Reviews

Review: The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso

Book Review

The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso
(Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2)
Fantasy

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Synopsis
The spiral to madness begins with a single push. Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.

What I thought
This is the second book in an amazing trilogy.  After reading the first book I could not wait to pick up the second one.  And just like the first one I was sucked into the story from the beginning, so needless to say  I was not disappointed. I have already ordered the third and final book in this series, and I am not so patiently waiting for it to arrive.  

This is a character-driven story that is told by future Tali.  The storytelling is just amazing and when the stakes were so high I tended to forget who our storyteller is and feared what was coming next.  If she is telling the story then she has to survive but there are times that I forgot about that.  

I love how this book does not shy away from Tali’s dark thoughts when she feels that she has lost everything.  It makes the story feel more real.  I appreciate how we watch how Tali had to deal with all the trauma that is being inflicted on her and how she debates the different paths and who all would be affected by her choices.  In the end, her love for her son keeps her going.  Throughout this book, Tali is having to learn who she is balanced against who everyone else thinks she is or who they believe she should be.  

I really hope Tali gets some form of a happy ending by the end of this series.  And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I hope Khine is part of her happy ending.  Khine is amazing and I could just gush about him all day long.

My opinion about Rai has not changed, he can go jump off a cliff for all I care.  He can try to justify all that he does but it’s all so selfish.  He has not considered even once how his actions affect his family.  As sad as it is I am happy that I think Tali is finally realizing this. It is really hard to believe that Rai did not see what was coming at the end of the book.  I mean really you set all this stuff in motion and didn’t think anyone was going to take advantage of it.  For someone that is supposed to be so smart, he can’t see beyond what is right in front of him.

If you enjoy epic character-driven stories then you really should pick up the first book in this series.  

My Rating: /5

Have you read this book? If so what did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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Wrap Up

May 2021 Wrap-up

Monthly Wrapup

Hello you wonderful people.

Welcome to my May wrap-up.  I read more in the month of May than I thought I did. as a whole it was a pretty good reading month. I finished 17 books and I DNF’d 5.

5 Star Reads

The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso | (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads 

Admonition by Kathryn Amurra | (Soothsayer’s Path, #2) | Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison | (The Goblin Emperor #1) | Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #1) | Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

Monsters Don’t Wear Underpants by Isaac Stewart | Children’s Book | Add to Goodreads

Dark One by Brandon Sanderson, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Nathan C. Gooden, and Kurt Michael Russell | (Dark One #1) | Graphic Novel, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Clockwork Planet, Vol. 1 by Yuu Kamiya | (Clockwork Planet Manga #1) | Manga, Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

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


4 Star Reads

The Apothecary Diaries Manga, Vol. 1 by Natsu Hyuuga | (The Apothecary Diaries (Nekokurage) #1) | Manga, Mystery, Historical | Add to Goodreads

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint | Fantasy, Mythology, Retelling | Add to Goodreads

Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee | (Ember of Night #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn | (Heroine Complex #1) | Urban Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Selkie Scandal by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #1.5) | Historical Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison | Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs | (Mercy Thompson #1) | Urban Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads


2 Star Reads

Temple of Ice by Christian Cura | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads


DNF

The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson, Casey Sherman, and Dave Wedge | Biography, Nonfiction, Historical | Add to Goodreads

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt | Historical Fiction, Crime, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse | Classic, Philosophy, Spirituality | Add to Goodreads

The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell | (The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova | (Loom Saga #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads


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

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? May 17, 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.

So I am going to compile the last 2 weeks into this post. There has been a lot going on lately and there was just no way that I was going to be able to get last Mondays post up so here are the books that I have read in the last two weeks.

Recent Books

The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson, Casey Sherman, and Dave Wedge | Biography, Nonfiction, Historical | Add to Goodreads

The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.
 
With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody band there was,” he says. “There was nobody to touch us.” Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped his idols from afar—but now harbors grudges against those, like Lennon, whom he feels betrayed him. He’s convinced Lennon has misled fans with his message of hope and peace. And Chapman’s not staying away any longer. 
 
By the summer of 1980, Lennon is recording new music for the first time in years, energized and ready for it to be “(Just Like) Starting Over.” He can’t wait to show the world what he will do. 
 
