Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Classic Fantasies I Want to Read in 2016

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Classic Fantasies I Want to Read in 2016

When I thought of this topic I got really excited. I LOVE reading classic fantasies and have a bunch that I’m really excited to read. Then, as I was putting together this list, I realized that some of these books aren’t as old as I thought they were. But! My list, my rules, right? So I figure that any book that was published more than 10 years ago is old enough. There is one that skates right under this rule, but just barely! Also, for the purposes of this list, 10 is actually 11.
classic fantasy I picked up a copy of THE BLACK SWAN when I was in Illinois with Alyssa visiting Brittany, and I’m really excited to read it. It’s the second book in a series, but I don’t think I need to read the first one to understand the second. Also, Swan Lake retelling. Ish. BRANG IT. classic fantasy I have never read anything by Guy Gavriel Kay and I feel that, as a fantasy fan, this is a big gap in my reading. He’s written so many well-liked books! Just reading the synopses of his books gets me excited, and THE SUMMER TREE, where a group of college friends get thrown into a fantasy realm, is no exception.classic fantasy Another author that I’ve never read, alas. I’m very much looking forward to reading BITTER GREENS, but I’ve also grabbed a few copies of Kate Forsyth’s older fantasy series on my used book store runs, and THE WITCHES OF EILEANAN sounds right up my alley: witches, prohibited magic, evil queens, dragons. classic fantasy The first book of Sharon Shinn’s that I heard about was ARCHANGEL, and I own it, but I’m also drawn to her more hard-core fantasies. I was lucky enough to have a Secret Santa this year who LOVES Sharon Shinn and gifted me SUMMERS AT AUBURN CASTLE! Actually, my secret sister from last round (hayy Lauren!) also gifted me Sharon Shinn fantasies. So I have a nice little pile to choose from! classic fantasy Ooooh, forgotten BEASTS you say? Fantastical beasts? YASSSS. This is the oldest book on my list and I’m stoked. Never read anything by Patricia A. McKillip either. classic fantasy I read UPROOTED this year with my girls, but I’d heard of Naomi Novik’s fantastical historical fiction about the Napoleonic Wars being fought with dragons long before. It’s so intriguing! Also, it combines two of my favorite things: fantasy and historical fiction. classic fantasy There are SO MANY books to choose from when you’re looking at Robin Hobb’s catalog. I have a few on my TBR, but this one sounds amazing. Mostly because the title–ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE–hints at, well, assassins. I also love the way the synopsis describes the way nobility are named in this world: by their virtues. HOW AWESOME DOES THAT SOUND. classic fantasy I believe I actually have the first two books in this series on my Kindle (pretty sure Alyssa either gave or recommended them to me). CROWN DUEL just sounds like a great YA fantasy. I’m down. classic fantasyKUSHIEL’S DART is one of those series that seems to have a really vocal, devoted fandom. That alone tells me that, at the very least, reading this book will give me lots to ponder and talk about. I’ve heard great things about this whole series, so I can’t wait to dive in.
classic fantasy YAY TAMORA! I have a mission to read all of her books. Maybe not this year, but I want to do it. I picked up WILD MAGIC at The Book Barn and felt that anticipation! Her books are always a good time. classic fantasy Not gonna lie, I’ve had to restrain myself from buying HEART’S BLOOD a few times because I’m trying not to buy all the books on my secret sister wishlist. But man, I want it BAD. Juliet Marillier retells Beauty and the Beast?! SHUT YOUR MOUTH. classic fantasyWaaay back when our bff status was a lil’ baby, Alyssa gave me the entire boxed set of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles because when we she was wee, she loved them and they impacted her FO LYFE. I’m going to read at least DEALING WITH DRAGONS this year, but probably all of them because let’s be honest: They’re super short.


On the Same Page | Howl’s Moving Castle | Diana Wynne Jones

on the same pageHowl’s Moving Castle • Diana Wynne Jones

This book has been on my TBR for AGES. The copy I own I actually bought for my young cousin but never gave it to her. Instead of returning it, I kept it for myself and then it languished, unread, for a few years. Fast forward to our annual December powwow to pick our On the Same Page books for this year, and Alyssa was like, “I want to read HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE,” and I was like, “OMG ME TOO.” So glad that we all agreed to give this classic middle grade fantasy a go, because it was incredibly charming and fun, and I laughed so many times.

