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Showing posts from 2019

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow

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Utterly beautiful. I had read reviews touting this as a love-letter to the written word, a book for bibliophiles, heart-breaking and tear-rending, yet even then I was not prepared for how easily Alix Harrow swept me away with her prose. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is all of those things packaged nicely with bows begging to be ripped away so that you can get to the meat of the gift that is this book. It is a story of lives and enduring love that simply asks you to believe; a task I found myself all too willing to pursue.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

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I wish I understood real world accountancy as well as Seth Dickinson has a handle on finance, empire and fictional ledgers. Baru is a bit slow to start and yet quick to reward the reader for their plod through the education and evolution of Baru - the leashing and unleashing of a woman crafted from equal parts diplomat, accountant and duplicitous fiend. Once you glean the tempo of Dickinson's style and Aurdwynn's riotous duchies, the novel begin to deliver on some of the most well-loved favorite tropes and themes in fiction and literature. Political intrigue is that glue which binds our lovers, liars, thieves and claimed crowns. Revolutions are quelled, stymied and swollen again and again in a novel that keeps the twists lurking around every corner. To say more would be to spoil the fun, so I will leave it at this: She makes many promises, and Baru holds no debts. A definite must-read for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire , The Gentlemen Bastards , and the Red Rising Saga .

Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

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In all honesty, it took a little bit for me to get in to the world. Arnett is aggressive with her world-building and lore-dumps - however , she is skilled at leveraging the need to bring the reader up-to-speed with quick payoffs and action. For every moment I felt the story lagged over needed history or faith-based knowledge, she follows with a direct pivot into plot-advancing encounters. While a little bumpy in regards to the "childhood love rekindled" side plot, I did feel it was handled well in the end. As a reader, you came to believe the skill and ability of our leads and were thus able to see them as partners with an emotional connection. One aspect I adored was the lack of Damsels-In-Distress and Roguish Cads. Everyone gets their moment to shine and chance to make you roll your eyes, which fleshed out the characters in a satisfying manner.

The True Bastards by Jonathan French

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Jonathan French is an author who surprises. Just as with Grey Bastards , there are times where you think, "Oh, I am a crafty reader. I know where this is going!" And two pages later you realize, "I am a fool-ass." And then three pages later you're left staring in shock at what you just read, while possibly gripping any number of places on your body and saying "Ow." The True Bastards is a wild ride through the Lots which takes us to places we know well, and then draws back the curtain of corners of Hispartha that we've yet to see. Through the eyes of Fetch, the reader is given a unique perspective into the tough-as-warhog-hide world she inhabits and what it takes to survive. True Bastards certainly holds the line alongside Grey Bastards as an equal; each brings loads to the table in terms of character, plot and nasty foils for our mongrel heroes. True Bastards certainly dials up the weird in a way that caught me off guard, and I loved it. If y

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

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O daughters. You know how you can see a thing coming, like a steam train riding the only tracks in a lonely part of the plains? But still you stand there waiting. Waiting. Wait ing. And it hits you and you go, "CHRIST, I KNEW IT." And your pulse races and you are o so satisfied and o so surprised. That is this book and every promise made, broken and sold for scrap. It is delightful, a wild ride, and I would love to buy Jay K a beverage of his choice for how wonderful this ride was. 

Fortune's Fool by Angela Boord

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Hands down, one of the best books I read in 2019, with a story that  grips you by the heart with Kyrra's metal fist and squeezes. This was lovely, horrifying, intriguing and altogether a fantastic read. I was still reeling twenty-four hours after finishing the novel, hastily scribbling fever dream conspiracies and little dangling threads left unsolved on bits of paper. Someone get me red twine because I have a webbed map to weave. I'm going full Charlie Day over here. The author, Angela Boord , has quickly become a hero of mine. Managing to put to paper a story this complex, yet still tight and concise, while mothering NINE children has me in awe. I anxiously awaited the release of her short story turned novella, Smuggler's Fortune , and now cannot be bothered to cook, clean or engage with my family as I am busy eating up all that is Kyrra, Razi and Nibas. I should savor each word, take my time, as at this point the wait for Fool's Promise  is only going to be painf