TOP TEN TUESDAY – ANTICIPATED BOOKS FROM SECOND HALF OF 2022

Hi everyone! I hope you had a good holiday — if you celebrate / happen to be American / happen to have July 4th off. I wouldn’t say we celebrated — we were just outside all day to my toddler’s extreme happiness. Now that we’re all exhausted from being in the sun, well, here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS COMING OUT IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2022. That’s a mouthful of a topic this week, but one that’s rather easy to fill out, honestly.

Most of these I haven’t read yet, but the first three I have! My review for The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy will be out later this week, so keep an eye out for it. I absolutely adored that book. I’m stupidly excited for The Lost Metal — it’s a Sanderson book set on my favorite world of his! And don’t even get me started on A Dowry of Blood. I’m desperately hoping for an ARC of it, still, but who knows. I probably won’t get one. The rest of these books, well… I’M JUST REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THESE, OKAY? Do we share any of the same books? Let me know!

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: BRANDON SANDERSON

Hi everyone — I hope your Friday is going well! My next spotlight is one of my absolute favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson. I’ve read almost all his adult work that he’s published. I will auto-buy just about anything from him. Don’t need to read the synopsis, it’s a Sanderson. PUT IT IN THE CART, I say.

There’s only one series by him that I just was not into, and I’m fairly certain it was because he wrote it in first person POV, and because I just wasn’t into the topic. (It’s his Reckoners series. I read the first one, but did not go back for more.) And yes — Sanderson primarily writes series — usually at least three books long. Regardless, if you haven’t read a Brandon Sanderson book, you are missing out on one of the best modern fantasy authors out there.

BRANDON SANDERSON

  • WHAT’S HE KNOWN FOR? Wildly original complex magic systems, vast gorgeous worlds, and characters that will stand the test of time
  • HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE I READ BY HIM? Fourteen, but he’s written…a lot more than that. He seriously does not stop writing. Sanderson recently came out with a Kickstarter so he could self-publish the four books he’d written in the last two years.
  • WHAT GENRES DOES HE WRITE? Fantasy, usually, but he’s got a few sci-fi series as well.
  • WHERE CAN WE FIND HIM? Twitter | His website

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”
― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

WHAT IS THE COSMERE?

“The cosmere is a fictional shared universe where several of Sanderson’s books take place. As a result, books set in the cosmere share a single cosmology and underlying rules of magic, and some characters from one world will make appearances on other worlds. Despite the connections, Sanderson has remained clear that one does not need any knowledge of the broader cosmere to read, understand, or enjoy books that take place in the cosmere.”

Credit for the explanation goes to The Coppermind Sanderson wiki..

THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

The book cover for The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

WHY DID I LOVE THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE?

The Stormlight Archive is one of the most wildly original epic fantasy series out there right now. Not to mention each book is super chunky, so I know have the ability to really sink my teeth into each volume and know I’m going to be here for awhile. I love Sanderson’s characters in these books — each one has their own vast storyline, with fascinating backstories. Kaladin Stormblessed, one of the main characters, has an amazing arc that I cannot wait to continue reading about. Not to mention, I love seeing the familiar characters from across the cosmere in Roshar.

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? There are currently four books published, but there are ten books planned for the entire series. Books 1 – 5 will be a complete story, and books 6 – 10 will also be a complete story.
  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Way of Kings
  • CW: Slavery, violence, suicidal thoughts, child death, death

THE MISTBORN SAGA — PART 1

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the cover for a compilation of The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Then Kelsier reveals his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets. She will have to learn trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

WHY DID I LOVE THE MISTBORN SAGA PART ONE?

The first part of the Mistborn saga is one of the best complete stories I have ever read in my entire life. The story wraps up so neatly, so wonderfully satisfying that this is a series you will see me shout about forever. There is a fantastic female lead, Vin, who is amazingly written. The magic system — allomancy — is so unique that I’m still excited about it. This is another cosmere series, so if you look closely, you’ll see familiar characters from other Sanderson books, too! If you’ve never read a Sanderson book before, I’d start with this series right here.

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? In part one, there are three books: The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages
  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Final Empire
  • CW: Violence, death, slavery, child abuse, physical abuse

THE MISTBORN SAGA — PART 2

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the book cover for The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will.

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

WHY DID I LOVE THE MISTBORN SAGA PART TWO?

