Wrap Up

June 2021 Wrap-up

Monthly Wrapup

Hello you wonderful people.

Welcome to my June wrap-up.  It looks like I had a better reading month than I thought. I finished 16 books and DNF’d 4, so not too bad. I did find a new favorite book for this year, The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri, I can not wait to see what happens next in this series. I was also able to I finish 2 series this month, which makes me feel a little bit better starting 4 other series.

5 Star Reads

Diana: Her True Story–in Her Own Words by Andrew Morton | Biography | Add to Goodreads

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn Saga – The Wax & Wayne Series #1 | Steampunk, Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri | (Burning Kingdoms #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Shadow Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Knights of the Realm #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Hidden Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Knights of the Realm #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn Saga – The Wax & Wayne Series #1 | Steampunk, Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Determined Miss Rachel by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #2) | Regency Romance, Clean Romance | Add to Goodreads

Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler | (Burningblade & Silvereye #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Clockwork Planet, Vol. 2 by Yuu Kamiya | (Clockwork Planet Manga #2) | Manga, Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Prince of Secrets and Shadows by C.S. Johnson | (The Order of the Crystal Daggers #2) | Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Romance | Add to Goodreads


4 Star Reads

In Solitude’s Shadow by David Green | Empire of Ruin | Dark Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Sumage Solution by G. L. Carriger | (San Andreas Shifters #1) | Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

Rise of the Huntress by Joseph Delaney | (The Last Apprentice #7) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark | (Dead Djinn Universe #0.5) | Fantasy, Steampunk, Mystery | Add to Goodreads


3 Star Reads

The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman | (Blacktongue #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads


2 Star Reads

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads


DNF

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen by Alison Weir | (Six Tudor Queens #1) | Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads

Ink & Sigil by Kevin Hearne | (Ink & Sigil #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova | (Married to Magic #1) | Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads


How was your reading month? Take to me below I would love to hear from you!

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TBR

June Update: 20 Books of Summer 2021 #20booksofsummer21

I thought that I would give updates for this challenge. Just in case you didn’t see my previous post you can find my 20 Books of Summer 2021 list here. 20 Books of Summer is is hosted by Cathy from 746books you can check out the rules (there really isn’t any) by clicking the link. This challenge runs from June 1, 2021 until September 1, 2021.

So how did I do in June…well I was able to knock off 10 books on this list. I knocked half the list down but there are some bid books still on this list and I wont lie I am a little intimidated and wondering why I did this to myself. I DNF’d 5 of the books so I have substitute books to fill in their spots. I know that I did not have to add any additional books but all I did was pick 5 from the books that I had already read in June.

Books that I finished:

Books that I DNF’d:

Books that I am adding in for the DND’d ones:

Books left to read on my list:

Are you doing any reading challenges this summer? If so how are you doing with them?

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? June 21, 2021

It's Monday What are you reading.png

Good Morning,

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.

Recent Books

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen by Alison Weir | (Six Tudor Queens #1) | Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads

Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir takes on what no fiction writer has done before: creating a dramatic six-book series in which each novel covers one of King Henry VIII s wives. In this captivating opening volume, Weirbrings to life the tumultuous tale of Katherine of Aragon, Henry s first, devoted, and true queen.

A princess of Spain, Catalina is only sixteen years old when she sets foot on the shores of England. The youngest daughter of the powerful monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina is a coveted prize for a royal marriage and Arthur, Prince of Wales, and heir to the English throne, has won her hand. But tragedy strikes and Catalina, now Princess Katherine, is betrothed to the future Henry VIII. She must wait for his coming-of-age, an ordeal that tests her resolve, casts doubt on her trusted confidantes, and turns her into a virtual prisoner.

Katherine s patience is rewarded when she becomes Queen of England. The affection between Katherine and Henry is genuine, but forces beyond her control threaten to rend her marriage, and indeed the nation, apart. Henry has fallen under the spell of Katherine s maid of honor, Anne Boleyn. Now Katherine must be prepared to fight, to the end if God wills it, for her faith, her legitimacy, and her heart.


Hidden Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Knights of the Realm #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

With Prince Henrick dead, a foreign army in league with the king, and the palace taken, Reid must find a way to right the wrongs for the people of Marsden.

Reid never expected to find love, friendship, or her mother in the kingdom of Axian. She also never expected to become a leader for her people. With the king threatening to overthrow the dukes and take complete control of the kingdom, Reid realizes she may be the only one in a position to stop him. With the ring her father gave her, the commanders of the army at her side, and a master schemer in league with her, Reid just might be able to pull off the greatest upset in Marsden history—all she has to do in step into the role she was born for.

To protect her kingdom, Reid must outsmart them all. Luckily, she’s spent the last eighteen year learning the art of manipulation, and she isn’t above putting those skills to the test. 


Ink & Sigil by Kevin Hearne | (Ink & Sigil #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails – and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.

But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse.

But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective – while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive. 


The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

An evocative combination of fantasy, history, and Jewish folklore, The Light of the Midnight Stars is fairytale-inspired novel from the author of The Sisters of the Winter Wood.

Deep in the Hungarian woods, the sacred magic of King Solomon lives on in his descendants. Gathering under the midnight stars, they pray, sing and perform small miracles – and none are more gifted than the great Rabbi Isaac and his three daughters. Each one is blessed with a unique talent – whether it be coaxing plants to grow, or predicting the future by reading the path of the stars.

When a fateful decision to help an outsider ends in an accusation of witchcraft, fire blazes through their village. Rabbi Isaac and his family are forced to flee, to abandon their magic and settle into a new way of life. But a dark fog is making its way across Europe and will, in the end, reach even those who thought they could run from it. Each of the sisters will have to make a choice – and change the future of their family forever.


Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler | (Burningblade & Silvereye #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world, in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy

Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.


The Determined Miss Rachel by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #2) | Regency Romance, Clean Romance | Add to Goodreads

She wants nothing more than to leave.
He wants nothing more than for her to stay.

Change may be the only constant in life, but for Rachel Chant change has only ever meant loss. First her father passed, then she was forced to leave her mother, and now she has even lost her home. Enough is enough and Rachel determines to find a way to be with her mother once again. She is no longer a little girl, dependent on those charged with her care, and she won’t stand by while her mother slips beyond reputable society and further into poverty.

Christopher Dunn has always lived among the comforts of high society, but never as a true member. The son of a musician and now a tutor, he has long since given up on having a home or family. Change and disruption are a way of life for him. He’s a man without roots, and he’s fine with that. That is, until he meets Rachel.

Steady in the face of uncertainty and with a love of music that runs as deep as his own, Rachel first captures Christopher’s interest and soon afterward his heart. However, Rachel’s determination to return home won’t let her rest. But to return home would be to leave Christopher. Life, it seems, is not yet done taking away those she loves, and this time it just might be more than either of them can endure.

As the second stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Determined Miss Rachel continues the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era (think: a clean Bridgerton). All books in this series have their own Happily-Ever-After and can be read apart or enjoyed in proper order.


Currently Reading

The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis | Historical Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters – a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek find solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová– a widow with secrets of her own.

When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady – a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle – he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o’-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travellers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners.

After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.


The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn Saga – The Wax & Wayne Series #1 | Steampunk, Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

hree hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metal minds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.


A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark | (Dead Djinn Universe #1) | Historical Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.

So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world 50 years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.

Alongside her Ministry colleagues and her clever girlfriend Siti, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city – or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems….


Clockwork Planet, Vol. 2 by Yuu Kamiya | (Clockwork Planet Manga #2) | Manga, Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

GEARS IN MOTION

Naoto and RyuZU have a tense encounter with Marie Bell Breguet and her bodyguard, Vainney Halter, but the four strike up a shaky alliance in order to fix the Core Tower in Kyoto. With the city’s most important structure in disrepair, Kyoto’s entire population is at risk, but Naoto believes he can save it before the city undergoes a Purge. This unstoppable team of renegades may be able to save millions of lives, but acting against government orders could spark a dangerous conflict. Is Naoto’s group ready to face the consequences of disrupting the order of the world itself? 


What are you hoping to read this week? Let’s chat in the comments below!

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Reviews

Review: The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Book Review


The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir
Historical
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, in May 1536 was unprecedented in English history. It was sensational in its day, and has exerted endless fascination over the minds of historians, novelists, dramatists, poets, artists and film-makers ever since.

Anne was imprisoned in the Tower of London on 2 May 1536, and tried and found guilty of high treason on 15 May. Her supposed crimes included adultery with five men, one her own brother, and plotting the King’s death.
Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to her arrest. Was it Henry VIII who, estranged from Anne, instructed Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell to fabricate evidence to get rid of her so that he could marry Jane Seymour? Or did Cromwell, for reasons of his own, construct a case against Anne and her faction, and then present compelling evidence before the King? Or was Anne, in fact, guilty as charged?

Never before has there been a book devoted entirely to Anne Boleyn’s fall. Alison Weir has reassessed the evidence, demolished many romantic myths and popular misconceptions, and rewritten the story of Anne’s fall, creating a richly researched and impressively detailed portrait of the dramatic last days of one of the most influential and important figures in English history.

What I thought
For those who are not familiar Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII of England.  She is blamed for England’s breaking away from the Catholic faith which led to the creation of the Church of England.  Anne’s daughter Elizabeth I later ruled England and brought England into a golden age.

I have had a love for Tudor history since I was a teenager and I went through a phase of buying all the Tudor history books I could find. So this book has been on my shelves since at least 2010 knowing that I would get to it someday.  Anne’s story has so many theories you really do not know which direction the author is going to go. A few years back I had a bad experience of this from another adaptation involving Anne, I was enraged and as a result, got rid of anything historical that they had written.  (I gave them away to people that I knew that wanted them) So authors taking liberties with history is something I have had to accept but it doesn’t mean I like it…anyway back to my thought on this book.

I decided to borrow the audiobook from my library. Best decision ever!  I really loved this book! Alison Weir did not just pick one theory and run with it she went through so much research and told the whole story no matter what side the information came from. You got points of view from so many sources that you can see how different things were perceived in court. The information came from those in the English court and from accounts from ambassadors and so on.  It was amazing.

This story focuses on the months leading up to and during Anne’s downfall.  There is so much that we do not really know and on those points, all fact was laid out but no speculation was made.  This book fed my historical craving in a way other books have not. I can not wait to pick another of her books off of my shelf.

If anyone else has read this please tell me what you think about it.

My Rating: /5

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TBR

March 2018 Reading Plan

Hello Everyone!

I thought I would start things off with my March 2018 Reading Plan.

I have my plan broken up into two sections the first is my reading plan with my daughter and what I additionally plan on reading.

Mother Daughter Reads

One good thing about having a teenager who loves to read is that we can read and talk about books.  However, our focused genres are usually very different.  My focus is fantasy where hers is contemporary but every now and then we find books that appeal to both of us.  Our goal this year is to read one book each month, a short story from an anthology (we chose Because You Love to Hate Me) and to read a chunk of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Gwen and Art and Lance by Soman Chainani a short story from the anthology Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy Edited by Ameriie | YA Anthology, Retelling | Add to Goodreads

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!


The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | (Sherlock Holmes #2) | Historical, Classic, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

First published in 1890, the second of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, The Sign of the Four is a classic of detective fiction and a forerunner of this now-ubiquitous genre. The story has everything – a beautiful damsel in distress, mysterious disappearances, a murder, a strange and lustrous pearl, a peculiar map, four desperate villains, an exotic treasure and, above it all, smiling superiorly as he moves with sure-footed confidence through the morass of conflicting clues, the inimitable Sherlock Holmes, investigator extraordinaire.



The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
| (The Folk of the Air #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


Books I also want to read

I normally would not pick so many but I have at least started all of these and I hope to ready more than what I have listed below.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton | (The Belles #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.


Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige | (Stealing Snow #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.


The Lady in the Tower by Alison Weir | Historical, Tudor History, History | Add to Goodreads

The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, in May 1536 was unprecedented in English history. It was sensational in its day, and has exerted endless fascination over the minds of historians, novelists, dramatists, poets, artists and film-makers ever since.

Anne was imprisoned in the Tower of London on 2 May 1536, and tried and found guilty of high treason on 15 May. Her supposed crimes included adultery with five men, one her own brother, and plotting the King’s death.

Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to her arrest. Was it Henry VIII who, estranged from Anne, instructed Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell to fabricate evidence to get rid of her so that he could marry Jane Seymour? Or did Cromwell, for reasons of his own, construct a case against Anne and her faction, and then present compelling evidence before the King? Or was Anne, in fact, guilty as charged?

Never before has there been a book devoted entirely to Anne Boleyn’s fall. Alison Weir has reassessed the evidence, demolished many romantic myths and popular misconceptions, and rewritten the story of Anne’s fall, creating a richly researched and impressively detailed portrait of the dramatic last days of one of the most influential and important figures in English history.


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.


I hope everyone has a great reading month.

Happy Reading!

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