September Reading Wrap-up

My personal favorites from each section are: The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry, Release by Patrick Ness, All Systems Red by Martha Wells, March: Book 2 by John Lewis, and Inuit Mythology by Evelyn Wolfson.

So-called Kids Fiction:

Princess Adventure Stories by the Walt Disney Company (4/5 stars)

Star Wars: Forces of Destiny: Volume 1 by Emma Carlson Berne (3/5 stars)

Smuggler’s Run by Greg Rucka (4/5 stars)

The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry (5/5 stars)

Moving Target by Cecil Castellucci (2/5 stars)

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling (4/5 stars)

So-called Young Adult Fiction:

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (5/5 stars)

Release by Patrick Ness (5/5 stars)

So-called Adult Fiction:

Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis (5/5 stars)


All Systems Red by Martha Wells (5/5 stars)

Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey (4/5 stars)

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell (4/5 stars)

The American by Henry James (4/5 stars)

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (no rating)

So-called Comic Books:

The Wicked and The Divine: Imperial Phase I by Kieron Gillen (4/5 stars)

Mockingbird: My Feminist Agenda by Chelsea Cain (4/5 stars)

Like I’m the Only Squirrel in the World by Ryan North (4/5 stars)

Black Butler volume 19 by Yana Toboso (4/5 stars)

Black Butler volume 20 by Yana Toboso (4/5 stars)

Batgirl: Beyond Burnside by Hope Larson (3/5 stars)

March: Book 2 by John Lewis (5/5 stars)

Buso Renkin volume 1 by Nobuhiro Watsuki (3/5 stars)

Buso Renkin volume 2 by Nobuhiro Watsuki (2/5 stars)

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop: Volume 1: Anchor Points by Kelly Thompson (4/5 stars)

So-called Nonfiction:

Inuit Mythology by Evelyn Wolfson (4/5 stars)


The History of Alexander by Quintus Curtius Rufus (3/5 stars)




Myth Monday: The Star-Touched Queen (Review)

I’m really late to this party but I recently read The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, an excellent YA fantasy which also happens to be chock-full of mythological influences. The protagonist is a girl called Maya, one of many daughters of a Raja who is trying to get a bunch of rebellions under control in his kingdom. The Raja decides his last unmarried daughter is the only way to get the rebels under control, in spite of the terrible horoscope surrounding her birth. Maya finds herself married to the mysterious Amar, the Raja of a land called Akaran that she’s never heard of before, and the mysteries only grow from there!


“Ruling Akaran is a strange task. In many ways, it is like balancing an illusion. You must separate the illusion of what you see and the reality of its consequences,” he said. “Tell me, my queen, are you ready to play with fate?”

-Amar is a weird dude.

Some chunks of the plot and characters reminded me a lot of the myth of Cupid and Psyche, particularly the bit where the girl is married off, somewhat against her will, to a mysterious dude who won’t tell her anything about himself but is really nice and has a palace but also nothing really adds up and the girl becomes more and more uneasy about her life and her choices. All of that, but set in an Indian setting, and with a bunch more magical stories and mythic creatures, either gliding along on the fringes or bursting into the middle of the story.

Since I’m super white and am much more familiar with Greco-Roman myths than anything else, I had to look up the other myths invoked here, for the sake of my own curiosity. Fortunately, the author listed some on a Goodreads Q&A. She apparently used many Hindu myths in the story, but especially these: Savitri and Satyavan, Shiva and Parvati, The Ramayana, Shakuntula, and Narasimha. So I have my myth-reading list for the week!  Themes from these stories include lots of trickery and cleverness, the value of memory, the importance of Death as a stabilizing figure rather than a chaotic one, and the power of love. All of these are featured heavily in The Star-Crossed Queen. This book reminded me of another myth-inspired YA book, Deathless by Catherynne Valente. Deathless draws on Russian folklore, similar to the way The Star-Touched Queen draws on Hindu myths, and is another book I strongly recommend.

I definitely enjoyed the story without being familiar with the Hindu myths, as they enriched the story regardless, but I’d like to reread the book once I have a better grasp on them. This book definitely seems like one that would reward rereads; there’s a lot packed in here.

The book as a whole was beautifully written, well-paced, and included a fascinating and awful cast of characters. My personal favorite was Kamala the murder-horse, who says things like:

“It is nice to be nice. And it is also nice to eat people.”

