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!


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 FANTASY BOOKS WITH GREAT ROMANCES…

***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!

Well, Happy Valentines Day all!

I’m not going to waffle on to much today and will get straight to the list today. I know, I’m cheating but I am so so tired and really want to read my book!

ON TO THE BOOKS…

THE STONE KNIFE BY ANNA STEPHENS

The Stone Knife is an amazing epic fantasy with some genuine and wholesome relationships. It isn’t quite a romance because it has already established relationship but it is a joy to read.

A fantasy epic of freedom and empire, gods and monsters, love, loyalty, honour, and betrayal, from the acclaimed author of GODBLIND.

For generations, the forests of Ixachipan have echoed with the clash of weapons, as nation after nation has fallen to the Empire of Songs – and to the unending, magical music that binds its people together. Now, only two free tribes remain.

The Empire is not their only enemy. Monstrous, scaled predators lurk in rivers and streams, with a deadly music of their own.

As battle looms, fighters on both sides must decide how far they will go for their beliefs and for the ones they love – a veteran general seeks peace through war, a warrior and a shaman set out to understand their enemies, and an ambitious noble tries to bend ancient magic to her will.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: PAPERBACK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | BOOKSHOP.ORG


NEVERNIGHT BY JAY KRISTOFF

Nevernight is an incredible book, and I loved the romance within it. It isn’t in your face and is a subtle sub plot that adds to the characters development both individually and as a group.

Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.

Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Church is no ordinary school. But Mia is no ordinary student.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: PAPERBACK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | BOOKSHOP.ORG


THE NIGHT CIRCUS BY ERIN MORGENSTERN

The Night Circus is praised for so many things, from its magical atmosphere to its beautiful prose, but another aspect this book did well in my opinion was its romance. It is a high stakes competition made all the more difficult by its star-crossed lovers.

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway – a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: PAPERBACK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | BOOKSHOP.ORG

POISON STUDY BY MARIA V. SNYDER

Poison Study is a great young adult fantasy, it is a character driven story with an intriguing premise! The romance is slow burn and done wonderfully.

Choose: A quick death… or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: PAPERBACK | KINDLE EBOOK (FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED) | BOOKSHOP.ORG


THRONE OF GLASS BY SARAH J MAAS

I love these books, theses books are New Adult and are very much Fantasy Romance, it is trope as hell but I love these books.

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. 

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: PAPERBACK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | BOOKSHOP.ORG


MOON CALLED BY PATRICIA BRIGGS

This is a fun Urban Fantasy that has a great romance, and I could help but put a shifter romance in here. it is one if the better done romances.

Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: PAPERBACK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | BOOKSHOP.ORG


GRACELING BY KRISTIN CASHORE

This is YA, and I really don’t know why, it doesn’t feel YA to me, or at least it didn’t when I read it. It is a great story and the romantic aspect is done really well. The romance is authentic and real, and it isn’t a main plot to the story.

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. 

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po. 

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. 

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: PAPERBACK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | BOOKSHOP.ORG


There you have it, seven books that I have found that have some great romantic elements!

Thanks for reading.


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 ATMOSPHERIC BOOKS THAT TRULY IMMERSE YOU INTO THEIR WORLDS…

***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!

I have been reading a lot more over the last two months, I read a lot anyway but I made a big push in December for the Goodreads goal and January saw quite a few books too. It was some of my January reads that actually inspired this post, two books in particular…The Bear and the Nightingale and A Ritual of Bone. These books were such atmospheric books, they truly transported you into their worlds and you felt the moods they imagined.

So, I’m ready to find more books of that nature. I truly appreciate brilliant world building but at the same time it is my least coveted aspect in a book. I am much more for character development and plot. Don’t get me wrong I want world-building but I sit firmly in the category of moderate world building. I don’t need everything told to me in explicit detail, I like to fill in the gaps myself but having read the above two book I now fid myself wanting more of them, not meticulous world building but immersive and atmospheric reads.

ON TO THE BOOKS…

The Bear and the Nightingale BY Katherine Arden

This is an amazing book, I had been told on more than one occasion that this book was really atmospheric, and it was honestly the first time I had ever heard a book be described as such. So, little ole me was like okkkk, good. It wasn’t until I read this book that I truly understood just how accurate this was.

It is the dark and stormy night that makes you shiver and feel like you need to throw a few more wooden logs onto your fire. The mood is clear and purposeful.

