December 8, 2017 by Zoë
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Obviously Laini Taylor was already wildly popular before she came out with this new book, but I am here to tell you that the popularity is for a good reason. She writes so beautifully and her plots are intricate and unexpected and strange. This book was beautiful and brutal and if you haven’t read it yet, you have to go out and do it now!
The Gold Seer Trilogy by Rae Carson
Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.
She also has a secret.
Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.
When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.
I remember seeing Walk on Earth a Stranger when it first came out and thinking that it sounded interesting. At the time, I think it was also hyped a lot, or at least enough for it to get on my radar, but I didn’t get around to reading it until this year. I regret not reading it sooner! This is a perfect blend of historical fiction and magic. It’s so good and I want more books like this.
The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.
I’ve seen these books floated lately as an example of a series that should be made into a TV show or movie, and people are right. This series is sweeping and cinematic, while also managing to focus on its individual characters. And I Darken was also one of the first ARCs I ever read, so I have a soft spot for this series as a whole (even if I didn’t get approved for an ARC of the sequel).
This post is part of my A Month of Faves series.