Wednesday, March 14, 2018

πŸ“š REVIEW - THE WITCH'S TEARS by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr

The Witch's Tears (The Witch's Kiss #2)
by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr
Publisher - HarperCollins Children's 
Release Date - February 2nd 2018
Buy -  Amazon | Book Depository

Can true love's kiss break your heart...?

It's not easy being a teenage witch. Just ask Merry. She's drowning in textbooks and rules set by the coven; drowning in heartbreak after the loss of Jack. But Merry's not the only one whose fairy tale is over. Big brother Leo is falling apart and everything Merry does seems to push him further to the brink. And everything that happens to Leo makes her ache for revenge. So when strangers offering friendship show them a different path they'd be mad not to take it...

Some rules were made to be broken, right?

-Spoiler free review-

For my review of The Witch's Kiss please click here

We've got over the potential threat of the King of Hearts and Gwydion, but what if the magic that still lurks under the Black Lake is waiting to be harnessed by someone else. What is the darkest fairy tale only had a short lived happening ending? Merry's life was never meant to go back to normal, normal is far too overrated for her these days, especially with a troubled Leo and losing the love of her life.

Merry isn't her usual self, it's like all this energy to destroy something is still swimming through her body but she's being undermined by the coven but in a way feared because Merry is unlike any witch the coven has come by. Just because she does things differently, her wires work differently, she feel she isn't being accepted no matter how much she's putting into her sessions with her Gran. Not to mentioned Leo is basically being a bum. I didn't realise understand his coldness towards her, but in a way I do, it's all focused on Merry being magical, not that fact that Leo was with her all time and everyone is forgetting that .Merry tries to help, but she pushing him away, he's locked away and the only person who seems to be helping is a new stranger, a wizard named Ronan. It isn't until Gran say that wizards are untrustworthy and dangerous that Merry becomes suspicious.

Meeting new characters, like Finn, Ronan, Flo as well as seeing more of the coven and even Merry and Leo finally being able to reconnect with their mother. Whether the new and current characters were good or bad, it built a family of characters that you couldn't pull away from, you wanted to know more and Kate and Liz did that, both through Merry's and Leo's perspective. It gave them a sense of belonging to the story.

The sequel to The Witch's Kiss is like the after story that leads to a much bigger plot - to the final battle in The Witch's Blood. When I read this book I was surprised I admit, because this could be taken a filler book and yes there were elements to it but what I loved about is that we got of what happened next. I miss that with a lot of stories, it finishes and your thinking "what happened to them?", "what happens next?" or "what sort of future did they have in-store?" It builds characters, it builds that relationship you have with the reader especially with Merry and Leo, I applaud Kate and Liz for doing that. It felt more realistic, the timing and pacing of the story-line, it builds the momentum to the final book which I loved considering I can read it straight after. I hate to imagine if I read this last year I don't think I could cope.

The Witch's Tears has more magic, mayhem, action, it's once again seamlessly well written and I just love Kate and Liz's writing regardless. The Witch's Kiss was only beginning, but as this series progresses and transforms into something powerful, Kate and Liz are putting their stamp in the world of fantasy in YA.Whatever you do, don't stop now. there is epicness to come in the final battle in The Witch's Blood.

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

Sunday, March 11, 2018

BLOG TOUR: GUEST POST - THE WITCH'S BLOOD by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr

Hi Everyone, it's all about The Witch's Kiss series by Kate and Liz Corr this week. Earlier this week, I finally reviewed my reread of The Witch's Kiss, which you can find here. From the middle of February I have only been reading this series as the final book, The Witch's Blood has finally been released. There's something about reading a series from start to finish as well as the waiting an excruciating year for the next book. Anyways, I'm so excited to be part of this blog tour which I've been part of from the very first book. Kate and Liz are extraordinary women and I'm so happy for them and this amazing series. I can't wait to read more from them. So rather than me sharing with you the synopsis of the last book because well spoilers, here is a series description of The Witch's Kiss trilogy. 

A blend of fairytale, magic and modern teenage life, The Witch’s Kiss trilogy follows trainee witch Merry and her older brother Leo. When a prince who has slept for hundreds of years finally wakes up, Merry has to deal with an Anglo-Saxon curse and a dark wizard hell-bent on revenge, whilst she and Leo discover whether true love’s kiss really can save the day. But curses are hard to kill, and the ripples of Merry’s choices and actions – and her growing power – attract more attention than she bargains for. As witches start dying and an ancient fairytale becomes a horrifying reality, both Merry and Leo have to choose who to trust, risking their lives and even their world in the process. Past and present collide and Merry faces a decision: how much is she really willing to give up to finally lay the curse to rest?
Our Favourite Book Battle Scenes

The Witch’s Blood is the final book in The Witch’s Kiss trilogy, so we knew wanted to include an epic battle scene at some point before the end. Lots of our favourite fantasy books have epic battles in them. Here are our top four….

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - JK Rowling

Image result for harry potter and the deathly hallows adultWe love the battle scene between Lord Voldemort and Harry at the end of The Deathly Hallows. Not only does Harry finally destroy Voldemort once and for all (with a fine display of magical outmanoeuvring), but he mocks the hell out of Mouldy Voldy whilst doing it. And it’s joyful to behold. After all the pain, death and destruction inflicted by the Dark Lord, there’s something VERY satisfying in hearing Harry ridicule him:

‘You don’t learn from your mistakes, Riddle, do you?’ ‘You dare -’

‘Yes, I dare,’ said Harry, ‘I know things you don’t know, Tom Riddle. I know lots of important things that you don’t. Want to hear some, before you make another big mistake?’

It’s a deliciously humiliating defeat for Voldemort, all the more because it’s played out in front of an audience of Harry’s friends and Voldemort’s supporters. Unfortunately, the film of Deathly Hallows (Part 2) fails to replicate this mock-off in all of its sardonic glory, instead concentrating on CGI special effects. The final duel between Harry and Voldemort takes place outside Hogwarts in the grounds, without a single soul to witness Voldemort’s downfall. Shame.
The Two Towers - JRR Tolkien

Battles don’t get much more action-packed than the battle for Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers, the second book of The Lord of the Rings. There are orcs and wild men, kick-ass elves, ruckus-loving dwarves, and of course the dark and brooding Aragorn (oh, be still our beating hearts). Throughout the siege the men of Rohan (lead by King Theoden) valiantly defend their fortress from the vicious onslaught of Saruman’s forces. Lots of people die, and at various points it looks like the battle will be lost. Yet help is at hand in the form of Gandalf the White…

‘The White Rider was upon them, and the terror of his coming filled the enemy with madness. The wild men fell on their faces before him. The Orcs reeled and screamed and cast aside both sword and spear. Like a black smoke driven by a mounting wind they fled. Wailing they passed under the waiting shadow of the trees; and from that shadow none ever came again.’

Ah, the revenge of the trees. As battles go, this one’s truly epic.

Goddess - Josephine Angelini 

Image result for goddess by josephine angeliniThe battle scene in Goddess, the final book of the Starcrossed Trilogy, is notable in part because of the sheer number of Greek gods (and their mortal demigod descendants) that Angelini manages to pack into it: Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, Aphrodite, Helen, Lucas, Hector, Orion - you get the picture. We were impressed by how Angelina pits her modern-day characters against those from Greek history in one all-out blockbuster battle. Best of all is the beautifully triumphant moment where demigod Helen manages to trap big bad gran-daddy Zeus in Everyland (an alternate world she’s created), averting a war between the gods and their half-human descendants on Earth. Finally, we see Helen complete her transition from awkward teenage girl to world-building superbeing...

‘Zeus looked around in panic. Helen knew he was trying to open a portal and leave. She could feel it, but he couldn’t do it. And as long as Helen existed and held ownership of the borders [of Everyland], he would never be able to leave.
‘Welcome to my Trojan horse,’ she said with a tight smile. ‘Enjoy. You’re going to be stuck inside it for eternity.’
Helen saw Zeus’s face freeze with horror, and then she left him, locked in her heavenly prison forever.’

Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett
Image result for equal rites terry pratchett
Last but not least is Equal Rites, which is a book chock full of battles (between good and evil, witchcraft and wizardry, the sexes, etc). It has one fight scene however, between badass witch Granny Weatherwax and stuck-in-his-ways Cutangle (Archchancellor of the Unseen University) that trumps the rest. Determined to help Esk realise her destiny as the first female wizard, Granny Weatherwax won’t take no for an answer when the University refuses to admit her. There follows as standoff between witch and wizard of monumental proportions…

‘Cutangle vanished. Where he had been standing a huge snake coiled, posed to strike.
Granny vanished. Where she had been standing was a large wicker basket.
The snake became a giant reptile from the mists of time.
The basket became the snow wind of the Ice Giants coating the struggling monster with ice.
The reptile became a sabre-toothed tiger, crouched to spring.
The gale became a bubbling tar pit.
The tiger managed to become an eagle, stooping….’

And so on. Eventually the fight gets interrupted by the appearance of nasty creatures from another dimension who imprison Esk. After this Granny and Cutangle work together to get Esk back. They stop physically fighting at least, but the battle between the sexes continues...

Thank you to the lovely Emma for being part of our blog tour!

About Kate and Liz
We are sisters and best friends (try writing a book with someone else and you’ll see why that last bit is kind of important). After spending our childhood in Essex, we now live ten minutes away from each other in Surrey. We both studied history at university and went to work in London for a bit. When we both decided to write novels – on account of fictional people being much easier to deal with than real ones – it was obvious we should do it together.

Stuff Katharine likes: playing instruments badly; dead languages; LOTR; loud pop concerts; Jane Austen; Neill Gaiman; Loki; the Surrey Hills. Killing off characters.

Stuff Elizabeth likes: sketching, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, cinema, long baths, kitchen discos, Terry Pratchett, Thor, London. Saving characters.

Friday, March 09, 2018

πŸ“š REVIEW - THE WITCH'S KISS by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr

The Witch's Kiss (The Witch's Kiss #1)
by Katherine and Elizabeth Corr
Publisher - HarperCollins Children's
Release Date - June 30th 2016 
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository 

Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse. Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?
With the third and final book in The Witch's Kiss trilogy and although I read this last year, I felt the need to reread the book in preparation for the last book. The funny thing is the first time I read it, it was for when I was going to meet them in my first book week at work, but I never reviewed it, and reading it for a second time I loved it even more.

The Corr sisters have created the next modern fairytale.

Then...The tale begins with Gwydion on a quest to bring back the King's daughter in return to take her as his betrothed. But when the King refuses his promise, Gwydion spirals out of control and makes sure that his daughter will know nothing of love. So he takes it away, in the shape of her son, Jack. Jack becomes his apprentice and Gwydion, the master of the darkest magic. When three sisters sworn to the Queen to destroy Gwydion, and temporarily they send him into an eternal sleep... 1500 years later he awakens.

Now...A true love's kiss, a sleeping master and his puppet - the King of Hearts - this is a story that Merry and Leo were told when they were children, what they didn't realise that is was real. The recent attacks in their village is no coincidence when The King of Hearts has finally awaken. Merry  is part of a bloodline of witches where they bound their bloodline to an oath, to finally complete what the three sisters prolonged to do, to destroy Gwydion by separating the King of Hearts and Jack once and for all.

What I loved is that Merry embraces that of a normal sixteen-year-old British teenager with the teenage problems, rebellious, boys, spots, friendships, but on top of all that she isn't a ordinary person. She's had grow up with this 'rumour' of her family, whispers in the locker room, the fact is she doesn't mind being magical, but when she first start to 'experiment' she realised all to quickly the dangers of an untrained magic and being selfish with it can have it's consequences.  So when this oath falls on her shoulders, I don't really blame her that acts out a bit, she has every right too. But one thing I really loved about Merry was that she's brave and courageous, to grow up, face her fears very quickly knowing that the fate of the magical and non-magical worlds is down to her. Plus falling in love with the bad guy also helped...

"I'm not the wicked witch, but I don't have to be perfect good fairy, either. I'm just me: a normal, complicated human, who happens to have a talent for witchcraft."

This book isn't just about fairy-tales and magic or curses, there so much in the way family. There's the good and bad like with any family, especially with Merry's mum's distance. But then you have the exceptional characters, that bring so much more to book. Leo, everyone needs a brother like Leo. Having his perspective in the book, spoke volumes, it added such a familiar and truly touching moments between Merry and Leo. It gives it texture to the book and an unbreakable bond that you can't help but just love so completely. But no matter what they'll always be there.
Then there is Gran, she's the life of the book. She isn't your regular type of Grandparent in the slightest, head of a coven she has a heavy responsibility not only training Merry but also as her grandmother too. She's a bit on the extravagant side but the coolest gran I've ever come across and that's why I loved her.

The Corr sisters have this uncanny way of creating a book together that is seamless. Sometimes in a book you can tell who has written what part and that's the beauty of it because they are so attune with each other and that's what I loved. Having met the Corr sisters; Liz and Kate, they have such affectionate, supportive, and down to earth personas that you can see that through their writing and especially through the sibling love of Leo and Merry.

Rating - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you to HarperCollins Children Books for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.