VD The Book Yogi

lover of artistic language and the language of art

December Wrap Up

A successful month, I think! Very proud I stuck to my planned TBR for December :D

Along with the novels below, I also finished up some books on Buddhism and Stoicism containing daily meditations that I've been reading throughout the whole of 2017. Throw in the children's books Everything Is Mama, Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada, and Llama Llama Red Pajama, and that's a December full of completed reads!

What I Read

A Court of Broken Knives | Anna Smith Spark

Published: (Print) August 15, 2017
Genre: Adult Fantasy
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Listened to this one as an audiobook, and loved the narrators. But I never really cared about the characters, and it didn't really have any real plot. By the end I saw clearly what the point was, though the journey was more a bunch of thrown-together action scenes on which we got to go along for the ride. I do have the hard copy of this as well, and read some of the chapters. The writing is different, not a technicality-focused editor's cup of tea. I see what the author did, recognize it as taking creative license and firmly grasping her unique style. But it won't be to everyone's liking.


Forest of a Thousand Lanterns | Julie C. Dao

Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 1.5 Stars

I had to hate-finish this book. I appreciated the setting, but was not interested in the story in the slightest. It is supposed to be a tale of how a wicked queen rises, the events in her young life that shaped her from good to evil. Xeifang starts out as a good, kind, doesn't-want-to-hurt-a-soul person, and the change from this person to the magic-lusting heart eater at the end was completely unconvincing. She didn't change slowly, or believably, it was just one moment she couldn't imagine taking the life of an innocent creature and the next she's eating the heart of her rivals. The one aspect that was present the entire novel was her obsession with beauty, instilled in her by her aunt her whole life as the only thing making her special. So I could believe this obsession with being beautiful driving her to justify the magic she uses, but everything else about this story was lack-luster. 


Furyborn | Claire Legrand

To Be Published: May 22, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars

Some books you just vibe with, and this one was 100% my cup of tea. Flawed characters you kind of hate/love, a story that connects across centuries, just the right amount of grim, and plenty of action. Also, this is a YA that read more on the adult side of the genre, which I tend to enjoy more (though I still have the pet peeve of certain content belonging in Adult fantasy).
Read the my full review here.

ARC provided by Sourcebooks and Fairyloot - many thanks!

January New Releases

There are four coming in January that I have on my radar, but it remains to be seen if they will make it to the TBR.

The Cruel Prince | Holly Black

Published: January 2, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy


"Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself."

Everless | Sara Holland

Published: January 2, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy


"In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself."

Reign of the Fallen | Sarah Glenn Marsh

Published: January 23, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy


"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?"

The Hazel Wood | Melissa Albert

Published: January 30, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy


"Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong."

January TBR*

*As usual, subject to change on a daily basis. I seem to take issue with being told what to read, including by myself.

A reading goal for me in 2018 will be to read less. Sounds odd, but I've been trying to focus on quality over quantity, and that means being a hell of a lot more selective on the books I buy. That also means STAYING AWAY from the hype train. Also, there's the not-so-little change in lifestyle that'll occur mid-April, and I'm anticipating even less reading time. Another 2018 goal is to only buy one new book a month, and read at least one of the books I currently own a month. That said, of course 4 of the 9 books I have on my 2018 wait-list happen to be publishing in January, so we'll see how well I stick to that one-book-buy-a-month thing.


The Girl In The Tower | Katherine Arden

Published: December 5, 2017
Genre: Adult Fantasy

*Currently Reading* I didn't get to this one in December, though it was the one I was most looking forward to! I wanted to make sure I finished all the other books I had pending in 2017 (like a dutiful, responsible book reader) before I let myself get sucked in.


"The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingalecontinues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop."


The Cruel Prince | Holly Black

(Info above)
After reading some trusted reviewers opinions on how much they enjoyed this one, I've allowed that hype-train to pick me up and pre-ordered. That's technically my one new book limit for January... 


Traitor's Blade | Sebastien de Castell

This will be my audiobook for January. This series/author has been on my TBR for a while so I'm glad to finally be starting.

Published: March 6, 2014
Genre: Adult Epic Fantasy


"Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters.

All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission. But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…"


A Gathering Of Shadows | Victoria Schwab

Published: February 23, 2016
Genre: Adult Fantasy

This will be my "currently-own" read for January...I'm ready for more Kell and Lila!


"It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift--back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games--an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries--a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall."

