Friday, February 16, 2024

Review: The Mirror of Beasts by Alexandra Bracken

It would be impossible to find a more perfect sequel than this. As this book was truly perfection. I couldn't have loved it more. Sigh. Silver in the Bone was such a huge favorite of mine. I have been dying to read The Mirror of Beasts since last summer. It's not out yet, but I was the very luckiest and was gifted an early copy of it.

My precious. It is gorgeous. There is not even a cover yet. But it is going to be stunning, I'm sure of it. I do not know how to write this review of mine. I loved this second book more than anything. It had everything I wished for and so much more. It made me so very happy. It also crushed me, of course. I loved every moment.

I'm starting with the obvious. Five stars for this book. I probably loved it even more than book one. Which makes me very thrilled, as I had been a tiny bit worried, ha. And sure, this book did hurt me and ruin me and make me cry. But it also made me smile so much. It gave me hope. Even when it crushed it afterward. Then made it better again. A little bittersweet at times. But truly so very perfect. And I can honestly say that there was nothing that I did not love about this book. Sigh. A few sad things that I wish had been different, but they needed to be there as well. But most important to me, this book did not make me angry or depressed. It did not make me want to murder these characters, haha. And that is the very best feeling. To fully love a book and all the main characters in it, like I did with this book. Also, perfect writing.

I'm not going to share spoilers about this second book. But I will share spoilers about what happened in book one, Silver in the Bone. Simply because I can now finally talk about some of it, haha. I'm not going to write too much about the plot of this second book, only sharing a little. For the most part this review of mine will be me sharing how much I loved it all. How much this book means to me. How badly I loved the romance between Tamsin and Emrys. Sigh. It was perfection. Even all of their bickering and arguing, ha.

This book takes place right after the first one ends. Tamsin and Neve and Cait and Olwen have just made it safely out of Avalon, back to Tamsin's apartment in Boston. Nash suddenly appeared, no longer dead. And this twist was all kinds of fun and evil and I loved it so. We get to know so much more about Nash in this sequel. And I loved it so. I did not like him much in book one, from just hearing about him. But in this one I think I grew to love him. He was complicated. And had so many secrets. I liked learning all of them.

But oh. These four girls were the only survivors of what happened in Avalon, before that world collided with ours. Not going to say much about what happened back then. But gods, I have to talk a little about it. All four of them are ruined. Heartbroken. All the others died. And in such a gruesome way. And I am still broken about it too. Little Flea. Sobs. And all the other lovely people too. They did not deserve to die like that. Shudders. But it did make for a most excellent story, of course. But yes. Those deaths hurt my soul.

And then knowing that Cabell knew about it and did nothing to stop it. He did not kill anyone, but he did not save them either. He knew they were going to die. And that hurt so badly. Tamsin is not happy with her brother. Yet she wonders if he can be saved, if he is controlled by Lord Death. We learn much more about all of this in this book. And I loved it so. I was so unsure about Cabell. If he could be forgiven or not. What he did was not right. But oh, I loved reading about him. We even get a few small chapters from him.

And then there was Emrys. And how he left Tamsin and the others, taking the Ring of Dispel for himself. He left without knowing what had happened to everyone else, how they all died. This ruined Tamsin. How he left her behind. It broke her heart. And mine too. Though my heart was way more forgiving, ha. I knew he had a reason for leaving, to save his mom. And I did not blame him for it. But Tamsin did. Aw. But I did understand her feelings. But yes. It hurt. They spend some of the book with Tamsin being angry at Emrys.

But they are still together. Okay, not as a couple. But sharing the adventure together. And that made me beyond happy. Because it gave Emrys the chance to explain himself more. To try to earn back their trust. And I loved that. Sigh. We learn so much more about this precious damaged boy in this sequel. And I just loved him more and more, ha. He was the best. And so very broken. And I loved that about him. We get to see how he got his scars. What happened to him. And that broke me even more. Shudders. So good.

I'm not going to say too much more about the romance. Tamsin is angry with Emrys. Yet she understand him too, somewhat. And I loved how they slowly tried to get past it. Well, him at least. It takes some time. But yeah. The romance in this book was the actual best and I loved it the very most. Sigh. There is also the small romance of Neve and Cait. How they both obviously likes the other one. I loved reading about them. Too cute. And the friendship of these four girls. It was truly the best, how they cared for each other.

There is just too much going on with this book. I could probably write about it forever. But not going to share too much about the plot. But yes. Lord Death is now freed from Avalon. And he's returned to our world to hunt down the sorceresses to get something back from them. He kills so many. Shudders. He was such a great villain, though. And I loved that. And I did like getting to know more about him as well. Though I despised him. We learn more about the sorceresses, which I liked. And the bonecutter. Loved.

This book is mostly about Lord Death hunting for something. And Tamsin and her friends hunting for a way to stop him, to kill him. They are looking for the Mirror of the Beasts. And I very much enjoyed that plot point. It was fun and exciting to read about. They do so much in this book. So many heartbreaking scenes. So much action and death and hurt. I loved every moment. I fully loved how Emrys kept saving Tamsin. But also how she saved herself, how she changed. She was so fierce and brave and amazing.

I just cannot thank Alexandra enough for sharing this early copy with me. Thank you lovely. I am beyond happy and thankful. And so very happy. Getting to read this book right now was much needed. It healed my heart, in a way. After that ending to book one, haha. I have spent ages wondering what would happen next. And to now have read it all. Sigh. It means the most to me. And I just truly loved this book to pieces. Thank you for writing this book. These characters. Creating this world and magic. For Tamsin and Emrys.

The Mirror of Beasts was the most perfect second book. I truly loved every moment of this and I could not stop reading. It was exciting and thrilling from beginning to end. I loved the all of the magic in this book. I loved how it is the history of Avalon and king Arthur with changes, all of them good. I very much enjoyed getting to read more about all of these stunning characters. The romance in this book murdered me. Both the main one and the side characters one. They were adorable. This dulogy could not have ended better.

Just because I cannot stop mentioning it, I have to write about it a little bit more, haha. I think I managed to write my review without that many spoilers. Despite wanting to share everything that happened. But I will not. As you need to read this book for yourself. It is so worth the pain. Because this book is filled with love. Family love, romantic love, sisterly love. All of them perfectly written. Sigh. I just can't get over how badly I loved these two books. They were perfect for me. I will be re-reading this series again and again.

I will be updating this review of mine with the actual cover for this book once that is out. But for now, the cover of my manuscript edition will do. It is so precious to me. Can't wait to own every single copy of this book as well, eee. And gods, I'm excited for the cover. I'm sure it will be beautiful and epic. This book was everything to me. And you are all going to love it too, when it comes out at the end of July. It is worth the wait. So glad that I re-read Silver in the Bone first, so I had every detail fresh. I loved them both so much.


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