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THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – G

Young adult reads—all first books in series—for this round.

FAVORITES

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, Rae Carson. A thrilling fantasy about a sixteen-year-old, flawed heroine who becomes the secret wife of a king and is stalked by savage enemies harboring dark magic. If she fulfills a prophecy, she could be a savior. If not, she’ll die young. A quick-paced read and the beginning of an intriguing trilogy.

GRAVE MERCY, Robin LaFevers. I adore this book. LaFevers sweeps you into 15th century France with the story of seventeen-year-old Ismae, who escapes a brutal arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where nuns serve the gods of old. She’s trained as an assassin, a handmaiden to Death, and thrust into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared. Beautifully written, engaging, and the first in LaFever’s fabulous His Fair Assassin trilogy.

THE GOOSE GIRL, Shannon Hale. Loosely adapted from the fairy tale. Ani is a princess who spends the first years of her life listening to her aunt’s incredible stories and learning the language of the birds. Her story isn’t always pretty, and the beginning can be a bit slow, but overall you can’t help but root for the girl who accepts her “destiny” while looking for ways to shape her world. First in the Books of Bayern series.

WANT TO READ

GODDESS OF THE SEA, P.C. Cast. I’m always on the lookout for a good mermaid story and this one sounds promising. From Goodreads: “. . .  a series about normal women transformed by their willingness to believe in the spark of the Feminine Devine that makes all women magical . . . celebrates the female viewpoint and the joys to be found in the care of tending of beauty in whatever form it’s found, whether it’s nature, art, or humanity.” First in the Goddess Summoning series.

Any others you’d recommend?

 

THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – F

Fantasy rules in this batch of books.

FAVORITES

THE FIRE ROSE (Elemental Masters #0), Mercedes Lackey. Another one of my favorite fantasy authors, Lackey spins an engrossing version of Beauty and the Beast set in 1905 San Francisco. After her father dies and leave her penniless, Rosalind Hawkins, a medieval scholar, goes to work for Jason Cameron, a reclusive rail baron. The strange books she translates for him lead her to suspect he’s hiding a secret, which, of course, he is—a spell gone wrong that has left him half-wolf, half-man.

IN THE FORESTS OF SERRE, Patricia A. McKillip. Loosely based on a Russian fairytale, The Firebird, this is a wonderful story of love lost and found. Prince Ronan, mourning the death of his wife and child, flees into the wilderness, where he antagonizes the witch Brume and ends up cursed and bewitched. Princess Sidonie is escorted by a wizard to wed Ronan to avoid war. Sounds familiar, but McKillip’s fabulous, lyrical prose lifts it above the norm.

THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD, Patricia A. McKillip. Sybil is the wizard woman of Eld mountain, where she magically communes with animals. She’s content in her isolation until a man called Coren arrives, seeking protection for a baby. Years later, Coren returns and takes Sybil and the child away, pitching her into a world where her powers are exploited for political gain.  Winner of the World Fantasy Award. Another McKillip gem.

THE FOURTH ELEMENT trilogy. Kat Ross. Immerse yourself in the story of Nazafareen, who lives in a fantastic Middle Eastern world where she’s bonded—physically and spiritually, by means of a magic cuff—to Darius, a creature called a daeva. They set off to kill Druj, undead creatures, but their relationship takes many twists and turns. Compelling, original, thought-provoking. The tale continues with The Fourth Talisman series.

WANT TO READ

Can’t think of anything offhand. Recommendations?

 

THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – E

Eerie, enticing, and easy to enjoy.

FAVORITES

EIDOLON, Grace Draven. Book #2 of The Wraith Kings duology. Draven continues the story of Ildiko and Brishen, a human wedded to a Kai prince who sleeps by day and lives at night. He’s not a vampire, just part of a race with strange opalescent eyes that can’t bear sunlight. In this sequel, the lovers battle a force of demons unleashed by his mother. Fast-paced adventure laced with adult romance.

ENDER’S GAME, Orson Scott Card. Terrific sci-fiction. The plot: Earth is threatened by an alien species determined to destroy the human race with superior technology. The defense: A military program that trains gifted children in search of a commander who can’t be broken. They think they’re playing a video game, but it’s so much more. A wonderful classic.

WANT TO READ

THE EGYPTOLOGIST, Arthur Phillips. Billed as a “darkly comic labyrinth of a story.” Follows an archaeologist who discovers King Tut, an Oxford professor who has a rare scrap of hieroglyphic porn, and an Australian detective. Could be fun.

 

THE EYRE AFFAIR, Jasper Fforde. Imagine time travel as a norm, and literary portals that allow you to enter books and ensure the characters are acting as the author intended–or change what happens. Clever premise. Reviews at Goodreads are all over the place, so I might wait.