Happy #mapmonday ! – My Favorite Fantasy Maps!

I thought it would be fun to show some love to fantasy maps today! Some of these I like for the style and some I like for the design of the land itself.

I thought it would be fun to show some love to fantasy maps today! Some of these I like for the style and some I like for the design of the land itself.

Prythian – A Court of Thorns and Roses series

For this map, I actually like how much potential it has. The big continent over in the east is mentioned very little in the series (so far), so the thing I’m actually the most excited for going forward is being able to see more of this world!

Erilea – Throne of Glass series

I actually think that this is a fairly unique map for fantasy. I like that it shows pretty much the entire continent, even though I wish more of it was relevant to the story. I do also wish we had gotten a map of Wendlyn, but hopefully in the future.

Elendel – Second Era Mistborn series

*Some spoilers for the First Era Mistborn books!*

The reason I didn’t pick the map of the Final Empire was because I love how intentional this one was (as it should be). It’s one thing to hear that it was intentional, but you can clearly see it from the map. Also, the names of things just make me happy.

Elfhame – The Folk of Air series

This map is actually kind of useless, because the specific location of things does not matter the story, but I adore the art style!

The Old Kingdom – The Old Kingdom series

I think this map is so cool! It’s pretty unique and I just feel like it fits the world and the magic really well.

Roshar – The Stormlight Archive

The shape of Roshar has always intrigued me, but I have a special place in my heart for this map because we actually get to see a fair amount of it in the story. Also, the Purelake is just so freaking cool to me.

Ravka – The Grishaverse

I like the fact that water is in the middle of the map and I also really like the artistic style, specifically the boat in the ocean!

Queendom of Inys – The Priory of the Orange Tree

I love the style of this map and I think the land itself is really cool!

Middle Earth – The Lord of the Rings

I have hand-drawn this and painted it on a canvas, so there is no way I wasn’t going to include it! Also, it’s just a classic!


What are your favorite fantasy maps? I’m curious if anyone disagrees with any of my picks!

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2019 Releases (so far): Best and Worst

I have read 18 books released this year! I thought it would be fun to round what I think are the best and worst releases so far this year. I was going to take pictures of all of them until I realized that I’ve already gotten rid of five of them!

I have read 18 books released this year! I thought it would be fun to round what I think are the best and worst releases so far this year. I was going to take pictures of all of them until I realized that I’ve already gotten rid of five of them!

THE GOD TIER

  • On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
THE BEST BOOK

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

What can I say, I just really loved this book! It had all the best elements to it. For a lot of books, I’ll initially enjoy it, but when I look back on it, I think it was just okay. The opposite happened with this book! I loved it when I finished it and I love it even more now. I recommend it to anyone I’m visiting a bookstore with and I lovingly caress it as I walk by. It’s that good!

THE GOOD TIER

These books are definitely worth reading as well! Most of them made me feel a lot of things, but they were just missing something.

  • Romanov by Nadine Brandes
  • Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
  • Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian
  • Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
  • Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

THE NOT GOOD TIER

I just want to say that I personally do not like these books. That does not mean they are bad books. Some of them were honestly just forgettable.

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  • 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
  • The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
THE WORST BOOK

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

I just did not like this book. It was messy and stuff came out of nowhere with no lead up. The chapters were oddly really short and characters didn’t have believable motivations. I can put a lot of this aside if the plot was interesting, but I just didn’t care.

What are your favorite and least favorite of 2019 releases so far?

Books with Satisfying Endings!

This might seem like a late post about how bad the Game of Thrones ending was, but nope (I jumped ship on that one years ago), I’ve just been pretty disappointed with book endings lately. There have been so many books that I’ve loved, then the ending just falls so flat, so it got me thinking about books that actually have satisfying endings!

This might seem like a late post about how bad the Game of Thrones ending was, but nope (I jumped ship on that one years ago), I’ve just been pretty disappointed with book endings lately. There have been so many books that I’ve loved, then the ending just falls so flat, so it got me thinking about books that actually have satisfying endings!

While writing this post, I realized that I have a specific type of ending I love: wrapped up, but still somewhat open-ended, so you can imagine what the characters are up to in the future. I don’t like it when endings are super neat and easy.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I just reviewed this book, but I loved it so much that I need to talk about it again! The ending to this book was really, really good. It has been one of the only satisfying romance endings that I have read recently. It doesn’t feel rushed and pretty much everything is wrapped up, but it is left open enough that you’re not absolutely sure what happens in the future. The ending to this book also left me feeling super hopeful!

The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson knows how to write a damn good ending, both for each book in a series, as well as for the series as a whole. His endings leave me absolutely breathless. Usually, the climax is so action-packed, but at the same time, everything makes sense within the world that he’s made. The Hero of Ages, the last book in the original Mistborn series, had a spectacular ending! I’m pretty sure I walked around in a daze for the rest of the day after I finished this book because I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor

It has been a little while since I read these books, but I remember feeling so satisfied with the ending! It wraps up the conflict of the story, but it is open enough that, once again, you can imagine what happens to the characters next. The ending of this duology was great, but honestly, these entire books were SO good!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is the only book on the list that doesn’t end in an open-ended, anything could happen next kind of way. It has a pretty definitive ending, but it just felt really powerful and I left the book feeling very satisfied. This book gets recommended everywhere, but it is so worth it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The ending of this book definitely gave me a classic “lay in bed and stare at the ceiling while thinking about the amazing book you just finished” moment. This is a big book, so there is a lot to wrap up, but it was done so well. Things that needed answers got answers that made sense considering the world.

LGBT+ Book Recommendations!

