Hurricane Florence was a very… interesting storm. She moved super slowly and thankfully, she didn’t impact us in Chapel Hill nearly as much as she could. We got a few inches of rain and a little bit of wind. The coast and other parts of NC look really bad, so I’m definitely thinking of them and all of the damage that has been done to some of my favorite parts of the state.
Updates on reading- since the storm didn’t hit us as hard as we were expecting, we didn’t lose power at all, so I had to do real work all day Thursday and Friday, which meant no real reading time then. With that, I was only able to finish 3 books this weekend: Two Dark Reigns, Seafire, and Save the Date.
I loved Two Dark Reigns and Save the Date, so definitely be on the lookout for those reviews coming soon. Seafire was good too, don’t get me wrong, but that review might take a little longer than the other two haha
Within Hurricane Florence on her way to hit the NC and SC coast, there’s a pretty decent chance of power outages and high winds here inland where I am, so when the power goes out and I can’t work anymore, I have a whole list of books that I’m planning on reading!
It’s an ambitious list but let’s get started!
Two Dark Reigns
Save the Date
The Raging Ones
The Girl in the Tower
The Forest Queen
Let’s see if I can get through these books by Monday!
The Queen’s Rising came out back in early February and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since then, but I wasn’t able to get around to it until late August/early September when I was looking for a new audiobook to listen to. I’m so glad I finally got to it!
The Queen’s Rising 4/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron. Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron. Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes. With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?
I really liked the world that Rebecca Ross built in the Queen’s Rising and I loved the characters! I’m not a huge fan of the summary Goodreads gives us- some aspects of the summary (“…a disgraced lord offers her patronage.” We don’t know he’s a disgraced lord when he offers her patronage- all I remember them telling us at the beginning is that he’s a lawyer and Brienna figures out that he’s a disgraced lord on her own after she’s already accepted patronage from him) seem like they’re a little off from the actual book… I thought the pacing in the first half and some of her time at Magnalia were a little slow and when they were in Maevana, things seemed like they were moving really, really fast.
Overall though, I enjoyed the premise of the book, the characters, and the plot. I cannot wait to see what happens in book 2!
I love Richelle Mead. I’ve read so many of her books (I’ve read all of the Georgina Kincaid books, all of the Vampire Academy books, all of the Bloodlines books, all of the Dark Swan books, all of the Glittering Court books, and I own (but haven’t read… yet) the Age of X books) and I’m a big fan of her writing!
The Emerald Sea 3.5/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: Meet Tamsin, the Glittering Court’s hard-angled emerald. Her outsized aspirations make her a fierce competitor, rising to the top of the ranks. But when the ship she boards for the New World is tragically lost at sea, she is quite literally thrown off-course.
I loved the first two Glittering Court books- I loved the narrators- Mira and Adelaide were such interesting characters and reading from their points of view was so fun. I was really nervous about reading the Emerald Sea because Tamsin is the main character and I really disliked her in both the Glittering Court and Midnight Jewel, and honestly, I feel like I was right to be nervous. I read the first 150 or so pages, and really was not a fan, so I skipped forward to the last like 150 pages (skipping the middle 170 or so pages). This last section was so great and I didn’t really feel like I missed out on anything by missing the middle of Tamsin’s story. I’m sure there were some big plot points in there, and Tamsin felt like a very different character by the end, so I know I missed some character development, but all in all, I really enjoyed the last 1/3 of the book. It felt like I was finally reading a Richelle Mead book.
Overall, I think if you’ve read the first two Glittering Court books, you’re going to want to read the Emerald Sea- don’t expect it to follow the same kind of pacing as the other two books though. The end definitely makes up for the middle.
Have you read the Emerald Sea? Do you agree/disagree with my opinions? Leave me a commend and let me know what you thought!
Generally, I’m not a huge historical fiction kind of person- I want to like historical fiction, but for some reason, in practice, when I read historical fiction with no fantastic elements, I get bored. That’s what happened with And I Darken, but when I got to Now I Rise, I liked it so much more (read my review here), so I was really excited to read Bright We Burn, and it definitely did not disappoint.
Bright We Burn 4/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?
Lada’s rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won’t rest until everyone knows that her country’s borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed’s peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.
But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister’s indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before–including her relationships–can Lada truly build the country she wants.
Claim the throne. Demand the crown. Rule the world.
Kiersten White did such a great job ending this trilogy with Bright We Burn. Radu grew as a character and stopped letting Lada and Mehmed use and abuse him. Lada was Wallachia’s and Wallachia was Lada’s. And Mehmed was gross and I hate him. This was definitely my favorite book of the three. I felt like all of the characters became who I wanted them to be and their endings cam about exactly how I wanted and expected them to. I 100% think that everyone should read these books (force yourself to finish And I Darken, because Now I Rise and Bright We Burn are for sure worth it).
Do y’all read historical fiction? Any recommendations? Have you read this trilogy? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
To preface this review, I don’t generally ever do horror- no horror books, no horror movies, no scary anything if I can help it, so it was really weird that I like actively looked for this book. I’m fascinated with diseases and epidemics/pandemics and the spread of disease, and just epidemiology in general (fun fact, I considered majoring in epidemiology, but then decided that social media marketing was more my style), so when I read the summary for this book, I was intrigued.
Contagion 4.5/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: It got in us After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.
Most are dead. But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.
Don’t set foot here again. As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.
I really enjoyed this book! Sometimes the multiple POVs got a little confusing, but once I got used to it, I was glad that the author decided to do that. There was so much action throughout the book and the premise of how the disease was contracted was so cool! This book kept me guessing and OMG THAT ENDING! Why is July 2019 so far away???
Of all of the characters, I think Nova is probably my favorite. There were so many unexpected things about him, and when I thought I had him and his motivations figured out, another wrench was thrown in and I was back to square one with him. That normally doesn’t happen in books, so I was so excited to actually have that mystery within this book.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book- but be sure to remember that it ends on a cliffhanger and you’re going to want book two right away- so be prepared!
Have y’all read Contagion? What did you think about it?
Since I did so well on my August TBR, I decided maybe I should write a September one too! Right now, I’m in the middle of Dawn of Legends by Eleanor Herman and The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross, so those are definitely on my September TBR. I finished Ruin and Rising last night, so that’s my first official September read! I have 7 books checked out from the library right now and I’m on the hold list for at least 3 books that will be ready this month, so that’s 10 more books right there. AND Two Dark Reigns came out today, so I have to read that. And I HAVE to start/get pretty far in my Throne of Glass reread this month, so I’m going to have to be really structured/dedicated in my reading this month haha
Here’s my list:
Dawn of Legends
The Queen’s Rising
Two Dark Reigns
The Traitor’s Ruin
Of Poseidon (I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to actually read this one or Of Triton, so if y’all have read them and would recommend them, let me know!)
Save the Date
The Raging Ones
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire
The Girl in the Tower
Not if I Save you First
So…. that’s 15 books. Let’s see if that will actually happen or not…