January 2, 2019

Lady Smoke Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

LADY SMOKE (Ash Princess Trilogy #2)
Author: Laura Sebastian 
Release Date: February 5, 2019 
Publisher: Delacorte Press 
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook 
Pages: 512 


The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was "made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir" ( Bustle ), Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.  

The Kaiser murdered Theodosia's mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo's country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess--a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn't realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon. 

Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage--Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser's rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne. 

To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done. 

Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself. 

"A darkly enchanting page-turner you won't be able to put down." --Bustle on Ash Princess, Book 1 in the Ash Princess series 

Find it:Goodreads, Amazon, Audible,  B&N, iBooks, TBD

About Book 1: 
ASH PRINCESS (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)
Author: Laura Sebastian 
Release Date:April 24, 2018 
Publisher: Delacorte Press 
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook 
Find it:Goodreads, Amazon, Audible,  B&N, iBooks, TBD 

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner. 

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside. 

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield. 

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here. 
Lady Smoke is the second book in a fantastic young adult fantasy series that will leave readers begging for more. I enjoy reading fantasy but I never seem to get that deep into most of them, but I slipped right inside this world and didn't want to come back out. Its world building was wonderful and instantly transported me back into Theo's world.

Again, the plot wasn't completely unique, but it's really hard to come by any novel that you can say is truly original anymore. There was a lot happening during the story - a dominating kingdom that made slaves of and killed the previous people that lived there, intricate court politics with backstabbing and traitors, secrets alliances and treason. And - of course - forbidden romance. Although these plot traits can be found in a ton of other novels, the author put her own stamp on them and made them her own. And I honestly loved every part of it. I don't want to go deep into the plot and every single thing that happened, but it's full of everything I listed above and more. I found it exciting and I was reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. The author also used lots of detailed descriptions and vivid imagery to really bring this world and the characters to life. I felt like I was right beside Theo the entire time and experienced everything along with her.

The main character - Theodosia or Theo - continues to be fascinating and well rounded. She was a complex and realistic character, and I immediately connected with her right from the beginning. Her character really changes, grows, and matures throughout the story and I loved watching it happen. She comes into her own and continues to become the strong queen her people need. One other thing I have to mention is that the author used the first person point of view and told the story from Theo's perspective. This is by far my favorite writing style and I'm so happy she chose to write it this way. It made connecting and identifying with the characters - especially Theo - so easy and made it almost impossible not to fall into her world. The secondary characters were also rounded and had unique personalities and flaws, which made them all realistic as well. I enjoyed getting to know each of them on a personal level and I hope to keep learning more about them in the coming books. I can't wait to see where the next book will take Theo and the rest of the gang and what obstacles they'll face. I very highly recommend this book to fans of the genre and readers looking for a realistic fantasy with a very strong female lead.  

Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully. 

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it. 

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk. 

(3) winners will receive a finished copy of LADY SMOKE, US Only. 

Tour Schedule: 
Week One: 
1/1/2019- To Be Read- Review 
1/2/2019- A Dream Within A Dream- Review 
1/3/2019- Here's to Happy Endings- Review 
1/4/2019- Random Bookish Banter- Review 
Week Two: 
1/7/2019- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews- Review 
1/8/2019- Jrsbookreviews- Review 
1/9/2019- Omg Books and More Books- Review 
1/10/2019- Fiction Fare- Review 
1/11/2019- Du Livre- Review 
Week Three: 
1/14/2019- Loie Dunn- Review 
1/15/2019- A Court of Coffee and Books- Review 
1/16/2019- Paws and Paperbacks- Review 
1/17/2019- A Gingerly Review- Review 
1/18/2019- Lifestyle of Me- Review 
Week Four: 
1/21/2019- Paper Reader- Review 
1/22/2019- Adventures and Reading- Review 
1/23/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads- Review 
1/24/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland- Review 
1/25/2019- YA Books Central- Interview 
Week Five: 
1/28/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader- Review 
1/29/2019- Colorimetry- Interview 
1/30/2019- Smada's Book Smack- Review 
1/31/2019- Kat's Books- Review 

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