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Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

Sci-fi And Fantasy Fridays

Link-up Your Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews and Giveaways!

I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, to the point that that is really all I read anymore. Therefore, I decided to start a weekly feature where I get all of you to gather the sf/f reviews and giveaways you’ve published and found so that we can all discover new books, blogs, and giveaways in our favorite genres!

It’s been another absolutely nuts week for me lovelies, and I’m so sorry about being behind on comments. It isn’t that I don’t love talking to you, and I will be replying to every single one as soon as I can ;-). In the mean time please go find all the awesome links you can! To incentivize, check out the book I added to the stack this week and an oldie but goodie :D.

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini Pulse

Every week I’ll pick a random link and the email address that submitted that link will get $5 at Amazon or an ARC from my SFFF-Books shelf!

Here are the more stringent rules concerning links for the giveaway:

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The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory eARC {3.5 Stars}

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory is a swash-buckling, girl-disguised-as-boy fantasy adventure that is mostly what you would expect from that description. I was hooked by the prologue immediately and found the mix of spooky magic and adventure on the sea entertaining if not shockingly original. If you’re looking for a fantasy that blows tropes out of the water, this isn’t the book you’re looking for. However, if you’re looking for a fun read and enjoy plots where the heroine is disguised as a guy but then falls for her guy friend, you are probably in the right place!

Note: I received an advanced copy of The House of the Four Winds from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory eARC {3.5 Stars}

The House of the Four Winds by James Mallory, Mercedes Lackey (One Dozen Daughters #1)
Published by Tor Books on Aug. 5th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight. 

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Fire Wish by Amber Lough eARC {4 Stars}

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough is a new fantasy series featuring jin and based in an alternative Baghdad! Fire Wish tells the story of two girls, a jinni and a human, who switch places and subsequently discover that their warring peoples are much more similar than either had been raised to believe. Fire Wish is filled with beautiful jin caverns and magic along with a refreshingly diverse cast and setting. I am absolutely thrilled to see a fantasy series from a major publishing house tackling a setting based on something other than Medieval Europe, plus jin are just so cool! I mean hot >.> Both? ;-)

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Fire Wish from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough eARC {4 Stars}

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough (The Jinni Wars #1)
Published by Random House Children's on July 22nd
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . . 

Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Flames to Embers {Spring 2014}

Flames to Embers

I’m not able to get to all the books I receive for review consideration, so to reduce stress and start with a clean slate each month, I feature the ones that I didn’t get to read in Flames and Embers. All the books I request start out as flames in my heart, but for various reasons, some of them burn down to embers and I lose desire or time to read them. I hope that you find something that draws your interest though!

Welcome to the first edition of my new feature Flames and Embers! This is going to be a roughly monthly feature where I talk about the books that I received for review consideration but didn’t end up reviewing before their publication date (with the occasional DNF included). Sometimes I’ll manage to read a review copy after the publication date because I really really want to read it, but to reduce my stress about being “behind on overdue” review copies, I’m going to clean the slate by officially setting aside books that I’m no longer excited to read.

Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta With the lyricism of Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, and the world building brilliance of Atwood, Emmi Itäranta’s effortless and poignant debut novel is a coming of age story full of emotional drama and wonderment.

Some secrets demand betrayal.

‘You’re seventeen, and of age now, and therefore old enough to understand what I’m going to tell you,’ my father said. ‘This place doesn’t exist.’

‘I’ll remember,’ I told him, but didn’t realise until later what kind of promise I had made.

When Noria Kaitio reaches her seventeenth birthday, she is entrusted with the secret of a freshwater spring hidden deep within the caves near her small rural village. Its preservation has been the responsibility of her family for generations.

Apprenticed to her father, one of the last true tea masters, when Noria takes possession of the knowledge, she become much more than the guardian of ancestral treasure; soon, she will hold the fate of everyone she loves in her hands.

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Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers Audiobook {4 Stars}

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers is a sequel to Grave Mercy but so much more. Dark Triumph is Sybella’s story and because Sybella is a much different character than Ismae, Dark Triumph is a much different book than Grave Mercy. I loved the adventuring across the countryside, the daring escapes and battles, and the added darkness that Sybella’s past brings to every decision she makes. I also enjoyed the romance plotline much much more since I absolutely adore the guy Sybella falls for >.>. There will be some spoilers if you haven’t read Grave Mercy, but these are chronological companion books, so most of Ismae’s story isn’t even brought up.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers Audiobook {4 Stars}

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassins #2)
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 2nd, 2013
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Length: 385 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for...

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 7/20/14

Updates from the Lair

Updates from the Lair is my weekly wrap-up post that includes what happened in my real life, what I’ve been reading, my posts from the week, and what I’m thinking about reading next week (and would love your advice on!). 

