Fantasy · Romance

Books About Tricksters: Crooked Kingdom, Thick As Thieves, Empire of Storms

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Awesome heist story, with a trickster god (not literally) of an anti-hero? Check. Kickass female characters who really deserve their own books? Check. Romantic subplots that gives you ALL THE FEELS without being annoying or taking over the story? Check. Diverse characters? Check, check and check. A character that might have annoyed me some in the first book but I feel oh so protective about in this sequel? CHECK. Continue reading “Books About Tricksters: Crooked Kingdom, Thick As Thieves, Empire of Storms”

Fantasy

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Here’s the thing about me and unhappy endings in YA fiction – I can’t stand them. To me, YA needs to be like a Disney movie, with maybe more curses and romance and action and darkness, if needed, but it must end well to be enjoyed. That is not to say that I haven’t loved books with unhappy endings – John Green’s books are among my favourites, and I have zero complaints about the ending of the Divergent series. But. Generally, I avoid the unhappy.

This is the reason why I’ve yet to read Fairest, Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles spinoff novel, and this is the reason why I hesitated to read Heartless. However, I love Alice (who doesn’t?) Continue reading “Heartless by Marissa Meyer”

Fantasy

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

Note: spoilers for The Girl From Everywhere

This is the fifth book I needed to complete a bingo for #AsianLitBingo, for the Mixed Asian MC square.

Nix Song, the main character, is a Hapa (a Hawaiian term for someone with mixed heritage) teen unlike any other – that is, she was raised at sea outside of her native time as the first mate on Temptation. Her father is a Navigator, able to travel to any land, imaginary or real, at any time – as long as he has the right map. Nix had never known her mother, who died giving birth to her, and all of her life the only father she’s known is one consumed with grief. The Ship Beyond Time is the second book in a duology; in the first book, Nix’s father is obsessed with finding the right map that would bring him to a moment before her mother dies, so that he could save her. Nix fears that the act of saving her mother would erase her from existence, and braces herself for it – but when they do find a way to 1884 Honolulu, Nix’s mother have disappeared, and the crew of Temptation ends up getting mixed up in a plot that would be a prelude to the American’s conquest of Hawaii. Continue reading “The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig”

Fantasy

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Hattori Mariko was on the way to meet her betrothed when her carriage was attacked, leaving her the lone survivor thanks to a servant shielding her. Knowing that it was likely that she was the target, she disguised herself as a boy and tracked down the Black Clan, the group she suspected was responsible for the attack. She wanted to find out why someone would want to kill her, as well as exact her revenge. When she found herself one of them, however, she began to wonder if they were really the ones responsible for the attack. In the meantime, her twin brother Kenshin is convinced that she’s still alive, and is doing his best to find her.

I have to admit that this book isn’t as fantastical as I was led to believe. I wanted a magical feudal Japan, and I got… mentions of yokai and a little magic at the end. The scene with a Jubokko was great, but it happened halfway into the book – I stopped at said to my friend Kit (this was during lunch) “finally some yokai!” and she replied, “halfway through the book?” Continue reading “Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh”

Fantasy

Huntress by Malinda Lo

I have to confess that while I remember enjoying Malinda Lo’s Ash, I remember so little of it now that it’s as if I’ve never read it. Because I remember enjoying it, I had included Huntress in my TBR, and because I couldn’t remember it, Huntress lingered in my stack… for a very long time. Until now, because (1) it’s about time I read it! and (2) it’s perfect for my Queer Asian MC square in the #AsianLitBingo, being one of the first YA books I encountered that featured characters that were both Asian and queer, with a story that didn’t revolve around either of these identities. That alone made this book quite an achievement, but I liked it for other reasons too.

Set a few hundred years before Ash, there isn’t much to connect the two other than the fact that they’re both stories from the same universe, where fairies and humans co-exist. After a war that happened long before the beginning of Huntress, humans and fairies had made a treaty and stuck mainly within their own borders. But strange, dark things are occurring on the human side, and when the king received an invitation to visit the Fairy Queen, the humans took it as a chance to save their world. Continue reading “Huntress by Malinda Lo”

Fantasy · thinking out loud

Conrad’s Fate and The Pinhoe Egg

Since this may be my last #MarchMagics related post, I’m going to smush the Conrad’s Fate and Pinhoe Egg questions here. I haven’t got to either books in my reread project, so I don’t remember them as well as I do the others. All I remember is: Conrad’s Fate is about a young Christopher, when Gabriel de Witt was still Chrestomanci. It had more bad parents/guardians and like The Lives of Christopher Chant,  it’s told from the point of view of a kid who doesn’t have access to the right information, or is being manipulated, by the adults around him. I don’t remember much else, having read it only once before. I can’t wait to reread it now!

The Conrad’s Fate question is: If you were to discover a family secret, would you rather it be: a noble title, money, or magic? Continue reading “Conrad’s Fate and The Pinhoe Egg”

DWJ ReRead · Fantasy

The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones

The first time I read it my brain was in this fuzz, right after The Spellcoats, because I got the omnibus editions which are always a bad idea (for me). Not that I had any other choice back then. I rushed through the book, thought it was nice enough, and forgot all about it.

This is my second time experiencing The Crown of Dalemark, this time on audio, forcing me to take my time instead of rushing, and I am so in love with this whole quartet. WHY DID I NOT SEE THE BRILLIANCE OF THIS QUARTET BEFORE.

The book starts with Mitt, who’s in North Dalemark after the events in Drowned Ammet. He had been training to be a hearthman when he was tasked to murder Noreth Onesdaughter, who claimed to be the true Queen of Dalemark and wanted to reunite the lands. But then, it changes perspective to 200 years in the future, where a girl named Maewen meets an Undying who sends her back to the past (Mitt’s present) to take Noreth’s place, as the real Noreth had disappeared, and Maewen looked exactly like her. Continue reading “The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones”