“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.

Continue reading ““Before the Devil Breaks You” by Libba Bray”

“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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Comics Roundup #61: Conspiracy of Ravens

It’s the cover that got me. I was tempted to purchase a copy at first, but instead I did the financially responsible thing and borrowed it from my library. So, yes, I’m quite proud of myself at the moment.


Conspiracy of Ravens by Leah Moore & John Reppion, illus. by Sally Jane Thompson

Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2018

From Goodreads

Teen schoolgirl Anne unexpectedly inherits a mysterious locket and a crumbing English mansion estate from her long-lost aunt. She unearths the family secret that she’s part of a magical legacy that gives her fantastic abilities, and she isn’t the only girl whose family is involved. But not all the girls are so willing to use their new powers for good…

From the writers of Albion and Wild Girl and the artist of Atomic Sheep comes this original graphic novel perfect for tween, teen, and adult fans of fantasy and superheroes alike! (Goodreads)

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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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Illustrated Books: “Oona” & “The Widow’s Broom”

I love picture books and can’t get enough of them. Here are two I read back in May for Wyrd & Wonder, a celebration of all things fantasy. One is about a little mermaid searching for treasure and the other is about a widow who acquired a witch’s broom.


Oona by Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Raissa Figueroa

Genre

Children’s Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2021

From Goodreads

Meet Oona. The big sea’s littlest mischief maker.

She and her best friend, Otto, love to search for treasure . . . but often find trouble instead.

Messy trouble.

Tricky trouble.

Continue reading “Illustrated Books: “Oona” & “The Widow’s Broom””

Comics Roundup #60: Fables, Vol. 1

This comic book has sat on my shelves unread for 4 years now, and I feel a fool for having done so. The sellers at the comic bookshop I frequent highly recommended it to me, and I bought it assuming it would be like the fairytale TV show, Once Upon a Time. But I was hesitant to start it thinking I wouldn’t like it since I wasn’t feeling the cover or the illustrations within, so imagine my surprise when I was blown away by this volume and had to immediately run to the store to grab the second one.

(And that’s why I shouldn’t judge books by their covers, lol!)


Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham, illus. by Lan Medina with inks by Steve Leialoha & Craig Hamilton and colors by Sherilyn van Valkenburgh

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Fables

Pubbed

2002

From Goodreads

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “mundys,” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.

Continue reading “Comics Roundup #60: Fables, Vol. 1”

“Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest” by Phoebe Wahl (illus.)

I enjoy reading picture books, so I requested this one from NetGalley when I saw it was available. I’ve never read any of the author’s books before. Instead, I was drawn to this because of its title. I like stories about witches, whether it’s a novel, comic book, manga, or picture book.

(Although I received an e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley, my review below is my honest opinion of the book.)


Genre

Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pub

September 21, 2021

From Goodreads

An earthy and beautiful collection of four stories that celebrate the seasons, nature, and life, from award-winning author-illustrator Phoebe Wahl.

Little Witch Hazel is a tiny witch who lives in the forest, helping creatures big and small. She’s a midwife, an intrepid explorer, a hard worker and a kind friend.

Continue reading ““Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest” by Phoebe Wahl (illus.)”

Comics Roundup #59: The Wizard’s Tale

Ah ha! Another one I read way back in May for Wyrd & Wonder. (I’ll keep saying this for some time since I’m just now catching up on reviews and am quite proud of myself.) I borrowed it off my library’s Libby app thinking it was a children’s picture book. It’s a middle grade graphic novel.


The Wizard’s Tale by Kurt Busiek, illus. by David T. Wenzel

Genre

MG Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

1997

From Goodreads

A magical story of redemption, The Wizard’s Tale follows the aged Bafflerog Rumplewhisker and his young companion, Muddle, the woodcutter’s son, as they embark on a quest to retrieve the magical Book of Worse — a tome that will ensure the land of Ever-Night remains as it is, a dark and gloomy realm of evil. But old Rumplewhisker’s heart slowly warms on their journey, and a chance to restore a semblance of goodness to Ever-Night is possible — if he and his young charge can dare face the challenges ahead. (Goodreads)

My thoughts

The Wizard’s Tale was such a charming read. It’s about a wizard who’s failing at being an evil wizard. Old Bafflerog Rumplewhisker is descended from a long line of evil wizards but is the last of his line and lives in his family’s castle with his whimsical, fey-like companions and a toad called Gumpwort. Tasked with finding the Book of Worse, a tome to ensure the land of Ever-Night remains mired in darkness, Rumplewhisker sets off on a quest with the woodcutter’s son, Muddle, to travel through time and space to unexpected lands to locate the book and, possibly, love.

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Comics Roundup #57: Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins

I read this for the Wyrd & Wonder event back in May. I bought it last year because I like the cover and kept seeing it everywhere, so I gave in to temptation and my curiosity and gave it a try. Luckily, I enjoyed it.


Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Vol. 1 by Matthew Mercer & Matthew Colville, illus. by Olivia Samson, with colors by Chris Northrop

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

The band of adventurers known as Vox Machina will save the world. Eventually. But even they have to start somewhere.

Six would-be heroes on seemingly different jobs find their paths intertwined as they investigate shady business in the swamp town of Stilben. They’ll need to put their heads– and weapons–together to figure out what’s going on…and keep from being killed in the process. Even then, whether or not they can overcome what truly lurks at the bottom of the town’s travails remains to be seen!

Collects Critical Role Vox Machina: Origins comics issues #1-6, one of the best selling digital comics ever! (Goodreads)

My thoughts

I didn’t know what to expect going into this because I didn’t bother reading the summary on the back when I bought it last year, or prior to reading it this year. I knew nothing about Critical Role, so I didn’t associate this with the popular Dungeons & Dragons web series either. The only background I had when I started this is that I’d (at the time) played D&D a few times with friends to try out and be introduced to the game and its format. I was grateful for this experience as I read the story, but I think someone who has never heard of nor played D&D before would also enjoy this comic book as much as I did.

Continue reading “Comics Roundup #57: Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins”