[The Girl King] Mimi Yu


This novel follows Min and Lu, two sisters whose paths are spread out before them. Lu is destined to become the first female Emperor, and all of her lessons are preparing her to take over from her father when he deems her ready. Min is her younger sister, seemingly destined to be forever in Min’s shadow. But when their father betrays Lu and passes the throne to a male cousin, suddenly Min has the potential to have more power that her sister. As Lu flees her home and becomes a fugitive, Min discovers something inside of herself that she begins to nurture. Power comes in many forms.

The Girl King starts with a prologue, something I both love and hate in equal turn. Prologues can work to set the tone of the book, but I don’t think that the prologue in The Girl King did it any favors. It actually made it very hard to get into the story. It starts with characters we don’t see in the next chapter, so I was left wondering what the point of the prologue was and who the people were. Eventually it ties into the rest of the book, but when the main plot of the book involves Lu and Min, I really felt like the novel should have started with them.

The three main characters of The Girl King were Lu, Min, and Nokhai. Lu and Nokhai traveled together through most of the book, while Min was on her own. I thought they were all well-developed, with my favorite being Nokhai. I wish that more of this story had been spent on his past and shapeshifting Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: My TBR list keeps growing and growing and growing…

This top ten list is coming a bit late because I just have been feeling a bit under the weather lately. The negative 20+F/ negative 28+C degrees has been killing me. I can handle cold, but when it’s so bitterly cold that it feels like you’re breathing in glass…that’s hard to deal with.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading because I’ve been hibernating. Even though I’ve been getting some books off my TBR list, I keep adding more books! It’s a never-ending––though enjoyable––battle. These are my most recent additions to my TBR.

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A modern day Henry VIII. I really like reading about the six wives. I think it’s fascinating. This one is narrated by the modern day Anne of Cleves.

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This is set in the Romanov court and has magic. Historical fiction + magic is something that I can get behind!

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This is a mystery surrounding twelve sisters and the tragic deaths of some of their number. It’s a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses but I’ve never read it, so it will be new for me!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2018

As I mentioned in my last top ten, 2018 wasn’t a great reading year for me. There were a lot of books published last year that I really wanted to read! Others are ones that have been published in the last few years that I’ve been itching to read. I’m really going to try reading them this year because I need to make my TBR list shorter.

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The end of one of my favorite historical fiction / retellings, I want to get to this one soon! But I’m also putting it off a bit longer because I don’t want it to end.

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As quickly as I read through Truthwitch and Windwitch, I didn’t get to this one yet! I’m planning on reading it before Bloodwitch.

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I got this in a book box last year! The cover is so beautiful and I’m really looking forward to reading the story this year.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors who were new to me in 2018


Last year was not a good reading year for me, so I only have seven authors on this list. I wanted to read a lot more than I did, but with moving a couple of times, a new job, and lots of changes I wasn’t really prepared for, I spent a lot of time…not reading. But I did finish my novel (again) so I was productive in other ways.

These authors are ones that I’d been recommended by other readers and authors I’ve meant to read and only got to them last year. I tried to keep my list to books that have been out for awhile that people love. I wanted to keep to what I thought the spirit of the prompt was! So here are my top seven!

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Susan Dennard is basically my new favorite author. I read both Truthwitch and Windwitch, and I can’t wait until the third one comes out! It’s one of my most anticipated releases of 2019.

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Ursula K. Le Guin is an author who did so much in her lifetime. I really liked what she did in A Wizard of Earthsea. It allowed for a great discussion in our bookclub.

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Hannah West wrote a really great fantasy that was a mix of fairytale retellings! I really want to check out her other books as soon as I can.

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[Rule] Ellen Goodlett


Akeylah. Ren. Zofi. Three young women with terrible secrets that spell death if they’re found out. They think they’ve managed to get away with it, living quietly with their guilty conscience. In a moment, that changes. Suddenly the heirs to a dying king, they are moved to the court where they need to learn how to become a ruler. Navigating a court where their every move is watched is difficult for three women who are used to going unnoticed in the world. Only one of them will take the throne. Unless their blackmailer reveals their secrets first.

These secrets and the mystery of who is blackmailing them is the focus of the novel. While the book is also about the three sisters suddenly becoming heirs to an empire that for some of them has caused them nothing but harm, this mystery underlies everything that occurs. Supposedly the king wants to train Akeylah, Zofi, and Ren to be the next ruler. However, I felt like there wasn’t enough of this in Rule. It seemed to have been forgotten in the wake of the mystery. I would have liked to learn more about the world. There’s hints of a growing rebellion and of the way different countries have merged in the past, but it doesn’t really go in depth.

As for characters, I found Akeylah, Zofi, and Ren to be interesting protagonists. Coming from three distinct backgrounds, they allow the reader to navigate the world of the court with them. They each had unique voices and I found their fears and motivations to be well-developed. I liked reading how they went from working individually to working together. Continue reading

[Sky in the Deep] Adrienne Young

It was what we’d been taught our entire lives––vegr yfir fjor––honor above life. 

Sky in the Deep is a Viking inspired story with battles, betrayal, and the realization that your enemy isn’t as different from you as you thought. I really loved this one! I read it in the bulk of one day and then immediately wished I hadn’t because it was over.

Sky in the Deep takes starting in the action very literally. We find ourselves in the middle of a battle with Eelyn and her fighting partner, Mýra, readying themselves to charge at members of the Riki clan. They’re members of the Aska clan, and once every five years, they meet on the battlefield to avenge those of their tribe who fell in the years before. For Eelyn, this is her brother. She fights to avenge his death five years before, pushing down her own guilt about being unable to give him proper rites after the battle. When she meets him on the battlefield and he saves her life, people think that she’s been touched by Sigr, their God. Eelyn isn’t so sure. When she discovers that it wasn’t a spirit sent by her God, Eelyn is thrust into the world of her enemy.

I thought that the beginning of the story was strong because it was right in the action, but it also meant that I felt a little blindsided as a reader. I didn’t know much about the world, just that they were fighting. Initially it did put me off a bit because of how frantic it felt. Young dials it back by having Eelyn captured, which helped immensely. There’s still the feeling of being in the action, but it’s bubbling underneath the surface instead of being right there. I loved that. Young used this time to show the different cultures that are in the book, and I was able to get a clearer picture of the world. I love world building, and this novel was full of everything I like seeing when authors build new worlds: different cultures and ways of life; different religions and celebrations; lush settings. It was great!

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Ten books I want to read this spring

My spring TBR list consists of a variety of books that I really would like to get to, and soon! Some of them are books that I want to see what all the hype is about, others are ones that I’ve owned for far too long without reading them. All of them interested me in some way, of course! There’s a mix of books that have been out for years, months, and some that haven’t even come out yet.

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This book has one of the prettiest covers which caught my eye, but the story within sounds so interesting.

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This has been on my mind for a long time but I kept pushing it back. Now with the movie out I feel like I need to read it even more.

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I’m still on the fence for this one. The first was only okay, but it has such a huge fan base that I want to see what I’m missing. How I feel about this one will determine if I continue this series. I may just favor the Throne of Glass series.

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I’ve put myself on a book buying ban in preparation for my summer move, but I may break it for this book. I’ve heard such great things about it and the story sounds amazing!

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I’ve always meant to read this one but it just keeps slipping by. With the release of the third one coming up I’d like to remedy that.

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