Happy Pride Month! This is a perfect time to share some of my favorite books that include characters in the LGBT+ community!

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Synopsis: In this Snow White retelling, the relationship between Lynet and her stepmother Mina seems to be doomed from the start, unless both of them can change.
Why I Liked It: Aside from featuring a F/F romance, this book is a super unique retelling and the mother/daughter relationship is so interesting!

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

Synopsis: Vlogger and baker extraordinaire Bitty joins his college hockey team, and just might be in love with his team captain, Jack.
Why I Liked It: Bitty is absolutely adorable, as is the romance, and the friendships between the hockey team members are so good and supportive!

Simon Vs. the Homosapien Agenda by Bekcy Albertalli

Synopsis: Simon has not come out as gay yet, so he emails another boy at his school, both under fake names.
Why I Liked It: The romance was really cute and I love the email trope!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Synopsis: With tensions on both sides of the world brewing, Ead must secretly protect the Queen of Inys.
Why I Liked It: High epic fantasy with an amazing F/F relationship, other diverse characters, and a super interesting plot and world? Sign me up!!

The Seven Husbands of Eveyln Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Synopsis: Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo is finally opening up her years in the spotlight, as well as her seven husbands.
Why I Liked It: Eveyln Hugo seriously feels like a real person and I could not put this book down! I don’t want to say too much because I feel like it’s better to not know too much about this book going in, but it does feature multiple characters in the LGBT+ community.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Synopsis: Twins Hazel and Ben live on the edge of a forest inhabited by the fair folk, including a faerie boy asleep in a glass coffin.
Why I Liked It: This is such a good faerie book and it also features a M/M relationship!

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Synopsis: After the death of her sister, Rumi moves to Hawaii to live with her aunt.
Why I Liked It: This book deals so many things, including grief, so it can be pretty heavy, but the main character is also asexual!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Synopsis: Each year, eight girls are chosen to be the concubines of the king, but this year, Lei is chosen as the ninth.
Why I Liked It: I really enjoyed the F/F relationship in this, as well as the fantasy setting!

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Synopsis: First Son Alex and HRH Henry of Wales must pretend to be friends in order to stop an international issue, but along the way, they fall in love.
Why I Liked It: This book features multiple gay and bisexual characters, the romance was cute, and I really enjoyed the rest of the plot!

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Synopsis: While living in a very Morman town in Utah, bisexual Tanner falls for the boy who is helping out in his writing class.
Why I Liked It: This had an interesting setting and discussion of religion, and it was overall pretty cute.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis: After the events of Six of Crows, the characters are left to once again fight for their lives.
Why I Liked It: This book features a cute M/M romance and also the friendships between all of the characters are great!

What are some of your favorite books featuring LGBT+ characters? I am always looking for recommendations!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Synopsis: Ead is a lady-in-waiting at the Inys court, where she is an outsider and is tasked with secretly protecting the queen. Arteloth is a Inys nobleman sent in exile to be an ambassador and spy in a land that has turned to the ways of worshiping Wyrms. TanΓ© is across the sea in Seiiki, where she is training to be a dragon rider when she gets caught up with a forbidden outsider. The doctor Niclays has been exiled from the West for trying to do the impossible. As the threat of the Nameless One, approaches, everyone must prepare for the coming conflict in their own way.

Genre: Fantasy

Published: February 26th, 2019

Pages: 827

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis: Ead is a lady-in-waiting at the Inys court, where she is an outsider and is tasked with secretly protecting the queen. Arteloth is a Inys nobleman sent in exile to be an ambassador and spy in a land that has turned to the ways of worshiping Wyrms. TanΓ© is across the sea in Seiiki, where she is training to be a dragon rider when she gets caught up with a forbidden outsider. The doctor Niclays has been exiled from the West for trying to do the impossible. As the threat of the Nameless One, approaches, everyone must prepare for the coming conflict in their own way.

Non-Spoiler Review:

I have to say, this book was so intimidating!! It is the biggest book physically I own, so carting it to work for over a week was quite tiring.

All I knew about this book before starting was that it had to do with a queendom and dragons. That isn’t wrong, but it really is a lot more than that. The complexity of this story was really refreshing, and while it was slow at times, it wasn’t very hard to follow. At first, it definitely took me a little bit to get oriented in the world.

There are four different points of view in this book, which is usually something I enjoy, but I definitely found myself favoring Ead’s point of view to the point where I found myself getting disappointed when it wasn’t an Ead chapter. At the end however, I did find myself not really minding the other points of view. Overall though, I understand why we needed those other points of view throughout the story because they were important for a full rounded view of the world.

My one problem with the writing style was that the word “learnΓ¨d” was repeated so often. It was used sort of like a title, but it wasn’t a fomal title. Other than that though, I thought the writing was easy enough to follow and not overly descriptive.

I think the magic system in this world is very cool. I feel like the magic itself is kind of a spoiler, so I won’t go into it, but I liked it. Also, the dragons sounded super cool, and I liked that there was a distinction between dragons and wyrms.

I absolutely adored the romance in this book. It definitely isn’t overpowering to the story, but it is still fairly prominent. I think it was done so well and I’m really happy with how things ended.

Speaking of the ending, I really, really liked it. I was crying over characters that I previously hadn’t cared about at all. I guess an 800-page book will let you get connected to the characters! I like how things resolved, but the ending was still kind of left open-ended. It felt hopeful, like the characters still had things to accomplish and lives to live, even though the story was over.

I really, really loved this book! I definitely think I want to reread it in the future, though the sheer size of it will probably stop me from doing it anytime soon.