If you’re like me you very much enjoyed Sorcery of Thorns, if you’re also like me you were sputtering at the cliffhanger to the ending of the book. Luckily author Margaret Rogerson decided to grace us with a novella. While I easily could have read another 300 plus pages about Elizabeth, Nathaniel and Silas this was a nice little bow to tie the ending off with along with being its own self contained set of mysteries for Elizabeth and Nathaniel to solve.
This new set of mysteries are are centered around Thorn manor’s ancient wards, magical protections that have been set by the estate’s owners for centuries. The wards while usually helpful to protect the manor have gone rouge, trapping Elisabeth Scrivener inside with Nathaniel Thorn as they are just settling into their new life together with their recently returned demon companion Silas. Nathaniel doesn’t seem to mind the bushes that are attacking reporters though, as they are hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart.
The wards seem to get especially feral though when Elizabeth and Nathaniel start to get close to one another, causing things to come alive in the house, old rooms to appear, with one particularly amusing incident involving one of Nataniel’s relatives cursed knickers. But there are also wild grimoires which Elizabeth takes to task to try and fix and and a garden which makes a special appearance for Elizabeth.
Still with no access to the outside world Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas—along with their new maid Mercy—will all have to work together to find the source of the magic behind their malfunctioning wards. Especially since Nataniel is due to host the Midwinter Ball. Can Elizabeth find all the house’s secrets when all she wants to do is kiss Nathaniel silly? Especially when it’s clear the house requires a price for their closeness, will they break or will they be able to lean on their connection to grow together and take things to the next level.
This book was a delightful little treat. I knew I had to have it the moment I heard it was coming out. These characters were such a treat to experience again. I especially loved that we got to see more background on the Thorns as a family and on Silas. The house itself felt like it was a character the writing felt so alive especially the living wardrobe scene and Silas’ reaction to it. I know this is probably it for these characters but anything more in this universe I’d absolutely love.
I love the Orilium readathon, I had a great time with it in April and was looking forward to it this August. In April I managed to finish all my classes with no problem before the end of the month. But I don’t know if it was post COVID slowing me down or the fact that the fall semester was harder but I didn’t manage to finish all of the August prompts I’ll list first what I did finish then I’ll show you what I have to finish in September.
I had to get the second level Qualifed in Art of Illusion. I managed to do this via two books. For the Ordinary level Blur Face prompt: a book I didn’t know much about. I did Anne of West Philly. This was a great diverse graphic novel retelling of Anne of Green Gables.
I needed an Ordinary in Spells and Incantations I got this through the Spell Recolor where I picked a book via color wheel a then had to pick a book based on color. The color I got was teal and the book I picked was Just Roll with It.
This was an interesting book that explored OCD and dealt with it through the sufferer comfort interest of tabletop rpgs.
Need to Do
That was mostly what I finished. I still need to finish Psionics and Divination which has three books one that has has time travel, a book with the same word as your last read, I’m currently working on that one, that is second hand
I just went to the second hand book store and bought some books so I have that covered.
I also need a text with the cover the colors of the country or state flag, which is harder than I expected.
Another one I had a problem with was a book of someone’s worst list. At this point I’ve just decided to count the next book I come across because everyone hated at least one of the books I’m reading.
I’m also going to probably do some quests to get my guild points up and get ready for April when this comes around again or if there is a holiday surprise readathon.
I need to review all the books that I did for Magical Readathon as well as doing a wrapup for that readathon. But I really enjoyed the Year of the Reaper so I wanted to review it first.
Three years ago Lord Cassia was on a mission from the King, until he was ambushed by enemy soldiers and spent three years rotting in prison. Meanwhile a plague sweeps over the land leaving countless dead and deavesting the kingdom. Cas is spared, and finally manages to free himself from his prision.
Now all he wants is is to return to his home in the mountains a forget his time as a prisoner. But with the shadow of the plague hanging over everyone his home is not what he remembers. It has become a refuge for the royal court and they have brought the past and the shadow of the reaper with them.
