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!?


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!


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 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.


KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK SIX

Hello fellow book lovers and welcome back to KEEP IT OR CUT IT! As usual I am going to talk to you today about ten books that have been sitting on my Goodreads TBR for quite some time. The books in this weeks post were all added in August 2019, so 16 months ago. That’s a long time for a book to be sitting! Though, briefly looking some of these and I know a few of them have flickered back up on my radar through either purchasing the book or the audiobook so not totally unloved.

Last week my Keep It Or Cut It post evolved a little, changing ‘Reasons‘ to ‘Reasons & Thoughts‘. It wasn’t a huge change to the layout but it was a change none the less, and today the post is going to evolve a little more.

As you can see from the method below, I do some or all of the below checks, so I’m thinking of adding a few review comments from others, maybe a good opening to the book from the sample or a little information into why the blurb is an interesting one. Hopefully it ill make me a little more accountable for my decisions and also it may be fun for you. Who knows?!

The Method

For any who are unsure as to how I vet a book you can see below the checks I run through. I may only need to see the blurb to love it, I may want to check out a few reviews of those with similar tastes to me or I might read a little bit of the sample. I don’t always do all three but here they are, the method checks…

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

THE BOOKS…

BOOK #1

The Thousand Names (The Shadow Campaigns #1) by Django Wexler

Goodreads Link

Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel—but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic….

Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.

To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men and lead them into battle against impossible odds.

The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning. But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural—a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.

KEEP IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

While I added this on to my TBR around 16 months ago as I really love military fantasy fiction, it actually came back to my attention again in Feb 2020, around the time I had read and LOVED Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage Trilogy. It was strongly recommended as a book to read if you liked that flintlock fantasy.

This isn’t the first Django Wexler book on my TBR and I doubt it will be the last. Also, the whole woman dressed as a man trope, well, I kinda like it and that bit of the blurb honestly gives me Mulan vibes! Don’t laugh.

Petrik described it as “…A great explosive Flintlock/Military fantasy debut that left me begging for more by the end of it...”

BOOK #2

The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1) by Brian Staveley

Goodreads Link

The circle is closing. The stakes are high. And old truths will live again…

The Emperor has been murdered, leaving the Annurian Empire in turmoil. Now his progeny must bury their grief and prepare to unmask a conspiracy.

His son Valyn, training for the empire’s deadliest fighting force, hears the news an ocean away. He expected a challenge, but after several ‘accidents’ and a dying soldier’s warning, he realizes his life is also in danger. Yet before Valyn can take action, he must survive the mercenaries’ brutal final initiation.

Meanwhile, the Emperor’s daughter, Minister Adare, hunts her father’s murderer in the capital itself. Court politics can be fatal, but she needs justice. And Kaden, heir to an empire, studies in a remote monastery. Here, the Blank God’s disciples teach their harsh ways – which Kaden must master to unlock their ancient powers. When an imperial delegation arrives, he’s learnt enough to perceive evil intent. But will this keep him alive, as long-hidden powers make their move? 

KEEP IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

This is another one of those books that was added some time ago but had quite recently popped back up in my mind. Though for a different reason. As some of you may be aware I have recently joined the many who love audiobooks, and on my mission to find a narrator I could listen to I stumbled across this. I remembered it was a book I had on my TBR and reread the blurb, it quickly had me wanting to read it and so I grabbed the audio with one of my credits! Though if it isn’t enough that this is narrated by Simon Vance, someones voice I quite like, it also sounds epic. It’s cover is stunning, its book title is intriguing and it blurb has you wanting…

A murdered emperor; an empire in turmoil; TRAINING MONTAGE; mercenaries; and court politics!

This is a book that has some quite amazing reviews and ratings too among the book community, so that is always a promising sign!

BOOK #3

The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks

Goodreads Link

Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

KEEP IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

From what I have read this is a fairly complex book, its world building is highly praised and has a brilliant magic system that is integral to the story. While all of these praises make me want to read I, it is probably the idea of the magic system I want to experience the most. I haven’t, despite reading fantasy for a good while now, read all that many books with a complex magic system. I want to see one in action that honestly is Sanderson’s. That’s nothing against him, at all, I’ve not read his works but books that hyped are always tougher reads.