Neither can Chapman, who quits his security job and boards a flight to New York, a handgun and bullets stowed in his luggage. 
 
The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it. Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon’s friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is the thrilling true story of two men who changed history: One whose indelible songs enliven our world to this day—and the other who ended the beautiful music with five pulls of a trigger.


The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso | (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads 

The spiral to madness begins with a single push. Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war. 


See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt | Historical Fiction, Crime, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling. 


Admonition by Kathryn Amurra | (Soothsayer’s Path, #2) | Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads

Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt’s prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect others from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome’s inner circles.

Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome’s childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.

Admonition was winner of the Georgia Romance Writers’ 2020 Maggie Award for Excellence in the Unpublished Historical Romance category.


Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse | Classic, Philosophy, Spirituality | Add to Goodreads

One of the most widely read novels of the twentieth century, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha explores the struggle of the soul to see beyond the illusions of humankind and achieve a deeper wisdom through spirituality.

Born into wealth and privilege, Siddhartha renounces his place among India’s nobility to wander the countryside in search of meaning. He learns suffering and self-denial among a group of ascetics before meeting the Buddha and coming to realize that true peace cannot be taught: It must be experienced. Changing his path yet again, Siddhatha reenters human society and earns a great fortune. Yet over time this life leaves Siddhartha restless and empty. He achieves enlightenment only when he stops searching and surrenders to the oneness of all.

Rika Lesser’s new translation deftly evokes the lyricism and quiet beauty of Hesse’s novel, which first appeared in German in 1922. At once personal and universal, Siddhartha stands outside of time, resonating in the hearts of truth-seekers everywhere.


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison | (The Goblin Emperor #1) | Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

Maia, the youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne-or his life. 


An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Davian has won a victory for the Augurs, but treachery surrounds him and his allies on all sides in the second book of the acclaimed Licanus Trilogy, in which “fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire.” (The Guardian)

Following a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs–finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra.

The Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, but fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.

The new Northwarden, his ally in the Capital, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, their compatriot Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows.

And Caeden races against time to fulfill a treacherous bargain, but as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realize that the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed…  


Temple of Ice by Christian Cura | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Meet Tama, an adept winter mage of Khione, a beautiful, dangerous land. Bloodthirsty monsters roam the frozen wilderness, and the unforgiving elements are a constant. Tama and her friends—Kachina and Masou—are on the cusp of completing their education at the temple where they have trained for the past four years. They need only to do one more thing: earn the Goddess Tira’s final anointing. But to do that, they must fight through hordes of corrupted creatures and endure the perplexing obstacles within Mount Orodani.

The road before them is long and bloody, and Tira’s evil sister, Malsumi, won’t stop sending her minions until she is strong enough to break free of her prison. Tama fights valiantly to defend herself and her people from these twisted monsters. But she will soon discover the real threat is much closer than she initially thought… 


The Apothecary Diaries Manga, Vol. 1 by Natsu Hyuuga | (The Apothecary Diaries (Nekokurage) #1) | Manga, Mystery, Historical | Add to Goodreads

After breaking a “curse” on the imperial heirs, a palace servant with training in herbal medicine is promoted up the ranks to food taster…and right into the thick of palace intrigue in this lushly illustrated period mystery series!

Maomao, a young woman trained in the art of herbal medicine, is forced to work as a lowly servant in the inner palace. Though she yearns for life outside its perfumed halls, she isn’t long for a life of drudgery! Using her wits to break a “curse” afflicting the imperial heirs, Maomao attracts the attentions of the handsome eunuch Jinshi and is promoted to attendant food taster. But Jinshi has other plans for the erstwhile apothecary, and soon Maomao is back to brewing potions and…solving mysteries?!


Currently Reading

The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #1) | Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

As it turns out, a London Season is the worst place to find love.

Eliza Mulgrave never expected to make her bows to society. Yet here she is, dancing at Almacks and riding through Hyde Park. It would be perfectly delightful if it weren’t for the whispers and scornful glances. She certainly never sought to quit her place in society as a tradesman’s daughter. At least then she had known who she was and how to act; now, she’s completely lost.

