Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Leaning Pile of Books

I need to go start cleaning and packing up for moving tomorrow, but first I decided to write this up for Sunday while getting caffeinated so I have energy to do all that (especially since I won't be able to put it up Sunday night due to lack of Internet). Next weekend I'm hoping to be able to make more progress on reviews because I'm afraid it's not going to be possible this weekend.

This week brought three review copies. I was terribly tempted to go pick up The King of Attolia, but since I'd already started reading Magic Burns by the time I was able to go to the store for it, I decided to wait. After that, I'm probably going to stick to some longer books in order to get caught up on reviews and The King of Attolia isn't all that long.

The Last Page by Anthony Huso

This is a debut novel. The author contacted me about reading it and when I heard it was dark fantasy tinged with steampunk, how could I resist? It's the one that sounds the most interesting to me from the books received this week, and I just love receiving personalized galleys signed by the author. I'm looking forward to this one. It will be released in hardcover on August 17.

The city of Isca is set like a dark jewel in the crown of the Duchy of Stonehold. In this sprawling landscape, the monsters one sees are nothing compared to what’s living in the city’s sewers.

Twenty-three-year-old Caliph Howl is Stonehold’s reluctant High King. Thrust onto the throne, Caliph has inherited Stonehold’s dirtiest court secrets. He also faces a brewing civil war that he is unprepared to fight. After months alone amid a swirl of gossip and political machinations, the sudden reappearance of his old lover, Sena, is a welcome bit of relief. But Sena has her own legacy to claim: she has been trained from birth by the Shradnae witchocracy—adept in espionage and the art of magical equations writ in blood—and she has been sent to spy on the High King.

Yet there are magics that demand a higher price than blood. Sena secretly plots to unlock the Cisrym Ta, an arcane text whose pages contain the power to destroy worlds. The key to opening the book lies in Caliph’s veins, forcing Sena to decide if her obsession for power is greater than her love for Caliph.

Meanwhile, a fleet of airships creeps ever closer to Isca. As the final battle in a devastating civil war looms and the last page of the Cisrym Ta waits to be read, Caliph and Sena must face the deadly consequences of their decisions. And the blood of these conflicts will stain this and other worlds forever.

The Ambassador's Mission by Trudi Canavan

This is the first book in the Traitor Spy trilogy, which is set in the same world as the Black Magician trilogy. It takes place a generation after the previous series. I've never read anything by Trudi Canavan, but it sounds like it could be interesting. This book will be available in hardcover on May 18.

Sonea, once the despised commoner in the Magicians’ Guild, is now a Black Magician of Kyralia. Though she is now part of the establishment, she comes to find that the past is not so easily left behind…

Lorkin, Sonea’s rebellious son, has volunteered to join the formidable Lord Dannyl in his new post as Guild Ambassador to Sachaka – a land ruled by cruel, slave-owning black magicians. There is suspicion that some of the Sachakans still harbor dreams of conquest, so when word comes that Lorkin has gone missing, Sonea is desperate to find him. However, Guild law states that if a Black Magician leaves the city he or she will be exiled forever.

As she fears for her missing son, Sonea dedicates herself to helping her old friend Cery. For some time, there has been fear and paranoia on the streets of Imardin. Leading thieves have been dying under irregular circumstances. The need to discover who has been picking off the leading thieves of the city is now a very personal crusade – one that Sonea must aid, for the killer appears to be using magic.

Either a member of the Guild is leading a double life as a hired killer, or there is – once again – a rogue magician on the streets of Imardin . . .

A Breath of Magic by Tracy Madison

This is the third book in the Magic series of paranormal romance, following A Taste of Magic and A Stroke of Magic. It just came out in mass market paperback on April 27.

Chloe Nichols is holding her breath. All her life, finding true happiness with a family has seemed as easy as...well, snagging a bubble off the wind—a bubble that her current boyfriend seems dead set on bursting. Yes, every time Chloe mentions her one true desire, Kyle shoots down her hopes. But he hasn’t reckoned with the awesome power of Gypsy magic, or with loyal kith and kin. One way or another, Chloe’s going to get her happily-ever-after. One could sometimes be found after you’d convinced a man he loves you, right? All Fate needs is a little puff in the right direction...


orannia said...

I do like the sound of The Last Page, and so look forward to hearing what you think :) I read Trudi Canavan's The Black Magician series. Weirdly, I enjoyed the first book more...probably because it dealt with political machinations, and I like reading about those :)

All the best with the move! I hope it goes smoothly!

orannia said...

OK, I know you're madly moving - I hope that's going well BTW - but just had to let you know that I finished Flesh & Spirit this morning and it was SO good! There is one character though whose neck I want to wring...I guess you know as to whom I am referring?

Initially I thought the book was plot, but it's a character book *happy dance*

I so want to read Breath & Bone...and am continually checking my library's online catalogue to see if the book is 'In Transit'.

/soapbox rant

Benjamin said...

I've looked into The Last Page before and for some reason the synopsis sounds off to me. Not sure what exactly. I'll probably wait until you and a few others review it first.

Good luck with the move!

ediFanoB said...

The Last Page really aroused my interest. Look forward to read your review.

Kristen said...

Orannia - The Last Page does sound very good; I'm curious about it, too. I like reading about political machinations as well - if a book has politics and great characters, it's right up my alley. :)

The move was very tiring but at least we ended up having an extra day to move in since we thought we were going to have to move it all in one day (well, sort of an extra day since work took up most of it). Now I'm just trying to forget about the fact that we just have to move it all back in 2 months.

I am so glad you enjoyed Flesh and Spirit so much! And I see you already started the second book. Carol Berg's books tend to be largely character books - that's why I love them so much. Just wait until you read Transformation - I think you will love it.

Benjamin - I saw today that The Last Page was mentioned on Fantasy Book Critic. It wasn't reviewed yet since it will be a little closer to release date, but they loved it.

ediFanoB - That does sound like a good one, doesn't it?

Benjamin said...

Kristen, yeah, I saw Liviu's post. The problem is that Liviu and I don't often share the same opinions on books, which is why I'm hoping for more reviews. ;)

Kristen said...

Benjamin - More reviews are always good anyway. It's rare that I buy a book based on just one review I read.