Book Reviews

Three Mini YA Fantasy Book Reviews

I know, I’m really writing a lot of these mini wrap up posts, but I figured what’s better than one book review? Three! And all of these are all upcoming with similar release dates so I thought I’d help! Keep reading these book reviews for my full thoughts!

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The Moonlight Blade by Tessa Barbosa

Narra Jal is one of the cursed, cast aside her whole life, considered unlucky. But with her mother’s life on the line, she will return to the city where she was born to face the trials: a grueling, bloodthirsty series of challenges designed to weed out the weak, the greedy, and the foolish. Trials to select the next ruler of Tigang.

Narra has nothing. No weapons. No training. No magic. No real chance of leaving with her life. Just her fierce grit and a refusal to accept the destiny she’s been handed. Even the intense, dark-eyed Guardian she feels a strangely electric connection with cannot help her. Narra is on her own. But she’ll show everyone what the unlucky can do.

(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I will always love an unskilled hero who is motivated by family. And The Moonlight Blade features Narra who enters a deadly competition just to try to save her mother. One element I appreciated were the secrets of Narra and her mother’s relationship. How there’s things she doesn’t know about her mother, and it’s not just an idealistic relationship. There are some real pieces of mystery and tension. At the same time, if you love a book with deadly competitions, then you’ll have to add The Moonlight Blade to your TBR.

While I found the first half to be a bit confusing, in terms of where the plot arc was leading, at around halfway through, the plot mystery begins to pick up and the pieces begin to click. If you’re okay with the world and the kind of driving force of the novel being a bit more nebulous, then this shouldn’t be a problem for you. It’s just one of those slower beginnings. Don’t get me wrong, there’s action, but you know when you’re like, “where is the mystery going”? question? The Moonlight Blade takes a bit more time to build it up.

Overall, The Moonlight Blade is a story about family and secrets. About things not being what we think they are. The conspiracy and history behind what it appears. Find The Moonlight Blade on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound,, & The Book Depository.

Silver in the Bone by Alexandra Bracken

Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower. As a mortal with no magical talent, she was never meant to break into ancient crypts, or compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside. But after her thieving foster father disappeared without so much as a goodbye, it was the only way to keep herself—and her brother, Cabell—alive.

Ten years later, rumors are swirling that her guardian vanished with a powerful ring from Arthurian legend. A run-in with her rival Emrys ignites Tamsin’s hope that the ring could free Cabell from a curse that threatens both of them. But they aren’t the only ones who covet the ring.

As word spreads, greedy Hollowers start circling, and many would kill to have it for themselves. While Emrys is the last person Tamsin would choose to partner with, she needs all the help she can get to edge out her competitors in the race for the ring. Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother. . . .

(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I am always going to get summoned by treasure hunting. So you know I was so excited for Silver in the Bone. Not only that, but it also blends Arthurian legends with this fantasy setting. With a group crew, Silver in the Bone has all the elements of a book I would absolutely adore. And while I did enjoy this one, I found myself ending with mixed feelings. For each element I enjoyed, there was always a little caveat. Let’s take the Arthurian legends. While I appreciated Bracken’s take on this body of work, I felt like the threads were a bit loose.

Every time I thought we were going to get a closer look at the way these legends interacted, I felt like I was always left with a few questions. That could be because this is a series opener, but I felt like I wanted that pull of lore to be stronger at the beginning. I wanted it to either be more of a loose touch or a stronger pull. And with the group crew, while I love those so much, I wanted to know more about the side characters. I’m not going to lie, for most of the book, there were a few side characters which I thought were a bit more intriguing than the MCs.

For me, Silver in the Bone had some lulls in the pacing which kind of had me glazing over sometimes. It’s like one of those times where I lost the plot a bit, but then was pulled back in – like a yoyo. Additionally, while I know the love for Tamsin’s brother is a driving force of the novel, it felt a bit too much to me like telling versus showing. Overall, Silver in the Bone felt a bit like a characteristic first book. If you like Arthurian legends and also like the idea of treasure hunting, then this could still be for you! I’m on the fence about reading the sequel, but it’s not something where I definitely wouldn’t read the next. Find Silver in the Bone on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound,, & The Book Depository.

Lucha of the Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Mejia

A scorned god.

A mysterious acolyte.

A forgetting drug.

A dangerous forest.

One girl caught between the freedom she always wanted and a sister she can’t bear to leave behind.

Under the cover of the Night Forest, will Lucha be able to step into her own power…or will she be consumed by it?

(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: drug abuse, drug addiction

Lucha of the Night Forest is a powerful story about sisterhood. It’s a force that pulls you through the story. That no matter what happens, Lucha will always try to save her sister. In a world surrounded with inequity, with drugs, and power, Lucha is about to risk everything to save her home and her sister. Lucha of the Night Forest is a story that unfolds and expands. With an immersive forest setting, it features characters who are trying to protect each other. Fleeting moments of power, bargains and compromises, if you love Kay Mejia’s writing style, you’ll have to add Lucha of the Night Forest to your TBR.

There’s a distinct current of power and magic which hums throughout the pages. I loved the queer romance story line, the way Kay Mejia plays with knowledge, belief, and power. What it would be like to exist alone outside of the expectations of our lives. Lucha of the Night Forest is about the power – big and small – we have over people. The hidden secrets, love for our sister, and the agency in our choices. How we embrace our own abilities, stop allowing ourselves to be pawns for others. Find Lucha of the Night Forest on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound,, & The Book Depository.


What YA Fantasy release are you anticipating?

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