AUTHOR INTERVIEW | ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY

Hello All!

Now that I have let you have a little breather between me posting my review of Adrian’s ‘Shards of Earth’ I will share with you my first ever interview!

No, I am joking! I had such fun with this little project. It was great fun researching Adrian and finding unasked questions!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Meet Adrian, if you don’t already know his face…

Check him out on Twitter, Goodreads or his Website!

THE INTERVIEW…

Adrian, after a little internet stalking I managed to find out a few things about you. You’re a British author, studied Zoology and psychology., then worked as a legal executive before becoming a writer full time. You enjoy the natural world and have trained in various things and have some varied and interesting fighting skills.

So, tell me something about yourself that we don’t already know. Now don’t hold back on me this can be anything, from a random fact to a funny childhood story. Go…

AT: At university and for some years afterwards I was seriously into drama, acting – though not to the extent of actually being very good at it. However I did a lot of middling roles, and even wrote some plays that the local am dram group put on. I even met my wife while doing Shakespeare’s The Tempest. 

I can relate to that acting was always of some interest to me to, I think it is the drive to be creative, you know? Keeping on with your varied background, I noticed you studied Zoology and Psychology and then practiced as a legal executive.

How did you go from zoology to working in the legal sector? 

AT: When I got out of university the job market (mid 90s UK) was terrible. After a couple of dreadful jobs I ended up at the Legal Aid Board which processed lawyers’ claims for publicly-funded work. They were basically shifting over to a different system and had a huge backlog of paperwork to clear, so they were hiring just about anyone. That introduced me to the idea of the legal profession, but of course I had no legal training. What I did have, because of my writing, was a killer typing speed, so I managed to parlay that into a position as a legal secretary, then trained as a lawyer while working at that. 

Blimey! That is quite the change you made there! I note you also said in previous interviews that you have a love for the natural world…

What is your favourite landscape? I love the mountains but something about the rainforest just trumps it for me. 

AT: Honestly from my writing you’d think it’d be swamps, as they seem to turn up so often. I like anything that has an interesting biodiversity though. Rainforests are the top for that, but wetlands, reefs, even deserts given the amount of insects and reptiles and the like you can get there. For the purposes of the question below, however, let’s go for wetland/swamps. 

Ok, you are stranded in that terrain, which three fictional characters would you want to be stranded with and why? 

AT: I’m tempted to say Atreyu from Never-ending Story because he has a useful horse, but it’s probably too soon…

I’d go firstly for the Biologist from Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation. I admit it’s a risky choice. You wouldn’t know if you could trust her, or just who was actually looking back at you from moment to moment. If you wanted someone who understood wetlands and how to survive in them, though, there’s nobody better. For a given value of ‘survive’ of course.

Next up let’s go for Patera Silk from Gene Wolfe’s Long Sun books. Partly because he’s somewhat omnicompetent – he has a genetic predisposition to pick up and master skills extremely quickly. Mostly because he’s very good company, one of the few SFF protagonists who would be a genuinely pleasant dinner guest or travelling companion.

Finally, to blow my own trumpet and as I’ve written plenty about horrible swamps, let’s have Mallen from my own Guns of the Dawn, as he’s another born survivor with a keenly enquiring mind and I could probably prevail on him, given I wrote him, to do most of the heavy lifting. 

I am still yet to discover the full depth of the world in Shards of Earth, but I did read Doors of Eden and loved it. The detail that went into it was phenomenal. I imagine your research can be quite the rabbit hole as you have to have a wider understanding of it to be able to condense it down for your stories.

When you are researching certain topics, how much of your research would you say goes into your writing and is it hard decided what is crucial to allow the readers an understanding without going it becoming to heavy and problematic to other elements, such as the emotional impacts of certain events and characters. 

AT: It’s one of the great writer’s arts to pare what you have learned on a subject down to the bare minimum. The temptation to show off your erudition is always very strong. Certainly it’s something my editors bring me up on quite often. And every reader’s different, and some may prefer more or less visible scaffolding. It’s a real case-by-case exercise, but you get a mental feel for those situations where you just haven’t joined the dots enough, or where readers might get tripped out of the immersion by questions about why or how something happened. 

Ok, I love Space as many do, it is so incredibly intriguing and terrifying. So, let’s talk aliens! The idea that we are alone in the universe is equally as terrifying as us not being alone. What is your take on this, do you believe in aliens? 

AT: Given the scale of the universe, the idea that we’re the one world with recognizable life is inconceivable. The universe has a common chemistry, the same elements produced from stars, that react together in the same ways. Carbon’s out there and it behaves in certain ways in conjunction with other elements. We know those complex interactions can cross over into becoming self-replicating life (because it did on Earth), and likely that’s just one pathway of many by which life systems could arise. And once even very simple life gets going, it will accelerate and adapt to every niche and environment accessible to it, once you have a self-replicating but fallible system with finite resources. It seems likely that the first alien life we meet – perhaps even within our own solar system – will be the equivalent of prokaryotic microbes, because the majority of the history of life on Earth is single-celled, but that’s still alien life. And, given enough time, there are various pathways that can leave to a higher-energy lifestyle, more complex organisms, larger and more varied life, even sentience. 

That is so incredible! I personally agree, I think it is just too big for there not to be anything, as like you said it would stile alien life, just maybe not as we think of it.

As a lover of sci-fi I have always watched sci-fi TV shows and movies. Especially when I was younger with my dad, we watched some great sci-fi shows. I always loved Farscape and Stargate SG1.

Did you watch any such shows and if so which one was your favourite? 

AT: Farscape remains my favourite TV SF show. Other favourites from back in the day include B5 and Doctor Who, which was my very first fandom. More recently there was the new incarnation of Battlestar Galactica (and yes, I was of an age to watch the original as well!), and masterpieces like The Expanse and Discovery, which are my current space-viewing. 

Yes! I am so glad you love Farscape! Doctor Who is amazing too. I feel like we are getting more and more sci-fi gems on TV of late, and I for one am here for it!

Moving on, or I will fangirl and not finish this interview!

Now, you’re a full time writer tell us a little about your working day as a full time writer. 

AT: Well right now and 18 months ago are a little different. Back before The Thing I tended to go write in coffee shops or the Waterstones café. Since the changes, I’ve adapted well enough to writing at home, up in the attic like the wife in Jane Eyre. I tend to write in a single block in the mornings, and depending on how things are going, possibly more later on. Or I may have edits or something similar to get down to later in the day. 

Ah I bet you miss that! Coffee shops are amazing. You are an incredibly quick writer having published several books now, 124 listing works if you ask Goodreads. And you publish them at such a fantastic rate! What is your average turnaround for a book? 

AT: I plan a great deal and I think that helps my output. I don’t write more per day than most, I think – at least based on the reports of those of my peers who talk about wordcount. I tend to produce a first draft that doesn’t need much editing before I can submit it, though. The pre-planning means things can fall into place without my going back to retcon and alter earlier chapters most of the time. Now I’m writing full time I would hope to get that first draft done in six months, perhaps, for a full length novel. 

Some of Adrians other works…

Keeping in with that vein of questioning, what is you writing process like. Do you plan and allocate time to certain phases such as researching, planning and writing or do you just sit down and let the stay cool out? 

