Book Review: Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers

BehindtheThroneBehind the Throne by K.B. Wagers

Published by Orbit on August 2, 2016

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 413 Format: Paperback Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Meet Hail: Captain. Gunrunner. Fugitive.

Quick, sarcastic, and lethal, Hailimi Bristol doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire. That is, until two Trackers drag her back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir.

But trading her ship for a palace has more dangers than Hail could have anticipated. Caught in a web of plots and assassination attempts, Hail can’t do the one thing she did twenty years ago: run away. She’ll have to figure out who murdered her sisters if she wants to survive.


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Book Review: Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

BlancayRojaBlanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 9, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy

Pages: 375 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.


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Sirens Conference 2018: Fantasy Fun

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My big trip for 2018 was Sirens Conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Hosted by Narrate Conferences, Sirens is a yearly gathering celebrating women and non-binary creators and characters in fantasy literature. Attendees range from writers, academics, readers, librarians, educators, and so many more and everyone’s voice is equally important. 2018 was Sirens’ 10th anniversary and this whole trip was absolutely amazing from start to finish.

My friend and I flew into Denver on Wednesday and took the Sirens Shuttle into the mountains. It’s an extremely beautiful drive as you go deeper and deeper into the Rockies especially with the dusting of snow at higher elevations. The Park Hyatt (where the conference is hosted) definitely leaned into the mountain aesthetic with lots of comfy/cozy chairs and fireplaces as well as antler lighting fixtures that screamed Shadow and Bone. Wednesday night was mostly acclimating to the altitude and wow did I drink a lot of water.

 Thursday evening was the official start of Sirens and for 2018 the conference was reflecting on four themes from previous years: hauntings, revolutionaries, lovers, and women who work magic. The guests of honor were Violet Kupersmith, Kameron Hurley, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Leigh Bardugo. Friday and Saturday were packed with programming, panels, keynotes, and tons of fun. Honestly I was blown away by the discussions and presentations that I was able to attend and there were so many other choices available. Plus the food was amazing and even with my gluten allergy there were plenty of choices.

The best thing about this conference though was the community itself. It didn’t matter if you were a first time attendee (me) or had been coming for all ten years. The staff and volunteers go out of their way to make Sirens an exceptionally diverse and welcoming experience and it was so easy to meet people and engage with others. Part of this probably has to do with everyone’s love of books (fantasy especially) but it also speaks to the quality of the conference itself. From meal excursions to ice breakers at keynotes and the most wonderful bookstore that was built for me; Sirens felt like home, a rejuvenating spring and I’m so grateful I could attend.

I loved Sirens so much and I definitely plan on going back. Next year’s theme is Heroes featuring some amazing authors and academics. The unabashed passion of the Sirens community and the experience I had in Beaver Creek is something that I will hold close to my heart and I highly recommend checking this conference out. Maybe I’ll see you in 2019!

Been to any amazing conferences? Love the book community?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want To Read Before 2019

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey (Gingerreadslainey on Youtube) as a way for book reviewers and lovers to share their love of lists every Wednesday. Check out the Goodreads group.

  1. For a Muse of Fire
  2. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
  3. What if it’s Us
  4. Vengeful
  5. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

This week’s Top 5 is Books I Want to Read Before 2019 and it was incredibly hard to narrow it down. Basically i just pulled from my piles of physical TBR but I’m hoping to get to more than just these five before the new year arrives.

What do you want to read before the end of the year?

Let me know in the comments below!

Teaser Tuesday: Behind the Throne

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Hosted by A Daily Rhythm, Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme meant to highlight passages from books you are currently reading.

Here are the rules (as described by A Daily Rhythm):

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s teasers come from K.B. Wagers’ Behind the Throne, a fast paced scifi featuring a no nonsense female protagonist forced to play politics. So far I’m really enjoying it so check out these snippets for a taste.

“The empire is in chaos. Things are falling apart even more rapidly than your sister feared. Read the files she sent you, and I’ll catch you up when I can. We’ve been off the grid for too long already.”

~

I thought I’d been free. I’d thought that my life was my own. The one thing I really wanted, the thing I’d given up every piece of my life at home for, had turned out to be a lie.

Have you read Behind the Throne? Enjoy action packed science fiction?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: Spell on Wheels, Ladycastle, & Monstress Vol. 1

I’ve been on a bit of a comic reading kick lately so today I’ve got three mini reviews featuring fierce women. Check out my thoughts below!


