Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Autumn Reads


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Autumn Reads |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday where this week I’m taking a look at the books I will be reading this Autumn / Fall. With a mix of unread sequels, new releases and award winning (and almost forgotten) novels, and with SciFiMonth just around the corner, my time is sure to be spent in some fantastic literary universes.

Scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Autumn Reads!

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| 1. |

The Once and Future Witches

by Alix E. Harrow

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| Synopsis |

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

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| 2. |

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

by V.E. Schwab

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| Synopsis |

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

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| 3. |

Embers of War

by Gareth L. Powell

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| Synopsis |

The warship Trouble Dog was built and bred for calculating violence, yet following a brutal war, she finds herself disgusted by conflict and her role in a possible war crime. Seeking to atone, she joins the House of Reclamation, an organisation dedicated to rescuing ships in distress.

But, stripped of her weaponry and emptied of her officers, she struggles in the new role she’s chosen for herself. When a ship goes missing in a disputed system, Trouble Dog and her new crew of misfits and loners, captained by Sal Konstanz, an ex-captain of a medical frigate who once fought against Trouble Dog, are assigned to investigate and save whoever they can.

Meanwhile, light years away, intelligence officer Ashton Childe is tasked with locating and saving the poet, Ona Sudak, who was aboard the missing ship, whatever the cost. In order to do this, he must reach out to the only person he considers a friend, even if he’s not sure she can be trusted. What Childe doesn’t know is that Sudak is not the person she appears to be.

Quickly, what appears to be a straightforward rescue mission turns into something far more dangerous, as Trouble Dog, Konstanz and Childe, find themselves at the centre of a potential new conflict that could engulf not just mankind but the entire galaxy.

If she is to survive and save her crew, Trouble Dog is going to have to remember how to fight.

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| 4. |

Holy Sister

by Mark Lawrence

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| Synopsis |

Nona Grey’s story reaches its shattering conclusion in the third instalment of Book of the Ancestor.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that Nona and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

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| 5. |

The Calculating Stars

by Mary Robinette Kowal

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| Synopsis |

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her. heart

| 6. |

Record of a Spaceborn Few

by Becky Chambers

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| Synopsis |

Centuries after the last humans left Earth, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. Humanity has finally been accepted into the galactic community, but while this has opened doors for many, those who have not yet left for alien cities fear that their carefully cultivated way of life is under threat.

Tessa chose to stay home when her brother Ashby left for the stars, but has to question that decision when her position in the Fleet is threatened.

Kip, a reluctant young apprentice, itches for change but doesn’t know where to find it.

Sawyer, a lost and lonely newcomer, is just looking for a place to belong.

When a disaster rocks this already fragile community, those Exodans who still call the Fleet their home can no longer avoid the inescapable question:

What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination?

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| 7. |

Darkdawn

by Jay Kristoff

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| Synopsis |

The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?

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| 8. |

The Plague Charmer

by Karen Maitland

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| Synopsis |

Riddle me this: I have a price, but it cannot be paid in gold or silver.

1361. Porlock Weir, Exmoor. Thirteen years after the Great Pestilence, plague strikes England for the second time. Sara, a packhorse man’s wife, remembers the horror all too well and fears for safety of her children.

Only a dark-haired stranger offers help, but at a price that no one will pay.

Fear gives way to hysteria in the village and, when the sickness spreads to her family, Sara finds herself locked away by neighbours she has trusted for years. And, as her husband – and then others – begin to die, the cost no longer seems so unthinkable.

The price that I ask, from one willing to pay… A human life.

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| 9. |

A Time of Blood

by John Gwynne

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| Synopsis |

Defy the darkness. Defend the light.

Drem and his friends flee the battle at Starstone Lake to warn the Order of the Bright Star. They’ve witnessed horrors they’ll never forget, such as magic warping men into beasts. But worst of all, they’ve seen a demon rise from the dead – making it even more powerful. Now Fritha, the demons’ high priestess, is hunting Drem’s party.

Concealed in Forn Forest, Riv struggles to understand her half-breed heritage. She represents the warrior angels’ biggest secret, one which could break their society. And when she’s found by the Ben-Elim’s high captain, he swoops in for the kill.

