I recently wrote a post about the video games I am most anticipating this year (and into the future) which reminded me of the list I had been compiling on random post it notes scattered throughout my house of all the books I am so excited to read this year.
If you’ve been here for a while or even if you are new (Welcome!) it might be obvious that I am a pretty avid reader. Now I know things are most likely going to slow down once Bubs is in the mix but I am hoping to still be able to read something each month, even if its just one book.
Every year I look forward to seeing all the books that they are going to be released in a new year, it always seems like an exciting ‘fresh start’ for the year and even through everything going on last year it was something to look forward too.
Without adding to much to the preamble, these are the books that I am most looking forward too picking up this year.
Since I am writing this post so late there are some books that I am am mentioning that have already been released that I just haven’t picked up yet.
I am so excited for all these books to come out and these are just the releases I know about that I’m excited for. If you have any book recommendations of new releases leave a comment so I can add it to my list!
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
The Bear and the Nightingale follows Vasilisa a young girl living in on the brink of the wilderness in a fantasy version of Medieval Russia. She lives in a town that believes in both the christian church and the stories of old. After her mother passes away Vasilisa’s father heads to Moscow and brings home a new wife.
Vasilisa soon discovers what happens when a truly devout woman decides that within the town household spirits will no longer be honoured and is backed by the new town priest. From the moment they arrive things begin to go downhill, from freezing winters to failing crops Vasilisa becomes highly worried about her family’s ability to survive the harsh winters.
So, this book has A Lot going on. Vasilisa is a fantastic main character. She is wild and brave and not afraid to stand up to the norms of medieval Russia where she is oppressed and expected to be obedient. I really liked how she was wild at heart and cared deeply for the household spirits, even when it caused her to be labeled as a witch.
The story as a whole was interesting and definitely something I hadn’t read before. Russian myth is not something I am familiar with however it is definitely mythology I would be interested in finding out more about. The story definitely had some magic woven into the hardships of winter described.
Katherine Adren’s writing lends itself to the historical fiction fantasy genre. There were some beautiful description of the settings. Even being in the midst of summer here in Australia it was like I could feel the bitter cold Russian Winter being described. I find that particularly important to a book with such depth and detail as this. Without a greatly detailed and engaging setting I can end up feeling like the story is to dense and I am unable to get past the denseness to the beauty behind it.
As I listened to the story on Audiobook I found it a bit hard to keep track of all the names they were definitely not super complicated but I did find that I muddled them up quite a lot. I don’t know if that is necessarily a critique of the book or just my listening skills.
There were a few characters that I really disliked throughout the story. Vasalia’s stepmother Ana was one of them. I found her totally irrational and completely unfair to Vasalisa to the point where she was clearly treating her poorly.
I also absolutely despise and I mean despise Constantine the priest who comes to the village. It has absolutely nothing to do with him being the religious figurehead and everything to do with him being the worst person ever. The fact that he blatantly blames a child for his actions and thoughts is something that bothers me to no end. He is also quick to sacrifice anyone but himself -even his more devout follower – when given the option to protect himself by doing so. I would get so outraged while I was reading. Especially when he wouldn’t let Vasilisa run away and the only answer for him was for her to go to a convent, even though running away would culminate in the same result.
The beginning of the story is slow. It was a bit difficult to get into. There are so many events that happen in quick succession that are necessary for the story but also happen way too fast. I also found some moments unnecessary. While in Moscow one of Vasilisa’s brothers decides to become a monk. I don’t know if I missed something or if this will become important to the next two books but for ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ there seemed to be no reason that we spent so much time with him coming to the decision.
The first book in this beginning to a Historical fiction trilogy that weaves the stories of Russian mythology. It follows a wild hearted protagonist who was definitely a trailblazer born into the wrong century.
Plot: 6/10 Ease of reading: 7/10 Character Development: 6/10 World Building: 6/10 Quality of Writing: 6/10 Overall: 3/5
Our February week long readathon in the overarching Year-a-thon has come and gone. I set out to complete 3 books. 2 individual books and one series.
I didn’t end up reading as much as I thought I would during February’s Year-a-thon. Although finishing two books in the week was definitely not too bad.
‘The Simple Wild’ by K.A. Tucker was a reread in preparation for the sequel coming out on February 18th (can you tell I’m excited). ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ by Katherine Adren was a book that had beed chilling on my TBR for a while.
Both books where definitely enjoyable to pick up for the readathon. You can check out the review of The Simple Wild, already on my blog and the review for The Bear and the Nightingale will be coming soon!
Illusions shatter—and Sophie and her friends face impossible choices—in this astonishing eighth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.
Sophie Foster wants answers. But after a lifetime of lies, sometimes the truth is the most dangerous discovery. Even the smallest secret comes with terrifying new responsibilities.