So when an assassin targets those closest to the Queen, Cas finds himself with a mystery on his hands one that leads him to need the help of brilliant young historian Lena. But Cas and Lena soon realize who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. On the trail of a terrible secret that could threaten newfound peace between two kingdoms and plunge them back into war.
Cas and Lena must solve the mystery save the queen and figure out the secrets of the past before it comes for them.
Review of Year of the Reaper
Cas was a great main character he was well written and believable in his thoughts and fears. Normally I don’t like male MCs but Cas was written very well and had a complex and believable personality so that I made an exception to my rule. I’m also reading more of Lucier’s work and it seems like this ability to make me like her male characters extends to other pieces of fiction so I will give her points for that.
I also loved the mystery it was very well written and it kept me guessing till the end, which is tough for most books to do so I’m happy with that as well. I’d give the book at 5/5 especially for its relevance to modern events.
Okay so I missed the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag however it is still summer and I have plenty of the rest of the year to panic. Here as my distribution of books you can spot where I got Covid in May and the Orilium readathon in April. This was done at the start of August so is not a true representation of the month.
1.) Best book so far in 2022
This was a tough one going with content over things you just love, hmm. But the Bone Spindle had to be my favorite it was both beautiful and wonderful in story. But at Mid-Year this book has to be my favorite. It’s a sweet gender flipped retelling of several fairytales worth a look for anyone who like that genre, I can’t wait to read the sequel, hopefully out next year.
Here are my thoughts on the book as well as an Amazon link for purchase.
Since it’s Mid-Year this wins over a sequel that comes out in September. The Genesis Wars was far and above one of the best books I’ve read and definitely the best sequel it also ends on a cliffhanger so we’ll be seeing more of the world so I can’t wait for that.
This has been one I’ve been trying to pick up but the library keeps taking it back before I finish reading anyone I need to focus on reading this is the point of it. It’s really witchy and very cool and I’ll probably get it read in the fall if nothing else. But I love Claribel A. Ortega and would love to finish it sooner maybe for Orillium readathon.
4)Most anticipated release for the second half of 2022
There is only one choice for this for this I’ve been waiting two years for this book. I did have a little sort of guide in between with a novella. But I’ve been waiting for the novel. Now only a couple months away. The ninth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Stellarlune. As you see it’s beautiful, and it’s on top of the list of the series I can’t wait for, and I have a lot.
I thought this was going to be a good horror novel but it was more psychological and by that it was a girl manipulating everyone psychologically to avoid them finding out a secret, the real drama was a family drama. And while in had all the elements of a good horror novel it just wasn’t scary. A little horrifying maybe at what people can do but you weren’t ever scared of the main villain. A good possibility for horror lost.
I’d never read Rosie Thor before and I’d heard mixed reviews but honestly the cover on this one got me and then the story drew me in. It was a political allogory of the US 2016 election and the conclusion is amazing. It is was really one of my favorite books and I love the character growth throughout.
I’ve read a lot of graphic novels this year because they seem to keep me from slumping. So far I’ve discovered Johnathan Mayberry’s wonderful zombie fiction and Jules Machias’ excellent middle grade novel. Along with great political fiction by KayLynn Flanders and found great disability fiction from Monica Roe.
8) Newest fictional Crush
I don’t have any because I’m 31 and I’m reading YA and that would be weird.
9) Newest Favorite Character
Nix, Lilah and Riot from Rot and Ruin Series, Mandy from I am not Starfire, Jenna from Shielded.
10) Book that made you cry?
These two books made me cry but for two very different reasons, one made me cry because of its relation to real life and what the heroine does and what I’d like to be able to do.
The second because it’s simply sad, I was very invested in the characters and I won’t say spoilers but the outcome made me cry.
11) Book that made you happy?
This whole book made me happy though it’s only the first volume of the series I liked the friendships and the powers of the girls, it reminded me of Sailor Moon which always makes me happy.
