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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
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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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Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent ARC {5 Stars}

Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent  ARC {5 Stars}

Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent (Alfie Bloom #1)
Published by Scholastic on October 25th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Alfie Bloom's life is dull. Dull and lonely, and this summer is set to be the most boring yet. All of that changes when he is summoned to the bizarre offices of mysterious solicitor, Caspian Bone, where he discovers he has inherited a castle full of wonders that has been sealed for centuries. Alfie is astounded to learn he was born in that very castle six hundred years ago during a magical timeslip. There, Orin Hopcraft, the last of the druids hid an ancient magic inside him, which others seek but should never be used. With the help of his cousins Madeleine and Robin, and Artan the flying bearskin rug, Alfie must keep the magic from terrifying adversaries and ensure that the secrets of Hexbridge castle stay secret, forever!

5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of ALFIE BLOOM AND THE SECRETS OF HEXBRIDGE CASTLE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Obsidian Son: A Novel in The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller Series by Shayne Silvers {3 Stars}

This over-the-top urban fantasy packs enough action to keep pages turning as billionaire wizard Nate Temple hunts for his parents’ killer while trying to figure out what is so darn special about a rare book that someone is willing to kill innocent, mundane antiquarians in the attempt to find it.  Temple and his friends hardly get a chance to take a deep breath as they tangle with the Minotaur, numerous dragons (both friendly and decidedly not so), and the shadowy Grimm while tossing money, cars, magic, and double-entendres about with abandon.

Obsidian Son: A Novel in The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller Series by Shayne Silvers {3 Stars}

Obsidian Son: A Novel in The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller Series by Shayne Silvers (The Temple Chronicles #1)
Published by Argento Publishing on October 8, 2012
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 311 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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A city that doesn’t believe in magic. Bloodthirsty weredragons. Good thing this reckless playboy has superpowers…

It’s been said that monsters cry when a good man goes to war. But they should run screaming like little school girls when that man is secretly a wizard, and maybe not necessarily good…

Nate Temple’s all-consuming quest to avenge his parents is temporarily put on hold when shape-shifting dragons invade St. Louis. And perhaps cow-tipping the Minotaur for answers might not have been Nate’s smartest opening move, because now every flavor of supernatural thug from our childhood nightmares is gunning for him. Nate learns that the only way to save his city from these creatures is to murder his best friend…

Nate’s choice will throw the world and his own conscience into cataclysmic chaos: avenge his parents or become a murderer to save his city. Because to do either, he’s going to have to show the world that magic is very, very real, and that monsters are very, very hungry… To survive, he might just need to take a page from the book, How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters.

If you like Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, or Patrick Rothfuss, you will LOVE the first installment of The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller series.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Darkstalker by Tui T. Sutherland {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.

Young fans of the Wings of Fire series will enjoy watching the history of the current series unfold as legendary dragons emerge from their eggs and start down the paths that lead to conflict within families and between the dragon nations.   Fans will enjoy knowing where the paths lead as they follow the tales of young heroes and villains, awkward and questioning as youngsters themselves, wondering if somehow all of the heartbreak could have been avoided with different choices.  But, as with classic Greek tragedy, we realize that some destinies cannot be avoided, even with the magical gift of foresight.

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

Darkstalker by Tui T. Sutherland {Just Hatched}

Darkstalker by Tui T. Sutherland (Wings of Fire - Legends #1)
Published by Scholastic Press on June 28, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Three dragons. One unavoidable, unpredictable destiny. This is the beginning... of the end.

In the SeaWing kingdom, a young prince learns he is an animus -- capable of wonderful magic that comes with a terrible price.

In the mind of a NightWing dragonet, a thousand futures unfold -- and almost all of them, she knows, lead to disaster and destruction.

And under three full moons and the watchful eyes of his NightWing mother and IceWing father, the most powerful dragon Pyrhhia will ever know is clawing his way out of his egg. Darkstalker, the dragon who will change the world forever.

Long before the SandWing war, lifetimes before the Dragonet Prophecy... darkness is born.

2 Stars

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The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold by Jon Hollins Audiobook {3 Stars}

Fool’s Gold is the first book in The Dragon Lords series by Jon Hollins and is perfect for fantasy fans that appreciate a trope-filled satirical spin on a classic epic fantasy adventure. Do purposeful anachronisms make you chuckle? Do you enjoy the tongue-in-cheek and self-aware humor found in Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Do you love a good narrator? This might just be the audiobook for you ;-).

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold by Jon Hollins Audiobook {3 Stars}

Fool's Gold by Jon Hollins
Narrated by John Banks
(The Dragon Lords #1)
Published by Orbit on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Fantasy
Page Length: 516 pages
Audio Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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A brand new adventure fantasy: imagine Guardians of the Galaxyplanning a heist on Smaug's gold, for fans looking for something with a modern twist and some humor.

Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hobbit in this rollicking fantasy adventure.

It's not easy to live in a world ruled by dragons. The taxes are high and their control is complete. But for one group of bold misfits, it's time to band together and steal back some of that wealth.

