I read a lot of books this year, more so than in recent past years. According to Goodreads as I write this I’m heading toward 80 books. I’m always on the hunt for possible comp titles for clients and to keep up to date in the genres I work in and to know what’s been done. Here’s a look at some of my favorite books from my reading this year, starting with young adult. A note: not all of these book were published in 2018, some are older.
The books are Strange the Dreamer, An Enchantment of Ravens, Spinning Silver, Ivory and Bone, Vessel. A shout out goes to the charming contemporary YA romance Christmas book I’m currently reading Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. A few other books that were close calls for the list include Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow and My Plain Jane. I admit I read a lot of fantasy this year in YA. Continue reading “My Favorite YA Reads of 2018”
While I try to keep up with some of the latest books, I read all over the place including visiting older books. Vessel is a YA fantasy by Sarah Beth Durst and is an older book, by which I mean it’s from 2012. This book is a desert fantasy where religion plays a big role in the characters and plot. I see a lot of people hunting for non-European fantasy, and if that includes you I recommend this book. I love stories where a character is expected to sacrifice their self for their religion or other purpose only for them to fight that expectation. So this book was right up my alley.
Let’s get to what it’s about. Liyana is meant to be a vessel for her goddess, but when she doesn’t come Liyana finds herself on a journey to save the deities and her people. This story explores the role religion has for Liyana’s people as well Liyana’s changing feelings about the role laid out for her. You see when Liyana’s goddess comes, Liyana is meant to die. But once she starts to fall in love she isn’t so ready to sacrifice herself. However saving her people comes first. Continue reading “Book Review: Vessel”
Ever since I was a kid I loved Greek mythology. I read everything I could get my hands on and then when I moved into my teen years I started reading romance that included Greek mythology elements. These days I love books that play on the famous stories of mythology and ancient Greece while keeping them in Ancient Greece. Below I’ve included some of my favorite recent reads as well as books I’m looking forward to reading this year.
First up is the author Madeline Miller. She is the queen of Greek mythology in my opinion. She even got her BA and MA in Classics. This year I read her books Circe and The Song of Achilles and they were fantastic. You can read my review of Achilles here. Both stories are set in the world I’ve always imagined them taking place in, which is Ancient Greece with a dash of magic and vengeful gods. Continue reading “Greek Mythology Book Recs”
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli was a book that originally wasn’t high on my reading list, but I ran into it at the library and picked it up and I’m so glad I did. I give this book 5 stars. The little stories included in it were beautiful and I was hooked for the whole ride. As an editor I see a lot of authors struggle with world building, but this book is a great of example of how to do world building gradually without overwhelming readers. The world building was fantastic and one of my favorite aspects of this book.
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her. Continue reading “Book Review: The Last Namsara”
Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved Greek mythology. I went through a period in time where I couldn’t get enough reading about mythology and devoured every book about it I could get my hands on. I found The Song of Achilles to be a fantastic read and it gets 4.5 stars from me. If you love mythology you should really give this book a read. It is the book on Achilles I wanted and I didn’t even know it until I read.
First of all something I appreciated about this book and want to mention first thing was that the author kept in Achilles’s love for Patroclus instead of writing out their love affair. I believe the movie about Troy with Brad Pitt left it out, but The Song of Achilles didn’t dance around the LGBTQ aspects of his story. In fact the love story between Achilles and Patroclus was one of my favorite bits of this. The ending wouldn’t have been the same without it and their love made the ending powerful. Continue reading “Book Review: The Song of Achilles”
I recently read An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson and fell in love with the story. I admit I love books dealing with the fae, I always have. As a child I was fascinated with elves and fairies. However having them in a book isn’t guaranteed to make me like it. I found the world of the fae in this book charming albeit tragic. This is one of those books that will definitely stick with me for a while. This book gets 5 stars from me and it’s one I would recommend to fantasy lovers who are looking for stories dealing with the fae from a human perspective.
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel. Continue reading “Book Review: An Enchantment of Ravens”
Once upon a time I insisted on finishing every book I started. Mostly because as a kid ebooks weren’t a thing yet and I didn’t want to waste the money spent on books. I also only got a handful of new books a year so I wanted to savor them all. These days I’m more likely to put down a book I’m not enjoying before finishing it. When I can’t get into a book I’d been eager to read, it leaves me with the predicament of when to quit reading. I do a lot of my reading via the library now, and when I buy books I try to read the first chapter before I do.
It took quitting a few books before the guilt of not finishing finally left me alone. Sometimes I want to know how the story ends, but I’m not enjoying the journey. In that case once it feels like a slog for more than one chapter I just look up the book to see how it ends. More recently while reading Hunted I decided to quit as soon as I began to feel bored. The truth is I have so many books on my reading list that I don’t want to waste my time on something I’m not feeling when there are so many other books calling my name. These days my to-be-read list grows faster than I can read. I give every book at least three chapters to catch my attention. A few get put down just from scanning the first chapter, while I make it farther in others before quitting. Continue reading “Why I Quit Reading a Book”