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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – The descent to darkness is slow but wow, it is worth it

Summary:

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living‚ÄĒand of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong‚ÄĒstronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland‚Ķand threaten the very survival of those she loves.

My review:

This; this is the book that I had been asking for. For the longest time, I craved a fantasy that was unique and unlike anything I had read before. I wanted a fantasy to remind me that my imagination is limitless, wanted a fantasy that showed me something fresh and exciting.

I found my expectations met by The Bone Witch, a fantastic story with an incredibly imaginative world, filled with magic and giant skeletal monsters, people who wear their heart around their necks, and a girl who became a villain.

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The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig – A diverse cast of pirates, a heist, and time-travel – what’s not to love?

Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix‚Äôs mother. Even though getting it‚ÄĒand going there‚ÄĒcould erase Nix‚Äôs very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.

Imagine this: time-travelling pirates, love that transcends time, a heist, a subtle narrative on American imperialism, a diversity of characters, and a story set in 1884’s Oahu of the Hawaiian Islands. The Girl From Everywhere¬†may be one of the most unique stories I have read.¬†In this story, magic and fantasy meet mythology and history to create an intricate tale about a girl whose existence is¬†in the hands of the Captain of the¬†Temptation —¬†who is also her father.

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25

The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho – An exquisite homage to love and life

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In the tenth court of hell, spirits wealthy enough to bribe the bureaucrats of the underworld can avoid both the torments of hell and the irreversible change of reincarnation.

It’s a comfortable undeath ‚Ķ even for Siew Tsin. She didn’t choose to be married to the richest man in hell, but she’s reconciled. Until her husband brings home a new bride.

Yonghua is an artificial woman crafted from terracotta. What she is may change hell for good. Who she is will transform Siew Tsin. And as they grow closer, the mystery of Yonghua’s creation will draw Siew Tsin into a conspiracy where the stakes are eternal life ‚Äď or a very final death.

After reading Cho’s spectacular¬†Sorcerer to the Crown, I was an instant fan. I was thus inevitably drawn to¬†The Terracotta Bride –¬†a¬†fantasy short story that plunges us headfirst into the throes of the Chinese afterlife.

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26

Mini-Reviews: Short Stories, Vanquishers of Book Slumps

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I’ve figured out the secret. (Or, more accurately, I’ve been let in on a secret.)

Friends, if you ever experience a book slump, read short stories. They’re bite-sized, more often than not they’re truly incredible, and they will probably get you out of that book slump. I’ve managed to weather some book slumps by binging on short stories, so today, I’ll be sharing with you mini-reviews of short stories that I’ve read! (Note, I will not be doing mini-reviews for¬†The Terracotta Bride¬†and¬†The Paper Menagerie –¬†two short stories I loved, so I want to write more about them!)

I also want to take this opportunity to give a shoutout to Aentee from Read at Midnight, who recommends a lot¬†of the¬†short stories that I read. Thank you so much, Aentee!¬†‚̧

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Festive Book Recs: Happy Lunar New Year!

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Happy Lunar New Year, friends!

Today, on the 28th of January, is the first day of the lunar calendar, else known as the Lunar New Year. For a lot of us, Lunar New Year is a very important day – one that is filled with celebration, spending time with family and the ones we love, and eating a lot of delicious food. For those of us with Chinese heritage, we call Lunar New Year¬†Chinese New Year —¬†and it’s the Year of the Rooster too!¬†However, today is also Korean New Year, Mongolian New Year, Tibetan New Year, and Vietnamese New Year. (And a happy new year to you too, my friends!)

I am super honoured and delighted to have¬†three book bloggers contribute to today’s¬†Festive Book Recs¬†– Lili, Jeann, and Alex – and share with you what Chinese New Year means to them and what they do to celebrate! In the end, Lili, Jeann, Alex¬†will also be recommending two books each that relate to Chinese New Year.

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #6 – Indian Characters/Indian Mythology

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Welcome to my sixth Diversity Spotlight Thursday! This wonderful weekly blog meme was created and is hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks! For more information about the meme, please read the announcement post here.

My participation in this meme is to help me with one of my reading goals: to read books with a variety of perspectives, especially ones different from my own. Every two weeks I will share with you:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

I wanted to do a theme for this week’s Diversity Spotlight – so this week’s theme is:¬†books with Indian characters or based on Indian mythology.

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Book Recs: Fantasies by Asian Authors

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One of my goals for this blog is to make some truly fantastic book recommendations. To work in line with this goal, I want to start recommending more diverse books.¬†Something I have noticed as of late is that the same books are recommended over and over again. And whilst that’s¬†not necessarily a bad thing because it is probably a fantastic book, I feel like I can do my part and shine a light on diverse books that are just as brilliant, if not better.

Fantasy is one of my favourite genres;¬†I love the feeling of transcending reality and being teleported to an author’s imagination-scape. Give me magical worlds, awesome powers and magic systems, and inspiring adventure narratives.

For this month’s book recommendation post, I am going to share with you four wonderful fantasies written by Asian authors.

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