Tag Archives: Cinda Williams Chima

[TSS] Incoming! The Library Edition

This was a great week for me, library-wise – I had a bunch of holds come in, and then while I was doing my usual dash-in, dash-out to pick up my holds, I of course managed to snag a few more interesting titles.

Here are this week’s library treasures. First up, the print books:

NeverwhereNeverwhere, by Neil Gaiman.

It’s about time I read a Gaiman novel. This one looks like a good one to start with.

From the back cover:

Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart – and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed – a dark subculture flourishing in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city – a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known …

FingersmithFingersmith, by Sarah Waters.

I know. I don’t like historical fiction! But this one sounds just so intriguing … And thanks to my new bookmarking “system” (which works whenever I remember to use it, which thankfully I did this time around), I can give credit for adding this one to my TBR to Jill at Rhapsody in Books.

From the back cover:

London 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves – fingersmiths – under the rough but loving care of Mrs. Sucksby and her “family”. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue’s fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.

Alcatraz versus the Evil LibrariansAlcatraz versus the Evil Librarians, by Brandon Sanderson.

Seriously. How could I resist this one?

From the jacket flap:

A hero with an incredible talent … for breaking things.

A life-or-death mission … to rescue a bag of sand.

A fearsome threat from the powerful secret network that rules the world … the evil Librarians.

Alcatraz Smedry doesn’t seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them! … by infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness.

The Children's BookThe Children’s Book, by A.S. Byatt.

This addition to my TBR is courtesy of Molly at The Cozy Book Nook, and, although I didn’t have my bookmarking system in place at the time, the first seed of wanting this book was planted way back last summer, at Things Mean a Lot.

From the back cover:

Olive Wellwood is a famous writer, interviewed with her children gathered at her knee. For each, she writes a private book, bound in its own colour and placed on a shelf. In their rambling house near Romney Marsh the children play in a storybook world – but their lives, and those of their rich cousins and friends, are already inscribed with mystery. Each family carries its own secrets.

Born at the end of the Victorian era and growing up in the golden summers of Edwardian times, a whole generation was unaware of the darkness ahead; in their innocence, they were betrayed unintentionally by the adults who loved them.

The Dragon HeirThe Dragon Heir, by Cinda Williams Chima.

I read the first book in the series, The Warrior Heir, during my own recent personal mini-readathon weekend. I immediately placed holds on both the sequels in the trilogy. Unfortunately, The Dragon Heir is the final book in the series, so I will probably have to renew this one (if I can!) while I wait for The Wizard Heir to come in from the library.

From the jacket flap:

The covenant that was meant to keep the wizard wars at bay has been stolen, and Trinity must prepare for attack.  Everyone is doing their part — Seph is monitoring the Weirwalls; Jack and Ellen are training their ghostly army; even Anaweir Will and Fitch are setting booby traps around the town’s perimeter.  But to Jason Haley, it seems like everyone wants to keep him out of the action.  He may not be the most powerful wizard in Trinity, but he’s prepared to fight for his friends.  When Jason finds a powerful talisman –a huge opal called the Dragonheart–buried in a cave, his role takes on new importance.  The stone seems to sing to Jason’s very soul — showing him that he is meant for more than anyone guessed.  Trinity’s guardians take the stone away after they realize that it may be a weapon powerful enough to save them all.  Without any significant power of his own, and now without the stone, what can Jason possibly do to help the people he cares about — and to prove his mettle?

Madison Moss can feel the beating heart of the opal, too.  The desire for it surges through her, drawing her to it.  But Maddie has other things besides the Dragonheart on her mind.  She has a secret.  Ever since absorbing the magical blow that was meant to kill Seph, she’s been leaking dark powers.  Although Maddie herself is immune to magic, what would her friends think if they knew what kind of evil lay within her?  Trinity’s enemies are as enthusiastic about her powers as she is frightened.  They think they can use her to get to the Dragonheart — and they’ll use anyone Maddie cares about to make her steal the stone for them.

Moral compasses spin out of control as a final battle storms through what was once a sanctuary for the gifted.  With so much to lose, what will Jason and Maddie be willing to fight for — and what will they sacrifice?  Every man is for himself in this thrilling conclusion to the Heir trilogy.

And the audiobooks:

The Nine TailorsThree Lord Peter Wimsey audiobooks came in: the unabridged versions, narrated by Ian Carmichael, of Striding Folly and Unnatural Death, and the BBC radio dramatization of The Nine Tailors.

All three audiobooks are in my TBR now courtesy of Memory, who has been on a Sayers reading streak – her reviews of Strong Poison, Have His Carcase and Gaudy Night reminded me it’s been a long while since I last read a Lord Wimsey book. And I decided, what better way to get reaquainted then in audio?

Monster in the BoxMonster in the Box, by Ruth Rendell. I was also thrilled to have this one come in – it’s the new Inspector Wexford book by Rendell (I also have the print version on hold). I’m really looking forward to this one:

Outside the house where Wexford investigated his first case – a woman found strangled in her bedroom – he noticed a short, muscular man wearing a scarf and walking a dog. He gave Wexford an unnerving stare. Without any solid evidence, Wexford began to suspect that this man – Eric Targo – was the killer. Over the years there are more unsolved, apparently motiveless murders in the town of Kingsmarkham and Wexford continues to quietly suspect that the increasingly prosperous Targo – van driver, property developer, kennel owner and animal lover – is behind them.

