Posted in arcs, book reviews, books, ebook, goodreads, marvel

Tiny Navajo Reads ARCs: Whispers of Shadow & Flame

Whispers of Shadow & Flame by L. Penelope

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*Published October 1, 2019*

I received this ARC from NetGalley. This in no way affects my thoughts on the book or the following review.

43263494This was so good! And it’s the second in a series, which I did not expect to be able to understand, but it’s enough of a stand alone that it can be read without any previous knowledge.

The Mantle that separates the kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall. And life will drastically change for both kingdoms.

Born with a deadly magic she cannot control, Kyara is forced to become an assassin. Known as the Poison Flame in the kingdom of Lagrimar, she is notorious and lethal, but secretly seeks freedom from both her untamed power and the blood spell that commands her. She is tasked with capturing the legendary rebel called the Shadowfox, but everything changes when she learns her target’s true identity.

Darvyn ol-Tahlyro may be the most powerful Earthsinger in generations, but guilt over those he couldn’t save tortures him daily. He isn’t sure he can trust the mysterious young woman who claims to need his help, but when he discovers Kyara can unlock the secrets of his past, he can’t stay away.

Kyara and Darvyn grapple with betrayal, old promises, and older prophecies—all while trying to stop a war. And when a new threat emerges, they must beat the odds to save both kingdoms.

An excellent introduction into a world where people have Songs that granted them the ability to manipulate the elements, Darvyn and Kyara are on opposite sides of a war, where Songs are prohibited and stolen from the people to augment the powers of a corrupted king. As Darvyn works to free his people and stand up against those who are oppressing the commoners, Kyara is the king’s top assassian, a woman whose Song is so very different from those around her. Instead of life, her Song creates death. And without full control, Kyara’s Song has catastrophic consequences.

As they come together and work to free each other from their chains, we see the world through the eyes of others and how the very minutiae of this world’s political aspects has devastating consequences for all those involved.

This book was so good, and it being the second in a series, I had no troubles or issues following along with the story, the world that was created, or the characters. I loved how well-rounded Darvyn and Kyara were, as well as being able to see the world through the eyes of others who are involved in some way, shape, or form. They don’t all interact with one another, but you do see a ripple effect come through when a character does one thing that affects another.

Because of this book, I do wish to read the first one now, as well get my hands on whenever the third one comes out.♦

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Lord Brocktree

Lord Brocktree by Brian Jacques

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*Published June 2, 2005*

lord brocktreeThis is a book that helped me a lot through high school. It was a book that reminded me that there is strength in all forms and it was also a book that would bring me happiness when I wasn’t feeling my best. High school was a bitch, thank you to books for helping me through it!

The young haremaid Dotti and the badger-warrior Lord Brocktree—unlikely comrades—set out for Salamandastron together, only to discover the legendary mountain has been captured by the wildcat Ungatt Trunn and his Blue Hordes. To face them, the two must rally an army—hares and otters, shrews and moles, mice and squirrels—and execute a plan that makes up in cleverness what it lacks in force.

I honestly love this book. It has been several years since I have read it, and I completely need to read it come the first week of June. Things were not going well at work with a friend and I needed to escape the real world for a bit. This is an excellent book for that; adventure, journeying, battles, fighting, and standing up for what you believe it. It’s a book that helps me believe that there is good in the world.

Dotti and Brocktree are on an journey to liberate Salamandastron from a wildcat. But with just the two of them, there’s not much they can do against an army. But when they hear of a possibility of an army up north, they head that way to see if they can convince the army to come with them to battle and free Salamandastron.

The best character in this book is Dotti, our perilous beauty who can scoff her weight in food and still give a good fight to those who see her as only a wee haremaid who belongs at home with the babies. She fights for what she believes is right and speaks her mind. She knows what she wants and she goes for it. While she may be a perilous beauty who knows how to hold her own, she is also allowed to feel emotions and to cry. She’s not a stone cold beauty, but one who owns who she is and let’s no one say otherwise.

These characters, and just about every character in Brian Jacques books, are some of the best characters in literature. At least, they were for me when I was growing up, and when I needed to escape the world for a small amount of time a couple of weeks ago. They showed me that there is strength in being yourself and standing up for yourself when I was younger, and they showed me that there are good people in the world now.

In my opinion, there is great benefit to going back and rereading books that helped shaped you when you were younger. Books never change, but you do, and what you find in those books changes and it may be the help you need in your current position in life.

