The Cruel Prince – Holly Black
Can we all, please, take a moment of silence to truly appreciate this work of wonderment? The world and the characters and the narrative. All of it, not one downfall. Well, not in the actual pages anyway. But waiting another year, or so, for the next instalment? That could be a problem.
The world of faerie seems to be an ever giving treat. If you love the magical, the whimsical and the violent, then the lore surrounding it all is pretty tip top. It’s a very visually rich book, this one. Lots of colour and careful description. But when you’re not catching yourself a million miles away from your drab reality, you’re indulging in the characters Black spins for you.
The narrator Jude is a determined young woman, she’s bent on proving herself, as a mortal, to the faerie who think themselves more than her. As with your typical mortal teen there is sibling rivalry, parent problems (I mean intense parental issue’s that are not really relatable at all but still) and this yearning to be more and do more. So yeah, a pretty typical teen girl but like, not at all. She’s gifted with a sword and finds throughout the story that she has a penchant for the violent, no matter how much she realises the moral wrongs of it all. I like her, a lot and that has always been the most important aspect of a plot line for me.
There is some element of romance too but it’s all skewed and darkened, it’s refreshing. I’ve been re reading a load of my favourite teen paranormal romance recently so it’s nice to have a breather from all that cliche lovey dovey stuff. But I am eager to follow the arc of Jude and Cadan’s relationship. I’m very pro the grey area that shrouds all of the characters in this story, no one is who they seem or wholly good or evil. I think I’ve maybe gone on too much already but I could praise this book for pages. Maybe I’ll revisit it again.
Brave – Jennifer L Armentrout
New Armentrout releases make me a very happy book nugget indeed. Being one of my all time favourite authors, this release was especially exciting. Brave is the final book in the Wicked trilogy (though, that open ending has me praying for another, surprise addition) and follows the work of a secret organisation of badass humans, protecting us unassuming humans, from the world of the Fae. Throughout the series the plot unravels and reveals characters aren’t all they seemed and the enemy is a little closer to home. The plot is twisted with action sequences, a saucy, swoon worthy, romance and a whole lot of magic.
Ivy joins the long list of fierce female protagonist’s in Armentrouts repertoire and Ren claims a spot on the list of indulgent man candy. My absolute favourite is Tink, the cheeky brownie with the stellar one liners and the villains are obviously impressive in their own right too.
My only gripe is that the ending seemed a little too hasty for my liking, the final battle was kind of anti climatic. And there’s this scene that involves an army of troll dolls which, even for Armentrout and all her beautiful wit, was a teeny bit bizarre. Despite this, Armentrout continues to ultimately win at series endings as a whole, the closing chapter made my heart happy. As much as I love an intense story filled with surprise murders, a lot of the time it’s lovely to just have one of them good old happy endings.
Note To Self – Connor Franta
This is one of the more random picks of mine. I actually didn’t have a clue who Franta was until I read the ‘about the author’ segment at the back. This book is more of a solo anthology than a novel. A non-fiction prose and poetry collection, interluded with photographs (I own the proper full bodied book version back home and it’s a treat to flick through, beautiful images). It’s a publicised journal but also acts as a self help book all at the same time. Franta invites us into the difficult periods of his life, dealing with depression and his sexuality, to his creative pursuits and heartbreak. To say I resonated with the content is an understatement. There were so many pieces on mental health, creative living and self development that had me smiling and nodding along. I still haven’t ventured into Franta’s online presence but I have noted down his debut ‘Work in Progress’ on my ‘To Read’ list.
So there you have it folks, my top recent reads of the last couple weeks. As always I’m more than happy to discuss these books in the comments. And let me know what you’ve been reading lately, down there, too!
All the positive vibes, N x