**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [281]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————
 
Enregistrer In the U.S., this is the weekend before Thanksgiving. And even though the holiday isn't until Thursday, this week usually ends up being kind of a "lost week" when it comes to work - or much of anything else!

So, I'll leave with with a couple of light and fluffy romances from my stack over at Reading Reality, just in case you have a few spare moments to read!

Have a great week and welcome to the beginning of the holiday season!


The Art of Running with Heels by Rachel Gibson


The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory




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Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss


Book Stats:  

Reading level: Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: DAW
Release date: November 17, 2015

Series:  The Kingkiller Chronicles #2.5

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.

Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows....

In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world. 


This book takes place after The Wise Man's Fear from minor character Auri's perspective. It has no bearing, that I can tell, upon Kvothe's tale, but presents a different snapshot of Rothfuss's world in a unique voice and point of view. Therefore, don't pick this tale up without having read the first two books! If you're interested in reading about Auri and only Auri, then you will find this a quick, engrossing read.

Auri lives in the Underthing, a network of forgotten rooms and places under the University. The Underthing is her entire home. She has her own names for things, very few of which was revealed in the other stories, as she is secretive and shy of people. Also, she is very sensitive to emotion and confrontation, running away at direct questions. Readers will know she has befriended mainly Kvothe, for his lute playing and special nature, and Master Elodin, another odd duck. No one else (to our knowledge) knows she lives there as she would be hauled off to Haven, the asylum for people who experienced magical mishaps, because Auri isn't quite...normal. Instead, the characters of her world are objects and places, which Auri gives somewhat human characteristics. For example, her magical light is "Foxen" and acts as a sort of pet; while the large gear she finds, she carries from place to place, showing it the rooms and seeing if that is its place of belonging.

In my estimation, I think she could have a form of magical Asperger's since she is very gifted and smart, prefers things to people, and yet everything has to be "just so". I really enjoyed this novella despite not having a plot or purpose other than to get a glimpse of everyday life for Auri. It's sweet how carefully she prepares for Kvothe's visits and takes care of her Underthing, trying to preserve it rather than be selfish and take from the things she finds. The descriptions and work of making numerous inanimate objects and places act as characters shows Rothfuss's talent in a new light, as its truly a delicate, faintly rhythmic piece of short fiction.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [280]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————
 November 11, 2017 is the 99th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. The holiday is known as Veterans Day in the United States  and Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and both current and former members of the Commonwealth.

Here are just a few of the new books that have arrived this week. My complete stack is over at Reading Reality.




War Games by Jess Anastasi
This is the fourth book in Jess Anastasi's Valiant Knox series. And it's science fiction romance for those who like their SFR to also be space operas. The Valiant Knox is a city in a spaceship, much like Babylon 5. But the setting is in the midst of an interstellar war, so it also reminds me more than a bit of Battlestar Galactic and Star Trek: Discovery. And it's one heck of a ride.



The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
This one feels like it's the closest to being apropos for today, even though the war it follows is World War II rather than WW1. Based on the description, it feels like it might be a follow up to last year's marvelous In Fairleigh Field. And it looks like just as much of a treat as the previous book.


Cast in Deception by Michelle Sagara
Cast in Deception is the OMG 13th book in Sagara's epic Chronicles of Elantra series. The series follows the adventures of Private Kaylin Nera of the Elantra city guard, and on the surface it feels like urban fantasy set in an epic fantasy world. But as the series has continued, Kaylin has moved far from her roots as a street rat into the halls of power, however reluctantly on her part - and on the parts of those who occupy those halls. Reading the latest book in this series is one of my much looked forward to annual treats.



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Thursday, November 09, 2017

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Hardcover: 993 pages
Publisher: DAW
Release date: March 1, 2011

Series:  The Kingkiller Chronicles, #2

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

DAY TWO: THE WISE MAN’S FEAR

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale told from his own point of view—a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicle, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.


Our mysterious innkeeper, Kote, continues the story of Kvothe, really his own secret story, and his many unbelievable adventures. Having called the name of the wind in the last revelation, Kvothe is still at the University and participating in some of his usual antics: playing tricks on Ambrose, learning nonsense from Elodin, and fawning over Denna. However, when he heroically attempts to help Denna by snubbing Ambrose, this creates a mess where Kvothe is forced to take a term off from the University and travel to perhaps find a wealthy patron.

