Faerie Book Recommendations

Faerie Book Recommendations

Faeries, elves, dwarves, and druids are only a few of my favorite fictional creatures. I’m constantly searching for fantasy series that incorporate these characters, and although the fairy/faerie trope has recently skyrocketed thanks to authors like Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas, I feel as though those are only certain types of Fae, being portrayed in drastically different manners with different parts of folkloric inspiration. And while I once enjoyed both the Seelie characters in Clare’s books, and all of the Fae in Mass’s stories, I’ve grown tired of the same few representations of these mythical beings. (This applies to almost every YA faerie book I’ve read— but needless to say there are many books that I find could replace the word “fairy” with “vampire” or “witch” and the readers wouldn’t notice the difference so long as said characters are still dark, sexy, and magical. I suppose the pointy ears are the only real giveaway.)

I’m not writing this post with the intent to bash popular authors. However, if you’re looking to move on or recover from a series and want books similar to it that are perhaps even better than the original… look no further. I’ve loved the Fae since I was a little girl, and the fact that there are so few known books about them makes me sad. That being said, here’s a list of all the faerie books I’ve read or will be reading this year! Beware the fair ones, friends.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

aeor coverIsobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

The Dreaming Tree by C.J. Cherryh

It was that transitional time of the world, when man first brought the clang of iron and the reek of smoke to the lands which before had echoed only with fairy voices. In that dawn of man and death of magic there yet remained one last untouched place—the small forest of Ealdwood—which kept the magic intact, and protected the old ways. And there was one who dwelt there, Arafel the Sidhe, who had more pride and love of the world as it used to be than any of her kind. But fear of the world of Faery ran deep in the hearts of men, and when Ciaran Cuilean, Lord of Caer Wiell, a man with Elvish blood in his veins, found himself the object of increasing distrust and suspicion from his men, his king, and even his own family, he knew he must once again put his humanity aside and return to Ealdwood. For shadows of a newly awakened evil swarmed across both lands, and unless Ciaran reclaimed his haunted weapons from the Tree of Swords and joined Arafel, he would see this evil overtake not only the warm hearthstones of the mortal keeps but the silvery heart of Ealdwood itself!

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

pendelum sun coverCatherine Helstone’s brother, Laon, has disappeared in Arcadia, legendary land of the magical fae. Desperate for news of him, she makes the perilous journey, but once there, she finds herself alone and isolated in the sinister house of Gethsemane. At last there comes news: her beloved brother is riding to be reunited with her soon – but the Queen of the Fae and her insane court are hard on his heels.

Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want… at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marlier

High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It’s an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle’s hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he’s there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena’s sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom–an impossible union it’s up to Jena to stop.

wildwood dancingWhen Cezar’s grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can’t imagine–tests of trust, strength, and true love.

Spindle Fire Lexa Hillyer

A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Young Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, Tristran learns, lies Faerie—where nothing, not even a fallen star, is what he imagined.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman comes a remarkable quest into the dark and miraculous—in pursuit of love and the utterly impossible.

Blackbringer by Laini Taylor

When the ancient evil of the Blackbringer rises to unmake the world, only one determined faerie stands in its way. However, Magpie Windwitch, granddaughter of the West Wind, is not like other faeries. While her kind live in seclusion deep in the forests of Dreamdark, she’s devoted her life to tracking down and recapturing devils escaped from their ancient bottles, just as her hero, the legendary Bellatrix, did 25,000 years ago. With her faithful gang of crows, she travels the world fighting where others would choose to flee. But when a devil escapes from a bottle sealed by the ancient Djinn King himself, the creator of the world, she may be in over her head. How can a single faerie, even with the help of her friends, hope to defeat the impenetrable darkness of the Blackbringer?

At a time when fantasy readers have an embarrassment of riches in choosing new worlds to fall in love with, this first novel by a fresh, original voice is sure to stand out.

Under the Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan

Meg and her siblings have been sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with elderly relatives. The children are looking forward to exploring the ancient mansion and perhaps discovering a musty old attic or two filled with treasure, but never in their wildest dreams did they expect to find themselves in the middle of a fairy war.

under the green hillWhen Rowan pledges to fight for the beautiful fairy queen, Meg is desperate to save her brother. But the Midsummer War is far more than a battle between mythic creatures: Everything that lives depends on it. How can Meg choose between family and the fate of the very land itself?

