June 30, 2013

The Book Lode (17)


There are quite a few memes to choose from now for showing the books we've gotten recently, so I thought to be fair I'd link my posts up to a different meme each month. I'm grouping the posts under the name "The Book Lode," and this month I'm linking up to The Sunday Post, hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Ruby Red review, Sapphire Blue review, and Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink review

For review:

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
Confederates Don't Wear Couture by Stephanie Kate Strohm
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Thanks to Raincoast Books and Thomas Allen & Son!


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown

Thanks to my friend and my mom for these!

June 23, 2013

Cross My Palm 2013: Sci-Fi YA

Last year I did a series of posts called "Cross My Palm", looking at recent and potential trends in YA. It got a good response so I've brought it back for 2013! This is just based on my own observations of books and what I've seen publishers/authors/other bloggers talking about. Once again I'm divvying up the books by genre, and first up this time is sci-fi YA.

Trends that popped up in last year's post and seem to be holding steady:

- Let's not kid ourselves: dystopian (and dystopian-fantasy blends) are still going strong. Some readers, publishers and agents may think that the dystopian genre has been satiated, but there are still plenty of books on this bandwagon being churned out. What with the popularity of the Hunger Games film franchise, I can't imagine this ending anytime soon. We're talking books like The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau, The Program by Suzanne Young, Acid by Emma Pass, and Control by Lydia Kang. And those are just the new ones! There are also series still in progress, with their latest instalments having been recently released or soon to be: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons, Champion by Marie Lu, Requiem by Lauren Oliver, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Resist by Sarah Crossan, The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe, Fractured by Teri Terry, Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi, Deception by C.J. Redwine... I could go on but you get the picture.

I'm not sure if apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic stories have managed to distinguish themselves yet from dystopian (they seem to get lumped into the same category in many Goodreads lists). Whether or not they're still hanging on the coattails of ever-popular books like The Hunger Games and Divergent, though, new ones are getting written and published. A couple upcoming books that look like they have less of a dystopian angle and more of a straight-up post-apocalyptic one are Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis and A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer.

- Hello, genetic and technological experimentation. Stories involving futuristic genetic abnormalities/mutations and experiments with technology seem to be enjoying a bit of a boost from the dystopian craze. (Makes sense: the society is controlling and dictatorial AND they want to put in a chip in your brain? Lethal combination!) If this is your style, you might want to check out books like Impostor by Susanne Winnacker, Uninvited by Sophie Jordan, The Rules by Stacey Kade, Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza, and Anomaly by Krista McGee.

- Spaced out from dystopian overload? Venture beyond the Earth's atmosphere. That's right, there's been a rise of YA sci-fi set in space, spearheaded chiefly, I think, by Beth Revis' Across the Universe series. Since then, we've had offerings from Amy Kathleen Ryan (the Skychasers series), Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars), Anna Sheehan (A Long, Long Sleep), Johan Harstad (172 Hours on the Moon), Marissa Meyer (the Lunar Chronicles), Deva Fagan (Circus Galacticus), Janet Edwards (Earth Girl), and upcoming ones like These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner and Starglass by Phoebe North. (Plus, there's a Goodreads list that's dedicated to this YA sub-genre.)

 New trends:

- Seeing double? Don't worry, it's just the latest in sci-fi YA. Be it clones, twins, or doppelgangers, two (identical) heads are better than one: Twinmaker by Sean Williams, Linked by Imogen Howson, Plague in the Mirror by Deborah Noyes, Impostor by Susanne Winnacker, and 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil are a few examples.

- For readers who ponder the "what-ifs" and "if onlys", you're in luck: parallel lives and alternate realities are all the rage. An abundance of books in this sub-genre has burst onto the scene, including Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young, Parallel by Lauren Miller, Pivot Point by Kasie West, Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke, Tandem by Anna Jarzab, and Relativity by Cristin Bishara. (Happily, this matches one of the "concept gaps" in my "Find the Gap" series from 2011!)

- Now you see me, now you don't. Maybe it's just coincidence, but has anyone noticed that invisible protagonists seem to be gaining traction? There's Silver by Talia Vance, Transparent by Natalie Whipple, and Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan. I'm interested to see if this is just a fluke of timing, or if something more will come of this potential trend!

