July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Servant of the Crown, The Impostor Queen, and The Shadow Queen

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and features books that we just can't wait to get our hands on!

Sense a theme? I'm getting my royal fantasy on in this week's "Waiting on Wednesday" post.

Servant of the Crown by Melissa McShane

Goodreads' description:

"Alison Quinn, Countess of Waxwold, is content with her bookish life—until she’s summoned to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Tremontane’s mother for six months. Even the prospect of access to the Royal Library doesn’t seem enough to make up for her sacrifice, but Alison is prepared to do her service to the Crown. What she’s not prepared for is Prince Anthony North, Queen Zara’s playboy brother, who’s accustomed to getting what he wants—including the Countess of Waxwold.

When the fallout from an unfortunate public encounter throws the two of them together, Alison has no interest in becoming the Prince’s next conquest. But as the weeks pass, Alison discovers there’s more to Anthony than she—or he—realized, and their dislike becomes friendship, and then something more—until disaster drives Alison away, swearing never to return.

Then Alison is summoned by the Queen again, this time to serve as Royal Librarian. A threat to Tremontane’s government, with her treasured Library at stake, draws Alison into the conflict…and into contact with Anthony once more. Can they work together to save the Royal Library and Tremontane? And can she open her heart to love again?

A quest to save the Royal Library. Hate-turned-to-love romance. A threat to the government. What is not to like here? Plus Sherwood Smith liked it, so there's that, too. This book has a very YA-fantasy-esque cover but I believe it's actually an adult novel.

The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

Goodreads' description:

"Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

I haven't read any of Sarah Fine's previous books, but I have had her on the blog as a guest blogger for Psychtember! Interested to see how the magic system is handled in this book, and also the social strata.

The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine.


"Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

I'm always up for a fairy tale retelling! In this case it's Snow White... but with dragons? Should be interesting... I haven't read C. J. Redwine's first series, but I've heard good things.

What books are you waiting for?

May 23, 2015

Short & Sweet: Bloodlines, Rivals in the City, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Nightspell

So it's been, um, about 3 months since I posted here... sorry, guys! All is well, I've just been super busy with school (and now my final internship)! Which means I have had little to no time for either reading (for fun) or blogging. But I have read a few books that I haven't reviewed, and I'm not sure if/when I will get around to writing up a review. I did put short blurbs of my thoughts up on Goodreads, though, so I figured I would post those here too. Without further ado...

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
8709527Very slow start to this one – things didn't really get going until about halfway through the book, but once they did my interest was caught. Sydney does not have the sort of bold personality/voice that Rose of the original VA series did, but I think her character could grow on me as the series continues. Plus, interested to see where things go with the Sydney/Adrian potential...
Verdict: 3.5 stars.


Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee
Sad that this was the last Agency book! I liked that some of the characters from the first book were brought back, and overall it was a pretty solid conclusion to the series. Plus, James is adorable. But there was very little of the usual Mary-James romantic banter in this one! :(
Verdict: 4 stars.

18080771Dark, and weird, and tangled... Despite this book being utterly fantastical in some ways, Neil Gaiman manages to touch upon very real thoughts and emotions. Interesting exploration of the adult/child power dynamic in particular. I kinda wish we'd seen more of the narrator's life in the present, to compare with the past. Also, I am left with a few questions, one being, whose funeral was he attending?
Verdict: 4 stars.
Nightspell by Leah Cypess
I still have a lot of questions about this one, especially why the author chose the ending she did. Unfortunately I found it rather anti-climactic after all that build-up. Also, the characters seemed to follow leaps of logic and come to conclusions at a pace that left me going, "huh?" Interesting, though, that the focus in this book is really on sibling relationships (rather than romance), and it certainly raises some thought-provoking questions about life, death, and being "undead." (I do still wish we'd been given Kestin's POV, however! I think that would have been fun.)
Verdict: 3 stars.

February 9, 2015

Guest Posting about My Fair Lady!

Why yes, I *am* still alive!

Just wanted to give a quick head's-up that I've got a guest post today over at Bring My Books. I'm chatting about the awesomeness of the film My Fair Lady, and I invite you to hop on over and join me!


January 5, 2015

Books I Got For Christmas...


How is Christmas over already?! *looks around, bewildered* *sighs* On the bright side, I have a whole lot more books than I did before the holidays! Including...

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
If You Follow Me by Malena Watrous
Literary Listography: My Reading Life in Lists by Lisa Nola (thanks to my friend back in BC for this one!)
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Thanks very much to my parents for getting so many of the top priority books on my wishlist!

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Banner of the Damned by Sherwood Smith
What Goes Around by Courtney Summers (this is a 2-book compilation of Some Girls Are and Cracked Up to Be)
Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons
A signed copy of The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell

The first four books I ordered for myself from BookOutlet (I couldn't pass up a $10-off Black Friday deal they had going on) and the last one the author herself generously sent to me, after I'd featured it as an All I Want for Christmas pick

Thank you so much, Hannah — I'm looking forward to reading it! :)

December 20, 2014

All I Want for Christmas... (8)

Every year my mom asks me to send her my book wishlist for Christmas, since it just isn't Christmas without books. In the hopes of getting some content onto this blog more regularly, I'll be posting my book wishlist picks on here.

If anyone would like to join in with picks from their own wishlist, please feel free to add your link in the comments :) And if you've read any of the books on my list, let me know what you thought of them (good, bad, or otherwise!)

This week's pick:

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
19486412From Goodreads:

"Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . .
  A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what?
  Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:   Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.   New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
  Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
I've read two of Liane Moriarty's previous novels — The Husband's Secret and What Alice Forgot — and particularly loved the latter. Moriarty does such a wonderful job of creating characters who feel real. Big Little Lies sounds like a bit more of a mystery than some of her other books but from what I've seen it's been getting good reviews, and I'm eager to check it out for myself!

What books are you hoping to find in your stocking this Christmas?

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