No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne- ARC Review

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War is coming, and it’s gonna be Pell.

On one side stand the gnomes: smol, cheerful, possessing tidy cardigans and no taste for cruelty.

On the other side sit the halflings, proudly astride their war alpacas, carrying bags of grenades and hungry for a fight. And pretty much anything else.

It takes only one halfling bomb and Offi Numminen’s world is turned upside down—or downside up, really, since he lives in a hole in the ground. His goth cardigans and aggressive melancholy set him apart from the other gnomes, as does his decision to fight back against their halfling oppressors. Suddenly Offi is the leader of a band of lovable misfits and outcasts—from a gryphon who would literally kill for omelets to a young dwarf herbalist who is better with bees than with his cudgel to an assertive and cheerful teen witch with a beard as long as her book of curses—all on a journey to the Toot Towers to confront the dastardly villain intent on tearing Pell asunder. These adventurers never fit in anywhere else, but as they become friends, fight mermaids, and get really angry at this one raccoon, they learn that there’s nothing more heroic than being yourself. (taken from Amazon)

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. This book will be available for purchase on April 16th of this year

I was so excited to receive this book, because I loved the first book in the Pell series (Kill the Farm Boy). I was hopeful that this would continue in the fun vein of the first, and I was not disappointed.

This fantastic book not only turns classic fantasy tropes upside down, it shakes their pockets for loose change. I loved it! It was chock full of puns, ridiculous situations, and hilarious characters.

Offi, the emo gnome might very well be my favorite. There’s nothing like a cute little gnome wearing gothic blacks, and rolling his eyes, to make a person chuckle. Reading his interactions with Onni was a lesson in how funny tweaking words here and there can be.

The writing was fantastic, the story was quick-moving and funny as Pell, and I honestly can’t think of a single thing I’d change. I enjoyed this book even more than the first, and that’s saying something. I’m still grinning, thinking about prophetic cabbages…

If you enjoy quirky books, word plays, and a healthy dose of humor, this book is for you.

Dragon’s Truth by Leanne M. Pankuch- ARC Review

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Fourteen-year-old Rhyannon dreams of dragons, wizards, and magic. She feels constrained by her ordinary life and overshadowed by her beautiful sister Elspeth. When Elspeth is kidnapped, Rhyan embarks on a journey to save her sister and face the evil threatening her world. She finds friendship, love, and the magic and power she’s been craving–but she also discovers a growing darkness within herself. Will she save Elspeth? Can she control her abilities? Will she choose the path of light? Or will she slip into the dragon’s darkness? (taken from Amazon)

Many thanks to Netgalley for providing me with this ARC, in exchange for my honest opinions.

I loved this book! It was obviously influenced by works such as The Hobbit, as well as Celtic myths, yet was completely its own. This took me on an adventure and was written so skillfully that I was immediately invested in the characters.

And what a fantastic cast of characters! I especially liked Kevin. His backstory was fascinating, and he proved to be both a deep character, and an important addition to the story line itself.

I’m a big fan of books where the journey is just as important as the destination, sometimes even more so. This was one of those wonderful stories.  Rhyan had to not only complete her quest, but discover who she is. The stakes steadily raised as the story progressed, and that kept me hooked.

The fact that it was a quest meant that the author’s world had to be fully thought
out and developed, or else the book wouldn’t be believable. She succeeded magnificently in that. Not only was the geography all figured out, but the many different peoples as well.

If you enjoy a good fantasy, with skilled story telling and well written characters, this book is for you.

 

Shadow’s Voice by Natalie Johanson- ARC review

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Rose Ula is on the run from her past and anyone who might know her. She wants nothing more than to disappear and live a simple life but when a dying King’s messenger begs her to complete his mission she cannot turn away. Now she must make the dangerous journey to the castle and face capture to get the information to the King. Someone seeks to overthrow the King. Rose must rely on her determination, tenacity, and the very shadow magic she’d hoped to leave in her past; magic most have never seen before.

It soon becomes clear her King’s life is not the only thing in danger as Rose finds herself torn between her desire to run and her desire to help her King; the unassuming man who is inspiring something in Rose that is more dangerous than anything else she can think of…trust. Something about this King has Rose lowering the guards she’s had all her life, telling him secrets no one knows.

Her voyage unfolds into a battle of life and death. Rose must struggle with her own demons and fears to realize who she is and more importantly, to accept who she is. Ancient secrets long forgotten and old magics never known to exist come into play and soon Rose finds herself reliving an ancient conflict long thought gone. The safety of her King and kingdom are at risk; war looms around the corner if she fails. Can Rose face the past that haunts her to gain a future that includes friends, family, and possibly love? Or, will Rose become consumed by the shadows that would claim her? (taken from Amazon)

First, I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me with this book, in exchange for an honest review. I have a few thoughts that I’m going to try to get out in a way that makes sense.