Thoughts on these trends — are there any you love/hate? Any I've missed? What books have you read recently that fall into one of these categories?

June 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Defy and Cruel Beauty

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!

This week both my WoW picks have roses on the cover!

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Goodreads' description:

"A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?"

This sounds kind of like a Tamora Pierce-esque fantasy! Not sure how I'll feel about the love triangle, hopefully it's executed well. Also, how cool is it that the handle of the dagger on the cover is a rose?! (Probably would make it pretty difficult to wield, but hey, details...)

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Goodreads' description:

"Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom—all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him.

Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, she abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her. As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. But even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, could she refuse her duty to kill him?

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

The cover for Cruel Beauty was just revealed today, so I'm sure it'll be popping up on lots of WoW posts, but that's okay. Take a look at that cover! The rose and staircase entwining = awesome. Plus Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairy tales. Apparently there's also some Cupid & Psyche and Bluebeard in the mix, so I'm interested to see how Hodge weaves elements of these tales together while still making it a romance.

June 18, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: The Summer TBR Pile

The Top Ten Tuesday meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. I have a huge long list of books I need to read, and I know I won't get to all of them this summer, but hopefully I will make a dent in the pile. I'll be starting grad school in the fall (more on that in a separate post coming sometime soon), and since I'm not going to have much time for fun reading once September rolls around, I'd better make the most of the time I have until then!

1.) Reached by Ally Condie – this one is intimidatingly thick, but I need to finish this series! I hope this book pulls everything together in a thoughtful, logical conclusion to the trilogy.

2.) Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – I read the first few chapters of this one waaaaaay too long ago now. I wasn't really feeling in the mood for it then, but I need to try again. *crosses fingers*

3.) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maass – I've heard lots of awesome things about this one. Cinderella as an assassin sounds like fun!

4.) Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard – this one's been praised across the board. Plus, it's New Adult so it'll count towards the challenge! (Which I am way behind on...)

5.) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – yes, I still haven't read it. I know everyone says it is amazing but I also know it's sad, so I think that's part of the reason I've been holding off.
6.) Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier – another third and final book in a series. I wasn't as thrilled with Sapphire Blue as I was with Ruby Red, but I'm hoping Emerald Green will finish the trilogy off on a strong note.
7.) Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers – I really loved Grave Mercy, and I hope this follow-up is just as captivating!

8.) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – I started reading this one but found the beginning very confusing, and it just wasn't grabbing me so I put it down. I've seen so many glowing reviews, though, that I feel like I should pick it up again and give it another shot. (For those of you who have read it, do things get less confusing as the book continues?)
9.) Legend by Marie Lu – hoping this will be an action-packed dystopian with well-written worldbuilding and characters. I've seen mostly good things about it, and I know the sequel Prodigy is already out.

10.) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – I wasn't crazy about Cinder (I'm not the biggest sci-fi fan) but I do like fairy tales and I'm interested to see where Meyer takes the story.

So, which of these do you think should go to the top of the pile? And what books are on your summer TBR list?

June 17, 2013

The Lost Girl: A Close-Up Review

"Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. She was made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her "other," if she ever died. Eva spends every day studying that girl from far away, learning what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But sixteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything and everyone she's ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.
(from Goodreads)
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna


The basic premise of The Lost Girl: Eva was created to be a replica of someone else, and when that girl dies, Eva is forced to leave everyone she cares about to take up a completely new, fake life. The process of creating these "Echoes" is described in a rather vague, artistic, romanticized way in this first book, and I'm hoping to get more answers in the sequel. The expression "dust and bones" is used to describe what the Echoes are made from, but Eva also mentions "cells" at some point. Considering she is an exact look-alike for Amarra, and she appears to have "inherited" certain traits from Amarra's mother, I figure there must be some sort of manipulation at the genetic level going on. This process has been going on for something like 200 years, so I'm assuming that this is either set in an alternate reality or the future (as far as I recall it isn't made clear).

