Teaser Tuesdays: June 06


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: June 06 |

Daughter of Necessity

by Marie Brennan

Fantasy | Short Story | 32 Pages | Published by Tor in 2014


“Too late, she will see that it has gone too far. He has coaxed from her words she never meant to speak, implications she cannot disavow. To do so would bring war, and the destruction she sought to avoid. She will have no choice but to acquiesce, for the sake of her people, for the sake of her son.

She will fail, and pay the price of that failure until the end of her days.”

~ 34% | Daughter of Necessity by Marie Brennan


| Synopsis |

By day she crafts; by night she unmakes. Surely somewhere, in all the myriad crossings of the threads, there is a future in which all will be well. Marie Brennan offers an intriguing new spin on a classic tale.

Amazon | 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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The Monthly Round-Up: May 2017


Welcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!


| The Monthly Round-Up: May 2017 |

This May saw my return to book blogging, something I have missed for a long time! While I’m still finding my feet – reading more books, writing more reviews and generally posting more than once in a while – I’ve really enjoyed this month! So thank you for reading this blog, for continuing memes in my absence and for recommending such awesome books! And though small in number, here’s what’s made it off the TBR this month:

| Books Read |

| 1. |

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

The second book in Sanderson’s Reckoners series carries on in the vein of its predecessor, Steelheart. Firefight is an action packed, power flexing, villain infested romp across an unrecognisable US which leaves me eager to complete the series and write up a review! 

| 2. |

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

A Natural History of Dragons is the first in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan and transports the reader to a world steeped in Victoriana, where lady adventurers explore exotic climes and feats of science, industry and progress await discovery.

| 3. |

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

The Tropic of Serpents, the sequel to A Natural History of Dragons, continues the tale of Lady Trent in another beautifully written and utterly engrossing memoir which paints a picture of a world not entirely different from our own.

| 4. |

The Pilgrim of Hate by Ellis Peters

The Pilgrim of Hate is the tenth novel in the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters. From a pilgrimage of the devout comes another murder, another mystery and a whole lot of trouble for our ex-crusading holy man.


Firefight

by Brandon Sanderson


| Goals for 2017 |

Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge: 14/50 Books Read (28%)


| Reviews Posted |

Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak


A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan


| Other Posts From May 2017 |

The Friday Face-Off: An Update

The Friday Face-Off: May 12 – Don’t Use The Phone

The Friday Face-Off: May 19 – The Airplane Takes Off Against the Wind, Not With It

The Friday Face-Off: May 26 – Of all the Words of Mice and Men

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books on my Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Mother’s Day Special

Teaser Tuesdays: May 09 – A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Teaser Tuesdays: May 16 – The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

Teaser Tuesdays: May 23 – The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

Teaser Tuesdays: May 30 – Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson

Waiting on Wednesday: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Waiting on Wednesday: The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan

Friday Firsts: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan


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Teaser Tuesdays: May 16


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: May 16 |

The Tropic of Serpents

Book Two of The Memoirs of Lady Trent

by Marie Brennan

Fantasy | 331 Pages | Published by Titan in 2014


“I cannot say whether, given the chance to revisit that choice, I would change my mind. I know now, to a very precise measurement, how great the dangers would be, and how narrowly I escaped them. But I also know that I survived.”

~ p. 50 | The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan


| Synopsis |

The thrilling adventure of Lady Trent continues in Marie Brennan’s The Tropic of Serpents…

Attentive readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world’s premier dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career.

Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics.

The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell… where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.

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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Review: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan



A Natural History of Dragons

Book One of The Memoirs of Lady Trent

by Marie Brennan

Fantasy | 334 Pages | Published by Titan Books in 2014


| Rating |


A Natural History of Dragons, the first volume in Marie Brennan’s Memoirs of Lady Trent, is a fascinating expedition into lands unknown, where cultures clash, society is upturned and magnificent, dangerous beasts stalk the earth, seas and skies.

From lands firmly rooted in our own cultures, Marie Brennan has created a world which resonates with a sense of real world history and weaves a thread of draconic magic throughout in this beautifully crafted and subtly fantastic memoir.

Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age.

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.Isabella, Lady Trent of Scirland, has led a life of adventure, science and scholarly progress, a life which has swung between tremendous highs and painful lows. A noted and respected academic in the field of natural history, Isabella has travelled to the ends of the earth, battling societal pressure, gender repression and a distinct inability to conform in pursuit of her passion: dragons.

