Ten books on my Winter TBR

Following on from my last post, I thought I’d join in with Top Ten Tuesday and share ten books I’m excited to read over the coming months. It’s a mix of wintry stories and books I’ve been looking forward to reading – some physical copies and some audio books (you know how much I love an audio book!), so hopefully there’s something for everyone on this list.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

I’ve been sitting on this book for a while, it calls to me from my book shelf (I mean, look at that cover!), but I wanted to wait until it was appropriately frosty outside and cosy inside before I curl up with Wintersong. It’s a new take on the legend of the Goblin King, and sounds very Labyrinth, so I’m excited to sink into this one in the New Year.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

I definitely think Winter is a time for dark, twisting fantasies, and The Hazel Wood is a perfect example. It’s got a hint of Scandi Noir about it, a Hans Christian Andersen kind of vibe that I am here for. Centred around a collection of pitch-dark fairy tales set in a supernatural realm called the Hinterland, which may or may not be fact rather than fiction, The Hazel Wood sounds like the perfect read for those long, dark nights. Just add hot chocolate and a blanket.

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land sounds like a lovely Spring read (and let’s be honest, with a young baby it’ll probably be Spring by the time I get round to it!). It’s got elements of The Cruel Prince, The Sin Eater’s Daughter and, to be honest, my novel The Fair Queen – so if that doesn’t mean I’m bound to love it, what does? 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This has been on my TBR (and in my Audible library…) for quite a while, but 2019 is the year I finally jump feet first into this series! Book three, A Reaper at the Gates was released this year and everyone was obsessed, so I’m really excited to start An Ember in the Ashes. It’s inspired by Ancient Rome, similarly to Nevernight, which if you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know is an absolute favourite of mine, so I’ve got high hopes.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone Tomi Adeyemi

I’ve been dying to read Children of Blood and Bone ever since I took part in Pitch Wars 2017 and Tomi Adeyemi was a mentor. I’ve got the audio book, which I think was a good idea because I’m terrible at pronouncing the names of people and places in fantasy books, so at least I won’t have to worry about getting that wrong – it’s just the spelling I’ll get wrong now! It strikes me as a sort of Throne of Glass X Black Panther, so I’m pretty excited.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands is giving me very City of Brass vibes, which is definitely a good thing. It’s got a sort of Aladdin/Arabian Nights style cover, and is set in a desert nation where djinn and magic abound. It might be more of a summery read, so I’ll probably save this one for later in the year, but it’s been sitting on my shelf for a good while now and I’m looking forward to reading it, especially as the series is complete now so I can binge the entire trilogy.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

If you haven’t read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, then what have you been doing with your life? This is less of a sequel and more of a companion novel, as it follows Monty’s sister Felicity on her very own adventure across Europe as she tries to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor. As in TGGTVAV, nothing is straightforward and shenanigans ensue. And we wouldn’t have it any other way! 

Gilded Cage by Vic James

So after that brief segue into historical fiction, we’re right back at it with the fantasy. Dystopic fantasy, if we’re being precise. Gilded Cage is set in modern-day Britain, which I think will be fascinating as most magic-oriented fantasies are set in the past or future, or a completely fictional world with little resemblance to our own. With society divided into the Skilled, a powerful, magic-wielding upper-class, and the unskilled lower class who are forced into ten years of servitude to their superiors, two families become entwined as political tensions build to 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic V. E. Schwab

This is my current read, I’m only 50 pages in and already hooked. I’ve been following Victoria Schwab on various social media for a while, but shockingly have never read one of her books, despite knowing they’d be exactly my cup of tea. I decided to rectify that this year and ordered A Darker Shade of Magic, as it seemed like a good place to start. The final book in the trilogy was published last year, and we all know how much I love to binge a complete series! I’m now obsessed and will be ordering the rest of Schwab’s published works immediately. (Did you see her post announcing that her debut, The Near Witch, was finally being published in the UK? Exciting!)

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This is my current audio book, and it’s an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery, with a paranormal twist. Admittedly, it took a few chapters to get into, but now I’m well and truly gripped. The protagonist is completely unique and the concept is so fresh and original – every day Aiden Bishop wakes up in a different body, and every night Evelyn Hardcastle dies, unless Aiden can uncover the killer by the end of the 8th day. It’s really well executed, Turton has thought about absolutely everything, dropping clues expertly throughout the story, and I’m desperate to get to the end and find out who killed Evelyn, and more importantly, who’s behind the plague doctor mask…

And that’s just a few of the books on my TBR that I’m hoping to get through over the next few months. Have you read any of these? Let me know which one I should read next!



Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

I listened to the audio book of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee back in September, and it was one of my absolute favourite reads of 2017! (Check out My top five books of 2017)

TL;DR Monty and Percy are best friends and high-born gentlemen living their best lives in 1800s London. Drink, gambling and general debauchery are the order of the day, until their Grand Tour of Europe becomes a mad dash across the continent, pursued by dangerous men who will kill to take back what Monty stole from them…

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

5 stars


Henry “Monty” Montague is the son of an English aristocrat, attends one of the poshest boarding schools in the country, and is being groomed to take control of the family estate and affairs when he grows up. If he ever does. Unfortunately, he’s not interested in taking over from his father, or growing up. He’s also madly in love with his best friend Percy, who is blissfully unaware, and he’s being kicked out of school for his roguish behaviour. Surely a few months travelling around Europe will solve all his problems?

