#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books with Blue Covers

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! Today’s prompt from the lovely Steph at A Little But A lot is “Books with Blue Covers.” Most of my book covers tend to be on the darker side but I feel like blue is pretty achievable so let’s take a look!

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
This was one of my favourites and most memorable reads as a young child, I liked the differences between the two princesses and even though I absolutely identified with the strong-willed, dark-haired princess who  enjoyed sword fighting this was an important lesson for me where I realised you didn’t have to be strong or physically tough to be brave. I still love sword fighting more than embroidery though not gonna lie.

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
One of my current favourite reads and peak Lauren James. This book is super interesting with important themes and a slightly different but fun format that really allowed the story to unfold by layers that worked really well. Not to mention, as always, THAT TWIST. Cannot explain how much I love this gorgeous book.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Another departure from my usual reading habits, again I picked this contemporary up due to liking the authors’ previous work which was in-fact another contemporary! Summer Bird Blue is a beautiful, interesting and enjoyable read that had me in tears multiple times!

Blue Salt Road by Joanne Harris
Another beautiful poetic fairy tale by Mrs Harris, like A Pocketful of Crows this tale is inspired by the Child Ballads and feels just as iconic, this time though we follow the path of a selkie. I was always fascinated with selkies as a child so this was a fantastic read for me.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Speaking of beautiful poetic prose, Strange the Dreamer reads like a five hundred and thirty-six page poem and has a gorgeous blue and gold cover to boot. This was also the very first book that I had ever since and/or brought with sprayed edges and it changed my whole world.

The Extinction Trials by S.M Wilson
Described as The Hunger Games with dinosaurs and I gotta say I usually hate those stickers that say things like that plastered all over books but honestly it’s pretty damn accurate and a trilogy I absolutely love.

So all done and dusted for another week! Apologies for being a little slow getting back to comments at the moment as I’m either doing the being a parent thing (and it’s been a busy week for meetings – yay) writing frantically or reading just as frantically because oh my GOSH there are so many great books coming out right now and honestly I just want to read them all. Are there any books coming out right now that you’re super excited to get to reading?

spoiler free, tbr thursday

TBR Thursday – November 2019

tbr Thursday
Okay so it seems forever since Octobers TBR post for some reason although I did only get around to reading one of the books on that massive list I made, I was definitely far too ambitious and underestimated how busy a month it would be. As a result, this months TBR is much smaller, especially because on top of everything I’m also taking part in NaNoWriMo which is taking up almost all of my free time to be honest (I feel like I haven’t seen my FFXV boys in YEARS and none of my animal crossing villagers like me anymore). Still, these are the books I still hope to be able to read this month.

Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder
If you caught my WWW Wednesday post yesterday you’ll know that this is my current read. I’m lucky enough to have been granted an early e-book copy ready for the release which is fast approaching now! It’s been a great read so far and I’m finding it very hard to put it down, even more so than Navigating the Stars.

CTRL S by Andy Briggs
I believe I mentioned this in my last two WWW Wednesday posts but the book took a little longer to arrive than I thought it would BUT it’s here now and will definitely be my next read! CTRL S is apparently perfect for fans of Ready Player One and follows Theo Wilson as he searches the dark side on an online universe for his kidnapped mother in a world where people are harvested for their emotions.

The Sky Weaver by Kristen Cicarelli
A second sequel/companion story to The Last Namsara which I LOVED to pieces! I can’t wait for the next instalment and was so happy to find this on NetGalley by accident a little while ago! I of course also have my copy pre-ordered and have already received my beautiful pre-order goodies, these gorgeous art cards featuring characters from the books!

Dewdrop by Katie O’Neil
This is another early copy I received via Netgalley and is a children’s story about an Axolotl I can’t wait to read and hoping my little one will share with me!

I also have some comics and graphic novels I’m hoping to get around to reading too but we’ll see how things go although all bets are off if the newest copy of NPC Tea arrives because I am in DIRE NEED folks. Have a great weekend and I’ll hopefully see you back here Sunday if I don’t drown under my word count goal!

 

spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday November 6th 2019

www wednesday
It’s been a fortnight already which is crazy, I felt like my last one of these posts was only a few days ago! It must be NaNoWriMo brain (check out my latest NaNo post here to see how I’m getting on). Still, I’m here and I’ve at least done SOME reading in between frantically writing so here’s my fortnightly check-in! Its scarily very similar to last fortnights check-in  but shhh.

