Review 10. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Monday, 29 February 2016

Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published: October 6th 2015
328 pages

"Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster."

"Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife." The heroine of the story decides not to let him take her sister away. Beautifying herself, she makes him choose her. However, the new bride doesn't plan on dying and day after day she wakes up... And day after day she discovers a new power inside of her that may set the kingdom free. 

Writing: A Thousand Nights is a beautifully written novel. There is something poetic and compelling in its words. A retelling of the tale of Scheherazade (which can be found in the book One Thousand Nights), but with a spin of its own that only makes the novel more magical, A Thousand Nights can easily make the reader fall in love and bring her/him into its stunning world. It is a slow-paced story (and I'm not someone who usually enjoys slow-paced stories), but everything is so well-woven and the story flows so naturally that I didn't even notice it.
“If you listen long enough to the whispers, you will hear the truth. Until then, I will tell you this: the world is made safe by a woman. She bound the monster up and cast him out, and the man who was left was saved.”
Mostly in the voice of the heroine, there are a few chapters in A Thousand Nights in the voice of the demon inside Lo-Melkhi, which was a good surprise because I enjoyed being given an inside look at the thoughts of the villain. 

Characters: The heroine is brave and fearless. Also, she has no name, something that was one of the things I enjoyed. Why? It gives a mystery vibe to the story and the author shows that a name isn't needed to connect with a character. I fell in love with the heroine because of her strong personality; because she sacrificed herself to protect her sister, who in turn made her a shrine that gave her the power to protect herself (and others) from the demon inside the Lo-Meljhiin.

The relationship between the two sisters is beautiful. They love each other and wish nothing else than keep each other safe. Even separated, their bound is never broken.The pure love between them shows how a relationship between sisters should be.

Worldbuilding: Set in a magical desert kingdom, this world is perfectly crafted. From the life of a desert tribe to the life of a king in the palace; from the life of a trading caravan to the life of the palace weavers. Everything is perfectly woven! Full of little details, this world comes to live. There is such a realness in this desert kingdom: it's like a reader can touch, smell, feel, savour every moment. 

A Thousand Nights is an enchanting novel that every retelling lover should read. 

My Bookish Life 3. My First Owlcrate

Thursday, 25 February 2016

I've been following Owlcrate since before they sent their first batch of crates on March of the last year. I always wanted to order one, but unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity until now. I'm so happy I finally did it!

The Owlcrate of February 2016 was all about Sci-Fi Love. It included:
  • The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry along with a signed bookplate and a very sweet message from the author;
  • An edition of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells from Rock Paper Books;
  • A The Lunar Chronicles tote bag made by the Owlcrate team;
  • A wooden Tardis brooch handmade by Vector Engraving.
I already owned a ebook copy of The Love that Split the World, but the physical edition is gorgeous. Have you seen how beautiful the cover is? *.* Also, as I live in Portugal, the chance of signed books is under zero, so receiving a signed bookplate from Emily Henry was a lovely surprise. And yes, this time Owlcrate had not one, but two books! How much more exciting could it be? I loved this edition of The Time Machine.  

The tote bag is super cute. I really have to read The Lunar Chronicles now (re-read Cinder, because I read it a few years ago). I loved everything, but I wish it didn't have anything Doctor Who related. I know, everyone loves it, but I don't. The Tardis brooch is pretty and very well-done, but I wish the brooch had been about another sci-fi show or film. 

I'll keep my Owlcrate subscription for now (the shipping is expensive, so I'm not sure for how long I'll keep it). And if you are reading this, I recommend you to get one Owlcrate. Even if it's only one time experience, it will be an awesome experience!

Waiting on Wednesday - Burning Glass

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week on WoW is Burning Glass by Jessica Khoury. A debut novel which I'm excited for, even though I have recently found out that there is going to be a love triangle something that I've stated a few times that I can't stand. But I'm still excited because the summary sounds pretty interesting. A girl with the power to feel what those around her feel? Yep, interesting! The book will be released on March 1st.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
From Goodreads

Cover Reveal. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Monday, 22 February 2016

Behold! It's the beautiful cover of Crooked Kingdom! *.* Yes, I'm in love with it. I adored Six of Crows, and I've been desperately waiting for news of its sequel (I blame my desperation on that cliffhanger). And now the cover has been revealed. Why is September so far?