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

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

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

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

The Bear and the Nightingale is a magical debut novel from a gifted and gorgeous voice. It spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: PAPERBACK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK


A RITUAL OF BONE BY LEE C. CONLEY

When I think of what atmospheric is, it is so many things but for this novel it is much about the mood. It is that obscure haunting feeling that fills you as you slowly reveal what this book gives you, the slowly unravelling of the books events…

“Only valour and steel can stand against the rising dead”

Arnar is a land of warriors, its people as stalwart as the stones themselves. In a land of dark forests and ancient hill forts, a forgotten evil is awoken by curious minds. 

The Great Histories and the Sagas say nothing of this evil, long passed from the memory of even the studious scholars of the College. For centuries, the scholars of Arnar have kept these records and preserved the knowledge and great deeds of a proud people. The story of these peoples forever chronicled in the Sagas of the Great Histories. 

But now the evil spreads and the dead walk in its wake, terrible creatures roam the night and even the spirits are restless. The Dead Sagas could perhaps be the final chapters of these great records. 

Many threads entwine to tell this Saga, interweaving the tales of those who played their part in the search for answers and ultimately their fight for survival. Amid plague, invasion and terror, the inexorable rise of the dead sends a kingdom scrabbling to its knees.

This Dark Fantasy Epic combines dark malign horror and gritty survival adventure as the Dead Sagas unfold in a world where honour and renown is all, where beasts and savages lurk in the wilderness, and where sword, axe and shield is all that stands between the living and the grasping hands of the dead.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: PAPERBACK | KINDLE EBOOK (ALSO FREE WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED) | AUDIOBOOK


RING SHOUT BY P. Djèlí Clark

I feel like this is even more impressive, that is managed to create such an intense atmosphere in far less words than all the other books on this list.

D. W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash Hell on Earth.

Luckily, Maryse Boudreaux has a magic sword and a head full of tales. When she’s not running bootleg whiskey through Prohibition Georgia, she’s fighting monsters she calls “Ku Kluxes.” She’s damn good at it, too. But to confront this ongoing evil, she must journey between worlds to face nightmares made flesh–and her own demons. Together with a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter, Maryse sets out to save a world from the hate that would consume it.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK | KINDLE | HARDCOVER


THE NAME OF THE WIND BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS

I feel like I put this book into so many lists, I don’t but it was in last weeks Sunday Seven, so it feels like it sometimes. BUT, this book belongs on this list!

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. 

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. 

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | THE BROKEN BINDING (USE CODE SAMBOOKINH FOR 5% OFF)

Every Heart a Doorway BY Seanan McGuire

I have spoken to this a few people about this book and all of them have said in some way or another that this is such an engrossing and enchanting book and made even more immersive by the beautiful prose.

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK


SABRIEL BY GARTH NIX

Now, this one might seem like a little bit of an off one but one praise that comes up quite a lot for this book is that is des an incredible job at giving that dark and foreboding feeling with magic and strange creatures.

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. 

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK (FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED) | AUDIOBOOK


The Shadow of the Wind BY Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I have had this on my TBR since September 2020, so I haven’t read this but from the reviews and some other posts and articles this book is worthy of being on this list.

The story takes place in Barcelona, 1945 and for those readers that haven’t ever stopped foot there it matters not because this book delivers. Want to visit Barcelona, red this book and be immersed!

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals from its war wounds, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
–back cover

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK


Thanks for reading.


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS TO RESTORE YOUR FAITH IN PROLOGUES…

***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!

I hope your week has been good and filled with bookish goodness. Well, like I said it’s Sunday so that means I am going to give you seven books, one for every day of the week!

This week I am taking on a subject a lot of readers have a strong ass opinion on.

The Prologue…

I personally like a prologue, I have read some killer prologues that have me really excited for the story ahead but I have also seen some that I’m just like..

There are quite a few types of prologues and I don’t think you can hate them all and I don’t think you can love them all. Some are a direct copy of a paragraph you will get to at some point in the book, some are a character introduction or and introduction to the magic and some are – and these are my favourite – a historical event or inciting incident that set the story you are about to read in motion.

What is your favourite or most hated type of prologue?


So, lets see if you agree with my seven books, and whether you feel they show that a prologue can be a good thing.

****

LEGACY OF ASH BY MATTHEW WARD

Matthew Ward gave us such a wonderful prologue in this fantastic first instalment. He sets the tone of the book and give you crucial background information to a brilliant story, this is actually what made me read this book.

Whoever chose which part of the book would feature as the audio sample did the correct thing, they chose this books prologue and it is fantastic. It moved it u my TBR considerably and I for one am glad.

A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.

Ruling families — once protectors of justice and democracy — now plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives. Blinded by ambition, they remain heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.

Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.

Viktor Akadra is the Republic’s champion. A warrior without equal, he hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.

Josiri Trelan is Viktor’s sworn enemy. A political prisoner, he dreams of reigniting his mother’s failed rebellion.

And yet Calenne Trelan, Josiri’s sister, seeks only to break free of their tarnished legacy; to escape the expectation and prejudice that haunts the family name.

As war spreads across the Republic, these three must set aside their differences in order to save their home. Yet decades of bad blood are not easily set aside. And victory — if it comes at all — will demand a darker price than any of them could have imagined.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | THE BROKEN BINDING (USE CODE SAMBOOKINH FOR 5% OFF)


NAME OF THE WIND BY Patrick Rothfuss

So, I may not have finished this book (and yes I have every intention of finishing it) but I can still appreciate this books prologue. The language used is lovely, and such a delight to read. Though, I will admit I was thankful it wasn’t used in the main body of the book as for me it would have been too much.

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. 

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. 

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | THE BROKEN BINDING (USE CODE SAMBOOKINH FOR 5% OFF)


The Shadow Of What Was Lost BY James Islington 

I don’t even care if I am biased because I am currently reading this book, the prologue was sooo good. it was just the right mix of dark and descriptive but leaves you asking questions making you eager to continue the book.

OLD POWERS AWAKEN

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. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK (CURRENTLY £0.99) | AUDIOBOOK


MISTBORN BY BRANDON SANDERSON

I read this book so long ago and of the entire book the only thing I remember is the prologue. I feel like that is a good thing, I remember just being wowed by the world you are shown and this really interesting magic system you are teased with. It is written well and is generally a good and solid prologue.

The mists rule the night…
The lord ruler owns the world.

For a thousand years the ash fell.
For a thousand years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years, the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Every attempted revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow hope survives.
A new kind of uprising is being planned, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the courage of an unlikely heroine, a Skaa street urchin, who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a mistborn.

What if the prophesied hero had failed to defeat the Dark Lord? The answer will be found in the Mistborn trilogy, a saga of surprises that begins here.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | THE BROKEN BINDING (USE CODE SAMBOOKINH FOR 5% OFF)


THE RAGE OF DRAGONS BY EVAN WINTER

Mmmmm, Evan Winter does it right!

This is such a damn good start to a book, and as are most of my favourites it is an inciting incident, one that set the wheels turning in this world and led to the story you are about to read.

The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.

Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK | THE BROKEN BINDING (USE CODE SAMBOOKINH FOR 5% OFF)


THE LIES OF Locke Lamora BY SCOTT LYNCH

This is actually another book but remember nothing from, its nothing against the books I just read them that long ago. I plan to reread them but alas finding the time is never easy.

Though, again I remember to mysterious and rather interesting prologue, I mean they are trying to sell a kid soooo…is pretty intriguing.

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.

Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.

Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.

But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.

A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora …

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK |


THE WAKING FIRE BY ANTHONY RYAN

I LOVED this opening, again it is an overall inciting incident that is set a little bit back from when the story takes place. What makes this even better in my opinion is that it is laid out like a report of an officer who was there.

I really enjoyed this prologue, it introduced us to a few characters though not necessarily our main characters and set the tone perfectly for this book and what was to come..

Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them—known as the blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

BUY IT: AMAZON.CO.UK | KINDLE EBOOK | AUDIOBOOK


There you have it, seven books that will restore your faith in prologues!

Thanks for reading.

S A M | The Book in Hand


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS TO START YOUR READING YEAR OFF AND PULL YOU OUT OF THAT SLUMP…

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk and welcome back to Sundays Seven!

Another first of 2021!

This will be my first Sundays Seven post this year, I haven’t posted a Sundays Seven in so long. My last post was SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOODREADS READING GOAL and that was in early December, damn it has been over a month!

But I am back now!

And with a post I hope you like! This is in response to a few tweets I have seen of late. I have seen a lot of people in a reading slump and that is just damn tragic! Lord knows, we have all been in a reading slump and they suck, you don’t feel like you can start anything and nothing really appeals to you.

A slump can come from so many things! Be it a bit of a book hangover, where the last book you read was so amazing you just cant quite move on or that cliffhanger just broke it. Whatever your reasons here are seven books that have either previously got me out of a slump or are just generally great books I’m sure could help you!

TO THE BOOKS…

Servant of the Crown by Brian McClellan

I thought I would start off this list with a SHORT. Short’s are such a great way to pull yourself out of a slump and set you off on good footing for the rest of your reading year. you can read them in no time at all and get that little joy after finishing a book.

