Tag: ash princess

Tome Topple Readathon Round 8

Posted April 12, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Events / 0 Comments

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! Sam of Thoughts On Tomes announced round eight of the Tome Topple Readathon last week, and we are SO excited to jump in to this event again. Round 8 is running from midnight on April 13 through 11:59PM on April 26 in your time zone. Love it when you don’t have to do any clock math – it just makes it that much easier and more fun!

If you like following along to readathons on social media, here’s the info for the Tome Topple Twitter account and the various hosts for this round.

Tome Topple Twitter – Reading sprints and some general announcements will be housed here.

Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes – YouTube 📚 Instagram – She founded the readathon and will post the photo challenge prompts on her Insta. Take a look to find out what they are!

Adriana @ Perpetual Pages

Sarah-Jane @ The Book Life

Sian @ Readers Rambles

Caz @ Little Book Owl

Sam 2 @ Will Read for Booze

They all have great social presences on on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or Goodreads, in addition to their YouTube Channels and blogs, so be sure to check them out.

The challenges for this round are:

  • Read an adult book
  • Tome that has been on your TBR the longest
  • A tome in a genre that you don’t usually read
  • A tome that’s part of a series
  • Read more than one tome

It just so happens that we’ll be doing this round of Tome Topple in tandem with the Magical Readathon OWLs. Now, we didn’t have time to write a post for that unfortunately, but we’ll include some links and info at the bottom of this post, so you can join in and follow along!

Paige

I have done my best to stick to the books I picked for my Magical Readathon TBR, but once this round of TT was announced, I kinda threw it out the window. Such is life. I can’t even follow my own rules. Here are the books I’m hoping to read.

Read an adult book: The Black Prism

This is the first book in a series that my husband BINGED, and he doesn’t tend to prioritize reading over his other hobbies in the same way I do. The last book comes out in August, and I’m hoping I can make time to read them all before then!

The tome that has been on your TBR the longest: Habibi

I’m not 100% on this, but I know FOR A FACT that I’ve owned Habibi by Craig Thompson for a long time, mostly because it has showed up on SO MANY Tome Topple TBRs, and I’ve never done it. It also has lots of red on the cover, so it fits as my Transfiguration book for Magical Readathon.

A tome in a genre you don’t usually read: ???

I don’t actually have a plan for this other than “hop on Scribd/Hoopla/Libby and find a long contemporary.” I know, much commitment.

A tome that is part of a series: The Republic of Thieves

This is the third and latest installment in the Gentleman Bastards series, and I meant to read it last round. I was super sick for basically the whole round, and thus got nothing done, but I am MOTIVATED this round. This is also my Defense Against the Dark Arts book for the Magical Readathon.

More than one tome? I hope so.

I’m also reading On a Sunbeam (because I have it out from the library) and Sky Without Stars (for the Astronomy Magical Readathon challenge).

Modelcat Lily presents: Paige’s Tome Topple TBR!

Kate

My TBR for this month is locked, because the readathons I’m participating in have prompts and rules, and I want to complete all the things! I’m also using it as a test to see whether or not I like having a fixed TBR, and so far, it’s actually going really well. Never did I ever think that would be the case.

I’m also doing something new and trying to track my readathon progress in my bullet journal. I’ve used my bujo as my planner for a couple years now, but I’ve never been good at incorporating outside content. What better way to start than books?!

I don’t (*cough* can’t) draw, so my bujo is just lots of words, but I still like it.

Read an adult book: Vengeful

I know, I know. I’ve been saying I was going to read this since last September, but I really, super mean it this time. Just wait!

Tome that has been on your TBR the longest: The Last Magician

This isn’t actually the tome that’s been on my TBR the longest, but it is the one that’s been on my TBR the longest of the books I chose to complete my readathon prompts. I’m counting it.

A tome in a genre that you don’t usually read: Moscow Rules

I read almost nothing but fantasy and a little sci-fi, so a modern day spy novel is very strange for me. I love this series, though. Definitely excited to continue it, since I haven’t read one in almost two years.

A tome that’s part of a series: Lady Smoke

If Tome Topple wasn’t happening this month, I would have already read this book. I am chomping at the bit to find out what happens next!

Read more than one tome: here’s hoping I finish at least two of those!

