Skullsworn (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne) by Brian Staveley
Posted on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 by Brandi

Skullsworn (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne) by Brian StaveleySkullsworn by Brian Staveley
Series: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne
Published by Tor Books on April 25, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 304
Format: ARC, print ARC
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Brian Staveley’s new standalone returns to the critically acclaimed Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne universe, following a priestess attempting to join the ranks of the God of Death.

Pyrre Lakatur doesn’t like the word skullsworn. It fails to capture the faith and grace, the peace and beauty of her devotion to the God of Death. She is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer--she is a priestess. At least, she will be a priestess if she manages to pass her final trial.

The problem isn’t the killing. Pyrre has been killing and training to kill, studying with some of the most deadly men and women in the world, since she was eight. The problem, strangely, is love. To pass her Trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the ten people enumerated in an ancient song, including "the one you love / who will not come again."

Pyrre is not sure she’s ever been in love. If she were a member of a different religious order, a less devoted, disciplined order, she might cheat. The Priests of Ananshael, however, don’t look kindly on cheaters. If Pyrre fails to find someone to love, or fails to kill that someone, they will give her to the god.

Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to quit, hates to fail, and so, with a month before her trial begins, she returns to the city of her birth, the place where she long ago offered an abusive father to the god and abandoned a battered brother—in the hope of finding love...and ending it on the edge of her sword.

"A complex and richly detailed world filled with elite soldier-assassins, mystic warrior monks, serpentine politics, and ancient secrets." —Library Journal, starred review, on The Emperor's Blades

“Music is inextricable from its own unmaking. Each note is predicated on the death of those before. Try to hold them all, and you have madness, cacophony, noise.”

I’ve made no bones about how much I love Brian Staveley’s writing, and when I saw he was bringing one of my favorite characters back for her own story I was overjoyed! The bad news is that this took a bit for me to feel pulled in, but full disclaimer – I have been in the most epic of epic reading slumps. Literally the worst slump since I learned how to read. I’m pretty sure that’s what my disconnect was all about but the start was a little heavy, a little purple-y, but that could just be me right now.

This story is about Pyrre, who became one of my ultimate faves in his Unhewn Throne series, and it was super awesome getting inside her head and learning some of her past. This story is set before the Unhewn series and is about Pyrre becoming a Priestess for her god (the god of death). She decides to go back to her homeland to carry out her Trial with Ela and Kossal as her Witnesses. Ela is enchanting and I would happily devour a stand alone or more of just her (please, Brian!!), and Kossal was the perfect compliment to both women. Pyrre, of course, knows that she must give to the god someone for whom she loves but she can’t quite decide what love is and how to get to that point. Ela and Kossal can only do so much to help her understand what love is, and there were some serious philosophical conversations within Pyrre’s own head on this matter. Her story is a tense waiting game to see if she’ll succeed or meet her god.

“The goddess makes us in endlessly different ways. Our Struggles are no more the same than our face.”

Pyrre is fascinating to crawl inside of: her childhood was shocking, her training relentless, her mind a warren of endless entertainment. I loved going between deep philosophical debates on love and worship to seeing her biting humor and adventurous spirit. Seeing her find the one person she might be able to love and going through that journey with her was tough. The synopsis tells us what she has to do so as I’m falling for Ruc I’m all upset that his death is coming and I would go back and forth between glaring at Staveley and feeling sad for Ruc and mad at Pyrre. Even in my horrific slump Brian Staveley knew just how to draw me in.

“All that they have is the old stories, stories of snakes in throats and violets in eyes – those stories are their only weapon, and stories are only weapons if you repeat them.”

“As long as they remained unspoken, they could be denied, disowned, but saying a thing gives it strength.”

This book is a true stand alone but I can’t recommend the Unhewn series enough, Pyrre is a supporting character there so you really can read this without them, but it’s the same world which always makes the reading that much more interesting I think. This book has all that I love in stories: action, adventure, love, sex, humor, myths, legends, and fun. It is an easy read being pretty short for a fantasy which is a great way to break into the genre if you’re not already a fan – or don’t like reading super long books. Brian Staveley is a must-read author.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Radiance (Wraith Kings #1) by Grace Draven
Posted on Saturday, December 12th, 2015 by Brandi

Radiance (Wraith Kings #1) by Grace DravenRadiance (Wraith Kings, #1) by Grace Draven
Published by Self-Published on January 13th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Love & Romance, Paranormal Romance
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE
Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.
THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.
Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

Well let me just get comfortable over here in my island – population three – who doesn’t think this book is AHAMZING. Come, come, grab a moss-covered rock to sit on and try not to worry about how dark and lonely it is while I tell you my thoughts. Read more… »

One StarOne Star

Crucible Zero (House Immortal, #3) by Devon Monk
Posted on Friday, December 4th, 2015 by Brandi

Crucible Zero (House Immortal, #3) by Devon MonkCrucible Zero (House Immortal, #3) by Devon Monk
Series: House Immortal
Published by Roc on September 1st 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 356
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