I’ll be honest: I didn’t love this book. I had some problems with the word usage. Several words were used often enough that it was noticeable and distracting. Words such as “drawl,” that are usually used sparingly, if at all, were used quite a lot more than I would have liked. That is just my personal preference. However, I felt that if those words were interspersed with others a little better, they would have been less of a distraction from the book.

It also seemed as if the author has something against using pronouns. Proper nouns were used a lot, even when a pronoun or differently worded sentence would have served better. I don’t know if that’s something the editor would suggest changing, or if it’s just that the author’s writing style didn’t jive with me.

I did like that the story started up right away. This was a fast-paced book, full of action. Rose was tough and self-sufficient, and her brand of magic was incredibly unique. I think what I liked best about the book though, was Micah’s relationship with Rose. He was the most believable of the characters and a good addition to the story.

While far from being a horrible book, it’s probably not one that I’ll go out my way to look for a sequel to.

Have you read it? What are your thoughts?

The Liebster Award

2019 liebster award

Thank you so very much for nominating me for this award,  waytoofantasy. This is my first award nomination, and it made my day!

The Liebster Award Rules

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

    If there was a book that ticked all the boxes of stuff you liked, what would it be about or have in it?

    This is a hard one, because I like so many different kinds of books. As long as the story is cohesive and the characters are believable and interesting, chances are I’ll find something to like about the book. That being said, I love dragons, a bit of a dreamlike quality, magic, an original plot line, and I love it when the characters are so well written that it feels like the ending of the book isn’t really the ending, like it’s just continuing off the page.

    What’s the last TV show/movie you watched and loved?

    Killing Eve. It’s about a female MI6 agent who has the theory that an extraordinarily dangerous killer is actually female, instead of the male everyone is looking for. What ensues is a fascinating game of cat and mouse-but who’s the cat, and who’s the mouse? Since watching it, I’ve learned that it’s based on a book series called Codename Villanelle. I’ve added it to my ridiculously long tbr list.

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    Have you ever written a book or thought about writing a book?

    Many times, especially children’s books. But honestly, I wouldn’t be a very good author. I’d get ahead of myself and my story would end up not making much sense.

    What’s your favorite comfort food?

    I love cheese and crackers, and tortilla chips and cheese. Hmm…there’s a bit of theme here. Usually after a long day, though, I want an iced coffee based drink that tastes absolutely nothing like actual coffee.

    Describe an ideal day.

    Whatever I’d be doing would be with my husband and kids for at least half the day, then just with my hubby for half. I’d love to go somewhere new and find cool little bookshops (I think the idea of driving across country and looking for little bookstores that have a book cat would be wonderful), and hidden gem restaurants, but I also would love to go hiking again. I moved from a state that had beautiful mountains to a state the has the ocean. While the ocean is pretty, I’m not a beach girl and I really miss hiking.

    What is your most prized book in your collection and why?

    Ooh, this is a hard one! I have a copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends that is the first book I remember picking out to buy myself. I bought it at an elementary school book sale, and it has the principal’s initials on the inside to prove that it was paid for. It’s a little trip down memory lane. Or, it could be Goblins by Brian Froud. Years ago, my husband and I went to see a move: he said he needed to run to the restroom, and ran across the entire mall to the bookstore, bought the book for me, hid it under his coat for the entire length of the movie, and surprised me with it afterward. It made the book twice as special.

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    Vanilla or chocolate?

    Neither, really. I prefer mocha or cappuccino flavors.

    Do you have pets, if so tell us about them.

    I don’t, although I’d love to have a couple of cats.

    What is your favorite genre of books to read and why?

    I’m partial to fantasy. I love the feeling of leaving the ordinary behind. There’s something special about going on a literary journey like that.

    Why did you decide to start blogging?

    I love talking about books, to the point where I’ll almost waylay someone to ask what they’re reading or to recommend a favorite. Not to be too self-satisfied; I’m pretty decent at recommending books that I think someone will like based on their personality, and I’m not wrong often. My husband encouraged me to start a book blog so that I could make new bookish friends, get suggestions, and basically just discuss all the amazing things about books.

    What is your dream job?

    I’m kind of already doing it: I’m a stay at home mom to two wonderful kids. If I ever go back to a job that actually pays me (I keep saying I need a raise), I would like to be a book editor.