I’m also hoping to read Ringer by Lauren Oliver for Tome Topple, since I am reading it for a Magical Readathon prompt. And, if I’m lucky, this will also be the month I FINALLY read Muse of Nightmares. Plus, ya know, Kingdom of Ash is next up in my audio queue after I finish Ringer, but I’m trying really hard not to think about that emotional devastation too hard.

I tried to get LittleDude Malcom to model my TBR, but he just took a nap with them instead.
Magical Readathon Info

So, we had the best intentions of getting a Magical Readathon post out before the first of the month, but it didn’t come to be. Since it’s influencing so many of our Tome Topple choices for this round, we’ve been given this mini second chance to share with you how it all works!

The readathon was started by G of Book Roast, and it’s based on the magical world of Harry Potter. You don’t have to be an HP fan to participate, because you can read whatever you want, but the HP theme definitely makes it something special. The readathon happens in two large parts with several smaller events throughout the year – the OWLs exams occur in the spring, NEWTs in the summer, and then a smattering of chances for extra credit that gain you extra days to use towards your major exams. This year, the OWLs are happening from April 1-30 and the NEWTs are taking place from August 1-31.

There are two major components: complete books for the different classes to pass the OWL and choosing a career based on the OWLs you pass. I’m not going to list out all the careers, because there are a lot, but you can check out the Wizarding Careers guidebook here. It’s gorgeous, and has tons of great little quips and advertisements.

All of the OWLs prompts for Magical Readathon 2019. You can view the original doc here.

Here are all the links to get started or just follow along.

G @ Book Roast – YouTube 📚 Insta

Magical Readathon Twitter

Magical Readathon Announcement Video

Magical Readathon FAQ

Magical Readathon Explained

There’s even a Discord server if you want to chat with fellow Readathoners! Get sorted into your house and join in a variety of discussions in a casual setting.

We hope you join in the readathon fun with us this month! These are two amazing events organized by some of our very favorite Booktubers, and we love supporting their projects. If you’d like to follow along with us as we participate, feel free to check out our personal social media accounts.

Paige: Twitter 📚 Insta 📚 Goodreads

Kate: Twitter 📚 Insta 📚 Goodreads

Happy reading, friends! 💜💛

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Kate’s March Wrap Up

Posted April 4, 2019 by Kate in Monthly Wrap Ups / 0 Comments

March went by SO FAST, and I’m honestly not sure how I survived the whirlwind. I really enjoyed everything I read (again), and it’s starting to wig me out. I haven’t DNF’d anything this year yet, and that’s kinda my thing when I’m not feeling something. I read 11 books in March, and none of them really disappointed me. That being said, the authors and stories I chose didn’t even kind of put me outside my comfort zone. Sometimes you just have to immerse yourself in things you love!

The thing that this year has taught me, though, is that I need to rework my rating system a little bit. I tend to rate VERY highly, because I don’t finish things I don’t like, so my scale ends up being really skewed. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know in the comments! I’ve been actively researching this, and I can’t find a method that really speaks to me.

ANYWAY. The books! That’s why you’re here, afterall.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This series has been sitting on my shelf basically since Obsidio came out. I had been putting off reading them, because they looked so enormous, and I have so many things I want to read. I am SO glad I finally stopped putting them off! I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. I was stressed the entire time, but in a good way. Plus, I’m familiar with Jay’s work, so I really should have expected that. What I wasn’t expecting was how quickly it read. I knew the format was different, but I didn’t realize how few words were on some pages. That really sped up the process. My one note is this: the parts that have grey text on a black background are really hard to read, and I think the publisher needed to make a better choice. Make sure you have good light, kids.

Rating: 5 stars

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Despite the fact that it’s been out for years, I somehow knew nothing about this going in. Which made it great. I love both Kate and August, not only for how they evolve as characters, but for the great lengths Queen V clearly went to to make them completely lyrically independent. They are so different but are able to work together so well, and I love how their relationship evolves to become a microcosm of their whole world and really drives the story forward. I can’t wait to tackle Our Dark Duet, but I understand it’s going to be absolutely devastating.

Rating: 5 stars

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I bet you can guess everything I’m going to say about this.

