The Poppy War

The Poppy War
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, Book # 1
Harper Voyager
May 1st 2018
eBook
531
English
May 29, 2021 June 4, 2021
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When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.


About the book

We follow the story of a war orphan, who despite living in a remote province, Nikan, and despite not having an excellent education, manages to pass a very difficult exam to enter the military academy in the capital. At the academy, however, she clashes with the prejudices of the empire’s elite, boys and girls of her age, but who have studied for years for this very purpose. Obviously not everyone accepts that a simple girl from a peasant province can be better than them. Here, Rin discovers that she has a power that few others have, but will she be able to use it or will it only lead to the destruction of the world?

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A Vow So Bold and Deadly

A Vow So Bold and Deadly
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, Book # 3
Bloomsbury YA
January 26th 2021
eBook
408
English
April 30, 2021 May 3, 2021
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Face your fears, fight the battle.

Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace.

Fight the battle, save the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But after enjoying decades of peace once magic was driven out of their lands, some of her subjects are angry Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and a magical scraver by her side. As Grey's deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara questions if she can be the queen her country needs.

As the two kingdoms come closer to conflict, loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and a dangerous enemy returns, in this stunning conclusion to bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series.


About the book

Third and final (? I’ll explain after about the question mark) book in Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreakers series. Prince Grey has given his brother an ultimatum, surrender or it will be war between their native kingdom and Grey’s adopted one. As the two princes prepare for the impending battle, the enchantress Lilith is back even more fierce and sadistic than before and wants to reign alongside Rhen.

Meanwhile, in Syhl Shallow, anti-magic groups have begun to rebel against the new queen who fraternises with a magesmith (as those who have magic are called) and many attempt to her life. Her sister would like Lia Mara to be stronger and more bloody and to give an example of a firm hand to those who would like to dismiss her. But Lia Mara is convinced that by treating others with leniency she is able to achieve more than repression in blood.

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A Heart So Fierce and Broken

A Heart So Fierce and Broken
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, Book # 2
Bloomsbury YA
January 7th, 2020
eBook
450
English
April 20, 2021 April 29, 2021
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Find the heir, win the crown.

The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen--until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.


About the book

A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the second book in The Cursebreakers trilogy. In this book we follow the point of view of one of the characters of the first book, Grey, guard of Prince Rhen and the one of a new character, Lia Mara, daughter of the queen of Syhl Shallow, a country that during Rhen’s spell tried to conquer Emberfall to open up an outlet to the sea.

Rumours have spread that Rhen is not Emberfall’s legitimate heir, there is another son and he also possesses magic, which is banned throughout the kingdom.

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The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes


, Book # 9
Headline Review
June 16th, 1927
Paperback
304
English
March 21, 2021 April 13, 2021
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'Mr Sherlock Holmes, the well-known private detective, was the victim of a murderous assault this morning which has left him in a precarious position'.

Dr Watson stops dead in his tracks when he reads of the attempt on his friend's life. The forces of nature turn against man, love breeds hatred and cowardice, mothers appear to attack their own children, and Sherlock Holmes, the one man who can redress the balance, seemingly lies at death's door ...

When an assassination attempt is made on the great detective's life it seems that no one can escape the death and dread which blights Britain...


Last (finally) book dedicated to Sherlock Holmes and very short review. This is also a collection of stories that I honestly don’t remember that much. I don’t think I’ll miss Sherlock and his cases, often all the same or better with the same formula, so I’m happy to have finished this series (but not because I liked it).

Doyle’s style is obviously old, very often his descriptions of people who are not white and European are grotesque and somewhat racist which obviously at that time were accepted but been a few years later and having progressed (at least a little) socially it bothers me.

I will also certainly not reread it because rereading a detective story when you already know the end is not the best (even if I only did it once) and I honestly don’t understand his success. Especially for the collections of short stories that I don’t find illuminating at all.

His Last Bow

His Last Bow


, Book # 8
Feedbooks
1913
eBook
165
English
March 11, 2021 March 17, 2021
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His Last Bow is a collection of seven Sherlock Holmes stories (eight in American editions) by Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as the title of one of the stories in that collection. Originally published in 1917, it contains the various Holmes stories published between 1908 and 1913, as well as the one-off title story from 1917.
The collection was originally called Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes and did not contain the actual story His Last Bow, which appeared later, after the full-length The Valley of Fear was published. However later editions added it and changed the title. Some recent complete editions have restored the earlier title.
When the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes were published in the USA for the first time, the publishers believed "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" was too scandalous for the American public, since it dealt with the theme of adultery. As a result, this story was not published in the USA until many years later, when it was added to His Last Bow. Even today, most American editions of the canon include it with His Last Bow, while most British editions keep the story in its original place in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.


About the book

Short review. Very short.

Eighth and penultimate book (thank God) dedicated to Sherlock Holmes. We are back to a collections of stories that, as you know, is not my forte and, unfortunately, the last one will be one, too (I already plan to take a lifetime to read it).

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