SST Blog Tour: Bound By Blood And Sand

Bound by Blood and Sand
Review & Give Away!!

24157098Jae is a slave in a dying desert world.

Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn’t mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she’ll be free.

Lord Elan’s family rules the fading realm. He comes to the estate where Jae works, searching for the hidden magic needed to replenish the Well, but it’s Jae who finds it, and she who must wield it. Desperate to save his realm, Elan begs her to use it to locate the Well.

But why would a slave—abused, beaten, and treated as less than human—want to save the system that shackles her? Jae would rather see the world burn.

Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the kingdom’s slaves are freed. Then Elan’s father arrives. The ruler’s cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change—and that Jae will remain a slave forever.

Bound By Blood and Sand
Written by Becky Allen
Published by Delacorte Press October 11th 2016
Rating: 4 Stars

My first impression of the cover was WOW. I haven’t read many book set in the desert, so I was excited, and it set a tone right away; beautiful and harsh. That tone was written into every line and the world was described vividly. I could feel the hot sand and parched land of Aredann and it really helped me understand the main character Jae.

“The future was chaos, war and blood and thirst, ending with everyone’s bones bleached in the desert” (Page 110)

Jae is a Closest, cursed long ago for her people’s betrayal. The curse was genius on Allen’s part. I immediately felt so much for the Closest, to have to do everything your superiors told you. EVERYTHING. To not be able to speak unless spoken to. To not be able to keep any secrets. It was unthinkable. Then Jae discovered her elemental magic and I LOVE elemental magic so I was all in at this point. This didn’t suddenly make her life easy though, instead she faced further conflicts as a gifted Closest. I really liked the way Allen wrote the magic system, the legend, the discovery; it had all the elements fantasy readers will love while feeling fresh and new. The story’s relationship focus was between Jae and her brother Tal, rather than a romantic interest which was also a nice change. It really put the focus on the curse and Jaes fear of discovery.

“If you die, the world can turn to dust for all I care” (Page 284)

The reader starts to get the idea that maybe not everything Jae and the Closest have been told is true. Allen didn’t dump the truth on us like a bucket of water instead like the opening of a desert flower the truth was reveal slowly, piece by piece. I enjoyed this because it kept me intrigued and the pages turning. And man can she write a good villain! On page 183 I was about ready to kick some Highest butt myself, Elthis was unbearable! Thankfully his son Elan did not follow in his footsteps. I wasnt sure whose side he was on but when he chose Jae I was cheering “Go Elan!” as I read. Together Jae, Tal and Elan are racing against time to try to save the Well and the Closest from the Highests greed and lies. Jae isn’t so sure that she’s the good guy though. Once she discovers her powers she doesn’t always do the most noble thing. She could destroy the world or save it and after all she has been through, which will she choose?

“..the first thing she’d done with her freedom was kill. But she’d grown flowers too” (Page 206)

Honestly I thought she might let the world burn, some of its inhabitants had it coming. The ending was a bit of surprise to me though. The sacrifice that is made, the choice, is so powerful because for the closest being able to choose anything is a big deal. Not going to lie I teared up right here.

“You said it was a sacrifice, coming from me its a gift” (Page 283)

The ending wrapped up nicely but left so many possibilities open and a long journey still to come. I’m excited to see if more Closest find their magic. I’m also interested to see if there is a potential love interest between two of the characters in the future? Maybe? I look forward to finding out in book two!

Click here to add Bound by Blood and Sand to your Goodreads

You can purchase a copy on Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~ Indigo

Meet The Author:becky

Becky Allen grew up in a tiny town outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the website director of TheBody.com, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism. Becky lives in New York City.

Check out her full bio at http://www.beckyallenbooks.com/about-me/

Find her on: Twitter ~ Tumblr ~ Instagram ~ Facebook

And enter the giveaway!! a Rafflecopter giveaway


Stacking The Shelves


Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews It’s all about sharing the books you recently added to your shelves, because as book lovers we get pretty excited about new books!

I haven’t done one of these posts in a long time, in fact I looked back and it’s been four months! Here’s the thing, I’m a chronic book hoarder. I said it, and so I have no idea how many books I’ve acquired in the last four months – a lot is safe to say. So this is just my best guess.


Books I bought
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Empire Of Storms by Sarah J Maas
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (with red pages!!)
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Shadowfell by Juliet Mariller

Books I bought Second Hand
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

Book I Received As Gifts / From Subcriptions
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling

Books Received In Trades
Scythe by Neil Shusterman
Vicarious by  Paula Stokes
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M Valente
Sweep by Cate Tiernan

Books For Review
The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett
The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova
The Bone Witch by Rin Chuppeco

Phew, that was a long list! Not as bad as I thought it would be for four months worth though. What books are gracing your shelves most recently?


