Newest Reading Discoveries

Yes, this will be the post about books I’ve read lately. Except I’m not going to list all the books I’ve read since I last talked about it. There are far too many, and not because I’ve read a lot this year. (I haven’t. I’ve only read 43. I’m woefully behind on my goal of 165.) It only means I’ve been horrible about posting here. But I’m trying to remedy that, I swear.

I mentioned three of the books I’ve read lately (Outlander; Need; Tattoo) in my post about Conestoga, so I won’t mention them again here. (Except to say you should really go buy them. Right now.) So, skipping those, and touching on a few of the books I really, really enjoyed over the past couple of months.

First up are a pair of books by Maria V. Snyder: Magic Study and Fire Study. These two are the last books in the trilogy that started off with Poison Study, which I read last year. I don’t know how I managed to forget that there were more books in this series, but when I saw them on the shelf, I immediately bought both of them. How to explain just how sucked into these books I became? I can’t. The first one, Poison Study, intrigued me from the very first page, when Yelena is taken from the dungeon, where she’s about to be put to death, and offered a position as the General’s poison taster. Freedom or death? Hmm. Not a tough choice. The catch is, she’s given a poison, Butterfly’s Dust (I think that was the name of it), for which she has to come to Valek, the General’s chief of security and über-spy, every day for an antidote. Of course, much chaos and intrigue ensue, at the end of which, she’s revealed as having magic, and therefore is banished…back to the homeland from which she was kidnapped as a child.

In Magic Study, she is reunited with her family, and then taken to the Citadel to learn how to use her magic. Except that there’s a crazy-mad magic-wielder out there who is kidnapping girls and torturing them in a bizarre ritual to gain unlimited power (aren’t they all after unlimited power?), and she ends up as his final victim. This story carries over somewhat into Fire Study. Ms. Snyder’s writing and storytelling kept me absolutely riveted, and I found myself staying up far too late on several nights, desperate to find out what happened. Her newest book, Storm Glass, which is set in the same world, came out last week, and I’m eagerly anticipating its arrival in my mailbox.

I’m a huge fan of Rachel Caine, especially the Morganville Vampires series (new book out in approximately one month), but I enjoy the Weather Warden series as well. She has a new series out, the Outcast Season, the first book of which is Undone. This one is set in the same world as the Weather Warden books, and it’s about Cassiel, a Djinn who refuses to do as she’s ordered, and gets cast out and into a human body. Needless to say, this does not make her very happy. Or well-adjusted. But she ends up working for the Wardens with a human partner, and discovers that something evil is after her new friends.

And I just finished reading Nobody’s Princess, by Esther Friesner. The cover caught my attention first, so I picked up the book and read the back cover copy. Helen of Troy as a young girl who can’t figure out why everyone thinks she’s so pretty, nor does she understand why it even matters? I immediately fell in love with the idea. She doesn’t care about being pretty, she just wants to be a warrior, like her brothers. For a Spartan, you wouldn’t think that was such a big deal, but she is a princess, so apparently that’s a no-no. But she manages, and when her sister is sent off to the neighboring kingdom to be married, she goes along to comfort her, then ends up on several grand adventures of her own. Adventures that would make even her Spartan-king father have a heart attack. This one is firmly YA, and I really liked it. There’s a second book of Helen’s adventures, too, called Nobody’s Prize. I assure you, it will be making an appearance on my bookshelf in the near future as well.

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