One of the things I noticed while I was looking at this book on Goodreads was the different covers. There’s so many! And they’re so awesome! And they highlight different aspects of the story, or have different interpretations of the same thing! YAY! So for this month’s On the Same Page feature, I’m going to share some different book cover editions and talk about why I looooove them all (well, most of them).

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Waiting on Wednesday | Sorcerer to the Crown

Waiting on Wednesday

Sorcerer to the Crown: Sorcerer Royal #1 • Zen Cho

Book cover Sorcerer to the Crown Zen Cho

In this sparkling debut, magic and mayhem clash with the British elite…
The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman—a freed slave who doesn’t even have a familiar—as their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England’s once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession…

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up. But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…

Soooo, exsqueeze me? I love the sound of SORCERER TO THE CROWN. It’s got historical fiction elements, fantasy elements, fairy elements, and a dragon on the cover. (Not sure how that last fits, but DRAGON, so I’ll go with it.)

I always love reading books about worlds on the verge of collapse. Something’s gone wrong, and no one understands how or why. I like the mystery of it, the slowly unraveling suspense. Zen Cho’s debut has so many things that I love to read about. The only thing that is less than awesome? I have to keep waiting until September to read it.

SORCERER TO THE CROWN comes out on September 1, 2015 from Ace Books

Sorcerer to the Crown Zen Cho

Waiting on Wednesday | The Thorn of Emberlain | Scott Lynch

Waiting on Wednesday

The Thorn of Emberlain: Gentleman Bastards #4 • Scott Lynch


Book cover The Thorn of Emberlain Scott Lynch

A kingdom torn by civil war.

A breakaway republic, outnumbered on all fronts.

Two thieves caught between avarice and admiration.

Things change forever.

Yup. That’s it. That’s all we get. (For now.) BUT THE COVER. Guys. I die. I still haven’t read book three in this amazing series (starting it very soon, though), but I think it goes without saying that I will always need to know what’s up with Locke Lamora and his bff, Jean Tannen. These two and their crass, clever banter and their unshakeable loyalty make me frenzied with fangirlishness.

If any of you are fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and are looking for something to read in the long, LOOONG wait for WINDS OF WINTER, you’d be doing yourself a huge favor by starting this series. It’s hilarious and complex and the world-building is stellar, and you can’t get any better than Locke and Jean, especially in terms of bromances.

THE THORN OF EMBERLAIN comes out in July 2015 (hopefully) from Del Rey

The Thorn of Emberlain Scott Lynch

On the Same Page | American Gods | Neil Gaiman

on the same pageAmerican Gods • Neil Gaiman

As you all probably know, Alyssa is like the one true Gaiman fan. She adores his writing and his stories and his wisdom and his hair and himself. However, since AMERICAN GODS is, I believe, the only work of his she hasn’t read, and Brittany and I are always looking to expand our knowledge of the Gaiman-verse, we decided to make this our February book. I’m so glad we did. It’s dense and dark and thought-provoking, but it was also amazing.

Since I have an abiding love of mythologies of all kinds, and since AMERICAN GODS uses those same mythologies to weave this incredible story, I thought I’d highlight a few of the major players for my post. Note: In the book, these gods go by different names (except for a few, but it’s not a huge spoiler to reveal them), so I’m not giving away any secrets. Shadow, the main character, deals with gods, but doesn’t know who they all are right away. It makes for a super fun guessing game, in addition to an engaging and mysterious story about belief, family, religion, and America.

Hat-tip to the artists who drew these amazing pictures, too! Y’all are so talented, I can’t even.