The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell

It began with the chiming of the tiny copper bell on the mantel, warning them someone was passing the ward stone her mother had placed on the path to their house …

One terrible day, Makenna, a young hedgewitch, witnesses her mother’s murder at the hands of their own neighbors. Striken with grief and rage, Makenna flees the village that has been her home. In the wilds of the forest, she forms an unexpected alliance. Leading an army of clever goblins, Makenna skillfully attacks the humans, now their shared enemy.

What she doesn’t realize is that the ruling Hierarchy is determined to rid the land of all magical creatures, and they believe Makenna is their ultimate threat – so they have sent a young knight named Tobin into the Goblin Wood to entrap her.

In this captivating fantasy adventure, the difference between Bright and Dark magic is as deceptive as our memories, hopes, and fears — and the light of loyalty and friendship has a magic all of its own.

A young Hedgewitch, an idealistic knight, and an army of clever goblins fight against the ruling hierarchy that is trying to rid the land of all magical creatures.

Elfland by Freda Warrington

Rosie Fox is a daughter of the Aetherials, an ancient race from the Spiral—the innermost realm of the Otherworld—who lives secretly among us. Yet she and her kind are bereft of their origins, because on Earth, in a beautiful village named Cloudcroft, the Great Gates between worlds stand sealed.

elfland coverHer parents, Auberon and Jessica, are the warm heart of Cloudcroft and of Rosie’s loving family. But on the hill lives the mysterious, aloof Lawrence Wilder, Gatekeeper to the inner realms of Elfland. Tortured by private demons, he is beset by trouble on all sides: his wife has vanished and his sons Jon and Sam are bitter and damaged. Lawrence is duty bound to throw open the Gates every seven years for the Night of the Summer Stars, a ritual granting young Aetherials their heritage, their elders vital reconnection to their source. Lawrence, however, is haunted by fears of an ever-growing menace within the Spiral. When he stubbornly bars the Gates, he defies tradition and enrages the Aetherial community. What will become of them, deprived of the realm from which flows their essential life force? Is Lawrence protecting them—or betraying them?

Growing up amid this turmoil, Rosie and her brothers, along with Sam and Jon Wilder, are heedless of the peril lurking beyond the Gates. They know only that their elders have denied them their birthright, harboring dark secrets in a conspiracy of silence.

When Sam is imprisoned for an all-too-human crime, age-old wounds sunder the two families…yet Rosie is drawn into his web, even as she fears the passions awoken in her by the dangerous Wilder clan. Torn between duty and desire, between worlds, Rosie unwittingly precipitates a tragedy that compels her to journey into the Otherworld, where unknown terrors await. Accompanied by the one man most perilous to her life, she must learn hard lessons about life and love in order to understand her Aetherial nature…and her role in the terrifying conflict to come.

Midwinter by Matthew Sturges

Winter comes to the land only once in a hundred years. But the snow covers ancient secrets: secrets that could topple a kingdom.

Mauritaine was a war hero, a captain in the Seelie Army. Then he was accused of treason and sentenced to life without parole at Crere Sulace, a dark and ancient prison in the mountains, far from the City Emerald. But now the Seelie Queen – Regina Titania herself – has offered him one last chance to redeem himself, an opportunity to regain his freedom and his honor.

Unfortunately, it’s a suicide mission, which is why only Mauritaine and the few prisoners he trusts enough to accompany him, would even dare attempt it: Raieve, beautiful and harsh, an emissary from a foreign land caught in the wrong place at the wrong time; Perrin Alt, Lord Silverdun, a nobleman imprisoned as a result of political intrigues so Byzantine that not even he understands them; and Brian Satterly, a human physicist, apprehended searching for the human victims of the faery changeling trade.

Meanwhile, dark forces are at work at home and abroad. In the Seelie kingdom, the reluctant soldier Purane-Es burns with hatred for Mauritaine, and plots to steal the one thing that remains to him: his wife. Across the border, the black artist Hy Pezho courts the whim of Mab, offering a deadly weapon that could allow the Unseelie in their flying cities to crush Titania and her army once and for all.

With time running out, Mauritaine and his companions must cross the deadly Contested Lands filled with dire magical fallout from wars past. They will confront mounted patrols, brigands, and a traitor in their midst. And before they reach their destination, as the Unseelie Armies led by Queen Mab approach the border, Mauritaine must decide between his own freedom and the fate of the very land that has forsaken him.

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Atmospheric Books

How we rate a book has a lot to do with not only the characters and the plot, but the setting as well. We might not realize it, but a vast amount of our emotions are placed in the background scenes and subconscious environments. To be fair, most books arguably have their own original settings wherein no two books will ever take place in the same fantasy kingdom or high school, however there are a few books that surpass all others in regards to being wholesomely atmospheric. Books that not only include an environment, but make that environment vital to the storyline. I adore books of the such, because they are the ones that I feel as though I can really submerge myself in and escape reality.

These books emphasize the whimsical aspect behind many genres, not only fantasy, because they seem so surreal yet they were designed to bring forth our own personal encounters and nostalgia in order to raise our emotional awareness. These atmospheric books do wonder for our minds, so I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ones!

Don’t just read books— fall into them.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

“There was a song in this forest, too, but it was a savage song, whispering of madness and tearing and rage.”
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenster


“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.”

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
“The Night Bazaar had ensnared me. I could smell its perfume on my skin—of stories and secrets, flashing teeth and slow smiles.”

The Half Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

“She rushed across the fields and into the woods, where some shadowed grove would still shelter winter’s snow. She found a cache of not yet melted snow in the roots of an oak, and there she sat, numbing her hand, while the sun set.”
The Secret History by Donna Tartt

“White Sky. Trees fading at the skyline, the mountains gone. My hands dangled from the cuffs of my jacket as if they weren’t my own. I never got used to the way the horizon there could just erase itself and leave you marooned, adrift, in an incomplete dreamscape that was like a sketch for the world you knew -the outline of a single tree standing in for a grove, lamp-posts and chimneys floating up out of context before the surrounding canvas was filled in-an amnesia-land, a kind of skewed Heaven where the old landmarks were recognizable but spaced too far apart, and disarranged, and made terrible by the emptiness around them.”

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

“It was a palace of vaulting glass and shimmering tapestry and, woven through it all like light, magic. The air was alive with it. Not the secret, seductive magic of the stone, but a loud, bright, encompassing thing. Kell had told Lila that magic was like an extra sense, layered on top of sight and smell and taste, and now she understood. It was everywhere. In everything. And it was intoxicating. She could not tell if the energy was coming from the hundreds of bodies in the room, or from the room itself, which certainly reflected it. Amplified it like sound in an echoing chamber. And it was strangely—impossibly—familiar. Beneath the magic, or perhaps because of it, the space itself was alive with color and light. She’d never set foot inside St. James, but it couldn’t possibly have compared to the splendor of this. Nothing in her London could. Her world felt truly grey by comparison, bleak and empty in a way that made Lila want to kiss the stone for freeing her from it, for bringing her here, to this glittering jewel of a place. Everywhere she looked, she saw wealth. Her fingers itched, and she resisted the urge to start picking pockets, reminding herself that the cargo in her own was too precious to risk being caught.”

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

“The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.

The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed trough the trees, set the inn’s sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing autumn leaves. If there had been a crowd, even a handful of men inside the inn, they would have filled the silence with coversation and laughter, the clatter and clamour one expects from a drinking house during the dark hours of the night. If there had been music…but no, of curse there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained.”

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

“As the sun shines low and red across the water, I wade into the ocean. The water is still high and brown and murky with the memory of the storm, so if there’s something below it, I won’t know it. But that’s part of this, the not knowing. The surrender to the possibilities beneath the surface. It wasn’t the ocean that killed my father, in the end. The water is so cold that my feet go numb almost at once. I stretch my arms out to either side of me and close my eyes. I listen to the sound of water hitting water. The raucous cries of the terns and the guillemots in the rocks of the shore, the piercing, hoarse questions of the gulls above me. I smell seaweed and fish and the dusky scent of the nesting birds onshore. Salt coats my lips, crusts my eyelashes. I feel the cold press against my body. The sand shifts and sucks out from under my feet in the tide. I’m perfectly still. The sun is red behind my eyelids. The ocean will not shift me and the cold will not take me.”