Crooked Kingdom is expected to be released on September 27th 2016.
"Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world."

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Love-a-Thon I Questionnaire

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Hosted by: Alexa (Alexa Loves Books), Cee (The Novel Hermit), Hazel (Stay Bookish) & Mel (The Daily Prophecy)
  1. What’s your name?
    Tânia, even though I usually sign as Thannya. Why? When I first started blogging, I didn't want to be identified/found by someone who knew me, so I used a variation of my real name. Now, I'm so used to it, that I see no reason to change.
  2. Where in the world are you blogging from?
    Portugal, a small country in the southwest of Europe. In the past we used to rule the world, but now we are going through a major financial crisis. 
  3. How did you get into blogging in the first place?
    One day I decided that I wanted to share my love for books and what was the better than a blog to do it? After seeing so many wonderful bookish blogs, I decided to create my own.
  4. How did you come up with your blog name?
    As I wrote previously, I wanted to make this blog a secret. I decided it would be my lovely secret, and that was how the name came up.
  5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?
    Fantasy and retellings (specially fairytale retellings). 
  6. What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?
    I post(ed) Kinda Bookish News where I talk about the latest books turned into films or about news related to books (such as the Harry Potter series of Funko Pop).
  7. Best blogging experience so far?
    I don't have many achievements under my belt, but someone of my best blogging experiences are: being reached by authors to review their work; becoming a Book Depository affiliate.
  8. Favorite thing about the blogging community?
    Talking and talking and more talking about books. 
  9. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2016!
    A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas
    A Torch Against the Night - Sabaa Tahir
    Crooked Kingdom - Leigh Bardugo 
    Den of Wolves - Juliet Marillier
    Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
  10. Name the 5 books you want to read this 2016 that you didn’t get to in previous years! A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
    Menagerie - Rachel Vincent 
    Scarlet - Marissa Meyer
    The Immortal Heights - Sherry Thomas
    These Shallow Graves - Jennifer Donnelly  
  11. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?
    Committing the mistake of being repetitive, everyone should read Juliet Marillier.
  12. Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?
    Jezz, I don't know... The most awesome bookworm I know is Hermione, so I guess it would be her. 
  13. Which book boy or girl would be your book boyfriend/girlfriend?
    Have I already talked about my obsession with Mr. Darcy? Mr. Darcy would be my book boyfriend. Now, from a book I read more recently, Kaz (Six of Crows).
  14. Who would you recruit for your apocalypse squad (5 characters max)
    Probably Lord Voldemort. I'm pretty sure he would be responsible for the apocalypse, so having him on my squad would keep me safe until Harry arrived.
  15. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?
    I love watching TV series. Give me new and interesting shows and I'll be happy. Also, I'm a gamer. Before being a bookworm, I was a gamer (still addicted to Spyro).
  16. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?
    I love shopping home decor (now with my bookstagram account, I'm getting a bit obsessive). And funkos. And clothes... Let's face it: I'm a shopaholic.    
  17.  What would your dream library look like?
    I always wanted the library the Beast gave to Belle (one of my favorite parts of the film). But then I saw the one from Hogwarts... I WANT IT!!!! 

Waiting on Wednesday - The Forbidden Wish

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week on WoW is The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury. "She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world." After this line, I knew I had to read this Aladdin retelling. Also, Sarah J. Maas said some nice things about it, so I definitely have to read it. The book will be released on February 23rd.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years -- a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.
From Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday - The Shadow Queen

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week on WoW is The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine. Snow White retelling alert! Must love all the fairytale retellings that are coming out this year. I still have to read the previous works of C.J. Redwine, but I'm really excited to take a look at this one. The summary makes it sound a really good retelling. The book will be released on February 16th.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.
From Goodreads

Cover Reveal. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The cover of Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, the new series of Rosamund Hodge has been revealed. I do like, but nothing will ever beat the cover of Cruel Beauty, right? Well, I'm excited for this new series, even though Crimson Bound was very disappointing. Hopefully, it will be as good as the author's previous works.

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire is expected to be released on September 27th 2016.
"When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting...

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Review 9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Published: September 29th 2015
465 pages

"Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price--and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first. "

It was the first time I plunged in the Grisha World. Yes, I haven't read The Grisha Trilogy yet, but after reading Six of Crows, I definitely will. I can say that I fell in love with the world created by Leigh Bardugo. Six of Crows is a beautifully written blend of magic and darkness.

Plot: The plot could have been something simple. "Six dangerous outcasts" have to accomplish a dangerous and impossible heist. However, the development of the plot is intricate and the story is full of twists and action-packed. Who doesn't enjoy a story without a slow moment? With all the twists and surprises, there was no way to guess what happens next. The novel has just a little bit of romance which flows naturally and doesn't overshadows the main plot.

Characters: The story has five voices (even though there are six outcasts): the thief Kaz, the spy Inej, the Heartrender Nina, the convict Matheus and the sharpshooter Jesper. Wylan, the runway, doesn't have a chapter with his voice, but we get to know him. It could have been confusing following five different point-of-views, but each character has its own voice; each characters has its background and stories. Every character has a little something that makes him/her special and has its purpose in the novel. However, two of them stood out for me: Kaz and Inej.

Kaz is the perfect anti-hero. He's vicious and is always plotting. Not all main characters have to be good. I loved his cunning ways and how he always had something under is sleeve. He always comes across heartless, but an inside look on his past shows how he became the Dirtyhands and you can't stop feeling sorry for him. Now, my favourite of all favourites is Inej. I don't know if it's because of her backstory or her strengths and flaws, but I simply loved her. I always felt super excited to read her chapters. She is such a strong characters after everything she went through (Inej needed a hug). And, yes, I ship Kaz and Inej... They are two hurt souls that have the opportunity to find love in each other arms.  

Six of Crows is one of my favourite readings. I am now impatiently waiting for Crooked Kingdom.   

Cover Reveal. Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

Friday, 5 February 2016

Behold! The most beautiful cover ever! *.* Don't you find it gorgeous? Not only Juliet Marillier writes beautiful stories as her novels always have stunning covers. Den of Wolves is the third novel in the Blackthorn & Grim series and it may or it may not be the last one - either way, the author already announced that the ending works both ways. If you haven't read Dreamer's Pool and Tower of Thorns, I recommend you to do it because Juliet Marillier crafts the most beautiful worlds.

Den of Wolves is expected to be released in November 2016.
"The “powerful and emotionally-charged” fantasy series from the author of the Sevenwaters novels continues, as Blackthorn and Grim face haunting secrets and old adversaries...

Feather bright and feather fine, None shall harm this child of mine...

Healer Blackthorn knows all too well the rules of her bond to the fey: seek no vengeance, help any who ask, do only good. But after the recent ordeal she and her companion, Grim, have suffered, she knows she cannot let go of her quest to bring justice to the man who ruined her life.

Despite her personal struggles, Blackthorn agrees to help the princess of Dalriada in taking care of a troubled young girl who has recently been brought to court, while Grim is sent to the girl’s home at Wolf Glen to aid her wealthy father with a strange task—repairing a broken-down house deep in the woods. It doesn’t take Grim long to realize that everything in Wolf Glen is not as it seems—the place is full of perilous secrets and deadly lies...

Back at Winterfalls, the evil touch of Blackthorn’s sworn enemy reopens old wounds and fuels her long-simmering passion for justice. With danger on two fronts, Blackthorn and Grim are faced with a heartbreaking choice—to stand once again by each other’s side or to fight their battles alone..."

Waiting on Wednesday - These Vicious Masks

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week on WoW is These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. I'm a huge Jane Austen fan. I've been dreaming of a Mr. Darcy because of her. So as soon as I read "Jane Austen meets X-Men", I just knew I had to add this book to my wishlist. I probably have high expectations and I may end up disappointed, but oh well... It won't be the first time. The book will be released on February 9th.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
"Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.
From Goodreads