“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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“Cinnamon and Gunpowder” by Eli Brown

I read some great books this year, and this was one of them. I’ve had this novel on my radar for some time now. I remember when it was published and how much readers gushed about it, but that’s not why I added it to my TBR. I placed it there because I love the cover.

The background color of the cover is one I love, and I like that the smoke from Mabbot’s gun forms the title and author’s name. I now know that the figures on the front are the impressive pirate Mabbot and the reluctant Owen Wedgewood, chef extraordinaire. But before reading, I wondered what I’d learn about them. It seemed an odd pairing, this sailor lady with a bound chef.

2021 is the year I finally decided to give in and read this book, and I’m glad I did. From the first page I knew it would be one I’d love; one I’d end up marking several passages in because I love the prose. As such, I had to get my own copy and went on a search to find the edition with this cover, since it’s no longer sold in stores. I was happy when I found one at a second-hand store online and now, since completing the story, am glad I have my own copy for when I want to visit the story again.


Genre

Historical Fiction

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2013

Goodreads summary

A gripping adventure, a seaborne romance, and a twist on the tale of Scheherazade—with the best food ever served aboard a pirate’s ship.

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“Before the Devil Breaks You” by Libba Bray

I really enjoy this series. I’ve even started to consider it a favorite. I own none of the books, but believe me, I will get myself the boxed set, if there’s one, soon.

I also want to read more books by Libba Bray. Does she only write YA novels? I’m not big on YA, but I’ll read whatever she has written because the Diviners books are SO good and I need more.

I have one more book to go in this series, which I’ve been buddy-reading with Rachel at Life of a Female Bibliophile and which we’ve both been enjoying and having loads of great discussions about. Things have built up to such a height in this book that I wonder how we’ll get down from it. How will things be resolved? I’m a little anxious that I won’t like the last book, but… I’m trusting Bray on this. Trying to stay positive here, and I NEED to get my own copy of these books!!


Genre

Historical Fiction; Paranormal

Series

Diviners, book 3

Pubbed

2017

Quick summary

The sleeping sickness has stopped, but all is not back to rights. Ghosts are roaming the city, some of them malicious, and the Diviner crew is even more curious about their abilities, how they got them and to what extent can they use them.

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“The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” by Grady Hendix

This one was very popular last year, when it was published. I remember seeing it chatted about on many blogs and many of my trusted blogs for book recommendations enjoyed it as well. All that got me curious and made me place it on my TBR.

Then, because the title says it’s a story about a book club, my book club selected it as one of our reads, which I was grateful for because as much as I’d like to read the books on my TBR and shelves soon after placing them there, they most often just remain in those places unread for years. So I read it for book club, and it made for great discussions since we disagreed on a variety of things about the book. In the end, I think I ended up enjoying it a bit more than my fellow book clubbers did.


Genre

Horror

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2020

From Goodreads

Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.

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“The Blade Itself” by Joe Abercrombie

I buddy-read this with Emily at Embuhleeliest back in June. We were trying it out to see if it’ll serve as a nice chunky series for us to jump in and get hooked on like we did with Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings. And, so far I’d say Abercrombie’s series has potential.


Genre

Fantasy

Series

First Law, book 1

Pubbed

2006

From Goodreads

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian — leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

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“Grave Mercy” by Robin LaFevers

I read this back in May for a book club I have going with some friends. A mutual friend who read and loved the series highly recommended it to us, so we went in with high hopes expecting an exhilarating story about assassin nuns. But unfortunately, this one didn’t work out and was a total bore for us.


Genre

YA Historical; Fantasy

Series

His Fair Assassin, book 1

Pubbed

2012

From Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

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“Lords and Ladies” by Terry Pratchett

Here’s another one I read a while back and have waited too long to chat about.

It’s the fourteenth novel in the Discworld fantasy series, which takes place on a flat world that lies atop the backs of four elephants that stand on the shell of large turtle floating through space.


Genre

Fantasy

Series

Discworld, book 14
Witches, book 4

Pubbed

1992

From Goodreads

It’s Midsummer Night – no time for dreaming. Because sometimes, when there’s more than one reality at play, too much dreaming can make the walls between them come tumbling down.

Unfortunately, there’s usually a damned good reason for there being walls between them in the first place – to keep things out. Things who want to make mischief and play havoc with the natural order.

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“Paladin of Souls” by Lois McMaster Bujold

I unfortunately waited too long since reading this book to review it. Certain details have faded from memory due to time or have been crowded out by the many other things I’ve read since then. As such, this review will be shorter and less detailed than I’d like, which will probably appeal to some, but I love being able to reread my review years later and remember nearly everything I thought of the book.


Genre

Fantasy

Series

World of the Five Gods, book 2

Pubbed

2003

From Goodreads

In a land threatened by treacherous war and beset by demons, royal dowager Ista, released from the curse of madness and manipulated by an untrustworthy god, is plunged into a desperate struggle to preserve the endangered souls of a realm. (Goodreads)

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