Book Haul · Reading Challenge 2017 · Reviews

October + November Book Haul

Hello World! Long time no blog post! Apologies for that, my October was absolutely mental and I spent November playing catch-up. Due to the fact that I missed doing an October haul, everything is going to combine! This one is going to be massive. I didn’t think that I had bought so many books, but then Black Friday hit, and here we are.

As always, I’ll have the books title, cover and publisher’s description, along with my thoughts about why I picked it up. Fair warning, some of the books listed are sequels, so there may be mild spoilers (*cough* Lady Midnight, One Dark Throne, The Empress and Thunderhead *cough*). You’ll also be able to see which books were sent to me by Publishers or the Author. Full disclosure is very important to me, and as always, you’ll only ever get my honest opinion. Onward!

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

33984056.jpgHe looks at her, concerned. “How do you feel?” She wants to say, Terrified. Instead, she says, with a faint smile, “Glad to be home.”

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet. 

This book! I’m so happy that I picked this one up. I had heard so many good things about this book, and it is consistently recommended at Indigo. I’m so ready to dive into this suspenseful thriller!

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks

34368390.jpgA collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.

A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country’s civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game—and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN’s newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!

Tom Hanks is one of my favourite human beings on planet Earth. He’s sweet, kind, intelligent and can tell an amazing story. His portrayal of Robert Langdon is brilliant, and I love that he is motivated by both politics and literature. So when I found out he was writing a collection of short stories, that would be similar to those he had written previously, I lost my mind. I bought it the day it came out and I haven’t looked back. My review will be up within the week!

The Roman Affair by Karen Swan

34490875.jpgAnother compulsive, page-turning novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Paris Secret.

The glamorous capital city of Italy is brought to startling life in The Rome Affair, a compelling summer novel by Karen Swan.

1974 and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At twenty-six, she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can’t change it.

2017 and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. When she finds a stolen designer handbag in her dustbin and returns it, she is brought into the orbit of her grand neighbour who lives across the piazza – famed socialite Viscontessa Elena dei Damiani Pignatelli della Mirandola. Though the purse is stolen, Elena greets the return of the bag with exultation for it contains an unopened letter written by her husband on his deathbed, twelve years earlier.

Mutually intrigued by each other, the two women agree to collaborate on a project, with Cesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Cesca in her thrall. But when a priceless diamond ring found in an ancient tunnel below the city streets is ascribed to Elena, Cesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena’s life.

I love Karen Swan. I’ve read every Christmas-themed book that she’s ever written. Christmas had begun to not feel like a holiday unless I’m curled up with a cup of tea, a blanket, and a Karen Swan book. This year, I’ve decided to read both her new Christmas novel (to be hauled in December) and The Rome Affiar. I love Italy, it’s one of my favourite places I’ve ever been. SO when I saw that she had written an Italian romance/mystery I rushed out to buy it. If you’ve never read a Karen Swan book before, please go pick any of her books up. You’ll love her work.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

25494343.jpgIn a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

I’ve previously hauled this book, but it came out in paperback (which the rest of my series collection is in) and I’m all about that spine. YAY!

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns #2)

29923707.jpgThe battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

I absolutely love this series. Kendare Blake is killing it, and I am so so SO excited to dig into this much-anticipated sequel! Thank goodness we’re getting four now, and not the two originally planned.

Discovering Tudor London by Natalie Grueninger

34734552.jpgThis engaging and practical travel guide takes you on a journey through the best of Tudor London, to sites built and associated with this fascinating dynasty, and to the museums and galleries that house tantalizing treasures from this rich period of history. Explore evocative historical sites, including the magnificent great hall of Eltham Palace, the most substantial surviving remnant of the medieval palace where Henry VIII spent time as a child, and the lesser-known delights of St. Helen’s Church, dubbed the “Westminster Abbey of the City” for its impressive collection of Tudor monuments. Photographs, maps, and visitor information, together with an informative narrative, bring the most intriguing personalities and stories of the 30-plus sites across Greater London vividly to life. This a must-have companion for both those planning their own “Tudor pilgrimage” and for the armchair traveler alike.This ARC was sent to me by The History Press Publishing on NetGalley. I’m so excited to have received this travel guide to Tudor London! Part history of Tudor England, part London travel guide, this book looks absolutely incredible. I’ve read Natalie’s previous work, and used it while touring London, so I was very excited to have this book sent my way.

Forgotten Violets by Martin Niewood

36458311.jpgAt eighteen, Meadow Noone has endured more horror than most people witness in a lifetime. After escaping her captor’s cellar, she realizes that this was not the end of her problems; it was the beginning. Rescued from the lifeless tundra, she is arrested for a crime she didn’t commit. Feigning amnesia, she is determined to hide her secret, a secret too terrible to reveal.

