The Falconer by Elizabeth May {Book Review}

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Falconer was everything that I wanted and more! I have recently picked up some other historical fantasy where the main character’s life is changed from ballrooms and dances to weapons and blood, but none of them hold a candle to The Falconer.

Aileanna was an incredibly believable character and was written very truthfully. She didn’t pretend to be another pretty face, she gave in to the urge she had to hunt the Fae and would let nothing get in the way of her mission of vengeance.

I really liked the author’s take on the Fae and reading a book where they are not all good. Historically faeries were not friendly beings, but over the years many stories are told that way. It was a lot of fun to read a story where even the “good” faerie can’t totally be trusted.

Full of interesting and fun (Derrick!) characters, this story is sure to attract a lot of readers. The steampunk setting also makes this a fun ride. I enjoyed that Aileanna uses her smarts to not only create some things stereotypical steampunk (i.e. flying ships, etc.), but also her own weapons to fight the Fae. She is a strong main character and one that readers can look up to.

I cannot wait to continue the series and see what happens next!


Reading Philippa Gregory…for a Grade?!

So as you may know, I love historical fiction (and if you didn’t know, now you do!). One of my favorite authors being Philippa Gregory, author of the wildly popular The Tudor Court series. My first series by her was her Wideacre trilogy, which I highly recommend, it is one of my favorites. But she has also written a series about the families before the Tudors, the families Game of Thrones was based off of, called The Cousins’ War series.

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Top 10 Favorite Books in 2015

It’s almost the New Year, so it’s time to remember all the good things about this past year. I have compiled a list of my top 10 favorite books that I read in 2015.

In no particular order, let’s begin!

  1. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson


A fantastic read-a-like for Harry Potter fans and those looking for a new fantasy series! Set in an alternate, gearpunk, United States a young boy dreams of becoming a Rithmatist, a wielder of chalk magic. When wild chalklings (much scarier than they sound) attack their school, will he be able to save them? I couldn’t put this book down and cannot wait for the sequel. Keep an eye out for my full review to show up here!

2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling


I haven’t watched The Office or The Mindy Project, so I went into this knowing virtually nothing other than who she is. OH MY GOSH. HILARIOUS. I read this while sick in bed and was cracking up the whole time, which often induced a horrible coughing fit, but it was so worth it. She is relatable and real! She’s just like everyone else and is not afraid to show it. If you’re looking for a fun, quick read, check this out! Full review to come on here, as well!

3. The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie


Whoa. Sometimes history is stranger than fiction. Most of what I have read of French aristocracy has to do with Marie-Antoinette and the Revolution, or when Mary, Queen of Scots resided in the French court. For me, this was all new, and just as intriguing! Four sisters all mistresses to the same king? Wow. An intriguing story line, beautiful description, and fascinating characters had me reading this one late into the night. Check out my full review here, at The Founding Fields.

4. Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick


Well…damn. This was my first Marcus Sedgwick book and I was not disappointed. I can see why he either wins or is always nominated for the Michael L. Printz Award. This book is a series to short stories that all tie together to tell a large history of a mysterious island. It is a story of magic. Of reincarnation. Of vampires and dragons. It is absolutely stunning. Pick it up. Read it. Full review to come.

5. All the Rage by Courtney Summers


Oh this book. I still can’t stop thinking about it. I read it for a Mock Printz discussion and was instantly hooked. Why did I like it so much? Well perhaps you should check out my review, here, and prepare to want to get your hands on it ASAP.

6. The Martian by Andy Weir


I wanted to read this book ever since I heard the description. Luckily Krissy brought it as a choice for our book club and it was picked! Thanks Krissy! It gave me the excuse to read it while not worrying about having to read a different book for book club. I laughed, I cried, I was literally on the edge of my seat. This book is smart and hilarious. I want to meet Mark Watney. This made for a great book discussion, lots of interesting topics! And the movie was fantastic, Hollywood did something right! Keep an eye out for a post of a full review!

7. Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

bitter greens

When I saw this was a retelling of Rapunzel I just had to get my hands on it! There are lots of retellings floating around these days, but not that many about this particular fairy tale. It is three different stories about three very different women that all tie together to create an amazing tale. The description, the imagination, the characters, everything was fantastic! Historical fantasy at its finest. Full review post to come!

8. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for Irene

Calling all fantasy lovers! Pick this book up! This is the story of four very different Londons. When Black London, long dead, starts to creep back into the other Londons, Kell, one of the only people left with the magic to jump between worlds, must find a way to stop it. I absolutely love the world that V.E. Schwab created and there are so many mysteries left to solve! The next one can’t come soon enough! Keep an eye out for the full review!

9. The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

invasion tearling

Sequel to another favorite of mine, The Queen of the Tearling (the review can be found, here, on The Founding Fields), this book picks up right where the first left off. There are some BIG changes in this one though. It made for a very interesting book that I could just not put down! Erika Johansen’s world is awesome and not like any I’ve read before. Fantastic series for fantasy and/or historical fiction fans! Full review will be posted soon!

10. Euphoria by Lily King


This book is absolutely beautiful. It is the fictionalized story of real life anthropologist, Margaret Mead. She was ahead of her time and quite scandalous. She pushed the edge and spoke many truths others did not want to hear. She also loved in many different ways. This novel was intriguing, heart wrenching, and a great snapshot of that time and of Margaret Mead’s life. Please read this one. Full review soon!

Have you read any of these this year? What did you think? Will you be adding them to your 2016 reading list?

Top Favorite 2015 Release Book Covers

Below is a collage of my absolute favorite book covers of novels released in 2015.

top fave books.PNG

Click on the titles below to check them out!

The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Bohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd [Book Review]

Dead flesh and sharpened scalpels didn’t bother me. I was my father’s daughter, after all. My nightmares were made of darker things.”


Did that catch your attention? Make your spine tingle? Then wait till you open this book…
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Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline – 2016 Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee [Book Review]

I read Orphan Train this past spring before it was nominated for a Lincoln Award, and I can see why it was chosen! Orphan Train is an adult novel that appeals to young adults, but unfortunately has not won an Alex Award. What is an Alex Award you may ask? It is an adult novel that appeals to teens, there are quite a few winners each year, but more on that later! Orphan Train is the story of two seemingly very different women that have quite a surprising connection…

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May B. by Caroline Starr Rose – 2016 Rebecca Caudill Award Nominee [Book Review]

May B. is the first middle grade novel in verse that I have read in a long time, the last one being Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. When I was looking at the Caudill Nominees for 2016 and read the description for this one I could not wait to get my hands on it. I am a huge fan of The Little House on the Prairie books and was excited to read another children’s book in that setting. May B. did not disappoint.

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