Tag Archives: recommendations

You Should Read This | March & April 2017

Hi friends!

Sorry for the long delay since my last post. It’s not as bad as it’s been in the past. I’m just in the midst of preparing Heralding for publication.

Also, keep an eye open tomorrow for a special post celebrating the release of Sarina Langer’s second book, WARDENS OF ARCHOS!!

I’ve combined March and April for this post just to get us up to date quicker. 😉



WITCHES ABROAD (DISCWORLD #12) – TERRY PRATCHETT

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Genre: Fantasy, Humour

You Should Read This, Because… It’s Pratchett! But seriously, the great thing about this series is that they are perfect blend of fantasy and humour, spoofing popular culture and tropes. This particular installment features the Witches of the Discworld universe focuses on inverting fairytales to humorous effect!

As a reader, it’s a delightfully entertaining read that will induce laugh out loud moments. As a writer, it’s a lesson in writing parodies while balancing humour and heart

 

THE DARK TOWER SERIES – STEPHEN KING

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Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror

You Should Read This, Because… There’s nothing else quite like it! Honesty, friends. This series was my first foray into King’s bibliography and I was absolutely. It’s also very difficult to explain the genius of the series without spoiling it. If you’re prepared to follow a dark and sometimes gory epic narrative, to discover just how exceptional a writer King is!

As a reader, it’s a compelling storyline, a long, winding journey that will challenge the way you read again. As a writer, it’s a lesson in crafting unique characters and a genre-blending narrative.

A Shining in the Shadows – Beverley Lee

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(NOTE: this is the sequel to The Making of Gabriel Davenport; my thoughts below are a reflection of the two together)

Genre: Dark Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… It’s a perfectly atmospheric read that tiptoes the line between fantasy and horror. A vampire fiction, it strays from any clichés and is remarkably fresh in its narrative. The characters are fascinating, full of flaws and good intentions. Creepy but not lacking heart, it’s a genuine delight.

As a reader, it’s the perfect read to satisfy one’s need for a page-turning read that scares as well as lends insight into the human psyche. As a writer, it’s a lesson in overturning the clichés of the vampire genre and crafting intriguing characters.

On Writing – Stephen King

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Genre: Memoir, How-To

You Should Read This, Because… It’s at once a fascinating look into the mind of a master storyteller. It gives as much insight into King’s writing process as it does his life. His life unfolds as a narrative, written in prose that sends chills, and doesn’t shy away from the truth.

As a reader, it is an entertaining read that satisfies the demands for an insightful memoir. As a writer, it is an enlightening and inspiring examination of the writing process.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

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Genre: Contempary YA

You Should Read This, Because… It provides a vibrant and refreshing voice in a topic that is not only relevant, but in need of greater discussion. This book deals with the prejudice in America against African Americans and the jarring gun violence. Thomas deftly deals with the shooting of an unarmed young man by a police officer, letting the story unfold through the eyes of a young girl who intends to have the truth heard. Charged & unyielding, one of the best books I’ve read this year.

As a reader, it makes you face the harsh and cruel realities of society while enticing you to be part of the change. As a writer, it is a lesson in taking a relevant topic of the day and translating it to an audience in a way that is both gripping and enlightening.


Alright, that’s it for today’s post. Any thoughts on the books I’ve spoken of above? Have you read these? Do you intend to read them? Let me know in the comments! And remember to be on the lookout for Sarina’s new book 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

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You Should Read This | February 2017

Hi friends,

See, the last few months I’ve spoken about coming back but then never did, so this time I decided to not announce my return, but just jump into it! Considering that this is my second post in one week, I say it was the best decision to make!

Action speaks louder than words, right friends 😉

Also, just want to thank everyone for the love. You are all amazing for standing by me during this long period of undependable me.

I am so grateful for your continued support. Truly!



Isle of Winds – James Fahy

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Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… It is perfectly reminiscent of childhood classics such as Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter. The mythology and worldbuilding is rich and fills the pages, while the characters led by Robin Goodfellow make for an entertaining cast. Absolutely delightful and whimsical.

