Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Leaning Pile of Books

This week I got some books ordered off my wish list that didn't arrive on time for my birthday and two review copies (one ARC). One of the review copies is actually a duplicate copy of a book I received the end of last week so I won't be including it again. However, this does mean that around the time I read The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, I will be giving away my second copy.

I haven't made much progress on reviewing lately and suspect that may be the case for a little while. It's been busy lately, and next weekend I'm going to be moving instead of writing. Since I have already read one of these books, though, I did talk about what I thought of it a little.

Lord of the White Hell by Ginn Hale

I loved Ginn Hale's Wicked Gentlemen so I was very excited about this book. It's the first of two books that will be released only one month apart. Book 1 will be out on August 15 and the second book will be out on September 15, but there is a 15% discount for pre-ordering the first book and a 25% discount for pre-ordering both books by June 15. There is an excerpt available online.

Kiram Kir-Zaki may be considered a mechanist prodigy among his own people, but when he becomes the first Haldiim ever admitted to the prestigious Sagrada Academy, he is thrown into a world where power, superstition and swordplay outweigh even the most scholarly of achievements.

But when the intimidation from his Cadeleonian classmates turns bloody, Kiram unexpectedly finds himself befriended by Javier Tornesal, the leader of a group of cardsharps, duelists and lotharios who call themselves Hellions.

However Javier is a dangerous friend to have. Wielder of the White Hell and sole heir of a Dukedom, he is surrounded by rumors of forbidden seductions, murder and damnation. His enemies are many and any one of his secrets could not only end his life but Kiram's as well.

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

I've heard so much about this series from Angie of Angieville and Ana from The Book Smugglers that I just had to read them. And I've already finished this one since I was unable to stop reading it today until I got to the end. The Thief was good, but this one was something special and now holds the spot of favorite book I've read so far this year. The first thing I did when I finished was look up if it was supposed to be in stock at my local bookstore, and it looks like it is so I just may have to pick it up this week because I really want more. Now.

It was one of those that I really wanted to finish but I also found myself going back and rereading a lot of parts I'd just read because they were just so good. I loved the characters and the dialogue and the way every little thing seemed to have significance. This is one I can definitely see myself rereading. (Leaving out the blurb since there would be huge spoilers for The Thief in any plot description.)

Hand of Isis by Jo Graham

I really enjoyed Black Ships so of course I wanted to read Jo Graham's second novel. This one is set in Egypt and is about Cleopatra's handmaiden.

Following her acclaimed debut, Jo Graham returns to the ancient world with a novel that will captivate lovers of fantasy, history and romance. Set in Ancient Egypt, Hand of Isis is the story of Charmian, a handmaiden, and her two sisters. It is a novel of lovers who transcend death, of gods who meddle in mortal affairs, and of women who guide empires.

A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer

This is a new-to-me author I've been wanting to read. After looking through her books to pick one to start with, I thought this one sounded the most interesting, probably because I'm a sucker for a plot involving gender reversal.

In a world where males are rarely born, they've become a commodity-traded and sold like property. Jerin Whistler has come of age for marriage and his handsome features have come to the attention of the royal princesses. But such attentions can be dangerous-especially as Jerin uncovers the dark mysteries the royal family is hiding.


Ana said...


I told you so!! So glad you enjoyed Queen of Attolia, isn't it SLPENDID? *sigh*

It began breaking my heart but the ending totally mended any wounds.

Kristen said...

Ana - First of all, thank you for talking about this series so much! Your review was the first one I read about the series.

Second, yes it is indeed SPLENDID! I didn't want to put it down, but I also didn't want it to end. And at the same time, I really want the next book but I also don't want to read it yet because then I'll be almost done with the series!

I always pick a book to read next as soon as I finish one, but I haven't picked one yet now because I'm afraid most books are going to suffer in comparison after finishing that one so recently.

The ending was great - that was one of the parts I had to read a couple of times. It might have been more if not for the fact that my husband wanted me to proofread something for him right as I was beginning the final page and I didn't want to keep him waiting too long...

