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Ari and her dragon Oizealth are in the final round of a deadly competion: Veils. Only two more men are in the way of what she truly wants: a life together with the one she loves.

But does Ari have what it takes to win?

    What I’ve Been Reading: Book Reviews December 2021

    This post may contain affiliate links for products and services I recommend. If you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission. Read the full disclosure here.

    Below you can find my book reviews for what I read in December 2021.

    I thought I was going to read a lot more, with the short 1-week holiday I had. But…

    I don’t know what it was. Just wasn’t really feeling it, reading-wise.

    Anyway, as always, you can either scroll down to read all of the reviews, or go below the image and click the link of the book/genre that sounds most interesting to you. You’ll then jump straight to the review of that book.

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    Book reviews December 2021

    A Letter to Three Witches by Elizabeth Bass

    a letter to three witches by Elizabeth Bass book cover drawn witch on broomstick on red with night sky for title

    Genre: Adult Paranormal Fantasy Romance
    Pubdate: 25th of January
    Publisher: Kensington

    Gwen Engel and her family have been banned from practicing witchcraft by the Grand Council of Witches as a result of her great-great-grandfather’s catastrophic spellcasting blunder. The Council even has anonymous snitches called Watchers in the community to report any errant spellcasting.

    However, magic may still be alive in Zenobia. One day, Gwen and her cousins Trudy and Milo receive a letter from Gwen’s adopted sister, Tannith, informing them that she’s bewitched one of their partners and will run away with him at the end of the week. While Gwen frets about whether her boyfriend, who’s currently out of town, is going to run off with Tannith, she’s also worried that a grad student named Jeremy is secretly a Watcher.

    Which is bad news when cousin Trudy is so stressed out that she accidentally enchants her cupcakes. Perhaps it’s time the family took back control of their powers.

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Story

    A Letter to Three Witches is a fun and fast read.

    The story’s told mostly from Gwen’s perspective.

    In some of the chapters, we get Griz’s POV—Tannith’s cat. I thought it was an interesting choice to choose him and not Tannith herself, and I do believe it was a good choice. We can get a lot of information about her character from how she’s treating her cat.

    When it starts, you think it’s going to be about one thing (Tannith’s surprise letter), but then it becomes more about Gwen’s family and their magic.

    Although there is also a slow-burning romance going on.

    Throughout, there are a couple more twists that were sometimes predictive and sometimes surprising. It kept me on my toes and made the story engaging right until the end.

    In addition, I loved the theme of being who you’re meant to be, and not to settle for anyone or change who you are just because you don’t want to be alone.

    Characters

    Gwen is a very likable person from the get-go: it’s clear she’s caring and loves to help others—especially her family.

    She’s trustworthy, but also insecure and a bit too worried of being alone. From the beginning, it was clear (to me, at least) that her relationship with Daniel was very unequal. She was compromising way more than he was.

    This led me to not really liking Daniel (which I’m sure was the point).

    He’s more concerned with his work and is very set in his ways. And pretty judgemental when Gwen does things differently from him.

    Worldbuilding

    The magic system seems to be a combination of pagan magic and “Harry Potter” magic (not that they need to use wands, but just that it exists, you can do a spell, and something happens).

    So, it’s not very new, but it does mean there’s not a learning curve when reading the book. It’s just pretty straightforward.

    Conclusion

    To conclude my book review of A Letter to Three Witches is a great read if you’re looking for something fun and easy to read, with plenty of twists throughout.

    Aside from the story (which was interesting and engaging), the characters were really the highlight of this book. I came to love their quirckyness, and they made me feel a bit better about not having my life figured out in my almost-thirties.

    In short: read it for the slow-burning romance, loveable characters, witchcraft, and engaging story.

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    Sidewinders (The Fire Sacraments #2) by Robert V.S. Redick

    sidewinders by robert vs redick book cover two figures and spiral shape with bowl-shaped top

    Genre: Adult Dark Epic Adventure Fantasy
    Publisher: Talos

    Kandri and Mektu Hinjuman are the two most wanted men in a war-torn world: the assassins who killed the Prophet’s favorite son.

