My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 8th May 2021



Hello and Happy Saturday!  A mad week of weather here so I’m just hoping things calm down again soon – otherwise the lounge carpet is going to be permanently covered in trays of seedlings I’ve had to bring indoors for safety!!
I’ve also been kitty sitting this week for friends – this is Frank, who likes to take things easy and eat a lot!  So that has impacted on my reading time this week while he and his brother Frank demand Dreamies on tap!  But I still managed to finish 4 books and have had 2 new books through the post! I did stay away from Netgalley though… do I get a medal???!
here’s my look back…


BOOKS FINISHED


AN ACT OF LOVE by CAROL DRINKWATER – 4 STARS

BOOK WARS by JOHN B.THOMPSON – 5 STARS

THE RAILWAY GIRLS IN LOVE by MAISIE THOMAS – 5 STARS

MY DARK VANESSA by KATE ELIZABETH RUSSELL – 5 STARS

BOOKPOST


Keeping the postie busy this week….


THE HOUSE OF ALWAYS by JENN LYONS

copy for review courtesy of Tor Books

publication date – 11th May 2021

For fans of Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, The House of Always is the fourth epic fantasy in Jenn Lyons’ Chorus of Dragons series that began with The Ruin of Kings.

What if you were imprisoned for all eternity?

In the aftermath of the Ritual of Night, everything has changed.

The Eight Immortals have catastrophically failed to stop Kihrin’s enemies, who are moving forward with their plans to free Vol Karoth, the King of Demons. Kihrin has his own ideas about how to fight back, but even if he’s willing to sacrifice everything for victory, the cost may prove too high for his allies.

Now they face a choice: can they save the world while saving Kihrin, too? Or will they be forced to watch as he becomes the very evil they have all sworn to destroy.

YESTERDAY by JUAN EMAR

published by Peirene Press

In San Agustín de Tango, you can never be sure what’s waiting around the corner.

Over the course of a single day – the day before today – the hero of this novel and his adored wife embark on a journey through the absurd and the surreal, encountering a choir of monkeys and a carnivorous ostrich, travelling from the studio of an artist obsessed with the colour green to the waistcoat pocket of a pot-bellied man.

All the while, the tolling of the bell in the city square pushes their whirlwind adventure towards its fateful conclusion…

A brilliant and bizarre work from an overlooked great of 20th century Chilean literature, in English translation for the first time and with a new introduction by Alejandro Zambra.

Written by Juan Emar.

Translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell.


CURRENTLY READING


THE HOUSE OF ALWAYS by JENN LYONS



HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD by T.L.HUCHU #TheLibraryOfTheDead @UKTor @MyBookishLife

ABOUT THE BOOK


When ghosts talk, she will listen . . .

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghost talker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

Opening up a world of magic and adventure, The Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu is the first book in the Edinburgh Nights series.


PUBLISHED BY TOR BOOKS


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW

What a brilliant way to start off a series!! I’m already itching to carry on the adventures with Ropa and the supernatural world she finds herself in! This is one of those books that quickly draws you in and doesn’t let go of you easy!

Ropa sees dead people! She also speaks to them and uses this ability as a way of making some money to help support her family – she passes on messages from the dead to the living, helping to rid houses of ghosts and letting those ghosts find some peace.

But she’s also struggling to make ends meet day to day, and when one of her jobs has the prospect of no money she isn’t too keen to devote much time to it – but the other world has different ideas! Ropa is a gutsy character who doesn’t like to let people down so when she hears of a ghost wanting help in finding her son who has gone missing, she starts the search. And what she finds is more chilling than she dare imagine.

Beware of the Midnight Milkman! He is a character destined to give you nightmares and tracking him down doesn’t prove easy. I loved the thrill of the chase in this story – the research, the inventiveness of Ropa and her friend in using the resources of The Library of the Dead in helping them on their quest to save children from harm.

This was a really fun and atmospheric way to start off a series and I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us in Book 2


★★★★


My thanks to Stephen at Tor Books for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI #TSIASOS

ABOUT THE BOOK

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a brand new epic novel from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Paolini.

Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.

Now she’s awakened a nightmare.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . .”

PUBLISHED BY  TOR

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon £12.98

blackwell’s – signed edition £20

Book Depository  £12.99

MY REVIEW

Epic!! Outstanding!! Awesome!!

What is it about space operas that are just so fascinating and captivating??! I was a little daunted when I got my mitts on this beast of a book – 870 pages or so – and prepared myself for those normal ‘filler’ bits in a book of this size BUT found none!! It all just flowed so perfectly as you follow Kira and the crew of the Wallfish as they face up to alien wars and personal battles and I’m already itching to read it again just to soak up more of the atmosphere and pick up on extra little nuggets of info that I may have passed by on the first read through!

Kira is the female star of the show here. And what a fascinating character she is! She’s all loved up with Alan and preparing for a new chapter in their lives together, but that’s all about to change when she discovers an alien relic on an uncolonized planet – her initial joy of finding this rarity soon turns to terror and sets them all on a different course.

What follows is a rollercoaster ride as they encounter battles with aliens and fellow space travellers and it’s a journey of chaos, emotions and humour as they search out the meaning of the changes that have happened to Kira and try to make sense of it all! And often none of it makes sense, and that’s what makes it even more enthralling!! Any idea you think you have of how things may play out are always way off base and that’s why I often couldn’t put it down – despite the weight of the book giving my arms a rather decent workout!!

