Bookish Features

Waiting on Wednesday – September 4, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler

Cursed

From Goodreads:

Soon to be a Netflix original series!

The Lady of the Lake is the true hero in this cinematic twist on the tale of King Arthur created by Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller (300, Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Sin City). Featuring 8 full color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller.

Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.

But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?

Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…

That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.

Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.

But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.

Book Reviews

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1) by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and FireTitle: Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1)
Author: Natasha Ngan
Rating: ★★★★★

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king.
It’s the highest honour they could hope for…
And the most demeaning.

This year, there’s a ninth girl.
And instead of paper,
She’s made of fire.

Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after — the girl whose golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable — she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

Please be aware that this contains scenes of violence and sexual assault.

This is probably the best book I have read in 2019! I am beyond excited for the sequel coming out in November and especially since I will be getting a FairyLoot special edition to match the one currently sitting all pretty up on my bookshelf.

Girls of Paper and Fire brings to life problems still present in today’s culture. We have the Paper Caste (fully human), the Steel Caste (part human, part demon), and the Moon Caste (fully demon). We see the oppression imposed on by the upper castes and the prejudice present.

I like to think there’s some good behind even the darkest sins. That death can be warranted if it paves the way for hope.

In a world where caste determines all, oppression rules all. Lei’s mother was captured by royal guards and hasn’t been heard from in over a decade. Now, ten years later, Lei is about to receive the same outcome. Being of the lowest caste: Paper, Lei’s unique golden eyes make her an object of interest to the Demon King.

Lei is such a relatable character. Her struggles and her reactions show how imperfect she is. She isn’t the most beautiful character in all of the land, she doesn’t always make the right choices, and she isn’t always confident in her decisions. She is perfectly human. Even the other girls have struggles of their own and they all react differently.

They can take and steal and break all they want, but there is one thing they have no control over. Out emotions. Our feelings. Our thoughts. None of them will ever be able to control the way we feel. Our minds and hearts are our own. That is our power”

After weeks of being treated like a slave, Lei and eight other women learn the secrets of piquing the King’s interest and becoming one of his consorts. Only being privy to the King and doing what suits his needs, Lei finds herself in a compromising situation: in love.

What I love most about this novel is the romance between Lei and Wren. For once, we find ourselves with a natural, slow-moving romance unlike most Young Adult Fiction these days.

But I don’t want an easy life. I want a meaningful one.

Girls of Paper and Fire is a arresting, diverse story of overcoming oppression, the beauty of love, and the strength of women.

Bookish Features

September Young Adult Subscription Box Spoilers

FairyLoot
Witches Be Crazy

september fairyloot

About the box:

We are so excited to reveal the September theme for our monthly box and it is… WITCHES BE CRAZY!

You guessed it − everything in this box is inspired by witches. We’re doing things a little differently for this box, as most of the items are going to be fandom-neutral but perfect for your dark witchy hearts! As the saying goes… if the broom fits, fly it!

We have been so excited to reveal this theme to you guys and we’re really proud of all the items curated, it’s going to be jam-packed! For now, we’re only going to reveal that this box will have a stunning large tote bag designed by @bandofweirdos! We absolutely love their style, it’s got such a fun and witchy vibe!

Our book of the month is very highly anticipated and early reviewers have been raving about it. The story follows a witch and witch hunter who are forced to marry each other − expect romance, witty banter, magic, betrayal and more! This is definitely not one to be missed.

The edition will also be a FairyLoot exclusive − it will have SHIMMERY SPRAYED EDGESARTWORK ON THE REVERSE OF THE DUST JACKET and it will be SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR! We seriously cannot wait for you to see it!

My Guess:

Serpent and Dove

From Goodreads:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

 


LitJoy Crate
Haunted Manor

April Theme Image Born Rebel

About the box:

A haunting we will go! September with LitJoy is a step into the supernatural—a celebration of the ghost-like, the mystical, and the eerie! We have gathered a group of the most iconic and beloved spooky fandoms to create a crate that you will not forget! Indeed, our September theme of Haunted Manor is no nightmare, but a dream come true!

About the Book

Step with us into a mansion that breathes magic and offers safety in its secret spaces. In our September title, rumors of treason grow like thorny vines. Homes and hearts succumb to dilapidation. And a hero rises above everything she has ever known to face down the forces that may very well be her destruction. Packed with magic, mystery, luscious world-building, and a gothic atmosphere, September’s title is perfect for your first fall read!

Perfect for fans of  The Wicked Deep, Practical Magic, Dark Fairytales

LitJoy Crate Book Customizations

  • Signed by the author
  • Reversible Dust Jacket Artwork
  • Tip-in Page Artwork
  • Author Letter & art print separate from the book

About the Items

In this crate, you’ll find items representing these fandoms:

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Addams Family
  • Disney’s Haunted Mansion
  • Coraline
  • Ghostbusters
  • Illuminae Files

September’s Crate is available three ways:

  1. The Full Crate (with book + items)
  2. The Book-Only (with book, no items)
  3. The Item-Only (with items, no boo)

The Haunted Manor Crate ships between September 20th and 25th

We ship internationally.

My Guess:

A Treason of Thorns

From Goodreads:

Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.

Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.

When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.

Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.

Content warnings are available via the author’s website.

 


OwlCrate
Fear the Night

About the box:

Let’s get spooky! Next month’s box is a delight of frights – perfect for this time of year. Our book pick for the month is a very unique and atmospheric tale involving a gravedigger, a mapmaker and the undead. It’s not a horror novel, but it’s definitely creepy and will get you in the mood for October. We’ll be including a gorgeous exclusive edition with an exclusive cover, and the book will be signed by the author!

You can also expect a bunch of awesome goodies inspired by classic scary stories as well as some really wonderful items not tied to fandoms. If you’re a fan of autumn, ghost stories and Halloween this is the perfect box for you!

My Guess:

The Bone Houses

From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it about Ellis that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

 


 

Special Editions

 

OwlCrate
Call Down the Hawk

We are so thrilled to announce that we will be doing a limited edition box in celebration of the release of Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater!

The box will include an exclusive edition of Call Down the Hawk, with a gorgeousexclusive cover. The book will also be signed by Maggie Stiefvater! Did you know that Maggie Stiefvater is not only an incredible writer, but is also a very talented artist? We are SO excited to share that our edition of Call Down the Hawk will include exclusive artwork by Maggie on the back of the dust jacket!! Ahhh!!!

What else can you expect to find in this box? A collection of beautiful items inspired by Call Down the Hawk (and which fans of the original Raven Cycle series will also love). Each item has been approved by Maggie! Many of the items are cozy, wearable and perfect for the chilly months! We can’t wait to share some sneak peeks soon!

September 8, 2019 at 8:00am PST
$39.99 USD plus shipping

 

 

OwlCrate
Faerie Dwelling

We are so excited to share that we will also be doing a limited edition box in celebration of the release of The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black!

The box will include an exclusive edition of The Queen of Nothing, with a cover that will match the previous OwlCrate exclusive editions of The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. The book will also be signed by Holly Black!

What else can you expect to find in this box? A collection of beautiful home goods and decor, perfect for using to create your own faerie dwelling! Every item is officially licensed and designed in collaboration with Holly Black. She has given wonderful insight and feedback into every single item, and we know fans are going to love the unique goodies we’ve selected (many of which we’ve never included in a box before). We’re working with many incredible artists on these goodies and we can’t wait to share some sneak peeks in the coming weeks. There will be approximately 10 items in this box!