These Broken Liars of the Rock – 3 Mini Reviews

4932435Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchette – 3.5 Stars
I added this book to my TBR because it was recommended to me over and over and then it was kindly gifted to me by my #otspsecretsister. It had so many elements that I enjoy but it was still missing something. I loved the journey and the adventure, sometimes it was a little slow but those parts were full of entertaining dialogue. I also really enjoyed how the “prophecy” unfolded and resolved itself. Isaboe was my favourite character, strong in so many ways and spunky too. BUT, I was never sucked in – forced to stay up late to keep the pages turning. I think there were a couple of things that really left me wanting more. I never clicked with the main character, he didn’t even feel like he was crucial to any part of the story except to give strength to Isaboe. I also felt like the return to their kingdom was hugely anticlimactic? I thought it would take longer and more – I thought there would be heartbreaking loses. The ending left things well tied up so I don’t feel a NEED to read the next book. I’m undecided about continuing the series.

Favourite Quote
“Then I choose to drown. In hope. Rather than float into nothing.”



We Were Liars be E Lockhart – 3 Stars
I won this book from BookOutlet, so I knew nothing about it and didn’t know what to expect. The story had nice pacing and I really enjoyed the main characters voice, it had a lyrical quality to it. The friendships were heartwarming and the romance had that summer love feeling. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the story – that is until the reveal at the end! I admit I like happy endings but I would have been okay with some tragedy, it is a mystery after all, but this was a train wreck! Not a reflection on the writer, just my personal taste. I think it’s worth the read but I don’t think it will make the re-read list.

Favourite Quote
“What if we could stop being different colors, different backgrounds, and just be in love?”



These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – 4 Stars

I love it when I pick up a book I know next to nothing about and discover its this amazing gem I’ve been missing. That’s how I felt about These Broken Stars. I had heard good things and put it on my TBR with no intention of reading it anytime soon. Then I saw it was an audiobook I could listen to on Overdrive and since I needed an audio book at that moment I decided to give it a try. Immediately I liked that there were two narrators, it brings the characters to life in a way one can’t. I also felt their voices matched the characters personalities, because sometimes they don’t and it’s awkward to listen to. (IMO) There were  interludes where Tarver is being interviewed and the story becomes a recounting of the events that occurred when he and Lilac were stranded on an alien planet. He sees her as a princess and he’s kind of right but she really proves there’s more to her than the first impression. It’s a little cliché when two people are stuck together and fall in love but honestly it was done so right and so beautifully. The pacing was great and the atmosphere was incredible. (The audio music helped) It felt eery and gave me goose bumps a few times. The emotions between Lilac and Tarver was electric and that twist! It was heart wrenching and I did NOT see it coming at all. I highly recommend you read These Broken Stars.

Favourite Quote:
“Then she smiles, and it turns out she has dimples, and it’s all over.”


ttt (2)

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Names I Love


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week there is a new bookish topic. For more details, and how to participate, click the link above.

Charcter Names i love

And would name my child…

Aelin – From Throne of Glass; before my son was born this was on the top of my list of girls names, next to Sage and Brynn

Jesper – From Six of Crows, I feel like I could never use this because it is too similar to my own name but I still love it

Octavia – I LOVE this name from The 100

Mattias –  From Six of Crows, I have always likes Matt for short

Nikolai –  From Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo; my favourite character

Ronan – From The Raven Boys, OR Rowan from Throne of Glass, I liked both when naming my son but Rowan has been a girls name lately and he didn’t look like a Ronan.

And would name my pet…

Karou – I think this is the perfect name for a kitty

Kenobi – Just realized my two future cats will start with the letter K

Chainsaw – I already did this, I named my two chickens Chainsaw and Henriette

Gemma – From The Young Elites, I have always wanted to name a sweet little pit bull this.

Page 394


Page 394 is an original meme that began here at Novelcravings. The meme is simple, turn to page 394 in your current read or a favourite book, find a passage you love and share it with us! Everyone is welcome to join. Please remember to link back to this page and share the link to your blog post in the comments below. The meme happens on the 14th of every month.

Minor Spoiler Ahead!

This week I will be quoting Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

  “This was the kiss he’d been waiting for. It was a gunshot. It was prairie fire. It was the spin of the Makker’s Wheel”

Page 394 (395)

I kind of cheated for this one, the quote is actually from page 395… but it was so beautiful! This romance is the one I was really, really rooting for and I was so happy when I read this passage. Which couple is your favourite? I’m also just not ready for this book to be over you guys. So much so that I have not read the last chapter. I know, that’s ridiculous but I’m not ready!!

What is on your Page 394?