Weekly Reading List #289

Hello there everyone! So I’m typing this in advance because my doctor says I can go into labor at any moment so I wanted to make sure this post was done before that happened. It has been a crazy couple of days, making sure everything in the house is done and ready to go. Crazy how time flies! I feel like just yesterday I learned I was pregnant and now I’m about ready to deliver! Wild, man.

Hopefully, I will have some time to type up this next batch of reviews and catch up on my reading. The stack on my dresser is shrinking. So….progress! Hope everyone is doing well, wish me luck, and, of course, happy reading!

1. The Black Witch

by Laurie Forest

Powerful magic. A deadly legacy. A world at the edge of war. Prepare to be spellbound by The Black Witch.

Elloren Gardner is the spitting image of her grandmother, who drove back the enemy forces in the last Realm War. But while her people believe she will follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and become the next Black Witch of prophecy, Elloren is devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at Verpax University. But she soon realizes that the university may be the most treacherous place of all for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, Elloren’s best hope of survival may be among a secret band of rebels…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to fear.

2. Six Crimson Cranes

by Elizabeth Lim

This stunningly imaginative fairy-tale mashup combines East Asian folklore with western fairy tales to create a wholly original story of an exiled princess, forbidden magic, and a quest to save the kingdom. YA fantasy fans will delight in the richly crafted world Elizabeth Lim has poured onto the pages.

Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to forswear—no matter what the cost.

Weaving together elements of The Wild Swans, Cinderella, the legend of Chang E, and the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, Elizabeth Lim has crafted a fantasy like no other, and one that will stay with readers long after they’ve turned the last page.

3. Lore Olympus: Volume One

reading list

by Rachel Smythe

The webtoon sensation is finally in print, and it is a stunning celebration of one of the first love stories ever told. With her trademark wit and exquisite art, Smythe tackles the complicated relationship and origin story between Hades, god of the Underworld, and his beloved Persephone. We already cannot wait for book two.

Persephone, young goddess of spring, is new to Olympus. Her mother, Demeter, has raised her in the mortal realm, but after Persephone promises to train as a sacred virgin, she’s allowed to live in the fast-moving, glamorous world of the gods. When her roommate, Artemis, takes her to a party, her entire life changes: she ends up meeting Hades and feels an immediate spark with the charming yet misunderstood ruler of the Underworld. Now Persephone must navigate the confusing politics and relationships that rule Olympus, while also figuring out her own place—and her own power.

This edition of Smythe’s original Eisner-nominated webcomic Lore Olympus features a brand-new, exclusive short story, and brings the Greek pantheon into the modern age in a sharply perceptive and romantic graphic novel.

This volume collects episodes 1–25 of the #1 WEBTOON comic Lore Olympus.

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