Jackdaw by K.J. Charles
This is set in the same world as The Magpie Lord, but stars two different characters! And it’s so great, because Jonah and Ben could not be further from Stephen and Crane, both personality and relationship-wise. Which is great! It’s nice seeing the different kinds of people who populate a favorite series. Plus, I really enjoyed seeing how KJC dealt with Jonah and Ben’s tragic history and its repercussions within the larger Magpie Lord context. Turns out she’s super good at constructing characters who make me both want to cry from empathy and also bash their heads together because they just need to KISS already sheesh. Jonah is a criminal,…
Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling (1997)
So this turned out to be one of those books that was SO GOOD it made it impossible for me to read another book for a few days. I didn’t want to! I just wanted to keep thinking about Stalking Darkness, and the characters, and their world, and EVERYTHING. Best new character POV goes to Beka, a soldier and secret Chosen One. (That wasn’t a spoiler because it’s pretty obvious from the get-go.) She’s so great! She’s learning how to be a leader in the middle of war, while also being pulled along by a prophecy she knows nothing about. I’d read an entire book with just Beka, tbh. More…
The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin (2012)
My first N.K. Jemisin book was The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, a fantasy story set in a world which does not have European fantasy tropes. The Killing Moon is another fantasy story set in a non-European fantasy world, only this time it’s one based around Egyptian/Mediterranean/etc. cultures. It’s not set on Earth, so really it’s only got the flavor of those cultures, but it’s enough of a flavor to make me really happy. I LOVE it when a fantasy isn’t just another pseudo-medieval Europe expy! More diverse settings/characters/worlds, please!
Flight of Magpies by K.J. Charles (2014)
I don’t know why I bother preordering books (see: this post), as I almost always put off reading them until way later anyway. Case in point: this book! I’ve had it since pub date, but I waited ages to read it. I suppose it’s the excitement of knowing that it’s going to show up in my mailbox/Kindle? And I WAS/AM excited for Flight of Magpies to be published! It’s the third book of a series I’ve very much enjoyed, with characters I like and a wonderful fantasy-mystery plot. So in the previous book, A Case of Possession, Crane and Stephen worked through some problems in their relationship: namely, do they…
Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling
I bought this when it went on sale last year because of a blog review which I unfortunately can’t find right now. But wherever it is, it convinced me to give it a go. And y’all, I LOVED IT. SO MUCH. For some reason I thought it was more of a romance than it actually is? It is not a romance; it is instead a fantasy adventure mystery with really excellent characters. There is a decided lack of kissing in this book,[1. although apparently there is some in the second one] so if you’re looking for kissing in your fantasy stories I’ll direct you to The Magpie Lord.
A Hero at the End of the World by Erin Claiborne
A Hero at the End of the World has been getting lots of positive reviews lately, and for good reason. It’s funny and cute and hugely enjoyable; past me, why were you so slow getting to this? You’ve had a copy in your possession since October! For shame, past-me. Present-me is totally gleeful, though, because I had such a good time reading it! I found myself highlighting like a fiend in the first ten pages because every other paragraph had some funny thing in it. It was also a weird kind of comfort read, maybe because it has some tropes I recognize from the world of fandom/fanfic.[1. Since Erin Claiborne…
A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
How did I decide to buy this book? I must have seen a review of it somewhere and added it to my wishlist.[1. Previous to it winning the 2014 World Fantasy Award for best novel. Congrats!] It’s exactly along the lines of what I like best in a fantasy book: non-European style countries, travel, adventure, and intrigue, with spooky magical things. The only thing that would’ve made it better is if there’d been dragons somewhere and if the protagonist were a woman.
The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles
My friend Memory, who is a total book enabler, talked a lot of positive talk about The Magpie Lord earlier this month. I stared at the cover for a few days and then finally took the plunge and bought it once my other friend, Jenny (also a book enabler[1. She also has a podcast! Go listen to her podcast, it is awesome.]) started talking it up, too. Turns out I am very susceptible to peer pressure! Current feelings about this book can be accurately represented with this gif: HOLY HELL was this book fun! It has a lot of things I like in it, all wrapped up in a big…