Book Haul: February 23




| The Raven’s Head by Karen Maitland |

I’ve been a huge fan of Karen Maitland for a while now – if you haven’t read Company of Liars I urge you to do so – and having had The Raven’s Head on my to read list for far too long I thought it was about time to pick up a copy. I fully expect this to be a literary delight full of disturbing history and superstition.


| Synopsis |

Vincent is an apprentice librarian who stumbles upon a secret powerful enough to destroy his master. With the foolish arrogance of youth, he attempts blackmail but the attempt fails and Vincent finds himself on the run and in possession of an intricately carved silver raven’s head.

Any attempt to sell the head fails … until Vincent tries to palm it off on the intimidating Lord Sylvain – unbeknown to Vincent, a powerful Alchemist with an all-consuming quest. Once more Vincent’s life is in danger because Sylvain and his neighbours, the menacing White Canons, consider him a predestined sacrifice in their shocking experiment.

Chilling and with compelling hints of the supernatural, The Raven’s Head is a triumph for Karen Maitland, Queen of the Dark Ages.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads



| And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie |

And Then There Were None needs no introduction. As soon as I saw this book I knew it belonged on my bookshelf – the one Christie I’d definitely be remiss to miss!


| Synopsis |

First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads



| Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine |

I’ve never read any Rachel Caine or even heard much about this book before I bought it, though general opinion seemed to be favourable. This was definitely an impulse purchase… but who could resist such a gorgeous cover!


| Synopsis |

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book to Movie Adaptations I’d Love to See


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Book to Movie Adaptations I’d Love to See |

Having not read half the books which are soon to become films, this week’s Top Ten will be looking at the book to movie adaptations I would love to see. These are the books that would make incredible films, fantastic TV series and fill that empty hole left when you finish them. So without further ado, here are this week’s Top Ten:

| 1. |

Dissolution

by C.J. Sansom

The Matthew Shardlake novels would be an amazing series of films. Murder, mystery and a crime solving lawyer in the heart of Tudor England – what’s not to love?! This would make a cracking series too.

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| 2. |

The Blade Itself

by Joe Abercrombie

Couldn’t resist throwing in The Blade Itself. How awesome would Glokta be?! And surely we need a great anti-hero movie, everything’s always a bit Mary Sue on the big screen.

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| 3. |

Rivers of London

by Ben Aaronovitch

A film following Peter Grant as he discovers there’s an even darker and more dangerous side to London – yes please! Gods and goddesses, riots and rebellions, wizards and vampires – I can see the whole series of films!

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| 4. |

Red Rising

by Pierce Brown

This book would just have to work on the big screen! It’s got everything – an awesome angst filled hero, an abundance of oppressed masses and more evil overlords than you can shake a stick at.heart

| 5. |

Vicious

by V.E. Schwab

What an awesome movie this would make! The super-anti-hero needs a place on our screens and Eli Cardale and Victor Vale fit the bill perfectly.

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| 6. |

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A Darker Shade of Magic

by V.E. Schwab

And of course A Darker Shade of Magic would make the cut too! I would love to see Schwab’s Londons up on the big screen – the sumptuous and rich Red London, the gritty and bleak Grey London, the harsh and cruel White London, and the mysterious and dark Black London.

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| 7. |

Company of Liars

by Karen Maitland

It’s 1348, England, and nine strangers are trying to outrun the plague. Except they’re being picked off one by one and the most likely villain is already part of their group. Everyone’s a liar, no one can be trusted, and this would make an awesome film!

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| 8. |

The Lies of Locke Lamora

by Scott Lynch

A swashbuckling, sword-fighting, rip-roaring tale of misadventure – this would be an incredible adaptation. Not least because Camorr would be like Venice on acid.

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| 9. |

Ship of Magic

by Robin Hobb

The Liveship Traders trilogy is a beautiful fantasy adventure. With (Live)ships, pirates and a courageous heroine, this would surely be a fantastic adaptation.

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| 10. |

The Final Empire

by Brandon Sanderson

And my list of movies wouldn’t be complete without throwing the Mistborn series in there. With one of the most unique magic systems in fantasy fiction, one which would showcase the most amazing fight scenes, this film would surely be a hit. Even if the film was only half as good as the books.

