – this sounds very dark and fantastical
  • Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb – I am excited to start reading the Hobb books
  • Bringing down the duke by Evie Dunmore – this will be interesting to try and read another genre outside of my comfort zone
  • An enchantment of ravens by Margaret Rogerson – the cover is beautiful and I love this author’s writing
  • Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody – this book looks like it has a morally grey male lead that I think i will like
  • House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas – carrying on over from March TBR

That’s it for my April TBR!

Book Tags

Birthday Book Tag!

Happy Friday bookish people! It is my birthday! I am 23, which feels very strange – sometimes I still feel like I’m 20 but I think that may just be because of the Pandemic. So, I thought it would be a good idea today to do a fun bookish tag so I found the Birthday book tag. I found it on pagesplots.com but on their tag it says they found it on Always Books.

Let’s get to the tag!

Birthday Cake – A Book With a plot that seems cliché but you adore it anyway

For this I went with Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

I felt like I had read this plot a few different times but there were some new aspects to it in this book and I still really enjoyed this book.

Party Guests – Your most anticipated book release for this year

I think there are two for me, which are Only A Monster by Vanessa Len and Crescent City House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas and I now already own both! I have read neither but I am very excited to.

Birthday Presents – A book that surprised you with how much you loved it

For this one I am choosing Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

I knew I would like this book because it has an intriguing mystery but I ended up surprising myself with how much I loved it.

Happy Birthday Song – A book that certainly deserves all the hype it got

The Caraval series by Stephanie Garber, definitely!

Happy Music – A book with some very beautiful and truly memorable quotes

I have to choose the Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, it’s just so magical and fantastical. The quotes are beautiful.

Getting Older – A book that you read a long time ago but you think you would appreciate more if you read it as a more mature reader

This is a really tough one, I am not sure what I can answer this with. I am thinking probably any book by Philippa Gregory because I read them all a few years ago but I think they would mean more to me if I read them now.

Sweet Birthday Memories – A book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life

I have to choose the lady in the Tower by Marie Louise Jenson, all her books kept me going throughout my high school period, there was a lot of things going on that I was struggling with and reading was the only thing that made me feel better.

That’s it for this book tag, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review – Pages and Co: Tilly and the Lost Fairytales by Anna James

Happy Monday bookish people! I hope you are all having a good day so far. Today I am bringing you a book review for the second book in the Pages and Co series by Anna James.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Tilly and the Lost Fairytales Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book picks up from where the first book finished or very close to it at least. The idea of fairytales and fairy tale characters disappearing was what really caught my attention in this book, I felt drawn into the mystery of what was happening to them and I was invested in what the outcome would be. I liked that this book developed on plot points from the first book and that some of the things in the first book turned out to not be quite as they seemed. The world was also something that I loved being able to discover more of it, in terms of its rules and the politics surrounding everything, it added a lot of needed tension. At some points I felt that the mystery was too vague in a way and that there were a few things that needed to be explained more but I am hoping they will be in future books.

Tilly and the Lost Fairytales Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Tilly is a great main character. She is headstrong and somehow finds trouble no matter what she is doing. I felt for her in a lot of ways, the first book left her with a lot of questions and this impacted her a lot throughout this book. The other main character is her best friend Oscar, and I love their relationship. They work great together but they also have differing opinions which keeps their friendship realistic.

Tilly and the Lost Fairytales Writing and Dialogue:

Anna James’ writing is a style that I enjoy because it doesn’t feel like it has been simplified for its intended audience of middle grade readers, some books I have read in the past have done this.

Tilly and the Lost Fairytales Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because its a very comforting series to dive into and I am excited to pick up the third book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A magical adventure to delight the imagination. The curl-up-on-the-sofa snuggle of a series from a uniquely talented author.

Tilly Pages is a bookwanderer; she can travel inside books, and even talk to the characters she meets there. But Tilly’s powers are put to the test when fairytales start leaking book magic and causing havoc . . . 

On a wintery visit to Paris, Tilly and her best friend Oskar bravely bookwander into the land of fairytales to find that characters are getting lost, stories are all mixed-up, and mysterious plot holes are opening without warning. Can Tilly work out who, or what, is behind the chaos so everyone gets their happily-ever-after?

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Tags

Mother’s Day Book Tag!

