Last year I was fortunate enough to take part in six different blog tours of amazing books that I adored. Although I thoroughly enjoyed each blog tour – boosting books that gave me joy is always fun – I promised myself that I’d take a break from signing up from any more tours in the future. I told myself that in 2020 I was going to really focus on the first draft of my novel. My blog would take the backseat this time around. As I was prepping for the Hail the Bitch Queen blog tour, I promised myself that it was going to be my last tour for the time being.
But then Kate (Your Tita Kate) announced that she was doing the Asian blog tour for M.K. England’s Spellhacker.
Much like the book’s main character, the marshmallow-filled cactus Dizmon, I went back on my word. This would be my last, last blog tour.
And much like Diz’s last, last heist, this book ended up taking me on a whirlwind of an adventure that I couldn’t have ever imagined. Twists! Turns! Intrigue! Magic! Oh my!
At the beginning of this year, I picked up a book that nearly everyone on my Twitter timeline was obsessed about. Jade City fever had hit the book community towards the end of 2018 and it was difficult not to succumb to the hype when practically every reviewer that I trust swore by it. Once I started reading it, I immediately understood why.
Jade City was A RIDE so WILD that I struggled to hold on to my dear life. I had no idea where we were going but I enjoyed every moment of it. There was a magic mafia, martial arts, and family drama – Jade City has been described as The Godfather but with magic and for good reason.
When Shealea (@Shutup, Shealea and @CaffeineTours) announced that she had the honor of organizing an international blog tour of Jade City‘s sequel, Jade War, I signed up for it so fast that I barely had the time to blink. I knew that there were only limited slots and with my humble blog’s stats I didn’t really have much hope but still I had to shoot my shot.
By some stroke of luck, I got in! I returned to Janloon, said my oaths to the Pillar of No Peak once again, and experienced the absolute rollercoaster ride that was Jade War.
It’s no secret that The Oremere Chronicles has a special place in my heart. The first book, Heart of Mist, enchanted me with its well developed characters and riveting premise. I even wrote a Book Talk on Heart of Mist about writing with empathy – one of my favorite blog posts to date. The sequel, Reign of Mist, did not disappoint with all shocking twists and raised stakes. Check out my review of that book here.
When the third book was announced, War of Mist, I was ecstatic and terrified at the same time. One of my favorite fantasy series was coming to an end… and the blood red cover and the ominous title could only be a harbinger of inevitable heartbreak.
After essentially devouring the book in a span of three days, I was SHOOK. Did I finish War of Mist or did War of Mist finish me?
I don’t say this lightly – because I literally can’t – but Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer is one of my all time favorite books. That’s right. Not of last year. Not of its genre. But of all time. It was such a jaw-droppingly gorgeous book, a masterclass in storytelling, that if I could experience a book for the first time all over again, it would be this book series.
Because I loved the first book so much, I naturally waited months to read the sequel, though I had it for some time now. I didn’t want to finish this duology too soon, y’know? Even as I was finally reading it, I kept having to hold myself back, savour the experience instead of gobbling up the book whole. Not that it helped very much considering how much of a page-turner Laini Taylor’s books are.
I finished Muse of Nightmares within three days and… wow. Just. Wow.