Top 5 Wednesday – Top of Your TBR

Posted January 23, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 5 Wednesday / 0 Comments

This one is self-explanatory, we hope! Can’t wait to hear all about yours.

Paige:

Last year, we had a similar topic toward the beginning of the year that I treated as a sort of mini-goal for myself to accomplish by the end of the year. As such, I’d like to think of this post as very similar – these books aren’t NECESSARILY the next five books I will get to in order, especially since I am a mood reader who has a lot of literary irons in the fire, but I’m making a little pact with myself to get it done before December 31st. If, by the middle of the year, I manage to get through these, then I’ll pick another five! Baby steps, guys.

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

I read the second book in this series, Red Seas Under Red Skies, during the summer round of Tome Topple last year, and my plan was to read this one during the round after. Well…that didn’t happen. I completely whiffed that Tome Topple – I got REALLY SICK and basically stayed ill that entire month. Boo. ANYWAY I have loved both books in this series and would really like to get caught up.

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

This book is the last in a trilogy, and I did that cute thing where I read the first two in rapid succession and then promptly got distracted. I simply must finish it.

Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

This is a case of a duology where I loved the first book, acquired the second, and then heard TERRIBLE REVIEWS far and wide in the bookish community. While I am super hesitant about it, I really do need to find out for myself.

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

This is actually a quite recent acquisition, but I’m putting it on this list anyway simply because I am incredibly excited to read it. I really want to tackle it before winter turns to spring, so here is my motivation!

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

This is another recent acquisition – my friend Andrew got it for me for Christmas – and it’s another one that I’m just incredibly excited for.

I feel remiss for not having commentary for yours, because I haven’t read them…sorry 😐

Paige’s TBR stack, complete with a fancy, tiny Treebeard!


Kate

I’m going to do basically the same thing Paige is, mostly because mine are pretty long. I’m already actively reading five books, and I have another five I keep on my Goodreads current shelf that I plod through when the mood strikes. It’s a whole process, and I know it’s weird, but it works for me, so I don’t want to screw it up too much.

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

I was SO excited for fall releases last year, and I ended up dropping the ball on most of them. Paige and I purchased tickets to see Queen V in Columbus this spring, though, so I need to get completely caught up before we get there. I don’t want anything to be spoiled! Do the thing.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

So, Paige’s husband has this friend who is one of our staunchest supporters (Hi Mike!), and he has made it known that we should prioritize The Stormlight Archive. Well, Paige got the first one read last year, and I have yet to start. I’m hoping to read at least the first one this year, but I’m a little concerned that the length will get in my way. We shall see. Do the thing!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

I was planning on reading this when it was released, but that clearly didn’t happen. Surprised, right? My goal is to finish it as soon as possible, because people seem to be really loving it for the most part. While I’m okay being late to the party on things, it can be detrimental if I let myself get too behind the general bookish conversation. Or at least that’s how I feel, and for some reason, I’m feeling that with this book. Do. The. Thing.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Remember what I just said about being late to the party? Well when everyone was losing their minds over Furyborn last year, my thoughts on it were, “Cool cover. Maybe later.” That’s the story of how it’s been sitting on my shelf for eight months. Bottom line, I want to be ready for Kingsbane. DOTHETHING

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Honestly, this is just embarrassing. It must be read. DOOOO THEEEEEE THIIIIIIIING!

Kate’s just holding hers, but the paint color is called “Magical”, so that’s pretty cool.

What are some of the books you’re dying to get to? We’re always looking for suggestions to make our lists ever longer and more difficult to choose from. Let us know in the comments!

As always, happy reading and we’ll see you next week!

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Review – Dark of the West

Posted January 22, 2019 by Paige in Book Reviews, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review – Dark of the WestDark of the West (Glass Alliance #1) by Joanna Hathaway
Published by Tor Teen on February 5, 2019
Pages: 480
Goodreads
four-stars

He was raised in revolution. She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner's Curse in Joanna Hathaway's Dark of the West, a breathtaking YA fantasy debut.
Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.
Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

I received this book as an eARC from Tor Teen, and I was SO excited when it landed in my inbox. I was anticipating more fantasy aspects than I ultimately got, but once I got going, I was on board. This book is heavily based on World War II, but it takes place in a non-magical fantasy world. I honestly think the full synopsis gives away way too much information, but that’s just personal preference. One of the things I adored the most about this book is part of its construction – the prologue for the book takes place AFTER the events of the book, so you get this wistful and heartbreaking knowledge that creates a little war inside yourself. You’re rooting for certain people and certain events the entire time, knowing full well how things actually pan out in the future. This is a bit of my literary masochism coming out (since I like books that destroy me), but it really speaks to the strength of the narrative and the characters when you find yourself hoping despite all odds.

Out two main characters are a princess (Aurelia) and the son of a general (Athan). Aurelia has her place due to divine right of birth, while Athan is a third son of a man who lead a political uprising ten years prior. Despite their fundamental differences, you slowly get to discover parallels between the two of them. I love that we get Athan’s perspective, because it allows us to encounter a confident, semi-cocky male character (yay!) while also seeing him be soft and vulnerable and rattled at other times (double yay!). I also love that Aurelia gets to truly be her own person – she and Athan are as star-crossed as they get (especially due to his concealed identity), but she isn’t just whisked away by him or used as a motivator for his character. SHE is motivated to do what is best for her country, even though she doesn’t always understand what that means.

I adored so many of the characters in this book, but there sometimes were too many side characters that felt unnecessary OR like they should have just been fleshed out more. I adored the camaraderie between Athan and his best friend. And ultimately, I really liked where and how far the romance went. I feel like Hathaway went JUST far enough to make me feel like the relationship was believable without it feeling rushed or, alternatively, too drawn out. Also, blessing of all blessings, there is NO LOVE TRIANGLE DESPITE THERE BEING A BEST FRIEND CHARACTER.

