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Fall Wrap Up

Whoa - it’s been a while. So here’s a wrap up for the entire fall :)

What I Read

Spinning Silver | Naomi Novik

Published: July 10, 2018
Genre: Adult Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars



"Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders... but her father isn't a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife's dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers' pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed--and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it's worth--especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand."


Everless | Sara Holland

Published: January 2, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Info-heavy to start, but fast paced. Blood and time currency is interesting and sad, and the mysteries kept me turning pages. Some twists I guessed, others I was glad to be wrong about. Will read the sequel when it comes out in December!


"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."


White Stag | Kara Barbieri

ARC, Publishing: January 8, 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3 Stars

I enjoyed this story well enough, but felt it was full of cliche characters and used violence as the only means to move the story along. Violence in the present and the violent abuse the main character suffered in her past were constantly used to further the plot.

In all, each scene by itself was well-written, however the pacing was strange as they all felt disconnected. There were no breaks between each action scene to offer slower paced character development, and there was absolutely no world-building. I don't need a Tolkien or Martin style, but I need something more than a frozen world where goblins (just fae by another name) wear fawn pelts and enjoy killing babies everywhere.

Three stars because if I back away and look at the story from afar, I do like the plot idea, the system of power this species lives by, and especially how the story ended.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing!


"The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling."


Fear The Drowning Deep | Sarah Glenn Marsh

Published: October 4, 2016
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
My Rating: 3 Stars

Appreciated the setting in the Isle Of Mann and the mix of sea and land lore. Mystery was intriguing, but the characters felt extremely young though they are late teens.


"Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return. "


Sailor Moon: Eternal Edition | Naoko Takeuchi

Newly Published: September 11, 2018
Genre: Manga, Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

This is my first manga - fun to read in the different direction! This edition has some different translations than what I grew up with, but I liked the explanations the translators included at the end. My own misconception was I thought the whole edition would be in color so I was disappointed to find it was not. But the artwork is all still gorgeous!


"The guardians in sailor suits return in this definitive edition of the greatest magical girl manga of all time! Featuring an extra-large size, premium paper, and an all-new translation and cover illustrations by creator Naoko Takeuchi!

Teenager Usagi is not the best athlete, she's never gotten good grades, and, well, she's a bit of a crybaby. But when she meets a talking cat, she begins a journey that will teach her she has a well of great strength just beneath the surface and the heart to inspire and stand up for her friends as Sailor Moon!"


The Winter Of The Witch | Katherine Arden

ARC, Publishing: January 8, 2019
Genre: Historical Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars

We were warned since Bear that we would weep for a nightingale...

This conclusion is the most magical of the trilogy, and fittingly so as Vasya has come into herself and is beginning to truly understand who she is and the path she wants and needs to walk. I could not put it down - every question presented since the start of the tale had its answer and I was pleased with them all. I cried a few times, the hardest at the end with its bittersweet blend. 

I can't think of a more perfect way for this trilogy to have come to a close. I am amazed at the wondrous story Arden has woven. I love Midnight's reality-twisting existence, the answers found by the lake, the balance found in madness and magic and forgetting, and the bridge between old magic and new faith. I love the magic of the woods and the winter king's touch, Vasya's vulnerability and her strength, and the glance beyond the line of good and evil to find that even monsters can mourn.

And also, Ded Grib.

Huge thank you to NetGalley and Random House/Del Rey for supplying this ARC. I'll still be buying the final edition upon publication - this trilogy has easily become one of my lifetime favorites.


"Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all."


End of the Year New Releases

Still to come this year - only a couple on my radar.

Sailor Moon: Eternal Edition 2 | Naoko Takeuchi

Published: December 6, 2018
Genre: Manga 

I’ll be adding all of these new editions to my library!


"The guardians in sailor suits return in this definitive edition of the greatest magical girl manga of all time! Featuring an extra-large size, premium paper, and an all-new translation and cover illustrations by creator Naoko Takeuchi!

Teenager Usagi is not the best athlete, she's never gotten good grades, and, well, she's a bit of a crybaby. But when she meets a talking cat, she begins a journey that will teach her she has a well of great strength just beneath the surface and the heart to inspire and stand up for her friends as Sailor Moon!"


Evermore | Sara Holland

Published: December 31, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy 

I’ll be adding all of these new editions to my library!


"Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: not only are the stories true, but she herself is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.

The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Jules must delve into the stories that she now recognizes are accounts of her own past. For it is only by piecing together the mysteries of her lives that Jules will be able to save the person who has captured her own heart in this one."


November & 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.

Starless | Jacqueline Carey

Published: June 12, 2018
Genre: Adult High Fantasy

Started reading this a few months ago and I enjoy - but sometimes you’re just not into a book at that moment in time. So I’m hoping to finish by the end of the year.


"Jacqueline Carey is back with an amazing adventure not seen since her New York Times bestselling Kushiel’s Legacy series. Lush and sensual, Starless introduces us to an epic world where exiled gods live among us, and a hero whose journey will resonate long after the last page is turned.

Let your mind be like the eye of the hawk…Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him.

In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction.

If Khai is to keep his soul’s twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine."


The Lost Queen | Signe Pike

Published: September 4, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy

Currently reading!


"Mists of Avalon meets Philippa Gregory in the first book of an exciting historical trilogy that reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a powerful and, until now, tragically forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legendary character of Merlin.

Intelligent, passionate, rebellious, and brave, Languoreth is the unforgettable heroine of The Lost Queen, a tale of conflicted loves and survival set against the cinematic backdrop of ancient Scotland, a magical land of myths and superstition inspired by the beauty of the natural world. One of the most powerful early medieval queens in British history, Languoreth ruled at a time of enormous disruption and bloodshed, when the burgeoning forces of Christianity threatened to obliterate the ancient pagan beliefs and change her way of life forever.

Together with her twin brother Lailoken, a warrior and druid known to history as Merlin, Languoreth is catapulted into a world of danger and violence. When a war brings the hero Emrys Pendragon, to their door, Languoreth collides with the handsome warrior Maelgwn. Their passionate connection is forged by enchantment, but Languoreth is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of the High King who is sympathetic to the followers of Christianity. As Rhydderch's wife, Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way, her kingdom, and all she holds dear. "


I’m hoping to add more to the TBR, but we’ll see how much this new mama can fit in with the first holiday season with a little one!

Virginia DeFeo