    Now, they are traveling with their caravan through the Ravenous Lands—a sprawling and lethal desert. However, some of their fellow travelers worship the Prophet in secret. And others, Mektu included, have become obsessed with a bejeweled mattoglin that seems to afflict its owners with madness or death.

    In addition, Kandri is now carrying an encoded cure for the World Plague—a disease that has raged for centuries, and the reason of Urrath’s quarraintine. However, far from the desert, certain criminals have learned just how lucrative this plague can be. Who, in this game of shadows, can Kandri trust?

    What Kandri does know, is that he must reach Kasralys, the fortress-city of the east. Only there can the cure be deciphered. And only there can Kandri find the lover who vanished one night without a trace.

    What Kandri doesn’t know is that Kasralys, a city never conquered in 3,000 years, is about to face its greatest siege in history.

    I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    Story

    If the blurb seems long, it’s because there’s a lot going on in the story.

    Unlike the first book, Master Assassins, this one has more than one viewpoint.

    Sidewinders binds together events happening across Urrath, all of them eventually impacting Kandri and Mektu in some way.

    Redick masterfully weaves these intricate storylines together.

    And not just that, he’s also great at surprising the reader. You think things will go a certain way, and then he just pulls the rug from underneath you.

    Also, just like with the first book, there are plenty of action sequences.

    Characters

    Since the story is now bigger, there are also more characters. Aside from our more set cast with Kandri, Mektu, Eshett, Chindillan, and Tal, we now also have Therel Agathar, the elusive Eyelash Thruko, and Lady Kosuda.

    Therel gives the reader a better view of the situation in Shôlupur, the Scarlett Kingdom—and the biggest rival of Kasralys. On the other hand, Lady Kosuda is the Chancellor of Karalys, and works with a great network of spies to uncover any plots by their enemy—including Eyelash Thruko.

    Therel is an especially likable character, and I enjoyed his chapters thoroughly (especially with all the intriguige and scheming going on there).

    Another worthy mention is Jod Ifimar, the caravan master.

    While not a POV character, he certainly had a strong presence throughout the story. He’s though but fair. He’s the kind of character that grows on you, even if he’s somewhat of a bastard.

    Worldbuilding

    One word: incredible.

    While in Master Assassins were more slowly guided into the world of Urrath, more limited to the Chilotos and the desert that Kandri and Mektu have to face, in Sidewinders we start to see more of the world.

    For starters, as mentioned, Shôlupur and Kasralys finally start to become more tangible. We also get more political intrigue and a build up of clever plans unfolding slowly.

    The great desert Kandri and Mektu now face is also much more than just a whole lot of sand. Redick managed to make it interesting, with different kinds of dangers, both coming from the shifting environment and the people within and without the caravan.

    Conclusion

    To conclude my book review of Sidewinders: it’s another great epic tale that follows Master Assassins perfectly.

    The world within the story expands, giving us a broader view. The writing is impeccable. There’s a constant tension, with different dangers, stakes being raised, and twists in the story.

    It makes you want to keep on reading.

    Truly, if you love epic fantasy, then reading Master Assassins and Sidewinders is highly recommended.

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    Other Blog Posts

    New On This Blog

    Book Recommendations, Reviews & Bookish stuff on other blogs

    Sorry, none this month! 

    It's a Wrap!

    I hope you enjoyed my book reviews for the books I read December 2021. 

    Hopefully, I’ll have more reviews for you in January!

    What books did you read in December? Any favorite?

    And what are you going to read in January?

    Let me know in the comments!

    What I’m planning to read this month:

    Finishing The Beholden, a new release for January.
    Three Swords, a Marvel book that releases in February (I think).
    The Lost Sister, an Arc request from the author.
    And last but not least, Red Rising, because it’s been sitting in my bookcase for a long, long time.

    We’ll see if I’ll manage!

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    Get a free short story!

    Sign up for the newsletter & receive a free short story: Veils. 

    Ari and her dragon Oizealth are in the final round of a deadly competion: Veils. Only two more men are in the way of what she truly wants: a life together with the one she loves.

    But does Ari have what it takes to win?

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      I’m Iris Marsh, a passionate reader and writer. On here, you can find book reviews, book lists, and more bookish stuff. You can also find more information on the books I’ve written. If you want to know more about me, just click here.

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