Tag: epic fantasy

Reading List: September 2019

At the beginning of September, a lot of people will be celebrating the return of the school year. The summer holidays are over and parents everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s been many years since I’ve been in that routine, but I’m looking forward to the new month for entirely different reasons. A new month means a new reading list and I have a busy one ahead of me!

I have a number of blog tours coming up this month… the first of which is just a few days away. Thankfully I have already prepared and read up for that, but there is no rest for the wicked! Shall we take a look at which books I’ll be burying my nose in this month?

 

The Beltane Choice – Nancy Jardine

Goodreads – The Beltane Choice

The Beltane Choice “…combines a very human and personal story with a very believable vision of Late Iron Age society in Northern Britain.”

AD 71 Northern Roman Britain
Lorcan of the Brigantes knows that unity of the northern tribes is essential when the Ancient Roman legions advance northwards to Brigantia. Yet, everything comes at a price. Using his captive, Nara, as a political bargain with the Selgovae comes with impossible stipulations. Battle at Whorl – Iron Age tribes against the Romans – is inevitable.

Will Nara have her Beltane choice?

The adventures of the Garrigill Clan begin…

 

This is the first book I’ve picked this month, although strictly speaking it’s my third blog tour of the month. Tours two and three are so close together that it’s pretty inconsequential which order I read them in. Given my head start, I should have these both read in good time!

I signed onto the tours for this series as I wanted to broaden my horizons on British history. I haven’t read anything dating back even close to this period, so I’m interested to see how I’ll enjoy this book and the rest of the series!

 

Ring Fenced – Zach Abrams

Goodreads – Ring Fenced

Sex. Money. Power. Control. Benjamin has it all.

He is Bennie, a loving husband and father; Benjie, a beloved son. He climbs the ladder as Ben, a corporate banker, and rakes in money as a bestselling author. And when he wants to escape it all, Benjamin styles himself as Jamie — the lover of a beautiful musician. His life, in a word, is perfect.

But after years of keeping his separate personae a secret, cracks begin to appear in the façade. When an unexpected series of events topples Benjamin’s carefully crafted world, his separate lives collide with dire consequences.

 

After The Beltane Choice, I’ll promptly be picking up Ring Fenced by Zach Abrams. This is my second blog tour of the month, so no hanging around when it comes to getting this read! I was drawn to this novel because a mean part of me cannot wait to see how his life and multiple personas come together disastrously.

 

The Testaments – Margaret Atwood

Goodreads – The Testaments

In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” —Margaret Atwood

 

The Testaments will be published on the 10th September and it is the newest book on myTBR. As soon as my copy is in my local Waterstones, you had best get out of my way! I have fallen in love with The Handmaid’s Tale (book and TV series) despite not getting on with it at all years ago and I cannot tell you how excited I am for the sequel! I’ll be reading it as soon as I can squeeze it between my blog tour reads.

 

Simon Says – Jo Wesley

Goodreads – Simon Says

Her new life may not be perfect but she’s happy. Until she makes a terrible decision – and learns the hard way that home is not a place of refuge.

Not while Simon lurks in every shadow.

He groomed her as a teen: terrorised her into fleeing and leaving her baby behind. Now the man who destroyed her childhood has become the perfect father to her teenage daughter. And her return threatens his future.

A desperate man is a dangerous one.

Simon says she must leave or suffer the consequences. She refuses.

Now it’s his move. Because it’s not enough to face your demons.

Sometimes, you must destroy them.

 

Simon Says is my last blog tour of the month and thankfully I have a little breathing room after the above tours to read and review this book. I’m a huge fan of psychological thrillers and the premise of this one sounds so good! It has such potential for an explosive plotline and a dose of karma for those that deserve it! It has very good ratings to far too, so I have very high hopes for this!

 

Elantris – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – Elantris

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.

 

Since I didn’t get around to reading this last month it’s hardly shocking that it’s on the list again. It may be last on the list but reading this is a priority too. I will not be postponing it another month because I fancied reading something else. I’m self-imposing a ban on starting any non-TBR books unless at the end of the month I have finished y TBR and have time to spare.

