This week brought five books – one bought last weekend, one digital review copy, one won off Goodreads, and two I wanted to buy with the first one but ordered online instead because one was not in good condition and the other was more expensive at the bookstore. (Recently, we discovered we can get free Amazon Prime since my husband is a student so I got them in two days! With no shipping cost! This could be hazardous…)

As far as reviewing goes, I finished a review of Naamah’s Curse today so that will be going up sometime early this week. Next I’ll be working on a review of The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke.

On to the books.

Shadow Magic by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett

I was hoping to see this book when I took a trip to the giant bookstore last Sunday, and they had it so I snatched it up. It’s the book I’m mainly reading now. Havemercy (review) was very enjoyable, and I’ve liked the first 60% of this one as well. It has four different main characters and takes place in a different setting, although two of the protagonists are from Volstov and were in Havemercy. I particularly like getting to read from the point of view of Caius.

From the widely acclaimed authors of Havemercy comes this stunning new epic fantasy, set in the chaotic aftermath of a hundred years of war. Here, amidst the treacherous dance of diplomacy and betrayal lie the darkest secrets of all…and a peace more deadly than war itself.

Led to victory by its magic-fueled Dragon Corps, Volstov has sent a delegation to its conquered neighbors to work out the long-awaited terms of peace. Among those sent are the decorated war hero General Alcibiades and the formerly exiled magician Caius Greylace. But even this mismatched pair can’t help but notice that their defeated enemies aren’t being very cooperative.

The truth is even worse than they know. For the new emperor is harboring a secret even more treacherous—one that will take every trick in Alcibiades’ and Caius’ extensive arsenal to unveil. And once it is revealed, they may still be powerless to stop it.

With their only ally, an exiled prince, now fleeing his brother’s assassins, the countryside rife with treachery and terror, and Alcibiades and Caius all but prisoners, it will take the most powerful, most dangerous kind of magic to heal the rift between two strife-worn lands and unite two peoples against a common enemy…shadow magic.

The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt

Tia Nevitt, who runs the Debuts & Reviews blog, has her own debut coming out from Carina Press next month. The Sevenfold Spell is a novella based on the tale of Sleeping Beauty and is the first in a series of fairy tale retellings called Accidental Enchantments. There are plans for stories based on Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast. I love retold fairy tales so I’m looking forward to this one.

Things look grim for Talia and her mother. By royal proclamation, the constables and those annoying “good” fairies have taken away their livelihood by confiscating their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess, they said.

Not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue.

Without the promise of an income from spinning, Talia’s prospects for marriage disappear, and she and her mother face destitution. Past caring about breaking an arbitrary and cruel law, rebellious Talia determines to build a new spinning wheel, the only one in the nation, which plays right into the evil fairy’s diabolical plan. Talia discovers that finding a happy ending requires sacrifice. But is it a sacrifice she’s willing to make?

Dark and Stormy Knights edited by P. N. Elrod

I had no idea I’d won this off Goodreads until a surprise copy showed up in my mailbox on Monday. I was very glad I won it since I really, really want to read the story by Ilona Andrews but probably never would have bought this book myself for one small part of the collection. It’s about how Kate met Saiman so it should be very interesting. I haven’t read anything by any of the other authors in this book other than Carrie Vaughn’s contributions to the Wild Card books so it will be fun to get sample these writers. In particular, I’m looking forward to more by Vaughn as well as the Jim Butcher and Rachel Caine stories since I’ve heard a lot about them but have yet to read anything by either.

They’re the last defenders of humanity, the lone wolf bad boys— and girls—who do dark deeds for the right reasons. Modern day knights who are sexy, funny, mad, bad and dangerous to know because they do what most of us only dream about…and get away with it. In this all-star collection, nine of today’s hottest urban fantasy authors bring us original stories of supernatural, modern day knights that will have readers clamoring for more!

The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts

I’ve now heard enough about this book that I’m really curious about it. It’s supposed to be a little hard to read but excellent so I’ll save it for sometime when I’m on vacation or just have more time to read for some reason. At over 800 pages long, it’s also not a short book so I definitely think I’ll need some time for this one.

The stunning first volume in Janny Wurts’s epic tale of two half-brothers cursed to life-long enmity, now re-released with a striking new cover. The world of Athera lives in eternal fog, its skies obscured by the malevolent Mistwraith. Only the combined powers of two half-brothers can challenge the Mistwraith’s stranglehold: Arithon, Master of Shadow and Lysaer, Lord of Light. Arithon and Lysaer will find that they are inescapably bound inside a pattern of events dictated by their own deepest convictions. Yet there is more at stake than one battle with the Mistwraith — as the sorcerers of the Fellowship of Seven know well. For between them the half-brothers hold the balance of the world, its harmony and its future, in their hands.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

So I’m probably one of the few people left in the world who hasn’t read this, further evidenced by the fact that this is currently #20 in books on Amazon, the sequel Catching Fire is at #14 and the newly released Mockingjay is at #1. I suppose I should remedy this, especially since it sounds very interesting.

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.