Author: Rosaria Munda Publication date: October 15, 2019 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Until I started reading this book, I had forgotten a) how much I love books with dragons, and b) how long it had been since I had read one. With a fantastic blend of politics, questions of personal allegiance, dragon fights, ethical quandaries, and a dash of romance, Fireborne ended up being everything I hoped it would be.
Author: Ava Morgyn Publication date: October 1, 2019 Genre: YA contemporary/drama, magical realism My rating: 4/5 stars
What a weird, yet beautiful, little book. I went in expecting something a little creepy, a little sad, a little quirky, but I closed the book (er, Kindle) with the sense that (a) I had just read a painfully real look at grief and loss, and (b) I just observed one of the most bizarre endings I had ever read. No, that isn’t a spoiler; trust me when I say it is not one you couldn’t predict even if you tried.
Author: Nina Varela Publication Date: October 1, 2019 Genre: YA fantasy, sci-fi, LGBTQ+ My rating: 5/5 stars
A while ago, the folks at Epic Reads sent me a little package of goodies as a thank-you for promoting an event of theirs (check out that haul here). One of the books included in that was a copy of Crier’s War. I didn’t know a ton going into it, except that it was a queer YA fantasy–which, honestly, is enough to catch my attention in and of itself. I can definitely say, though, that I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.
Author: Alice Hoffman Publication Date: September 24, 2019 Genre: historical fiction, magical realism, fantasy My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
This is a book that I’m sure many people will love. It’s a WWII story, an era which is always popular with the historical fiction crowd. The writing is quite lovely in its simplicity. The main characters are predominantly strong women, and one of the novel’s biggest themes is the strength of a mother’s love. And of course, it has a slight fantasy twist, drawing from Jewish mythology to further explore ideas about family, loyalty, and promises. But for me, the elements didn’t gel together quite as nicely as I would have liked.
I am surprised at how well I managed to minimize my spending on books this month. Since I have zero plans to buy any more, I’m posting now because…well, I like to show off. And I have the LSAT tomorrow, so I am a little stressed and didn’t have the mental capacity to write anything more thoughtful. But I also tried to put a smidge more effort into these pictures than usual, and I was pleasantly surprised at the results.
“Doors are many things: fissures and cracks, ways between, mysteries and borders. But more than anything else, doors are change.“
Author: Alix E. Harrow Publication Date: September 10, 2019 Genre: Portal fantasy, historical fiction, young adult Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading this book is like walking through a capital-D Door, out of this world and into an adjacent one filled with so much heart, magic, and mystery.The Ten Thousand Doors of January is the sort of book that you finish and say, “I can’t believe this is the author’s first novel.” It’s a lyrical, lovely fusion of historical fiction and portal fantasy—a combination that, frankly, has no right to work as well as it does.
Author: Juliet Marillier Publication Date: September 3, 2019 Genre: Fantasy Rating: 5/5 stars
Prior to winning this book in a Goodreads Giveaway, I had not heard of Juliet Marillier. Apparently, her most popular books came out when I was still a little too young to read them, but after skimming some of her info on Goodreads, I realized she has quite a devoted fanbase. Now, having read The Harp of Kings, I can see why. Brimming with Celtic mythology, fierce warriors, passionate musicians, and memorable characters, this book feels like a classic quest fantasy in all the best ways.
Fresh and fiercely feminist, this reimagining of a classic short story delivered the sort of kickass warrior girl action I love to read about.Even better, it belongs to the rare breed of fantasy that takes place in an entirely fictional world but does not rely on magic to make itself unique. But before I get ahead of myself, there’s a bit of explaining I need to do:
This just in: a good concept alone does not make a good book. Execution matters, and in this regard, The Grace Year fell flat. When I first heard about this book, pitched as Handmaid’s Tale meets Lord of the Flies, I was pretty damn excited. And when I got approved for it on NetGalley, I was absolutely thrilled. The start of the book had me enthralled. And then…it all fell apart.