Tag Archives: fantasy

This Month in Review | February 2017

Happy Wednesday friends!

Today begins a new month and I don’t know about you, but I’m personally relieved that February is being left behind. It was a difficult one on my end and I’m hoping that March proves a more productive month and a happier one.


GOALS OF FEBRUARY

  1. Read 5-6 books
  2. Watch 4 movies
  3. Read 1 nonfiction
  4. Write first draft of Eléonore‘s sequel
  5. Write high fantasy screenplay to first draft
  6. Edit family drama screenplay to final draft
  7. Edit Pirate Eyes to beta draft
  8. Learn to play the violin

ACHIEVED IN FEBRUARY

  1. Read 10 books! If you check out my WWW Wednesday posts, you’ll be able to find out more, but I’ll share here my top read with you: A CONJURING OF LIGHT!!! …… Bet you didn’t see that coming 😉
  2. Watched 6 movies! Lost in Translation – The Royal Tenenbaums – Inside Out – O Brother, Where Are Thou? – Hidden Figures – Bridget Jones’ Diary. I was going to rank them, but honestly I loved them all. If I had to choose a favourite, though, it would have to be LOST IN TRANSLATION
  3. I actually managed to finish Under the Black Flag from last month and read Big Magic  as well!
  4. Well, Heralding was at least started… I’m sitting on 23,000 words right now, which is decent, but definitely not where I wanted to be…
  5. I got to 20 pages. Which is deplorable. We’re not going to talk about it.
  6. Didn’t even touch it.
  7. Didn’t even touch it.
  8. Oh hey, didn’t even touch it ;P

Don’t we love how accomplished I was this month!

MARCH GOALS

  1. Read 4-5 books.
  2. Read 1 nonfiction
  3. Watch 5 movies (I’m upping the challenge this month)
  4. Polish draft of Heritage (my 2015 NaNoWriMo which is currently entered in #PitchMadness and I’m just making sure she’s absolutely ready for agents round — in case I make it to that round)
  5. Polish draft of The Glass Slippers (there are quite a few script competitions coming up and I really want to have this Cinderella adaptation ready to circulate!)
  6. Finish first draft of Heralding (if I crank out about 15k a week, I should be there – it’ll put her above 80k and right now that seems like a good length for a first draft)
  7. Practice the violin – I’m serious about this one this month and I’ve set time for practice!
  8. Start final edits on Pirate Eyes – because she needs to be in at least an agent’s hand before this year is done!

A little less ambitious than last month I think ;P How was February for you, friends? What did you accomplish? What are your goals and plans for March?

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

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Game of Shadows | Erika Lewis

Happy Sunday friends,

Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend today.

I’m excited to share this review with you! The start of a new and exciting fantasy series, it releases this Tuesday!

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


29939198BLURB

Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he’s ever seen. He’s assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.

Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.

Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.

REVIEW

I think that most of you know by now that fantasy is my go-to genre in my life, and I was excited to get the chance to discover a new fantasy series, especially one with a lot of promise, great world building and fun characters.

The story begins in a world we know well and a boy whose life is about to be changed forever. Like Percy Jackson and Clary Fray before him, Ethan believes himself to be an ordinary kid, except for the ghosts that he sees that no one else can. In fact, Ethan does share a few commonalities with these characters. Like them, his mother has been concealing the truth of his heritage. Like them, one moment throws his normal world into chaos and leads him to discover a new world.

While Ethan’s arc emulates some of those that came before, the plot still features unique characters and interesting twists and turns to keep one interested and to allow the comparisons to fall away for the most part.

What is most wonderful about this story is the worldbuilding. I’m a sucker for Celtic mythology and Erika Lewis does a fantastic job of bringing the land of Tara to life and imbuing it with creatures and characters that provide moments of whimsy and moments of fear.

The plot speeds along at a great pace, packed full of adventure, as Ethan embarks on a journey of his own: to rescue his mother from the clutches of a sorcerer. It makes for a gripping read that rises above the small stumbles. The ending especially leaves off on a tantalizing note and I am rather intrigued to see where this story will go next.

