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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
Purchases made support this blog

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
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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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Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley ARC {4.5 Stars}

Steeplejack by A. J. Hartley is the story of a young woman struggling to make ends meet in a place similar to South Africa in our world, but with just a bit of magic thrown in. I feel like Steeplejack is a direct answer to our demand for more diverse characters in fantasy, while also being an addictive and action-packed read. I was really happy I had an entire day to do nothing but read, since I didn’t want to stop for a minute!

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

Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley ARC {4.5 Stars}

Steeplejack by A. J. Hartley (Alternative Detective #1)
Published by Tor Teen on June 14th, 2016
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga, Ang for short, repairs the chimneys, towers, and spires of Bar-Selehm, the ethnically-diverse industrial capital of a land resembling Victorian South Africa. The city was built on the trade of luxorite, a priceless glowing mineral. When the Beacon, a historical icon made of luxorite, is stolen, it makes the headlines. But no one cares about the murder of Ang's new apprentice, Berrit—except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician, who offers Ang a job investigating Berrit's death. On top of this, Ang struggles with the responsibility of caring for her sister's newborn child.

As political secrets unfold and racial tensions surrounding the Beacon's theft rise, Ang navigates the constricting traditions of her people, the murderous intentions of her former boss, and the conflicting impulses of a fledgling romance. With no one to help her except a savvy newspaper girl and a kindhearted herder from the savannah, Ang must resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city is plunged into chaos.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic S. Durbin ARC {4.5 Stars}

A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic S. Durbin is a reading experience to savor. It tells the story of a small village during a war without specifying where or who exactly is involved. This story could have taken place on either side of World War II, and it was delightful realizing how similar the experiences of villagers probably was. Of course, this particular grandmother has some magical secrets she is hiding from all but her grandson as well as some not so magical secrets.

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Green and Ancient Light from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic S. Durbin ARC {4.5 Stars}

A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic S. Durbin
Published by Saga Press on June 7th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

A gorgeous fantasy in the spirit of Pan’s Labyrinth and John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things.

Set in a world similar to our own, during a war that parallels World War II, A Green and Ancient Light is the stunning story of a boy who is sent to stay with his grandmother for the summer in a serene fishing village. Their tranquility is shattered by the crash of a bullet-riddled enemy plane, the arrival of grandmother’s friend Mr. Girandole—a man who knows the true story of Cinderella’­s slipper—and the discovery of a riddle in the sacred grove of ruins behind grandmother’s house. In a sumptuous idyllic setting and overshadowed by the threat of war, four unlikely allies learn the values of courage and sacrifice.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson is an interesting historical fantasy focused on Chinese American life in San Francisco at the end of the nineteenth century. This book is unique in many ways, not least of which is the strong representation of Chinese myths and magic. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with a widow as the main character before and I’ve never had such strong attachments to an eyeball. The audiobook is fairly good, though it has some issues, so this wouldn’t be the first audiobook I recommended to someone.

Note: I received an audio copy of The Girl with Ghost Eyes from the publisher. 

The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
(Xian Li-lin #1)
Published by Audible, Talos on Nov. 3rd, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy
Page Length: 288 pages
Audio Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

It’s the end of the nineteenth century in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and ghost hunters from the Maoshan traditions of Daoism keep malevolent spiritual forces at bay. Li-lin, the daughter of a renowned Daoshi exorcist, is a young widow burdened with yin eyes—the unique ability to see the spirit world. Her spiritual visions and the death of her husband bring shame to Li-lin and her father—and shame is not something this immigrant family can afford.

When a sorcerer cripples her father, terrible plans are set in motion, and only Li-lin can stop them. To aid her are her martial arts and a peachwood sword, her burning paper talismans, and a wisecracking spirit in the form of a human eyeball tucked away in her pocket. Navigating the dangerous alleys and backrooms of a male-dominated Chinatown, Li-lin must confront evil spirits, gangsters, and soulstealers before the sorcerer’s ritual summons an ancient evil that could burn Chinatown to the ground.

With a rich and inventive historical setting, nonstop martial arts action, authentic Chinese magic, and bizarre monsters from Asian folklore, The Girl with Ghost Eyes is also the poignant story of a young immigrant searching to find her place beside the long shadow of a demanding father and the stigma of widowhood. In a Chinatown caught between tradition and modernity, one woman may be the key to holding everything together.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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