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  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2018/01/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , anne bishop, , breath of magic, crystal cove, , daughter of the blood, , erika mailman, , , , , , , , , naomi novik, , , paula brackson, practical magic, , , , , the witches of east end, the witching hour, the witchs daughter, the witchs trinity, toil and trouble, uprooted, , wicked deeds on a winters night, witch and wizard   

    16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter 

    You may think Autumn is the only time for witchery, but we say winter and witches go together like snowflakes and hot cocoa! If January has been keeping you cold, here are some witchy reads that will excite…and maybe even scare you a bit, too.

    A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
    When factions of supernatural creatures set their sights on a document that could give them the upper hand in a war, a reluctant witch must seek the protection of an equally reluctant vampire, her supposed mortal enemy. Witch stories have a tendency to emphasize the importance of family…but in this case, it could be her own family that wants her dead. Can true love between two warring beings prevail?

    Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman
    The Owens sisters are cursed: the men that they love will always die. But with that curse comes unique abilities—magic—that on more than one occasion, they have used to try and prevent others that they love from falling prey to the same fate. Gillian and Sally grew up as outsiders, always trying to escape the rumors about their family. One of them married, and the other ran away, determined never to do so. But when tragedy brings them together again, the curse is always there to welcome them home…

    Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts
    In this witchy trilogy, Iona Sheehan travels to Ireland to connect with family she has always yearned to know. Reunited with her cousins in the home of her ancestors, Iona is hopeful she’s found everything she’s been looking for. And then she meets Boyle MacGrath: a cowboy with no ties, except the one winding its way around her heart.

    Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, by Kresley Cole
    In the fourth installment in this paranormal romance series, Mariketa the witch has been stripped of her magic, leaving her with no choice but to seek the protection of her greatest enemy, Bowen MacRieve. Bowen is a tortured werewolf determined never to let his heart belong to another—especially Mari—but soon enough, they cannot deny the passion between them. Forbidden love, evil forces, and magic combine for a riveting tale.

    Breath of Magic, by Teresa Medeiros
    Arian Whitewood is a witch from the seventeenth century…which means she does not belong three hundred years in the future, but alas, that’s where a mysterious amulet takes her. She meets Tristan Lennox, a billionaire with no faith in magic…and so he never expected his reward of 1 million dollars to the person who could prove its existence to ever come true. Outlander fans will love this reverse-time-travel billionaire romance.

    Crystal Cove, by Lisa Kleypas
    Friday Harbor has been a good home to Justine; here she’s found the stability she never had with her untamable mother, Marigold, and she enjoys the safety in her mundane life of running a small hotel. But then, her world is rocked by the truth that her lack of love is the result of a dark curse cast on her at birth.

    The Witch’s Daughter, by Paula Brackston
    One of the most fascinating and engrossing witch tales I’ve ever read: you will not be able to look away from the tale of Elizabeth Hawksmith, a witch who has survived over three-hundred years in loneliness, only to discover a Witchfinder from her past has been stalking her through time, determined to collect on a debt. But this time, Elizabeth can’t run: she has a teenage girl under her care, and something more important than her own immortality to protect.

    The Witches of East End, by Melissa De La Cruz
    The Beauchamp witches try to live a normal life; the fact that they are forbidden to practice magic makes that slightly easier. But when murder and mystery find them in their solitude, they decide the time has come to defy the rules and do what must be done to defeat the evil in their midst.

    Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop
    This high fantasy in which power is manifested through magical gems stars a mysterious Queen who will rise to a power stronger even than Hell itself. Three men seek to find and control the girl who is destined to ascend the throne in a ruthless quest of corruption, greed, and lust.

    Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
    The story of the Wicked Witch of the West begins at birth—born green, an outcast in society, she is nonetheless destined to wield a magic that will make her infamous. This villain origin story is action-packed, beautiful, and romantic.

    The Witch’s Trinity, by Erika Mailman
    This fascinating tale of witchcraft, fear, and history begins in 1507 when a German town is struck by a famine…which one friar believes is the result of witchcraft. Güde Müller has been tormented by visions that she cannot explain…and soon she realizes that her position in the town is compromised, perhaps even by her own family.

