I made the error of realising I could fit in another small bookshelf a few weeks ago so of course I’ve had to get some extra books to start filling it with!
It was lovely to be able to visit a bookshop again, and I’m very happy with my new books. In my stack are…
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…
I can’t remember which blogger quoted the opening of this book on Twitter during a discussion about prologues but it stuck with me and I couldn’t resist adding this one to my book shelf.
The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
Taryn Cornick barely remembers the family library. Since her sister was murdered, she’s forgotten so much.
Now it’s all coming back. The fire. The thief. The scroll box. People are asking questions about the library. Questions that might relate to her sister’s murder.
And something called The Absolute Book.
A book in which secrets are written – and which everyone believes only she can find. They insist Taryn be the hunter. But she knows the truth.
She is the hunted . . .
I love the sound of this one and stories about mysterious books are exactly my thing.
Sistersong by Lucy Holland
535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador’s children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.
Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.
All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.
This was the Goldsboro Books SFF choice for this month and the cover and edges are absolutely gorgeous. I’m not sure whether I’d have chosen this one myself but it sounds good and I joined the club to try different books so it will definitely be on my TBR for May.
People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield
London, 1888: Susannah rushes into marriage to a young and wealthy surgeon. After a passionate honeymoon, she returns home with her new husband wrapped around her little finger. But then everything changes.
Thomas’s behavior becomes increasingly volatile and violent. He stays out all night, returning home bloodied and full of secrets. The gentle caresses she enjoyed on her wedding night are now just a honeyed memory.
When the first woman is murdered in Whitechapel, Susannah’s interest is piqued. But as she follows the reports of the ongoing hunt for the killer, her mind takes her down the darkest path imaginable. Every time Thomas stays out late, another victim is found dead.
Is it coincidence? Or is her husband the man they call Jack the Ripper?
This one has been on my list to pick up for a while, looking forward to reading it.
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must sign a nondisclosure agreement in return for the rather large sum of money.
Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth-shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. But the arrival of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment weakened its power and endangered its practitioners. Magic stopped working altogether in 1851, at the time of the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace—the world’s fair celebrating the rise of industrial technology and commerce. Something about the modern world “jams” the “frequencies” used by magic, and it’s up to Tristan to find out why.
And so the Department of Diachronic Operations—D.O.D.O. —gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back, and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive . . . and meddle with a little history at the same time. But while Tristan and his expanding operation master the science and build the technology, they overlook the mercurial—and treacherous—nature of the human heart.
Another one that’s been on my list for a while, I’ve kept putting it off because its super chunky but this seems to be my year for reading big books so I’m going to give it a go.