I don’t know that I’ve ever read a series like this one before — where one part is set in one time, and the next much later? (Yes, I know prequels are a thing, but that’s not what this is…) The closest thing I can think of is how Avatar: The Last Airbender went from Aang to Korra — the technology changed, society changed, etc. Such is the case between Part 1 and Part 2 of the Mistborn Saga. ANYWAY — Wax and Wayne are hilarious together. This series is definitely one of Sanderson’s funniest, though the overall themes of these books aren’t humorous. Again, this is a cosmere entry, so look closely!

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? Four: The Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, The Bands of Mourning, and The Lost Metal. The Lost Metal comes out this fall.
  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Alloy of Law
  • CW: Gun violence, death, violence, kidnapping, fire, body horror

WARBREAKER

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Warbreaker is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn’t like his job, and the immortal who’s still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.

Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery, and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.

WHY DID I LOVE WARBREAKER?

Not going to lie to you, I put off reading this book for a long time before I finally picked it up. (Why? I have no idea.) I am so sorry I took so long to read Warbreaker because I absolutely love the magic system. Not to mention that Lightsong is a fantastic character. Plus there’s a talking sword, and I’m a sucker for talking inanimate objects. I actually have a review of Warbreaker up here. This is yet another entry into the cosemere universe — a couple of big characters from this book end up in Rhythm of War, the latest entry into the Stormlight Archive.

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? One — this is a standalone at the moment. Sanderson plans to write more in this series eventually.
  • CW: Violence, death, murder, war, religious bigotry, body horror

ELANTRIS

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the book cover for The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping—based on their correspondence—to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

WHY DID I LOVE ELANTRIS?

It’s been more than a few years since I picked Elantris up, but I do remember really enjoying this book. I do have to warn you that this is Sanderson’s debut novel, so it feels a little rougher around the edges compared to his more recent work. That doesn’t, however, detract from the story at all. It’s another amazingly unique world, with a creative magic system at the heart of it. And just like all the other books I’ve mentioned, this is a cosmere entry.

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? One — just like Warbreaker, this is a standalone at the moment. Sanderson does plan to write more in this series.
  • CW: Death, body horror, murder, genocide, violence, confinement

ARCANUM UNBOUNDED: THE COSMERE COLLECTION

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Brandon Sanderson creates worlds, and those worlds are linked. His universe spans the Stormlight Archive, the Mistborn series the tales of Elantris, and others, comprising a unique constellation of vividly imagined realms known as the Cosmere.

Now for the first time anywhere, stories representing each of these planets, and their fully realized and distinct magic systems, have been collected in a single spectacular volume. Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection brings together tales spanning the known limits of Sanderson’s universe–including the never-before-published Edgedancer, a thrilling new novella of the Stormlight Archive–along with charts, illustrations, notes…and secrets.

The Cosmere Collection encompasses six worlds in all, explored across nine astonishing works of short fiction: Sel (“The Hope of Elantris” and The Emperor’s Soul); Scadrial (“The Eleventh Metal,” “Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Episodes Twenty-eight Through Thirty,” and Mistborn: Secret History); Taldain (“White Sand”); Threnody (“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell”); First of the Sun (“Sixth of the Dusk”); and Roshar (Edgedancer).

These exciting tales will catapult you onto an unprecedented journey across a cosmos only Brandon Sanderson could have envisioned. Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection is an indispensible volume no Sanderson fan can do without. 

WHY DID I LOVE THE ARCANUM UNBOUNDED?

There isn’t a main storyline within Arcanum Unbounded — it’s all short stories set within the cosmere. What is cool, though, is that you get a deeper understanding of how everything works, almost “behind the scenes,” if you will. Of the short stories featured within this collection, I really enjoyed the stories set on Scadrial — the Mistborn world. Any glimpse of that world will have my interest, really. I should also mention that this is not a good place to start with Sanderson, as you will understand basically nothing.

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? One, but as this is a collection of all his short stories set in the Cosmere, I imagine there will probably be a part two eventually.
  • CW: Death, violence, gore

Now that I’m done blabbering on about how much I love Sanderson’s work, what’s your favorite Sanderson book? (If you can’t tell, mine is all three of the Mistborn Saga, part 1). Who’s your favorite Sanderson character? (Personally, I’m torn between Kaladin and Wit/Hoid.) Let me know in the comments below!

TOP TEN TUESDAY – BOOKS I HAVEN’T GOTTEN TO YET

Hey everybody! I’m home today with my little man as his usual caretakers are all sick! Means I get to skip out on work and hang out with my buddy today! So that means that I probably won’t be blog hopping today — I’ll be too busy making sure my kiddo doesn’t accidentally unalive himself, and that we’re having fun! I hope your Tuesday is going great!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is BOOKS I WAS SO EXCITED TO GET, BUT STILL HAVEN’T READ YET. Whoops. You know I got some for this topic…I went straight to my Kindle Library and scrolled, while taking notes. These are SOME of the books that I’ve bought in excitement, and uh…haven’t gotten around to reading yet.

