Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for February 26th, 2019 is: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit.
Title: Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles #1)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: Adult fantasy
Format: Kindle e-book
Published: By Harper Voyager on September 20th, 2018
Grade: Exceeds expectations
Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review
In the ancient halls of the Imperial University of Carthak, a young man has begun his journey to becoming one of most powerful mages the realm has ever known. Arram Draper is the youngest student in his class and has the Gift of unlimited potential for greatness . . . and of attracting danger.
At his side are his two best friends: clever Varice, a girl with too often-overlooked, and Ozorne, the leftover prince’ with secret ambitions. Together, these three forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms.
But as Ozorne inches closer to the throne and Varice grows closer to Arram’s heart, Arram realizes that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
Title: Roar (Stormheart #1)
Author: Cora Carmack
Genre: YA fantasy
Published: By Tor Teen on June 13th, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
(adapted from Goodreads)
Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
Title: In Calabria
Author: Peter S. Beagle
Genre: Fantasy (adult)
Published: By Tachyon Publications on January 16th, 2017
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
(adapted from Goodreads)
Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. But one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.
Note: I received an e-copy of this book via Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.
It’s a simple narrative, but at the same time comes off as deep and profound. Maybe it is because of the snatches of poetry and the thoughts of the farmer Claudio Bianchi, or the quiet majestic presence of the immortal unicorn. I went into this book without having read any of Peter S. Beagle’s earlier works, but I’d definitely heard of them. Being such a celebrated author in the circles of fantasy literature, I think I expected a lot more than what the book offered me.
I’d recommend this book first and foremost to animal lovers, those who enjoy good writing and readers of fantasy looking for a tale that is off the beaten path.
In terms of the music, rustic country or folk music would be the perfect accompaniment.
It is best digested with a cup of warm tea and a hint of oregano or Italian basil in the food, so use this is an excuse to gorge on pastas.
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: by Headline Review on September 19th, 2005
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
(adapted from Goodreads)
Stardust tells the story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. One fateful night, Tristran promises his beloved that he will retrieve a fallen star for her from beyond the Wall that stands between their rural English town (called, appropriately, Wall) and the Faerie realm. No one ever ventures beyond the Wall except to attend an enchanted flea market that is held every nine years (and during which, unbeknownst to him, Tristran was conceived). But Tristran bravely sets out to fetch the fallen star and thus win the hand of his love.
The first and foremost reason I enjoyed the book so much is Gaiman’s writing style. A fairytale for adults, Stardust makes you believe in love and magic again, but you have to be prepared to leave your reality behind in order to truly appreciate the book. It will sweep you away into a land that has an equal measure of light and dark, with memorable characters and a setting that will capture your imagination.
Please note that this book is definitely not for children as it is gory in certain places.
I would recommend this book to grown-ups who still have a little child in a sheltered corner of their heart, who’d like to step out of reality and experience the thrill of magic.
For the music, I was reminded of Fireflies by Owl City. You could listen to any music that reminds you of magic.
For the food, I’d suggest cupcake frosting – vanilla buttercream or cream cheese would both do the trick. (Warning: don’t go overboard with the quantity.)
Title: The Blazing Star
Author: Imani Josey
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Published: By Wise Ink Creative Publishing on 6th December, 2016
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Blazing Star opens with the protagonist, Portia, struggling to emerge out of the shadows of her brilliant twin sister, Alexandria. A history class involving a scarab beetle makes Portia sick and changes her demeanour as she picks a fight with two school bullies to rescue a strange freshman called Selene. A trip to the museum later, she finds herself transported to Ancient Egypt, where she uncovers the truth about the empire as well as herself.
Note: I received a free e-copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review
Ancient Egypt is a really rich time in history to explore and I did like the description, the Egyptian terms thrown in, the temples, the culture – basically everything. I felt like the book had the potential to be so much more. It seems like it aimed for the stars but only managed to reach the stratosphere. That said, I will read the next instalment because I’ve grown fond of many of the side characters. Also, that cover art is so beautiful, which is what drew me to the book initially.
I would recommend the book to people looking to escape into Ancient Egypt and to those looking for a diverse read.
For the music, Desert Rain by Edward Maya (feat. Vika Jigulina) perfectly captures the tone of the book, according to me.
I wouldn’t recommend any kind of food with this, but lots of water would help combat the scorching heat of the setting, so keep a bottle of water handy while you read.