The Darkest Part of the Forest readalong, week one. Spoilers beware!
After one great battle, the Architects disappeared. Yet humanity’s fragile peace is brief. For, forty years later, the galaxy’s greatest alien enemy has returned. This time, the artefacts that preserved entire worlds from destruction are ineffective. And no planet is safe. The Human Colony worlds are in turmoil as they face extinction. Some believe alliances with other species can save them. Others insist humanity must fight alone. But no one has the firepower or technology to ensure victory, as the Architects loom ever closer. Idris spent decades running from the last war’s horrors. Yet as an Intermediary, altered to navigate deep space, he’s one of humanity’s only weapons. He’s therefore forced back into action. With a handful of allies, Idris must find something – anything – to stop the Architects’ pitiless advance. But to do so, he must return to the nightmare of unspace, where his mind was broken and remade. What he discovers there will change everything.
The ragtag group from Jalard have finally reached Shemet, Sharma’s capital city. Scarred and bereft, they bring with them the grim tale of what happened to their village, and a warning about the ancient powers that have been awakened and now threaten all humanity. Despite this, some of them still hope that reaching sanctuary within… Continue reading Book Review: Blood Legacy by Tej Turner
After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra—the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter—has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself. Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince—if she can complete three impossible tasks. But, as is the way in tales of princes, witches, and daughters, the impossible is only the beginning. On her quest, Marra is joined by the gravewitch, a reluctant fairy godmother, a strapping former knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon. Together, the five of them intend to be the hand that closes around the throat of the prince and frees Marra's family and their kingdom from its tyrannous ruler at last.
In an empire ruled by bone shard magic, the new Emperor finally sits in her hard-earned throne, but dangers still lie ahead and enemies hide at every turn. Lin Sukai now rules the Phoenix Empire, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don't trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the north-east of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force. Yet a greater threat looms on the horizon, for the Alanga - the powerful magicians of legend - have returned. Lin may need their help to defeat the rebels and restore order. But can she trust them?
I have read more YA books than usual recently, and I have been appreciating the way in which they can often be more honest than adult fiction, and that when they deal with the realities of the world - with or without using fantastical elements - it feels more sincere. Obviously I do not think… Continue reading Mini Reviews: Teen Excellence
Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity using cunning and magic to help rule their small, unstable country. Rhea controls the seasons to show favor to their most loyal stewards with bountiful harvests and short winters, while Lexos keeps the tides strong and impassable to maintain the country’s borders. Reigning over them… Continue reading Review: In A Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power
It has been twelve years since The War of Ashes, but animosity still lingers between the nations of Sharma and Gavendara, and only a few souls have dared to cross the border between them. The villagers of Jalard live a bucolic existence, nestled within the hills of western Sharma, and far away from the boundary which was once a warzone. To them, tales of bloodshed seem no more than distant fables. They have little contact with the outside world, apart from once a year when they are visited by representatives from the Academy who choose two of them to be taken away to their institute in the capital. To be Chosen is considered a great honour… of which most of Jalard’s children dream. But this year the Academy representatives make an announcement which is so shocking it causes friction between the villagers, and some of them begin to suspect that all is not what it seems. Just where are they taking the Chosen, and why? Some of them intend to find out, but what they discover will change their lives forever and set them on a long and bloody path to seek vengeance…
A MYTHIC WORLD. A LOST CHILD. A 177-YEAR-OLD WITCH. A DEADLY REGAL CHANCELLOR. A MYSTERY WITH MANY ANSWERS. Part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman - the witch Sogolon - who bows to no man, this is an unforgettable exploration of power, personality, and the places where they overlap, set in a world… Continue reading Review: Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James
Blades Edge premier gangster, Trolley Mick, owes a favour to a family whose son, Daniel Jerrings, has vanished. He wants Mal to pay it. Jackie’s friend from the military, Spider, is also missing. And though Jackie doesn’t really do friends, he does do loyalty and that means Mal does too. But it seems that there are plenty of other people out there looking for Spider, and everything is spiralling down the drain in a wash of designer drugs, UFOs, racists, violent youth gangs and a group of evangelical Americans with their own agenda. Somehow, it all involves a missing teenager but nothing adds up, and violence lurks around every corner. Discovering the truth means sinking deeper into the grimy world of organised crime where dangerous people have an awful lot to lose, and a way out for Mal and Jackie is getting harder and harder to see.