Monday, 17 March 2014

The Wolfs Cry by Natalie Crown Blog Tour and Giveaway!



Thanks for stopping by my tour stop for The Wolf's Cry by Natalie Crown. This is a YA Fantasy book that released in January 2014. This is the first book in the The Semei Trilogy.  This tour will run March 10th-21st and consist of reviews, author interviews, guest posts, top tens and a giveaway.  Stop by the tour page for the full list of tour stops.

Book Title: The Wolf's Cry (Book One in the Semei Trilogy)
Author: Natalie Crown
Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: YA
Length: PDF is 199 pages

She is his weakness.
And she will ruin everything.
Kammy Helseth's idea of adventure never amounted to more than getting a boat across to the mainland and finally escaping to London. That was until she stumbled through the mouth of the forest into a world beneath our own, the world of the Semei.

Her only wish is to find her way home but when Jamie, her best friend, is taken into this new world of shapeshifters and Crystals she has no choice but to stand up to her fear and to remain beneath the surface. Hunted by Bagor, King of Alashdial, and those that are loyal to him, Kammy finds herself in the company of a group of outlaws led by Jad, a Prince with a bitter past and a similarly bitter demeanour.

They overcome age-old prejudice to find a way to work together. But Bagor knows a secret about the Crystals that threatens to change everything. Kammy and Jad must find a way to thwart the king and to save Jamie, but that is just the beginning. For Kammy is in possession of a Key and the fate of countless lives, both human and Semei, may rest in her hands.

Book Links:  

Goodreads | Amazon 

Top Ten Post!


 My Top Ten Fantasy Books


When I was asked to put together a top ten of my favourite fantasy books I thought, oh this will be easy! But it really, really wasn't. Every time I thought I had it, something else popped into my head.

I have now settled on ten, in no particular order. Five are books that I have loved for a long, long time. The others are new faves. I thought it would be good to have a balanced mix? I would LOVE to chat about any of these books with anybody, and when I say chat I mean gush aimlessly. So yeah, hit me up!


Magician - Raymond. E. Feist

  
I can't talk about my love for fantasy books without talking about Raymond. E. Feist. I've mentioned in a few places that my reading has been kind of backwards. I read mostly adult fantasy when I was younger, and have only really gotten stuck into YA in the last few years. This was because I would often read my dad's books. I specifically remember that he was a member of some catalogue club that you could order books through, and he ordered the Serpentwar Saga by Feist. Since then I brought and read every single book Feist had published, and went on to publish. The quality of his books has dropped in recent years but Magician will always be one of my absolute favourites, and the world of Midkemia is one I revisit frequently. My copy is falling apart but I adore it. It's traditional high fantasy with all the trappings that that entails, but it's really GOOD traditional high fantasy.


Harry Potter - J.K Rowling

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 This one's obvious but hey, it's Harry Potter.

I miss release day. I miss getting up early and sitting by the door waiting for my pre order to arrive. I miss my family understanding that my whole weekend would be devoted to reading the new book, and that I was not to be disturbed unless somebody was bringing me a cup of tea or making a fried breakfast.

I was the perfect age for these books and I grew up with Harry, as many of you no doubt did. My favourite was Order of the Phoenix, which I think is rare? I just got so much satisfaction out of Umbridge getting overthrown, out of the DA and out of Harry and Dumbledore being proven right at the end. Weirdly, Sirius was my favourite character yet this is still the best book in my eyes. I've always been a lover of angst and pain, hey?

There's not much to say about these books that hasn't already been said. I'm just happy that their influence has had such a lasting effect. If it hadn't then the Harry Potter studio tour would never have been a thing, and if that hadn't been a thing then I WOULDN'T OWN A WAND. That would be a tragedy, right?

The Song of the Lioness Quartet - Tamora Pierce

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Again, I'm just putting the whole series on here.
Tamora Pierce was my hero back in the day. Before Harry Potter, these books were my life. I was always reading my dad's high fantasy books which often lacked significant female characters. I love Tolkien's books too, but again they were dominated by men. When my eight year old self took these books out of the local library, I realised that they literally CATERED TO MY SOUL.
A young girl that didn't want to do girly things? Check. A young girl that dreamed of being a knight and having adventures? Check. MAGIC? Check. It was all my favourite things and more. You see, while Alanna is not your typical girl, Pierce never forgets that she IS a girl. She addresses the issues of womanhood so damn well as Alanna grows up and it was so important for me to read this stuff.
These books might seem a bit dated to first time readers now. Pierce was hampered by the fact that publishers back then simply did not believe that high fantasy for girls would appeal to anybody. So Pierce had to keep things short. Still, if you haven't read these books you REALLY should. Amazing. The second and fourth were the best in my eyes, so at least get to the second book if the first doesn't catch you.

Northern Lights (*sigh* The Golden Compass) - Philip Pullman

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This book rivalled Harry Potter for me when I read it. Seriously. Lyra was my favourite thing in the whole entire world. I LOVED that the setting was so familiar, especially as a Brit, in some ways, yet so different in others. I loved Mrs Coulter and her evilness, I loved Lord Asriel and his coldness. I loved the brutality of Bolvanger. Pan, Pan, Pan. I loved Lee and I loved Iorek.
Do you get the hint that I loved it?
I haven't put the whole series on here, because this book really was the highest point for me. I did still really adore The Subtle Knife. The Amber Spyglass was a bit more up and down. I felt it got bogged down by the science vs religion stuff. It didn't offend me or anything, I just preferred it when it was more subtle.
I am forever tormented by the failure of the film. Especially because Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig were the best casting choices for any film EVER. Ugh. What a waste.

The Empire Trilogy - Raymond. E. Feist and Janny Wurts

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I know, I know - Feist is already on the list. But this is different because it was WITH Janny Wurts. Plus, it's a top ten BOOKS right? So shush.
Again, another series because I absolutely cannot choose between them.
I have mentioned Magician already but these books are the absolute ultimate and I will love them till the ends of time. My copy of Mistress of the Empire is falling apart and I want to cuddle it most of the time. The combination of Feist and Wurts is absolute perfection and EVERYBODY SHOULD READ THESE BOOKS.
The world is so rich, the plot so complex, the characters so real - I cannot recommend it enough. There is war, there is intrigue, there is romance. There is complete agony of the best variety, and agony of the worst. I could gush about Lujan, Pape, Keyoke, Nacoya, Kevin, Hokanu, Arakasi...all of these characters are stupendously stupendous.
But the absolute greatest thing about these books is MARA OF THE ACOMA. These books were the first adult fantasy books I read with a female lead (and the only ones that pop into my mind right now actually) and they sent me spiralling into a world of anti-social behaviour and sleep deprivation.
Mara is a girl, a mother, a woman. But she is also a master of intrigue and a skilled player of the game. She is a general of war and she is a ruling lady. The three books follow her as she makes a number of mistakes, but also as she displays great courage and rises above her enemies.
PLEASE PLEASE READ THESE BOOKS. I have never had anyone to gush over Mara with. *sadface*

Crown of Midnight - S. J. Maas

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Ah, this book man, this book.
I read Throne of Glass and while I enjoyed it, there were a few niggling issues that stopped me from loving it. Crown of Midnight wasn't quite flawless, but the things it did well were done REALLY well. At the end of the day, I could not stop reading. I gasped, I screamed and I squealed as I read it. I haven't been so shocked by a mid book turning point in...well, I can't actually remember the last time this happened! And while the 'twist' at the end was more predictable, it was one of my absolute favourite types of twists so I was like YEAHHHHH.
The characters are delightful to read and as another reviewer, Whitley, said - these books are just swashbuckling fun! It's okay to just have fun, right?
The great thing is that there are many more books to come and if each one improves on the last like Crown of Midnight did on Throne of Glass, then this could end up being one of the best series EVER.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha) - Leigh Bardugo

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For some absurd reason I took forever to read this one. I'm so glad that I did. I had so many incorrect preconceptions about it and it was a delight to see them proven wrong.
The book jumps right into the action, throwing Alina into the deep end, which is just how I like it. The world was well realised and the characters consistent. The whole ending section with the Darkling had me squealing for joy because this is just what I wanted!!!!
This book has one of the best villain arcs I have seen in a really long damn time. I can't even form coherent sentences to explain how perfect it was to me. And I can happily admit that this is a huge part of the reason that I loved this book more than the second. That said, the second was still great. Particuarly because, STURMHOND.
Absolutely cannot wait for Ruin and Rising. Have you seen the cover? Ahhhhh.

Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles) - Melina Marchetta

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High fantasy at its finest.
Marchetta is HEROIC in the way she builds this world. It feels so REAL that it is all but impossible not to get drawn in. This final book in the series just blew me away. It was incredibly satisfying in so many ways, and a rare example of a final book in a series completely living up to expectations.
If anybody has read my reviews of these books you will know that there is one niggling issue that I have...BUT, pushing that niggle aside Froi was a fantastic character. His growth was fantastic, without turning him into some flawless hero. There was also such a strong emphasis on family in these books that gave me all the warm fuzzies.
If you read and enjoy Finnikin then you're set, as the books just keep getting better. At the end of the day, Marchetta is a brilliant writer and I know I will read everything she ever writes now.

Bitterblue (Graceling Trilogy) - Kristen Cashore

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Is it surprising that this is my favourite of the three?
I simply adored Bitterblue. It was slower than the other books, and soaked with detail but I felt so connected to everything that was happening. I was wrapped up in the mystery as well as the characters. I was amazed at Cashore's ability to have the main villian of the book be a man that was long dead and gone. Old characters appear and get their time to shine and I was incredibly satisfied by it all.
If you're a person that doesn't mind a slower pace and a puzzle like plot, then you should absolutely enjoy this book. Plus, it's so pretty. Like Marchetta, I will absolutely read everything Cashore writes ever.

The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief) - Meagan Whalen Turner

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If you are a person that needs frequent action or plot twists, then this series might not be for you. The first book, The Thief, in particular is a slow old burn. BUT if you are patient enough to read a master class, and to devour words woven together to culminate in a final OOOOOH moment, then check these out.
The second book, The Queen of Attolia, was my favourite - but they are all fantastic in their own way.
The greatest thing about these books is our lead character, Eugenides - or Gen. I have honestly never read another character like him. You never know what he's really thinking or feeling. He is full of conflict and mystery, but he is also the most secret badass you will ever meet - in a literary sense, at least.

So that's my ten. I've read a number of great books recently and they always push me to be a better writer myself. I hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings and as I've said, I'm always happy to gush about the above books whenever you need!

** What great choices! Ive only read some of these books but most are on my shelves. Thanks for the wonderful Guest Post Natalie!! So guys do you agree with her choices? Have you read these? 

About the Author:

I grew up in a village called Swilland, in the countryside of Suffolk, England. There wasn't much around, other than farms and fields, but for the most part I loved it, and I still do. I’m a passionate person by nature. I don’t just LIKE things, I LOVE things. Whether it’s a book, a film, or a sports team. Once I decide to enjoy something, I enjoy it to the MAX.

I’m a terrible cook. I prioritise essential social media work over keeping my flat tidy, because I know best. I

Onto my love of reading and, consequently, writing - it was my dad that played a big role in encouraging me to read. He didn't push me towards books necessarily; he simply read a lot himself. Then I would pick up his books and read them after him. I was reading high and epic fantasy from a very young age. I guess that might explain why I have always loved adventure stories with magic and intrigue and princes and princesses in.

I was aware that I wanted to ‘be a writer’ from a very young age. I was convinced I would be the first best seller that hadn't reached double figures in age yet! I wrote about the Danshees, furry creatures that lived through a mirror. I wrote about a Sand Bottle that transported a boy into a world of magic. I wrote about a sick girl finding a music boy that healed her, but transported her back in time. (Wow, I always have loved alternate universes…)

When I was eight I wrote my first novel called The Land of No Return. Despite the title, I am determined to return to it one day. I feel like I owe it to my past self. So, as you can see, I have always been writing. There have been times when I have gone weeks without scratching down a word. Then there are days where I churn out multiple chapters and only my body’s silly desire for sleep and/or food can stop me.

I write because I enjoy it. I write fantasy because I enjoy it. I try my hardest to put something of myself into my writing. I like to think my characters have depth, I like to think that my fantasy worlds reflect upon the real world in some way. You guys will be the judge of that but even if you don't agree I know that I at least try and I can do no more than that.

These days I live in North London and I love it. I work full time and London is a hectic city. Juggling work, writing and a social life is tough but nobody is forcing me to do it so I can't complain. The dream is that writing will be my career one day but it doesn't matter if I never quite make it. I love writing too much to ever pack it in.

I am desperate to get a dog. My mum suspects I miss my cats at home more than I miss her. I am a devout Arsenal/Ferrari/Rafael Nadal fan. I get all mad when confronted with a case of social injustice and then I get all mad when people take the fight for social justice too far. I mostly keep those thoughts to myself and simmer with rage. I watch good TV and bad TV, because I can. What I can’t do is enjoy bad books (subjective opinion of course). I just can’t.

Find the author:
2 $50 Amazon Gift Cards (INT)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This tour was organized by CBB Book Promotions
 

4 comments:

  1. I've read quite a few of these and agree! Natalie and I clearly have similar taste in books!

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    Replies
    1. She has some amazing choices here!! I have nearly all on my shelves :)

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    2. We all have great taste :P

      Thank you so much for taking part in the tour! I LOVED putting this post together :)

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