Hello! I still can’t quite believe we’ve made it to December. I managed to read 8 books last month and while I loved the majority, there were two that really stood out to me. One was the first book in a new series set around a group of children sent into a battle for the death by their families to gain access to High Magick & the other was the sequel to one of my favourite reads last year that might just have been better than book one! What were you’re Novembers like reading wise? Do you have a favourite book? Let me know in the comments. Please note some of the below quotes contain spoilers for the books.
All of us Villains
The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.
Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death.
The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world–one thought long depleted.
This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly: a choice – accept their fate or rewrite their story.
But this is a story that must be penned in blood.
“The Lowes did not tell their children monster stories so that they could slay them. The Lowes told them so their children would become monsters themselves.”
“Isn’t it better to have hope?” No. not for her. Isobel might have ever called the Macaslan estate her home, but she had still been raised on a laegacy of corpses and filth and rot, scavenging in the most revolting places for magick so her family could thrive. And in a choice between and ugly reality and a pretty delusion, Isobel would always choose the truth.”
“This tournament wasn’t a place for heroes. It never had been. All the grand deeds her family had celebrated had been bloodshed just like this. And they could call it what they wanted, but Briony knew what they really were. Villains. All of them.”
“But even the months of anticipation hadn’t prepared her for how it would feel to lose everyone she cared about in the span of hours. Finley, unprepared for their attack. Alistair, who wanted a version of her who had never been real to begin with. Briony, who’d fashioned herself into some sort of hero when she had more blood on her hands than any of them. It all left Isobel with rage and bitterness so strong, even without the Blood Veil, her vision would still be coloured red.”
Bone Shard Emperor
The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.
Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the north-east of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.
Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.
But can she trust them?
“I studied his face, the way he peered at me, the almost imperceptible quirk at the corner of his mouth. He thought he knew me, or at least, knew my type. He did not. I was not some pampered, cloistered Emperor’s get. I had clawed my way tooth and nail to this position, defying my father and teaching myself his magic. I was Lin, and I was Emperor.”
“No one seems dissatisfied with my rule,” Phalue said. ‘No one says it to your face,’ Ranami said. ‘But there are whispers. And it is so easy for whispers to become shouts with the right provocation.”
“You could injure me in a thousand ways with the secrets I’ve told you.’ She rose and I felt my knees wobble. Her lashes fluttered against her cheeks. ‘Do you still not trust me? I want you to trust me.”
“Ragan shook the ground again and Thrana dug her claws into the mud. we held steady. Still, I had no weapons. I wasn’t a warrior. I was a politician, a practitioner of bone shard magic, an Alanga. I was Lin. And that would have to be enough.”