I will admit that sometimes I got a little lost with the politics, but I have seen that the finished copy will have a map inside, so I am sure this would have solved a TON of my problems. In fact, after I finished the book, the author tweeted a link to her website where she had uploaded a map graphic for early reviewers. You can find it at here. If you like realistic fantasy, gritty wartime stories, romance without love triangles, and SO MUCH POLITICAL MANEUVERING, I would recommend this one to you! It comes out on February 5, 2019.

four-stars

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Review – The Last Namsara

Posted January 17, 2019 by Kate in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Review – The Last NamsaraThe Last Namsara (Iskari, #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli
Published by HarperTeen on October 3, 2017
Pages: 432
Goodreads
four-half-stars

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

Wow, it’s been too long since I’ve done this! I promise not to go seven months (yikes) without a review ever again.

Now that THAT’S out of the way, let’s get down to business! This is sort of part one of two. I devoured both The Last Namsara and The Caged Queen, and I considered writing about them together, but they are so distinct, that it only seemed to fair to address them separately.

The Last Namsara was a slow burn for me. Despite the dragon hunting and obvious social barriers in Firgaardian culture, I just didn’t see a reason to be invested. It became obvious fairly quickly – I think about 60 pages – that I was wrong. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. I was just WRONG. All of a sudden, the little pieces of information that were dropped in the first couple of chapters started to become important. I don’t know if you know this about me, but the whole breadcrumbs into building blocks thing is a highly effective storytelling style where I am concerned. I am taken by surprise every time, and every time I LOVE IT.

Now let’s talk social institutions for a minute. I want there to be a Language of Thorns-esque book for this series, because the mythology of this world is incredible. Throughout the book, there are flashbacks and vignettes that expose the reader to crucial information, but I want the in-depth info on these beliefs and people. I want to know the Iskari and Namsara. I want to know all about the dragons and their power. I want to know what drove the last dragon queen more than a little crazy. And I’m not talking the surface level details we got to move this particular book along – I want it ALL. I feel like we’re only getting a taste of the stories Cicarrelli cooked up as the foundation of this series, and I hope she shares the whole landscape with us someday. I will eat it up.

Aside from the mythos, there’s the very real and incredibly pervasive ethnic hierarchy in Firgard. It is, quite frankly, disgusting, but I think she handles it well. There are three main groups we face in this story – the Scrublanders, Skral, and Draksors. The Draksors are the ruling class – an almost entirely secular society that demeans anyone or anything that does not adhere to their rule. The Scrublanders are another faction that rules their own lands, but they are under economic rule of the draksors. They are portrayed as the barbarian others, though in reality, they are much the same. They still hold to the Old Ways and religious beliefs. The Skral are the slave race, born of people who came to conquer the continent and ultimately failed due to some highly questionable dragon related shenanigans. There are things that are easy to spoil if you go to deep into how these groups do and don’t interact with each other, so I don’t want to say too much.

There are two things I want to mention, though. First, the fact that Ciccarelli is able to make these social restrictions – and the way people both uphold them and fight to tear them down – so central to the plot, is artistry I really admire. I think it drives the story, and it’s almost an additional character that has to be dealt with. It is not just there for flavor – it is ingrained in these people, from every group, to their very core. Second, the interactions of the individual characters with these rules is fundamental to how their personalities and development are portrayed. This is a simple assessment, but I just think it’s really cool. So often cultural things like that are there as flavor and don’t have any real consequences. Not so in this world.

I dumped so much into the culture and mythology, because frankly, talking about the character too much ruins the plot. The good guys are great, the bad guys are awful, and if I tell you who ends up on which side, it ruins the entire thing. This wouldn’t be a good review if I didn’t at least talk about Asha, our wonderful, strong, and fiercely strong-willed main character. The way she has been raised and the truth she is being exposed to throughout this book are so completely at odds with each other, but as she learns to reconcile them, she grows into an unstoppable, though still completely human, protagonist.

As for the others, the Dragon King, Jarek, Dax, Roa, Saffire, and Torwin are the group to look out for reading this book, but don’t trust what you know about them until you turn the last page. You’ll sell them and the story short if you do.

I know I’m incredibly late to the hype train on this one, but please give it a shot if you haven’t already. It’s unbelievable to me that this was a debut novel, and the series only gets better with The Caged Queen.

four-half-stars

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2018 End of the Year Survey

Posted January 17, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Miscellaneous Tags, Monthly Wrap Ups / 0 Comments

This end of year survey comes from The Perpetual Page Turner, and we had so much fun filling it out. Our only regret is that it took two weeks to post! You can find her original version here if you’d like to fill it out for yourself!

**2018 READING STATS**

1. Number Of Books You Read

Paige: 213

Kate: 89

2. Number of Re-Reads

Paige: 27

Kate: 26

3. Genre You Read The Most From

Paige: YA Fantasy (shocking no one)

Kate: Same. Obviously.

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2018 release vs. backlist)

Paige:

Favorite adult novel – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Favorite YA novel – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I don’t need to elaborate on these. I have Mr. Kindly inked into my skin, and I will never shut up about Laini Taylor.

Kate:

Favorite Adult Novel: Also Nevernight. Shocking, I know.

Favorite YA Novel: Six of Crows, probably.

Favorite Re-Read: A Court of Mist and Fury

Choosing my favorite YA was hard, but the other two were easy. Nevernight was a slow burn for me, but when I fell for it, I fell HARD, and I think my feelings on ACOMAF have been made very clear at this point. Six of Crows was the book I put off reading that I wish I could have spent years cherishing.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Paige:

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I LOVE The Lunar Chronicles. I love Heartless. I expected to love a superhero book by Marissa Meyer and I was just left feeling…nothing about this book. Which is almost worse than hating it.