Mike said “…Im not selling you a bill of goods here, guys; I feel like Black Prism is the best book 1 of a fantasy series that Ive read in over a decade….

BOOK #4

Paternus: Rise of Gods (Paternus Trilogy #1) by Dyrk Ashton

Goodreads Link


Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth.

When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter—and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step.

With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi’s enigmatic Uncle Edgar. But the more their questions are answered, the more they discover that nothing is what it seems–not Peter, not Edgar, perhaps not even themselves.

The gods and monsters, heroes and villains of lore—they’re real. And now they’ve come out of hiding to hunt their own. In order to survive, Fi and Zeke must join up with powerful allies against an ancient evil that’s been known by many names and feared by all. The final battle of the world’s oldest war has begun.

KEEP IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

To say how much I enjoy urban fantasy in TV and movies I haven’t actually read a lot in the genre. I have read PNR and shifter books that are still urban fantasy, and while I enjoy them, they are not really what I’m looking for in an adult urban fantasy story. So, to see a so widely loved urban fantasy is great and it had me buying this book, that and it obviously sounded cool!

Nick Borelli said “…Let me start off by saying, I am not a big fan of Urban Fantasy for those who know me. In fact, it’s my least favorite sub-genre of Fantasy. So when I say I was blown away in a good way by this book, it really is saying something about both the story and the author Dyrk Ashton…”

BOOK #5

Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

KEEP IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

I don’t remember a thing about this book, but having just reread the blurb…It sounds bloody brilliant! I LOVE rebellions against oppression, and your hunter type books. Also, having just watched ‘The Boys’ this whole blurb reminds me a Frenchie, with his experiments to find a supe’s weakness and what not.

The Coycaterpillar Reads has sold this to me even more than the blurb. I am all about a books beginning, as some of you may know, so when Yvonne said “…It’s usually within pages that I will be able to determine whether a novel is going to submerge me within its world, whether I mould between its pages…I was a goner by page two…” I was done.

BOOK #6

The Way of Kings, Part 1 (The Stormlight Archive #1, part 1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

SPEAK AGAIN THE ANCIENT OATHS,

LIFE BEFORE DEATH.
STRENGTH BEFORE WEAKNESS.
JOURNEY BEFORE DESTINATION.

AND RETURN TO MEN THE SHARDS THEY ONCE BORE.


THE KNIGHTS RADIANT MUST STAND AGAIN.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.

One such war is about to swallow up a soldier, a brightlord and a young woman scholar.

Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.

KEEP IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

For some reason this book keeps coming to mind, I really am going to have to read it! I have seen fan art for it a lot recently, new revises and general Sanderson talk. The world is telling me to start reading this book! Plus I already have this book on my shelves at home…

David sold it to me even more with his review comments “…you like beautifully intricate worlds, fun magic systems, and likable characters, I would definitely recommend this to you…”

BOOK #7

Wolf in Shadow (Jon Shannow #1) by David Gemmell

Goodreads Link

Three centuries after terrible floods drowned most of Earth’s civilizations, humanity scratches for safety in a world of deadly evils. And through this world walks Jon Shannow, the Jerusalem Man. His quest is to find lost Jerusalem–and confront the world’s evil, including the devil himself.

CUT IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

My first ‘cut it’ of today’s post! I haven’t read any Gemmell and while I have every intention of doing so I won’t be begging my journey into his works with this one. It doesn’t sound like a bad story but nothing about it really grabs me either.

BOOK #8

Beyond Redemption (Manifest Delusions #1) by Michael R. Fletcher

Goodreads Link

Faith shapes the landscape, defines the laws of physics, and makes a mockery of truth. Common knowledge isn’t an axiom, it’s a force of nature. What the masses believe is. But insanity is a weapon, conviction a shield. Delusions give birth to foul new gods.

Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken—men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. High Priest Konig seeks to create order from chaos. He defines the beliefs of his followers, leading their faith to one end: a young boy, Morgen, must Ascend to become a god. A god they can control.

But there are many who would see this would-be-god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own Doppels, and a Slaver no one can resist. Three reprobates—The Greatest Swordsman in the World, a murderous Kleptic, and possibly the only sane man left—have their own nefarious plans for the young god.

As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. When one’s delusions become more powerful, they become harder to control. The fate of the Geisteskranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. 

The question, then, is: Who will rule there?

KEEP IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

I like this cover. It almost reminds me of the covers for Brian McClellan’s Gods of Blood and Powder books, but that literally could just be the whole charging horses aspect…

A dark fantasy with a twisted and intriguing plot, peoples delusion twisting reality, that sounds crazy and quite interesting. Plus, when does the puppet god/king/leader plot ever go to plan?

The Tattooed Book Geek said “I was hooked from the first page all the way up until the last, great world building and great characters make this a quality read, fantasy at it’s darkest, deluded best, a unique read that I thoroughly enjoyed and would gladly recommend to everyone!”

BOOK #9

The City (The City #1) by Stella Gemmell

Goodreads Link

Well, we cut the husband, let us see if we keep the wife..

KEEP IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

I remember adding this book to my TR and to say it was added over 16 months ago I think that is quite a feat, even more so because I haven’t seen this token about in the book community at all. That is not to say I remember the full blurb, but I do remember being greatly interested in the whole idea of a waring city filled with tribal fighting and a mysterious leader.

I also already have this book on my shelves to read so it is a easy keep it book!

BOOK #10

Legend (The Drenai Saga #1) by David Gemmell

Goodreads Link

I was clearly digging the Gemmell’s during this phase of my Goodreads hunting…

He is DRUSS the Legend. His skill in battle has earned him a fearsome reputation throughout the world and the stories of his life are told everywhere. But the grizzled veteran has spurned a life of fame and fortune and has retreated to the solitude of his mountain lair to await his old enemy, Death.

Meanwhile, barbarian hordes of the Nadir are on the march, conquering all before them. All that stands before them and victory is the legendary six-walled fortress of the Drenai empire, Dros Delnoch. If the fortress falls, so do the Drenai. Druss reluctantly agrees to come out of retirement. But can even Druss live up to his own legends?

Held by many to be Gemmell’s most iconic work, the book is considered a classic in the heroic fantasy genre.

A second chance, will Gemmell make the cut this time?

KEEP IT

Reasons & Thoughts:

And now we have both Mr and Mrs Gemmell being kept this week on Keep It Or Cut It! This is another trope I really like to read, the retired veteran who has removed themselves from the world to live the rest of their days alone in some hut on a mountain storyline.

I think I like these storylines because they have the potential for such incredible characters, we are given a character who has already lived a life, so you are constantly wondering how much the character can still grow, how will their life experiences steer them in their new journey? What is going to happen?

Then throw in the whole last stand, the last remaining defence against a seemingly unstoppable force and you have a book I really want to read!


I actually really enjoy writing these posts because I am slowly but surely noticing more and more what tropes, storylines and more that I truly like. I am seeing clearer each time what I want to see in a book, what I want to experience. This feature is genuinely beneficial and I would recommend you guys doing your own.

One cut, nine kept!

This was nearly a full strike! Just one fell short but nine out of ten isn’t bad. or it is because the aim is to reduce the TBR but I’m not cutting books for the sake of it! Plus, I feel like I have learnt more about my own reading tastes in this weeks post so I would say that is a win!

What do you think are there any books I really should have cut or ones you cant believe I didn’t cut? Have I made any mistakes? How many did you guess correct?

Again, thank you to everyone who takes the tie to read my posts and engage with me over on Twitter, it is always such fu and I appreciate you all so much!


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.


KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK FOUR

Hey Everyone and welcome back to KEEP IT OR CUT IT!