That’s everything for this month! Are there any other Margaret Atwood fans looking forward to the Testaments as much as I am? Otherwise, what are you reading this month?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 1st September 2019

It’s time to write a Sunday Summary post again. AGAIN! The weeks and the weekends are just flying at the moment. This time last week I was looking forward to enjoying a bank holiday Monday off – and now that’s the last of them until… you know. The C-word. I’ve not had my summer holiday yet so we aren’t allowed to talk about that…

On to more current affairs – what has been keeping me busy this week? On slightly non-blog related events, I unveiled my new hair colour on Instagram and Facebook. You may have noticed some slightly different blog artwork reflecting the change. Let’s just say there’s no chance of losing me in a crowd anytime soon!

I had my first post of the week drafted even before last week’s Sunday Summary post. I am pleased to have hosted a book review for K J McGillick’s latest book in the Lies and Misdirection series, Duality. I’ve really enjoyed the series so far and Duality’s more personal touch was a definite hit with me!

Midweek, I shared a second review – I cannot believe it has taken me four months to get around to reviewing Maskerade by Terry Pratchett. It did though. Slightly shameful I admit, but better late than never, right?

On Friday I really enjoyed sharing a First Lines Friday post with you again. I’m really enjoying these regular Friday features so I’ll definitely be keeping up with them where I can. This week’s featured book is a book talked about a lot in the community and one I will particularly enjoy reading (when I finally get around to it!).

 

Books Read

I feel good about this week’s progress, even though overall I didn’t get to touch one of the books on August’s TBR at all. Since I have a blog tour coming up really soon (more on that below), my focus of the week was finishing The Fourth Victim by John Mead. As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I was 23% through the book; I finished it on Thursday. I really got into the unusual case and I can’t wait to tell you more about it… but no spoilers, obviously!

Me Before You. Oh, I have so much to say about this book. Thank goodness I had the foresight not to try to finish reading this at work. On Friday night I was an absolute mess. It has been a long time since a book made me cry like that. That said I am glad I took the recommendation of a colleague and read it. I wouldn’t describe it as my usual read but I enjoyed it… every tear-wrenching moment.

After I had slept on the ending of Me Before You (I wasn’t fit to start anything else, to be honest), I picked up one of my first reads of September a day early. I have signed up for a lot of blog tours this month. A lot. Maybe too many, but I’m excited about them all! Since I had no chance of reading an epic 655-page fantasy novel in one day, I was as well getting ahead of the game for September’s TBR. As of right now, I am 22% through The Beltane Choice by Nancy Jardine.

As usual, I’ll wrap this section up with my audiobook progress of the week. I’m coming to the end of my opportunity to listen to my audiobooks in the car on the way to work as well as back, but that’s no problem! I also have the bonus of not needing to listen to the radio some nights due to local events and road closures. I’ve listened to several more hours of Six of Crows this week. I feel like the setup and the plot is finally building up to the main event. I was a little unsure of this title when I started but I’m glad I persevered!

 

Books Discovered

After reading a great excerpt and review shared by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek, I have added In the Absence of Miracles by Michael J. Malone to the TBR. If you want to check out the post, I’ve included a link to it in my Top Blog Posts section below!

 

Coming Up…

On account of it being September already (where has that come from?), I’m beginning the week by sharing my reading list for September! As I have mentioned, I have signed up for a number of blog tours this month and three are reviews. In addition to those, I have a couple of reads I am really, really looking forward to. Hint: one of them is being published on the 10th of September.

As you have probably guessed from previous weeks, I am on a mission to work my way through my slight backlog of reviews. I’m going to be putting aside some of the older reviews on my list in favour of sharing my thoughts on a more recent read. Back in my early blogging days, I was approached to review Seeker by David Noe and Laura Loolaid. Well, a few months ago David approached me again with a second science-fiction novel set in the same Universe for review and I gladly accepted. He has been very patient in waiting for a review, so that’s my midweek post.

Normally I’d be sharing a Shelf Control post this Friday, however, I am setting that aside as I am scheduled on the book birthday blitz tour for The Fourth Victim on Friday 6th. I’m looking forward to telling you just why I really enjoyed this unusual police-procedural / crime fiction novel!