As a reader, it’s a delightful piece of escapism that echoes with humour and with heart. As a writer, it’s a lesson in enriching your story with myths and magic.

Shades of Magic Trilogy – V.E. Schwab

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(NOTE: I read the first book last year, but read 2 & 3 in February, so I’ll just talk about the trilogy as a whole)

Genre: Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… It is a fantastic series that is consistently gripping and magical from start to finish. With a cast of unforgettable characters, it is fantastical adventure to inspire wanderlust. Lila Bard is one of the fiercest female characters you’ll encounter on the written page.

As a reader, it is page-turning series that ends on a satisfying note, while leaving you wanting so much more. As a writer, it is a lesson in crafting a solid series full of brilliant worldbuilding and engaging characters.




That’s all for February friends. Sorry for the shorter post!

Have you read any of the above books? Which book series do you hold in high esteem?

Stay well friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Favourite 2017 Reads (So Far) | Top Ten Tuesday

Hi friends,

Happy Tuesday. I’m sorta kinda back… 😉

I’m playing catch up today and participating in Top Ten Tuesday after missing the past two weeks.

The topic for today is best books you’ve read in 2017 so far. Want to join, check out The Broke and the Bookish!

Only three of these were released this year. The rest have been long on my TBR.


10. The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley

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My second read from McKinley, this book was an absolute gem of high fantasy, with stunning worldbuilding. I love Harry. Such a short book too. Definitely one I’ll reread in the future.

9. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

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This book holds a special place in my heart. Not only was it a moving story, but it was my first experience listening to an audiobook and Lin’s voice was perfectly suited to telling this contemporary epic.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

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I read this entire series this year. The first book hooked me with its star crossed romance and mythology! The two that followed were still breathtakingly written, but they lacked the tight plot and compelling narrative of the first. Still a beautiful trilogy though.

7. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

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Can’t begin to express enough how amazing this story is. I don’t read many contemporaries (especially in the YA category — somehow two are on this list, so maybe I should reconsider 🤔). The social relevance of this book alone is enough to convince me that its a book everyone should read.

6. Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman

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The universe must have heard my dreams when it inspired Neil Gaiman to write his own adaptation of Norse mythology. It was preordained that I would love this! And love it I did, with all of Loki’s snark 😍

5. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

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I read this book early in the year and I nearly forgot that I had, it feels like a classic already, a book I’ve known for a long time. I read it in one sitting and it broke my heart.

— the next four are honestly impossible for me to order because they are all epic! —

1. Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

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This was the last book I finished reading and oh my gosh! My heart doesn’t know what to do with itself. I need more of these amazing characters. More, I tell you! MORE 😭

1. The Dark Tower – Stephen King

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I devoured the last three books in this series and I can’t recommend this twisted and complex story enough. The journey of this narrative left me breathless and the ending… Seriously, King is a mad genius!

1. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

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A perfectly dark fantasy! Reminded me of Game of Thrones – which is a very good thing in my books – with Mia even reading a bit like the epic Arya Stark. But believe me, Mia is her own unique character and one of my favourite protagonists. Godsgrave can’t come quick enough!

1. A Conjuring of Light – VE Schwab

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So maybe I lied. 😅

There’s a reason this is the last one. Because it’s honestly the best book I’ve read this year. I don’t know what it is about the characters and the story but Schwab crafted such a strong world with the Shades of Magic series that I want to get lost in it over and over and over again! Not to mention, that this is one of the most brilliant finales to a series. Though, I wish it was not the end…


What are the best books you’ve read so far this year? Any of the ones I’ve mentioned on your list? Let me know in the comments friends! Hope you’ve all been keeping well!

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….

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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:

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My Bookshelf:

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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

The Making of Gabriel Davenport | Beverley Lee

Hello friends!

The weekend is nearly upon us! I’m looking forward to the chance to relax after a hectic week at work and finally get to my edits 🙂

The Making of Gabriel Davenport was one of my favourite reads this year and I am so pleased to be able to share it today 🙂


29010526Blurb:

In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.

Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.

As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.

The darkness is watching.

Review:

A haunting book with a lyrical resonance that is at once eerie and beautiful, terrifying and profound!

After hearing only amazing reviews for this book, I knew I had to discover the magic of it for myself, and my goodness did it exceed any expectation that I had. The plot. The characters. The prose. The thematic impact! All of it was brilliant! ALL. OF. IT.
Before I get carried away with my emotions, let me try to properly express my love of this book.

The plot: A box that should not be opened. A darkness borne from history. A family that will never be the same. These initial elements lay the groundwork for a novel that stretches the early years of Gabriel’s life as he tries to discover the reason for his tragic past and comes to discover that which is haunting his existence. The plot unfolds with foreboding and growing intensity, leading to a number of unexpected twists of a supernatural nature, all of it leading to a gripping and rather gutting end that leaves one rather craving the sequel! It was difficult to put this book down and each sitting left me with an eerie sensation!

The characters: Gabriel Davenport is such a well-drawn character and insanely likeable as he seeks knowledge and understanding. The secondary characters are equally enchanting and I found it all too easy to get attached to them and suffered as they did. The Manor was one of my favourite parts, a house that groups supernaturally aware people, misfits of a sort. And don’t even get me started on Clove – no really don’t because then I’ll have to cry spoilers! What a cast, deftly written and realized!

The prose: This is a horror, a dark fantasy, and yet there is such beauty to be found in it. Reminiscent of Stephen King in many ways, Beverley vividly describes the world she’s created and does a stunning job of crafting sentences that steal your breath! A master storyteller who knows how to string words into sentences that connect into paragraphs and chapters that will not let you turn away.

The thematic impact: By this, I mean, the religious symbolism and questioning of faith, the clash between innocence and corruption, the bond of families and the call for sacrifice. All of these elements were so well interwoven into the plot and left me provoked to thought after each reading. There is nothing I delight more from in a book or movie, then a sense of being both entertained and thoughtful!

Conclusion:
A true work of genius and a stunning debut to laud. I highly anticipate the sequel and can’t recommend this book any more! It will ensnare you!

Rating: quills


Want to know more:

Find The Making of Gabriel Davenport on AMAZON or GOODREADS

Follow Beverley Lee on INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, HER WEBSITE, or FACEBOOK

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

2016 in Review!

Happy Saturday friends,

I can hardly believe that it’s New Year’s Eve. For better or for worse, it seems like this year has flown by. A lot of exciting things have happened, balancing out those times that have felt a little more overwhelming. At the end of the day, I can say that 2016 was a good year for me. I hope that you can say the same 🙂

As we prepare to ring in a New Year, I thought it would be worth it to look back on some of my accomplishments this year…

Reading:

My Goodreads goal this year was 100. I managed to get through 119, and with any luck will close off with 120 (I still have 200 pages to go in Little Women, though…).

Here’s a photo I shared on Instagram to mark my favourite reads of the year…

Happy New Year's Eve friends. Wishing you all a wonderful and happy 2017. To close off the year, here's a look at my favourite reads of 2016! I could only narrow it down to fifteen books and one graphic novel 😅 Watchmen by Alan Moore • EVO Nation by KJ Chapman • Rise of the Sparrows by Sarina Langer • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak • The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee • A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab • Wizard and Glass by Stephen King • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman • Written in Red by Anne Bishop • Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho • My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes by Fredrik Backman • Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett Phew 😅 Many blessings to you and your families in this year! I hope that 2017 shines for you all and that you are surrounded with love, peace, happiness and always hope ❤ Much love to you all! #bookstagram #bestof2016 #mustread #bookworm #booklover #bookaddict #bookaholic #readersofinstagram

A post shared by Faith Rivens (@faith_therivens) on

Writing:

As most of you know, my major accomplishment here came with the publication of my debut novella: Eléonore!