This book takes us on Kvothe's longest journey yet and well away from the University and classes, but not losing any bit of the magnitude of his learning and maturity. Where Kvothe seemed like a chip-on-the-shoulder wily teenager in the last book, here he gains some perspective and a great deal of wisdom. Having made brash decisions in the past and well-paid for them, he attempts to give more consideration to the consequences of potential outcomes though there are still plenty of opportunities for spontaneity and hilarity. Almost every wild escapade seems to happen in this book with masterfully credible storytelling, both on the part of Kvothe and Rothfuss. Here his greatest personal gains are discipline and in romance, for the Kvothe who sets out from the University is nowhere near the man who returns. However, despite the fun adventure, there is still the undercurrent of great danger as Kvothe hunts for lore on the Chandrian and comes quite close to imminent disaster.

Quite a few world details caught me this time as we encounter the world of the Fae, which hasn't much been explained by the presence of Bast and their vague references to Fae; and the unconventional modes of culture and communication by the Ademre, who are largely stoics and staunch observers of tradition. I quite enjoyed learning about the Ademre, in particular. The Fae, on the other hand, is still a great mystery as not much is revealed except about Felurian and the Cthaeh. I also liked the parts in Vintas (I think this was where Severen was, on the coast? I'm really bad with locations if I haven't mentally mapped it out.) with the Maer and his romance. There were a lot of thought-provoking details about that culture and social behaviors that I savored reading.

Though the narrative is not fast-paced, it still is an interesting adventure. (In adventures, you still have to have boring days, and Kvothe has no few of them but still even if it is a boring day, he manages to learn something or give a few details for the reader to worry over.) We also learn a bit more details about Denna, find out what's in the Archives, and discover some truth and some folly in the tales of the magnificent Kvothe. Lastly, we leave our hero not quite as pitiful as he was before, for he has actually made some money on a few ventures. It's downright positive! But wait...that means he'll have to get kicked out of the University in the next novel. I'll be nervously fidgeting until then.

I still loved this second book despite its daunting size (993 pages!), and will count myself in the hordes of people eagerly anticipating his third novel, currently still TBD due to the vast number of revisions. Look for my brief review of his novella about sweet Auri very soon!

(Please note, he has been at work on the final book, but as stated on his blog, he's had a tough few years personally with his family and regular life responsibilities. That is a lot for any person to take, let alone a writer who has to get out of his own head and into his character's. I have a lot of sympathy for him, and no, I'm not talking about the ones that make magical lamps...) 

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [279]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————
 
Enregistrer My stack at Reading Reality isn't much taller than what I'll post here. Some weeks are like that.

But I have some books this week that I've been waiting for, so I can certainly tease you right here and right now!


Cave of Bones by Anne Hillerman
Many, many moons ago, I began Tony Hillerman's evocative Leaphorn and Chee mystery series on a long commute. Mysteries are great on audio, but this was at a time when there weren't a lot of audiobooks available, so I took what I could get. And I got hooked on this series. When Tony Hillerman died a few years ago, I assumed that the series was over. But his daughter Anne, also an author, resurrected it by adding a new point-of-view character and continuing this marvelous series in awesome fashion. If you love mysteries, particularly if you are a fan of Longmire, this series is not to be missed.


The Forbidden Heir by M.J. Scott
This is the long anticipated second book in the author's utterly magical Four Arts series, after 2015's The Shattered Court. Court was one of my favorite books of that year, and I've been waiting on pins and needles for the second book in the series ever since. If you love fantasy romance, this series is a treat!


Heart Sight by Robin D. Owens
The Celta's Heartmate series has become one of my all time favorite series. It sits right on the border between science fiction and fantasy, much in the same way that Anne McCaffrey's beloved Pern series does. Day to day life on Celta feels like fantasy, but Celta is a lost colony just like Pern, making it SF after all. The worldbuilding is top-notch, feeling like a functional place that a person could actually live in. And the romances are always marvelous. This is the one series that makes the fated mate trope work, by making the protagonists seriously have to work for their HEA.


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Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Paperback: 672 pages
Publisher: DAW
Release date: April 7, 2009

Series:  The Kingkiller Chronicles #1

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

DAY ONE: THE NAME OF THE WIND 

My name is Kvothe.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.


