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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
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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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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor {3 Stars}

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor {3 Stars}

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer #1)
Published by Little Brown on March 28th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 533 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones {4 Stars}

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones {4 Stars}

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong #1)
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on Feb. 7th, 2017
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Romance
Page Length: 436 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Width of the World by David Baldacci {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.

This third book in the series has a dystopian feel, combining magical world-crossing fantasy with a hint of steampunk.  Fans of Vega Jane will welcome this next stage in her quest for answers, but it is definitely not a good start for those of us who have not followed the series up to this point.

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

The Width of the World by David Baldacci {Just Hatched}

The Width of the World by David Baldacci (Vega Jane #3)on February 28, 2017
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 421 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Goodreads
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This is it. Vega Jane's time. She's been lied to her whole life, so she breaks away from Wormwood, the only home she's ever known, in search of the truth. She battles horrors to fight her way across the Quag with her best friend, Delph, and her mysterious canine, Harry Two. Against all odds, they survive unimaginable dangers and make it through.

And into a new world that's even worse. Not because deadly beasts roam the cobblestones, but because the people are enslaved but don't even know it. It's up to Vega, Delph, Harry Two and their new comrade, Petra, to take up the fight against a foe that's unrivaled in savagery and cunning. Not only is Vega's life and the lives of her friends on the line, but whether she triumphs or fails will determine whether a whole world survives.

3 Stars

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A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab {4 Stars}

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab {4 Stars}

A Conjuring of Light by Victoria Schwab (Shades of Magic #3)
Published by Tor Books on Feb. 21st, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 624 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Witness the fate of beloved heroes - and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED...

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell - once assumed to be the last surviving Antari - begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace - but never common - thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez ARC {5 Stars}

Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez ARC {5 Stars}

Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Moving Target #2)
Published by Scholastic Press on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 214 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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The thrilling sequel to Moving Target! When a young girl can determine the destiny of the world, the wrong choice could lead to disaster . . .

Cassie Arroyo has found the long-lost Spear of Destiny -- only to have it stolen right out from under her!

In Return Fire, Cassie and Asher must regain the spear. This time, however, it's not enough just to find it: Cassie realizes that when she used the spear, she sent the world down a path that could eventually lead to serious trouble. Can she find a way to stop the terrible chain of events that she set into motion?

As she tries to reshape her own destiny, Cassie takes off on a breathless adventure across Italy, leading her to a forest outside Rome, a Caravaggio painting full of clues, and a villa by the sea. There, in the ultimate showdown, Cassie has to decide who she can truly trust. And when the chance to use the spear presents itself again, she has to figure out if she can even trust herself.

Kids will be clamoring for this sequel after finishing Moving Target, and this has even more thrills, riddles, and page-turning excitement!

5 Stars

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

Strengths:
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A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi ARC {3 Stars}

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi ARC {3 Stars}

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen #2)
Published by St. Martin's Press on March 28th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

3 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Crown of Wishes 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
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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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The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman {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.

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

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman {Just Hatched}

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman
Published by Candlewick Press on September 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 416 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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When twelve-year-old Nick runs away from his uncle’s in the middle of a blizzard, he stumbles onto a very opinionated bookstore. He also meets its guardian, the self-proclaimed Evil Wizard Smallbone, who calls Nick his apprentice and won’t let him leave, but won’t teach him magic, either. It’s a good thing the bookstore takes Nick’s magical education in hand, because Smallbone’s nemesis—the Evil Wizard Fidelou—and his pack of shape-shifting bikers are howling at the borders. Smallbone might call himself evil, but compared to Fidelou, he’s practically a puppy. And he can’t handle Fidelou alone. Wildly funny and cozily heartfelt, Delia Sherman’s latest is an eccentric fantasy adventure featuring dueling wizards, enchanted animals, and one stray boy with a surprising knack for magic.

3 Stars

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Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler {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.

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

Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler {Just Hatched}

Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler (Defender of the Realm #1)
Published by Scholastic Press on March 28, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 306 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

For hundreds of years the United Kingdom has been protected by a mysterious guardian known as the Defender. Part myth, part superhero, few truly believed the Defender existed . . . until now.

Alfie thinks he knows his destiny. As Prince Alfred, heir to the throne of Great Britain, he's fated to become the most disappointing king in the nation's history. Alfie longs for a way to prove himself, but little does he realize that with the throne of England comes an ancient secret. He who wears the crown must protect the country as the legendary hero -- the Defender of the Realm.

Hayley is an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life. She certainly never believed in the mysterious superhero, the Defender. Then, after witnessing a very public battle at the Tower of London, everything is different, and Hayley is left with no doubt. The Defender is real.

Two kids with two very different lives are about to get caught up in a centuries-long battle for the fate of a nation. Monsters and criminals, villains and dragons, together Hayley and Alfie must protect their home at all costs.

3 Stars

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