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WWW Wednesday 14th March 2018

WWW Wednesday March 14th 2018

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

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What I’m currently reading

WWW Wednesday March 14th 2018 Current Read: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Obsidio

After Amazon messed up yet another pre-order, I cancelled it and went into town on my lunch break yesterday to get it. Amazon 0, Waterstones 2 -.- So I won’t be pre-ordering again since it seems I end up having to get it myself anyway -.-

But to the book! I’m SO thrilled to have this <3 Given how fast I tore through the other two, I expect I’ll finish it this week <3

Preparing for heartbreak. many heartbreaks.

Wow, I can’t words already, it’s that good I’m numb after ten pages :O

Blurb:

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion? 

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. 

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

WWW Wednesday March 14th 2018 Current Read: Court of the Phantom Queen by Liz Meldon

Court of the Phantom Queen

I started this when I couldn’t get into Ready Player One, and as usually Meldon delivers! I was hoping to be done with it by now, just so I wouldn’t have to set it aside for Obsidio, but it didn’t quite work out like that oo

I’ll try to finish it quickly in the morning so Obsidio can have my full attention. It’s a novella so it’s not like it’s a long read!

Blurb:

For centuries, the house of Zeus has reigned over some of the world’s largest, most powerful civilizations. First with the Greeks, next with the Romans and their conquered foes. Fueled by their worship, the old Hellenic gods remained unchallenged and supreme for centuries. Now, in the fourth century of the new world order, goddess Athena has discovered a growing enemy: the fanatical Cult of One.

As sanctions arise for pagan worshipers across the Roman empire, Athena decides to unite all the godly pantheons of the human world. Her vision: a council of rational, reasonable representatives from each house to come together and combat their common enemy.

But with arrogant gods and goddesses, both in her house and beyond, that’s easier said than done. 

Athena refuses to be beaten, however, and vows to bring her vision to life. The first step is to visit each house and plead her case. With a motley crew of world-wise companions, she begins in the western isles, where she stumbles upon a god who once set her heart aflame in the court of Dagda and his mistress Morrigan, the Phantom Queen.

Unfortunately for Athena, not all gods are interested in playing nice with others.

Court of the Phantom Queen is a fantasy romance novella. It is both a standalone and a part of the overall story of the Lovers and Liars: Immortal Wars series.

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What I recently finished reading

WWW Wednesday March 14th 2018 Recent Read: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

I wanted to love this so badly. Being a gamer myself this book should have been everything I want in a novel, and its virtual world was amazing. The message (don’t neglect Earth or we’re all screwed) was poignant and relevant. Everything else was disappointing.

I likely won’t review this here since it’s supposed to be Books I Love (granted I’ve renamed the category by now…). The writing was passive and for the most part, this book was one large info-dump. The speech made it more exciting for me but there was barely any of it.

I think the movie is going to be brilliant, but the book didn’t work for me.

Blurb:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

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What I think I’ll read next

WWW Wednesday March 14th 2018 Next Read: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Gunslinger

My SO drew this one from my tbr jar on Monday as backup in case Amazon screwed up my preorder (which, you know, they did, again), but since I went and got Obsidio in my local Waterstones The Gunslinger will have to wait! It’ll be my first King novel since one of his short story collections scared the daylights out of me when I was a teenager, so I’m excited to get to it.

I’ve a feeling March is going to be a good month for books!

Blurb:

‘The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.’ The iconic opening line of Stephen King’s groundbreaking series, The Dark Tower, introduces one of his most enigmatic and powerful heroes: Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger.

Roland is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellbinding journey toward the mysterious Dark Tower, in a desolate world which frighteningly echoes our own.

On his quest, Roland begins a friendship with a kid from New York named Jake, encounters an alluring woman and faces an agonising choice between damnation and salvation as he pursues the Man in Black.

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Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do. Leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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WWW Wednesday 28th February 2018

WWW Wednesday 28th February 2018

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

WWW Wednesday Current Read: Ready Player One by Earnest Cline

Ready Player One

It’s really too early for me to know whether I’ll enjoy it, I’ve only read a couple of chapters. It seems good so far? The gamer in me (a really rather large part of me) loves that this is about the future of gaming. Another part of me doesn’t enjoy the voice. But, as I said, it’s early days–the story hasn’t even really started yet!

Blurb:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

***

What I recently finished reading

WWW Wednesday Recent Read: The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan

The Magicians’ Guild

I won’t say too much now because my review is up tomorrow, but I really enjoyed this. The first half was a bit too repetitive for me, but the action picked up in the second half, the world-building is intriguing, and the characters were strong. Although, I’d have preferred more character development on everyone besides Sonea. It felt like she was the only character who changed throughout the book–then again, she’s the only one whose circumstances changed, so I guess it makes sense?

Anyway. Review tomorrow 🙂

Blurb:

“We should expect this young woman to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician.”

This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work-—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders…and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.

What the Magicians’ Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.

WWW Wednesday Recent Read: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen

Ugh, this was awesome <3 There were a few small, minor bits that bugged me, but the writing was so smooth and beautiful I’m more than happy to see past those.

In fact… *drumroll* I loved it so much I’ve placed it on my Forever Shelf <3

Review to come. Just know that I adored this :3

Blurb:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart

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What I think I’ll read next

WWW Wednesday Next Read: to be drawn from my tbr jar

I’ve finally got a picture of the new and improved tbr jar! All paper strips fit now 😀

Since I’ve only just started Ready Player One, my next read is a little way off yet, anyway.

I draw all new reads on Instagram in my stories (unless my SO does it)- feel free to follow the next one!

(In case you were wondering:

Yellow – Fantasy

Orange – Fiction

Blue – SciFi)

 

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Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? Leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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Review: Origins of the Never by C. J. Rutherford (Tales of the Neverwar, #0.5)

Book Review: Origins of the Never by C. J. Rutherford (Tales of the Neverwar, #0.5)

“A prequel to The Tales of the Neverwar series, with dragons, elves and faeries.

Set thousands of years before the Tales of the Neverwar, an epic fantasy through space, time, and reality.
Teralia. A world of light and beauty, holding the core of magic that infuses the universe. A land of Faerie magic and Ancient Dragons.
Here, two friends, closer than brothers, are destined to become the mightiest among the immortal Elven race.
One will fall, ensnared by an ancient evil thought destroyed eons ago.
The other will face a desperate choice to save a doomed world.
Ultimately, only one can prevail.”

Book Review: Origins of the Never by C. J. Rutherford (Tales of the Neverwar, #0.5)

What I thought:

This is my last review for 2017, but it’s a good one, friends.

I could have sworn I read once that authors should never combine sci-fi and high fantasy in one book. Something about asking your readers to believe in too much at once? Well, friends, Origins of the Never has magic and fairies and alternate realities and dragons and distant planets and let me tell ya, it works! Whoever said they can’t co-exist peacefully (or not so peacefully–this is about a war) didn’t read this novella.

If we strip it right down, this novella is a love story turned dark. One man loves his best friend’s girl, and seeing them together slowly drives him mad until he raises a zombie army and enslaves all dragons. There were some parts I would have liked Rutherford to expand a little more, but this is only a novella, and it sets up one epic battle of light against dark! I’m hoping to learn more about those parts in Book 1, Souls of the Never.

The Glade held the magic. In the mountains to the north of the Citadel lay the source, the spring of magical energy that infused this world; and through the Never, the void which linked all reality, it passed into the universe.

(Personal note: YAAASSS!)

There was a tiny amount of POV switching and as I already pointed out, I’d have loved more info a few times, but other than that? Yeah, this was good.

Honestly, friends, I usually cut indie books some slack. I’m not a monster. It’s hard publishing your first book yourself without the expertise of an agent and big publishing house behind you telling you what to do and making some decisions for you. I don’t think this needs any slack-cutting, though. I’m expecting big things from the rest of this series. Don’t disappoint me, Rutherford! Fan in the making here!

Gawd, I need more books like this. I can see, maybe, why having both genres in one book might be too much for some readers, but I loved it and have already added the first book in this series to my reading list. If you can think of any others, recommend away. This girl’s ready for more epic sci-fi! <3

Buy it on Amazon | Add it on Goodreads 


Have you read Origins of the Never? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

Please note: All reviews contain affiliate links. I do not review books on this blog that I didn’t enjoy or believe in–all reviews are recommendations.

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My Favourite Books of 2017

Welcome to another round of favourite reads!

