Truthwitch (Susan Dennard)

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I haven’t been this excited about a new series in AGES! I’ve started this book with high expectations (mostly because Robin Hobb said she loves it), and without knowing what it is about. As it is often with new fantasy series, I was struggling the first couple of chapters, trying to get a feeling for the world and remembering the characters’ names and connections, but as soon as I was in the story  I was completely blown away!
In the world of ‘Truthwitch’, some are born with ‘witchery’, a form of magic that enables them to alter the world around them. Iseult is a Threadwitch: she can see the fates and relationships of the people around her. When she runs away from her family’s tribe, she meets Safiya, a noble’s daughter and a Truthwitch. She can tell truth from lies, a dangerous trait that makes her a pawn in the eyes of the Witchland’s nobility, forcing her to keep her talent a secret.

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Now I Rise (Kiersten White)

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This is the second book in the Conqueror’s saga (I wrote a review for the first book, ‘And I Darken’, which you can find here). This review might include some spoilers for the first book.

In ‘And I Darken’, the siblings Lada and Radu Dracul are brought to the Ottoman court as hostages by their father, meeting Mehmed, the heir to the Ottoman throne. Quickly, their friendship grows, and over the course of the book fierce, vicious Lada and soft-spoken, intelligent Radu help Mehmed to secure his position. But her home, Wallachia, is always on Ladas mind, and when her father dies even her feelings for Mehmed can’t stop her from returning to her castle to reclaim her throne. Meanwhile, Radu stays at Mehmed’s side, tortured by his feelings for his friend that he thinks are wrong, and that he knows will never be returned.

In ‘Now I Rise’, the first book’s main characters are split up: Lada leads her loyal men to Wallachia, trying to secure alliances and fighting obstacles and throwbacks to finally claim her throne. Mehmed sends Radu to Constantinople as a spy, while he prepares the ultimate attack on the city. Accompanied by his wife, Nazira, and the Constantinian ambassador, Cyprian, Radu follows the order, but soon starts to second guess Mehmed’s reasons for sending him away.

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A Shadow Bright And Burning (Jessica Cluess)

23203252I’ve heard heaps of goodness about this book, so I was really excited to start it! I’m always up for Victorian London, even better when magic is involved!

Henrietta Howell can burst into flames. She has always tried to hide her power, until she has to use them in front of one of Her Majesty’s sorcerers to save a friend. As the first female sorcerer in a century, she is brought to London to train among the country’s other young sorcerers. There, she finds out that she is prophesied to save the world and win the ongoing war against the Ancients that have been terrorizing Britain for years. The only problem: the prophecy is not actually about her.

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Alice (Christina Henry)

30196357Alice, 16 years old, walks into the dangerous Old Town with her friend looking for adventure, and comes out two weeks later, alone, without memories and with a bloody gash across her face and blood dripping down her thighs. She spends the next ten years locked up in a mental hospital, where she meets the Hatcher, who can feel the Jabberwocky growing stronger in his prison beneath the ground. When a fire in the hospital frees Hatcher, Alice and the Jabberwocky, they try everything to kill the monster. But both of them are hunted by their pasts, and learn that some things are better left unremembered.

This book is incredible! The original story of Alice in Wonderland is woven into the book so cleverly and perfectly, creating something completely new and at the same time hinting at characters and quotes from the original. A lot of the character’s names, you recognize (Cheshire, the Caterpillar…) but all of them are twisted and darker. Eerily, they keep some of their characteristics, so everything still makes too much sense to be entirely comfortable.

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Our Dark Duet (V.E. Schwab)

“I didn’t stop fighting,” he said, the words so low he worried Kate wouldn’t hear them, but she did. “I just got tired of losing. It’s easier this way.”

“Of course it’s easier,” said Kate. “that doesn’t mean it’s right.”

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V.E. Schwab is definitely one of my favourite authors – her ‘Darker Shade of Magic’-series is definitely in my top five – so I was really excited when I heard that she was writing a sequel to ‘This Savage Song’. I don’t love the world quite as much as ADSoM, but nonetheless I was absolutely ready to dive back into the world of Verity.

In a postapocalyptic world where horrible acts create monsters, the city of Verity used to be split into two parts; one ruled by the ruthless Harkers, and the other protected by Henry Flynn and his army. After the death of her father, Kate Harker escapes to Prosperity, where she starts hunting the monsters that haunt the city. Meanwhile, with the balance of power tipped, Verity is thrown into chaos, and August Flynn, Sunai and adoptive son of Henry Flynn must become the leader he never wanted to be and leave the last pretense of humanity behind. When a new kind of monster leads Kate back to Verity, she and August are thrown together again to fight a final battle against the monsters of Verity.

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Cold Iron (Stina Leicht)

23309742I saw the cover of this book, the size of it (657 glorious pages), and I thought ‘this looks like a proper fantasy book’. And oooh my god, it is!

The kainen’s kingdom of Eledore is under attack by the Acrasians, a human race that has long been oppressed by the kainen’s natural talent for magic. But as the Acrasians become stronger, developing advanced weapons the Eledorians can’t match, Royal twins Nels and Suvi fight to protect their country: Nels, always an outcast due to his lack of magical ability, joins the Eledorian army while Suvi, the heir to the throne, becomes an admiral in the Eledorian navy.

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The Last Policeman (Ben H. Winters)

13330370It’s been so long since I picked up a book on a whim and was absolutely blown away by it, but that’s exactly what happened here. I was intrigued by the cover (this is becoming a habit), so I started reading it without having heard of it before. And it was incredible!

Six months before a massive meteor is going to wipe out the earth, Detective Hank Palace is working a murder case that, at first glance, looks like a suicide. While almost everyone else has quit their job, or at least doesn’t really care about it anymore, he is determined to find the killer.

While I am always a fan of a good crime novel, the whodunit-plot (if amazing) is not the thing that I loved most about this book. It was the setting! With the certainty that most of the population will die in six months, Winters explores the effects such an outlook would have on society, and the changes that would need to occur. The entire concept was just so great and interesting backdrop for the story! Also, the way the protagonist deals with the impending doom is pure gold! There is so much sass in this, it’s incredible. And sometimes you get gems like this:

“You want to pray to someone, pray to Bruce Willis in Armageddon.”

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