Showing posts with label erin a. craig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label erin a. craig. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem, The Woman in the Castello by Kelsey James, & House of Roots and Ruin by Erin A. Craig

  

 Can't-Wait is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released! This meme is based off of Jill @ Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday meme.

This week's upcoming book spotlights are: 


The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem
Publication: July 18th, 2023
Orbit
Paperback. 523 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon | Bookshop.org

From Goodreads:
"In this Egyptian-inspired debut fantasy, a fugitive queen strikes a deadly bargain with her greatest enemy and finds herself embroiled in a complex game that could resurrect her scorched kingdom or leave it in ashes forever.

Ten years ago, the kingdom of Jasad burned. Its magic outlawed; its royal family murdered down to the last child. At least, that’s what Sylvia wants people to believe.

The lost Heir of Jasad, Sylvia never wants to be found. She can’t think about how Nizahl’s armies laid waste to her kingdom and continue to hunt its people—not if she wants to stay alive. But when Arin, the Nizahl Heir, tracks a group of Jasadi rebels to her village, staying one step ahead of death gets trickier.

In a moment of anger Sylvia’s magic is exposed, capturing Arin’s attention. Now, to save her life, Sylvia will have to make a deal with her greatest enemy. If she helps him lure the rebels, she’ll escape persecution.

A deadly game begins. Sylvia can’t let Arin discover her identity even as hatred shifts into something more. Soon, Sylvia will have to choose between the life she wants and the one she left behind. The scorched kingdom is rising, and it needs a queen.
"

An Egyptian-inspired fantasy sounds incredible and I'm really excited for another debut fantasy from new authors!

The Woman in the Castello by Kelsey James
Publication: July 25th, 2023
John Scognamiglio Book
Paperback. 304 pages.
Pre-order:
 Amazon | Bookshop.org

From Goodreads:
"
In this beguiling midcentury historical fiction novel set in 1960s Italy, an ambitious American actress and single mother snags the starring role in a mysterious horror movie shooting on location in a crumbling medieval castle outside Rome...

Readers who enjoy the moody gothic allure of Kate Morton and Silvia Moreno-Garcia or the immersive settings of Lucinda Riley and Fiona Davis will be enthralled by Kelsey James' spellbinding web of intriguing mystery, family secrets, forbidden love, and midcentury Italian flair.

Rome, 1965: Aspiring actress Silvia Whitford arrives at Rome's famed Cinecitt Studios from Los Angeles, ready for her big break and a taste of la dolce vita. Instead, she learns that the movie in which she was cast has been canceled. Desperate for money, Silvia has only one choice: seek out the Italian aunt she has never met.

Gabriella Conti lives in a crumbling castello on the edge of a volcanic lake. Silvia's mother refuses to explain the rift that drove the sisters apart, but Silvia is fascinated by Gabriella, a once-famous actress who still radiates charisma. And the eerie castle inspires Silvia's second chance when it becomes the location for a new horror movie, aptly named The Revenge of the Lake Witch--and she lands a starring role.

Silvia immerses herself in the part of an ingenue tormented by the ghost of her beautiful, seductive ancestor. But when Gabriella abruptly vanishes, the movie's make-believe terrors seep into reality. No one else on set seems to share Silvia's suspicions. Yet as she delves into Gabriella's disappearance, she triggers a chain of events that illuminate dark secrets in the past--and a growing menace in the present . . .
"

The premise for this one has absolutely grabbed me and I can't wait to dive into an ARC of this one! I love how mysterious this sounds. 


House of Roots and Ruin (Sisters of the Salt #2) by Erin A. Craig
Publication: July 25th, 2023
Delacorte Press
Hardcover. 544 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon | Bookshop.org

From Goodreads:
"In a manor by the sea, one sister is still cursed.

Despite dreams of adventures far beyond the Salann shores, seventeen-year-old Verity Thaumas has remained at her family’s estate, Highmoor, with her older sister Camille, while their sisters have scattered across Arcannia.

When their sister Mercy sends word that the Duchess of Bloem—wife of a celebrated botanist—is interested in having Verity paint a portrait of her son, Alexander, Verity jumps at the chance, but Camille won’t allow it. Forced to reveal the secret she’s kept for years, Camille tells Verity the truth one day: Verity is still seeing ghosts, she just doesn’t know it.

Stunned, Verity flees Highmoor that night and—with nowhere else to turn—makes her way to Bloem. At first, she is captivated by the lush, luxurious landscape and is quickly drawn to charming, witty, and impossibly handsome Alexander Laurent. And soon, to her surprise, a romance . . . blossoms.

But it’s not long before Verity is plagued with nightmares, and the darker side of Bloem begins to show through its sickly-sweet fa├žade. . . .
"

I really adored House of Salt and Sorrows when I read it a number of years ago so I was really surprised and excited to see there was a sequel coming out! I really don't remember all that much from the first book, so maybe I'll have to do a re-read before getting to this one. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Empire's Ruin by Brian Staveley, Small Favors by Erin A. Craig, & A Radical Act of Free Magic by H.G. Parry


Can't-Wait is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released! This meme is based off of Jill @ Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday meme.
 

This week's upcoming book spotlights are: 
The Empire's Ruin (Ashes of the Unhewn Throne, #1)
The Empire's Ruin by Brian Staveley
Publication: July 6th, 2021
Tor Books
Hardcover. 752 pages.
Pre-order: AmazonIndieBound

"The Annurian Empire is disintegrating. The advantages it used for millennia have fallen to ruin. The ranks of the Kettral have been decimated from within, and the kenta gates, granting instantaneous travel across the vast lands of the empire, can no longer be used.
 