Top 10 Tuesday: Looking Forward

Here are my top 10 books I am excited to read that are being released in the first half of 2017 (whew that’s a mouthful).

The Dragon With A Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis: sometime in 2017. Filed under: Dragons, Burgis, Be Still My Heart

Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig: January 17. Filed under: I Want A Star War, Found Families

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer: January 31. Filed under: Robot Girls, Sassiest Girl Not-Alive

At The Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson: February 7. Filed under: SDH My Son, Terrifying Realities

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab: February 21. Filed under: Cool Magic Systems, I Hope Kell Dies In This One, Holland For The Iron Throne

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan: May 2. Filed under: Final Form, Grabby Hands

Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien: May 4. Filed under: Luthien is the Real MVP, Your Love Is My Drug

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich: May 16. Filed under: Say What Now, Sign Me Up 

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner: May 16. Filed under: Incomprehensible Screaming, Myth Retellings, Moral Thieves

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn: April 11. Filed under: Ruthless Alien Geniuses, Outmaneuver Me Any Day
What’s on your TBR for 2017?


Top 10 Tuesday: Books To Read If Your Book Club Likes Dragons

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic was “Top Ten Books to Read If Your Book Club Likes____.” I chose dragons, as is right and proper.



  1.  Beowulf by Anonymous: Read this book if you like dragons with possessiveness problems, epic poetry, monsters, monster-hunters, and dragon hoards.
  2. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik: Read this book if you like dragon-riding, lots of man-dragon Friendship, man-man Friendship, man-woman Friendship, Napoleonic wars, alternate history, and a high variety of dragon species of all sizes
  3. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan: Read this book if you like Victorian-ish fiction with dragons, realistic dragons, realistic dragon behavior, science, dragon science, lady scientists, and mysteries.
  4. How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell: Read this book if you like middle-grade, dumb jokes, funny jokes, grouchy tiny dragons, grouchy giant dragons, friendship in the face of bullies, friendship in the face of dragons, and daddy issues.
  5. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman: Read this if you like lots of magic, mystery, espionage, and dragons who can live in human skins. PS this is a beautiful book, please read it.
  6. Traitor’s Moon by Lynn Flewelling: Read this book if you like dragon-bites in uncomfortable areas, lots of prophecies and portents, backstabbings, boys being bros and bros being boys, and dragons of various sizes.
  7. The Children of Hurin by JRR Tolkien: Read this book if you like life-ruining dragons, dragons that eat happiness for a light appetizer and joy for breakfast, cursed heroes, badass moms, cursed besties, and a high body-count.
  8. Tehanu by Ursula LeGuin: Read this book if you like survivors, dragons in human skin, quiet love stories, adopted family stories, and comeuppance.
  9. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente: Read this if you don’t know the difference between a wyvern and a dragon, or if you know and love them both.
  10. Dragon and Thief by Timothy Zahn: Read this if you like space dragons, thieves, boy and dragon Friendship, and symbionts.



Top 10 Tuesday: Best Books That Were Recommended to Me

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Today’s topic: Book recs! I love recommending books to (i.e. throwing books at) pretty much anyone and everyone, but I also love hearing what books other people have read and enjoyed. These are (some of) my favorite books that have been recommended to me by other people – in no particular order.


