If You Liked This, Then Try That (Series Edition)

Hey, lovelies! One of my favorite types of bookish posts and/or videos is the ‘if you liked this book, then try that book.’ So, last year I tried some of my own and I really had fun picking books to compare to one another. Which is why I’m back today with another one. Let’s get right into it!

If you liked The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, you should try The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.
The Cruel Prince follows Jude. Jude is a human living in the Fairie courts. She is determined to prove herself. So, naturally, she becomes involved in the courts politics and the games that the fey play. She must prove that she belongs there by defying the prince, Cardan. While this wasn’t my favorite series with fey in it, it’s definitely a fun enemies to lovers story. The Iron King follows Meghan Chase as she’s thrust into the world of the Fey. She learns that she is the daughter of Oberon and that the courts are in danger. War is coming and Meghan might just be the person to stop it. These books both follow humans (or half-human for Meghan) that are taken into the world of the Fey. They Fey are a cruel people and that’s shown in both series. But I think it’s done better in The Iron Fey series. Meghan is a little annoying, but she has great growth. Personally, I found The Cruel Prince lacking, especially the final book. But with The Iron King, each book just got better and better.

If you liked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you might like Red Rising by Pierce Brown.
The Hunger Games follows Katniss as she volunteers for the Hunger Games to save her sisters life. Each year 12 people are selected to compete in the Hunger Games, a vicious battle to the death. Two people from each district, and when Prim’s name is called, Katniss takes her place. It’s a story of survival in a brutal world. Red Rising follows Darrow. Darrow is a Red, the lowest caste. After the death of his wife, he joins the rebellion and infiltrates the Golds, the highest caste. He’s learned that everything he knew about the world has been a lie and he’s ready to burn it down. Both of these stories are ones of survival. But as the series continue, they both become stories about overthrowing a government that is mistreating its people, that’s keeping them separate, lower. They’re both filled with characters that just want things to change for their people. They see a chance to make that change happen, so they take it.

If you liked Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, you will probably like A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro.
Truly Devious follows Stevie as she starts attending the well known Ellingham Academy. Shortly after the school was opened the founder’s wife and daughter were kidnapped and never seen again. Stevie has decided that at Ellingham, she is going to solve this unsolved crime, one of the greatest in history. While she’s researching this, mysterious things start happening in the present. Now Stevie may have more than one mystery to solve. A Study in Charlotte is a Sherlock Holmes retelling following Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes who are the descendents of the original Holmes and Watson. They meet at boarding school and quickly have their own mystery to solve. Both of these series follow characters at a boarding school. Both follow characters that are trying to solve a murder. Both also have really great mental health representations. They both have characters that don’t always make the best choice, but you can’t help but root for them anyway.

If you liked The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, you should try For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig.
The Bone Witch follows Tea who has resurrected her brother. She has the gift of necromancy, which means she is a bone witch, a title that isn’t looked upon very nicely. Tea goes to learn to hone her asha abilities, but there is a darkness coming and Tea if forced to make some hard decisions. For a Muse of Fire is the story of Jetta. She and her family are shadow players. They put on a show with puppets behind a scrim. Their show is said to be as if their puppets aren’t being controlled by strings. That is because they’re not. Jetta is a necromancer. This means that with her blood she can bind souls to things. So, she binds them to her puppets. But the rebellion is growing and Jetta doesn’t want to hide her abilities anymore. I compare these two for the obvious reason, their main characters are both necromancers. And necromancers are forbidden or looked down upon. Aside from this, both of these series are set in diverse worlds, with diverse characters, and they talk about heavy, but important, topics. I highly recommend both of these trilogies.

If you liked All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace, you might like Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen.
All the Stars and Teeth is the story of Amora Montara. She’s the princess of Visidia, but to claim the title of heir to the throne she must master soul magic and gain the title of High Animancer. When things don’t go how she’s practiced, she flees the capital. This is when we meet Bastian. This is Amora’s first time seeing the rest of her kingdom and she learns that her father has been hiding things from her. There is unrest and Amora must find a way to fix things before she can claim her place on the throne. Dark Shores tells Teriana’s story. Teriana is the heir to the Maarin Triumvirate, essentially a princess. The Maarin are the only people in the world that know the entirety of the world. The East doesn’t know about the Dark Shores and the Dark Shores doesn’t know about the East, only the Maarin know. But when Maarin ships are being captured and held by the East, Teriana agrees to share what she knows and show Legatus Marcus of the 37th legion how to get to the Dark Shores. These stories are both part pirate stories and part princess stories. Both female leads are trying to figure out what it means to lead when everything around them is falling apart. They also both spend a significant amount of time sailing on ships. They both have really interesting worlds and magic systems. I do have to say that while I did really enjoy All the Stars and Teeth, I am majorly obsessed with the Dark Shores series.