Kate:

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Based on everything I heard about this book, I was excited. Paige and I buddy read it, and I just did not care. I couldn’t get invested, and, gun to my head, I couldn’t tell you a single thing about it. It was almost a non-entity to me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Paige:

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

This was suggested to me by a friend, and I was definitely intimidated. I don’t read a lot of adult fantasy, I don’t read a lot of male authors, and this seemed very gun and war heavy. BUT IT WAS SO COOL AND GOOD. Thanks Mike ❤️

Kate:

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

I was positive I was going to LOVEEEEEEE this series. I was wrong. Samesies.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Paige:

I made Kate read Laini Taylor. She’s welcome. Thank you!!!

Kate:

Accurate. And in return, I bullied her into committing to Throne of Glass. She’s welcome, too ❤️ THANK YOU

5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Paige:
WOW JUST COME AT ME LIKE THAT. Okay. I read the entirety of Throne of Glass this year. I read both Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares this year. I started the Ember Quartet by Sabaa Tahir. I read a lot of fantasy, so this question is just kinda rude, okay?

Kate:

…Nevernight, Reaper at the Gates, and Kingdom of Ash. But only because you made me choose. This question was mean.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Paige:

In an effort to not sound like a broken record, I’m going to go with Elana K. Arnold, who wrote Damsel. This short book packed a huge punch, and I think everyone should read it. Bar none. I cannot wait to see if she writes anything else and where she takes her talents.

Kate:

Jay Kristoff, both his writing and his social media presence. A+ human being. His creations scare the living shit out of me, but that’s what makes them good. IT’S TRICKAAAAAY

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Paige:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I really don’t read a ton of contemporary/romance books, but this one has been all over bookish social media, so I decided to take it on. I ADORED it. The smut was good, the romance made me tingly, and I had a great time devouring it.

Kate:

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I don’t read a ton of non-fiction. Most that I do is self-help adjacent, but it’s certainly not common enough to claim it as typical. That being said, I NEEDED a wake up call, and this was a great book to end my year on. Just read it, okay?

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Paige:

Again, I read a lot of really excellent series and sequels this year. Kingdom of Ash? Muse of Nightmares? A Reaper at the Gates? Crooked Kingdom?

Kate:

Sky in the Deep. I sat down to read a chapter or two before bed, and all of a sudden it was 2AM, and I’d finished it.

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Paige:

I am almost assuredly going to reread both Nevernight and Godsgrave before Darkdawn comes out next September.

Kate:

Aside from the obvious (yes, I’m talking about ACOTAR again), I’ll also be re-reading Godsgrave. I’ll also re-read Strange the Dreamer before I take on Muse, because I still haven’t read it. Whoops.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

Paige:

*throws Strange the Dreamer at your face*

Kate:

Godsgrave, specifically the US version. Ermahgerd.

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Paige:

Sevro from the Red Rising series. Bro is fucking WEIRD and is clearly Pierce’s favorite character to write, and I’m here for it.

Kate:

Jude from The Cruel Prince. She’s a stone cold bitch, and I love it. {RETWEET} Since writing this, I’ve finished The Wicked King. It’s basically twice as true now.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

Paige:

Have…have you heard of our Lady and Savior Laini Taylor? In addition, I would say The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth.

Kate:

Strange the Dreamer. It was just PERFECT.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

Paige:

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold. This book is going to stick with me for a really, really long time. It is a short, dark fantasy novel that I highly encourage anyone and everyone to pick up.

Kate:

I’m going to recycle Girl Wash Your Face here. It was the right book at the right time for a kick in the pants. Usually, it’s fiction that does that for me, but not this time.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?

Paige:

I did it. I read The Way of Kings. Insert 1200 pages worth of cheering here.

Kate:

Six of Crows. Clearly I should have read it immediately upon its release. Oh my gosh.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

Paige:

It might be a little cheap to go for this one since it was a 2018 reread, but also Kate and I both got it tattooed into our wrists this year, so who cares?

Anoshe was a word for strangers in the street, and lovers between meetings, for parents and children, friends and family. It softened the blow of leaving. Eased the strain of parting. A careful nod to the certainty of today, the mystery of tomorrow. When a friend left, with little chance of seeing home again, they said anoshe. When a loved one was dying, they said anoshe. When corpses were burned, bodies given back to the earth and souls to the stream, those left grieving said anoshe.

Which is from A Conjuring of Light. I teared up while typing it. You’re welcome.

Kate:

Here’s the thing – I LOVE quotes, but I also struggle coming up with favorites. So I started scrolling through Goodreads and looking through some of my favorite books from last year, and this one from ACOMAF popped up. I know, you’re floored. But really, it’s everything I think about life summed up in a few short words, plus Rhys said it, and it made me cry. Win/Win/Win.

There are different kinds of darkness. There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful. There is the darkness of lovers and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

Paige:

The shortest book was Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, and the longest was definitely The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

Kate:

Yumi/Okami by Renee Ahdieh at about 10 pages each, and the longest was Kingdom of Ash.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.

Paige:

I gotta say it – Kingdom of Ash. There’s a certain part near the end (the big one, not the one after it) that just wrecked me. It hurt. I’m not over it. Then why are you talking about it?! *sniffles*

Kate:

Same. After all the ACOWAR hail Mary’s, I thought this was going to go the same way. I was wrong.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar

Paige:

Again, I read the entirety of Throne of Glass this year…so yeah. Rowaelin for life. But also honorable mention to Dalinar and Navani from The Way of Kings. I ship it so hard.

