Cover Reveal: Dragon Thief by Katy Haye

I’ve been positively drooling over this cover from the moment I got it back from my designer (the hugely talented Katzilla Designs) and I’m so pleased to be able to share it with you now.

The cover of Katy Haye's fantasy Dragon Thief

Dragon Thief is the first in a new fantasy series. It releases on January 18th 2019 and I can’t wait for you all to read Surelle’s story!

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Review: The Red Sun Rises by Victoria Kinnaird

About the Book:

Eren Anderson is a freak among freaks. At 17 years old, he doesn’t fit in with his peers in the tiny town of All Hallows and despite being born into it, he most certainly doesn’t fit in among The Order of Our Mother, the secret nature worshipping society that has harnessed the ability cast spells and believes vampires are not only real, but their deadliest enemies. Eren is turned into a vampire after an attack by the local coven master, but that is the least of his worries…

In a post-Twilight world, “The Red Sun Rises” is a YA novel intended to give vampires their bite back but it should not be read as simply another vampire novel. “The Red Sun Rises” is a story about growing up, responsibility, falling in love, facing your fears and taking fate into your own hands.

Review by Katy Haye:

It’s a while since I’ve read a good vampire story, and this had a bit of a twist on the legends. Eren, our hero, was well aware that magic exists, since he lives in a community full of witches. It’s a surprise that vampires are also real – and even more of a shock when he’s turned into one.

The dialogue was an absolute snarky delight that made me snort aloud on more than one occasion. The relationships were also beautifully handled with the romance between Eren and Corbijn solid and strong, but with the twist of Andy’s unrequited feelings causing tension in his friendship with Eren. Despite the supernatural setting, the relationships were all very real and three-dimensional.

I did find the pacing a little uneven. With battle looming, everything seemed to slow down when I expected it to speed up. I absolutely understand the desire to train before facing immortal enemies – but I wasn’t entirely sure why the vampires would wait rather than striking at the first possible moment and catching their enemies unaware.

Overall, this was a fun, entertaining read and an engaging take on vampire myths.

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. Check out the first book in her new YA fantasy series, Awakened by Magic. Kyann only wants to save her sister, but a greater destiny of myth and magic awaits her in the Empire of Charnrosa.

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Review: A Ghostly Affair by Merrie DeStefano

About the book:

Edgar Allan Poe meets Stephen King in this set of dark and twisted stories.

One girl battles the dark world of the Afterlife, her fate forever linked to the boy who murdered her.

Review by Katy Haye:

This short read is a collection of ghostly stories and it’s perfect for dark, gloomy nights like we’re having at present.

The characters were vivid and engaging, if chilling in places, and the world they inhabited was deeply unsettling.

What starts as an entertainingly-depicted commonplace domestic murder twists to something larger as the world of the dead becomes clear – a dark and dangerous place inhabited by fae engaged on the wild hunt.

I loved it!

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. Check out the first book in her new YA fantasy series, Awakened by Magic. Kyann only wants to save her sister, but a greater destiny of myth and magic awaits her in the Empire of Charnrosa.

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Review: Labyrinth of Shadows by Kyla Stone

About the book:

A hero sworn to slay the monster. A princess determined to save it. But only one can live…
They call me the cursed princess. Daughter of a tyrant king. Sister to the monster. For seven years, I’ve watched helplessly as my father sacrifices human tributes to the monster trapped within the dark maze.

When the queen begs me for help, I seize the chance to prove myself–to finally break the curse, rescue my brother, and transform him into his human form. But is there any humanity in him left to save? Or will he try to kill me, too?

Either way, I have to try. I must enter the Labyrinth myself, where darkness reigns and terror lurks…

To survive, I’ll need the help of the tributes, especially brave, heroic Theseus. Determined to free his people from the terrible blood tithe, Theseus vows to slay the monster, no matter what.

But I won’t let that happen.

And I can’t let myself fall for Theseus’s charms either. My quest may cost me everything, including my heart…

To save my brother, Theseus must die.

Review by Katy Haye:

I’ll be honest, I picked this up mainly for the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?!

And then I fell in love with Kyla Stone’s writing. The last time I learned anything about Greek myths was an awful lot of years ago, so I wasn’t really sure what I ought to expect.

***Spoiler alert***

I knew that Theseus kills the minotaur, but that was it. And that was enough to give me a sense of foreboding that made my heart wrench for Ariadne, who clearly wasn’t going to succeed in making things happen the way she wanted.

As with all the best stories, there was so much more than just the surface, Hero-kills-monster narrative. The relationships between the characters, Ariadne and the tributes, as well as Ariadne and her family and friends in the palace, were gorgeously written. There’s a romance, but the friendships were just as strong and powerful, which was a delight to read.

And Ariadne’s journey through the labyrinth provided a fabulous structure for her reflection and understanding of her previous life with every step of distance that she gained. Unloved and manipulated, Ariadne made for a glorious heroine, chosing to make what she could of her life and forge her own destiny rather than accepting a fate made for her by others. The ending was a triumph that put a lump in my throat while making me want to cheer for Ariadne’s decisions.

Labyrinth of Shadows was spectacular. If you enjoy mythology, give it a try, and if you don’t like or know mythology, still give it a go because it’s utterly, utterly fabulous.

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. Check out the first book in her new YA fantasy series, Awakened by Magic. Kyann only wants to save her sister, but a greater destiny of myth and magic awaits her in the Empire of Charnrosa.

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Review: Stolen Princess by Kelly St Clare

About the book:

Certainty is slipping through my fingers like pirates’ gold.

After escaping to our secret sanctuary, I’m haunted by the guilt of my decision. And the close call with Malice left me with more than doubt—I’m now harboring a magical fugitive.

When Cosmo reveals a darkness is spreading from his wound, our crew must brave capture by our enemies to cure him. But will saving his life leave me in fragments?

Answers to questions I’d rather ignore are forced savagely into the light. An ancient, tribal magic squeezes from all sides, leaving one treacherous path that I must walk beside my crew. Except, for the first time in my life, I’d rather walk alone.

Secrecy is becoming too much like normalcy.
Normalcy has become too much to bear.

What will be left when all is undone and I’m left in tatters?

Review by Katy Haye:

I read Immortal Plunder (check my review) when it first came out, and despite the fact that I love Kelly St Clare’s books, it took me a while to open Stolen Princess, as though I wasn’t sure whether I’d get on with these characters again after the long and lonely weeks had passed.

Utter madness! I was sucked into Ebba’s world within a page.

The Pirates of Felicity series is such fun to read. Ebba’s relationship with her fathers is a delight, and watching her with Cosmo and Jagger was tremendously entertaining.

In the second volume of the series there are twists and turns (some I’d guessed – others slapped me smack in the face), and there was also some glorious depth to the story and especially the relationships. Ebba is increasingly being hit over the head with the awareness that she can’t hide from things she doesn’t want to face forever.

Love, love, loved it – and now I’ve got to wait for the next, sigh…

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. Check out the first book in her new YA fantasy series, Awakened by Magic. Kyann only wants to save her sister, but a greater destiny of myth and magic awaits her in the Empire of Charnrosa.

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Review: Shift of Shadow and Soul by Hilary Thompson

About the book:

In Weshen, magic is forbidden and punishable by death. Corentine has the worst kind.

Having Shifter magic is a curse, not a blessing. Coren must hide her power from everyone, especially Syashin, the General’s son.

But Sy’s secrets might be the key to unlocking her own.

Coren and Sy must work together, to either accept banishment, or rebel to save their home. The people are fugitives in their own country, and freedom must be taken, not given. Their only chance of survival is to defeat the Restless King.

Only then can their ruined society rise from the ashes… unless the Shadow finds them first.

Review by Katy Haye:

I have no idea how I found this book. It popped up on my kindle when I was in a “nothing to read” mood, scrolling through in desperate search of something worth spending time on. It might have been there for years so far as I know. What a waste because it’s a true treasure.

The world-building created a complex and varied world and the societies inside it were messy and slightly alarming. The writing was spare and skilful, painting a picture while still allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions about what was going on.

But it was the characters I truly fell in love with. Corin was a spiky, powerful delight who made me ache for everything she’d had to deal with already and everything looming in her future. Sy was weighed down by duty and expectations, but strong and determined to do the right thing whatever the cost to himself. Most importantly, characters changed during the course of the book. I would happily have tipped Resh off a cliff when we first met him, but he learned from the events of the story and developed an intelligence and character that meant I was happy to spend time with him by the end of the book.

And the relationships were spectacular. My usual complaint with YA is that the romances are far too easy. Boy meets girl and falls in love – even if boy or girl is actually a werewolf or a ghost, the actual path of the romance makes it look easy. That’s all very well (if a bit dull), but I think we’re doing our teens a disservice to suggest to them that the first person they feel attraction towards is bound to be their soulmate and everything will be smooth from that point (excepting the zombie apocalypse, natch).

Kids – puberty is traumatic and relationships can be spectacularly messy and painful. Like most things in life, you need practice to learn how to get along with another human being on an intimate basis.

Lesson over, A Shift of Shadow and Soul showed clearly how tangled and difficult relationships can be, but also that they’re worth persevering to figure out. And I loved it for that.

I absolutely adored every page of A Shift of Shadow and Soul. If you like magic and messy, imperfect worlds (and relationships!), it’s well worth checking out.

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. Check out the first book in her new YA fantasy series, Awakened by Magic. Kyann only wants to save her sister, but a greater destiny of myth and magic awaits her in the Empire of Charnrosa.

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Review: Golden Curse by M Lynn

About the book:

A curse. A hidden identity. A dangerous love.

Ten-year-old Persinette Basile was forced to flee the palace of Gaule for her life. Now at eighteen, she must find a way to return in order to obey a curse on her family line.

The prince won’t know who she is. Not anymore. But she knows him and what he will do if he discovers her true name.

Made to fight for her life to earn her place, she vows to find a way to break the curse no matter the cost.

To. The. Death. 

The words describing the tournament turn Prince Alexandre Durand’s blood to ice.

The last warrior standing will win a spot at his side.

As he’s thrust onto the throne, forbidden magic, dangerous betrayals, and a complicated love could tear his reign apart.

When the secrets begin to unravel, will Alex stay true to the laws and traditions of Gaule or will he give it all up for a woman who deceived him?

Review by Katy Haye:

Oh, Golden Curse was right up my street! Medieval-esque fantasy, royalty, magic and a paradoxical curse.

I loved the premise – outlawed magic that was the only thing keeping the kingdom safe, allied with a curse tying our magic-using heroine and magic-hating hero together.

The fantasy world was a delight to step into and M. Lynn’s characters were gorgeously real and conflicted. (I’ve got a soft spot for Tyson, personally – I hope there’s more of him in the next books.)

I would have liked more effort to convince Alex that magic wasn’t all bad. I guess I can understand the danger in that approach, but there’s a part of me thinking Etta should have sat on his chest and held a knife to his throat until he saw sense…

If you enjoyed Rachel E. Carter’s Black Mage series, or if Cage of Deceit or Spy in the Silver Palace (Golden Curse is much better!) are your type of books, then you’ll love Golden Curse. Grab your copy by clicking the cover above!

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