12) Favorite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen so far this year?
Can it be comic book to movie? Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness was amazing despite my issues with how they treated Elizabeth Olsen’s character it was still a class A movie.
13) What’s your favorite blog post?
The book you seemed to like the most was the one where I did a post about books as scents. Here, there were also some readathon posts but that posts but that one seem to be the most popular. At mid-year I haven’t done as many post as I’d like so I’ll have to put some more energy back into that.
14) Most beautiful book you bought this year?
I mostly get books from the library. I’ve gotten some pretty ones but nothing I can really think of?
15) What do you need to read by the end of the year?
At Mid-Year I’ve read no where near the amount of books I need to read I had Covid this year so it really put me behind for I’d say the whole summer. I know I won’t make my 100 book goal but I’d like to get at least 20 more books maybe closer to 30 read. I’m really behind this year.
If you remember back to April, you may not it’s kinda foggy to me. I did the Orilium Magical Readathon. It had linked back previously to the Novice Path where you created a character by going through a wilderness to go to a magical school. The Orilium Magical Readathon picked up where you were at the school and choosing your major so to speak, I chose to be a Dream Walker, they basically work with people’s dreams to especially if they are hurt or injured to help keep them happy and peaceful.
Also not completely ethical they can Dream Walkers can also manipulate it, influencing their next moves and planting the seeds of ideas the dreamers will think were their own, subtly influencing their actions. Once again, there are ethical concerns about meddling with such things. Though my Dream Walker is definitely on the sweeter side.
In the Orilium Spring Equinox we had to read a certain number of books based on subjects. This semester we have to read books to a certain level Ordinary, Qualifed or Distinguished. So we have more books to read because of this. Plus there are always the awesome quests.
As for my character here is their Orillium school ID.
We also have my Autumn Semester TBR.
I’m very excited to get back into this readathon I enjoyed it. I liked the community that came with the readathon the first time around. If you are looking for more information about the Discord and the Pateron of the Book Roast’s the readathon’s creator, check out the announcement video.
You know SAD, seasonal affective disorder that thing everyone gets in the winter. Nope not me I get it in the summer. If you look at the blog every year I have problems posting in the during June, July and August. I’ve tried different things to help. But I think I’m just going to have to end up taking summers off. I’ve had no motivation since May. Now it’s coming back. I don’t know if it’s the heat it has been pretty mild for summer where I am. It might be part of my schizophrenia as I just saw a poll where people voted that their symptoms get worse in the summer.
Mine sure do, plus I had, this summer, COVID for a month, a stomach virus from hell, and messed up my meds so I was out of it, this came to me being sick the whole summer. So posting wasn’t my first priority but I was reading and while I don’t think I’ll reach my goal of 125 books this year. I’m going to keep reading a try for 50 with a 75 stretch.
So it wasn’t the worst Summer when it came to reading I read some great books, all of which I plan to review here. Still personally it could have been better, on the upside though I got into D&D which has really been fun and has improved my life. So that was one positive from the summer. Tomorrow we will look at my TBR for the Magical Readathon which I’m so excited to be a part of.
I was recently invited on a blog tour for this book by one of the Publicity Mangers at Algonquin Young Readers. SLIP is a new graphic novel byMarika McCoola and Aatmaja Pandya. SLIP deals with the have crafted a nuanced story about the many ways art can change us forever.
SLIP brings to life both the excitement and heartbreak of being a teenager and the fleeting and beautiful feeling that one summer can hold dozens of exhilarating possibilities. The perfect read for fans of heartfelt stories about personal identity and first love like Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero O’Connell and Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Kevin Ganucheau, SLIP captures both the magic and anguish of growing older and the catharsis that creating art can bring.
