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!

Lyndsey

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Six sequels I’m dying to read!

Hi folks, I thought I’d give you all a little look-see at which book series I’m loving right now and which sequels I can’t wait to read. I’m going to cheat a little bit today, some of these books are yet to be released, some are recent releases, and some are years old, I just haven’t managed to squeeze them into my busy schedule yet.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought!

Lyndsey's Book Blog (5)

Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

How beautiful do those covers look together? I’m not usually a huge fan of people on covers, but these are just gorgeous. I especially like the cityscapes that are blended in, as a big part of these stories is the location they’re set in (London, Romania and a luxury cruise liner to America!). I just finished the audio book of Hunting Prince Dracula a couple of weeks ago and loved it even more than Stalking Jack the Ripper, so I’m really excited for Escaping from Houdini’s release this month! I’ve preordered it using my September Audible credit so I can download it as soon as it goes live.

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Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Probably my favourite series of all time (after Harry Potter, of course) and soon to be a TV series! I’m just about to finish reading the paperback of Tower of Dawn, which has been a new experience after listening to the audio books of the previous five books – I normally get through these in a week or two, but it’s taken months thanks to a new baby stealing all my reading time! Thank the gods I’m back to work and can listen to the audio book on my commute when Kingdom of Ash is released next month.

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Now I Rise & Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

I still can’t believe I haven’t read Now I Rise! At least now Bright We Burn is out I can read both in quick succession instead of dying from the long wait. I listened to the audio book of And I Darken (and loved it!), and for some reason book two never appeared on Audible. I waited and waited, but I guess I’m going to have to get my hands on the paperbacks of these two. I’ll have to hit up the mobile library next time it comes around!

(Do you have mobile libraries in other countries? It’s basically a minibus full of books that drives around rural villages. You can order books like a normal library. They’re pretty great when you live out in the sticks, but might only come once a month depending where you live.)

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Half Lost by Sally Green

Half Bad was such an unexpected joy of a book, I’d never heard of it until a friend who works for Waterstones gave it to me just after it was released, but I was hooked immediately. Green’s got such a captivating way of writing, she throws you straight into Nathan’s head and you barely get a chance to catch your breath until you’ve finished the whole book. I read Half Wild a couple of years ago, and I’ve just never gotten round to Half Lost (clearly putting off ending the series and saying goodbye to Nathan and Gabriel!).

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Fire & Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Graceling was the best YA fantasy I’d read in about a year, and has cemented its position as one of my all time favourites. The story is just so well crafted, with beautifully detailed world-building and fully-formed characters. The whole concept of Graces is fascinating, like natural talents and affinities taken to the nth degree, and I can’t wait to find out more about them in the two companion books, Fire and Bitterblue. They follow different characters in the same fictional world, with some of the cast of Graceling popping up as cameos, and Bitterblue obviously focusing on one of the secondary characters from book one. If you haven’t read Graceling yet, I’d definitely recommend it, I jumped on the bandwagon late, but now I’m practically driving it!

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Lord of Shadows & Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

I’ve been obsessed with all things Shadowhunter since I first read City of Bones about 8 years ago, quickly ordering and devouring all the available sequels, and then The Infernal Devices, and stalking the filming of the Mortal Instruments movie with Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower. I actually enjoyed the film and was really disappointed when it didn’t do that well, so I was thrilled when they decided to turn it into a TV series. Now Shadowhunters is coming to an end and I’m left with the book series again. Not that I’m complaining, I’ve got Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and Lord of Shadows sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read, and Queen of Air and Darkness will soon be out in the world. Then there’s the fourth series Clare is planning, The Last Hours, and I cannot wait to hear about Will and Tessa’s descendants! So it’s not like I’m struggling for content over here.

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And that is a very non-exhaustive list of the sequels I’m desperate to read and plan to jump headlong into as soon as I get a spare moment (babies, amirite?). Which series are you loving right now and can’t wait to get your hands on the next book?

 

Lyndsey

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What’s on my TBR?

