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Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ARC {4 Stars}

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ARC {4 Stars}

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (Flame in the Mist #1)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 16th, 2017
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 393 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

4 Stars

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

Thoughts:
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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley {3.5 Stars}

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley {3.5 Stars}

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
Published by Bloomsbury on July 14th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, Literary
Page Length: 318 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.

3.5 Stars

Thoughts:
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The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan Audiobook {5 Stars}

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan Audiobook {5 Stars}

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan
Narrated by Kate Reading
(The Memoirs of Lady Trent #2)
Published by Tor Books on March 4th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 331 pages
Audio Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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The thrilling adventure of Lady Trent continues in Marie Brennan's The Tropic of Serpents . . .

Attentive readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world’s premier dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career.

Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics.

The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell . . . where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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A Dance Like Flame by Tammy Blackwell eARC {5 Stars}

A Dance Like Flame by Tammy Blackwell eARC {5 Stars}

A Dance Like Flame by Tammy Blackwell (Of Magic & Machine #1)
Published by Author on April 4th, 2017
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk
Page Length: 403 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

She’s the daughter of an earl with a secret no one can know. He’s a mage who has sacrificed everything to save those he loves. They were born worlds apart, but inside a city drenched in magic, anything is possible.

Unmarried at the age of six-and-twenty, Lady Elizabeth “Bits” Warner has become a burden to her family. Therefore, she isn’t surprised when they pack her on a train bound for Scotland and a fiancé she has never met. She’s not surprised, but she is terrified.

In Corrigan, a walled-off city that serves as refuge to those capable of using the aether to cast spells and concoct potions, Ezra Nash is devoted to healing the sick and injured. Between his work as a surgeon and caring for his sisters, he doesn’t have time for distractions.

When the train Bits is traveling on explodes, she finds herself inside the gates of Corrigan and under Ezra’s care. The two are drawn to one another, but it will take more than attraction to overcome the difference in their stations and the secrets they hide from the world.

5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Dance Like Flame from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik Audiobook {5 Stars}

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik Audiobook {5 Stars}

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
Narrated by Simon Vance
(Temeraire #2)on April 25th, 2006
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 398 pages
Audio Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Britain intercepted a French ship and its precious cargo–an unhatched dragon’s egg–Capt. Will Laurence of HMS Reliant unexpectedly became master and commander of the noble dragon he named Temeraire. As new recruits in Britain’s Aerial Corps, man and dragon soon proved their mettle in daring combat against Bonaparte’s invading forces.

Now China has discovered that its rare gift, intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands–and an angry Chinese delegation vows to reclaim the remarkable beast. But Laurence refuses to cooperate. Facing the gallows for his defiance, Laurence has no choice but to accompany Temeraire back to the Far East–a long voyage fraught with peril, intrigue, and the untold terrors of the deep. Yet once the pair reaches the court of the Chinese emperor, even more shocking discoveries and darker dangers await.

Here’s another bare-bones, just-my-notes review ;-).

Strengths:
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The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
Narrated by Fiona Hardingham
(Lady Helen #1)
Published by Brilliance Audio, Viking Penguin on Jan. 26th, 2016
Genres: Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 482 pages
Audio Length: 14 hrs and 59 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

4 Stars

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

Strengths:
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Merrow by Ananda Braxton-Smith eARC {4.5 Stars}

Merrow by Ananda Braxton-Smith is a quiet and beautiful tale of a girl trying to understand her mother’s disappearance and the rumors that have been circulating about her fantastical parentage. This book combines a rich historical setting of Ireland as Christianity is just starting to come into the land and the question of whether the Merrow (Irish mermaid/selkies) are real or not. If you’re looking for a book that sneaks up on you before sweeping you away to a mystical land, this is the one.

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

Merrow by Ananda Braxton-Smith eARC {4.5 Stars}

Merrow by Ananda Braxton-Smith (Secrets of Carrick #1)
Published by Candlewick Press on Nov. 8th, 2016
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 240 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

In this breathless and beautifully crafted tale, twelve-year-old Neen Marrey must separate town gossip from town lore to learn the truth about her mother—and herself.

The people of Carrick Island have been whispering behind Neen’s back ever since her father drowned and her mother disappeared. The townspeople say her mother was a merrow and has returned to the ocean. Neen, caught in her hazy new in-between self—not a child, but not quite grown up—can’t help but wonder if the villagers are right. But if her mother was a merrow, then what does that make Neen?

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal is a book that will instantly grab attention with that gorgeous cover and then intrigue you with the idea of mediums being used to gather intelligence from soldiers after they die. I am already impressed with how the mediums are involved in military operations and definitely want to read more.

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

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal {Just Hatched}

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
Published by Tor Books on Aug. 16th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, Military Fantasy
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Harford, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force.

Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence.

Ginger and her fellow mediums contribute a great deal to the war efforts, so long as they pass the information through appropriate channels. While Ben is away at the front, Ginger discovers the presence of a traitor. Without the presence of her fiance to validate her findings, the top brass thinks she's just imagining things. Even worse, it is clear that the Spirit Corps is now being directly targeted by the German war effort. Left to her own devices, Ginger has to find out how the Germans are targeting the Spirit Corps and stop them. This is a difficult and dangerous task for a woman of that era, but this time both the spirit and the flesh are willing…

4 Stars

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A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess ARC {5 Stars}

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess is a blend of Victorian fantasy and Lovecraftian horror with all my favorite parts of each along with a moving discussion of sexism and fantastic pacing. I was excited about this book after reading the blurb but I had no idea how amazing of a ride I was in for! I cannot recommend this book enough to fans of alternative history fantasy and fantasy with something a bit different.

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Shadow Bright and Burning from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess ARC {5 Stars}

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (Kingdom on Fire #1)
Published by Random House Children's on Sept. 20th, 2016
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 416 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces Henrietta Howel, a powerful, unforgettable heroine, and an entertaining world filled with magic, monsters, and mayhem.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Imprudence by Gail Carriger eARC {4 Stars}

Imprudence by Gail Carriger is the second in the Custard Protocol series and every bit as fun and adventurous as the previous book! Prudence and friends are in for another adventure touring a different part of the world, discovering forgotten magical beings, and getting into all sorts of trouble. If you are a fan of audiobooks, I highly recommend this series on audio, the narration adds a whole new element of fun :D. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to delay reading this one in order to listen to the audio, but in the end, I couldn’t resist!

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

Imprudence by Gail Carriger eARC {4 Stars}

Imprudence by Gail Carriger (The Custard Protocol #2)
Published by Orbit on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Steampunk, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

London is in chaos.

Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types.

Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened.

When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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