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Which books would you love to see made into movies? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Author Duos Which Should Exist


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Author Duos Which Should Exist |

This Tuesday we’re pairing up the authors we’d love to see write a book together. This Top Ten will combine two authors from very different genres, one deceased and one living, to create some fascinating and comic duos. In no particular order, here are my dream team of duos:

| 1. |

rd and ja

Roald Dahl & Joe Abercrombie

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”

Matilda by Roald Dahl

In a new set of books for children, the humour of Roald Dahl and the bloody violence of Joe Abercrombie meet to create a non-stop, whizzpopping, exceedingly dark series. Man eating giants hunger for small children, a young girl uses her telekinetic powers to wield axes and exact bloody vengeance, and Miss Trunchbull and Sand dan Glokta have a whirlwind romance. Illustrated by Quentin Blake of course.

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| 2. |

P.G. Wodehouse & Scott Lynch

“What’s the use of a great city having temptations if fellows don’t yield to them?” 

~ Carry on, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Forget Blandings Castle or The Drones Club, this series will be based in one of the Five Towers of Camorr – Raven’s Reach. Duke Nicovante is going dotty, scandals and rumours abound, relations are getting into all sorts of mischief, and scheming fraudsters are after the Duke’s money.  And no Wodehouse novel would be complete without an imposter or two – enter Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen. Lynch brings the intricacy and detailing of plot and Wodehouse brings a riot of humour and tomfoolery for a very gritty witty novel.

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| 3. |

csl and at

C.S. Lewis & Adrian Tchaikovsky

“She looked back over her shoulder and there, between the dark tree-trunks, she could still see the open doorway of the wardrobe and even catch a glimpse of the empty room from which she had set out.”

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Send four children through a wardrobe into a land of insectoid, warlike humans and see how they react when Peter waves about a sword and declares himself King. But that’s his problem. Susan wields a snapbow to avenge her brother, Edmund sinks into psychotic insanity for lack of Turkish Delight, and Lucy is enslaved on the battlefields to forever resurrect fallen soldiers with her magic cordial. All jolly good fun!

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| 4. |

J.R.R. Tolkien & C.J. Sansom

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Because who wouldn’t love a crime solving Bilbo! The depth of history in Middle Earth provides a perfect playing field for a spectacular series of crime novels. Who stole Farmer Maggot’s crops? Who squashed Bilbo’s begonias? And that’s just the beginning! A darkness is spreading over Middle Earth, there’s murder afoot and only one little Hobbit can stop it. Armed with his trusty walking stick, spotted hanky and brass buttons, Bilbo must travel to the far flung reaches of the land to solve the mysteries that ensue. If only that meddling wizard would show up.

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| 5. |

ja and bc

Jane Austen & Bernard Cornwell

“Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Especially when the husband decides to go on campaign to subdue the French and thinks it appropriate to take his wife and her female companions with him. Bonnets will go flying! Petticoats will be six inches deep in mud, blood and various other vile excretions! Not to mention the possibility of being garrotted by ribbons or bound by lace! Austen’s wit and sublime characterisation meets Cornwell’s action-packed descriptive excellence in the bloodiest romance of any century.

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| 6. |

cd and jb

Charles Dickens & Jim Butcher

“About the Fairies, sir, and the Dwarf, and the Hunchback, and the Genies,’ she sobbed out; ‘and about — ‘ ‘Hush!’ said Mr. Gradgrind, ‘that is enough. Never breathe a word of such destructive nonsense any more.’”

~ Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Harry Dresden, Wizard PI, finds himself in Victorian England in the midst of the industrial revolution. Poverty, disease and the Red Court of vampires are running rampant across the country; the Wizard hierarchy is even more insufferable; and orphans, pickpockets and general ne’er-do-wells are developing a dangerous affinity for magic. The descriptive genius of Dickens meets the action and dark humour of Butcher. Magic (and industrial machinery) – It can get a guy killed.

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| 7. |

ms and km

Mary Shelley & Karen Maitland

“Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me; let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!” 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Company of Reanimated Corpses? The Gallows Curse: A Guide to the Acquisition of Body Parts? Gothic horror and medieval mystery meet to create a tale of murder and superstition and raise those philosophical questions of what it means to be human in a world of myth and magic. The supernatural haunts every page, twists and turns abound and the terror of the unknown threaten all mankind in this medieval monster mash-up.

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| 8. |

lc and grrm

Lewis Carroll & George R.R. Martin

“We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by C.S. Lewis

Alice’s Adventures in Westeros: After falling down a rabbit hole and finding herself in the middle of King’s Landing, can Alice find a way to survive the clash between warring dynasties. Alice must outrun disgusting perverts, bloodthirsty maniacs, dragons and jabberwockys to find her way home. The nonsensical, witty and utterly absurd meets the complex, bloody and thoroughly epic in this merging of literary masters.

