An alternative Victorian era “memoir” of Isabella, Lady Trent, a renowned dragon naturalist. This book, the first of five, covers her early life and  struggles to be taken seriously in her pursuits. Not a lot of dragon action, if that’s what you’re into, but Brennan delivers with a lively, witty account of one woman’s passions and adventures. Includes fabulous drawings by Todd Lockwood.


I’m not usually a fan of talking animals, but Wagner hooked me with this tale of intelligent rats whose once peaceful underground colony has been overtaken by a ruthless dictator. The story centers on Vincent and Victor Nightshade, two brothers who join a rebel army. Well-conceived characters (I especially like the inclusion of strong females), atmospheric, and action-packed. An engrossing read, on a par with REDWALL and WATERSHIP DOWN. First of a trilogy.


THE NAME OF THE WIND Patrick Rothfuss.

A high fantasy “memoir” about Kvothe , a notorious wizard. Over the course of three days, he tells the story of his life to a Chronicler. The Name of the Wind encompasses the first day of his recitation; there are several follow-up books.


NEVERWHERE, Neil Gaiman.

After he stops to help a girl bleeding on a London sidewalk, Richard Mayhew discovers an underground world of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. According to the blurb, it promises to be both “eerily familiar and utterly bizarre.” One of NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time.

Any others you’d recommend?

Thanks for reading.


Magic abounds in this batch of books.


MASTER OF CROWS, Grace Draven.

Draven writes wonderful fantasy romances and this one is no exception. Lush and compelling.

Silhara of Neithis a desperate sorcerer. The god called Corruption has invaded his mind, seducing him with promises of limitless power. As Silhara seeks to destroy the god that wants to fully possess him, a conclave intent on exposing his defilement sends him an apprentice. Martise is determined to succeed in her spying, for it means freedom from the mage priests who’ve enslaved her.

Of course, nothing goes well, and the two play a cat-and-mouse game that unexpectedly turns into love. I especially enjoyed how Silhara changes his perception of the woman he knows is a spy and how they learn to trust each other. There are several follow-up novellas too.

THE MERMAID’S SISTER, Carrie Anne Noble.

A wondrous tale of two sisters, Clara and Maren, who lives with Auntie, their hedgewitch guardian. Auntie says Clara was left by a stork, Maren arrived in a shell. and their best friend, O’Neill was found beneath an apple tree. Quite a beginning!

When Maren discovers shimmering scales just beneath skin, Auntie declares the girl is changing into a mermaid. She must be taken to the sea or die. But no fantastic journey is without its pitfalls. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill race against time to save themselves and the slowly-weakening Maren. A charming story of love, family, adventure, magic and self-discovery. Be aware: it starts out a bit slow.

MORTAL HEART, Robin La Fevers.

The third book in a trilogy called His Fair Assassin, a series about murderous nuns in 18th century France.

This time around, we follow Annith, who has watched her sisters at the convent carry out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain and is eager to serve Death. But the abbess wants her to be the next Seeress, a fate that means being forever trapped in the catacombs of the convent. Unwilling to accept that destiny, Annith strikes out on her own.

Although not quite as strong as Grave Mercy or Dark Triumph, whose main characters were more compelling, it’s a worthy end to the trilogy. Be sure to read the first two books before tackling this one so you have a firm grasp on the world you’re entering.



When the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables, they encounter an enraged girl who hurls a stone at the hated invaders, penetrates their magical shield, and flees. Now the Guild is desperate to find this untrained mage before she destroys herself and her city. Reviews on Goodreads are mixed, but it sounds like a decent read and I love the cover.

That’s it for now. Any others you’d recommend?

Thanks for reading.




Lovely, lyrical works for your reading pleasure.



A fabulous trio of stories, all pivoting around a kiss and its consequences. There are goblins, demons, and fanged men, all seeking to entice girls and snare their souls—and the surprising resistance they encounter. Written with Taylor’s usual grace and style. An example: There is a certain kind of girl the goblins crave… girls who dream so hard about being pretty their yearnings leave a palpable trail, a scent goblins can follow like sharks on a soft bloom of blood. The girls with hungry eyes who pray each night to wake up as someone else. Urgent, unkissed, wistful girls. A National Book Award finalist, with wonderful illustrations by Jim DeBartolo.

THE LYRA NOVELS, Patricia C. Wrede

Five books set in the magical world of Lyra. These are Wrede’s earlier books–fantasy with happy endings–good, but not as great as her later works. Nevertheless, Wrede is a great world-builder and has a wonderful way of drawing you into her stories.

Shadow Magic – Princess Alethia is kidnapped by a man with a face made of shadows and taken to magical woods. To escape and save her kingdom, Alethia must look for answers in old legends of sorcery and daring.

Daughter of Witches –  Ranira’s parents were burned at the stake for practicing magic. Now she’s an indentured servant for a brutal innkeeper and keeps her own abilities hidden. But when three strangers show up at the inn and try to help Ranira through sorcery, she’s forced to unleash her powers to save them.

The Harp of Imach Thyssel – Emereck, a trained minstrel, and Flindaran, a nobleman masquerading as a tramp, stumble upon a long-abandoned castle and one of Lyra’s most sought-after treasures: the Harp of Imach Thyssel, said to possess the power of life and death over all mankind. To keep it from falling into the wrong hands, Emereck must harness its strength to create and destroy.

Caught in Crystal Kayl, a sword-wielding former member of the Sisterhood of Stars, knows all about the Twisted Tower, where something terrible is bound with a magic spell so that it can never escape. She left the order and settled down to a quiet life as a country innkeeper, but now something evil is leaking from the Tower and Kayl is called upon to take up her sword again.

The Raven Ring – After Eleret’s mother is killed in battle, she sets off to recover one of her mother’s prized possessions: a ring etched with a raven that is a talisman of power against an ancient enemy, the Shadow-born. But someone wants the ring badly enough to kill for it, and Eleret must unlock its mysteries to survive.


LADY MIDNIGHT (The Dark Artifices #1), Cassandra Clare.

A sequel to the hugely popular MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series. From Goodreads: Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Any others you’d recommend?

Thanks for reading.