The weather in the UK this last few weeks has been unusually fantastic, and we’ve spent most of that time in the garden with the dogs, enjoying the warm, sunny days together before we both return to work from parental leave. This heat reminds me of being on holiday and makes me just want to sit and read in the sunshine all day long, so I thought I’d share with you all the books on my summer 2018 TBR pile.

(Can you believe it’s been almost a year since I last shared my TBR?!)

What's on my TBR? Lyndsey's Book Blog

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

I bought The Hazel Wood last week and am absolutely dying to read it now, but I have a couple of current reads to finish first. It’s a dark fantasy about Alice, a girl who seems to be cursed with bad luck, whose grandmother is the author of a classic book of Grimm style fairy tales. When her grandmother dies and her mother is abducted by a figure who claims to be from the Hinterlands – the fictional world depicted in the fairy tales – Alice is forced to ally with one of her grandmother’s cult-like following and travel to the Hazel Wood in order to rescue her mother.

How good does that sound?? I’ll post a review as soon as I’ve read it, but I can see this one becoming a new all-time favourite!

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic V. E. Schwab

This series has been on my wish list for so long, and I finally bought a copy of the first book last month, so I’ll be initiated into the cult of ADSOM imminently! I haven’t actually read ANY Schwab yet, can you even believe that? This is another book/series I expect to be completely sucked into and fall head over heels. Expect a review full of gushing and flailing very soon.

A Darker Shade of Magic tells the tale of Kell, one of the last Antari (magician) who are able to travel between the four parallel Londons. Raised in Red London, he works as an ambassador travelling between his home and White London, where magic has ceased to exist. On the side, he acts as a smuggler, escorting people with enough cash from one London to another, until he is forced to escape and hide in Grey London. There, he meets Lila Bard and ends up on an even more dangerous and exciting adventure, one that might result in them saving all the worlds.

Literally cannot wait to read.

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A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

ACOFAS Sarah J Maas

ACOFAS is the latest instalment of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, it’s a novella that bridges the gap between the original trilogy and the upcoming new trilogy, set some time after the first three books. I’m excited to read this one, but I’m tempted to leave it until the first book of the new trilogy is released next year, so I don’t completely forget everything that happens!

It centres on the original characters of the Night Court in the run up to the Winter Solstice. It should be a fun little read at 229 pages, I could even read it now (because, impatient) and reread it next year!

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The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass S A Chakraborty`

Set in 18th Century Cairo, The City of Brass is another exotic historical fantasy that I am dying to get round to reading. The blurb gives me And I Darken feels (which I was obsessed with but Now I Rise still isn’t available on Audible?? Just why??), with lots of gorgeous Eastern culture and a badass female protagonist (my favourite thing of ever).

Nahri is a skilled con woman, feigning psychic abilities in order to swindle Ottoman nobles. She doesn’t believe in magic, but when she accidentally summons a mysterious djinn warrior during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magic from her childhood stories may be real. The djinn warriors takes her to Daevabad, the legendary City of Brass, and she is soon embroiled in court politics and dangerous schemes that could have deadly consequences.

Anyone else getting kind of an Aladdin vibe? I wonder if the djinn warrior will be sassy like Genie. Either way, get in my eyeballs, book.

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Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Hunting Prince Dracula Kerri Maniscalco

More historical fantasy for my reading pleasure, thank you please! I loved Stalking Jack the Ripper when I listened to the audiobook a few months ago, Audrey Rose is exactly the type of ballsy fictional woman I love to read about, plus the Author’s Notes about the accuracy of the medical procedures from the time period were absolutely fascinating. And this is yet another version of the Dracula/Vlad the Impaler legend, like And I Darken by Kiersten White – another favourite of mine.

Book two follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell to the heart of Romania, where a series of bizarre murders have been discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a. Dracula. Is a copy cat killer on the loose or has someone resurrected the prince?

Kerri Maniscalco’s attention to detail and historical accuracy is so thorough, and her plots and characters are gripping and layered, so I’m really excited about this one.

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone Tomi Adeyemi

Most of you will know I entered Pitch Wars in 2017, unfortunately I didn’t get in but I did get some great mentoring from one of the agented authors who helped me polish my first ten pages. One of the mentors last year was Tomi Adeyemi, and her debut Children of Blood and Bone was hotly anticipated by pretty much everyone, including me. I finally downloaded the audio book last month, but I’m a little bit behind on my listening so I’m hoping to get round to it very soon.

The story follows Zelie, whose mother is murdered when the ruthless king decides to eradicate magic by killing all maji. Zelie must team up with a rogue princess in order to escape the crown prince who is hell-bent on wiping out all remaining maji, but the greatest danger may be Zelie herself as she struggles to control her emerging powers.

Excuse me while I drive around for hours just to listen to this (and probably get the baby to fall asleep, two birds and all that.)

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling is one of those books that has been on my radar for about a decade (showing my-and its-age now), but I just haven’t ever bought or borrowed. It’s right up my street and gets absolutely rave reviews from everyone who’s even a little bit into YA fantasy, so I’ve no idea what was stopping me from reading it. None of that matters now though, as I’ve used one of my monthly Audible credits to download the audiobook and I’m so excited to listen to it. I know there are two other books in the series, but as far as I’m aware they’re not strictly sequels, I think they follow two other characters and run parallel to Graceling – let me know if you’ve read them, are they worth a read?

The book follows Katsa, a girl Graced with the ability to kill a man with her bare hands. As the king’s niece, she should be living a life of luxury, but with her skills she’s forced to work as the king’s thug. Until, that is, she finds herself falling in love with the handsome Prince Po and discovers the truth behind her Grace and a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms.

There’s magic, adventure, romance and a cast of unforgettable characters, apparently – what more could you want?

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The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Gentleman Bastard series is another golden oldie, but this time I hadn’t heard of the books until a year ago.  It’s got a great rating on Goodreads, and loads of book bloggers I trust have loved the series, so I thought I’d add it to my Goodreads shelf, and a few weeks ago I bought it in the Audible 2 for 1 sale.

Locke Lamora is a young orphan boy turned thief, tutored by one of the most gifted con artists on the island city of Camorr. As leader of a band of thieves called the Gentleman Bastards, Locke becomes infamous, even tricking the underworld’s most feared ruler. But when an ambitious and deadly rival initiates a coup, endangering everyone and everything Locke cares about in his mercenary life, he vows to beat the enemy at his own game – or die trying.

It’s giving me Prince of Thorns X Six of Crows vibes, and I am here for it.

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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I’m absolutely living for these fantasy novels set in alternate historical periods and exotic locations – An Ember in the Ashes is set in a fictional world inspired by the brutality of ancient Rome, and I’m expecting to love it as much as my other favourite Romanesque series, Nevernight.

Laia is a slave, living with her grandparents and older brother under the rule of the Martial Empire. They live by the rules, they’ve seen what happens to those who don’t. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia must make a decision that could endanger them all – in exchange for the help of a band of rebels who agree to rescue her brother, she must spy for them from within the Empire’s military academy. There, she meets Elias, a soldier – the school’s finest, but he isn’t there by choice. Neither of them is free. As they discover that their destinies are entwined, they find that their choices could change the fate of the Empire itself.

From the blurb I’m not sure whether this one will be a fantasy, or more of an alternative history along the lines of And I Darken, but either way I know I’m going to love it! Everyone is raving about A Reaper at the Gates right now, so I can’t wait to read this whole series.

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

I bought Scythe in the Audible 2 for 1 sale, I hadn’t really heard that much about it but it was on the fantasy list so I thought I’d check out the blurb, and instantly knew I had to read it.

In a world where humans have conquered hunger, war and even death, a group of trained killers called Scythes must end lives in order to keep the population at a manageable level. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice as Scythes, and despite the fact that neither wants to, they must master the art of killing or risk losing their own lives.

It’s dark and bloody and that’s all I need to know. divider-green

Have you read any of these? Let me know if I mentioned one of your faves and what you loved about it, I need help deciding which to read first!

 

Lyndsey

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What's on my TBR? Lyndsey's Book Blog