Plus, if you have read the Powder Mage trilogy, I promise returning to this world and the character you love always helps with a slump.

Captain Tamas is an ambitious young officer in the Adran army. As a commoner, he is one of very few without noble blood to hold a rank. When he challenges the son of a duke over an insult, the subsequent duel lands him in hot water with the nobility and the royal cabal of Privileged sorcerers. Tamas is soon drawn into a conflict that goes to the very highest office in the land, and his only ally is the most unlikely of people; a young noblewoman named Erika, who needs Tamas to teach her how to wield her powers as a powder mage.

Occurs about 35 years before the events in Promise of Blood.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


RACE THE SANDS BY SARAH BETH DURST

This is an utterly thrilling and entertaining fantasy standalone.

It is one of those books that just leaves you so satisfied on finishing it. It has so many cool concepts and is a brilliantly built book, and by that I mean the stakes just keep getting higher. Plus, Durst in a brilliant writer.

In this epic standalone fantasy, the acclaimed author of the Queens of Renthia series introduces an imaginative new world in which a pair of strong and determined women risk their lives battling injustice, corruption, and deadly enemies in their quest to become monster racing champions.

Life, death, and rebirth — in Becar, everyone knows that who you are in this life will determine what you are in your next life. The augurs can read your fate in your aura: hawk, heron, tortoise, jackal, human. Armed with that knowledge, you can change your destiny with the choices you make, both in this life and your next. But for the darkest individuals, there is no redemption: you come back as a kehok, a monster, and you will always be a kehok for the rest of time.

Unless you can win the Races.

As a professional trainer, Tamra was an elite kehok rider. Then a tragic accident on the track shattered her confidence, damaged her career, and left her nearly broke. Now Tamra needs the prize money to prevent the local temple from taking her daughter away from her, and that means she must once again find a winning kehok . . . and a rider willing to trust her.

Raia is desperate to get away from her domineering family and cruel fiancé. As a kehok rider, she could earn enough to buy her freedom. But she can’t become good enough to compete without a first-rate trainer.

Impressed by the inexperienced young woman’s determination, Tamra hires Raia and pairs her with a strange new kehok with the potential to win — if he can be tamed.

But in this sport, if you forget you’re riding on the back of a monster, you die. Tamra and Raia will work harder than they ever thought possible to win the deadly Becaran Races — and in the process, discover what makes this particular kehok so special. 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


CARAVAL BY STEPHANIE GARBER

Now, I read this at the beginning of last year an I remember really enjoying it. I think this is a good ‘pull you out of a slump’ book because it is just fun and mysterious.

It is YA but the elusive and fantastical nature of this book make it a joy to read and it is whimsical and light hearted enough to just pick you up and give you a good start to your reading year.

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

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

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

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


THE STONE KNIFE BY ANNA STEPHENS

This book very recently pulled me out of a reading slump! It is a new book and the first instalment of the Songs of the Drowned trilogy and it is such a REFRESHING read. It is so easy to read as Stephens writing is fabulous and it isn’t set in your usual fantasy world so you cant help but want to keep reading and learn more!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


SAGA VOL. 1 BY BRIAN K. VAUGHAN

I couldn’t help but put a graphic novel in this list. Graphics are awesome, and are a perfect way to start your reading year! They are also great for the slumps because they are such light reading, they have great illustrations and you can fit them in when you don’t have much time free!

From New York Times bestselling writer BRIAN K.VAUGHAN (Y: THE LAST MAN, EX MACHINA) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (MYSTERY SOCIETY, NORTH 40), SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults. This specially priced volume collects the first arc of the smash hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls “the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make.” 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


PROMISE OF BLOOD BY BRIAN MCCLELLAN

This series is just plain incredible, I have reread this so many times and now with the news of it being a TV show I feel like I need to reread it again! I think a good way to start the year on a comfortable note is to sometimes start with a reread of one of your favourite books, it is also one of the ways I get out of a slump!

The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it. 

It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king…
Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

But when gods are involved…
Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should…

In a rich, distinctive world that mixes magic with technology, who could stand against mages that control gunpowder and bullets?

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


NEVERNIGHT BY JAY KRISTOFF

If you haven’t read this book then I really hope you do! Nevernight is an incredible book and so a brilliant book to start your year off with a bang!

It is a wonderfully executed revenge plot with so much more to behold when reading it, it has a little romance, a lot of action and oh so much intrigue.

Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. 

Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. 

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult. 

