THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – L

Lovely, lyrical works for your reading pleasure.

FAVORITES

LIPS TOUCH THREE TIMES, Laini Taylor.

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.

WANT TO READ

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.

THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – J, K

I’ve been so busy working on revisions that this challenge has been on the back burner. Let’s play a little catch-up.

Not much for “J” fantasy novels, sorry to say. There’s James and the Giant Peach, which is aimed at children, and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell, which — while I found the writing sound and the premise intriguing — ultimately became a chore to read [it’s over 800 pages].

So, on to the letter K.

Favorites

THE KINGFOUNTAIN SERIES, Jeff Wheeler.

This is a six-book series: The Queen’s Poisoner, The Thief’s Daughter, The King’s Traitor, The Hollow Crown, The Silent Shield, The Forsaken Throne. Wheeler excels in his depiction of Ceredigion: a medieval world of magic, intrigue, betrayal, and love. If you know a bit about the War of the Roses and Richard III, the books will have more meaning, but it’s not a deal-breaker. A good binge read.

KUSHIEL’S DART, Jacqueline Carey.

This first book in a trilogy tells the story of Phédre nó Delaunay, a courtesan and spy who discovers a treacherous conspiracy. Compelling and frankly sexual — be warned, there’s a pain as pleasure element — this is definitely an adult fantasy. But it has so much more: well-drawn, complex characters; a heart-warming story; and wonderful world-building. A good choice for readers who enjoy epic journeys and politically intriguing fantasies with lots of twists.

Want to Read

TO KILL A KINGDOM, Alexandra Christo.

Princess Lira is a siren who hunts princes and collects their hearts. Prince Elian wants to rid the sea of all sirens forever. Can love be far behind? Supposedly a very dark retelling of The Little Mermaid,.

 

That’s it for now. As always, if you have any recommendations, please pass them along.

Thanks for reading.

THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – I

Intriguing books for your pleasure.

FAVORITES

INCARCERON, Catherine Fisher.

A prison that’s alive? Count me in. Finn, a 17-year-old boy born into a cut-throat world of criminals, finds a key that allows him to communicate with a girl on the outside, and puts together a desperate escape plot while attempting to unravel the secrets of his past. This fantastic steampunk-ish tale can be a bit confusing at times but Fisher has created an amazing world.  Sequel is Sapphique.

INCARNATE, Jodie Meadows.

Don’t you just love this cover? In a world where people have reincarnated for thousands of years, Ana is  ‘newsoul’ – without a past, without memories, without friends from past lives. Sounds harmless, but because Ana was born, another soul vanished forever (it never came back to life again) and that soul was her mother’s best friend. A journey of self-discovery with romantic elements. First in a trilogy.

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, Anne Rice.

The classic tale of how Louis became a vampire in New Orleans and his love/hate relationship with Lestat, the one who turned him into a monster. IWTV brought a new dimension to the genre, showing the undead with depth and feeling; Louis certainly runs the gamut of emotions as he struggles with immortality and his desires. Dark, macabre, haunting. The best of the Vampire Chronicles.

WANT TO READ

IGNITE, Kaitlyn Davis.

Reviews are mixed on GOODREADS–many see it as Twilight fanfic–but it includes a new mythology of how vampires came to be, so I may give it a try.

Any recommendations?

Thanks for reading.