Kate:

I have many, but Asha and Torwin from The Last Namsara popped into my head first, so I’ll go with them. The next ones were Elaine/Azriel (YEP – fight me), Akiva/Karou, and of course, Rowaelin.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Paige:

Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell from The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth. Give me some strong and soft sisters that love each other and I will cry like a baby.

Kate:

You guys read my blog post about the Inner Circle, right? Yeah? I’ll just back away from this question slowly.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Paige:

It was Muse of Nightmares. No contest.

Kate:

This one is tricky. I read a lot that I liked, but I’ll probably have to go with Tower of Dawn. I wanted to hate it so badly, but SJM got me. She got me good.

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Paige:

I have so many. Kate got me into Throne of Glass, our friend Mike got me to read Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan and The Way of Kings, and the general hype train got me into SO many authors. I truly can’t choose.

Kate:

As Paige has established, Laini Taylor. I just love her so much.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Paige:

Cartier from The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross. We love a good scholarly love interest.

Kate:

Dax from The Caged Queen, not so much from The Last Namsara.

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

Paige:

This is a two-way tie between The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth and Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. I adored both SO MUCH and cannot believe they were first novels.

Kate:

Sky in the Deep, hands down. I loved it. I can’t wait for the companion novel set to come out. It’s going to be GREAT.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Paige:

Are…are you tired of me talking about Laini Taylor’s books? Because I read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy (again) AND the Strange the Dreamer duology this year. Laini wins forever.

Kate:

The Last Namsara. I was blown away by the layers in that story. The world and society and the way characters are forced to interact with it all were crafted so beautifully.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Paige:

I re-read An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson this year by listening to the audio version, and I still get the giggles over a certain drunken utterance about a teapot. I really adored this book.

Kate:

This is going to be weird, but it was probably Nevernight. Dry, gruesome, crass humor really works for me.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

Paige:

Kingdom of Ash, Muse of Nightmares, Damsel, The Snow Child, The Way of Kings, ETC.

Kate:

AHAHAHAHA I cry at everything. Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Reaper at the Gates, and Kingdom of Ash were the roughest.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Paige:

I tend to read a lot of hyped stuff, but I had no idea how much I was going to adore Sourdough by Robin Sloane. I see plenty of people talk about his book Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, but I never see anyone talk about this one.

Kate:

The Life Siphon by Kathryn Sommerlot. This is an Amazon self-published book, and I loved the concept. Both The Life Siphon and its sequel, The Mage Heir, will be re-released this year.

She’s written a lot, and you should definitely check out her website to see some of her other writing.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Paige:

Besides the ones that made me cry, let’s also tack on some The Reaper at the Gates action, because Sabaa Tahir lives to crush souls.

Kate:

Same. I literally can’t talk about it.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

Paige:

Definitely Illuminae. I read the print version and the audio version in rapid succession, and I really loved the formatting. It gave the book such an immersive, cinematic quality that made it a page-turned despite being SO MASSIVE.

Kate:

I don’t really do unique – A Face Like Glass definitely had the most interesting plot, even though I didn’t really enjoy it all that much.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Paige:

The previously mentioned Damsel made me angry in a righteous way, and I loved the book. And then we have The Magician King by Lev Grossman. There is a rape scene that disgusted me so much near the end of the book that I immediately turned off the audiobook and returned it AND the following book in the series. Note to authors – please don’t even kind of imply that a female character is enjoying being brutally raped. THANKS.

Kate:

I don’t have a good reason for this like Paige does, but The Caged Queen was downright painful to listen to. There was no reason for Roa to be that unbelievably STUPID. I noticed reading the print version, but it got worse when I was doing an audio re-read in the car on the way to Thanksgiving. If I had a dollar for every time my husband jumped in with some version of, “What a f***ing idiot!”, I’d be a very rich woman. I wish I had been there.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

Paige:

So uh…apparently I’m reading the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Wish me luck!

Kate:

Oh gosh. There was a lot I didn’t get to. I would have to say that either Muse of Nightmares or Vengeful would have the top spot for me, but Illuminae and Every Heart a Doorway are close seconds (or thirds and fourths).

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

Paige:

*insert video of me sweating while looking between The Wicked King, Darkdawn, and The Starless Sea frantically without being able to commit*

Kate:

Darkdawn. It was always going to be Darkdawn.

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Paige:

I don’t have a ton of debuts on my radar, but I’ll go with Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte.

Kate:

I’m going to copy her, because I’m not good at paying attention to such things, and I’m pumped for that release.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

Paige:

EMBER IN THE ASHES BOOK FOUR BY SABAA TAHIR.

Kate:

…still Darkdawn.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

Paige:

I want to get back into reviewing. I really like my month wrap-up style review posts, but I really want to dedicate some time to longer, fleshed-out reviews for books I feel strongly about.

Kate:

I’d like to do more reviews, and I would like to start highlighting more of the events and borderline crazy things we do. We’ve driven 4+ hours one way on a work night on more than one occasion to go to an author signing, for example.

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Paige:

N/A, sadly. I have a couple of future releases on my Kindle, but I haven’t gotten to them yet.

Kate:

I’ve now read The Wicked King, but that’s cheating, because I didn’t have it before the first of the year. That’s all I’ve got, but you should DEFINITELY still read it.

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Top 5 Wednesday – Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

Posted January 16, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 5 Wednesday / 0 Comments

These are books you read in 2018, not only ones released in 2018.

Paige

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

I started a buddy read of this series with 2 (new at the time) friends on Twitter toward the beginning of the year, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t skim the second half of the book. The other two ladies gave it a more fair shot, but I bailed on the buddy read quickly and just stuck around for the friendship. I didn’t like any of the characters, there was a weird creepy pseudo-incestuous situation, and I just didn’t feel drawn in by the plot. This is a really hyped series on a lot of the booktube channels I watch, so I was disappointed to feel so “meh” about it.