In order to save the empire, one of the surviving Kettral must voyage beyond the edge of the known world through a land that warps and poisons all living things to find the nesting ground of the giant war hawks. Meanwhile, a monk turned con-artist may hold the secret to the kenta gates.
 
But time is running out. Deep within the southern reaches of the empire and ancient god-like race has begun to stir.
 
What they discover will change them and the Annurian Empire forever. If they can survive."
This sounds like a particularly epic new story! 700+ pages at the start of a new fantasy is equally intimidating and exciting because it means there's a lot to explore, so I'm looking forward to checking this one out!

and...
Small Favors
Small Favors by Erin A. Craig
Publication: July 27th, 2021
Delacorte Press
Hardcover. 480 pages.
Pre-order: AmazonIndieBound

"Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range--five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned.
 
As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents' deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames."
I loved Craig's House of Salt and Sorrows, and part of what I loved about it was the atmosphere–which sounds like its going to be a big part of this book as well. Really excited for this one!

and...
A Radical Act of Free Magic (The Shadow Histories, #2)
A Radical Act of Free Magic (The Shadow Histories #2) by H.G. Parry
Publication: July 20th, 2021
Redhook
Hardcover. 464 pages.
Pre-order: AmazonIndieBound

"The Concord has been broken, and a war of magic engulfs the world.
 
In France, the brilliant young battle-mage Napoleon Bonaparte has summoned a kraken from the depths, and under his command the Army of the Dead have all but conquered Europe. Britain fights back, protected by the gulf of the channel and powerful fire-magic, but Wilberforce’s own battle to bring about free magic and abolition has met a dead end in the face of an increasingly fearful and repressive government. In Saint Domingue, Fina watches as Toussaint Louverture navigates these opposing forces to liberate the country.
 
But there is another, even darker war being fought beneath the surface: the first vampire war in hundreds of years. The enemy blood magician who orchestrated Robespierre’s downfall is using the Revolutionary Wars to bring about a return to dark magic to claim all of Europe. Across the world, only a few know of his existence and the choices they make will shape the new age of magic."
H.G. Parry's books have been consistently fantastic, so I'm really looking forward to this sequel! I am actually thinking of re-reading the first book before diving into this one because I really think I might need that refresher...

What do you think about these upcoming releases? What are your anticipated upcoming releases?

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and Sorrows
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Delacorte
Publication Date: August 6th, 2019
Hardcover. 416 pages

About House of Salt and Sorrows:

"In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed. 

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. 

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with? 

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next."


I wasn't planning to write a full review for House of Salt and Sorrows when I first read it and instead planned to include with some mini-reviews I'm planning to do, but... then I read it and sort of fell in love with even more than I expected to and, well, I thought it deserved it's own review. I was so hyped up for this one and I am endlessly relieved that the books actually lived up to my expectations that were bolstered my immense hype for this book.

House of Salt and Sorrows is  dark fantasy inspired by the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale, which is one that I've really grown to enjoy over the years. I actually just a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling earlier this year (The Girls at the Kingfisher Club) and I loved it, so I've been all hyped up for another retelling. This one was much different, but equally engrossing with an array of daughters that create a truly atmospheric and vibrant story.

This is one of those books that will leave you feeling dazzled, wholly immersed, and impressed by the different turns and ideas the plot explores. There are some really great twists in this one that I relished each and every time they happened.

Since this is a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses, you might assume that there are quite a few characters involved... and you'd be assuming correctly. When we start the story, four of the sisters have already died for differing reasons, so we are down to only eight daughters who are starting to struggle with keeping up a positive face. Because of the deaths, which includes the death of their mother as well, the town they live in has started to whisper that the girls are cursed, which makes future marriage prospects start look a bit slim for the girls. I thought that Craig did a great job of introducing all of the girls and their personalities in different ways that helped me to remember each one and their general attitude. Our protagonist, Annaleigh, has had to grow up far more than she ever should have had to at her age after so much grief, but she still maintains an admirable strength that keeps her going for her sisters. We also meet Annaleigh's father, stepmother, and childhood friend, all of which were crafted as well as the daughters and had great development. I actually managed to care about just about every character in this book and was invested in each person's role in the story, which is something that isn't always a given, especially with a cast of this size.

There was an unexpected amount of spookiness, mind-twists, and more psychological components in this book that I didn't expect, but that were such a welcome. Craig really played with a lot of interesting storytelling elements that I turned this into a truly engrossing and exciting story. The addition of the more 'haunting'-type elements added a lot of depth and I think Craig handled these scenes in some really heart-stopping ways that I loved. These elements also all play into the pacing of House of Salt and Sorrows, which I have zero complains about. It was fast-paced when it needed to be, but thoughtful and able to take to the time needed to slow and experience certain scenes or moment when necessary.

Lastly, I'll just note that there is a bit of romance in this, which I know a lot of people seem to dread these days in YA fantasies, but I think it was done in a really careful way. It was free from insta-love (that I noticed, anyway) and it had some really surprising twists involved that made it completely worth it. Plus, despite the fact that the romance is present, it doesn't play an overbearing role in the story and doesn't take over from the main plot events that are also happening.

Overall, if you haven't already guessed, I've given House of Salt and Sorrows five stars! If you like your fantasy a bit haunting, atmospheric, and page-turning, then this is the one you want to check out!