My lovelies, it has not been a lovely Friday here. Besides the heartbreaking news about Alan Rickman, I found out my friend had to put her dog down this morning. It was a shock for her and my heart is bleeding for her because she still managed to teach for a full day after that. Why does January have to be filled with so much death? I know it’s not much consolation, but hey, let’s check out some new books, ok?
Sword and Verse (Sword and Verse, #1) by Kathy MacMillan
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads): Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.
Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.
What’s To Like: I’m actually in possession of an ARC of this, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. It reminds me a little of The Girl of Fire and Thorns in respect to the secret learning, the dangerous secrets, and undoubted cleverness of Raisa. (A girl who isn’t clever isn’t going to last long in Raisa’s place.) Weirdly enough, I’m really interested in this book for its social class structure.
The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads): Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.
What’s To Like: Admittedly, this summary tells us virtually nothing. But I’m always a big fan of football, so that does encourage me. I know this has something to do with time travel or alternate universes (not really sure which), but it sounds interesting. Reviews so far have been mixed, that I’ve seen, but I suppose I’ll have to check it out for myself.
Assassin’s Heart (Assassin’s Heart, #1) by Sarah Ahiers
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads): In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.
Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.
With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.
What’s To Like: First of all, how do you turn down a book billed as The Godfather meets Romeo and Juliet?? A clue: you don’t. I’m actually sitting on an ARC of this as well, which just tells me that I am apparently falling behind in that department. I–weirdly–love stories about assassins. I kind of feel like I’m in my element there, which is incredibly ironic considering I can only half of the time bring myself to kill a spider. I think it has something to do with spotting deceit–which teachers are quite good at by nature. Whatever the reason, this is sure to be dramatic and entertaining.