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows loves her. And they drink her fear

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

ORDER IT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK


There you have it my fellow bookish folk, seven books that are a great way to start your year off and ones that will hopefully pull you out of a reading slump too as they have me in the past!

Thanks for reading.


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOODREADS READING GOAL…

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!

I hope you are all well and dandy on this fine Sunday evening. I am dandy now that I have finished work and I am off for the next two days. I have been on the late shift all week and I always feel like I miss so much on these weeks, on Twitter, on Instagram and in the general book community.

Though thankfully, I will be on the early shift next week and can be as active as I like to be again. Yay!

I keep seeing lots of folk sharing their Goodreads Reading Challenge progress over the last few weeks and it got me checking mine out. I am currently sat pretty on 127 books, my goal is 150! Goodreads keeps yapping at me and telling me I am 15 books behind schedule! I mean the cheek of it, right?!

In attempt to maybe achieve this goal I have searched for some Fantasy or Science Fiction shorts to read! While I am not overly fussed for reaching this target, it would be nice. I’m still seriously impressed with what I have read already but, as many of us did, I set a goal and it is always nice when you meet a goal, right?!

This week in Sundays Seven I am thus going to share with you seven books that may help me and you reach your Goodreads goal.

THE ONES WHO WALK AWAY FROM OMELAS: A STORY BY URSULA K. LE GUIN

BOOK LENGTH: 32 PAGES

So, this book is one of those books that Goodreads doesn’t really give you a straight forward blurb! From what I can gather this is an elegantly written short about a utopian city in which all who reside there are filled with happiness and overflowing delight but with at what cost?

This sounds like quite a captivating concept, and it is also actually a great choice for me personally as I haven’t read any of Le Guin’s work and so it would be a nice taster to her work to see if I can read her other works.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


RING SHOUT BY DJELI CLARK

BOOK LENGTH: 176 PAGES

This book caught my attention when it as making the rounds on Twitter. It is written by a multi award winning author and he has returned with a pretty fantastic sounding book, one I can’t wait to read. I pre-ordered this I was that excited after reading about it. Set in prohibition era Georgia and a fantasy twist on the KKK what’s not to like?!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


BINTI BY NNEDI OKORAFOR

BOOK LENGTH: 96 PAGES

I picked this up a few months back when I was looking into reading more science fiction books. It is about Binti she is offered a place at a university, one of the finest but at what cost? The elite institution trope, wars, costly decisions and more…it sounds bloody great.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


EVERY HEART A DOORWAY BY SEANAN MCGUIRE

BOOK LENGTH: 173 PAGES

I added this to my TBR late January, and still haven’t read it yet and I don’t know why because its short and sounds really cool. It is an Urban Fantasy read which revolves around miracle children, magical lands and a wayward home for them which in stricken by a tragedy…I should really get to reading it!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


ALL SYSTEMS RED BY MARTHA WELLS

BOOK LENGTH: 144 PAGES

This is a book series that I have heard a great deal about, and one I would love to start reading. The only think that has really stopped me is the fact that these are quite costly books! But should a deal come along I would definitely pick them up or maybe I will check out the audio.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


THE FACE IN THE WINDOW BY BRIAN MCCLELLAN

BOOK LENGTH: 50 PAGES

Some of you may know I absolutely LOVED Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage trilogy it was just bloody brilliant. Yet saying that I haven’t read any of the shorts, now Im not one to really read shorts in the same world because they aren’t usually about the same character but at least two of McClellans shorts are! This and Ghosts of the Tristan Basin are about Taniel’s time spent in Fatrasta prior to the events of the Powder Mage books! I cant believe I haven’t read them yet to be honest. Shame on me.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


A PILGRIMAGE OF SWORDS BY Anthony Ryan

BOOK LENGTH: 128 PAGES

If the fact that Anthony Ryan wrote this and its beautiful cover don’t make you want to read this then I’m not sure what to say to you! Other than this story involves the destruction of a city by a mad god, a fabled blade and treachery…

I love Ryan’s writing, and have throughly enjoyed every book of his I have read sooo i’m going to read this. you should too!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!


There you have it, seven books that are not to long and may just help you move a little closer to achieving your Goodreads Goal! If I read all of these then I have reduced my ‘behind schedule’ number by half’ish and it wouldn’t even take that long. Short stories and novellas still count, as do graphic novels so why not get a few in before the year is up?! I know I will!

Thanks for reading.


