Tag Archives: Genre: Fantasy

Waiting on Wednesday July 11th: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly me hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine (gotta love the name!). The idea is that it spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. So, here is my pick for the week:

The Mark of Athena
by Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 2, 2012

From Amazon: Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close— the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Why I’m Waiting: It’s no secret that I love Rick Riordan’s books with the passion of a young fangirl. They are high on my list of MG fantasy, surpassed by only the first few Harry Potter books. And with The Heroes of OlympusI’m able to reconnect with my favorite people from Percy Jackson and be introduced to new, cool characters! Plus, Rome! There are togas people, the kids actually wear togas. And there’s an elephant. WHat’s not to love about that?

I can’t wait to continue on the adventure of Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Leo and the others. And  they’ll be in for quite a wild ride, if there previous adventures are anything to go by! If you’re still not onboard with the adventure you can read the first chapter here.

What is everyone else eating on this week? I look forward to WoW posts to help discover new books to watch out for! It’s one of my favorite days of the week!


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Throwback Thursday July 5th: Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books! It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. Through Throwback Thursdays THCW and NTFB hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

This week’s Throwback Thursday book is Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede.

Summary from AmazonSnow White and Rose Red live on the edge of the forest that conceals the elusive border of Faerie. They know enough about Faerie lands and mortal magic to be concerned when they find two human sorcerers setting spells near the border. And when the kindly, intelligent black bear wanders into their cottage some months later, they realize the connection between his plight and the sorcery they saw in the forest. 

Why You Should Read This Book:  Have I mentioned before how much I love fairy tale retellings? Oh, I have? Well then it should come as no surprise that I adored Patricia Wrede’s retelling of the Grimm Brothers fairy tale by the same name!

Wrede weaves the original tale into her retelling, sharing an excerpt at the beginning of each chapter. But, her story is far richer and more involved than the original tale was. The juxtaposition of Elizabethan England and the world of the fairy was fascinating and had me turning page after page.

However, fair warning, this book is set in Elizabethan England and so the language is a bit old-fashioned at times. It did take me a bit of time to get into the flow of the language but after that it was easy enough!

If you’re a fan of fairy tales and their (many) retellings, this book is worth a look!


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Waiting on Wednesday: July 4th Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly me hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine (gotta love the name!). The idea is that it spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. So, here is my pick for the week:

Throne of Glass
by Sarah Maas
Publication Date: August 9, 2012

From Amazon: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

 Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Why I’m Waiting: Sarah Maas’ debut YA novel has popped up on a lot of Waiting on Wednesday posts and it only takes one look t that summary to see why! I mean, what’s not to love about a girl assassin, destiny and a race against her own death? I’m always excited to see another strong, kick butt, take no prisioners female grace the pages of YA literature and I’m sure Celaena won’t let me down!

I’m a bit iffy on the love triangle but hopefully it will simply provide a side of romance to complement the main show, where we watch Celaena fight!

What are you waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments! As always, I love to find something to add to my TBR pile 😉


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[Review] For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars

Author: Diana Peterfreund

Publication: June 12th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary (Amazon): It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret—one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

My Review: I was simultaneously excited and worried before starting this book. While i adore Diana Peterfreund, her killer unicorns books are absolutely fabulous, I was never a huge fan of Persuasion by Jane Austen which this book is based on (I think my life of Pride and Prejudice made it difficult to love her other novels.)

I shouldn’t have been worried. At all. Diana came through and delivered with a book that immediately found its way to the very top of my favorite books from 2012. A little dystopian, a little sci-fi, a little classic, a little steampunk and a lot of awesome. This may be on my list of all time favorite YA Reads as well.

Elliot is a phenominal character (and I love this name for a girl!), she’s strong, driven and fiercely loyal, but at the same time she is incredibly vulnerable and fragile.  As i got further into the story I was completely unable to put the book down and I frantically flipped pages to find out what was going to happen to Elliot. I was fully invested in the story and Elliot’s well-being and I had to keep reading to make sure that everything would be okay.

The story is beautifully executed, flipping seamlessly between long ago letters exchanged between Kai and Elliot and the events that were occurring in real time. The letters were a fantastic insight into the two when they were children, and it was great being able to see the history they had without being subjected to multiple flashbacks. They also served to make Kai a more sympathetic character, because for a lot of the book he was pretty much a jerk.

The world building was fascinating and complex without being overly complicated. The class structure that was developed added an interesting layer to the plot. The world felt both familiar and strange at the same time, which constantly kept me on my toes and trying to figure out how things would work.

All in all, Diana’s blend of dystopian and science fiction was the perfect complement to Jane Austen’s novel of manners. Austen’s influence gave an entirely new spin on the dystopian genre and in my opinion it was something that I loved to see happen. This is a must read for everyone. I promise you, you’ll enjoy it.


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[Review] The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)

Author: Richelle Mead

Publication: June 12th 2012 by Razorbill

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary (Amazon): Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students–children of the wealthy and powerful–carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

My Review: Okay, full disclosure before continuing: there will be copious amounts of squealing, arm flailing, gushing and capslock/exclamation point abuse in this review. That is the only way I con properly convey how I feel. Read at your own risk. 🙂

Oh. My. Goodness. This book. THIS BOOK. It’s been quite a while since I finished a book and then immediately turned around and flipped back through in order to reread various sections. There were just some moments that I absolutely adored and wanted to relive one more time before I passed the book off to my best friend.

