The Friday 56: The Fallen Kingdom

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

Aithinne is standing so close that my first instinct is to step back and preserve some semblance of personal space. That is, until she says, “I’ll need to go into your mind for this. Will you let me?”

After what feels like forever, I finally got to Elizabeth May’s The Fallen Kingdom, her final book in The Falconer Trilogy. This is a series that I think is really underrated and I love that the author has never been afraid to let her characters lose. Makes for an unpredictable series. You can read my mini-review of this one hereCover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “She’s on borrowed time…and she has only one chance to set things right.
      Find life.
      Deep in a forest, Aileana Kameron claws her way out of the earth. Back from the dead with no memory of who she is or what has happened to her, the Falconer now possesses even greater otherworldly powers and a ruthless instinct to kill—and the one piece of knowledge that can change everything.
      Find Kiaran.
      Two fae monarchs, Aithinne and Kadamach, stand on the brink of war, and according to an ancient curse, one must die at the hand of the other or all the worlds will perish. Once, Kadamach was known as Kiaran, and he was mentor, protector, and lover to Aileana. Now, under the grip of the curse, his better nature seems lost forever.
      Find the book.
      Aileana’s only hope lies in the legendary Book of Remembrance, a book of spells so powerful that it can break the fae curse and even turn back time. But the book has been lost for centuries, and many are looking for it, including its creator, the Morrigan—a faery of terrifying malevolence and cruelty.
      Sacrifice everything.
      To obtain the book and defeat the Morrigan, Aileana must form an unthinkable alliance, one that challenges every vow she has made to herself—even as the powers that brought her to life are slowly but surely killing her.

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Blog Tour | ARC Review & Giveaway | The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

I am delighted to be a part of The Gilded Wolves Blog Tour for Wednesday Books. Roshani Chokshi has always been an author who has wowed me with her writing. When I heard of this latest release, I was beyond ecstatic. It’s my pleasure to bring you an ARC review of The Gilded Wolves and an opportunity to win a copy of the book from the publisher. Details at the end of the post.

Title: The Gilded Wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Gilded Wolves, #1
Pages: 464
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 4th 2019
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher which does not influence my review**

      “Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.
      Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
      To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.
      Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.”

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     “A creaking sound lit up the silence. Séverin jerked his hand back. Too late. The bear’s teeth lengthened in a blink, forming narrow little bars. Enrique took one look at Séverin’s trapped hand, turned pale, and bit out a single word: ‘Shit.'”

With The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi has constructed a unique fantasy heist novel that also functions as a commentary on cultural theft under the guise of historical preservation. Séverin Montagnet-Alarie thought he knew his place in the world, as heir to House Vanth. But when the other heads of the Houses of France turned him away, denying him his rightful place as the next patriarch of House Vanth, Séverin made it his mission to steal back what had been taken from him. With a team of smart and unusually gifted individuals, Séverin has caused a myriad of trouble for the Order of Babel, the organization in charge of the Houses of France, stealing back artifacts belonging to his own House and returning stolen cultural artifacts to their countries and peoples of origin. When Hypnos, patriarch of House Nyx offers Séverin a second chance at claiming his inheritance in exchange for stealing a mysterious artifact from another House, Séverin’s blind ambition lands him and his crew in the middle of a conspiracy that will test each character’s resolve and pit them against a dangerous organization.

The Gilded Wolves has one of the best casts of characters I’ve come across. I love how each character has their own personality, set of skills, and way of perceiving in the world. Chokshi excels at creating characters whose cultural and sexual identities are incredibly important to them. Identity is the driving force behind all of their motivations and heavily influences how they see themselves. Séverin is obsessed with reclaiming his birthright and isn’t afraid to take dangerous risks in order to do so. Though a natural leader, he isn’t always honest with himself and holds the faulty belief that if he can just become patriarch, he’ll have everything he’s always wanted. Tristan is Séverin’s closest companion, having grown up in a number of foster homes alongside him. Tristan is more interested in his pet tarantula than his adopted brother’s schemes, but they are both fiercely protective of one another. Laila is in her element when she is either in the kitchen baking or taking care of others. Masquerading as a courtesan becomes incredibly resourceful as she is able to gain access to places that would otherwise be closed off to Séverin and his crew. Laila’s past is the most mysterious. Save for Séverin, no one knows of her ability to read memories tied to objects. This gift, or perhaps more aptly a curse, is tied to her origins that even she doesn’t quite understand.

One of my favorite things about this group of characters is the witty dialogue and no one exemplifies this more than the young historian Enrique. From the get-go, he had me in stitches. His humor is always a breath of fresh air and I really like that Chokshi’s doesn’t sacrifice the rest of his character for the sake of comedic relief. Enrique not only has a passion for history, but for his country’s freedom. The Philippines has been under Spain’s thumb for the last 300 years and Enrique wants to be part of helping his country gain independence. Zofia is more adequate when it comes to making bombs than making friends. Some of the most rewarding scenes in this one involve Zofia and Laila. The latter shows incredible patience, slowly helping Zofia come out her shell. The final character is the enigmatic Hypnos, the young patriarch of House Nyx, who was once childhood pals with Séverin. Hypnos is both arrogant and charming. Though regarded as more of an enemy at first, Hynpos feels draw to Séverin and his friends, to their camaraderie, for there’s no denying that Hypnos’s easy smiles actually hide a loneliness underneath.

If you like fantasies rooted in history, Chokshi’s latest novel is the one for you. Chokshi pays close attention to detail, bringing not only her characters, but this world to life. It took a little bit of time for me as a reader to be comfortable moving through this intricate world, but once I did, it was one I wasn’t quite ready to let go of with the closing pages. Forging was an aspect that I really wanted to explore more of. There are individuals in this world able to manipulate matter and the mind, the latter of which is highly regulated as it includes the ability to control minds and create illusions. The former takes on many forms, including the ability to manipulate metal and stone into different forms, even lifelike creatures.

If you like tragic heroes, found families and impossible heists, Roshani Chokshi’s The Gilded Wolves is one you don’t want to miss. I’ll be spending the next year eagerly anticipating the sequel and reeling from this one’s gut-punch of an ending.

4/5

★★★★

PRAISE FOR THE GILDED WOLVES

“Chokshi has created an inclusive and authentic cast with obvious chemistry and affection for one another and infuses the tale with witty banter and twists. A delectably intriguing adventure for all teen shelves.” School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Evocative writing, sumptuous set pieces, and vividly sketched, authentically flawed characters distinguish this immersive tale of found family and star-crossed romance. Kaleidoscopic narration complements the intricate, high-stakes plot and allows Chokshi to showcase numerous aspects of her richly imagined universe all the way to the closing cliff-hanger.” Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code converge in this dazzling new fantasy… An opulent heist adventure that will leave readers voracious for more.” Kirkus, Starred Review

“Chokshi delivers a thrilling, gritty new fantasy set in an alternate nineteenth century Paris… Chokshi shines as a master storyteller in her newest novel; the setting, world building, plot, and conflict are all staggering. However, the elements that perhaps shine the most are the history, riddles, mysteries, and science, woven together in a world brimming with power and magic.” Booklist, Starred Review

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ROSHANI CHOKSHI is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and Aru Shah and the End of Time. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

It’s time for a GIVEAWAY. Enter to win a copy of The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter, details below.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Giveaway Details:

  • Giveaway runs from January 16th at 12:00 am through January 22nd at 11:59 pm (PST)
  • Open to US residents only
  • One lucky winner will win one a copy of The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
  • Winner will be selected randomly and emailed (you have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen)
  • You must provide your name and shipping info, so I can send it to the publisher
  • Prize will be provided by the publisher

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018.” I was going to do this list based on non-debut authors, but it turns out, I did not pick up enough books from non-debut authors who were also new to me in 2018. So today you are getting a combination of favorite authors I read in 2018, debut and non-debut alike. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Sandhya Menon – I was lucky enough (or maybe I dropped the ball with When Dimple Met Rishi since it took me so long to read it) to read two books by Sandhya Menon this year (Dimple and From Twinkle, with Love). I love how happy her novels have made me and I’m really looking forward to There’s Something About Sweetie.

2. Tomi AdeyemiChildren of Blood and Bone is among the most epic reads I picked up in 2018. It elevates the fantasy genre by existing and I am really looking forward to seeing more books that take their world-building just as seriously.

3. Elizabeth AcevedoThe Poet X was probably my favorite YA debut of 2018. Acevedo astounded with her poetry and gave us a character in Xiomara whose every struggle felt like an extension of my own teen years.

4. Justina Ireland – I’d argue that with Dread Nation, Ireland wrote the most balanced novel I picked up in 2018. I could rave about her world-building, but I’d be neglecting her lead character. I could talk about her lead, but I’d have to mention her awesome world-building.

5. Dhonielle Clayton – While I do have another Dhonielle Clayton novel on my shelf, The Belles was the first one I read from her. Her prose is so luscious in this one. She managed to excite each of my senses with her descriptions.

6. S.K. Ali – I can’t remember the last time I fell so hard for a protagonist, but S.K. Ali’s Janna in Saints and Misfit is so easy to love. I will be following this author’s career very closely because of this one.

7. S.A. ChakrabortyThe City of Brass was another epic read in 2018. I feel like I could spend weeks discovering all the intricate details of this fantasy debut.

8. Somaiya Daud – I think 2018 was a great year for world-building because Somaiya Daud’s Mirage blew me away with its multi-layered world. I need more space books like this one.

