“As the Shadow Rises” by Katy Rose Pool

Here’s another one I read while in a funky mood, busy, and in the midst of a reading slump. I enjoyed the first book despite it being a YA novel and me having given up on YA novels, so I was looking forward to reading this second one. But, similar to my reading experience with Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade, I didn’t enjoy this much while reading (due to my mood at the time) but appreciated the story when briefly looking through before working on this review.


Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

Age of Darkness, book 2

Pubbed

2020

From Goodreads

The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead.

In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and an ancient power threatens to break free. But with the world hurtling toward its prophesized end, Anton’s haunting vision reveals the dangerous beginnings of a plan to stop the Age of Darkness.

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“Maskerade” by Terry Pratchett

I’m steadily working my way through the Witches books. These are a subseries of the Discworld fantasy series. The stories all take place on a flat world that lies on the backs of four elephants that stand atop a giant turtle floating through space. The books are all light, amusing reads.


Genre

Fantasy

Series

Discworld, book 18
Witches, book 5

Pubbed

1995

From Goodreads

Death, to be precise. And plenty of it. In unpleasant variations. This isn’t real life – it’s worse. This is the Opera House, Ankh-Morpork…a huge, rambling building, where innocent young sopranos are lured to their destiny by a strangely-familiar evil mastermind in a mask and evening dress, with a penchant for lurking in shadows, occasional murder, and sending little notes full of maniacal laughter and exclamation marks. Opera can do that to a man.

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“Kushiel’s Avatar” by Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel’s Avatar is the last novel in Phèdre’s trilogy, which I actually began when I participated in a Wyrd & Wonder readalong for the first book, Kushiel’s Dart. I participated in a readalong for second book, Kushiel’s Chosen, as well and was so curious about how the story would end that I buddy-read this third book with Millie at Milliebot Reads.

It was a good read, and I had so many thoughts when done that I felt overwhelmed, procrastinated on doing this reflection, and now have so overdone it that it’s quite long with two summaries (yep, really overdid it).


Genre

Fantasy

Series

Phèdre’s Trilogy, book 3

Pubbed

2003

Quick summary (for those new to the trilogy)

If you want to read high fantasy sword & sorcery but want something a bit different, I highly recommend this trilogy, especially if you have strong interest in myths and history and the like, as I do. The story isn’t exactly set in the real world (or you could argue it’s the real world but waaay in the past with some fantasy flourishes), but it is obvious how much religion (especially Catholicism), history, and certain cultures have influenced it.

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“Before They Are Hanged” by Joe Abercrombie

I’m back with the boys from the First Law series. Emily of Embuhleelist (my buddy-reader in all things Hobb, and now in all things Abercrombie) and I are enjoying reading about this cast of characters and have already started on the third book — which is quite entertaining so far what with Jezal’s and West’s promotions. But anyway, this book…


Genre

Fantasy

Series

First Law, book 2

Pubbed

2007

From Goodreads

Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It’s enough to make a torturer want to run – if he could even walk without a stick.

Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem – he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.

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Thoughts on the MinaLima Editions of the First Two Harry Potter Books

And finally, I’m discussing the last books I read last year — the MinaLima illustrated editions of the first and second Harry Potter books.

The Harry Potter series is catnip for me. If a new edition is published, I’ll most likely get it, so yea, I’m looking forward to the upcoming Jim Dale illustrated version of the fifth book, which I think is coming out this year in October, and am hoping MinaLima will do illustrated versions of all the books and that a third one is forthcoming.

Since the Harry Potter books are so popular and I’ve discussed the story several times on here, this won’t be a typical review because I won’t discuss the story — plot, characters, and all that. Instead, I’ll just focus on the illustrations and structure of the physical book and how those things affected my reading experience.


My thoughts

The short of it — I LOVE the MinaLima editions of the Harry Potter series. They are exactly what I expect when I see “illustrated edition” tagged to a title. The illustrations are bright, colorful, quirky, and interactive, and I think they fit the playful tone of the story, especially for the first books.