Furyborn | Thoughts

5 Stars.

Some books you just vibe with, and this one was 100% my cup of tea. Flawed characters you kind of hate/love, a story that connects across centuries, just the right amount of grim, and plenty of action. Also, this is a YA that read more on the adult side of the genre, which I tend to enjoy more (though I still have the pet peeve of certain content belonging in Adult fantasy).

The prologue was one that tells an end and a beginning, and I was hooked from the second page. For Rielle, whose past we know and ending we see right from the start, I was still interested to see her journey from the girl we meet in chapter one to the one we see in the prologue. I had SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. and it took the entire book to answer them all, but in the best ways. Some things I guessed, some things you know are inevitable since we already know Rielle's fate, and some things I thought I knew but still held a sliver of doubt until confirmed.

Rielle was more of the hate side of hate/love for me. She's cocky, knowing full well she is one of the prophesied queens and basking in the attention it is getting her. I didn't like her as a person, and wouldn't want to call her a friend if I knew her in real life. And that's what is so great about her - she felt like a real person I got to know and decided was not the kind I'd keep in my circles. When a character is able to make you forget they are only that, a character in a story, it's one of those times when you have to realize the impact an author was able to make on you, even if the reaction was dislike. I look at art the same way - a piece that makes you feel so strongly for or against it has done its job; it made you feelsomething. Plus, the author writes Rielle (and Eliana, but I'll get to her) in such a way that you accept them as they are and I, at least, still felt pity for her as the inevitable consequences of her actions start to play out. 

Eliana is a bit of a mystery, a character that would have been easy to suddenly have do a 180 from the bounty-hunter background we're given at the beginning to a "suddenly saw the light" heroine. Nope, she stands true to her upbringing, and there were things she did I disliked as well, but as a person she would be the one I'd want in my life. She's an unapologetic badass, looking for fights in too many of her encounters (but hey, she's got the skills to back it up), and every bit of what she does is to protect and provide for her younger brother and ill mother. She's both courageous and a coward, serving an Empire of evil to keep her loved ones safe while shutting off any feelings towards the good people she hurts by doing so. She keeps complicated emotions at bay and justifies her complacency with her situation by remembering the repercussions her family would suffer should she disobey.

Rielle and Eliana are two completely different people, their personalities jumping off the page. Legrand has done an excellent job of creating two identities uniquely their own.

I'm not going to say too much about the plot, even under a spoiler tag, as I think this deserves a read where you go in with questions. The questions were what drew me along, anticipating more answers on every page. But I enjoyed the world, the clear-cut system of rules for the elemental magic, and the stark differences shown between the time periods. There was more magic-building than world-building, even with a map and glossary, but I'm okay with it. The romance was definitely my style, more on the adult side and with a lot less whiny pining. There are way more important things going on in each of the MC's lives than if that guy is into them. 

I will note that I've seen some comparisons to Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, and aside from one side character named Valentine I really don't see the similarities. This book is far better written and put together, the characters much more believable and nowhere near annoying, the romance leaves out all of the angst, and there's the *little* difference that the plots are nothing alike. So really there's just the fact that they both have angels and half-angels, and if you're telling me that no one else can write about angelic beings I'll just *insert eye-roll here*. Especially because Furyborn's angels are definitely notthe angels you know. And there's that whole controversy surrounding Clare's originality in the first place...but I'll leave off.

ARC provided by Sourcebooks and Fairyloot - many thanks!

November Wrap Up

I've been on a bit of a hiatus lately, what with the realization life as I know it will be changed for good in April! I was surprised to find that morning sickness not only made me want to sleep through every day for months (avoid the nausea), but also that focusing any bit of attention too directly (on tv, the computer, writing, reading...) made the whole room spin for ages. Yes, even reading. The horror! So my TBR grew, and the long forced break also had the unintended side effect of a huge reading slump when I tried to pick up the next on my list. 

Thankfully, the sickness has passed, and I am hoping the reading slump is on its way out as well. I only got three books in last month, one of which was my first audiobook and another a HIGHLY anticipated debut that did not disappoint. 

What I Read

A slow month, but luckily two of the three were fantastic reads!

The City Of Brass | S.A. Chakraborty

Published: November 14, 2017
Genre: Adult Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars

The City of Brass was the Fall's most anticipated read for me, and I am beyond thrilled that it did not disappoint. I loved everything about it, from the Egyptian setting to the Arabian folklore to the all Muslim inspired cast of characters. Djinn and elemental magic, old family wars and politics, mysterious questions with even more mysterious answers (those questions that received answers, anyway)...plus main characters who have conviction, who are hard and flawed with demons in their pasts that they only half regret...all ingredients for a great read. Add in talented writing and concise storytelling, and I am one happy reader.


"Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. 

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. 

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. 

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . ."


The Language of Thorns | Leigh Bardugo

Published: September 26, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy Short Stories
My Rating: 5 Stars

Damn, I just love Leigh Bardugo’s style. While each of these tales has a familiar echo, she has crafted them perfectly in her own way, in a world I love returning to. The Soldier Prince is easily my favorite, but not so easily chosen is my second favorite from the others. 
I already know I will love returning to these tales on winter nights, and I promise you, Leigh; I will stir the pot.
This was a bonus special edition book in one of my Fairyloot boxes!


"Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves."


Long May She Reign | Rhiannon Thomas

Published: February 21, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 1 Star

I can't actually decide if I disliked this book on its own, or if I disliked listening to it. I spend a lot of time commuting in traffic and figured it was time to give an audiobook a try since it's a good 2 hours each day (more, if NY traffic is especially horrendous). I think I am leaning more towards I just disliked this story, although the narrator's odd pacing did not do it any favors. The main character was annoying to say the least, another typical "I was an outsider and am now thrust into a position I never asked for and must make people like me." The majority of the book focused on solving a mass murder, but the mystery was by no means an on-the-edge-of-my-seat nail biter. I barely cared for any of the characters or plot, and was thrilled to hear the last of the narrator's voice. 


"The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown."

November New Releases

Moving on to the books that released in November that intrigued me enough to make it to the daunting TBR longlist! I am trying to be more selective in what books I add to the list, simply because there are just too many. I'd rather try and find the few quality than consume the most quantity.

The only book released last month that was devoured instantly was the aforementioned The City of Brass. I will also include The Last Namsara as it was the November Fairyloot book, although technically that released in October and it will be a reluctant read at best. But I own it now, so onto the eventual list it goes!

The Last Namsara | Kristen Ciccarelli

Published: October 3, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy


"In 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."

December TBR*

*As usual, subject to change on a daily basis. I seem to take issue with being told what to read, including by myself. But I can at least start with the ones whose reading is currently in progress.

The Court of Broken Knives | Anna Smith Spark

Published: August 15, 2017 (print edition)
Genre: Adult Dark Fantasy

I have the print edition, but it was turning into one of those books on my nightstand that I was continually not picking up. Not because it had a bad start, and I love dark fantasy and want to get into the story, but just because it's one of those books with a different writing style and one of the POVs is somewhat boring. All things I can get past, if I just make the time to get through the beginning and get into the tale. Luckily, since I have a few free audiobooks included with my new trial, I decided I'd go ahead and get this one on audio to listen to as well as read when I'm not in the car. Going well so far! The narration is SO. MUCH. BETTER. than my first attempt at listening to a book.


"In this dark and gripping debut fantasy that Miles Cameron called "gritty and glorious!" the exiled son of the king must fight to reclaim his throne no matter the cost. 

It is the richest empire the world has ever known, and it is also doomed. Governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The Yellow Empire is on the verge of invasion--and only one man can see it.

Haunted by prophetic dreams, Orhan has hired a company of soldiers to cross the desert to reach the capital city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from the ashes can a new empire be built.

The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Young, ambitious, and impossibly charming, something dark hides in Marith's past--and in his blood

Dark and brilliant, dive into this new fantasy series for readers looking for epic battle scenes, gritty heroes, and blood-soaked revenge."


Forest of a Thousand Lanterns | Julie C. Dao

Published: October 10, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy

I received this in one of my FairyLoot boxes. Another one I started last month and have only made it through a few chapters. Nothing bad to say so far, just put it down and haven't had the urge to pick it back up. As it's started, however, it WILL be one that gets finished this month. I need to meet my reading challenge goal, after all!


"An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute."


Furyborn | Claire Legrand

Published: May 22, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy

Received this ARC as a bonus in my November Fairyloot box! The synopsis sounds great, I LOVE tales that play with time. Here's hoping it does not let me down!


"The 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."


The Girl in the Tower | Katherine Arden

Published: December 5, 2017
Genre: Adult Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Saving the best for last! This one is the last of my most anticipated releases for this year, and I CANNOT WAIT to read it. The Bear and the Nightingale is one of my favorite reads this year, and I was psyched to learn that the publication of this sequel was going to be a month earlier (I am pretty sure it was originally slated for January 2018). I'm going to make myself finish at least the two I'm currently reading before devouring this sequel, however, to make sure I'm not in too much of a book hangover afterward to read anything else. The early reviews from critics I trust and usually agree with are great, so I have high hopes! 


"The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingalecontinues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop."

And that's a wrap for November!