Fall is here, a good time to snuggle up with a book and sip mulled cider.


THE CHANGELING SEA, Patricia McKillip. I enjoy this book at least once a year. Peri, who lost her father in a fishing accident, hexes the sea, which brings a young sorcerer and a half earth-bound, half water-bound changeling into her life. It’s short–only 137 pages–but full of McKillip’s trademark magic, mystery, and lyrical prose.

CHALION (3 book series), Lois McMaster Bujold. A series I love to come back to as often as possible. Best read in order. The Curse of Chalion is the story of Cazaril, once imprisoned, now a princess’s tutor, who must delve into dark magic to break a curse. Paladin of Souls features Ista, manipulated by an untrustworthy god into a struggle to preserve endangered souls. The Hallowed Hunt deals with Lady Ijada, who killed her would-be rapist and is being taken to trial by a haunted lord. Bujold excels at world-building and interweaving magic with passion. [Series is also known as the World of the Five Gods.]

CHILDHOOD’S END, Arthur C. Clarke. I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but this one is stunning. Earth is on the verge of world war when spaceships appear in the skies above every major city. Manned by the Overlords, in fifty years they eliminate ignorance, disease, and poverty.  Is it really a peaceful invasion or is there something more sinister behind it all? Read and find out!


CARAVAL, Stephanie Garber. One reviewer on Goodreads calls this a “beautiful story about sisterhood and adventure, full of amazing characters and a delightfully dark world.” Caraval itself is billed as a faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show. Sounds intriguing.

COURTING DARKNESS, Robin La Fevers. Sybella, a trained nun/assassin first seen in Dark Triumph, has a new mission. To keep her two youngest sisters safe, she travels with a duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiate, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent.

THE CRIMSON QUEEN, Alec Huctson. It sounds complicated–innocent villagers with heroic destinies, holy paladins, clever thieves, spider-filled dungeons, malevolent gods lurking behind the scenes–but has received good reviews. And I like supporting other indie authors.

Any others you’d recommend?




THE BARDS OF BONE PLAIN, Patricia McKillip. Three trial, three terrors, three treasurers. Phelan thinks the legend of Bone Plain is just that. But his research reveals much more. He’s joined by his historian father and a princess who loves adventures outside the castle. An enthralling read.


A BEAUTIFUL POISON, Lydia Kang. A wonderful 1918 murder mystery that involves childhood friends reunited at an engagement party. Lots of interesting historical notes about science and the time period.


THE BELL AT SEALEY HEAD, Patricia McKillip. An intriguing story that revolves around the mystery of why everyone in the seaside town of Sealey Head hears a bell at sunset, and why certain doors at a guest house open to another time. Another McKillip classic.


BITTERBLUE, Kristin Cashore. I think this is the best of Graceling books. Now a queen, Bitterblue learns her realm is under the spell of a madman and she must rely on the help of two thieves to untangle the past and save the future.



THE BLACK WITCH, Laurie Forest. Some reviews on Goodreads criticize its supposed racist slant, while others note that’s to be expected in a book about prejudicial characters. Will have to read and decide for myself.


BORN WICKED, Jessica Spotswood. A story of three sisters who are witches in an alternative 1870s New England. Sounds interesting, and I’m ready to try anything with “wicked” in the title. 😉


BRUJA BORN, Zoraida Cordova. I suppose I should read LABYRINTH LOST first. The story of a Latina healer in Brooklyn.



I’ve seen this on several blogs and thought it would be fun to do. Have you read these? Any others you’d recommend?


THE ALCHEMIST, Paolo Coelho. A wonderful read, and  written in just two weeks! I love the idea of a “personal legend” and how the universe will “conspire” to help you achieve your goals. Some dialogue can come across as a bit patronizing, but overall it’s a true “feel-good” read.


ALPHABET OF THORN, Patricia McKillip. One of my all-time favorite fantasy writers. This book is the story of the orphan Nepenthe, a scribe who translates an obscure book and learns her destiny is linked to a queen. Gorgeous writing, compelling plot. If you haven’t read McKillip, try this.



THE AMARANTH ENCHANTMENT, Julie Berry. This is Berry’s debut novel, and it truly is enchanting. A mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry change the life of a young woman indebted to a cruel aunt. A quick and satisfying read.



THE ARKADIANS, Lloyd Alexander. This book has a perfect story arc, a plot that keeps you turning pages, and a cast you’ll cheer on–even the rascals. One of Alexander’s best, with twists on Greek mythology and a young woman who doesn’t take guff from anyone. Fun and fast-paced.



ACE OF SHADES, Amanda Foody. Described as “dark and enticing” with a protagonist who’s more resilient than she appears, thieves, rogues, and assorted shady characters.



AIR AWAKENS, Elise Kova. A library assistant discovers an unknown power in herself. It has a theme similar to my book—embrace sorcery and change the world or learn to live without magic—so I’m really interested in seeing how the story is crafted.