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 WINTERY BOOKS THAT MATCH THE COLD OUTSIDE…

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk! You might need your duvet for these books…

I hope you have had a nice and relaxing weekend. I will be returning to work on Tuesday after Lockdown 2.0 just as it is getting icy, perfect for a girl who rides a motorbike. NOT! Hopefully, it won’t get too bad and I don’t have to worry.

Winter technically doesn’t start until 21st December, but I walked the hound a few nights ago and there wasn’t a single puddle that wasn’t iced over so I’d say its pretty wintery about now!

I don’t know about any of you but come winter I am all about nights in with my fire all but roaring and a book in hand. Both autumn and winter seem to be the seasons to read in my opinion. Also, they say we read for escapism so why not find a book with the white winter wonderland we all dream of having!

So, in order to satisfy my need for a white winter I am going to share with you seven books that will show you lands in which the snow sparkles like crushed crystals and leaves you wanting to grab an extra blanket and fill up your cup of tea!

TO THE BOOKS…

THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE BY KATHERINE ARDEN

Here we have Russian folklore, demons, a frost king and so much snow filled winter goodness!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

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

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

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

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

THE WITCH’S HEART BY GENEVIEVE GORNICHEC

A norse inspired story with a banished witch, norse gods and more wintery woods…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age

A GAME OF THRONES BY George R. R. MARTIN

Winter is coming.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne. 

COLD COUNSEL BY CHRIS SHARP

The longest winter, a drive to conquer more, revenge, trolls and ravaging elves and obviously a cold a snow filled mountain!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Slud of the Blood Claw Clan, Bringer of Troubles, was born at the heart of the worst storm the mountain had ever seen. Slud’s father, chief of the clan, was changed by his son’s presence. For the first time since the age of the giants, he rallied the remaining trolls under one banner and marched to war taking back the mountain from the goblin clans.

However, the long-lived elves remembered the brutal wars of the last age, and did not welcome the return of these lesser-giants to martial power. Twenty thousand elves marched on the mountain intent on genocide. They eradicated the entire troll species—save two.

Aunt Agnes, an old witch from the Iron Wood, carried Slud away before the elves could find them. Their existence remained hidden for decades, and in that time, Agnes molded Slud to become her instrument of revenge.

For cold is the counsel of women.

BEARTOWN BY FREDRIK BACKMAN

I couldn’t not put this on having recently talked about it and finding out is has a cracking audio narration…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Overeturns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

FROZEN RAGE BY STEVE MCHUGH

A fast paced murder mystery novella filled with intrigue and great characters, what’s not to love? Oh and its in a snowy magical realm…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Realm of Dreich is a getaway for the rich and powerful, a medieval-inspired town in the middle of a vast frozen wilderness. Now it’s the site of a wedding, intended to join two feuding families who have spent centuries in an uneasy truce with each other.

When Tommy Carpenter asks his best friend, Nate Garrett, to help him with the security of the wedding, Nate reluctantly agrees, knowing that it will be a long weekend of work and, in all probability, treachery.

It is only a matter of time before members of each family are found murdered and it is up to Nate and Tommy to find the killer before more bodies fall, potentially reigniting a war.

ANCILLARY JUSTICE BY Ann Leckie

On a remote, icy planet…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Once, she was the Justice of Toren – a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

There you have it, seven books that I have found that are lovely and cold!

Thanks for reading.


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 OF MY FAVOURITE QUOTES OR MOMENTS IN THE LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIES…

Good afternoon book folk and happy Sunday!

As some of you may know from my recent Twitter activity I have been rewatching the Lord of the Rings movies and enjoying them sooo much! So, today my post is veering away from the traditional idea of seven books for seven days of the week but I don’t care.

My blog, my rules!

There is no order to these seven, they are just the ones that came to mind while posting, and no doubt I will love any you say too because these films are EPIC! Some will be fan favourites and others you might be like righttt, that ain’t all that!

The Lord of the Rings movies are iconic and I will always be grateful for them for various reasons, some being the resurgence of fantasy as a genre and the fact that they have been the gateway film for many fantasy readers!

Here are seven of my favourite quotes and moments from the movies…

IF BY MY LIFE OR DEATH I CAN PROTECT YOU, I WILL. YOU HAVE MY SWORD. AND YOU HAVE MY BOW. AND MY AXE.

This scene always makes me squirm with excitement! It is such an heartening moment, none who attended the council meeting stood to accept the burden of the ring for their own reasons, but when Frodo does they all offer their support. Each steps up, representing their race and accepting their piece of responsibility in this war and it is the start of something great.

WHEN PIPPIN AND MERRY REALISE FRODO IS GOING TO LEAVE…

I ADORE this scene, there is just something about it that has such an impact for me. It is the moment that Pippin and Merry see Frodo and realise he is leaving and give him his distraction. They charge to the forefront and steal the attention so he can flee. They don’t question it or a beg him to change his mind. They know. The two see it on Frodo’s face, and despite not understanding it they make the decision in that moment to help. It is so selfless and it guts me every time!

And so begins the breaking of the fellowship…

I would cut off your head, Dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground. You would die before your stroke fell.

I think what I love about this moment is that it is the moment Legolas and Gimli’s relationship has a significant change, in my opinion. The two start off hating each other ,based pff the history os heir races, and yet throughout their journey a friendship blooms and it endures. They are loyal and it is in this moment that you see Legolas will, against pretty shitty odds, defend Gimli and even die for him!

THERE’S SOME GOOD IN THIS WORLD, MR. FRODO…AND IT’S WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

FULL MONOLOGUE:

“It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something

Sam is the real hero of this duo!

Gosh, in this moment Sam not only changes the heart of Faramir, but you even see Gollum listening! It is such a gut-wrenching moment. Sam who just wanted to see the elves, is the linchpin that holds Frodo together and when he can’t hold it any longer keeps carrying Frodo.

What makes this moment even more spectacular is that it was added to the movies, through much research of the books Jackson came up with Sam’s words.

SHALL I DESCRIBE IT TO YOU? OR WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO FIND YOU A BOX?

If this isn’t a fan favourite then I really don’t know what is!

Gimli and Legolas again feature because they have one of the best bromances ever! Gimli is hilarious with his one liners and moment of absolute humour but Legolas, when he isn’t just stating the obvious (A DIVERSION), holds his own in the humour department.

I AM NO MAN.

I have to stand up for the lades, right! Eowyn can be pretty annoying someitmes but she has her moment, and what a moment! And what is even more epic is the fact that this line is right from the bloody books!

MY FRIENDS. YOU BOW TO NO ONE.

David, this one is for you my friend!

Aragorn is at no point during the movies arrogant, he never sees himself as more and never underestimates those around him. So, when Merry, pippin, Sam and Frodo bow to him and he begs them stand, it is so humbling. He knows their worth, and what they have done!

Honourable Mentions…

“THE BATTLE OF HELM’S DEEP IS OVER: THE BATTLE OF MIDDLE EARTH IS ABOUT TO BEGIN.”

“A day may come when the courage of men fails… but it is not THIS day.”

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

“PO-TAY-TOES! BOIL ‘EM, MASH ‘EM, STICK ‘EM IN A STEW.”

“SO IT BEGINS.”

“FRODO WOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN FAR WITHOUT SAM.”

“I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.” 

“MY PRECIOUS.”

Ok, I’m going to stop because I could do this ALL DAY! I really could, so see you later folks!


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS NOT SET IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE…

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!

Todays Sundays Seven post is going to be, as the title suggests, about books that are NOT set in the typical medieval setting, and a European medieval setting to boot.

When we think of fantasy, especially epic fantasy, it is generally a struggle not to conjure up the idea of a medieval setting. Tolkien usually comes to mind along with a great number of other authors and books.

Though, saying that there has been a massive increase in none medieval settings, which is incredible but I still don’t feel like I come across ENOUGH!

I am always utterly satisfied when I have read a book that deviates from medieval Europe, don’t get me wrong I still love it but I want to read more out of it, you know?

So, here is seven fantasy books that are not set in medieval Europe…

RAGE OF GHOSTS BY ELIZABETH BEAR

SETTING: INSPIRED BY Central Asia, SILK ROAD

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking away from a battlefield where he was left for dead. All around lie the fallen armies of his cousin and his brother, who made war to rule the Khaganate. Temur is now the legitimate heir by blood to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Going into exile is the only way to survive his ruthless cousin.

Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son on a new wife. Then she was sent to be the wife of a Prince in Song, but that marriage ended in battle and blood. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards.

These two will come together to stand against the hidden cult that has so carefully brought all the empires of the Celadon Highway to strife and civil war through guile and deceit and sorcerous power.

THE KILLING MOON BY N. K. JEMISIN

SETTING: INSPIRED BY ANCIENT EGYPT

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

THE CITY BURNED BENEATH THE DREAMING MOON

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and among the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe…and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, the Gatherer Ehiru must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering innocent dreamers in the goddess’s name, and Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill – or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

JADE CITY BY Fonda Lee

SETTING: ASIAN INSPIRED

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities. 

The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.

When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.

DREAD NATION BY Justina Ireland

SETTING: 19TH CENTURY AMERICA

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

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

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

SABRIEL BY GARTH NIX

SETTING: EARLY 20TH CENTURY AUSTRALIA

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

A tale of dark secrets, deep love, and dangerous magic!

Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Charter-Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life–and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny.

THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR BY JEAN M. AUEL

SETTING: PREHISTORIC/ICE AGE INSPIRED

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge. 

TWELVE KINGS IN SHARAKHAI BY BRADLEY P. BEAULIEU

SETTING: DESSERT/Silk Road INSPIRED

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings — cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.

Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power…if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first. 

There you have it, seven books that I have found that aren’t set in medieval Europe! I had fun doing this post and added all of these (that weren’t already on my TBR) to my TBR, despite trying to reduce it!

Thanks for reading.


SUNDAYS SEVEN | THE 7 DEADLY READING SINS…

Evening Book Folk!

Now this is a bit of a twist on the Sundays Seven, it isn’t a list of seven books this week but instead the seven deadly reading sins!

This was such a fun post to write and I hope you don’t take it too serious. IT’S A FUN POST! If you want to bitch because you definitely fall into one of these reader sins and the truth hurts maybe check out another post.

Here is is seven deadly reading sins…

GLUTTONY

The glutenous reader…

For months we wait for our most anticipated release and rather than savour the book like a fine wine we cradle the copy in our arms and read and read and read and read!

It is the uncontrolled devouring of the book that leads us to fall asleep at ungodly times and wake not so many hours later only to pick up the book immediately. Got work? No matter you have the ebook form and sneak read through your shift! Got the audiobook, mehhh who need to be sociable at work!

ENVY

ENVY!

Thou shall not covet the heartbreakingly beautiful covers and editions of their other book blogging friends.

You know the envy, the moment when you realise your friend across the pond has a WAY BETTER cover to the book you both have! Ohhh, and it is far FARRRR better than yours!

OR you are just late to the party and have come to love a book when the hardcovers are no longer in print! So you covet the lustrous edition your friend just posted on their Bookstagram. MmmmmmHmmmm,

GREED

Mmmmm, the greedy reader!

Gree, greed and greed.

What to say of greed….Well, for one I feel like this is definitely the most confessed sin. This sin is for those who have a book along with the many other multiple editions of the same book! Some even take it further and have the exact same copy of the book! But, I’m also talking to you who have the paperback, the hardback and the illustrated edition!

Ohhh, so you NEEDED that little leather-bound Lord of the Rings editions AND you NEEDED the illustrated edition too? Mmmmmm. Along with, I don’t know, popheads and figures and all the other little bundles of magic that sit on a hypothetical shelf!

Who does that? Not me?

PRIDE

Something that doesn’t always feel like a sin, am I right?

There is a fine line to this sin, oh yes, it is the line between being generally excited and happy about your success in the bookish world and flat out bragging.

Yes, this sin belongs to the braggers those who get all the ARCS and shout about it to the world, those who read an ungodly amount of books and anything less than their number is a poor attempt! Yes YOU!

Oh there are many out there and I bet we all brag to some degree! I know I did when I got A Fools Hope, shit I tweeted that gain immediately but what can I say…your girl WAS EXCITED!!

WRATH

Ahhh, wrath and no not the brilliantly written fourth book in The Faithful and the Fallen series, but reader wrath.

This here is the reader who is a rage quitter. A series DNF’er. When a book completely subverts from your expectations you lose your shit! You don’t marvel at the joy and cleverness of the plot, no you HATE it. You rage DNF, much like the rage quitter on a game! It’s not going your way, so the book is closed and neglected for the rest of time.

SLOTH

Oh the sloth, the lazy sinner.

Yes, I am talking to you reader who neglects everything else for a book. You become sluggish and will leave those chores to the very last minute before your other half gets home or you will push that dog walk until your hound practically brings you the lead! We have all done. We have all been so engrossed by a book that the world falls away around us!

LUST

Now, I could go for literal sense of lust and go on and on about book boyfriends and the oh so swoon worthy romances in books, but nahhhh.

This lusty sin is an even more deadly sin, it is the lusting after the newer books, falling to the lure of that pretty new title and bypassing the many already sat on your TBR. I know I have committed this sin, so many books from my TBR have been left in the dust because a pretty new blurb came my way. Yes, Twitter blew up over this book and you forgot all about your scheduled reads and went straight to the new title without hesitation.


There it is readers, see that wasn’t that touchy! I definitely fall into more than one of these little sins, which sins are you guilty of committing?