What do you think of rereading books? Especially old favourites that helped you or shaped you into who you are now? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Nightshade City

Nightshade City (Nightshade Chronicles #1) by Hilary Wagner

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*Published October 1, 2010*

nightshade cityFor those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I’ve had this particular book on my TBR list. And I finally read it! I do believe it was worth it, but I’m not completely sure that it’ll be one that I’ll read again, but it was a good book.

Deep beneath Trillium City, a modern metropolis, lies the Catacombs, a kingdom of rats of extraordinary intelligence and ability. The once peaceful and democratic colony has become a harsh dictatorship ruled by the High Minister Kildeer and his henchman, Billycan, who runs the Kill Army and collects weekly Stipend from the terrified subjects. The two of them rule with iron fists. With most of the adult rats wiped out in Killdeer’s Bloody Coup and the subsequent great flood, orphaned young male rats are forced into the army and the females into servitude or worse. But change is coming. . . .

Two orphan brothers, Vincent and Victor Nightshade, sons of a hero killed in the Bloody Coup, manage to escape from the Kill Army and meet up with Juniper Belancourt, leader of a rebel group seeking to overthrow their oppressors and restore peace and democracy in a new city. The brothers are quickly caught up in Juniper’s cause: “We survive by cover of night. We live in the shadows, waiting for our redemption! Our name must symbolize our burning spirit. . . . Tonight and forever, we are Nightshade City!”

Juniper’s plans are complicated by many factors. His lovely young niece Clover has been picked by Killdeer to be his next Chosen One, so the rebels and their allies the Earthworms must work fast to save her. Can the rebels locate their enemies’ War Room? Can Juniper’s former love, now holding a position in Killdeer’s Ministry, be trusted? Will the rebels be able to execute their plans without the aid of a young Topsider (human)? And how will Vincent and Victor fare in battle will they honor their father’s legacy of courage?

This book, to me, feels like the Redwall series and the Secret of NIMH movie got together and had a baby. I mean, that sounds simply marvelous, especially if you love stories of animals that are essentially human. In this book, it is darker than most Redwall books so it’s more Secret of NIMH, along with the intelligent animals that reside in a human world.

In this book, we are dropped right in the middle of a world that has been taken over by a tyrant. A world that has decayed and those who are oppressed are just trying to survive. In another city, a new city full of those who were overthrown in the original coup, there is planning to save all those under the tyrant’s rule. To provide a new life, a life that was supposed to be before their world was overthrown, the rats must work to do all they can to save their city.

I can’t really talk a whole lot about this book without giving a whole lot more away, but I do recommend that you read it. It’s a great adventure book that carries hints of the Secret of NIMH. What sorts of books carry themes from other media that you’ve noticed? Do you like it when a book does that? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: The Winter of the Witch

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherin Arden

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*Published January 18, 2019*

the winter of the witchIt’s thanks to my friend, Megan, who also recommended The Book of M to me, knew I was looking forward to this final book and let she let me know when we got a copy in so I could read it! Thank you Megan!!

Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

In this final book of the Winternight Trilogy, we see what happens when the two worlds of Russia, the magic and the Christianity, the seen and unseen, good vs. evil in all its shades of grey, try to come together to not only survive but to live as well.

After the burning of Moscow, Vasya is blamed and set to burn at the stake as a witch thanks to the Konstantin, the priest who listened to the Bear in the first book, Vasya is rescued and sent to a place where she could recover and still be able to come back to eventually save Russia, both sides of Russia, from fading from view. As we go throughout this final book, we see all that Vasya has been accused of from consorting with demons and devils to being a witch, become true. And Vasya OWNS it! She takes all that she is accused of and not only takes it from those who calls her these things, and makes it her own. I love this!

Vasy has become one of my favorite characters throughout this series, especially as she seems to be the epitome of what it means to be a female in a male-driven society, but she is able to take what a male-driven society tells her she must be and says “NO!” and does what she wants. It’s magnificently beautiful! GAH! I love her! I also love what Katherine Arden has done to show that two very different viewpoints of the world can still coexist with each other without infringing too much on each other. This is how our world should work, and it gives hope that someday our world can. Maybe.

I also love to see that Vasya’s abilities has been accepted not only by her monk brother, but by her cousin the Grand Prince, as the only way to save Russia as they know it. They don’t want to accept this strange child that they either grew up with, or thought was a boy cousin at first, but once they do Russia is saved; at least, the Russia they want and remember is saved.

What do you think about this series? Is it one that you would recommend? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: A Study in Honor

A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell

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*Published July 31, 2018*

study in honorAnother ARC from ALA New Orleans, I highly enjoyed this book! It’s a futuristic LGBTQA version of Holmes and Watson. I absolutely love it!

