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How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell Audiobook {4 Stars}

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell is of course the story about a young viking boy trying to train a dragon, but that’s about all it has in common with the movie based on it. Fortunately, it is narrated by David Tennant (yes, Dr. Who!) and is therefore amazing (and thank you so much to Shae for convincing me of this fact!). Even though Toothless is small and green and Hiccup nerdy and adorable in a different way, fans of the movie will almost certainly love the book for its own wonderful storyline.

Note: I listened to How to Train Your Dragon on audiobook, which significantly influences my experience with it.

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell Audiobook {4 Stars}

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Narrated by David Tennant
(How to Train Your Dragon #1)
Published by Little Brown on May 1st, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Length: 214 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon...

4 Stars

Strengths:
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5 Things to Know About Alix Black {The Bloodbound}

The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey

Today I’m very happy to welcome Erin Lindsey, author of the new romantic fantasy series The Bloodbound! The Bloodbound is currently out, so after you find out a bit more about the heroine, Alix, be sure to pick up a copy :D.

Following an act of heroism on the battlefield, Alix Black is named as the king’s bodyguard. But not everyone approves of her new assignment. Alix’s commanding officer, Arran Green, voices a number of objections, descending quickly into a debate with the king. During the course of that debate, we learn pretty much everything we need to know about Alix Black.

  1. “She is a scout, not a knight.” Not just any scout, mind you – she’s the stealthiest stalker in the Kingswords. Since childhood, she’s been adept at sneaking – a born thief, as her brother puts it – and she puts those skills to good use in THE BLOODBOUND.

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Pennyroyal Academy by M. A. Larson ARC {4 Stars}

Pennyroyal Academy by M. A. Larson may look like just another middle grade about princesses and the odd dragon, but it is honestly so much more. Pennyroyal Academy starts off with a main character who doesn’t have a name (as in, no, it’s not that she doesn’t remember, her family just never gave her one!), dressed in spiderwebs, running through the woods. It then proceeds to portray princesses in a way this feminist would love to see her daughter look up to, along with a twisty plot, creepy witches, and the potential for a great fantasy-school series! Honestly I wouldn’t expect any less from a writer of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ;-).

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

Pennyroyal Academy by M. A. Larson ARC {4 Stars}

Pennyroyal Academy by M. A. Larson
Published by Putnam Juvenille on Oct. 7th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Pennyroyal Academy: Seeking bold, courageous youths to become tomorrow's princesses and knights….Come one, come all!

A girl from the forest arrives in a bustling kingdom with no name and no idea why she is there, only to find herself at the center of a world at war.  She enlists at Pennyroyal Academy, where princesses and knights are trained to battle the two great menaces of the day: witches and dragons. There, given the name “Evie,” she must endure a harsh training regimen under the steel glare of her Fairy Drillsergeant, while also navigating an entirely new world of friends and enemies. As Evie learns what it truly means to be a princess, she realizes surprising things about herself and her family, about human compassion and inhuman cruelty. And with the witch forces moving nearer, she discovers that the war between princesses and witches is much more personal than she could ever have imagined.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Atlantia by Ally Condie ARC {4 Stars}

Atlantia by Ally Condie is a standalone that mixes a post-apocalyptic future Earth with magic and a strong environmentalism message. Atlantia is not, as I first thought, a mermaid book, but instead takes place deep under the ocean in a habitat humans constructed when the air pollution on land became too toxic. There is also magic in Atlantia though in the form of several miracles that appeared after the humans moved into Atlantia, including people being born with the ability to force others to obey with just the sound of their voice. Beyond all the cool world-building though, Atlantia is the story of a young girl dealing with the loss of her family and trying to understand who she is without the help of her twin sister.

Note: I borrowed an advanced copy of Atlantia. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Atlantia by Ally Condie ARC {4 Stars}

Atlantia by Ally Condie
Published by Dutton Juvenile on October 28th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic, YA
Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 10/26/14

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!). 

