Hello friends! Welcome to the July edition of Reading Lately! We (Michelle at Michelle Lately and Cat at Kitty Kitty La La and I) hope you find some new books to add to your never ending to-read list and join us for the linkup. Don’t have time to write a post? Instagram your books and tag with #ReadingLately to share with us. We are also adding to the book fun with a Goodreads group. Come and join us to talk books and to help us pick out our next reads!
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee: Honestly? I loved this book. We meet an opera singer at the height of her fame when she is offered an original role. The thing is, the story is the one of her past that only four people know. If it was found out that this was her past, it would likely ruin her. So Lilliet sets out to figure out who is trying to betraying her. With her search, we follow her history. From a settler’s daughter in the Midwest, all the way to the enigmatic opera singer we meet at the beginning. Her story is fascinating. From the circus, courtesan, a short stint at a nunnery, a maid for an empress, to the trials and tribulations of becoming an opera singer. Then, will her life end up like that opera is written? Or will Lilliet be able to break away from it? Throughout it all, there is political intrigue, obligation, friendship, and romance. Now, this isn’t a light beach read, you have to focus on it to truly enjoy the scope and writing. If my to-read list was 8 miles long, I would be re-reading it.
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Tree of Souls by Katrina Archer: A woman washes up out of the river without any memory of who she is. That is how this story begins. Told in alternating Then and Now chapters, we follow the woman as she navigates a world that she remembers only flashes of, but doesn’t quite match up. She is quickly drawn into schemes with the lord that found her as they try to prove that a witch is causing all of the problems that realm is currently having. The Then chapters follow a young princess and her “friend” that has a troubled life. We quickly realize these characters are tied together somehow, but you have to figure it out along the way. I really enjoyed the mystery and trying to figure everything out. The characters were multi-faceted and the world-building was fantastic. What I didn’t enjoy is the insta-love (or close enough to it) and the cheesy ending. If you want a fun fantasy that will make you think, I would say pick it up from the library.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Othella by Therin Knite: Set in the not too distant future, what would the world look like when it is on the brink of collapse? Most dystopian stories deal with the aftermath of collapse. But Othella is set during the demise of civilization. Nations falling, extreme weather, epidemics and death everywhere is the backdrop. There are 3 storylines in a non-linear format that circle around the last hope for humankind, Arcadian Heights. The best and brightest scientists are initiated and never come out again, just their scientific advances. But there is something that isn’t quite in Acadian Heights and two of the characters mean to figure it out. While this sci-fi thriller was fast paced and interesting, something fell a little flat for me. I didn’t really care for any of the characters. The non-linear flow of the story also wasn’t my favorite. But I did enjoy trying to figure out what was truly happening. And the ending did give me a bit of hope for the series.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Malice by John Gwynn: Holy dark. This book reminds me a bit of Game of Thrones and Wheel of Time. All kinds of politicking, magic, and a quest/running for your life. Oh, and don’t forget all kinds of death. Lots of death. The Broken Lands are about to enter the God-Wars, where Asroth (the bad god) tries to pretty much destroy everything and Elyon (the good god) is absent and the good guys are hoping he un-absents himself. The war with be fought through each god’s avatar, a human. In this book we meet multiple characters that will play a large part in the war, but what side are they really on?
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Valor by John Gwynne: This book picks up right after Malice. Our main characters continue to grow and we see what they are truly made of. How far will they go and will the ends justify the means in the war? That is what we explore in this one. Seriously, this series is so good and I can’t wait to read the third one. If you enjoy epic fantasy, the good vs. evil fight, and don’t mind a little darkness, you should pick it up.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
What have you been reading this month?
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