Happy Friday bookish people! Next weekend is Mother’s Day and so I thought why not have a look and see if there are any Mother’s Day themed book tags around and I found one on YouTube by blissful and bookish so that is what I will be doing for you today.

Best Friend: Pick characters in a book whose friendship you admire the most:

For this one I went with Irene and Kai in The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. To begin with they don’t really get along and it was great seeing the friendship start to develop and what I like most about it is that they have seen the worst of each other and still they are there when the other needs them.

Comfort: what’s a book that always puts you in a better mood:

For this one I chose Lady in the Tower by Marie Louise Jenson because it is one of my favourite books and no matter what mood I am in or what has happened it always makes me feel calmer when I read it.

Doesn’t Give Up: What’s a book that you were tempted to DNF but instead finished:

I chose The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater because I didn’t love the book and I found it took me a long time to read it but I don’t like to DNF books so I pushed on and I did end up giving it three stars and I will read the rest of the series.

Selfless: What’s a book that you had to sacrifice for:

I went with the Queen of Nothing because I sacrificed having a complete set of paperbacks because I couldn’t wait to read the final book in the series so I bought it in hardback as soon as it came out.

Love: What’s your favourite love story:

I had to go with Caraval, the characters of Scarlett and Julian, by Stephanie Garber. Definitely my favourite love story even though it isn’t a romance book.

Homemaker: If you could live with a fictional family whose home would you go to:

I would go and live with the Brown Sisters in Talia Hibbert’s novels because they seem very supportive and fun and I don’t know anyone quite like them in real life.

Forgiving: name a character you hate but would eventually have to forgive:

I had to go for Eli Ever from Vicious by V E Schwaab, although don’t actually have a reason for it, I just think I would end up forgiving him.

Teacher: name a book that has taught you thins that will stay with you forever

I chose Stalking Jack the Ripper because it taught me that you don’t have to fit yourself into society’s expectations.

Dedication: what’s a book that you would like to dedicate to your mum and why:

I struggled with this one, I was looking for a title that would resemble this question but I couldn’t find one so I went with a book series that I think my mum would enjoy reading which is the Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices) series by Cassandra Clare.

That’s it for this book tag, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Uncategorized

Signed Books That I Own

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope you are all having a good day today. I thought it might be fun today to share what some books I have, that I have signed, are.

I would just like to say that I am not trying to brag about the books that I have I just thought it might be fun to share which books and where I may have gotten some of them.

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino

I got this book as a wonderful signed edition from my monthly Illumicrate boxes

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

I also got this book in a book box!

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn

I also got this one in an Illumicrate box, I read it and loved it and now I own the second one in the series.

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

My friend ordered me this book from online because they had found a hardback copy and then when it arrived it was a great surprise to find out it was also signed

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

I got this amazing book in my Illumicrate box too.

Mrs England by Stacey Halls

I managed to grab a signed edition of this book from my local waterstones

Haven’t They Grown by Sophie Hannah

I found this book in a charity shop and it turned out to be a signed hardback and it was an amazing bargain

A Line To Kill by Anthony Horowitz

I got this from a company called Forbidden Planet, I was just scrolling through their website and I ended up ordering a lot of books (oops!) and I managed to get a signed copy of this book from there.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

I got this one in my Waterstones, it didn’t say it was signed and I was very happy when I got home and saw it was signed

Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

I got this book and Once and Future Witches by the same author in my monthly book boxes

As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson

I got this one in my local Waterstones

Under the Whispering Door by T J Klune

I found a signed copy of this one in my Whsmiths and I was really excited to find this one

Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

I got this book in a recent Illumicrate box

The Desolation of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs

I managed to preorder a signed copy of this book from waterstones

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

I got this book in my Illumicrate box too

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

I got this beautiful book in my Illumicrate box

One Of Us Is Lying/One Of Us Is Next/Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M McManus

I got these books signed when I met Karen M McManus at YALC in 2019 which was amazing!

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

I also got this in my Illumicrate box

The Mapmakers by Tamzin Merchant

My local waterstones luckily had a signed copy of this book

This Woven Kingdom by Taherah Mafi

I also got this one in my Illumicrate box

Terciel and Elinor by Garth Nix

I was looking everywhere for a signed copy of this book and I finally found one in Whsmiths

A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab

I bought the special Illumicrate box for this book and along with some other items it got me a signed copy of this book

That’s it for this blog post, I hope you all enjoyed it! Do you have any signed books?

Uncategorized

The Most Beautiful Books I Own

Happy Friday bookish people! I can’t believe it is March already! I thought it might be fun to share with you all some of the books I own that I think have beautiful covers.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow

Shadow and Bone Collectors Edition by Leigh Bardugo

Where Dreams Descend and When Night Breaks by Janella Angeles

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Traitors Ruin by Erin Beaty

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Lily by Rose Tremain

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

The Hatmakers and The Mapmakers by Tamzin Merchant

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

That’s it for this post, I hope you enjoyed it. What are some of your most beautiful books?

Monthly TBRs

March TBR

Happy Tuesday bookish people! I am happy to be bringing you my March TBR today. I have a good feeling about March, I am hoping to get a lot of reading done, there’s so many good books on my TBR that I desperately want to pick up. Also, it’s my birthday on the 25th of March! I’ll be 23 and I had actually forgotten how close it was, I hadn’t made a list and so I was trying to think of the books I wanted and put them on an Amazon wishlist here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/3H1PW8BGD9KF7/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1

Anyway, onto the TBR!

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

I have heard so many good things about this book and even though I am not usually the biggest fan of romance novels, I am willing to give each one a try though so we shall see if I enjoy this one or not.

Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey

Again, another contemporary romance book but I mean it has books on the front so at least I will enjoy the setting, also it has enemies to lovers from what I have read and I do enjoy that trope.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I loved The Starless Sea by the same author, it’s my favourite book and this seems to have the same magical realism so I am hopeful that I will really enjoy this book.

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

A historical murder mystery set on a boat. Of course I want to read this book.

Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco

I am so excited to continue this series, Emilia is one of my favourite female protagonists and Wrath is such a good morally grey character. I love it!

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

This is a book that I have been putting off for ages, well ever since I finished A Court of Thorns and Roses but I am excited to read it because I have heard it is the best book in the series.

City of Brass by S A Chakraborty

I have already started this book a year ago but I put it down for some reason and I haven’t thought about picking it up again until now.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

This is another book that I have heard really good things about so I am excited to read this one.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow

Witches in a historical setting, I am very excited about this book.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T J Klune

This books kind of reminds me of the Umbrella Academy but a bit more peaceful so that’s why I was drawn to this book to start with.

The Girl in the Tower by katherine Arden

this is the second book in the bear and the nightingale series and I absolutely loved the first book so I am really excited to continue this dark and wintery series.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

I have recently been enjoying books with an academic setting so hopefully I will enjoy this book.

Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder

This books sounds very interesting to me and a friend has read it and enjoyed it which makes me want to read it even more.

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

This looks like a very cute middle grade book. Plus I love the cover, it is very inviting.

The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman

This is the third book in the Invisible Library series, I really love Irene and Kai from this series and I can’t wait to see what adventures they are going to go on next.

House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas

This is one of my most anticipated books of this year so I am nervous to read it, it is also huge so it might take me a while but I am very excited, I am trying my hardest to not see any spoilers for it.

That’s it for my march TBR, I hope you all enjoyed it! What are you planning on reading this month?

Monthly Wrap Ups

February Wrap-Up

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I am excited to bring you my February Wrap-up. Well, I say excited – I barely read anything so not so excited about that but I accomplished a lot during February.

First of all, I handed in my first assignment for my PhD and that has taken a lot of stress away from me, I also completed the redecoration of my new room including buying seven bookcases and putting my books on them (that was a great day!). Also, I went through the next stage in the process of getting a guide dog which is both terrifying and exciting.

So, usually I would list the books I was supposed to read this month and say whether I did or not, well – I only read two books this month so I won’t be listing them I will just put them here instead.

I read:

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Review to come shortly!

and…

The Maid by Nita Prose

So that’s what I read this month, it wasn’t a lot but considering how busy I was I am okay with the little that I managed to read, also I plan on reading Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix tonight which was on my February TBR so that might mean I read three books..

That’s it for this post, I hope you all enjoyed it! Tomorrow I will be posting my March TBR so if you’re interested in seeing what I will be reading make sure to check that out.