Thursday, January 7, 2016

Author Susan Dennard brings us a new young adult fantasy full of magic and adventure!

Description From
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble--as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It's a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her--but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi's hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship's captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

In May of 2015, I traveled to St Paul, MN to see the newest author I have been obsessing over, Sarah Maas. During her talk, she told us about her BFF Susan Dennard, another author. Dennard's novels so far were steampunk, which I am not a fan of. But Ms Maas told us about a new novel she was writing, another young adult fantasy called Truthwitch. Ever since, I have been absolutely dying to read this book. It's finally here! AND, it was fabulous.

Safiya and Iseult have been best of friends for years. Iseult saved Safiya's life as children and they are bonded, a deeper bond than just mere freindship. They are Threadsisters, tasked with taking care of each other the rest of their lives. Safiya is a Truthwitch, she can tell if someone is telling her the truth or not. Iseult is a Threadwitch, she can read people's threads and tell their emotions.
Iseult comes from a somewhat gypsy like camp, and there are many prejudices against her people. Safiya is a domna, which is the gentry, although a poor and unimportant one she feels. 

Safiya and Iseult have many adventures, including slight of hand and pick pocketing. They were trained by professionals, who also trained them in how to fight. But their newest adventure has them coming across a Bloodwitch. The Bloodwitch is a firece fighter who can track people and witches by their scent. Iseult and Safi must run and fast to escape. 

Iseult and Safi meet many interseting people along the road to freedom. I can't really describe this book, it has so much going on in it. The description from Amazon is the best. I liked the characters alot, I loved the world that Dennard has created.  

This book is perfect for readers of Sarah Maas' "Throne of Glass" series. I'm going to go crazy waiting a year for the next book, because OF COURSE there were SEVERAL cliffhangers! Anyways, this really was a fantastic book!

"Impostor Queen", a new novel for fans of Throne of Glass and Graceling

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

When the Valtia is crowned, the priests go in search of a girl with a certain birthmark, the heir to the throne. It is not a hereditary line, magic chooses it's heir. The heir is known as the Saadella. She only sees the Valtia twice a year during ceremonies. This Saadella, though, wishes for more. She's inquisitive and headstrong. When the Valtia dies a sudden, horrible death, the Saadella is taken to ceremonial chambers where the magic enters her body. But something goes wrong and it doesn't happen like its supposed to.

After willingly being tortured to bring the magic forward in her, the new Valtia is ushered by her maid to run. The next brand of torture isn't going to be torture, it's going to be death. Saadella, dropping that name and taking her real name of Elli, manages to get away and run.

She's caught in a trap of some sort but is rescued, rather unwillingly, by Oskar, one of the banished rebels living in the mines. She learns of this community that takes care of each other, that have magic when no one but priests and the queen should have it. She makes friends, but of course it can't last. 

Though a little slow to start, a little slow for me to understand what all was going, I ended up enjoying this book. I liked Ellie and the way she never stopped asking questions. I felt like we should have had a little more back story to begin with, but it tied pretty well together in the end. I can't wait to find out what happens next. 

New young adult paranormal book out by Brenda Drake "Thief of Lies

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels-magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books-rescue them from a demonic hound.
Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren't busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.
When I read the description of this book I said to myself.. Yep, I have GOT to read it.. Libraries! As a librarian, of course I am obsessed. And I did enjoy the book. Gia is a likable character. The story itself is a little on the light side, there is no major deep thinking going on in it, but thats okay with me. I read for pleasure, not to think.

Gia is thrust into a world that she never knew about, one her mother wasn't able to pass on because she died when Gia was young. Having to deal with being the Doomsday Child also makes it difficult, because if anyone finds out, she will be killed. 

Her attraction to Arik is also complicated, because Sentinels are not allowed to be together, because of the threat of two sentinels created the Doomsday Child. Gia now has to train to be a Sentinel and at the same time keep her secret, but people are never who they seem to be and Gia wants to keep her family and friends safe.

Okay, So I suck at writing book reviews, but I really did like this book.