Last week, I looked back on my favourite indie books of 2017, but today I’m showing off the awesome traditionally published books I devoured these past eleven months <3 Get ready for the goodness!*  And, of course, the last review of the year is still scheduled for later, too 🙂

I was originally going to select 10 very special books for this list but it was impossible to cut seven, so here are my favourite 17 😀

* much of it is magical goodness, too, which makes this list even better

The Night Circus

I can’t imagine a better start to my year <3 This was magical, and perfect for December/January. If you haven’t read this yet, it’s an easy recommendation for the cold months ahead! I don’t usually re-read books for time reasons*, but this might be a yearly winter read <3

* and, yes, my tbr list threatening to crush me might have something to do with it, too

Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, & Ruin and Rising

How could I not read these after Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom? This trilogy was my reward for finishing NaNo last year, and they were my first reads this year (since I technically started The Night Circus in December 2016*). I loved them for so many reasons, but the Russian mythology was my personal highlight <3

* Wow, that seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

I loved how whimsical and magical and different this was. Auri is one of my favourite characters in Rothfuss’s books, so having this little novella entirely from her POV was amazing. If you can forget for a moment what a book is supposed to be* and embrace Auri’s mind, this is perfection. The illustrations** were a lovely touch, too.

* like filled with dialogue and character development
** It’s just occurred to me that I’ve read a few books with pwetty illustrations this year… Read on and see 😉

The Caves of Steel

This was so much better than expected, and I can’t wait to read more sci-fi now. I’m holding off until I start writing my own sci-fi WIP*, but this was a fantastic introduction for me.

* this may just be next year’s NaNo project… I was so tempted this year, guys! SO TEMPTED

Equal Rites

I didn’t read anywhere near as many Discworld novels this year as I wanted to*, but out of the few I did manage to read Equal Rites is my favourite. I love Granny Weatherwax and hope to see her around in future novels. I thought Mort would take the lead but now I think it’ll be difficult for another one to come close.

We’ll see, 2018. We’ll see.

* my goal was ten and I read *counts down on her fingers* three. #fail

An Ember in the Ashes & A Torch Against the Night

Oddly enough, I’m not sure what to say other than that I really enjoyed these and am looking forward to Book 3! They’d been on my tbr list for a while and were just as good as I hoped they’d be.

Although, I’m a little annoyed that Book 2 is larger than Book 1. It looks weird on my shelf. #bookwormproblems

Our Dark Duet

I’m always torn about Schwab’s books. I like them and definitely get the hype, but at the same time they just don’t excite me. I liked this, but I also didn’t struggle to put it aside for the day. But, as I said, I definitely get the hype, which is why it’s on this list despite me being torn 🙂 And I did love the opening and those little chapters where Kate tried to control her sanity. Those won it for me.

The Final Empire

Originally, I was going to treat myself to the other books in this series as a reward for winning NaNo this year, but then I failed miserably *awkward cough* They’re on the list for my next book haul, whenever that’ll be. It’s a masterclass of fantasy writing and I feel like I should read it again, notebook and pen by my side so I can take notes.

Illuminae & Gemina

I don’t know what to say other than ouch, my feelings, and DAMN, these looked pretty on the inside! Illuminae and Gemina re-defined what a book is with their one-word pages, stunning illustrations of space ships and explosions and blood soaking through pages and letters and emails and final goodbyes and gah, just read them yourself!

Dracula

I’d never read this before October, but am so happy I’ve done it now <3 It’s not often you read a book that invented a genre! And I’ve got the stunning cloth-bound edition, so it’s pretty on my shelf, too*.

* It’s important to have priorities, friends and familiars.

Nevernight & Godsgrave

If it wasn’t for Illuminae, Nevernight would easily be my favourite book this year. But then Illuminae came and made decisions hard.

I feel like this series is the most grown-up epic fantasy I’ll ever read, but that might just be all the bloody details, sex, and heavy swearing talking. Definitely my kind of book 😛

The Language of Thorns

This is the most beautiful book I’ve bought all year. If you haven’t seen my review for it yet I recommend you take a look since I showed off the illustrations which grow with the short stories. It was beautiful inside and out, and the short stories made me feel nostalgic. If you love dark fairy tales, this is a must-read!

