2017 Holiday Gift Guide, 2017 Releases, Backlist, Recommendations

Day 14: A Little Bit of Magic

FANTASY IS THE BEST, ISN’T IT? I mean, honestly, what is better than travelling to a different world or finding unique magic or being able to escape into a completely different realm? Here are some fantasies I super love.

Once again, all titles in alphabetical order 🙂

 

Hardcovers

Beasts Made of Night
by Tochi Onyebuchi

9781620142998In book one of the Beasts Made of Night series, seventeen-year-old Taj sets off on an epic journey. In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts–lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt. Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family. When Taj is called to eat a sin of a member of the royal family, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves–and his own life. Debut author Tochi Onyebuchi delivers an unforgettable series opener that powerfully explores the true meaning of justice and guilt. Packed with dark magic and thrilling action, Beasts Made of Night is a gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy perfect for fans of Paolo Bacigalupi and Nnedi Okorafor.

Rachel says:

Amazing mythology factor: 10/10

How-is-this-a-debut factor: 10/10

Buy it for the one who likes: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

 

Library of Fates
by Aditi Khorana

9781595148582No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything–family, her childhood love, and her freedom–to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.
The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on one another. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.
Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life–and another love–await?

Rachel says: 

Gorgeousness factor: 10/10

Unique factor: 10/10

Buy it for the one who likes: The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

 

Rosemarked
by Livia Blackburne

9781484788554A healer who cannot be healed . . .
When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art-until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.
A soldier shattered by war . . .
Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule-even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.
Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.
This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.

Rachel says: 

Characters in ironic situations factor: 10/10

Otherworld but not focused on magic factor: 10/10

Buy it for the one who likes: The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

 

Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor

9780316341684The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way aroundand Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries–including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.

Rachel says:

Lush writing factor: 10/10

STUNNING factor: 10/10

Buy it for the one who likes: Leigh Bardugo, the library

 

 

Paperbacks

Fate of Flames
by Sarah Raughley

9781481466783
Years ago, everything changed.
Phantoms, massive beasts of nightmare, began terrorizing the world. At the same time, four girls–the Effigies–appeared, each with a unique power to control a classical element. Since then, they have protected the world from the Phantoms. At the death of one Effigy, another is chosen, pulled from her normal life into the never-ending battle.
When Maia unexpectedly becomes the next Fire Effigy, she resists her new calling. A quiet girl with few friends and almost no family, she was much happier to admire the Effigies from afar. Never did she imagine having to master her ability to control fire, to protect innocent citizens from the Phantoms, or to try bringing together the other three Effigies.
But with the arrival of the mysterious Saul–a man who seems to be able to control the Phantoms using the same cosmic power previously only granted to four girls at a time–Maia and the other Effigies must learn to work together in a world where their celebrity status is more important than their heroism.
But the secrets Saul has, and the power he possesses, might be more than even they can handle…

Rachel says: 

Severely underrated factor: 10/10

Awesomeness factor: 10/10

Buy it for the one who likes: Heroes, Fantastic Four


The Girl at Midnight
by Melissa Grey

9780385744669Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from all but one human: Echo, a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market.
The Avicen are the only family Echo has ever known, so when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act. Legend has it that to end the conflict once and for all, Echo must find the firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

Rachel says: 

Awesome magical beings factor: 10/10

ALL THE FLIRTiNG factor: 10/10

Buy it for the one who likes: Shadowhunters

 

The Reader
by Traci Chee

9780147518057Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book–a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed–and punish the people responsible.

Rachel says: 

Book magic! factor: 10/10

Incredible factor: 10/10

Buy it for the one who likes: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, GREAT BOOKS


The Star Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi

9781250100207Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

Rachel says: 

Stunning imagery factor: 10/10

Book inside matches the incredible cover factor: 10/10

Buy it for the one who likes: Renee Ahdieh, Laini Taylor


 

Preorder

9781250170972
March 6

Back to Day 13

Onto Day 15

❤ Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Day 14: A Little Bit of Magic”

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