Jade is excited to go to an exclusive summer art intensive, but right before she is about to leave, her best friend Phoebe attempts suicide. How will Jade be able to focus on her artwork during this dream opportunity? But at the Art Farm, Jade discovers artistic possibilities she has been longing to experience her whole life. And as she gets to know her classmates, she begins to fall for whimsical, upbeat, comfortable-in-her-own-skin Mary. Jade knows she needs to keep her focus on her art, but her worry about Phoebe and her budding crush on Mary leave her overwhelmed by conflicting emotions. She channels her stress and insecurities into making ceramic monsters, but when she puts her creatures in the kiln, something unreal happens – they come to life. And they’re taking a stand: if Jade won’t confront her problems, her problems are going to confront her. Including the one she is desperately trying to avoid: If Jade grows, prospers, and even falls in love this summer, is she abandoning her best friend? Can she discover who she really is without losing Phoebe in the process?
Review of Slip
Jade has problems finding her theme in her art because she won’t face her emotions. I think her main problem though is her codependency with Phoebe. It holds her back nearly the whole piece from embracing her pieces or embracing her relationship with Mary. I think this is a good piece about finding yourself beyond people you may love but who may not be good for you. I love the final pages when Jade makes the piece of Phoebe I think that’s her most interesting piece in the book. This is a great read for Pride Month as Mary really supports Jade through all her issues.
I would give it a CW as there is artistic showing of female genitalia
About Marika McCoola: Marika McCoola is a writer, illustrator, educator, and the New York Times bestselling author of Baba Yaga’s Assistant. She has spent over a decade working to connect books with readers. She studied illustration, art history, creative writing, and ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and received her BFA in illustration in 2009. She lives in Somerville, MA.
About Aatmaja Pandya Aatmaja Pandya is a cartoonist and illustrator born and raised in New York. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2014 and has been illustrating professionally ever since. Slip is her first graphic novel. She lives in New York City.
So I’m sticking to one readathon in June, just one because I’m tired from COVID. Speaking of COVID I’m now over being contaigous but it turns out I had it for a month, COVID for a MONTH. No wonder may was so lackluster. Because of this I went with with Marvel A Thon. It has prompts I can meet yet a element of challenge This readathon is hosted by Lisadoeslife and has four teams based off of Marvel characters.
Along with team Black Widow hosted by Lisadoeslife, here is her introduction in the main video.
So what about the prompts and which team did I join do you ask? First off I joined Team Scarlet Witch. Wandavision made me cry real tears, and the Multiverse of Madness gave me feels for weeks. To be fair though it was close for Team Loki, because the Loki series also hit me in the feels and Tom Hiddleston is really a sweetheart. His fate in the main MCU timeline also made me cry some real tears and I can’t wait for the second season of Loki.
Five Star Prediction
I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile about a girl who work at Renaissance fair with her family and wants to be a knight but the role is traditionally reserved for boys. She’s trying to change the norm. I’ve just been excited for this one for awhile and am glad I’m finally getting a chance to read it.
I have an arc that I’m reading for this one. The there are two main characters in this one both with disabilities.
Miles Morales-Graphic Novel
After dealing with a close friends suicide attempt right before Jade is about to go to her art camp for the summer distracts her shouldn’t she be worried about her friend instead of focus on her camp. But she soon becomes comfortable and falls for another camper Mary. However her art isn’t letting her run from her feelings. Soon her creations are going to make her face down what she’s feeling if she won’t on her on.
For this book we had to let others on the Discord server pick which book they would like for us to read out of a group of our choices. This book is a gender bent retelling of The Three Musketeers with a someone dealing with a disability added in. Tania de Batz has always wanted to be a musketeer but that isn’t possible for a girl much less a disabled girl in France but things change rapidly soon after a something happens to her father and she finds herself at what she first thinks is a finishing school but turns out to be a school for lady spies.
Seventeen-year-old Eleanor is the last person in Salem to believe in witchcraft—or think that her life could be transformed by mysterious forces. After losing her best friend and first love, Chloe, Eleanor has spent the past year in a haze, vowing to stay away from anything resembling romance.