 

Top Blog Posts of the Week

Bibliophagist Reviews – No Disclaimers Book Tag

In the Absence of Miracles by Michael J. Malone Blog Tour: Book Excerpt and Book Review. #BlogTour #IntheAbsenceofMiracles #BookBloggers @OrendaBooks @annecater @michaelJmalone1

 

So, that’s me finished rambling for today! What have you been reading?

 

 

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Shelf Control #5 – 23/08/2019

Welcome back to my regular feature post, Shelf Contol! Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies – a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves! Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Regular readers will know that I am using Shelf Control to look in further detail at the books I have added to the TBR and then listed as keepers in my Down the TBR Hole posts. I talk about why I want to keep the featured book; it also acts as a second sweep for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I won’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them.

It’s week five, so let’s look at the next book on the TBR!

 

The Talisman – Stephen King

On a brisk autumn day, a twelve-year-old boy stands on the shores of the gray Atlantic, near a silent amusement park and a fading ocean resort called the Alhambra. The past has driven Jack Sawyer here: his father is gone, his mother is dying, and the world no longer makes sense. But for Jack everything is about to change. For he has been chosen to make a journey back across America–and into another realm.

One of the most influential and heralded works of fantasy ever written, The Talisman is an extraordinary novel of loyalty, awakening, terror, and mystery. Jack Sawyer, on a desperate quest to save his mother’s life, must search for a prize across an epic landscape of innocents and monsters, of incredible dangers and even more incredible truths. The prize is essential, but the journey means even more. Let the quest begin. . . .

 

My Thoughts…

The Talisman isn’t going to be the first fantasy novel I’ll read by Stephen King. I am already really enjoying The Dark Tower series! I have read the first two books, with the third sat on my bookshelf ready and waiting.

Although fantasy is my most-read genre, my first read of King’s wasn’t one of his fantasy books – it was The Green Mile. I confess that I have only picked up his books in the last couple of years; I wish I had sooner!

Regardless of genre, there is something compelling about his narratives that keeps you flipping the pages. I have listened to/read six of his novels so far, with more on my shelf to read in future.

Have you read any of Stephen King’s novels? What are your favourites?

 

 

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Book Review: Seventh Decimate – Stephen Donaldson

In today’s post I’ll be sharing my review of Seventh Decimate by Stephen Donaldson. After receiving a copy of The War Within, the sequel from Gollancz, I picked up a copy of Seventh Decimate at my local library. I cannot read books out of a series out of order, so I grabbed my copy of this a month before I planned to read The War Within. Seventh Decimate and The War Within have turned out to be on totally different levels of fantasy… but more on that below!

 

Seventh Decimate

Goodreads – Seventh Decimate

The acclaimed author of the Thomas Covenant Chronicles launches a powerful new trilogy about a prince’s desperate quest for a sorcerous library to save his people.

Fire. Wind. Pestilence. Earthquake. Drought. Lightning. These are the six Decimates, wielded by sorcerers for both good and evil.

But a seventh Decimate exists–the most devastating one of all…

For centuries, the realms of Belleger and Amika have been at war, with sorcerers from both sides brandishing the Decimates to rain blood and pain upon their enemy. But somehow, in some way, the Amikans have discovered and invoked a seventh Decimate, one that strips all lesser sorcery of its power. And now the Bellegerins stand defenseless.

Prince Bifalt, eldest son of the Bellegerin King, would like to see the world wiped free of sorcerers. But it is he who is charged with finding the repository of all of their knowledge, to find the book of the seventh Decimate–and reverse the fate of his land.