And Sophie’s not the only one with blank spots in her past, or mysteries surrounding her family. She and her friends are part of something much bigger than they imagined—and their roles have already been chosen for them.
Every clue drags them deeper into the conspiracy. Every memory forces them to question everything—especially one another. And the harder they fight, the more the lines blur between friend and enemy.
Honestly what didn’t happen in ‘Legacy’? There were so many additions to an already complex plot that I am blown away with how well the story all fits together. The world is utterly incredible.
Throughout Legacy we get so many answers. Not only to questions that readers have been wondering since the beginning of the series as well as questions we didn’t even though we had. By the end of the book too, I had even more questions.
The characters in Legacy are definitely growing up with different social issues arising that have been brewing in the other books but aren’t yet addressed until the characters are older. Now is that time. Most readers will either be a Keffie or a fitzfie shipper and at this point I’ve got to say I am all for Keefie!
I always enjoy my time reading this series. I absolutely love the world building that has occurred from book one. absolutely has be blown away. I am so invested in the outcome of this story because I feel like I understand the world so deeply as well as the sacrifices many of our characters have made thus far.
Legacy with an amazing 8th book in a long and intricate series that is perfect for readers that want to become utterly lost in a magically detailed and far reaching world.
Plot: 8/10 Ease of reading: 8/10 Character Development: 8/10 World Building: 9/10 Quality of Writing: 7/10 Overall: 5/5
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.
After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.
The Tea Dragon Festival
Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.
This has to be one of the cutest graphic novel ‘duologies’ that I’ve read. Tea Dragons are the most adorable characters ever and I want one of all of them because I cannot decide which is the cutest.
In these companion stories we explore a world where Tea Dragons exist. These are small dragons that grow flowers on their bodies which can be used to brew different teas. In the first one we are introduced to the whole concept of tea dragons and learn some of the history of them.
in ‘The Tea Dragon Festival’ we follow different characters within the same universe who awake a long slumber dragon who is celebrated within the village. We also have a deaf character in the story and I absolutely love how the character is represented in the story and how the format of a graphic novel is used to emphasis this.
The art style in both books used a lot of colour that is slightly muted through out. Its definitely a vibe I can get behind and really added to my enjoyment of the stories.
The dialogue is lyrical and magical and makes the story so sweet and enjoyable.
Both books are quick reads, they are definitely meant for a younger audience and I am so excited to share this with magical story with my children in the future – and maybe take it into work to share with my class!
Plot: 6/10 Ease of reading: 10/10 Character Development: 7/10 World Building: 8/10 Quality of Writing: 8/10 Overall:4/5
Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin’s chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn’t naturally inclined to fighting. But he has strong and steadfast friends, including Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, and together they have achieved brave deeds, such as defeating Fenris Wolf and battling giants for Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Now Magnus faces his most dangerous trial yet. His cousin, Annabeth, recruits her boyfriend, Percy Jackson, to give Magnus some pointers, but will his training be enough?
Loki is free from his chains. He’s readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, complete with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Asgardian gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It’s up to Magnus and his friends to stop him, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it’s ready to sail. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon. But Magnus’s biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wily trickster god?
Ship of the dead is the conclusion to the ‘Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard’ Trilogy. In the third book Magnus and his friends are trying to prevent Ragnarok which is about to happen! We pretty much follow them as they go up against Loki to prevent the end of the world.
Magnus is a character I can really get behind. He is so caring of his friends and accepting of everyones differences. The diversity of the characters within this trilogy is great. We have characters from different races as well as a character who is gender fluid and asks characters to use their preferred pronouns on any given day.
The plot of ‘Ship of the Dead’ explores more into the Ragnarok myths from Norse Mythology. I enjoyed that we continue to look at different aspects of this myth throughout the three books in the story. I did struggle through parts of this story because I felt as though we were exploring characters we’d already explored previously, however when we looked into the back stories of some of the characters we haven’t really explored before I was really into it.
Magnus Chase is a great series for anyone who enjoys Rick Riordan’s book or mythology in general. Its a great way to enter mythological worlds for readers and can really grow a passion in both young and older readers.
Plot: 7/10 Ease of reading: 8/10 Character Development: 7/10 World Building: 7.5/10 Quality of Writing: 8/10 Overall:4.5/5
During 2019 I decided to take part in the 2019 Reading Challenge created by The Perks of Being Noura.
To sum it up the challenge is a list of 52 prompts to read throughout 2019.
Of these 50 prompts I managed to read 50 of them! Madness. The only two that I had trouble fulfilling is prompt 26 and prompt 30. I was able to complete all the rest though which makes me still feel as though I completed the challenge. Here are the books I read for each prompt…
It definitely looks like a lot more books than it felt like when I was reading them!