If you want to join in with WWW don’t forget to send over a big thank you to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for keeping WWW alive and kicking.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m working my way through Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder again at the moment! Still so grateful to have been given the chance to read this early and I’m really enjoying it so far!! It’s been really hard to put down. I know I was reading this for my last post a fortnight ago but I had some problems with my phone (where I’ve been reading it) charging really slowly so opted to read a paperback until I could get it fixed. Good news is the problem is sorted and I’m flying through this now!

What did you recently finish reading?

Unexpectedly, I ended up reading A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas which hadn’t been planned at all but after watching the latest teaser trailer from the lovely folks at The Starfall Court (check it out here) I was desperate to delve into that world again and this short novella of sorts was absolutely perfect and just what I needed. You can check out my review that went live on Tuesday here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

With any luck this time I’ll actually read CTRL S by Andy Briggs next. It arrived a little later than I thought it would so I wasn’t able to start it but it’s absolutely next on my list although my review might not be up for a little while yet as I’m taking part in a blog tour a little later on so keep your eyes peeled!

If you’re interested in what else I plan to read this month then never fear as tomorrow is the first Thursday of the month and therefore time for my monthly TBR Thursday post which is looking a little thin for a change but hopefully all the more manageable for it!

 

book reviews

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Book Review

31076583._SY475_.jpgA Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Rating: XXXXX

Published May 1st 2018

“And in the end though, we’d saved each other. All of us had.”

Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

So I put off reading this for a long time. I preordered this and got it on release but after A Court of Wings and Ruin, I wasn’t really feeling the ACOTAR series very much. I’m not sure if I was burnt out from all the hype or if it just wasn’t a great book but the third book just felt so lacking for me in places (don’t get me wrong, some bits were great, I cried. Multiple times). Anyway, it meant that when this came out I wasn’t really in the mood to read it and it just got left at the bottom of my TBR pile. But then the Starfall Court cosplay group happened.

The Starfall Court is a group of cosplayers from around Europe who cosplay as characters from the ACOTAR books, I stumbled across them when checking out Woodsmoke and Words on Instagram after seeing them cosplaying Molly (from Critical Role) and fell in love with their rendition of Lucien Vanserra. Most of you probably already know that Lucien is my favourite ACOTAR character and that my D&D character is kind of my own AU version of him and honestly folks, Tilda’s Lucien is amazing. I then went on to find out that they were a part of a group called The Starfall Court and that they were filming a fan trailer for ACOTAR and ACOMAF. Those two books really brought me back into reading a few years back so I checked out the group and the teasers for the trailers etc and OHMYGOSH. I was transported back to reading those first two books and reminded about all the stuff that I did love about them. I’ve watched it a good few times since and thanks to those lovely folks I finally felt ready to read this novella so I wanted to give them a little shout out and show you what they’ve been up to so far.

Now on with the review, I promise! Just as warning though although there won’t be any big spoilers for this particular book in this review I don’t reccomend reading this if you haven’t read the first two books and intend to.

I’m so glad I finally picked up this book although I now want to reread the whole damn trilogy (well, the first two at least) damnit. It’s definitely a big nostalgia hit for someone who has been away from the series for a while like myself and I think that might have attributed to my enjoyment of it but I think that’s maybe the point? It takes the fun parts of the trilogy and really amplifies them but not to the point that it’s just fan service for the sake of it. It’s set during the solstice festival so the slight silly-ness I feel is warranted but it also focuses on the scars those of the night court and some beyond, are now trying to come to terms with (in most cases) and it the balance just feels right.

The novella feels shorter than it looks but I think this is mainly because although the plot does move at a good pace this novella is heavily character-focused. I was initially sad that we didn’t get more Lucien but I think the amount he was involved made sense to the story and honestly how he’s feeling at the moment. There are some really lovely scenes and I forgot how much I actually do really love the relationship between Rhysand and Feyre, there are so many beautiful moments where things that may seem little actually feel kind of big emotionally. They really respect and understand each other and it was nice to get a glimpse into the “happily ever after” side of things. Especially because as one story is ending more is beginning and we get seeds of that spread throughout this book which have made me really excited for the next book in the series which, judging from the sneak peek at the end of this, seem to be centred around Nesta who I’m morbidly curious about.

Overall I really really enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. There was the usual ‘universe-shattering’ sex scene but thankfully only the one, which honestly it wouldn’t have felt right without and it was mostly bearable. I did enjoy the mention of Fae ‘cycles’ which made me laugh a little but I appreciated the lack of tiptoeing around. A Court of Frost and Starlight, for its small faults really dragged me in and was enjoyable to read, it definitely felt like a good example of how well Sarah J Maas can write and is a nice place to end the first trilogy instead of the hot mess I felt that A Court of Wings and Ruin was. If you’ve read the rest of the series, even if you felt disappointed with the last book I would still recommend giving this a go. If anything it’s interesting seeing things from the point of view of other members of the Night Court too.

