King of Fools by Amanda Foody – Spoiler Free Review

Title: King of Fools
Series Name: The Shadow Game
Author: Amanda Foody
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: April 30th, 2019
Pages: 599 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Ink Yard Press
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

Writing

There hasn’t been a book written by Amanda Foody that I haven’t loved so far! Her ability to create absolutely incredibly detailed and unique worlds is just outstanding. You never know what you are going to discover next or what mystery will be unravelled about these worlds. It’s constant and I love it. The world of New Reynes is just so amazingly developed I can’t believe it’s not real. Next are her magic systems which are intricate, unique and interesting! I absolutely love them! Everything about this book is detailed, developed & amazingly written!

Plot

Just oh my god! The plot flowed amazingly. It had the perfect amount of action and false sense of security! SOO much happens in this book but it never feels overwhelming or unrealistic. Just perfectly action packed, heart breaking and gripping! This book will keep you at the edge of your seat most of the way through!

Characters

The characters of this book are so well developed they feel real. You see them grow throughout the book. There are characters you will love, once you will hate & ones that you will constantly be confused as to whether you love or hate them. They are so well written!
I love that we followed 3 POVs in this book as opposed to only 2 that we had in Ace of Shades. As well as Enne & Levi we also follow Jac in King of Fools which I loved. Jac is an amazing character having him as a POV just bought him to life even more.

Overall

King of Fools was an amazing sequel to Ace of Shades. Amanda Foody is starting to become one of my all time favourite authors! Especially if she keeps creating amazing books! The worlds, the magic, the characters, the plot! Everything is just soo freaking well done!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Booktopia
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Angus & Robertson
Paperback // Hardcover

Book Depository
Paperback // Hardcover

Have you read King of Fools? What are your thoughts on the Magic System & World?!

Have you read Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody? Does King of Fools live up to it? Or better?

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Contagion by Erin Bowman – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Contagion
Series Name: Contagion
Author: Erin Bowman
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Horror
Publication Date: July 24th, 2018
Pages: 423 (Hardcover)
Publishers: HarperTeen
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

When they arrive, they find the planet littered with the remains of the project—including its members’ dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could have possibly decimated an entire project, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

It got in us.

Writing

Oh my god!
This book was SO intense, SO gripping, SO interesting and just my god! I could not put this book down! The writing was awesome. There was the perfect amount of world building, character development, action, creepiness, sarcasm & second guessing. It was just awesome. It flowed really well & there was never any confusion. The atmosphere of this book was just outstanding. You could feel it & you could see it playing out, it was just amazingly written! I don’t read horror too often & this is Sci-Fi Horror and it definitely came through. The creepiness was just everywhere. Like if I heard a noise in the real world when I was deep in this book I would nearly shit myself. The writing just drags you so far into this story that it will feel real.

Most are dead.

Plot

This book did not slow down from start to finish! And it worked perfectly that way. The plot was unpredictable, action packed & intense in the best ways possible!

Don’t set foot here again.

Characters

These characters were just all over the place. In the best way. You never know who to trust, who has secrets, who is just doing something for their own gain & who is hiding something that could change everything! This is multi POV & in every POV you end up second guessing another character who you thought you trusted. All the characters were written amazingly & I loved and hated them all a little bit. They all developed over the course of the book, some in bad ways & some in worse ways. They all felt so fleshed out & were just so well written!

Don’t trust the kid.

Overall

This book was just so well done! Everything was written amazingly & the suspense was insane throughout the whole book! I can’t wait for book 2 which comes out very soon! 2nd of July which happens to be my birthday!! So that is super convenient!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Booktopia
Hardcover // Paperback

Angus and Robertson
Hardcover // Paperback

Book Depository
Hardcover // Paperback

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Hardcover // Paperback

Have you read Contagion
Are you keen for book 2 as much as me?!

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The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields – Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Bone Charmer
Author: Breeana Shields
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: May 21st, 2019
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Page Street Publishing
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.

Writing

This book was actually REALLY good! The writing was very gripping & interesting. I read 75% of this book in 1 day because I was just so into the story, I just couldn’t put it down! I really enjoyed the writing. The author did an awesome job of describing the world & magic system thoroughly but it never felt like info dumping which was awesome. The characters developed well throughout the book, some good & some bad but the development was there and it felt natural.

