Recommended:sure For a faery tale that is pretty much exactly what you would expect, for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses, for a story that’s more about the character and the plot than any romance
Summary: Faerie wasn’t supposed to be real. Tricked by a fae prince, Elora is stuck in the Faerie realm far from her young sisters who depend on her for survival. Under the terms of her bargain, she can’t go home to the mortal world until Prince Brannick becomes the next High King. Or until he’s taken out of the running… Sabotaging Brannick’s chance at the crown will be much faster than helping him win. The fae prince may be charming, powerful, and wickedly handsome, but that won’t stop Elora from selling his secrets to the highest bidder. By day, she uses her master sword skills to train the prince, while ignoring her growing attraction to him. By night, she conspires with a rival king in a nearby court whose plans could destroy half of Faerie. If she gets caught, Brannick will kill her. But what’s life without a little bit of danger?
Thoughts: I was delighted by how much I enjoyed Kay L Moody’s other series, The Elements of the Crown, so when I saw that she had published the first in a new series, I was ready to jump in. From the description, I expected it to be a fun read but probably not anything that would blow me away with originality, and that’s about what I got. The world of fae and strong human females who get pulled into the world is a very popular theme, so it’s hard to do anything new, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be done well — and Moody certainly did!
Recommended: yes For a fantasy that covers a lot of elements, for a story that progresses through different interesting stages and plot lines, for an MC who feels real
Summary: In an empire divided into three rings, seventeen-year-old Talise is from the dangerous and crime-laden outer ring. Her only chance for escape is to become Master Shaper—an honored position in the palace court and military. Each year, the emperor chooses one student to receive the title. After ten years of training at an elite academy, Talise clearly has a gift for manipulating the elements of water, air, earth, and fire. But Aaden, a handsome student from the privileged inner ring, is poised to steal the title away from her. When they come before the emperor, he is impressed with the great skill both Talise and Aaden possess. He presents them with a set of trials, and she knows this is the chance she needs to prove herself. As long as Aaden doesn’t ruin everything. But secrets hide in every corner of the palace, masking a conflict far more dangerous than her previous home in the outer ring. Now, she must play along with the emperor’s lies and games, or else she will lose her life to an enemy she never expected.
Thoughts: I’m really glad I got the collection of the first four novels, because if I had to stop at the end of any of the different books I would have been mad. And that is always a good sign! I was delighted to learn there’s even another after this set, which I will be picking up soon. I’m not sure if that one is the end of the series or not, and I’m also not sure if I want it to be.
The farthest back and farthest forward publish dates of books I’v read. Quite a range there! One from a time we now measure in negative numbers, to a year that hasn’t happened yet. Booksirens has some cool analysis of Goodreads data.
That -500 one in Chinese is Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War. I read it during a rough period at work, seeking inspiration. I didn’t get much inspiration, but it was entertaining! I tried to figure out why it’s still touted as a great business book…and failed.
Recommended: nah It felt too cookie cutter, like a practice story that was given the major path to follow and then filled in with the corresponding characters and events. Also in dire need of some basic proofreading / editing. Honestly, if the digital version can be updated with some fixes to those issues, it would be 3 stars.
Summary: Learn the origins of the wise old wizard from when he was still young and naive…. Falin is twenty years into his thousand-year life as a wizard, which means it’s time for him to set out with champions from each kingdom to find the gems destined to bring him to his full power as a wizard. When it’s revealed that he must travel into the Wildbarrens, a place of unbounded evil and where the dark Warlocks are only one of many problems, the journey takes on an unexpected amount of peril (even for an already admittedly perilous journey!)