As demonic forces multiply, they send a mighty war-host to overthrow the angel’s stronghold. This could decimate the fractured Ben-Elim. And their allies in the Order may be too overwhelmed to send aid – with Fritha and her monstrous beasts closing in. Like heroes of old, Drem and the Bright Star’s warriors must battle to save their land. But can the light triumph when the dark is rising?

A Time of Blood is the spectacular follow-up to John Gwynne’s A Time of Dread.

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| 10. |

Words of Radiance

by Brandon Sanderson

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| Synopsis |

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status “darkeyes.” Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.heart


What are you looking forward to reading this Autumn?

If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Series That Should Have Screen Adaptations


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Series That Should Have Screen Adaptations |

After a rather terrifying experience the week before last, I didn’t get round to completing last Tuesday’s Top Ten post and I’ve been perpetually behind ever since! And with an inordinate number of books I would love to see adapted for TV or film, it wasn’t too much of a stretch to finish last week’s post for distribution to the wider world.

Scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Books That Should Have Screen Adaptations!

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| 1. |

Superheroes | Science Fiction | Antiheroes

Villains

by V.E. Schwab

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| 2. |

Urban Fantasy | Supernatural | Mystery

Rivers of London

by Ben Aaronovitch

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| 3. |

Time Travel | Retro | Science Fiction

Impossible Times

by Mark Lawrence

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| 4. |

Italian | Corruption | Crime Thriller

Leone Scamarcio

by Nadia Dalbuono

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| 5. |

Heroic | Fantasy | Adventure

The Rigante

by David Gemmell

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| 6. |

Fantasy | Comedy | Caper

Rogues of the Republic

by Patrick Weekes

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| 7. |

Supernatural | Comedy | Horror

Sin du Jour

by Matt Wallace

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| 8. |

Underdog | Fantasy | Adventure

Spellslinger

by Sebastien de Castell

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| 9. |

Magical | Assassin | Fantasy

The Nevernight Chronicle

by Jay Kristoff

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| 10. |

Fae | Urban Fantasy | Mystery

October Daye

by Seanan McGuire

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Which series would you love to see an adaptation of?

If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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The Friday Face-Off: White


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe. Check out Lynn’s-Books for upcoming themes!


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off!

This week we’re comparing book covers that are predominantly white and oh my were there a lot to choose from! In order to narrow down the wealth of possibilities, I decided that I would have to go for a book I had read and loved, a book which just so happens to have two absolutely stunning covers – enter Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.

With Tor’s Nevernight cover by Jason Chan against Harper Voyager’s cover by Kerby Rosanes, take a look and see which one is your favourite!


Tor | Cover #1

Cover Art by Jason Chan

Harper Voyager | Cover #2

Cover Art by Kerby Rosanes


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Tor cover is beautiful and eerily atmospheric, the solitary figure of Mia Corvere with a blooded blade making for a dark, dramatic composition. Further to this, the winged shadow against the pale stonework make for an arresting backdrop which is set off by the twisting and swirling typeface.

By contrast, the Harper Voyager cover is bold and eye-catching, and the beautifully detailed bird against the blood red sun makes for a striking image. This is a Face-Off that I simply cannot choose between.

Concept Art for Nevernight by Jason Chan

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

Action

  A cover that depicts action

Remember to check Lynn’s Books for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Sarah @ Brainfluff

Mareli & Elza @ Elza Reads

Kristi @ Confessions of a YA Reader

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My Top Ten Books of the Past Two Years


Welcome to My Top Ten of the Past Two Years series, where I look back at my favourite books, games and TV series (amongst other things) during my blogging hiatus.


| My Top Ten Books of the Past Two Years: July 2018 – July 2020 |

Although my numbers have been down over the past two years, I have been fortunate enough to read a whole host of stunning, thrilling and darn right bloody books, and it would be remiss of me not to share them with you all.

And here we hit the crux of the problem…

There are far too many five star reads to choose even ten favourites; but endeavour I must. In an effort not to wind up umm-ing and aah-ing over a mountain of books all day, all series, finished and unfinished, have been lumped together and tied with a bow!

