What Is Self Control Book Haul

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen | The Runaway King by Jennifer a. Nielsen | The Broken Throne by Jennifer A Nielsen | The Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer | The Eternity Code: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer | A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin | The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund | State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

A Noob’s Guide to High Fantasy

High fantasy books can be pretty scary. They’re usually massive and part of some massive series with an intricate world that is different from the real world. I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t like fantasy and I always ask… have you really tried? Are you sure you’re not just intimidated by it? Fantasy is not a genre you can just dive into. You have to ease your way into fantasy.

I think one of the most important things is not to jump right into high fantasy. If you’ve never read fantasy before. Or you’ve read like… Matilda when you were in elementary school, but nothing really beyond that, then the books that I’m about to talk about are not for you. Not yet. If that’s you, then go and read my other post A Noob’s Guide to Fantasy.

If however, you have read at least some of the books on that list, you’ve learnt how to swim in the shallows of fantasy and you kind of want to go off into deeper water, but you’re a little bit scared and you’re not really sure where to begin, then this post is for you. Grab some popcorn and allow me to ease you into the world of high fantasy.

In the interest of not making this post too long, I will not be talking about what the books are about, I’ll just leave a link to the Goodreads page so you can check them out for yourself.

The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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This is probably the best series to get you into high fantasy. Particularly if you’re really apprehensive about reading a book that takes place in a different world. This is perfect. It’s classed as a middle grade series, but it is really good. It’s really clever and witty and quite dark for middle grade, I would say it reads a lot more like YA.

It’s an amazing series, really underrated in my opinion. It’s super fast paced, it’s not too long, the world is not that complex. It’s very similar to just… the real world but with a medieval setting. As far as I can remember, there isn’t any magic in it and if there is, it’s really not prominent. So it’s perfect for people who aren’t used to high fantasy and are perhaps a bit apprehensive about it. Although it’s also amazing for senior high fantasy consumers, like myself. It’s just a great series.

Goodreads

The Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder

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This is another excellent series to ease you into high fantasy. This one does have a magic system, but it doesn’t thrust you right into it, I think it only really becomes part of the story towards the end of the first book. It’s really easy to get into, it’s really fast paced. Maria V. Snyder has a great writing style, I really enjoyed this series. I think most of her novels take place in the same world and I think there are 2 or 3 series known as The Chronicles of Ixia. I’ve only read I think 7 of them, but to begin with, I would recommend the first 6 books, which follow the same characters, because I believe the next ones focus more on other characters.

Goodreads

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Another pretty light one, as far as fantasy goes. It has a slightly more complex world than the previous two. It takes place in a desert, Roman-like society and it has some elements of magic and mythology that are a little bit more prominent that in the previous books I mentioned, but it’s still not too dense, you don’t get thrust into it, it’s really not difficult to understand and get into.

I’ve only read the first book so far, but I really enjoyed it and I think it’s a good series for beginners. It’s not too long, it’s not too complicated, and it has a really cool setting and some nice mythology to it. I also have a spoiler-free review of this, if you’re interested to read that.

Goodreads

The Assassin’s Curse series by Cassandra Rose Clarke

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If you like pirates and assassins, this book is it. This is a duology, the books are quite short and while there is quite a heavy element of magic and mythology, it’s not dense or difficult to understand. I really enjoyed this series, it’s got quite unique characters as far as the YA genre goes. And I think it’s perfect if you’ve maybe read one of the previous books I talked about in this post and are ready for the next step. It’s a bit more complex a fantasy world, but it’s not too bad.

The Graceling Series by Kristin Kashore

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This one is a bit more complex. This is the graduation series of this guide to high fantasy. If you’ve read this, you’ll probably be ready to take on some of the more hardcore fantasy series. The world is more complex, the magic system is more complex and the books are longer, closer to your standard high-fantasy book, around 500 pages. It’s not that fast paced. Some people find it slow, I personally really loved the series and I think the fact that it isn’t very fast paced, is good for people who are not as used to high-fantasy. Because it gives you time to digest the world and how the magic works and so on.