I hope you are all doing great and have had a lovely week so far.

As you know, in a bid to maybe reduce my TBR, I am taking ten books from it and checking to see if I still want to read said book.

Ohh goodness guys any progress I made reducing my TBR, albeit minutely, has gone out the window! My Sundays Seven feature last Sunday, 7 Books Not Set In Medieval Europe, had me adding a good few more books to my TBR.

So you know…NO PROGRESS! Though, I don’t mind adding books I want to read, I do want to get rid of the ones I no longer want to read.

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 if I still can’t decide…

TO THE BOOKS…

BOOK #1

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Goodreads Link

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

Date Added: June 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I would literally buy this book for the cover alone. It is so pretty but thankfully many reviews suggest this books insides are as gorgeous as its outsides, so I don’t feel lo bad about that fact!
  • Also, it is a debut. I have a thing about debut books, I love seeing what it takes to be published and at what point authors start their literary journey.
  • This book is also meant to have a lot of war and court politics within its story, which I am quickly finding is one of my favourite elements in fantasy.

BOOK #2

The Witchwood Crown (The Last King of Osten Ard #1) by Tad Williams

Goodreads Link

THE WITCHWOOD CROWN continues the story of Simon, servant boy made king and his queen, Miriamele, 30 years after the events of the concluding part of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. In TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER the might of the Storm King was conquered by The League of the Scroll. Now new troubles have come to the kingdom of Osten Ard, a world where humans, Norns and the Sithi can only live in peace for a little time before war raises its head…. 

Date Added: Jun 2019

CUT IT (BY DEFAULT)

Reasons:

  • Ok, so don’t hate. This is a default cut it. As this book is the start of a series that follows the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books, I don’t always do the but I get the feeling its pretty close in timescales. It is to be removed until I have read and loved the previous books. It is the same as me removing the third book of a trilogy when I haven’t read book two.
  • If I’m wrong and this can be read without knowledge of the other series’ let me know!

BOOK #3

A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone #1) by John Gwynne

Goodreads Link

A race of warrior angels, the Ben-Elim, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands, but their peace is brutally enforced.

In the south, hotheaded Riv is desperate to join the Ben-Elim’s peacekeeping force, until she unearths a deadly secret.
In the west, the giantess Sig investigates demon sightings and discovers signs of an uprising and black magic.

And in the snowbound north, Drem, a trapper, finds mutilated corpses in the forests. The work of a predator, or something far darker?
It’s a time of shifting loyalties and world-changing dangers. Difficult choices need to be made. Because in the shadows, demons are gathering, waiting for their time to rise…

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • KEEP IT. KEEP IT. KEEP IT because John Gwynne’s debut series is one of my all time favourites, so I will be reading this. It’s funny it has come up this week because I keep eyeing it on my shelves at home, and I even went to check some of its reviews the other day and reread the synopsis as I keep wanting to read it.
  • I may very soon break my TBR and get this series done!

BOOK #4

Broken Throne (Red Queen #5) by Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads Link

Return once more to the deadly and dazzling world of Red Queen in Broken Throne, a beautifully designed, must-have companion to the chart-topping series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Aveyard.

The perfect addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series, this gorgeously designed package features three brand-new novellas, two previously published novellas, Steel Scars and Queen Song, and never-before-seen maps, flags, bonus scenes, journal entries, and much more exclusive content.

Fans will be delighted to catch up with beloved characters after the drama of War Storm and be excited to hear from brand-new voices as well. This stunning collection is not to be missed!

Date Added: Jun 2019

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • While I enjoyed this series when I read it, and I actually think if I was to read it again I would still enjoy it, I’m not really one to really tackle novellas. I don’t know why I’m just not. If I reread this series and really feel like I want more of the world I know of the book so may read it but it isn’t on my list to just pick up and read, thus this is a CUT IT.

BOOK #5

Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Goodreads Link

Age of Myth inaugurates another six-book series set in Elan.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • This sounds epic and its audio sounds great to!
  • Now, this is the same world as some of Sullivan’s other books but Sullivan said himself said that it is 3,000 years between books, so I don’t feel the need to delete this of my TBR.