Email sent September 15, 2019 to all active subscribers containing the date/time of when boxes go on sale later in September
$39.99 USD plus shipping

 

 

LitJoy Crate
Magical Edition Year 7, Part 1

LitJoy Crate

Available September 10, 2019 at 1am MST
$99 USD Free U.S. Shipping

 

 

FairyLoot
Into the Crooked Place

It’s time for another exciting reveal! We are so thrilled to present to you an exclusive edition of INTO THE CROOKED PLACE by @alexandrachristowrites! This is the first book in her new duology, filled with gangsters, magic and twists. We absolutely adored Alexandra’s previous book, TO KILL A KINGDOM, so we knew we wanted to do something special to celebrate her newest release.
🖤
This edition is a FairyLoot exclusive – it has an UNIQUE COVER (red instead of purple!), STENCIL SPRAYED EDGES and will by SIGNED by Alexandra! The standard UK edition is only available in paperback, but this will be a hardcover edition. We’re planning on making a matching edition of the sequel, and everyone that purchases this edition will get special access to purchase the matching edition in 2020.
🖤
The books will ship out around mid October (publication date for this book is October 8th).

Available September 14, 2019 at 1pm BST
£16.99 + shipping.

 

FairyLoot
Caraval Deluxe Edition Set

This exclusive set will feature totally redesigned editions of all of the books in the Caraval series: CaravalLegendary and Finale. They will not match any existing editions of this series! So what exactly is special and different about these editions? Well, we’re glad you asked:

  • TOTALLY NEW COVERS. Caraval features an hourglass, Legendary features the Prince of Hearts, and Finale features Legend. All of the gold areas will be foiled!
  • NEW SECRET COVERS UNDERNEATH THE DUST JACKET. We aren’t showing you what these are because it’s a surprise, but everyone will get the same three secret covers. All we’re saying is that it’s gorgeous when you line up all three books…
  • SPRAYED CRIMSON EDGES. Scarlett’s (one of the protagonists in the series) nickname is Crimson, so we felt like this was very fitting!
  • MATCHING SPINES THAT LINE UP. When you put all three books together, the spines will line up and read ‘CARAVAL’.
  • SIGNED BY STEPHANIE. Every single book in the set will be signed.
  • CUSTOM DESIGNED ENDPAPERS. If you don’t know what endpapers are, you can find out more about them here.

We have been working on these special editions with Stephanie for months to perfect the design for each edition. This is the ultimate set for fans of this series!

Available September 21, 2019 at 1pm BST
£63 GBP plus shipping

 


Are you purchasing any of these boxes?! Do you agree with my guesses or do you think something else?! Comment and let me know! 🙂

Bookish Features

September 2019 Releases I’m Excited About

September 3rd

  • The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

 

September 10th

A Treason of Thorns

  • A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

 

September 17th

Steel Tide

  • Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker

 

September 24th

  • The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy
  • Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger
  • The Bone Houses by Emily Llyod-Jones

 


Do you plan on reading or buying any of these in September?!

Bookish Features

August 2019 Wrap Up

August

Books Read:

Currently Reading:

Life:

  • Finally met Baby Ezra while visiting my friend and her other little one, Ellie!
  • Participated in my first ever Beer in Hand volleyball tournament. We either got third or fourth, but played against two cheating teams (don’t get me started haha)
  • Walworth County Fair

My Posts:

September

Tentative TBR:

  • Six Goodbyes We Never Said
  • The Orchid Throne
  • The Merciful Crow
  • The Memory Thief
  • Fireborne

Life:

  • Fantasy Draft!
  • My birthday!
  • Six Flags without all of the waits
  • Volleyball Tournaments
  • Zoo for my sister-in-law’s birthday

What books did you read in August?!

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – August 30, 2019

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). You can check out my review of the book here!

“They’re coming.”

I looked down the row of Aska hunched against each other, ducking behind the muddy hill, The fog sat on the field like a veil, but we could hear it. The blades of swords and axes brushing against armor vests. Quick footsteps in sucking mud. My heart beat almost in rhythm with the sounds, pulling one breath in and letting it touch another before I let it go.

My father’s rasping whistle caught my ears from down the line and I searched the dirt-smeared faces until I found a pair of bright blue eyes fixed on me. His gray-streaked beard hung braided down his chest behind the axe clutched in his huge fist. He tipped his chin up at me and I whistled back — our way of telling each other to be careful. Try not to die.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Sky in the Deep

Title: Sky in the Deep
Author: Adrienne Young
Rating: ★★★★★

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.