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Truthwitch – Susan Dennard

Synopsis:

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Copied from Goodreads.

Review:

I was reluctant to pick up this novel, simply because there was SO much hype surrounding it. The last few I’ve done that with turned out to be… Let’s just say, not to my taste. I held onto it for a while as it stared at me from the bookshelf. I’d read another rave review and it would scream “See, see, just pick me up!” My fingers would reach for it and then my brain would scream, “No, don’t do this to yourself again.” But, finally, I gave in.

So, I’m about 40 or so pages in and a little light goes off in my head. These names, certain phrases, they all reminded me of something. Within moments it dawned on me, Dragon Age. This woman is a fan. 

Don’t get me wrong this book is not a Dragon Age fan-fic, nor is it set in the Dragon Age world. I just knew in that moment I was faced with the work of a kindred spirit.

I love how brilliantly these characters intertwine. The twists and turns are carefully woven together. Susan Dennard became a Threadwitch herself with the creation of this novel. Pulling people in and placing them directly in line with one another, throwing them into chaos and seeing the threads change and form. 

I feel like this was an expose on how to weave a story properly. 

Excellent, in every aspect!

Side Note: After finishing this novel, I read Windwitch the next day. I can’t wait for the release of Bloodwitch!

Quotes:

“I hate this. Both the storm and the plan. Why does it have to be ‘we’? Why not just me?”
“Because ‘just me’ isn’t who we are,” Iseult hollered back. “I’ll always follow you, Safi, and you’ll always follow me. Threadsisters to the end.” 
― Susan DennardTruthwitch

“It was the circle of perfect motion. Of the light-bringer and dark-giver, the world-starter and shadow-ender. Of initiation and completion. It was the symbol of the Cahr Awen. Cahr Awen.” 
― Susan DennardTruthwitch
“Who the rut is that Nubrevnan Windwitch? And: He should really learn how to button a shirt.” 
― Susan DennardTruthwitch
” How is that for service? Do you know how many men onboard would kill for the use of a spoon?”
“And do you know,” she retorted, “how many men I can killwith a spoon?” 
― Susan DennardTruthwitch
Recommendations:

Graceling – Kristin Cashore

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

The Iron King – Julie Kagawa

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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Book Reviews

 

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My Top 10 Reads of 2015

I realize most on this list were not released in 2015, but I am okay with that. I don’t like hype or jumping on bandwagons, so I generally wait until all of it dies down before I delve into something new.

Also, 2015 was the year of fantasy for me. I jumped head first into the genre with much fervor and great enthusiasm. Since I had only opened myself up to the genre last year (2014), I had much catching up to do. My first being, Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. So, I apologize for the lack of variety in this list but it was what I decided was worth reading in 2015.

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10. Alice in Zombieland – Gena Showalter

I absolutely love Gena Showalter’s YA novels. Yes, they always have romance in them but they are beyond fantastic. Plus, I had been trying to get my hands on this novel for a while (without ordering it online) and it was always sold out. When I finally got it in my possession, I wasted no time in cracking it open and sinking into the pages. I also read this on the heels of The Blade Itself – Joe Abercrombie and it was a welcome change from the heaviness of that novel.

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9. Eragon – Christopher Paolini

I did mention I just started reading fantasy as of last year, right? I know, I know. I’ve already heard it from so many people. How could I not have read this series until now. Well, I had no interest until now. I was raised in a house where horror reigned supreme and dragons were stupid, big lizards. When I did start reading fantasy, that opinion quickly changed and I couldn’t get enough. I loved the movie adaptation of this novel and so I purchased it. It took me so long to read it because I didn’t want to hate the movie afterwards. And I don’t. I love them both.

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8. Tin Men – Christopher Golden

I was browsing Goodreads one day and I came across one of their giveaways for an ARC of this novel, so I clicked it. A few weeks later, it came in the mail and I began reading it. I was so wrapped up in the story that I forgot to eat for almost an entire day. This solidified my love for Christopher Golden. (Dead Ringers is also fantastic).

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7. The Iron King – Julie Kagawa

I absolutely love stories of the Fey. Even as a little girl I would seek out these kinds of stories. There is a lot of nostalgia behind this choice. The Iron King has all of the elements I look for in a story, adventure, twisty story lines, humor,  taking something known and putting your own spin on it… the list goes on. I love the melding of genres. I can’t say enough good things about this book. I cannot wait to finish this series!