Joined by Percy and his sister Felicity, Monty sets off for France – first stop, the palace of Versailles. Unfortunately, one rash decision and a stolen trinket lead to our gang fleeing for their lives, pursued by some very angry French men. They eventually wind up in Barcelona and take refuge in a house with the strange siblings whose father invented the fascinating stolen trinket, looking for an explanation. When the French catch up to them, they’re forced to make another run for it, this time heading for Venice by pirate ship. Their quest for the truth becomes a race against time as the answer to all their questions is in danger of becoming submerged when the islet housing it crumbles into the sea.

Will Monty ever confess his love to Percy? What is the mysterious affliction that affects Percy and why did he really agree to join his best friend on his European Tour? And will Felicity be able to convince her parents and society that women are just as capable as men, and study medicine at university like she wants? You’ll have to read it to find out…

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I absolutely adored this book, it was funny, touching, gripping and filled with diverse, complex and deeply flawed characters who charmed the socks off me with every page. I’m giving it 5 stars and am absolutely gutted that it’s technically a standalone, however Mackenzi Lee has written a companion book from the perspective of Felicity called The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to get my hands on it the instant it comes out in October. Lee is a huge advocate for amazing women throughout history, you can often find her tweeting about a fabulous lady from the past, proving that girls have always been badass and brilliant. Her Twitter threads have even been turned into a book, Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World – go buy it immediately and celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 like a proper lady, with an awesome book and a cup of tea (or something stronger if that’s your style, no judgement here! Only four more weeks of pregnancy to go and I’ll be joining you!).


Until next time,



Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

It’s been a couple of months since I read Nevernight now, but I just downloaded the audiobook of Godsgrave and I’m so excited to dive back into this world!

I’d never read any of Jay Kristoff’s books before Nevernight, but I’ve heard good things about the Illuminae series, and Nevernight sounded right up my street. Luckily, it absolutely was! I haven’t read a new fantasy series this good in ages.

TL;DR At just eight years old, Mia Corvere watched her father die. Since then she has trained with her mentor in preparation for applying to enter the Red Church, a group of skilled assassins who live under a mountain. Her long term plan is revenge against the men who killed her dad. Her short term plan is surviving her training.

Nevernight Jay Kristoff Lyndsey's Book Blog

5 stars

I’m not sure what I expected from this book, but it definitely wasn’t what I got. The Red Church is basically Hogwarts for teen murderers, and I am here for it. Mia is a wonderfully conflicted mini murderess, whose pet is an undead sort of shadow cat called Mister Kindly. He’s a sarcastic bundle of not-fur. Have you run out to buy this book yet? Just go, you won’t regret it.

“’Never Flinch.’ A cold whisper in her ear. ‘Never fear. And never, ever forget.'”

The classes Mia takes sound utterly fascinating and also deadly, subjects like poisons, weapons training and the art of seduction (because every professional killer needs a few good chat up lines and a come-hither smile). The teachers are mysterious and ruthless, it’s a wonder any of the kids survive their first semester, let alone graduate to become fully-fledged assassins.

“You’ll be a rumor. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be, girl, is someone’s hero.”

Unfortunately, only two of the class can become Blades (super lethal assassin types) after graduation, the rest must stay under the mountain and basically become their servants. Is it any wonder someone is killing off Mia’s class mates one by one? But is it just a ploy to win one of the two coveted Blade positions, or is something bigger going on in the Red Church?

Review Nevernight Jay Kristoff

Kristoff’s world-building is crazy amazing in this series, which just adds to the other-worldliness and mystery of the plot and characters. Three suns rise and set over Godsgrave, the city built amongst the bones of a long-dead god, meaning it’s almost never night (hence the title). One of those suns is red, casting a bloody glow over everything every now and then. Kristoff actually got an astrophysicist friend to design a trinary solar system for him, so the whole concept is very accurate and well imagined. A day is called a turn, because the planet still turns even if the sun doesn’t set (I imagine it’s supposed to be at least somewhat similar to Earth, so a day is roughly 24 hours). I just loved the little details the author included, they really make the story feel fully formed.

“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.”

There’s a lot of Italian influence in the novel, which you might have guessed from Mia’s name. I wonder whether the strong themes of religion inspired the choice? Either way, it helps to anchor the stranger elements of the world and story in something/somewhere we can all imagine, even if you haven’t visited Italy or the Vatican.

You might have guessed by now, but this is a very graphic series, both violently and sexually. The characters are around sixteen, but this is definitely not YA. In the world of the story, children don’t seem to get much of a childhood, and they are much older and wiser than their years as a result of the environment they’re raised in, so 16 is more like 18, or even older, in the novel.

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“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us.”

I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about Nevernight, it was gripping and twisty and stabby and I loved every minute of it. The ending was a surprise, and I’m desperate to get stuck into Godsgrave to see if everything we’re told at the end of book one is true, fingers crossed some of it was just a ruse (no spoilers!).

I’m giving Nevernight five stars because it’s probably my favourite book I’ve read so far this year, I honestly couldn’t get enough of it and must have listened to it every chance I got. I was devastated when it finished and I had to wait three months for the sequel to come out! Definitely read this if you like super dark fantasy with rich world building and plenty of stabbing and sexy times. If you’re not so cool with the graphic elements or swearing, maybe steer clear. But you’ll be missing out 😉




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