*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is no way swayed my opinions.*
**Warning! If you haven’t read The Storyspinner which is the first book in The Keepers’ Chronicles duology by Becky Wallace, there will be spoilers ahead. You can read my review of the first book instead if you haven’t started the series yet!**
The Skylighter by Becky Wallace is the conclusion to The Keepers’ Chronicles duology. It picks up exactly where The Storyspinner leaves off and things have gotten pretty intense. I’ve been hearing that you’ll enjoy The Skylighter most if you re-read The Storyspinner prior to jumping back into the world. Luckily for me, I read The Storyspinner last month so the details were already very fresh in my mind and I wasn’t at all confused when I began reading. I’m so happy that this series was told over two books instead of being stretched into a trilogy because that really would’ve been unnecessary. Every aspect of the story is described in full and each storyline is wrapped up at the conclusion. Overall, The Skylighter provides a very satisfying ending.
Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, The Storyspinner, The Skylighter works really well with multiple perspectives. The switching narratives were one of my favorite aspects of the first book it continued to be in the final installment. Each character uniquely contributes a portion to the larger story being told and the reader would not get as much out of the tale without having firsthand knowledge of each character’s motivations. The second book focuses much more on The Keepers whereas Johanna and Rafi had been the stars of book one. I have to say that I was completely surprised by Dom, Rafi’s younger and less mature brother. He really underwent a ton of character growth in The Skylighter and I found myself looking forward to his chapters. I remained completely invested in Johanna and Rafi and their relationship took a ton of turns that I hadn’t been expecting. Becky Wallace did a fantastic job crafting their story.
Again, I was enthralled with the world-building in the first book and the conclusion continued to impress. We traveled to places outside Santarem and saw how the other provinces within the kingdom were being managed. I think it was really important for both Rafi and Johanna to see what goes on throughout the entire kingdom instead of having a limited perspective of only one section. The Keepers’ Chronicles duology is unlike any fantasy series I’ve ever read. The story and circumstances are completely original and it’s heavily influenced by hispanic culture and The Skylighter is much more magic heavy than The Storyspinner. Plus, I really loved the ending.
Final Thoughts: The Skylighter by Becky Wallace is the perfect ending to The Keepers Chronicles’ duology. The world-building is unique and unlike any other fantasy world I’ve ever read. The characters are diverse and the world is inspired by Hispanic culture. There were constant twists as the story wraps up and all of the occurrences are far from predictable. If it’s been a while since you read The Storyspinner I would definitely recommend giving it a re-read before jumping into the conclusion.
Johanna and Rafi are in a race against time to save their country before a power-mad Keeper destroys everything they hold dear in the “enthralling magical world” (Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles) introduced in The Storyspinner.
As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans…Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.
And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?
With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late…even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world. (via Goodreads)
I’m so excited to be posting my Book Haul today! My monthly videos were a bit out of order this month because of how busy it’s been in my life so sorry about that! I really love this month’s haul because it includes a set of books that I’ve been lusting after for years but I finally treated myself. I kinda wish I would’ve held more books in my thumbnail because trust me, there are more in the video, but the LOTR books are SO heavy and I have weak arms apparently. I also purchased some new Harry Potter books which are always exciting. They’re really gorgeous and they come in slipcases and they’re SO colorful! What are some of your favorite books you hauled in February?
I’m back with all of my top priority books I’m planning on reading in March! We’re already a little over a week into the month and I’ve been using the first week to catch up on some ARC’s, re-read The Fellowship of the Ring and I’m successfully juggling 4 books right now. Can you read multiple books at a time? What are your March reading plans?!
Waiting on Wednesday: Middle-earth Landscapes: Locations in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Film Trilogies
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting. This week is pretty special for two reasons: 1) I’m participating in March into Middle-earth (LINK) so I thought it would be perfect to spotlight a book that’s on brand and since it’s something that I had recently pre-ordered, it basically came to me immediately, and 2) this is the first WoW post I’ve ever created where I’m unable to find the book on Goodreads! I honestly didn’t even know there could be books that aren’t on Goodreads. They’re so on top of everything! Anyway, Middle-earth Landscapes: Locations in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Film Trilogies is a new coffee-table book with a pretty self explanatory title. It seems to be a combination of the previous two books which were released separately (one for LOTR and one for The Hobbit) but of course, there is some new photography exclusive to this edition to entice all of us Tolkien fiends. Having never owned either of the previous books, I thought this is a pretty good option for me! There’s a forward by Peter Jackson along with contributions from Richard Taylor, Andy Serkis and Alan Lee. Since I don’t see any trip to New Zealand in the foreseeable future, this is a great piece of art to tide me over until that day comes!
Sumptuous hardback gift edition combining the best of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Location Guides, plus brand new photography unique to this book.
In the epic film trilogies created by Peter Jackson, New Zealand has become Middle-earth. From the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps to the rolling hills and Volcanic Plateau of the North Island, the world of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit was stunningly re-created on an epic scale.
Photographer Ian Brodie has captured these locations in all their beauty and splendour. Featuring the most breathtaking photographs from his bestselling The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook and The Hobbit Motion Picture Trilogy Location Guidebook, plus all-new imagery and contributions by Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Andy Serkis and Alan Lee, this is a magnificent record of a historic era in film-making, and a peerless collection of landscape and location photography by a master of his craft.