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Top Ten Tuesday | Fantasies I Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Fantasies I Still Haven’t Read Yet

I consider myself pretty well read in fantasy, you guys, but that really doesn’t mean too much. This is an expansive, flooded genre (THANK THE GODS), so that means that there’s always plenty left for me to get my grabby hands on when I’m looking for something new! Huzzah! Ergo, it shouldn’t surprise you that I have north of 10 books on this list.


So, this is some pile, no? I AM MUCH EXCITE. I’ve only ever read one book by Robin McKinley (SUNSHINE), but I’ve always wanted to read BEAUTY and THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD. Hopefully I can get to these sometime. I have the first book in The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini and it’s dragons (lots of those on this list). The girls and I are reading THE SPIRIT THIEF this year so I’m stoked to get to know Eli Monpress, and Alyssa gifted me the first volume of THE SANDMAN for Christmas, so I’m DEFINITELY going to be diving into that. The Abhorsen series is one of my worst failures as a fantasy lover. I own all four books, thanks to Brittany and my own wallet; I have no more excuses. HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE by Diana Wynne Jones is another book on tap for us Gals on the Same Page–YAY! CROWN DUEL by Sherwood Smith just sounds so great and I’m almost positive that Alyssa gifted that to me as well. I’m woefully behind on Tamora Pierce books, so I’m planning on diving into The Immortals series and the Protector of the Small series this year. Mercedes Lackey and Patricia A. McKillip just in general I’ve never read. FAIL. Kate Forsyth is another author I’ve never read and she has some pretty legit sounding fantasy series. The Witches of Eileanan sounds like just the ticket. DRAGONSWOOD is, ahem, another gift from Alyssa that I’ve been wanting to read SO BADLY. TAM LIN because HELLO SCOTTISH FOLK TALE GIMME IT. LOLOL THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by John Connolly. It was a gift. Can’t remember who gave it to me. Pretty sure her name starts with an “A” though. Finally, the Rain Wild Chronicles by Robin Hobb because a TBR always needs more dragons, no?

Whew. I’m exhausted. But determined!

Mini Reviews | Fantasy

Mini Reviews

So, I’ve never done mini reviews before. Kind of makes me feel like a cop out. Alas, I have a huge backlog of books that I read mostly over the summer, but some recently as well, that I want to review but either read so long ago that I can’t remember details, read but don’t think I could write a full review of, or…nope just those two. Primarily the former. But just because I didn’t get around to reviewing these books closer to when I finished reading them doesn’t mean that I don’t have SOME thoughts, and the thing that REALLY gets me is that I really enjoyed most of these books and I wish I’d been able to give them more attention. WAH FACE EMOJI. I’m glad to be shouting them out, though.

I have another batch of these that I’m going to work on for next week, but I thought I’d start with the fantasies. YAY!

Book cover Stray Elisa Sussman


I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

Stray: Four Sisters #1 by Elissa Sussman 

I REALLY wanted to love STRAY, you guys. I did. It sounds so much like a book that I would love. And there were things about it that I enjoyed, and I’ll probably check out book 2, but when I tell you that my favorite parts were when Aislynn blows of steam by baking bread that sounded delicious, that should give you a hint about my general feelings. Nothing seemed to GRIP ME about STRAY. Aislynn didn’t, the romance didn’t, and the world-building was, frankly, messy. I was intrigued enough by it to be curious about what happens next. The fact that fairy godmothers like Aislynn supposedly lose their “loving hearts” making it impossible for them to feel romantic feelings seemed a little too pat, but very much in keeping with that old-school fairy tale vibe. I liked that Aislynn, despite losing her “loving heart,” still seemed to experience some of those forbidden feelings. The source of that is interesting to me. I’d also read more about the Evil Queen and how her story is related to Aislynn’s and what ramifications her plans will have on Aislynn.

