An Ending & A Beginning
October started out so strong, I had such high hopes for so many things. And, on a personal level, it has not ended the best. So here's hoping that November delivers, especially with this extra hour Mother Nature has generously given us so we have more time, wait, hold on, she's sending me a text.
Well that that's disappointing. Apparently the extra hour is a one time only thing. That seems like a waste. Imagine all the extra books I could read with another hour?
Are you still with me after that incredibly weak joke? Excellent. Onto the good stuff, all the AMAZING and non-Spooky books I read this month. I only do baby-spooky-level books, so this should be no surprise. Behold:
The spookiest book here is Cemetery Boys, which had the most delightful ghost character and a lovely spooky aesthetic, but did not delve into the make you twitch and jump at every noise level of spook. Not pictured are Raybearer and Darius the Great is Not Okay, which I listened to on audio. Honestly, I keep waiting for my monthly reading totals to nose dive, but I've managed to maintain them so far...
Alright, this month held a book that was HUGE for me, as in I have been waiting for it since 2018 when I read book one of the series. If you know me, you know I'm OBSESSED with Furyborn by Claire Legrand. I have read the first book so many times (15ish? tbh I've kind of lost count). But I found Furyborn at exactly the right moment in my life and it crawled into my brain and now lives there rent free. Please enjoy this epic look at my current Furyborn collection (all that's missing is an ARC of Lightbringer, so if anyone has one of those lying around...I will give you whatever is left of my soul for it)
Aren't they beautiful? I also have the audiobooks, all read by the magnificent Fiona Hardingham so I can revisit them even if I'm away from home. For real though, when they do make this into a TV/movie experience, if Fiona does not do the voices for every single character, I am going to be so unhappy.
And finally, FINALLY, we were given the conclusion to this epic trilogy. Here is my no-spoiler review of Lightbringer:
I devoured this behemoth in just two days and it was a delight to binge read and an overall satisfying end to the trilogy. So, if badass assassin girls (who actually kill people), power hungry Queens who are done with being told what they *can't* do, and some amazingly cool magic paired with time traveling is your cup a tea, you should probably read this trilogy (as well as the rest of Legrand's works--they are SPECTACULAR).
The things that drew me in about Furyborn were how unapologetic both Rielle and Eliana were. It was one of the first times I saw this done so well (this isn't saying it isn't done well in other books, just that this was my first encounter). Every single character is fully realized and complex and I loved how both Eliana and Rielle continued to make bad choices they thought were good. And the world building is so, so beautiful. Every time I read, I see the story unfold in my head like the movie it deserves to be. I would die if this became a Netflix series or a movie. I feel like a Netflix series would work super well though. (CW (for entire trilogy): Physical/Mental/Emotional abuse, emotional manipulation, fantasy violence, parental death, child death)
I was able to buddy read it with a friend and it was excellent getting to swap theories and reactions as we went. I highly recommend buddy reading if you're able! So fun! And while Lightbringer brought this epic story to an end and left me with a book hangover, October came through for me with a brand new trilogy to agonize over for the next three or four years.
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn absolutely blew me away and helped eased the emptiness that filled me after finishing Lightbringer. The writing, the characters, the lore, the PLOT TWISTS. It was superb. Honestly my only complaint is that I can't devour book II today.
Bree's acceptance into the Early College program at North Carolina is her chance to get out into the world and move past the traumatic death of her mother just a year before. But, there are dark forces at work on campus. Adorably cute mentor-boys AND grumpy dangerous boys who just might kill you. Secret societies. M A G I C.
Bree is a fantastic protagonist and as though she doesn't have enough to deal with, she also has to work around the systematic racism that permeates campus. The book is brilliant. I gasped many a time. I cheered. I cried. There was so much to love here, it was hard to narrow it down. So I'm going to focus on the characters because they are so complex and amazing. Bree is my hands down favorite as she navigates her own personal traumas and is determined to get exactly what she came for. She's another excellent example of an unapologetic character. Her no nonsense approach was delightful. I really loved how she compartmentalized her hurt and trauma in what she calls a "before" and an "after" Bree. It was *chefs kiss* perfect.
My second favorite was Selwyn. I am always a fan of a grumpy but talented bodyguard with mercenary tendencies and Selwyn checks all the boxes. I'm not saying anything else about him, you deserve to read it and be as enamored as I was in the process of discovering his character. He is a delight. (CW: Parental death, Racism, PTSD, fantasy violence)
This book needs a Netflix show. Like yesterday. Please, Netflix, I beg you, option this (along with A Blade so Black, A River of Royal Blood, all of Caleb Roehring's books, and The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea. Because I need these shows in my life too. Srsly, Netflix, why are you sleeping on so many GREAT stories? Big mistake. Big. Huge.)
It was honestly the perfect read after Lightbringer. As one epic trilogy came to a close, another started. In a weird twist of fate, I somehow ended up with four copies of Legendborn...
It was the featured book in the October Owlcrate box and then I had a few pre-orders, and then in an even WEIRDER twist of fate, I won a copy from one of Claire Legrand's giveaways leading up to the release of Lightbringer. So I won a UK softback copy of the Lightbringer (not an ARC dangnabbit, but still! I AM EXCITE) and a copy of Legendborn. So, in the end, I had four copies of Legendborn gracing my shelves. One for every season you say? What a lovely idea!
BUT, HEAR ME OUT, WHAT IF I DID A GIVEAWAY INSTEAD?
One of my extra copies was mailed off to my sister who LOVES Arthurian legends so that we can buddy read it (okay, she can read it and then we can discuss since I've already read it). So that leaves me two regular copies (you bet your bippy I'm keeping that gorgeous signed Owlcrate edition) to rehome. I love BUDDY READING. It's so fun to read with a friend and wildly DM each other as you hit certain scenes and to cry or gasp or laugh with them. When I get a chance to buddy read, it just makes the reading experience that much better. So often reading happens in isolation or you read a book long before or long after a friend, but when you can read together in the moment, PERFECTION.
So for this giveaway, I'm looking to give a book to you and a buddy. Official entry is over on my Instagram, which you can find HERE. Like the post, comment and tag a friend who would buddy read with you. On November 10th, I'll choose a random person and you and your tagged buddy will be receiving copies of this AMAZING MASTERPIECE. Since I'm shipping on my own dime here, I do have to restrict it to USA only, sorry.
My November TBR goal pile is very small as I plan on NaNo-ing it up next month. I picked out five books that I have 110% confidence I will love as I've found that when I read a well written book, it inspires me to write. So I tried to curate my TBR with that in mind. I'm starting out with The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and the audio of The Dragon Republic.
Tell me about your best buddy read experience or what's on your November TBR in the comments and don't forget to head on over to Instagram to enter for your chance to win a copy of Legendborn for you and a friend!
Don't forget, if you'd like to purchase any of the books featured on my blog, head on over to my Bookshop page--it supports me, and, more importantly, INDIE BOOKSTORES!
Thanks for visiting and happy reading!