You'll have to suspend some disbelief for this one, because aspects of the worldbuilding strain credulity. For instance, the idea that Eva's consciousness is linked to Amarra's (as evidenced by dream-sharing) or the fact that the Weavers only implant the Echoes with a tracker once they're needed as a replacement. (Why don't they just stick trackers in them when they create the Echoes, so they can keep tabs on them from the very beginning and don't have to worry about escape attempts and that sort of thing?)

I was also a little skeptical about how the Weavers' job fits into the society. People know about the Echoes, but there are a lot of rumors, and the Echoes need to remain hidden so that vigilante hunters don't find and kill them. I'm not sure how feasible it would be to have people hiding these individual clones all over the place and hiring tutors/trainers for them. The whole thing is a bit far-fetched if you think about it in practical terms.

I thought the setting of India could have been highlighted more. From time to time certain aspects are mentioned (for example, the crowdedness) but I didn't feel like I was immersed in India, unfortunately.


Matthew: he may well be my favourite character of the book. I really loved him — he just brims with personality. He's so over-the-top sinister, with this dark sense of humor and a real bite to his words. His bravado, overwhelming self-confidence and suave style make him very entertaining. Admittedly, sometimes it's hard to take everything he's saying seriously — personally I didn't find him that scary — but at the same time you don't want to get on his bad side, because I expect he could back up his words. Matthew has a really acerbic, cynical way of looking at the world. He always acts like he's very much in control, even though it is sometimes all just a pretense. I definitely want to see more of him and his past to understand how he became who he is, and I'd love to see more of how he actually feels about Eva. Everything goes according to his whims, and he plays games a lot with people, but I think there is a kernel of emotion buried deep within him of the memory of love.

Eva: she's a little flatter than Matthew (although not necessarily in a bad way) — more timid, more naive. She definitely sees the darker side of life; I'd venture to say she's a pessimist, and often comes across as depressed, cautious, sad or morose. I think she views her situation quite realistically and realizes how hard things are going to be for her as well as Amarra's family. Since she's not the cheeriest narrator, it's a bit of a slog, being in her head. We can see from her perspective how difficult everything is for her. But I don't think there's any way you couldn't sympathize and align yourself with her because her situation is so bleak, and not of her own making.

Eva changes somewhat throughout, in both positive and negative ways. In the beginning she seems more objective, but she also sort of objectifies herself. I think she sees herself as something that's being used and she's okay with going along with it because she believes that's her purpose. But then as the book progresses she really starts to develop a sense of self and identity, standing alone from Amarra, and placing her own wants and needs above the Weavers' and her "destiny". She begins taking control of her life, not as content to sit back and let the Weavers do as they like.

Unlike Matthew, Eva has a real talent for assessing situations accurately, reading people and their emotions, and understanding others' perspectives. However, I think her ability to see both sides of an issue diminishes somewhat in the later part of the book, because she becomes so focused on her own survival that she starts to put other things in jeopardy. It seems like she starts to see this ability as a weakness/liability, since it means she's thinking about others' happiness and safety, which might make her less likely to prioritize her own. She gets a little overdramatic towards the end, becoming more of a typical YA protagonist, so in that regard I liked her better at the beginning. It almost feels like she's regressing in a way, behaving like an "angsty teen" as she lets her emotions leak to the surface — although perhaps it's also partly due to the fact that as the story goes on she's put in increasingly dangerous situations with greater stakes.

I can understand why she gets so desperate to save herself above all else, though, and in many ways I did like her a lot. She's very observant of both herself and others, and she places loyalty to friends quite high on her list of priorities. Despite the fact she's an Echo, she obviously has emotions and has really come to care about these people in her life — and she does the same for several of the people she meets in India.

Sean: he struck me as a lot more mature than 16, but I liked his romance with Eva. They're friends first, but at the same time it's a "forbidden" romance. He's her protector, someone she's known for the past couple years, whom she has grown quite close to and feels she can rely on. It's obvious he respects her as an individual and doesn't care that she's an Echo — he recognizes that she's her own person. To Eva, he feels like home to her; she feels safe and completely at ease with him. It's great to see that even if time and distance comes between them, they can pick up again where they left off and still have that connection.