    11 Random Facts About Me:

    1.  I have trichophobia, which is phobia of hair, especially loose hair. I hate touching it. Being a hairstylist is my nightmare job. Oddly enough, I love having my hair done. But, guess what: Tesla had it too. I figure this just means I‘m a genius (laughs at self).

    2.  I homeschool my oldest. He had a disastrous foray into pre-k, and homeschooling him works better for his learning needs. I can go at his pace, which is fantastic: he was reading at an eighth grade level in first grade.

    3. Despite being a rather quiet introvert, I love hard rock and metal music. There’s nothing quite like singing along to my angry songs after a hard day.

    4. I’m a major Browncoat. Firefly is amazing, and so is Serenity. I have even read the comics, despite the fact that my brain struggles to process the small print with the big colorful artwork. Which leads me to my next “about me”, and the reason I struggle to process comics:

    5. I have grand mal epilepsy. I was diagnosed with it years ago. Thankfully, at this point it’s mostly under control. I just have to be careful to avoid strobe lights, smoke machines, and to try to get a decent amount of sleep (again, I’m laughing: I have a toddler who still wakes up multiple times a night).

    6. I despise green beans. I even have a patented “green bean face.” I’m an adult, so darn it, I don’t have to eat them! Bwahaha!

    7. I enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons. It’s fun, and I love using my imagination. Just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I can’t still be creative.

    8. I love Frostbeard Studios’ literary candles. At the moment, my favorites are Winter Keep, Sherlock’s Study, and Stay Home and Read.

    9. I have three siblings. My youngest also blogs: she’s a mommy blogger.

    10. I don’t actively watch sports on TV (we don’t get channels, but do quite well with streaming movies and TV shows), but I get way too excited when I do catch a hockey game. It’s a wee bit intimidating if you don’t know me.

    11. I collect dragons. Figurines, artwork, plushies, you name it. I love them and have for years.

    Nominations:

    @RoseMarie https://booksandstuff.blog
    https://lightofthebookworm.com/
    https://princessandpages.wordpress.com/
    https://theelvenwarrior.com/
    https://spasciuti.com/
    https://crooksbooks.blog/
    https://manisbookcornerblog.wordpress.com/
    https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.com/
    https://likeherdingcatsblog.wordpress.com/
    https://adancewithbooks.wordpress.com/
    https://thesecretlibrarysite.wordpress.com/

    My Questions:

    1.What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year and why?

    2. Would you rather meet your favorite book character, or your favorite author?

    3. What movie/show do you think is better than the book?

    4. What do you like to do, other than read (and talk about books, and hoard books, and sniff books…)?

    5. Do you prefer sweet or salty?

    6. How do you describe why you like reading to non-readers?

    7. Do you have a yet-to-be-realized dream?

    8. What’s a book genre that you never read?

    9. What’s something about you that might surprise people?

    10. Who is the least likable character you’ve ever read?

    11. What’s your favorite genre and why?

My Five Favorite Magic-users in Literature

I saw a similar post on waytoofantasty’s blog and loved it, so of course I had to add my own. Fantasy wouldn’t be the fantastic genre it is without the addition of an epic spellcaster. Here are some of my favorites – and be sure to check out the original awesome post here: waytoofantasy

Raistlin: The Dragonlance Chronicles, Legends, the Raistlin Chronicles, and many others

For me, Raistlin is the epitome of what a mage should be. He’s cunning, enigmatic, incredibly strong, and fascinating. Raistlin is also flawed, narcissistic, and grows more as a character than many other characters I’ve read throughout not just the fantasy genre, but any fiction.

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Marco: The Night Circus

I love Marco’s particular brand of magic! It’s incredibly unique; in fact, I’ve never read a book where magic is written quite like his. He’s also a great character. I like his quiet strength, as well as his creativity.

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Magnus Bane in The Mortal Instruments:

Oh goodness, I love Magnus! He’s so vibrant, fun, andhe’s removed enough from the goings-on (in the first few books that is), to have a very interesting view of things. He’s my favorite character throughout Cassandra Clare’s many series.

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Morwen in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles:

She’s hilarious! She has so many cats, and not a single one is black; she wears robes because they’re comfortable and “serviceable”, doesn’t have any warts, but does have a sign above her door that says, “None of this nonsense, please”. Her matter-of-fact personality is so much fun to read.

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Merlin (of course):

Merlin is a given for me. His personality varies based on who’s writing him, but he’s always wise and incredibly strong. Plus – Arthurian legends rock!

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What do you think? Who are your favorites in literature?

