Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – November 29, 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!

Later, he would be known as the First Protector, and under his vision the city would transform. Serfs would be freed, schools would be built, and dragons would, for the first time, be ridden by commoners.

 


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Fireborne

Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
Author: Rosaria Munda
Rating: ★★★★

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – November 22, 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!

The gravedigger’s children were troublemakers.

 


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The Bone Houses

Title: The Bone Houses
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Rating: ★★★★

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 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.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – November 15, 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!

Breeze handed Wisp the telescope and Wisp smiled, doing his best to avoid a grimace. His damn knees were hurting again.

Stretching ahead of ’em was the Ashwood Desolation. Last time Wisp saw it, before the Gutting, the forest was lush and green and full of plump deer. Now it was a charred wasteland. Blackened, leafless trunks marched out to the horizon and ashen clouds blew in the wind. Only upside was that you’d spot an ambush a mile off, ’cause most of the trees had been incinerated. Got to find the upside in these things.

Wisp lowered the telescope. Mountains surrounded the Ashwoods on all sides except one, which was blocked by a river. The damn water was deeper than a gambler’s grudge, and twice as vicious. You could only cross in a handful of places. One of ’em lay ahead.

 


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Fires of the Dead

Title: Fires of the Dead
Author: Jed Herne
Rating: ★★★★★

Fire can’t be tamed.

Wisp is a pyromancer: a magician who draws energy from fires to make his own flames. He’s also a criminal, one job away from retirement. And it can’t come bloody soon enough.

Leading his misfit crew, Wisp ventures into a charred and barren forest to find a relic that could change the realm forever. But they aren’t the only ones on the hunt, and the forest isn’t as barren as it seems …

A jaded gang leader longing for retirement

A bloodthirsty magician with a lust for power

A brutish fighter who’s smarter than he looks

A young thief desperate to prove herself

A cowardly navigator with secrets that won’t stay buried

Together, they must survive fights, fires, and folk tales that prove disturbingly real – if they don’t kill each other first.

A dark fantasy novella with a unique magic system, perfect for Joe Abercrombie or Brandon Sanderson fans wanting a fast-paced read.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – November 8, 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!

One way or another, we feed the Crows.

Saborian proverb

 

On nights you burn sinners, sleep with your sandals on.

— advice for a young Crow chief

 


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The Merciful Crow

Title: The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow, #1)
Author: Margaret Owen
Rating: ★★★★★

A future chieftain.

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince.

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard.

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – November 1, 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!

Fragment from the unfinished History of a Tyrant by Ambrose Daluna

The oldest records and recollections agree that it all began with the discovery of vurgsten. The records aren’t cohesive across the many kingdoms, or even particularly coherent even within the same document, as the immediate results of that discovery quickly shattered lives and governments so few people spent their time writing things down.

So how exactly how the devastating power of vurgsten was discovered and who first applied it has been obscured, perhaps deliberately so. Most likely whoever identified the power locked inside the rock mined from the depths of the volcanic island of Vurgmum died for the privilege. They could’ve perished in any number of ways — from the ash-laden air of Vurgmun, to toxic fumes emitted by the rock vurgsten itself, to an accidental explosion of the volatile stuff, or at the hands of those who took that knowledge for themselves and used it to defeat magic, forever changing the balance of power.

 


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Orchid Throne_cover

Title: The Orchid Throne (The Orchid Throne, #1)
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Rating: ★★★★

Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.

A PRISONER OF FATE

As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – October 25, 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!

A lace-trimmed wedding invitation sits on my nightstand and I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Mama is not coming back. It was inevitable, but so far in life, ignoring the inevitable has always been easy for me.

Until now.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

A Treason of Thorns

Title: A Treason of Thorns
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Rating: ★★★

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.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – October 18, 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!

When someone like Staff Sergeant Raymond K. Rodriguez leaves to fight for their country, the rest of you wait, counting down the days until the next arrival, and the next leave — because there’s little breathing in between. You check the empty mailbox, hold your phones like bulletproof vests, and bargain with whoever you pray to that your fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers don’t come home in a box. No one wants to be in the FLOAT phase — Fallen Loved Ones Awaiting Transfer. Not knowing when the body of your loved one will arrive on American soil wrapped in ice. So you can release that pang you’ve been holding on to, only to replace it with a new one. So you can stop pacing in fear, and hold on to something else: acceptance.

 


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Six Goodbyes We Never Said

Title: Six Goodbyes We Never Said
Author: Candace Ganger
Rating: ★★★

Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go

Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It’s causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.

Candace Ganger’s Six Goodbyes We Never Said is no love story. If you ask Naima, it’s not even a like story. But it is a story about love and fear and how sometimes you need a little help to be brave enough to say goodbye.