Rating: 5 stars

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

So, I sat down to read Vengeful (finally!), and I realized very quickly that all I remembered about Vicious was the last 10 or so pages. Wasn’t really cool with that, so I re-read it. I’m so glad I did. This book ages really well. I enjoyed it so much more this time than I did the first time, and I know Paige had a similar experience. So excited to get to Vengeful now!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I do believe this was my favorite of the series. Unlike most, I’m not a big AIDAN fan, and I liked the fact that he wasn’t present for a lot of this book. I also just really loved the time we got to spend with Hannah, Nik, and Ella. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kady and Ezra, but the group from Gemina really spoke to me. I also liked the close combat a lot.

Rating: 5 stars

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

I’m not gonna say quite as much nothing about SJM as usual here, because I realized that I actually like this book a lot more than I thought I did. It has always been my least favorite, but I appreciated it a lot more this time around.

Rating: 5 (still completely unobjective) stars

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

This has been my least favorite of the Wayward Children series so far, but it was still a delightful ride. The one thing that I did enjoy more than the others was the more thorough glimpse of the different characters and their histories. I also liked seeing some of the worlds these children wish to call home.

Rating: 4 stars

Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab

As you all know, I’m a sucker for Miss Schwab and for Shades of Magic. Give me all of it, give it to me now. My only real complaint is that the art style of this comic is a little more abstract than I usually enjoy, but it didn’t detract from the story at all for me.

Rating: 5 stars

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

HI THIS WAS AMAZING AND TERRIBLE. I think Paige and I are planning a gush post for this, since we read it together and both just died, but I couldn’t say nothing. So good. I love them all so much.

Rating: 5 stars

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

This has always been my favorite, it will always be my favorite, and Chaol is a little bitch. Questions?

Rating: 5 gajillion stars

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

I got completely sucked in by this book, almost from the very first page. Paige sang it’s praises when I asked her about it a couple months back, and I’m glad I finally did the thing. The unique role of magic in the world, the way the love triangle is structured (I don’t hate them, but I know some people do. For me it’s how they’re handled.), lots of unexpected twists, and a cast of strong characters made this book something really special. Please go read it if you haven’t yet!

Rating: 5 stars

See, I told you I had a good rating month. There are just so many good things! I can’t wait to see what this month brings.

APRIL GOALS
  • I’m gonna read Vengeful. I promise. Probably.
  • I started a new job on April 1, so my only real goal this month is to still read at least 10 books again. I feel like this is a good pace for me, and I don’t want to let up.

There ya have it! What were some of your favorite books last month? Were you like me and did a lot of re-reading, or were there new releases you fell in love with? Let me know in the comments, or reach out on Twitter and Goodreads!

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Paige’s February Wrap Up

Posted March 2, 2019 by Paige in Monthly Wrap Ups / 2 Comments

February was a weird month – I definitely read some super chunky books, but I also read some of the shortest things ever. I vacillated wildly between “Omg I am reading nothing!” to “I HAVE READ SO MANY THICC BOIS.” It was weird and I definitely struggled to not make myself feel bad when I was slogging through the bigger books. I ultimately ended up reading more things than I thought, so let’s talk about all of those!

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

As a Six of Crows six of hoe, I feel pretty bad when I read YA fantasy heist novels and the SoC klaxon won’t stop sounding in my head. I definitely enjoyed this one, especially because the audio was really well done, but I couldn’t help the mental comparisons I was making because SoC is truly the gold standard. I’m definitely interested in continuing with the second book, and I would recommend trying to go into this book blind and don’t compare it to anything else. I know, that can be super hard. 4 stars!

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

I recently wrote a full review on this one but suffice to say that, while this book is definitely shaking things up in the YA community, I dug it. Zoya for President. 4.5 stars.

The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember

This is the sequel to The Seafarer’s Kiss, although you could definitely get away with reading it on its own. I definitely enjoyed this follow up quite a lot – the Norse inspiration really speaks to me, and there is so much good gender and sexuality rep (at least from a CIS woman’s point of view, please seek out own voices reviews to double check!), and there were also imperfect characters getting themselves checked and learning and growing as individuals, and that was refreshing. If you’re interested in some queer Norse shenanigans, check both of these books out. 3.5 stars

Warm Up by V.E. Schwab

‘Member when I said I read some short shit? This is a tiny little story by Schwab that is a precursor to some of the events of Vicious, and it is OMINOUS. I wish I had known about it before I reread Vicious in prep for Vengeful, but I’m definitely going to revisit it when I reread the series in the future. 5 stars (duh).

Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake

This was an eARC I received several months ago, but I was waiting for it to be atmospherically appropriate outside before I dove in. I read and reviewed Jess’s debut novel, Beyond a Darkened Shore, last year, and I really liked it. Naturally, when I heard she was writing a new standalone that had cameos from her first book, I was immediately on board. This is a story steeped in Eastern European myth and based in a magical Russia, and I adored the atmosphere so much. I could take or leave the romance (although I loved a past romance that was part of the main storyline), but the main story really worked for me. If you’re interested in elemental magic, Russian aesthetics, and soft girls learning how to also be tough, check this one out! 4 stars.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

I read The Kiss Quotient a little while back, so when I saw that the spiritual sequel was available for download on Edelweiss without need for approval, I was down. While I didn’t enjoy this book in the same way that I did TKQ, I really enjoyed it for different reasons. Esme, our main character, is a total badass who can do absolutely anything, and it was so empowering to watch her make her way. I definitely recommend this book, although it definitely isn’t as smutty as the first one, which was sad. Sue me. 4 stars.

You Can Do All Things: Drawings, Affirmations and Mindfulness to Help With Anxiety and Depression by Kate Allan

This was a cute little picture book style ebook that was just full of adorable animals affirming me as I was reading and gave some tactics for managing anxiety. I received it as a gift from my friend Patricia who is DEFINITELY NOT MY SECRET SISTER, and I had a good time reading it. Not giving it stars, though.

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

This was an impulse audio read from Hoopla, and I liked it! We follow Freya, who is more than 20 people down in the line of succession. When everyone gets poisoned at the King’s birthday banquet, she suddenly finds herself being coronated. Sounds like a great time, right? This was almost like a thriller because Freya was obsessed with finding out who was responsible for the mass murder, and I enjoyed that aspect. I didn’t feel particularly compelled by any of the characters, but that was ok. I liked the mystery! I also like that this was a standalone, which makes me feel pretty free and crazy as a fantasy reader. 4 stars!

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

ONE OF MY MOST ANTICIPATED READS OF THE YEAR. I adored Ash Princess last year, and when Laura started divulging snippets of what was to come in this installment, I was practically foaming at the mouth. I love out main character, Theo. I love her friendships. I love the love triangle (WHO AM I) because of the way society is structured in Theo’s world. I can’t go into things too much because this is a sequel, but this book had 0 sophomore slump, and I just wanna die because I can’t have Ember Queen NOW. 5 stars.

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

This was a book that ended up on my radar because I follow Laura Weymouth, the author of The Light Between Worlds, which I love. I snagged a copy of this book during release week at one of my favorite indies, and I knew I had to dive in soon. I have never read East of the Sun, West of the Moon, but it is based in the same things that Beauty and the Beast is, so I immediately adored it. The setting was basically a character in and of itself, the angst was off the charts, and the atmosphere was absolutely A+. I want to acquire Meyer’s backlist STAT. 5 stars.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Have you heard of our lord and savior Beauty and the Beast retellings? This immediately followed up Echo North, and I was definitely in the BATB mood. I LOVED our main character, Harper, who is plucked from the streets of Washington D.C. in order to take part in the traditional beast curse we all know and angst over. There is so much privilege checking because Harper comes from a rough life, there is FAKE DATING, and every decision Harper makes truly feels like what a contemporary person would do in a crazy fantasy setting. I loved that, the epilogue killed me dead, and I am so stoked for another installment! 4.5 stars.

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

This is the sequel to Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, which is a book I enjoyed last month! While I think I could have enjoyed this one on its own, I think it had an uphill battle in trying to undo the feelings that the first book worked so hard to instill in us. The first book is an Evil Queen origin story, and this one is 100% Snow White. So while I enjoyed the mythology we go through in this book, I had become attached to and sympathetic toward an evil character…and then I had to read from the good person? Not into it that much, but this is obviously a personal preference. 3.5 stars.

Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene

This was an Owlcrate acquisition, and honestly I read it because I’ve been trying to damn hard to read all of my sub box books, which is an uphill battle. This was much shorter than I thought it would be! Our main character is an orphan from an impoverished area who develops magical powers and, in this world, this heavily implies noble birth. She makes her way to the capital city and, surprise! Finds herself embroiled in court politics. Chaos and a really evil sponsor ensue. I think you should go in mostly not knowing any more than this, so if you’re looking for a fun YA fantasy, snag this one! 4 stars.

The Fever King by Victoria Lee

As you might have seen last month, I tend to bump books up on my TBR when I see people being shitty in reviews for terrible reasons, like saying kids shouldn’t be exposed to non-straight characters! Wow! What a shitty reason! Anyway, this book isn’t really post-apocalyptic, but it is near future and set in an America that has been restructured into a variety of kingdoms, and it is also being ravaged by a virus that has a 90% death rate. The survivors, however, develop magical abilities. I really love speculative fiction like this, and I definitely recommend picking this one up! It is fast paced, a little angsty, and the world building is excellent. 4 stars.

Space Boy Vol. 2 by Stephen McCranie

This is a fluffy little graphic novel that I’ve had for a while (so long that I actually just got an email from my LCS saying that the 3rd volume is ready for me to pick up, yikes), and I was just feeling it one night so I devoured it! Amy is our main character, and she and her family get sent back to Earth when her father loses his job on a mining colony. They are held in status for the entirety of their shuttle journey, and when they arrive, 30 years have passed. Switching schools is always hard, but this just adds an extra level! The art style is adorable, there’s a mysterious character, and I really dig the futuristic slice-of-life narrative. 5 stars.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

I lost my goddamned mind when I got a special small copy of this in my February Owlcrate. I’ve had the full-sized copy on my wishlist for about a million years, and it was exactly as cute as I hope it would be. In this adorable fantasy world, there are tiny dragons that grow tea leaves and flowers off their horns, and tea dragon husbandry is an art that is dying out. I don’t even drink tea and I would like a tea dragon now please and thank you. 5 stars.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Have you ever though “Man, I wish The Secret History had more Shakespeare?” You have? Excellent, read this book. The audiobook is phenomenal, the characters are intriguing, and the mystery kept me guessing the whole time. 4.5 stars.

Radiance by Grace Draven

I was feeling a little slumpy, and my friend Alex recommended I snag this book and try it out, and I am so glad I did! Not gonna lie, I’m getting more interested in romance-heavy fantasies – they tend to be super fast, and sometimes your girl likes to swoon. This is set in a fantasy world with human and non-human beings living in neighboring countries, and Ildiko, a human noble, is betrothed to Brishen, a Kai prince, in order to secure an alliance. Kai are wild looking humanoids that live by night, and humans and Kai DO NOT FIND ONE ANOTHER ATTRACTIVE. This is important and hilarious. I love the banter in the relationship in this book – IT IS SO HEALTHY. Like, I didn’t know how much I needed that healthy relationship. If you want a heartwarming romantic fantasy, please read this so we can talk about it. Thanks. 5 swoony stars.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

My heart. Oh my goodness, I adored this book so much. The audio was fantastic despite only being voiced by a single person. She did a wonderful job making each character different and memorable. This is a sci-fi book following Spensa, the daughter of a pilot who was executed for being a “coward.” She is a scrappy young girl who does everything she can to get into flight school and prove everyone wrong about herself and her father. There is a talking ship, there are side characters that rip my heart out, a hilarious talking ship, awesome worldbuilding, and did I mention that I really loved the talking ship? Seriously go read this. Right now. RIGHT NOW. 5 stars!

The Too-Clever Fox by Leigh Bardugo

This was about half an hour long, but I absolutely adored all the stories in Language of Thorns, so it was definitely worth picking up. I enjoyed driving around and listening to Grisha fairy tales, and I’ll definitely be listening to the others! 5 foxy stars.

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

I feel…conflicted about this book. I enjoyed the first half despite it feeling slow, but I stalled out around the midway point. I mostly blamed my aforementioned slumpiness, so I dabbled in a few others book and then came back to this one. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, but the last ~70 pages or so had me so damn confused. It’s like someone threw a brick on the accelerator and jumped out of the car, allowing it to go where the hell ever it wanted to go. I haven’t seen anyone else struggle as much as I did, so PLEASE let me know down below if you enjoyed it. 3-ish stars?

And there you have it! Comment down below if you have read any of these, or if you have any recommendations based on the ones I rated highly!

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