Favourite Fantasy Books – Top 10 Tuesday

I haven’t done a Top 10 Tuesday in AGES. But this week’s topic is top 10 books in your favourite genre and I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to talk about my fantasy babies. If you don’t know, Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, though originally it was created by The Broke and the Bookish. So here, we go, ten of my favourite fantasy books! Well… series, for the most part. Because I can’t just recommend one book in the series.


The Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence

This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been here for any length of time. I talk about this all the time. You can read my review of it for more details, but it’s basically a series about magical assassin nuns.

The Broken Earth by N. K. Jemisin

Again, I never shut up about this. It’s amazing, you should read it. It’s about the end of the world and people who can control earthquakes.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

I don’t talk about this one quite as much as the other two, but it probably still doesn’t come as much of a surprise. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Brandon Sanderson. I’m so thankful to whoever it was who introduced me to him (I can’t remember who it was). I’m currently reading The Way of Kings and it might dethrone Mistborn as my favourite Sanderson series, but we’ll see. In case you didn’t know, Mistborn is about a bunch of people trying to steal something and they live in a world where certain metals give people certain abilities.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

One of my all time favourites. Please, please, PLEASE give us book 3 before I die. Please. This is one of the most difficult series to summarise in my opinion, because it sounds so boring when you try to summarise it. This is a frame story following a guy who’s basically a legend and it’s just the story of his life as told by himself after his kind of… fall from grace and presumed death. If that sounds boring… well it isn’t. give it a try. I have reviews of the first two books (Book 1 | Book 2), so check those out if you want to get more of an idea about the series.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

I’ve only read the first two books in the series, but there is talk of the fourth one being released soon-ish. So I’m hoping to read the third one soon. This is a series about a band of con-artists. And it’s basically them planning and executing heists and getting themselves into trouble. I love heist stories. They’re so much fun and this is one of the best heist stories I’ve ever encountered. I have reviewed both of the books I’ve read, if you’d like to know more (Book 1 | Book 2).

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I talk about this one a lot less, but I love this duology so much. It’s another heist story. This time it’s YA, but it does remind me a lot of The Lies of Locke Lamora. In vibe, more than anything else. The world, story and characters are very different, but they both have a vibe that I adore. I’ve also reviewed both the books in this series so check those out for more details (Book 1 | Book 2).

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Another one I don’t talk about as much, mainly because it’s not as recent in my mind since it’s been 2 years since the last book came out. But I absolutely love it and I’m so excited to read the conclusion this autumn! This is also about assassins and very much reminds me of The Book of the Ancestor. Again, in vibe, rather than anything else. Reviews of the first two books: Book 1 | Book 2.

The Knots Duology by Amy McCulloch

This is a series that is so tragically underrated and I wish people talked about it more. I read it quite a while ago and I’ve been meaning to re-read it, but it’s such a cool desert fantasy. It has an interesting magic system and as far as I remember, doesn’t actually have a romance. Which in YA is a rarity and I love it. More people just need to read this series cause it’s great. It follows a guy who gets banished into the desert because he breaks a promise he doesn’t even remember making. In this world, each promise is tied with a magical knot and if broken, the knot burns and scars the oathbreaker and they become haunted by a shadow and become outcasts. Sadly, I read this series before I started my blog, so I don’t have a review, but if I re-read them, I will review them.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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A stand alone fantasy fairy-tale retelling influenced by Russian folklore. I think at least. I’ve read this twice, it’s one of those books that I think I will never tire of re-reading. It’s magical and beautiful. I love the atmosphere, I love the characters, I even love the romance which almost never happens. It’s amazing. It’s about a girl who lives on the edge of a magical forest which kills people and she gets taken away by the wizard who protects their area from the forest for unknown purposes. The wizard takes a girl every 10 years and then lets her go, but the girls are never the same afterwards and nobody really knows why he takes them.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Inter-dimensional travel between different versions of London. Need I say more?

Do I Have That Book Challenge

I saw this tag on YouTube and I thought it was fun, so I’m gonna do it. I will link to the creator’s video.

This tag has 20 questions about what books I own. I feel it works better in video format. But Whatever, I still want to do it.


1. A book with deckled edges

YES. I may have more than one, but the one that comes to mind at the moment is Jesus Freaks by DC Talk.

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Couldn’t find a picture where you can see the deckled pages, but it’s got them. I promise.

2. A book with 3 or more people on the cover

YES! A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle. Has 3 people on it.