SpellonWheelsSpell on Wheels by Kate Leth

Published by Dark Horse Comics on June 20, 2017

Genres: Adult, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Paranormal

Pages: 136 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

A road trip story. A magical revenge fantasy. A sisters-over-misters tale of three witches out to get back what was taken fom them.

Andy, Jolene, and Claire aren’t your average twenty-somethings. They’re legacy witches making their way through a modern world. When a jealous nonmagical ex breaks into their home and steals a spell that could awaken potentials with magical powers, the witches plan their revenge. Traveling down the East Coast, they must retrieve their powerful stolen artifacts and strengthen their friendship… the big bad is even worse than they imagined. 

Collects Spell on Wheels #1–#5.

What’s better than witches on Halloween? Empowered ladies road tripping to take back what’s theirs, that’s what! Andy, Jolene, and Claire were three incredible friends who are vastly different yet work super well as a team. Their trip takes them from hopping city establishments to the streets of suburbia and even dilapidated cabins where they discover the good, bad, and ugly of the magical underground. I absolutely loved the art and the author did a phenomenal job fitting so much character and story into these five issues. Highly recommend!


LadycastleLadycastle by Delilah S. Dawson

Published by Boom! Studios on October 18, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Adventure

Pages: 112 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

When the King and all the men of the castle die, it’s time for the women to knight up.

When King Mancastle and his mighty vassals ride off on a crusade, the women left behind are not at all put out—that’s a lot less armor polishing to do. Of course, when the men get themselves eaten by a dragon and leave a curse that attracts monsters to the castle . . . well, the women take umbrage with that.

Now, Merinor, the blacksmith’s wife is King, Princess Aeve is the Captain, and the only remaining (and least capable) knight, Sir Riddick, is tasked with teaching the ladies of the castle how to fight, defend, build, and do all manner of noisy things the men had done while the women assumed they were just drunk.

The premise of all the men but one being killed and the ladies taking charge of the castle definitely sucked me into this comic and with the likes of Delilah Dawson writing I knew it would be enjoyable. I loved seeing the women come into their own and face the inner struggles as well as the ones that threatened their kingdom. Plus there were a few song interludes plucked from pop culture that added plenty of humor to this bind up. While the art wasn’t my favorite it definitely fit the story well. This one will definitely appeal to a lot of people!


Monstress1Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu

Published by Image Comics on July 19, 2016

Genres: Adult, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Steampunk

Pages: 192 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers. Collects MONSTRESS #1-6

OMG why did it take me so long to read this? I mean, I bought Monstress two years ago and cannot believe I put off this incredible graphic novel. The art by Sana Takeda is exceptional with an intricacy and beauty that stands out on every single page. The detail, however, goes beyond the art with a world steeped in history and mythos as well as intriguing characters that pop up at every turn. While the gore and horror aspects can be slightly off putting, the darkness that lurks within this story will keep the reader enthralled. I totally recommend this though people should be conscious of triggers.


Have you read any of these graphic novels?

Let me know in the comments below!

Cover Reveal: Vortex Visions by Elise Kova

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The day has finally come! Elise Kova has finally released the title, synopsis, and cover for her newest project: Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles. Set in the same world as my beloved Air Awakens series, Vortex Visions follows the forays of Vi Solaris, Vhalla’s daughter. Even more exciting, readers can start fresh with this new series without reading the first five books set in this world. Scroll below for book details, pre-order info, and, of course, the cover!!!


Vortex Visions

Series: Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles (Book One)

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Release Date: February 4, 2019

Goodreads

Synopsis

A desperate princess, a magical traveler, and a watch that binds them together with the fate of a dying world.

Vi Solaris is the heir to an Empire she’s barely seen. Her parents sacrificed a life with her to quell a rebellion and secure peace with a political alliance. Now, three years past when her wardship should’ve ended, Vi will do anything to be reunited with her family.

The Empire is faltering beneath the burden of political infighting and a deadly plague. Yet, Vi can’t help but wonder if her inability to control her magic is the true reason her parents haven’t brought her home. Suspicion becomes reality when she unleashes powers she’s not supposed to have. 

Powers that might well cost her the throne.

As Vi fights to get her magic under control, a mysterious stranger appears from across the world. He holds the keys to unlocking her full potential, but the knowledge has an unspeakable price — some truths, once seen, cannot be ignored.

All eyes are on her and Vi must make the hardest choice of her life: Play by the rules and claim her throne. Or, break them and save the world.


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