Sunday, 1 July 2018

BOOKS | Mid-Year Update: What I'm Excited To Read

Since it's been a while since I last posted, I thought an interesting post to come back with would be a list of books I'm looking forward to reading. These are all books I'm either aiming to read by the end of the year, or just as soon as possible. I've been struggling to find the motivation to read lately so hopefully writing this will help me feel more inspired to get some reading done!

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson 
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
Isobel 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. 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—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight 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.

I've been curious about this book since I first heard about it, I've always loved fantasy and romance and I've been meaning to read more books about the fair folk, an area of mythology that really intrigues me. I bought this book this week in my renewed desire to get back into reading, as I think that the fact that I'm so excited to see what it's like will help keep up my motivation. I've also heard some mixed reviews of it so I'm curious to see what my own take on it will be. 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

This is one that I actually started reading back in December, I was really intrigued by it and ended up reading a large portion of it in one day as I really enjoyed it, but after I put it down I experienced a period of time where I couldn't make myself read, and now that period is over, it's been so long that I think I'll start from the beginning again when I go back to it. But I am really excited to finally finish it, and to hopefully finish the trilogy and the other books that Leigh Bardugo has set in this world.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor 
In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.
Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice--save the woman he loves, or everyone else?--while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she's capable of.
As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

This is the sequel to Strange the Dreamer, which you can tell from my review that I really adored, so obviously I'm very excited to find out what happens next. It doesn't come out until October but I've already preordered the hardback with the fancy sprayed edges so that it can match my edition of Strange the Dreamer.

Stealing Snow by Danielle Page 
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.
Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.
Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

I've had this book for a while now and I think it just ended up getting put aside when I had books to read for my university course. I'm looking forward to finally getting around to it and seeing what it's like!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. 
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

This, I think, is a well-known and well-loved one that's been out for quite a few years now. I bought it back in October and I'm really eager to finally find out what makes it so popular. 

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch 
Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.
Another one that's been out for a while now, I think I actually bought this over a year ago with a gift card because I was intrigued by the description. Hopefully it won't take me much longer to pick it up and see what it's like.

Mort by Terry Pratchett
In this Discworld instalment, Death comes to Mort with an offer he can't refuse - especially since being, well, dead isn't compulsory. As Death's apprentice, he'll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won't need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he'd ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.
This is another one I bought back in October, I always love Terry Pratchett and I'm actually reading Good Omens at the moment and of course really enjoying it. I'm sure Mort will be another one that I adore, especially since it features Death, one of my favourite Discworld characters.

So that's everything I'm currently aiming to read soon, thank you for reading and if you've got any books you're excited about then let me know in the comments!

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