Adam Lambert has been raised to be a viscount and though the time has come sooner than expected he is confident stepping into this new life. Until he meets his Father’s best kept secret—a little girl. And now she’s Adam’s responsibility. Surely someone ought to have told him about her before now.

After stumbling through an initial meeting, Adam and Eliza both find in the other what they most need this Season—a sincere friend. But society is not often willing to grant two people room to learn for themselves who to be, or who to love.

As the first stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Audacious Miss Eliza begins the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era.


Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee | (Ember of Night #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

I am a weed.

Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic dad. Unwanted by my classmates. Unnoticed by everyone else.

But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.

Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.

Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.

So what does he want?

I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…

We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.


Ariadne by Jennifer Saint | Fantasy, Mythology, Retelling | Add to Goodreads

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel.


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

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Read-a-Thon · TBR

My Kinda May 2021 TBR

Welcome to my May TBR. I am carrying over some books from last month that I didn’t get finished before the month was over. Otherwise my TBR this month is a lot more manageable than what I had picked out last month.

The Selkie Scandal by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #1.5) | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A royal ransom, a dangerous rescue, and the famous Beresford jam…

England, 1804: the Earl of Beresford has his morning interrupted by naked selkie royalty. The seal-woman in question wants Beresford to find her brother, the High Prince of Skerry, who has been taken hostage for two thousand guineas.

Lord Beresford knows the coast better than he knows his own cravat—but his wits alone may not be enough to stop a war and save a selkie prince from death. Thankfully, he also has a whole case of the famous Beresford Jam.

Who stole the seal prince? How will Beresford find him? And what really happened at the royal birthday party?


The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #1) | Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

As it turns out, a London Season is the worst place to find love.

Eliza Mulgrave never expected to make her bows to society. Yet here she is, dancing at Almacks and riding through Hyde Park. It would be perfectly delightful if it weren’t for the whispers and scornful glances. She certainly never sought to quit her place in society as a tradesman’s daughter. At least then she had known who she was and how to act; now, she’s completely lost.

Adam Lambert has been raised to be a viscount and though the time has come sooner than expected he is confident stepping into this new life. Until he meets his Father’s best kept secret—a little girl. And now she’s Adam’s responsibility. Surely someone ought to have told him about her before now.

After stumbling through an initial meeting, Adam and Eliza both find in the other what they most need this Season—a sincere friend. But society is not often willing to grant two people room to learn for themselves who to be, or who to love.

As the first stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Audacious Miss Eliza begins the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era.


Admonition by Kathryn Amurra | (Soothsayer’s Path, #2) | Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads

Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt’s prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect others from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome’s inner circles.

Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome’s childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.

Admonition was winner of the Georgia Romance Writers’ 2020 Maggie Award for Excellence in the Unpublished Historical Romance category.


Temple of Ice by Christian Cura | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Meet Tama, an adept winter mage of Khione, a beautiful, dangerous land. Bloodthirsty monsters roam the frozen wilderness, and the unforgiving elements are a constant. Tama and her friends—Kachina and Masou—are on the cusp of completing their education at the temple where they have trained for the past four years. They need only to do one more thing: earn the Goddess Tira’s final anointing. But to do that, they must fight through hordes of corrupted creatures and endure the perplexing obstacles within Mount Orodani.

The road before them is long and bloody, and Tira’s evil sister, Malsumi, won’t stop sending her minions until she is strong enough to break free of her prison. Tama fights valiantly to defend herself and her people from these twisted monsters. But she will soon discover the real threat is much closer than she initially thought…


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

Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire. 


Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse | Classic, Philosophy, Spirituality | Add to Goodreads

One of the most widely read novels of the twentieth century, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha explores the struggle of the soul to see beyond the illusions of humankind and achieve a deeper wisdom through spirituality.

Born into wealth and privilege, Siddhartha renounces his place among India’s nobility to wander the countryside in search of meaning. He learns suffering and self-denial among a group of ascetics before meeting the Buddha and coming to realize that true peace cannot be taught: It must be experienced. Changing his path yet again, Siddhatha reenters human society and earns a great fortune. Yet over time this life leaves Siddhartha restless and empty. He achieves enlightenment only when he stops searching and surrenders to the oneness of all.