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6. The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith (aka J. K. Rowling)

I have to admit, I was completely nervous picking up this book. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I knew Rowling had written this series. I wanted it to be just as good as Harry but I wanted it to be so completely different. I was battling with myself. What if it isn’t as good? Could anything be as good? How is she going to pull this off? But when I started reading, I forgot I was reading a book by the same person who wrote Harry. I was thrilled that while still good, it wasn’t even the same style. There were no similar themes… well, not enough for me to be like, “well, she did that again”. I am so happy to see her break away from a worldwide beloved character and prove she’s not a one trick pony.

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5. Cinder – Marissa Meyer

Okay, not going to lie. I am a sucker for a good retelling of classic fairy tales… even those of the princess variety. This book was beyond hard to put down. I needed to know what was going to happen next. I believe I read it all in a 24 hour period. I am excited to continue this series.

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4. The Warded Man – Peter V. Brett

I loved this story!! There were so many elements that I loved, to list them all would just be annoying. However, I am going to list a few.

Oh, the Victorian values of this culture. I adored this element, simply because it was something familiar in a world so strange.

The fact that a boy, not a man, not an elder, not a priest, figures out how to ward his own skin and no one else has this idea. At first I was like, don’t you think someone else would have figured this out by now, that’s just idiotic. Then I was like… you know what… Maybe that’s the point. Maybe it is idiotic and that’s why it takes a boy willing to do it, to prove it works. Who else would tattoo their flesh on a whim? Once I realized that I was on board with the idea.

And lastly, I loved the world building in this novel. While it was simple and many things from our world translated fluidly, I feel like the melding was well done.

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3. The Blade Itself – Joe Abercrombie

I HATE THIS NOVEL… NO, I LOVE THIS NOVEL… NO, I HATE JOE ABERCROMBIE… NO, WTF ARE YOU DOING?

That seems to summarize my reading of this novel. I loved it, I hated it… Needless to say, the book riled me up 90% of the time I was reading it. I threw it at one point. And then BAM… nothing happens (ie, cliffhanger). WTF, Joe Abercrombie.

Well played, Joe Abercrombie…

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2. Queen of Fire – Anthony Ryan

The final installment of the Raven’s Shadow trilogy, which just happens to be my favorite fantasy trilogy, didn’t pack quite the punch that the first two did. While I love that it wrapped up loose ends, that seems to be all this book was for. Don’t get me wrong. It was still an amazing book (it is ranked #2 in my favorites of the year!!). The entire series is amazing and you should go pick them up and read them right now!!

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1. The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

This book is so… I honestly do not even have the words. Amazing, yes. Beautifully written, yes. Magical, yes. I just don’t feel I can do the writing justice. The descriptions in this novel make you feel as if you are participating in everything that is taking place. The flow of the novel is seamless. There is nothing I can even critique and say… well, it’s not perfect. It is a genuine masterpiece (and I am in the process of reading book 2).

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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Cinder – Marissa Meyer

cinder

Synopsis:

Cinder, a cyborg mechanic, is looked down on by everyone she knows, simply for being what someone made her to be. She works while her stepmother and two siblings sit at home. One day, while working, an android is dropped in front of her and a harried young man asks her if she can fix it. She is about to tell the young man that the android probably isn’t worth saving but realizes the young man is none other than Prince Kai. She then promises to work on the android and return it as quickly as possible.

A plague has swept the globe and no one knows its source. On the same day that Prince Kai drops off his android, the market sees its first case, and it’s not to far from Cinder’s booth. She rushes home and finds her sisters and stepmother getting fit for new dresses for the ball coming up. When Cinder tells her stepmother she will be out for her dress fitting after she gets cleaned up, she tells Cinder she is not going unless she gets their family vehicle fixed. While out at the scrapyard, the only sister who cares about her begins showing signs of the plague, she is forced to call and report her case and she is shipped away to die with all of the other plague victims.

Review:

Android Cinderella!!! Take everything you love about the classic story and add robots, a plague and an evil Lunar queen and you have one of the best retellings I have read to date.

I loved every aspect of this book and I cannot wait to start the next book. I have nothing more to say, because I feel it would all be redundant.

Favorite Quotes:

“I don’t know. I don’t actually remember anything from before the surgery.”

His eyebrows rose, his blue eyes sucking in all the light of the room. “The cybernetic opetation?”

“No, the sex change.”

The doctor’s smile faltered.

“I’m joking.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

“Cinder twisted up her lips. “Do you think it could have a virus?”
“Maybe her programming was overwhelmed by Prince Kai’s uncanny hotness.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

“The queen’s eyes smouldered. “I know my own kind when I see them, and right now there is one in these city walls.” She pointed a finger toward the balcony.”I want her found and brought to me.”
“Right,” said Kai,”that’ll be no problem in a city of two and a half million people. Let me just go dig out my special Lunar detector, and I’ll get right on that.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Recommendations:

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)  by Kady Cross

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)  by Julie Kagawa

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)  by Gena Showalter

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)  by Victoria Aveyard (Review to Come)

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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Domnall and the Borrowed Child – Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

dom

Synopsis:

The Fae wars have ended and the only Fae worthy of rank or honor has fallen to the Slaugh. Domnall is the only scout left from the old wars and he is no longer a spring chicken. With battle wounds that give him hell and the next generation of scouts being nothing more than pampered babies, Domnall is very much a cranky old man. Now, with one of the Fae falling deathly ill, Domnall is the only Fae within his Sithen who knows how to track humans and is sent to trade the Fae child with a human child. What ensues is one hell of an adventure.

Review:

I received my copy through NetGalley!

Oh. My. Goodness. First, look at that cover, isn’t it stunning! I love it. Second, I love cranky old men. Third, I love Fae stories. This novella was such a fantastic read that I devoured it in one sitting. Domnall is essentially a veteran with a war injury that gives him pains throughout the entire novel. It makes him cranky but he pushes through and gets his job done. I love that he is paired with a spry young girl and the contrast between the two gives the novella a little friction. I also enjoyed the writing style. I felt as if I had sat down and someone was telling me a story, nothing about it made me feel as if I were reading it myself.

The only thing I didn’t like was that IT WAS TOO DANG SHORT! I want more!!!

No Quotes due to the fact that this was an ARC copy. 

Recommendations:

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)  by Julie Kagawa

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown  by Holly Black

Unbreakable (The Legion, #1)  by Kami Garcia

Changeling (Order of Darkness, #1)  by Philippa Gregory (Review to come)

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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The Iron King – Julie Kagawa

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Synopsis:

Meghan lives a fairly typical teen-outcast life. She seems to be invisible to those around her, even her stepfather Luke. The only people who truly share in her life are her baby brother Ethan and her best friend Robbie.

On her sixteenth birthday she is thrilled to be able to finally spend time with her crush. He has to notice her if she is going to tutor him, right? But when things go horribly wrong during their tutoring session she may wish to never be seen again.

Not only did things go horribly wrong with her long time crush, now she is seeing strange things, a tiny laughing creature that seemed to take over her tutoring session, a strikingly beautiful boy on horseback, a creepy long limbed creature in her brother’s room. However, it is not until she gets home that she realizes what she is seeing. Her brother, who had been fine that morning, seems different. When Robbie shows up with celebratory wine he had promised he also delivers her the news that will change everything about her life from that day forward. Her brother was not her brother at all but a fey changeling.

Review:

Oh. My. Goodness.

I am so excited that this novel is such a throwback to the classic fey stories and characters we all know and love. I was absolutely thrilled to see Kagawa’s interpretation of the Seelie and Unseelie courts and of the new steam punk mixed with something so classic and tying them together! I cannot wait to pick up the next in the series.

Favorite Quotes:

First of all, let me say it was so hard to limit this list because there are some truly hilarious moments in this novel and second, I apologize for the language but I couldn’t stop laughing at these parts.

“Oh, we’re playing nice now? Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?” 
― Julie Kagawa, The Iron King

“Touch her, and I’ll freeze your testicles off and put them in a jar. Understand?” 
― Julie Kagawa, The Iron King

“Ladies and Felines,” he stated grandly, grasping the doorknob, “Welcome to Tir Na Nog. Land of endless winter and shitloads of snow.” 
― Julie Kagawa, The Iron King

Recommendations:

Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr
Unenchanted – Chandra Hann
Tithe – Holly Black
Frostfire – Amanda Hocking

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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