February was a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least, and did not go as planned on the reading front. I'm still a little confused as to how it is already March...Check out what I did read below!
What I Read
The Cruel Prince | Holly Black
Published: January 2, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars
I went into this knowing full well all the hype, and my 2018 declaration to specifically avoid hype. I expected it to be good, I expected to like it, therefore throwing aside two of my other usual cautions when going into YA fantasy.
A few chapters in, I was thinking “oh no, I don’t think I am going to enjoy this.” Fast forward 5 hours of a Saturday that needed to be far more productive in house work and errands, and I turned the last page and despaired at there not being more.
Safe to say The Cruel Prince was not at all what I expected, and yet met my expectations of being not just good, but to my liking. Some betrayals I saw coming, even if I did not have them completely figured out. I trusted no one, and that served me well. Well, I did trust Jude, and even she had some twists for me. Faerie is a dangerous world, and one truth never wavered: you have be dangerous to survive there.
Aaaaand that's it. That's all I read. I technically did start a re-read of A Wrinkle In Time as planned, but since I'm only 50 pages in I really don't think I can count that as a February read at this point.
March New Releases
I don't have anything on my radar for this month, but I did decide I might give one technically released in February a shot, so we'll list that one here.
The Belles | Dhonielle Clayton
Published: February 6, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
Caved and jumped on the hype-train, but only after another trusted reviewer marked this as worth-a-go.
"Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.
But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.
With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever."
*As usual, subject to change on a daily basis. I seem to take issue with being told what to read, including by myself.
A Wrinkle In Time | Madeleine L'Engle
Published: January 1, 1962
Genre: YA Fantasy Classic
Started in February, but as that month passed by in a blink, it's staying on for March.
"Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government."
Knight's Shadow | Sebastien de Castell
Published: March 5, 2015
Genre: Adult Epic Fantasy
My last month of driving into the office before little prince gets here, so I'll try to get this one in for my March audiobook.
"Following his beloved debut, Traitor's Blade, Sebastien de Castell returns with volume two of his fast-paced fantasy adventure series, inspired by the swashbuckling action and witty banter of The Three Musketeers. Knight's Shadow continues the series with a thrilling and dark tale of heroism and betrayal in a country crushed under the weight of its rulers' corruption.
A few days after the horrifying murder of a duke and his family, Falcio val Mond, swordsman and First Cantor of the Greatcoats, begins a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland."
Freedom's Slave | Heather Demetrios
Published: February 28, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
This is staying on as my "currently-own" read for March. I started this trilogy early last year and liked it well enough - didn't love it, but didn't dislike it by any means. Time to finish (for real this month).
"An Empress Fighting for Her Crown
After three long years in exile, Nalia is ready to return to her homeland and sit on the throne that is rightfully hers. But the gods might have other plans. Forced to endure untold horrors on the journey to Arjinna, Nalia learns that it will take more than cutting down the tyrant Calar to get her crown.
An Army Fighting to Survive
Raif’s return to Arjinna as the commander of the revolution against Calar and her army isn’t as smooth as he’d hoped. Though he has more soldiers than ever before, his love for Nalia is losing him the trust of his comrades...and the war. But little does the resistance know that insurrection is brewing among Calar’s own ranks—and from the one person she trusts the most.
A Land Worth Fighting for
Arjinna is dying—Calar’s evil experiments with dark magic and the strength of her own psychic powers threaten to destroy the land of the jinn. Is Nalia and Raif’s enduring love enough to transform and rescue their homeland? Will they be willing to save the realm, no matter the cost?"
Reign of the Fallen | Sarah Glenn Marsh
Published: January 23, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
IF I get my act together and finish the books I should have read in February, then my new purchase of the month will likely be Reign of the Fallen. Necromancers sound like a nice change of pace from all of the fae plots (though I will always love those).
"Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.
A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?"