CONCLUSION

A wonderful debut to a new YA Fantasy series, if you’re looking for an exciting adventure, look no further.

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 22.02.17

Happy Wednesday friends!

Didn’t think I’d have this post for today, but I have to share my reading habits with you because of one word: SCHWAB! 😍

Thanks to the lovely Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this amazing blog hop every week! If you aren’t following her already, you’re missing out 🙂

Want to join in? All you have to do is answer these questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

Dreadnought (Nemesis #1) by April Daniels

33126630Blurb:

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.

She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

An ebook received through NetGalley, this book was just released in January and I’m actually rather enjoying it. The unique perspective has drawn me in and there’s an eclectic cast of characters to round it up. The story seems to be working with extremes but I do appreciate that the author is trying to explore the force of transphobia (and homophobia to some extent). The protagonist is highly likeable and the writing is quirky and and suits the first person POV.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

30278755Blurb:

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

So far, this is proving to be a very inspiring and motivating read! I find it especially poignant these days, and maybe just the kick in the creative butt that I need 😅

FINISHED READING

A Gathering of Shadows & A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #2 & 3)by V.E. Schwab

20764879Blurb (from A Darker Shade of Magic, the first book)

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

29939230Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

What an absolutely brilliant series this has been! Whether it’s the gripping prose or the engaging world building or the memorable characters, Schwab has brought such magic into the world with this series. I haven’t felt this satisfied with a conclusion in a long time and it’s bittersweet to know that the adventure is over. Of course, that’s where the magic of the re-read comes in.

I do highly recommend this series ❤

READING NEXT

The days are winding down, but I’m still hoping to get through these ones!

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

31430932Blurb:

If you want something done right….

When the ruthless Pirate King learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows that there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the enemy ship. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell?

Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will… Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

Wolves of the Calla (Dark Tower #5) by Stephen King

4978Blurb:

 

 

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World on their quest for the Dark Tower. Their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis. But beyond the tranquil farm town, the ground rises to the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is stealing the town’s soul. The wolves of Thunderclap and their unspeakable depredation are coming. To resist them is to risk all, but these are odds the gunslingers are used to. Their guns, however, will not be enough….

 

Ashael Rising (Vessel of KalaDene #1) by Shona Kinsella

34097124Blurb

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael’s shoulders.


Share your WWW link in the comment or let me know what your reading habits have been like lately. Let’s spread the bookish love across the sphere 😊

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

Isle of Winds | James Fahy

Happy Tuesday friends,

Sorry I’ve been quiet lately. It’s been a busy week and I’ve been focusing my attention elsewhere.

Today, I have a new review to share with you. 🙂


28173857BLURB

Robin Fellows lives with his grandmother and lives what appears to be a rather ordinary life for a normal twelve year old boy.

But when Robin’s Gran dies, quite suddenly and a bit mysteriously, his world is turned upside down. A long lost relative comes out of the woodwork and whisks him away to a mysterious new home, Erlking Hall, a quiet estate in the solitary countryside of Lancashire.

Suddenly Robin must adjust to his new reality. But reality is no longer what he thought it was…

Erlking has many secrets – as do his newly found Great-Aunt Irene and her servants. After a strange encounter on the train and meeting a cold, eerie man on the platform, Robin begins to notice odd happenings at Erlking.

There is more than meets the eye to this old, rambling mansion.
Little does he know that there is more than meets the eye to himself.

Robin is the world’s last Changeling. He is descended from a mystic race of Fae-people, whose homeland, the Netherworlde, is caught in the throes of a terrible civil war.

Not only this, but in this new world there is a magical force that has infiltrated the human realm.

Before he can wrench power from the malevolent hands of the Netherworlde’s fearsome tyrant leader, Lady Eris, he must first search for the truth about himself and the ethereal Towers of Arcania.

The first instalment of The Changeling Series, Isle of Winds is an engrossing tale written in the traditions of high fantasy story-telling while carving out a magical new realm. It is perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series.

