May 25, 2017

Dark Breaks the Dawn Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Author: Sara B. Larson 
Release Date: May 30, 2017 
Publisher: Scholastic Press 
Pages: 320 
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD, Goodreads 


On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless. 

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected. 

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price. 

In the first book of a remarkable duology, Sara B. Larson sets the stage for her reimagining of Swan Lake -- a lush romance packed with betrayal, intrigue, magic, and adventure. 
Dark Breaks the Dawn is the enchanting first book in a wonderful YA fantasy retelling of Swan Lake. I'm not very familiar with Swan Lake, so I can't compare the two and see what exact similarities there might be. Even though I don't know the original story, it didn't effect my experience with this book at all. Just about every aspect of the novel was fantastic and incredibly well done. The only thing that personally bugged me a little bit was the writing style. The author chose to write the story from the third person point of view, which makes it feel a bit closed off from the characters (compared to first person - my top choice). I fully understand why the author chose this style of writing and it makes complete sense. There were multiple primary characters and the perspective of the story bounces around between them. If the book had been done in the first person POV, it would've been very confusing and would've taken away from the story itself. Even though I fully understand the reasoning, I still always prefer the first person. But this is solely my own opinion and not a reflection on the book itself.

All of the other elements were fantastic. The multiple primary characters were all rounded and complex. I enjoyed getting to know each one and watching them grow and change throughout the book. I really liked seeing their relationships with one another develop as well - especially that of Evelayn and Tanvir. Although there's a definite thread of  romance throughout the novel, it didn't take away from the main plot - which I really liked. It didn't overwhelm the story, instead it enhanced it for me. The setting was wonderful and easy to get lost in. The author uses rich imagery and detailed descriptions to bring every part of this world to life in front of our eyes. I loved learning everything about the different kingdoms, the magic, the political and social scenes, and so much more. Which brings us to the plot. It was fascinating and had me hooked from the very beginning. I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting. Some of the aspects were predictable - the princess who has to step up and take over the kingdom, the romance involving the princess, the rival kingdoms and their war, etc. Even though these weren't completely original, I think the author did a great job weaving it all together to create a dazzling novel. I'll definitely be reading the second book and I'm excited to see where that one will take us. I highly recommend this one for fans of YA fantasy, paranormal, romance, retellings, and fairy tales.
SARA B. LARSON is the author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy Defy trilogy: Defy, Ignite, and Endure. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their children. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day (while mourning the loss of nap time) and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting of her sugar addiction. 

(3) winners will receive a finished copy of DARK BREAKS THE DAWN - US Only!

Tour Schedule: 

Week One: 
5/22/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview 
5/23/2017- Here's to Happy Endings- Review 
5/24/2017- Novel Novice- Guest Post 
5/25/2017- A Dream Within A Dream- Review 
5/26/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview 

Week Two: 
5/29/2017- Fiktshun- Review 
5/30/2017- A Backwards Story- Guest Post 
5/31/2017- Mundie Moms- Review 
6/1/2017- Fiction Fare- Interview 
6/2/2017- Owl Always Be Reading- Review 

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