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

“Marya watched from the upper floor as once again the birds gathered in the great oak tree, sniping and snapping for the last autumn nuts, stolen from squirrels and hidden in bark-cracks, which every winged creature knows are the most bitter of all nuts, like old sorrows sitting heavy on the tongue.”

In the Woods by Tana French

“…the solitude was intoxicating. On my first night there I lay on my back on the sticky carpet for hours, in the murky orange pool of city glow coming through the window, smelling heady curry spices spiraling across the corridor and listening to two guys outside yelling at each other in Russian and someone practicing stormy flamboyant violin somewhere, and slowly realizing that there was not a single person in the world who could see me or ask me what I was doing or tell me to do anything else, and I felt as if at any moment the bedsit might detach itself from the buildings like a luminous soap bubble and drift off into the night, bobbing gently above the rooftops and the river and the stars.”

 

2017 YA Debuts

This year was fantastic in regards to the debuts and continuations released, but I think we’re all ready for the new year to begin. New year, new attitude, new goals… new books! My TBR has never been so long. That being said, I’ll keep this short. Here’s a list of just a few of next year’s releases that I’m highly anticipating! Attached are their Goodreads synopsis and covers. (I also must say that 2017 YA covers are the best ones I’ve seen as a collection thus far!)

A Crown of Wishes (#2, The Star Touched Queen) by Roshani Chokshi

— Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have toProcessed with VSCO with hb2 preset set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels. Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (#3, A Court of Thorns and Roses) by Sarah J Maas

— Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places. In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Wintersong by S. Jae Jones

— Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns. But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetThe Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

— Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

— When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the otheProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetr witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

King’s Cage (#3, Red Queen) by Victoria Aveyard

— In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

— The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetDressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

A Conjuring of Light (#3, Shades of Magic) by V. E. Schwab

— The battle between four magical Londons comes to a head in this stunning finale to the New York Times bestselling Shades of Magic trilogy by rising star V. E. Schwab.

London’s fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.

Warcross by Marie Lu

— Two teenage bounty hunters are “hired by a young billionaire to catch a hacker in the world’s most phenomenally popular virtual reality video game.”

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

— Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronesses…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eve

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset— All the women in Iris and Malina’s family are born with a gleam—a unique way of manipulating beauty through magic. Seventeen-year-old Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, her twin sister Malina interprets moods as music, and their cold, distant mother Jasmina bakes scenery into decadent treats at her confectionery in Old Town Cattaro, Montenegro.

Jasmina forbids Iris and Malina to share their gleams with anyone, and above all, she forbids them to fall in love—being discovered could shatter the quiet lives they’ve built in their tucked-away, seaside town. But Iris and Malina are tired of abiding by their mother’s rules and rebel in secret whenever they can.

Yet when a mysterious, white-haired woman attacks their mother and leaves her hovering between life and death, the sisters unearth an ancient curse that haunts their line—a wicked bargain that masquerades as a blessing, and binds the twins’ fates—and hearts—to a force larger than life. To save each other, they must untangle a thousand years of lies and reveal their own hurtful secrets. But even the deepest sacrifice might not be enough.

Wicked Like a Wildfire is the first book in a sumptuous, bewitching duology about the power of love, death, magic, and the many faces of beauty.

The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasProcessed with VSCO with hb2 preset

—  Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and grippin YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.

Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta

— To save her sister’s life, Faris must smuggle magic into a plague-ridden neighboring kingdom in this exciting ad dangerous start to a brand-new fantasy duology.

Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.

With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

— Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

Seasonal Drinks + YA Parallels #Parody

What do readers possibly love more than books? Why coffee of course! (And if you only drink tea, sorry— this isn’t for you. I wish I had your restraint when it comes to espresso.) Some of you might know that I work at Barnes and Noble as a barista in the Starbucks café section of the store. I used to just drink coffee but now I breathe it in daily and if the shift is stressful enough I often have nightmares about it. Yay! That all being said, I came up with this brilliant idea while watching debate night on SNL. Essentially if every seasonal Starbucks drink resonated with a single book, these would be the ones! Enjoy 🙂

*Side note: if you haven’t already caught on, this is a parody.


