Sightwitch ★★★★★

35481848It’s no secret that I love a good fantasy book, and Susan Dennard sure knows how to write one. Sightwitch has catapulted to the top of my fave books of 2018 list and I have a feeling it’s going to stay there for a while.

From New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard, Sightwitch is an illustrated novella set in the Witchlands and told through Ryber’s journal entries and sketches.

Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch…

Before Merik returned from the dead…

Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.

Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight—and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.

On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.

Set a year before TruthwitchSightwitch is a companion novella that also serves as a set up to Bloodwitch, as well as an expansion of the Witchlands world.

Companion novels or pre-quels are a hard thing to nail down. A lot of authors like to use them to retcon something or to reestablish canon. Sightwitch wasn’t that way. It took what we knew about the world and Ryber and expanded on it. We saw the world through a wider lens, learned more about the past than we did in the main series book, and came out of it richer for having read it.

The second I heard about Sightwitch getting published, I pre-ordered it that day. And it was a long wait to get it in my hands, but it was absolutely worth it.

I loved Ryber’s voice, I loved the interspersed stories from Eridysi, a sightwitch from hundreds of years ago, I loved everything.

Oh, and did I mention there were illustrations too?

They weren’t just illustrations depicting a scene we were reading, but it was supplementary, it built on our understanding of the story and how we could see what on the page even clearer.

Plus, I’m a big sucker for maps and art.

It was just a gorgeous book, okay?

The entire time I was reading, I just couldn’t wait to get back into the rest of the series and re-read the other books. It rekindled my love for the entire story all over again.

I 100000% recommend the Witchlands series since it’s a wonderful fantasy story, but also because Susan Dennard is just the bee’s knees.

Judge a Book by Its Cover #5

Judge a Book by Its Cover

It’s time to look at some February titles to judge their covers. Judge a Book by Its Cover is a monthly (sometimes weekly if I’m up for it) book tag that I created. You are free to do it on your blog as well, but please give me credit, please and thank you.

The Belles

thebellesAuthor: Dhonielle Clayton
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Cover: ★★★
Description:

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

Would I Request It?

I would definitely read the description. The cover is eye catching and the colors really pop. I’m certainly intrigued by the capital B Beauty and how it plays into the magic in the story. I also like that Camellia is literally getting the chance to prove herself as the best by using her powers to alter the world around her, but is faced with an ethical problem about whether or not she should just because she can.

I would probably request The Belles if I had the time.

Amazon . B&N


Daughter of the Siren King

daughterofthesirenqueenAuthor: Tricia Levenseller
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Cover: ★★★★
Description:

Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

Would I Request It?

I’m a sucker for cutout style art and I especially love how her hair pops off the image. I’m fairly turned off by “Dad kept a secret.” It’s a bit tropey in YA these days that the parents have neglected to tell their kids some special magic secret about their heritage.

Would not request.

Amazon . B&N


Ink, Iron, and Glass

Ink Iron and GlassAuthor: Gwendolyn Clare
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Cover: ★★★★
Description:

Can she write a world gone wrong?

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation by her mother—a noted scriptologist.

But when her home is attacked and her mother abducted, Elsa must cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative 19th-century Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of pazzerellones—young people with a gift for mechanics, alchemy or scriptology—and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and a tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

In this thrilling debut, worlds collide as Elsa unveils a deep political conspiracy seeking to unlock the most dangerous weapon ever created—and only she can stop it.

Would I Request It?

This cover would look gorgeous on my shelf and I may pick it up just for that. I love that each word is an element all it’s own while fitting with the color scheme in the art. Have you ever played Myst? Because this sounds like Myst. And I loved Myst. I’d really like to know how world in a book gets attacked.

I would absolutely request this.

Amazon . B&N


American Panda

americanpandaAuthor: Gloria Chao
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Cover: ★
Description:

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

Would I Request It?

It looks like a template. I wouldn’t even read the description if this came up in my feed. This wouldn’t get very far with me.

Amazon . B&N


Sightwitch

sightwitchAuthor: Susan Dennard
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Cover: ★★★
Description:

Set a year before TruthwitchSightwitch follows Ryber Fortiza, the last Sightwitch Sister as she treks deep underground to rescue her missing best friend. While there, she encounters a young Nubrevnan named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he wound up inside the mountain. As the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, and as they brave one close call after another, a tentative friendship forms between them—one that might one day grow into something more.

Sightwitch is told through Ryber’s journal entries and her sketches, as well as through supplementary materials (such as other journals, pieces of songs, clippings from history books, flashbacks, etc.). Though meant as a companion novella, this story serves as a set up to Bloodwitch as well as an expansion of the world.

Would I Request It?

Let’s talk cover first: this is very reminiscent of old school fantasy novels–and having met Susan Dennard once, I can honestly say that this fits her and her work perfectly. Normally, I don’t like people on the covers. It alters my view of characters and I wait impatiently for the scene on the front to become relevant. But knowing a little about this series and the author lets this little peeve of mine slide.

I’m most intrigued by its presentation.

Amazon . B&N