I also have to point out the stunning illustrations/artwork that is littered throughout – of planets, ships … all the space vibes and info you need it is here and it really just added to the whole experience. Their quest evolves over many months and years so you really begin to understand their pain and suffering

This is all the good bits of science fiction and drama without all the pages of technical info that can often leave readers feeling cold! There’s such an eclectic mix of characters throughout that you get to build up a rapport with thanks to the way they are written. You can see why it took the author so long to write – almost 10 years – as it is so involved and extravagant but it’s always a triumph when it pays off in spectacular fashion like this story! It also has a wonderful change of gear throughout – sometimes you’ll find yourself holding your breath at the action unfolding in front of you, other times the pace is much gentler allowing you to spend more time with each character to hear their thoughts and see them finding their feet once more.

Out of this world!!

★★★★★

Huge thankyou to the team at Tor for my advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review. It is always highly appreciated.

#BookReview THE UNSPOKEN NAME by A.K.LARKWOOD #TheUnspokenName

ABOUT THE BOOK

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

PUBLISHED BY  TOR BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon 

hive.co.uk

waterstones

MY REVIEW

I’m always excited to discover a new fantasy world to disappear into, and this one delivers on all fronts of excitement, twists, diversity, drama, humour and a new superstar character in Csorwe who we follow as she is set on a new path She’s always been brought up knowing she was going to die on her 14th birthday and while that’s not the best kind of birthday present one can hope for, she’s offered a new fate on the day she’s due to be ‘sacrificed’ and boy is she in for a rollercoaster of a ride, as she becomes a wizard’s loyal sword-hand! Bring on the fights, the deception and the magic!

I often find with some fantasy novels that they can drag a little on the pace front – there’s a lot of world building and characters to explore, but that often slows the flow right down – but that doesn’t happen with the way the author writes this book. It zips along and covers the story over a few years and, although there’s lots going on, there’s always a chance to keep your bearings, so to speak, and that made for such a connection with this story and the characters within. There’s also a very helpful list of characters and how to pronounce their names at the beginning of the book – invaluable!!

Csorwe is on a real learning process alongside Sethennai as she visits places she’s only ever heard about after her incredibly sheltered life, but she soon finds out she’s more capable than she ever imagined as she faces all that is thrown her way. The story is told from a variety of POV’s which I really enjoyed and there’s a huge variety of personalities and it was good fun keeping track of who was there to help or hinder Csorwe and her progress! Just why did Sethennai choose her in the first place? And what consequences will there be for her not following her original destiny?! There’s so much to explore along her journey and I found myself doing the ‘just one more chapter’ thing as I couldn’t bear not knowing what was going to happen next!!

An exciting introduction to this duology and I’m eagerly counting down the days until we get to read more about Csorwe and the world she finds herself a part of!

★★★★

#BookReview The Name of all Things by Jenn Lyons #TheNameOfAllThings

ABOUT THE BOOK

“Everything epic fantasy should be: rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it.”―Lev Grossman on The Ruin of Kings


You can have everything you want if you sacrifice everything you believe.
Kihrin D’Mon is a wanted man.
Since he destroyed the Stone of Shackles and set demons free across Quur, he has been on the run from the wrath of an entire empire. His attempt to escape brings him into the path of Janel Theranon, a mysterious Joratese woman who claims to know Kihrin.
Janel’s plea for help pits Kihrin against all manner of dangers: a secret rebellion, a dragon capable of destroying an entire city, and Kihrin’s old enemy, the wizard Relos Var.
Janel believes that Relos Var possesses one of the most powerful artifacts in the world―the Cornerstone called the Name of All Things. And if Janel is right, then there may be nothing in the world that can stop Relos Var from getting what he wants.

And what he wants is Kihrin D’Mon.


Jenn Lyons continues the Chorus of Dragons series with The Name of All Things, the epic sequel to The Ruin of Kings


Published by Tor Books

Publication Date –  7th November 2019


PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon UK  £26.99
Goldsboro Books – signed first edition £25.00
WHSMITH  £13.29


MY REVIEW

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of Kihrin since The Ruin of Kings, and in The Name of All Things you’re left totally absorbed in the world of magic, battles and dragons once more and I loved being part of this world once more! The snark is strong in this book!! Kihrin is being hunted after wreaking havoc in book one and in the quest to escape it brings him face to face with new characters – allies and foes!

These stories are always told really imaginatively and in this installment we’re with Kihrin and the cast in a tavern as they recall their story. The main storytellers are Janel and Qown and they are such intriguing characters with very diverse backgrounds – this book does a superb job of looking at the issues of gender and how society sees it. To see the struggles the characters, especially Janel, faces brings a more poignant side to the story.

With this book you get maps (always so important!) and the brilliantly epic and snarky footnotes which really do help with the way the story is told, and endears you to the characters even more! They don’t take themselves or the danger they’re in very seriously at times, even though maybe they should! Ooh and there are dragons!! Dragons who are hellbent on destroying anything and everything in their path!

There are battles, fights , insults, deceit, demons, witches, magic and portals galore throughout and the pace is relentless! This story does focus more on the story of Janel but with such an interesting story to tell then this seems only fair! Doing things the easy way is just not how Janel does things!

All the characters are flawed and use unorthodox methods to achieve their aim so you’re often left scratching your head as to the outcome of each ‘adventure’ but it all leads to a satisfying story that sets up everything so nicely for the next installment – which I’m hoping won’t be too far away as I love spending time in this world!


★★★★★