Welcome to my blog tour stop for Macario’s Scepter by M. J. McGriff! This tour is hosted by MTMC Tours! An unlikely Chosen One, her pirate captain ex-lover, and a nun. A prophecy that unleashes a fire-breathing sea serpent pouring its wrath on the isles and a magical scepter with the power to destroy—or save—the world. This YA Fantasy (first in a series!) released on April 13th, 2020.
Keep reading for the book information, my review (with GIFs!), an international giveaway, an excerpt from the book, and the links to the other tour stops!
Book Information & Synopsis:
Title: Macario’s Scepter
Author: M.J. McGriff
Series: Magian #1
Publishing Date: April 13, 2020
Genres: YA Fantasy
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Samara is a ship wrecked at sea. She can’t seem to get anything right, especially her love life. Her former pirate captain, the famous Baz Blackwater, broke her heart and stranded her on an island of religious hypocrites. Samara wants nothing more than to escape to the freedom of the sea, so when her ex-lover shows up offering a chance at a magical treasure—and secret revenge—she jumps at the chance.
Seraphina prays every day for her wayward twin sister to stop chasing the pirate life and find the peace she’s discovered in her own quiet life at the convent. But Samara has nothing but contempt for her sister’s beliefs and religious rituals. Yet when Seraphina uncovers an ancient prophecy revealing the horrifying curse of the treasure Samara and Baz seek, she must leave her convent—risking the wrath of her Order—and search for the truth about Macario’s scepter.
In a world of friendship and betrayal, monsters and magic, seedy pubs and adventure on the high seas, will Samara’s magical powers, Baz’s cunning plans, and Seraphina’s unshakable faith be enough to slay a cursed sea serpent destroying everything they love?
Book 2 of the series, The Secret Library, will be released in the Spring 2021! While you wait, you can read a free short story that takes place in the world of the Magian series by signing up to MJ McGriff’s email list.
Baz smiled and leaned on the table next to Lady Kanti, the most desperate of them all.
“That scepter will bring this cove the notoriety it lacks and the coin you need to keep this place afloat.”
None of them could say a word. Admitting his plan was sound would injure their egos. And they are such fragile things.
I received an ARC of this book, and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
Samara can’t wait to find a way off the island she’s stuck on. After being abandoned by her former pirate captain and ex-lover, she has to take on miserable jobs to try to earn enough to get away. Seraphina wishes her sister would live a more respectable life. While Samara loves adventure, Seraphina prefers the quiet life in the convent. Both of the girls’ lives are upended when Baz, Samara’s ex-lover, reappears and needs Samara’s help to retrieve an ancient treasure. Samara isn’t eager to spend time with him, but she needs to get off the island. But Seraphina learns there’s a dangerous prophecy surrounding the treasure and sets off to save her and possibly the world.
This book was so fun! An unexpected Chosen One teams up with her pirate ex-lover while being assisted by her sister who is a nun—this isn’t your typical “Chosen One and friends save the world” story! The story is told from 3 POVs: Samara, Seraphina, and Baz. They all have very different perspectives which made the story even more entertaining!
I really liked how each of the characters had their own struggles. Samara is aware she doesn’t quite fit the Chosen One stereotype and doesn’t know how she’s supposed to save the world. Seraphina learns that her Order has many flaws and that the world outside the convent is quite cruel. Baz has some big shoes to fill as the newly-appointed captain of The Pursuer. While the story itself is very interesting, it was also enjoyable to watch the characters learn and grow!
The story is pretty fast-paced! I love a good pirate story, and this one did not disappoint! More and more enemies appear, plans are thwarted and adjusted, magic powers are hard to control, and lives are lost… This is much more than Samara, Seraphina, and Baz signed up for!
How I imagine Baz feels at this point:
Samara’s reaction to being the Chosen One:
Seraphina after learning about the prophecy:
I also need to mention some side characters! Mari and Jules, in particular, were some of my favorite characters! Mari, a kickbutt lady pirate, and Jules, a gentle older pirate, are members of Baz’s crew and I really loved all of their scenes!
Overall, this book is fun and adventurous! With an excellent cast of characters, an action-packed plot, and intense fight scenes, this book kept me engaged and intrigued! I would recommend to fans of pirates and fantasy books!
About M.J. McGriff:
MJ McGriff writes fast-paced YA fantasy and sci-fi stories featuring pirates, exotic locations, and amazing characters of color. She loves all things Marvel, Star Wars, and whatever she can find on a dessert menu. She lives in sunny South Florida with her two daughters who love to play pretend just as much as she does.
INTL Tour-wide Giveaway!
Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a hardcover of Macario’s Scepter via Book Depository! This is open internationally & it ends on August 4th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST.
Review Thick & Thin
The Reader and the Chef
The Lady With Books
The Bookish Raven
Head over to my bookstagram to see my post for Macario’s Scepter!
Thanks so much for following along with me today! I hope you enjoyed this tour stop! Happy reading, everyone!