You can find the reviews for all of these on this blog, too, if you’d like to know more 🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll have one last post before I go on my Christmas break, but then that’s it for 2017! Can you believe how fast it’s gone? I’m excited to see what amazing reads are waiting for me in 2018*. If you’re here for my bookish posts like this one, and don’t care for my general updates, I wish you a merry Christmas, lovely holidays, and a happy new year now <3 I’ll see you in 2018, friends and familiars!

* BRING IT ON, OBSIDIO

What were your favourite reads this year? Did you love any of these as much as I did? Make a tea, take some cookies, and talk books to me!


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Review: Heralding by Faith Rivens (InĂ­onaofa Chronicles #2) (ARC)

Book Review: Heralding by Faith Rivens (InĂ­onaofa Chronicles #2)

“Life was simple for ElĂ©onore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now ElĂ©onore’s life is defined by questions of will


Will her dangerous powers and InĂ­onaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain


ElĂ©onore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.”

Book Review: Heralding by Faith Rivens (InĂ­onaofa Chronicles #2)

What I thought:

I was thrilled when I was offered an ARC of Heralding. I loved the prequel novella Eléonore, and have been looking forward to Heralding ever since last year December. So. Worth. The Wait!

Survive. That was always the goal of each year. Live and prepare for another. Protect Étienne. I had stopped worrying about my own future a long time ago. Life was a day by day thing, not something to hope or wish for.

One of the many highlights for me was the relationship ElĂ©onore has with her son, Étienne. She’s torn between knowing she needs to tell him about his heritage sooner or later, but she also wants to protect him from her world for as long as possible. Any Mum will understand her decisions and reservations, and will love the strong bond they have. Nothing matters to her as much as protecting her child, but as her two worlds–her domestic one with Étienne and her job as a kick-ass demon hunter–come ever closer to colliding, keeping Étienne safe isn’t so easy anymore. Especially when Étienne shows signs and everything gets a little more complicated.

As much as I loved the mother-son relationship, I just wanted ElĂ©onore to make up with Raphael. It’s clear she still loves him (and he certainly makes no secret of his own feelings), and I feel bad for the guy, you know? His only crime is that he fathered a son who may or may not have magic, and ElĂ©onore’s desire to protect Étienne from her life of demons and dark magic is so strong she doesn’t even let poor Raph near him for fear Étienne will get pulled into her world too soon. ElĂ©onore loves Raphael, and there’s nothing she wants more than a normal life with her son and the man she loves, but as any mother will know, her baby comes first, always. Raph is an understanding champion through it all, even when he comes close to Étienne. Bless him, that must have hurt 🙁

A tugging sensation began in my fingers. It spread through my whole body as Raphael pulled me from the fabric of our reality and into the one than ran between time and space. The dimension we travelled was black and filled with grey shapes without any distinguishable forms. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d trespassed through it.

Honestly, I want what ElĂ©onore wants–for them to be together and have a happy ending as a family.

(Gawd, all my notes are about their relationship! Why am I so bad at this? Other things happened?)

Besides their family dynamics, the side characters were excellent, too. Everyone needs a friend like Rosalie–caring, loyal, and always there for ElĂ©onore–and even though Kerryn got a lot of hate dislike? for being a demon, she’s one of my favourite characters. This book has a lot of sass, but the banter between Kerryn and ElĂ©onore adds most of it.

Oh, also, there’s a war coming between demons and the InĂ­onaofa. ElĂ©onore is only just starting to understand her powers and there aren’t many other InĂ­onaofa, so I can’t wait to see how everything is going to clash in the next book.

Maybe he would think I was some kind of hero. Maybe that was worse than the truth.

If you’re a fan of kick-ass heroines in an urban fantasy setting, then this is the book for you! Better yet, if you grew up with Buffy and loved her, you’ll love ElĂ©onore, too. This is a very easy recommendation indeed!

Buy it on Amazon | Add it on Goodreads


Have you read ElĂ©onore, Book 1 in this series? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

Please note: All reviews contain affiliate links. I do not review books on this blog that I didn’t enjoy or believe in–all reviews are recommendations.

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Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Book Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

“Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.”

Book Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

What I thought:

Okay, so, there are beautiful books, and then there’s The Language of Thorns. The short stories are fantastic, and the illustrations? The illustrations are everything! The illustrations bring the short stories to life!