Featuring contributions from Peter Jackson and other members of the films’ cast and crew, as well as fascinating background to the film-making process, this is the ultimate tribute to the land and its locations. (via Amazon)
The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry is a truly beautiful novel. I had been highly anticipating it’s debut ever since I laid my eyes on the stunning cover. It’s pitched as a contemporary romance heavily laced with time travel, or as Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife. Having never read / seen either of those, they didn’t sway my decision in either direction, although after reading I began to think that comparison is inaccurate. My general feeling is that The Love That Split the World is a magical realism novel with hints of sci-fi. It follows a girl named Natalie who receives hypnopompic visions from a seemingly all knowing visitor named Grandmother. When the novel begins, Natalie gets her last visit and is warned by Grandmother that she has three weeks to save him. Having no idea who the him is, Natalie sets out to solve the mystery and save someone’s life.
Emily Henry did an amazing job with this novel, to the point that it’s hard to believe it’s her debut. Every single character is fully fleshed out, no matter how minor a role they may play. For instance, Natalie’s brother Jack has less than the equivalent of one full paragraph written about him throughout the book but I have an incredibly strong grasp on his character from the pertinent pieces of information Henry offered. I felt so impressed upon finishing and reflecting on this point. While the novel is a contemporary romance, it’s the friendship aspect that made it a worthwhile read. Natalie and her best friend Meg are made for each other. They have the most intelligent conversations, their humor perfectly compliments one another, and they love and trust each other completely. Meg even believes in Natalie’s visits from Grandmother. That’s friendship right there. I seem to the only one of my friends who guessed one of the twists early on but it in no way detracted from my reading experience. There’s a ton of mystery and intrigue to keep you interested even if you solve one aspect.
There were only two complaints I had about this book but neither of them at all hindered my glowing opinion of the story. The Love That Split the World is beautifully written, well thought out, accomplishes everything it sets out to do and then some, follows a diverse character, and portrays a realistic array of relationships that will have you emotionally invested in every character. With all of that being said, the one relationship that it took me a little while to buy was the one between Natalie and her love interest Beau. Their attraction was a bit insta-lovey for my liking and even after I accepted it, I still felt like Natalie was too good for Beau and that I must be missing something. My second complaint is a spoiler so instead of writing it here, I’ll leave you with a link to the Spines With Wines Book Club discussion.
Final Thoughts: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry is a stunning and genre-bending debut novel. If you appreciate magical realism and science fiction, you’ll definitely be intrigued by Natalie’s story and the mysterious visits she receives from Grandmother. The book explores just about every relationship a teenager could have but it’s the friendship between Natalie and Meg that really stands out. If you’re on the fence about this one I would definitely recommend reading it!
Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken. (via Goodreads)
Hi everyone! After a few chaotic weeks of life stuff (moving, getting a car, wedding planning, everything) I’m finally back with my regularly scheduled BookTube videos. I read a ton of books in February and I honestly have no idea how but I’ll be wrapping them all up here in case any of them sparks your interest. I really hope I can keep at this same pace in March! How is your February reading going? Are you ahead on your challenges?
This is the second month that I’m participating in 6 on 6 (the first time was back in October) which is a monthly photo challenge created by Scruffy Little Nerf Herder. The goal is to take 6 geeky themed photos to be posted on the 6th of the month and all of them should prominently feature a certain color. As Pink was assigned to March, I knew it would be the perfect time to post my second set of photos.
For our February book club, Cassie, Melissa and I chose to read The Love that Split the World by which is ta debut genre-bending novel by Emily Henry. This month’s episode is slightly belated due to how busy I’ve been recently. You may notice my fancy new background which hasn’t been organized just yet but I’m working on it! This was a really fun book to review, especially since we all generally like the book but we each gave it a different star rating. Let me know what you thought of The Love that Split the World if you read it and you can also find all of the links to Cassie and Melissa’s social media and blogs in the YouTube description bar!
Ever since Andrew and I went to see Lord of the Rings in concert at Lincoln Center I’ve been wanting to re-read the books as it’s been years since I delved into the world of Middle Earth in any medium other than film. When I heard about March Into Middle Earth through Melissa of Readerly Geek, I discovered Rin of Rin Reads (who is hosting the event and created the lovely header graphic) and that she and her book club, Dungeons & Jetpacks, would be buddy reading The Fellowship of the Ring this month. Could there be a more perfect time to revisit my favorite characters and accompany them on their journey one more time? I certainly can’t think of one!
I love the idea of participating in a month long celebration of all things Tolkien so I’m already planning my posts for the rest of March. As you may already know, March 25 is Tolkien Reading Day which originated in 2003 and is created by The Tolkien Society and inspired this months buddy read. If I stick to the schedule, I should be finished with The Fellowship of the Ring by then so I may do something else that day in celebration. But in the meantime, you can count on seeing a Tea & Book Chat, a collectibles post, an outfit of the day post and more here on my blog. I may also follow in Melissa’s footsteps and finally watch the animated version of The Hobbit. And, if you’re a fellow Tolkien fan, I would highly suggest joining in the Middle Earth madness this month! Until my first post, I’ll leave you with my newest addition to my Tolkien collection, the Folio Society box set.