Breaking the Lore By Andy Redsmith- ARC review

Nick Paris is a tough-as-nails, bitter detective, who probably drinks more than he should. Basically, he’s your typical main character in a crime thriller. However, the mystery he’s been thrown into is far from typical: he’s investigating the murder of a tiny fairy. The problem is, he doesn’t believe in magic and is in way over his head.

This book was funny and incredibly clever. I had no idea how the book was going to end, but I didn’t spend much time trying to solve things because I was so busy thoroughly enjoying myself. Nick Paris had a fantastic internal dialogue throughout. Add a loyal but dumb-as-they-come partner, a purple-haired witch, and a gigantic orphaned troll- this book was zany fun!

Things tended to be rather convoluted and confusing at times, but that only added to the fun. I felt bad for poor Nick for a good chunk of the book because he was so far out of his depth and it was an unusual situation for him. While he was a great character, my favorite was either Cassandra, the “magical expert” who took everything in stride and added a wonderful brand of sarcasm to the mix, or the chain-smoking crow. He just cracked me up.

This book was a joy to read, and I look forward to the next book in the series. I hope there will be many more.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Image result for breaking the lore book                                            This will be available to buy on April 15th

The Last Tsar’s Dragons by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple- ARC review

Image result for the last tsar's dragons                Thank you to Netgalley and Tachyon Publications for providing me with the       copy in exchange for an honest review. The book is set to be available June 29, 2019.

It is the waning days of the Russian monarchy. A reckless man rules the land and his dragons rule the sky. Though the Tsar aims his dragons at his enemies―Jews and Bolsheviks―his entire country is catching fire. Conspiracies suffuse the royal court: bureaucrats jostle one another for power, the mad monk Rasputin schemes for the Tsar’s ear, and the desperate queen takes drastic measures to protect her family.

Revolution is in the air―and the Red Army is hatching its own weapons. (taken from Amazon)

Jane Yolen is an expert in dragons. She’s also a seasoned writer, having written children’s books (my youngest loves the “How Do Dinosaurs” book series), middle grade, and adult books. I was quite excited to read this mother-son team-up. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this one.

That’s not to say I didn’t like it: there were many things that I felt were well done. The book switched back and forth between a few different narrators, one of which was Rasputin. He was an interesting figure in history so it was cool to read chapters written from that character’s point of view. The religious zeal, combined with an enormous amount of narcissism, made him an intriguing character to explore.

I’m not sure why dragons were even included in the book: they actually detracted from the story, although my dragon-loving self hates to admit it. The rest of it is basically a historical fiction, and the dragons just didn’t fit. I might have liked it better without the dragons, and I hate having to say that.

There were parts that really dragged for me. I felt that certain characters, such as the tsarina, weren’t utilized to the best of their potential. She could have been written in a way that contributed much more to the feel of the time. Instead, she was just kind of annoying.

Eventually, it did fall into a sort of storytelling rhythm, and it moved along well after that. It ended up being an enjoyable story, but nothing to write home about. I liked it, but it’s not one that I’ll pick up again.

That being said, give it a go, but maybe don’t rush to pick it up the day it releases. If you go into it with the idea of it being a historical fiction, you might enjoy it more than I did, seeing as I expected the dragons to take a more central role.

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

I finished this gem of a book last night. It’s lovely, but incredibly sad. I didn’t cry (I was afraid it might get me, but my heart of stone prevailed). However, it was touch-and-go there at parts.

While hiding in a bomb shelter during World War 2, the three Hapwell children find themselves suddenly in the Woodlands, which is quite obviously meant to be a similar situation to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. When they return, no time has passed, again similar to the Narnia books. However, of the three children, Evelyn Hapwell finds herself unable to cope with the “real world”. One morning, her sister Phillipa gets a call: Evelyn has disappeared.

I thought the entire book would be told from Phillipa’s perspective as she tried to determine what happened to Evelyn, and how to go on from that news, but the first half is told from Evelyn’s point of view. The author uses famous poems sprinkled throughout to help describe Evelyn’s state of being, from her feelings of being out of place, to her struggle to appear otherwise.

After the halfway point, Phillipa takes over the narrative and it’s obvious that she, too, has her own struggles and ghosts to tackle. The way she handles them is incredibly different, but also leaves its mark on who she is. The author uses well-known works of art during Phillipa’s story line to the same excellent effect as the poetry.

I was surprised that there were scenes from the Hapwell children’s time in The Woodlands. I assumed that wouldn’t be touched on other than to say it happened. It added to the narrative, though.

The symbolism throughout is impossible to ignore, though it’s woven in subtly and seamlessly. It makes perfect sense and adds to the feel of the book.I found myself identifying with aspects of both Evelyn and Phillipa. I suspected the outcome, but it was still a journey I’m glad I went on.