In a place where nothing is as it appears, her trial in Thornbridge is unnerving, as the formidable interrogator, Quinn Cerpen, knows more than he is letting on. Pursued by real and legendary demons, Meadow’s enemies are closer than she could imagine for Aiden Rose, the monster of the tundra, is always watching.

With no one to turn to, she relies upon her friends, Parker and Elizabeth, to retain her sanity. Overwhelmed by anxiety she succumbs to Elsyn, a mysterious and addictive fruit. She wonders if the Elsyn is powerful enough to free her from the past that haunts her. Before long, she realizes that there is more to this sinister plot than her abduction and that the Elsyn is part of the puzzle.

Forgotten Violets is the story of Meadow’s journey through a psychological landscape of deceit and betrayal that causes her to question her relationships and beliefs. She knows that she is changing but changing into what?

This ARC was sent to me via-NetGalley. When I read the description for this novel I was super interested. The reviews are varied, but I feel like this could be a pretty good read. I’m excited to get started.

The Empress by S. J. Kincaid

33652251.jpgIt’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?

This ARC was provided to me by Simon and Schuster Canada, and I am so grateful! The Empress is the sequel to The Diabolic, which is one of my favourite YA Science Fiction novels to date. I was so excited to receive this ARC and my review will be going up in the coming days.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

34323570.jpgThe stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

This ARC was provided to me by SourceBooks Fire. I’ve received two ARC copies of this book now (one through NetGalley and the other through FairyLoot), and I cannot get enough of this book. Thank goodness it’s going to be a series, I honestly don’t know what I would have done if this had been the only book. If you have a chance to read this book, jump on it. I absolutely loved it. My review will be up in the next week.

A Bargain in Silver by Josie Jaffrey

35899385.jpgIf the price of safety is slavery, would you bargain your life? 

A Bargain in Silver is book one of Josie Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London. 

A deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience. It’s not a deal that Emmy’s willing to make, but as her world burns around her she finds herself in the arms of the enemy and the line between oppressor and saviour begins to blur. 

After an attack by the infected, Emmy is rescued by the handsome Drew who introduces her to the world of the Silver. Desperate to escape subjugation and confused by her attraction to him, she gathers what remains of her surrogate family and plans to make a break for freedom. 

But despite her efforts to resist, she is drawn further into the intrigues of the mysterious Silver through the agency of their ruler, the Primus: Solomon. Emmy refuses to submit to the cold and detached Primus and an attempt on her life makes it clear that he is unable to protect her from the political machinations of his race. 

As the connection between them deepens she must choose between her desire and her will to rebel, but can she trust his intentions when everyone is after her blood?

This book was provided to me by the author through LibraryThing. The description for this novel was super interesting to me. I’m heavy into paranormal romances (I blame my Junior High affection for Twilight and Fallen), so when I had the opportunity to review this self-published book, I jumped at the chance. Normally, I don’t review or accept self-published work, but I chased this one down based on the description.

The Road to Ever After by Moira Young

29429171.jpgPart Benjamin Button, part Harold and Maud, part Brian Selznick and part Neil Gaiman, this is a unique, magical story that will draw readers in and make them fall in love with both characters.

Davy David is a thirteen-year-old orphan, who lives in the bushes in a town ruled by a strict minister, Reverend Fall. A talented artist, Davy loves to draw pictures of angels in the dirt, in the early hours of the morning before the townspeople are awake. He spends his days on his own, except for a small dog, who has attached himself to Davy, often going to the library to find inspiration for his pictures of angels. One day, after chasing after a ball for some of the town’s boys, he finds himself in the yard of the old boarded-up museum, now rumoured to be the home of a witch. The witch is Miss Elizabeth Flint, an elderly woman who has a proposition for Davy: drive her to her childhood home, where, it turns out, she has made the decision to die.

This book was sent to me by Puffin Books Canada through LibraryThing. This book sounded so cute and wonderful, and very similar to Jeff Zentner’s Goodbye Days. I’m very excited to start reading this beauty!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Thou shalt kill.

28954189.jpgA world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

I was sent Thunderhead by the publisher, so I went out and grabbed the first book in the series, Scythe. So far, I really like it. Very original, and makes me slightly creeped out even more by death?

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

33555224.jpgRowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

This ARC was provided to me by Simon and Schuster Canada through NetGalley. This sequel to Scythe, the first book in the Arc of Scythe series, looks and sounds incredible. I loved the first book (review coming soon), and I cannot wait to dive back into this world.

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

22752127.jpgDill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill’s only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia, neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending- one that will rock his life to the core.