Their opportunities for romantic interludes in Part 3 are limited because they're on the run, but they are obviously very devoted to each other. They feel so intensely about the other person that there doesn't need to be a lot of sexual stuff, because it's so clear that they're on the same page emotionally. (And when they do kiss, oh yeah...) They both want to protect each other, and it's nice to see that equality and balance in a relationship — that the girl doesn't always feel like she needs to be the one getting saved, and when she does get saved, it isn't always by the guy.

More minor characters: we don't get to know most of the side characters very well, but I liked what I saw of Eva's friend, Lekha, and I hope her character will get fleshed out in future books. We don't get to see her that often, but when we do her lighthearted nature and eccentricities burst off the page. She's quite unintentionally funny, and it helped to have that humour lightening things up, since the general tone of the story is rather bleak. I love the way she makes up and confuses words!


The themes The Lost Girl raises are fantastic, many of which echo Frankenstein, unsurprisingly. The Lost Girl touches on topics like: the ethics of creating life/playing God; nature vs. nurture; artifice vs. reality, and where the lines blur between pretense and truth; what family means; the power people who have died can still have on those who remain; the rights of a clone; the issues surrounding the decision to make a copy of your child and the emotional repercussions of that. This last I found particularly mind-stretching. If you order a copy of your child to be made (in case your child dies) does that prove your love, or does that prove you think they can be copied? Is it a stronger proof of your love for them if you let them go and don't get a copy, or if you love them so badly and are so desperate not to lose them that you want them in any form? Wouldn't it hurt more if you see someone who looks like your child every day and yet know, deep down, that it isn't them? I'd think so. I don't really understand the mindset of someone who would want to risk living with a copy who isn't the real thing, but it's certainly a very complicated, fascinating decision.

Given the potential for these themes to spark discussion questions, I think this would be a great pick for older YA readers (grades 10-12), perhaps even as a companion book to read alongside Frankenstein.


The first two sections of the book are relatively slow. In Part 1, the author introduces the reader to the world and Eva, and all of the challenges Eva grapples with just in being who she is. Part 2 thrusts Eva into India and having to fake a new life, so we see a lot of typical daily activities for a high-schooler. It's only in Part 3 that the pace picks up and things become more gripping. Overall, it isn't action-packed, but there are a few scenes that involve a lot of action, tension or both (mostly in the later part of the book). 

As with the worldbuilding, some suspension of disbelief is needed for the plot. There are some plot holes and far-fetched scenes. Spoilery examples, highlight to read: if being an Echo is illegal in India, how did Eva get the entire school not to squeal on her? The majority of them didn't like her, so I find it hard to believe that no one went to the police. And I thought it was a stretch that the hunter trusted high school kids about Eva's identity as an Echo...it seemed to cross the natural adult-teen divide in an implausible way. In particular, one element of the climactic scene gave me pause. Spoilers: I thought the plan involving the knife and Ophelia was pretty lame, and the scene at the stairs was not believable. Seriously, the guard could've disarmed Eva in a second if he wanted to...why would he feel threatened by a 17-year-old with a knife she doesn't know how to use? She didn't even have the knife at Ophelia's throat, just the flat of the blade pressed against her ribs! That said, I appreciated the twist with Ophelia's death.

Writing style:

The writing is first-class quality. While Sangu Mandanna uses some techniques I'm not a fan of (for instance, a bunch of short sentences all in a row), I think she gets across her points really well, and not usually in a preachy or condescending way, despite the fact that she's dealing with a lot of heavy issues. It's handled very maturely, coming off as more of an adult writing style than typical YA. She definitely doesn't spoon-feed the reader.

It's written from Eva's POV, but it's a bit of a distant first-person. A narrator discussing herself in 3rd-person can be a rookie mistake on the part of a debut author, but I don't think that's the case here. The more distant perspective works because Eva sees herself as a copy to be used, with a purpose she needs to fulfill. While she recognizes she has qualities that separate her from Amarra and make her different, she still sees herself (at least initially) as something that was created for a reason, rather than as a person in her own right.

The writing can seem a little overly dramatic in places, but Mandanna has an ear for a poetic turn of phrase and there are some very quotable sections.

Final verdict: 4 shooting stars.


June 13, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Sound of Letting Go (and Giveaway!)