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3. A book based on another fictional story

Do I? Do I really? How about The Wrath and the Dawn? Arabian nights retelling. Percy Jackson? Magnus Chase? ACOTAR? Cruel Beauty? Could go on, but you guys get the point. I have A LOT of retellings.

 

4. A book with a title 10 letters long

I’m gonna say it has to be 1 word, just to make it more difficult. And I’m gonna go with Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.

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5. A book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Starts and ends with a T. And just because I know some people are going to be picky about me including the article, here’s another: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

6. A mass market paperback

Yes. All of my Lord of the Rings and one of my copies of The Hobbit.

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7. A book by an author using a pen name

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll. His real name was Charles Dodgson.

 

8. A book with a character’s name in the title

Looking for Alaska by John Green. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury. The main character is named Sorrow. Weird, I know. Marissa Meyer’s books also. Could probably go on, but we’ll stoop here.

 

9. A book with two maps in it

Probably have loads of these as well, but I’m too lazy to check so we’ll go with Elantris by Brandon Sanderson because I’m currently reading it. And it has not two, but three maps in it. Wait… does that mean it doesn’t fulfill the challenge? Like does it have to be 2, no more no less? If that’s the case, I will go with A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas.

10. A book that was turned into a TV show

A Game of Thrones by G. R. R. Martin.

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11. A book written by someone who was originally famous for something else?

Relativity by Albert Einstein. Cause he was famous for science. So, I’m counting it.

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12. A book with a clock on the cover

This is going to take some thinking. Just One damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. That’s kind of a clock. If you don’t like that, I got Clockwork Angel that’s got Big Ben in the background. No one can argue with Big Ben.

13. A poetry book

I have several, but I’ll go with Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur because I’ve read and loved it.

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14. A book with an award stamp on it

Ok, I’m bitter about this question because I have loads of books that have won prizes. But the stickers/stamps annoy me, so I tend to buy editions that don’t have them. I’m going to have to delve deep for this one.

I have The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. It’s not actually a sticker, nor is it a stamp. It’s just printed on the cover. But I’m going with it.

15. A book written by an author with the same initials as you?

I actually don’t. 😥 My initials are RP and I have no books written by an author with the same initials. I do have books written by a PR. But no RP. So I’m gonna give myself half a point for this, cause the right letters, just wrong order and go with The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

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16. A book of short stories

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo.

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17. A book between 500 and 510 pages.

Pfft, easy. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. Exactly 510 pages (just got it in a subscription box yesterday and I SQUEALED!).

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18. A book that was turned into a movie

I have like 20. But I’ll go with The Lord of the Rings because that’s my favourite adaptation.

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19. A graphic novel

Indeed I do. Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel. 

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20. A book written by two or more authors

This was a long tag. I do indeed have several books that are co-authored. Including Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

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This was fun. I got 19.5 out of 20 points. So… not bad. Let me know what you guys got!

 

Top 5 Book Covers – Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. This week’s topic is top 5 book covers.


The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin

I love these covers, they look so… stony, which goes so well with the content of the book. And they look so pretty, but at the same time kind of neglected. Like stonework in old houses. I love the aesthetic of this series.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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It’s so wintry and fairy-taley, I love it. It goes perfectly with the story and you know looking at this book that it’s going to be one of those epic, fireplace fairy-tales. Ugh, love it so much!

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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Another beautiful fairy-tale cover. Not much else to be said really.

Illuminae Series by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Specifically the hardcovers of this series are just so cool. If you’re ever going to splurge on hardcover editions, this series is worth it! (not my image, got it from here)

The Monsters of Verity Series by V. E. Schwab

Don’t you just love the aesthetic of these? Black and white, with just a splash of colour. And if you look at the spines side by side, the black splash continues from one to the other. It’s so cool.

Judging Book Covers #2

As before, I went to my goodreads read shelf and randomised it. And as before, I will split the rating between aesthetic and relevance to the story, with a maximum of 2.5 points in each category.


A Clash of Kings by G. R. R. Martin

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I like this cover. It’s simple, yet effective. I like the colours as well. I would say 2 points for aesthetic. The crown there gives a nice medieval feel to it. You know picking this up, it’ll be a medieval setting. So 2 points for relevance with a total of 4/5.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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I love this cover. I have a thing about covers with crows or ravens on them. And it’s just so pretty! 2.5 for aesthetic. As for relevance, you can definitely tell this  will be fantasy from just looking at it. You can see a kind of city landscape and the bird’s wing also looks a little bit like the night sky, so it very much suggests night-time shenanigans in an urban setting, which is very much relevant, so 2.5 for relevance as well! 5/5

The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

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I like the font of this. The background is simple, so it looks good. 1.5 for aesthetic. You can see the snow, which is relevant, and the sort of metal door behind bunker sort of vibe, which is also relevant. I would say 1.5 for relevance as well, with a total of 3/5.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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Well… it is essentially a book about a blue dragon, so gotta give it full points for relevance although subtlety and symbolism clearly eluded whoever designed this. I like the blue of it and the font, but I’m not a huge fan of the dragon for some reason. 1.25 for aesthetic; 3.75 total.

Everless by Sara Holland

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I really like this cover. Minimalist, but captures the essence of the story excellently. There’s an hourglass, blood, a castle built with it… 2.5 for relevance. I love the font and the simple design, so 2.5 for aesthetic as well. We have another 5/5.

April 2018 Wrap Up

Please explain to me when exactly did April happen and where was I? I feel like I say this every month, but honestly I feel like time is just getting away from me. I managed to read 5 books this month, I don’t even know how cause I’ve been insanely busy. Though to be fair, some of these I had started before April and audiobooks were involved.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

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First read of the month was awesome. I expected it to be because Leigh Bardugo, but I was still pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book. Now I’m actually a bit wary of reading the other DC Icons books because I loved this one so much, I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed by the others. 5/5 stars

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

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Finally finished this one, 100 years after starting it. I actually really loved this book, don’t know why it took me so long to read. It’s full of compassion and encouragement. I found it very empowering. 5/5 stars

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

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I discovered a new (to me) fantasy author. I’ve read two of his books this month and I enjoyed both of them. I did like this one more, but I like his other series as well. I’ve been in the mood for dark stories and he delivers. This series in particular appeals to me cause assassins, and not only that, but magic assassin school. Yeah. Really. I audiobooked this one and I really loved the narration. 5/5 stars

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

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This is his other series which I did not enjoy as much, but there’s a very particular reason for that which I’ll talk about more in my review, which if it doesn’t bother you, then you’ll most likely love this. If you’re into very dark post apocalyptic fantasy sci-fi… ish that is. I will say that this series is a lot darker than Red Sister and the main character has no redeemable qualities whatsoever. He is vile like most characters in this book and they all rape and murder willy nilly. So trigger warning for any kind of abuse, really. 3/5 stars

A Clash of Kings by Ceorge R. R. Martin

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Continuing with my re-read of this series. This being my second time through the books, I’m getting so many details and hints that I didn’t the first time around. It’s great, really enjoying re-reading these. 5/5 stars

Book Haul

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi | A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin | Wonderwoman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wyne Jones | The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Looking for Alaska by John Green | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot  | The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie | Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake | Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks | Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman | Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart | The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson | A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Top 5 Auto-Buy SFF Authors – Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. This week’s topic is auto-buy science-fiction & fantasy authors.


First, a couple of honourable mentions:

Laini Taylor

Her writing is so beautiful and magical and poetic and her ideas always so creative, sign me up. I’ve only read 3 of her books, but I definitely plan on reading all of them and whatever new she comes out with.

Patrick Rothfuss

The only books he has out as far as I’m aware are The Kingkiller books and I don’t know whether he has any plans of putting out books once that series is completed. Having said that, if he does, I will definitely read them.

5. Cassandra Clare

She’s mostly an auto-buy for Shadowhunter books. I have read The Iron Trial and enjoyed it, but that is to date the only non Shadowhunter book of hers that I’ve read. I might read more of them in the future, but I haven’t bought every book of hers as it came out, which is why she’s number 5.

4. Sarah J. Maas

I have loved both of her series and will still automatically buy anything she comes out with, however I’ve been a little disappointed with her last couple of releases, which is why she’s lower on the list than would be expected considering how much I love particularly ACOMAF.

3. Rick Riordan

I love his books so much. I still have a lot of them to read, but they’re all on my list and his new ones are all on my list. Everything that has his name on it is on my list, really. Including the books in his new imprint thing.

2. Leigh Bardugo

I still have to catch up with the Grisha trilogy and admittedly, I didn’t love Shadow and Bone as much as I’ve loved all her other books, but… I’ve loved all her other books and she can only grow as an author. So anything that she comes out with is on my list.

3. Victoria Schwab

Honestly, she’s probably my favourite author at the moment. I have not read a single book by her that I haven’t loved and the few I still need to read, I have no doubt I will love as well.