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Pumpkin Spice— Ah, my classic favorite. This desiccant drink is a homage to my favorite time of year, autumn. And like my favorite season, it reminds me of my favorite court: the Autumn Court in Sarah J Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. PSL is a notorious North American drink that is more often loved than hated in many ways like an SJM book.
A familiar name for a well known book series, one that will likely be spotted on anyone’s book social media account—like the pumpkin spice epidemic during September through October.

 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetCaramel Apple Spice— Don’t let the pretty name fool you, there’s absolutely NO caramel in this drink save for the toppings on the whipped cream! It’s steamed apple cider with cinnamon dolce syrup. It seems as though it will be spicy, but this one is actually painstakingly sweet. Like, toothache sweet hidden behind a misleading name. Almost like most of the characters from Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series.

Her troupe of YA rebels, namely Ronan Lynch, appears bitter and strong like a spiced espresso drink at first chapter, but after four books of dark inner monologue and angst ridden character development, Ronan is revealed to be one of the sweetest characters in the YA genre ever written. Example: he cuddles barn animals (and Adam).

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetChile Mocha— Not as potent as you might think, although not entirely displeasing. The Chile Mocha can be either a coffee based drink or a hot chocolate with some zest added to the mix. A newer drink for 2016, this one is similar to The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig.

If you have a map in this book, no matter if it’s derived from a fictional realm or reality, you can travel through time to that destination. This drink is bland, like a slate map, but with a little “Chile powder” brewed in, it can be quite the trip! (But honestly, I hate this drink. Loved the book though.)

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetSalted Caramel Mocha— Similar to the Carmel Apple Spice, you will find absolutely no caramel in this concoction save for the toppings! (Side note: Honestly, Starbucks has an affinity for naming drinks Carmel Whatever the Hell and not using the specific syrup at all.)

This drink is slightly bitter because of it’s combined mocha powder and toffee nut syrup— making for a dark taste that still surprisingly delicious. Much like The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, this drink aligns perfectly with our heroine’s horoscope: dark and forbidding but with a pinch of sweetness that can roughly be translated as a loophole in the story. A drink fit for a runaway Princess turned Bride of the Underworld.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetPeppermint Mocha— Who doesn’t love peppermint mocha? It’s tasty and spontaneous, always popping up on the menu when you least expect it (because it was available the day after Halloween…heaven forbid we actually wait until it’s winter). This minty fresh latte is as clean as the skin of Dirty Hands himself—Kaz Brekker from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology.

Refreshing enough to keep you on your toes at every waking moment (or perhaps that’s just the amount of caffeine poured into it) this drink reminds me of the action packed streets of Ketterdam and our beloved Crows.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetCaramel Brulée— Elegant and often hard to pronounce if you’re not a Starbucks regular or don’t speak French, this drink is a liquid version of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

CB is a refined latte, one of the more entitled drinks on the menu that nearly smells like privilege and private school if you’re around it often enough to get a whiff. But don’t let that scent trick you, this drink is actually dark and bitter—like the ending of the book. A pretty beverage with a wicked twist.

 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetChestnut Praline— Nostalgic for the season, this one in particular smells like a bonfire… or perhaps it’s more like A Torch Against the Night. The sequel to Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, ATATN and CP share a similar smoky essence that reminisces long nights of staying up late and wondering how to overthrow your government system. It’s memorable and always easy to fall back on if your other favorites are sold out, kind of like the heroine in this story.

 

 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetEggnog— Simple, but delicious. A frilly drink that’s neither light nor dark, or bitter or sweet. Eggnog Lattes are easy to make and comforting to drink. This relaxing vibe shares similar aesthetics with Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke. It’s quirky and reminds me of snowfall, like the trio in WPM as they portray regular teenagers from a quaint contemporary town that turns mystical after a few chapters or sips.

 

 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetGingerbread— Rustic and rugged, like the historical setting of the YA debut by Kerri Maniscalco, Stalking Jack the Ripper. Gingerbread is meant to be ripped apart into smaller cookie sized shapes, like the dough itself has translated into it’s own anatomy of sugar and spice.

