I received this book for free from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Conquer the Kingdom by Jennifer Estep
Series: Gargoyle Queen #3
Published by Harper Voyager on March 7, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
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Magic reigns, plots abound, and a new love might not conquer all, in this must-read finale to the epic Gargoyle Queen trilogy by international bestselling author Jennifer Estep.
Time is running out for crown princess Gemma Ripley. Despite being a cunning spy and a powerful mind magier, Gemma hasn’t been able to track down the most dangerous enemy her kingdom of Andvari has ever seen. Adding to her worries is the Sword and Shield tournament. With gladiators flocking to the capital city of Glanzen, Gemma can’t tell who is friend—or foe.
Determined to protect Andvari at any cost, Gemma hatches a bold plan, but things aren’t what they seem. Soon, everything she holds dear is being threatened, including her burgeoning relationship with Prince Leonidas Morricone.
With the kingdom she holds dear slipping through her fingers, Gemma will have to conquer her fear and unlock the true secret of her magic—or watch her friends and family die and her beloved Andvari fall . . .
This was absolutely fantastic! I have been a fan of the books set in this world since the very beginning. I was really excited to read the final chapter of Gemma’s story and once I really started reading this book, I literally could not put it down. I hate to admit that I ended up ignoring all other things in my life until I reached the last page. I am happy to report that I was completely satisfied by how everything worked out in the end.
Gemma and Leo are in Gemma’s kingdom, Andvari, and the locals have not met Leo with the open arms that Gemma had hoped that they would. Milo is still on the loose and presents a danger to Gemma and everyone that she loves. Her kingdom is hosting a tournament and Gemma has a feeling that Milo will be in attendance especially if she invites a few surprise guests.
This book was full of action and I had no idea exactly how things would work out. I really liked that there were quite a few touching moments as well. Leo and Gemma prove to be perfect for each other and I love how fiercely they are both willing to fight for those that they feel responsible to protect. The gargoyle and strix characters were very well done and added a wonderful element to the story.
I would highly recommend this book to others. This is the final book in the Gargoyle Queen trilogy so I would recommend starting with the first book if at all possible since each book in the trilogy builds on the events from the previous installment. I found this book to be a wonderful conclusion to a trilogy that I know I will be wanting to read again in the not so distant future. I cannot wait to read more of Jennifer Estep’s work.
I received a review copy of this book from Harper Voyager.
I received this book for free from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Witch's Guide to Fake Dating a Demon by Sarah Hawley
Narrator: Helen Laser
Published by Berkley Publishing Group, Penguin Random House Audio on March 7, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / Witches
Length: 11 hours 7 minutes
Format: ARC, Audiobook
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Mariel Spark knows not to trust a demon, especially one that wants her soul, but what’s a witch to do when he won’t leave her side—and she kind of doesn’t want him to?
Mariel Spark is prophesied to be the most powerful witch seen in centuries of the famed Spark family, but to the displeasure of her mother, she prefers baking to brewing potions and gardening to casting hexes. When a spell to summon flour goes very wrong, Mariel finds herself staring down a demon—one she inadvertently summoned for a soul bargain.
Ozroth the Ruthless is a legend among demons. Powerful and merciless, he drives hard bargains to collect mortal souls. But his reputation has suffered ever since a bargain went awry—if he can strike a bargain with Mariel, he will earn back his deadly reputation. Ozroth can't leave Mariel's side until they complete a bargain, which she refuses to do (turns out some humans are attached to their souls).
But the witch is funny. And curvy. And disgustingly yet endearingly cheerful. Becoming awkward roommates quickly escalates when Mariel, terrified to confess the inadvertent summoning to her mother, blurts out that she's dating Ozroth. As Ozroth and Mariel struggle with their opposing goals and maintaining a fake relationship, real attraction blooms between them. But Ozroth has a limited amount of time to strike the deal, and if Mariel gives up her soul, she'll lose all her emotions—including love—which will only spell disaster for them both.
I thought that this was really good! Mariel is a witch that can’t seem to get anything right so it isn’t too much of a surprise when she accidentally summons Ozroth to deal for her soul. Mariel plans to keep her soul so Ozroth is stuck with her until they can make a deal. I loved watching Mariel learn to start standing up for herself and set some boundaries with her family.
Mariel and Ozroth were both great characters. I enjoyed the romance between Mariel and Ozroth and thought that they both showed a lot of growth over the course of the story. I had no idea how these two could possible make things work but I was eager to see it happen. Ozroth is quite protective of Mariel and has a hard time watching the way her family treats her. I just had a lot of fun with this romance overall.
I listened to the audiobook and thought that Helen Laser did a wonderful job with this story. It was so easy to lose myself in this story largely due to her narration. I enjoyed the various voices that she used for the characters and thought that she added just the right amount of emotion to her reading. I am certain that her narration heightened my enjoyment of this fantastic novel.
I would not hesitate to recommend this book to others. I found this book to have the right combination of romance, humor, and magic featuring characters that I won’t soon forget. I cannot wait to read more of Sarah Hawley’s work in the future.
I received a review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group and Penguin Random House Audio.
Her name sounds so not fantasy in the first, is it a portal fa ntasy?
Oooh nice!!! I can’t wait to finish Jennifer’s trilogy! For whatever reason I wasn’t offered an ARC of this one like the last two. But my preorder is in transit so I’ll be picking it up soonish! Lol.
I ended up reading your review of the second book too! I hadn’t heard of this one but I love the blend of paranormal and romance and that it’s light-hearted! I might have to add this to my list too bc it sounds so cute and enjoyable!
Great reviews overall!!
Great reviews! I plan to read both of these books. Hopefully shortly.
From a serious to a fun one, they both look good. Thanks for sharing your reviews.
sherry @ fundinmental
Witch’s Guide sounds like a fun one.
They both sound great.
My review for Estep posts tomorrow and like you I enjoyed this final book. I am so hoping we get a spin-off series in this world. I adored A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon!
I keep meaning to try something by Estep but it just hasn’t happened yet. Good to see that this one was such a hit for you!
Conquer the Kingdom looks like a good read but I am absolutely sold on A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon. That looks fantastic and like a book I would love!
Only three books in the Estep series? I might do that since I’ve been wanting to try her writing. Nice to see you loved it!
You’ve read all the books I’m still anxiously waiting for. I’m a little bit jealous here. I’m in breathless anticipation of Conquer the Kingdom. I’ve loved this entire series and I particularly like Gemma and Leo. Glad you liked it too. I haven’t read A Witch’s Guide, but I’ve added that to my list after your review and a few other good ones as well. Have a great week.