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!

Most Anticipated 2020 Releases!

Most Anticipated 2020 Releases!

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The Girl and the Stars – Mark Lawrence

Copy of book cover (91)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.

Release Date: April 30th 2020

A Conjuring of Assassins – Cate Glass
Copy of book cover (97)A Conjuring of Assassins is Cate Class’s second adventure with the Chimera team, a ragtag crew who use their forbidden magic for the good of the kingdom.

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.

Release Date: February 4th 2020

Ruthless Gods – Emily A. Duncan
Copy of book cover (92)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.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.

Release Date: April 7th 2020

Deep – Alma Katsu
Copy of book cover (93)Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . .

Brilliantly combining fact and fiction, the historical and the horrific, The Deep reveals a chilling truth in an unputdownable narrative full of unnerving moments and with a growing, inexorable sense of foreboding.

Release Date: March 10th 2020

Queen in Hiding – Sarah Kozloff
Copy of book cover (98)Debut author Sarah Kozloff offers a breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy of a ruler coming of age in A Queen in Hiding, and all four books will be published within a month of each other, so you can binge your favorite new fantasy series.

Orphaned, exiled and hunted, Cérulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be.

But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.

Release Date: January 21st 2020

Aurora Burning – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Copy of book cover (94)Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

Release Date: May 5th 2020

Spellhacker – M. K. England
Copy of book cover (95)In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

No pressure.

Release Date: January 21st 2020

The Unspoken Name – A. K. Larkwood
Copy of book cover (96)What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Release Date: February 11th 2020

So those are some 2020 releases I’m really excited about! What are your most anticipated releases for the new year? Let me know below!

20 Books I Want to Read in 2020!

20 Books I Want to Read in 2020!

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I thought it would be fun to do a post of 20 of the books on my TBR that I really want to get to this year. As always my TBR is overflowing and these are some books that have been on there for a bit and I am really excited to get to them. Hopefully I can make a post at the end of the year and I’ll have ticked them all off – so here goes!

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1. Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson
2. Finale – Stephanie Garber
3. Bloodchild – Anna Stephens
4. Blood Heir – Amelia Wen Zhao

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5. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco
6. Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon
7. Dispel Illusion – Mark Lawrence
8. Deviate – Jay Kristoff

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9. Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin
10. Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan
11. A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
12. The Deathless – Peter Newman

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13. Scythe – Neal Shusterman
14. The Queens of Innis Lear – Tessa Gratton
15. The Dragon Republic – R. F. Kuang
16. The Demon World – Sally Green 

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17. King of Fools – Amanda Foody
18. Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean
19. All the Wandering Light – Heather Fawcett
20. Truthwitch – Susan Dennard

So those are 20 books I hope to read in 2020! If you’ve read any I’d love to know what you thought and if you think there’s any I should prioritise, definitely let me know!

Favourite Books of 2019!

Favourite Books of 2019!

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Today I’m back with my favourite books of 2019. I always find it quite hard to whittle it down to only 10 books, but after some deliberation I’ve managed to pick them. I managed to read 108 books in 2019, so in no particular order here are my favourites!

Copy of book cover (90)1. The Queen of Nothing – Holly Black
The third and final instalment in The Folk of the Air trilogy, I couldn’t put this book down. I loved every second of this magic series.

book cover (41)2. The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang
I’m a bit late to the party with The Poppy War. I know the sequel The Dragon Republic is already out but I finally got around to picking up book one and I completely loved it. Book two is one of my top priority reads for 2020.

Copy of book cover (40)3. Sanctuary – V. V. James
This supernatural mystery/thriller had me hooked from the very beginning and I never wanted this story to end. I definitely had a few sleepless nights while I stayed up late reading this one.

book cover - 2019-03-11T211035.2504. The Furies – Katie Lowe
This dark and eerie tale of obsession, revenge and murder was so brilliant I still think about it even though I read it months ago. I’ve been recommending this book to pretty much everyone I know and it’s definitely going in my all time favourites.

