Size Doesn’t Matter (184): The Library of Fates; A Poison Dark and Drowning

I received this book for free from ALA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (184): The Library of Fates; A Poison Dark and DrowningThe Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
Published by Razorbill on July 18, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 354
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
AmazonThe Book Depository

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.

The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

I really wanted The Library of Fates both because diverse fantasy and also because THAT COVER. The cover’s still my favorite part of the book, but it was pretty good, despite not using my favorite tropes.


Series Review: Agents of the Crown by Julia Quinn

Series Review: Agents of the Crown by Julia QuinnTo Catch an Heiress by Julia Quinn
Series: Agents of the Crown #1
Published by Avon on October 13, 2009
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book Depository

When Caroline Trent is kidnapped by Blake Ravenscroft, she doesn't even try to elude this dangerously handsome agent of the crown. After all, she's been running from unwanted marriage proposals. Yes, Blake believes she's a notorious spy named Carlotta De Leon, but for six weeks until her twenty-first birthday, when she'll gain control of her fortune, hiding out in the titillating company of a mysterious captor is awfully convenient -- and maybe just a little romantic, too.

Blake Ravenscroft's mission is to bring "Carlotta" to justice, not to fall in love. His heart has been hardened by years of intrigue, but this little temptress proves oddly disarming and thoroughly kissable. And suddenly the unthinkable becomes possible -- that this mismatched Couple might be destined for love.

My Julia Quinn binge continues to be one of the best things about 2017. Agents of the Crown isn’t her best series by any means, but I still read both books quickly and enjoyed the whole experience. Her books just make me happy, even when they half-heartedly attempt to be badass thrillers like these two do.


Cover Snark (241): A Land of Permanent Snark

Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don’t write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I’ve linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Please note that you should by no means contact the author if you do not like their cover; they likely have ZERO control. Feel free to express opinions of the covers in the comments, but please do not @ an author on Twitter because of anything you’ve seen here.

Shiny and New:

1. Tess of the Road – Rachel Hartman



Size Doesn’t Matter (183): A Curse Dark as Gold; Furthermore

Size Doesn’t Matter (183): A Curse Dark as Gold; FurthermoreA Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Narrator: Charlotte Parry
Length: 12 hrs, 29 mins
Published by Scholastic Audio on November 1, 2010
Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Retelling
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

Gold thread promises Charlotte Miller a chance to save her family's beloved woolen mill. It promises a future for her sister, jobs for her townsfolk, security against her grasping uncle - maybe even true love. To get the thread, however, Charlotte must strike a bargain with its maker, the mysterious Jack Spinner. But the gleam of gold conjures a shadowy past - secrets ensnaring generations of Millers. And Charlotte's mill, her family, her love - what do those matter to a stranger who can spin straw into gold?

This is an award-winning and wholly original retelling of "Rumplestiltskin."

A Curse Dark as Gold has been on my to-read list pretty much since I first started reading YA back in 2008. It was one of the earliest books in the post-Twilight wave. In addition to the overwhelming paranormal wave, there was an initial surge of fairy tale retellings. I put everything on my list but I can only read so much, though I do try. A Curse Dark as Gold feels like older YA because it is; it’s clever and good, but bored me a bit tbh.


Series Review: Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Series Review: Court of Fives by Kate ElliottCourt of Fives by Kate Elliott
Series: Court of Fives #1
Published by Little Brown BFYR on August 28, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

On the Fives court, everyone is equal.

And everyone is dangerous.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.

Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Originally, I read an ARC of Court of Fives back just before it came out. At the time, I really liked it despite some qualms and that held true for this reread. Court of Fives is a fun albeit clunky start to the trilogy.