Rika Lesser’s new translation deftly evokes the lyricism and quiet beauty of Hesse’s novel, which first appeared in German in 1922. At once personal and universal, Siddhartha stands outside of time, resonating in the hearts of truth-seekers everywhere.


The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso | (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads 

The spiral to madness begins with a single push. Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.


An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Davian has won a victory for the Augurs, but treachery surrounds him and his allies on all sides in the second book of the acclaimed Licanus Trilogy, in which “fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire.” (The Guardian)

Following a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs–finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra.

The Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, but fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.

The new Northwarden, his ally in the Capital, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, their compatriot Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows.

And Caeden races against time to fulfill a treacherous bargain, but as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realize that the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed…


Geisha: A Unique World of Tradition, Elegance and Art by John Gallagher | Nonfiction, History, Cultural, Japan, Geisha | Add to Goodreads

Take a fascinating peek into the geisha’s world of tradition and ritual with the help of a most unique book. Four see-through vellum sections, of four layers each, begin with a “naked” geisha; they show, stage by stage, how her distinctive costume and make-up are assembled. You’ll view the subtle changes of appearance through the round of seasonal events, and the elaborate array of equipment in the geisha’s wardrobe, as well as everything she needs to do her demanding jobs. Equally revealing is the incredibly detailed information about the women’s training, lives, and history.


See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt | Historical Fiction, Crime, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling. 


The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson, Casey Sherman, and Dave Wedge | Biography, Nonfiction, Historical | Add to Goodreads

The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.
 
With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody band there was,” he says. “There was nobody to touch us.” Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped his idols from afar—but now harbors grudges against those, like Lennon, whom he feels betrayed him. He’s convinced Lennon has misled fans with his message of hope and peace. And Chapman’s not staying away any longer. 
 
By the summer of 1980, Lennon is recording new music for the first time in years, energized and ready for it to be “(Just Like) Starting Over.” He can’t wait to show the world what he will do. 
 
Neither can Chapman, who quits his security job and boards a flight to New York, a handgun and bullets stowed in his luggage. 
 
The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it. Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon’s friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is the thrilling true story of two men who changed history: One whose indelible songs enliven our world to this day—and the other who ended the beautiful music with five pulls of a trigger.


What are you hoping to read this month?

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? May 3, 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

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchim and Hikaru Miyoshi | (Moriarty the Patriot #3) | Manga, Mystery, Historical | Add to Goodreads

The untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest rival, Moriarty!

Before he was Sherlock’s rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class caste system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the best-intentioned plans can spin out of control—will Moriarty’s dream of a more just and equal world turn him into a hero…or a monster?

Just as everything appears to be going Sherlock Holmes’s way, he finds himself arrested for a murder he did not commit! He soon escapes police custody and sets out to clear his name. The victim, Lord Drebber, wrote Sherlock’s name in blood before he died, but why? Will Sherlock be able to solve this puzzle and save himself? 


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle | Classic, Mystery, Sherlockian | Add to Goodreads

Table of Contents:
“The Adventure of Silver Blaze”
“The Adventure of the Yellow Face”
“The Adventure of the Stockbroker’s Clerk”
“The Adventure of the Gloria Scott”
“The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual”
“The Adventure of the Reigate Squire”
“The Adventure of the Crooked Man”
“The Adventure of the Resident Patient”
“The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter”
“The Adventure of the Naval Treaty”
“The Final Problem”


Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World by Amy Stanley | Biography, Historical, Nonfiction | Add to Goodreads

A work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman during the first half of the 19th century in Edo—the city that would become Tokyo—and a portrait of a great city on the brink of a momentous encounter with the West.

The daughter of a Buddhist priest, Tsuneno was born in a rural Japanese village and was expected to live a traditional life much like her mother’s. But after three divorces, she ran away to make a life for herself in one of the largest cities in the world: Edo.