AT: I don’t really allocate time, I just do. I always start with the worldbuilding, and any attendant research that might need. Ideally, by the time I actually start on the first chapter, I’ve got a world with all its axioms, histories, factions, species etc, from which have arisen both the characters and the events of the plot. I’ve got a chapter breakdown showing me where the book’s going to go. I hit the ground running, basically. And it doesn’t always work. I’ve had a couple of projects where the plan has fallen apart in the middle and I’ve had to go back and reorder and re-write large sections. And at that point I suspect I’m floundering where a writer more used to writing on the fly would just sail past. 

What would you say is your biggest change in the way you write now to the way you wrote early in your writing career? 

AT: I think it comes down to a kind of blanket awareness of how it all comes together. Partly a conscious understanding of the mechanics of narrative and language, partly a subconscious feel for what works. Plus, frankly, I’m older and better informed and hopefully have a broader understanding of… just stuff basically. So the decisions I make in the story are hopefully less naïve than they have been. 

So a little about your newest book!

Shards of Earth talk to me about that. You have some pretty unique races and politics involved. I loved the Hivers immediately with the whole hive mind concept, who was your favourite race to create and play with. 

AT: So Shards of Earth and the Final Architecture series, yes. I had a cracking time putting the universe together for those books – both the human factions and groups and the various alien species that interact with them. It’s hard to choose, but I suspect the Essiel are my favourites, just because they’re so maddeningly obscure. They have a huge space empire, which scared the crap out of the humans who first met them. They have dozens of other species as subject races, and yet they’re not remotely aggressive or interested in invading. They’d just love it if humans joined their collective, but, you know, no pressure. Except the problem with the Essiel is that they’re really not very human at all, and so all negotiations with them go through alien interpreters, and then through the weird human cult that’s decided the Essiel are saviour gods, and couch everything in religious terms. And then you have the human diplomats hearing all this ecumenical business and trying to work out what it is exactly that the Essiel really want. And then of course humans learned what the deal was, a little too late, because the Essiel had already met the world-reshaping Architects a while back, only the translations never quite got to that part. 

What were some of your influences for Shards of Earth? 

Honestly the biggest influence was all the sublight travel in Children of Ruin. I was very ready to go a bit further from the hard science just so I could have FTL travel. And when I’d made that decision, I had to work up a nice, novel system for how FTL might work in this universe, and that kind of expanded to take over the book, as you’ll see. The lead character, Idris, is an Intermediary, which means among other things that he’s an unspace navigator. And unspace, where you go when you need to get around the universe faster than light does, is a nasty place, and allegedly something even nastier lives in it, and Idris has been living with that for decades. And so the basic SF concepts aren’t just futuristic conveniences for the characters or the plot, they’re shot all the way through the book. And it all kind of flowered out of that. The Architects themselves, of course, are a take on that classic SF staple, the Big Dumb Object, except in this case they’re also a creature, and they kill planets. And the first human contact anyone has with them is when they come and kill Earth.

Well, Adrian, thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of my questions! It has been such fun! I hope we can do it again sometime!


There you have it folks, my first ever interview! I hope you liked it and enjoyed Adrian’s answers I know he had me giggling at a few. I would love to keep doing this as it is to fun, so if you can think of any fun questions I could have asked et me know!

Thank you for reading, feel free to comment or head on over to my Twitter account and we can have a talk all things bookish!


COVER REVEAL | THE STONE GOD BY ERIN KELLISON

A massive thank you to the amazing Storytellers On Tour for arranging this cover reveal.

Hello Bookish Folks! I’m Sam from The Book in Hand!

It genuinely feels like a really long time since I have said hello, that I felt like I needed to introduce myself again! I have had some huge changes in my personal life with work and other projects recently so fell behind badly on the blog! However, I AM BACK!

I still have a lot do do away from The book in Hand but I’m going to make sure to get back to this!

So today I am partnering with the brilliant and hard working Storytellers On Tour to bring you a beautiful cover reveal for The Stone God by Erin Kellison.

If you have seen the cover already through some of the other amazing bloggers featuring this cover reveal you will see how fabulous it is! It is so beautiful!

This book cover is by cover artist Story Wrappers. My word…they have some INCREDIBLE art on their website, so definitely go and check them out, and if you are an author in need of cover art then save their name!

A few things about the author first…

eRIN KELLISON

Erin Kellison is the bestselling author of the Dragons of Bloodfire series, the Reveler series, and the Shadow series.

She writes fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction rOmance. She loves other worlds and visits them as often as possible via movies and books and her kids’ imaginations. When not daydreaming or writing, she’s goofing off with her family in sunny Arizona.


SOCIAL MEDIA AND CONTACT LINKS…


SYNOPSIS:

Terah Crane knows not to tempt the gods. A happy life—or at least an uncomplicated one—involves no gods at all. And since her loving grandfather bought her an Indulgence that ex-empts her from their service, she can focus on her other problems of being recently di-vorced, broke, and unemployed.

Seeking a fresh start, Terah packs everything she owns into her beat-up car and moves to her family’s empty country cottage—never mind that deadly firedrakes occasionally wan-der into the garden. When an unlikely flood carries a cracked pillar of stone from a nearby shrine right to Terah’s doorstep, it seems the gods demand her service after all.

Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy

PRE-ORDER HERE!

Release Date: 24th May 2021


Ok.

Time.

For.

The.

Cover.

Feast Your Eyes Upon

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.

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The Stone God.




KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK TWELVE

Hello and welcome back to Keep It or Cut It!

I have missed a few of these lately, I have been so busy, work is making the most of the fact we are on furlough and I have so much training to get done by the weekend. I still have so many modules to get done but I feel bad that I have neglected this feature. So pardon me for a shorter post this week…

The Method

In order to find out if I wish to KEEP IT OR CUT IT I will do the following:

  • See if the blurb/synopsis still tickles my fancy
  • Check out the reviews
  • Maybe read the sample

THE BOOKS…

BOOK #1

THE IRON KING BY JULIE KAGAWA

Goodreads Link

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Thoughts:

I feel like this book will be a bit of a throwback book, I really like fae stories always have but I cant always find one that deal more in the adult fantasy genre than young adult.

“I was greatly impressed with the way Kagawa intertwined the steampunk of today with the fey stories we have always been so captivated by.”

Trin (4 Stars)

BOOK #2

SNOW LIKE ASHES BY SARA RAASCH

Goodreads Link

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Thoughts:

Trusty reviewer I appreciate do not love this book, and the points raised can be a pain sooo…

BOOK #3

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS BY RAE CARSON

Goodreads Link

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

Thoughts:

You know, this books sounds like a book I would like to read. I always like these reads when Im in the mood and I don’t feel like im aware of to many that are done well, so considering the reviews I will keep this for one of those days.

For one reason or another, this book didn’t have much initial cover appeal to me, so I passed it over early on without taking the time to find out what it was about. Foolish I tell you – FOOLISH! It wasn’t until I jumped aboard the Throne of Glass bandwagon that I started noticing the many cross-references between the two series.

Niki Hawkes (5 Stars)

BOOK #4

THE LIGHTNING THIEF BY RICK RIORDAN

Goodreads Link

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. 

Thoughts:

This is a book I have been meaning to read for so long but never have, and sadly I don’t think I will..

BOOK #5

ERAGON BY CHRISTOPHER PALINI

Goodreads Link

One boy…
One dragon…
A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands. 

Thoughts:

I actually have these books on my shelves and I have read them, but it was that long ago I have no clue what happens (not beyond the movie) so I really want to see if it still good.

BOOK #6 THE VINE WITCH BY LUANNE G. SMITH

Goodreads Link

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

Thoughts:

I don’t know why but this book just doesn’t grab me, it did when I first saw it, and I even have the eBook. Maybe I will read it but if I really fancy it and see it on my kindle but otherwise…

BOOK #7 THE NINTH SORCERESS BY BONNIE WYNNE

Goodreads Link

In the blackest dungeon of the Clockwork City, a prisoner lies bound in silver shackles. Who is she? And why are the wizards so afraid of her?

Seventeen-year-old Gwyn has no family and no past. Apprenticed to a half-mad herbalist, she travels the snow-blasted High Country, hawking potions in a peddler’s wagon. Her guardian hides her from the world like a dark secret, and she knows better than to push for answers.

But when she discovers she is hunted by the goddess Beheret, Gwyn is drawn into a deep and ancient tale: of chained gods and lost magic, of truths long buried and the rising of a war she never could have imagined.

Wizards and their magic-sniffing hounds pursue her – as does a stranger in a smiling mask, who calls her by an unfamiliar name… 

But what really terrify her are the dangerous gifts she’s spent her life suppressing. Now, Gwyn must step out of the shadows and take charge of her destiny – even if the price is her own soul.

The Ninth Sorceress is the breathtaking first instalment of The Price of Magic, a sweeping fantasy saga full of rich storytelling and tangible magic. 

Thoughts:

I don’t actually mind the sound of this book, it isn’t doing anything new but it doesn’t sound bd. I just know I won’t read it over other books I have and want to read.

BOOK #8

SEMIOSIS BY SUE BURKE

Goodreads Link

In this character driven novel of first contact by debut author Sue Burke, human survival hinges on an bizarre alliance.

Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that mammals are more than tools.

Forced to land on a planet they aren’t prepared for, human colonists rely on their limited resources to survive. The planet provides a lush but inexplicable landscape–trees offer edible, addictive fruit one day and poison the next, while the ruins of an alien race are found entwined in the roots of a strange plant. Conflicts between generations arise as they struggle to understand one another and grapple with an unknowable alien intellect.

Thoughts:

Character driven, debut and bizarre alliances…what isn’t intriguing about that, plus it has some good reviews. I remember adding this because it was nothing like what I have read or usually read and I want to push the boat out a little.

BOOK #9 NINEFOX GAMBIT BY YOON HA LEE

Goodreads Link

The first installment of the trilogy, Ninefox Gambit, centers on disgraced captain Kel Cheris, who must recapture the formidable Fortress of Scattered Needles in order to redeem herself in front of the Hexarchate.

To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.

Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.

The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.

Thoughts:

I did not know this was Yoon Ha Lee! It doesn’t make much a difference because I tried reading this a while back but couldn’t really get it into but I find it coincidental that I have just read Phoenix Extravagant and then this books crops up.

BOOK #10

THE NINTH RAIN BY JEN WILLIANS

Goodreads Link

The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall…

Thoughts:

This has been on my radar for quite a while, and I actually grabbed a copy of it recently.

The Ninth Rain won the Best Fantasy Novel trophy in British Fantasy Awards 2018; this is a totally well-deserved victory. “

Petrik (4.5 Stars)

There it is!

So, this week I have cut 5 books and kept 5. HALF AND HALF, I think this is the first week I have cut more than three!

What do you think are there any books I really should have cut or ones you cant believe I cut?


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 SFF AUDIOBOOKS UNDER 12 HOURS…

***Please note this page contains affiliate links and at no extra charge to you I can earn a small fee on any qualifying purchases. Any and all money earned through these goes straight back into the blog***

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk! Sam here, and I am going to talk to you today about AUDIOBOOKS…

I love audiobooks!

But boy can some of them be long ass narrations, I mean they are long ass books so it not going to be a short narration but still they can be pretty daunting. I find that I quite like the 12 to 16 hour mark, I will listen to longer but I like that it doesn’t take me ages to finish these narration lengths.

They are great for cleaning, cooking, longer drives, commutes and so much more! But this isn’t a post about when you can listen to audiobooks. So, here is a list of seven audiobooks within the Fantasy genre that are less than 12 hours long…

ON TO THE AUDIOBOOKS…

The Black Elfstone NARRATED BY SIMON VANCE

Book One of the Fall of Shannara, TERRY BROOKS

Narration Length: 10 Hours 37 Minutes

A lot of people talk about Terry Brooks and his books and yet I haven’t read any of his books yet but when I saw this audiobook was just over 10 hours I had to pick it up, and then to see it is narrated by Simon Vance…I WAS SOLD!

Simon Vance is a great narrator and has one of those voices I could listen to for quite some time, he always brings his books to life and his characters are always distinguishable and fun. I have started to listening to this narration and straight off the bat he sets the tone of the opening scene and brings to life the characters involved.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK


THE HOBBIT NARRATED BY ANDY SERKIS

J. R. R. TOLKIEN

Narration Length: 10 Hour and 24 Minutes

This is one of my favourite audiobooks, and it is a favourite book of mien too but to have it read by Andy Serkis is nothing short of amazing! We all love Gollum and his unique voice to to have Serkis narrate this and bring Gollum to life on a whole other level was so fun.

Serkis bring everything from the long descriptions to the singing to life, and I really hope he narrates the LOTR’s audiobooks to then I can listen to them.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK


RING SHOUT NARRATED BY CHANNIE WAITES

P. DJELI CLARK

Narration Length: 5 Hours and 36 Minutes

Now, this is a super short audiobook as it is a short story but it is so good and it packs so much into its five and a half hours! I loved this when I read it, and I grabbed the audiobook so I could keep reading/listening while I did other things too.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK


The BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE NARRATED BY KATHLEEN GATI

Book One of the WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY, KATHERINE ARDEN

Narration Length: 11 Hours and 48 Minutes

This absolutely gorgeous novel can be enjoyed in Gati’s soothing and immersive voice. Gati really tells this story, it is so atmospheric and I adore this audiobook. They way she tells the story is just so soulful and brilliant and you really get a feel for the characters and their struggles and triumphs.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK


BLOOD OF ELVES NARRATED BY PETER KENNY

Book One of the WITCHER SERIES, ANDRZEJ SAPKOWSKI

Narration Length: 11 Hours and 11 Minutes

Ok, so The Witcher series hardly need any introduction, it is a TV show, a book series and a game. It is everywhere. It has epic creatures and Geralt…what more do you need to know?! The narration of this book is really great Kenny has a really unique voice. I will admit at first I wasn’t sure but having a few more narrators and listens under my belt I can appreciate Kenny’s voice for what it is, and that is a gritty and very charismatic voice.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK


DRAGON FLIGHT NARRATED BY SOPHIE ALDRED

Book One of the DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN, ANNE MCCAFFREY

Narration Length: 10 Hours and 7

In this instance it is Sophie Aldred who needs no introduction, I listened to Sophie’s narration of The Doors of Eden and I also have her narration of Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward. Sophie is an incredible narrator and I had such fun listening to The Doors of Eden, obviously it is as much to do with the book as it is the voice, but I cannot praise Sophie enough.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK


BLACKWING NARRATED BY COLIN MACE

Book One of the RAVENSMARKS TRILOGY, ED MCDONALD

Narration Length: 11 Hours and 27 Minutes

Ahhh Colin Mace, I love Colin Mace’s voice. He is very similar to Simon Vance in that he is a narrator I can listen to for longer durations. He is such a great storyteller and and his voice…I swear it just is a balm to my soul!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK


Also check out 7 AUDIOBOOKS FOR PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE WITH AUDIOBOOKS for even more audiobook recommendations!

