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Marrow Charm

(The Gate Cycle #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Azure Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic. One where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above. Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities. A sickness that doesn't merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, da ...more
Kindle Edition, 346 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by The Parliament House
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was ok

I started reading this on October 11, 2019. The beginning totally blew my mind; it was that great.

And then Armin appeared I just could not stand him. So, I took a break. Then it was almost the end of July 2020; it felt like this book would remain on my Currently reading shelf forever. So, I sort of challenged myself.

August 3, 2020, and I did manage to finish this! Really proud moment for me.

While I did manage to finish this, I still cannot rate this very high if only because of how long it to
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Solid fantasy! My only criticism is I never truly matched the summary concerning The Third Reich. There were hints of it but I thought that piece could have been more developed.

That being said, I didn't feel the story was missing much without that connection. Characters were solid and I enjoyed reading from the different perspectives. The Wolf reminded me a bit of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, which I really enjoyed.

The conclusion leaves a lot of loose ends and I will waiting for the seque
Candace Robinson
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read several books by this author and what I love most is that each one is different yet all amazing! The writing in Marrow Charm is especially wonderful and lush with gorgeous world building and a unique plot. We get multiple POVs here, each told in third person and they are all my little babies!

The characters all had distinct personalities and I especially loved Azzy and Kai! Also, I need book 2 already!
Marta Cox
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, my-reviews
This turned out to be an intense dystopian story that actually felt more like a fantasy. It’s set in a future when mankind have retreated below ground to escape the horrors unleashed above. Magic is a taint that twists and alters those infected meaning monsters roam at will and normal humans fear for their lives.
We meet Azzy who lives with her brother Armin and their guardian in Heap, an underground city that’s gradually decaying. Azzy is resourceful, caring and frequently ventures above seekin
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Although I got an advanced reader's copy from Netgalley, this book is officially out as from today and I recommend everyone to get it!

When starting this, I found it to be slow tbh, and It took me awhile to actually start enjoying it. But when it became good, it stayed that way until the end.

Majority of this book is spent, by the main character (Azure), trying to find her brother who was cast out from their society because of his magic/power. It was slow at first until a wolf that she rescued a w
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2019
This is such an AWESOME book!!! A friend recommended it to me, and I am SO GLAD she did!!!!! I would have missed out on an AMAZING story!!!!

The world in this book is sooo well written, that I felt like I was there! And there is a lot going on in this world. There is the below, where the story begins, and then there’s the above!!! Neither is safe really. Magic has done a job on the people, mentally and physically. The main character, Azure or Azzy, goes above ground with her guardian, Bixby, to s
Anja H.
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

This was a really good book! It took me a while to finish though.

It's been a while since I read a dystopian, and I love what the author tried to do here. She introduced us a rich world with wild magic and a whole new system, but it was a bit much at times, because I feel like you really get thrown into the middle of it all right from the start!

This was basically non-stop action, with Azzy and Armin hurtling from one bad event to the next, and I just couldn't fathom how one (o
Magic is unruly. It cannot be controlled. When released it breeds dark creatures, creates monsters from pure flesh and diseases born of magic meant to consume.

In a moment when words are greatly needed I am at a loss to properly articulate the captivating read this was for me. The author writes fluently and effortless bringing the scenes and characters to life in your mind. This book could easily be considered horrific with the description of the Above creatures and the natives to the territory.
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
Book – Marrow Charm
Author – Kristin Jacques
Series – The Gate Cycle
Cliffhanger? - Yes
Publication Date – October 1, 2019
Genre – YA Dystopian/Fantasy
Rating – 4 1/4 out of 5 Stars

Complimentary copy generously provided by the author through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts - Story

OMG…it’s been awhile since I’ve read anything other than Historical Fantasy and what a treat it was to be able to read Marrow Charm where we mesh the fantasy with the dystopian and on top of that…this
Amber R. Duell
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kristin's voice is abolsutely magical! As is this story! ...more
Laura ☾
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review *

4 stars!

Marrow Charm is a fantasy/horror tale set in a dystopian world, where the few Humans who survive live below ground in makeshift towns, because the world above-ground is crawling with monsters. The protagonist, Azure (Azzy) is a fierce heroine, who doesn’t agree with how society below-ground is (including gruesome practices such as eating their deceased, and casting out those who are ‘tainte
Sheila Goicea
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, The Parliament House, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.


All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

Content Warning: Cannibalism, Death, Gore, Slavery, Injury, Abduction

We fear magic and those who are tainted by it. So quick to exile these doomed souls, be they innocent youths or beloved spouses. We expel those who fall prey to their own
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-tbr, 2019-reads
This book was just what I needed right now - filled with page turning action and a heroine I could root for. I got major Bloodborne vibes or any kind of Gothic video game as we would encounter monsters like bosses in the story - but not all monsters were evil (which I high-key enjoyed). Azzy is also our relatable protagonist who kicks some serious butt with a wolf companion as she goes on a journey to save her brother. Super interesting with a very atmospheric world, this was such a thrilling re ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
This was amazing! From the very beginning I was sucked into this story and it just got crazier and more exciting. The sibling bond between Azzy and Armin was my favorite part of the story. I love seeing siblings that are close and would do anything for each other. Azzy is a great main character, she cares for others, even those she doesn't know well, and will take on blame or pain if she thinks it will help someone else. She made a lot of great friendships throughout the story, especially the wo ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren Stoolfire
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground, but Below is no safer than Above. Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determi
Spirited Stardust
I can't believe this book hasn't been published - it's friggin awesome! ...more
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Today is my spot on the blog tour for 𝐌𝐀𝐑𝐑𝐎𝐖 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐌 by Kristin Jacques who was a finalist in the Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Awards (BBNYA). Thank you to TheWriteReads for having me along on the tour and sending me an ebook copy.
𝐈𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐚𝐭𝐞. 𝐋𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐥𝐥. 𝐇𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧'𝐭 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐚 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐲. 𝐈𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥, 𝐜𝐫𝐮𝐞𝐥 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐨𝐬. 𝐈𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐮𝐩𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐭 𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭
Katherine Paschal
**3.5 Stars**

I had heard that this was a fantastic read by a friend and I was intrigued to read it, but I will admit that I knew nothing about the book when I started reading it (I completely forgot what the synopsis said since I read it so long ago) so I basically went into this story blind which made for a very interesting reading experience.

This was a very dark story, with graphic imagery of death/destruction and cannibalism, survival and all other kinds of torture and messed up situations. T
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much The Parliament House!

Marrow Charm, though it was interesting and great at some parts, can be confusing and a bit of a letdown. There’s an interesting world-building and a fast-paced story line, but the plot, for me, failed to bring me as a reader to new heights. I give this one 2.5 stars

Atmospheric writing
The writing was one of the things I really liked about this book. It was dark, it was atmo
Julie - One Book More
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story! It’s a bit darker than my usual read, but the setting, the characters, the suspenseful action-packed plot, and so much more captivated me from the first pages. Atmospheric and immersive, the story is fast-paced as it follows Azzy on her journey to find her brother Armin.

Gritty, dark, and atmospheric, this unique dystopian fantasy is set in a world ravaged by magic. Humans live Below in underground communities that are slowly dwindling. Azzy, the protagonist, doesn’t agree wit
Pattricia Mesa
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2019-reads
Yesterday when I completed this book, I had a panic attack; not because the book ended in a cliffhanger, but because the last author’s note informed that Azzy (the leading character) needed more readers for her story to continue. I still don't know if that's the case since I got an e-ARC, but before I proceed to write my in-detail review, I want to invite everyone reading my words to please give this story a try. I promise that by the end of it, you're going to be thankful you were introduced to ...more
Tracy Auerbach
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was such an unexpectedly wild ride, full of heart-wrenchingly tragic circumstances, exotic creatures, and complex relationships.

Marrow Charm springs off its pages with beautifully descriptive writing and an interesting, unique tone. After reading so many books, it’s rare that I find a truly fresh voice, and Jacques did not disappoint in that area.

I found myself continually drawn back into Azzy and Armin’s world, enjoying both perspectives and equally captivated by what was slowly revea
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. I was so excited when Parliament Press sent me this book to review, and it did not disappoint.
Kristin Jacques weaves a world that is full of horror and beauty in this dark sci-fi/fantasy novel. Azzy is an incredible character that you begin to root for from the very first chapter. Weaving in magic and a post-modern world that has been destroyed by war isn't an easy task, but Kristin walks the line of science fiction and fantasy seamlessly.
The tension is this book is incredible,
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
Book source ~ BBNYA

Azure “Azzy” Brimvine and her younger brother Armin have lived with their guardian, Brixby, ever since their mother was killed. As an Apothecary he is training them to his craft, but Armin is showing signs of being infected with the Rot, a magic that eats away at a human. It won’t be long before he is cast out to the Above and there’s no way Azzy is going to let him go alone. The Heap may be a crappy place to live Below, but Above is filled with monsters. Sooner than expected
T.B. Caine

World building is great
Characters are all great
Dialogue was great


I don’t have any complaints with the writing or the delivery. It was all really solid. Like a solid 5/5 with no complaints.
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was intriguing from start to finish as we follow Azure (or Azzy as she is referred to throughout the book) on her journey to go and rescue her brother that tests her continuously and brings her into contact with a variety of threats as well as friends along the way, discovering things about herself in the process. I loved the plot and honestly, the ending had me incredibly intrigued and I will be definitely be finishing this series at some point! I need to find out what happens to Azzy ...more
Kayla J. ~ Master of Dragons & Assassins
Review to come.
Shorouk Abd Elhamid
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: under_rated, e-arc
This book was provided as an e-arc by netgally

I loved this book.The story starts with a fight with an eight eyed creature and I became instantaneously hooked.I loved the family aspect here alot. Both of them were compassionate and perfect.

The world was very interesting but I think we needed a little more info in the beginning. There was always something new happening that we can learn from and that was a great point for me to be intrigued the whole time.By the ending,I was totally immersed in th
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolute page-turner. Love the level of creativity this author has. Can't wait for the next one! ...more
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Mother of two, caffeine addict, sleep deprived book eater.
Kristin Jacques writes primarily speculative fiction, dabbling with dark adventures, monsters, mayhem, and the occasional sarcastic zombie.
When not at her computer spinning tales she is generally herding cats or snuggling with her gremlins.

A Multi Award Winning Author of Fantastical YA & Adult Fiction.

Other books in the series

The Gate Cycle (3 books)
  • Skin Curse (The Gate Cycle, #2)
  • Blood Vow (The Gate Cycle, #3)

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