Dragon Speaker by Elana A. Mugdan

Dragon Speaker by Elana A. Mugdan
Publisher/Year: Shivnath Productions
Format: E-book
Pages: 366
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Keriya Nameless has no magical powers, a disability in the world of magic in which she lives. Despite being crippled, she’s recruited by the god, Shivnath, to save the last living dragon. Keriya leaps at the chance to prove her worth, though failure could mean the destruction of everything she holds dear. Dragon Speaker is the first installment of the Shadow War Saga series. 

What I thought

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complementary copy of this in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, had an effect on this review. 

One of the things that impressed me the most with this book was that I could feel Elana’s passion and enthusiasm shining through her story. The thought of writing a high fantasy novel is so daunting to me, so I give major props to this author for not only writing one, but, in particular, one that holds so much imagination. The “epic quest” plotline is one that’s been done time and again, so it was nice to read a unique and refreshing take on the trope. 

Dragon Speaker is one of the most promising fantasy debuts I’ve read in a while! It did seem a little confusing to me at times, but that could just be me. I was mostly just enjoying this read for being something so different and creative. If you enjoy high fantasy, especially when there’s dragons involved, you might consider checking out this read! 

The Next Together (The Next Together #1) by Lauren James

The Next Together (The Next Together #1) by Lauren James
Publisher/Year: Walker Books, 2015
Format: Paperback
Pages: 356
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


How many times can you lose the person you love?

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. 

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? 

Maybe the next together will be different…

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about time-travel, fate and the timelessness of first love. The Next Together is told through a mixture of regular prose, diary entries, letters, “original” historical documents, news reports and internet articles.

What I thought

The Next Together was, by far, one of the most unique and creative books I’ve read so far this year. And I have to say, it blows my mind (and makes me feel a tad bit old) that this was written by someone who’s 26! That just seems impressive to me because I can’t fathom what it takes to write a book!

Anyway, first thing’s first–I simply adored Katherine and Matthew, and I couldn’t help but root for them. They were just so cute and in love, and (not to get sappy) but as someone who’s very much in love with her own husband, their relationship felt very genuine. I loved reading about their adventures through time, and I have to say I’m glad there’s a sequel because I’m not ready to be done with Katherine and Matthew yet! 

As for the story itself, I thought the multiple timelines flowed smoothly, and I loved the little touch of having each timeline being written in its own font. I also loved the use of multimedia. I’ve always been a fan of epistolary novels, and even though this isn’t one, the little “extras” (like the maps, the articles, the sticky notes, etc.) had that kind of feeling to them–plus they were really fun and added so much personality to the story. 

Overall, I tremendously enjoyed this novel. It was fun and different (especially for a genre that sometimes feels monotonous). And there’s something here for everyone–contemporary, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, time travel, and more! This was a great read and one I highly recommend! 

**On a side note–I just discovered on Lauren James’ website that she has Spotify playlists for several of her books, including The Next Together–how fun! I wish I would have known that before reading this one. I’ll include the link here. Have fun listening! 

Everyday Enchantments by Maria DeBlassie

Everyday Enchantment by Maria DeBlassie
Publisher/Year: Moon Books, 2018
Format: Kindle
Pages: 200
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Spellbinding meditations on conjuring your own bliss. Everyday Enchantments is a love letter to the magic of everyday life, the sweet moments and the profound that we often overlook in our hurry to get from one place to the next. 

This collection of essays reminds us to escape into the ordinary, find beauty in a simple cup of tea or rereading a beloved novel and joyfully let our world turn upside down when synchronicity strikes in the form of wrong turns down forgotten lanes and unexpected midnight conversations with the moon. 

Everyday Enchantments is a study in what it means to live deliciously, joyfully, and magically. And it’s an invitation to conjure your own bliss, because, let’s face it, we could all use a little more magic in our lives. 

What I thought

Upon finishing this book, I find myself to be seriously lacking in the whole “words” department, but I’m going to try to do this book justice nonetheless. Honestly, I feel like this author is a long lost friend of mine because so many of the musings and wanderings found here seemed like they came from my own mind. There’s something so beautiful about having one’s own thoughts and perceptions spoken or written by another. I guess the beauty lies in feeling found and known. 

I will admit, it took me a while to become accustomed to this second person narrative. However, now that I’ve finished, I really can’t imagine this any other way. 

If you consider yourself an introspective person, often lost in your own thoughts, then this book is for you. If you can find magic and joy in the small, ordinary moments of life, then this book is for you. If you are simply looking to relish the beauty of this world around you, then this book is for you. 

I could go on, but I will leave it at this–I truly wish I had a physical copy of this book because it was so poetic and soul-soothing that I’d love to be able to pick up this book and peruse it when needed from time to time. All the love for this one, folks–go read it!

**Please note: I received a complementary copy of this work through NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are, however, my own.