Time for some book talk! Here’s a few reads I’ve worked my way through recently:
The Paper Magician Trilogy by Charlie N. Holmberg. I first picked up this series because of the covers (so sue me, I’m a designer). This is a YA fantasy series with just a hint of steampunk-ness. It takes place in an alternate early 1900’s England, where magic is widely practiced, but only on man-made materials. And a magician can only pick one material to be their life’s focus. Ceony, new graduate from magic school, is assigned an apprenticeship in paper, not her material of choice. Add in an eccentric but kind mentor, gruesome forbidden magic, the whimsy of origami, and of course some typical YA romance leanings and you get a fresh take on some standard tropes. I just finished the 3rd book last night. Overall, this has been a fun series to whip through. 3.5/5 stars.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. This is one to pick up if you like intrigue, politics, and long-game revenge. Baru Cormorant is a happy islander child, smart and with great survival instincts. When the Empire comes calling and takes over, it devastates her family and her island. Catching the eye of an Empire scout, she is offered a place in their new school. She sees it as a chance to worm her way into the Empire and change (or dismantle) it from within. The lengths she’ll go to to accomplish that, and the secrets she has to hide along the way, make for a tense book. The last part of the book did get a bit bogged down in military happenings (that stuff always bores me to tears) but that’s not going to keep me from grabbing the next book to see what happens. 3.5/5 stars.
The Sanctuary Duet by Carol Berg. Somehow I only just discovered this most recent series by one of my favorite authors. Luckily, both books are already out, and I pored through them. This duo focuses on Lucian, member of the elite Pureblood Registry, which monitors magicians. Lucian is special in that he has two magical talents: for art, and for history. But after a youthful indiscretion, half of his magic is stripped, and his only option is to contract to a lowly coroner drawing portraits of the dead. When it becomes apparent that his 2nd talent isn’t as gone as he thought, and that the secrets it reveals are supremely dangerous, off sparks the story. It’s part mystery, part fantasy, part quest. There are a few twists and surprises, too. Berg’s talent for character writing is as strong as ever, and watching Lucian progress from the beginning of the first book to the end of the second is the stuff that makes happy readers. 4/5 stars.
Apparently I’m on a fantasy kick at the moment. I’m not hating it. 🙂
What are you reading lately? Any recommendations?