Mini Reviews – Duplicity by Sibel Hodge, Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo & The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Duplicity by Sibel Hodge

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Rating: 1.5/5 stars

First published: 2016

Genre: Thriller, mystery

Author: Sibel Hodge

I unfortunately really didn’t like this book. The story was bland and predictable, the characters were uni-dimensional and stereotypical. The only reason I got through it is because I was audiobooking it. Even though the narration wasn’t great, I think I wouldn’t have had the patience to read it otherwise. I’m really craving a good thriller. Any recommendations?

Book Depository | Goodreads

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

34076952Rating: 5/5 stars

First published: 2017

Genre: Fantasy, YA, fairy-tale

Author: Leigh Bardugo

I honestly love everything that Leigh Bardugo writes. Admittedly, I still have to finish The Grisha Trilogy and read Wonder Woman, but I have complete trust that I’m going to love anything she writes.

As a child, I used to read a lot of fairy-tales. I would wake up early in the morning to read a story before everyone else woke up. Reading this brought me back to childhood and I absolutely loved it. The stories were both familiar and different and it added so much to the Grishaverse. Not to mention the book itself is absolutely gorgeous. The artwork that goes with each story is as much of a delight as the stories themselves.

Book Depository  | Goodreads

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

865Rating: 4/5 stars

First published: 1988

Genre: Philosophy, fantasy

Author: Paulo Coelho

This was a very insightful little book. I don’t necessarily 100% agree with it, but for the most part, it’s just bang on. It explores human nature wonderfully and calls it out for the fickle, faithless, complacent and despairing thing that it is.

But it also shows how it is hopeful and redeemable, how perseverance and faith and a whole lot of patience bears fruit and how seemingly winding roads will get you to where you’re meant to be. I do recommend this for anyone.

Book Depository | Goodreads

 

December 2017 Wrap Up

I actually had a pretty good reading month in December, with a total of 10 books read.


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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Beautifully written as always, a beautiful story, I loved it. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it quite as much as I was expecting. I didn’t like it as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. But I still really enjoyed it and will most certainly be continuing with the series. I ended up giving it 4/5 stars.

Catching Fire & Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I started revisiting this story on audiobook in November and finished the first one and I got through the final two in December. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the audiobook, the narrator really didn’t do it for me. I found her to be quite annoying, so that took away from my enjoyment of the books. Of course, it’s still an awesome story and I still love it, but because of the narration, I ended up only giving it 4/5 stars for the audiobook.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Finally read this, it was about time. I loved her Shades of Magic series and I had heard only amazing things about this book and I want to read all of her books anyway. I was not disappointed. I need the next one asap. It’s so good! So good. I love the characters and the tension and how dark the story is. 5/5 stars.

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

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This series flew under my radar for a while, I don’t know why. I discovered it quite by chance as I was browsing Waterstones and it sounded cool and it seemed pretty well praised, so I bought it. I really liked. I had an issue with one part of the book that I just didn’t particularly enjoy, so I ended up giving it 4/5 stars, but the rest of it was A plus and I actually already bought the second book in the series and will hopefully read it soon.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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This book was so beautifl. The art in it was beautiful, the stories were beautiful. I loved it. I had so much fun reading it. It reminded me of childhood when I would consume fairytales by the bucket. My favourite story was The Soldier Prince and my least favourite was probably Little Knife. Overall, I did give the book 5/5 stars.

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

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Finally continuing with this series! I don’t know why I waited so long. It’s so much fun,, so fast paced, just all around a good time. I did feel that some things were a bit rushed through in this book, I would have liked a bit more, so I ended up giving it 4/5 stars.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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A pertinent and insightful allegorical story. I found myself nodding along and grinning guiltily as I recognised aspects of my own life in the shepherd’s boy journey. I didn’t quite agree with all the idea presented in the book, but overall, I think it offers a very astute image of what we’re like. I gave it 4/5 stars.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

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This book was an experience. I’m so glad I bought it. I’ve never read anything similar to it. I love the art and the way it was interspersed with the writing. I just loved how this story was told so much. 5/5 stars.

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

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This book was just beautiful, it made me cry on several occasions. Just the relationship… well there isn’t really a relationship. But the main character did use to have a wife prior to the events of the book and the way that their relationship is described is just beautiful. That’s not even the main focus of the book, and I really enjoyed the story and the characters. It was funny, well written, intelligent. But that relationship just really packed a punch for me. 5/5 stars.

December 2017 Book Haul

I bought a bunch of books again… ’tis the season, after all.


All Fall Down by Ally Carter | See How They Run by Ally Carter | Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter | Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter | Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Ok, in my defense, I won the Ally Carter ones in a giveaway.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab | The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin |The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin | The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan | A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi | The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick