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Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

by Jamey 1 Comment
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Wicked Saints was a buddy read with my wife, Shannon. Somehow, she ended up with two copies of this book, so we both read them at pretty much the same time. Shannon has since received an e-arc from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the sequel, Ruthless Gods, which she posted a review for earlier today.

This was Emily A. Duncan’s first book, and to be brutally honest, it started off reading like one. I absolutely couldn’t stand the foreign names that we difficult to pronounce even in my head (like why could Tranavia have not simply been Travania? — which would have made much more sense from a reader’s perspective). It took me a long time to get into this book (nearly halfway-through), but once it started getting good, it got good quick. The magic started flowing, and it turned out to be a really solid read.

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Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

by Shannon 1 Comment
Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

Heads up guys! I never know where to start when reviewing the 2nd book in the series, because there’s bound to be spoilers. So, friends if you haven’t read Wicked Saints and are planning on it, click away for now.  

Let’s start with a little background on my feelings about the first book in this series, Wicked Saints. The first half was absolute torture to read. All of the ridiculous and distracting names were just too much for me, but I continued on because honestly Serephin was giving me The Darkling vibes, you know from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow & Bone series, and I needed to see some good happen for him — even though, does he really deserve that? I still don’t know, but I love him anyway.  I also kept reading because I was intrigued by how everything was going to play out, and was pleasantly surprised in the end. There was backstabbing, redemption, damnation, and more. It was a fantastic ending that left me needing to read the 2nd book ASAP, which leads me to Ruthless Gods

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John Dee and the Empire of Angels: Enochian Magick and the Occult Roots of The Modern World by Jason Louv

by Jamey
John Dee and the Empire of Angels: Enochian Magick and the Occult Roots of The Modern World by Jason Louv

Just to be clear from the start — John Dee and the Empire of Angels is not a book for everyone. It provides an excellent and remarkably granular history of John Dee and Edward Kelly, and for that reason alone I would recommend it. However, this book (unlike any other historical record of John Dee), goes balls deep into Dee’s angelic scrying sessions with Kelly, and then goes even further to relate how those scrying sessions went on to influence the realms of science, as well as the Western Esoteric Tradition in its entirety. If you are interested in occult studies, it is extremely interesting to follow the thread of Dr. John Dee and see how his impact inspired countless esoteric teachings and philosophies of the modern era.

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

by Jamey 0 Comments
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical about starting The Folk of the Air series. Shannon had made a really big deal about it and was adamant that I read it. I know she loves faeries, and I love magic, and we both really enjoyed Holly Black’s previous book, The Darkest Part of the Forest, so I decided to give it a go.

I was not disappointed. This book was full of very detailed descriptions of magic and how things worked, which is something that I appreciate in a magical book — how they don’t just say something magic happened and then don’t describe how it happened. This book gives all of the hows in epic detail, which I really loved. This is one of those books that has the ability to really transport the reader to an altogether different place from mortal reality, and you really get sucked in.

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Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

by Jamey 2 Comments
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House absolutely blew me away. I have read Leigh Bardugo before (The Grisha Trilogy) — Six of Crows is still on my TBR — but this book was entirely different from “The Grishaverse.” When comparing The Grisha Series against this first book in The Alex Stern Series, I would compare the Grisha series to a child perceiving the fantasy of what magic might be, which developed over time into Galaxy Stern, a real world, hardened survivor, whose very being and situation pulled her into a world she never expected to be in; a world where she eventually blossomed into a darkly-enlightened real-world practitioner of the occult — but not to meet her own ends — to act as one of the shepherds who oversees the other practitioners and holds them accountable in order to keep the magic in order and to keep the ritualists in check.

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Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

by Shannon 0 Comments
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent & Dove is a story that features enemies to lovers and good versus evil — two of my favorite tropes in literature and pop culture. In this book, there is basically war between the church, kingdom, and witches. The church is burning witches for their crimes against humanity, while the witches are trying to reclaim the land they lost to the royal family. Mixed up in all of this, is Lou, a witch who has abandoned her coven and is living on the streets. She is both feisty and hilarious, and her brazen actions put her in the path of Reid Diggory, the captain of the church’s Chasseurs.

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The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

by Shannon 0 Comments
The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

You guys, I am shocked! The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White was so much more than I could have hoped for. Pretty much all I know from the King Arthur stories I learned from the show Once Upon a Time, and even that is a little hazy for me, because my memory is lacking. But, I am down for any and all retellings, especially those surrounding Kings and Queens from long ago and fae magic! I just saw the new Maleficent: Mistress of Evil movie this weekend, and all I kept thinking about was this book! So, even before reading the rest of my thoughts, if you’re into that kind of thing, too, then add this to your TBR immediately!

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