Jeff Zentner is one of my favourite authors that I’ve read in the past year. I was sent an ARC of Goodbye Days, his 2017 release, by Tundra, and ever since then I have been looking for a copy of The Serpent King. Finally, I found one at my local Indigo (six bucks hardcover!!!) and am so freaking excited to start this book.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

30969741.jpgIsobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Originally, I picked up this book because of Charlie Bowater’s beautiful cover art. The description intrigued me, as it sounded very much like Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses, which is one of my favourite book series of all time. I finished this book earlier in the month, and you can find my review of it here. 

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

29622131.jpgA banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

This book’s cover is originally what made me pull it off of the shelf. Then, once I had read the description, I knew that I had to take this book home and devour it. After reading it in a night, I knew I had a new series I had to follow. While this book is not without its flaws, I’m interested to see where DeStefano goes with this storyline. My review will be up in a few days.

Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything  by Aly Raisman

35523654.jpgDiscover Aly Raisman’s inspiring story of dedication, perseverance, and learning to think positive even in the toughest times on her path to gold medal success in two Olympic Games–and beyond.

Aly Raisman first stepped onto a gymnastics mat as a toddler in a “mommy & me” gymnastics class. No one could have predicted then that sixteen years later, she’d be standing on an Olympic podium, having achieved her dreams.

But it wasn’t an easy road to success. Aly faced obstacle after obstacle, including naysayers who claimed that she didn’t have the talent to compete at an elite level and classmates who shamed Aly for her athletic body. Through it all, Aly surrounded herself with supportive family, friends, and teammates and found the inner strength to believe in herself and prove her doubters wrong. In her own words, Aly shows what it takes to be a champion on and off the floor, and takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey before, during, and after her remarkable achievements in two Olympic Games–through her highest highs, lowest lows, and all the moments in between.

Honest and heartfelt, frank and funny, Aly’s story is enhanced with never-before-published photos, excerpts from the personal journals she’s kept since childhood that chronicle memorable moments with her teammates, and hard-won advice for readers striving to rise above challenges, learn to love themselves, and make their own dreams come true.

I absolutely love Aly Raisman. I think she’s a brilliant role model for young girls, and an intelligent, beautiful and passionate person who is going to do amazing things. When I found out she was writing a book, I was very excited. I’ve begun reading it, and I’m a fan of how she’s written all aspects of her life – both positive and negative.

A Darker Shade of Magic(Collector’s Edition) by V. E. Schwab

34496775.jpgKell is one of the last Antari―magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes―Red London―and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

I finally bought this book! All anyone has told me about this series is positive and that I’ll die when I read it. I’m so excited to dive into this.

London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton

30532736.jpgA New City A New Start. Same Old Demons.

Your flight is now boarding! Join Alex Sinclair for a life-changing, trans-Atlantic journey. London Belongs to Me is a coming-of-age story about friendship, following your dreams, and learning when to let go … and when to hang on.

Meet Alex, a recent college graduate from Tallahassee, Florida in love with London, pop culture, and comic cons. It’s not easy being twenty-one-years-old, and Alex has never been the most popular girl. She’s an outsider, a geeky fangirl … with dreams of becoming a playwright in a city she’s loved from afar, but never visited. Fleeing America after a devastating betrayal, she believes London is where she’ll be understood, where she belongs. But Alex’s past of panic attacks and broken relationships is hard to escape. When her demons team up with a jealous rival determined to destroy her new British life, Alex begins to question everything: her life-long dream, her new friends, and whether London is where she truly belongs.

This books cover caught my eye, and then description caught my heart. I love London so, so very much. It’s one of my favourite cities on the planet and I’m currently applying to grad schools there. This book is amazing. I loved every sentence of it. Alex feels like me, written perfectly into fiction. Jacquelyn Middleton has written (in my opinion) a masterpiece and I’m obsessed. My review will go up within the month, and I’m awaiting for my copy of the sequel to arrive on my doorstep.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

8667848.jpgA richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery, so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks, but her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries–and she’s the only creature who can break its spell.

I’ve been told several times that this series has to be on my list. I’ve finally gone and picked up the first one, and am readying myself to read it. Hopefully, I’ll finish this in December!

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

32667458.jpgIn the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

I had made so many bets to people that the November Fairyloot book was going to be The Last Namsara, and I was right! I opened the box and jumped for joy when I saw this inside. Kristen Ciccarelli is a Canadian author, which made me want to read it even more (Canadians stick together!), and the description was so, so good. I’m itching to read it, so look for a review very soon!

*All books provided as Advanced Reader Copies will be changed to their final cover upon publication, and reviews will be added to the website following this post.

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