Plot

The plot of this book is so freaking interesting. This book basically follows two possible futures after a certain point in time and it was done SOO well! There was action & drama in both sides that kept you on your toes! It was very unpredictable as well which is awesome. The whole plot just flowed really well on both sides. I thought things might of been confusing but that definitely wasn’t the case. The author did an awesome job of writing this unique plot and I loved it.

I also love that there was never any confusion when it came to the 2 different plots we were following. Obviously both sides followed the same MC & I feel like she felt different in each side and she developed differently because of what she went through on that side. It was just written really well!

Characters

The characters are kinda hard to talk about because there were 2 versions of most characters, one in each possible future. The characters in each future developed really well though & I was really invested in these characters. Especially so on one of the futures and I really liked one of the romances , which is really weird as I’m just not usually that person. All the characters were really well done, the good guys & the bad guys. They were all written very well! I think that is all I’ll say about the characters as otherwise it is going to get too confusing by trying to avoid spoilers if I actually talk about the characters individually.

Overall

I really enjoyed this book! The characters were awesome, the world was super interesting, the magic system was unique and interesting as well. Everything about this book was just interesting & fun. It dragged me in and did not want to let go! I really hope there is a sequel to this book. It ended as if it was leading into another book but there is no series for this book on Goodreads and I can’t find any info for it! I really hope there is though! It was just so good and also, like I said, the ending felt like it was leading somewhere else & I need to know!!

Thank you to NetGalley & Page Street Publishing for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Booktopia
Hardcover

Book Depository
Hardcover

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Hardcover

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Hardcover // eBook

Have you read The Bone Charmer?
What did you think of that plot?!

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Fantasy JourneyAThon | Reading Challenge Examples

I thought it might be helpful to do up a post of options of books that you could read for each of the challenges. These aren’t recommendations as I haven’t read all of them.

Fantasy JourneyAThon Announcement Post

You are welcome to interpret these challenges as you please. As long as you can explain why the book you choose fits the challenge.

Also all of these options are YA books, of course you are welcome to read Adult & Middle Grade books but the lists would be never ending if I included all books. So YA narrows it down a bit for me. Also I’m more familiar with YA books, so it’s easy to know what fits the challenges.

I also won’t bother explaining every book in every subject unless I think it needs it.

New Beijing – Read a Sci-Fi Book

Sheol 1 – Read a Dystopian Book

Kalyazin – Read a book with Blood on the Cover OR Read a book with a Red Cover

Blood on the Cover

Book with a Red Cover

Medora – Read a book with the ‘Chosen One’ Trope

Emberfall – Read a Retelling/Reimagining

Dustwalk – Read a book about a Rebellion 

New Reynes – Read a book that has a Card Suit on the cover

This is a challenge that has many ways to interpret it. You can choose a book with a ♥️ or a human heart. You can choose a book with a ♦️ or a 💎. Or a book with ‘Heart’, ‘Diamond’, ‘Spade’ or ‘Club’ in the title.

Ellingham Academy – Read a Mystery Book

The Shire – Read a book that is at least 10 years old

The Ice Court – Read a book following ‘Criminals’

Fennbirn – Read a book with Multiple POV

Cabeswater – Read a book that involves a King 

Hogwarts – Read a book that is set in a Magical School

Well that is all the Challenges! If you have any recommendations, please put them in the comments so others can get some inspiration on what to read.

What are you most looking forward to reading during Fantasy JourneyAThon?!

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

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Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Wicked Saints
Series Name: Something Dark and Holy
Author: Emily A Duncan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019
Pages: 385 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Wednesday Books (St. Martin’s Press)
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

An instant New York Times bestseller!

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

Writing

Okay, this book was quite disappointing to me in many ways. One of which was the lack or world building & explanation around the magic systems. While I wasn’t necessarily confused about the magic, there just wasn’t enough of it! We were only told the bear minimum of what it can do, not how or why or any background. Again for the world building, there was barely any! I feel like I don’t know any background about the world, the magic, the war or anything really. The book was quite fast paced but I think that was part of it’s downfall as there was never slow points to be able to explain anything.

This book felt very centred around the characters which meant the plot felt very lacking. However, even though it felt more character driven the characters were very lacking and under developed as well.