1. And Only To Deceive by Tasha Alexander: I read a review for this on someone’s blog but I DO NOT REMEMBER WHO. I am so sorry because if I did I would link you and love you forever. A few years ago I came across the review and it sounded like exactly what I wanted in a cozy book: mystery, romance, feminism, set in Victorian England, protagonist has a Homer obsession….And Only to Deceive is the first (and best so far) of Tasha Alexander’s “Lady Emily” series. I highly recommend it for mystery-lovers.
2. The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner: I am 90% sure snazel recommended this one to me so don’t tell me if I’m wrong. The first book appears to be a straightforward quest/heist story but it’s filled with twists and turns, along with having A+ worldbuilding, iconic characters, and layers of backstory, history, and mythology. The sequel, Queen of Attolia, is even better and the third is even better etc etc etc. Book #5 comes out next year.
3. The Chosen by Chaim Potok: I had heard of this book before but bughuff pretty much forced me (and our book club) to read it and I am so glad she did. I’m scared to summarize the plot because it will sound boring but it’s REALLY WONDERFUL and pretty much anyone who reads should pick it up.
4. Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni: I don’t even like nonfiction, especially how-to or self-help but this is a really straightforward book about how to be Strong and Brave at work, or how to know when it’s time to  make a diversion and flee. There was a lot of practical advice and information that anyone can apply to any job. It was recommended to me by gamedevftw.
5. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series by Ian Doescher: The idea of retelling Star Wars in the form of Shakespeare plays sounded REALLY gimmicky to me, but gingernifty persuaded me to give it a try. I LOVE THESE BOOKS. They make the Star Wars films seem fresh again (which is impressive because I’ve been watching them since I was a tiny Bahnree), and made me look at them in new and interesting ways. I’m really impressed with how Doescher turns the visuals of the movie into monologues and iambic pentameter. HOW DO U WORD??
6. Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett: When I lived with kemendraugh for a year in college, I picked up Feet of Clay one day when she wasn’t – no, wait, when she was definitely looking right at me. It was my first experience with the Discworld series and I laughed my way through it. Besides the humor, though, it’s a really fun, engaging fantasy book with lots of mysteries, twists, and EXCELLENT characters.
7. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson: This is another snazel recommendation, and one of my favorite YA novels. It’s the first of a trilogy about a girl who is cursed or blessed with a “Godstone” that she must use to complete the one task she was born to do. There’s arranged marriage, rebellions, fencing, fighting, torture…revenge…TRUE LOVE! MIRACLES! I love it.
8. The Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn: Once upon a time I was at my cousin’s house with nothing to do so my older cousin handed me Heir To The Empire and suggested I try it. If it was too hard for me to read, I could give it back. I was still reading it when it was time for me to leave and he very kindly let me borrow it (and then the other two in the trilogy when I needed them). I adore these books: they’re cozy and fun and so very, very Star Wars, and the characters in them have stuck with me since I first read them.
9. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope: This is either a kemendraugh rec or a rec by another friend of ours, Emily. I’ve talked about this book at least once before on this blog but imma do it again. This is a combination of historical drama, Tam Lin retelling, Faerie tale, mystery madness, and fun time, and I love it.
10. Alexander of Macedon by Peter Green: This was on ilvalentinos ‘ recommended reading list for Alexander the Great, and it’s by far my favorite Alex book (I’ve read…a few). It’s comprehensive but interesting to read, and does a really good job on evaluating the sources we have on Alexander and basing its information on the most solid ones. I also appreciate that Peter Green respects Alex in a way but doesn’t idealize or demonize him.


Top 10 Tuesday: Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week’s topic is Fall TBR. Some of these books are at the top of my TBR in general and some have recently come out or are coming out real soon.

this is my first time participating and I’m trying to be cool

1. The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare: The Magisterium Book #3! It’s a magic school series with amazing friendships and includes a Chaos-ridden wolf pet, so, get on that (I’m just about to start it now that I’ve finished Six of Crows).

2. Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews: Book #8 in the Kate Daniels paranormal fantasy series. These are very formulaic but they have a ton of awesome magic battles and mysteries and I love them.

3. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: I just finished Six of Crows last night but I am very  ready for more adventures in crime and magic! Inej is the Wraith of my heart.

4. The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan: The sequel to the first Magnus Chase book comes out really soon on October 4th. I eat up any Rick Riordan and the first one was very intriguing – this one is reimagining Norse mythology and features a really well-done Loki.

5. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig: This YA thriller comes out on October 4th and my Twitter feed won’t shut up about it.

6. Ahsoka by EK Johnston: I’m a huge E.K. Johnston fan and a HUGE Star Wars fan so I am all over this one. Ahsoka is a really amazing Force-using character from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels and is about her journey after Order 66 (comes out October 11th).

7. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan: Did I mention I have a huge Rick Riordan problem? This one is already out and is the first in a new series about Apollo. I’ve been saving it for a rainy day, I guess, because it sounds amazing.

8. You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan: I love David Levithan’s collaborations with Rachel Cohn and John Green so I’m excited to see how this one is. It’s a contemporary friendship YA about Kate and Mark and tbh I don’t care about the plot just these authors working together.

9. Jerkbait by Mia Siegert: A YA about two twin brothers that have to learn to live in close quarters after one of the twins tries to commit suicide. I’ve read the first chapter and it’s promising, although I’m not familiar with the author.

10. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope: I reread this book every year at Halloween because it’s precious and I love it. It’s a quasi-Tam Lin retelling set in pre-Elizabethan England.