All hope rests with Bifalt. But the legendary library, which may or may not exist, lies beyond an unforgiving desert and treacherous mountains–and beyond the borders of his own experience. Wracked by hunger and fatigue, sacrificing loyal men along the way, Bifalt will discover that there is a game being played by those far more powerful than he could ever imagine. And that he is nothing but a pawn…

 

My Thoughts…

Seventh Decimate is a classic coming-of-age tale and introduction to an epic fantasy series. Prince Bifalt has lived within the threatened borders of Belleger all his life. Constant skirmishes with their neighbours in Amika have been ongoing for generations. That is, until one day their magic is gone. Convinced Amika is responsible for their plight, Prince Bifalt sets out on a journey to restore their magic. He learns just how small a world he has been living in and that larger forces are at play…

Prince Bifalt himself is far from perfect. As the eldest son, he feels the pressure to perform his role and not fail his mission keenly. As the adventure unfolds the prince is plagued by self-doubt and a stubborn arrogance accompanying his birthright. He is ruled by honour and public perception dictates his behaviour a lot – and not always in a good way. Seventh Decimate has set him up so we can expect a lot of personal development from him.

In addition to Bifalt a number of colourful characters are met along the way, which introduces the wider plot for us as the reader.

Seventh Decimate is an enjoyable tale, however, compared to The War Within it’s a drop in the ocean. An introduction, really. I feel it deliberately mirrors the main character, Prince Bifalt and his experiences. Up until the end of book one, he is very small-minded about the world and his priorities. In book two he has a far larger weight on his shoulders. I’ll save the details for my review on The War Within though. I only mention it in passing to give an idea of how simplistic his character and plight is by comparison.

I think of Seventh Decimate as the prologue of the series, if I’m honest. Whilst the main action of the series will follow in later books, Seventh Decimate is an enjoyable opening narrative to the more complex plot of book two, and hopefully beyond.

 

 

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Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 18th August 2019

Welcome back to my blog and my Sunday Summary post everybody! Have you had a lovely week and a great weekend?

I decided to scale back my posting a little this week to three posts instead of four. I have a couple of lengthy books to read – as well as the two additional books I have picked up – a busy schedule! My first post of the week was published on Wednesday. It had been a little while since sharing an audiobook review. With Darkdawn being published next month, I figured a review of Godsgrave was due.

On Friday I shared a First Lines Friday post. This week’s post featured a dystopian classic currently on my reading list. I would imagine a few people have already read this book, willing or not at school. I’m aiming to make my way through all these books at some point.

 

Books Read

As with last week, I have a few books on the list in this Sunday Summary post. Throughout the week I have been reading Thran Book 1: The Birth. Last week I commented that I wanted to make more progress on it this week. I’m pleased to say I have. I’ve read a further 35% of the book, so if I can keep that pace up, I’ll have it finished in time for next week’s post!

The next book on my list is Duality by K. J. McGillick. I had not long started this book at the time of reading last week’s Sunday Summary post, but I finished reading it very quickly. I set myself the target of finishing it by midweek, and indeed I finished it on Wednesday!

In the middle of this week, I was feeling a little restless in terms of reading. I already had two books on the go and I wasn’t really in the mood. I wanted something different. A work colleague has recently read and loved Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, so I took inspiration from that and borrowed an e-copy from my library. It really isn’t my type of read but I have enjoyed the beginning so far. I’ve been dedicating the rest of the week to making progress on Thran, so haven’t got beyond the first 10% yet. It’s been easy and enjoyable to read so far, so I am going to stick with it!

I struggled to get into Six of Crows last week – I actively put off listening to the audiobook on the way home from work in favour of listening to the radio. I’ve been better this week and put about another hour or so into it. It’s picked up, I’m glad to say. I’m not giving anyone a lift into work for the next couple of weeks, so I’ll be able to listen to put more time into Six of Crows. I plan to make use of it now I’ve found the hook.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been good and not spent any money on books, but I have added one book to the TBR this week. Take It Back has just been published by HarperCollins – it’s a courtroom drama in which four boys are accused of a horrific crime. Tackling racial divisions in society, I think this will prove an entertaining and enlightening read!

 

Coming Up…

If you want to know what posts are coming up in the next week, then you have come to the right place, my friends! With the amount of reading I have on, I have decided that I am going to stick to a three post week again.

In the usual format on these weeks, I’ll be sharing a book review on Wednesday. Earlier this year I received a copy of The War Within by Stephen Donaldson courtesy of Gollancz – the second book of the series. In order to catch up, I borrowed Seventh Decimate from my local library. This first book is the subject of my review. I hope you can check that out!