Why have I not picked this book up before? It is AMAZING! Instantly one of my favorite fantasies. It is rich in description, gripping in plot, and possesses some unique and memorable characters, not in the least, Kvothe himself. It begins rather oddly though, in a variety of ways.
The prologue and epilogue are almost word for word the same, which is obviously unusual, and there is a sort of wisdom parable about three significant things about the current setting that actually reveals itself throughout the story. Essentially, each book is one day of telling a story in a scene at an inn far remote though it begins with an even older tale of lore, one that most people dismiss as legend or a story told to children. This is of Taborlin the Great who calls the wind to save himself from the evil beings known as the Chandrian. This meaning will become relevant later.
Back at the inn, the innkeeper, Kote, has a seemingly normal life with his apprentice, Bast. When a man known as the Chronicler visits, Kote reluctantly tells his story, revealing himself as Kvothe the Kingkiller and tries to set the record straight for Kvothe's wild tales. His tale grows from himself as a young child, born amongst traveling minstrels who are viewed as base rabble, to becoming an orphan and struggling to survive. All the while, he is truly gifted with his lute and in his goal to attend the University, where magics are taught. It's truly an 'epic' fantasy as it is a tale told in historic oral tradition about the adventures and famed deeds of a hero or legendary figure. However, the reasons behind Kvothe being Kote are mysterious and not fully explained...yet. *winking emoji*
The worldbuilding is pretty amazing though a lot of things are not fleshed out yet, that assuming will be revealed in later books. There isn't a map in the books (that I can remember), but here is one from his website that may help in your readings.
I loved the description of Kvothe's classes and his scrappy upbringing, which any true fan of Harry Potter would totally draw some parallels and grow to love this series. There's also the mystery of his beloved Denna, whom he meets on the road to the University and she disappears and reappears and does who knows what in the time she's gone. She's truly something for both Kvothe and the reader to figure out. Kvothe as a boy/young man is quite brash and stupid for being so talented and smart, so he's got quite a bit of growing up to do but is still very much a likeable hero. He's funny in his mishaps and you're proud when he does figure things out properly and sad when circumstances deal him some terribly rotten luck. He has a nemesis, Ambrose, a rich noble's son, and makes some good friends, including a special girl named Auri, and he manages to get kicked out of the Archives (*gasp* to be banned from the LIBRARY?! FOREVER?!), so Kvothe certainly is no perfect character. He struggles, sometimes constantly, just to have a shirt on his back, but contrarily, he also doesn't have much of a sense of self-preservation. (Does that sound like any young adults you know?) Of course, many of these things are what makes him and this book irresistible. There's no spoilers here, so there's plenty for you to find out in reading, especially some key points in the plot and overall arc of the trilogy. I hope you love it as much as I did. Look for the review of the next book in the series in next week's post! 


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [278]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————
 
EnregistrerMy rather short stack is over at Reading Reality, along with an equally brief report on just how far this week has gone down the tubes.

We are moving this weekend, quite possibly as you read this. And that's disruptive enough.

But on Thursday we lost our Clown Princess, 17 1/2 year old Mellie-cat. We've had her since the day she was born, and we are heartbroken. We miss her, and so does Freddie-cat, who is very confused about where his Aunty-Mellie has gone and why she isn't there to order him around. She'll be missed.

Everyone has things they do to deal with grief and stress. I read. It helps me slip away just a bit, for just a little while. When I come back to reality, whatever is wrong is just a bit further away. I got a couple of really good books this week to help with that.


Beast (Galactic Gladiators #7) by Anna Hackett


The Women of Baker Street (Mrs. Hudson and Mary Watson #2) by Michelle Birkby



Please link your STS post in the linky below:


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [277]



Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————

Hello Readers! 
I've ended my maternity leave and my next day back at my library is this Monday! 

Here's what I've added to my shelves since last time:

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss 
(The Name of the Wind, 2.5)
Recently completed. Review coming soon!

Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik (Temeraire, 6)
Recently completed. Review coming soon!

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Recently competed. Review coming soon!

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Recently completed. 
This won the YALSA Morris Award for 2016, and I loved it. If you don't read much YA (or not much contemporary YA), this is a must read.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Recently completed.
Another must-read YA novel that I FULLY expect will win some sort of YALSA award in January. I was in tears at the ending both because of it and because of how on-point it was.

The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes
Recently completed.
I'm currently reading through other Moyes works, and this one is not as romantic and fluffy as some of her others. It covers perspectives of four different war brides coming from Australia to England, and the unique journeys suffered by similar women in history.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander, 7)
Recently completed.

AND...

Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander, 8)
Currently reading.
I'm sure we have some Outlander fans in this mix! (Aren't you dying for tomorrow's episode? I am!) I've been reading through the Outlander series for the first time this past year, but trying to pace it out to give myself time to come out of the obsession, and I'm almost caught up! I haven't decided whether to read the Lord John novels yet, but will be reading the relevant series novellas in her new compilation soon-ish. 

