Waiting on Wednesday: Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey

74757-new2bwow“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  Every Wednesday we get to highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week I’m taking a look at Spells of Blood and Kin, a dark fantasy and debut novel by Claire Humphrey due out in June 2016:

spellsofbloodandkin.jpgIn her extraordinary debut, Spells of Blood and Kin, Claire Humphrey deftly weaves her paranormal world with vivid emotional depth and gritty violence. Bringing together themes of death, addiction, and grief, Claire takes readers on a human journey that goes beyond fantasy.

When her beloved grandmother dies suddenly, 22-year-old Lissa Nevsky is left with no choice but to take over her grandmother’s magical position in their small folk community. That includes honoring a debt owed to the dangerous stranger who appears at Lissa’s door.

Maksim Volkov needs magic to keep his brutal nature leashed, but he’s already lost control once: his blood-borne lust for violence infects Nick Kaisaris, a charming slacker out celebrating the end of finals. Now Nick is somewhere else in Toronto, going slowly mad, and Maksim must find him before he hurts more people.

Lissa must uncover forbidden secrets and mend family rifts in order to prevent Maksim from hurting more people, including himself. If she fails, Maksim will have no choice but to destroy both himself and Nick.

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind

Posted On 9 February 2016

Filed under Book Reviews

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Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  The topic this week is a special theme for:

‘Valentine’s Day’

So, this week I’m looking at great pairings in books – not necessarily romantic pairings although some may be, but pairings that you couldn’t do without – more to the point they couldn’t do without the other half!:

  1. Jean Tannen and Locke Lamora – these two immediately sprang to mind.  A pair of characters that I love.  This is from the Gentleman Bastard series written by Scott Lynch.  An absolutely great series.
  2. Wydrin of Crosshaven and Sir Sebastian Caverson – I love these two.  I love them.  Did I mention that I love them.  Wydrin, or the Copper Cat, is a feisty, sexy, tough woman, Sebastian is an old school type of knight, he’s a giant of a man, a raging softie and a maniac on the battlefield.  The Copper Promise is the first book in this highly addictive series by Jen Williams.  I strongly recommend this series.
  3. Scott and Suzume from Generation V.  Scott is a vampire, Suzume is a Kitsume.  They first appeared together in M L Brennan’s Generation V and the pair of them make compelling reading with their on page chemistry.
  4. Blackthorn and Grim from Juliet Marillier’s Dreamer’s Pool.  This book is so good that I would practically beg people to read it!  Literally!  I loved this and Blackthorn and Grim are fantastic, amazing people to read about!
  5. Phedre and Joscelin.  Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s series.  Wow, what can you say about these two.  Phedre is an amazing character, she’s the sort of person who you would love to have as her friend.  Josceline – woah, plenty eye candy and a menace with his swords and vambraces.
  6. Toby and Tybalt – these are two characters that I’ve only just made the acquaintance of in Rosemary and Rue, the first of the Toby Daye books by Seanan McGuire.  So far so good methinks.  I’m not sure if these two will become an item or whether their relationship will be more of a getting in each other’s face and annoying the socks off each other type of affair but I do know that they’re both fun to read and they have definite chemistry.
  7. Adele and the Greyfriar.  Wow.   Now these two are a great couple.  Talk about star crossed lovers though! Greyfriar is a vampire – who dresses as a human.  Adele is a princess whose magic is capable of causing great harm to vampire.  In a world war torn between humans and vampires theirs is a very dangerous relationship.  Vampire Empire by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith.
  8. Shara and Sigrud from Robert J Bennett’s Divine Cities series.  We met these two in City of Stairs.  Shara is the brains and Sigrud is the brawn.  Shara has this amazing, dry intelligence, she thinks on the spot and in a totally cool bookish way pulls all sorts of solutions out of the bag.   Sigrud is a bear of a man, capable of taking on monsters in a most dramatic way.  The two make a great pair to read.
  9. Valek and Yelena from the Poison Study books by Maria V Snyder.  These two are a wonderful pair and have a great relationship.  A great combination of fascinating magic and a world split in two.
  10. Kaladin and Syl from Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson.  These two characters are brilliant.  Kaladin – I love this guy, he’s amazing – in fact the characterisation in this series is ace!  Syl, she’s a bit like Kaladin’s own personal will of the wisp!

 

 

 

 

Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, Readalong week No.6

Posted On 7 February 2016

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559172Today is week six of our readalong for Kushiel’s Scion.

If you’re interested in joining the readalong the details and other participants are below.  Feel free to join in with the comments and obviously, if you haven’t read this series but are intending to do so please be aware of spoilers – because they’re running amok below

This week Susan over at Dab of Darkness is our lovely host.  The schedule and other participants are listed below.  Go check them out.  To the Q&A:

1) Imriel spends a night on the island of Asclepius. Do you agree with Imriel that his nature is to be cruel? Do you think of Imriel as a stunted tree reaching for the light?

No, I don’t think he’s cruel at all.  He’s certainly moody and definitely inclined to brooding but I think that given his background he has good reason.  Look at the way he is with Alais – he’s so good with her and always has been.  I think he under estimates himself – or has a downer on himself sometimes. I like the stunted tree description – although it does actually sound a bit cruel I suppose.  It does feel that Imriel’s past has stopped his own emotional growth and happiness for a while – or at least had a large impact on it and so in that respect I suppose you could say he’s striving for the light.

2) Imriel makes a good go of breaking things off with Claudia. However, throughout this section we have seen how the spark between them is not yet doused. What do you think of Imriel’s lingering desires? Is Claudia telling the truth about her own desires? 