Thanks for reading.


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS WITH FIERCE ASS MOMMA BEARS…

***Please note this page contains affiliate links and at no extra charge to you I can earn a small fee on any qualifying purchases. Any and all money earned through these goes straight back into the blog***

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk & Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful mommas out there!

Well, seen as though it is mothers day I figured what better way to celebrate than to have todays Sundays Seven feature some of the awesome mums that feature in SFF books!

I was talking to David and Eleni a little while ago about tropes and I had myself a wee moan about the orphaned hero trope. I don’t hate it but I always thought to myself why can’t the hero just have a normal and functional family? I get it, the ambiguous origins trope means that you can have an easier route to other tropes such as the amazing trope of found family or the secret heir trope, but there are still ways to get to those with them having a family! Then to add to that, when there is a family dynamic we see the evil step mother or the disgraced child (in the terrible parents eyes) and so you can see how parents have themselves a wee bit of a bad rap in books!

And folks that ain’t on! I have a fierce ass momma bear of my own, and she has been mom and dad for a bloody long time, so as a thank you to her and all the fierce mothers out there I wanted to find some books with some fierce, loyal and loving mums in them!

So, without further ado, here are seven books which feature a fierce momma bear…

ON TO THE BOOKS…

ORKA

(The Shadow of the Gods BY JOHN GWYNNE)

“Fear is no bad thing,” Orka said. “How can you be brave if you do not feel fear?”
“I don’t understand,” Breca said, frowning.”
“Courage is being scared of a task and doing it anyway.”

Having just read this incredible book (which I will post a review for soon) I simply could not have a list about fierce momma bears and not feature Orka! I think I was less than ten pages into this book and I knew I would love Orka, I even tweeted about expecting to see one of the fiercest mums in the book and I wasn’t disappointed!

Orka is such an incredible mum, and not one I would want to mess with…AT ALL! This mum has some serious skills and she will scour the earth for her son and die to protect him! The raw emotions you see within the pages of this book are incredible, from the motherly chastising to her internal worries and fear you will feel it all!

“It is a hard world, and we will not always be here to protect him from it. We are not just his parents, we are his teachers, too.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


MOLLY WEASLEY

(HARRY POTTER SERIES BY J.K. ROWLING)

“You – will – never – touch – our – children – again!’ screamed Mrs. Weasley.
Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backwards through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did. Molly’s curse soared beneath Bellatrix’s outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart.”

I love Mrs. Weasley she is a different kind of fierce mum, she is the stay at home beautiful mother to a brood of seven (I think) and she is such a loving and caring mum and one I adore! She is funny, she cooks the best food, knits the sweater and will shout at her silly kids through a letter for being a dumb kid! I’m sure I have pushed my mum to some of the levels of frustration you see from Molly for being a little shit!

“Now, you two – this year, you behave yourselves. If I get one more owl telling me you’ve – you’ve blown up a toilet or –”
“Blown up a toilet? We’ve never blown up a toilet.”
“Great idea though, thanks, Mum.”

Then throw in the fact that on top of her children already she has no issue taking Harry and Hermione under her wing too!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


MISAKI

THE SWORD OF KAIGEN BY M.L. WANG

Oh Misaki! How I love her, she made me feel strong yet beaten and so much more.

Misaki is another type of fierce mother and her journey is a phenomenal one, she goes through so many stages with her children and motherhood, she goes from feeling like her children are husbands and less hers, to longing for her old life and all the way to her realising that isn’t the case and her fighting ! It is an emotional roller coaster!

“What is really important to me was protecting the people I cared about. I’ve never needed a sword to protect you—to raise you the way your father wanted. Caring for my family meant putting away the fighter, so I did.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


ALANA

SAGA BY BRIAN K. VAUGHAN

I love this series! And Alana is funny, kick ass and such a great mum. She is always trying to e better and very rarely has Hazel far from her.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


TAMRA

RACE THE SANDS BY SARAH BETH DURST

“Tamra’s breath caught in her throat. She spun around and there was Shalla! Dropping to her knees, Tamra pulled her in tight until she yelped.”

Tamra is another mother who just wants what is best for her little girl! She faces so many challenges through her journey and is constantly trying to make the best of her situation. She proves that they don’t need all tings lavish, but what her daughter does need is unconditional love!

On top of that she assumes a mother role of another character within the book too, despite all her struggles.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


AGNES

ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES BY ALIX E. HARROW

“Agnes almost laughs at her: of course she wants a child. Of course she wants to lay its sleeping cheek against her breastbone and smell its milk-sweet bread, to become on its behalf something grander than herself: a castle or a sword, stone or steel…”

In The Once and Future Witches we see a different take on being a mum, we see it through the eyes of Agnes as her baby grows in her tummy.

Agnes shows the love and care that mothers go through on their journey, from realising they are pregnant to the bond they slowly but surely develop throughout the pregnancy. Agnes develops a fierce love for someone she has never met and you see how it changes the way she sees the world, the people and how she makes some huge decisions.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


CERSEI LANNISTER, GILLY, LYANNA STARK & CATELYN STARK

GAME OF THRONES BOOKS BY GEORGE R. R. MARTIN

Game of Thrones reps so many mums here, and with such a variety too! We have Cersei who, despite having some seriously messed up traits, can’t be said to not love her children! Yes, she makes mistakes but down to her core her children are her everything.

Gilly is my absolute favourite she goes so far to protect her baby, she is so wholesome and lovely and is always trying her best!

Then we have Catelyn and Lyanna Stark! Lyanna did everything she could before her son was even born to ensure he was safe and it cost her everything, if that isn’t a fierce display of love then i don’t know what is! Then we have the super tough mum, Catelyn Stark she might have been a dick to Jon but she loved her own children fiercely and always seemed to have their best interest at heart.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


There you have it, seven books that feat a different variety of all the strong momma bears out there!

Thanks for reading. Who are some of your favourite mums in books!?


BOOK OF THE MONTH | FEBRUARY

Hello Bookish folks!

It is that time of month where I talk about the book I have read in February and guys I read a lot in February, too much to be honest. While I enjoyed the books I read after so many I got serious book fatigue. My pace dropped and I had a mini slump of sorts, it wasn’t the slump in which no book sounded interesting but a literal inability to focus and read more than a few paragraphs without being distracted by tiny things!

I overdid it!

Though, I have to admit I am seriously impressed with my month at the same time, I made such a big push because I want to get through my ARCs both physicals and from NetGalley, and I was able to up my NetGalley ration through the five reviews I was able to get through.

On top of that I dealt with a two physical ARCs and worked my way up to a few other NetGalleys…the ones where I may have, and by may have I mean definitely did, request book three of a series which then got accepted and so meant I have to read the two earlier books…

I know, its a shameful thing to do!

What I am reading currently…

I am currently reading The Light of All That Falls by James Islington with David S from FanFiAddict and Eleni from Late Night Books! I am also about 70% of the way through The End of Dreams by Marcus Lee as a part of the Book Tour hosted by Storytellers on Tour and finally I am listening to The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell in preparation for one of those shamefully requested NetGalley.

ALL ARE GREAT SO FAR!

WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them – the Gifted – are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion’s Four Tenets, vastly limiting their own powers.
As a young Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and his friends are despised beyond their school walls for the magical power they wield: a power that Davian, despite his best efforts, cannot seem to control. Worse, with his final test approaching and the consequences of failure severe, time to overcome his struggles is fast running out.
But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will change his life – and shake the entire world.

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: Here

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book, more so because I had the joy of reading this with some amazing book friends but I cannot deny it is an amazing debut!

Snakewood by Adrian Selby

This debut epic fantasy from a British writer of incredible talent tells the tale of the Twenty, a band of mercenaries hunted by an unknown killer. Filled with unique voices and incredible worldbuilding, this stunning novel will delight fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher, Joe Abercrombie or Mark Lawrence.

Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through their cunning, their closely guarded alchemical brews and stone cold steel. Whoever met their price won.
Now, their glory days behind them and their genius leader in hiding, the warriors known as the ‘Twenty’ are being hunted down and eliminated one by one.

A lifetime of enemies has its own price.

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Snakewood was a really great and an amazing introduction to the works of Adrian Selby, it is a format that some may not like. It has an actually name but I cant remember it but it is when the book is made up of a collective of journals and accounts to make up a story. Either way I really enjoyed it.

THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD by T. L. HUCHU

When ghosts talk, she will listen . . .

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghost talker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

Opening up a world of magic and adventure, The Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu is the first book in the Edinburgh Nights series.

Review Link: Here

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

This was a different read to my normal, I enjoyed it and its main strength is definitely its main character Ropa.

Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt

Following in the steps of Neil Gaiman & Joanne Harris, the author expertly weaves Norse myths and compelling characters into this fierce, magical epic fantasy.

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods.

A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim.

A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

Review Link: Here

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Now, this wasn’t my favourite read as I had a few issues as to character depth and its length but I can appreciate its prose, world-building and captivating plot.

THE SHADOW OF THE GODS by John Gwynne

Set in a brand-new, Norse-inspired world, and packed with myth, magic and bloody vengeance, The Shadow of the Gods begins an epic new fantasy saga from bestselling author John Gwynne.

After the gods warred and drove themselves to extinction, the cataclysm of their fall shattered the land of Vigrið.

Now a new world is rising, where power-hungry jarls feud and monsters stalk the woods and mountains. A world where the bones of the dead gods still hold great power for those brave – or desperate – enough to seek them out.

Now, as whispers of war echo across the mountains and fjords, fate follows in the footsteps of three people: a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman who has rejected privilege in pursuit of battle fame, and a thrall who seeks vengeance among the famed mercenaries known as the Bloodsworn.

All three will shape the fate of the world as it once more falls under the shadow of the gods . . . 

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

As usually John Gwynne has knocked it out of the park! He is such a great writer, I was only discussing the other day with a friend that in some ways we love these books because we trust John Gwynne as an author. So while usually I might not like something, say I don’t know like a cliffhanger! I really don’t mind with Gwynne books because he has done nothing but deliver in the past and has earned my trust as a reader!

THE LEGION OF FLAME by ANTHONY RYAN

Survival is the only currency…

For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood–and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed–to fuel and protect its empire. But when the drake blood lines began to fail, a perilous expedition was mounted to secure them.

Claydon Torcreek survived the fraught mission through uncharted lands in pursuit of a myth that might have secured his people’s future. Instead he found a nightmare. The legendary White Drake was awoken from a millennia-long slumber, with a thirst to reduce the world of men to ashes, and the power to compel an army of Spoiled slaves to do it.

Spurred on by a vision he desperately hopes he can trust, Clay and rebel naval officer Corrick Hilemore hijack a warship and head towards the icy southern seas, searching for an ancient secret that may give them and their allies a fighting chance.

They are aided on another front by Blood-blessed agent Lizanne Lethridge. The spy and assassin will use her diplomatic status to infiltrate deep into enemy territory on a quest for a device to save them all.

As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few Blood-blessed are the last hope for all of civilisation. 

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Anthony Ryan is another author who has my trust a a reader, I really love these books and I am so sooo excited to start book three! This is a brilliant second instalment to an already amazing series.

THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by ALIX E. HARROW

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: Here

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book, it was a nice refreshing read for me and one that timed perfectly with my mood at the time, proving that just sometimes being a mood reader rocks!

The Ravenmaster’s Revenge by Jacob Sannox

It is the autumn of 2019. Merlin’s wayward apprentice has escaped from the Tower of London with his raven familiars. Legend foretells that the White Tower, then England, will fall.
Can King Arthur, a weary veteran of the English Civil War, Waterloo and the Somme, prevent the Ravenmaster from exacting his revenge?

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

This book is a great reworking of an Arthurian legend, and one which I enjoyed, a strength of this book for me was the authors ability to show the effects of immortality on a person, something I have seen other more popular authors not do half as well.

Priest of Lies by Peter McLean

Tomas Piety has been many things: soldier, priest, gangster…and spy. As Tomas’s power grows, the nobility better watch their backs, in this dark and gritty epic fantasy series.

People are weak, and the poorer and more oppressed they are, the weaker they become–until they can’t take it anymore. And when they rise up…may the gods help their oppressors.

When Tomas Piety returned from the war, he just wanted to rebuild his empire of crime with his gang of Pious Men. But his past as a spy for the Queen’s Men drew him back in and brought him more power than he ever imagined.

Now, with half of his city in ashes and the Queen’s Men at his back, the webs of political intrigue stretch out from the capital to pull Tomas in. Dannsburg is calling.

In Dannsburg the nobility fight with words, not blades, but the results are every bit as bloody. In this pit of beasts, Tomas must decide once and for all whether he is truly the people’s champion…or just a priest of lies.

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: Here

My Thoughts:

An impressive and standout dark fantasy sequel from Peter McLean for a series which is shaping up to be an all-time favourite.

A ​Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas 

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

This is a typical SJM fantasy romance, and one I enjoyed very much!

An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington 

Darkness spreads across a land in need of heroes.

In the wake of the devastating attack on Ilin Illan, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs – finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against Andarra. However, as Davian and his new allies hurry north towards the ever-weakening Boundary, fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.
In the capital, Wirr is forced to contend with assassins and an increasingly hostile Administration as he controversially assumes the mantle of Northwarden, uncovering a mystery which draws into question everything commonly believed about the rebellion his father led twenty years ago. Meanwhile, Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows, determined to discover not only where they went but the origin of the Vessels that created them – and, ultimately, a cure.
And with time against him as he races to fulfil the treacherous bargain with the Lyth, Caeden continues to wrestle with the impossibly heavy burdens of his past. Yet as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realise that the motivations of the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed . . .

Check it out on Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Another second instalment that was brilliant, while this did feel lie it was setting up the third book a little it was still a great book and one I loved!


Ok, so the bit of the post you actually wanted to read…

This months BOOK OF THE MONTH is…

THE SHADOW OF THE GODS BY JOHN GWYNNE

Once again I have been very lucky in the books I have read this month, but John Gwynne has this one in the bag and it is much to do with the fact the book is bloody brilliant but also to do with the fact that this book got me out the book fatigue/slump I was talking about earlier.


Well that’s is fellow book friends! Thank you for reading, feel free to comment here or on Twitter if you have read and loved/hated any of my reads this month. Also, let me know what your favourite read was this month.


