Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: New to Me Authors I Read in 2018

Howdy!

It’s the first ever Top 10 Tuesday for my blog! One of my resolutions for this year is to add more content to GoodeyReads and I know this will be a step in the right direction.

This is a handful of New to Me authors (and I defined that by those I hadn’t read before, but maybe knew who they were) from last year!

Cinda Williams Chima

Oh y’all. This was one of my top favorite series from last year, and it is on my all time list. WHY DID I WAIT TO READ THIS? I’m super excited to start her following series, Shatter Realms, soon.

Brandon Sanderson

I held off on reading Sanderson for fear I wouldn’t love him as much as everyone else seems to. I was wrong. This series is wonderful, I’m currently in the midst of The Hero of Ages and plan to continue listening to the Cosmere.

Grace Draven

Seen on a Bookstagram post I took a leap of faith and absolutely adored this fantasy romance. It was different, passionate, and I have plans to read more of her books this year!

Rachel Caine

These are the first dystopian-based books I have read in a long time and have been completely enraptured (after the Hunger Games/Divergent era I was so over the concept). I love The Great Library series and can’t wait til the next book comes out.

Kristina Perez

My first of her books (and I believe one of her first novels too!). Totally swept away in this historical, magical romance. I was shook at the ending (because I did not know the tale it’s based off of) so I am all for the sequel this fall!!

Ron Chernow

I went through a history phase during the summer and read both of these practically back to back (these are 2,000 pages combined — yikes). I love love the way Chernow writes. It’s a history book that I’m captivated by. He tells the good, bad, and ugly of these men and I feel such a deeper understanding of American history by reading them.

Adrienne Young

VIKINGS Y’ALL. A beautiful debut standalone. She announced plans for a new book soon in the same realm (but years later with a new main character) and I squealed when I heard.

Kristin Hannah

Historical fictions are my jam. I was so engrossed in this I’m pretty sure I finished it in a day. It’s heart-breaking, soul-finding, and a strong story of a heroine I could cheer for.

Neal Shusterman

OH MY GOODNESS. THIS SERIES IS AMAZING. A librarian convinced me I would appreciate these, and she was on point (don’t we all love librarians?). Jaw dropping twists and cliff hangers galore.

Holly Black

Oh, I know at this point you’ve heard of her too. I never realized what I was missing until these cruel and wicked tales (see what I did there?). I think I’ll be looking in to her other books this year.

There ya have it! Ten authors I only read last year. Which authors are some of your fav? Did I definitely wait too long on some? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book Review

Radiance (Wraith Kings #1) by Grace Draven

Radiance

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy romance, love scenes, minor language, violence
Length: 297 pages
Author: Grace Draven
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: January 13th, 2015 (first published Feb. 2014)
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.

THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

JUST WHAT I NEEDED.

This was exactly what I expected this book to be and exactly what I felt like reading! A solid fantasy romance that was unique in its own ways.

First of all, Brishen and Ildiko? They don’t hate each other. Yes, forced to marry, but both of them are actually decent creatures who decided to make the best of a situation they didn’t choose. Refreshing to say the least.

While I could have used a little more angst between the two (they almost got along too well) it was nice that they seemed to appreciate each other. It was charmingly funny that they initially thought each other absolutely hideous.  Of course it was a huge play on don’t judge a book by its cover, but I don’t hate that trope…when done well. The slow burn of Brishen and Ildiko seeing the potential of a romantic relationship had me saying, yaaass. 

Besides those points, it’s nothing new for the genre or ground-breaking in anyway, but I was craving a solid romantic fantasy that I could drift away into for a bit and this delivered. Some pieces of the story aren’t fully fleshed out (the magic system, the other kingdom, etc.). It didn’t detract from the story though.

I liked the side characters and thought they played their roles well. Each brought a different angle in the communications between Kai and humans. I was a little disappointed in the epilogue because I thought it would be a little more epic (if you’ve read it tell me!!) but I’m definitely interested in the next book for this series!

Overall audience notes:
– Fantasy romance
– Minor, barely there language
– Detailed love scenes
– Violence (arrows, knives, torture)