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

I received this book in my first ever Illumicrate, and I was excited. The author is an active member of the bookish community, so the release of her debut was incredibly hyped. This book was supposed to be a hard-hitting contemporary, and I am sure it was beautiful and touching for some people, but I just didn’t connect. It didn’t feel like anything special to me, and contemporaries usually have to have something extra before I really care.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Oh man. This one might be the worst one. I LOVE The Lunar Chronicles, which I got into because of Kate, and I was super excited when I found out the author was writing a new series based on superheroes. The synopsis sounded great, and there was a lot of pre-release buzz. Kate and I excitedly set up a buddy read because we both couldn’t believe how long it was taking us to get to it, and then…cue the awkward “So uh, how are you feeling about this?” messages. This book was slow, and that’s saying something coming from a reader like me. I didn’t care about any of the characters, and I also probably couldn’t tell you any of their names. I’m honestly not sure if I will be continuing with the series.

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

This was another failed buddy read, and I feel like I did Kate dirty on it. I read a chapter of this book when I was trying to decide which of my subscription box books to read, and I earmarked it as one I was excited for. When I came back to it with Kate about a month later and actually started reading, I was so disappointed. You might see a theme here – I didn’t care about the characters. I slogged through via skim-reading because a goodreads review promised a good villain reveal, but just…meh.

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

I got this book in a Litjoy subscription, and I was so excited for it. It was part of a Celtic Myth themed box (although I got the book-only option), and it was such a bizarre read from the get-go. There was insta-love, there was constant lack of information given to the reader for the sake of the mystery, and I hated the ending. Do not recommend.

Kate

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I am a shameless shill for The Lunar Chronicles, and I really enjoyed Heartless. I was going into our buddy read for Renegades with a lot of hope, despite the fact that superhero books aren’t generally my jam. I was disappointed. It was by no means bad, but it just didn’t excite me, and I was expecting it to. I think I would have been happier if I hated it, because then I would feel SOMETHING about it, but I don’t. I got Archenemies for Christmas, and I’m going to give it a shot, but I just don’t know what sort of interest I’m going to have in this series.

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

This was another buddy read with Paige, and it was not good. Even though Paige feels some guilt about this, she should not, because I was also super pumped to jump in. I loved the cover art, and I had the fancy schmancy Fairyloot edition with the black pages, and the synopsis sounded awesome. Then it fell flat. Like, completely, totally, unforgivably flat. I ended up DNF’ing it and getting the highlights from Paige, and I’m not sorry about it.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve already talked about this a fair amount, so I won’t dwell on it, but this might be my biggest disappointment of the year. I put off reading this series for so long, and I was so excited to finally take it on. But the ending really destroyed it for me. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so much character development undone that quickly.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

I WANT TO LOVE HER BOOKS SO MUCH!!! I love her as a human being, I love her style of writing, I love the concepts she comes up with, but somehow I just can’t wrap my mind around the whole package. Paige and I went with our friend Rachel to a signing for this book, and I tried to start it with an open mind. But I think it was just too weird for me. The writing was beautiful, but the story just didn’t draw me in. I’m going to try some of her earlier writing this year to see if I might be able to work myself up to trying this one again.

Piper by Asher Jay

This is a graphic novel I picked up at Half Price Books, because I fell in love with the art. My love for it stopped there. It was a retelling of The Pied Piper that was overly simplistic, and there were weird jumps in the story that weren’t explained. There were two or three separate occasions that I went back, because I thought I turned an extra page due to seemingly missing or confusing information. I hadn’t.

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Review – In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

Posted January 9, 2019 by Paige in Book Reviews, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review – In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuireIn an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4) by Seanan McGuire
Published by Tor.com on January 8, 2019
Pages: 208
Goodreads

This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.
When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.
For anyone . . .

I am completely smitten and enthralled by this series. In case you haven’t heard about it, the Wayward Children series is a series of novellas by Seanan McGuire all about children who have returned from portal fantasies. In the first book, Every Heart a Doorway, we follow a main character who comes to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, a boarding school for those who have returned from their portal worlds and are trying to figure out how to survive in the “real” world while simultaneously trying to get home to the world made for them.

This is a key theme in these books – for each of these children, the world they traveled to was a better fit for them than our real world. The second book in the series, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, follows two characters we meet in the first book. Seanan herself has stated that the series (committed through 8 books, currently), will alternate – one book following a linear timeline, then one book about an origin story, and then one book back on the linear timeline.

This book is the origin story of Lundy, a character we meet in the first book. Lundy is a middle child, often overlooked because she causes no trouble. When she begins to chafe under the expectations of adults due to her parentage and gender, Lundy finds herself in the goblin market, where everything hinges on the concept of “fair value.” The bookish and rule-oriented Lundy finds friendship with an owlish young girl and a woman called the Archivist as she tries to learn the ropes of the Market.

This book is heartbreaking because, due to the events of Every Heart a Doorway, we know exactly how it ends. And yet, I couldn’t help but hope for Lundy. The descriptions Seanan uses drew me in and ensnared me gently even though I knew how much it would hurt. Also, as a small aside, the repeated food descriptions made me hungry despite the fact that I read this right after having dinner.

There truly isn’t much that I can say about this book without ruining some of the previous books, so suffice to say that I hope we get more than 8 books, and that I’m already wistfully pining for the next book, Come Tumbling Down, which is slated for release next year. Seanan writes hope in a way that few others are able to, and she is also able to weave that hope into darkness and creepiness and have her readers come out better on the other side. Please, if you haven’t read this story, pick up the other three and then read this one.