That's it for me for now until I start back into my beloved YA with work! 
What do you have to add this week? 



Thursday, October 19, 2017

Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik

Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik


Book Stats:  

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Historical fiction
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: May 19, 2009

Series:  Temeraire #5

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

For Britain, conditions are grim: Napoleon’s resurgent forces have breached the Channel and successfully invaded English soil. Napoleon’s prime objective is the occupation of London. Unfortunately, the dragon Temeraire has been removed from military service–and his captain, Will Laurence, has been condemned to death for treason. Separated by their own government and threatened at every turn by Napoleon’s forces, Laurence and Temeraire must struggle to find each other amid the turmoil of war. If only they can be reunited, master and dragon might rally Britain’s scattered resistance forces and take the fight to the enemy as never before–for king and country, and for their own liberty.


In the last novel, the British had contaminated Napoleon's dragons with the wasting disease, and Temeraire and Laurence recognized that this would spread to other countries and all dragons would die. Temeraire and Laurence made a choice to bring the cure to France's dragons though all of Britain would see this as betrayal and Laurence would lose everything and be branded as a traitor. Upon their return to Britain, Laurence and Temeraire were separated and have been sent to their respective fates: Temeraire to the breeding grounds and Laurence captive in a ship's brig to await his hanging.

Things do seem the lowest of the low for our two heroes. Still, with a war on, Temeraire is the most valuable dragon in their arsenal, and things don't quite pan out to the expectation. This book is where Temeraire begins to shine separate of Laurence. When he believes Laurence is dead, he wins the allegiance of the dragons at the breeding grounds and takes them to war against Napoleon, who has launched a campaign on British soil. However, the dragons are also acting without military orders. Laurence, who has only been called to duty since the war needs Temeraire, must act as Temeraire's representative (once reunited) for the canny dragon has made himself a commander, with dragons and militia under his orders. Temeraire begins to grasp the chain of command and the hurdles resulting while also confronting the outcomes, bringing a better understanding of what Laurence has done for him in choosing treason to make the moral choice. Finally, with Temeraire's military rise, he uses this newfound power to command respect from the men and bargain for dragon rights, though we have not yet fully seen how this will play out.

Laurence, too, has his own inner battle, finding he readily accepts martial consequences of his actions for himself but not for many others it has affected. This is a subtle conflict, and Laurence chooses safeguards to prevent this from occurring again under his command by withholding their true orders from the other captains and crew. This obedience to orders to save his companions further complicates matters, though, as their orders goes against his moral code. And after everything Laurence has suffered, we finally see this take a noticeable toll on him through Temeraire's observation.

 Despite the separation and chaos of this novel, I really enjoyed the character development and the opportunities for Temeraire to both lead and learn, mostly without Laurence's guidance or influence. I still like Laurence, and with him so miserable, it would be nice to see him afforded a bit of happiness soon. I don't see how this is likely with them headed to Australia, but I guess I will have to keep reading!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [276]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————
 
EnregistrerAnother very tall shelf stack over at Reading Reality this week. I'm so happy these are all ebooks. If they were print the house would sink! The scary thing is that in the days before NetGalley and Edelweiss, I used to buy books at just about the same rate. OMG.

As always, I have a couple of books to tease you with.




The Awkward Squad by Sophie Henaff

This one isn't going to be out until well into next year, but I couldn't resist picking it up. The premise, of a disgraced cop who ends up commanding a squad of misfits, sounds very much like one of my favorite British TV crime dramas, New Tricks. And if it's half as good, it should be a real treat.


A Scandal in Battersea by Mercedes Lackey

If the title and the cover don't give this away, A Scandal in Battersea is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche set in the world of Lackey's Elemental Masters. I absolutely ADORE Holmes' pastiches, and Lackey is one of my favorite authors. What's not to love?

Please link your STS post in the linky below:


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Historical fiction
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: September 25, 2007

Series:  Temeraire #4

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

Tragedy has struck His Majesty’s Aerial Corps, whose magnificent fleet of fighting dragons and their human captains valiantly defend England’s shores against the encroaching armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. An epidemic of unknown origin and no known cure is decimating the noble dragons’ ranks–forcing the hopelessly stricken into quarantine. Now only Temeraire and a pack of newly recruited dragons remain uninfected–and stand as the only means of an airborne defense against France’s ever bolder sorties.
Bonaparte’s dragons are already harrowing Britain’s ships at sea. Only one recourse remains: Temeraire and his captain, Will Laurence, must take wing to Africa, whose shores may hold the cure to the mysterious and deadly contagion. On this mission there is no time to waste, and no telling what lies in store beyond the horizon or for those left behind to wait, hope, and hold the line.


