Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed But Don’t Talk About Enough!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed But Don’t Talk About Enough!

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This week Top Ten Tuesday turns ten! The prompt is to pick an old prompt you missed and I thought it would be fun to talk about books I really loved but I don’t talk about enough on here. All these books I gave four or five stars and I definitely need to talk about them more!

Copy of book cover (41)1. Half A King – Joe Abercrombie
Betrayed by his family and left for dead, prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the shattered sea itself – all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge. Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, traps and tragedy.
Copy of book cover (42)2. The Silvered Heart – Katherine Clements
1648: Civil war is devastating England. The privileged world Katherine Ferrars knows is crumbling under Cromwell’s army, and as an orphaned heiress, she has no choice but to do her duty and marry for the sake of family.

But as her marriage turns into a prison, and her fortune is decimated by the war, Kate becomes increasingly desperate. So when she meets the enigmatic Ralph Chaplin, she seizes the chance he offers. Their plan is daring and brutal, but it’s an escape from poverty and the shackles of convention. They both know if they’re caught, there’s only one way it can end…

Copy of book cover (43)3. A Chalice of Wind – Cate Tiernan
After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she’s ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio.

Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into.

Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.

Copy of book cover (44)4. Caraval – Stephanie Garber
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175311.4425. The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

Copy of book cover (45)6. The Witchfinder’s Sister – Beth Underdown
Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth–but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.

There is a new darkness in the town, too–frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene–and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew’s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.

Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission–and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils–before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.

Copy of book cover (46)7. See What I’ve Done – Sarah Schmidt
On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.

Copy of book cover (47)8. Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Copy of book cover (48)9. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – Lauren James
Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

Copy of book cover (49)10. Blackwing – Ed McDonald
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.

The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some eighty years ago, thanks to Nall’s ‘Engine’, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery – a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a No Mans Land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch. Galharrow only escapes because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together, they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defences. Far across the Misery a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic’s bluff.

So those are ten books I absolutely loved that I definitely don’t talk about enough. If you’ve read any of them I’d love to know your thoughts!

May Book Haul!

May Book Haul!

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Although it’s going up a bit late I thought I would post about all the lovely books I picked up in May. With us being in lockdown I ordered quite a few books online and I’m still making my way though them – lets dive in!

From Publishers:

Burn – Patrick Ness
Copy of book cover (20)In 1956 Sarah Dewhurst’s father shocks her by hiring a dragon to work the farm. The dragon is a smaller blue rather than the traditional larger reds, though even the reds are now scarce. When the blue dragon, Kazimir, unexpectedly saves Sarah and her friend Jason Inagawa from the attentions of the racist police deputy, Kelby, everything changes. Sarah is part of a prophecy and she must escape the clutches of Malcolm, an assassin from a Believer Cell, the dragon-worshiping cult. When Sarah, Malcolm, and Kazimir eventually converge, they are thrown into another universe, where dragons seem never to have existed. Can they save this world and the one they left?

Copy of book cover (1)Here Lies the Secrets – Emma Young
Mia’s best friend Holly died when they were thirteen. But years later, Holly still hasn’t left her.

Spending the summer in New York, Mia is hoping to escape the visions of Holly that haunt her life at home. There she meets Rav, a parapsychology student, who convinces her to take part in a study into why some people see ghosts. Soon she is caught up in the investigation of Halcyon House, which is reputed to be haunted by a poltergeist. As Mia confronts her fears, what she learns about the house and herself will change her life forever.

Midnight’s Twins – Holly Race
Copy of book cover (3)Fifteen-year-old Londoner Fern is about to uncover a place that she could not have imagined in all her wildest dreams. Annwn is the dream mirror of our world, a place where Dreamers walk in their slumber, their dreams playing out all around them. An enchanted, mysterious place that feeds our own world – as without dreams, without a place where our imaginations and minds can be nourished, what kind of humans would we be?

But Annwn is a place as full of dangers as it is wonders: it is a place where dreams can kill you. Annwn and its Dreamers are protected by an ancient order known as the Knights – and when Fern’s hated twin Ollie is chosen to join their ranks, Fern will have to do whatever she can to prove she is one of them too.

