The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson


 Author:
 Seth Dickinson
Series: Baru Cormorant (#1)
Read: May 18th-19th
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: political fantasy
Rating: ★★★

In short: What to say about a book so good I’ve read it twice in the span of three months? Amazingly plotted, exquisitely written—if you’re looking for a gripping fantasy novel, this is it.

GoodreadsThe Traitor Baru Cormorant is an epic geopolitical fantasy about one woman’s mission to tear down an empire by learning how to rule it.

Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home and see red sails on the horizon.

The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They’ll conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate, prove her talent, and join the Masquerade. She will learn the secrets of empire. She’ll be exactly what they need. And she’ll claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

In a final test of her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. Aurdwynn kills everyone who tries to rule it. To survive, Baru will need to untangle this land’s intricate web of treachery – and conceal her attraction to the dangerously fascinating Duchess Tain Hu.

But Baru is a savant in games of power, as ruthless in her tactics as she is fixated on her goals. In the calculus of her schemes, all ledgers must be balanced, and the price of liberation paid in full.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

28145767Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Strange the Dreamer (#1)
Read: July 1st-6th
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: high fantasy
Rating: ★★★☆☆

In short: Under the pretty language there’s some insta-love, some confusing mythology, and setting that should’ve been fleshed out more. I had hope, but it was not to be.

Mild spoilers for Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

Goodreads: Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

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The Greatest Hits of the Past Six Months

Here we are again. Me apologising for being gone so long. Let’s skip over the excuses and get straight to some of the best books I’ve read since last I blogged, and I’ll have book reviews (!!) coming your way soon!

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo. I’ll be honest, I was worried I wouldn’t like this because it sounded almost too cutesy. But Desi and her antics totally won me over. This book was equal parts hilarious and heartfelt.

The Swan Riders by Erin Bow. As usual I maybe understood… 70% of this book? Maybe? But I enjoyed what I understood… sort of? Anyway, great follow-up to The Scorpion Rules!

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali. How can a book tackle really serious and sensitive issues, but still have moments of hilarity? I’m still scratching my head. I loved Janna’s voice and I laughed and cried with her through this book.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman (trans. Neil Smith).  I’m definitely going to review this book because I could write a whole novel on how amazing it was. For a hockey fan, it’s really good at understanding what makes passion for hockey so obsessive and all-consuming, but you don’t have to know anything about the sport to enjoy how well-written this novel is. Seriously, how is a book this good in translation?

Windwitch by Susan Dennard. I think I actually enjoyed the sequel to Truthwitch better than the first book; the characters are fleshed out beautifully and we finally meet some long-awaited characters… I won’t say whom.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. Hardcore fantasy fans, buckle up, because I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that packs that much cleverness, action, diversity, and emotion into one volume. It’s an incredible look at colonialism; trade treaties and annexations go far deeper than wars. If you’re waiting for a fantasy masterpiece to fall into your lap, this is it.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. I’d been meaning to read this book for a long time, and finally getting around to it was a great decision. It’s warmth and sunlight and just an absolute pleasure to read.

Stay tuned for closer looks at these books… and some reviews of books I didn’t enjoy so much.

February Releases to Look Out For

This month has a lot of sequels, and some interesting debuts too:

  1. Feb 7:
    King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard. Third book in dystopian fantasy series Red Queen.
    Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. Debut fantasy about a girl who marries the Goblin King in exchange for her sister’s freedom.
    Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas. Fantasy about an unlikely queen from the author of A Wicked Thing.
    Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. Sci-fi about a crown princess and the boy falsely accused of her murder.
    Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter. Fourth book in fantasy series The Black Mage.
  2. Feb 14:
    We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. Contemporary about a college girl who must finally face what she left behind.
    The Valiant by Lesley Livingston. Historical fiction about a Celtic princess captured by Romans.
  3. Feb 21:
    A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. Final book in the Shades of Magic trilogy.
    Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage. Two sisters drown themselves and leave behind a letter.
  4. Feb 28:
    Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. Fantasy about a pirate king’s daughter in search of the ultimate prize.

Which new releases are you looking forward to?

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas


Author:
 Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass (#5)
Read: January 7th-14th
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: high fantasy
Rating: ☆☆

In short: I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed the ToG books seriously. Well, it’s all coming out now, folks. Empire of Storms is a disappointment.

Spoilers for the previous books in the series, and A Court of Thorns and Roses. Mild spoilers for Empire of Storms itself.

Goodreads: The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

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Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

I know, it’s been… a very long time. But for those of you who don’t already know, I moved into college about three weeks ago, and it was both the most hectic and the most exciting time ever. Things have settled a bit better now, and I’ve tapped into my college’s (wonderful) library system so I can get back to reading and reviewing! If you want me to check out a book because you think it’s wonderful/you want an opinion before you pick it up, feel free to leave me a comment, and I’ll see if I can get my grabby hands on it. Aka if my libraries can help a girl out. I have a bunch of YA picks that I’m waiting in the queue for (ugh) including Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom, which comes out soon! I hope I’ll have some reviews up and ready for you guys soon 🙂

xx
Stuti

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers


Author:
 Sarah Ahiers
Series: Assassin’s Heart (#1)
Read: February 10th-12th
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 2nd, 2016
Genre: high fantasy
Rating: ★☆

In short: Once again, the blurb proves too good to be true. It’s a typical case of heroine who is supposed to be skilled and tough but is actually like…plain bad at what she does.

Goodreads: In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


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Author: Morgan Matson
Series: Standalone
Read: May 15th-16th
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Genre: contemporary
Rating:

In short: The Unexpected Everything is just what I expected—funny, heartbreaking, and so, so readable.

GoodreadsAndie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

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June Releases to Look Out For

We’re almost halfway through the year, and the great books just won’t stop. Here are this month’s releases you should be reading!

  1. June 7:
    The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Sequel to suspense/mystery novel The Fixer.
    My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand & Jodi Meadows. Historical fantasy about Lady Jane Grey of England.
    The Leaving by Tara Altebrando. Suspense/thriller about the return of child abduction victims a decade later from the Roomies co-author.
    With Malice by Eileen Cook. Suspense/mystery about a girl accused of murdering her best friend while on holiday.
  2. June 14:
    Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger. A girl notices strange changes in herself.
  3. June 21:
    Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana. Sci-fi where one girl’s life changes with the discovery of an alternate Earth.
    Never Ever by Sara Saedi. Retelling of Peter Pan.
  4. June 28:
    And I Darken by Kiersten White. Historical AU in which Vlad the Impaler is a girl by the Paranormalcy author.
    The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos. Mystery/thriller about a girl who goes looking for her missing father.
    Night Study by Maria V. Snyder. Second book in the Soulfinders series.

Which new releases are you looking forward to?

Summer Days and Summer Nights, ed. Stephanie Perkins

I’m back! Very late, I know, but maybe reviewing twelve stories at once will make up for it?

 Editor: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Standalone
Read: May 21st-24th
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Genre: romance
Rating: ½

In short: Some of these stories were absolutely wonderful, some less so, much like in Perkins’s previous anthology.

Goodreads: Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

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