The biggest bugaboo for me was the world-building. I found myself often a little confused and muddled. Sometimes the exposition would say one thing, and then something else would turn out to be true, or something would be explained and then later that explanation would be unraveled slightly. It just seemed very confusing. Which is a shame because it all seemed so promising. But in reality, the thing I was most excited about upon finishing STRAY is the bread recipe at the end.

three stars


Book cover Trial By Fire Josephine Angelini


This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

Trial by Fire: Worldwalker #1 by Josephine Angelini

I enjoyed TRIAL BY FIRE, friends. As you may know, anything vaguely Salem-ish is going to attract my attention because witches. This dystopian/alternate world Salem is really interesting, and I enjoyed the little bits of WTFery surrounding Lily and her other Salem self, Lillian, and the Crucibles themselves. I’m really intrigued by the fact that this alternate society is run by women who are basically witches. LOVE WITCHES. So that angle was really fun for me.

I also zipped through TRIAL BY FIRE. That happens sometimes: I’m enjoying a book, but maybe not LOVING IT, but I still can’t put it down. TRIAL BY FIRE was like that. Lots of action and characters in jeopardy and big things that we don’t fully understand yet. However, this was also one of those books where I found some holes in the world-building that irked me, and the pacing–while mostly awesome–sometimes made things seem too fast. Good thing I really liked Rowan. *wink wink*

four stars

Book cover The Kiss of Deception Mary E. Pearson


A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

Kiss of Deception: The Remnant Chronicles #1 by Mary E. Pearson

I LOOOVED KISS OF DECEPTION, you guys. The fantasy aspect was so interesting, although I’m not entirely convinced that this IS a fantasy. (OOOOOOH!) We shall see if my suspicions are well-founded or not! But I really enjoyed this one. A LOT. I loved Princess Lia and thought she was brave and smart. And ballsy for running away from a marriage that might save her kingdom because the prince is someone she doesn’t know and hasn’t met. She has enemies at home and enemies abroad, but you can never really tell which character is which (well, except for the nasty Chancellor. He’s obvs an enemy.)

There’s kind of a triangle in KISS OF DECEPTION, but not totally, and I liked how it all played out. I believe–if I remember correctly–that I had a feeling about the outcome of this but Mary Pearson did a pretty great job of concealing the truth until the reveal. I was never 100% sure, so that made KISS OF DECEPTION a really intriguing read. Definitely looking forward to book 2.

five stars

Book cover The Midnight Thief Livia Blackburne


Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner—and danger is a way of life.

Midnight Thief: Midnight Thief #1 by Livia Blackburne

Friends, MIDNIGHT THIEF was a super fun debut. I enjoyed myself reading it. I had feelings, I enjoyed the world-building, I loved Kyra and her loyalty to her adopted family, and her relationship with Tristam, who is as awesome as a guy can be when one of the best words you can use to describe him is “honorable.” Face it, that’s kind of boring. I was also going to use “nice” and “decent.” But he’s great; the very best personification of those words.

Any mention of the word “assassin” immediately piques my interest, so the Assassins Guild is right up my alley. Their leader is dangerous and sneaky, and when Kyra gets caught up with him, you know things are not going to end well. The way everything came together with the reveals and such was great. The truth about Kyra was not so surprising to me, and sometimes the Demon Riders seemed…cheesy? Or something? They’re also pretty fierce, though, so I can get behind that for sure. So much is in ruins at the end of MIDNIGHT THIEF and I’m really looking forward to book 2.

four stars

Excuse Me While I Fangirl | The Kingkiller Chronicle

fangirl The Kingkiller ChronicleThe Kingkiller Chronicle

Patrick Rothfuss

The Kingkiller ChronicleWORD. THESE BOOKS. So, quick recap of the background: I am relatively new to the bandwagon for Patrick Rothfuss’ AMAZING fantasy series, The Kingkiller Chronicle. I read them both via audio for the first time last year. However, I’ve owned a copy of THE NAME OF THE WIND–book 1–since it first came out. Once I read it last year, I was so mad at myself for not reading it sooner. ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER. Book 2, THE WISE MAN’S FEAR, was also excellent. Basically, I’m dying for book 3, THE DOORS OF STONE, which will hopefully come out before I become old and gray. But the worldbuilding and the characters and the mythology are all outstanding, and since I’m relistening to these books as we speak, I thought it was high time that I shouted my love from the rooftops of Tarbean using some beyond excellent fanart.

