Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2020

Hi everyone! Welcome to my September monthly wrap-up post. I am sure these will evolve over time, but for now I’ll include Book Coven book club, fave books you can buy now, books to look out for and books I want to read soon. September has been an average month of reading. There have been some greats and some misses. I also had a nasty cold for about a week which sucked a lot!

Book Club

Every month the mods of the Book Coven get us to suggest books that make up the book club bracket. We then vote all the way through to a final, and that’s the book we read together over the course of 3 weeks. Then the amazing Paragraphs and Pages asks us some super insightful questions and off we go.

This month we read The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant. This is an action packed story with no less than 3 love interests! Even better, the main character Nina does not care. She’s determined to get her sister back – and punish her enemies for all of their wrongs. The book is described as Les Mis x The Jungle Book, but I can’t comment on how accurate that is having never seen Les Mis. If you’re looking for a dark, action packed YA story then this will be the book for you. You can see my review here.

Next month we will be reading two books because we couldn’t decide between them! Looking forward to reading A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik and re-reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.

Favourites

On to my favourite books this month that you can pick up in stores right now. There were a few standouts this month – one of them being A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. It is set in the UK – with the central character Pip completing her final year of A-levels and along with it the EPQ (an extended project that usually forms part of a gifted and talented scheme). Pip is a really determined, bookish character that definitely knows how to stand up for what she thinks is right. This is an excellent YA thriller / murder mystery and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. You can see my review here.

I also finished Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin series by reading the additional duology Courting Darkness and Igniting Darkness. I’m not sure I enjoyed them as much as the original trilogy but they were no doubt 5 star-worthy reads in my mind. This is a story about female assassins who have all had rough childhoods but get their revenge. Robin LaFevers writes such powerful protagonists – you can find my reviews here and here. I read them as part of the #ConquerAChonker challenge and I’m so glad I finished them!

To wrap up this section – another favourite was my read of an eARC of Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. This is honestly such a wonderful YA book that is out in the world right now! It has magic, demons and has a lot of King Arthur mythology. It should be right at the top of your to be read because it has amazing messages and an absolutely wild ending. You can read my review here, but my friend Janel summed up how I felt about it even better over on their blog here.

Books to Look Out For

I had the pleasure of reading many amazing eARCs from NetGalley this month. I’ve already mentioned Legendborn but there have been many more.

One of the best eARCs I read was Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly. It’s released in the UK on 20th October – and it’s absolutely brilliant! Jennifer Donnelly is the queen of feminist fairy-tale retellings. First she wrote Stepsister set in the world of Cinderella, and this time it’s the world of Snow White that she explores. Here is my review, hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Another book I enjoyed was Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco. This one releases on October 22nd, and is a super story rooted in a more traditional approach to witchcraft. It is set around a restaurant in Sicily – the food descriptions are divine and this is sure to make you hungry. I wish the romance was a bit more prominent in the story, but I am sure it will come through even more in the next book in the series!

For a short book, The Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Harruna Attah sure does pack in a lot. This one follows two sisters, Hassana and Husseina, who are separated when their home village is raided. The two pursue separate paths in Brazil and on The Gold Coast – but will they ever be re-united? Loved how this book captured the complicated relationship between sisters, it’s a really emotional story that releases October 15th.

Next month?

October is going to be a wild month of reading for me! Book Coven has made a Disney inspired bingo full of awesome prompts – but I’m probably going to skip and do some non-prompt based reading for the time being.

You can see the books of my fall to be read on my Top Ten Tuesday post. October is my Leigh Bardugo month so catch my re-reading Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars and Ninth House, along with The Lives of Saints which is also releasing in October!

New purchases include The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Can’t wait to read these either!

That’s all from me, hope you enjoyed this book and also had a great month of reading. Looking forward to seeing what everybody has been up to. Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post? What did you think?

Book Review: Courting Darkness

Robin LaFevers has smashed it again with this follow up to the His Fair Assassin trilogy (Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart). Courting Darkness is another stunning historical fantasy set after the events of Mortal Heart. We are re-united with Sybella, one of the assassins of St Mortain, and introduced to Genevieve, an assassin sent to France at a young age to wait to be called upon. Now, with the Duchess of Brittany married to the King of France, that time has arrived.

Star rating: 5 stars

What I love about Robin LaFevers is that her female characters can all protect themselves. Sure, they fall in love, but they also rescue their lovers, which is awesome. Sybella and Beast are still going strong as they travel to France with the Duchess so she can take her place as the Queen of France. There are new threats from the Regent, and old threats are still haunting Sybella in the form of her old family. Pierre wants his sisters back, but Sybella wants to keep Charlotte and Louise with her.

Genevieve is in Cognac, and after finding a mysterious prisoner, forms a bond with him. The pair escape and begin and adventure together. The romance between Genevieve and Mauraud is HOT. Robin LaFevers really knows how to write a good romance story, and in every book there was been a magnificent one. I really can’t wait to see what happens in Igniting Darkness with these two who are so perfect or each other.

This is a fast-paced, action-packed book with characters that I can’t help but love. It also ends on a cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the final instalment of the duology, Igniting Darkness. I read this book as part of the #ConquerAChonker challenge, and I am really glad I did because I was putting off reading all 523 pages again!

Have you read any books by Robin LaFevers? I highly recommend her books. Follow Ismae in Grave Mercy, Sybella in Dark Triumph and Annith in Mortal Heart for three great stories about three amazing women.

#ConquerAChonker – Courting Darkness

It is #ConquerAChonker weekend! This is a challenge run by Asha over @cat_book_tea on twitter (blog here). The aim is to start (and maybe finish) a huge book over 18th to 20th September (this weekend).

There’s only two rules to take part: grab any book… that’s over 400 pages long!

400+ pages is a CHONKY BOI

500+ pages is a MEGA CHONK

600+ pages is an UBERCHONK

For this challenge I’m going to read Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers. I’ve read it before when it was released, but I am doing this re-read in preparation for Igniting Darkness which I have ready to go!

This one is 523 pages long so I’ll be taking on a MEGA CHONK. We love to see it.

When Sybella accompanies the Duchess of Brittany to France, she expects trouble, but she isn’t expecting a deadly trap. Surrounded by enemies both known and unknown, Sybella searches for the undercover assassins from the convent of St. Mortain who were placed in the French court years ago.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she no longer knows who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. When she discovers a hidden prisoner who may be of importance, she takes matters into her own hands.

As these two worlds collide, the fate of the Duchess, Brittany, and everything Sybella and Genevieve have come to love hangs in the balance. 

I really liked this book on my first read (and the His Fair Assassin trilogy before it) so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how it ends after this book.

Will you be taking part in #ConquerAChonker? What are your favourite chonker books?