REVIEW

Since I can remember, fantasy has been my genre of choice. I grew up on the magic and whimsy of Tolkien, Rowling, Lewis & Pullman. If I were a child now, I would equally have delighted in this bookish treasure.

But don’t get me wrong. As an adult, I have adored it. I just feel bad that my past self never got to grow up with the magic that this book brought to life for me during its reading.

As a reader, there are always two aspects of a novel that I need to be completely convinced of: memorable characters and convincing worldbuilding. Of course, the plot has to be strong too, but if it is missing either of those features, there’s a good chance that the plot will not be as gripping or engaging as it could be. Fortunately, Isle of Winds excels on all counts.

We are introduced to our protagonist, Robin Fellows, in a moment when life is catapulted from the familiar. His grandmother is dead and he is being forced to relocate to a manor to live with an aunt he never knew existed. Of course, the thing he doesn’t realize quite yet is that he’s about to discover the truth of his heritage and stumble into a fantastic adventure that most kids dream about.

From the get-go, Robin is a likeable boy with a natural curiosity and a good spirit. As with every good story, he’s only as strong as his supporting cast, and they are in anything but short supply. From the formidable Aunt Irene, to the enigmatic Karya, these characters blend into Robin’s life as he comes to uncover the Fae world he was born into.

And what a world it is! The mythology that layers it is superb and leaps off the pages with such vividness that you feel ready to get lost in yourself. The manor where Aunt Irene lives, Erlking Hall, is a beautifully imagined place with passages and secret doors to rival Hogwarts. The Netherworlde is crafted with equal attention, a parallel land existing with the world we know. The magic system of Arcania is full of its own mystery, while the mystical folk that inhabit the world take inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology! Have I conveyed the brilliance of it yet?

CONCLUSION

A truly remarkable debut to a series, Isle of Winds is full of twists and turns and provides an adventure that is engaging, gripping and captivating. A magical ride you don’t want to miss.

RATING

quills


If you want to interact with James, you can find him here:

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

If you want to discover the magic of Isle of Winds for yourself… AMAZON

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 15.02.17

Happy Wednesday friends,

This seems to be a thing now, posting every second week, and it’ll probably stick because life is hectic ;P

As always, WWW Wednesday is a wonderful opportunity to delight in discovering what other people have read, are reading or will be reading. Because our TBRs are in need of it, right? 😅

Thanks to the lovely Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this amazing blog hop every week! If you aren’t following her already, you’re missing out 🙂

Want to join in? All you have to do is answer these questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

20764879Blurb (from A Darker Shade of Magic, the first book)

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

I have been putting this one off because I wanted to read it close enough to A Conjuring of Light‘s release date. Since that is LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!!!! now seems like a good time to start on this one 💖

UPDATE: Only 40 pages in and I am already in love. There are pirates!!!

FINISHED READING

Game of Shadows by Erika  Lewis

31140987Blurb:

Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he’s ever seen. He’s assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.

Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.

Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.

Definitely a new fantasy series to look out for. I was fortunate to receive an ARC from NetGalley and really devoured this one. Reminded me of Percy Jackson and The Mortal Instruments with a Celtic twist. And the mythology really was the best part! My review for it will be up next week in anticipation of its release February 28th!

Dawn Study (Soulfinders #3; Poison Study #6) by Maria V. Snyder

30375956Blurb (from Poison Study, first book in the series):

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

Well, that brings this series to an end. I’ve enjoyed the ride and especially certain character arcs. While I was glad to follow this series to its end, I hate to admit that I wasn’t completely sold on this extended trilogy in the Poison Study universe, if only because a lot of the conflict and conversations became repetitive over times and Yelena’s character seemed to fall to the background too often. I think I’ll review this and Night Study together as they really lead one into the other.

