Book of the Week – Fear the Drowning Deep

FearTheDrowningDeep

Hello gentle reader,

Today’s the day! FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP by my extremely talented friend and critique partner Sarah Glenn Marsh is finally out! I can only recommend you pick up this fantastic  YA Historical Fantasy set in 1913 on the Isle of Man, with witches, sea monsters and a swoony romance.

The blurb:

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

If you want to find out more about Sarah and her writing process for her debut, do take a look at my interview with her.

And please feel free to add the book on Goodreads and to buy it on Amazon.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Book of the Week – The Violinist of Venice

Hello gentle reader,

Violinist of Venice

Last winter I received an ARC of The Violinist of Venice by the lovely Alyssa Palombo, but I only recently found the time to read it. This Historical novel came out last December, and it’s Alyssa’s debut.

The story takes place over 30 years in 18th Century Venice, and follows the life of Adrianna D’Amato, a gifted violinist who falls in love with her tutor – the virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. This relationship is impossible in many ways – Adrianna’s father marries her off to another man, and Vivaldi himself is a priest – but their affair will impact both their lives long after it ends.

Although I did enjoy the plot, what really kept me reading this beautifully written book was the world building: Alyssa has seamlessly recreated 18th Century Venice and her descriptions make us feel as if we’re there with Adrianna. It’s also a very interesting portrait of the upper society of the time, where women had very few choices in life and even less freedom.

I recommend this book if you love Historical fiction, Italy and strong female characters. Here is the link to Goodreads if you want to add it.

What have you been reading this week? Feel free to leave me your recommendations below!

Book of the Week – Susan Dennard on Truthwitch

Hello gentle reader,

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Susan Dennard’s books. As such, I’m really looking forward to reading her new YA Epic Fantasy series, The Witchlands. Book one, TRUTHWITCH, is coming out on 5th January 2016, and Susan has kindly agreed to a short interview for this upcoming release.

Truthwitch-US-cover

(US cover)

To write Truthwitch, where did you get your inspiration from?

So, Truthwitch was one of those “perfect storm” ideas. I wanted to write epic fantasy (since that’s my true genre-love), and I wanted to write something with a Croatian vibe—ever since I’d backpacked there in 2010, the landscape had haunted me! And of course, I REALLY wanted friendship to be at the story’s heart.
It was right around then that I discovered Two Steps from Hell. I heard their piece “El Dorado” and this scene just BURST FORTH in my mind. Two best friends caught up in a roadside heist gone wrong! Turquoise blue waters on one side and limestone cliffs on the other! And a city similar to Dubrovnik only a few miles away…
The story grew from there!

Truthwitch-UK-cover

(UK cover)

Have you read any books this year you’d recommend?

Oh my gosh, this year has been a strange reading year for me. I’ve read more non-fiction than anything else. By FAR my favorite read was Cathedral of the Wild by Boyd Varty — it’s just an incredible look at life in the South African bush.

Another amazing read I just devoured was Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman. I grew up on Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies, and Bowman does an incredible job of tapping into that true western heart.

Oh, and I totally fell in love with Kate Elliott’s Court of Fives. Elliott is a master storyteller and world-builder. I am SO excited for that book’s sequel!!

Thanks, Susan, for the interview!

More about Truthwitch:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

You can add TRUTHWITCH on Goodreads or find out about preorders here.

Book of the Week – Echo Boy by Matt Haig

Hello gentle reader,

ECHO BOY is a book I was really excited to read (see my Waiting On Wednesday post back in February 2014) and after its recent release in paperback, I finally got my hands on it. I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. It’s an A-MA-ZING YA Sci-Fi novel, which I recommend if you like this genre. It’s about robots, global warming and what the future could be made of, but it’s also about grief, love and what makes us human. It’s a wonderful read.

The Echo Boy

From Goodreads:

Audrey’s father taught her that to stay human in the modern world, she had to build a moat around herself; a moat of books and music, philosophy and dreams. A moat that makes Audrey different from the echoes: sophisticated, emotionless machines, built to resemble humans and to work for human masters.

Daniel is an echo – but he’s not like the others. He feels a connection with Audrey; a feeling Daniel knows he was never designed to have, and cannot explain. And when Audrey is placed in terrible danger, he’s determined to save her.

And here is my favourite quote from the book:

“A book is a map. There will be times in your life when you will feel lost and confused. The way back to yourself is through reading. There is not a problem in existence that has not been eased, somewhere and at some time, by a book. I want you to remember that.The answers have all been written. And the more you read, the more you will know how to find your way through those difficult times.”

 

What have you been reading this week? Any YA novels you’d recommend?

Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Books recommendations – Historical Novels

Hello gentle reader,

This week I’d like to share with you a few reading recommendations. My most recent reads have been great Historical novels, which you should check out if you like this genre! (All blurbs are from Goodreads)

Here lies Arthur

Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve (2007)

Gwyna is just a small girl, a mouse, when she is bound in service to Myrddin the bard – a traveller and spinner of tales. But Myrdin transfroms her – into a lady goddess, a boy warrior, and a spy. Without Gwyna, Myrddin will not be able to work the most glorious transformation of all – and turn the leader of a raggle-tagglear-band into King Arthur, the greatest hero of all time.

Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2011)

Greece in the age of Heroes.

Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia.

Achilles, ‘best of all the Greeks’, is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

Dark Aemilia

Dark Aemilia by Sally O’Reilly (2014)

The daughter of a Venetian musician, Aemilia Bassano came of age in Queen Elizabeth’s royal court. The Queen’s favorite, she develops a love of poetry and learning, maturing into a young woman known not only for her beauty but also her sharp mind and quick tongue. Aemilia becomes the mistress of Lord Hunsdon, but her position is precarious. Then she crosses paths with an impetuous playwright named William Shakespeare and begins an impassioned but ill-fated affair.

In rich, vivid detail, Sally O’Reilly breathes life into England’s first female poet, a mysterious woman nearly forgotten by history. Full of passion and devilish schemes, Dark Aemilia is a tale worthy of the Bard.

What have you been reading this week? Any Historical novels you’d recommend? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Book of the Week – Fallen Beauty

Hello gentle reader,

this week I’ve been reading FALLEN BEAUTY by Erika Robuck (published in March 2014 by NAL Trade). It’s a Historical novel set in 1920’s New York. I’ve had this book on my To-Be-Read list for a while, and this weekend I found out it was less than £2 on Kindle UK, so I bought it on a whim. I’m about 2/3 in now, and I’m not regretting picking it up. The writing is gorgeous and the world building is great. The dual POV gives an interesting insight into the lives of two very different women in the Jazz Age. It reminds me of The Scarlet Letter, of fairy tales and of F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s definitely an intriguing read, and I recommend it.

Fallen Beauty

From Goodreads:

Upstate New York, 1928. Laura Kelley and the man she loves sneak away from their judgmental town to attend a performance of the scandalous Ziegfeld Follies. But the dark consequences of their night of daring and delight reach far into the future…

That same evening, Bohemian poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and her indulgent husband hold a wild party in their remote mountain estate, hoping to inspire her muse. Millay declares her wish for a new lover who will take her to unparalleled heights of passion and poetry, but for the first time, the man who responds will not bend completely to her will…

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Book of the Week: The Lynburn Legacy trilogy

Hello gentle reader,

today I’m over at The Great Noveling Adventure sharing my review of the Lynburn Legacy trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Lynburn Legacy

Take a look maybe? And let me know below what you’ve been reading this week!