Bookends | #011

Here we are, another week another Friday. Time is flying, right? Despite a roaring cold my reading picked up after last week’s slower efforts.

So first up I devoured Emma Newman’s Industrial Magic series, starting with Brother’s Ruin and then quickly followed by Weaver’s Lament. This is a Tor.Com novella series and I really enjoyed them. Classified as a ‘gaslamp’ fantasy, they are set in 1850 England where magic is behind the industrial revolution. I shan’t say anymore to avoid spoilers, but they were super fun and different. I really hope there will be more soon!

I also flew through The City of Brass by SA Chakraborty. I was super excited for this one so I sat down to start it on Sunday. I finished it on Sunday. Now it’s a chunky read at over 500 pages but I couldn’t put it down. It was a fun read, but far more YA-y than I was lead to believe. I did a full review of it here, as my thoughts are quite extensive. Overall, if you love standard YA fantasy, you’ll love this! If you want something a bit more subtle and complex, I highly recommend Twelve Kings by Bradley Beaulieu.

I started to feel poorly on Monday so I reached for a comfort read – a historical romance by one of my faves, Julia Quinn. Another super quick read, Ten Things I Love About You was just what I needed to cheer me up. A spunky heroine who wanted to help her family even if it means sacrificing herself to an ancient, disgusting old man. Enter Sebastian Grey, gorgeous, funny and has hidden talents (he’s a writer… I don’t know what you were thinking…), and the Earl’s nephew and heir. Naturally there are misunderstandings and shenanigans but it’s super cute and as always, has a happy ever after.

fiiiiiinally finished Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. And wow. What. a. brick. Unfortunately it wasn’t for me. The writing is undoubtedly wonderful, but my word it went on, and on, and on, and on… it did pick up towards the end, but by that point I was just frustrated and wanted it to finish. I had zero connection to any of the characters and just didn’t care at all.

The premise had so much potential but unfortunately the execution was lacking. & who thought it would be a good idea to start such a long novel by following Mr Norrell? Quite possibly the most boring man on the planet except maybe Nick Carraway. I was expecting much more excitement from a book about the fae. I’ll never get those hours back.

And to round my week off, I began The Tiger and the Wolf by a new favourite, Adrian Tchaikovsky. I’m a couple hundred pages in and really enjoying it. It took a little while to get going, but it was necessary for the world building and getting to know the characters. We follow Maniye, who is daughter of the Wolf Chief and the Tiger Chief(tress?) and thus of two tribes. In this world, the different tribes (Horse Society, Hawk, Coyote, Bear, Serpent etc…) are able to shift into their animal and there are areas of dominance. Maniye’s father wants to use her to exert dominance over the Tiger tribe but Maniye has other ideas… So good!

And that’s it! Hopefully ending this week on a high. What have you been reading this week?

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