A Second Chance at Life by Kassandra Lynn

33838303Blurb:

Lady Elaina had everything—wealth, title, and irresistible beauty—until her jealous half-sister ruined her reputation and forced her into a disgraceful marriage. She died amidst the flames, murdered and betrayed by her husband and half-sister. As the flames roared, the loss of her unborn child created a thirst for revenge.

A magical amulet sent her two years back in time. She has another chance to make things right for herself and her family, yet what began as a plot to undermine her half-sister’s machinations quickly evolved into a political conspiracy that will rock the entire empire and make Elaina realize she might not have traveled back in time alone.

This is another NetGalley arc and I had such difficulty getting through it. To be honest, it’s not the kind of story I tend to go for, but I was intrigued by the premise and thought it might be a nice change of pace. But the dialogue was terribly stilted and the characters unlikable as a whole. What was most difficult for me though was the unrealistic worldbuilding. I put up a review on GoodReads and I will say that others have more positively received it. It might just be me then and so, while I won’t recommend it, I will advise that I am also not one for romance heavy plots with no other substance, so that’s a bias to take into account.

In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

In CalabriaBlurb:

From the acclaimed author of The Last Unicorn comes a new, exquisitely-told unicorn fable for the modern age.


Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. But one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.

Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria confirms Peter S. Beagle’s continuing legacy as one of fantasy’s most legendary authors.

This is reminding me that I’ve read more NetGalley ARCs then physical books. I do not like this statistic ;P
 In Calabria is my second Peter S. Beagle book and so far my favourite (I haven’t read The Last Unicorn yet though, so…). I fast tracked the review because it releases today in the UK! So happy book birthday! A five star review from me. You can find it here!
Isle of Winds (The Changeling #1) by James Fahy
28173857Blurb:

Isle of Winds is the first instalment in a Middle-Grade age fantasy series

Robin Fellows lives with his grandmother and lives what appears to be a rather ordinary life for a normal twelve year old boy.

But when Robin’s Gran dies, quite suddenly and a bit mysteriously, his world is turned upside down. A long lost relative comes out of the woodwork and whisks him away to a mysterious new home, Erlking Hall, a quiet estate in the solitary countryside of Lancashire.

Suddenly Robin must adjust to his new reality. But reality is no longer what he thought it was…

Erlking has many secrets – as do his newly found Great-Aunt Irene and her servants. After a strange encounter on the train and meeting a cold, eerie man on the platform, Robin begins to notice odd happenings at Erlking.

There is more than meets the eye to this old, rambling mansion.
Little does he know that there is more than meets the eye to himself.

Robin is the world’s last Changeling. He is descended from a mystic race of Fae-people, whose homeland, the Netherworlde, is caught in the throes of a terrible civil war.

Not only this, but in this new world there is a magical force that has infiltrated the human realm.

Before he can wrench power from the malevolent hands of the Netherworlde’s fearsome tyrant leader, Lady Eris, he must first search for the truth about himself and the ethereal Towers of Arcania.

The first instalment of The Changeling Series, Isle of Winds is an engrossing tale written in the traditions of high fantasy story-telling while carving out a magical new realm. It is perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series.

Just finished this one last night and it was W – O – N – D – E – R – F -U – L! A brilliant fantasy adventure that fits in beautifully with classics like Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit! Seriously friends. Read this one! My review should be up soon!

READING NEXT

Uh….

29939230

Yep! 😊

But also… I know that I won’t get through my February TBR. It was ambitious to begin with, but I am trying to get through these before the month through…

ARCS:

31430932   34097124   30279514

My Bookshelf:

4978     24453082

Perhaps still a little ambitious…


Let me know what you’re reading or have read or plan on reading next or share a link to your post.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 01.02.17

Happy Wednesday friends,

Can you believe that today’s the first of February! A whole month has already gone by!

I’m not quite sure what to think of that…

Wednesday’s are great for book sharing, so why not join in WWW Wednesday hosted by the lovely Sam of Taking on a World of Words!

All you have to do is answer three questions…

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

This is what my past two weeks have looked like 🙂


CURRENTLY READING

Game of Shadows by Erika  Lewish

31140987Blurb:

Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he’s ever seen. He’s assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.

Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.

Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.

I’m not far in this book, but so far I am loving the Celtic tones in the worldbuilding and setting. Otherwise, the plot is highly reminiscent of Percy Jackson and City of Bones.

Update: I got a little further after writing this post and I’m really getting into it! A fun YA adventure!

RECENTLY FINISHED READING

 Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle

30298463

Blurb:

Retired history professor Abe Aronson is a cranky, solitary man living out his autumn years on Gardner Island, a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Seattle. One rainy February night, while dining at a favorite local haunt, Abe and his girlfriend Joanna meet an engaging enigmatic waitress, new in town and without a place of her own. Fascinated and moved by the girl’s plight, Joanna invites her to stay in Abe’s garage. It seems everyone falls for the charming and invigorating the waitress, but she is much more than she appears, and an ancient covenant made a millennium ago threatens to disrupt the spring and alter the lives of Abe, Joanna, and all those around them forever…

This was a lovely read, very whimsical and reminiscent of Neil Gaiman. There were some things that niggled me, but overall it was a moving story that left me pondering long after it was done.

 Vicious (Vicious#1) by V.E. Schwab

18180495Blurb:

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates: brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge. But who will be left alive at the end?

I first discovered V.E. Schwab’s incredible talent for storytelling last year when I read A Darker Shade of Magic. And now, after reading Vicious, I am thoroughly convinced that she is a master of weaving unforgettable narratives with the most incredible characters that are at once flawed and sympathetic! Definitely one of my favourite authors and an auto-buy one too! I can’t wait to read more of her stories ❤

16130759Night Study (Study #5) by Maria V. Snyder

I am leaving out the blurb because there are spoilers for the previous installments. If you want to check out the first book, you can here: Poison Study.

It was an enjoyable story, but it lacked the flare that made me adore the original trilogy! A lot happened since we met Yelena in book one and it had been a long time since I read the fourth book so a lot of my reactions at the beginning were hinged on my brain’s inability to remember plot points from previous installments ;P This happens more and more and assures me that the best way to read a series is to a) binge it or b) reread what came before to remind my mind of what it’s forgotten.

This worries me about the forthcoming A Song of Ice and Fire book (Winds of Winter). Though, there may not be a need for worry, as he might not actually finish it….

Anyway, I preordered the last book in the series and I’ll be reading it in February, because I have to finish it for myself and it’s best done with the most recent book in clear memory.

Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis

31123668Blurb:

Rebellion brews inside Milenda’s heart as the date for the Trials approaches. As the heiress to the throne of Natale, she is forced to choose a consort from the survivors of the grueling quest across the desert.

Milenda’s heart belongs to Jaali and wants no part in the ancient and cruel ritual, but the Elders—the true rulers of Natale—will not back down.

Jaali was brought from the far North as a child slave. His only chance to be with the woman he loves is to volunteer for the Trials, no matter how dangerous or how much Milenda objects.

Together they begin their journey of discovery and rebellion against the Elders. But will their love be enough or will they lose everything they’ve fought for?

A NetGalley book that first caught my attention with the simplicity of the cover. The premise sounded very promising too. Unfortunately, the plot fell a little short and Milenda came across as a weaker protagonist than she should have been as it bogged down in the relationship. But the worldbuilding was wonderful and the setting beautifully unique.

READING NEXT

This is my February TBR, just to give you an idea of where I could go next. Personally, I am most excited to read The Wolves of Calla and A Gathering of Shadows!

Untitled.jpg

 


Let me know what you’ve been up to in books lately or leave a link to your WWW Wednesday so the love of books can continue to spread 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

Awaken | G.R. Thomas

Happy Thursday friends,

It’s been an unfortunately long time since I posted my last review, but here is one of two I’m hoping to post today to try to get caught up on 🙂


27822669BLURB

SOME PEOPLE AREN’T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY.

With a special gift held close to her heart, it was always going to be hard for Sophia Woodville to live an ordinary life.