But the world Fern discovers in Annwn, in this dream mirror of her London, is a fragile one, threatened by vicious nightmares. Nightmares that are harder and harder for the Knights to defeat. Something dark is jeopardising the peace and stability of Annwn, something that must be rooted out at all costs. And gradually, Fern realises that the danger lurking inside our sleep is more insidious and terrifying than any nightmare. Because if you can influence someone’s dreams, you can control their thoughts …

Copy of book cover (4)The Dark That Dwells – Matt Digman & Ryan Roody
In this evocative science fiction series, four strangers are swept up in a gripping adventure of thrilling battles, ravenous creatures, and the return of forbidden magic.

Ranger.

Warrior.

Tyrant.

Arcanist.

As their paths interweave in love and hate, redemption and revenge, one threat will eclipse their greatest fears: a being of utter darkness and its imminent return.

Books I Bought:

 

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-04T191405.408The Girl and the Stars – Mark Lawrence
In the ice, east of the Black Rock, there is a hole into which broken children are thrown.

On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone.

To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same.

Yaz is torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger.

Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people.

Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars.

Copy of book cover (2)A Conjuring of Assassins – Cate Glass
Romy and her three partners in crime—a sword master, a silversmith, and her thieving brother—have embraced their roles as the Shadow Lord’s agents, using their forbidden magic to accomplish tasks his other spies cannot.

Now, they’ve been tasked with locating a list of powerful men and women pledged to assassinate the tyrant Protector of Mercediare, Cantagna’s most dangerous enemy. Then, they must destroy the list before it falls into the Protector’s hands, where it could plunge the entire Costa Drago into a rampage of murderous vengeance.

But when Placidio and Romy infiltrate the ambassador’s household by impersonating a cloth merchant and an aspiring diviner, they discover that the ambassador’s oddities and the prisoner’s identity signal dangers far more explosive than exposing the Assassins List

Copy of book cover (34)Good Girl Bad Blood – Holly Jackson
Pip Fitz-Amobi is not a detective any more.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared but the police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time EVERYONE is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?

Copy of book cover (18)The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Copy of book cover (33)Renegades – Marissa Meyer
The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Copy of book cover (32)Bone China – Laura Purcell
Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.

Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last.

Copy of book cover (31)The First Girl Child – Amy Harmon
Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.

Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.

Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.

What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

Copy of book cover (25)The Black Hawks – David Wragg
Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home.

When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath.

All he has to do is drag the brat from one side of the country to the other, through war and wilderness, chased all the way by ruthless assassins.

With killers on your trail, you need killers watching your back. You need the Black Hawk Company – mercenaries, fighters without equal, a squabbling, scrapping pack of rogues.

Prepare to join the Black Hawks.

So those are all the books I picked up in May. If you’ve read any of them I’d love to know your thoughts, as well as some of the books you picked up in May!

April Book Haul

April Book Haul

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April’s book haul is a pretty small one, with the world being on lock down I haven’t been receiving much in the way of book post or browsing in the bookshops. I did make some purchases online however, so here’s the books I picked up in April!

Copy of book cover (5)Pine – Francine Toon
They are driving home from the search party when they see her.

The trees are coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men. Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands, in a small village surrounded by pine forest. When a woman stumbles out onto the road one Halloween night, Niall drives her back to their house in his pickup. In the morning, she’s gone.

In a community where daughters rebel, men quietly rage, and drinking is a means of forgetting, mysteries like these are not out of the ordinary. The trapper found hanging with the dead animals for two weeks. Locked doors and stone circles. The disappearance of Lauren’s mother a decade ago.

Lauren looks for answers in her tarot cards, hoping she might one day be able to read her father’s turbulent mind. Neighbours know more than they let on, but when local teenager Ann-Marie goes missing it’s no longer clear who she can trust.

In spare, haunting prose, Francine Toon creates an unshakeable atmosphere of desolation and dread. In a place that feels like the end of the world, she unites the gloom of the modern gothic with the pulse of a thriller. It is the perfect novel for our haunted times.