I’m not going to lie to you, I straight up forgot I had bought some of these. (Looking at you, The Midnight Bargin.) Whoops. Do you see any books I absolutely have to get to soon? Let me know.

TOP 5 FANTASY BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS

Since fantasy is my absolute favorite genre out there, I thought I would write a recommendation post for people who want to dive into the genre, but have no idea where to start. Before we really get into the meat of the post, I do want to say this: fantasy is known for having series, and not really singular standalone books. This makes fantasy intimidating to a lot of people because you have to commit to reading a 3+ book long series in order to get a complete story. I’m here to tell you that no, you really don’t. If you read the first book in a series, and aren’t feeling it? Stop. Stop reading it. Move on. Life is too short to keep reading books you don’t like, especially when those books are in a series.

So, with that being said, this list is primarily books that I believe are relatively easy to get into, relatively easy to read, and complete series. Meaning — you don’t need to read anything but the book itself to understand it, the language used isn’t overly ridiculous, and all the books are out. Oh as a side note — most of these books are written for adults, but there might be one or two that wiggle on the YA/Adult border.

Now that I’ve rambled on for forever, let’s get into the recommendations.

THE MISTBORN TRILOGY by BRANDON SANDERSON

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the cover for a compilation of The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Then Kelsier reveals his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets. She will have to learn trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

WHY THIS SERIES? The Mistborn Series (The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages) is a complete story done in three books. The ending of the story is 100% satisfying, with almost all questions answered. Brandon Sanderson is a master at world-building, and at creating extensive, amazingly-unique magic systems. If you want an entry point into modern fantasy — here is the best place to start.

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Final Empire
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3
  • CW: abuse by a sibling, death, gore, murder, rape (mentioned), slavery, violence
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, or The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

THE OLD KINGDOM SERIES by GARTH NIX

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

The book cover for Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories.

As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.

WHY THIS SERIES? I grew up with this series, so I’m a little biased when I include this one in this list. Despite that, I still think it’s a great example of what fantasy can be, and it’s incredibly easy to read. There are talking animals, beings of enormous power, and just enough world-building to keep you curious. Nothing is shoved down your throat, but nothing is hand-waved away, either. A note – there are actually six books in this series, but the first three (Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen) are the ones that I’m talking about in this recommendation. I haven’t actually read the others, because I’m afraid they’ll ruin my enjoyment of the first three.

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? Sabriel
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3
  • CW: blood, death, death of a parent, gore, murder
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, or The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

THE RIYIRA REVELATIONS by MICHAEL J. SULLIVAN

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

The book cover for Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles-until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom.

Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires?

And so begins the first tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

WHY THIS SERIES? If you’re looking for a classic fantasy feel with wizards, and swords, but with a modern feel to the language, then you want The Riyira Revelations. This series is straight-up like popcorn. It’s so good! You will fly through these books, and by the end, you’ll want more and more of Hadrian and Royce! Good news is Sullivan wrote some prequel books! These are not necessary to understand what happens in Revelations, though!

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? Theft of Swords
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3
  • CW: death, blood, murder, ableism, sexism, sexual assault
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington, or Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by TJ KLUNE

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the book cover for The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

WHY THIS BOOK? Good news! This one is a standalone, and it’s relatively short. If you’re looking for a warm hug wrapped in magic, then you want The House in the Cerulean Sea. This sweet book is about finding family, and what you’d do to protect them once you have them. There’s unique children, some even what most people would consider ‘monsters’. This is a great place to start if you’re looking for a lighter entry into fantasy.

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The House in the Cerulean Sea
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 1
  • CW: child abuse, xenophobia, fatphobia, confinement, body shaming
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: The Princess Bride by William Goldman, or Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE by DIANA WYNNE JONES

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the book cover for Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye. 

WHY THIS BOOK? This is another sweet story that’s very easy to read! There are technically three books in this series, but I have only read this one. It’s a complete story, too, so there is no reason to venture out into the other books unless you really, really want to. This is about Sophie, and her adventures with the great wizard Howl, and the three different worlds he can travel to. And yes, there is a movie, and yes, it’s just as adorable as the book, though there are some changes. I recommend the book! Obviously.

