This week I bought two of the books I wanted to read for the Nebula Readathon. Then I looked at the rest of my books and wondered what I was thinking. Even though neither of these should take all that long to read (my reasoning for originally thinking I could read them in May), I want to read Embassytown by China Mieville, Sleight of Hand by Peter S. Beagle, and The Fear Principle by B. A. Chepaitis in May. Plus I want to read some of the books I have by authors I’ve never read before who will be at Book Expo America (such as books I have by Cinda Williams Chima, Carrie Vaughn, and Deanna Raybourn). I’m already quite sure I won’t get through all of the latter, but oh well, at least one of the ones I got for the Readathon was a bargain book so it was a good time to get it anyway!
(As a side note, I am so ridiculously excited about the fact that Laini Taylor will be signing Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Vernor Vinge will be signing Children of the Sky at BEA this year!)
For reviews, I’m working on a review of Passion Play by Beth Bernobich and reading Eona by Alison Goodman so I have a book to review after that one is done.
On to the books…
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
This is the fourth book in the Queen’s Thief series and the only one currently available that I haven’t read yet. I liked The Thief (#1), and I loved The Queen of Attolia (#2) and The King of Attolia (#3), so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the type of young adult series I love because it’s not about teen issues – it’s just a great series with some excellent storytelling. Also, in addition to being a nominee for this year’s Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, it was just awarded the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature.
Sophos, under the guidance of yet another tutor, practices his swordplay and strategizes escape scenarios should his father’s villa come under attack. How would he save his mother? His sisters? Himself? Could he reach the horses in time? Where would he go? But nothing prepares him for the day armed men, silent as thieves, swarm the villa courtyard ready to kill, to capture, to kidnap. Sophos, the heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears without a trace.
In Attolia, Eugenides, the new and unlikely king, has never stopped wondering what happened to Sophos. Nor has the Queen of Eddis. They send spies. They pay informants. They appeal to the gods. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less certain that they will ever see their friend alive again.
Across the small peninsula battles are fought, bribes are offered, and conspiracies are set in motion. Darkening the horizon, the Mede Empire threatens, always, from across the sea. And Sophos, anonymous and alone, bides his time. Sophos, drawing on his memories of Gen, Pol, the Magus and Eddis, sets out on an adventure that will change all of their lives forever.
White Cat by Holly Black
This is the first book in the Curse Workers series, and the second book Red Glove was released in April. I’ve wanted to read it for a while now, both after reading reviews of it and reading a sample of the first two chapters I got at last year’s BEA. Getting nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy was just the incentive I needed to finally pick up a copy!
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.