No one said they were smart.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan is the first in a new fantasy series that tells the story of a world where dragon blood conveys superhuman powers to the blessed and the entire economy revolves around the harvesting and dilution of this product. The question then becomes, what happens if the dragons run out?

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

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan
Narrated by Steven Brand
(The Draconis Memoria #1)
Published by Ace on July 5th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 592 pages
Audio Length: 22 hrs and 34 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them—known as the blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate's last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power eARC {3.5 Stars}

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power is a story about survival, revenge and dragons. This is one of those books where the comparisons seem pretty accurate (George RR Martin and Naomi Novik) though I’d throw in a Castaway reference too to really round things out. I strangely love stranded and needing to build up structures for long term survival stories (I played a lot of Harvest Moon as a kid okay??), so I really enjoyed that aspect that you don’t find a lot in fantasy books. Plus, you know, dragons!

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

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power eARC {3.5 Stars}

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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A swashbuckling adventure with a dark side for fans of George R.R. Martin and Naomi Novik—when a ship captain is stranded on a deserted island by his mutinous crew, he finds a baby dragon that just might be the key to his salvation…and his revenge.

He only wanted justice. Instead he got revenge.

Jeryon has been the captain of the Comber for over a decade. He knows the rules. He likes the rules. But not everyone on his ship agrees. After a monstrous dragon attacks the galley, the surviving crewmembers decide to take the ship for themselves and give Jeryon and his self-righteous apothecary “the captain’s chance”: a small boat with no rudder, no sails, and nothing but the clothes on his back to survive on the open sea.

Fighting for their lives against the elements, Jeryon and his companion land on an island that isn’t as deserted as they originally thought. They find a baby dragon that, if trained, could be their way home. But as Jeryon and the dragon grow closer, the captain begins to realize that even if he makes it off the island, his old life won't be waiting for him and in order get justice, he’ll have to take it for himself.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson is the second book starring a girl raised by dragons and her friends as they learn to be princesses at Pennyroyal Academy. Being a princess is a lot hard than you might think though, since princesses must be trained to fight the witches terrorizing the land! Oh and boys can be princesses to, just so you know.

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

The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy by M. A. Larson
Narrated by Susan Duerden
(Pennyroyal Academy #2)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on June 14th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 368 pages
Audio Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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When Princess Cadet Evie returns to Pennyroyal Academy, she’s suddenly become famous. Word has traveled far and wide of her defeating the witches and has inspired a wave of new recruits to the Academy. Though flattering, the unexpected attention is overwhelming for Evie, and amidst the piles and piles of fan mail, she finds a letter with an ominous threat. A secret society has come out of the shadows with a wicked plan, putting the Academy in great peril. This new enemy has powers impervious to the princess’s magic—posing a new risk to Evie and her friends. The danger looms even larger when Evie discovers someone close to the Academy may not be who they seem. It’s up to Evie and her friends to uncover the devious plot and save their once venerable Academy before it’s too late.

This sequel to the beloved, critically-acclaimed Pennyroyal Academy promises middle-grade readers even more adventure and suspense.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman ARC {4 Stars}

Fans of Jasper Fforde’s Tuesday Next or Deborah Harkness’ Diana Bishop should make room in their summer (or winter, depending upon the hemisphere) reading list for the new edition of The Invisible Library and get ready to make the acquaintance of Irene and her student Kai as they hunt for a rare volume of Grimm’s fairy tales.  In this first adventure of the Invisible Library series, our two heroes leave the safety of the Library, a place that exists outside of time and space, to enter into a steampunk alternative universe where they match wits with an adversary just as determined as they are to collect the book in question …. but with far more sinister motives.  As they are joined in the hunt by a famous detective reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, the reader can settle into a comfortable and easy tale in which there are a few twists (stemming mostly from the unique magic system) but many delightful characters.

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

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman ARC {4 Stars}

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library #1)
Published by Roc on June 14, 2016 (paperback and Kindle)
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at stake.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood {4 Stars}

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood is a story about a girl who just wants to raise a dragon, but instead has to deal with corruption on one side and an ancient evil on the other. Obviously I had to read this book based on the presence of dragons alone, but I didn’t expect to discover a dragon-filled world so reminiscent of Pern and full of so many delightful dragons!

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

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood {4 Stars}

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood (The Evertide #1)
Published by DAW on May 3rd, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Page Length: 512 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she anticipates a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon—one of the rare and mythical High Dragons—makes an appearance in her quiet valley. Political factions vie for control of the implied message, threatening her aspirations, her aerie, her entire way of life.

The bond between dragons and their riders is deep and life-long, and Maia’s desire for a dragon of her own to train, ride, fly, and love drives her to take a risk that puts her life at stake. She is swept into an adventure that pits her against the deathless Horrors, thralls of the enemy, and a faceless creature drawn from her fear. In her fight to preserve everything she knows and loves, she exposes a conspiracy, unearths an ancient civilization, and challenges her understanding of her world—and of herself.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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