Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

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Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

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Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love–and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.

The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.

Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.

5 STARS

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These Deadly Games by Diana Urban

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These Deadly Games by Diana Urban

Goodreads || The StoryGraph || Bookshop || Diana’s Twitter

Let’s play a game.

You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.

Are you ready?

When Crystal Donavan gets a message on a mysterious app with a video of her little sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play the kidnapper’s game. At first, they make her complete bizarre tasks: steal a test and stuff it in a locker, bake brownies, make a prank call.

But then Crystal realizes each task is meant to hurt—and kill—her friends, one by one. But if she refuses to play, the kidnapper will kill her sister. Is someone trying to take her team out of the running for a gaming tournament? Or have they uncovered a secret from their past, and wants them to pay for what they did…

As Crystal makes the impossible choices between her friends and her sister, she must uncover the truth and find a way to outplay the kidnapper… before it’s too late.

DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 STARS

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Bound by Firelight by Dana Swift

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Bound by Firelight by Dana Swift

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After a magical eruption devastates the kingdom of Belwar, royal heir Adraa is falsely accused of masterminding the destruction and forced to stand trial in front of her people, who see her as a monster. Adraa’s punishment? Imprisonment in the Dome, an impenetrable, magic-infused fortress filled with Belwar’s nastiest criminals—many of whom Adraa put there herself. And they want her to pay.

Jatin, the royal heir to Naupure, has been Adraa’s betrothed, nemesis, and fellow masked vigilante… but now he’s just a boy waiting to ask her the biggest question of their lives. First, though, he’s going to have to do the impossible: break Adraa out of the Dome. And he won’t be able to do it without help from the unlikeliest of sources—a girl from his past with a secret that could put them all at risk.

Time is running out, and the horrors Adraa faces in the Dome are second only to the plot to destabilize and destroy their kingdoms. But Adraa and Jatin have saved the world once already… Now, can they save themselves?

DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3 STARS

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Top 5 Tuesday || Bookish Resolutions for 2022

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January can only mean one thing: starting fresh.

And starting fresh here at Hail & Well Read means sharing bookish resolutions for 2022! Thankfully, Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads made that a T5T topic, saving me from making a million resolutions I’ll struggle to keep. This year, it’s going to be about steady simplicity, about taking one step at a time. And, most importantly, it’s going to be about having a good time. What could be better than that?

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Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

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Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

Goodreads || The StoryGraph || Bookshop || Meg’s Twitter

After angering a local gangster, seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen must flee with her prize fighting wolf, Iska, in tow. A team of scientists offer to pay her way off her frozen planet on one condition: she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Though Sena always swore she’d never race after it claimed both her mothers’ lives, it’s now her only option.

But the tundra is a treacherous place, and as the race unfolds and their lives are threatened at every turn, Sena starts to question her own abilities. She must discover whether she’s strong enough to survive the wild – whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.

DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

EXPECTED JANUARY 11TH, 2022

4.5 STARS

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Hail & Well Read is Joining the Pondathon II!

Pondathon II: The Quiet Pond’s Story-Driven Readathon. A small spade and watering can are crossed with vines wrapped around it frame the words Pondathon II. Three little forest sprites - one with a leaf on its head, another with twigs on its head like antlers, and a mushroom on the other’s head - sit on the words ‘Pondathon’

Last year, the Pondathon was my favorite bookish event. Hosted by The Quiet Pond, it brought together bloggers from around the world to save the Pond from darkness with the power of books and friendship! Now, Hail & Well Read is officially joining the Pondathon II, where we’ll work to restore all that was hurt during the great battle, one little sprout at a time. 💚

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Weekly Wrap || January 1st, 2022

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January 1st, 2022

Happy New Year! I’d say this is going to be my year, but honestly, it’s 2022’s turn to shape up, not mine. Tired of minding my own business and getting body-slammed by the relentless passage of time and constant stream of news, y’know?

But hey, let’s start this year with a bang, right? And with a Weekly Wrap!

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The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White

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The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White

Goodreads || The StoryGraph || Bookshop || Kiersten’s Twitter

While journeying north toward the Dark Queen, Guinevere falls into the hands of her enemies. Behind her are Lancelot, trapped on the other side of the magical barrier they created to protect Camelot, and Arthur, who has been led away from his kingdom, chasing after false promises. But the greatest danger isn’t what lies ahead of Guinevere—it’s what’s been buried inside her.

Vowing to unravel the truth of her past with or without Merlin’s help, Guinevere joins forces with the sorceress Morgana and her son, Mordred—and faces the confusing, forbidden feelings she still harbors for him. When Guinevere makes an agonizing discovery about who she is and how she came to be, she finds herself with an impossible choice: fix a terrible crime, or help prevent war.

Guinevere is determined to set things right, whatever the cost. To defeat a rising evil. To remake a kingdom. To undo the mistakes of the past…even if it means destroying herself.

Guinevere has been a changeling, a witch, a queen—but what does it mean to be just a girl?

DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 STARS

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