Top Ten Tuesday | Novellas and Short Stories

 

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

How’s your week been going? I’ve been struggling to come up with a good list since I don’t read a lot of these stories or novellas. I typically stick with larger books. But for this week’s topic of Top Ten Tuesday, I want to talk about some of the novellas and short stories I have read and want to read. So let’s get to the post, shall we?

 

 Ayama and the Thorn Wood and When Water Sang Fire from The Language of Thorns

It’s hard to pick which stories I love the most from this book. But the two that have stuck with me are these. Both are the first and the last, and yet they complement each other beautifully. However, the siren story may be my favourite out of all them.

 

A Court of Frost and Starlight

Yes, I’ve complained plenty about this novella. However, I love going back to Velaris and seeing what my favourite characters are up to. And the tension between Nesta and Cassian make up for some of my disappointment.

 

Queen Song from Cruel Crown

This short story revolves around the first wife of King Tiberius, Queen Coriane. She has intrigued me since Red Queen. And when I read her story, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. You know she’s dead. You know she lost her battle, and yet her story is nonetheless compelling.

 

Hidden

When I heard about this novella, I nearly screamed. I’ve followed the Women of the Otherworld series since I was 13. So when I heard Kelley wrote a story about Clay and Elena taking the twins on a holiday vacation, I knew I had to read it.


 

Stars Above

I’ve finally finished Winter, and I just need the next dose of this series. When I found out Marissa wrote a collection of Lunar Chronicle stories, I knew there was no way I could pass up this book. No way. I can’t wait to get back into Marissa’s world.

 

Queens of Fennbirn

I’ve been meaning to catch up on this series. However, I haven’t read the second book, and I spoiled myself on the third, and clearly, I haven’t read this one as well. So I truly need to tackle my TBR pile, stat. I have a love-hate relationship with this series. I’m not sure if I hate it, but I do know I love some aspects of it. Kendare creates a magical yet dangerous world that you can’t help but fall for. This book combines The Young Queens and The Oracle Queen.

 

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

I know, I know, I’m behind on my Shadowhunter books. Okay, one book doesn’t necessarily count as behind. But you get what I mean. I should have read this book before transitioning to the Dark Artifices series. I’ve been wanting to see how Simon transforms from a teenager who can’t remember the love of his life and his best friend to a Shadowhunter.

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Love But Probably Won’t Read Again

I hate these sorts of lists. I don’t like reading a book just once. I hope to enjoy it multiple times. Unfortunately, since I’m such a bloody emotional reader, some books have disappeared from my TBRR list. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, discusses books we won’t reread. Here are my picks:

 

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

I adore Leigh and her writing. I cannot get enough of her work. Even though The Language of Thorns is one of my favourite fairy tale collections, I don’t usually reread anthologies. But with this one though, I don’t want to damage this beautiful book any further. Yeah, I’m weird. I don’t like when books are damaged. But this is so damn gorgeous though. It should be cherished…from afar and with special white gloves.

…And there go my Sheldon tendencies again.

 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I absolutely love this time travel series. And I’m a dedicated follower of the show (who isn’t when you have Sam playing Jamie?!). But I can’t reread the book again. The first one is beautifully written, but the ending gutted me, and I cannot read Jamie’s torture again. I’d rather trade a month of not reading than put myself through that scene. I don’t know how readers stomach it.

 

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

I’m still debating over this choice. I loved reading The Wicked Deep, and I’ll recommend it to everyone. But since I’m a mood reader, I feel that I’d just wreck myself all over again. The ending is predictable, but the emotions are not. I never thought a standalone novel would do that to me, but here I am.

 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Long story short, I balled after I finished reading Nightingale. My mom happened to walk in on my cryfest, so I explained what happened in the book, then cried even harder. The book is gut-wrenching. Even though I recommend it to historical lovers, I tend to warn them about it since it has strong character arcs that some readers may not like.

 

Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

Yes, in my high school years, I went the “dark” path, and I haven’t wavered much past it (neither has the colour of my clothes). So I was a huge Vampire Chronicles fan. Unfortunately, it hasn’t aged well, nor have I regained my love for it. Some issues stemmed from when the author sicked her fans onto a blogger who gave her book a one-star review. I understand some authors hate seeing that kind of review. But the way Anne handled the whole situation by blatantly telling her fans to bully this poor blogger made me lose all my respect for the writer.