I also want to talk on the fact that this book was advertised a ‘villain romance’ but this slightly spoilery, so skip to the Plot section if you don’t want spoilers.
I honestly don’t see this as a villain romance. Nadya falls into Mal’s group SO quickly. There was inner turmoil because of what he was, throughout but she never really acted on that! She just accepted him, trusted him and fell for him so quickly! Even as a reader, he didn’t feel like a villain for 80% of the book. He was a little questionable but it all seemed genuine until the very end when he betrayed her. So yeah, I really don’t think this is even a villain romance. It’s just a romance but one character turned out to be an ass…

Plot

The plot of this book was kinda all over the place & there wasn’t really a big ending like was expected. The whole book felt like it was building to something. I was waiting for Nadya to have her big powerful moment but it never happened. It all just kinda feel flat in the end.

Characters

This book follows Multi POV between Nadya (Nadezhda) & Serefin. There is also one major side character, Mal (Malachiasz).

The only character I enjoyed was Serefin. He was a kinda mysterious character and we were left guessing whether he was the bad or good guy throughout. Even though he was one of the POVs the main focus seemed to be on Nadya, which is mostly where the plot takes place. So his POV points were lacking a little when it came to plot but I still enjoyed reading from him. He felt the most developed out of the characters.

As for both Nadya & Mal, they were both very flat one dimensional characters. Nadya was built up to be a kinda ‘chosen one’ character but that never amounted to anything. While her POV was where the action was, I didn’t like reading from her POV. She was a bland character & very contradictory of herself all the time! Thoughts would be one thing but actions would be the opposite. Neither Nadya or Mal developed at all throughout the book, they felt like the same boring characters all the way through & I didn’t care for either of them. Which made me care less about what happened to them in the plot..

Overall

This book was just disappointing in so many aspects! I started out by reading this physically but then swapped to the audiobook. Which I will say was quite well done. I definitely prefer the audiobook for this one. The 2 voice actors that play Nadya & Serefin brought the characters to life a bit more than they actually felt in the book. I am still curious about book 2 of this book, mainly for Serefin and his story but I probably won’t pick it up unless I can grab the audiobook.

Thank you to NetGalley & Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

*Please be aware that the Hardcover of Wicked Saints has deckled edges
ISBN: 9781250195661

Booktopia
Hardcover

Book Depository
Hardcover // Paperback

Amazon Australia
eBook // Hardcover

Angus and Robertson
Hardcover

Have you read Wicked Saints?
What did you think of it?
Did you find it as disappointing?
What were your thoughts on the Villain Romance?

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

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The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Poppy War
Series Name: The Poppy War
Author: R.F. Kuang
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: May 15th, 2018
Pages: 530 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Harper Voyager
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

Writing

My god, was this book intense! It’s been a while since I have read an adult fantasy book, so I kinda forgot how intense and detailed they can be. There was a lot to this magic system & this world, as well as the insane plot but not once was I lost or confused. This book was so well thought out, explained & detailed. My issue with Adult books is generally the slower pace because of larger amounts of world building but that was not the case in this book! It was the perfect balance of fast paced, detailed & intense and I loved it!

The only thing I disliked and I think the book could have done well still without it was the odd romancey obsession that the MC had with a specific character. It just was kinda pointless to me when the same idea could of been achieved by other means.

Plot

I’ve already partially mentioned the plot. It was fast paced and insane basically. Plot twists on top of plot twists! This plot was SOOO unpredictable it’s not funny. It was just out of this freaking world and you could barely process one thing before another unexpected thing happened! Was definitely a roller coaster ride.

Characters

This is a hard bit to talk about without spoilers because nearly all the characters make drastic changes throughout the book and my opinions of them jumped around all the time! So I’ll just talk about Rin our MC.

Rin, in the beginning I really enjoyed. She was doing what she could to get out of a shitty situation & wouldn’t let anyone hold her back. But by the end of this book, I don’t even know if I like her as a character. Don’t get me wrong, she was written amazingly but her actions in the book make you question everything! For the most part in books, we root for the main character to succeed but this was definitely a twist on that usual view of the MC.

Overall

All I can say it, this book was insane! This book was intense! This book was a freaking roller coaster!
It was amazing and I HIGHLY recommend it!! I can’t wait to read The Dragon Republic, book 2!
Only reason it didn’t get a 5 stars for me was that iffy romance part which I didn’t enjoy but the rest is perfection.

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Booktopia
Paperback

Book Depository
Paperback

Angus and Robertson
Paperback

Amazon Australia
eBook // Hardcover // Paperback

Have you read The Poppy War?
What did you think of it?

