Waiting on Wednesday| Empire of Storms

Waiting On Wednesday is a book meme set up Breaking the Spine where all those who participate share weekly those book releases we are dying to get our hand on as soon as they are released.

This week's WoW post is:

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
Sarah J. Maas

Out: 6th September, 2016

Synopsis:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?


Thoughts:

Okay, so who is excited at the fact that Empire of Storms is so close to it's release date? Granted, I don't remember much about what happened in QoS but, I'm sure I'll just read a spoiler review and be fine.

I will probably be either trying to squeeze this into the small amount of time I would have before I make the journey to Bangor, Wales or it will be read on the actual journey. We will see by the time I write about the books I am taking with me.

REVIEW| This Savage Song

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)
V.E.Schwab

⭐⭐⭐

Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.


My thoughts:


The Cover:

I am not one for Schwab's UK book covers. If I were to compare them to the US covers, ours just looks as if they were just your a-typical vengence thriller novel. The kind where the protagonist is doing that weird staring down the lens whilst doing some sort of swagger walk or that distant character pulling that moody-thinker-stares-off-to-the-distance-and-we-can't-help-but-fall-for-them look.
AND BREATHE...
That was a long one.
That was until Titan Books commissioned Julia Lloyd, again, to design a book cover for This Savage Song; presenting and showcasing Vee's ever-continuing exploration of various dichotomies. Still keeping with the same colours scheme as seen of Schwab's other UK covers, the drastic change in style is in it's simplicity-- stunning. It is the subtle transformation of the liquid substance into the budding rose that hints at Vee's own interest into the blurring and questionability between 'right' and 'wrong'--- the 'moral grey'.

The Content:

This Savage Song is Schwab's response to violence and mass shootings that were on the rise and are still going on in America; Schwab thought about how often it is violence will usually breed more violence. Through her supernatural lense on the world, she came up with Verity. A post-violent America where this violence has ultimatly breed monsters. 

"Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They're gonna come and eat you all."

The opening of This Savage Song is something for admiration. Schwab sure doesn't hold back on that poor school church. Poor Nuns. But, it had me cackling and screaming "YES!" just at the sheer joy of another of Vee's strong female protagonists. Kate Harker is willing to do anything she can in order to prove herself to her father (Callum Harker). Like many teens, as much as we all don't want to admit it is rather selfish, she would rather do something in the short fall of her own gain. -- AND I LOVER HER FOR IT!


"Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
Shadow and bone will eat you raw."

The only issue I have about Schwab's world building is like always she only really opens up a tempory window into her various universes that as per, leaves a reader craving for more. I hold one question-- Can we please have some more of other cities mentioned in TSS?


"Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
Smile and bite and drink you dry."

I did rather enjoy how Vee altered her perspectives in narration, switching from first person in August's POV to the distant third person in retrospec of Kate. Creating that other layer of understanding for both of their emotional distance. Schwab managed to keep the changes flawless using page breaks and chapters to diffrentiate the two voices


"Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and eat your soul."

In all honesty, this is just a sentence to appreciate Allegro: the cat that August brings home after a little eating session. 

More cats in fiction, please?

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I Have a Bookshelf!

Confession: The last eighteen months have been the hardest months of my life.

Even now it is still hard to think  about it, let alone sit here in bed typing down all the craziness of the past year and a half. Reliving all the emotions that have been circulating as well as, the conscious fact that I haven't been able to take the reins myself and have a fairy godmother wave her wand-- bibbity bobbity boo!

Poof!

I have a home to call my own-- a bedroom that I can shut the door to and fall asleep, again, five o'clock in the evening, or spend my night staying up til three am reading an epic fantasy novel.

All this was stripped away from me. Abandoned and not told what was going on til a week before I was going to be evicted from our family property. The lies she told me: that we were on top of the rent; that it wasn't over some man. It took me a while to forgive my mother. I'm still learning to now- the promise that nothing would be taken from under our feet again.

We were homeless until we got shoved into a house from the council on the hopes that we get accepted back on the list for the love that my brother and sister are at the even smaller risk of being homeless again.

The most exciting thing that has happened in all of this is that I got a bookshelf at a boot fair and begin to piece together the various parts of me, back together on these bits of wood.

This is why blogging has a bit all over the place. Homeless, practically bookless and in the deepest pit of depression. It's been pretty hard to find the time to commit to making this work, no matter the fun I am having being able to just talk about these books.

What has kept me going was the kindness online and seeing the side of humanity that everyone seems to forget is online above the negativity of Trolls.

So, thank you! And be prepared. I got a shit tonne of reviews to post over the next few months.

Waiting on Wednesday| A Torch Against the Night

Waiting On Wednesday is a book meme set up Breaking the Spine where all those who participate share weekly those book releases we are dying to get our hand on as soon as they are released.

This week's WoW post is:

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #1)
Sabaa Tahir

Out: 8th September, 2016

Synopsis:

Elias and Laia are running for their lives.
After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf - the Empire's most secure and dangerous prison - to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars' survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene - Elias's former friend and the Empire's newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own - one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape... and kill them both.

Thoughts:

 I have just finished An Ember in the Ashes (review too come) and although I enjoyed it, I didn't love it like everyone did. That being said I am excited to welcome the sequel this coming September on my ever growing shelf.

HarperVoyagerUK honoured me with an arc of this highly anticipated sequel so a review will be coming up soon. Once I've read it.

BLOG TOUR| Nevernight

Today, I present to you a very exciting 'exclusive'! I got the opportunity to ask the author of Nevernight-- a Mr. Jay Kristoff a few questions surrounding his latest fantasy novel.

If you have anything to go by, you would know just how much I loved this novel-- if not I will leave a link to my review. If I couldn't persuade you to read it. Let the big man himself try.


***

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Jay Kristoff

REVIEW

Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.


The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.


The Q&A:

1. If you could describe NEVERNIGHT in no more than five emojis what would they be?

Hmm. How’s this:

https://abs.twimg.com/emoji/v2/72x72/2694.pnghttps://abs.twimg.com/emoji/v2/72x72/2697.pnghttps://abs.twimg.com/emoji/v2/72x72/2620.png


2. You've mentioned before the length of time that it took you to get to the point of publication (four and a half years? Correct me if I'm wrong); what were the major challenges that you occurred in writing and getting NEVERNIGHT to the point of pitching to publishers? Were these things easy to address?
It took me around 4.5 years, yup. From the time I started writing seriously to the time my first book came out. I was lucky with NEVERNIGHT because THE LOTUS WAR did reasonably well in terms of sales, and my publishers were confident that I could deliver a trilogy on deadline. This meant I didn’t have to submit an entire manuscript for NEVERNIGHT – we sold the series based on the first act and series synopsis. So the big challenge was actually sitting down and writing the book once we sold it.

I had a very fixed idea of how the book would end in my head, but as I was writing it, the story wanted to go in a different direction. I struggled for about a month trying to beat it into the directions I thought it should go, but once I let go and allowed the story to do what it wanted, it was a breeze to write (and ended up in a much cooler place than I first imagined).

3. Were there any key influences for NEVERNIGHT? Both historical and day to day living. 
I love the cities of Venice and Rome, I’ve lived in both for a spell and they were huge influences on the construction of Godsgrave itself. I’m also a massive Roman history nerd, and ancient Roman culture, mythology and politics helped shape the Itreyan Republic in very real ways. Mia’s history is basically a “what if?” thought experiment.
What if Julius Caesar’s rebellion against the Roman Senate failed?

4. Do you have a playlist for NEVERNIGHT? If so, what three songs do you think best summarize the theme and plot?  
I tend not to listen to music with lyrics when I write. I find other people’s words too distracting. I basically owe this book to Ludovico Einaudi—I listened to his stuff non-stop when writing it. But there are other songs that have played a part in building Mia’s character in particular.
Eros – Ludovico Einaudi
Aspire – Northlane
Primavera – Ludovico Einaudi
Throne – BMTH
Divenire – Ludovico Einaudi

Black #1 – Type O Negative

5. What secrets can you reveal of the writing process of NEVERNIGHT that no one already knows?
I rewrote it three times. Only about 50% of the sample that I sold the book to my publishers with actually made it into the finished book.
Writing is rewriting.

6. If you could give three pieces of advice to aspiring young authors- what would that best advice be?
1. Write lots. Give yourself permission to suck. Understand you will likely be shit before you’re good, and being shit is okay as long as you’re getting better.
2.Understand an ENORMOUS amount of this industry is based on luck. Anyone who does well as an artist is lucky, authors are no exception. They might be talented and hard working too, but I know a bunch of talented, hard working authors who have never been able to quit their dayjobs. Success as an artist is about many factors, especially luck, and luck is something you can only marginally control. Anyone who tells you different is a fool, liar or selling you something.
3. Never stop. Anyone who choose to be an artist, whether it’s a writer or musician or whatever, is going to be constantly told they are wasting their time. That they’re a fool for even trying. SCREW THOSE PEOPLE. Do what you love, surround yourself with people who build you up not tear you down, and never, EVER stop writing.


Jay Kristoff has managed to trick the world into thinking he's an author. His award-winning steampunk series, THE LOTUS WAR and the New York Times bestselling sci-fi novel ILLUMINAE, the first of a trilogy, are out now. A new fantasy series, NEVERNIGHT, arrives in 2016.

  Find Jay: Website | InstagramTwitter





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