I'm pleased to be taking part in the cover reveal for Stasia Ward Kehoe's novel, The Sound of Letting Go! First, here's the book summary:

"For sixteen years, Daisy has been good.  A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly.  A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad.  She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal.  Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy?  Should she side with her parents or protect her brother?  How do you know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?"
You can find Stasia on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/swkehoe

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/125253.Stasia_Ward_Kehoe

And now for the cover...

What do you guys think?

Plus, Stasia is hosting a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 10, 2013

Come See About Me: A Snapshot

Come See About Me by C.K. Kelly Martin

"Twenty-year-old Leah Fischer's been in a state of collapse since the moment police arrived on her Toronto doorstep to inform her that boyfriend Bastien was killed in a car accident. After flunking out of university and cutting herself off from nearly everyone she knows, Leah's saved by Bastien's aunt who offers her a rent-free place to stay in a nearby suburban town.

Initially Leah keeps to herself, with no energy for anyone or anything else, but it's not long before her nurturing neighbours begin to become fixtures in Leah's life and a much needed part-time job forces her to interact with other members of the community. And when Leah is faced with another earth-shattering event, her perspective on life begins to shift again. Soon Leah's falling into a casual sexual relationship with Irish actor Liam Kellehan, who has troubles of his own, even as she continues to yearn for her dead boyfriend. Clearly she's not the person she thought she was—and maybe Liam isn't either.
" (from Goodreads)

The subject: a 20-year-old girl dealing with the aftermath of the death of her boyfriend.

The setting: primarily the small town of Oakville, Ontario (yay for a Canadian setting! It's nice to actually get a lot of the references for once.)

Shutter speed: a snail's pace. Unfortunately, this book really dragged for me (admittedly I was in a bit of a reading slump, which probably didn't help matters). Perhaps the author wanted to keep the realism factor high, but most of what Leah discusses is very typical, day-to-day kind of stuff. Can I relate to having to go to the dentist or the supermarket? Sure. Do I want to read about it? ...Not really.  

What's in the background? Some true-to-life personal insights about things like grief and connecting to others. I think C.K. Kelly Martin nailed it in terms of highlighting these nuggets of truth without being patronizing.

Zoom in on: Leah's friendships (aside from Liam) and interactions with her parents. 

Also, it would've been nice to have some more humor (provided by side characters, if not Leah) since the tone of the story weighs quite heavily towards the serious, depressing end of the spectrum. 

Anything out of focus? The relationship between Leah and Liam. Their no-strings-attached, friends-with-benefits "understanding" made this less about romance and more about sex. I like a good dollop of romance, so I just didn't find their relationship swoonworthy. I also took issue with some of the decisions Leah made regarding Liam (spoilers, highlight to read: I'm sorry, but having unprotected sex with a virtual stranger, Leah? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???)

Ready? Say...

2.5 shooting stars. I liked the premise more in theory than in actual execution, so ultimately this was kind of a take-it-or-leave-it book for me.

Note: there is some mature content (including explicit sex scenes) and language in here, so this is definitely not a book for younger readers.

Disclaimer: I received this as an e-book for review from the author.  

This book counts towards my goal for the "New Adult" challenge.

June 5, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Kingdom of Little Wounds

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!

My WoW pick this week is:

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal

Goodreads' description:

"A young seamstress and a royal nursemaid find themselves at the center of an epic power struggle in this stunning young-adult debut.

On the eve of Princess Sophia’s wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches: brocade and satin and jewels, feasts of sugar fruit and sweet spiced wine. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, threatening the lives of the throne’s heirs, and a courtier’s wolfish hunger for the king’s favors sets a devious plot in motion.

Here in the palace at Skyggehavn, things are seldom as they seem — and when a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined with that of mad Queen Isabel. As they navigate a tangled web of palace intrigue, power-lust, and deception, Ava and Midi must carve out their own survival any way they can."

First, I will let you take a moment to drink in that amazing cover.

Second, how awesome is that title?!

And third, a power struggle set against the historical backdrop of a Scandinavian city, complete with a seamstress, a mute nursemaid and a mad queen? YES PLEASE.  

What books are you waiting for?

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