In the book we experience the drama and excitement of Edo just prior to the arrival of American Commodore Perry’s fleet, which transformed Japan. During this pivotal moment in Japanese history, Tsuneno bounces from tenement to tenement, marries a masterless samurai, and eventually enters the service of a famous city magistrate. Tsuneno’s life provides a window into 19th-century Japanese culture—and a rare view of an extraordinary woman who sacrificed her family and her reputation to make a new life for herself, in defiance of social conventions. 


The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso | (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads 

The spiral to madness begins with a single push. Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.  


Currently Reading

An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Davian has won a victory for the Augurs, but treachery surrounds him and his allies on all sides in the second book of the acclaimed Licanus Trilogy, in which “fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire.” (The Guardian)

Following a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs–finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra.

The Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, but fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.

The new Northwarden, his ally in the Capital, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, their compatriot Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows.

And Caeden races against time to fulfill a treacherous bargain, but as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realize that the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed…


Admonition by Kathryn Amurra | (Soothsayer’s Path, #2) | Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads

Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt’s prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect others from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome’s inner circles.

Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome’s childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.

Admonition was winner of the Georgia Romance Writers’ 2020 Maggie Award for Excellence in the Unpublished Historical Romance category.


The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson, Casey Sherman, and Dave Wedge | Biography, Nonfiction, Historical | Add to Goodreads

The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.
 
With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody band there was,” he says. “There was nobody to touch us.” Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped his idols from afar—but now harbors grudges against those, like Lennon, whom he feels betrayed him. He’s convinced Lennon has misled fans with his message of hope and peace. And Chapman’s not staying away any longer. 
 
By the summer of 1980, Lennon is recording new music for the first time in years, energized and ready for it to be “(Just Like) Starting Over.” He can’t wait to show the world what he will do. 
 
Neither can Chapman, who quits his security job and boards a flight to New York, a handgun and bullets stowed in his luggage. 
 
The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it. Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon’s friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is the thrilling true story of two men who changed history: One whose indelible songs enliven our world to this day—and the other who ended the beautiful music with five pulls of a trigger.


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

Follow me on other platforms:
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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? April 26, 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

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder | (Burton & Swinburne #1) | Fantasy, Steampunk, Historical, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

London, 1861.

Sir Richard Francis Burton—explorer, linguist, scholar, and swordsman; his reputation tarnished; his career in tatters; his former partner missing and probably dead.

Algernon Charles Swinburne—unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade; for whom pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin!

They stand at a crossroads in their lives and are caught in the epicenter of an empire torn by conflicting forces: Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier, and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labor; Libertines oppose repressive laws and demand a society based on beauty and creativity; while the Rakes push the boundaries of human behavior to the limits with magic, drugs, and anarchy. The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack, and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London’s East End.

Their investigations lead them to one of the defining events of the age, and the terrifying possibility that the world they inhabit shouldn’t exist at all! 


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown | Self-Help | Add to Goodreads

Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin?
Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?
Are you often busy but not productive?
Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?

If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the EssentialistThe Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. 

By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.

Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn who to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism  is a movement whose time has come. 


Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life by Jim Kwik | Self-Help | Add to Goodreads

In this book, brain performance expert Jim Kwik will teach readers his core techniques so that they, too, can unleash their inner genius.

For the last 25 years, Jim Kwik has helped everyone from celebrities to CEOs to students improve their memory, increase their decision-making skills, learn to speed-read, and unleash their superbrains.

In Limitless, readers will learn Jim’s revolutionary strategies and shortcuts to supercharging their brains, with simple, actionable tools to sharpen the mind, enhance focus, and fast-track their fullest potential.


Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 2 by Mizuho Kusanagi | (Yona of the Dawn #2) | Manga, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

A red-haired princess loses her family and her kingdom… Now she must rise and fight for her throne!

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

While on the run, Yona and Hak head to Hak’s hometown, where she attempts to heal her broken heart. However, she can’t rest there for long once she discovers that Su-won may soon become king! What will Yona choose to do in the wake of this news?


Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 3 by Mizuho Kusanagi | (Yona of the Dawn #3) | Manga, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

A red-haired princess loses her family and her kingdom… Now she must rise and fight for her throne!