Now, half a lifetime later, Wexford spots Targo back in Kingsmarkham after a long absence. Wexford tells his long time partner, Mike Burden, about his suspicions, but Burden dismisses them as fantasy. Meanwhile, Burden’s wife, Jenny, has suspicions of her own. She believes that the Rahmans, a highly respectable immigrant family from Pakistan, may be forcing their daughter, Tamima, into an arranged marriage – or worse.

I think I’ve got a great few weeks of reading (and listening!) ahead of me. What great books came into your hands this week?

Weekend of Reading: Warrior Heir, Devil’s Kiss, The Forever King and Inkheart

For the first time in a long while, this past weekend I found myself without a deadline to complete for Monday; I also wasn’t fresh from a deadline completed on the previous Friday (an event which usually requires a day of do-nothing downtime).

Which is why this past weekend turned into a weekend of reading for me. I had a glorious time!

The Warrior Heir, by Cinda Williams Chima

The Warrior HeirI started with The Warrior Heir, by Cinda Williams Chima. I would love to give credit to the blogger who originally added this book to my TBR list, but unfortunately I must have stumbled on this book before I started using Diigo to bookmark TBRs.

I know that I discovered this title as a result of another blog, because when I picked it up from the library (I had put in a request for it) I didn’t even recognize the title! It wasn’t until I read the jacket copy that I vaguely remembered reading something about it online.

So, whoever you are – thank you very much! I started my reading spree this weekend with The Warrior Heir, and I enjoyed the book immensely. I ended up putting in requests at the library for the two sequels (both of which were checked out) and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will come in (1) in the proper order for reading and (2) during a period where I am not flooded with deadlines.

Set initially in the small town of Trinity, Ohio, the novel tells the story of Jack, a bright high school kid who one day forgets to take the medicine he’s taken every day of his life, and discovers he’s not who he’s always thought himself to be. Soon he’s immersed in an astonishing world of magical beings, with a tie-in to the War of the Roses.

I really enjoyed the world-building in The Warrior Heir; urban fantasy remains a favorite of mine, but I’ve read enough in the genre to know that building a realistic world that fits snugly within our own modern world can be challenging. Chima pulls it off with aplomb, and offers up a great cast of characters and a gripping storyline as well.

Devil’s Kiss, by Sarwat Chadda

Devil's KissFresh from finishing The Warrior Heir, I plunged into Devil’s Kiss, by Sarwat Chadda.  In this darker novel, the order of the Knights Templar still exists, headquartered in Middle Temple in contemporary London, and its latest member is 16-year-old Billi SanGreal, the only female in the order – and Billi’s not at all certain she wants to live the harsh, violent life of a Templar.

This was another exciting read, although I did enjoy The Warrior Heir more. At times I found Billi to be just a little too full of angst for my taste – her desire for a normal teenage life is certainly understandable but she sometimes got too whiny and obstinate about it. After all, a small dose of angst goes a long way when there are terrible creatures to be fought and you and your fellow Knights are the only thing standing between humanity and the evil that seeks to plague them.  For the most part, though, I enjoyed her character, the storyline and the alternate world of the Knights Templar, filled as it is with mysticism, conflict and evil creatures.

Not to mention, Devil’s Kiss has one of the most compelling first lines I’ve read in a while:

Killing him should be easy; he’s only six.

What an irresistible opening line!

The Forever King, by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy

After finishing Devil’s Kiss, I found myself still hungry for urban fantasy, so I decided to go for a reread next.

The Forever KingThe Forever King, by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy is an old favorite of mine. The book begins in New York City, where we meet Hal Woczniak, an alcoholic ex-FBI agent, Arthur Blessing, a ten-year-old orphan who lives with his Aunt Emily and a mysterious older gentleman by the name of Mr. Taliesin. Meanwhile, in a psychiatric hospital in England, a serial killer with no name who had entombed his victims in sculptures puts into motion a plan of escape.

The action moves quickly from the very start, and the storyline goes back and forth from contemporary to historical times. It is, as the title implies, a retelling of the Arthurian legend, with both a historical and a contemporary twist. At its core is the age-old fight for the Grail, a cup made of an unknown substance with miraculous healing powers.

Unfortunately, the book is no longer in print, but if you enjoy novels that involve Arthurian legend and a contemporary setting, this is a book to grab if you ever see a used copy floating around.

Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke

InkheartAnd finally, at long last, I started Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke. This book has been in my TBR pile for a long time now, and it seemed like a natural book to reach for this weekend, since I was immersing myself in urban fantasy.

I’m in the middle of the book right now; it’s a good read, although I do find my interest flagging a little. I suspect, though, that things are just about to get exciting again, as Mo, Meggie’s father, has a certain plan up his sleeve and while I do have a good inkling what it involves, it will be interesting to see how it all works out.

This weekend of reading has also proved to be very educational too in terms of my writing – but I’ll save those thoughts for another post!