THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – D

Deadly and delightful–a good description for this round of books.

FAVORITES

DARK TRIUMPH, Robin LaFevers. Book 2 in LaFevers’ trilogy about nun assassins in 15th-century France. When Sybella arrives at a convent half-mad, she’s taken in and trained to use her skills at seduction and murder on behalf of St. Morain, the Lord of Death. But when she’s forced to return home, she encounters more brutality, along with unexpected love. Fast-paced, exciting. LaFevers grabs you from the first page.

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, Laini Taylor. I loved this first book, the story of art student Karou, a demon who falls in love with an angel. Original, filled with Taylor’s trademark lyrical writing. A terrific example of great story-telling.

THE DA VINCI CODE, Dan Brown. Yes, I know it’s old, and a bit on the cheesy, formulaic side, but it’s a fun read, with intrigue and deceit and a secret society. Forget the movie, it was awful. Read the book instead and you’ll understand why it was a mega-seller.

WANT TO READ

THE DIVINERS, Libba Bray. A girl with a supernatural power in 1926 New York City. Speakeasies, magic, the occult, a bit of horror. Sounds like a good choice for Halloween.

 

DOROTHY MUST DIE, Danielle Paige. I’m a bit hesitant to read this, as I love The Wizard of Oz and it’s got reviews all over the place on Goodreads–seems like you either love it or hate it. But I’m curious to see what Paige has done with a classic story.

Any you’d recommend?

 

THE ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – C

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

FAVORITES

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!

WANT TO READ

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 ABC BOOK CHALLENGE – B

FAVORITES

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.

 

TBR

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.