If you still had any lingering doubts about Sydney as a narrator even after reading Bloodlines, well NEVER FEAR, The Golden Lily crushes them all. I love Sydney and her practical clothes, her vast intelligence, determination, and her courage. She has come a long way since her first appearance Blood Promise, and it’s fascinating to watch her warring emotions between how she feels about her friends, the vampires, and what her Alchemist rules and regulations demand from her. She’s not sure how to feel or if how she feels is right or wrong and I think we’ll see more of this as the series goes on.

Also, her naiveté when it comes to boys and social situations is frickin’ HIALRIOUS! It’s so endearing to watch this calm and logical girl try to rationalize dating and just fail so miserably. As astute as she is, she’s completely baffled and blind when it comes to romantic entanglements. It’s adorably infuriating to watch her, you just want to reach through the pages and shake some sense into her!

So, what we get in The Golden Lily that we didn’t really get in Bloodlines was Dimitri!! Words cannot express how excited i was to see the tall, dark, handsome Russian in a trench coat (does anyone else picture Spike’s Russian cousin or something? Or is that just me? Ahh, just me then…) grace the pages once again. I love watching interactions between Dimitri and Adrian, as it’s vastly entertaining how calm he can remain while Adrian flings zinger after singer his way. And, for all you Rose/Dimitri lovers out there, there’s a moment tucked away that will make you absolutely melt.

The storyline in The Golden Lily had me far more intrigued than I was in Bloodlines, and I was fascinated to see the research they were doing to determine why the Strigoi weren’t able to drink Sydney or Lee’s blood. Other than that I can’t go into too much detail about what happened without spoiling the plot of the book, so you’ll have to take more word on it that’s its all rather thrilling and throws Sydney totally off her game. It’s AWESOME.

Okay, so now that I’ve been good and given my thoughts on the book, let me get to what I’m really excited about. ADRIAN. This book has ADIRAN EVERYWHERE. Words cannot express how much I love Adrian and his snarky ways. He’s my all time favorite book crush (even if in real life I’m not big on binge drinkers and chain smokers, whatevs.) and he’s FANTASTIC. He’s so adorable and OBVIOUS about everything and it’s so cute to watch. Adrian has come a looooong way since the Vampire Academy days and I’m just so proud. He’s all grown up, but still just as smokin’ hot as ever.

And damn, does that boy have some good lines! I warn you, you may melt into a giant puddle of goo. Or maybe that’s just me.

I loved this book more than I’ve loved any other book in quite a while. It had me at Anna and the French Kiss levels of giddiness, which is saying something! If you’re a fan of Richelle Meade’s Vampire Academy and haven’t gotten around to this spinoff, what are you waiting for? Go get Bloodlines and The Golden Lily NOW!


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Throwback Thursday June 14th: Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books! It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. Through Throwback Thursdays THCW and NTFB hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

This week’s Throwback Thursday book is The Outlaws Of Sherwood by Robin McKinley.

Summary from Amazon: The classic tale of Robin Hood gets a new lift as real flesh-and-blood outlaws, on the lam from the gallows and the sword, fight for the sake of justice. Robin and his merry cohorts swing through the forest in these fresh additions to the timeless stories.

Why You Should Read This Book: Ever since I was a small child I’ve been fascinated by the Robin Hood myth. My mom tells me that I wore out my VHS copy of the Disney Robin Hood and it had to be replaced twice and as a three year old I insisted that she make me a Robin Hood costume for Halloween (complete with bow & arrows!). So, it’s definitely no surprise that my favorite Robin McKinley book is her retelling of the famous robber of Sherwood Forest.

Robin McKinley leaves her signature stamp on the classic tale by adding a few strong willed and independently minded women to Robin’s merry band of men. In this version Maid Marian is no shrinking violet and she often bests Robin at archery! I always appreciate the way McKinley lets her female characters take control right out of the mens hands and this book is certainly no exception.

The backstories that McKinley gives the various merry men flesh out these characters better than in any previous versions I’ve read, Little John, Allan-a-Dale and even Will Scarlett become more human and more engaging that you’ve ever seen.

If, like me, you have a soft spot in your heart for Robin Hood this is the re-telling to read, I plan on reading it for the twentieth or so time in the near future! Although, this has reminded me that I need to buy a new copy, as my copy is so well-read that pages fell out when I picked it up to flip through for this post. Oops?


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Waiting on Wednesday: June 13, 2012: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly me hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine (gotta love the name!). The idea is that it spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. So, here is my pick for the week:

The Crown of Embers
by Rae Carson
Publication Date: September 18, 2012

From Amazon:
She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.

Elisa is a hero. She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from both foreign realms and within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears once and for all, Elisa must follow the trail of long-forgotten–and forbidden–clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who–despite everything–she is falling in love with.

If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

This is the followup to Rae Carson’s debut novel The Girl of Fire and Thorns, an epic fantasy that details Elisa’s journey to becoming the Queen regent her new country deserves. I can’t wait to read the followup and see what is happening to Elisa once she’s taking on the role of regent and how this entwines with the destiny she is expected to fulfill.

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up The Girl of Fire and Thorns (check out my review if you still aren’t convinced you should read it) you really should. I doubt you’ll regret it when you do!


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