MINI MONDAY: The Bone Witch (ARC) by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco is a captivating start to a new, dark fantasy series for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, set to release on March 7th, 2017. (Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco from SOURCEBOOKS Fire on Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review). 

Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price. When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead,she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha – one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice (Chapters.Indigo.ca).

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MINI MONDAY: The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault

Set to release on June 13th, 2017, The Leaf Reader is Emily Arsenault’s most recent novel. Like a contemporary take on Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle, Emily Asenault’s Marnie Wells comes face-to-face with the occult, discovering she can tell the future by reading tea leaves (Disclaimer: I received an e-review copy of The Leaf Reader from Soho Teen via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review).

Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is… eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old tea-leaf-reading book and starts telling fortunes. The ceremony and symbols are weirdly soothing, but she knows—and hopes everyone else does too—that none of it’s real. Then basketball star Matt Cotrell asks for a reading. He’s been getting emails from someone claiming to be his best friend, Andrea Quinley, who disappeared and is presumed dead. Rumor has it Matt and Andrea were romantically involved, though they’d always denied it. A faint cloud of suspicion still hangs over Matt. But Marnie sees a kindred spirit: someone who, like her, is damaged by association. Suddenly the readings seem real. And they’re telling Marnie things about Matt that make him seem increasingly dangerous. But she can’t shake her initial attraction to him. In fact, it’s getting stronger. And that could turn out to be deadly.

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A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

You can find my review for the Companion novel to A Thousand Nights, titled Spindle, here

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston was released in October of 2015, yet only came to my attention recently, after the outstanding success of its companion novel, Spindle, which was released in December of 2016, little over a year later. Where Spindle is a tale of daring and adventure, A Thousand Nights is a tale of loyalty and courage.

“If you listen long enough to the whispers, you will hear the truth. Until then, I will tell you this: the world is made safe by a woman.” – E.K. Johnston (A Thousand Nights, p.325.

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next. And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong. Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air. Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

NOTE: The main character has no name – Johnston acknowledges that she did this intentionally (in her acknowledgements at the end of the book), so she will be referred to as the Storyteller Queen throughout this review, as she is referred to by this title in Spindle. 

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