Copy of book cover (4)Nocturna – Maya Montayne
Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162245.966The Mercies – Kiran Milwood Hargrave
Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves.

Three years later, a sinister figure arrives. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband’s authority and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil.

As Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them, with Absalom’s iron rule threatening Vardø’s very existence.

Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.

Dispel Illusion – Mark Lawrence
Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162339.436Sometimes being wrong is the right answer.

Nick Hayes’s genius is in wringing out the universe’s secrets. It’s a talent that’s allowed him to carve paths through time. But the worst part is that he knows how his story will end. He’s seen it with his own eyes. And every year that passes, every breakthrough he makes, brings him a step closer. Mia’s accident is waiting for them both in 2011. If it happens then he’s out of choices.

Then a chance 1992 discovery reveals that this seeker of truth has been lying to himself. But why? It’s a question that haunts him for years. A straw he clings to as his long-awaited fate draws near.

Time travel turns out not to be the biggest problem Nick has to work on. He needs to find out how he can stay on his path but change the destination. Failure has never been an option, and neither has survival. But Nick’s hoping to roll the dice one more time. And this new truth begins with a lie.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-16T162119.413Ruthless Gods – Emily A. Duncan
Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

Copy of book cover (3)House of Salt and Sorrows – Erin A. Craig
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought and also what books you picked up in April!

Six For Sunday: Series I Want to Get Into

Six For Sunday: Series I Want to Get Into

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Six for Sunday is created by Steph over at Alittlebutalot. This week the topic is series you want to get into and for me there are absolutely tons of them. I’m forever behind on big series and there are so many I want to read.

Copy of book cover (14)1. The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco
In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price.When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice.

Copy of book cover (15)2. Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake
When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Copy of book cover (16)3. Empirium – Claire Legrand
The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

Copy of book cover (17)4. Shades of Magic – V. E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Copy of book cover (19)5. The Wounded Kingdom – R J Barker
To catch an assassin, use an assassin…

Girton Club-foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But his latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder.

In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire kingdom.

Copy of book cover (18)6. The Witchlands – Susan Dennard 
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

So those are six series I would love to get into. If you’ve read any of them I’d love to know your thoughts, as well as some series you’re dying to read!

April Wrap Up!

April Wrap Up!

July 23, 2019 (8)
April has been a crazy month, with most of the world being in lock down. It’s been a difficult few weeks but one positive is that it has given me loads of time to read. April ended up being a terrific reading month and I read 20 books. I’m going to keep this quite short otherwise getting through 20 books would make this post massive!

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T175422.9441. Magic For Liars – Sarah Gailey
This murder mystery set in a magic school was an interesting and engaging read. I had seen it described as ‘Veronica Mars at Hogwarts’ and I think that’s a pretty apt description! (3/5 stars)

2. The Cold Is In Her Bones – Paternelle Van Arsdale
I picked this up on a whim and found it to be quite a fun and eerie tale. The story of a village cursed by a woman who was cast out, young women in the village become possessed by demons. Quite a quick read and enjoyed the fairy tale like quality. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141424.7613. Viper – Bex Hogan
I’ve had a copy of this book for a while but I finally picked it up and I’m so glad I did. Bloodthirsty pirates, revenge plots and mysterious magical powers, I couldn’t get enough of this one and absolutely raced through it. (4.5/5 stars)

4. Prosper’s Demon – K J Parker
This extremely short novella follows an unnamed narrator as he exercises demons from the local people. It was a fun and fascinating tale the perfect quick read. A unique story, it definitely made me want to try more from this author. (3.75/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140949.9505.  Hold Back the Tide – Melinda Salisbury
I loved everything about this book. Eerie atmospheric setting, long buried secrets and a hint of something supernatural? I’m sold. The story of a young girl living in the Scottish highlands with her murderer father, it’s one of my favourite books of the year so far. (5/5 stars)

6. The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller
I thought I would revisit a graphic novel I haven’t read since University and it was such a fun reread. This dark tale follows Batman as he returns to save Gotham after many years. He’s older and not as capable as he once was, but that isn’t going to stop him. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T172615.4347. Heart of Thorns – Bree Barton
Heart of Thorns is the first in a YA trilogy featuring a young woman forced to marry a prince but soon discovers she has powers that she will be hunted for. It falls into a lot of typical YA tropes, but it was a fun read and I’m interested to see what book two brings. (3/5 stars)

8. Bloodchild – Anna Stephens
Bloodchild is the third and final instalment in one of my favourite grimdark trilogies. Bloody, brutal and heartbreaking, it was everything I was hoping for and more. I already want to go back and reread the series. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T175826.5989. Bookish and the Beast – Ashley Poston
Ashley Poston is a genius at creating these geeky retellings. Bookish and the Beast might be my favourite ever. I loved the way she worked in the fairy tale and it was also nice to get glimpses of characters we met in book one and book two! (4.5/5 stars)

10. Every Heart A Doorway – Seanan McGuire
This series has a lot of buzz so I thought I would try it on audiobook to see what the fuss was about and oh I’m so glad I did. I completely loved this magical story full of unique worlds and fascinating characters (4.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-17T102957.49811. The Lodger – C L Taylor
This short story is available to people signed up for C L Taylor’s book club. It was a fun read with a surprise twist at the end, but I would have loved for it to be a bit longer to give you the chance to get to know the characters. (2.75/5 stars) 

12. Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Seanan McGuire
After loving book one so much I decided to dive right back into book two and this one was definitely my favourite. Jack and Jill are without a doubt my favourite characters and it was brilliant seeing them on the moors. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T172732.08813. One Of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus
I really enjoyed One Of Us Is Lying so was interested to see how Karen M. McManus would handle a sequel. It was interesting to revisit some of the characters from book one and it was a fast paced read, but I did guess the twists quite early on. (3.5/5 stars)

14. Strangers – C. L Taylor
C L Taylor has done it again with another fast paced and unputdownable thriller. Every time she releases a new book I need to just spend the day reading it because I know I won’t be able to put it down. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (10)15. Beneath the Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire
I am pretty much obsessed with the Wayward Children series at this point. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the previous two – I found Rini a bit on the irritating side, but I still completely love the world and the adventures they get up to. (3.75/5 stars)

16. King of Fools – Amanda Foody
WHY did I wait so long to pick this one up? Amanda Foody had me on the edge of my seat with this one. I really love the world she has created and I’ve become so attached to the characters. Equal parts excited and terrified to see how it all ends in Queen of Volts (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (9)17. In An Absent Dream – Seanan McGuire
I must admit that the Goblin Market was one of the worlds that intrigued me most. Lundy’s story is a really sad one and it made me appreciate her character all the more. (4/5 stars)

18. Firewalkers – Adrian Tchaikovsky
A story where the Earth is burning and three young people must risk their lives in the burning desert to repair solar panels for the rich, this was a gripping read. Featuring creepy AI’s and monstrous creepy crawlies, I really enjoyed this one. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T180003.02819. Seeker – Cate Tiernan
Continuing my reread of the Wicca series with book number 10. It was interesting seeing things from Hunter’s perspective for a change, but I kind of missed Morgan. Looking forward to rereading the last five books. (3.75/5 stars)

20. Come Tumbling Down – Seanan McGuire
I was overjoyed to learn that the next book in the series would be returning to the moors. I enjoyed this one just as much and honestly would love a full length novel just of the magnificent characters McGuire has created in the moors. (5/5 stars)

So those are all the books I read in April! I still can’t quite believe I managed to read 20 books in one month, hoping I can do just as many in May. If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know your thoughts, as well as what books you read in April!

Six For Sunday: Favourite Book One In A Series

Six For Sunday: Favourite Book One In A Series

July 23, 2019 (1)
Six For Sunday is a weekly prompt created by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. Today we’re talking about your favourite first book in a series. I’m love long running series so it was quite hard to narrow this down to just six, and quite honestly I loved every book in these series – but lets dive in!

