Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – June 28, 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!

“Some say the Queen was frightened in her last moments. But I like to think that she was angry.”
-The Word of the Prophet

 

The queen stopped screaming just after midnight.

Simon had been hiding in her closet, fingers jammed into his ears to block out the noise. For hours, he had crouched there, knees drawn to chest, head bowed.

For hours, the queen’s rooms had shuddered in tandem with her screams.

Now, there was silence. Simon held his breath, and measured the seconds, like counting after a lightning strike until the thunder rolls: Is the storm fading, or is it coming closer?

One. Two. Three.

He reached twenty and dared to lower his hands.

A baby cried out into the silence. Simon grinning and scrambled to his feet, a wave of relief crashing through him.

The queen’s child was born – finally. Now he and his father could flee the city and never look back.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Furyborn

Title: Furyborn (Empirium, #1)
Author: Claire Legrand
Rating: ★★★

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – June 21, 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). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly  important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!

It was raining the day Suki came to the Palace of the Sun, and it was raining the night that she died.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Shadow of the Fox

Title: Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Rating: ★★★

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – June 14, 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!

I was a storm.

Adrenaline ripped through my veins like lightning as I leaned close to the body of my crow, preparing to execute a drive. Iyla’s warm, steady heat kept me grounded, even hundreds of feet in the air. Cold wind whipped tendrils of hair free from my braid, nipping at the skin around my goggles and stealing my breath.

The thin, well-worn saddle beneath me was nothing more than a strip of leather to bind stirrups to, the reins trailing from my hand to Iyla’s beak, an illusion of control – this ride depended on trust and mutual respect. Anything less, and no amount of leather would keep me seated on Iyla’s back.

Years of Estrel’s instructions raced through my mind: Keep your body low and tight in a dive. Give the reins slack. Keep your knees back so you don’t put pressure on the crow’s wing joints. I knew it all like my own heartbeat.

I tucked close to Iyla’s body, and we dove.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Storm Crow

Title: The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Rating: ★★★

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – June 7, 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). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly  important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!

I don’t need to dissect the bird to know how it died. I watched it fly straight into the mast moments ago, its limp body falling to the deck, its fragmented skull rattling beneath my fingers as I picked it up. But its death isn’t what interests me. I want to know how it lived.

At the first incision blood trickles down the black feathers on to my fingers. It’s still warm. I wipe it away. Not because I’m squeamish, but because I want to see beyond, to the tiny organs hidden behind delicate bones. My previous attempts at this have taught me that my touch has to be gentle. One slip and the fragile body collapses in on itself, keeping its secrets buried within.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Viper

Title: Viper (Isles of Storm & Sorrow #1)
Author: Bex Hogan
Rating: ★★★★

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life – to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles – but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. A new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas.

He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – May 31, 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). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly  important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!

No one needed to bother opening the letter to know what it said.

 

All gentlepersons of university age (respectively seventeen to nineteen) are cordially invited to test for the esteemed annual scholarship given by Mr. Holm toward one fullride fellowship at Stemwick Men’s University. Aptitude contenders will appear at nine o’ clock in front of Holm Castle’s entrance above the seaside town of Pinsbury Port on the evening of 22 September, during the Festival of the Autumnal Equinox.

For Observers: Party refreshments will be provided at intermittent times. Watering facilities available at all times. Gratitude and genial amusement are expected. (Those who fail to comply will be tossed out at our amusement.)

For Contestants: Those who never risk are doomed never to risk. And those who’ve risked previously will be ousted should they try again.

For All: Mr. Holm and Holm Manor bear no responsibility, liability, or legal obligation for any harm, death, or partial decapitation that may result from entering the examination Labyrinth.

Sincerely,
Holm

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

To Best The Boys

Title: To Best the Boys
Author: Mary Weber
Rating: ★★★★★

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – May 24, 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). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly  important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!

Every story has four parts: the beginning, the middle, the almost-ending, and the true ending. Unfortunately, not everyone gets a true ending. Most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, when the situation feels hopeless, but that is where hope is needed the most. Only those who persevere can find their true ending.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Finale

Title: Finale
Author: Stephanie Garber
Rating: ★★★★

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – May 17, 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!

While some rooms on the estate had monsters hiding beneath the beds, Tella swore her mother’s suite concealed enchantment. Hints of emerald light dusted the air as if fairies came to play whenever her mother left. The room smelled of flowers plucked from secret gardens, and even when there wasn’t a breeze, the sheer curtains billowed around the magnificent canopy bed. Above, a citrine chandelier greeted Tella with the musical sounds of kissing glass, making it easy for her to imagine the suite was a bewitched portal to another world.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Legendary

Title: Legendary
Author: Stephanie Garber
Rating: ★★★★★

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.