Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Leaning Pile of Books

This week brought five books - one bought last weekend, one digital review copy, one won off Goodreads, and two I wanted to buy with the first one but ordered online instead because one was not in good condition and the other was more expensive at the bookstore. (Recently, we discovered we can get free Amazon Prime since my husband is a student so I got them in two days! With no shipping cost! This could be hazardous...)

As far as reviewing goes, I finished a review of Naamah's Curse today so that will be going up sometime early this week. Next I'll be working on a review of The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke.

On to the books.

Shadow Magic by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett

I was hoping to see this book when I took a trip to the giant bookstore last Sunday, and they had it so I snatched it up. It's the book I'm mainly reading now. Havemercy (review) was very enjoyable, and I've liked the first 60% of this one as well. It has four different main characters and takes place in a different setting, although two of the protagonists are from Volstov and were in Havemercy. I particularly like getting to read from the point of view of Caius.

From the widely acclaimed authors of Havemercy comes this stunning new epic fantasy, set in the chaotic aftermath of a hundred years of war. Here, amidst the treacherous dance of diplomacy and betrayal lie the darkest secrets of all…and a peace more deadly than war itself.

Led to victory by its magic-fueled Dragon Corps, Volstov has sent a delegation to its conquered neighbors to work out the long-awaited terms of peace. Among those sent are the decorated war hero General Alcibiades and the formerly exiled magician Caius Greylace. But even this mismatched pair can’t help but notice that their defeated enemies aren’t being very cooperative.

The truth is even worse than they know. For the new emperor is harboring a secret even more treacherous—one that will take every trick in Alcibiades’ and Caius’ extensive arsenal to unveil. And once it is revealed, they may still be powerless to stop it.

With their only ally, an exiled prince, now fleeing his brother’s assassins, the countryside rife with treachery and terror, and Alcibiades and Caius all but prisoners, it will take the most powerful, most dangerous kind of magic to heal the rift between two strife-worn lands and unite two peoples against a common enemy…shadow magic.

The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt

Tia Nevitt, who runs the Debuts & Reviews blog, has her own debut coming out from Carina Press next month. The Sevenfold Spell is a novella based on the tale of Sleeping Beauty and is the first in a series of fairy tale retellings called Accidental Enchantments. There are plans for stories based on Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast. I love retold fairy tales so I'm looking forward to this one.

Things look grim for Talia and her mother. By royal proclamation, the constables and those annoying “good” fairies have taken away their livelihood by confiscating their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess, they said.

Not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue.

Without the promise of an income from spinning, Talia’s prospects for marriage disappear, and she and her mother face destitution. Past caring about breaking an arbitrary and cruel law, rebellious Talia determines to build a new spinning wheel, the only one in the nation, which plays right into the evil fairy’s diabolical plan. Talia discovers that finding a happy ending requires sacrifice. But is it a sacrifice she’s willing to make?

Dark and Stormy Knights edited by P. N. Elrod

I had no idea I'd won this off Goodreads until a surprise copy showed up in my mailbox on Monday. I was very glad I won it since I really, really want to read the story by Ilona Andrews but probably never would have bought this book myself for one small part of the collection. It's about how Kate met Saiman so it should be very interesting. I haven't read anything by any of the other authors in this book other than Carrie Vaughn's contributions to the Wild Card books so it will be fun to get sample these writers. In particular, I'm looking forward to more by Vaughn as well as the Jim Butcher and Rachel Caine stories since I've heard a lot about them but have yet to read anything by either.

They’re the last defenders of humanity, the lone wolf bad boys— and girls—who do dark deeds for the right reasons. Modern day knights who are sexy, funny, mad, bad and dangerous to know because they do what most of us only dream about…and get away with it. In this all-star collection, nine of today’s hottest urban fantasy authors bring us original stories of supernatural, modern day knights that will have readers clamoring for more!

The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts

I've now heard enough about this book that I'm really curious about it. It's supposed to be a little hard to read but excellent so I'll save it for sometime when I'm on vacation or just have more time to read for some reason. At over 800 pages long, it's also not a short book so I definitely think I'll need some time for this one.

