Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2014. YA books have become a big part of my reading diet. Some of my favourite authors are writing for this age group and there are just so many great titles out there. Consequently, I’ve had to spread my YA picks over three posts. This is the first one. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them! Continue reading
Tag archives for HarperVoyager
The deceived will become the deceiver
Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.
The betrayed will become the betrayer
Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.
Will the usurped become the usurper?
But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy…
Joe Abercrombie is one of the foremost names in gritty and grimdark fantasy. His First Law trilogy and its three standalone successors are all prime examples of this sub-genre. So, when HarperVoyager announced they’d signed Abercrombie for a YA trilogy set in a new world, different from his First Law world, my first reaction was something along the lines of “Huh, that’s unexpected. Wonder how he’ll pull it off.” In true Abercrombie style would be the answer. While Half a King is most definitely YA, Abercrombie pulls no punches and doesn’t talk down to his younger readers. This results not just in an exciting epic fantasy tale, it also grants the book major crossover appeal, even to those who feel adults shouldn’t be reading YA. Continue reading
Her grandson Jalan Kendeth is a coward, a cheat and a womaniser; and tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his debauched pleasures. Until he gets entangled with Snorri ver Snagason, a huge Norse axe man, and dragged against his will to the icy north.
In a journey across half the Broken Empire, Jalan flees minions of the Dead King, agrees to duel an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath, and meets the ice witch, Skilfar, all the time seeking a way to part company with Snorri before the Norseman’s quest leads them to face his enemies in the black fort on the edge of the Bitter Ice.
Experience does not lend Jalan wisdom; but here and there he unearths a corner of the truth. He discovers that they are all pieces on a board, pieces that may be being played in the long, secret war the Red Queen has waged throughout her reign, against the powers that stand behind thrones and nations, and for higher stakes than land or gold.
Mark Lawrence’s debut novel Prince of Thorns is still one of my favourite debuts I’ve read since starting A Fantastical Librarian. And while it took me a while to get to reading King of Thorns, I loved that as well, so much so that I’ve yet to read Emperor of Thorns; partly because reviewing obligations, but also because I’m not sure I want Jorg’s story to be over. But as I unlocked it as one of my unstretch goals last month, sooner or later Jorg’s journey well have to end for me too. So I was really excited to start a new adventure set in the world of the Broken Empire, this time focusing on a different part of it, but set concurrently with Jorg’s tale. And to be honest, I might be even more reluctant to finish this one when book three comes out, because Jalan is just a wonderful narrator and his story is great. Continue reading
Day two of my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2014. As usual I had so many fantasy books catch my fancy I had to split them into two posts. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them! Continue reading
A loyal soldier and a wealthy merchant have served bravely in the flames of an enduring war that is ravaging their land. But swords, bows, wits and courage will no longer be enough to defeat the scourge that is descending upon their home. For a foul and terrible thing has escaped from a world already devoured to feed on one consumed by chaos—an insatiable nightmare creature of dark and murderous nature which seeks to own and corrupt the very source of life itself
The final conflict is joined, pitting serpent against man and magician against demon. For those who battle in the cause of good, there will be victory . . . or there will be doom for all.
There can be no other outcome.
Rage of a Demon King is the third in the Serpentwar Saga and the penultimate book in that series. As such it might be surprising that the great and final battle takes place in this book and not the next one. In fact it surprised me all over again, despite this being my seventh time reading the book. It does explain why I keep switching Rage of a Demon King and Shards of a Broken Crown around whenever I’m making lists or schedules. And it also made me realise how much ten years away from these books and having pregnancy brain twice in that decade has caused me to forget about the Midkemia books, far more than I’d have thought. Good thing I’m doing a reread then, I reckon! Continue reading
Roo Avery, recently returned from a harrowing brush with the armies of the Emerald Queen, is now free to choose his own destiny and his ultimate ambition is to become one of the richest and most powerful merchants in Midkemia.
But nothing can prepare him for the dangers of the new life he has chosen where the repayment of a debt can be as deadly as a knife in the shadows. Even those closest to him are suspect and as Roo struggles to build his financial empire, betrayal is always close at hand. His instinctive cunning will serve him well, but he will soon realise that the road to success is far from smooth.
And while Roo works towards achieving his goal, the memory of the distant forces of darkness is never far away. For the war with the Emerald Queen is far from over and the inevitable confrontation will pose the biggest threat yet to his new found wealth and power.
Rise of a Merchant Prince was one of the books I was most looking forward to rereading for my Midkemia Reread as I adore Roo. And while it was still an entertaining read, my enjoyment of the book was somewhat affected by changes in how I look at the world. Or rather, some of Roo’s actions bothered me far more than they’ve ever done. Still, I really enjoyed the economic aspects of this novel and any scene Erik was in and, in the end, Rise of the Merchant Prince remains quite entertaining. Continue reading
Something dark is moving in distant nations, and ancient powers are readying themselves for a final confrontation. A Dark Queen has raised a standard in remote lands and is gathering armies of unmatched might.
Into this battleground of good and evil come a band of desperate men whose only hope for survival is to travel to face this ancient power and discover its true nature. Their quest is at best dangerous and at worst is suicidal.
And with these men travels the mysterious Miranda upon whom all must wager their lives. She appears to be an ally but knows much more than she is willing to tell. Does she have a hidden agenda of her own? And will she prove ally or even more deadly foe when the final confrontation is at hand?
Shadow of a Dark Queen is the first book in the Serpentwar Saga and takes place decades after the events described in the previous books of the Riftwar Cycle. It features an all new cast – and some returning heroes, but with the exception of two of them, they only have limited page time – and an all new conflict, even if it has its roots in the same foe as the previous one. Shadow of a Dark Queen introduces two of my favourite characters of the entire Riftwar Cycle and also features a third, so I was looking forward to reading it again. And this reread didn’t disappoint, even if I had iissues with the (lack of) representation of women in this book. It’s still an exciting story exploring new ground on the world of Midkemia and setting up for an epic conflict. Continue reading
In the past two and a half weeks I’ve brought you my Anticipated Books for Winter/Spring 2014 and today I bring you the fifteen books I anticipate reading the most in the coming six months. As usual it’s a list of fifteen, as there are just too many good books to choose from and I always have a hard time getting the list down to the more usual ten books. Also as per usual, I’ve excluded many books I’m really looking forward to reading right out of the gate, for example all the new instalments in series I’ve been reading. If I loved the previous book in the series, it’s a good bet I’ll want to read the next one. Some examples of these are Tom Pollock’s final book in The Skyscraper Throne trilogy, Our Lady of the Streets, Douglas Hulick’s long-awaited second book Sworn in Steel and Stephanie Saulter’s Binary, the second book in her ®Evolution series. I also left off repeat offenders who also made the list last time, such as Mark Alder’s Son of the Morning. So below in alphabetical order by author is my list, with a little explanation of why I really can’t wait to read these books. Do you agree or would you have chosen differently from the lists I posted recently? Continue reading
Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the first half of 2014. As usual I had so many fantasy books catch my fancy I had to split them into two posts; this is the second half of the lists. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them! Continue reading
Daughter of the Empire began the epic saga of Mara of the Acoma, illustrating her meteoric rise to power in the Machiavellian intrigues of the Tsurani court. Servant of the Empire continued that tale as Mara, Ruling Lady of her house, established herself as a skilful player in the game of the Council.
Now Mara faces not only the brotherhood of assassins, and the cunning spies of the rival ruling houses, but the awesome Assembly of Magicians, who see her as the ultimate threat to their ancient power.
Mistress of the Empire is the concluding volume in the Empire trilogy. It is a wonderfully satisfying ending to a fantastic story and one of the best fantasy series out there. It takes Mara to the height of power, but also the depth of despair and brought me to tears on several occasions. Discussing the book will of necessity provide spoilers for the previous two books, though I will strive to keep them to a minimum. Continue reading