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
    This unique story is difficult to describe, but incredibly ethereal, dark, and haunting. A man comes home to Sussex for a funeral, and is drawn to the mysterious house at the end of the road where, as a child, he met a mysterious girl and something magical and dangerous happened to him as a child.

    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe
    Connie’s summer is full to the brim with research for her PhD. But when her mother asks her to help handle the sale of her grandmother’s house, Connie finds herself pulled into a dark mystery involving a family bible, an old key, and a name: Deliverance Dane. Who was she? And why is Connie suddenly having visions of the Salem Witch Trials?

    Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
    A terrifying wizard known as The Dragon kidnaps girls in a small town every ten years—and soon, Agnieszka’s best friend will be chosen. That is, until a twist of fate results in her being chosen instead.

    Witch and Wizard, by James Patterson
    In a dystopian world of governmental control, Wisty and Whit Allgood are siblings accused of being a witch and wizard. Young people everywhere have been torn from their homes and forced to face judgment for this “crime” of magic.

    The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice
    This lush, dark, and gorgeously gory paranormal series introduces readers to the Mayfair witches, whose stories have been told for centuries by the Talamasca. This time, Rowan Mayfair is a neurosurgeon who never knew of her abilities until one day when she brings a man back from the dead. Cursed (or gifted, or both) with the ability to see the dark realm and the evil spirit who wants to come through to the mortal realm, Rowan must find a way to defeat him and protect the world—and people—she loves.

    What witchy books do you love?

    The post 16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Joel Cunningham 6:48 pm on 2015/03/03 Permalink
    Tags: a dance with dragons, anne bishop, , , , , , , , , ,   

    March’s Top Picks in Science Fiction and Fantasy 

    March comes in like a Lion of Lannister this year with an assortment of new releases that show off the breadth and depth of fantastic fiction. From unusual urban fantasies, to epics that earn their name, to a ripped-from-the-headlines near-future thriller, these books demonstrate that you need not confine yourself to the real world to find stories that will really move you.

    A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin
    With the fifth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones premiering April 12, it’s time to read (or re-read) the books before you watch. The most recent novel in George R.R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire, A Dance with Dragons forms the basis for the storylines that will play out onscreen this year: Tyrion Lannister is on the run and wanted for murder, fingers are being pointed as the bodies pile up in King’s Landing, young Arya Stark sheds the last of her childhood innocence as she trains to be a ruthless assassin, Jon Snow holds wavering command over the men of the Night’s Watch at the Wall, and across the sea, Daenerys sits uneasily upon the throne in the newly freed slave city of Meereen. There’s a lot to chew on in these 1,000-page tomes, more than could ever be crammed into the show. Experience both.

    Dead Heat, by Patricia Briggs
    The fourth entry in the electric Alpha and Omega urban fantasy series (a spinoff of the Mercy Thompson books) focuses on Charles and Anna, a pair of werewolf lovers who represent the dual halves of the shapeshifting world. Charles is an Alpha, a pack leader, and Anna, his mate, is a rare Omega, a wolf with the ability to exert a calming influence over her violent brethren.  In this volume, what begins as a rare vacation for the powerful duo turns deadly when they uncover a plot by the Fae to replace the children of an Arizona town with changelings. Human in appearance only, these creatures will be at the forefront of an all-out attack by the Folk—unless Charles and Anna can put a stop to their plans.

    Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson
    Let it not be said that Brandon Sanderson is a writer who lacks ambition: Words of Radiance, now out in paperback, is but the second 1,000-plus-page doorstopper in The Stormlight Archives, a planned 10-book series. The first, The Way of Kings, laid the groundwork for an outsized tale of struggle for control of a magic-rich world wracked by storms that strip the land bare. Each volume zeroes in on one of a rotating cast of legendary heroes, revealing their backstories even as Sanderson revels in building a detailed setting and establishing his trademark rigidly structured, highly logical magic systems. Epic fantasy doesn’t get much bigger than this.

    The Skull Throne, by Peter V. Brett
    With the first three novels in the Demon Cycle, about a world where unspeakable creatures hunt in the night and only powerful shamans covered in magical tattoos dare to venture out after dark, Peter V. Brett built a reputation as one of the most exciting new voices in epic fantasy. The long-awaited fourth volume raises the stakes in every way. Events of the previous books have left the Skull Throne of Krasia empty, and its widowed queen, Inevera, must keep the peace between her sons (and potentials heirs), lest their squabbling erupt into an all-out civil war. To the north, two heroes attempt to unite disparate cities against Krasia before it can gather its strength. And all the while, the night-stalking corelings are growing ever more numerous, and ever more powerful. Filled with visceral action and characters who exist in shades of grey, this is mature, modern epic fantasy.

    A Blink of the Screen, by Terry Pratchett
    Fantastical humorist Terry Pratchett is an institution in his native England and beloved the world over; across more than 40 books in the Discworld series, he has imagined one of the weirdest and most fully-realized fantasy worlds in all of literature. This volume collects some of his less expansive work: short stories that run the gamut from schoolboy scribblings to snippets of the larger Discworld universe to wholly original tales. No matter what he’s writing, you can count on Pratchett to deliver inimitable wit and a clear-eyed skewering of the more ridiculous aspects of the human (or dwarf, or dragon, or witch, or…) condition.

    Prudence, by Gail Carriger
    Across the five books of The Parasol Protectorate, Carriger told the story of Alexia Tarabotti, a soulless preternatural agent to the Crown in a steampunk Victorian London rife with werewolves, vampires, and other assorted beasties. Prudence picks up a generation later, focusing on Alexia’s daughter, who is following in her mother’s footsteps, taking on missions for queen and country from the deck of her dirigible, The Spotted Custard. Carriger’s fans know what to expect from The Custard Files, but if you’re just jumping onboard the steam engine, be on the lookout for rip-roaring adventure, romantic entanglements, snarky banter, and a whole lot of fun.

    Doctor Who: Time Trips
    Like a TARDIS, this compendium of time travel tales featuring everyone’s favorite long-lived temporal explorer is bigger on the inside. Eight notable Time Lord enthusiasts the likes of Joanne Harris, Trudi Canavan, and Nick Harkaway offer up clock-pretzeling stories of almost as many incarnations of the Doctor. We’ve still got a long wait for more of Twelve’s televised escapades, but this volume should help occupy the long nights of Silence until then.

    Vision in Silver, by Anne Bishop
    In The Others series, humans are but pawns—and prey—in a world ruled over by supernatural beings. Meg Corbyn is a human gifted with the ability, when cut, to see the future. Hunted by her own kind, she went into hiding in the world of the Others, finding unexpected allies among the terra indigene. But what does it mean to live among your enemies? In this third volume, a war between humans and Others is brewing, and seers like Meg are highly valued by both sides. But looking into the future has consequences, and Meg finds herself addicted to the magical charge of blood prophecy. A unique setting and mythology sets this ambitious series apart.

    Persona, by Genevieve Valentine
    This of-the-minute political thriller feels so terrifyingly true, it hardly reads like science fiction at all. Just a few years from now in Paris, Suyana Sapacki is a representative in the International Assembly, a replacement for the U.N. Its members have celebrity status, power, influence, and problems with paparazzi. They also face threats of assassination. After surviving one attempt on her life, Suyana goes into hiding within a group of environmental terrorists, pulling unwitting photographer Daniel along with her. As they struggle to find out who wants Suyana dead, the two must battle conflicting loyalties and disparate political agendas in this cutting-edge, character-focused thrill ride.

    Clash of Eagles, by Alan Smale
    This impressive debut novel constructs a startlingly well-developed alternate history in which the Roman Empire never fell. In the year 1218 AD, Roman longboats make their way across the Atlantic and bump against the shores of the Americas. They expect an easy conquest of the resource-rich continent, but the native inhabitants prove more resilient—and more deadly—than the Empire ever expected. Roman military leader Praetor Gaius Marcellinus, commander of the 33rd Roman Legion, is at the center of everything; ordered by his emperor to seize the New World, he finds his loyalties tested by his growing respect for the vastly different cultures he encounters. Originally a slim novella that was expanded after it won the 2010 Sidewise Award for Alternate History, this epic proves that the past offers endless new adventures.

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