Hello fellow bookworms! August was a good reading month for me. I read 9 books in total and only had 1 or 2 that let me down, so because of that I have FOUR books to spotlight for this month. These are 4 fantasy reads, one debut, 2 sequels and 1 majorly anticipated read for me. They’re all filled to the brim with different kinds of magic, swoon worthy and sometimes bittersweet romances and some truly amazing female MC’s. What August reads really stood out for you? I’m always looking for recommendations so let me know in the comments!
Court of Lions – Somaiya Daud
After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court. Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make
a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?
“Why is this not enough?” he whispered. For long moments the only sound in the room was our breathing. But I could not give him what he asked. My pride and dignity were all I had left. “I am half of what I ought to be,” I said softly, and drew myself away. ” And I would rather be dead than a slave.”
The memories of all the things I had suffered under Nadine, that my family had suffered under her, surged to the forefront of my mind. I never thought to see her like this-frightened, pale, on the verge of shaking. Maram gestured to one of the guards, and he stood back then drew his sidearm. “Your Grace, I beg of you-” I remembered another girl, a different girl, on her knees, begging to keep her heritage. And the advice someone had given her. “Oh,” I breathed out. “You should never beg.”
12 years! 12 years I waited… ok so I may be exaggerating here BUT I loved Mirage SO MUCH and the wait for book two was a special kind of torture! Luckily this one did no disappoint and, although I could totally see it working as a trilogy, I savoured every last word of this book! Daud’s writing style is divine and she has cemented herself as a favourite author of mine. Read my review here.
Raybearer – Jordan Ifueko
Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as the Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of Eleven. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That
closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But the Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn–but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
“‘Wherever I come from,’ I told Kirah as irubo dancers whirled around us, ‘I think music was forbidden. Whenever I hear a song, it feels like I’m stealing something.'”
“The place closest to your soul isn’t your heart,” Kirah explained. It’s your stomach. Anger, love, and sorrow simmer together there, like bubbles in a cauldron.”
“But our greatest good is the one we can’t contain: compassion, loyalty, softness, fierceness. The ability to win hearts, or recognize beauty, or weather a storm… Our gift could be anything, really. And when we use our greatest good for something beyond ourselves, that’s our best desire. Our purpose.”
You know I love me some mythology and this book was filled to the brim with it. Add in a swoon-worthy romance, found families, brilliantly rendered and described magic system and an MC trying to fight her destiny… this is a must for any fantasy fan! You can read my review here.
Night – Alexandria Warwick
After months in captivity, Apaay managed to escape Yuki’s labyrinth with her life. But her freedom did not come without a steep cost. When the Face Stealer, the North’s most notorious demon, calls in her blood oath, Apaay must heed his demand. Debts, after all, must be repaid. As Apaay attempts to navigate her uprooted life, something dark slithers among the snow-dusted conifers of the North. A long-dead war is unfinished, and there are those who would see it revived. In a place where misplaced loyalty
could mean her death, Apaay must look inward to repair her broken soul—for if she cannot place trust in those around her, she might find enemies are closer than they appear.
“Ila didn’t want to be cowed anymore, or weak. She had been born into the life of a mouse and wished she had been granted life as a serpent so that she may shed this old skin.”
“Apaay thought of the Face Stealer’s eyes the moment she’d screamed his name, seconds away from tumbling to her death. Months spent in his company had solidified her knowledge of the colours and emotions he harboured. Gray for aloofness. Blue-green for when he was feeling playful. She did not know what Violet meant.“
“You don’t know a thing about me.” His laughter was surprisingly acidic. “I know you.” He turned toward her, the air stirring with the scent of woodsmoke that was at times as familiar to her it almost felt like a memory. “You’re not afraid of dying. You’re afraid of living.”
I keep telling people not to sleep on this series because it is SO GOOD. Set in a frozen world, filled with inuit culture and folklore. THE BEST slow burn enemies to lovers (or it better be anyway!) An MC who is dealing with PTSD as well as some great disability rep AND beautiful and immersive writing… what are you all waiting for! You can read my review here.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – Victoria Schwab
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
“She will come to this moment a thousand times. in frustration, and regret, in sorrow, and self-pity, and unbridled rage. She will come to face the fact that she cursed herself before he ever did. But here, and now, all she can see is the flickering torchlight of Villon, and the green eyes of the stranger she once dreamed of loving, and the chance to escape slipping away with his touch.”
“Freedom is a pair of trousers and a buttoned coat. A man’s tunic and a tricorne hat. If only she’d known. The darkness claimed he’d given her freedom, but really, there is no such thing for a woman, not in a world where they are bound up inside their clothes, and sealed inside their homes, a world where only men are giving leave to roam.”
“And yet you are unmarried.” Another turn, another test. Times before Addie has been widowed, has been wed, but today, she decides, she is unmarriable. “No,” she says,” I confess, I do not want a master, and I’ve yet to find an equal.”
I’m kind of glad that I can’t post my review for this until Oct because I think it will take me that long to write anything semi-coherent. This book was beautiful, heartbreaking, joyous and everything in between. Addie is one of my all time favourite literary characters… and honestly, if I could have just copied and pasted the whole book into my favourite quotes I would have done because the writing is GORGEOUS! You absolutely get transported by this book and that ending! Man I was not prepared.