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 NONFICTION BOOKS I WANT TO READ & THINGS I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT…

Hello Everyone and welcome back to The Book in Hand for another Sundays Seven post!

If you have been with me from the start of my blogging journey you will know I only really read fantasy and a small amount of sci-fi. Well, I realised when I was walking the other day how much I now listen to audiobooks. I listen when I am walking the dog, when I am playing around on Inkscape, cleaning and cooking. I even listen when I am at work sometimes so I can get few quite a few.

I want to challenge myself a little bit to broaden my reading genres but also use the gift that audiobooks have become for a little more.

I am one of those people that digests so much more information through listening to people than reading, all the way through university I recorded myself reading my textbooks so I could listen to them and do other stuff while doing some of my pre-class reading and revising, because revising for exams sucks.

Since finishing university, and being so thankful to finally not be in education I stopped learning much of anything, and despite having done five years at university doing my undergraduate and my master, I miss it. So, I am going to task myself with some nonfiction books about things I want to learn more about! They will likely be about history but it may change depending on how this goes, if I discover some cool fun things but…

LET US LOOK AT THE BOOKS THEN, EHH….


Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution by Helen Zia

TOPICS:

Chinese History | Politics | War | Asian Culture

The dramatic real life stories of four young people caught up in the mass exodus of Shanghai in the wake of China’s 1949 Communist revolution–a precursor to the struggles faced by emigrants today. 


Shanghai has historically been China’s jewel, its richest, most modern and westernized city. The bustling metropolis was home to sophisticated intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and a thriving middle class when Mao’s proletarian revolution emerged victorious from the long civil war. Terrified of the horrors the Communists would wreak upon their lives, citizens of Shanghai who could afford to fled in every direction. Seventy years later, members of the last generation to fully recall this massive exodus have revealed their stories to Chinese American journalist Helen Zia, who interviewed hundreds of exiles about their journey through one of the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century. From these moving accounts, Zia weaves together the stories of four young Shanghai residents who wrestled with the decision to abandon everything for an uncertain life as refugees in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States.

Benny, who as a teenager became the unwilling heir to his father’s dark wartime legacy, must decide either to escape to Hong Kong or navigate the intricacies of a newly Communist China. The resolute Annuo, forced to flee her home with her father, a defeated Nationalist official, becomes an unwelcome exile in Taiwan. The financially strapped Ho fights deportation from the U.S. in order to continue his studies while his family struggles at home. And Bing, given away by her poor parents, faces the prospect of a new life among strangers in America. The lives of these men and women are marvelously portrayed, revealing the dignity and triumph of personal survival. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga

TOPICS:

Race | Politics | British History

In Black and British, award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga offers readers a rich and revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination and Shakespeare’s Othello.

It reveals that behind the South Sea Bubble was Britain’s global slave-trading empire and that much of the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery. It shows that Black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of the First World War. Black British history can be read in stately homes, street names, statues and memorials across Britain and is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

TOPICS:

Genghis Khan | Mongol History | War | Asian Culture

Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from the story of his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of his devastatingly successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed.

There was a far longer synopsis for this book but this one was still better, I’m pretty sure the other was jus an except from the book!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari 

TOPICS:

Science | Sociology | Anthropology | Evolution | Biology

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. 

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? 

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? 

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power … and our future. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

1776 by DAVID MCCULLOUGH 

TOPICS:

Military History | War | Politics | Declaration of Independence | American Revolution

In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence – when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, an his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.

At the center of the drama, with Washington, are two young American patriots, who, at first, knew no more of war than what they had read in books – Nathaniel Green, a Quaker who was made a general at thirty-three, and Henry Knox, a twenty-five-year-old bookseller who had the preposterous idea of hauling the guns of Fort Ticonderoga overland to Boston in the dead of Winter.

But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost – Washington, who had never before led an army in battle. Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough’s 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

England’s Other Countrymen: Blackness in Tudor Society by Onyeka Nubia

TOPICS:

Tudor History | England | Race | Politics

The Tudor period remains a source of timeless fascination, with endless novels, TV shows, and films depicting the period in myriad ways. And yet our image of the Tudor era remains overwhelmingly white. This ground-breaking and provocative new book seeks to redress the balance: revealing not only how black presence in Tudor England was far greater than has previously been recognized, but that Tudor conceptions of race were far more complex than we have been led to believe.   

Drawing on original research, Onyeka Nubia shows that Tudors from many walks of life regularly interacted with people of African descent, both at home and abroad, revealing a genuine pragmatism towards race and acceptance of difference. Nubia also rejects the influence of the “Curse of Ham” myth on Tudor thinking, and persuasively argues that many of the ideas associated with modern racism are therefore relatively recent developments.  England’s Other Countrymen is a bravura and eloquent forgotten history of diversity and cultural exchange, and casts a new light on our own attitudes towards race.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE AMAZONS: WOMEN WARRIORS IN MYTH AND HISTORY by Lyn Webster Wilde

TOPICS:

Women | Mythology | Amazons

‘Golden-shielded, silver-sworded, man-loving, male-child slaughtering Amazons,’ is how the fifth-century Greek historian Hellanicus described the Amazons, and they have fascinated humanity ever since. Did they really exist? For centuries, scholars consigned them to the world of myth, but Lyn Webster Wilde journeyed into the homeland of the Amazons and uncovered astonishing evidence of their historic reality.
North of the Black Sea she found archaeological excavations of graves of Iron Age women buried with arrows, swords and armour. In the hidden world of the Hittites, near the Amazons’ ancient capital of Thermiscyra in Anatolia, she unearthed traces of powerful priestesses, women-only religious cults, and an armed, bisexual goddess – all possible sources for the ferocious women.
Combining scholarly penetration with a sense of adventure, Webster Wilde has produced a coherent and absorbing book that challenges preconceived notions, still disturbingly widespread, of what men and women can do.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?


Well, we shall see how I fare with these first!


KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK ELEVEN

Hello and welcome back to Keep It or Cut It!

It is Thursday AGAIN! And that means me very slowly going through my TBR, ten books at a time.

As you can see by the title this is the 11th Keep It or Cut It post and you know what…MY TBR IS BIGGER THAN WHEN I STARTED! No lie. Though I don’t actually mind, I feel like the more recent additions are better suited to my tastes than some of the books in the early levels of my TBR, and you can never have to many books to read.I mean, yes, finding the time is problematic but still…I will die trying!

I have also been adding a few more books of the nonfiction variety lately, and on top of that I want to try a few horrors and more historical fiction so growth is as inevitable as Thanos. I love Thanos he is such a great villain! Just saying.

AS USUAL, The Method

  • Go to the HUGE TBR list on Goodreads
  • Gather ten books of the week
  • See if the blurb/synopsis still tickles my fancy
  • Check out the reviews of those I trust
  • Maybe read the sample if I still cant decide

THE BOOKS…

BOOK #1

NAMELESS QUEEN by REBECCA MCLAUGHLIN

Goodreads Link

One girl must make a name for herself–or die trying –in this royal fantasy where an unknown peasant becomes the ultimate ruler. But how long can she keep the crown if everyone wants her dead? Perfect for fans of Furyborn, Red Queen, and Everless.

Everyone expected the king’s daughter would inherit the throne. No one expected me. 