Don’t believe me? Find more information here.

Best Books of 2017

Hey, everyone!

Look at me forgetting to work on this post until the end of January. 😅 I need be a personal assistant to harass me every day. Well, better late than never! I’ve picked my top six reads of 2017. And even though I’d love to add more, these books are my favourites:

 

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh is my queen, and I’ll buy anything and everything she’ll write. She recreates readers’ cherished fairy tales and lore, then puts her own twists onto them. Women are at the forefront of this fairy tale retelling. They don’t need anyone, even a man, to save them. They’ll find their own happy ending. And they’ll save themselves. The illustrations set this book apart from others. I cannot recommend it more!

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Problems aside, this finale is solid. I don’t think anything will top A Court of Mist and Fury, but I love every single character arc, the High Lords’ meeting, and the gut-wrenching page 666 (I still can’t talk about it). The bond among the Archeron sisters will break your heart, then Feysand will shatter it. And I’m down for NESSIAN.

And have you seen the cover for A Court of Frost and Starlight?! Can we fangirl over it, please???

Warcross by Marie Lu

Virtual reality is taken to another level. I read this book earlier this month, but this one is, by far, the best novel I’ve read in a long time. I cannot get enough of this series. And I wish this series wasn’t a duology, but alas, it is. Emi may just steal your heart; she certainly has with mine. Marie makes me want to get back into science fiction books.

 

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Ah! I fell in love with the cover before I even read the blurb. It does the story justice. Flame is a beautifully written and eloquent story. It captured my attention the moment I opened the book. Now Flame is the first book I’ve read from Renée, but she has done a stellar job at creating a culturally rich storyline.

 

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

I didn’t think Kiersten could top And I Darken, but I’ve been wrong before. Ruthless, dark, and deadly, Lada has wormed her way into my heart, that feisty killer. And Radu broke it. The Conqueror’s Saga is a stellar historical YA with a touch of romance. I thoroughly loved this dangerous world.

 

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this fae novel, but Margaret surprised me with her lush and imaginative writing. The characters are unforgettable, and the lore in this book will captivate. And you can’t go wrong with a cover designed by Charlie Bowater.

Reading Wrap-Up: October 2017

 

I’ve had a long, long month. It’s been dragging on for longer than it should. Since school has basically killed my entire reading time, I could read only a few books.

How did last month work for you? What did you love reading? Let’s talk in the comments section.

 

 

Genesis by Collin Piprell

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Collin certainly knows how to write a great science fiction. I liked reading the first instalment, but I thoroughly enjoyed the sequel. He turns this genre upside down, then magically transforms it into something you didn’t know you’d read. I can’t wait until the third book!

Goodreads | Common Deer Press | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

 

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

I have never read such a beautiful book as this one. I cannot get over it. Leigh throws in new twists into our beloved fairytales, like Hansel and Gretel and the Nutcracker, then sprinkles in some Grishaverse into the mix. And the illustrator, Sara Kipin, just brings these beautifully told stories to life. If you’re a Grisha fan or a Six of Crows one, pick up this book. You’ll cherish it, for sure.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Haven by Mary Lindsey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I wasn’t sure how I’d like Haven. Werewolves and witches? Same old, I guess. Wrong. Mary brings a twist to the long-drawn-out storyline, and I enjoyed every second of it. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of political play, romance, and backstory that’s in the book, but I certainly loved reading it! I’d definitely recommend the book to any reader who’s looking for something new in fantasy.

Check out my review!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play Books | Indiebound | iBooks

 

The Great and the Small by A. T. Balsara

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Killer rats, plague rats, conflicted rats, and conflicted humans. What more can you ask for? Illustrations. This book offers much more than just a story. I’m glad I signed up for this tour. And I’m also thrilled to support another Canadian author. Here’s my review.

Goodreads | Common Deer Press | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Published by: Imprint

Publication Date: September 26, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytales, Retellings

Page Count: 288

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Enter the Grishaverse…

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, the tales in The Language of Thorns will transport you to lands both familiar and strange-to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, each of them lavishly illustrated and culminating in stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.


“Dark things have a way of slipping in through narrow spaces.”