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Paige’s December Wrap-Up

Posted January 3, 2019 by Paige in Monthly Wrap Ups / 0 Comments

I read 19 books during December, and I’m actually pretty pleased with that! I spent a good chunk of my holiday break not reading and just enjoying time with friends and family, and I’m also pleased with that. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on all the books I read!

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

I started this month off with a bang with this book. It is a retelling of the snow child myth where an older childless couple creates a child in the snow that come to life. This book definitely could have been rough for me in the magical realism/fantastical aspect, but thankfully I was able to set my usual struggle aside and enjoy the ride. The couple in this story, Jack and Mabel, leave their comfortable life in the east to homestead in Alaska in the 1920s. It was beautiful and sad and lyrical and a perfect winter read. 5 stars.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

This was an audio reread. I won’t bore you. 5 stars.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is maybe one of the most hyped books ever, so while I rated it high on Goodreads, I’m not sure about how I feel currently. I will admit that I keep thinking about it, so maybe it deserves a pretty high rating just for that. If you don’t know about this book…just go read it. 4.5 stars.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisen

This book was AMAZING. Holy shit. This is another one where I think I will struggle to talk about it, so instead I say just go pick it up. It is a truly unique and amazing sci-fi novel, and I absolutely adore it. 5 stars.

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

Let me just say – thank god. I have such a weird relationship with these books, but I was slightly optimistic after reading the novella bind-up and really liking it. This book FINALLY succeeded on the pacing front, and it is such a relief. I’m not just ensnared by the setting and the premise. I actually care what is going on – WOO. I still adore Katharine as a character, and I’m actually excited for the last book. 4 stars.

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

This is the spiritual sequel to The Star-Touched Queen, which I read last month. I’ve seen a ton of people who didn’t enjoy this one at all, but it really entertained me. I liked the hate-to-love romance, I liked the riddles and the competition, and Roshani really knows how to weave mythology like a master. 4 stars.

As She Ascends by Jodi Meadows

I cannot believe I waited so long to read this one. Since this is a sequel, I can’t divulge much, but suffice to say – if you like slow-burn and soft boys and strong female friendships and DRAGONS, this series is for you. I need the third one NAO. 5 stars.

Wildcard by Marie Lu

This is another sequel that I read this month that I had heard mixed things about, and I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I liked the ending. I liked the conflict and gray morality. I liked the friendships and gamer aspects. 4 stars.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I’ve been hearing for such a long time that the magic system and friendships in these books is to die for, and I’m so stoked that I finally read this one. The sequels are on their way to my house as we speak, and I hope I can finish the second and the novella before the third book, Bloodwitch, comes out this year. 4 stars.

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

This was a cute little graphic novel about grief and death and coping and GHOSTS. I really adored the art style, I loved the two main characters, and the bumbling bad guy made me laugh…and then immediately get sad. 4 stars.

Check, Please! Volume 1 by Ngozi Ukazu

SO CUTE SO CUTE SO CUTE. Gay hockey baking romance with a cute art style. Go check it out right meow, either in the hard copy first volume or the webcomic online!

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

I was pretty stoked when I received this book in a Litjoy subscription delivery because I love Irish folk stories and myth, but man was this book disappointing. It didn’t give us enough information and expected us to catch up, there was hella instalove, and there were jargon-y words throughout the story that WEREN’T ITALICIZED AND WE DIDN’T KNOW THERE WAS A GLOSSARY IN THE BACK. Why would you want you readers to be confused and lost the whole time? The world may never know. 2 stars.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This is another slow-burn book that I keep thinking about even though I’ve been done with it for a couple of weeks. It is a sad, thoughtful, hopeful ode to booklovers everywhere. 4 stars.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

This is another one that I heard tons of mixed reviews about, but I actually liked it a lot! I liked the timed aspect of Ben and Arthur’s relationship – it made me think of They Both Die at the End hardcore. It made everything more believable. It read like a rom-com, which I am here for. And the ending was absolutely perfect. A+, gold star. 4 stars!

One Day in December by Josie Silver

This was my cozy Christmas romance, and it was way less fluffy that than I thought it would be. I felt myself rooting for a couple that maybe I shouldn’t have been, and I feel like that speaks to the skill of the writer when I feel things I really shouldn’t be. This is another one that read like a movie almost, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it! 4 stars.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

I DID IT. It took me almost 2 months of chipping away at it between other things, but I did it. I love so many of the characters. The world-building is insane. The battle scenes gave me feelings??? I loved a female character written by a dude??? And then the last 150 or so pages just went off the goddamned rails and I’m scared for the next one. 5 stars, obviously.

The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork

This was a fun Nutcracker retelling that, of all things, made me laugh a ton. I don’t know if the author was trying to make me laugh with the way she worded things, but I hope she was! I definitely recommend this as a winter/pre-Christmas read to anyone who has kind of a dumb sense of humor or who can at least look past dumb humor. 4 stars.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

This is a solid “eh.” I read it using the Serial Reader app over about a month, and all of the characters are horrible. I get that they’re supposed to be horrible, but there was nothing else about the story that made it okay or at least enjoyable to read their horribleness. Reading Joseph’s speech made me want to take an ice pick to my eyes. This is a generous 3 stars. Don’t come for me!

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

I read an excerpt of this a few months ago and was really excited to read the full novel! This is another one where I had a slight issue – there were so many words and phrases in different languages that, while I’m glad they had a glossary in the back, because all the words were broken up by language in said glossary, it made it hard to find the word to figure out the meaning sometimes. This means I was out of the story for longer, so it got to the point where I just was glossing over those words and hoping it was fine. I also was hoping for a stronger sibling relationship – this was one where we are told over and over again that they love one another and that they would do anything for one another, but I felt ZERO love, and they kept lying to one another and undermining one another, and that wasn’t what I wanted. The writing was good, the story was okay, and it was definitely very atmospheric. This is a lot of words to tell you that this was a 3 star book.