In no particular order, here are My Top Ten Books of the Past Two Years!


| 1. |

Kings of the Wyld

by Nicholas Eames

What a debut! Kings of the Wyld is a funny, action-packed adventure full of mercenaries, manticores and mages. This is a novel which hooks you in early and takes you on a perilous ride to the end – with more bloody battles, monsters and aged mercs than you can shake a stick at.

It’s just so damned good!

Next in Series:

Bloody Rose

| 2. |

Wrath

by John Gwynne

Just as I took my prolonged break from blogging I finished Wrath, the final instalment in John Gwynne’s The Faithful and the Fallen series. It wrapped events up so perfectly, and delivered such a brilliant conclusion, that The Faithful and the Fallen stand out as one of the best fantasy series I have ever read.

With A Time of Dread already tucked under my belt, it’s safe to say that it’s about time I revisited the Banished Lands once again.

| 3. |

Book of the Ancestor

Red Sister + Grey Sister

By Mark Lawrence

I cannot even begin to describe just how much I love this series. The first two instalments of the Book of the Ancestor are written so well, are so immersive, and have some of the most brilliantly crafted and multi-faceted characters, that they would probably top my list of favourite reads ever – never mind in the past two years!

Holy Sister here I come.

Next in Series:

Bound (Short Story) + Holy Sister

| 4. |

The Iron Ghost

by Jen Williams

Jen Williams is amazing. Her worldbuilding is amazing, her characters are amazing and every book she writes is just.. well… amazing.

The Iron Ghost, the second book in the Copper Cat Trilogy, is chock full of excitement, adventure and good humour, and lived up to all my (very high) expectations.

Next in Series:

The Silver Tide

| 5. |

The Ninth Rain

by Jen Williams

In the first book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, Jen Williams pulls out all the stops to create a vast, beautiful and original fantasy that is sure to be enduring.

The Ninth Rain was so utterly absorbing, and the plot so exciting, that I had to stop myself from reading it all in one go. Not to mention the characters and world building being one hundred per-cent on point.

Next in Series:

The Bitter Twins + The Poison Song

| 6. |

The Greatcoats

Traitor’s Blade, Knight’s Shadow, Saint’s Blood + Tyrant’s Throne

by Sebastien de Castell

Sebastien de Castell’s Greatcoats series takes us on a thrilling journey across troubled lands. Balancing fun and danger in equal measure, this is a world inhabited by complex, amusing characters, where a duel is only a challenge away.

Not a moment went by across all four books where I wasn’t lost in the lives of Falcio, Kest and Brasti – the Three Musketeers of fantasy – and I don’t regret a moment spent with them!

| 7. |

The Grey Bastards

by Jonathan French

Live in the saddle. Die on the hog.

The Grey Bastards is an amazing piece of foul-mouthed, blood soaked, grim and gritty fantasy literature. The winner of 2016’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO), this novel sits uncontested in my top ten books of the past two years and I cannot wait to continue the ride.

Next in Series:

The True Bastards

| 8. |

Orconomics

by J. Zachary Pike

And another SPFBO winner graces my top ten list… which does make me wonder about all those other amazing self-published books I had no idea existed – and probably still don’t!

Orconomics is a wonderful, satirical, comedy romp through fantasy-land which manages to excite, entertain and even tug on the heart strings at times. Gorm Ingerson and his unwanted band of less-than-merry misfits have become firm favourites.

Next in Series:

Son of a Liche

| 9. |

Sins of Empire

by Brian McClellan

When I first read Promise of Blood, I enjoyed it so much that I had to create a whole new five-star-plus category when reviewing it; but as time and life caught up with me, I simply forgot to pick up the next two books in the series.

In the interim, Sins of Empire managed to slip its way onto my Kindle, a book set after the events of The Powder Mage Trilogy. In completely uncharacteristic fashion, I cracked it open and waded through a whole swamp of Powder Mage spoilers to its wonderful conclusion. And it didn’t even matter. Sins of Empire is brilliant, Brian McClellan is brilliant, and I think I could read any of his books in any order and would still enjoy the ride!

Next in Series:

Wrath of Empire + Blood of Empire

| 10. |

The Nevernight Chronicle

Nevernight + Godsgrave

by Jay Kristoff

I was reading Nevernight just as I stopped blogging in 2018 and never got to share just how wonderful this book is! Nevernight and its sequel, Godsgrave, are dark, grim and treacherous, and an absolute bloody joy to read.

Kristoff is a master of suspense who takes us through a labyrinth of twists and turns before an always brilliant conclusion. I hadn’t expected to love this series as much as I do and it’s opened a world of Kristoff’s writing that I never even realised existed!

Next in Series:

Darkdawn


Stay tuned for my follow up posts:

My Top Ten Games of the Past Two Years

and

My Top Ten TV Series of the Past Two Years 


What have been your favourite books of the past few years?

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Friday Firsts: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: March 30 |

Nevernight

Book One of The Nevernight Chronicle

by Jay Kristoff

Fantasy | 448 Pages | Published by Harper Voyager in 2016


| First Paragraphs |

People often shit themselves when they die.

Their muscles slack and their souls flutter free and everything else just … slips out. For all their audience’s love of death, the playwrights seldom mention it. When our hero breathes his last in his heroine’s arms, they call no attention to the stain leaking across his tights, or how the stink makes her eyes water as she leans in for her farewell kiss.

I mention this by way of warning, O, my gentlefriends, that your narrator shares no such restraint. And if the unpleasant realities of bloodshed turn your insides to water, be advised now that the pages in your hands speak of a girl who was to murder as maestros are to music. Who did to happy ever afters what a sawblade does to skin.

She’s dead herself, now – words both the wicked and the just would give an eyeteeth smile to hear. A republic in ashes behind her. A city of bridges and bones laid at the bottom of the sea by her hand. And yet I’m sure she’d still find a way to kill me if she knew I put these words to paper. Open me up and leave me for the hungry Dark. But I think someone should at least try to separate her from the lies told about her. Through her. By her.

Someone who knew her true.

A girl some called Pale Daughter. Or Kingmaker. Or Crow. But most often, nothing at all. A killer of killers, whose tally of endings only the goddess and I truly know. And was she famous or infamous for it at the end? All this death? I confess I could never see the difference. But then, I’ve never seen things the way you have.

Never truly lived in the world you call your own.

Nor did she, really.

I think that’s why I loved her.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

Narrator led openings such as these always intrigue me –  giving away little details into the future of protagonists we are yet to meet, giving an impression as to their character, and giving clues as to how their existence affects the world around them.

Whoever the Pale Daughter is, and how she came by the names Kingmaker and Crow, I do not know – but I sure as hell can’t wait to find out!

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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Teaser Tuesdays: March 27


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Expect a new teaser every week!


| Teaser Tuesdays: March 27 |

Nevernight

Book One of The Nevernight Chronicle

by Jay Kristoff

Fantasy | 448 Pages | Published by Harper Voyager in 2016


“She stepped into the pool without a word, the blood thick and warm between her toes. The tile was smooth, and she had to walk slowly lest she slip, out waist-deep into the centre of the red.

~ Chapter 16: Walk | 38% | Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


| Synopsis |

From New York Times bestselling author, Jay Kristoff, comes a dangerous new fantasy world and a heroine edged in darkness.

Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.

Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Church is no ordinary school. But Mia is no ordinary student.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads



The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkien

Fantasy | 306 Pages | Published by HarperCollins in 1995


He had picked his way stealthily for some distance, when he noticed a place of dense black shadow ahead of him, black even for that forest, like a patch of midnight that had never been cleared away. As he drew nearer, he saw that it was made by spider-webs one behind and over and tangled with another.

~ Chapter VIII: Flies and Spiders | Page 156 | The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien


| Synopsis |

The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure, undertaken by a company of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold. A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins, a comfort-loving unambitious hobbit, who surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar.

Encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves and giant spiders, conversations with the dragon, Smaug, and a rather unwilling presence at the Battle of Five Armies are just some of the adventures that befall Bilbo.

Bilbo Baggins has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals of children’s fiction. Written by Professor Tolkien for his own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when published.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

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