Dr. Janet Watson knows what happens during a civil war. She knows the damage that can be wrought when two sides of a nation turn on one another. As a field surgeon, Dr. Watson also knows what this damage has cost her; her arm and her career. She makes her way to Washington D.C. where she seeks to make sense of her life with a semi-functioning mechanical arm that replaced the arm she lost in the field. Unsure of what to do and lost in this world she never thought she would leave, Watson struggles to find her way. When Watson meets another queer black woman by the name of Sara Holmes, she starts to find her way.

When Watson and Holmes start living together, Watson has found a job that puts her back in the medical field, but she is frustrated by her new roommate. But she forgets that frustration as her work is starting to poke a mystery in her face. Soldiers that had fought in the New Civil War are coming back and dying one by one, not on the battlefield, but in their homes. As Watson looks into her patients to figure out what is going on, she triggers something much larger, something that could potentially level the nation as they know it.

I absolutely loved how you still have all the original flavors of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but there is still a new story, a new dynamic, a new set of mysteries to solve for Sara and Janet. The only thing that I would say I wasn’t a complete fan of was how Sara Holmes attained her information, but it makes sense in this new world that takes place not many years from us.

What retellings of Sherlock Holmes are your favorite? Or your least favorite? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: In the Labyrinth of Drakes

In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan

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drakesYou know me and dragons. All the dragons! And now we get the stereotypical dragons that breathe fire! So exciting! Onto the review!

Lady Trent writes her fourth memoir that takes place in Akhia, a desert country where some of the biggest dragons live that breathe fire. And it’s also thought to be the place where the Draconean culture may have started in the Labyrinth of Drakes, a maze area where a person would get lost and die if they weren’t careful. But before we can get anywhere near that, we have to talk about why Isabella is in Akhia and the people she meets there.

In Akhia there is a Scirland military base where Scirland is trying to breed dragons, as a synthetic dragonbone has not yet been discovered and so Scirland struggles to find a way to beat the Yelangese who have been harvesting dragonbone for several years at this point. Tom Wilker and Isabella are brought to Akhia to try and breed dragons, and their contact for the dragons is the equivalent of sultan, and his tribe is the one who brings in the dragons for the Scrilings. The desert contact, the man who brings in the dragons is someone who Isabella met in the last book, Voyage of the Basilisk, a man who stirred her heart more than she ever thought would happen again after Jacob.

As with all things that Isabella does, it all revolves around dragons and how she can get a look at ones that are alive. And their growth cycles. And just about anything else that deals with dragons.  And she finds someone who shares the same amount of love, if not for dragons, but for her.

I know this review was a little spacey, but please, believe me, these memoirs written by “Lady Trent” are some of my favorite books and I don’t really want to give a lot away. If you love strong female characters, dragons, and adventures, then you truly need to read these books!

What side characters have made stuck to you and have made you love a book series even more? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book challenge, book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Wolf Tower

Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee

♦ ♦

wolf towerWelp…I think this is the lowest rating I’ve ever given on this blog, since its inception. Oh jeez…well, I still need to review it and give my reasons as to why. So, let’s get to it.

This book was sent to me as part of @youthbookreview’s Traveling Book Project and I was interested, part was because the title had the word “wolf” in it; I love wolves! They’re amazing. The second reason I was interested was because it was essentially a diary; I love books that are diaries, or journals, as they give an insight into the mind of the “author”/main character. And this book most definitely gave me an insight into a teenage girl’s mind and all I can think was, “Holy Moses…I can remember being like this…” Yep, it was a teenage girl’s diary after she helped release a captured man from the dungeon’s of the only home she knew and they traversed across the desert to his home in a different city.

Oh. My. Gosh….I love the idea, I love the concept. I do not like the main character. She could have done a lot of things different. And her thought process made me want to bang my head on the desk. GAH! But that’s how teenagers think…and I know that 12-13 year old me would have liked this book a lot more. But 25 year old me does not. And that’s okay. I am glad I read this book if just to read a different book than what I would read right now.

What character in a book made you want to headdesk yourself? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in audiobooks, book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Listens: The Sable Quean

The Sable Quean by Brian Jacques

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the sable queanWhile I am truly a fan of Redwall books, especially the audiobooks, this wasn’t as entertaining for me. That’s okay though, not every book will be a slam dunk; now, onto the review!

The Sable Quean takes place in Mossflower, but we first meet up with Blade Master Buckler at Salamandastron, home to the Badger Lords and the Long Patrol. Buckler expresses his restlessness to Lord Brang Forgefire, and is sent on an adventure to take some new bell-pull ropes to Redwall Abbey. As Buckler and his friend start on their way to Redwall Abbey, they realize that there is something wrong happening in Mossflower woods. Little ones are going missing, vanishing into thin air.

At Redwall Abbey, two little Dibbuns have gone missing, throwing the Abbey into a small amount of chaos as they try to figure out where the Dibbuns could have gone. As all of our characters meet up at Redwall, they do what they can to figure out who is taking their little ones and how to stop the Sable Quean from trying to take over Redwall Abbey and all of Mossflower Woods.

This…wasn’t my favorite book to listen to. I’m not bashing Brian Jacques, I’m not bashing the story, I’m not bashing anything. It…just wasn’t my favorite. And that’s okay. I still love the fact that it is a full audio cast, and that Brian Jacques is the narrator. I think this time, the story was very complicated and almost too many threads to follow, which would bring me out of the storyline that I was following.

Have you read/listen to a book that wasn’t your favorite? Did you keep listening, or did you stop and go to a different book? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: A Natural History of Dragons

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

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a natural history of dragonsOh. My. Gosh! Dragons?! Adventures?! So, much Victorian etiquette? Sign me up and let me just jump right into the books, thank you!

Lady Isabella Trent is in her sunset years, years full of adventure and dragons, and she’s decided that it was high time she write her memoirs of how she came to be the lady that she is today, the more preeminent dragon naturalist in all the world. It starts when she was a little girl, wanting to study the things that fly, all because of a wishbone. The more she studies natural history, she comes to discover that dragons are greatest flying things to ever grace the earth.

As with most young girls in this type of society, Isabella’s mother gets her ready for her Season, in which she needs to find a husband. Due to her father’s love, and her brother’s interference, her father has done some research into lords who would be willing to let their wife also use their libraries. One of the names on her list is one Jacob Camherst, a man that will not only let Isabella use his library, but he also shares her interest in dragons.

Isabella does what she does best and that is to find a way for her to get closer to dragons. In doing so, she finds a way to get herself and her husband Jacob attached to an expedition that is going to Vrystana to study rock wyrms, dragons native to the area. While in Vrystana, Isabella discovers that there is so much about dragons, dragon life in general, that the scientific community does not know. But while Isabella, Jacob, Lord Hilford and his assistant discover that there may be a way to preserve dragon bone, which would make it stronger and more durable than steel itself.

In order to protect the dragons from going extinct in people’s desire, Isabella and Jacob end up destroying the lab where the preservation process is going on, but this leads to the dire consequences, consequences that Isabella didn’t expect or see and it nearly destroys her. But these are her memoirs, so, things have to get better right?

I love these books, and I haven’t read the lastest, so I decided it was high time to start a reread in order to get to the last book. I love Isabella, she is tenacious, she is bright, she is fierce, and she is willing to go against social conventions in order to do what she wants to do, study dragons. She does make mistakes and goes through tragedies, but she still continues forward. I LOVE HER!!

Okay, what books have you decided to reread in order to read the next book? Did you enjoy them as much as you remembered? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book challenge, book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Ink and Bone

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

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ink and boneIn a world where the Library of Alexandria survived the raging fire that destroyed it in our world, it now has branch libraries in every major city. Due to alchemy, the Great Library now controls the flow of knowledge throughout the rest of the world. While this lets anyone else in the world access to any book in the world, the personal ownership of books is strictly forbidden.

Our main character, Jess Brightwell, he knows the value of the Library and the knowledge the Library holds; the majority of Jess’s knowledge has been obtained by the illegal books his father owns and runs for those that are willing to pay for owning a book. As Jess grows up though, war starts to breakout throughout Europe, a war over knowledge and books and who should have access to this knowledge. Then Jess’s family discovers there’s going to be a new cohort of students to be chosen by the Library for service. Jess is sent with the express intent to spy on the Library, but to do so, he’s got to make through all of the Library’s training.

Towards the end of the Library’s training, Jess starts to realize that there are problems with the Library’s philosophy, the reasons for wanting to keep a tight hold on the knowledge of the world. And his family is starting to pressure him more and more to do what is required of him as his family’s spy. But when a friend of his creates something that could change the course of the world, Jess discovers that those that control the Great Library of Alexandria believe knowledge to be more valuable than human life itself.

I loved this book! I love this series! I need to own the whole series! I need to know what happens next! GAH! The Library of Alexandria is still up and alive, but it has changed the way the world works in such a way we would not recognize the world as it is. It’s just so interesting!

What book series messes with history? What part of history did it mess with? Comment below and let me know!