This is a companion series. They can either be read in chronological order, or publication order. I recommend publication order, so start with Graceling, then Fire, then Bitterblue. 

Goodreads


So, yeah these 5 books/series I think are a very good way to get into high fantasy. I hope this list helps someone get into high fantasy, because it’s an amazing genre and there are so many good stories that people may be missing out on because they’re intimidated by the genre. Let me know if this did help you, or if you’re already a veteran fantasy reader, what books would you recommend for noobs? Also, for fellow veterans, because I’m always on the lookout for some good fantasy recs.

Book Recommendations Based on the Seven Virtues

A while ago I made a post recommending books based on the Seven Deadly Sins. You can check that out here if you missed it. So today, I thought I would turn that idea on its head and recommend books based on the Seven Virtues.


1. Chastity

pride-and-prejudice_bnPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love this book. I love the story and I love the characters and it takes place in Victorian England, so it’s pretty chaste. This is one of my favourite love stories and if you haven’t read it, or at least watched the film (the Kiera Knightley one!), then what are you doing?

Book Depository | Goodreads

2. Temperance

darker shade of magicA Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Kell is probably the most level headed and tempered character I’ve come across in a while. This book and this series is absolutely amazing, I loved it! I literally cannot wait until the next one comes out! I love the world and the characters that Victoria has created and I can’t wait to read more of her books. She’s awesome! (Pst, I also have reviews for both books in the series. Here and here.)

Book Depository | Goodreads

3. Charity

nightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This book was so beautiful and if any book portrays charity, it’s this one. The girls both sacrificed so much for other people and they gave so much in a time when there was scarcely anything to give but one’s life. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone.

Book Depository | Goodreads

4. Diligence

the-raven-boys-maggie-stiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Gansey’s diligence when it comes to his search for Glendower is remarkable. This is a YA paranormal book. I’ve only read this one in the series and I really enjoyed it, but I hear the rest are even better. I have a review of the book here.

Book Depository | Goodreads

5. Patience

acotarA Court of Thorns and Roses By Sarah J. Maas. I chose this series for two reasons. One, because there are quite a few characters who patiently bid their time, waiting for the perfect opportunity. And since the characters in this series have quite the long lifespan, they were really, really patient. The second is that patience is the virtue I need to exhibit while waiting for the next one and it’s proving to be problematic. I love Sarah J. Maas! I recommended her other series in the deadly sins post, so it seemed fitting to put this one here. Also, did I mention I will be meeting her in less than a month? *squee*

Book Depository | Goodreads

6. Kindness

the book thiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Definitely a book about kindness and the power of words. Another one that I universally recommend. There are just some books that everyone should read and this is one of them. I have a review of it here if you would like to hear more of my thoughts on it.

Book Depository | Goodreads

7. Humility

the-ascendance-trilogy-the-false-prince-35473004-935-475The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I’ve talked about this series before, although I haven’t really seen or heard much about it around the community, which is a shame because I really loved it. And Sage, the main character is probably one of the most genuinely humble characters. In the sense that he puts everyone else before himself and he genuinely does not believe himself to be better than they are, not in the sense that he is self deprecating.

Book Depository | Goodreads

These are my recommendations based on the seven virtues. Do you agree? What books would you choose?

The Birthstone Book Tag

The Birthstone Book Tag

I saw this a while ago on booktube and recently I saw ChicNerdReads do it and I loved it both times, so I’m going to do it as well.

So basically, each question is inspired by one of the birthstones for each month.

January (Garnet): Associated with warding off negative forces and dark energies – Name a book with the darkest/evilest character you can think of

22828394chasthkwgaaloxdSo many good candidates for this one. I’m tempted to go with Ramsay Bolton from A Song of Ice and Fire by G. R. R. Martin. Such a sadistic psycho. But another one on the same level with him is the guy from The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin. That book freaked me out. You can check out my review of it here.