The national bestselling author of Infinity Bell returns to her “fresh and unique”* world where the truce between the ruling Houses has shattered and chaos now reigns. Only one woman has the power to save the world—but she could also destroy it...
Matilda Case never thought of herself as a hero. But because she is galvanized—and nearly immortal in her stitched, endlessly healing body—she doesn’t have much of a choice. Even if she doesn’t want to save the world, she’s the only one capable of traveling in time to do so.
But her rescue attempt hasn’t gone as planned. She’s stuck in an alternate universe, and her world is in danger of disappearing. Worst of all, an unfathomably powerful man who can also travel through history doesn’t want her to put things to rights. He’s willing to wage bloody war to stop Matilda, unless she surrenders control of time to him.
Now, with the minutes ticking, Matilda must make impossible decisions, knowing that one wrong choice will destroy her—and any chance of saving everything she loves...
*A Book Obsession

Hm.

Well, hell.

As most of you know I’m a diehard Devon Monk fan, and though I liked these last two books the least of any of hers – with this one being the very least, I’m still flying my fan flag high. I just happened to not connect with this particular story that much.

For me this book was a little too boring, a little too neatly finished, not enough oomph with the characters, and a hefty dose of off-ness that I couldn’t shake. Read more… »

One StarOne Star

Infinity Bell (House Immortal #2) by Devon Monk
Posted on Friday, October 9th, 2015 by Brandi

Infinity Bell (House Immortal #2) by Devon MonkInfinity Bell by Devon Monk
Series: ,
Published by Roc on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Pages: 341
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Return to national bestselling author Devon Monk's heartpounding House Immortal series, where eleven powerful Houses control the world and all its resources. But now, the treaty between them has been broken, and no one—not even the immortal galvanized—is safe....

Matilda Case isn’t normal. Normal people aren’t stitched together, inhumanly strong, and ageless, as she and the other galvanized are. Normal people’s bodies don’t hold the secret to immortality—something the powerful Houses will kill to possess. And normal people don’t know that they’re going to die in a few days.

Matilda’s fight to protect the people she loves triggered a chaotic war between the Houses and shattered the world’s peace. On the run, she must find a way to stop the repeat of the ancient time experiment that gifted her and the other galvanized with immortality. Because this time, it will destroy her and everything she holds dear.

Caught in a cat-and-mouse game of lies, betrayal, and unseen foes, Matilda must fight to save the world from utter destruction. But time itself is her enemy, and every second brings her one step closer to disaster....

If you’ve known me for five minutes you know my love for Devon Monk runs deep, and it’s hard for me to not five star this just out of loyalty, but, it happened… Devon Monk has written a book I wasn’t head over heels with.

This is a sad day in my life. Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane, #4) by Jaye Wells
Posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 by Brandi

Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane, #4)  by Jaye WellsSilver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
Series: Sabina Kane #4
on January 5th 2012
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 405
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Now that the threat of war has passed, Sabina Kane is ready to focus on the future. Her relationship with Adam Lazarus is getting stronger and she's helping her sister, Maisie, overcome the trauma of her captivity in New Orleans. Even Giguhl is managing to stay out of trouble thanks to the arrival of Pussy Willow and his new roller derby team. But as much as Sabina wants to feel hopeful about the future, part of her doesn't trust that peace is possible.

Her suspicions are confirmed when a string of sadistic murders threaten to stall treaty negotiations between the mages and the vampires. Sabina pitches in to find the killer, but her investigation soon leads her down dark paths that have her questioning everyone she thought she could trust. And the closer she gets to the killer, the more Sabina begins to suspect this is one foe she may not be able to kill.

I tend to write my reviews based on how I felt during a story versus adequately breaking down devises and such (not always, but often enough). When I rate books as five stars it is because I have been affected somehow by the book, or series, and know that I will read it again and again, or even have a hard time moving onto the next on my TBR list.

This is one of those series for me. I love it! Normally I do a re-read of a series if I hadn’t read it recently, but I didn’t want to wait before jumping into to this, and I’m happy to say that it isn’t really necessary because Wells does a great job of reminding you what had happened prior. The only thing I can’t quite remember is what happened to the female demon, and in fairness, I have a horrific memory. Legitimate memory issues, but other than that I loved every second of this book. Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Posted on Sunday, September 20th, 2015 by Brandi

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. JemisinThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
on February 25th 2010
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Friendship, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 427
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

What a strange book. When I try to reason out why I enjoyed it I kind of can, but then I start thinking about how to explain it and it seems like my reasons fall apart. I enjoyed it enough to read late and put aside my school work to get just one more chapter in, but yet I’m not over the moon about it. Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne Star

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 by Brandi

Pretty Girls by Karin SlaughterPretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Published by William Morrow on September 29th 2015
Genres: Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 592
Format: digital ARC
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Welcome to The Book Geek’s monthly feature, affectionately called The Genre Spotlight. It’s where we explore and choose one of the myriad genres. We’ll showcase it by having each Book Geek read and review at least one, but possibly a few books belonging to that month’s chosen genre.

We’re hoping to expand our reading horizons to genre’s we haven’t or have barely read, and, hopefully, usher in gems our lives have been missing out on.

As we fall into September, our spotlight is on Mystery & Thrillers!

description

Why hasn’t anyone told me about Karin Slaughter before? I mean, really. The record-breaking slump that has mercilessly held on to me all year is gone! Finally. Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Follow You Home by Mark Edwards
Posted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by Brandi

Follow You Home by Mark EdwardsFollow You Home by Mark Edwards
Published by Thomas & Mercer on June 30th 2015
Genres: Death & Dying, Depression & Mental Illness, Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 381
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down.

After a perfect start, Daniel and Laura’s travels end abruptly when they are thrown off a night train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilisation, they must hike along the tracks through a forest…a haunting journey that ends in unimaginable terror.

Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what they saw that night. But as they try to fit back into their old lives, it becomes clear that their nightmare is just beginning…

Follow You Home is a chilling tale of secrets, lies and deadly consequences from the author of #1 bestsellers The Magpies and Because She Loves Me.

I need to read more psychological thrillers!

It’s funny because I had just finished reading a traditional romance story for the Genre Spotlight feature and wasn’t sure if I wanted to grab another one (then I saw some titles in the Kindle store and just couldn’t do it), but I did want something contemporary-ish. I normally never go to the Kindle store when I’m looking for books, but I was already in bed and decided to take a walk on the wild side.

For I am a rebel.

description Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Shadow Music by Julie Garwood
Posted on Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 by Brandi

Shadow Music by Julie GarwoodShadow Music by Julie Garwood
Published by Ballantine Books on December 26th 2007
Genres: Romance
Pages: 339
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows--skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England's most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Gabrielle's marriage to a good and gentle laird. But this marriage will never take place.

For Gabrielle, everything changes in one last burst of freedom--when she and her guards come upon a scene of unimaginable cruelty. With one shot from her bow and arrow, Gabrielle takes a life, saves a life, and begins a war.

Within days, the Highlands are aflame with passions as a battle royal flares between enemies old and new. Having come to Scotland to be married, Gabrielle is instead entangled in Highland intrigue. For two sadistic noblemen, underestimating Gabrielle's bravery and prowess may prove fatal. But thanks to a secret Gabrielle possesses, Colm MacHugh, the most feared man in Scotland, finds a new cause for courage. Under his penetrating gaze, neither Gabrielle's body nor heart is safe.

Welcome to The Book Geek’s monthly feature, affectionately called The Genre Spotlight. It’s where we explore and choose one of the myriad genres. We’ll showcase it by having each Book Geek read and review at least one, but possibly a few books belonging to that month’s chosen genre.

We’re hoping to expand our reading horizons to genre’s we haven’t or have barely read, and, hopefully, usher in gems our lives have been missing out on.

For sizzling August, our spotlight is on Romance.

Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne Star

Crossed by Eliza Crewe
Posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2015 by Brandi

Crossed by Eliza CreweCrossed by Eliza Crewe
Series: Soul Eaters
Published by Self-Published on August 17, 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Friendship, Young Adult
Pages: 235
Format: digital ARC
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

War is here.

Full-scale war has erupted between the Crusaders and demons and even Chi has to admit isn’t going well. Like any sensible rat, Meda’s eager to abandon the sinking ship but, unfortunately, her friends aren't nearly as pragmatic. Instead, Meda’s forced to try to keep them all alive until the dust settles.

As the Crusaders take more and more drastic measures, the tables turn and Meda suddenly finds herself in the role of voice of sanity. No one is more horrified than she is. When old enemies reappear as new allies and old friends become new enemies Meda has to decide—again—whose side she’s really on.

And then the Crusaders decide that Meda should go to Hell. Literally.

Can’t a monster ever catch a break?

There is something about an unapologetic character that gets me every time. Meda is consistently and completely amazing in all three books, and this conclusion was perfect for her story.

Meda and Jo are the ultimate in friendship goals. Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Social Geeks



 
Geek Tube

 
The Bloggers
Hi! I'm Emily May but feel free to call me Emily. I'm a book lover, beta-reader, and Politics graduate from the North of England.

Hey there! I'm Brandi; I'm a Navy veteran, Army wife, mother, feminist and book lover! My go-to genre would have to be Urban Fantasy, but any fiction is game really.

Read more about us?
Instageek
Following
The Readers Den
Cuddlebuggery
The Midnight Garden
Great Imaginations
The Nocturnal Library
For the Love of Words
Rose Petals
The Broke and the Bookish
Sufficiently Distracted
Xpresso Reads
The Social Potato
Deadly Darlings
Ivy Book Bindings
The YA Kitten
The Book Nookery
It's a Books World
previous post: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle