Tag Archives: V. E. Schwab

My Reading Highlights for March

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.


My Best Reads for January


Happy February, my Lovelies! Whether you struggled through January wet or dry, hopefully a few good books eased the journey into the coming longer days, as they did for me. One of the innovations I’m adding to the blog for 2022 is post at the beginning of each month about what writers love to do best – next to writing, of course. No! I’m not talking about sex, you naughty people! That is obviously in a league of its own. Writers love to read. In fact they’re passionate about reading, and almost all us wish we had more time for it.


Every writer will tell you that reading is as much a part of writing as putting words on the page. Every book I read makes me a better writer. But that’s a post yet to come.


I tend to binge read when I discover an author I really like, and January’s author for my big binge was the fabulous V. E. Schwab. If you’ve not read anything by her, then you are seriously missing out. You may recall my favorite book of 2021 happened to be one of her novels – the first of hers I’d ever read. The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue. is magical realism at its best and a great place to begin to get to know this amazing writer.  Imagine making a deal with the devil to live a life different from the one being forced up on you, then finding yourself cursed with immortality, always to remember every experience, but never to be remembered by anyone. For Addie La Rue, the only way out is to call in the deal and hand over her soul. In fact I was so impressed that I spent a great deal of my January reading with Schwab’s novels.



I’d been contemplating V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic series for some time, and after reading Addie La Rue, I knew it had to happen. ADSM is nothing like Addie, and yet equally skillfully written and gripping. ADSM is pure fantasy with a touch of alternate Regency England style thrown in for good measure. The trilogy is set in a world where four Different Londons exist at the same time in the same space. They are all different, all dangerous and all craving the magic only Red London has, with only three people who can travel between them. I spent a lot of time reading when I should have been sleeping. Sorry/not sorry!



It wasn’t enough. I had to have more. Sooooo, I read her duology, The Archived, written as Victoria Schwab, and more sleep was lost in more delectable late-night reading. The Archived is YA urban fantasy at its best with a dark and gripping twist on the afterlife. Unputdownable.



Yup, my book-loving compadres, V. E. Schwab is, hands down, my choice for January’s Best Author of the Month. If you’re looking for some seriously fun, totally gripping reading that will keep you reading far to late into the night, be sure to check out V. E. Schwab.


I’m hoping to have something special for you next week, so please check in to find out my favorite condiments for the month. 🙂 Just kidding. But who doesn’t like a good condiment recommendation, right?