Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

Helllloooo Top Ten Tuesday!

I had a really tough time with this one! Mostly because a lot of the books I read involve war. And nobody wants to travel there during hard times, ya know?

So, let’s all operate under the assumption that there is peace in the land and I’m going on a summer holiday.

Velaris

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) by SJM

I am completely predictable and I am okay with this. Velaris is the first place I’d visit. It’s the City of Starlight! I would love to visit all of the different city squares.

Jurassic Park

by Michael Crichton

I am obsessed with dinosaurs. Have been since I was a little. And all I want in life is to go to a park (not be attacked) and look at dinosaurs. Why hasn’t science caught up to this yet!?

Caraval

by Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…and it’s a game I want to play! How cool would a travelling magical carnival type mystery game be? SO COOL. I would find a way to get a ticket and I would be happy just being there.

Orynth

Kingdom of Ash (ToG #7) by SJM

I really only want to go here to meet Rowan, but can you blame me?

Red London

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I loved this series and would love to travel like Kell through all of the London’s! Well, except Black London, of course.

Warcross

by Marie Lu

In such a digital age it would be awesome to have a game like Warcross to play. I feel it would be like the Sims games, but even more realistic. Maybe something along the lines of Second Life from The Office (please someone tell me they know that reference haha).

Italy

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

While this isn’t a fantasy or exotic location, I have always wanted to travel here. And Love & Gelato gave me all the wanderlust to travel the countrysides of Italy.

Grishaverse

Shadow & Bone Trilogy, SoC Duology and Nikolai Duology
by Leigh Bardugo

Using only this cover for the entire world, but put me anywhere in this land and I will be a happy camper. Though, I’d be an even happier camper if you put me in Nikolai’s palace…

Le Cirque des Rèves

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Circus of Dreams — oh how I would love to go to this circus too! I clearly have an affinity for traveling troops of magic. This is one of my favorite stand-alone fantasies and I highly recommend it!

Weep

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

This duology was so enchanting. And the city of Weep is intriguing. Checking out the libaries, seeing the citadel with the Gods. What a holiday!

Do you want to travel to any of these places too? Let’s go together! Let me know in the comments. Happy Tuesday!

Book Review

Book Review: King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 528 pages
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Imprint
Release Date: January 29th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal. 

THIS. WAS. AMAZING.

Note: While there won’t be any spoilers from KoS, PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE READING if you haven’t read Bardguo’s other Grisha novels (Shadow and Bone / Six of Crows). There will be spoilers to those stories.

I was all for this book from seriously chapter two. I could not put it down. What was even greater was that this book isn’t high action. Yes, there is quite a bit of action, but the story itself keeps you so involved there is hardly a moment of pause. Plenty of literal jaw-dropping moments that will leave you gasping. It’s biggest draw is that we get to see the characters from Shadow and Bone AND Six of Crows mix. This is the real winning moment.

“The monster is me and I am the monster.”

The whole theme of the novel is over-coming your demons. Each of our main POVs (Nikolai, Nina & Zoya) are all battling something; both physically and mentally. I loved how each story was approached and how they all differed in the handling of the situation. These characters arcs are going to be utterly devastating.

Okay, first of all. I AM ALL OVER NIKOLAI AND ZOYA. I didn’t love Zoya the first time I met her (Sh&Bone), but KoS allowed a look at her background. She slowly grew on me, with all of her sass, and the fact she owns her beauty. I love her all the more for her stubborn protective streaks and her fiery nature. And the things she gained along this journey? Queen of the storms indeed.

My dear, sweet, fox, Nikolai. Oh how I love you. Y’all. This has got to be one of my top characters of all time. He is so clever and charming. I want to be in his presence always. Bardugo’s ability to write the best conversation scenes leave me giggling and in awe every time. All I want is his happiness and for him to have Ravka in some semblance of peace. Apparently, this is a lot to ask for currently.

“One could plot espionage and still hope for dessert.”

Now, Nina. Her story was the only one that fell a little flat for me. Her grief over Matthias though? That made me want to sob. Those emotions were raw and broke me. The rest of her story was good, yes, but I think will be better in the second book. I hope that all of these characters come back together! I was really hooked on Matthias and since I clearly haven’t gotten over that I’m still warming up to Nina’s supposed love interest: Hanne. I like her, and I think as her character opens up I will love her. They need more time for me to really see their relationship. Hanne’s character is strong and passionate, so I can definitely get behind that.

This is getting a little long-winded. Whoops. Can you see how much I loved this book? I’ll close up soon because we have to discuss the ending…

…But we can’t, because I would spoil it for you. For real, I went into full panic mode at the end. So many gut-punching twists. I am stunned and questioning everything I know at this point. BOOK TWO COMES OUT WHEN?

“Anything worth doing always starts with a bad idea.”

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy: Need to have read previous Grishaverse novels to really understand whole scope of story
  • Very little language
  • Violence: physical, poison, gun, knives, magic, etc.
  • Romance: so much romantic tension, AHH
  • Trigger warnings: mistreatment of pregnant women, mentions of miscarriage, drug addiction, murder
Book Talk

2019 Most Anticipated Releases

I am so hyped for all the new books in 2019!! This is a compilation of some of my top choices for reading this year.

The only books that don’t have an official release date are Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas (super thrilled to see what story she’ll give us next) and The Bone Season #4 by Samantha Shannon (I can NOT be the only one waiting for this!?)

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer: Very fortunate to be currently reading an ARC – Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury YA!
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo: She is one of my top insta-buy authors
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black: The hype is real with this one; hope it doesn’t disappoint!
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden: Best December present was receiving an ARC of this via Netgalley and Del Ray!
  • Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller: Real obsessed with this author after her debut, Daughter of the Pirate King
  • Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith: the synopsis + the hype = an impatient reader
  • Sherwood by Meagan Spooner: I enjoyed her Beauty and the Beast re-telling (Hunted), which makes me intrigued for this gender-bend Robin Hood story!
  • Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi: Impatiently waiting for this cover and this book because HOLY CLIFF HANGER
  • The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews: Her debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, was a bitter-sweet story & I expect great things from her next novel
  • Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan: Another uber-hyped book I can’t wait for!!
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber: BE EXCITED WITH ME, THIS FINALE WILL BE EPIC
  • Rage by Cora Carmack: I HAVE BEEN WAITING TWO YEARS

  • Dark Age by Pierce Brown: I am here for all things related to Red Rising
  • Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez: The first book in this series left me shook. I’m so excited to see what happens next!!
  • Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2) by Mary E. Pearson: Okay, I’m still recovering from that ending.
  • The World of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I must have more of ToG
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh: I have loved all of her duologies, so of course I’m buying her next one!
  • Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare: Did someone say MORE WILL HERONDALE!?
  • This seems to be the only month I don’t have any known releases. Is there something I need to add? Let me know!

Are any of these on your TBR for 2019? Let’s chat in the comments!