On Friday it is the turn of my regular Shelf Control post. For those who have not read these before, I feature a book currently on my TBR and tell you a little about it; why I want to read it and such. With this series in its infancy, I am still looking at some really old books on my list. I have found it useful though; it has encouraged me to pick one of these books up later this month!

 

Top Blog Posts of the Week

SPasciuti’s Blogger Review Feature – Reviewsfeed

Top Six Bookish Pet Peeves

#BookReview The Perfect Wife By J. P. Delaney #Thriller

So, that’s all from today’s Sunday Summary post! What are you reading?

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Godsgrave – Jay Kristoff

It’s been a couple of months since I reviewed an audiobook and nearly a year ago since I reviewed Nevernight. I was shocked to see that! I hadn’t realised it had taken me so long to listen to and now review Godsgrave! Since we are less than a month away from the release of Darkdawn, the next book of the series, I’m putting that right! So, without further adieu…

 

Godsgrave – Jay Kristoff

Goodreads – Godsgrave

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.

 

My Thoughts…

As with Nevernight, Godsgrave is narrated by Holter Graham. I’m a sucker for consistency. It wouldn’t matter how good a narrator someone else is, it wouldn’t be the same. There is something about the way that he narrates these books that bring each character into life.

Itreya opens up beyond Godsgrave and the Red Church, introducing us first-hand to new places throughout the Republic. This expands from the lore already introduced by way of commentary throughout the book. As with Nevernight, the details and world-building are blended seamlessly into the narrative. Jay Kristoff does a fantastic job of touching upon details already explained to aid understanding without repeating it constantly and making the listener feel stupid.

The Republic, its structure and politics are more complex than ever. To put herself in a position to avenge her familia, Mia must endure months of intense training and risk her life on the Sands. Her determination is unrivalled, though she isn’t without the upper hand. Being Darken has its advantages, as well as raising a lot of questions. The darkness around Mia and her need for revenge is exciting. She is ruthless and will do whatever it takes to achieve her goals.

I often think that she is so consumed with revenge that she will have no drive once she’s fulfilled her purpose. Will this change in Darkdawn? Who can say? Well, we will find out soon, won’t we?!

Whilst I’m not optimistic, a real part of me refuses to accept some of the events that have happened in the books so far. I’m secretly hoping that things are not as they seem, but I’m not counting on it. The books are certainly on the end of darker fantasy and the current way of things reflects that nature.

Have you read or listened to Nevernight or Godsgrave? Are you excited for Darkdawn?

 

 

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Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 11th August 2019

Welcome back to another Sunday Summary post! Yes, the weekend has come to a close once again. Doesn’t it fly? I hope you have had a good one, whatever you have been up to!

In addition to my reading this week, I’ve also been sharing a variety of bookish related posts. On Tuesday, I undertook another review of the TBR in my latest Down the TBR Hole post. It didn’t turn out to be all that successful in terms of reducing the list, but it was still good fun to look at this list all the same.

On Thursday I reviewed a book I initially read back in May, Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell. I am really enjoying this historical fiction series. By all accounts, I shouldn’t get on with Uhtred’s character, but you cannot help but like him… faults and all!

Friday was the turn of my regular Shelf Control post. Rather than just one book, this week’s post featured three! I’ve read the first trilogy of this series so far, however, with three following books published and one final one yet to be published, I still have a bit of reading to do with this one!

 

Books Read

I’ve dipped in and out of several books this week. I have spent the week reading parts of a long fantasy novel, Thran Book 1: The Birth. As this is a long and detailed read, I think it’s the type of book that I’ll be chipping away at in between other reads rather than binge reading. I’m about a quarter of the way through the book so far, although I am hoping to make more progress on it in the next week.