Have you read the A Court of Thorns and Roses books? If so what did you think of them? I know its a bit of a marmite series for some with people often either loving or hating it. If you’ve read the Throne of Glass books too did you enjoy ACOTAR more or perhaps you haven’t got around to the series yet?

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books with Snow/Ice in the title

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday folks! I hope you’re enjoying November so far and that you had a great Halloween if you celebrate it. For the first Six for Sunday prompt of the month by Steph at A Little But A Lot, we have “Books with snow/ice” in the title.

Warriors: Fire and Ice by Erin Hunter
This was the first one that came to mind! Mainly because where it’s displayed on our bookshelves it’s really easy to see the tide of Warrior cats books.

Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
The third (I think) in the psy-changeling book series by Nalini, these are one of my ‘guilty pleasure’ reads that I’ve always loved the story surrounding, especially the Psy side of things.

Ice Study by Maria V. Snyder
This is one of the short stories Maria wrote in-between the first and second half of the study series. They may be short novellas of a sort but some important stuff happens in them AND they’re pretty awesome so well worth a read.

Snow like Ashes by Sara Rasch
I haven’t read this one but I DO own it after the cover intrigued me and it was part of a 3 for 2 sale when I was already planning to buy two books. It sounds interesting it’s just not too high on my TBR list at the moment.

Girls made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Another book I own yet haven’t read. A friend told me about this one and I brought it immediately, desperate to read it. Then, of course, I do what I always do and get distracted by another book and then pretty much forget about it. I will get to it eventually though because it sounds fantastic.

Snow White and the Seven Samurai by Tom Holt
Oh look, yet again a book I own but have not read! This was another casualty of a 3 for 2 sale. It sounded like a fun read and I’m sure it is but it just doesn’t grab me enough to be especially high on my TBR.

Does anyone else have a physical TBR that could easily crush them at any given moment? This just reminded me how many books are on my shelves that I’ve actually not read yet and it is scary. At least I’ll likely never run out of things to read though right?

spoiler free, Tags

Dungeons and Dragons Book Tag – Class Edition

tag Thursday

So as I’m sure many of you who have read my blog before will probably know, I really like Dungeons and Dragons. Like. REALLY like dungeons and dragons. My mum used to play when I was little and I’ve roped her into playing 5e with me and my friends this year too which has been a lot of fun. I’ve been playing for about three years now I think and it has had an enormous impact on my life as it really helps to foster my creativity, it’s a fantastic escape for when I’m feeling crappy and I love having things to be genuinely invested in and excited for. Now, I know I’m primarily a book blog but I do have some Dungeons and Dragons themed posts lined up so I thought this would be a good opportunity to make a little themed book tag to cross over two of my great loves. So I present to you, The Dungeons and Dragons Book Tag: Class Edition.

Barbarian – “A fierce warrior or primitive background who can enter a battle rage.”
A book that made you mad.
The Island by M.A Benett made me see red. The main character was absolutely and completely horrid, the things he did and thought were often disgusting and I think it was the first time I’d ever felt such rage for a character. I’m fairly certain the point of the book was to dislike this character, it does a brilliant job and will honestly be a book that will always stick in my mind. Kind of an I hate the character but not sure I hate the book kind of thing.

Bard – “An inspiring magician whose power echoes the music of creation.”
Your favourite book that features music in some way.
Finding Home by Hari Conner (spoiler-free review for volume two here) had some beautiful scenes with Janek playing and singing that I absolutely adore.

Cleric – “A priestly champion who wields divine magic in service of a higher power.” 
A book with a message to it that you found particularly important. 
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman. I feel like this book says grief is okay, grief is important and necessary and everyone deals with theirs in their own ways and that it is okay to feel better but to also carry that grief with you even still.

Druid – “A priest of the old faith, wielding the powers of nature and adopting animal forms.”  
A classic book you’ve enjoyed. 
The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. I don’t usually read a lot of books that are considered “classics” but I think this one would qualify. I read it tons when I was younger and it defintley helped me to fall in love with fantasy in a hard way.

Fighter – “A master of martial combat, skilled with a variety of weapons and armour.”
In a trial by combat which bookish character would you choose to fight for you?
No question, I would choose Mia from the Nevernight trilogy.

Monk – “A master of martial arts, harnessing the power of the body in pursuit of physical and spiritual perfection.”
A book that has everything.  