As a 20 year old nursing grad, she thought she had her future all sorted.

However, destiny was about to intervene.

Her secret was not so secret. The gift she possessed was just a hint of something far beyond her wildest imagination.

Sophia will be pulled, kicking and screaming, into an unseen, ancient world that challenges all that she thought to be true of herself, her family and the origins of humanity.

Original sin, forbidden love and her life in constant danger.

Will Sophia survive this dark twist of fate?

Will the devil be her saviour?

Will an Angel be her downfall?

REVIEW

I first discovered this book on Sarina Langer’s blog. Her praise assured me that I had to read it! And I am extremely glad that I have!

Sophia Woodhouse is a young nurse with a unique mark on her face and a special talent for healing. But she is an ordinary girl by all other means, working during the day and spending time with friends at night. The normalcy of her life is swiftly ended when a coworker is attacked and Sophia learns that someone is after her and has been watching her for some time.

A classic yarn about a girl who discovers abilities she never knew she had, there is nothing contrived about this story. What sets it most apart is the impeccable world building. Thomas excels at envisioning a new mythos for the world, reinterpreting the stories of the Bible, the concepts of angels and Watchers and making it completely her own. She does it so convincingly and with such beautiful language and draws the reader into her world without confusing or overwhelming with her descriptions. History bends at her will and the deftness of it is astounding!

The characters too are well drawn and elicit sympathy and laughter. Sophia is a strong protagonist who is reluctant to accept her true origins and the role she is to play. Her mentors are at once compassionate creatures, but also firm hands that know the importance of their mission. Then there are her friends from her old life, her ties to who she was, to keep her grounded. And then there’s Nik’ael, who’s past and present create a conflicted character with ambiguous plans.

And then there’s that ending! A cliffhanger that leaves you wishing for the next book. Fortunately, it’s already out, so the wait won’t be a long one!

CONCLUSION

G.R. Thomas has crafted a stunning debut with an unforgettable cast of characters and a unique plot. A well woven narrative, full of heart, written with rich, flowing language that pulls you in.

RATING

quills


If you want to connect with G.R Thomas, check out the links below:

Goodreads or Website or Twitter or Instagram

Want to buy a copy for yourself: Amazon

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 18.01.17

Happy Wednesday friends,

I missed this last week because, to be frank with you, I hadn’t done much reading at all ;P Fortunately, I’ve made up since then and am currently on my 7th read of the year!

rapunzel

Yes, I’m rather excited about it! 😂

Thanks to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this great opportunity to discover new books and share our reads each week.

If you want to participate – and I hope you do – then answer these three questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

30298463Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle

Blurb:

Retired history professor Abe Aronson is a cranky, solitary man living out his autumn years on Gardner Island, a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Seattle. One rainy February night, while dining at a favorite local haunt, Abe and his girlfriend Joanna meet an engaging enigmatic waitress, new in town and without a place of her own. Fascinated and moved by the girl’s plight, Joanna invites her to stay in Abe’s garage. It seems everyone falls for the charming and invigorating the waitress, but she is much more than she appears, and an ancient covenant made a millennium ago threatens to disrupt the spring and alter the lives of Abe, Joanna, and all those around them forever…

I am rather enjoying this one so far. I received an ARC from Netgalley but it’s been on the backburner for some time and I am doing my best to get caught up with them all by the end of February.

Anyway, this book is a lovely bit of whimsy and wonder, somewhat reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s work. Shamefully this is my first Beagle novel. I’ve been meaning to read the Last Unicorn (the movie has always managed to terrify me and devastate me)! For now, I must say that Beagle has caught my attention 🙂

FINISHED READING

I finished reading Mariana by Susana Kearsley in early January, but just posted my review here, if you want to check it out! A beautiful historical romance! Really tugs on the heartstrings!

Awaken (The A’Vean Chronicles #1) by GR Thomas

27822669Blurb:

SOME PEOPLE AREN’T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY.
With a special gift held close to her heart, it was always going to be hard for Sophia Woodville to live an ordinary life.
As a 20 year old nursing grad, she thought she had her future all sorted.
However, destiny was about to intervene.
Her secret was not so secret. The gift she possessed was just a hint of something far beyond her wildest imagination.
Sophia will be pulled, kicking and screaming, into an unseen, ancient world that challenges all that she thought to be true of herself, her family and the origins of humanity.
Original sin, forbidden love and her life in constant danger.
Will Sophia survive this dark twist of fate?
Will the devil be her saviour?
Will an Angel be her downfall?

One of my highly anticipated reads of 2017, it exceeded my expectations. Amazingly well written with a dazzling mythology to support a gripping plot. Sophia is a brilliantly crafted protagonist and I can’t wait to find out what happens to her next. My review should be up tomorrow!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

25480342Blurb:

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.

I am still not over this beautiful, heart-wrenching, magical book! Patrick Ness, welcome to my favourite author list!

 

Rage and Ruin by Kate Roman

33198313Blurb:

Bridget O’Malley’s temper has always been trouble. It’s made her the black sheep of the family, cost her customers at her bar, and ruined relationships, but it has never put her life in danger. That is until she tries to rescue her cousin from a demon summoning cult. In picking a fight with one of Chicago’s most powerful witches, Bridget finds her bar being picketed, her witch’s license suspended, and demons on her trail. Annoyed and afraid Bridget uses the only weapon at her disposal to get her life back to normal: her temper.

An ARC received from NetGalley, I was tempted to pick it up because the premise sounded so intriguing, unfortunately the plot fell flat, the story lacked in tension, stakes and likeable characters. My review will definitely be up tomorrow.

AND

The Blue Sword (Damar #1) by Robin McKinley

407813Blurb:

Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?

I finished this one two nights ago and I am still hung over how wonderful it was! A real fantasy gem, stunning with plot, characters and world building! My second McKinley (I read Hero and the Crown first, and am kind of glad I did), I am in love with this woman’s writing capabilities! Fellow fantasy lovers, read this now 🙂

 

READING NEXT

I have three books left on my original January TBR (Vicious by VE Schwab, Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis and Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop), but I’ve added another book to the pile and will probably put it first…..

Night Study (Soulfinders #2) by Maria V. Snyder

16130759I’m not including the blurb because there are plentiful spoilers to be found within it!

I know this series gets a lot of mixed reviews and, in all honestly, I wasn’t such a big fan of Soul Study, but I feel compelled to finish this series. My understanding is that Night Study is superior to it, so I’m hopeful that I’ll enjoy it more.

The last book (I think it’s the last) is coming out January 31st so I figured I read this one now and then get to Dawn Study and call our time together at an end.

 

 

 


What books have you devoured of late? Let me know your weekly reading habits or share your link to your WWW post! Let the love of reading flourish 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

Pre-Order Eléonore (An Iníonaofa Novella)!

Happy Tuesday friends,

It’s official! Eléonore is up for pre-order as an e-book on Amazon! Here’s the link:

Eléonore (An Iníonaofa Novella)

If you’re like me and prefer paperback over kindle, you won’t have long to wait. The paperback should be up for purchase mid-December! I’ll keep you posted 😉

eleonore-ebook

Eléonore Dormant’s life is a precarious balancing act: librarian by day, demon hunter by night and single mother around the clock. Each day brings its challenges and she brings her A-game. It helps that coffee and a bottle of painkillers are always in supply.

For six years, she’s protected the streets of Montreal from all manner of demons and the consequent evil that they would wreak on her city. But even a resumé like hers isn’t enough to prepare her for the unforeseen night when she becomes the hunted.

A sorcerer, an enigmatic Elder, has placed a hefty bounty on her head and the demons are eager to claim the reward for her capture. They bear down on her, disrupting her mode de vie and endangering her son’s life all in one fell swoop. But Eléonore is ready to fight whatever Hell deigns to send her way to save him. The path she pursues will lead her to new places and old faces.

