The Monthly Round-Up: February 2016


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!


| Books Read |

February 8

February has flown by in a torrent of amazingly bloody, beautiful and brilliant books. I only managed a respectable eight but every single one of them was fantastic – I expect that there won’t be less than a four star review amongst them! I may have completely ignored my goals of the month but never mind! February was a blast. It also featured a book so good it required its own rating!

Here’s the run down of the books I devoured last month:

| 1. |

The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky

| 2. |

The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

| 3. |

Broken Banners by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

| 4. |

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

| 5. |

The Grim Company by Luke Scull

| 6. |

Legend by David Gemmell

| 7. |

The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

| 8. |

Dragon Hunters by Marc Turner


Book of the Month


Promise of Blood

by Brian McClellan


| February Goals |

To finish NOS4R2 and Emma before the month is out!

Status: Incomplete (I haven’t even picked one of them up!)

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And to really challenge myself to be organised…

To post every day in February

Status: Incomplete (22 of 29 days Complete)


| Goals for 2016 |

Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge: 18/100 Books Read (18%)

Status: +8% in February


| Reviews Posted |

5+

Promise_of_Blood

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan


5 Stars

The Thief by Claire North


Faith and Moonlight by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire


three point five

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer


Rising Tide by Rajan Khanna


| Other Posts From February |

The Monthly Round-Up: January 2016

The Month Ahead: February 2016

Cover Reveal: Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Cover Reveal: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – Paperback Edition

Cover Reveal: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

Bookish Beats: Bonobo – Black Sands

Bookish Beats: Massive Attack – Mezzanine

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Historical Settings

Teaser Tuesdays: February 02 – The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

Teaser Tuesdays: February 09 – Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Teaser Tuesdays: February 16 – The Grim Company by Luke Scull

Teaser Tuesdays: February 23 – A Fever of the Blood by Oscar de Muriel

The Friday Face-Off: February 05 – The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

The Friday Face-Off: February 12 – The Thousand Names by Django Wexler

The Friday Face-Off: February 19 – Vicious by V.E. Schwab

The Friday Face-Off: February 26 – The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Book Haul: February 06 – The Frey and McGray Series by Oscar de Muriel

Book Haul: February 08 – Drake, Servant of the Underworld and The Crimson Ribbon

Book Haul: February 10 – Low Town Series and City of Bohane

Book Haul: February 13 – The Rats, The Folding Knife and The Electric Church

Book Haul: February 23 – The Raven’s Head, And Then There Were None and Ink and Bone

Book Haul: February 24 – Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

The Friday Face-Off: February 26


Friday Face Off 2cWelcome to The Friday Face-Off, a new feature 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.


| The Friday Face-Off: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss |

I’ve been feeling the Rothfuss cravings. The Name of the Wind was a spectacular début and, eight years after I first read it, I still wait with great anticipation for the third book in The Kingkiller Chronicles. So in this week’s Friday Face-Off we’re paying homage to this wonderful book by taking a good look at its covers.

Published by Gollancz in the UK and Penguin in the US, we have two entirely different pieces of cover art to compare. Take a look and see which one wins your vote.


Gollancz – UK Cover

Penguin – US Cover


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Gollancz UK cover wins hands down in this week’s Face-Off. It’s dark and unsettling and I love those creeping and twisting vines which enclose the hooded central figure (who is also strategically placed in the centre of my heart – a rather disturbing prospect considering his bloody red eyes). Together with that beautiful and whimsical typeface, the entire composition makes for a wonderfully enchanting and rather sinister cover.

I’m a little bit disappointed by the US offering this week, a cover which was introduced for the fifth edition print of the book. The typeface does the composition no favours and, despite the darkened wilderness and the similarly sinister hooded figure in the foreground, this cover just fails to capture my attention.

Comparing the US edition to its previous incarnations I can certainly see the development of a darker and more atmospheric cover but it has a tendency, despite the hooded figure, to remind me more of a crime thriller than a fantasy epic. However, one thing is abundantly clear – Penguin missed a trick when redesigning this cover. Shirtless Kvothe is ridiculously entertaining and the incorporation of an angry and demonic Pat Rothfuss make for two very interesting and highly amusing pieces of cover art.


| The Name of the Wind: International Edition Bonus |

As I was rather disappointed with the US effort in this week’s Face-Off, I’ve decided to scour the globe to see what other beauties can be found. And this search has certainly turned up some good’uns – though no doubt I’ve missed some wonderful covers as there are a rather hefty number of translations! Take a look at some of the gorgeous covers the rest of the world has to offer.

TNotW - Worldwide

 From top left: Serbia, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Japan, Russia and Latvia

Choosing a favourite from this beautiful lot is nigh on impossible – the majority are simply stunning and vary considerably from country to country. The Serbian edition is particularly lovely though – the misty and mountainous backdrop with a lute festooned Kvothe in the foreground make for a beautiful and eye-catching composition.

The French edition follows closely behind the Serbian cover with a landscape bathed in golden light, a distant city and similar foreground Kvothe. Both the Dutch and German editions follow a similar line of thought but use a washed out, almost watercolour backdrop and the typeface, though different, is equally beautiful on each edition.

The Finnish version has a wonderfully folkish cover whilst the Japanese offering is bold, vibrant and showcases Kvothe’s flaming red hair. The Russian edition is an entirely different affair, displaying some beautiful fantasy imagery, and the Latvian cover is bold, vibrant and gives us a defined Kvothe doing what he loves best. Altogether, a rather impressive display of artwork.

Which is your favourite cover? Do any of the alternative editions take your vote? 

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

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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!

heart| 3. |

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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