REVIEW: Spindle by W.R. Gingell

*I received a free physical arc of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. (Sorry it took so long!)

Title: Spindle
Author: W.R. Gongell
Series: (Two Monarchies Sequence #1)
Publication date: August 10th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy. Young Adult

Synopsis [from Goodreads]:

She’s not a princess . . . but then, he’s no prince.

Polyhymnia is deep in enchanted sleep. High in a tower, behind an impenetrable barrier of magical thorns, she sleeps, dreams, and falls ever deeper into her curse.
Woken by a kiss, Poly finds herself in an alien world where three hundred years have passed and everyone she has ever known is dead. Luck, the enchanter who woke her, seems to think she is the princess. Understandable, since he found her asleep on the princess’ bed, in the royal suite, and dressed in the princess’ clothes.
Who cursed Poly? Why is someone trying to kill her and Luck? Why can’t she stop falling asleep?
And why does her hair keep growing?

Sometimes breaking the curse is just the beginning of the journey.

Format: Paperback ARC
Stars: 4.5/5

This book is incredible, as is the author. It took me far too long to finally read Spindle as I got much busier than expected, but now I have read it and I can say it’s definitely worth a re-read. I rarely re-read books.

The characters in this novel are so lovely you can’t help but fall in love with them! They’re well crafted, seem fairly real, and there’s this way about them that you just can’t ignore, nor explain. For one, Luck is far more than he seems. He’s not so fond of people (as was shown when he forgot about/ignored helping the villagers with their magical problems continuously [he’s the village wizard, as they call him]), is often in his own world (while he and Poly were traveling to his home he often had distant eyes and tended to ignore her), and seems to rarely care about those around him. However, he is extremely smart and always has a plan (he tricked Poly’s curse to wake her, and then fully broke it a long while after, as he did not wake her with a lover’s kiss as was needed), and he actually cares very deeply about those he considers family or loves (he did everything in his power to break Poly’s curse, as well as made sure she was safe and protected). That’s just one example of a well crafted and lovely character W.R. Gingell has created. And there’s plenty others to come, I’m sure.

I adore the world, the descriptions/imagery, as well as the plot. I admit, the story started off a bit confusing as we were immediately thrown into Poly’s confusion and lack of memories as the action happened around her, but it cleared up and we were left with a fantastically written world (shifting villages, houses that grew from nature and continue to, the Frozen Battlefield, The Forest, and the counsels: Wizard counsel, Black velvet.) with great descriptions. I honestly had a hard time putting this book down, and devoured 95% of it the day I started reading it.

I also adore how the author writes her curses. They’re never easily solved, and while they aren’t simple, they aren’t too complex either. I love how the curse needed a true loves kiss to be broken, and Luck was able to trick it and still wake her with a kiss without loving her. I also like how she kept falling asleep, and how the author went about writing it. It flowed well and I enjoyed the little things as much as everything else. I also love how a character hid magic and was able to get it back by travelling through certain timelines.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Spindle and I definitely recommend it!

~Sage<3

BLOGTOUR/REVIEW: Wolfskin by W.R. Gingell

*I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Wolfskin Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.

*This is also posted on Coffee & All Things Random.

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Wolfskin

Title: Wolfskin
Author: W.R. Gingell
Publication date: May 1st 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:
‘If you want adventure, you have to march right up to it and kick it in the shins . . .’
At fourteen, barefoot and running wild, Rose is delighted to be apprenticed to Akiva, the witch of the forest. She thinks it will be all enchantment and excitement, and not so much fuss about baths. The reality is much more sober and practical- that is, until she meets a mysterious wolf in the forest and is tricked into stepping off the path . . .
In young, naive Rose, Bastian sees a way of escape. Cursed to remain in the shape of a wolf after running afoul of a powerful enchantress, he has lived many decades under a spell, and now he is both desperate and ruthless. But by breaking part of Bastian’s curse, Rose has caught the attention of Cassandra, the enchantress who cursed him: and Cassandra is by no means ready to forgive and forget.
Meanwhile, wardens have been disappearing from the forest, one by one. Rose is certain that Cassandra is behind the disappearances, but can she and Bastian get to the bottom of the matter before Akiva disappears as well? And are Bastian’s motives entirely to be trusted?
Sometimes the little girl in the red hood doesn’t get eaten, and sometimes the wolf isn’t the most frightening thing in the forest.
And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
Stars: 5/5
      Wolfskin is full of magic, witches, curses, power, action, romance, a cursed wolf, a bitter Enchantress, spells, growth, strength, trust, and bravery. It’s about a young girl seeking out adventure who becomes an apprentice to a witch, who ends up breaking the first part of a wolf’s curse, who learns spells and magic, and tries to figure out who is behind the missing Wardens and why they’re doing it. It’s about a fourteen year old girl maturing and growing into a young woman who finds love, friendship, and family. It’s about Rose’s adventures and the situations she gets into because of her naivety. It’s a tale you’ll surely love.
  • Characters:
    • Rose is feisty, adventurous, and wants to be a Pirate so she never has to marry. She’s strong and brave but also young and naive. She’s a very believable character. She also tends to act without thinking. So watching her grow up, fight Cassandra, try to save Bastian from his curse, and try to solve the mystery of the missing Wardens was very satisfying and enjoyable.
    • Bastian is probably my favorite. At first, he’s a conniving, vicious wolf who’s about to eat Rose on their first meeting. But when she breaks the first part of his curse he isn’t so bad. He’s a cursed man in the form of a wolf because of what he did, and he’s playful, protective, kind, thoughtful, and I loved reading about his interactions with Rose. Sure, at times he was slightly scary and his behavior was unsettling (mostly when the black surrounded the gold of his aura) but overall he was a character I really love.He’s also tortured and brooding, but he’s quick witted and definitely entertaining, especially when with Rose. Their banter never bored me and was very entertaining.
    • Akiva is a Warden who took on Rose as an apprentice. She’s not your typical lovey, dovey, coddle-you woman. No. She’s a tough, no nonsense old lady with a hard fist and scolding eyes. She makes Rose work for everything and gets her to figure out things on her own since Akiva was never told anything whilst she was young; she had to figure it out herself.Akiva shows her emotions in odd ways, but once you get to know her it’s easy enough to tell when she’s happy, relieved, pleased and so on. She teaches Rose about magic and responsibility and she plays a major role in who Rose grows to be.
  • Pacing:
    • To me, I feel the pacing was perfect. Though at times, with all the parties Rose went to because her sister, Gwendolen, is obsessed with them (basically), it was a little repetitive. it was great seeing Rose interact with Gilbert at those points, as well as Liz and Harry, but I feel like maybe we could go without the party? Things happened at the parties that really worked well with the story, which it needed, but I wasn’t that big of a fan reading about dancing and Gwen’s little minions and Rose just talking to Gil or being forced to dance. It was well written, but not something I myself loved.
  • Writing:
    • It flowed well, kept me hooked, and allowed me to visualize everything fairly easily. The dialogue between characters never felt forced or unreal. It’s pretty much perfect.
    • I love how Bastian and Rose didn’t fall in love right away, as most stories would’ve played out. It helps that Rose was still a young girl when they meet, and that she treats him as more of a friend while Bastian tries to woo her for his own gain. But I love how gradual it is and how it’s not only for her, but him too.
  • World-Building:
    • Everything was easy enough to visualize and was incredibly well written. I feel like the world was flushed out well and I very much enjoyed talk of the forest because it was easy to see how much it means to the characters and why. It was like the forest was pulsing with it’s own life and that it felt emotions, which is great because the author really let all of it come through the writing.
    • I like how each Warden had a specific piece of the forest to claim as their own and care for. It really allowed you to understand the forest more because Wardens have to make sure the land is happy and healthy and the forest tens to act out or try to fight back when dying and uncared for.
    • The laws of the forest really made it feel so much more real. And we really get to explore the forest more since Rose loves adventure and tends to slip away from the path. We learn of what lives in the forest (somewhat) and why the forest allows them to do certain things. We learn of the forest’s magic and how much life it really holds.
    • The magic was fantastic. The gradual growth of Rose’s powers really helped us try to understand her magic. I like how she wasn’t instantly powerful, or holding this epic power just waiting to burst. I enjoyed reading as she tried day after day after day to see the forest lines without closing her eyes. It made everything feel more real because she had to work hard to get to where she wanted to be.
      Overall, I loved reading Wolfskin and I recommend this to everyone. Especially if you love to read about witches, wolves, magic, and fantasy.
WRAUTHOR BIO:
W.R Gingell is a Tasmanian author who enjoys reading, bacon, and slouching in front of the fire to write.
Author links:

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~Sage<3

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