Book Reviews

Reviews of Fantasy Books by @KristenSwalker1 #bookreview #fantasy

I read a couple of short ebooks in the last couple of months and thought I’d share my reviews here in case you wanted to check them out. All of these are series starters.

Merry Witchmas Mom

What’s the best Christmas gift for the witch who has everything?

Brie spent months planning the perfect Christmas gift. She’s finally applying to witch school, just like her mom always wanted. But Mama Rosa thinks her daughter should stay close to home, and Brie has her sights set on another school across the state.

Can Brie convince her mom to let her apply, or will her Christmas surprise backfire and ruin the holiday?

“Merry Witchmas, Mom” is a short story about Santa Cruz Witch Academy. This is a spin-off from Kristen S. Walker’s popular Fae of Calaveras trilogy, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

My Review

A cute short story about Brie who decides on a witch school to make her witch mom proud (with the support of her fae mom). Nice characterisation. No stakes, though.

3 unicorn star rating

I’ll be checking this series out, soon.

Witch Test

When Rosamunde turned thirteen, she had to pass a test from the Faerie Court in order to gain the powers of a witch. But her simple test just got turned on its head when a mysterious old woman appeared and offered her a choice. Rosa can accept the old woman’s offer of forbidden power—or face deadly monsters. A human girl could never deal with magical dangers on her own, but getting help from anyone else is strictly against the rules of the test. Will Rosa risk her life to gain the magic she’s always wanted?

This short story is a prequel to Small Town Witch, book 1 of the Fae of Calaveras trilogy, and can be enjoyed at any point in the series.

My Review

A fun short story about how Rosa got her witchy powers – and the fae she met on that journey. An interesting taste of the series.

4 unicorn star rating

Midsummer Knight

Born to a Fae mother and a human father, Ashleigh know her role is to marry the faeriekin Count’s heir, Glen, when they come of age. And Glen is the perfect knight: chivalrous, honorable, and kind. The only problem is that Ashleigh hasn’t fallen in love with her future husband yet. But they’re only sixteen, so there’s still time, right?

But their relationship faces a new challenge one summer when Glen must pass a test to become a knight. When Ashleigh learns that the test is not what it seems and her betrothed’s life is danger, her own feelings for him are tested. Can she warn Glen in time to rescue him from the dangerous dragon lurking in the woods? And will one kiss change everything between them?

My Review

An exciting short story about Ashleigh, Glen and a dragon. I liked the Court intrigue. And loved the horses!

4 unicorn star rating

I’ll be checking out this series ASAP!

Amena’s Rise to Stardom

The truth behind the pop singer’s dark past

Fifteen-year-old Amena is a spy and thief for the rebellion, but she dreams of being a singer. Fame seems impossible when she lives in a hidden village in a remote part of the empire. But when she gets arrested on an easy recon mission, a magical doorway appears and offers her a way out.

The goddess of the rainforest gives Amena one chance: serve the gods, and she can have everything she ever dreamed. A talking bird will guide her on the path to become a divine warrior, and in exchange, she gets the fame she craves!

With a goddess’s magic on her side, Amena could win the biggest competition: Star Search. But it means leaving behind the rebellion, her mother, and everything she’s ever known. She doesn’t know what the goddess really wants, or if her criminal record will catch up to her. And one of her rival singers is beautiful—but hiding her own secrets. Will the price of fame be too high?

My Review

Amena lives in a rebel village, forced to steal to survive. Then she nearly gets caught and a talking bird saves her. She can become a star if she devotes herself to a goddess. I stopped reading when the bird was going to teach her how to use magic to change her clothes to anything she wants to wear. Honestly, reading about a fifteen-year-old thief-turned-popstar (as I assume this is heading) just doesn’t appeal. I thought she was going to be a warrior…?

Shelves: disappointing read, DNF, magic

1 unicorn star rating

The Duke’s Daughter

This novella is a prequel to A Flight of Marewings. It can be read as a standalone or an introduction to the Wyld Magic series.

Korinna is the daughter of the duke’s mistress. She and her mother were sent to a farming estate in the country to avoid political complications for her father. Her mother hopes that someday, the duke will bring them to the capital and marry her at last, but he keeps putting them off with excuses. But he has his own plans to arrange a marriage for Korinna when she comes of age.

When a magical plague threatens the countryside and her mother’s life, Korinna takes up the responsibilities of leading the estate. She begs the duke for help, but none comes, leaving her with difficult choices to save her mother and her people.

She must sacrifice many things to survive: the safety of her childhood friend who is now a handsome squire in her guard, her mother’s most cherished possessions, maybe even her own life. Being the duke’s daughter won’t be enough to save her now. Can she find the strength to be something more?

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

As much as I like fantasy and royalty, I couldn’t get into this one. Having the main character being told she was going to marry a warlord – at fourteen – just rubbed me the wrong way.

DNF

one unicorn star rating

Have you read anything by this author? Would you dive into any of the above series? What are your thoughts? Do you like series starters?

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