It’s 2019, and there are three books at the top of my most anticipated releases. They are King of Scars, The Boy Who Steals Houses, and Romanov. The first of these to be released? King of Scars, and I can tell you, I started reading this the moment I picked up my pre-order from Waterstones.
What did I think of it? Well, obviously I loved going back to Ravka, I loved reading about Nikolai and the squad, and the magic was very cool. But… I’m not convinced that I like where the series is going? My thoughts are a little bit mixed right now.
The much-anticipated first book in a brand-new duology by New York Times bestselling author, Leigh Bardugo.
Face your demons . . . or feed them.
Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war – and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried–and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.
So, King of Scars follows two main plot lines – Nikolai and friends as he attempts to rule Ravka as well as the demon inside him, and then Nina on a mission over in Fjerda. I’ll start with Nina’s part, because I loved her chapters. She was one of my faves in Six of Crows and she did not disappoint. She’s suffering after the events of Crooked Kingdom (don’t worry, no spoilers here!), but it was really cool seeing her get through her struggles and do all she could to help people who were suffering around her.
So I thought the list would be really easy to put together this week, but I was so wrong! Turns out, the majority of the books I read are pretty popular (or at least have a few thousand ratings on GoodReads). So I’ve ended up going for my top eight books because I genuinely couldn’t find enough under 2,000 ratings.
Also, some of these really surprised me – you should all go show these books some love, because they are definitely worth the read.
These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch: I read this over Christmas, and although I was bit dubious at first, I ended up really enjoying it. I mean, it’s about pirates and spies and magic, so obviously it was going to be good.
I’m writing this on a frosty morning with a beautiful blue sky and the melting remains of the snow that we had the other day. I feel so cosy right now – I’m wrapped up in a jumper in my favourite chair, just watching the world go by. It’s the best feeling.
And you know what? It’s the perfect feeling for writing a blog post on my favourite things from this week.
Listening to: I have totally fallen in love with Catherine McGrath’s album, Talk Of This Town. It goes perfectly with my love for The Shires and Ward Thomas.
Watching: I saw How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World yesterday, and wow. Just wow. I loved it so much. I honestly don’t think I could’ve hoped for a better ending to the films – it was gorgeous.
Happy February! I don’t know how your month started, but yesterday we woke up to snow and it was so lovely (although it was all gone by the time I got home from work yesterday). The cold has stuck around though, although it’s definitely not as cold as the USA is – praying for you all in those crazy low temperatures!
But whatever weather you’re facing right now, I want to share some of the books being released this month that I’m most excited about. One of the things I’m trying to to do this year is actually keep track of book releases, especially the UK release dates. And so far, it’s actually going well! (Although I did only start doing this two weeks ago so there’s time for it to go wrong…)
There are so many new releases coming this month! And I definitely already have plans to purchase a few of them. Bear in mind, all of the release dates in the post are based on Waterstones, so they may differ from US release dates.
Once again, I have fallen in love with a Morgan Matson book. Granted, it did take me a little longer this time, but by the end of Save The Date, I was really wishing that I could be hanging out with the Grant’s. Seriously, all I want right now is to learn every single detail about them. If you’re looking for a fun summer read, then this is the book you want!
Charlie Grant’s big sister is getting married and Charlie wants everything to be perfect. And with all her siblings back in town, along with her childhood crush, it’s shaping up to be an unforgettable weekend.
But the thing about life is … it doesn’t always go to plan. And with the arrival of Charlie’s favourite brother’s surprise new girlfriend, a rented dog that won’t stop howling, feuding relatives and the surprisingly cute wedding planner’s nephew, things are quickly spiralling out of control.
Over the course of three chaotic, life-changing days, Charlie learns more than she ever expected about her family and realises that holding on to the past may mean missing out on the future.
I love books based on mythology, especially when it’s mythology I know nothing about. So when I heard about Aru Shah and the End of Time, I knew that I would definitely be reading it at some point very soon. Did it meet expectations? Not completely. I did end up enjoying it, but it wasn’t as amazing as I was hoping it would be.
Aru Shah has messed up.
Desperate to impress her snooty schoolmates, and embarrassed to be living in the museum where her mother works, she lights the cursed Lamp of Bharata. It can’t actually be cursed… can it?
After accidentally freeing an ancient demon and freezing her classmates and her mother in time, Aru must fix things before the ancient God of Destruction is awoken. Accompanied by a wise-cracking pigeon and her long-lost half-sister, she must find the reincarnations of the five Pandava brothers and journey through the Kingdom of Death.
But how is one girl in Spider-Man pyjamas supposed to do all that?
When I saw that Sara Barnard had a new book out this year, I knew that I had to read it! I loved A Quiet Kind of Thunder, so I was really hoping that Goodbye, Perfectwould be right up my street too. And, to an extent, it was. However, this book and I didn’t really have that great a time together.
When I was wild, you were steady . . . Now you are wild – what am I?
Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden find outs that the boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr Cohn.
Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.
As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about Independence Day, but as a Welsh gal, that doesn’t really effect me at all, so instead of sharing books in the colours of the US flag, I’m going to share books inspired by the Welsh flag instead! And if you don’t know what the Welsh flag looks like, well here you are:
I’m totally jumping on the bandwagon of doing this tag (and was very much inspired to do it by Cait @ Paper Fury), because I can’t believe it’s already June, that I’m done with uni, and that I actually have to get on with real life now! So why not procrastinate a bit more by joining in with this tag?
How Much I’ve Read
So far this year I’ve read 20 books (which is a lot less than usual, thanks to a crazy amount of university work). Also, seven of those were read this month, so I think that just shows how little I was reading while I was studying!
What I’ve Been Reading
I’ve been reading a nice mix of contemporary and fantasy, with these being some of my favourite so far this year.
I’ve been a fan of Rick Riordan for quite a while now (I think I started reading his books around when The Heroes of Olympus started?), and I always get pretty excited about his latest releases. However, I have to admit, some of his newest books haven’t quite gripped me in the way that they used to, and I’m afraid that’s the case with The Burning Maze, the third book in The Trials of Apollo series.
I WAS A GOD, ONCE. UNTIL I WAS CAST OUT BY MY FATHER, ZEUS.
NOW I’M AN AWKWARD MORTAL TENNAGER CALLED LESTER.
My way out? A series of scary and dangerous trials, of course.
For my third mission, I must:
Journey through the Labyrinth to free an Oracle who only speaks in puzzles.
Defeat a vicious and bloodthirsty Roman Emperor – the most vicious of three very vicious and bloodthirsty Roman Emperors.
Is that all? No, I’ve to do everything without any of my godly powers. Wonderful. Looks like I’ll be needing all the help I can get. From new friends, and old . . .