Over the last few years, I’ve been looking for more retellings, fairytales, and folklore. I can’t stop myself by gravitating toward them. What is there to complain about? Readers enjoy to jump back into a familiar story, feel at home, and just live in these stories. In Language of Thorns, Leigh whisks me away, and I love her writing, storytelling, and captivating characters. The more she writes the more I want. She has evolved into a multi-faceted and talented author who I can’t help but adore.

These stories don’t match her other ones. The tone and writing are completely separate but are a part of her Grishaverse. Is that a problem? No. I actually appreciate the separation.

I must also mention the artistry in and outside of this book. Sara Kipin, the illustrator, beautifully brings Leigh’s words to life. Each page reveals a new illustration in the book until the final one that gives you the end result. The book is worth the money, and, from time to time, I still keep catching myself flipping through the book. The Language of Thorns is a beautiful, haunting, lyrical, and dark collection of cleverly written tales. These stories aren’t you traditional folktale. She will take a traditional fairytale and turn it into a whimsically dark story of her own.

 

Ayama and the Thorn Wood

Ahh, I loved reading this story. Leigh weaves in bargains with betrayals, sacrifices, and power of an unremarkable girl, Ayama, who defies the odds of standing up against a beastly prince. Leigh incorporates many issues girls face in these kinds of stories: they can’t be the hero and must be pretty for them to have a good life. Ayama may be unattractive, but that fact doesn’t devalue her worth, and this story shows that sometimes the pretty girls don’t always get the happy ending.

 

The Too-Clever Fox

The anti-hero Koja the fox has never had a good start in life, so in order for him to survive, he outsmarts everyone in the forest. But this clever fox might be outwitted by a trickster he never sees coming. Smarts aren’t always a good thing.

 

The Witch of Duva

And here’s your twist on Hansel and Gretel and the evil stepmother. But that wicked old witch and mommy dearest aren’t the beasties you should fear. Leigh puts in the typical stereotypes in lore and then throws in a twist or two. I love this story.

 

Little Knife

Finally! Thank you, Leigh, for letting the girl not choose the man. Bow down to the queen. Give her that crown and throne. This tale is of a father who seeks the right, if I mean the most richest, suitor for his beautiful daughter and proposes a competition for all the men who want her. Whoever wins will get the hand of this fair maiden, but here’s a catch: she has other plans in mind.

 

The Soldier Prince

Leigh breaths in new life into this tale of the Nutcracker. He’s always there to serve, protect, and fight. But what if he wants something more in life. What if he wants something for himself. He finally wakes up. This story may keep you up at night.

 

When Water Sang Fire

I’ve found this story hard to read. The ending tore at me, made me want to hit something, yet showed me so much more. And that reaction is what I look for in a good story. Leigh throws in a new twist for this Little Mermaid retelling. What are you willing to give up so your people will accept you? What will you do to be who you want to be? Well, she sprinkles in some treachery and betrayal, and you have a poignant yet powerful tale.

And I finally meet a certain someone who goes by the name of Darkling. Bring on the swoon.

 

Waiting on Wednesday: An Enchantment of Ravens and The Language of Thorns

Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, is a weekly meme that showcases upcoming book releases readers are eagerly awaiting.

 

An Enchantment of Ravens

Margaret Rogerson

Publication Date: September 26, 2017

Page Count: 304

Isobel 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 autumn lands 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.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Why Am I Waiting?

Lately, I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this debut novel. I can’t wait to read it. I need more fae stories in my life! And just read that blurb. Doesn’t it sound wonderful?

The overall concept of the book is giving me a Wintersong feel to it. So I hope it’ll live up to the hype. And I can’t get over how beautiful that cover is!

 


The Language of Thorns

Leigh Bardugo

Publication Date: September 26, 2017

Page Count: 288

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, the tales in The Language of Thorns will transport you to lands both familiar and strange―to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, each of them lavishly illustrated and culminating in stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Why Am I Waiting?

Let me be honest here. I will buy anything, ANYTHING, from Leigh, so delving more into Grishaverse is just what I’ve been looking for. Even though I haven’t read the Grisha Trilogy, which is on my Christmas haul, I’ve been dying to get into it since I first read Six of Crows. On Goodreads, I also saw some of the interior illustrations, and they’re just convincing me more to buy this book.

Secretly, since I missed out on the Grishaverse when it first came out, I hope the author will expand the world even more than she has with her two other series. A book lover can always hope!

Are you looking forward to it? Let me know in the comments!