It's definitely one to add to the favorites list.

orannia said...

I can't believe Ginn Hale's books aren't released until August! They sound so good! And I must get on with The Thief. That's the problem with blog hopping, you keep seeing books on your TBR list that should be higher up :)

Oh, and I know what you mean about not wanting to read something after finishing an amazing book. I try and find something completely different.

Oh, and I just started Flesh & Spirit!

Angiegirl said...

Honestly, I'm sitting here with the biggest smile on my face.

You loved QUEEN!! This makes me ridiculously happy. I felt the same way. It completely took my breath away. And that ending...perfection. I read it over and over as well. There is so much going on in these books. So much subtlety. So much awesome. And you really do need the next book. You NEED it. :)

Kristen said...

Orannia - August is a long wait, I agree! Usually I try to read books close to the release date but I'm not sure I'll be able to wait that long for that one... It looks really good!

I have the same problem with seeing books constantly that I need to read NOW. Today I was reminded that I still need to read the next Kate Daniels book and Jasmyn... Oh, and your reading Flesh and Spirit reminds me I still need to read the newest book by Carol Berg!

I hope you like Flesh and Spirit! It did take a little while for it to get going, but the second book takes right off since it picks up right at the end. I liked Valen and the story, but I still like her Rai-kirah series the best (of what I've read anyway - I haven't yet read the newest book or The Bridge d'Arnath series).

It is hard to start a new book after reading something amazing like that. It makes me a moody reader because I just don't want to settle for the books that are just good instead of excellent... I didn't settle on a book for a long time yesterday and I'm still not sure I have settled on one since I've barely read any of it yet.

Angiegirl - Both your comment and your post today made me smile as well. :)

The Queen of Attolia was wonderful - one of those rare books that I'm completely involved in but also just have to keep going back and rereading because it is just so good! Even when I knew what was coming (such as the part involving the earrings) it didn't matter because I really just wanted to experience just how it happened. And when it did, it was fantastic and I loved every moment of it.

Very few authors do a truly great ending but Megan Whalen Turner seems to have a gift for it.

I told my husband I need the next book... I don't think he believed me. And I had no car today so I wasn't able to acquire it.

Chachic said...

Here via Angie's post.

Megan Whalen Turner's books are right up there in my favorites list. The Queen of Attolia was really amazing! There's so much in there that just makes you want to read it over and over again and you discover something new everytime. After reading The Queen of Attolia, I didn't want to read The King of Attolia because I didn't think it'll be as good as Queen but I was wrong. It was just as awesome! Plus the fourth book is already out and it's good as well so you have two more books to look forward to. :)

Kristen said...

Chachic - Thanks for stopping by!

There are a lot of parts that make you want to read The Queen of Attolia all over again. I went back and reread a few again tonight. ;) And I'm so glad to hear The King of Attolia is just as good.

The fourth book has less Eugenides than the other books, doesn't it? That worries me a little - I get so attached to main characters that I often have trouble with any following books that don't have as much of the protagonist I'm used to reading about.

Chachic said...

I have so many favorite lines in both The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. :)Yes, the fourth book has less of Gen but that's okay because he's still there in the sidelines and the writing is still classic MWT so it's a great book. I'm just hoping the next ones will have more of Gen.

Kristen said...

Chachic - There were a lot of great lines in The Queen of Attolia! Thanks for the information on the fourth book. I'm sure I'll miss Gen, but I'll certainly read it anyway!

orannia said...

Thank you Kristen! I'm almost one-third of the way through and really enjoying it, even though it's not a fast read by any stretch of the imagination.

The Rai-kirah series...would the first be Transformation? I think that's on my TBR list somewhere...if not, I'll add it (once I've read Flesh & Spirit and Breath & Bone :)

Kristen said...

Orannia - Yes, the first book in the Rai-kirah series is Transformation. I keep wanting to reread that one, but with the pile as huge as it is I just never get around to it. It probably wouldn't take that long, though; that one is a faster read.