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

Yona and Hak set out on a journey to find a priest who can see the future. After they get severely injured falling from a cliff, a boy named Yun and his guardian Ik-su nurse them back to health—and Ik-su happens to be a priest! When Yona tells him that she wishes to protect the lives of those who are precious to her, what path will Ik-su show her? 


Currently Reading

An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Davian has won a victory for the Augurs, but treachery surrounds him and his allies on all sides in the second book of the acclaimed Licanus Trilogy, in which “fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire.” (The Guardian)

Following a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs–finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra.

The Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, but fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.

The new Northwarden, his ally in the Capital, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, their compatriot Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows.

And Caeden races against time to fulfill a treacherous bargain, but as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realize that the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed…


The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso | (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads 

The spiral to madness begins with a single push. Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.  


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

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

Read-a-Thon · TBR

Orbit April – My Kinda April 2021 TBR

Are you ready for the most ambitious and ridiculous TBR for one month. Well here it is lol. April is my birthday month and I just want to pleasure read which for me means big fantasy books. After I pulled them all from my shelf I realized they all had one thing in common. They are all published by Orbit. I can’t seem to make up my mind which ones I am going to pick up so here is a list of my options for Orbit April.

I have added the page numbers to then just to show you how crazy I am being lol.

The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan | (Powder Mage #3) | Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy | Add to Goodreads | 582 Pages

The capital has fallen…
Field Marshal Tamas returns to his beloved country to find that for the first time in history, the capital city of Adro lies in the hands of a foreign invader. His son is missing, his allies are indistinguishable from his foes, and reinforcements are several weeks away.

An army divided…
With the Kez still bearing down upon them and without clear leadership, the Adran army has turned against itself. Inspector Adamat is drawn into the very heart of this new mutiny with promises of finding his kidnapped son.

All hope rests with one…
And Taniel Two-shot, hunted by men he once thought his friends, must safeguard the only chance Adro has of getting through this war without being destroyed…

THE AUTUMN REPUBLIC is the epic conclusion that began with Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign


The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso | (Rooks and Ruin #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads | 483 Pages

The mage-marked granddaughter of a ruler of Vaskandar, Ryx was destined for power and prestige at the top of Vaskandran society. But her magic is broken; all she can do is uncontrollably drain the life from everything she touches, and Vaskandar has no place for a mage with unusable powers.

Then, one night, two terrible accidents befall her: Ryx accidentally kills a visiting dignitary in self-defense, activating a mysterious magical artifact sealed in an ancient tower in the heart of her family’s castle.

Ryx flees, seeking a solution to her deadly magic. She falls in with a group of unlikely magical experts investigating the disturbance in Vaskandar—and Ryx realizes that her family is in danger and her domain is at stake. She and her new colleagues must return to the family stronghold to take control of the artifact that everyone wants to claim—before it destroys the world. 


The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso | (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads | 640 Pages

The spiral to madness begins with a single push. Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.  


Legacy of Ash by Matthew Ward | (Legacy Trilogy #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads | 800 Pages

Legacy of Ash is an unmissable fantasy debut–an epic tale of intrigue and revolution, soldiers and assassins, ancient magic and the eternal clash of empires.
A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.

Ruling families — once protectors of justice and democracy — now plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives. Blinded by ambition, they remain heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.

Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.

Viktor Akadra is the Republic’s champion. A warrior without equal, he hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.

Josiri Trelanis Viktor’s sworn enemy. A political prisoner, he dreams of reigniting his mother’s failed rebellion.

And yet Calenne Trelan, Josiri’s sister, seeks only to break free of their tarnished legacy; to escape the expectation and prejudice that haunts the family name.

As war spreads across the Republic, these three must set aside their differences in order to save their home. Yet decades of bad blood are not easily set aside. And victory — if it comes at all — will demand a darker price than any of them could have imagined.


An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads | 784 Pages

Davian has won a victory for the Augurs, but treachery surrounds him and his allies on all sides in the second book of the acclaimed Licanus Trilogy, in which “fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire.” (The Guardian)

Following a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs–finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra.

The Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, but fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.

The new Northwarden, his ally in the Capital, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, their compatriot Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows.

And Caeden races against time to fulfill a treacherous bargain, but as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realize that the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed…


What are you hoping to read this month?

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook