Let’s not talk about the fact that I haven’t even read all of the books on my TBR from January.
Moving on! In the past two months, I have managed to acquire two new paperbacks and five audiobooks! I have, however, failed to join my local library and borrow any books, probably because of my already vertiginous to-be-read pile. There’s always next month.
Last night, I went to a local writers’ group. A local, published author, Julie Malone (pen name Jae Malone) who has written a series of middle grade fantasy novels about a boy from Nottingham, The Winterne Series, spoke about creating characters and world building. It was aimed at the fantasy genre, but most of Julie’s points were adaptable to every genre.
It was a really interesting talk, and reiterated the tips and advice I had already read about creating a fantasy world. It was reassuring to hear from a successful, published author that what I’m doing is right! Plus, now I have a huge list of fantasy authors to check out.
Everyone in the group was absolutely lovely, they meet fortnightly, with every other meeting being an informal ‘write-in’ where they are given a prompt and have to write as much as they can in an hour, and then share their work.
Having returned home from the group, I discovered that my lovely dog had decided to destroy my Illumicrate, which had arrived the day before. The box was absolutely shredded, and there were several teeth marks in one of the books. She is now banned from spending any time alone with any of my books, the little demon. Luckily, she didn’t actually eat any pages or damage it beyond reading, or she’d be for dinner tonight. Just kidding, she is my fur baby and any evil actions were probably learnt from me, I do love to devour books.
An unboxing of my Illumicrate (minus the box) will be up soon!
Right, on with the show, here’s what I’ll be reading if I ever get round to it.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
This was the first book I received in February’s Illumicrate, and it’s been on my wishlist since I first heard about it online. Based on the fairy tale about the Goblin King – and the movie, Labyrinth in which David Bowie played the character – it tells the story of Liesl, whose sister has been taken by goblins, and her quest to bring her back home.
The book is inspired by JJ’s love of music, Liesl composes songs with the Goblin King as her muse, having met him in the forest as a child. When the Goblin King refuses to let Kathe go without another maiden taking her place, Liesl volunteers. Captivated by the king, she finds that he still inspires her years later.
How amazing does that sound? I definitely feel the need to watch Labyrinth now!
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
I’m ashamed to say that I am yet to read a book by Lawrence, but I do have them all on my Audible wish list, ready to download at some point…That point has now been moved infinitely sooner! I get the impression this new series will be set in the same world as The Broken Empire and The Red Queen’s War, so I’ll have to work out if I need to read those series first.
According to the blurb, the Convent of Sweet Mercy trains young girls into lethally-skilled women, spending ten years teaching them to become deadly assassins. Women called Red Sisters. Nona Grey is eight years old and due to hang for a murder she didn’t commit. Saved from execution and taken to the convent, she must learn to become an assassin, but she can’t escape her secret and violent past.
Cannot wait to get to this one, it sounds right up my street. I tend towards YA fantasy, but a bit of adult fantasy will make a nice change and hopefully spark some ideas for my books.
King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard
I’m currently listening to this one, but I have to say I’m struggling with it. This isn’t one of my favourite series, but I’m persevering to the end because I’ve invested so much time and want to see how it ends.
It’s not a bad series, loads of people love it, but it just hasn’t gripped me. I don’t like any of the characters, I’m not rooting for any of them – aside from the obvious division between right and wrong. I’m not a huge fan of the story, it’s heavy on the politics and war strategy, and I prefer stories that focus on the characters. Also, it seems to borrow heavily from a few others series that I have enjoyed a lot more, like The Hunger Games and The Grisha Trilogy.
My feelings on this book are that a lot of it could have been cut or condensed, making it a trilogy instead of a four book series. The bits where Mare is held captive are quite dull and drag on, and I don’t like Cameron’s POV. But that’s just me! You might love this one, don’t let me put you off!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I’ve heard a lot about this one, and it was on offer on Audible for £1.99, so I had to buy it. I’ve read that it’s similar to Caraval, which is a new book that I’m really keen to read, so I thought I’d check this out first so I can compare.
Le Cirque des Reves appears one day without warning, and is only open at night. It is utterly unique, unlike any circus you have ever seen. But behind the scenes, two young magicians, Celia and Marco, have been raised to compete in a game that can only end one way. Only one will be left standing. Until, they fall in love.
How magical does that sound? I absolutely cannot wait to listen to this one, I bet the audiobook will be fantastic. There are certain books that are just made for audio, they really come to life, and I can imagine this is one of them.
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Another one I’ve downloaded thanks to the amazing reviews I’ve seen online, I wasn’t sure whether to get this one on audio or in paperback as I read that it includes footnotes and I wasn’t sure how that would work on audio, but the Audible reviews clinched it for me.
Mia Corvere is the daughter of an executed traitor, a fledgling assassin seeking vengeance against those who destroyed her family. Mia has an ability, she can speak to the shadows, and she is apprenticed to the deadliest group of assassins in the Republic, the Red Church. With a killer on the loose in the halls of the Church, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation going on in the shadows she so loves, will she survive initiation and have her revenge?
I can’t get enough of books about assassins, the Throne of Glass series is one of my absolute faves, and this sounds just like my cup of tea. Plus, apparently, there is a talking shadow cat, so yeah…
And I Darken by Kiersten White
This is a Dracula retelling where Vlad the Impaler is actually Lada Dragwyla, a brutal Wallachian princess torn between her gentle younger brother, Radu and Mehmed, the heir to the Ottoman throne.
I am really excited about this one, I’ve been desperate to read it for ages and can’t wait to get to it, but as you can see, I’ve got so many amazing books on my TBR!
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
If you read my review of The Scorpio Races, you’ll know I’m a massive Stiefvater fan. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read The Raven Cycle yet, I know it’s most people’s favourite Stiefvater series, and it’s been on my radar for a long, long time, I just never got to it. But, now I have the first book and I think I’m going to listen to it next, despite not having the other three books, and having so many others in my library (that’s my Audible library, sadly I do not have a physical library in my house).
So, The Raven Boys centres around the myth of the Raven King, which is a Welsh legend about Bran the Blessed. It follows Blue and Gansey, the daughter of a clairvoyant who can’t see, and a rich, private school boy who, unhappy with his lot, goes on a strange and dangerous quest, with his three friends. Blue has always known that she will be the cause of her true love’s death, and now she is being drawn to Gansey and starting to worry about what that means.
I have high hopes for this one, thanks to the buzz it gets online, so it better not let me down! Especially, after I adored The Scorpio Races.
So, those are the books I have added to my TBR in the last two months! What with the several books from my last update that I still haven’t read, I definitely don’t need to be buying any more books for a while! I wish I could read more quickly, but I’m still editing my novel, and beta reading for a couple of writer friends.
I also signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo this week, which takes place in April, and I thought was a real life camp, like a writers retreat, but have discovered is all online, like the November version. So, yeah, I’m pretty busy for the next couple of months! If you’re taking part in Camp Nano, add me as a buddy, I’m lyndleloo (same as on Twitter and Instagram!).