Once and Future by Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy for sure. To quote my own review in-fact, “SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES.”

Paladin – “A holy warrior bound to a sacred oath”
A book you will recommend or defend until the end of time. 

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman because it is beautiful and wholesome and I love those boys so much (and Nelly).

Ranger – “A warrior who combats threats on the edge of civilization”
Favourite bookish animal companion.
Nelly from Heartstopper obviously.

Rouge – “A scoundrel who uses stealth and trickery to overcome obstacles and enemies.”
A plot twist that snuck up on you! 

I feel like I just need to say Lauren James instead of just naming a book because her books, especially The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and The Quiet at the End of the World featured some twists that felt like they literally smacked me in the face which I adore.

Sorcerer – “A spellcaster who draws on inherent magic from a gift or bloodline.”
Favourite bookish family.
Sorry but I’ve got to say the Herondales from the Shadow Hunter books. Will, Jace, James, Lucie? Herondales are awesome.

Warlock – “A wielder of magic that is derived from a bargain with an extraplanar entity.”
A bookish anti-hero.  

I know a lot of people hate her but I adore Jude Duarte from the Cruel Prince. I love that she’s unapologetic, she takes a hit and gets back up and she does what she needs to get what she wants.

Wizard – “A scholarly magic-user capable of manipulating the structures of reality.”
Favourite fictional world.
This is kind of a cheaty answer because it’s not wholly bookish but Azeroth and it’s other surrounding continents from World of Warcraft. I don’t play as much as I would like anymore and there haven’t been many new tie-in books recently but I will never forget Azeroth, Northrend, Pandaria and all the others and probably the others to come. The world just has such amazingly rich lore and it’s only secrets as well as looking beautiful.

I won’t tag anyone in particular but if you liked this tag and want to take part, whether you’ve played or are a Dungeons and Dragons fan or not, consider yourself tagged and let me know if you do it so I can check out your answers! Have a great rest of the week/end and I’ll see you back here Sunday with some witchy books!

 

 

spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday October 23rd 2019

www wednesday

Another fortnight has been and gone and I’ve not made huge progress reading these past two weeks. I’m actually behind my reading goal on Goodreads now too. I think I’m finding that I don’t have the patience for many bigger books at the moment or they have to REALLY take my fancy perhaps. Good news is some of my reads coming up are books I’m stupidly excited for so fingers crossed! Not to mention there are a few books etc I’m reading alongside my main reads too…

If you want to join in with WWW don’t forget to send over a big thank you to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for keeping WWW alive and kicking.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m super excited to say that I’ve just started reading (literally this morning) Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder!! It’s not out until November 18th but the lovely Maria has gifted me with an early copy in advance in exchange for an honest review the week of release. I loved the first book in the sentinels series ‘Navigating the Stars’ and I’m absolutely hyped to be able to read this early!!

(I’m also reading How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell at bedtimes with Nate at the moment and it’s such a fun read with some actually really great messages)

(annnnd I’m reading the weekly instalments of An Unauthorised Fan Treatise by Lauren James! You can check it out at ‘Gottie’s blog’ here every Monday or like me you can pledge to Lauren’s Paetron for early access a week ahead and maybe a cameo in the comments. Look closely at the comments for Chapter one for a Fantastic surprise! )

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Angel Mage by Garth Nix for my blog tour post next week and I’m giving my self a few days to mull it over before I write my review because my initial thoughts were…underwhelming. The pacing just felt totally off making the ending really jarring for me. It also took me forever to read and I think I’m going to try and steer clear of big books for a while.

What do you think you’re read next?

The plan is to read CTRL S by Andy Briggs for a blog tour I’m taking part in come early December. This planned read has another reason though which is that it sounds like it has some really similar themes to my project for NaNoWriMo and I find it really helpful to read or casually watch something in the same vein or with the same feel as what I’m writing to help keep me in that mindset so this was just timed perfectly.

Although my review list is pretty full at the moment and so I’ve not been accepting many requests I couldn’t resist the new Maria Snyder book as she’s been one of my favourite authors for more years than I can remember and the timing etc for CTRL S was just spot on. I do also have a NetGalley copy of The Sky Weaver by Kristin Cicerelli AS WELL in addition to NPC Tea volume seven coming out at the end of the month and the fact I now have access to six months advance worth of Finding Home by Hari Conner (You can check out my spoiler-free reviews for Volume One here and Volume Two here). AND DID I MENTION I’M DOING NANOWRIMO IN NOVEMBER?! It’s going to be a damn busy month let me tell you. See you here tomorrow when it’s NaNoWriMo tag time!