Review: Touch by Claire North

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Whoa. Just…whoa.

First recommended to me by Coffee/Travis of The Fantasy Inn, who has been almost as insistent with it as I am with my darling, The Gray House – and when it finally got chosen as the bookclub pick for the month after being nominated for probably like a year in a row, I simply had to. And even now, days later, I am still thinking about what I read. It did not leave me untouched.

It is not beauty, in an eye, a hand, a curl of hair. I have seen old men, their backs bent and shirts white, whose eyes look up at the passers-by and in whose little knowing smiles there is more beauty, more radiance of soul, than any pampered flesh. I have seen a beggar, back straight and beard down to his chest, in whose green eyes and greying hair was such handsomeness that I yearned to have some fraction of him to call my own, to dress in rags and sweep imperious through city streets.

Kepler is a body-hijacking ghost. With a touch it can jump into any body and use it for any amount of time, leaving a host with a gap in their memories. And it is not alone. When a host it loved and cherished is killed from under it, seemingly with the intention to kill Kepler too, it goes on a journey across Europe to find out who did it and why.

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Review: The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles (A Charm of Magpies #1)

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I don’t know much about romance. I used to avoid it quite religiously until a couple years ago and even after I got over my fear, recommendations were rare. But honestly? I think I need to put in the effort and actively look for more of it because this was amazing and I devoured it near-instantly.

“You know,” he added, “there are a number of recommended methods of dealing with ghosts – salt and iron, harmonic resonance, some people swear by exorcism, and not just priests – but that’s the first time I’ve seen anyone try a left hook.”

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Review: Blood of Heirs by Alicia Wanstall-Burke (The Coraidic Sagas #1)

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The ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Blood of Heirs was a very pleasant surprise. I needed a quick read, something that wouldn’t take me weeks to finish and boy has this book delivered.

He was no different to the rabbit, no different to any game animal pursued through the woods, whether for sustenance or pleasure. He was as hunted as that rabbit, and he’d turned his power on it, despite his already superior strength. What might he do if his pursuer cornered him the way he’d cornered the rabbit? Was it only a matter of time before the walls closed in and the escape routes vanished, only a matter of time before his father’s men tracked him to a dark corner and he too stared at his death without the power to run?

The book follows two characters. Lidan is the heir of a clan chief (or daari, as they’re called) without any sons. She wants nothing more than to be trained as a ranger, ride horses, learn to fight, but her mother won’t let her, saying it’s too dangerous for a heir…then things get a lot more complicated. Ran is the son and heir of a duke. He saves his city from disaster, but in the process, his magic is discovered and he is forced to run for his life.

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Review: Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett (Founders #1)

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I received an ARC of this book from the publisher (Crown) on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

(also, this is my first ARC)

A lovechild of Sanderson, Lynch, and Gladstone as I have heard it described would be an apt comparison indeed.

What a fucking book. This one will make it big, mark my words. It has something for everyone. Fans of high-paced, action fantasy? Check. Those looking for likable characters? Check. Magic system enthusiasts, those who want (mild) social critique, those looking for heist books, female characters with agency (who are not all fighters!)…there’s so much to love.

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Review: The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso (Annals of the Bitch Queen #1)

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This was quite the page-turner.

A wolf of Oren-yaro fights to make it right, down to the last breath. A wolf of Oren-yaro does not beg. A wolf of Oren-yaro suffers in silence.

It’s a book carried primarily by the characters. They don’t always make the wisest of the least frustrating choices, but they’re likable or interesting enough. The slow unfolding of the truth of what happened between Rayyel and Taliyen was great and so was the ending – just tense enough and tying some things up while still leaving others for the sequels.

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