What I’m Reading: May + June

It’s July and I’ve been a bad, bad blogger—I haven’t reviewed a book since April! I blame deadlines and crazy schedules. I’ll keep this bulk review post brief, because I need to dive back into proofing VENGEANCE ROAD (due to my editor on July 8th. Eep!).

Here’s what I read in May and June:

RAGING STAR by Moira Young
This is the final installment in Young’s Dust Lands trilogy, and for those of you who follow this blog or my twitter, you know I am obsessed with this series. The dialect, the world, the characters… I love it all.

A threat from DeMalo leaves Saba with seven days to either surrender her fight or find a way to defeat him and his plans for New Eden. This ticking-clock element keeps the pacing tight and tensions high. A few masterfully crafted scenes written in third person reveal a traitor within Saba’s group, though the details are vague. I was constantly torn between who I thought the traitor might be and only figured it out pages before the actual reveal. Kudos to Young for that. The ending is not an easy one, perhaps even closer to heartbreaking than bittersweet, but Saba’s story is one that will sit with me for years. And I know, without a doubt, that this will be one of the rare series I revisit again and again.

 

THE KING OF ATTOLIA by Megan Whelan Turner
Everyone told me this is the best of Turner’s Queen’s Thief series, and because of that, I think I had my hopes set too high. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this third installment. I just liked The Queen of Attolia better. Perhaps it was because King was set entirely within the castle (no jumping between settings like in Queen) and was light on action scenes (just a few scenes of sparring and one assassination attempt). Or maybe it was because I’ve come to put complete faith in Gen—he always has a plan, always knows what he’s doing even if he doesn’t look it—that the “twist” at the end didn’t surprise me much.

Still, this is a compelling series, complete with dynamic characters and tantalizing political intrigue. I especially loved how this novel was told mainly through the POV of a new character: Costis, a young guard. His viewpoint shows us many sides of Gen, the Queen, and the court. And watching Costis’s relationship with Gen slowly transition from hate to admiration was endearing. For fantasy fans, this series is not to be missed.

 

HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas
In full disclosure, I am good friends with Sarah, but that in no way influences my affection for these novels. Simply put, her series just keeps getting better, and this third installment was so much fun.

Celaena is off learning to control her recently revealed powers with the help of new Fae character Rowan, while back in Adarlan, a war is brewing. The King is extending his reach and building an army, complete with ghastly monsters and an allegiance with the witch clans. Poor Chaol (still in shock at Celaena’s true nature) and Dorian (constantly trying to hide his magic) are stuck trying to determine where they stand.

I was especially happy with the new characters introduced in this installment. I love Manon, even if she is heartless. I’ve seen some people claim this witch’s POV was completely unnecessary, but I have a feeling she is going to become a huge player as the witches’ role in the brewing war intensifies. Plus, I loved Manon’s relationship with her wyvern; the snippets of humanity I could see bubbling beneath her black surface. And Rowan, Celaena’s Fae escort/trainer in Wendlyn was another wonderful addition to the cast. Their slow-building friendship was so easy to root for, and I can’t wait to see where things go in the fourth book!

 

WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart
This novel was just as brilliant and heartbreaking as everyone promised. Written in almost vignette-like chapters, Lockhart’s prose is as stunning as ever. She brings the Sinclairs privileged lifestyle and their vacation homes on a Massachusetts island to life with ease, and the hint of mystery revolving around an accident that causes the main character to lose large chunks of her memory make this book almost unputdownable.

The less you know going into this the better, so I won’t say much else. Just go read it. And remember the title.

What about you? What have you read and loved recently?

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