These are the recommendations that I have for you all today. As always, these recommendations go both ways. Let me know if you’re read any of these or what you think of my comparisons?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

GoodReads Summary:
After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.
When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.
When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.
The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)Review:
The much-anticipated finale of the Folk of the Air trilogy was…disappointing. I’m not going to say I didn’t like it, because I did. I very much enjoyed being back in the world with Jude and Cardan, but it wasn’t what I wanted.
Jude was not Jude for the first half of this book. Instead of scheming her way back into power, she seems to have accepted her exile and I hated that. Accepting her fate is not something that Jude from the first two books would have done. She finds herself again when she makes her way back into Faerie, but right around then is when a certain event happened that completely made the first half of the book pointless as well as the ending to The Wicked King. I don’t know why this is a trend that keeps happening in YA books, but I’m over authors completely undoing things from their previous books. It just makes me not care at all. I liked it when Jude found herself again though.
I also really liked how all the siblings finally came together for once to work together on the same side. I don’t like siblings betraying one another.
Cardan also wasn’t quite himself. I’m all for a happily ever after and romance and all that, but he’s supposed to be a cruel prince and a wicked king and in this book, he is none of those things. I did like him and Jude finally figuring things out, but I just wanted more.
That about sums up everything. I just wanted more from this book. It’s a short 300 pages, and it was clear in the book. The story dragged in the first half but then we were rushed through the end. I don’t understand why more time couldn’t have been spent to make this book better. Had more things been developed, it would have been an incredible finale.
I still liked The Queen of Nothing, I just wanted more.

Quotes:

“He will be the destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.”

“Wondering if some part of him is cold inside, a kind of cold that can never be warmed, like a shard of ice through the heart. Wondering if I have a shard like that, too.”

“We have lived in our armor for so long, you and I. And now I am not sure if either of us knows how to remove it.”

“Plunge a heated sword into oil and any small flaw will turn into a crack. But quenched in blood as you were, none of you broke. You were only hardened.”

“Maybe it isn’t the worst thing to want to be loved, even if you’re not. Even if it hurts. Maybe being human isn’t always being weak.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

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Summary:
Jude has bound to the Wicked King, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)Review:
One half of me is upset I waited so long to read this series and the other half of me is upset that I didn’t wait until all three books were release. The thought of having to wait until November to see how the lives of these characters will play out is its own special kind of torture.
I loved The Wicked King. Holly Black writes a fascinating and completely compelling story. This book was so fast paced that I just couldn’t manage to put it down until the very last page. The writing sucked me in and spit me out an angry mess when it was over. I’m so mad at Holly Black for the way that she ended The Wicked King, but I’m also in complete and total awe of her talent.
Jude is such an interesting main character. Everything she does is for her family, and a little bit for herself too. She’s fiery and passionate. She doesn’t let anyone stand in the way of what she wants. She will go after her goals with a bloody vengeance. I loved how fierce she was. She’s ruthless, intelligent, and clever—a dangerous combination.
Then there’s Cardan. I love everything but the tail. And of course, the things he did in the final pages. But I’m hopeful that he did what he did for good reason and not to be an asshole. I adored all of the scenes he was in with Jude and I’m really hopeful to see where things end up with them. I also really enjoyed seeing him fill the role of King. It was really interesting to see him take so well to a position he never wanted.
Overall, I loved this book. I loved the characters. I loved the pace of the story. There was nothing but action and excitement and scheming and I loved every single page. I will very anxiously be awaiting the final book in the trilogy. If you haven’t read this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Summary:
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black comes the first book in a stunning new trilogy filled with twists and enchantment, as one girl learns the meaning of true power when she finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)Review:
The Cruel Prince is one of the most hyped books I’ve ever read in my entire reading life. I’ve read other more hyped books but I always seem to read them BEFORE they get to be so hyped. I was a bit worried going into this book that the hype would make me hate it. I think that’s also part of the reason that I’ve taken so long to get around to reading this. Without any further delay, here come my thoughts on this beloved story.

“Never? Never is like forever-too big for mortals to comprehend.”

I was a little surprised at just how political this book really was. It makes sense that it’s a real political story, but I was just surprised by how much the politics and day to day life in faerie really is. I wished we had gotten a little more world building. I think the combination of fantasy and the modern-day world was really interesting. I would have liked to get a bit more setting wise of faerie. I think there was so much opportunity to really give details about the world around Jude, but we didn’t get that. We just got politics.

“The human species pretends it is so resilient. Mortal lives are one long game of make-believe. If you couldn’t lie to yourselves, you’d cut your own throats to end your misery.”

I liked the characters and the family dynamic in this book. I was a bit surprised by how much they seemed to care about one another and how they actually showed affection and all of that. I’ve heard over and over how the characters are cruel and vicious. They were, but not the family. Everything Jude did toward the end of the book was for her younger brother. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. I love a good sibling story and I defiantly got some of that with this.

“I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.”

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I wasn’t blown out of the water like so many others but I enjoyed it. I read it quickly. The plot twists surprised me. The characters were compelling and interesting. It just didn’t make my new favorites list. I definitely am excited to pick up the sequel soon.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.