It shouldn’t even be possible. I’m Nameless, a class of citizens so disrespected, we don’t even get names. Heck, dozens of us have been going missing for months and no one seems to care.

But there’s no denying the tattoo emblazoned on my arm. I am queen. In a palace where the corridors are more dangerous the streets, though, how could I possibly rule? And what will become of the Nameless if I don’t?

Do I Already Own It? No

Hardcover

Reasons & Thoughts:

I have had this on the TBR for a while now and I haven’t ever looked at it since I added it soooo…Take from that what you will. Reading it again for this post, and I don’t really feel sad about that.

BOOK #2

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by ALLISON GOODMAN

Goodreads Link

Swordplay, dragon magic–and a hero with a desperate secret

Twelve-year-old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye–an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. 

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic…and her life.

Do I Already Own It? No

Kindle | Paperback

Reasons & Thoughts:

I was quite close to tossing this on the drop it pile tbh, bu the reviews saved it for me. It sounded interesting but I was thinking is it any different than the others? Well, anyway the reviews show that this is quite a fun feeling book, one where you can easily love the characters and It has asian influences, which I love.

BOOK #3

THE MERCIFULCROW BY Margaret Owen

Goodreads Link

A future chieftain.

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince.

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard.

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own? 

Do I Already Own It? Yes

Audible | Kindle | Paperback

Reasons & Thoughts:

Ohhh, so I actually have this book, and in Hardback form no less. Fugitives, chieftains and a dash of romance. Honestly, reading the blurb for this again I am wondering why I haven’t read it yet! Might have to sneak this in somewhere. I love spirit animals so castes associated with birds works for me.

BOOK #4

FIREBORNE by ROSARIA MUNDA

Goodreads Link

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Paperback

Reasons & Thoughts:

Dragons. I want more dragons. I love them but I don’t actually read too much dragon fantasy. not really sure why, so in order to rectify this I am going to keep this.

BOOK #5

All the Stars and Teeth by ADALYN GRACE

Goodreads Link

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle | Paperback | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

I think I added this to the TBR when it was being hyped, I actually read a few articles about how this book and a few others had reimagined the genre for a modern reader and writer. I’m not sure if it does or not but I kind of want to find out. Plus, its pirates, romance and mastery of a magic. so we shall see how it goes.

BOOK #6

SHERWOOD by MEAGAN SPOONER

Goodreads Link

Robin of Locksley is dead.

Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on, but the people of Locksley town, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, need a protector. And the dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley andMarian’s fiancé.

Who is there to stop them?

Marian never meant to tread in Robin’s footsteps—never intended to stand as a beacon of hope to those awaiting his triumphant return. But with a sweep of his green cloak and the flash of her sword, Marian makes the choice to become her own hero: Robin Hood. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Kindle | Paperback | Audible | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

I actually read some of this authors other work, though it was really early in my reading life. I read her book Hunted and I enjoyed it then but I am not to sure how it will hold to my tastes now.

BOOK #7

THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS by KATY ROSE POOL

Goodreads Link

The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it? 


For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart. 
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

Ok, can I just say how much I love this cover! I think this book could either be incredible or so bad! The characters sounds super interesting, and I am hoping it is an epic character driven fantasy with some great romance in its pages. So…

BOOK #8

POISON PRINCESS by KRESLEY COLE 

Goodreads Link

She could save the world–or destroy it.
Sixteen year old Evangeline”Evie” Greene leads a charmed life–until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, killing everyone she loves, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future–and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally trust Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side…

In Poison PrincessNew York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces a dark and intriguing world, full of unspeakable danger and irresistible romance.

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle | Paperback | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

Ok, Trin this one is safe because of you, girl! Five stars and the most riveting read…

BOOK #9

THE DEMON KING by CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA

Goodreads Link

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her…

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Kindle | Paperback | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

I love the idea of this book, and it sounds great but even a great story can fall flat and from the review (of those I trust) this doesn’t have the best characters, and I love my characters deep.

BOOK #10

REBEL OF THE SANDS by ALWYN HAMILTON

Goodreads Link

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle | Paperback | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

I’m pretty sure this is in the same article about doing things for modern fantasy so I gotta see what that is all about.


THREE CUT AND SEVEN KEPT…

Ohh good lord again!!

Thank you for reading, as always, I hope you enjoyed the post and feel free to comment or have a natter with me over on Twitter.


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS ON MY NETGALLEY TBR…

***Please note this page contains affiliate links and at no extra charge to you I can earn a small fee on any qualifying purchases. Any and all money earned through these goes straight back into the blog***

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!

This post is about a few things this week. Not only is it seven books I am SO excited to read, but also seven book on my NetGalley TBR that I have to get and I am so excited for! So we have a degree of accountability today…but books!

My NetGalley ratio is NOT good. So, having got through many of my physical arcs I can get to my NetGalley ones and make a move on my ratio. I have some serious work to do, but I am so up for it

ON TO THE BOOKS…

SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN BY SHELLEY PARKER-CHAN

I am so excited for this book, every time I read the synopsis I nearly screw the TBR and just pick it up. I love Mongol history from its rise to its fall, it is one of the most interesting periods and then throw in the serious Mulan vibes and I am practically vibrating with excitement for this book!

She’ll change the world to survive her fate . . .

In Mongol-occupied imperial China, a peasant girl refuses her fate of an early death. Stealing her dead brother’s identity to survive, she rises from monk to soldier, then to rebel commander. Zhu’s pursuing the destiny her brother somehow failed to attain: greatness. But all the while, she feels Heaven is watching.

Can anyone fool Heaven indefinitely, escaping what’s written in the stars? Or can Zhu claim her own future, burn all the rules and rise as high as she can dream?

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan is a re-imagining of the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang. Zhu was the peasant rebel who expelled the Mongols, unified China under native rule, and became the founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Hardback | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


Phoenix Extravagant BY Yoon Ha Lee

I am ashamed I haven’t read this book yet, I actually got it quite some time ago and it is still yet to be read. With its discord, need for revolution and mechanical freaking dragons I need to pull my finger out and get this book read!

Dragons. Art. Revolution.

Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.

One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.

But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes—and the awful source of the magical pigments they use—they find they can no longer stay out of politics.

What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight… 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


Northern Wrath BY Thilde Kold Holdt 

This is another one I really wish I had read already, it sounds fab and it reviewed so well. I was silly enough to let page count steer me away each time I contemplated it.

Following in the steps of Neil Gaiman & Joanne Harris, the author expertly weaves Norse myths and compelling characters into this fierce, magical epic fantasy.

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods.

A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim.

A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


The Black Coast BY Mike Brooks 

Recently released this book is reviewing really well! I have read each one I have seen pop up in th book community and they all make me even more excited to read this book. I’m actually due to start it in the next few days.

The Black Coast is the start of a series filled with war-dragons, armoured knights, sea-faring raiders, dangerous magic and battle scenes.

When the citizens of Black Keep see ships on the horizon, terror takes them, for they know who is coming: for generations, Black Keep has been raided by the fearsome clanspeople of Iwernia. Saddling their war dragons, the Naridans rush to defend their home only to discover that the clanspeople have not come to pillage at all. Driven from their own homeland by the rise of a daemonic despot who prophesies the end of the world, they have come in search of a new home. Meanwhile the wider continent of Narida is lurching toward war. Black Keep is about to be caught in the cross-fire of the coming war for the world – if only its new mismatched society can survive. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org

Songs of Insurrection BY J.C. Kang 

I only recently found out about this book from stalking the indie lists on Goodreads and then I saw it on NetGalley and couldn’t resist! This is another I’m due to read in the near future.

