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Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski // Monsters, Banter and adventure through a dark forest

  GOODREADS // AMAZON // BOOK DEPOSITORY Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever. Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch. This is the story of a cursed princess, A crestfallen killer, The town that wants them to burn, And the witch

Review: Yama’s Lieutenant and the Stone Witch by Anuja Chandramouli

Yama’s Lieutenant and the Stone Witch by Anuja Chandramouli

(I received a free copy of this book from the author and Penguin Random House India in exchange for an honest review.)

As Yama's Lieutenant, Agni Prakash, has diligently been tracking down demons and spirits that threaten peace on earth and dispatching them to his lord's thousand hells. Danger is a constant in his job, but this time an apocalypse threatens his entire world. Agni must go up against a terrifying sorceress-adept in the ancient art of stone magic-and her bestial army of demoniacal creatures who used to be humans before they were transformed into willing killing machines. The witch has a nightmarish vision for a new world that involves large scale culling of the humans-and it falls to Agni to stop her. He must find the Samayakalas, the mysterious keepers of time and reset the clock before all life is destroyed. However, any contact with the Samayakalas is forbidden to mortal and immortal alike and those who flout the ancient decree risk incurring punishment far worse than death. The price asked of him is an impossible one, but Yama's Lieutenant does not have a choice. Enlisting the help of old friends, he must submit to being borne across an ocean of death and destruction to find the Samayakalas before darkness engulfs them all.

(NOTE - The book has some explicitly violent scenes and gory descriptions)

First off, I missed not having enough Mino in this book. In book 1, while the story starts off with Agni as the main character, Mino comes to play a crucial role and I absolutely enjoyed her interactions with the other characters. But here we see more of Agni than any other characters. We also see many new characters who while adding a lot of dimension to the story made me miss the original cast.

“Not every story is about a girl who dreams of romance, waiting impatiently and dramatically for a tall, handsome, strong man to fall hopelessly in love with, in the foolish hope that he will protect her from all harm and give her the happily ever after she has always wanted.”
The stone witch intrigued me so much. I did guess a couple things about her as I was reading but not the entire picture. I quite enjoyed her unique way of getting what she wants done. I also enjoyed getting to know more about Dhumorna's past. While Yami had been the one I sympathized with in book 1, the decisions made by herself and her brother that we learn of in this book irked me to no end. In this book it was Dhumorna I sympathized with and enjoyed reading about.

Like with book 1, book 2 had me guessing till the very end. One of the twists at the end took me unawares and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how it all turned out. Not everything is neatly wrapped up in a bow and things are bittersweet but I quite liked the way things worked. I did feel there were times when the plot was moving too slow but it always got faster before I could feel distracted.

What I love about these books is the fact that the author brings in those parts of Hindu mythology that aren't well known. I've grown up listening to Hindu mythology stories and yet as I read these books I realize there's a lot I don't know. The world Anuja Chandramouli shows us is complex, fascinating and utterly entertaining.

I really hope there is a book 3 because I still have so many questions and would love to see what Agni does with his life after the events of this book. I'd like to see somewhat of a "happily ever after" for our moody hero.

The writing is truly the best part of the book. The author has a way with words that invokes thought and emotion in the readers. This book is so quotable and at many points the words put a smile to my face.

"No, you pessimistic fool, I am saying that if we can find it in ourselves to be miserable even when things are actually pretty good then there should be no difficulty being happy even when there is gloom and doom all around us.."
- The mythology
- The characters
- The plot
- The writing

- The slow parts
- The fact that we see less of some characters

A wonderful sequel that kept me hooked from beginning to end. I would heartily recommend this series to all lovers of dark fantasy.

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