February (Amethyst): Purple is associated with royalty – Name a book with regal qualities. You can base this off the characters or choose the king of all books

kralica_na_senkite_hrmQueen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. Because there are so many regal characters in that series and in this book in particular, Aelin really was a queen.

March (Aquamarine): Washed out – Name a “wishy-washy” character, a character who is not strong or a follower

2128918Peter Pettigrew from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. He was definitely a follower and quite the coward.

April (Diamond): A Diamond in the rough – Name a book that you loved but is not well known

artemis_fowl_first_edition_coverThe Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. I wouldn’t say it’s not well known, because I know it has quite a following, but I haven’t seen anyone talk about it on booktube or or book blogs and I just wish there was more hype for it because I adored it!

May (Emerald): Said to balance energy – Name two characters that balance each other well

ksdw_fdz5de6e747856c5ef94bff1a01ea495155Jace And Alec from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Jace is reckless and bold and cocky, while Alec is cautious and subdued. They balance each other very well, Jace bringing Alec out of his comfort zone a bit and Alec tempering Jace’s recklessness.

June (Pearl): Associated with loyalty – Name a character that is loyal to the end

f3e44aa13286353ed8cb7955cb3db7a7There are a lot of loyal characters, but I think I have to give this one to Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I don’t imagine Harry was easy to have as a friend, and yet Ron stuck with him throughout, despite the difficulties that they faced both within their friendship and from outside. I always think of him when someone says ‘loyalty’.

July (Ruby): Blood red – Name a book that made your blood boil, one that made you angry

acomaf-cover-3A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE this book! But at the end when that thing happens and that someone does that one thing, before the awesome thing that happens right at the end. I was so angry. I remember I was outside reading and I started yelling at the book and stomping my feet. Thankfully, it was late evening, so no one was around to witness my hysteria.

August (Peridot): Pale green (it pales in comparison to other gems) – name a supporting character who you liked better than the main character

117541_600I think I could make a list. But I’m going to go with Cinna from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Just because I think he’s my favourite character in the series and he wasn’t even in the books that much. Most of the supporting characters I like better than the main ones (which would be such a long list) are present throughout all or most of the book.series. But Cinna wasn’t and I still adore him.

September (Sapphire): Blue like the ocean which is calming – Name a book that had a calming effect on you

148891The Bible. That’s what I read when I’m anxious or scared or sad or angry and it always makes me feel better. I always find a verse that inspires or strengthens or calms me.

October (Opal – my month!): Iridescence – Name a book that is iridescent, this can be a book with a beautiful cover (shiny? lots of colour?) or you can base it off a character (quirky? colourful?)

ukdsbhcDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. This book is iridescent from every point of view. The cover is gorgeous and it shimmers when it catches the light as certain angels. At least the version that I have. There are plenty of colourful characters, both literally and figuratively (Karou’s blue hair? Brimstone and the other monsters?). And on top of that, the writing itself is iridescent. Honestly, if I had to attribute a colour-related adjective to the writing it would be iridescent. So many shades, so mesmerizing!

November (Topaz): Associated with resilience – Name a book with a character that rises to the top in a time of adversity

the-ascendance-trilogy-the-false-prince-35473004-935-475This is like every YA book ever. But I’m going to go with a book series that I haven’t seen much of around the booktube/book blog community. The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I really loved this series and Sage is nothing if not resilient.

December (Blue Zircon): Associated with friendship – Name a book with a friendship you want to be a part of

clockwork-angelThe Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Will and Jem’s friendship is my favourite friendship that I’ve come across in literature, I think. It’s just beautiful. And I don’t know that I would want to be part of their friendship (I feel I would ruin it), I would love to just be around them and watch it.

I tag everyone to do this because I think this is such an awesome tag and I want to read more replies to it. So if you want to do it, please go ahead and comment a link to it so I can read it!