Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
We are splitting up for this week’s topic, “Books to read if you’re in the mood for _____.” We all read so many different genres of books that we decided to each pick a topic to cover. On with the books!
Erin’s Picks: What to read if you’re in the mood for…Dark Faeries
1. Tithe by Holly Black
A far cry from the nice garden fairies you heard about growing up, the faeries in Tithe are brutal and ruthless and borderline evil. After Kaye moves back to her childhood home, she finds herself unwillingly drawn into the world of faerie, and must navigate her way around and through the dangerous politics of the courts if she wants stay alive.
Holly Black is one of my favorite authors ever, and queen of writing faeries, in my opinion.
2. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
“Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.”
Aislinn can see faeries, and when the Summer King takes an interest in making her his queen, Ash is thrown into the middle of a feud between the faerie courts that is on the brink of turning into an all-out war.
The Wicked Lovely series explores each of the courts in-depth, and gives us sympathy for every one, so there really isn’t a “villain” court, there are just villain faeries. That is part of why this is one of my favorite faerie stories.
Side note: Who else is excited for Melissa’s return to faeries with Seven Black Diamonds??? (It’s out TODAY!)
3. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
Half-human, half-Fae, Dana discovers she has the rare ability to cross between the worlds (Fae cannot cross into the human realm, and humans cannot cross into Faerie), and, as one is wont to do, she quickly becomes trapped in Fae politics, and must trick her way out if she wants to live.
Set in Avalon, a city where the Faerie and human worlds intersect, Glimmerglass uses the mythology in a very interesting way that keeps it from feeling overly repetitive.
4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
“When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.” (From Goodreads)
ACoTaR is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, as well as a faerie novel, and the superb writing makes the pages fly by.
5. The Good Neighbors: Kin by Holly Black & Ted Naifeh
When Rue’s mother disappears, her father is accused of killing her, though Rue doesn’t believe he did it. As time goes on, Rue starts seeing through the glamours of the faeries that populate her town, and she learns that her mother is faerie princess, who, thanks to a broken promise, is now dying.
The Good Neighbors is a graphic novel trilogy that expertly blends Ted Naif’s gorgeous artwork with Holly Black’s excellent storytelling.
Lisa’s Picks: What to read if you want…Wallflower Heroines
1. The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
Evangeline Jenner is a shy wallflower in a desperate situation, so she makes an outrageous marriage proposal to the most notorious rake in all of London, the Viscount Sebastian St. Vincent. He will get the inheritance she will soon obtain from her dying father, if he will protect Evangeline from her detestable relatives who are trying to kill her and gain said money. Evangeline is the perfect wallflower heroine who is extremely intriguing and very likable. You find yourself always rooting for her. I reread this book constantly, finding myself always enjoying how Evangeline conquers everything that is set down before her.
2. Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Penelope Featherington is one of my favorite fictional characters ever created. She is a wallflower for sure, but she is witty, clever, and feisty. She is subtle, she is strong, and she has such an amazing character development that when her you read her book you cannot help but cheer. She is in love with her best friends brother, and has been since she was young. She doesn’t wallow in it, she simply accepts it and moves on. She may be a wallflower, but she embraces it and uses it to her advantage.
3. Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
Another of my favorite wallflowers also comes from Lisa Kleypas. Beatrix Hathaway is a lover of animals and nature and prefers them to any ballroom you could set her down in. She is the wallflower whose story doesn’t reside in London but the countryside. A free spirit at heart, she hides away from the public and embraces the freedom of being herself and, thankfully, has a family who does the same. Beatrix is a nurturer and when our hero, Christopher, comes home from the war she sees a wounded animal that needs tending. She is a strong and brave heroine who will never give up on anything or anyone. To me that is most commendable.
4. Slightly Wicked by Mary Balogh
Judith Law is our impoverished wallflower who is headed to her dreadful aunt’s house to be a life-long companions living off of her charity. On her way there she meets our hero, Rannulf, on his way to see his grandmother who is trying to pressure him into marriage. Again. Judith is an amazing wallflower who is impulsive and risky, yet at the same time reserved and surprisingly lacking in confidence. What makes this book amazing is watching her find the balance between those traits and learning to rise above them.
5. Once Upon a Winter’s Eve by Tessa Dare
Violet Winterbottom is your quintessential wallflower stereotype. She is quiet, speaks six languages, and holds a secret. What I like about her is that unseen strength that one normally wouldn’t see unless they took the time too. Even thought this is a novella, you get volumes of Violet’s character and that strength. You get to watch as she rises above a very private heartbreak to help our hero, even whilst struggling with her own inner dilemmas and demons. She is a true wallflower heroine.
Amanda’s Picks: What to read when you want…Myths & Legends
1. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
The first book in The Lotus War series, Stormdancer is full of ancient Japanese culture, steam punk, and magic. Legend tells of the Arashi-no-odoriko (Stormdancers), legendary heroes of Shima’s past that rode Arashitora (Stormtigers) into battle. Arashitora are thought to be extinct, and with them the abilities of the Arashi-no-odoriko, but the tides are changing around the country of Shima.
2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I have been tearing through these books as of late and they are absolutely delightful! The story centers around a group of kids on the hunt for a legendary Welsh king who fled Wales and is supposedly buried somewhere in the New World (the US, particularly Virginia). Legend has it that he is only sleeping, and whoever can wake him will be granted a favor. This story is a great mix of myth, history, and engaging characters!
3. The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
Every night, when the sun goes down, demons arise from the bowels of the land to torment and kill. Legend tells of a Deliverer: a general who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons and pushed them back into the Core. But what will happen when two men, different as fire and water, claim the title? I adore these books for their world building, characters, and attention to detail. The story is compelling and steeped in rich cultures, making for an amazing read.
4. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
This series is unique, inventive, and enthralling. There is no legend set in motion with this series, but instead the lore and mythology of this series in amazing. Yeine, the main character, is thrust into a world of royalty, gods, and intrigue after her mother’s mysterious death.
5. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Although many have “witchery”, magic is dying in the Witchlands and only the legendary Cahr Awen, the light-bringer and the dark-giver, the world-starter and the shadow-ender, is the only one that can re-awaken the elemental wells and bring magic back into balance.
What books do you find yourself in the mood to read lately? Let us know in the comments!