(Book Review) Not the Heir by Hudson Warm // Spoiler-Free

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.   My opinions are my own.

Title: Not an Heir

Author: Hudson Warm

Publisher: Hudson Warm

Genre: Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis:

A jealous prince. A legendary key. An enchanted forest.

In the kingdom of Silverkeep, seventeen-year-old Basil Avington is accustomed to his opulent life as a prince. That is, until the king’s unforeseen death. Now the future is approaching sooner than Basil thought. His twin—eldest by seven minutes—has stolen his first love, his dignity, and soon, will take the throne. There’s only one way for Basil to attain power: embarking on a perilous venture to find King Philip’s key, which, according to ancient lore, bestows the kingdom upon its possessor. But it’s been lost for centuries.

Armed with only a bejeweled sword and imaginative wit, Basil is not prepared for what’s to come. The magical forest of Golden Grove will pull him into a world of horse-legged satyrs, a stunning nymph, and the evil Ambrosia—a forest tyrant with baffling powers. His selfish hunt for the key will endanger his life, but failure would lead to an unbearable existence second to his undeserving brother.

Unfortunately, the Silverkeep throne seats one.

Review

This book reminded me of the world of Narnia especially when I was reading about the enchanted forest. I love every aspect of the world building in this story. The magical creatures just added more flavour to it. But I wish there had been a magic system with rules that would make the world more interesting. Nonetheless, this world was still intriguing to read. 

I like the story though I would prefer the plotline to be a bit more layered, especially the romance. I’m glad that Warm kept the story simple and easy to digest. The pacing was good. And I cannot help but be excited for Basil’s journey to discover the hidden key in the later chapters. 

Warm definitely portrayed the life of a jealous prince SO well that I could see his compressed pain on the page and that made me root for the character even more. I love the structure of how the kingdom worked. It really made me feel like I was right there watching the characters do their daily routine. Hence, it was real to me. This was a good debut, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

That concludes my review.

I rate this 3.5/5.
 
“Not the Heir” comes out today! Grab your copy now! 
 

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(Book Review) The Stolen Kingdom by Bethany Atazadeh // Spoiler-Free

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

Title: The Stolen Kingdom #1

Author: Bethany Atazadeh

Publisher: Grace House Press

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

Goodreads Synopsis:

How can she protect her kingdom, if she can’t protect herself?

Arie eagerly anticipates becoming Queen of her humble kingdom. Even when a Jinni’s Gift manifests before her 18th birthday, she fights to hide the forbidden ability.

But when a neighbouring king attempts to marry her and steal her kingdom, discovery feels imminent. Just one slip could cost her throne. And her life.

A Jinni hunter and his crew of thieves are her only hope for removing this Gift. And she must remove it before it’s exposed. Or die trying.

The Stolen Kingdom is a loose “Aladdin” retelling. Set in a world that humans share with Mermaids, Dragons, and the elusive Jinni, this isn’t the fairytale you remember…

Review

One word: hooked.

I am not a fan of retellings but this book hooked me good.  I cannot put the book down. It has bewitched me into a devouring beast that needs more after reading the first few chapters.

It is loosely based on Aladdin as Atazadeh says in her YouTube video, and I understand why. This is uniquely different. I am grateful that the author stuck with the main elements of the story — the lamp, the jinni (or genie), the commoner, princess, a sorcerer, and the sultan. But she also added her own twist to them. Even though the story she is recreating is far different from the Disney’s version, the essence of the folktale is still there. The story is captivating. There are more characters to root for and THAT kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I like it when I don’t know what is about to happen…I love surprises.
 
Slow burn romance. Yes, I love reading slow and steady romance. Arie and Kadin have one of the best relationships I’ve seen in books. They had cute moments and tense ones which were fun reads. The pacing was not too fast, it had the right tempo—nicely paced. It was action-packed the whole way, I don’t think I ever once got bored.
 
I recommend this promising series to anyone who enjoys fantasy or retellings. This entertaining story will make you hunger for more.
 
I rate this 4.5/5.
 
“The Stolen Kingdom” is coming out on 20 August 2019.
 

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