One thing I was blown away by was the author’s ability to make the ending feel like a beginning. Not in an “I need a sequel” or “this book has no ending” sort of way, but in that it felt like you could catch up with the characters ten years from now and there would be a natural progression in their personalities because they were so realistic.

Warning” there is some mention of both self-harm and possible suicide. It’s done in such a way that I was able to handle it, despite those being incredibly difficult subjects for me to read about.

This book was a melancholy beauty, and is worth picking up.

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Six Degrees of Separation- from The Arsonist to The Light Between Worlds

I love the idea of playing 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but changing Bacon to Books! Because, honestly, books are better. Thanks to @booksaremyfavoriteandbest for your awesome post ( read here: https://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/six-degrees-of-separation-from-the-arsonist-to-tin-man/). This month, the starting point is:

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The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper

On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the Valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to police as firebugs. But the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn’t know.

The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the strange puzzle of his mind. It is also the story of fire in this country, and of a community that owed its existence to that very element. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species – understanding its abuse will define our future.  (taken from Amazon)

I haven’t read The Arsonist, although it looks fascinating and will probably be added to my very long tbr list, so my first link is a wee bit tenuous. But go with me here: I promise it will make sense.
Many people died that day, which leads me to:

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Love Letters to the Dead: A Novel by Ava Dellaira.

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did.

Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more–though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her.

Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was–lovely and amazing and deeply flawed–can she begin to discover her own path in this stunning debut from Ava Dellaira, Love Letters to the Dead. (taken from Amazon)

I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it was a moving coming-of-age book and didn’t spare the reader or skirt around hard truths. On the other, it felt overdone and maudlin in an unconvincing way from time to time. I picked it up because there was a recommendation on the cover from Stephen Chobsky, the author of one of my all-time favorite books (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), so maybe I subconsciously set the bar way too high because of that. Either way, it was good but not incredible.

This was another book that had spoke about death, leading me to my next degree:

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 Jackaby by William Ritter: 

“Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” -Chicago Tribune Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–seem adamant to deny. (taken from Amazon)

Switching from heavy fare to lighthearted fun, is the wonderful Jackaby series. I loved this book (read my glowing review:  :https://wittyandsarcasticbookclub.home.blog/2018/12/04/jackaby-by-william-ritter/) ! The mysteries in this series are less than ordinary and one of my favorite characters happens to be a ghost,which is the tie-in from Love Letters to the Dead. You can’t get much deader than that. The supernatural creatures in the Jackaby series range from dragons, to the fae, leading me to my next book:

The Wicked King by Holly Black: 

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The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince.

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
 
The first lesson is to make yourself strong.
 
After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world. (taken from Amazon)

This series is all about the fae, and is quite enjoyable. I much prefer this sequel to the first book (The Cruel Prince) because one of the storylines from book one that really irritated me has been resolved and more time was spent on intrigue and backstabbing, which made for an interesting read.

The talented Holly Black has also co-written several other great books, leading me to:

The Iron Trial (The Magisterium book 1) by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.

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Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial. Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail. All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him. So he tries his best to do his worst, and fails at failing. Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future. The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come…(taken from Amazon)

My fifth grader and I both read this series at the same time. Okay, admission: we raced to see who got to each book first. It got pretty cutthroat there for a bit. Ha ha! This book, while its own storyline, owes a lot to the success of books that take place in a school for magic (I’m referring here, of course, to Harry Potter). It’s fun, but does get steadily darker as the series continues.

A big theme of the series is accepting who you are and being that person in a world that is big and scary sometimes, which leads to my final choice:

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth. 

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What happens when you return to the real world after being in a fantastical one like Narnia? This YA debut by Laura E. Weymouth is perfect for fans of Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

Six years ago, sisters Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell were swept away to a strange and beautiful kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for years. But ever since they returned to their lives in post-WWII England, they have struggled to adjust.

Ev desperately wants to return to the Woodlands, and Philippa just wants to move on. When Ev goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

Walking the line between where fantasy and reality meet, this lyrical and magical novel is, above all else, an exploration of loss and healing, and what it means to find where you belong. (taken from Amazon)

One of the books I’m currently reading, I can’t say a ton about it because I haven’t finished it yet. It definitely fits in the vein of learning to be who you are and finding your place. My thought on it right now is that it’s beautiful but very, very sad. I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be tears from me at some point.

So, there’s my six degrees from The Arsonist to The Light Between Worlds. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

You should play too! Just start with the Arsonist. I’m curious to see where people will end up.