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Tuesday, March 8

Recently Read | January/February 2016

Tuesday, March 8

I read a lot of books, but I don't often share—on this blog at least—what I've been reading until the end of the year. (I post pretty much all of it over on Forever Young Adult and Goodreads.) But, considering that reading is such a big part of my life, it should have a place here, too.

To that end, I've decided to breathe some life into the Recently Read series. Starting ... now!

Top Read

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Truthwitch was The Book of BEA 2015, which mean that there was a lot of hype surrounding the title. I'm glad to report that the book lived up to it, however.

The start of an exciting new fantasy series, Truthwitch tells the story of two women with supernatural gifts—gifts that puts targets on their heads. Although they use their gifts to make their lives better, all they really want to do is live free.

As with most books in the YA genre, there's definitely some romantic undertones to the story, but the best relationship is actually the one between the two main characters. Theirs is a strong, fulfilling, enviable friendship, and it makes this compelling read all the more entertaining.

Honorable mentions

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass novellas) by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. 

In these action-packed novellas—together in one edition for the first time—Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free?

I'm a big fan of the Throne of Glass series, and the series' amazingly badass main character, Celaena. Through the main books in the series, we learn some about Celaena's background, but in these five prequel novellas, we get to read more about what led her to become Ardarlan's Assassin and the crimes that led to her imprisonment in the salt mines of Endovier.

Although the stories within are prequels, I think I'd recommend reading at least the first book in the series—Throne of Glass—before reading this one. There are some minor plot points that could be considered spoilers, and it's better to meet the "present day" Celaena first, then go back to what she was like before.

Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society's mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

The Red Rising trilogy is one of those series that walks the line between the YA genre and the adult one: though the main character starts out as a young man, the themes in the novels and many of the action scenes are pretty brutal (particularly in the first book, Red Rising). But that's not to say it's not a great read—because it certainly is; the series mixes resonating political issues and class warfare with space battles and vicious hand to hand combat. It's both dystopian and science fiction, with hints of mythology strewn in.

Morning Star is the final book in the trilogy, and wraps up the series really well.

Stars Above (Lunar Chronicles short stories) by Marissa Meyer

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series. The main books—Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter—are quasi-retellings of classic fairy tales, including those of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White. But they're not simply updated versions of those stories, in fact, they're far from it; Meyer has created a whole universe in which the princesses from the stories have unique and intriguing lives, talents, and adventures.

Stars Above is a collection of short stories from the Lunar Chronicles universe, most of which are prequel snippets into the lives of the characters in the series before they all became intertwined. My favorite, however, is the epilogue story—I couldn't wipe the grin off my face as I read it.

Other reads


A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes#1) by Brittany Cavallaro |The Impostor Queen (The Impostor Queen #1) by Sarah Fine | These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1) by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas | Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee


Front Lines (Soldier Girl #1) by Michael Grant | The Girl From Everywhere (The Girl From Everywhere #1) by Heidi Heilig | The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C.J. Redwine |  Stray (Four Sisters #1) and Burn (Four Sisters #2) by Elissa Sussman


The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

I'd love to hear if you've read any of these titles, and what you thought about them. Also, have you read anything lately that you'd recommend?

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