Now an elderly woman, Lady Trent, whose fame and success often eclipse her early struggles, puts pen to her early life. From adventurous child to budding explorer, Isabella sets out to overcome the restrictions placed on her as she ventures across the seas to Vystrana in search of the illusive Rock-Wyrm.

A tale of scholarly passions and societal acceptance, Marie Brennan has crafted a novel which, through its subtle charm, blossoms into life as the adventures of Lady Trent unfold. While sometimes lacking the depth and explosive excitement of epic fantasy, A Natural History of Dragons proves a pleasant and altogether human read where the course of life never runs smooth but its highs and lows never fail to make an impact.

Set in a world not unlike our own, where Lady Trent’s home country of Scirland could well be a Nineteenth Century England overrun with dragons; the first in this series captures real world history and culture and builds an enchanting fantasy from them. And while the storyline may have benefited from more of the fantastical and strange, the pockets of description and witty narrative style make for a fascinating mirror world.

Isabella proves an interesting narrator whose personality refuses to conform to the constraints in which society would shelter her. Speaking with the authority and openness granted to her in later life, she still retains the innocence and wonder which first led to her study of dragons throughout. And though the strength of her voice sometimes overwhelms those of other characters, there is enough interest and mystery surrounding them to leave the reader wanting more.

Marie Brennan has created a beautiful novel which captures the imagination and takes the reader on an expedition into the unknown. And while more detail and excitement may have been warranted where dragons are concerned, the pace and style of the narrative make this novel a joy to read.

A Natural History of Dragons is an imaginative and wonderfully pleasant foray into the life of Lady Trent, a woman whose own adventures promise to grow bolder and more thrilling with every tale, and a series which I for one am eager to continue.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

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Teaser Tuesdays: May 09


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: May 09 |

A Natural History of Dragons

Book One of The Memoirs of Lady Trent

by Marie Brennan

Fantasy | 334 Pages | Published by Titan in 2014


“Crawling in a dress, for those gentlemen who have never had occasion to try it, is an exercise in frustration, all but guaranteed to produce feelings of homicidal annoyance in the crawler.”

~ p. 176 | A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan


| Synopsis |

Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age.

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

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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The Month Ahead: May 2016


In The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I’m currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! Expect news and features by the bucketful!


| Currently Reading |

This month I’m embarrassed to say that NOS4R2 and Emma are still on my currently reading pile – one day they’ll leave it, I promise! – but this month they’re in the wonderful company of Lustlocked by Matt Wallace and Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman.

What are you reading at the moment? 
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| May Events |

Here are the upcoming themes for this month’s Friday Face-Off:

06th May 2016 | You Got The Blues

A cover which is predominantly blue

13th May 2016 | Which Witch is Which?

A cover which features a witch and/or witchcraft

20th May 2016 | Just Then Flew Down a Monstrous Crow

A cover which features a bird

27th May | Renewed Shall be Blade That Was Broken

A cover which features the word ‘blade’ in its title


The Between Two Thorns Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – Imyril at OneMore.org

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by Lynn’s Books

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For this month’s Read Along we’ll be reading the first book in The Split Worlds series by Emma Newman, Between Two Thorns. If you’re interested in joining in then head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up!heart

| Synopsis |

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

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| May Goals |

This May I’ve decided to mix up my usual goals (which inevitably fail) and set a challenge I may actually complete. Having been a member of the Goodreads Group for a while now but having yet to participate, this month I will be starting my RMFAO Genre Challenge. I’ve put together quite a large list – intention is everything after all – so hopefully I’ll tick at least a few off and actually get some classics read this year!heart

| The Target |

Level 5

Bookiopath

5 books or more (challenging)

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| The Books |

Bulldog Drummond by Sapper (PB)

Service with a Smile by P.G. Wodehouse (PB)

Ashenden by W. Somerset Maugham (PB)

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (PB)

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (PB)

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (EB)

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne (EB)

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For a list of the rules, levels and each month’s genres, head on over to the Goodreads page


| May Releases |

And here is a (by no means comprehensive) list of the releases I’m most looking forward to this May – dates are from UK publishers only (though many will coincide!).

10th May

Too Like The Lightning

by Ada Palmer

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Children-of-Earth-and-Sky-Guy-Gavriel-Kay1

Children of Earth and Sky

by Guy Gavriel Kay

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19th May

The Sudden Appearance of Hope

by Claire Northheart

TheTowerofTheSwallow

The Tower of the Swallow

by Andrzej Sapkowski

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medusa-chronicles-cover-reveal

The Medusa Chronicles

by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxterheart


24th May

26239013

A Blade of Black Steel

by Alex Marshallheart

Have you picked up any great books lately? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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The Month Ahead: April 2016


The Month Ahead - April 2In The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I’m currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! Expect news and features by the bucketful!


| Currently Reading |

I was going to remove Emma and NOS4R2 from my currently reading list… just because it’s slightly embarrassing them having been there for so long! But hey, I might actually get around to reading them this April so, for now, they’re here to stay! Added to that we have Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic (because I have read woefully few of his books!), The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu, and this month’s Read Along, An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire. So all in all, plenty to be getting on with!

What are you reading at the moment? 
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| April Events |

Friday Face Off Meme - whiteTurning The Friday Face-Off into a weekly meme proved to be marvellous fun last month, so thank you for reading and participating! So for those of you who fancy joining in or are interested in what’s coming up, here are the upcoming themes for this April:

08th April 2016 | Peace is Poor Reading

A cover which features war

15th April 2016 | Metropolis

A cover which features a city

22nd April 2016 | Dead Men Tell No Tales

A cover which features something or somewhere relating to death

29th April 2016 | Like One, That on a Lonesome Road

A cover which features a road

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An Artificial Night - white

An Artificial Night Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Saturday 9th April)

Chapters 1-7 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Saturday 16th April)

Chapters 8-17 – hosted by Books by Proxy (me!)

Week 3 (Saturday 23rd April)

Chapters 18-24 – hosted by Lynn’s Books

Week 4 (Saturday 30th April)

Chapters 25-End – hosted by TBA

heartWith Rosemary and Rue and A Local Habitation already under our belts this year, it was only a matter of time before the next October Daye novel was added to our Read Along shelf. Both the previous two novels have been tremendously good fun and have managed to spark an addiction that I can’t see ending soon. If anyone would like to join in with the third book in the series, An Artificial Night, head on over to the Goodreads group and sign up!heart

| Synopsis |

Changeling knight in the court of the Duke of Shadowed Hills, October “Toby” Daye has survived numerous challenges that would destroy fae and mortal alike. Now Toby must take on a nightmarish new assignment. Someone is stealing both fae and mortal children – and all signs point to Blind Michael. When the young son of Toby’s closest friends is snatched from their Northern California home, Toby has no choice but to track the villains down, even when there are only three magical roads by which to reach Blind Michael’s realm – home of the legendary Wild Hunt – and no road may be taken more than once. If she cannot escape with all the children before the candle that guides and protects her burns away, Toby herself will fall prey to Blind Michael’s inescapable power.

And it doesn’t bode well for the success of her mission that her own personal Fetch, May Daye – the harbinger of Toby’s own death – has suddenly turned up on her doorstep…

An Artificial Night is the third installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.heart


| Upcoming Events |

|May |

The Between Two Thorns Read Along

Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 1 (Monday 9th May)

Chapters 1-9 – hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

Week 2 (Monday 16th May)

Chapters 10-18 – hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings

Week 3 (Monday 23rd May)

Chapters 19-25 – Imyril at OneMore.org

Week 4 (Monday 30th May)

Chapters 26-End – hosted by Lynn’s Books

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In May we’re going to be enjoying the first book in The Split Worlds series by Emma Newman, Between Two Thorns. I’d never heard of this series before the Read Along cropped up but I’m certain I’m going to enjoy it. If you’re interested in joining in with this read along, go over to the Goodreads group page and sign up!

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| Synopsis |

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

heart


| April Releases |

And here is a (by no means comprehensive) list of the releases I’m most looking forward to this April  – dates are from UK publishers only (though many will coincide!).

5th April

ItLoD

In the Labyrinth of Drakes

by Marie Brennanheart


7th April

Fellside

by M.R. Careyheart

BurnedUK300

Burned

by Benedict Jacka

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Saint's Blood

Saint’s Blood

by Sebastien de Castell

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12th April

masks-and-shadows-cover

Masks and Shadows

by Stephanie Burgis

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26th April

Sharp-Ends-FC2-3

Sharp Ends 

by Joe Abercrombie

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| April Goals |

To finish NOS4R2 and Emma before the month is out!

Roll over!

Status: 0 of 2 Complete

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Have you picked up any great books lately? What are your goals for the month ahead? 

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