Another Tuesday, another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to. This week’s theme is about getting excited for all the great books due out in the latter half of this year: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year. (I’m taking this to mean any books coming out from now, basically because there are a couple I wanted to sneak in here but they’re published in June!)
Bonus: This Savage Song – V.E. Schwab
(Greenwillow, 5th July or Out Now for us lucky UK-ers)
We’ll start of with this bonus pick because it’s already out in the UK and I already possess it – yes it’s all lovely and shiny and new (and as yet untouched) on my bookshelf. I love Schwab as a writer – I frequently stalk her Twitter to get an insight into the reality of being an author and boy, oh boy, is she a level of organised I aspire to. So, obviously, I would anticipate any and all of her creative pursuits (especially since I’m off to YALC to hear her speak at a panel!). This one promises to be deliciously dark urban fantasy and in Victoria’s own words: “It’s the story of Kate Harker, the only daughter of a crime boss, and August Flynn, the son of a man trying to hold his city together. Kate is a human who wants to be a monster, and August a monster who wishes he were human.” Yes, just yes.
Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme for book bloggers which celebrates the distance a book travels by way of its covers. I’ve only recently discovered this meme thanks to the blog of the co-creator, Catia (the other being Danielle) and the Goodreads group, but I love the concept of it – particularly because it gives me the chance to see beautiful editions of books and develop some major cover envy.
This week’s theme is… Because some books have amazing villains choose a book with a character you love to hate! Whilst thinking long and hard about this, theme a quote from a particularly villainous character kept rearing its ugly head – “Fine. Make me your villain” – which I adore because I think it hints at a much more complex characterisation, and perhaps also how easily we denigrate people sometimes too easily as ‘villains’ in a way that makes the word itself lose some meaning and oompfh. Slightly philosophical musings aside, for that reason I’ve chosen to feature Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, specifically Shadow and Bone, and the Darkling who is set up as the villain of the piece.
For those who don’t know, Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone is a young-adult fantasy set in the world of Russian-inspired Ravka, a kingdom torn apart by the manifestation of darkness called the Shadow Fold which contains all manner of flesh-eating creepy monsters. Enter Alina Starkov, an orphan girl who must leave behind the regiment, her best friend Mal, and the life she knows, when a dormant power lurking within her explodes, catching the attention of the powerful but sinister figure known as the Darkling. Under his direction she is taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite of Ravka. There she makes friends and enemies and is taught how to harness and channel her powers. Unsurprisingly, it is never that easy or simple, especially not with the Darkling’s involvement.
Now, onto the covers…
Title: Shadow and Bone [aka The Gathering Dark] (2012)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Read: 1st-2nd October
Genre: young-adult, high fantasy, paranormal
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Compulsively readable, that’s one very crucial way to describe the first book in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. A high fantasy world loosely modelled on Russia, the novel tentatively and slowly builds the imagery of Ravka, a kingdom which isn’t entirely yet realised but holds much promise for the trilogy as a whole. Continue reading