The stunning first volume in Janny Wurts's epic tale of two half-brothers cursed to life-long enmity, now re-released with a striking new cover. The world of Athera lives in eternal fog, its skies obscured by the malevolent Mistwraith. Only the combined powers of two half-brothers can challenge the Mistwraith's stranglehold: Arithon, Master of Shadow and Lysaer, Lord of Light. Arithon and Lysaer will find that they are inescapably bound inside a pattern of events dictated by their own deepest convictions. Yet there is more at stake than one battle with the Mistwraith -- as the sorcerers of the Fellowship of Seven know well. For between them the half-brothers hold the balance of the world, its harmony and its future, in their hands.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

So I'm probably one of the few people left in the world who hasn't read this, further evidenced by the fact that this is currently #20 in books on Amazon, the sequel Catching Fire is at #14 and the newly released Mockingjay is at #1. I suppose I should remedy this, especially since it sounds very interesting.

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


Tea and Tomes said...

I've got "Sevenfold Spell" on my TBR list too. I admit I was a bit dubious on whether to accept it, since as much as I too love retold fairy tales, I find that they're really hit-or-miss things to do well, and I wasn't sure I was up for reading yet another miss. But I figured I'd give it a try anyway, since I didn't want fear of disappointment to get in the way of the discovery of something potentially awesome.

And fear not, I haven't rwad "Hunger Games" either!

Kristen said...

Tea and Tomes - I read the first part of The Sevenfold Spell and was intrigued. What are some of your favorite retold fairy tales?

And thanks, it is good to see someone else hasn't read The Hunger Games either!

orannia said...

Oh, I quite like the sound of Sevenfold Spell :)

And I need to join you & Tea and Tomes as one of the few who hasn't read The Hunger Games. Still not sure whether I want to read it...

I definitely think The Curse of the Mistwraith should be read when you have time to read it. It's a not to be rushed book. Actually, I've just started the second book in the series as part of a GoodReads group - we read three chapters a week, and that's a good pace IMHO.

Oh, and I've just clicked. You're reading Shadow Magic, which is the second book in the series. For some reason I thought you were reading the third. DUH! I liked Shadow Magic, and Caius is definitely my favourite character :) Enjoy!

Kristen said...

Orannia - I wasn't sure about whether or not to read The Hunger Games for a while, too, but I have been convinced. Librarything thinks I will hate it, but hopefully it is wrong!

A lot of my interest in The Curse of Mistwraith was seeing the comments in the Goodreads group. It sounded very interesting.

No, I'm not reading the third book yet although I'm probably going to want to once I'm done with Shadow Magic. It's only in hardcover now, so I'll probably be waiting to get it. Rook and Thom are supposed to be in that one again so I do desperately want to read it. I wouldn't mind having these books in hardcover but I have the first one in paperback so... Caius is my favorite character in Shadow Magic, too - I love him!

Benjamin said...

I thought about buying Dark and Stormy Knights for the new Dresden Files story, but I figured if Butcher keeps writing more stories he'll eventually put out another collection like he is later this year.

Hope you enjoy The Hunger Games!

Btw, it'll be interesting to see what you think of The Last Page. There are quite a few positive reviews, but everything I've heard about the book makes it sound like a soap opera.

Kristen said...

Benjamin - Thanks! The Hunger Games sounds very interesting, and I suspect I'll like it from what I've heard.

I'm about 25% of the way through The Last Page now and I'm hoping it picks up more. There are a couple of parts that were interesting, but it hasn't really grabbed my attention yet.

Anastasia said...

Kristen, do you get the distinct feeling that your TBR pile is growing significantly faster than you can read?

Check out the map:

This changed my life.

Kristen said...

Anastasia - Hehe, very nice. Although maybe a little surprising since I seem to recall you tried to get me to buy several books at The Strand while I tried to restrain myself after having just gotten a bunch at BEA...

Yes, it is growing faster than I can read, but honestly, I've done pretty well with buying willpower this year when compared to the last couple of years. I just looked through Goodreads and I have bought 15 books this year that I haven't yet actually read including the ones I just bought, one of which I've already finished (and a lot of those books were from before April - it's dropped off significantly since then). Most of the books I get at this point are books I don't even know I'm getting until I find them in my mailbox.

And a few of the times I've bought books this year it's partially because I don't want my nearby bookstore to disappear. One of our bookstores that I can't remember ever not being around just shut down this year.