best book you’ve read so far in 2017
Without a doubt, Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier. This is the second book in the Sevenwaters series and I loved everything about it. It was atmospheric, tragic, magical and both upsetting and up-lifting. It is just wonderful.
Honourable mention to A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. This is quite a popular book and as such I’d made assumptions about it before I had even read it. I was wrong, it’s great! So well written and has many unique, well rounded characters. Well worth a read!
best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017
As I used the best sequel as my best book, I will have to go with Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb. If you’ve followed me on here/twitter/Instagram/goodreads for any amount of time you will know how much I adore Robin Hobb. Although I enjoyed the quartet, I feel like it dragged on a bit in the middle but in this final instalment everything was stronger and the series ended on a high. It tied all the loose ends up nicely and I was regularly on the edge of my seat (figuratively) as everything came together.
new release you haven’t read yet but you want to
Ooh this is tricky! So many to choose from. I’m going to go with The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this debut and I’m keen to sample some new grimdark fantasy.
most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Okay so, like most people, I have to say The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman. I loved His Dark Materials when I was younger and I’m excited to reread them in time for this! I am also looking forward to The Tiger’s Daughter by K Arsenault Rivera, The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo, The City of Brass by SA Chakraborty and the Book of Swords, edited by Gardner Dozois. Plenty of bookish goodness to look forward to!
I have two for this – Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin. Prince of Thorns let me down purely due to hype, I think. There is a lot of praise for this series, and while I thought it was okay it was nowhere near as good as the hype. Some parts were quite darkly amusing and the rest was average. Not the gruesome grimdark that was promised sadly. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms on the other hand, I actively dislike. Another overly hyped book in the community that was just awful. I can’t even put into words how disappointed I was with it, I had to give my copy away as it just made me angry seeing it on my shelves.
Weirdly, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I loved Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility when I was younger but I was still surprised that I enjoyed NA as much as I did. I think it is a case of reading it at the right time in my life. I’m more interested in stories set in the Georgian/Regency era in England now and so I found this so fun. I enjoyed the digs at the overly dramatic ‘horrors’ of the period and the humour. I’m glad I read it now, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much when I was a teen!
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” – you said it, Jane.
favourite new author (debut or new to you)
Georgette Heyer. I’d heard of her before this year, naturally, but always as writing ‘squeaky clean regency romance’ . To be fair, that is quite accurate (some stories are Georgian) but that fails to highlight her tremendous wit, humour, sarcasm, intelligence and how all that comes across in her characters to create great novels full of sass. I recommend them to anyone who enjoys Austen. I was surprised at how Heyer’s work remains so readable and even relatable.The women are (well, in the ones I have read so far anyway) strong and clever as well as witty, confident and fun. Their feelings and even some of their situations translate really well to modern times. I’ve read and loved Venetia, Devil’s Cub, The Grand Sophy, Regency Buck and The Black Sheep.
newest fictional crush
In keeping with my previous answer, I’m going with Lord Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal, from Heyer’s Devil’s Cub. He’s the typical bad boy that you think you want, but in reality it would never work out. He’s done some outrageous things but the humour, wit, honesty and charm that he carries himself with makes up for it. It would never work between us, but a girl can dream….(or reread forever..)
newest favourite character
Larkspur from Nicholas Eames’ debut, Kings of the Wyld. She is totally, unapologetically, badass. I wish I was her. I do wish she had a bit more page time in all her kickass glory but alas, maybe in the next book…
book that made you cry
I don’t think I’ve physically cried at a book since I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini when I did by GCSEs, but Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier was heavy with emotional turmoil. The characters all go through so much, and because it features characters from the previous book too, you know what they’ve been through beforehand and how that affects the plot. It’s expertly done, but my word, the feelings!
book that made you happy
This year I’ve delved into the whirlpool that is the regency/historical romance genre. I’ve discovered some great authors who I will go back to again and again ( Sarah MacLean, Julia Quinn, Sophie Jordan, Eloisa James, Stephanie Laurens, to name a few) and they all make me smile, but the one in particular that made me happy was Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. Just lovely.