Hello, lovelies! It feels like a long time since I’ve done a classic wrap-up of what the last month has been like. I’ve been back blogging for a month now, and I swear even in that time I’ve changed my mind about where I want to go with content. So sit back, grab a cuppa, and let’s dive into my monthly check in.
Last month, I thought I was full of new content and different directions. Then I had the insightful moment of realising that wasn’t what I wanted. I’m going back to basics for the time being, and making this a platform purely about books. It stops me trying to be something I don’t want to be, prevents me from spending hours on content, and gives me more time for the whole point of this blog: reading.
And I’m excited! For the fist time in a while, I truly feel I’ve made a decision about the blog that I’m looking forward to, supports my passions and is something I can get behind. My reading buzz is back and I’m reading more than I’ve done in the last 18 months.
Hang on to your hats, lovelies, because I’m going back to what I love!
On a calmer note, let’s take a look at what I’ve been reading in September. About halfway through the month, I started burying myself in books, then I had a week off with glorious weather, so it finally feels I’m reading properly.
September’s Reading: 5 books
Year to Date: 44 out of 60 (1 ahead)
Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth
The first novel written for an adult audience by the mega-selling author of the Divergent franchise: five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons—and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice.
A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.
Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.
Thoughts: I enjoyed this far more than I was expecting. Having not had the best track record with the author, I wasn’t sure. I was pleasantly surprised: a new taken on the ‘chosen ones’ genre with fiery characters and an intriguing plot. A full review is coming but I liked this.
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
Introducing Geralt the Witcher – revered and hated – who holds the line against the monsters plaguing humanity in the bestselling series that inspired the Witcher video games and a major Netflix show.
Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers and lifelong training have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin.
Yet he is no ordinary killer: he hunts the vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.
But not everything monstrous-looking is evil; not everything fair is good . . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.
Andrzej Sapkowski, winner of the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement award, started an international phenomenon with his Witcher series. The Last Wish is the perfect introduction to this one-of-a-kind fantasy world.
Thoughts: I thought I had the first Witcher book on my Netgalley shelf, then found there was a better reading order, so quick trip to the library got me The Last Wish. I loved this: the writing style is far more humorous than I was expecting. The book is sheer entertainment!
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.
But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.
When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?
Thoughts: I’ve had this on my list since last year, and now kicking myself I didn’t get to it sooner. One of the top books for 2021 for me at the moment: I adored everything about this and eagerly awaiting the second instalment. Full review coming soon but a definite recommendation!
Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
Guided by the great blue dragon Tintaglia, they came from the sea: a Tangle of serpents fighting their way up the Rain Wilds River, the first to make the perilous journey to the cocooning grounds in generations. Many have died along the way. With its acid waters and impenetrable forest, it is a hard place for any to survive.
People are changed by the Rain Wilds, subtly or otherwise. One such is Thymara. Born with black claws and other aberrations, she should have been exposed at birth. But her father saved her and her mother has never forgiven him. Like everyone else, Thymara is fascinated by the return of dragons: it is as if they symbolise the return of hope to their war-torn world. Leftrin, captain of the liveship Tarman, also has an interest in the hatching; as does Bingtown newlywed, Alise Finbok, who has made it her life’s work to study all there is to know of dragons.
But the creatures which emerge from the cocoons are a travesty of the powerful, shining dragons of old. Stunted and deformed, they cannot fly; some seem witless and bestial. Soon, they become a danger and a burden to the Rain Wilders: something must be done. The dragons claim an ancestral memory of a fabled Elderling city far upriver: perhaps there the dragons will find their true home. But Kelsingra appears on no maps and they cannot get there on their own: a band of dragon keepers, hunters and chroniclers must attend them.
To be a dragon keeper is a dangerous job: their charges are vicious and unpredictable, and there are many unknown perils on the journey to a city which may not even exist…
Thoughts: I was in a fantasy mood and thought it had been a while since I ventured into Robin Hobb’s world. The Rain Wild Chronicles are next up for me, and I spent a satisfying week devouring Dragon Keeper while sitting in the garden. Solid, pure fantasy – what’s not to love?
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Darkness falls…despair abounds…evil reigns…
Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems. Before long, Eragon doesn’t know whom he can trust.
Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle–one that might put Eragon in even graver danger.
Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life. . . .
Thoughts: What can I say? I’ve been dipping into this for about a month by having it as a before-bed book. Reaching a point when I needed to catch up on writing reviews, I thought I’d buy myself some time by indulging in this. To be honest, I needed the comfort.
What have you been reading lately? Let me know!
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