Of course, I always made a lot of headway with Pirate Eyes, wrote about half of a new novel, did a first edit of Heritage, and finished the first draft of a new script. Besides that, I’ve also outlined the rest of the Iníonaofa Chronicles and am ready to start writing the second book in February!


To you, my dear friends, I now wish a most happy New Year with wishes of the best health, and a year full of joy, peace, love and hope! Never stop believing in yourselves and keep pursuing your dreams!

Thank you for all your support this year! I am eternally grateful to you all ❤

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 07.12.16

Happy Wednesday friends,

I’ve been a bit quiet since Eléonore’s release on Sunday. I think part of me is still in shock that she’s out in the world!

Of course, I hate missing this lovely blog hop so I had to make time for it. Hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words, it’s such a great opportunity to interact with a 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?

CURRENTLY READING

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

31700873Blurb

In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….

This is a historical fiction that I am terribly excited to start reading because I love everything about Victoria and I have been anxious to watch the TV series as well. I’ve heard very good things from Claire! It’s already been released, but the copy I have is from NetGalley so it’s also part of my December goal to finish all outstanding NetGalley reads.

RECENTLY READ

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by JK Rowling

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Blurb

It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys’ house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can’t quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys’ of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time? Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine…

Gosh, this book managed to break my heart again even though it’s my 17th… er, 18th time reading it! Lost track now! I remember now why it’s my favourite book. There are so many subtleties that you miss on the first read, but each reread keeps lending new insight! I can’t believe I have only one book left in this reread! Until next year that is 🙂

The Girl from the Sea by Shalini Boland

30657197Blurb:

For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train

A chilling suspense story of wounded hearts and dark secrets.

Washed up on the beach, she can’t remember who she is. She can’t even remember her name. Turns out, she has a perfect life – friends and family eager to fill in the blanks.

But why are they lying to her? What don’t they want her to remember?

When you don’t even know who you are, how do you know who to trust?

I ended up really enjoying this book. It was a great psychological thriller. I much prefer it to The Girl on the Train. I had some small problems with it, but overall it held my interest. A full review will be up in time…

Infernal Alliance (Infernal Hunt #4) by Holly Evans

32868656Blurb: (heavily edited to avoid spoilers)

A rebellion is brewing, threatening to tear down all that the hunters have worked for.

A stunning conclusion to what has been an exhilarating and impressive urban fantasy series. Holly has certainly  become one of my favourite authors of 2016 and I cannot wait to see what she delivers next year with her new series!

If you’re looking for a great urban fantasy series with a formidable protagonist and an eclectic cast of memorable characters, treat yourself to this one!

 

The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee

29010526Blurb:

In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.

Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.

As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.

The darkness is watching.

Friends, I don’t think I can properly tell you how amazing this book is. A beautiful and twisted piece of dark fiction that reminds me of one of my favourite authors: Stephen King! The prose is stunning, the characters engaging, the plot gripping. A unique read that deserves to be discovered by a wide populace! A full review for this will come shortly…

Side note… really didn’t realize how books I’d finished reading this week until just now 😜

READING NEXT

I have too many options!! This is my December TBR (physical copies only!)

This month I'm participating in a few bookstagram challenges. Here's my December TBR for #decemberglee16 #tdhmusicdec16 #grimdragon & #happyhaulidays …. Might be a little ambitious 😉 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott • Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop • The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin • The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon • Vicious by VE Schwab • The Making of Gabriel Davenport • Beverley Lee • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows #circleofbookishfriends is bookstack #allthebooksof2016 & #2016wrapupchallenge Is first book read this year: Lilith by George MacDonald #decbookstagram Is most anticipated read: honestly, I can't decide between Murder of Crows, Vicious and Gabriel Davenport 😊 #bookphotochallenge #decembertbr #mustread #bookaddict #bookaddict #bookaholic #bookworm #readersofinstagram

A post shared by Faith Rivens (@faith_therivens) on

I think my sister and I might do a buddy reread of The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin next. But I’m also hoping to get to The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.