So, for some context: We don’t know the actual name of this world inhabited by Kvothe and Denna and the University (even thought it looks like we do based on this map), but this is a colored version of what it looks like. Book 1 takes place largely at the University and the town across the river, Imrae, but Kvothe (OMG I’m getting to him), also spends a great deal of time in Tarbean after a tragedy strikes his family’s caravan. I can’t tell you all how happy I am that we have a map of this world. It’s very helpful as things progress in Book 2.

Ahh, here he is. KVOTHE. Quite possibly my very favorite ginger in the land, excepting maybe Jamie Fraser. I’ve seen this picture of him around the interwebs before and I’m always amazed at how perfect it seems. The wind blowing and the lute and the red hair and confident look. That’s our Kvothe. Enormously intelligent, too clever for his own good, determined, strong-willed, loyal, but also very impulsive, a little reckless, and more than obsessed with Denna (meh. Getting to her in a sec). His family was Edema Ruh, this world’s equivalent of gypsies, and he has a great deal of that freedom of mind and need to wander in him. Kvothe is a cocky SOB I’d say 80% of the time (that’s generous), but that’s why I love him. I LOVE HIM.

A sketch of Kvothe approaching what I’ve seen named as a number of different cities: Tarbean, Vintas, Imrae, The University. I wish I could find the final version of this sketch without a watermark because it’s PERFECT. It’s important to note the presence of Kvothe’s lute. Music is just as important to Kvothe as his studies at The University. When he is without his instrument, he’s depressed and feeling tetherless. He’s as skilled a musician as anything else, and Kvothe excels at LOTS of things. I wish so much that the Eoilian–the tavern in Imrae where Kvothe often plays–was real and I could go there and hear him play. YES, this series makes me crazy wishing that ALL THE THINGS WERE REAL.

(UPDATE! I found one! Isn’t it gorgeous?)

More Kvothe. Just because. He does spend a good deal of THE WISE MAN’S FEAR tromping around the woods, so I like this one.

So, The Kingkiller Chronicle is structured in such a way that the majority of the story is told in flashbacks as Kvothe recounts his extraordinary young life to the Chronicler. Over the course of his life, Kvothe somehow met Bast. He’s Faen, which is exactly what it sounds like and explains his hooves. I’m not sure how Kvothe met him yet, but present-time Kvothe has lost some of his youthful luster, and Bast wants to help him get it back. He’s feisty and mischievous and dangerous underneath all of his charm, but very loyal to Kvothe.

This image shows Kvothe on the left, but the image that I want to talk about is on the right. This is Denna, The Girl in The Kingkiller Chronicle. Her expression in this is perfect. Kvothe is enamored of her the first time he meets her, and she preoccupies his mind like virtually no other thing for the majority of the story. Personally, I feel a little meh about Denna. She’s mysterious and beautiful and confident, but she’s also a little capricious, unreliable, and inconsiderate. To Kvothe, though, she is perfect….nauseatingly so, and that’s mostly why I don’t love her. As a reader, you can see that she sometimes is the worst, but Kvothe is content to be strung along. MEH.

As much as I love Kvothe, he has some pretty hateful enemies, none of whom make me and Kvothe ragier than one Ambrose Jakis. Look at this tool. I mean… . He meets Kvothe at the University and they immediately get off on the worst possible foot. Things spiral dangerously downward thereafter. Ambrose is wealthy, titled, ENtitled, and mean. He’s also devious and prideful, which leads to many of his clashes with Kvothe. Theirs is no mere prank war; these two guys are out for blood most of the time and wind up doing pretty awful things to each other. Big difference? Ambrose totally deserves it and Kvothe is awesome (no bias, I swear). (Ok, fine, Kvothe maybe deserves some if it, but not the worst of it.)

Even though Denna is The Girl in Kvothe’s life, there are other girls in this story that make it extra wonderful. One of the most touching relationships Kvothe has with anyone is his brother-sister relationship with Auri, a former University student who now lives underneath the city. She isn’t quite right in the head anymore, and she’s skittish around strangers, but Kvothe visits her often to bring her food and clothes. He worries about her when it’s cold and brings her salt because it’s got minerals in it that he’s worried she doesn’t get in whatever food she finds for herself. Auri is also completely precious. There’s a scene between the two of them in THE NAME OF THE WIND that just KILLS ME, it’s so sweet.

Fela is one of the female students that Kvothe meets and befriends. She’s bright and thoughtful and maybe, for a little while, carries a torch for Kvothe. But I like them as friends, even though I dislike Denna as a love interest. I always love it when guys and girls can be friends and even if Fela and Kvothe start out their friendship with possibly a bit of a crush on Fela’s end, I like where they are now.

So. Basically the backbone of these books is Kvothe’s search for the mythical group of baddies known as the Chandrian. Most people in this world believe that they’re just folktales, but Kvothe thinks differently, and it’s his greatest mission to find them. His personal motivations are deep. The problem is that the Chandrian are alleged to guard their identities so thoroughly that anyone who discovers even the slightest hint of them anywhere somehow winds up dead. His quest to learn about them drives him completely.

I’m HEARTBROKEN that I couldn’t find good pictures of Wilem and Simmon, Kvothe’s best friends at the University, but they are amazing. Best besties ever. Honestly. They are such excellent friends and they make me laugh a lot and get a little weepy, too.

Friends, I can’t express my love for this series enough. It’s all-encompassing and completely realized. The characters are real and complex. The writing is on point. If you love fantasy but haven’t read these books yet, this is me urging you in the strongest yet friendliest way possible to CHECK YOURSELF.

Waiting on Wednesday (56) | The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Waiting on Wednesday

The Slow Regard of Silent Things: The Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5 • Patrick Rothfuss

Book cover The Slow Regard of Silent Things Patrick Rothfuss

Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.
Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows….

In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.

GUYSSSSSS. I am deep into a Kingkiller Chronicle fanzone right now. I’m in the middle of re-listening to THE WISE MAN’S FEAR after just finishing a re-listen of THE NAME OF THE WIND, and I am loving all up on these books anew. When I found out that Patrick Rothfuss was writing a short story about one of my favorite secondary characters at The University, Auri, I was so excited. I mean, I can’t lie, I was hoping against hope that his big announcement would be something related to book 3, THE DOORS OF STONE, but Auri is going to be an excellent diversion, I think.

Auri is, as the synopsis states, “a broken girl.” Not everyone who attends The University is mentally strong enough to handle the pressure, and Auri is one of those former students. She’s simple, but not in the way of a disability. More in the way of no longer encumbered by the strictures of society. She speaks with whimsy and is skittish around strangers. But she has a very loyal, very sweet brother-sister relationship with Kvothe, and I just adore them. The idea of seeing more of Auri and where she lives is enormously intriguing to me. I AM STOKED.

THE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS comes out October 28, 2014 from DAW

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

On the Same Page | The Lies of Locke Lamora | Scott Lynch

on the same page

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

I can’t believe it’s already time to dish about On the Same Page’s THIRD BOOK!!! Time is flying because we’re having so much fun. And let me tell you, reading THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA, the first book in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series, was TREMENDOUS fun. When Alyssa, Brittany, and I scheduled out our books for the year, all of our choices were mutual, except the ones in March, September, and December: Our birthday months! We each got to pick the books we read as a birthday present of sorts, and Miss Brittany made an excellent choice. THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA was 100% good times.

I’ve been meaning to read this series for ages, so I was excited to finally have a reason to dive in. It has so many things that I always love, most notably the fact that it’s a fantasy. Scott Lynch’s world-building is top-notch. There are different kingdoms and realms, all with their own clearly defined cultures and histories; there’s a new and interesting calendar that these worlds follow; a fleshed-out religion; and Camorr, where Locke and his other Gentleman Bastards live and operate, is so lively and described in such great detail that it’s difficult to struggle picturing it in your mind. I could talk about a number of things this month relating to THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA, but I’m going to focus on one element in particular that I always love in any book, and that defines a large part of the action and characters here: THIEVES. OMG. LOVE THEM.

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