The Rage of Dragons, Evan Winter

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He would fight until he won or he died. There would be, he swore, no days without difficulty

The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. The lucky ones are born gifted. Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, and when those closest to him are brutally murdered, his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.

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3 / 5

The Rage of Dragons has been getting a good rep in book reviewing circles for its epicness, African-inspired setting, and readability. I’m here to offer a slightly controversial opinion: this book was okay.

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Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper & Fire #2), Natasha Ngan

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Wren and I might not be Paper Girls anymore, but we are still capable of creating fire. And now we have a whole world to set ablaze

Slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.

Read my review of the first book in the series here.

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3 / 5

I adored Girls of Paper and Fire and I was delighted to receive a copy of Girls of Storm and Shadow. However, whilst the first book was a mesmerising five stars, this sequel is lacklustre in comparison. Ngan’s prose remains delightful and I still adore Lei and Wren’s difficult and morally grey relationship, but the plot was distinctly uninspired.

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix Harrow

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She accumulated the dust of other worlds on her skin like ten thousand perfumes, and left constellations of wistful men and impossible tales in her wake

In the summer of 1901, at the age of seven, January Scaller found a Door. You know the kind of door–they lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, to Atlantis, to all the places never found on a map. Years later, January has forgotten her brief glimpse of Elsewhere. Her life is quiet and lonely but safe on her guardian’s estate, until one day she stumbles across a strange book. 

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4 / 5

I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book quite like The Ten Thousand Doors of January. It was whimsical, charming, adventurous, strange, and daring. It wasn’t what I expected it to be and I loved it for it.

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We Hunt The Flame, Hafsah Faizal

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She was going to bring her father justice, kings and witches be damned. And when she returned, magic in her grasp, she would give a calipha her throne.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter.

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2 / 5

When I picked up We Hunt The Flame I wasn’t aware that it was a hotly anticipated YA release. I just thought that the premise and the cover were cool. Whilst I was intrigued by the magic and adored the setting, We Hunt The Flame failed to connect with me emotionally, resulting in me half-heartedly leafing through it. Continue reading “We Hunt The Flame, Hafsah Faizal”

Descendant of the Crane, Joan He

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This fate had chosen her. It was only now, seventeen years later, that she chose it back

When Princess Hesina of Yan’s beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

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4 / 5

I love books like Descendant of the Crane: rich in political intrigue, soft, and beautiful and strange. Books full of myth and legend and mystery. Books with a main character that is somewhat unusual; Princess Hesina of Yan is willing to take up her crown, rather than being a rebellious and slightly bratty teenage girl, and she takes the advice of her advisors and trusts in her friends and siblings. It was a refreshing read.

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Crown of Feathers, Nicki Pau Preto

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Be a boy. It was simple. it was brilliant. It was exactly what Veronyka would do

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart. Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

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3 / 5

I am a total sucker for two things that this book had to offer: magical creatures, in this case phoenixes, and the trope where “girl disguises herself as boy to join the army” (thanks, Mulan and Tamora Pierce). And Crown of Feathers was good, but as I read more and more YA novels (and just novels in general), to really enjoy a book it has to have that WOW factor.

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The True Queen (Sorcerer Royal #2), Zen Cho

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I believe I should have liked that – to have been married to magic

When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can’t remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade awayIf Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy.

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4 / 5

I didn’t realise that The True Queen was a sequel Sorcerer to the Crown but it was the best kind of sequel – loosely connected to the first book, but exploring something new with new characters. In this case, we move to Janda Baik in Malaysia and two sisters, Muna and Sakti, who woke up on a beach with no memories of their past. ~ A mystery ~

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[article] Top Ten Reads of 2019 So Far…

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It’s a dog, not a book!

 

Top Ten Reads of 2019 So Far…

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written a non-review post (sadly, I’m far too busy with getting my Master’s degree to write monthly roundups anymore), so I thought I’d do a quick overview of the best books I’ve read so far this year. Note, this isn’t just books published in 2019, it’s any book I’ve read this year.

I’ve read 66 books so far and counting, which is a reasonably big sample size. Reviews (if they’re posted yet) are linked by the titles, and I’ve given a few keyword teasers to let you know what kind of book it is. Brace yourselves for some epic literature!

Continue reading “[article] Top Ten Reads of 2019 So Far…”

Slayer, Kiersten White

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Being chosen is easy. Making choices will break your heart

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

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3 / 5

I loved White’s series The Conqueror’s Saga, so much so that I committed myself to reading pretty much anything that White wrote that sounded vaguely up my alley. Slayer, despite me having been too young to watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer when it aired, sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately, Slayer was just another in a string of three star reads for me: decent enough and fun to read, but nothing surprising or ground-breaking.

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Empress of all Seasons, Emiko Jean

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I want to be brave. I want to be worthy of love. I want to live in the life

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. 

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3 / 5

I think Empress of All Seasons is just unfortunate in that I read it shortly after having read Girls of Paper and Fire which tackles a similar plotline – a girl aiming (or not) to become empress with some peculiar sort of non-human species featured – but was just much more engaging and impressive. Empress is a solid book in its own right, but wasn’t particularly surprising. 

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