Copy of book cover (56)5. Night Film – Marisha Pessl
I picked this up on the recommendation of someone else and it was genuinely one of the creepiest, most spine tingling books I’ve ever read. This was my first book by Marisha Peshl, but I can’t wait to read more from her.

Copy of book cover (27)6. An Illusion of Thieves – Cate Glass
An Illusion of Thieves was a book that completely took me by surprise. I expected to enjoy the story but I didn’t expect to get completely wrapped up in this vivid tale of magic and survival. Book two is definitely one my most anticipated releases for 2020.

Copy of book cover (12)7. Limited Wish – Mark Lawrence
The second instalment of Mark Lawrence’s Impossible Times series is just as action packed and exciting as book one and some of the twists completely blew me away. The third and final book Dispel Illusion is going to be one of my first reads in January.

book cover (48)8. Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan
I know this book received some mix reactions but I really enjoyed the unique magic system and the exciting plot. I’m really intrigued to see where the series will go next.

book cover (45)9. Aurora Rising – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
For some reason I didn’t get around to reading that many science fiction books in 2019 but Aurora Rising was one of the stand out ones. I loved this action packed space adventure with unique characters and witty banter.

Copy of book cover (80)10. Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo
Last but certainly not least, Leigh Bardugo’s newest book about secret magical societies at Yale was definitely one of my favourite reads in the last half of the year. I can’t wait for the sequel to this one and I’m sure it’s going to be just as intense and unputdownable.

So those are my favourite reads of 2019! Which books were your favourite reads this year? And if you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

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Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re talking about our favourite couples in books. I don’t read romance novels or much in the way of contemporary so most of these are from fantasy books! There might be slight spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read these books so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

1. Yelena & Valek – Study Series
Yelena and Valek are definitely my favourite couple from a book. This series is one of my all time favourites and I loved watching their relationship grow over the six books.
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2. Hunter & Morgan – Sweep Series
These two were some of my favourite characters growing up and I loved them as a couple. I’m currently rereading this fifteen book series and I still adore the characters so they definitely deserve to be on this list.

3. Vasya & Morozoko – Winternight Trilogy
I recently read the final book in this beautiful trilogy so I couldn’t make this list without my favourite heroine and the King of Winter. They were such fascinating characters and the romance between them blossomed so well in the story!
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4. Jude & Cardan – Folk of the Air
I imagine this one might be on a lot of people’s lists. The love/hate relationship between Jude and Cardan is one of the things I love most about this trilogy and honestly I’m just dying to read Queen of Nothing.


5. Hanna & Nik – Illuminae Files

I loved these two so much. Hanna is on the surface a pampered princess but with much than meets the eye and Nik is the drug dealer with a heart of gold. What’s not to love about this couple?
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6. Alosha & Riden – Daughter of the Pirate King

This duology was completely not what I was expecting and was much more romance focused than I originally thought but I really loved the sassy banter and budding romance between Alosha and Riden in this series so they were an easy choice for this list!

7. Lara Jean & Peter – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
THEY ARE JUST SO CUTE AND ADORABLE. This is the only contemporary couple on this list but they are just perfect. I loved them in the books and I adored them in the movie – they’re sweet and funny and definitely one of the best couples.
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8. Alina and Mal – Grisha Trilogy

This might be a bit of a controversial one. I know a lot of people don’t like Alina and Mal together and while I really love the Darkling, I think Alina and Mal make a really lovely couple and ultimately she ended up with the right person.

9. Hoshiko & Ben – Showstopper
These two make a really fascinating couple because they come from such different worlds. Ben is rich and lives comfortably with his status as a Pure and Hoshiko is forced to perform in a deadly circus as one of the Dregs of society. They get together and they’re such a sweet couple!
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10. Lou & Robert – A Sky Painted Gold

This Gatsby-esque historical fiction novel features a romance between the wealthy Robert Cardew and local girl Lou and I completely fell in love with their story when I read it last year. It’s a perfect summer read and a gorgeous romance!

So those are my top ten couples from books. Which couples made your list?