I’m writing this post a bit earlier since my flight is delayed getting home and the airport seems like a great place to get caught up on blogging ;-). The other reason is because as you read this I’m somewhere in Minnesota where the internet availability is incredibly spotty since the boy’s parents have been resistant to wifi, ha. Anyway, I went to Canada this week and presented my research for the first time and it went absolutely awesome! I got lots of questions and people expressing interest and ideas for future work along with compliments on my public speaking :D. I was horrendously nervous beforehand, but I had practiced so much that the actual presentation was actually quite fun. I need to work on speaking slower under pressure, but that’s a bit hard to practice much without pressure, hehe. I did get some reading done on the plane rides, but one was overnight and I gave in to sleep not too far in, oh well!

My Week

The House of the Four Winds GiveawayThe prologue for The House of the Four Winds was actually my favorite part and I was a bit disappointed that the rest of the book didn’t keep up that fun and fresh approach to swashbuckling adventure. That being said, overall the book was quite enjoyable and definitely recommended for when you are in the mood for swashbuckling with a bit of magic. Also, I made a Fan Art Up post-it art for it :D. Keep an eye out for an awesome giveaway and review coming in a week or two ;-).

Trial by Fire I have also been reading Trial by Fire here and there. My reading group gave up on it which makes me a bit sad since I’m quite enjoying the mix of science and magic once Lily gets to the alternate world. I’m not sure how I’m going to classify this one once it is review time since it is fantasy with some pretty accurate science behind it plus parallel worlds :D. Also, how much interest is there for a giveaway of this ARC?

And in case you missed it, these were my posts this week:

Reports from Other Lairs

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The Fire Wish Giveaway!

Book Giveaway

The Fire Wish Blog Tour Giveaway

I just finished The Fire Wish a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I think my favorite thing is that I’m finally getting to read YA fantasy from a major publishing house that is set in the Middle East and with jinn! My review is coming later in the week, but for now you get to win a copy to enjoy for yourself :D.

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough A jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . . 

Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.

[Read more...]

Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

Sci-fi And Fantasy Fridays

Link-up Your Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews and Giveaways!

I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, to the point that that is really all I read anymore. Therefore, I decided to start a weekly feature where I get all of you to gather the sf/f reviews and giveaways you’ve published and found so that we can all discover new books, blogs, and giveaways in our favorite genres!

Another crazy week for me so I wasn’t able to collect many links, which means more for you all to add :D. Some recent releases from the ARC list that you might be excited to win:

The Queen of the Tearling Sworn in Steel

Every week I’ll pick a random link and the email address that submitted that link will get $5 at Amazon or an ARC from my SFFF-Books shelf!

Here are the more stringent rules concerning links for the giveaway:

[Read more...]

5 Inspirations for The Fog of Forgetting

Fog of Forgetting by G. A. MorganToday I’m happy to welcome G. A. Morgan to the blog to talk about her upcoming book The Fog of Forgetting which you may remember from the awesome necklace giveaway going on still :D. 

Hi everyone, I’m G.A. Morgan, author of The Fog of Forgetting, the first book in my middle-grade fantasy trilogy called The Five Stones. It’s an exciting day for me because the book is being released as you read this, which means that if you like the sound of it by the time you finish this post, you can order the book today, read it over the weekend, and write me back! I’m excited to hear what you think. Before I get into the story, let me thank Anya for hosting me today and for being such a terrific supporter of books and sci-fi/fantasy, in particular. I want to thank all of you, too, for taking the time that you do to dive into these kind of books that try and tackle big topics in a creative way, and for supporting Anya. It takes a village to keep the dream, and we are doing it together—one book at a time!
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Traitor’s Blade by Sebastian de Castell eARC {4 Stars}

Traitor’s Blade by Sebastian de Castell is one of those fantasies that has only a smattering of magic but lots of banter, swordplay, and epic adventures. I knew going into to Traitor’s Blade that it would likely be a great book for me since I’ve seen so many positive reviews and I highly enjoy banter and swords. What I wasn’t expecting, though, was the amusing and unique narration from the main character, Falcio. Falcio has such a unique voice and a rather clever explanation for how the story came to be written down. Even though Falcio sometimes got on tangents while telling his tale, I never got bored since he was just so darn entertaining!

Note: I received Traitor’s Blade through Edelweiss for review consideration. Some things may have changed in the final version.

This book has adult content.
Traitor’s Blade by Sebastian de Castell eARC {4 Stars}

Traitor's Blade by Sebastian de Castell (Greatcoats #1)
Published by Jo Fletcher on July 15th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss, Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that's exactly what's happening.

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they'll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor's blade.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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