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? Howl’s Moving Castle
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3
  • CW: body horror, confinement, death, murder, death of parent
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Stardust by Neil Gaiman, or Swordheart by T. Kingfisher

Those are my recommendations for an entry point into the fantasy genre. I’ve read every book listed here — I will never recommend a book I haven’t read! I know people won’t agree with every book that I’ve mentioned, but maybe they should write their own recommendation posts, then, huh?

But before we go, I do want to say one last thing — I did not include The Hobbit on this list, because a lot of people find the language hard to get through. Not to mention, there are great swaths of that book that are boring. I wanted to include books that won’t bore someone out of reading more fantasy novels! However, if you’re absolutely looking to start with a classic, I’d start there, with The Hobbit. You’ll notice I also didn’t include extremely long winded series (The Dresden Files, A Song of Ice and Fire, the Iron Druid Series, the Mercy Thompson Series, etc.), because those are intimidating just due to sheer length!

Do you have any other suggestions for a good starting place to try out the fantasy genre? Leave what you’d recommend in the comments below!

GOODREADS MONDAY – APRIL 25

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Budget Tales Book Blog. You choose a book from your TBR and show it off, so here we go. This is a backlist book that I really, really need to get to. I’m a huge Sanderson fan, and I haven’t grabbed this one yet! I know it’s YA, but that doesn’t change my interest in it at all.

SKYWARD BY BRANDON SANDERSON

From Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Reckoners series, Words of Radiance, and the internationally bestselling Mistborn series, comes the first book in an epic new series about a girl who dreams of becoming a pilot in a dangerous world at war for humanity’s future.

Spensa’s world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity’s only defense is to take to their ships and combat the enemy. Pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race.

Becoming a pilot has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They’ve doubled their fleet, which will make Spensa’s world twice as deadly . . . but just might take her skyward.

Have you read Skyward? What did you think? Link your Goodreads posts below, and I’ll check them out!

TOP TEN TUESDAY- FREEBIE

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is A FREEBIE. Therefore, I’m choosing to do BOOKS WITH A FEMALE MAIN CHARACTER.

I love seeing female characters kick ass. I love watching them grow, and learn, and be real people, rather than figureheads to be fridged. There are some badass women on this list, and some of my absolute favorite characters in fantasy.

  • SANCIA and BERENICE, from the Founders Trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • SABRIEL and LIRAEL, from the Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
  • ORKA and ELVAR, from the Bloodsworn Saga by John Gwynne
  • GIDEON and HARROW, from the Locked Tomb series by Tamsyn Muir
  • VIN, from the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
  • EAD and QUEEN SABRAN, from the Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  • DIANA, and YSABEAU, from the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  • ADDIE LARUE, from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab
  • FEYRE, MOR, and AMREN, from ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas
  • ALINA, GENYA, and ZOYA from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Who are your favorite female lead characters? Did I list them?

TOP TEN TUESDAY – 21ST CENTURY CLASSICS

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is 21ST CENTURY CLASSICS. Meaning — what books do I think will be considered classics of this century? I’m going to try and NOT pick books that I absolutely adore bc that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be classics. AND I’m doing classics in relation to the FANTASY or SCI-FI genres.

I’ve read all but ONE of these, and liked almost all of them, too. What books would you say are going to be classics of this century?

BOOK REVIEW: WARBREAKER BY BRANDON SANDERSON

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Originally posted on Goodreads July 30, 2020.

If you like Sanderson’s fantasy novels, you’ll like Warbreaker. If you’ve NEVER EVER read Sanderson before, I’m going to stop you and direct you towards the Mistborn series. That’s a perfect place to start with him, and a great setup for how he builds his worlds. Warbreaker, while good, is not the place to start. My reasoning here is, there’s only one novel so far. He plans for more, but so far we haven’t gotten any. Mistborn, on the other hand, will show you just how amazing Sanderson is at finishing up a story.

ANYWAY, BACK TO OUR REVIEW:

Warbreaker is good, really good. HOWEVER, it is not as cohesive feeling as Sanderson’s other works. While the magic system in this book is just as unique as Allomancy and his other magics in his other books, this one feels much less sturdy. It’s very vague throughout the whole book — there’s no real explanation as to how the magic works, how it came to be, etc. There’s only a very tiny mention towards the end of the book, because one character explains to another, but you’re still left wanting a helluva lot more.

The plot is twisty-turny with gods and inheritance and immortality, and once you finally get to the twist you’ll want to smack yourself in the head. You don’t expect it at all, and it’s done WONDERFULLY.

The characters are, again, amazing. Every single one has their own reasoning behind their motivations. They’re all fleshed out nicely, and really, you spend the whole book wanting to know them even more. Especially Vasher. Whoof.

I can’t wait for the next book!