I’ve also been dipping in and out of reading The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle throughout the week. I finally finished this last night and… wow! The story was so complex! Who knew so much could happen in one day? I knew  this murder mystery was portrayed in several perspectives, but I didn’t expect them to jump around as much as they did. If I had tried to read it faster I would have lost the plot. Don’t get me wrong, it worked, but if you’re not paying attention then you just end up mind-fucked. It deserves the 5* rating I’ve given it, but I’m glad I took my time unravelling the story. I realise that for many 6 days wouldn’t really fall under ‘taking ones time’, but yeah.

On Saturday evening I started my current read, Duality by K. J. McGillick. I’m glad to be back with a number of familiar characters and another, totally unique art theft case. The undercurrents and history of Renaissance art vs Religion is really interesting and I can’t wait to discover more about it as the team work to unravel the case! I’ve managed to read just over a quarter of the book already. I imagine I’ll have this read by mid next week at this rate!

After your results on my Twitter poll last week, I made a very meagre start on listening to Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. For one reason or another, I only ended up listening to this on the way home from work one day this week.

 

Books Discovered

The only addition I have to the list this week is a cute little sample my mum got for me! Whilst she was out shopping last week she was offered a sample of One Minute Later by Susan Lewis. Knowing my obsessive reading, she took it and has given it to me this afternoon. Thanks mum!

 

Coming Up…

Since I am free of blog tours and other commitments next week, I have totally free reign as to what I share with you. As I mentioned in last week’s Sunday Summary post, I have a few reviews to catch up on. To that end, on Wednesday I’ll be sharing my review of an audiobook I listened to AGES ago now – Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff.

Later in the week, I’ll be sharing another First Lines Friday post (no prizes for guessing when that goes live). As always, it’s as much a mystery as to which book I’ll be featuring at the moment, but I’ll figure it out closer to the time!

 

Top Blog Posts of the Week

Okay, so confession time. I’ve been really bad and not read any blogs this week. I’m really sorry – I’ll be back on it next week. I promise!

What have you been up to this week? What books are you reading?

 

 

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Shelf Control #4 – 09/08/2019

Welcome back to my new regular feature post, Shelf Contol! Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies.  It is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

I am using Shelf Control to look in further detail at the books I have added to the TBR and then listed as keepers in my Down the TBR Hole posts. In this post I take the opportunity to talk about why I want to keep them. It also acts as a second sweep for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I won’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them.

It’s week four, so let’s look at the next item on the TBR! This week’s post is a little unusual as I am featuring not just one book, but three.

 

The Mistborn Series – Brandon Sanderson

 

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will.

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

My Thoughts…

I have put off reading the books following the initial trilogy. I loved it so much that I guess a small part of me is concerned it won’t live up to the original. Given the great ratings on Goodreads I don’t think my concerns have any real foundations.

I loved the characters, the world-building and the basis of magic in this series. I have also come across a similar concept in another of his books – The Stormlight Archives. Instead of magic being infinite power, it has a physical limitation. In the Mistborn books, those with magic can only wield their powers if they ingest the required metal compound – also known as Allomancy. Once it has burned out, that’s it. Having such limitations, Mistborn are far from invincible. Inconvenient problems cannot be swept under the carpet and the narrative is far more sophisticated in resolving issues as a result.

There is a seventh and final book to the series, which has yet to be published. It was initially timetabled for 2018 but unfortunately delayed. Hopefully, the final one will be published shortly so I can wrap up what I hope will continue to be an excellent series.

Have you read any of the Mistborn novels or any other books by Brandon Sanderson?

 

 

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Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 4th August 2019

Hi friends and welcome back to my usual Sunday Summary post! I hope you have had a lovely weekend? Mine has been nice and relaxing, for the most part. Aside from catching up with the housework (always a fun job) and going to a charity “Night at the Races” event, it’s been a quiet one. Plenty of time for reading, anyhow.

Earlier in the week, I shared my reading list for August. I shared it earlier than usual as I had a blog tour scheduled on Thursday for Birth of the Mortokai by Desmond Palmer and a First Lines Friday post to round off the working week. Having remembered on Monday/Tuesday, I must confess that I very nearly forgot to draft and schedule my blog tour post! I’ve never had a last-minute panic like that before, nor do I want it again!! That was the only near-disaster of the week though.

