Happy Top 5 Tuesday!
I feel like I’ve posted recently about my favorite fantasy books, so instead I’m going to talk about the fantasy books I just know in my gut I would love, but my affliction (falling asleep) means I’ll never ever know. These are the books that haunt me.
tTop 5 Tuesday was started by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm!
Lies of Locke Lamora
by Scott Lynch
An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.
I tried so hard to read this book! So hard! I spent almost a week reading it, and never even made it past chapter 2. I finally gave up. Even though this band of thieves and I were meant for each other, we’re destined to be apart.
Prince of Thorns
by Mark Lawrence
Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother’s tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that’s true enough, but there’s something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse.
From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father’s castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.
Mark Lawrence’s debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.
This is another book I tried to read, but couldn’t make it past the first chapter or so. It was a mixture of the writing style (it was GOOD, but I fell asleep) and the violence that made me realize I couldn’t do it. It’s like Stephen King’s IT syndrome, if I could just make it into the meat of the story, I know I’d love it. It’s meant to be my favorite.
by Daniel O’Malley
“The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.
She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.
In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.
I made it through a third of The Rook before I couldn’t take it anymore. This is definitely a case of ‘It’s me not you’. This book has everything that screams my name. It’s witty, the main character is interesting, it’s touted as being like Buffy. What is wrong with my brain? I must love this book. I love it in my heart, even if I haven’t finished it.
The Bear & The Nightingale
by Katherine Arden
A magical debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
How badly do I want to love this book? I’ll tell you. I recently bought both book 1 and 2, because I was so positive I’d love it I had to have the sequel immediately on hand. I have only read the first few pages, I’ve read them over and over, WANTING to feel the magic. I always put it back and choose something else.
Wake of Vultures
by Lila Bowen
Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She’s a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don’t call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood and he turns to black sand.
And just like that, Nettie can see.
But her newfound sight is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn’t understand what’s under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding—at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead her to find her true kin . . . if the monsters along the way don’t kill her first.
This is my newest flop! I LOVE this book, and yet I can’t finish it! It’s western meets fantasy, with a trans main character. It’s absolutely perfect! Yet, I can’t invest in the story. I’m going to chalk this one up to timing, and my need for easy lighthearted books right now, when life is so up in the air. Nettie, I will be back. For now, you’ll join my pack of fantasy ghosts.