This is possibly the most anxiety-ridden book so far in the series as all of Britain's dragons except Temeraire are in danger of being wiped out by an aggressive epidemic. With the war still ongoing, the only defense keeping Napoleon out without the dragons is the Navy, and even then, with Napoleon's and Lien's ingenious tactics, war could soon come onto British shores. Leaving the willful Iskierka and Arkady's band of ferals (with the translation help of Tharkay and Granby) to defend all of Britain from Napoleon by air, Temeraire and his cohort must travel back to Africa in hopes of finding a cure for the draconian disease.

Book 2, Throne of Jade actually introduces quite a bit that surfaces in this novel. Quick recap: on route to China, Temeraire took suddenly ill, but with the help of the Chinese cooks who were unafraid to use whatever means to feed him as possible, they managed to find something that cured his illness. That same illness spread to Britain and amplified (Temeraire not having the illness long enough to observe the full scope and devastation of the disease), and now all the British dragons face wasting decay and death. The cure, thought to be an odd, smelly mushroom, is virtually unknown and thus, their search is made 1,000x harder by the language barrier, unknown name and unknown description over all the continent of Africa. Having traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, Temeraire's and Laurence's job is to find that cure and test it on their friends, Lily, Maximus etc. (his wingmates from previous novels) before sending it back to Britain.

Laurence and his fellows bring with them two former slaves: Joseph Erasmus, an African missionary and his wife Hannah, and their two young daughters. Since they are onboard the Allegiance with Captain Riley again, this brings up another key theme/conflict from Throne of Jade: slavery and human rights/dragon rights. Though slavery is condemned by Laurence (and Temeraire), it still exists in Britain and other countries and upheld in British law though there has been a movement for some time to abolish it. Riley's family are slave owners, and this creates tension between the naval officers and Laurence and some of his airmen. Slavers have been increasing their raids of African villages from the coast and moving inward. While they are in pursuit of the mushrooms and harvesting a large cache, Laurence and some other captains and crew, including the newly pregnant Catherine Harcourt and former slave Hannah Erasmus, are captured by African natives. Here they directly see the effects slavery has had on the African villages and their dragons, and though Laurence is against it, they still must pay the price for being associated. It forces everyone, human and dragon alike, to confront their perceptions of slavery, and even Britain suffers the devastating consequences in the end. Will our heroes make it out of Africa alive? I couldn't predict any part of the way this ended (!), and I'm sure the mind-blowing outcome will come into play in a later novel.

This one made me laugh, cry, and bite my nails with anxiety since there are a plethora of awful possibilities just waiting to happen... Onward to more reading!


Saturday, October 07, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [275]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
——————
 
EnregistrerMy complete shelf stack over at Reading Reality got rather tall this week. I saw oodles of interesting looking books at NetGalley and Edelweiss. Possibly too many.

But I'd still like to share a couple of books with you, just to tease.



Artifact (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt #1) by Gigi Pandian

This is the first book in Pandian's lovely Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt series. I read the fifth book this week, The Ninja's Illusion, and loved it, so I immediately went off to get the rest of the series. If you enjoyed the late Elizabeth Peters' Vicky Bliss series, you'll love Jaya Jones. If you like mysteries with quirky heroines that have a great mix of cozy characters with adventurous exploits, you'll also love Jaya. I know I did!


The Governess Who Captured His Heart (Honorable Scoundrels #1) by Sophie Barnes

I also nabbed all three books in Sophie Barnes' new Honorable Scoundrels series. I really enjoy her historical romances, because she does a lovely job of turning the established tropes on their pointy little heads without making her heroines too modern, and therefor too anachronistic. Her books are always a good time, so I'm looking forward to reading this series. And they are all marvelously short! There are times when a quick little read to whisk you away is just what you're looking for, and these look like they will fill that particular bill quite admirably.


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Thursday, October 05, 2017

Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Historical fiction
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: May 30, 2006

Series:  Temeraire #3

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

After their fateful adventure in China, Capt. Will Laurence of His Majesty’s Aerial Corps and his extraordinary dragon, Temeraire, are waylaid by a mysterious envoy bearing urgent new orders from Britain. Three valuable dragon eggs have been purchased from the Ottoman Empire, and Laurence and Temeraire must detour to Istanbul to escort the precious cargo back to England. Time is of the essence if the eggs are to be borne home before hatching.

Yet disaster threatens the mission at every turn–thanks to the diabolical machinations of the Chinese dragon Lien, who blames Temeraire for her master’s death and vows to ally herself with Napoleon and take vengeance. Then, faced with shattering betrayal in an unexpected place, Laurence, Temeraire, and their squad must launch a daring offensive. But what chance do they have against the massed forces of Bonaparte’s implacable army?


This third novel is very much an epic as it is mostly journeying across Asia and Europe (more so than most of the other novels so far). They've managed to appease China in having Laurence adopted as the Emperor's son and sealed good relations with England in the process, and now they must return as England calls for Laurence and Temeraire to escort three dragon eggs from Istanbul home. Temeraire and his crew, along with a slippery guide named Tharkay, travel across deserts and rice paddies of inland China through unknown territories to Turkestan, facing starvation, attacks, and finally betrayal.

At the forefront of this novel is the idea of dragon rights and better conditions for what most other countries see as beasts or property. When Temeraire decides to return to England, he is filled with righteous fire and determined to bring better conditions to his dragon friends. Having seen some of the luxuries in China, they bring back cooks and other Chinese ideas like his decorative dragon claw sheaths, pavilion plans, and sand tables for writing. On their journey though, they must trust their safety to Tharkay, which is in some ways problematic as he keeps disappearing and after the secrets in China, Laurence is wary of more danger. They also encounter a large band of feral dragons, led by Arkady, who wish to see the Sultan of Istanbul and have great battles and stories such as Temeraire tells. When they arrive in Istanbul, they face a mess as their allies have conflicting stories than their instructions. Here they discover that Lien has preceded them across Asia to align herself with Napoleon and turn the Sultan against them. Desperate to return to England and help in the war after having learned of other defeats, Laurence and Temeraire must decide to do things their own way without guidance. Here their bond grows even stronger as they have only themselves and their crew to rely on with the communications silent. Here their honor, choices, and unorthodox kindness to their allies are key game changers in their long journey home, especially in a war that dragon intelligence has altered drastically.

I loved the new characters and setting in this novel, though it does seem like it's a wonder that any of Laurence's crew survives. There is one super heartbreaking moment in this novel that made me cry, but there are lots of great moments too, like finally getting to see Granby having more opportunities. The brush with historical characters is exciting, though I had to do a bit of research about Napoleon and the Prussian royalty. Like always, there is quite a big cliffhanger that drives you on to the next novel. Review coming soon!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [274]


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
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Enregistrer I got lots of goodies this week, but this time I'd like to highlight a couple of my favorite self-published authors, both of whom sent me new books this week. If you want to see my entire Stacking the Shelves, it's over at Reading Reality. As usual.



Hell Squad: Ash by Anna Hackett

I got hooked on Anna's writing many, many books ago. Probably with the first Phoenix Adventures  book, At Star's End. But I love everything she writes. Several of her series are in my favorite genre, science fiction romance - and for those who are new to SFR, she never drowns the reader in technobabble. But each series is distinct and different in spite of being in the same genre. Hell Squad is post-apocalyptic, Galactic Gladiators are about space-traveling pit fighters and the Phoenix Adventures feature intergalactic treasure hunters. She also has a contemporary action-adventure-romance series, Treasure Hunter Security, that I'm almost certain is going to be a very loose "prequel" for the Phoenix Adventures, because those two families must be related! But if you are looking for a non-stop action both of the adventurous kind and between the sheets, you cannot go wrong with any of Anna's series. Start with At Star's End, Marcus, Gladiator or Undiscovered, depending on which flavor of action-adventure floats your boat. Better yet - collect the set - they are all awesome.



River Rising by John A. Heldt

I discovered John Heldt's books way, way back, as one of the international book lovers at the late and much lamented Book Lovers Inc blog. If you like time travel romance, and you have not discovered John Heldt, you are in for a real treat. His first book, The Mine, is one of the best time travel romances I've ever read. Right up there with Outlander. But The Mine, and all of his books, are marvelously different. Not just because he clearly does one hell of a lot of research (as does Gabaldon) but because his time travelers travel back in the United States, and to parts of history that were epochal but still very much part of our collective conscious. And he does an absolutely terrific job of making us feel what they feel - both the joys of discovery and the heartache of knowing what must come, no matter what. Heartbreakingly beautiful books, every single one.

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