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

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Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Blood Heir
Series Name: Blood Heir Trilogy
Author: Amélie Wen Zhao
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: November 19th, 2019
Pages: 496 (Paperback)
Publishers: Random House Children’s
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls. 

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

So there has been some ‘drama’ for this book. So I want to address that first.
I don’t know everything but from what I can tell some people read this book out of context and went ape shit at the author on Twitter. This was written with the authors own culture/heritage in mind but apparently some people viewed it differently/from a different cultural view and called it Racist & “anti-black”. Originally this book was meant to release in I think April. But the author decided to cancel the release due to all the hate she was receiving. We thought it was all over for this book but then the author decided to release the book but go in and do edits and to add emphasis to the culture she is trying to represent. Now it will be released on the 19th of November, 2019.
So this review is based on the original eARC that I received from Delacorte Press through NetGalley which is before any of these edits. And I wanted to say straight up that I do not see anything wrong with this book! I guess I can kinda see where someone could see it as Racist if took out of context. The character death that I think all the racist comments are behind was described to have “bronze skin” & “Brown Curls” which in a not ASIAN inspired book could be assumed is a ‘black’ character however this is an ASAIAN inspired book.. There are a few Asian cultures who have these features too and that is what the author was going for as opposed to placing a single (FOR EXAMPLE) African character in and ASIAN inspired fantasy.
I really enjoyed this book and I quite simply don’t see what the issue is… But anyway, I won’t mention any of this again, this is just a normal review from here on out and here it is!

**All quotes were taken from the eARC edition of this book & may differ from the final copy

“Your Affinity does not define you”

“What defines you is how you choose to wield it.”

Writing

I really enjoyed the writing in this book. The flow of this book was awesome. There was the right amount of action and adventure but also some slower areas where we got to focus on the characters too which I enjoyed. I really enjoyed the action/fight scenes! They were written in a way that felt quick, but you were given all the details so it made sense. I feel like some authors try and write it fast paced but then leave out details, so when you actually break it down, it doesn’t make sense and the movements don’t flow. This was definitely not the case with this book!

“Papa had once told her, after Mama’s death, that there were two types of grief. One was the type that crushed you, that broke your soul and shattered your heart, and left you an empty shell. The other was a grief that made you stronger. You rose from it, you sharpened it, and you carried it with you as a piece of your armour. And you made yourself better.”

Plot

This book is absolutely full of twists and turns. It’s also not afraid of being brutal and ripping apart this calm world. This plot was completely unpredictable! There wasn’t a single thing that I guessed correctly and I loved that! Fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

“Ana had no weapon and no plan, but she also had nothing more to lose.
And that, perhaps, was the most dangerous type of an opponent to have.”

Characters

I really enjoyed both Ana & Ramson! The banter, the sarcasm, the treats, etc. LOVED IT ALL!

Ana is such a badass character and I loved her. Even with everything that goes down in this book she never lets it stop her from following through with her plans. I love that you see all the struggles she goes through and she pulls through all of it and is such a strong character.

“In the face of fear, one could choose to run, or to rise.”

Ramson I really liked too! He was mysterious, funny and super interesting. I loved learning about him & can’t wait for more of him in book 2!

We also had a heap of side characters and all of them were amazing and well fleshed out! None of them felt one dimensional. You learn to love all of them and then your heart gets wrenched out of your chest, soooo there is that. But the characters are amazing! All of them.

“Figure out what you want to do in this life. Live for yourself. You might be the world’s strongest battleship, but you can’t navigate without a compass.”

Overall

I loved this book so much! Everything flowed, the world was thought out& the characters were well developed. I really can’t fault this book! I can’t wait for this to release and the rest of the world can read this amazing book!

“The smallest, weakest ones are often the most underestimated and tend to be much stronger than we anticipate.”

Also, this is the alternate cover & it is GORGEOUS!! This cover seems to be more common when you look at places to pre-order.

Thank you to NetGalley & Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can Pre-Order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Booktopia
Paperback // Hardcover

Book Depository
Paperback // Hardcover

Angus and Robertson
Paperback // Hardcover // Hardcover (Cover with face)

Amazon Australia
eBook // Hardcover

Are you excited for Blood Heir to release!?

Purchase any of the books mentioned from BOOK DEPOSITORY! World Wide FREE shipping and awesome prices? Can’t say no to that!

Aussie? Want quick shipping? Awesome prices? Want to be able to utilise AfterPay? Then try BOOKTOPIA or even ANGUS & ROBERTSON!

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