This week’s Top 10 is a freebie, and I came across this topic a while ago, so am excited for the opportunity to finally write this blog post. The books I love most, I actually often don’t review, because I’m not sure what to say beyond a paragraph of gushing. Some of the books in this list I also read before I started my blog, hence they didn’t get a review.Read More »
I went to YALC for the first time this year! The Young Adult Literature Convention takes place annually for three days from Friday to Sunday in July, as part of London Film and Comic Con. This year I attended with two friends on the Sunday. I was really excited to finally go as I had been looking forward to it all year. Not only was it my first time attending YALC, it was my first time attending any kind of event like that. Following the advice of various bloggers, I brought a small, wheeled suitcase with me, which worked really well.
The day could have started better, as my train was cancelled and the next was delayed, but I still managed to make it in time for the first panel at 10am, which I really wanted to attend. So I headed straight for the stage when I arrived. The panel was called ‘New voices of YA fantasy’ and the authors on the panel were Adrienne Young, Bex Hogan, Christine Lynn Herman, Kesia Lupo, P. M. Freestone and Rachel Burge. It was really interesting to hear about how they found becoming a debut author and about the worlds they created for their books.Read More »
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publishing Info: May 2018 by Gollancz (first published 2017)
Star Rating: 3.5/5
Back Cover Summary:
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.
Dragons are what attracted me to this book. I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember. The concept of dragons being attracted to stories is an interesting one, and I liked that this provided a different angle to the well-trodden road of dragon rider novels. Riding dragons wasn’t the focus of the book for the majority, as dragons have in fact been hunted for some time.
Kristen Ciccarelli doesn’t use much description in her prose, yet I was still able to visualise every scene. This also meant it wasn’t bogged down in in-depth description like many fantasy books get lost in, and it kept the book fairly fast paced. I would have perhaps liked a bit more sensory description, to make the settings come alive more and create more atmosphere in some of the tense scenes.Read More »
The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror
Publishing Info: January 2019 by Hot Key Books (first published 2018)
Star Rating: 4/5
Back Cover Summary:
Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma’s cabin and became blind in one eye.
Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor – only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose.
Then the spinning wheel starts creaking, books move around and terror creeps in . . .
Set in the remote snows of contemporary Norway, THE TWISTED TREE is a ghost story that twists and turns – and never takes you quite where you’d expect.
Can’t lie, the cover is partly what attracted me to this book. I love trees as a visual, and often take photographs of them, so that got my attention. The cover also gives off creepy, mysterious vibes that piqued my curiosity. I also liked that it sounded a little unique, and certainly quite different to other YA fantasy I have read.
Rachel Burge does an amazing job of creating a mysterious, spooky atmosphere. The suspense is great and really had me on the edge of my seat and rooting for the main characters. It’s actually scary at times. The plot didn’t follow the typical heroes fighting evil villain route as such, which I found refreshing. Norse mythology was weaved in well with the plot and fit very naturally.