I’ve also decided to put a little more pressure on myself to beat a personal best. The all-time record number of books I have read in one year is 60, achieved in 2017. I have been way above and beyond schedule to meet my target of 50 books by the end of the year. To that end, I’ve decided to increase it to 70 books. I’m still just about on schedule to meet that goal, but getting over 60 will be a win in my eyes regardless of hitting 70 or not.

 

Books Read

I have lots of books to talk about – so I’ll try to keep each one brief.

I started the week with two reads carried over: Kau D’varza by David Noe and The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor. The Chalk Man was the first book I picked up and finished reading because it’s a lot shorter than Kau D’varza and frankly, I was HYPED about it! I think it’s one of my top reads of the year! Kau D’varza shortly followed, and after a few dedicated evenings to the book I could tick another sci-fi off the list!

Moving onwards, I’ve picked up another two books to read simultaneously for the latter end of the week. First and foremost, I have picked up Thran Book 1: The Birth by Brian McLaughlin. This is the first book on August’s TBR (since I didn’t get around to it in July) and at present, I am nearly 20% through the book. It’s quite a long one at 655 pages, but the world-building, characters and descriptions are fantastic!

On the side, I am also reading The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. I have to say I haven’t read anything like it in my life. In a good way, it’s kinda weird. Keeping track of the murder and the guests/staff (and how they interact with others) at the Hardcastle estate is exciting. I’m nearly 40% through this read. I’m glad I allowed myself breathing room on the TBR to pick things up at will – I do enjoy some freedom in book choices.

I was hoping to say that I was finished listening to The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman, but I still have half an hour left to listen to. I think I’ll probably wrap up the evening with that once this Sunday Summary is posted. That way I can start afresh tomorrow. I’m torn between a couple of books and I currently have a poll on Twitter – can you help me decide what to listen to next?

 

Books Discovered

Where I had a lot to talk about in the section above, I don’t actually have anything of note here this week! About chuffing right too – I wish I could spend all my money on books instead of bills…

 

Coming Up…

Time to roll my sleeves up and devise next week’s plan (and hopefully remember it in good time…) Fortunately, I have no blog tours this week, so it wouldn’t be a disaster if I was a day late anyway.

I have a few backed up reviews to catch up on and this week, I want to share my thoughts about Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell. I finished reading this back in mid-May if that gives you an idea of how much I have to catch up on. Sword Song is the fourth book in the Last Kingdom / Saxon Stories series. I started reading them in 2017 and I always enjoy picking up the next book.

Since I added quite a few books to the TBR again recently I am going to sort through the next 10 on the list and see if there’s anything there I don’t want anymore. For my sanity’s sake I kinda hope so.

As usual, on Friday it’s the turn on my Shelf Control post. This week I am featuring a series as opposed to just one book! I can’t wait to share the details with you!

 

Top Blog Posts of the Week

In this section of my Sunday Summary post, I like to offer a quick nod to other amazing book bloggers by sharing some of the posts I really enjoyed reading! This week there is also another link to a bookish article published by the Telegraph. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have: –

 https://thebookprescription.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/july-wrap-up-2/

Book Blogger Hop – Owning Multiple Editions

N.E.W.Ts Readathon

https://thebookdaddotca.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/the-hiding-place-by-c-j-tudor/

Links I’ve Enjoyed This Week – 04/08/19

August Book Haul (Stacking The Shelves) 2019

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2019/jul/how-to-get-out-of-a-reading-slump.html

So, that’s this Sunday Summary post wrapped up! what are you reading this week! Please take a moment to check out any of the links above and I would love your thoughts and votes on my Twitter poll!

 

 

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Reading List: August 2019

It’s unusual for me to be drafting and publishing my reading list for August so early. Since I have a couple of other blog posts already lined up in the first couple of days in the month, I felt publishing it a couple of days early was better than nearly a week late.

After having such a productive month in June, I oversubscribed a little in July. Three books on the list had over 500 pages each, and the other two probably made up another 500 between them. I think I would have been alright if I had been in a reading mood more often. I didn’t allow for giving myself time to chill and do something else. But, hey ho, I’d rather not burn out in the long run. Does it matter if I take a break and read a book in the last week of one month or the first week of the next? Not really.

