Welcome back to the hulking and perilous region of my blog that I call ‘Mount TBR’. We visited once before and saw an excellent collection of books. Some of which I read and some that didn’t make the cut. As bloggers/readers you know how it is. I have therefore returned to the unstable, almost volatile, mass of books in my house to put together another reading list. This list is the fruit of that labour. I hope to stick to this list with more integrity than I showed before. I will try my absolute best but you never know when another book may sneak up on you. Usually several times a day!
Enjoy the list and please answer me the following: Have you read any of the books on this list? What books are on your TBR at the moment? Are there any books you think I should be reading right this second? Is your TBR as erratic and unsteady as mine? I would love to know!
A Visit To My TBR Mountain Part 2
Synopsis: Bestselling and much loved author Neil Gaiman, whose novel American Gods has been adapted into a major television series, brings vividly to life the stories of Norse mythology that have inspired his own extraordinary writing in this number one Sunday Times bestseller
The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s own award-bedecked, bestselling fiction. Now he reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales. Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – and the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarok and the twilight of the gods. Galvanised by Gaiman’s prose, Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya are irresistible forces for modern readers and the crackling, brilliant writing demands to be read aloud around an open fire on a freezing, starlit night.
My Thoughts: This book has been on my To Be Read pile since the beginning of my blog. I adore anything Mythological but Norse, for me, takes the cake. I think subconsciously I haven’t read this out of respect for Joanne M. Harris as I am a huge fan of her work with the mythology but it’s about time I give it a go. I have heard nothing but massively positive things about Norse Mythology so I have no excuse not to drop everything right now and pick it up!
Synopsis: An enthralling, epic fantasy about a world on the brink of war with dragons – and the women who must lead the fight to save it.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
My Thoughts: I have technically dislodged this massive book from the precarious stack of books atop the mountain and started it once before. But due to unforeseen circumstances I had to (somehow) put it back. I wasn’t entirely sure I enjoyed what I had already read but other people, readers I can trust, have stated that it is very much worth my time so I have entered it on this list to remind myself of that very fact. It is one heck of a hardback though.
Synopsis: Four short novels from the author of THE FIREMAN and HORNS, ranging from creepy horror to powerful explorations of our modern society.
One autumnal day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails, splinters of bright crystal that tear apart anyone who isn’t safely under cover. ‘Rain’ explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as clouds of nails spread out across the country and the world. Amidst the chaos, a girl studying law enforcement takes it upon herself to resolve a series of almost trivial mysteries . . . apparently harmless puzzles that turn out to have lethal answers.
In ‘Loaded’ a mall security guard heroically stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun movement. Under the hot glare of the spotlights, though, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it…
‘Snapshot, 1988’ tells the story of an kid in Silicon Valley who finds himself threatened by The Phoenician, a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid that can steal memories…
And in ‘Aloft’ a young man takes to the skies to experience parachuting for the first time . . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapour that seems animated by a mind of its own.
My Thoughts: If Norse Mythology has been on my TBR forever then Strange Weather was only a few seconds behind it! I think Joe Hill is a visionary in his own right and I have read everything he has published… except Strange Weather. Why? No idea. I keep coming back to it and then suddenly I am reaching for something else. I should snap out of it, I have a sneaking suspicion it is going to be awesome. I’ll put it somewhere I can’t ignore it.
Synopsis: More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.
A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, a genius at making icons to summon angels, and supremely adept in forcing them to do her bidding. Liliath already knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighbouring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will become ashes, or they will turn into beastlings. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.
But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who fix her interest, for they are the key to her quest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic.
The four feel a strange, immediate kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their importance. Only Liliath knows their secret, and she draws them in to her complex plot, just as she manipulates Queen Louisa and her musketeers; King Ferdinand and his guards; Cardinal Duplessis and her pursuivants; and the Refuser Night King Biscaray and his criminal gangs. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfil her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else.
My Thoughts: Angel Mage definitely seems like a fantastic new series with the Gollancz Fantasy seal of approval that I undoubtedly have to jump into. It’s described as a compelling swashbuckling adventure for goodness sake. I love all those words. I love all the maps and etchings that it has at the beginning. Another read that most definitely needs to jump the queue. I actually can’t believe I hadn’t read this already.
Synopsis: IN A WORLD CONSUMED BY ENDLESS WAR ONE YOUNG MAN WILL BECOME HIS PEOPLE’S ONLY HOPE FOR SURVIVAL.
The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable war for generations. The lucky ones are born gifted: some have the power to call down dragons, others can be magically transformed into bigger, stronger, faster killing machines.
Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Tau Tafari wants more than this, but his plans of escape are destroyed when those closest to him are brutally murdered.
With too few gifted left, the Omehi are facing genocide, but Tau cares only for revenge. Following an unthinkable path, he will strive to become the greatest swordsman to ever live, willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill three of his own people.
THE RAGE OF DRAGONS LAUNCHES AN UNMISSABLE EPIC FANTASY SERIES.
My Thoughts: I am beginning to feel like this might become a fantasy TBR post at this rate. The Rage Of Dragons is yet another fantasy novel I have neglected and wished otherwise. Yet another novel I have heard nothing but amazing things about. Dragons, sword-fighting, revenge and endless wars. Sign me up. I am failing at this whole fantasy book blogger routine right now. Letting the fascinating world of fantasy pass me by.
Synopsis: ‘The child is dead. There is nothing left to know.’
Tracker is a hunter, known throughout the thirteen kingdoms as one who has a nose – and he always works alone. But he breaks his own rule when, hired to find a lost child, he finds himself part of a group of hunters all searching for the same boy. Each of these companions is stranger and more dangerous than the last, from a giant to a witch to a shape-shifting Leopard, and each has secrets of their own.
As the mismatched gang follow the boy’s scent from perfumed citadels to infested rivers to the enchanted darklands and beyond, set upon at every turn by creatures intent on destroying them, Tracker starts to wonder: who really is this mysterious boy? Why do so many people want to stop him being found? And, most important of all, who is telling the truth and who is lying?
Marlon James weaves a tapestry of breathtaking adventure through a world at once ancient and startlingly modern. And, against this exhilarating backdrop of magic and violence, he explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all.
My Thoughts: This is the last fantasy novel… I think. Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James is a great looking, even better sounding fantasy epic. It delves into African history and mythology which is going to be so interesting as I sadly know very little. A magical and violent hunt for a mysterious lost child along shape-shifters, giants and witches, to name a few, is my cup of tea. I guess the second half of 2020 is going to be fantasy driven! Shame ;).
Synopsis: Spensa’s world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity’s only defense is to take to their ships and fight the enemy in the skies. Pilots have become the heroes of what’s left of the human race.
Spensa has always dreamed of being one of them; of soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s – a pilot who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, placing Spensa’s chances of attending flight school somewhere between slim and none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is still determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They’ve doubled their fleet, making Spensa’s world twice as dangerous . . . but their desperation to survive might just take her skyward . . .
My Thoughts: Yeah I lied about the whole last fantasy novel situation… and this one counts for two because I have the sequel gathering dust as well! I am embarrassed to say I have never read a Brandon Sanderson novel. Please forgive me. I really should have finished both of these novels by now as Gollancz graciously sent me both. I am feeling the whole pilot with a tarnished legacy story, let’s hope it is as awesome as it sounds!
Thank you all for coming by to read this post about my current reading list. I asked you some questions at the top and I would really like to know your thoughts on these matters. TBRs are devilish in many ways and it can be tricky to stick to them at times. I feel that trying harder will help me exercise some restraint and bring my blogging habits back into some resemblance of organised and consistent. We can only hope! It did end up basically being a ‘great fantasy reads that I have failed in reading yet’ list but nevermind! I hope you enjoyed the list and keep an eye out for these reviews in the immediate/distant future!