BOOK #6

Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1) by Terry Goodkind

Goodreads Link

Deep in the upper Ven Forest, close to the Boundry, woodsman Richard Cypher is intent on tracking down his father’s killers. Richard has no idea of how far his quest will take him from home, nor that his world, his very beliefs, are about to be shattered… 

Kahlan Amnell, tormented by treachery and loss, is being hunted, pursued remorselessly by a bloodthirsty tyrant’s assassins. A monstrous evil is about to be unleashed upon the world and she knows her one hope of halting it is to find the last great Wizard… 

Together, Richard and Kahlan have a destiny that will not be denied, a destiny that will embroil them in a war three-millennia past… a war that is about to re-ignite with world-devouring violence.

Date Added: Jun 2019

CUT IT

  • This book just doesn’t take my fancy. I read a few reviews, which by the way are pretty split apparently it is a book you either love or hate, and I’m still not hugely bothered for it!

BOOK #7

Elantris (Elantris #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

ELANTRIS WAS A PLACE OF GLORY

The capital of Arelon, the home to people transformed into magic-using demigods by the Shaod.

But then the magic failed, Elantris started to rot, and its inhabitants turned into powerless wrecks.

And in the new capital, Kae, close enough to Elantris for everyone to be reminded of what they have lost, a princess arrives. Sarene is to be married to unite Teod and Arelon against the religious imperialists of Fjordell. But she is told that Raoden, her husband to be, is dead.

Determined to carry on the fight for Teod and Arelon’s freedom, Sarene clashes with the high priest Hrathen. If Hrathen can persuade the populace to convert, Fjordell will reign supreme.

But there are secrets in Elantris, the dead and the ruined may yet have a role to play in this new world. Magic lives. 

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I think I will try and read any of Sanderson’s books, not because everyone dies over him but because he seems like a fairly cool guy. I actually listen to his podcast Writing Excuses, and he comes out with some really great things in that and knowing how he came to some of his ideas is always interesting. So, I will give this book a go and if I love it yay, if not then meh!

BOOK #8

The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn #1) by Tad Williams

Goodreads Link

A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard. 

Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power. Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he’s ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die.

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I have this on my shelves and have every intention of reading it.
  • I love war stories, it has the good ole humble origins trope and a quest. What’s not to like?

BOOK #9

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance Trilogy #1) by N.K. Jemisin

Goodreads Link

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • Over he last few days N.K Jemisin seems to be popping up all over my radar. I saw people dying over her books on a thread on Twitter, then I featured her in my latest post and now this one. She has also popped up on my Goodreads a fair amount lately. One might argue it is a sign?
  • Guess I will have to keep it.
  • Barbarian north, mysterious deaths and courtly power struggles…I’m sold.

BOOK #10

The Wolf’s Call (Raven’s Blade #1) by Anthony Ryan

Goodreads Link

PEACE NEVER LASTS 
Vaelin Al Sorna is a living legend, his name known across the Realm. It was his leadership that overthrew empires, his blade that won hard-fought battles – and his sacrifice that defeated an evil more terrifying than anything the world had ever seen. He won titles aplenty, only to cast aside his earned glory for a quiet life in the Realm’s northern reaches. 

Yet whispers have come from across the sea – rumours of an army called the Steel Horde, led by a man who believes himself a god. Vaelin has no wish to fight another war, but when he learns that Sherin, the woman he lost long ago, has fallen into the Horde’s grasp, he resolves to confront this powerful new threat. 

To this end, Vaelin travels to the realms of the Merchant Kings, a land ruled by honour and intri
gue. There, as the drums of war thunder across kingdoms riven by conflict, Vaelin learns a terrible truth: that there are some battles that even he cannot hope to win.

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I love Anthony Ryan sooooo KEEP IT!

There it is! So, this week I have cut 3 books and kept 7.

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

BYE, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!