Hello Reading Compadres! Read any good books in March? Do tell! As for me, while February was characterized as a ‘meh’ month reading-wise, March more than made up for it. A long-awaited pre-order came out, and it most definitely did not disappoint. And best of all, what every reader lives for — I discovered a new author who totally rocked my month to the tune of an awesome, and quickly devoured, trilogy.
If you’ve been following my monthly reading blogs, then you will know that V.E. Schwab has recently become one of my very favorite writes. While her Darker Shade of Magic trilogy had been on my radar for a while, it was her runaway best seller, The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue that completely converted me to Schwab and had me binge reading all Schwab, all the time J That being the case, it should come as no surprise that I had pre-ordered her latest YA standalone, Gallant several months before its release. While written for a slightly younger audience that the YA I usually read, I would wholeheartedly recommend Gallant to any age reader. Gallant is the story of what makes family and home told from the point of fourteen-year-old orphan, Olivia. Olivia is mute, and yet her character is one of the most eloquent and well drawn I have recently read. This novel is not to be missed, no matter how old you are. It has convinced me once again that Schwab is a goddess in her realm.
The other highlight of my reading month was the discovery of dark fantasy author, Jen Williams. OMG! Where has this author been all of my life. While at loose ends looking for my next read, I downloaded a sample of Williams’ The Ninth Rain, the first novel of The Winnowing Flame series. I didn’t stop reading until I had hungrily devoured the whole trilogy and ended up with big book- bereavement. Jen Williams has definitely not gotten the press she so well deserves. The Winnowing Flame series ticked every box and some I didn’t realize needed to be ticked. A middle-aged woman who is the head of a family of vintners, teams up with a drunken Eborian (think Fae who isn’t really Fae) running away from his dying land and a fire witch escaped from a notorious institution that exploits her kind team up to save their world from another wave of off-world invaders that are a nightmare mix of Borg and Heinlin’s Bugs. The characters a vibrant, well drawn and beautifully flawed. The chemistry between them is effervescent. Forced to work together, their mistrust is replaced with true friendship. The plot is nail biting and electric, with that delicious blend of fantasy, scifi and horror. If Williams didn’t already have me with this smorgasbord of reading delights, she brings in the dragon!
If you’ve not read anything by Jen Williams, do so without further delay, but don’t expect to sleep until the last book is finished. This month’s best read has to be The Winnowing flame trilogy.
In other news, I’ve just returned from another fabulous writing retreat at Northmoor House near Exmoor. I spent most of my time preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April, so the reading will probably be sharply curtailed next month, but I’m all set to tackle another thirty day write-athon.
Next week there’ll be another episode of Dragon Ascending, so do check in. In the meantime, happy reading! If you have a book you think I absolutely must read, drop me a message.