And just like the dissection of this treat, the book follows our protagonist who studies the broken parts of corpses. But as oddly tasting as Gingerbread may seem, and as bizarre as Audrey Rose Wadsworth, it has an old aesthetic that makes me think of horse drawn carriages and dusk lit London streets.


That’s all for now, else I’d lose my mind trying to compare the scent of coconut to Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. If any of this made sense to you, let me know! If not, well then I at least hope you got a good laugh out of it. Drink up, bibliophiles.

Soundtracks to Literature: How a Reader Becomes a Composer

Soundtracks to Literature: How a Reader Becomes a Composer

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I’ve finally gotten the time to myself that I so desperately needed and deserved, and what better way to use that time than to write another blog post? I’ve got many fun things planned for autumn, but since we still have about a month to go, I’ve decided to write about something I think hasn’t been given proper attention lately (or ever, really). Book playlists.

This sounds strange, as do most of my posts, but it’s strange for a reason—it’s unusual in it’s awesomeness. How many times do you watch a film or a T.V. show and stop paying attention to the plot when suddenly you hear a heart-pounding music sequence in the background? I do it constantly whenever I get the chance, even during the gymnastics floor routines of the recent Rio 2016 Olympics. I believe my obsession for compiling literature-centric playlists started around the same time the Twilight movie soundtrack was born. You don’t have to love those books or those movies to fall in love with their OSTs and playlists. It’s that good.

When I read, I’m directing the scenes of a movie in my mind. The author is my screenwriter, her/his words shape the character’s mouths and move their bodies into battles, but the colors, the tones, the feeling of being near a fireplace or stranded on a shipwrecked island of sirens..those are mine to create. As is the music being played in the background.

Perhaps I’m talking in circles now, but if you don’t understand what I’m typing, just try listening to one of my playlists (preferably one that coincides with a book you’ve read so)! Just follow these links here for whichever series you’ve read, and close your eyes, turn up the volume, and let your mind walk wonders….

(Of course, this is better on the 8tracks free APP)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

1. x

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

1. x

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J Maas

  1.  x
  2.  x Lucien
  3.  x Rhysand
  4.  
  5.  x Feyre
  6. x

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

  1. x

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. x Gansey
  2. x Noah
  3. x Adam
  4. x Ronan
  5. x

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

  1. x Nikolai 
  2. x
  3. x

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

  1. x
  2. x Kaltain
  3. x Aelin 
  4. x The Thirteen
  5. x

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

  1. x

Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

  1. x
  2. x
  3. x
  4. x

 

Not only can you create a playlist dedicated to a book series, but you can also compose one made just for an individual character. Theoretically, you can do whatever you want. But these are just a few ideas for beginner composers! I know a lot of my friends use Spotify, but I don’t particularly feel like paying monthly to create playlists when I could use other APPs that are free…like 8tracks. Now before you get any ideas, I’m not a sponsor for 8tracks. I just really love the APP…aside from the fact that they now have a few commercials popping up every now and again. That I could gladly do without.

But aside from it being free and easy to use, you get to create your own cover for the playlists, your own tags for the playlists, and you can follow other composers who share similar music taste! My account is under the username SeelieKnight. Feel free to hit me up whenever!

I’m always saving song ideas for when I have enough to compose a playlist. Music comes hand in hand with literature for me, as does the strong sense of imagery from both creations. There’s plot in both, but enough freedom to find your own stories. I hope I could persuade you to try making your own playlists, or to listen to them the next time you need a little extra initiative to read. Let me know if you already have some book inspired tunes, I’d love to listen to them!

Forthcoming Features

Forthcoming Features

In this new blog segment I recently came up with around three-forty in the morning after stubbing my toe on a pile of books on my way into the kitchen for a large glass of my beloved orange juice…(deep breath)…I’ll be talking about all the new books, movies, bands, etc that I’ve been wanting to read, watch, and listen to! Essentially this will be a monthly update on my current preferences in regards to..well—everything. As noted before, this idea came to me at a peculiar time and I’m typing it up at an even odder hour of the night. I hope you enjoy!


B O O K S

When is my #TBR not stock full of books? Never. It never is.