There’s a new illustration for each short story, and they become more intricate as the stories progress. They start as small drawings, then slowly crawl up along the sides of the pages, meet in the middle, and end in one final image at the end of each story. It’s right up there alongside Illuminae in terms of prettiness <3

There are different kinds of magic. Some call for rare herbs or complicated incantations. Some demand blood. Other magic is more mysterious still, the kind that fits one voice to another, one being to another, when moments before they were as good as strangers.

It was also quite nostalgic for me because I grew up with these kinds of stories and I loved seeing how some of them have influenced Bardugo here, like The Little Mermaid and Hansel and Gretel. It took me right back to the bedtime stories I grew up with.

And because I can’t adequately describe how beautiful the illustrations are, here are some more pictures to show off their gorgeousness properly:

Book Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
They start small…
Book Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
…slowly grow around the words…
Book Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
DETAIL

Book Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

HOW PRETTY IS THAT! <3 <3 <3

None of these ended quite like I expected and that just added to their beauty. Some have a happy ending but most don’t and that’s one of the many things I loved about this. There’s deceit, lies, betrayal, backstabbing, selfishness, and a whole lot of magic!

This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tales.

If you love a dark fairytale you’ll appreciate these. While all of these short stories take place in the Grishaverse, it’s not necessary to have read the Grisha trilogy or Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom. I think I appreciated this book all the more because I’d read the others first, but I’d still have loved it if I hadn’t. There’s something timeless about it, and if you’re a sucker for gorgeous illustrations it’s a must-read!

Buy it on Amazon | Add it on Goodreads


Have you read The Language of Thorns? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

Please note: All reviews contain affiliate links. I do not review books on this blog that I didn’t enjoy or believe in–all reviews are recommendations.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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WWW 29th November 2017

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday

This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

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What I’m currently reading

Heralding

I’m very nearly done with this and will likely finish it today. My thanks to the author for my ARC <3 Heralding will be out on December 4, so my review will be up next week! If you want to read it before then, you’ll be able to read it on Goodreads 🙂

Edit: I finished it last night (Tuesday night, that is). So. Good.

Blurb:

Life was simple for Eléonore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now ElĂ©onore’s life is defined by questions of will


Will her dangerous powers and InĂ­onaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain


ElĂ©onore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.

***

What I recently finished reading

Godsgrave

I won’t go into much detail now because I already posted my review last week but this was Good (that’s right – capital G). This series has everything I want and more, and has a permanent spot on my Forever Shelf. If you’re a fan of dark Epic Fantasy, you need to read these!

Blurb:

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

The Language of Thorns

This is probably the most beautiful book I own <3 (Although, it might need to share that spot with Illuminae) The illustrations are stunning, and the stories themselves reminded me of the bedtime stories I had as a child.

My review will be up tomorrow (with some extra pictures to show off the beautiful interior) so I won’t say any more now 🙂 It’s already on Goodreads if you’d prefer to see it now.

Blurb:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

***

What I think I’ll read next

I don’t know! And that’s quite nice, actually, because I planned all my recent reads ahead and I’m looking forward to being surprised for a change. I made this glass of little pieces of paper which all have a title and an author written on them months ago, but then October happened and I had my Spook-tober reads planned, and then November happened and I had my NaNo reads planned… So, whatever I read after Heralding, it’ll be a random draw from this glass 🙂

(In case you were wondering:

Yellow – High Fantsy

Blue – Sci-Fi

Orange – all other fiction)

***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

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Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

Book Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

“Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.

When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end him. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.”

Book Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

What I thought:

My books look up to this series so much! <3 Choosing quotes to go with this review was hard. I’d throw the whole book at you if I could.

(There’s a lot of gushing ahead, by the way. In case you hadn’t guessed.)

Let’s start at the beginning. Everyone loves a map in a fantasy book, right? Well, Godsgrave has THREE! And they’re all gorgeous! I was tempted to share pictures just this once, just to show you how pretty they are, but this review is going to be long enough already. So just take my word for it, maybe?

Two passengers met in a dirty alley, in a little city by the sea.

The first was small, thin as whispers, cut in the shape of a cat. It had worn the seeming for over seven years now. It could barely remember the thing it had been before. A fraction of a deeper darkness, with only enough awareness to crawl from the black beneath Godsgrave’s skin and seek another like itself.

There are a lot of capitals in my notes for this review, and it’s mostly Mister Kindly’s and Eclipse’s fault. I love them SO MUCH! I love their banter, I love their sarcasm, I love how they care about Mia in their own ways, and I love that they’re there at all. More books need familiars. Or shadow familiars. Or shadow familiars with sarcasm. *takes notes* This books has a lot of the latter. It’s so good, friends.

The dark humour (and yes, the sarcasm – did I mention it has some of that?) was one of the many things that sold me on Nevernight, and Godsgrave has plenty more. It actually starts with a quick recap of who everyone is before the story itself begins, and I read that even though there was no way I forgot just because it put all the smiles on my face. I feel like the dark humour is the soul of this series.

She’d named him Mister Kindly. It fitted well enough. But somewhere deep inside, the cat who was not a cat knew that was not his name.

I know the footnotes in Nevernight aren’t everyone’s thing, but they’re back and I read every. single. one of them. I’m a sucker for lore and this series has so much of it. It was fascinating for me to read everything that’s related to the world but not necessarily to the story.

The relationships in this were excellent, and while there were some surprises it was the relationship between Mia and Mercurio especially that broke me. It was so special, friends <3 Really I’m lying, though, they all broke me. But Mia and Mercurio had a moment near the end and it stood out to me.

Looking out over the mezzanine to the endless shelves below, the girl couldn’t help but smile. She’d grown up inside books. No matter how dark life became, shutting out the hurt was as easy as opening a cover. A child of murdered parents and a failed rebellion, she’d still walked in the boots of scholars and warriors, queens and conquerors.

I accidentally read the last word in the book when I was only around halfway through (no, don’t go spoil it, don’t let me tempt you) but I’d seen it coming so I wasn’t shocked or felt like I’d ruined anything. And then I read the rest of the last page when I actually finished the book and wow, I don’t I don’t know what to think now! Looks like I’ll be pre-ordering Book 3!

There’s a lot of heavy swearing, gory blood shed, and sex in Godsgrave. I love that it doesn’t shy away from any detail, but it might not be your thing if you’re not into graphic detail and strong language. Otherwise, I’m recommending this series and insist you read it now if you haven’t already! It’s taken its place on my Forever Shelf alongside Nevernight, and I can’t wait to add the next one.

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Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Book Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

“Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.”

Book Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

What I thought:

Fair warning, friends – there’s a big spoiler lower down. If you’ve read this book ignore my warning, but if you’ve yet to read it you may want to skip it. I’ve marked it accordingly so you can’t miss it 🙂

I find reviewing classics difficult. Raise your hands if you don’t know anything about Frankenstein? No one? My point exactly! I always worry a classic will be hard to read, but this was easy to get into and I enjoyed it–right up until the end which was anti-climactic and left me feeling let down. The spoiler explains why, but I do recommend you skip it if you haven’t read the book yet. Unless you don’t mind spoilers, of course 🙂

Frankenstein is about a young man obsessed with the need to create something he believed would be an end to all sickness, but who was so repulsed with the result that he rejected it. Things escalated from there, and his creation sought to destroy his life and everyone he loved. It’s a reminder that just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

And that’s the plot in a nutshell, really! 🙂

I felt sorry for the monster. Rejected by the man who created him, all he wants is to be accepted and loved rather than feared and rejected by the rest of society. That doesn’t sound unreasonable to me. It’s what everyone wants, after all, but not only does Frankenstein reject the monster, he also gives him hope just to shatter it later. Anyone would be angry after that, right?

Now, look away if you don’t want the ending spoiled:

SPOILER The whole plot builds toward this epic fight between creator and creation. Frankenstein himself wonders several times how he can possibly win since his creation is so much stronger and faster, he only knows that he has to defeat his creation. So, when Frankenstein dies of sickness and exhaustion at the end of the book without even facing his creation one last time, I felt somewhat let down. The monster itself sails out to sea never to be seen again. Nothing gets resolved. If you’re a writer and have wondered why anything you foreshadow needs to be realised, here’s an excellent example. SPOILER END

So, while I enjoyed the book, I was also disappointed with the end. It’s incredible that Shelley wrote it when she was a teenager, but I still feel like I was robbed of this one thing she promised.

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Have you read Frankenstein? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

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