I’ll see how the week forms…


Hope you’ve all been having a beautiful week. Let me know in the comments what your reading habits have been like or leave a link to your post so I can check it out!

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

WWW Wednesday | 16.11.16

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?

It’s been a busy last two weeks for me, finishing up edits on Eléonore and writing through a new NaNoWriMo novel. It’s been fun, but on the opposite side, reading has taken a bit of a down turn…


CURRENTLY READING

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 am rather enjoying this one! There’s something magical about it with interesting characters and great worldbuilding. It’s the perfect inspiration for my NaNoWriMo novel, The Desert Knight.  I’m aiming to be done it tonight–I only have about fifty pages to go.

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 . . .

I don’t normally read two books at once, but I’m reading two books at once. This is one that I got off NetGalley and still haven’t read. It expires soon, so I’m rushing to get it done. So far it’s a diverting historical fiction. My biggest complaint is that it’s been rather predictable so far…

RECENTLY READ

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch # 1) by Rin Chupeco

30095464Blurb:

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

I rather loved this novel. I was lucky to get an ARC from NetGalley. It releases in March 2017, and I am excited for more people to discover it. I will wait to post my review for this one closer to the release date, but I’ll say for now, keep your eyes open for this one, friends 🙂

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes by Fredrik Backman

28098329 Blurb:

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

This book was too wonderful for words. Quirky and unique. A fable that balances grief and humour. A touching human story about fighting our fears and extending compassion. This has become one of my favourite reads this year and I highly recommend it! But be warned, it will break your heart a million ways!

READING NEXT

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 was offered a copy of this novel by the author and I’m excited to get to it once I finish the Tea Planter’s Wife. I always love discovering new authors and new fantasies 🙂

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…

First, I can’t believe that this is going to be my first McKinley read! She’s been high on my TBR for years! Second, I know this is the second book, but it’s a prequel to The Blue Sword as I understand it, and my sister read it first too. If you read the series, which book did you start with?


Okay, that’s it for this week’s WWW Wednesday! Leave your links in the comments or let me know what you’ve been up to reading wise 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 11.02.16

Happy Wednesday friends!

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday! I missed last week, but wouldn’t dare miss today’s! Hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words,  it’s one of my favourite weekly blog hops! I love being part of the a great community of readers.

Why not join in with us?

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?

With NaNoWriMo and other events claiming my life this November, I’m not sure how much reading I’ll be getting done, but I’ll be doing my best!


CURRENTLY READING

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch # 1) by Rin Chupeco

30095464Blurb

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

This is one of the outstanding ARCs I have from NetGalley. I realize I actually have a few, so I’ll be having to do a bit of e-reading this month! I haven’t gotten far into it yet, but I’m definitely interested in seeing where this one goes.

RECENTLY FINISHED READING

Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2) & Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo

18525661

14061957

I won’t post the blurbs because they contain spoilers for the series. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the Goodreads page of Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1)

It’s been a long time since I actually binge-read a series. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I did! But I was glad I did for this series. Why?

Well, the second book, Siege and Storm wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. There was too much preoccupation with the love triangle – er, square (I’m not even sure) — and nothing really happened until the end.

On the other hand, Ruin and Rising, proved to be a stellar conclusion to a lacklustre series, proving that Bardguo had more up her sleeve. I was impressed by the level of maturity and the thematic resonance of the final chapter. Definitely makes me excited to read more of her novels (i.e. Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom!).

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by JK Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)Blurb:

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…

Part of my annual reread of my favourite fantasy series! There’s so much to love about this novel, and yet it’s one of my least favourite in the series. I’ve realized why more this time than ever before because I’ve approached it with a more critical eye. Still, a very enjoyable read 🙂

 

READING NEXT

Here’s a look at my November TBR from a post on my Instagram. Not sure which I’ll turn to next…

Are there any you’ve read or are looking forward to read?


Okay, that’s it from me! Share your WWW links in the comments or let me know how you’ve been keeping occupied with books!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink