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.

Waiting On Wednesday – 62

Hello gentle reader,

today I’m waiting on RISE OF ORION by my friend Rachel O’Laughlin. The book cover was revealed yesterday on the IceyBooks blog. It’s an Epic Fantasy and it’ll be the third book in the SERENGARD series, sequel to COLDNESS OF MAREK and KNIGHTS OF RILCH (expected publication: 2d December 2014 by Dublin Mist Press). If you’ve been following this blog, you may remember I really enjoyed Books 1 & 2, which means I can’t wait for Book 3 and Mikel’s point of view!

RiseofOrionCover

From Goodreads:

After the border wars, Mikel Orion flees Serengard and seeks haven in the Desert of Aldad. Although he and his sister Kierstaz must become slaves in order to set foot inside its borders, the hot sands hold a bitter kind of peace—one he wants to keep. But he risks destroying the cover story that protects him and Kierstaz when he becomes entangled with an Aldadi girl. Aura has tragic secrets of her own, but she gives Mikel a purpose beyond his birthright…as well as scars that run deeper than skin.

Twelve years later, trouble brews among the Aldadi and the Drei alike. Trapped in a dungeon as the prize prisoner of Trzl—an orchestrator of the rebellion that killed his parents—Mikel is out of maneuvers. Even while Kierstaz gathers a force in the west to attempt his rescue, Trzl sharpens her daggers and begins to resemble the hypnotic ruler she claims to loathe…and Mikel becomes convinced that peace has never been within his reach at all.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

Have you heard about this book? Is it on your TBR list? What are you waiting on this week?

Summer Reads – 2014 Edition

Hello gentle reader,

I’ve asked my friends which book they’re most looking forward to reading this summer. Here are their answers…

Lauren Garafalo chose The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (YA High Fantasy)

Queen of the Tearling

Jessica Rubinkowski picked Fire by Kristin Cashore and Warrior by Ellen Oh (both are YA High Fantasy)

Fire

Warrior

Ambiguous A. chose The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Fantasy)

The Night Circus UK

Kate Michael picked Autumn Bones by Jacqueline Carey (Urban Fantasy) and The Falconer by Elizabeth May (YA  Historical Fantasy)

Autumn Bone

The Falconer

Rachel O’Laughlin chose Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Epic Fantasy) and Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne (YA High Fantasy)

final-empire

Midnight Thief

Jenny Adams Perinovic picked Written In My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon (Historical – Time Travel)

Written In My Own Heart's Blood

Katie Bucklein picked Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (YA Fairy Tale Retelling)

Cruel Beauty

And almost everyone said they were either reading or abour to read Ruin and Rising (Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo (YA High Fantasy)

Ruin and Rising Final

Has your TBR pile suddenly grown? Yes, mine too 😉

Which book are you looking forward to reading this summer? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Waiting On Wednesday – 47

Hello gentle reader,

Today I’m waiting on MIDNIGHT THIEF by Livia Blackburne (expected publication: 8th July 2014 by Disney-Hyperion). It’s a YA Epic Fantasy and I’ve read great reviews about it (from book bloggers who were lucky enough to read the ARC!). And have you seen this great cover?!

Midnight Thief

From Goodreads:

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.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.

Have you heard about this book? Is it on your TBR list? What are you waiting on this week?

Knights of Rilch Swag – Trzl’s Trading Card Reveal and Giveaway!

Hello gente reader,

Remember when I revealed the cover of Knights of Rilch (Serengard: Book 2) by Rachel O’Laughlin?

KnightsOfRilch

Today, I’m delighted to share with you one of the trading cards that have been designed to accompany Knights of Rilch‘s upcoming release!

There are two sets of trading cards, each featuring 4 characters from the books:

– Set of COLDNESS OF MAREK Trading Cards (Trzl, Hodran, Gernan, Colstadt)

– Set of KNIGHTS OF RILCH Trading Cards (Kierstaz, Pier, Ric, Romianz)

Without further ado, here is Trzl’s trading card:

TrzlCard

Original Artwork Copyright Dan Tare 2014

Isn’t it beautiful?

There are 100 limited edition cards of each character (artwork on the front, stats on the back – stats contain spoilers!). All cards are available now to Rachel’s street team or with proof of book purchase while supplies last. You can check out the other cards here.

KNIGHTS OF RILCH will be released on 25th February 2014. You can pre-order it here.

And, last but not least, the giveaway! Enter here for a chance to win one or both sets of cards. Good luck!

 

Sunday Giveaway – Special Edition! (closed)

Hello gentle reader,

Summer is coming to an end, with the US Labor Day, a sunny weekend in the UK… and my last Sunday Giveaway.

Today I’m giving away a special prize: COLDNESS OF MAREK by Rachel O’Laughlin (paperback copy + swag)! It’s an Adult Epic Fantasy book that came out at the beginning of this month. I reviewed it here.

ColdnessOfMarek-Cover

Coldness of Marek

Here’s the book blurb:

Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries. Centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that none of its people ever asked for or agreed to. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is out to turn the monarchy into a free society where knowledge is king and no one has to be subject to the whims of an Orion.

As the rebellion escalates, her choices have an eerie impact on the revolution at large, elevating her to a position of influence she has only dreamed of attaining. But there are downsides to her power: appearances and alliances that must be upheld. One of them is Hodran, a rich rebel who wants to aid her cause, and another is Mikel, a loyalist farmer who wants to destroy it… and who just might be winning her heart at the same time.

By the time Trzl realizes she is in too deep, she has an infant son and a dark mess of betrayal and lies. She runs, to the farthest corner of the kingdom, in hopes she will be left alone with her child. But she has a few too many demons. Someone she once trusted takes her captive among the chilling Cliffs of Marek. She is thrown back into the political mess she helped create… at the mercy of a man she never wanted for an enemy.

Giveaway information:

The giveaway is open until Monday 2d September 2013 at 9am (BST time).

To enter please fill in the contact form below with your name and email. If you follow my blog by email or WordPress, if you are a Twitter follower, if you like my page on Facebook, if you follow me on Pinterest or Tumblr, or if you tweet about the giveaway, this will grant you an extra entry. Mention it below.

Entrants must be at least 13 years of age.

This giveaway is open Internationally.

The winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

I hold the right to end the giveaway before its original deadline without any prior notice.

I hold the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit.

Privacy information: no information given for this giveaway will be used for other purpose than this giveaway. All information provided (names, emails and mail addresses) will be deleted after the giveaway.

Good luck and feel free to leave me a comment below!

Book of the Week – 20

Hello gentle reader,

My choice for Book of the Week is Coldness of Marek by Rachel O’Laughlin. It’s an Adult Epic Fantasy book and the first book in the Serengard Series. It was released on 6th August 2013 and I received an ARC from the author for review.

ColdnessOfMarek-Cover

I’ll start by saying that I fully enjoyed this book. I love Epic Fantasy and this is a very well written and engrossing read.

The story is divided into two parts: the first part takes place before a political upheaval which is going to overthrow the reigning monarch and introduce a new regime. The second part takes place ten years later and deals with the aftermath of the rebellion.

I loved how effortless the world building was in this story: Serengard and its political, social and geographical features are introduced slowly and smoothly, making it very easy to get immersed  in this world.

The characters are rich and complex, with Trzl at the center of it all. She is a wonderfully multifaceted woman, clever yet passionate, cold yet loving. Around her, a web of men with their own agendas creates a great cast. I only wished there were more female characters.

The plot is well-paced and compelling, although I did enjoy Part II more, because the action and scheming really picked up then and I couldn’t put the book down after hitting the halfway mark.

Although this first book in this series has a satisfying ending, I finished the story longing to dive into Book 2 straight away. But Knights of Rilch will only be released in February 2014…

In the meantime, I recommend Coldness of Marek for lovers of Epic Fantasy!

What are you reading this week?