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“There Will Come a Darkness” by Katy Rose Pool

Here’s another book I read last year and am FINALLY getting around to reviewing. I learned of There Will Come a Darkness from Mary at Mary and the Words. She did a wonderful post on religion in books that piqued my interest as soon as I saw the title.

In addition to the “chosen one” trope, religion is another element I LOVE in my fantasy, so I was glad for the fantasy books Mary mentioned in her post. Of course, There Will Come a Darkness was one of the books and what Mary said about the characters’ relationship with their religion really appealed to me as it seems there would be some complexities there to untangle (and there are). I also liked that she mentions religion is woven into the cultures of the world, which is another thing that greatly interested me making me quickly check to see if a copy was available at my library.

In the midst of a serious reading slump, this book was a ray of positivity. It was the only book I read in October last year, and I took the entire month to read it, but it was worth it. I had a wonderful time and if not for it, I probably wouldn’t have read anything.


Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

Age of Darkness, book 1

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

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Last Couple Books Read in 2021

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review, and whenever this happens, I feel as if I’ve forgotten how to write them. That’s how I feel now. It’s partly due to not having written one in a while and also having forgotten some details about the books I read. But, since my plan with this blog is to chat about every book I read, I’d like to post something about the books I read during the last months of 2021.

Those last months were a very busy, very stressful time for me, which is why I’ve delayed chatting about the books until now. Things got so overwhelming that I didn’t blog as much as I usually did and had a bout of reading slumpiness that lasted until… a few weeks ago. It was probably my longest reading slump. But now that I really feel back to my old self, I’d like to catch up on the MANY blogging and reading things I wanted to do since the slump hit — starting with these reviews.

I read all of these back in September last year, so I’ve forgotten much.


Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

Keeper of the Lost Cities, book 1

Pubbed

2012

Quick summary

In this middle grade fantasy, we meet Sophie Foster, a 12-year-old, telepathic girl who is often treated as an outcast — even by her own family. However, one day she sees a boy with very interesting blue eyes at the museum and he helps her to realize that she does not belong in the human world. He tells her that she’s an elf and must leave her family to protect them.

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“The Beautiful Ones” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The cover of this novel is beautiful. For that reason alone, I was happy to have it on my shelves, but I was curious about the story too. I read Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic last year and liked it, so I was eager to try something else by her, and The Beautiful Ones had been getting lots of praise. So, when my book club selected it as one of our reads, I wasted no time purchasing it.


Genre

Romance; Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2017; repubbed in 2021

From Goodreads

They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

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“The Gutter Prayer” by Gareth Hanrahan

Bear with me, y’all, as I catch up on posting about stuff I read since September. 😳 I learned about Hanrahan’s Gutter Prayer from one of Lashaan’s posts. Fantasy books about gods, religions, and beliefs intrigue me, so this one immediately sparked my interest and I started reading as soon as I could get my hands on it.


Genre

Fantasy

Series

Black Iron Legacy, book 1

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

A group of three young thieves are pulled into a centuries old magical war between ancient beings, mages, and humanity in this wildly original debut epic fantasy.

The city has always been. The city must finally end.

When three thieves—an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man—are betrayed by the master of the thieves guild, their quest for revenge uncovers dark truths about their city and exposes a dangerous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.

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“The Bookshop of Second Chances” by Jackie Fraser

Oh man, I feel so bad about this because I read the book back in July and am just now doing my reflection on it. I didn’t intend to wait this long to post my reflection, but the summer months were hard for me. Now I’m surprised that I managed to post anything at all back then. But, anyway, better late than never, especially since I liked this story.


Genre

Contemporary; Romance

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2020

From Goodreads

A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly handsome bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. Her husband of nearly twenty years has just left her for one of her friends, and she is let go from her office job–on Valentine’s Day, of all days. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

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