Well, I suppose that was never going to be quite as easy as Imriel would have liked!  Claudia isn’t exactly a shrinking violet and I didn’t think she’d just calmly accept Imriel’s attempt at spurning her!  At the end of the day, let’s just be honest, they both just fancy the pants off each other!  They’re not in love, as Imriel said – but those passionate feelings they both seem to have – well, I don’t suppose they’re quite as easily doused as Imriel thought.

3) Imriel reveals his full identity to Lucius and he learns of the legend of the Bella Donna, based on his own mother. Clever, intentional legend building by Melisande, or a fanciful story that built up over time or was borrowed from another legend? 

I’m not sure if that was all cleverness on Melisande’s part – it’s possible that rumours began and then developed (in fact we already knew that rumours were starting from previous chapters when Melisande was still under the protection of sanctuary) but I certainly don’t think Melisande would try to dissuade any of the rumours from gaining a hold.  I guess people would have sympathy for her with these rumours so it’s a good way of turning people’s opinion around.

4) All is not well at the city of Luca. Helena has been kidnapped. The ghosts of the dead walk among the living. Lucius is possessed by his warlord ancestor Gallus Thaddeus. What do you think of this harsh man/ghost? 

I was absolutely gob smacked by this element of the story.  I really didn’t see it coming at all and it felt, well, comparatively with the rest of the book, almost a little rushed – but that’s not to say I was disliking it at all.  It felt like Imriel was finally getting his wish for some adventure.  I felt so sorry for Helena – in fact I was really irritated by the way she was treated!  I’m fascinated by the whole possession element and reading about Lucius strutting around like a badass!  I’m not sure how this character is going to get on – in one respect Luca really needs his focus and control – in another, I wonder how they’re ever going to get rid of this character or see Lucius return!

5) When Imri and crew return to the Thaddeus Villa with the injured Gilot, Imriel ponders the wonder of women. ‘The courage of women is different than the courage of men.’ Do you agree? 

Well, speaking personally I’m a bit of a raging wimp – but, that being said I think women tend to take a very pragmatic and straightforward approach to things when they’re set on a certain course!  I don’t know whether I’d say the courage is different necessarily – after all, Brigita took part in the defence of the city and then we had Imriel rushing in to save Helena.  They all showed courage didn’t they – and poor Gilot.  I must say that I wondered if Gilot was going to meet a bad ending during it all – particularly once he’d been dispatched to the tower.  I can’t say I was surprised but even so it felt very sad.

6) With the city under siege, an older mystery pops up with the arrival of Canis. Why do you think Imriel held his tongue and only told Eamonn? 

Again, I wasn’t surprised by Canis turning up.  I don’t know whether he’s there to help or hinder Imriel but I suspect the former.  I didn’t really buy his beggar in a barrel routine in fact it feels a little like he’s there to protect Imriel somehow.  Who might have enlisted him to do so is a whole other question though!  At the end of the day Imriel certainly has enemies – but he also has a number of people who are very concerned to keep him alive – not least of all his own mother!  I thought that Canis was probably also the saviour on the evening of the riots but I guess time will tell in that respect.

That’s it for me this week.

Here is the current schedule:

Week 1: Prologue-chpt. 11, post on Sunday Jan 3rd, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 2: Chpts. 12-19, Jan 10th, hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 3: Chpts. 20-27, Jan 17th, hosted by Emma Wolf
Week 4: Chpts. 28-36, Jan  24th, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 5: Chpts. 37-44, Jan 31st, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 6: Chpts. 45-52, Feb 7th, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 7: Chpts. 53-60,  Feb 14th, hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 8: Chpt. 61-End, Feb 21st, hosted by Emma Wolf

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan at Dab of Darkness

A little break

Posted On 6 February 2016

Filed under Book Reviews

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I’m going to be away from home for the next few days on a little jaunt.  Seeing the sights hopefully!

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My wi-fi may be limited so I may not be stopping by your blog and checking out your posts until I return!

Have a good weekend everyone :D

Mine eyes deceive me!

Posted On 5 February 2016

Filed under Book Reviews
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No, you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover but nonetheless I do like covers and I like to give them something of a spotlight.  On the first Friday of the new month I’m going to look at the covers for the books I’ve just read and see which was my favourite for the month.

The covers for my January reads were:

There are some fantastic covers from last months reads!  For impact Medusa’s Web immediately stands out – it’s just dark and scary.  I think the Guns of Ivrea and Goldenfire are really lovely, they’re so colourful and just completely grab your attention.  Monstrous Little Voices – I love that cover, the font and the characters really appeal to me and it’s a fantastic read too!  I think my favourite has to be Medusa’s Web – that is a book that I would definitely pick up and want to own!

Those were my January covers – if you have any particularly gorgeous covers you want to share then let me know.

Reviews for the above books below:

  1. Under a Colder Sun by Greg James SPFBO
  2. Monstrous Little Voices by Jonathan Barnes, Emma Newman, Kate Heartfield, Fox Meadows, Adrian Tchaikovsky
  3. Goldenfire (Darkhaven No.2) by A F E Smith
  4. Medusa’s Web by Tim Powers
  5. Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards
  6. City of Blades by Robert J Bennett
  7. War of the Worlds by H G Wells
  8. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
  9. The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo
  10. Changers: Book One: Drew by T Cooper and Allison Glock Cooper
  11. Shattered Sands by W G Saraband – review to follow (SPFBO)
  12. Guns of Ivrea by Clifford Beal
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