10194157Well so far so good! I’ve already beaten my measly record for last year, and I’m halfway to my goal!

The most recent casualty as you can see is a newcomer to the writing scene, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.  It’s a teen book and it was surprisingly good.  I tend not to read teen and younger stuff because I find them too easy and the stories aren’t always that interesting to me, but this one was different.

So here we are introduced to a country called Ravka that has been at war with it’s neighbors for over a hundred years, and had long ago been divided by a swath of magical, impenetrable darkness called the Fold that was created by a mad witch called the black heretic.

We meet a young woman named Alina who naturally just so happens to be the fabled and long awaited bearer of that one special power that can save the world, and how she is ultimately duped, tricked, and betrayed by those she thought she cared about into trying to destroy the world.

I think what I like most about this book is the approach it takes to explaining witches.  See, witches are prevalent in this world, Alina is one of them although here they’re called Grisha.  And the way their magic works, isn’t so much magic as since.  These witches are basically amplifiers.  They gather whatever particles of whatever they are attuned to that are in the atmosphere around them, and they can manipulate them for the Grisha’s own use.  For example a fire Grisha can gather all the combustible elements together from the air surrounding them, and with a small spark can crate and manipulate a flame or fireball as strong or weak as the Grisha herself.  I liked that.

It was also very well paced.  I found myself drawn in and unwilling to put the book down until it was done.  I’m even looking forward to getting the next book which to date has NEVER happened to a teen book I’ve read!  All in all, really, really good.

Enjoy folks.

And okay, I was a bad girl.  I was hankering for Rome so much I went out and bought myself one.  So next up is Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn.  But let’s keep that our little secret shall we? 😉

6581303Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, passionate, musical, and guarded. Purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia, Thea will become her mistress’s rival for the love of Arius the Barbarian, Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator. His love brings Thea the first happiness of her life-that is quickly ended when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.

As Lepida goes on to wreak havoc in the life of a new husband and his family, Thea remakes herself as a polished singer for Rome’s aristocrats. Unwittingly, she attracts another admirer in the charismatic Emperor of Rome. But Domitian’s games have a darker side, and Thea finds herself fighting for both soul and sanity. Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin. But in the end, the life of the brilliant and paranoid Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor’s mistress.