Copy of book cover (5)1. Geekarella – Ashley Poston
The first book in the Once Upon A Con series, is such a cute and sweet story that I couldn’t help falling in love. I’ve read and completely adored The Princess and the Fangirl and Bookish and the Beast but the story of Darien and Elle will always be my favourite. This series is the perfect cute and fluffy contemporary to become completely absorbed in.

Copy of book cover (4)2. Godblind – Anna Stephens
The Godblind trilogy is one of my all time favourite grimdark series and I recently finished book three Bloodchild. I gave all three five stars but something about the first book just edges it as my favourite. Getting to know this bloody, violent world of gods and war was just incredible and I can’t wait to reread this series soon.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175147.2733. Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
This is another one where I loved every second in the world, but the first book in the series was my favourite. I loved seeing Alina come into her powers and navigate the world of the Grisha. The story is an epic tale but I loved the setting of book one as well as getting to know the darkling – who remains one of my favourite villains.

Copy of book cover (2)4. The Boy With the Porcelain Blade – Den Patrick
I wasn’t sure whether to put this one of my list because I also really really love book two in this series but I couldn’t resist mentioning it. The Erebus Sequence is a really underrated fantasy series, full of magic and monsters and it’s one I found difficult to put down. The Boy with the Porcelain Blade is a brilliant read and my favourite in the series (honestly though they’re all incredible).

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175311.4425. The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden
I’ve talked about this series again and again but honestly if you haven’t given it a go you definitely need to pick it up soon. The beautifully told tale of Vasya is full of gorgeous vivid imagery and I could read Katherine Arden’s writing till the end of time. This Russian inspired tale is full of folklore and magic and is everything you could want in a book.

Copy of book cover (1)6. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
This is another totally cute and sweet series but the reason I love book one the most is that I loved the fake dating trope, and I think it’s so well done in this book. I also kind of thing the story could have been a standalone without the subsequent books, so To All the Boys will always be my favourite in the trilogy.

So those are my some of my favourite first book in a series – what are some of yours?

Waiting on Wednesday: The Left Handed Booksellers of London – Garth Nix

Waiting on Wednesday: The Left Handed Booksellers of London – Garth Nix

July 23, 2019 (28)

Synopsis

In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn’t get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin.

Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (one of the fighting ones). With the right-handed booksellers (the intellectual ones), he belongs to an extended family of magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops.

Susan’s search for her father begins with her mother’s possibly misremembered or misspelled surnames, a reading-room ticket, and a silver cigarette case engraved with something that might be a coat of arms.

Merlin has a quest of his own: to find the Old World entity who used ordinary criminals to kill his mother. As he and his sister, a right-handed bookseller named Vivien, tread in the path of a botched or covered-up police investigation from years past, they find their quest strangely overlaps with Susan’s. Who or what was her father? Susan, Merlin, and Vivien must find out, as the Old World erupts dangerously into the New.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-27T210138.925Garth Nix has been one of my favourite authors since I was a little girl. My dad bought me a copy of Sabriel, and then pretty much every birthday/Christmas after that I asked for one of his books. Shade’s Children is one of my all time favourites, and I just fell in love with his newest release Angel Mage. When he announced this new title I almost squealed with excitement because not only is it a new Garth Nix book, but it sounds incredible. The title really drew me in and I love the blend of fantasy and historical fiction. Nix always creates these really imaginative worlds and I have no doubt that this one is going to suck me in just like all the others. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book, and I patiently praying that it might end up on Netgalley sometime soon. If like me you’re desperate to get your hands on this, you don’t have too much longer to wait – The Left-Handed Booksellers of London is publishing September 22nd from Katherine Tegen Books.

Series I Would Love to Reread!

Series I Would Love to Reread!

July 23, 2019 (27)
Rereading is something I definitely don’t do enough of. I’ve got quite a few series on my all time favourites shelf, but with so many new releases out I never get the chance to reread them. I thought it would be fun to do a little post of series I would love to reread in the future!

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175147.2731. The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo
I know so many people prefer Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology but honestly I fell in love with The Grisha trilogy and it’s still one of my favourites. The darkling is such a brilliant villain and I love the adventure that Alina and Mal go on. I have re-listened to books one and two on audiobook but I haven’t physically read them since the first time. I would totally love to reread all three sometime soon.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175201.6572. The Illuminae Files – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
I was a bit late to the party with the Illuminae files but when I finally did pick them I think I read them all over the space of a week. I completely fell in love with the story and I really liked the way the story was laid out as files and maps and transcripts. It was such an engaging tale and I definitely think they’re worth reading a second time. I’ve only ever read them once and I think they’re the sort of books you might notice more the second time around, so rereading them would be great.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175214.2603. The Study Series – Maria V. Snyder
I honestly think the Study series is one of the most under-rated YA fantasy series. I’ve loved every single one and Yelena and Valek are still one of my favourite couples. This is a series I recommend to pretty much everyone, and I have reread the first few a few times. It is quite a long running series – the full Chronicles of Ixia is nine books – so it would be a big undertaking to reread them but it would totally be worth it.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175225.3044. The Sin Eater’s Daughter Series – Melinda Salisbury
It’s been quite a few years since I read The Sin Eater’s Daughter but each of the three books were rating amongst my favourites of the year when they came out. I remember having my heart broken a few times reading The Scarecrow Queen and I would love to revisit this beautiful trilogy. This is another one I’ve only read once so I only really remember parts of the story – a reread is definitely overdue.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175236.1095. The Folk of the Air – Holly Black
This series only ended recently but it was an incredibly brilliant trilogy that I honestly did not want to end. I finished book three in November but I’m already thinking about the possibility of rereading them. I just loved the world that Black created and the hate to love romance was exceptionally well done. I know tons of people love this series so I’m probably not the only one itching to reread them.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175247.2616. A Song of Ice and Fire – George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire is my all time favourite series and I have reread it once and listened to it once but it has been a while since I have dived back into Westeros. I recently ended up playing Game of Thrones Monopoly in lockdown and it got me thinking about how much I want to reread the series. It is a massive undertaking with the books being so large, but it’s so easy to fall into this epic story.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175259.6977. The Shattered Sea – Joe Abercrombie
Joe Abercombie is another author that I love and with him returning to the world of The First Law with a new release I had been thinking about revisiting to those books again. However first I think I would like to reread his Shattered Sea trilogy, the young adult fantasy series that I think is a bit underrated. Book two of this series was the first ARC I ever received and it definitely holds a special place in my heart.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-26T175311.4428. The Winternight Trilogy – Katherine Arden
This beautiful trilogy ended in 2019 but I still think about how much I loved it. For the past few years each instalment has been near the top of my favourite books of the year and I think they are some of my favourite books of all time. Katherine Arden has such a gorgeous writing style and this atmospheric tale inspired by Russian folklore was just everything I wanted and more. I think these would be perfect to reread in the winter on a snowy night so I might save them for then.

So those are some of the series I would absolutely love to reread – what are some series you would love to reread?

Six For Sunday: Recommendations On Your TBR

Six For Sunday: Recommendations On Your TBR

July 23, 2019 (25)
The prompt for Six for Sunday this week is focusing on books on your TBR because someone recommended them to you. This was a really fun and interesting prompt, so let’s dive in!

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-25T155121.2461. The End of the World Running Club – Adrian J. Walker
Perfect for fans of The Martian, this powerful post-apocalyptic thriller pits reluctant father Edgar Hill in a race against time to get back to his wife and children. When the sky begins to fall and he finds himself alone, his best hope is to run – or risk losing what he loves forever.

When the world ends and you find yourself forsaken, every second counts. No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. Stranded on the other side of the country from his wife and children, Ed must push himself across a devastated wasteland to get back to them. With the clock ticking and hundreds of miles between them, his best hope is to run — or risk losing what he loves forever.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-25T155134.1022. The Creeper Man – Dawn Kurtagich
When Silla and her little sister, Nori, escape London and their abusive father, Aunt Cath’s country house feels like a safe haven. Leaving the smog and fear behind, the girls have the love and freedom they never had in their violent home. But slowly, ever so slowly, things begin to unravel.

Aunt Cath locks herself in the attic and spends day and night pacing; every day the surrounding forest inches slowly towards the house; a mysterious boy appears from the enclosing wood offering friendship, and Nori claims that a man watches them from the dark forest. A man with no eyes who creeps ever closer…

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-25T155146.6843. Dread Nation – Justina Ireland
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-25T155204.2044. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space-and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe-in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-25T155237.8105. The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-25T155222.2906. Cold Granite – Stuart McBride
Winter in Aberdeen: murder, mayhem and terrible weather…

It’s DS Logan McRae’s first day back on the job after a year off on the sick, and it couldn’t get much worse. Three-year-old David Reid’s body is discovered in a ditch: strangled, mutilated and a long time dead. And he’s only the first. There’s a serial killer stalking the Granite City and the local media are baying for blood.

Soon the dead are piling up in the morgue almost as fast as the snow on the streets, and Logan knows time is running out. More children are going missing. More are going to die. And if Logan isn’t careful, he could end up joining them.

So those are six books on my TBR that were recommendations from other people – if you’ve read any I’d love to know what your thoughts were!

March Book Haul!

March Book Haul!

July 23, 2019 (23)
This is also going up a bit late but here are all the books I picked up in March. This might be my last book haul for a while – with the country being in lockdown I haven’t had the chance to pick any up!

From Publishers:

1. The Bookish and the Beast – Ashley Poston
Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T175826.598Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.
Copy of book cover - 2020-03-30T174911.675
2. Shadowscent: Crown of Smoke – P. M. Freestone
The exciting conclusion to the Shadowscent duology!

In the empire of Aramtesh, scent has power. In the first volume, the prince was found poisoned in the temple, sparking a high-stakes quest for an antidote. In the explosive conclusion, Rakel and Ash are separated as the empire hurtles towards civil war, and everyone must choose a side.

Rakel travels outside the borders of the empire, seeking answers to new questions about the past. Meanwhile, Ash must find a way to warn the others of dangers to come. All this as the empire itself hurtles towards a civil war that’s been brewing since the gods last walked the land. Prince or servant, everyone must take a stand.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-08T131041.0363. Strangers – C. L. Taylor
Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

The million-copy bestseller returns with a gripping new novel that will keep you guessing until the end

4. Mortmain Hall – Martin EdwardsCopy of book cover - 2020-03-31T135144.042
“You died once,” Rachel Savernake whispered. “Tell me who arranged your resurrection, or before the day’s out, you’ll be dead forever.”

1930. At her remote coastal estate of Mortmain Hall, enigmatic heiress and amateur sleuth Rachel Savernake is hosting a gathering – at the bequest of an eccentric criminologist – of people who have cheated the gallows. But the house party culminates in tragedy when a body is found beneath the crumbling cliffs.

The verdict is accidental death, but Rachel determines to foil an ingenious plot to get away with murder. She encounters an eclectic mix of suspects and victims, including a radical publisher risen from the grave, a fake medium with a sinister past, and a cricketer mauled to death by an escaped lion.

Rachel sets out to uncover the labyrinthine secrets of Mortmain Hall, but her relentless quest might just bring down the British establishment…

Who can we turn to, if justice betrays us?

5. Wicked As You Wish – Rin Chupeco
Copy of book cover - 2020-04-14T133340.829When a hidden prince, a girl with secrets, a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, and a legendary firebird come together…something wicked is going down.

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.

A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140551.5026. Little Creeping Things – Chelsea Ichaso
When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. She’s pretty sure she didn’t mean to do it, and she’d give anything to forget that awful day. But her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down. In Melody’s eyes, Cassidy is a murderer and always will be.

Then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy thinks she may have information about what happened. She knows she should go to the cops, but she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.

Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what’s really going on before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140636.3537. The Scapegracers – Hannah Abigail Clarke
An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process.

Skulking near the bottom of West High’s social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she’s had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now–unbelievably–Sideways’ best friends.

Together, the four bond to form a ferocious and powerful coven. They plan parties, cast curses on dudebros, try to find Sideways a girlfriend, and elude the fundamentalist witch hunters hellbent on stealing their magic. But for Sideways, the hardest part is the whole ‘having friends’ thing. Who knew that balancing human interaction with supernatural peril could be so complicated?

Rich with the urgency of feral youth, The Scapegracers explores growing up and complex female friendship with all the rage of a teenage girl. It subverts the trope of competitive mean girls and instead portrays a mercilessly supportive clique of diverse and vivid characters. It is an atmospheric, voice-driven novel of the occult, and the first of a three-book series.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140730.2888. Nvk – Temple Drake
A hypnotic, unforgettable Gothic page-turner soon to be a cult classic

One night in 2012, Zhang Guo Xing takes a group of European clients to a fashionable high-end nightclub in Shanghai. While there, he meets a strikingly beautiful young Finnish woman called Naemi Vieno Kuusela. The physical attraction between them proves irresistible, and they embark on an intoxicating affair. But Naemi is not what she appears to be…

To Zhang’s surprise, she veers between passion and wariness, conducting the relationship entirely on her own terms. He feels compelled to find out more about her, and is swiftly drawn into a web of intrigue, mystery, and horror. Is she a ghost? A demon? Do the living dead walk the streets of twenty-first century Shanghai?

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-15T131438.9089. The Last Wife – Karen Hamilton
Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down.

Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down.

Nina and Marie were best friends—until Nina was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before she died, Nina asked Marie to fulfill her final wishes.

But her mistake was in thinking Marie was someone she could trust.

What Nina didn’t know was that Marie always wanted her beautiful life, and that Marie has an agenda of her own. She’ll do anything to get what she wants.

Marie thinks she can keep her promise to her friend’s family on her own terms. But what she doesn’t know is that Nina was hiding explosive secrets of her own…

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-10T181007.49210. Night of the Dragon – Julie Kagawa
Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.

Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.

But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-15T131552.81811. Looking Glass – Christina Henry
In four new novellas, Christina Henry returns to the universe she created for Alice and Red Queen, where magic runs more freely than anyone suspects, but so do secrets and blood.

Lovely Creature
In the New City lives a girl called Elizabeth, a girl who has a secret: she can do magic. But someone knows Elizabeth’s secret–someone who has a secret of his own. That secret is a butterfly that lives in a jar, a butterfly made by a girl called Alice.

Girl in Amber
Alice and Hatcher are just looking for a place to rest. Alice has been dreaming of a cottage by a lake and a field of wildflowers, but while walking blind in a snowstorm they stumble into a castle that seems empty and abandoned…at least until nightfall.

When I First Came to Town
Hatcher wasn’t always Hatcher. Once, he was a boy called Nicholas, and Nicholas fancied himself the best fighter in the Old City. No matter who fought him he always won. Then his boss tells him he’s going to battle the fearsome Grinder, a man who never leaves his opponents alive.

The Mercy Seat
Alice has a secret–a secret that not even Hatcher knows yet, but pretty soon she won’t be able to keep it from him.

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140829.37312. The Deck of Omens – Christine Lynn Herman
The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home.

Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.

May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.

Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.

With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.

But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…

Books Bought:

 

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T140949.9501. Hold Back the Tide – Melinda Salisbury
Everyone knows what happened to Alva’s mother, all those years ago. But when dark forces begin to stir in Ormscaula, Alva has to face a very different future – and question everything she thought she knew about her past…

Unsettling, sharply beautiful and thought-provoking, HOLD BACK THE TIDE is the new novel from Melinda Salisbury, bestselling author of The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy.

 

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141424.761

2. Viper – Bex Hogan
He will make me a killer. Or he will have me killed. That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141526.8663. Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood – Sarah J. Maas
Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

Copy of book cover - 2020-02-27T191324.8134. Havenfall – Sara Holland
A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it — at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds — each with their own magic — together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…

Copy of book cover - 2020-04-20T141731.5645. Wilder Girls – Rory Power
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

So those are all the books I picked up in March! If you’ve read any I’d love to know what you thought, and what books you’ve picked up recently!