That is it! Overall I had a really strong reading month to finish out a strong year, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings for me. As of writing this, I’ve already finished 2 books, one of which is a 5 star read. I am very optimistic. Let me know down in the comments if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought!

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Reading Goals: My Eternal Struggle

Posted December 20, 2018 by Kate in About Us / 0 Comments

So, as I was on the verge of yet another “Oh my god I’m never going to meet my goal!” meltdown last week, I opted to watch the new season of Fuller House instead of frantically reading every sub-100 page novel I have on my Kindle. Laugh if you want, but that was the plan when I sat on the couch.

When I was done with all 13 episodes of Tanner/Fuller hilarity, I’d come to some important conclusions about why the level of pressure I was putting on myself to meet my Goodreads goal was absolutely ridiculous.

First of all, I was putting off things I’d been dying to read because I knew I either wouldn’t finish them by the end of the year or they would require too much focus for me to continue reading other things. Muse of Nightmares? Too long. Godsgrave? Too dense. Way of Kings? Ha…length AND depth? NOPE! I was doing it with audiobooks, too, but since those were re-reads, it felt less silly. Then I sat back and thought about it, and I became frustrated by myself all over again, except now it was about Harry Potter.

Second, I didn’t even kind of care about 90% of the things I’d been picking up to read. Did I want to read the little things I’d been trying to work my way through? Of course! Eventually! But the fact that I wasn’t able to commit to completing a 104 page book, because I couldn’t focus and felt like I didn’t care was ridiculous. I finally let myself feel that and promptly just stopped. The only tiny book I’ll be reading in the next two weeks is my Penguin Holiday Classics copy of The Night Before Christmas, and I think we can all agree that is not the same thing.

Third, and to me the most important, this is self-imposed. Not meeting my Goodreads goal isn’t going to affect my job or my relationship with my family or make me fail a class – it’s just going to mean I didn’t read 100 books this year. It’s completely arbitrary. And yet, because it was something I decided a year ago I wanted to accomplish, I was outright panicking about making it happen. That needed to stop.

Is it okay to be disappointed when you don’t meet a goal? Of course! Is it okay or healthy to let it consume all of your free time and energy to make happen? Unless your goal is acquire necessary food, shelter, or medical treatment, probably not. Coming to that realization was like seeing sunshine for the first time after a long winter – I felt energized and free!

After all of that self-reflection and self-chastising, I thought about all the goals I have accomplished this year: paid off all debt but my student loans, travelled with friends, spent two weeks abroad, earned a raise and a promotion at work, got married, and purchased a home. And those are just the things that occurred to me off the top of my head. The big things. None of the day to day victories that lead up to all those big accomplishments. Kind of puts not making a reading count goal in perspective for me.

I also made myself a deal. If I could go upstairs and find any of my OH MY GOD I’VE BEEN WANTING THIS FOR SO LONG books in one of the first three boxes I opened, I would unpack it and start reading it.

Woman holding paperback copy of Jay Kristoff's Godsgrave in front of her face.
Hooray! I found it! This is the actual picture I sent Paige when it happened, by the way!

First box, guys. First. Freaking. Box. It was waiting for me underneath an ACOMAF pillowcase and my Ember quartet books, like it knew it was destined to be found first and become a favorite.

Now, all of that being said, if your Goodreads goal is your wedding/promotion/house for the year, that’s AWESOME. Please, prioritize your goals and your time however it will make you happiest. But for me, it was too much. I was placing so much weight on something that it was overshadowing my other bookish goals and accomplishments and causing me to lose sight of the other things I’d worked for this year. Reading has always been a safe haven for me, and I was turning it into a chore. That just became too much of a burden to carry.

So now, I’m going to go read Godsgrave and hope Mia doesn’t get in TOO MUCH trouble this time. Ha!

And next year? Those 100 books will be MINE!

*Disclaimer: Paige is a champion and doesn’t seem to have this problem. I just have a lot of feels on the subject lately and decided to share!

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Top 5 Wednesday – Most Anticipated 2019 Releases

Posted December 19, 2018 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 5 Wednesday / 0 Comments

December 19: Most Anticipated 2019 Releases

— Pretty self-explanatory. If you can’t narrow it down, give your selections for only the first half of the year or even just for winter 2019.

Kate

The Wicked King by Holly Black

I just wrapped up a re-listen of the The Cruel Prince, and OH MY GOD. There are so many little details I forgot about since I originally read it last winter, and now I have a mighty need to see what happens next. I’m borderline rabid, guys, and I’m pretty sure Paige is on the verge of punching me through her phone screen if she gets one more message that starts with any version of, “I can’t believe I forgot Jude/Cardan/Madoc did…..!!”

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight was a SLOW start for me. I wasn’t a huge fan of the footnotes or the mirrored story items in the first chapter, and it made me crazy. By the time I finished it, however, I was hooked. Like, weeping about its perfection hooked. And then the announcement for Darkdawn being delayed came, and I have refused to let myself read Godsgrave yet, because I don’t want the anticipation to kill me. My need to know what happens next is reaching critical mass, though, so I’m thinking I’ll take it as my airplane book when we go to England in February. Next September is too damn long to wait.

UPDATE since writing this draft: I started Godsgrave last weekend. More on that, later. No regrets.

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab

So this is a re-release, not a new release, but I’ve decided it still counts. This was Queen V’s first novel, but it’s been out of print for five years now. I just received an original hardcover from Better World Books, and it’s amazing, but the new cover is downright GORGEOUS! Plus, there’s a new novella included, and I’m always down for new Schwab writing to grace my world. She has a couple more releases next year as well, but it’s this one I’m chomping at the bit to get my hands on.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

SHE’S FINALLY WRITING ANOTHER BOOK! HOORAY! Listen, I am a FIRM believer that creators do not owe consumers a damn thing when it comes to their stories, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be pumped AF when they release things after long periods of time. The Night Circus is such a beautiful book, and I love re-reading it in some form or another, but the fact that there’s another Morgenstern work is on the way just makes my heart happy. I cannot wait to dive into another world of her creation. Ahhhhh!

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Listen. Y’all read my review of The Grisha Trilogy, and it took me a hot minute to work myself up to reading Six of Crows. But now I’m trash for this world, and I’m excited to see what’s been going on with Nikolai since becoming king. We all know his world is turned upside down (to say the very least), but I’m hoping that experiencing him as a main character will mean experiencing him in a truer form than his blustering bravado in the other books. Not that I didn’t love him then, because I REALLY did, I’m just excited to get to know his character better. Ugh, it’s gonna be so good!

Paige

So I just want you guys to know that I scrolled past Kate’s answers in our shared Google doc before I typed these, so any similarities are because we have the same, EXQUISITE TASTE. Obviously. These are in no particular order, I’m just fucking PUMPED that they will finally exist.

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

The ending of Godsgrave absolutely shattered me, and then I was shattered even harder when I found out the release was pushed back aN eNtiRe YeAr. The reading gods have not smiled on me. I totally get why Jay had it pushed back (he is a juggernaut and has 2 other releases coming out in 2019, which I’m also excited for), but I cannot wait to be reunited with Mia and Mr. K.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I lost my goddamned mind when I found out the genius artist behind The Night Circus was releasing another book. If Erin had never written another book in her entire life, I would have just been so grateful for the one masterpiece she did grace us with. I saw the title and braced myself to not be interested in the synopsis…BUT I SHOULD HAVE HAD FAITH. It sounds AMAZING and I can. Not. Wait. Oh. My. God.

The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince has been stewing in my brain for almost a year now since I read it in March of 2018 and reread it via audio a few weeks ago, and I know from advance reviews that this one is going to kill me and make me impatient for the third. I’m ready.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Let me just…drop this quote from the synopsis for you:

“All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.”

I LOVED An Enchantment of Ravens, and I knew she was writing something else that was coming out in 2019. When the title and synopsis came out, I fell in love all over again.

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

I am absolute trash for this series, and January 8th is too damn far away for me to get the next installment. All I want for Christmas is for YOU to go read Every Heart a Doorway and hop on this hype train with me.

(Psst. Hey. Also. The Priory of the Orange Tree, A Treason of Thorns, Ninth House, and Crescent City.)

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Top 5 Wednesday – Books to Give ___ as Gifts

Posted December 12, 2018 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 5 Wednesday / 0 Comments

December 12: Books to Give _____ as Gifts

— Create a recommendations guide for a person. Be creative with this. It can be simple such as “books for parents”, more elaborate like “books for Ravenclaws”, or expert level like “books for -insert your favorite fictional character here-“. You can even take out the category completely and have all 5 be suggestions for different types of people!

Paige: Books for Dreamers

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

This may seem like low-hanging fruit, but a list of books for dreamers would just be incomplete without it. If you want to be immersed in a heart-wrenching, wistful world that you wish you could be in, this is a book for you. It is character driven and atmospheric and truly beautiful.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

This is a book for anyone who has struggled to find where they belong, whether they’ve found that place or not. You’ll really connect with all the characters, who have found a world made just for them and are each trying to get back to those worlds and escape a world that doesn’t understand them.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The young boy Bailey, who is a main character in this ethereal, historical, magical circus novel is a dreamer to the core. He is expected to be a farmer or a scholar, but he falls in love with the circus. If you’re a dreamer, I promise you will too.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Jack and Mabel are a middle-aged couple in the 1920s that uprooted their whole lives to move to Alaska to homestead after they realize their East Coast life isn’t for them. It is full of hope and heartache and beautiful Alaskan nature imagery. It is ethereal.

The Throne of Glass series

“The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.” Just read it, guys.

Kate: Books for People Who Want to be Part of Something More

I was originally going to title my section, “Books For People Who Need A Hug”, but that sounded a bit more condescending than I actual meant for it to be. I know I’ve been making allusions to the craziness of my life, but it’s reaching critical mass. Lately, I just want to read things that I know will either make me feel like I’m a part of something, remind me of my amazing friends and family, or that can take me completely out of my everyday life for a few hours. These do that and more. At least for me.

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve talked about it before, I’ll talk about it again, and one of these days, I’ll make this series a no-go for me to use. For now, however, the Inner Circle makes me happy, and they remind me of my friends who are entirely too far away but manage to keep me grounded and happy anyway.

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

This is a new favorite, but again, the Dregs are just amazing. They’re terrible people for good reasons, and they know loyalty better than most nobles who spout its importance, ESPECIALLY in the world they inhabit. I would die trying to run with them, but I’d love to try.

The Ember quartet by Sabaa Tahir

A girl against the world? Warring factions? A villain with a leg to stand on? Laia, Helene, and Elias have, quite literally, EVERYTHING going against them. Sometimes, including each other. But the fight they have in them is everything. I’m dying waiting to find out what that all amounts to, and I know I’m going to spend a majority of the last book weeping and/or throwing things, but it’s going to be worth it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

The part in Dreams of Gods and Monsters where they come together. You know what I’m talking about. I cried, and I refuse to ruin the details of it for people who haven’t experienced it yet.

Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab

I have Anoshe tattooed on my wrist. That is all.

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