Book Recommendations

Assassin and the Empire. Read it.

As a fan of the THRONE OF GLASS novellas, it’s kind of hard to see the last one release today…

To know there won’t be more stories before we’re thrust into the actual series of THRONE OF GLASS… It actually makes my heart ache. Sure, I am absolutely elated at the prospect of the series beginning…but I’ll also be sad to see young, fearless Celaena go.

And go she does–young Celaena is no more at the end of this novella. Nor, I’m afraid, was my heart. This novella–ASSASSIN AND THE EMPIRE–ripped my heart to shreds and didn’t put it back together. I know this was Sarah’s intent (to show us how truly awful things were for Celaena before the start of THRONE OF GLASS), but honestly: nothing prepared me for just how devastating Celaena’s life turned.

And nothing prepared me for just how much this devastation–and Celaena’s ultimate overcoming of it–would move me. (Read more…)

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The Legend of Korra: a TV show recommendation

6 out of 5 stars. Maybe even 10 out of 5. Or 20.

This. Show.

THIS. SHOW.

With only one episode left to wrap up the season, I am actually having pain in my chest at the thought of having to wait a year for more.

This story follows the adventures of the Avatar after Aang – a passionate, rebellious, and fearless teenage girl from the Southern Water Tribe named Korra. With three of the four elements under her belt (Earth, Water, and Fire), Korra seeks to master the final element, Air. Her quest leads her to the epicenter of the modern “Avatar” world, Republic City – a metropolis that is fueled by steampunk technology. It is a virtual melting pot where benders and non-benders from all nations live and thrive. However, Korra discovers that Republic City is plagued by crime as well as a growing anti-bending revolution that threatens to rip it apart. Under the tutelage of Aang’s son, Tenzin, Korra begins her airbending training while dealing with the dangers at large. (Read more…)

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Shadow and Bone: a book recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

Oh, where to begin with this review without spiraling into a gush-fest? To start, let me just say that Shadow and Bone is truly unique–I can’t think of anything I’ve read quite like it.

But even better than being unique, Shadow and Bone is good. Like, REALLY good.

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.  (Read more…)

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The Perilous Gard and The Assassin and the Underworld: book recommendations

5 out of 5 stars.

I adore this book. ADORE. I think I first read it in the fifth grade, and it remains one of my favorites. I have reread it more times than I can count, and I love The Perilous Gard more with each reread.

In 1558, while exiled by Queen Mary Tudor to a remote castle known as Perilous Gard, young Kate Sutton becomes involved in a series of mysterious events that lead her to an underground world peopled by Fairy Folk—whose customs are even older than the Druids’ and include human sacrifice.

Let’s start with Kate, a heroine worthy of attention. She isn’t a tough girl with some magical power or ability to fight–nay. She’s merely a normal girl exiled to a place where nothing is as it seems, and the only weapon she has is her mind. I admired Kate as a child, and I admire her character even more as an adult. She is forced to make choices that change her, and as she makes those choices–for better or worse–she grows. (Read more…)

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My Favorite High Fantasy Series (Adult)

High fantasy: Epic stakes, magical powers, chosen ones, and prophecies. Creatures of the non-human variety, medieval warfare, royalty, and feuds. It is, in a word, SWEEPING.

I love high fantasy, and since childhood, it has been my go-to genre in the adult reading world. As such, I thought I’d lay out a few of all time my favorite series for adult high fantasy, and in turn, maybe YOU can tell me yours.

Now, in no particular order….



Witches of Eileanan by Kate Forsyth is probably the least well-known on my list, but it’s definitely one of my favorites. Lots of characters, creatures, layers, and scope, this series will suck you in and have you zooming through it (I think there are 7 books in total).

In the Celtic land of Eileanan, witches and magic have been outlawed, and those caught for practicing witchcraft are put to death. It is a land ruled by an evil Queen, where sea-dwelling Fairgean stir, and children vanish in the night. But in a valley deep in the mountains, young Isabeau grows to womanhood under the guidance of an elderly witch, and must set out on a quest, carrying the last hopes of the persecuted witches.

Though Isabeau is declared the main character, the overall cast of characters (whose POVs we all follow) is enormous. And  though the world is described as “Celtic”, it’s much broader–from the sea-folks to the ice-dwellers to the witches to the regular old people like you and me, these books cover a huge, rich world that has stayed firmly in my memory as one of my favorites.

Be warned: I think this book is out of print, so it might be a bit hard to find a copy. If you can, though, it’s SO worth it!

Favorite character: Gabe (swoon)

Favorite book in the series: Skull of the World
(Read more…)

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The Thief: a book recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

I’ve been on a fantasy kick lately (as I’m sure you can tell from my recent recommendations), and amazingly, every book I’ve picked up in the past weeks has been stellar. I had high hopes for Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief, and I am pleased to say it did not disappoint

The most powerful advisor to the King of Sounis is the magus. He’s not a wizard, he’s a scholar, an aging solider, not a thief. When he needs something stolen, he pulls a young thief from the King’s prison to do the job for him.

Gen is a thief and proud of it. When his bragging lands him behind bars he has one chance to win his freedom– journey to a neighboring kingdom with the magus, find a legendary stone called Hamiathes’s Gift and steal it.

The magus has plans for his King and his country. Gen has plans of his own. (Read more…)

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Finnikin of the Rock: a book recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

I will admit: it took me 3 tries to read this book. The prologue was just so…dull to me, and even the opening chapter. But I had heard so many great things about this book, that I forced myself on try #3 to just keep reading.

And I am so glad I did.

At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar’s cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere. 

But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace. An impostor seizes the throne, a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escape are left to roam the land as exiles, dying by the thousands in fever camps.  (Read more…)

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Troubled Waters: a book recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

I picked up Sharon Shinn’s Troubled Waters at the suggestion of Sarah Maas. It had been quite a long time since I sank into an adult fantasy, and I’ll be honest: I had some trouble at first. I’m so used to the go-go-go! of YA, that the slower moving, deeper world-building of an adult book made it hard at first.

But by page 20, I was hooked. And despite the tiny print crammed onto 400 pages, I zoomed through the novel in two days.

Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king’s fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river.  (Read more…)

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Howl’s Moving Castle: a book recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

Everyone knows this book…or they at least know the Miyazaki film version. I adore Miyazaki–Spirited Away is one of my all-time favorite films–but…I have to say that the film version (though wonderful) is not as good as the book. This book is just PURE MAGIC.

 In which a witch bewitched the hatter’s daughter–and then some… 

Sophie lived in the town of Market Chipping, which was in Ingary, a land in which anything could happen, and often did–especially when the Witch of the Waste got her dander up. Which was often. 

As her younger sisters set out to seek their fortunes Sophie stayed in her father’s hat shop. Which proved most unadventurous, until the Witch of the Waste came in to buy a bonnet, but was not pleased. Which is why she turned Sophie into an old lady. Which was spiteful witchery.  (Read more…)

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Legend: a book recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

Hold. Onto. YOUR HATS. Marie Lu’s Legebd is going to sweep you away. From page 1, this book is a page-turning thrill ride.

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’ death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. (Read more…)

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