9. Carmen Marie Machado – I really want to pick up more short-story collections and I’m glad I ended up reaching for Her Body and Other Parties. It was creepy and weird and sometimes it felt like it was personally written for me.

10. Rebecca RoanhouseTrail of Lightning was my favorite read of 2018 and I read a lot of really good books this year. I read this one at the end of November and have been fighting the urge to reread it ever since. The sequel cannot come fast enough. I’ve already preordered.

Did you pick up any of these authors for the first time in 2018? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own TTT post in the comments, so I can visit.

The Friday 56: Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

“She expected her mother to fly into a rage, for her to drop her voice to that frightening hiss and do . . . something. A punishment suitable to the crime. She hadn’t thought much further than that. It was never a good idea to imagine what her mother might do when angry.”

Rebecca Schaeffer’s Not Even Bones, a combination of the supernatural and horror genres, was very bloody and a whole lot of fun. The ending left me gasping and immediately wanting more. You can read my review of this one hereCover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.
      Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” Until her mom brings home a live specimen and Nita decides she wants out; dissecting a scared teenage boy is a step too far. But when she decides to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold in his place—because Nita herself isn’t exactly “human.” She has the ability to alter her biology, a talent that is priceless on the black market. Now on the other side of the bars, if she wants to escape, Nita must ask herself if she’s willing to become the worst kind of monster.”

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty


Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply.

S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass is one of the most complex fantasy novels I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I loved all the characters in the novel and really appreciated Chakraborty’s world where there isn’t necessarily a clear-cut bad side and good side. I’m really looking forward to the second novel in her debut series. Honestly, I’m half in love with this sequel The Kingdom of Copper based on the beautiful cover alone. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

 width=Title: The Kingdom of Copper
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy, #2
Pages: 640
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: January 22, 2019

      “Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad—and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.
      Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family—and one misstep will doom her tribe.
      Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid—the unpredictable water spirits—have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.
      And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019 by Latinx Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019.Could there be a more difficult topic? I just know that this year is going to be amazing in terms of book releases. To simplify this for myself, I am going to name ten first-half 2019 releases by Latinx authors I am excited for. I hope you add these to your TBR if you haven’t already. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. A Sprinkle of Spirits by Anna Meriano – Release Date: February 5th 2019 – I was so delighted with A Dash of Trouble, this author’s middle grade debut, that featured the mischief that follows when eleven-year-old Leo discovers she, along with the other women in her family, are witches. I can’t wait for more with this sequel. 

2. We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia – Release Date: February 26th 2019 – This might be my most anticipated 2019 debut. I don’t know all the details surrounding this one, but I’ve heard it deals with immigration, class privilege, and features a f/f romance. I’ve already preordered this one.

3. The Moon Within by Aida Salazar – Release Date : February 26th 2019 – Another middle grade novel I’m eagerly anticipating and the first one I’ve come across that deals with periods. I would have been so happy to have had this one as a young girl. I’m hoping to gift this one to my niece at some point. I hope this one sparks more open discussions around periods especially in the Latinx community.

4. The Last 8 by Laura Pohl – Release Date: March 1st – It’s been a while since a science-fiction novel made me this excited. This one is a survival story that involves an alien invasion and a spaceship. I have an eARC of this one that I will also be reading soon.

5. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera – Release Date: March 5th 2019 – I was really impressed with Lilliam Rivera’s debut The Education of Margot Sanchez and am stoked about this sophomore novel. It goes in a completely different direction than her first novel, taking place in a dystopian world and features an all-girl gang. I was so happy when I was approved on NetGalley for this one. You might have heard me scream in delight.

6. Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine – Release Date: April 2nd 2019 – I really want to check out more short story collections this year and this one centers Indigenous Latina voices.

7. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – Release Date: May 7th 2019 – The Poet X was one of my favorite reads last year and I am so excited for more from Elizabeth Acevedo. This one features a pregnant teen girl who finds refuge in cooking. It also comes out on my birthday which means if no one buys it for me, I will just have to buy it for myself.

8. Nocturna by Maya Motayne – Release Date: May 7th 2019 – This is the fantasy novel I’ve been waiting for for so long. It’s a Dominican-based fantasy with mobsters and magic. I need this one now. No cover yet for this one, so title is linked to Goodreads.

9. Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno – Release Date: May 14th 2019 – I think this is my most anticipated contemporary debut of 2019. I feel like this one could be really special. It’s about first love and curses and I’m already in agony over it. I’m just waiting for the day my request for this one from NetGalley will be rejected. I will need a shoulder to cry on.

10. Five Midnight by Ann Dávila Cardinal – Release Date: June 4th 2019 – Yes to all the horror novels that feature Latinx characters and myths. This one is full of murder and monsters and I am salivating just thinking about it.

Are any of these also on your TBR? Is there a book by a Latinx author being released January-June 2019 that you are particularly excited about? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.