Blog Tour | The Never Tilting World (#1) by Rin Chupeco

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ARC gifted to me by Olivia! Thank you!

“When the dead find words, the goddess and the Devoted son will meet atop a fish not a fish, on a sea not a sea. It is she who travels to the endless Abyss, and it is he who guides her.”

It’s no secret that Rin Chuepco is one of my favorite authors of all time. I have supported and loved every book I’ve picked up by them, but I was still apprehensive how they were going to top The Bone Witch Trilogy, which is one of my favorite series of all time, but friends, The Never Tilting World might be my new favorite Rin Chupeco book. And this was such a perfect start to this duology.

This book was originally pitched to me as Mad Max meets Frozen, and even though that sounds like the wildest of comparisons, it totally is true. The world of Aeon is separated into two cities after “the breaking”. Two goddesses have raised these two girls, while keeping secrets and never allowing them to know that they are twins and that their sibling is alive. Yet, monsters are breaching both shores

Two Dying Cities:
Aranth – Never ending night, cold, and frozen everything.
The Golden City Never ending day, heat, and chaos.

Two Powerful Girls:
Haidee – Has a love for mechanical engineering and is expected to marry soon.
Odessa – Lesbian, chronically ill, and I will protect at all costs.

Two Traveling Companions:
Arjun – Disabled (missing a hand), a rogue rebel, and likes Haidee.
Lan – Bi, has PTSD, healer and bodyguard for Odessa. (Also, best library meet-cute ever!)

Honestly, Lan is probably my favorite character and seeing their journey to love and heal was really so beautiful that it makes me cry just thinking about it. Truly one of the best fictional characters I’ve had the pleasure to read about in a really long while. Rin also always gives their readers the best romances, and this book was no different. I was in love with both romantic subplots in this book, but Lan and Odessa’s f/f relationship meant everything to me (who is surprised?). Also, Rin confirmed they are Gryffindor and Slytherin and *chef kiss* you all know that’s the best pairing. But Haidee and Arjun are the best Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw m/f to probably ever exist, too.

But both of these two pairings go off on separate journeys, trying to uncover secrets that have been hidden from them their whole lives, while also willing to do anything to save their people.

This book is for sure a metaphor for how the time is truly ticking until our own world becomes uninhabitable, while we all live in opposite ends of the spectrum of constant day and night. There are monsters in this book, but the most terrifying aspect is the waters rising too fast and the ice coming in too quickly, which threaten to erase an entire city. While another city cannot provide for their people because nothing will grow, therefore they have to be sealed away hoping to gain more time before everything dies. Rin also always celebrates the Filipino culture in all of their books with all their themes. Also, I always view all of Rin’s characters as Asian, unless stated otherwise.

“We’re chasing a dying sea under an endless sun that kills us with a thousand little cuts every day. There’ll be nothing left soon. Nothing but sand and bone.”

This story also is truly a love letter to womanhood, motherhood, and sisterhood, and how those powerful bonds can scare men. The feminist undertone is constant in this story, and the parallels to our world is also impossible to not see. Again, the world doesn’t deserve Rin Chupeco and their stories, and please protect them at all costs.

“A demoness is what they call a goddess that men cannot control.”

I will say that I know this magic system, world, and world building isn’t going to be for everyone. Just like Rin’s other works, people are going to say that it is too complex and the learning curve is too steep, and that’s valid. I will be the first to say that I always just feel instantly connected to Rin’s work and their stories, but I know that is not the case for everyone, so here is your warning.

But overall, this was really just the perfect book from me. From the goddesses, to the deities, to the themes, to the Filipino culture blended in beautifully and seamlessly it was all just perfect for me and everything I look for in literature.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and Trigger Warnings: PTSD depiction, violence, gore, mention of sexual assault, talk of death, and war themes.

Buddy read with Alexa! ❤ (This buddy read meant so very much to me and I just really love Alexa so much and I’m so thankful for her friendship and her voice!)

And thank you so much Shealea for putting this amazing blog tour together! (You’re the best, bb!) ❤


Rin Chupeco has written obscure manuals for complicated computer programs, talked people out of their money at event shows, and done many other terrible things. She now writes about ghosts and fantastic worlds but is still sometimes mistaken for a revenant. She is the author of The Girl from the Well, its sequel, The Suffering, and the Bone Witch trilogy.

Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.

Find out more about Rin over on: websiteGoodreadsInstagramPintrest and Twitter!


Blog Tour Review | The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco

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ARC provided by Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review.

1.) The Bone Witch ★★★★
2.) The Heart Forger ★★★★★

“There are worse things than black heartsglass, Tea. Silver is just as capable of hate.”

Most of you know this The Bone Witch trilogy is a series I hold very close to my heart, but I truly have been looking at this word document for the last twenty minutes completely unable to start this review. I’m not ready to say goodbye, and I’m equal parts in denial that it’s over, but in awe of how perfect Rin Chupeco closed this series out. I am so thankful for these books, and I will truly carry them with me forever.

The Shadow Glass is the concluding book in an ownvoices Asian inspired fantasy series, that stars a bone witch named Tea who has the power to resurrect and control things, which she finds out in The Bone Witch when she accidentally resurrects her brother at his funeral. From there, Tea and her newly risen brother, Fox, go on a journey for Tea to learn about her asha powers, but they quickly feel and realize the expectations that all eight kingdoms are going to put on her.

In this world, all the people wear heartsglass around their necks. Your heartsglass will change colors depending on what you’re feeling but will overall stay mostly the same color. Yet, silver means you draw runes and they are so very important and are so very sought after. Other ashas control elements; fire, earth, water, and wind. But Tea is a dark asha who can control death. Bone witches are not very respected in this world, even though their powers hold the most important job in this world; defeating Daeva, which are different demons who dwell in this world, who are resurrected every so often.

“The darkness was inside me, I think, long before I raised my brother from the dead. My silver heartsglass merely gave it a mouth, made the darkness realize that it too can hunger…”

This story is told in my favorite format ever, which is half of it being told in present day from a bard, where you see the ramifications of everything that has happened in the past, where Tea appears to be the villain, but the other half is the past, from Tea’s perspective, where we get to slowly see the events unfold to bring us up to date with current day. Two timelines brilliantly woven together to give us the most epic finale of all time and truly is a masterpiece.

I feel like I can’t say that much more of a synopsis, because this is the last book in a trilogy, but watching Tea grow, from this girl who was so unsure of her future and her new powers, to this woman who learned to love not only others, but also herself and this power that felt so uncontrollable, and it was an honor to read, truly. And seeing this new journey that Tea has to take for herself in The Shadow Glass was completely enthralling and such a treat to read.

“I knew that shadowglass spell; I had committed it to memory nearly two years ago, and it was now a mantra, buried so deep within my psyche that nothing could pull it loose. I had pored over those words for so long that sometimes they came easier to me than my own name.”

But I couldn’t write up this review and not talk about the romance and how it completely still leaves me weak in the knees. I would completely lay my life on the line for Tea and Kalen and they are honestly everything. Also, I am just such a sucker for the protector/bodyguard/personal-warrior element in romances, and I seriously will never stop swooning over them. Truly the stuff dream OTPs are made of.

I do want to take a minute and talk about the sexual and gender representation in this book! There is a side f/f romance, which you don’t get to see that much of in this installment, but I still love them with the sum of my being! But what I really want to talk about is Likh and her transition. In all three books, we see Likh discovering how fluid gender can be, yet also testing out the waters of new things because of the gender roles, and power imbalances, people place on so many things in the societies all these characters explore, but in this book she decides her pronouns and after that everyone instantly respects her pronouns and her transition and it’s truly beyond words beautiful.

Okay, so I feel like I should write up a little personal paragraph, even though I don’t want to take away anything from this masterpiece of a trilogy. Rin Chupeco pulls from many Asian inspirations, but as a biracial Filipino it just means the world to me to see a Filipino author not only writing books that are completely in my wheelhouse, but to really have it reflect so much of my culture. Then, I also get to see an Asian girl and her Asian brother be best friends and willing to sacrifice anything for one another, and if you’ve followed my reviews for a while, you will know my brother is my best friend in the entire world, and I would sacrifice anything for him, and I’m just weak and soft and it really means so much to me. But lastly, we really get to see Tea living during the good mental health days and living during some really terrible mental health days. Mental health and Tea’s guilt, grief, and trauma is never shied away from in this story, and to even see this in an Asian inspired fantasy story is enough for me to build a shrine to Rin right this instant.

“I will save the kingdoms, and I will save you in the process, and maybe I will save the bits and pieces of myself that need rescuing too.”

And I don’t have an eloquent way to say it, this ending broke me. I read the last twenty-percent of this book with tears streaming down my face. So much perfection. Overall, this really is the book of my heart, and Tea is the character of my soul, and Rin Chupeco truly wrote a love letter for every girl out there who wants to change the broken world that people think is the default. If you haven’t started this series yet, please give it a try. I truly love it with my whole heart and soul, and I truly think it is so very worth your time.

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Content and trigger warnings for violence, death, loss of a loved one, grief depiction, brief mention of past parental abuse, and war themes.

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

(Thank you so much FFBC, for letting me be a part of this tour!)

 

The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch, #2) by Rin Chupeco

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ARC provided by Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review.

1.) The Bone Witch ★★★★

“I suppose the trouble began again when I tried raising a king from the dead.”

This series means so much to me. I loved The Bone Witch so much, but The Heart Forger is now in a tier by itself. This is the type of book that makes you wish there were more than fives stars, because it just feels like it deserves something more. It was glorious perfection, and Tea is my favorite necromancer of all time. And Rin Chupeco is a master storyteller.

“She wore the corpses for show. They trailed behind her, grotesque fabrics of writhing flesh and bone, spreading across the plain for miles around us.”

This is an ownvoices, Asian inspired, fantasy story that stars a young necromancer, looking for her place in a world that has constantly told her she is going to become evil. This story is told in two parts, but not equally. The lesser part, before every new chapter, are the events taking place through a bard’s eyes, who is chronicling the events currently, where Tea is proving to become the evil villain the world wanted her to be. But the main story is told in the past, and we get to slowly find out what happened to put Tea on this path that the bard is seeing.

“What’s one more lie to believe when I am just a scheming, murderous bone witch, constantly seeking stars beyond her reach?”

One of the more unique and cool aspects of this world, is that all the people wear heartglasses around their necks. Your heartglass will change colors depending on what you’re feeling but will overall stay mostly the same color. Yet, silver means you draw runes, which means you can fight, whether it be as an asha if you’re a girl or as a solider if you’re a boy. Silver heartglasses are so very important and are so very sought after.

Other ashas control elements: fire, earth, water, wind. But Tea is a bone witch, AKA: a dark asha, and she deals in death. Bone witches are not very respected in this world, even though their powers hold the most important job in this world, because they are the only ones who can defeat Daeva, AKA: different demons who dwell in this world, who are resurrected every so often. Also, bone witches are incredibly rare, but they seem to not live long.

“…black heartsglass is the ultimate fate of bone witches like us, Tea. Dark asha do not live long lives. But when they do, it is only a matter of time before their hearts become corrupted.”

This book places a big emphasis on gender roles and the way the world also forces us to conform to them. A side character, is constantly battling against them, and all the main characters are so supportive and uplifting. Likh is also the sweetest little cinnamon roll and I want to personally protect them at all costs.

Queerness always plays a pretty big part in this story. First off, we have two queer ladies that are big side character that had me smiling from ear to ear. Next, this book is called The Heart Forger, and that heart forger has been ostracized by his ruling father, stripped of his crown, because of the fact he likes men. You all, I don’t have words, only tears. But such wonderful discussions are held within the pages of these books. And I appreciate it so much.

The only “negative” thing I’ll say is that the three boys in this book all have names that start with the letter K, and it is a little hard (at least for me) to keep straight! So, let me do a little break down for you guys, in case you also have this problem:
Khalad – The newest heart forger, but still an apprentice.
Kance – Prince, who will eventually be king. Khalad’s younger brother and Kalen’s cousin.
Kalen – Amazing warrior who is promised to protect Kance at all costs.

But this was honestly my only problem with this book. Besides this little qualm, this book is perfection in my eyes. And this story is so inspiring, I can’t even put the feelings into words. And Tea is one of the most selfless protagonists I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Every choice she makes is so important. And it’s so beautiful to see her choosing actions that go against what everyone thinks she will become. This series has so many feministic themes, and I’m living for each and every one of them.

“Tea, you should prove them wrong. Show them asha are more than concubines for princes.”

You guys know I’m weak for a good sibling relationship, especially between a brother and sister, and Tea and her brother (that she resurrected to ultimately find out she was a bone witch) are goals! Fox is such a good character. And him and Tea’s banter is so believable and perfection. And Tea catching glimpses of her brother and a princess brought me so much joy and too many giggles. And now that we know what Tea is still trying to accomplish in present time, because they both share a lifeline. My heart, I can’t. The love between siblings can be so powerful.

But speaking of love. You all, I wasn’t prepared for the damn romance in this book. The Bone Witch gave us little breadcrumbs, but The Heart Forger busted through the door and asked me to hold their beer. Page 319 did things to me, and I’m still reeling. And, again, to know the outcome from the present time through the bard’s eyes, it equally guts me, yet warms my heart. It is so good.

“He kissed me. In full view of the nobles, in full view of the emperor and anyone who wanted to see, his mouth hot against mine. He tasted like everything I wanted, and he kissed like I could reach into his heart and take everything I desired from it.”

Overall, this has every single element that I look for and love in the fantasy I read. This has such a diverse cast, the magic is so unique, the world building is fantastical, the animal companion of Tea’s is everything, Tea herself is the feminist main character I want in every book, the writing is lyrical, I highlighted at least one quote in each chapter, and I mean, this is ultimately a story about demolishing some patriarchies. This story has it all, and I feel so blessed to have been able to read it. This is, without a doubt, going on my “best of 2018” list.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Lilly at Lair of Books ! ❤

Bonus Content:

Cute picture of me and my Grandmother who immigrated here from the Philippines in the 60s, who also loves The Bone Witch! I normally don’t disclose personal things about my family in reviews, but I got permission from her, and I really wanted to emphasize how much this series means to me. My Lola was so happy when I told her one of my favorite books of 2017 (and now of 2018) was written by a Filipino author! And never let anyone tell you that representation doesn’t matter. In your twenties, in your seventies, at any age, it matters. I promise.

March 2018 TBR

March might be a little rough for me, reading wise, because I am going to be in California for a week at the end of the month, and I’m not sure how much reading I will be able to get done. Yet, I still came up with a very ambitious list, which I really hope I can get through! Honestly? All of these books look beyond words amazing, so I hope I’m able to devour them all and to hopefully love them all, too! 💖

Opal (The Raven Cycle #4.5) by Maggie Stiefvater:
This comes out March 1st and I’m beyond words excited! I hope this gives me the Pynch fix I need to hold me over until Ronan’s book! Also, give me all the Opal! I absolutely cannot wait for this short story! And by the time you guys are reading this, I’ve probably already devoured it.

Furyborn (Empirium, #1) by Claire Legrand:
ARC via SourceBooks (Release Date: May 22nd, 2018)
Two girls, a thousand years apart, but somehow connected. This is a YA Fantasy that comes out in May, that showcases a bi main character, and completely has my full attention and all my hype! I am so excited! Buddy read with Jessica, Alexis, Destiny, Jules,
Jenn, Lilly, Imogen, Paula, and Rian! ❤

Circe by Madeline Miller:
ARC via Netgalley (Release Date: April 10th, 2018)
This is honestly the only thing I truly want to read right now. I wish I could completely forget about this entire TBR except for this. This is an Odyssey retelling from Circe’s POV. Please, bless me and my favorite witch in existence.

The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco:
ARC via SourceBooks (Release Date: March 20th, 2018)
This will probably be one of the first things I read, because of the early release date! Yet, I am so damn excited! I loved the first book, The Bone Witch, so much! And I just know that this sequel is not going to disappoint! Also, give me all the necromancer books, please. Plus, this is a buddy read with Lilly! ❤

Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence:
ARC via Penguin (Release Date: April 19th, 2018)
Lord, March is going to be such a blessed month! I am beyond words excited for this. Nona is one of my favorite protagonists of all time, and I can’t wait to see more of her journey in this sequel. I loved Red Sister so much, and it was one of my top ten favorite books of 2017! I just know that Grey Sister is going to make my 2018 list!

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff :
I’m sure this one is on everyone’s TBR this month, but with good reason! The third and final novel in this series is going to be worth all the hype once it comes out on March 13th! You guys probably saw that I read and love Gemina in February, so I couldn’t resist adding this to my TBR! I hope I am able to get to it on release date! *shakes fist at mailman*

High Voltage (Fever #10) by Karen Marie Moning :
You all know I’m trash for this series, and I can’t stop. I honestly can’t wait to read this next installment in my Ireland fae guilty pleasure, when it releases on March 6th! But I did order a signed copy from B&N, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t show up for a few days! *shakes fist at mailman again, even though it is not their fault whatsoever*

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid :
I know, I can’t believe my gay self hasn’t read this one either? But I will be buddy reading this with May & Alexis this month! ❤ And I cannot wait!

The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #1) by Jessica Townsend:
This is going to be a readalong for the BooktubeSFF Awards and a buddy read with Sue & Lourdes! ❤ People are calling this the next Harry Potter, so hopefully this new middle grade novel lives up to the hype! And… hopefully I have a new book world to obsess over!

The Barrow Will Send What it May (Danielle Cain #2) by Margaret Killjoy:
ARC via Tor (Release Date: April 3rd, 2018)
Tor was so kind and sent me both book one and two in this series, so I can’t wait to read and fall in love with both of these this month! Plus, these are supposed to be super queer novels that have some amazing representation inside of them! And… summoning demons is always my aesthetic, let’s be real! Plus, this is going to be a buddy read with Destiny! ❤

Whew, okay, I think that is everything! Again, I really hope to get to all this! And I honestly think I will. I actually can’t remember the last time I was think excited with a TBR! Seriously, perfection! And I’m saying this knowing that March is going to be a very busy month for me! But I wish you all the happiness and all the good books this March, my loves! 💗

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