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| 9. |

dg and ku

David Gemmell & Kaye Umansky

“A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.” 

~ Legend by David Gemmell

After sampling one of Pongwiffy’s terrible potions, Pongwiffy, Hugo the Hamster, a hoard of goblins and Grandwitch Sourmuddle’s birthday cake find themselves transported to a world of dark knights, thirsty (non-hamster) vampires, bloody battles and axe wielding warriors. Will Pongwiffy forsake her dirty habits to lead an army to victory? Can Hugo subdue the goblin horde? And, most importantly, will the cake survive a battlefield encounter?

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| 10. |

fhb and gdt

Frances Hodgson Burnett & Guillermo del Toro

“A house with a hundred rooms, nearly all shut up and with their doors locked—a house on the edge of a moor—whatsoever a moor was—sounded dreary. A man with a crooked back who shut himself up also!”

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mistlethwaite Manor will never be the same again after an injection of del Toro magic. Terrifying monsters lurk in hidden passages, The Cravens harbour a dark secret and Mrs. Medlock isn’t at all what she appears – and that’s before Mary even reaches the garden! When Mary decides to do a spot of gardening in Mrs. Craven’s old patch, the secrets she unearths and the horrors which she disturbs will change her life forever. This is a tale of enchanting mystery and surreal horror which will certainly not be for children.heart

Which authors would you love to see as a duo? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Auto-buy Authors


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Auto-buy Authors |

This week’s Top Ten focuses on my favourite auto-buy authors – the ones you would buy no matter what they wrote. Much like last Tuesday’s Top Ten… Authors on my Bookshelf, this week will include a lot of fantasy heavyweights. I’ve limited this list to authors who are still with us and publishing novels (as you might expect), and I’ve also tried to slot in a few auto-buys with fewer books out there. So in no particular order:

| 1. |

Brandon Sanderson

What can I say? It’s Brandon Sanderson. End of. 
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| 2. |

Joe Abercrombie

This man could write one word on a piece of toilet paper and I would buy it. His books always surpass my expectations and I fully expect them to continue to do so. More please!

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Trudi Canavan

Trudi Canavans’s Black Magician Trilogy made me a fan for life. I would buy any book of hers based purely on that trilogy. However, the remainder of her steadily increasing repertoire hasn’t disappointed in the slightest. In fact, they’re just as good as the first.

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| 4. |

Karen Maitland

Karen Maitland is the queen of the medieval thriller. She weaves folklore, magic and mystery throughout her narrative to create truly eerie and fantastical tales. Every book is stunningly unique and uniquely stunning. I cannot wait for The Raven’s Head.

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| 5. |

PR

Patrick Rothfuss

Ahh Patrick Rothfuss! You wonderful bearded man. Though the Kingkiller Chronicles only has two (and a half) books to date, they have automatically jumped into my favourite books of all time. If you’ve never read any Rothfuss, pick up a copy of The Name of the Wind. This man does not disappoint.

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| 6. |

AT

Adrian Tchaikovsky

Though I’ve not made my way through all his novels, I have to include Adrian Tchaikovsky on this list. His Shadows of the Apt series is absolutely fantastic and I have high hopes for Guns of the Dawn and Children of Time. I don’t doubt that I will buy every book he has written.

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| 7. |

CJS

C.J. Sansom

Sansom is an incredibly eloquent author who always manages to weave a compelling narrative. His Matthew Shardlake books sweep you into the dirt, grime and mayhem of Tudor England, where murders, thefts, executions and betrayals abound in a past made stunningly real. This author can do no wrong.

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| 8. |

Peter V. Brett

Brett’s tales of demons and magic; of invasions, battles and bloody vengeance are truly captivating. I’m currently reading The Daylight War, the third in the Demon Cycle, but  own all of his books. I can’t wait to see what else he has up his sleeves.

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| 9. |

SL

Scott Lynch

Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series is incredible. These books are non-stop swashbuckling tales of adventure… or misadventure. The Lies of Locke Lamora has (quite rightly) received a great deal of praise but I loved Red Seas Under Red Skies just as much. I fully expect to be dazzled by the next in line.heart

| 10. |

JKR

J.K. Rowling

And of course! J.K. Rowling. Just because.

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What about you? Which authors are on your auto-buy list? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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