Hey all my lovelies! Sadly, this week really effing sucked. Some combination of lifting a pumpkin wrong, momentarily thinking about pulling a table, and bad luck has led to my bulging discs in my back to get much worse and no longer controlled by the meds I’ve been taking. Therefore, I can’t lay flat (sleeping sitting up), sit straight (have to sit leaning to the left to take the pressure off), or walk easily (woohoo pretty cane the boy made me!). Fortunately I have awesome friends (*waves to friends*) who have helped a lot <3. Reading has been fun too, though I can’t quite relax on the couch like I’d like to, but typing is a lot harder because of that sitting leaning over thing. So I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be able to respond to comments for at least another week probably and it makes me sad but I know that you all will understand and be entertained by the flood of responses once I’m feeling better ;-).

I also have an announcement :D. I got a lot of questions during my giveaway for Diana’s Commonplace Book about if it would be available to buy and it finally will be!

The All Souls Trilogy box set is going on sale on October 30! The box set includes hardcover of all three volumes (The Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life) as well as a limited edition of Diana’s Commonplace Book. This is the only opportunity to purchase the overwhelmingly popular Commonplace Book, that until now has only been offered as a giveaway prize.

Also, Deborah Harkness is celebrating the release with a giveaway of the box set on her Facebook page!

My Week in Books

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Blogger Trick-or-Treat

Blogger Trick-or-Treat

What is Blogger Trick-or-Treat you ask? Well pop over to Great Imaginations to find out!

Welcome, welcome adorable bloggers dressed in your cute costumes! Don’t be afraid of my lair *ahem* I mean parlor…. There’s nothing at all to fear, mwahahahaha! No, seriously, there isn’t anything to fear because to be honest I’m a HUGE scaredy cat. But I also loooooooove Halloween because I love all the non-scary part of Halloween. This makes for a rather amusing (to others I’m sure) tug-of-war between wanting to buy and decorate with all the cute Halloween things and needing to hide my precious eyes from all the terrifying and gross Halloween things D: Therefore, I want to take the opportunity to discuss all some of the things that are AWESOME about Halloween and pretend the scary things don’t exist for a bit ;-). (All my comments about scary things being bad are very much a joke in that I don’t care if you have scary things over in your house, just not near me >.>)
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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!

Hello everyone! Congrats to Ashley for winning last week and I hope you enjoy Moth and Spark as well as Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future. I will again be doing two books for this week’s winner if they are in the US and here are the books that we are adding this week:

 

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 Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare {3.5 Stars}

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare is the start to a new middle grade fantasy series from these two very much beloved authors. While The Iron Trial has some interesting and fun concepts, it doesn’t really live up to the expectations that come with “young boy goes to magic school” that I now have. The ending, however, shows that Black and Clare could take this series in a very cool and interesting new direction, so I do recommend you stick it out through the slow middle since I’m now quite excited for the second book :D.

Note: I received a finished copy of The Iron Trial from the publisher.

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare {3.5 Stars}

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare, Holly Black (Magisterium #1)
Published by Scholastic Press on Sept. 9th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Signed The Darkest Part of the Forest Giveaway!

Book Giveaway

The Darkest Part of the Forest Signed by Holly Black!

Signed The Darkest Part of the Forest Giveaway!

I’ve been waiting a while to do this particularly special giveaway and I think it’s finally time ;-). I got to meet Holly Black in person at BEA and got the ARC signed just for you :D. I recently started my copy and have been absolutely loving this dark and creepy fantasy story so I just have to share the love!
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Top Ten SF/F Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday

Thanks to the gals of The Broke and The Bookish for hosting this meme every week!

What is up with Top Ten Tuesday topics that force me to own up to all the books I meant to have read a long time ago? ;-) This is going to be another list where you will need to refrain from gasping too much because you might hyperventilate once you see the series that not only have I not read yet, but I haven’t even start despite the best of intentions!

I’m Waiting Until It’s Finished?

The Burning Sky A Natural History of Dragons Falling Kingdoms The Golden City The Archived
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