Anyway – onwards and upwards! Let’s crack on with the list for August!

 

Thran Book 1: The Birth – Brian MacLaughlin

Goodreads – Thran Book 1

Set in the mythical world of Thran, a young warrior named Brutal Mixnor sets out on an adventure to uncover the truth about his father’s mysterious disappearance after a battle years earlier. Some longtime friends and new acquaintances join him in his search, each with their own reasons for braving the danger-filled wilds of the Cruel Pass. Follow the young adventurers and watch as their powers grow, along with the strength of the enemies they encounter. Discover the complex, imperfect, characters of all races, comprising the full spectrum of alignments (good, neutral, and evil) that weave their way into and out of the story, leaving their mark on the reader as the world of Thran is pushed towards cataclysmic war and suffering. For readers familiar with the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons(R), Thran Book I: The Birth will feel like a warm wave of nostalgia washing over you, and the unfamiliar will get a glimpse of what it’s like to be immersed into the heart of an adventure that transports you into a world where magic abounds and almost anything is possible, but nothing is certain. Visit https: //www.worldofthran.com/ to learn more about the world of Thran, including: character portraits, the world map, the pantheon of deities, and more!

 

I picked up a copy of this fantasy novel via Voracious Readers Only and I didn’t get the chance to pick it up last month, as intended. It’s the first book I’ll be picking up this month, however. I’ve had a very brief look at it – the first couple of pages really, and I’m optimistic that it will be an enjoyable read!

 

Duality – K. J. McGillick

Goodreads – Duality

Just when you think you’ve figured it all out, you’ll learn how wrong you’ve been.

What started out as a normal art restoration project for Melinda Martin soon took on a life of its own. Could this unusual painting actually be a Botticelli masterpiece thought to have perished as part of Savonarola’s Bonfire of the Vanities? Had Melinda’s friend, Lara, a well-known art picker inadvertently acquired stolen art; art that might have ties to the occult and worth millions? Did a bad business decision endanger everyone who touched this potential treasure?

When the painting disappears and both women are found dead, the police think it’s an open and shut case. The husband – it’s always the husband. He had means, motive, and opportunity, and acted strangely cold after the fact.

Is it a case of mistaken identity? Does a secret relationship put Mr. Martin in the crosshairs of an assassin sent to retrieve the painting? Or is he really a sociopath forger with mysterious ties to the Vatican?

Two sides of the same coin. Completely alike. Completely different.

 

I’m on another blog tour for one of K. J. McGillick’s books! Having read and enjoyed no less than four other books of hers already, I’m now going to be reviewing Duality for the upcoming tour. At this point, I will auto-accept tours for, or buy, her books. I think that says how much I like them…

 

The Fourth Victim – John Mead

Goodreads – The Fourth Victim

Three parks, three deaths, four victims, two grieving families, one murder enquiry team and an unknown number of killers. Can an answer be found? Whitechapel is being gentrified, the many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of peace, tranquillity and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder. Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight. And, it looked as it the inspector was already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with her head bashed in, down to a mugging `gone wrong’. The victim deserved more. But the inspector isn’t ruling anyone out; the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer…

 

I am also taking part in a blog tour for The Fourth Victim this month. I was already looking forward to the book based on the genre and synopsis, but my impromptu read of The Chalk Man (and LOVING it!) has got me all the more excited to read more books in the thriller genre.

 

Elantris – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – Elantris

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.

 

Starting my Shelf Control series recently has got me thinking about how much of a backlist I have. It’s ridiculously long and I need to do something about it. So, here we are! This is the oldest item on the TBR; by the end of the month I’m hoping to be able to tick it off the list!

I have read a few books by Brandon Sanderson and really enjoyed them all, so I have no doubts about picking another of his books up at all.

So, only four books on the list this month. I am very aware that a couple of these are quite long, so I’m trying to take the pressure off. I would like to read more, but I’ll play it by ear. I may get the chance to pick up another impromptu book month and actually have time for it without sacrificing something else…

What books are on your TBR next month?

 

 

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