Lose yourself in this fusion of Asian and Western fantasy, which critics extol as “wonderfully opulent,” “Breathtaking,” and “Unique.”

Only the lost magic of Dragon Songs can save the world. Only an awkward girl with the perfect voice can rediscover it.

The Dragon Singers of old summoned typhoons and routed armies, liberating mankind from the orcs before fading into legend. Now, with the world again facing a new cataclysm, the power of music stirs in Kaiya, an a naïve misfit with the perfect voice.

Without a master to guide her, she must rely on Hardeep, a disgraced foreign paladin, to help awaken her latent magic. His motives might not be entirely noble. When he leads her to the fabled Dragon Scale Lute, which only a Dragon Singer can wield, it is up to Black Lotus Clan to intervene.

Because the instrument’s fell power can save the world…

Or destroy it. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle (Free on Kindle Unlimited)


We Ride the Storm BY Devin Madson

I am so sooooo LATE on this one, I’m pretty sure bloody book three is due out soon! I have no excuses!

In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s visceral, emotionally charged debut. 

War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.

Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.

In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.

In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.

And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.

As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


Ashes of the Sun BY Django Wexler

I actually have this book in physical copy too, from Goldsboro but I originally got it on NetGalley. Considering when this book came out you can imagine how shite my ratio is!

Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy.
Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.
Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: Paperback | Kindle (Free on Kindle Unlimited) | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org


As usual thank you for reading another Sunday Seven!


KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK TEN

Hello and welcome back to Keep It or Cut It

Another Thursday has approached, out of nowhere too, so that means it is time to look at ten books on my Goodreads TBR pile and decide if I want to keep them! Because it feels good to cleanse the TBR of sorts, even though some weeks I don’t get rid of any, but…

AS USUAL, The Method

  • Go to the HUGE TBR list on Goodreads
  • Gather the ten books of the week
  • See if the blurb/synopsis still tickles my fancy
  • Check out the reviews of those I trust
  • Maybe read the sample if I still cant decide

THE BOOKS…

BOOK #1

FOUR DEAD QUEENS by ASTRID SCHOLTE

Goodreads Link

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but in fact, she’s one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. Varin runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens.

An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle | Hardcover | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

This is a pretty solid sounding book you know! I mean for started the title is fairly cool, Four Dead Queens…I meant that alone has you asking questions. then we move onto the blurb and straight away I see we have a thief, and I love their stories, as many of you do. Then throw in some political intrigue and plots of murder…It sounds pretty good!

BOOK #2

THE GIRL KING by MIMI YU

Goodreads Link

In an empire of flames, they must rise from the ashes.

Sisters Lu and Min have always known their places as the princesses of the Empire of the First Flame: assertive Lu, will be named her father’s heir and become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while timid Min will lead a quiet life in Lu’s shadow. Until their father names a new heir—their male cousin, Set.

Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu goes in search of allies, leaving Min to face the volatile court alone. Lu soon crosses paths with Nokhai, the lone, unlikely survivor of a clan of nomadic wolf shapeshifters. Nok never learned to shift—or to trust for the empire that killed his family—but working with Lu might be the only way to unlock his true power.

As Lu and Nok form a tenuous alliance, Min’s own power awakens, a forbidden magic that could secure Set’s reign . . . or allow her to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could very well be the other.

This sweeping fantasy set against a world of ancient magic and political intrigue weaves an unforgettable story of ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle | Paperback | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

Ohh I am doomed! I love wolf shifters, so to see one not in a paranormal setting but more of a high fantasy setting I am so interested! Ok, I’m not going to lie this blurb has sold it to me. I’m reading this!

BOOK #3

SHADOW FROST BY COCO MA

Goodreads Link

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. 
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. 
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned. 


When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed. 

To kill it. 

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known. 

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle | Paperback

Reasons & Thoughts:

I’m just not feeling this book, it has so many good reviews and is even more impressive because I’m pretty sure the author wrote it at an incredibly young age! But alas my reader soul is not feeling it unfortunately.

BOOK #4

KINGDOM OF SOULS by RENA BARRON

Goodreads Link

A girl with no gifts must bargain for the power to fight her own mother’s dark schemes—even if the price is her life. 

Heir to two lines of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. Yet she fails at bone magic, fails to call upon her ancestors, and fails to live up to her family’s legacy. Under the disapproving eye of her mother, the Kingdom’s most powerful priestess and seer, she fears she may never be good enough.

But when the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, Arrah is desperate enough to turn to a forbidden, dangerous ritual. If she has no magic of her own, she’ll have to buy it—by trading away years of her own life.

Arrah’s borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal, and on its heels, a rising tide of darkness that threatens to consume her and all those she loves. She must race to unravel a twisted and deadly scheme… before the fight costs more than she can afford. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle | Paperback | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

Oh I really love the cover of this book! I also really love the idea of witchdoctors and priestesses but something is bugging me and I don’t know what. I think it could be the whole disappointing child trope, they can be such frustrating reads because they do dumb shit!

BOOK #5

RELIC by BRONWYN ELEY

Goodreads Link

In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.

As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.

It’s an appointment that will kill her.

As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.

A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…

As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.

Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle (Free on Kindle Unlimited) | Paperback

Reasons & Thoughts:

Ok, I am a sucker for rebel causes! There is something about them I just can not get enough of, so I guess it means this book stays.

BOOK #6

LEVIATHAN by SCOTT WESTERFELD

Goodreads Link

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

Do I Already Own It? No

Kindle | Paperback

Reasons & Thoughts:

I’m going to keep this one because I haven’t read much steampunk and I love historical reads, so its the simple.

BOOK #7

THE DARKEST MINDS by ALEXANDRA BRACKEN

Goodreads Link

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. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

This has a fairly kick ass sounding blurb…I need more dystopia in my life.

BOOK #8

WINTERSONG by S. JAE-JONES 

Goodreads Link

Dark, romantic, and unforgettable, Wintersong is an enchanting coming-of-age story for fans of Labyrinth and The Cruel Prince.

The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride…

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds—and the mysterious man who rules it—she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Rich with music and magic, S. Jae-Jones’s Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won’t soon forget. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle (Free on Kindle Unlimited) | Paperback

Reasons & Thoughts:

I love wintery books, they always make for really atmospheric read, which is something I love! also want to read a few more retellings, plus we have romance too!

BOOK #9

SPIN THE DAWN by ELIZABETH LIM

Goodreads Link

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh. 

Do I Already Own It? No

Kindle | Paperback | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

I have wanted to read this for a while now, it is such an interesting sounding book.

BOOK #10

CROWN OF CORAL by MARA RUTHERFORD

Goodreads Link

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

Do I Already Own It? No

Audible | Kindle | Paperback | Bookshop.Org

Reasons & Thoughts:

Reading the blurb I just don’t really want to read this. What can you do?


THREE CUT AND SEVEN KEPT…

That seems to be a bit of a running theme.

What do you think are there any books I really should have cut and didn’t or are you screaming at me internally because of the ones you cant believe I cut..

Thank you for reading, as always, I hope you enjoyed the post and feel free to comment or have a natter with me over on Twitter.