But when a handwritten guide to tarot arrives in the mail at the witchy souvenir store where Eleanor works, it seems to bring with it the message that magic is about to enter her life.
This will also fit the second prompt which will be revealed in a second. .
Since Scarlet Witch’s story isn’t exactly a happy one we need to choose a sad book. This book finds a girl herself facing her own and literal demons as she tries to erase her family’s shame in this great new horror novel by Claire Legrand.
So I’ve been absent. I’ve been dealing with some trauma plus a case of seasonal affective disorder, aka a summer slump. Finally, my hand is recovering from hitting it while skating. I’ll try to be better, I’m doing several read-alongs and while I won’t get all the books done, I’ve gotten a lot of the long ones out of the way on my TBR. The latest one I finished was Sorcery of Thorns.
Sorcery of Thorns is focused on the Great Libraries and specifically Elisabeth, she’s lived her whole life in the great library at Summershall. She’s grown up with the knowledge that all sorcerers are evil. This knowledge is about to be flipped on its head when everything she’s known is suddenly wrong. She’s facing down monsters and the ones she thought knew everything are now dead. But she’s not only facing down monsters, but she’s also winning?!
Clearly, something is amiss and the Great Libraries send Magister Nathaniel Thorn to check on it. He is of course a sorcerer. But soon he and his demon servant seem to be the only people Elisabeth is able to trust. As the three of them learn of a larger conspiracy will they have the power to bring this evil that is older than they imagined down or can nothing including sorcery and smarts stop this ancient evil?
Review of Sorcery of Thorns
This was a great book it was wonderful to go on an adventure with Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas, not to mention the great libraries there were some triggering scenes for potential assault towards women at several points but the girl always got the upper hand it was just threatened, and the perpetrators were in most cases killed or maimed.
Elisabeth is a great protagonist she’s got spunk and keeps Nathaniel and Silas both on their toes throughout the book.
My one issue is that ending man this book needs a sequel. Oh and Silas, fave character ever.
So I’m going to address the rest of my TBR’s this week. Starting with the most complex, Desert a Thon. In Desert a thon you have to roll for your reads. Here is my TBR I’m on Team Camel by the way, which is run by the wonderful Femke who is over at the Youtube Channel Bookish Buddies. Go and give her a visit along with Esmay her teammate on the channel who is also running one of the other teams on the readathon.
So here we have my Dessert a Thon TBR. I rolled with A D20, since I know some of these a chonks and I may struggle to read them in a month.
The process goes as such you go around the board rolling a die to get around this board.
If you land on your color you get two points if you choose to read the prompt of that color, you get one point if you choose any other prompt there are also wildcard spaces which you are allowed one.
There are twenty choice cards going by what you rolled from a d6 to a d20. I managed to match my color no times which was just lovely I did match the color with reading all the books of the color that I landed on.
Book 1-The Ice House
This book has to Involve a storm. For this book I chose the The Ice House, I found this one while I was on my trip. It’s about a global freeze. The focus is two friends trying to spend time with each other, definite pandemic feels.
Book 2-All for One
The prompt for this was a retelling. I could have gone with any of the common retellings but the one that I’m currently interested in is more unusual so I went with went with the new gender flipped chronic illness Three Musketeers retelling All For One.
Book 3- Cold The Night, Fast the Wolves
This was my wildcard pick so I chose one I needed read but haven’t had time. I got for a retelling that was doing Polar Fantasy. But I end up liking the idea from the book a lot, so it ended up on my TBR, so that’s why it’s my wildcard pick. Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves.
Book 4-Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls
This book had to be a fantasy and I wanted to get into magical realism and and my desert pick for the readathon. So I chose Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls plus it has been on has my TBR forever and I plan to get it finally read.
So these are my picks for Desert a Thon, a few a showing up in my other readathons because they are chonks and I’m cross listing, because my reading count is already looking like it’s going to crush me. But I need to get back on track for my yearly read goal so lots of books this month it is!