I've been horrible at posting about the books I've been reading lately. Knowing that I'm about to pick my top favorite reads of the year in a few days has me motivated to post about some that I've enjoyed from the past couple of months. Some are favorites, but some have just been fun to read. (Since I started this blog out as a "clean read" place, feel free to friend me at Goodreads! When a book isn't clean, I mark it as "didn't finish" and say why. I also have several books that I didn't overly like, and I won't post about over here.)
Knowing I still need to write reviews for 6 read books and read 3 more books to call my Goodreads challenge of 100 read books this year a success also has me motivated to read and write. At the moment, I'm reading A Plague of Bogles (arc from Amazon Vine) for my "real" book and Illusionarium(e-arc from Edelweiss) as my kindle read. Next up, is To Kill a Mockingbird. I should be able to meet my goal. Hopefully! I'm hoping I can get a couple of these posts up in the next few days to catch up, but this is part 1.
His Fair Assassin Trilogy by Robin Lafevers
I've been devouring my way through the His Fair Assassin Trilogy lately, and it has turned into one of my favorites! I highly recommend reading them in order. By not doing so, you will miss out on a great deal of history and character growth. Grave Mercy is the first book, and covers Ismae's story. (It's currently 1.99 on kindle.) Dark Triumph is the second, and covers Sybella's story. It is by far the most violent and disturbing of the 3. Mortal Heart is the third, and covers Annith's story. Dark Triumph shows Sybella's side of Grave Mercy's ending, but otherwise picks right up where it left off. Mortal Heart goes back in time to show us Annith's side of the story all the way to Grave Mercy. It does eventually pick up to a new time, and somewhat ties up all 3 of their lives.
Although very different, this series has somewhat reminded me of The Three Musketeers(the newest movie, which is one of my favorites, not the book, which I haven't read yet). There's lots of politics and fighting, but also loyalty and friendships. Also, it takes a definite turn for fantasy, with the "gods" within the story. I like that the series has been molded around real events and people, although with liberties taken. (This is why I enjoy authors' notes at the end of books!)
Grave Mercy was my favorite book of the series. I think Ismae was probably my favorite character, though I liked Sybella and Annith, too. All 3 girls have had rough childhoods, and dealt with lots of pain. Sybella's backstory was the most horrifying, I believe, but they were all sad. I liked that one of the romances involved the ugliest man there ever was, because it's what's on the inside that counts. Two thumbs up to the author for proving looks aren't the most important thing! (I wish his love didn't feel the need to throw his ugliness in his face a few times through the story, though, even if it didn't seem to bother him at all.) I loved Mortal Heart, too, but I wasn't overly fond of the ending. There were too many loose strings for my tastes, and I just didn't overly like the way the romance was finalized for Annith. I can't say what I'd have preferred to have happened, because I don't know, but I wasn't satisfied with it. As far as I know Mortal Heart is the final book in the series, but I'm still curious if there will be more, in some way or another.
Overall, I'd say that this is a clean series, but there is plenty that might keep some from reading it. I read the "content" ratings at Compass Book Ratings in order to help me decide if I wanted to read it or not. I'd highly recommend reading their list of "content" before deciding, if you prefer clean reads. There's mild profanity, but for the most part it seems to be scientifically used(though not always). There's a sex scene in each of the books. Though not detailed at all, I wish they had been left out, because they really seemed to be thrown in just for the sake of it. The whole series is very violent, and sometimes disturbing, especially within Dark Triumph. Compass gives way more details, though!
*Thanks to my local library for lending me e-copies of Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph, and to amazon vine for providing me an arc of Mortal Heart, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
I read this book for the Reading to Know Bookclub. I actually read it ahead of time, and then never posted about it. :P I'm keeping this one short and sweet.
When it comes to books about WWII, I typically avoid them. I find them disturbing to the point of nightmares, and they're just hard to read. With this book, I loved the fact that it covered such a difficult topic, with hope. It gave me a *tiny* peek at how scary things must have been for Jews in Denmark during 1943. I'm definitely keeping a copy of this one on my shelves for my boys to read when we get to learning about WWII.
*Thanks to my local library for lending me an e-copy, though I do have a paperback copy. :)
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
A couple of years ago, I read The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and while I enjoyed it, I didn't see what all the fuss was about. Determined to give Allen's books another chance, I grabbed this book. Discovering it was a sequel to Garden Spells, I bought that book for my kindle, only to have to mark it as a "didn't finish". It was with a bit of trepidation that I made my way in to this story.
I was pleasantly surprised! Maybe was the fact that I need a quick, super sweet story to read on Christmas Eve, but I really enjoyed this particular story. It's considered "magical realism", and I've learned that if done well, I'm fond of these kinds of books, especially when it involves a house with a bit of personality. This one was done well, in my opinion.
If you like magical realism stories that are short and sweet, give this one a try! Though it's a sequel to Garden Spells and contains some of the same characters, it can be read perfectly fine as a standalone.
Content: Mild profanity and one sex scene that doesn't go into detail at all. (Garden Spells does contain f-bombs.)
*Thanks to Amazon vine for providing me with an arc, in exchange for my honest opinion.