Currently I’m making my way through a few books at once, but it’s been a struggle to stick to one story with my awful work schedule, wayward friends, and recently moved into new home. My top three books of the month are strange in their own unique ways, but that’s exactly how I love my books.

1.           Before the Feast by Saša Stanišić is a German book that was recently translated to English. After work one day I was browsing through the literature section with one of my coworkers when we both spotted this beautiful book cover and grabbed two copies off the shelf. We wound up both buying them, although I believe he has already finished the book while I’m only a few chapters in. Regardless, this is definitely not your average novel.

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Goodreads Synopsis: It’s the night before the feast in the village of Fürstenfelde (population: an odd number). The village is asleep. Except for the ferryman – he’s dead. And Mrs Kranz, the night-blind painter, who wants to depict her village for the first time at night. A bell-ringer and his apprentice want to ring the bells – the only problem is that the bells have gone. A vixen is looking for eggs for her young, and Mr Schramm is discovering more reasons to quit life than smoking.

Someone has opened the doors to the Village Archive, but what drives the sleepless out of their houses is not that which was stolen, but that which has escaped. Old stories, myths and fairy tales are wandering about the streets with the people. They come together in a novel about a long night, a mosaic of village life, in which the long-established and newcomers, the dead and the living, craftsmen, pensioners and noble robbers in football shirts bump into each other. They all want to bring something to a close, in this night before the feast.

2.           The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak reminds me of a few books I’ve read and loved, yet also sounds unlike most of the things I read. It was a win-win situation.

Goodreads Synopsis: In her latest novel, Turkey’s preeminent female writer spins an epic tale spaProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetnning nearly a century in the life of the Ottoman Empire. In 1540, twelve-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan’s beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history.

Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces—the incredible Suleymaniye and Selimiye mosques—dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan’s four apprentices. A memorable story of artistic freedom, creativity, and the clash between science and fundamentalism, Shafak’s intricate novel brims with vibrant characters, intriguing adventure, and the lavish backdrop of the Ottoman court, where love and loyalty are no match for raw power.

3.           Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman. Pratchett’s hilarity mixed with Gaiman’s weirdness couldn’t have birthed a more Tim Burton-esuq type of novel. This sounds incredible, and unique (esepcially when it comes to what I often read…which isn’t this, but how could I have resisted such a synopsis?)Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Goodreads Synopsis: According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since

The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

M U S I C

My music taste is a mix between indie, alternative, and folk. Recently I’ve been listening to bands like Cold War Kids, Lord Huron, and Wild Nothing. Yu can find all of my playlists on 8tracks under the username: SeelieKnight. For now, check out these songs that have helped me get through this hectic month of July!

Cold War Kid: Miracle Mile

Lord Huron: Meet Me In the Woods

Wild Nothing: Summer Holiday

M O V I E S — T V 

Queuing on my Netflix is the recently acclaimed short series Stranger Things. One of my coworkers mentioned this show to me a week ago and told me he believed I would like it because I also enjoy American Horror Story and generally anything involving an eerie, somewhat ambiguous plot. He and I would often rave about Game of Thrones (still not over this seasons finale) and so he told me I needed to watch Stranger Things so that we could obsess over another show to pass time at work. I promised him I would look into it…but naturally I forgot about the show an hour later. It wasn’t until Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Cycle, started tweeting about it that I remembered what my friend had said. And to top it off, the following week I hung out with a very asocial friend of mine who doesn’t typically like mainstream things but was exuberant about this new Netflix series. Okay. All those things sold me. I had to see what the hype was about…and damn, was it worth it. I freaking love this show! I’m currently on episode three, but I can tell it’s going to be amazing just from a cinematography view point alone. (Bonus: Winona Ryder plays the mother!)
Stranger Things Synopsis: When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.

Another film that I’m interested in seeing is Captain Fantastic. First, just look up this movie and watch one of the trailers (preferably on the IMDB website). It certainly does look fantastic—especially since it takes place in the Pacific Northwest, where—if you’ve been following me on twitter or somehow visiting my dreams—is the #1 place in the entire world I want to visit the most. Forget saving up for a new car, I’m saving up for gas money to haul my crapy Honda across the US to get tho the PNW and see sequoia trees for the first time.

This movie looks very nostalgic, melancholy, and witty. The cinematography from the trailer alone seems spot on, and I love the casting choices. This somewhat reminds me of a Wes Anderson type of movie: aesthetically pleasing, uplifting, yet uses humor and whit to disguise pain and suffering.

Captain Fantastic Synopsis: In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

F O O D

Suddenly I really love avocado? 10/10 would recommend. (Oh, and if you ever find yourself in NYC and you also happen to love avocado, try the Australian brunch restaurant Bluestone Lane! Everything on that menu has some avocado in it.)


 

That’s it for this month! I’ll have another FF up near the end of August!

Begin Again (& again)

Begin Again (& again)

I can’t say how long it’s been since I joined #bookstagram (Instagram) because I honestly don’t remember when I started my account. I don’t remember when I started any of my social media accounts, for that matter. All I know is that it took me a long time to accumulate the statistics that I currently have, and an even longer time to feel comfortable with myself after exposing my ideas (me being, ironically, very introverted and shy) to “strangers” across the world. But if there’s one thing I’ve noticed quite often it’s the division amongst social media platforms and fans. Sounds a bit strange, right? What the hell is Viktoria blabbering about now? Well, it’s actually simple…but in retrospect, it’s more important than it seems.

Take the reading community for example. There are, say, a few thousand of us who administrate social media accounts dedicated to books (reading books, reviewing books, talking about books, taking photos of books, etc etc etc). I’ve made many friends through my Instagram page by introducing new books to people who then bond over talking about said series with me.

I love all the people I’ve gotten to know, even the ones with whom I’ve spoken briefly, but that doesn’t sway the isolated feeling I’ll occasionally experience. Instagram is tricky because your feed is chronological so the photos you see first when logging in will be the ones most recently posted. However, my friends from around the globe might not be awake at the same time I am posting a photo during the afternoon. Instagram suddenly becomes an app about timing: when to post, when to check, and when to make sure your friends/followers can view your photos.

It’s more stress than needed be.

My brilliant solution to this, you ask? Join another social media platform.

Start off small, with low expectations. Much like the beginning of your Instagram account, your new (supposedly) #Bookblr (Tumblr) account isn’t going to get mass amounts of followers over the course of 24 hours. It’s nice when you already have an account to then shout-out the other, newer, account because it almost always guarantees an influx of followers you normally wouldn’t receive…HOWEVER…don’t overkill it with the shout-outs. A few reminders is enough.

Some people just don’t want to follow your Tumblr account, perhaps because they dislike Tumblr or perhaps because they don’t have one. Regardless, stay low-key with the “friendly reminders.” Putting a link in your bio is enough.

Another great app to meet other bibliophiles on is, shocker, #Booktube (Youtube)! *Insert nervous laughter* Yes, yes. I’ve said many times in the past that I would start a Booktube soon…and I will…eventually! (Shooting for autumn 2016, friends.) What’s fantastic about Booktube is that you actually get to see and hear the person behind the screen. It is by far the most personal of all the social medias, thus it is also the most daring one to get involved with. If you’re creative but introverted like me, you’ll probably hype up yourself about starting a Youtue account that will blow everyones minds…and then never make one because you realize you can’t talk in front of a mirror without forgetting to breathe.

That’s absolutely fine. Do whatever you feel comfortable with! Push yourself to try new things, but never feel obligated to post them if you don’t like what you’ve made. It’s only natural, and no one is blaming you!

Other apps I like to use to share my love for books are 8tracks, Pinterest, and Twitter. The last being obvious, and fairly self explantroty so I won’t bother getting invested with it. 8tracks, on the other hand, is a free app that allows you to listen to playlists created by fans through using your own tags and cover art. You can simply search the tag of a book title and (if any were created) listen to fan-made playlists for that book while reading the book! This app doesn’t get nearly as many mentions as it deserves, but I’m probably being biased because I make a playlist for every book I rate 5 stars.

Pinterest is less of an interaction app and more of a storage bin for me. I use it to find images to use for creating book graphics that I will later post on tumblr! See? Look how we’ve come full circle.

Now, I’m not entirely certain what the purpose was behind all this rubbish but what I’m truly getting at is this: try out new social media platforms because there will always be more friends to make and more books to be recommended!