A to Z Challenge Book Reviews

My Languishing TBR: P #AtoZChallenge2023 #Books #BookReviews

P is for Psalm

Learn more about the challenge here.

I’m doing folklore and book review posts to reach and please a larger audience. Previous years have shown select interest in both and to minimise blogging throughout the year, I’m focusing my efforts on April.

Focusing on an A to Z of my TBR (to be read) list, each letter will have books starting with that letter on my list, a book I’ve read and reviewed (with the review!) and one of my books matching the letter with a link about more info about the book (I’ve published some new books, so take a look).

I chose the books this year quite randomly from my Goodreads Want to Read page. Some are quite creatively added to letters.

I know there were suggestions in last year’s Reflection post that I skip my TBR and just get on with the review, but I like knowing what I have left to read for each letter (and how far I’ve come with all the reading challenges I’ve done) so things are staying the same. Scroll down to the reviews if you’re not interested in what my TBR still contains. FYI, you might encounter issues with commenting if you don’t tick all the boxes marked as mandatory (especially the privacy one).

Let the fun begin!

If you’d rather check out my folklore post for today, go here.


About the Book I’ve Read

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

The first in an fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

It took a while to get into the story, but once I did it was quite an enjoyable read.

Most of the violence didn’t bother me, but the scene with the sacrifice of the stallion haunted me long after I’ve read it.

I liked the intrigue that spans a thousand years: the magic, the city, the rulers, the country.

Great worldbuilding.

Hopefully Karina no longer suffers from debilitating migraines after that powerful ending to the book. I actually liked her despite some of the things she did.

As for Malik: sometimes he acted much younger than he was, probably because of the panic attacks and how people always treated him, but he really grew throughout the story. And hopefully he can handle the consequences of what he’d done to save his sisters.

Hyena was my favourite character.

Can’t wait to read the next book!

Trigger warnings: violence, animal abuse, murder, spirit possession.

4 unicorn star rating

About the Book I’ve Read

A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown

Karina lost everything after a violent coup left her without her kingdom or her throne. Now the most wanted person in Sonande, her only hope of reclaiming what is rightfully hers lies in a divine power hidden in the long-lost city of her ancestors.

Meanwhile, the resurrection of Karina’s sister has spiraled the world into chaos, with disaster after disaster threatening the hard-won peace Malik has found as Farid’s apprentice. When they discover that Karina herself is the key to restoring balance, Malik must use his magic to lure her back to their side. But how do you regain the trust of someone you once tried to kill?

As the fabric holding Sonande together begins to tear, Malik and Karina once again find themselves torn between their duties and their desires. And when the fate of everything hangs on a single, horrifying choice, they each must decide what they value most—a power that could transform the world, or a love that could transform their lives. 

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

The parts told in sections by an omniscient narrator (such as the beginning and end) felt clunky and not in the same style as the rest of the book or the previous book. The sudden drop of F-bombs also felt incongruous. Some things didn’t entirely make sense – the rite of renewal wanted the soul of a queen, but got someone else, yet it was okay? Why Karina still had to suffer from migraines when the reason (her power being stuck inside) was dealt with didn’t entirely make sense, either.

There was a lot of emotional and physical abuse in this book that seemed okay to the characters – of course, it was part of their growth to learn that it’s not, but still: no-one intervened, only watched.

And as the story built to be one of forgiveness, hope and love – the ending sucked. Sure, he had to find his sisters. But to give up on the love of his life? Pure stupidity. I think Idir would agree. (And makes the hook in the blurb a lie.) So much build-up, so much trauma and more with absolutely no pay-off for the reader.

Great worldbuilding, great characters, but an ending that makes you want to throw the book.

Trigger warnings: emotional and physical abuse, suicidal thoughts, slavery and human trafficking, self-harm, mental health issues, grooming, language (F-bombs), violence.

3 unicorn star rating

My Book

Power Players of Faerie

I hope you enjoyed this. For more books I’ve read and reviewed, check out either my Pinterest board about reviews or my Goodreads profile. Alternatively, you can check out my reviews on BookBub. Have you read any of the books? Loved or hated any of them?

You can now support my time in producing book review posts (buying books, reading, writing reviews and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

*FYI, my reviews are my honest opinion and if something bothers me, I tell it straight. How else will anything change? My opinions are based on being a voracious reader and book buyer, not an attack on the author.*

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