One thing is certain, Eléonore’s about to get into a whole hellhole of trouble.

You can also find Eléonore on Goodreads as per this link!

As we build up to the release, look out for excerpts and other teasers! I can’t wait to share this with all of you! 💗


Hope you’re all having a lovely week! Thank you all for the support you’ve bestowed on me! You are amazing and I am forever grateful!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 23.11.16

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words, this is one of my favourite weekly blog hops! I love being part of the a great community of readers.

All you have to do is answer three questions!

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

I managed to finish a few books, despite the fact that I’m juggling writing for NaNoWriMo and preparing my novella for publication.

Selfish promotion right now, but Eléonore has a release date: DECEMBER 4TH 2016, and I’m looking for a few more ARC readers! If you’re interested, here’s a link to the post!

And now to my reading habits!


CURRENTLY READING

Fay Storms (The Storms Trilogy #1) by A.A. Frascati

32796029Blurb:

Thief by trade. Half-breed by blood. Fifer is part-Fay and all pluck.

When her partner goes missing and she is abducted by demanding clients, Fifer finds herself trapped in a plot she wants no part of. By fulfilling her contract with the Aestus, the brotherhood of powerful and secretive warriors, she will discover that she’s not what she thinks.

The Aestus need her—even though Arkadius, Master in training, can’t see it. In order to stop the Aestus clans from warring among themselves, Arkadius must rely on Fifer to steal a powerful magical artifact. But how can a woman save the mighty Aestus? When he discovers the answer, the fate of the Empire will rest on the edge of his sword.

I’m only a few chapters into this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review. So far, so good. The world-building is rather impressive and I like the characters well enough. A decent start 🙂

RECENTLY READ

Throne of the Crescent Moon (The Crescent Moon Kingdoms #1) by Saladin Ahmed

15808366Blurb:

From Saladin Ahmed, finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards, comes one of the year’s most acclaimed debuts: a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights.

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. But these killings are only the earliest signs of a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn the great city of Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

I rather enjoyed this one. The non-European setting was definitely a plus for me. It’s been a while since I read a fantasy that centres on different culture than I’m accustomed to. The world building was strong and the characters were well developed, for the most part. Definitely a promising start to a series.

The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies

24875334Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past – a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds – that her husband refuses to discuss. Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can’t stay buried forever . . .

To be perfectly honest, I have mixed feelings about this book. It was a good read, but nothing exceptional. The descriptions were beautiful, the historical setting definitely caught my attention, but the characters fell flat for me. There were also a lot of time jumps which I found to be more jarring and dissociated me from the story. I wanted to enjoy it more, because the potential was there, and though the ending proved superior to everything that came before, it didn’t come soon enough to redeem the whole story.

The Hero and the Crown (Damar #2) by Robin McKinley

1215136Blurb:

Aerin could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it.

It was the story of her mother, the witchwoman who enspelled the king into marrying her, to get an heir that would rule Damar; and it was told that she turned her face to the wall and died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son.
Aerin was that daughter.

But there was more of the story yet to be told; Aerin’s destiny was greater than even she had dreamed–for she was to be the true hero who would wield the power of the Blue Sword…

The last book I finished this week, was my favourite. BY FAR. I love McKinley’s writing style. I love Aerin. I love the way the story is uncontrived. It was a classic fantasy, reminiscent of Mary Stewart and JRR Tolkein in many respects. Also, I haven’t felt so inclined to ship a pairing in a while as I have with two characters (won’t specify for spoilers) in this beautiful story. A quick read, and a mesmerizing one!

READING NEXT

Vicious by V.E. Schwab was supposed to be one of my November reads, but the person I’m supposed to buddy read it with (aka my sister :P) is still reading another book, so it might be postponed to December. In light of that, I have a few NetGalley ebooks to read, and of course Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling. I’ll see how I feel after Fay Storms.


That’s it for me friends 🙂 Feel free to share your link in the comments or let me know what you’ve been up to in the reading world!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink