November might just be my favourite month of the year. Not just because of my birthday, Thanksgiving, and all of my friends returning to our hometown for the holidays, but because of all of the wonderful books I was lucky enough to read this month! I got to finish up a series I had been enjoying, read a standalone, and start a new series that I am adoring!
Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
Summary: Two queens, separated by thousands of years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength—and their hearts. Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist. Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.
My thoughts: This was a big book–and I don’t just mean because it was over six hundred pages. I mean that a lot happened and the ending had me on the edge of my seat! I think that Legrand’s writing is nothing short of masterful; I couldn’t imagine writing two POVs a thousand years apart so fluidly. Everything makes sense yet there is so much mystery to be had. I really like this series and I’m so glad that I waited until the third and final book of the trilogy was released to start reading the series because I don’t think I could have waited that long after the cliff-hanger ending! You can find the book right here on Amazon.
Lightbringer by Claire Legrand
Summary: Two queens, separated by a thousand years must face their ultimate destinies. Queen Rielle, pushed away from everything she loves, turns to Corien and his promises of glory. Meanwhile, whispers from the empirium slowly drive her mad, urging her to open the Gate. Separated from Audric and Ludivine, she embraces the role of Blood Queen and her place by Corien’s side, determined to become the monster the world believes her to be. In the future, Eliana arrives in the Empire’s capital as a broken shell of herself. Betrayed and abandoned, she fights to keep her power at bay―and away from Corien, who will stop at nothing to travel back in time to Rielle, even if that means destroying her daughter. But when the mysterious Prophet reveals themselves at last, everything changes, giving Rielle and Eliana a second chance for salvation―or the destruction their world has been dreading.
My thoughts: This was a wonderful wrap-up to the series! I really liked the character development and how seamlessly Legrand wove the stories together, even though they were a thousand years apart. I was a fan of the series and enjoyed the trilogy. I gave each book 4.25 stars in my reading tracker! You can find Lightbringer right here on Amazon. I recommend this trilogy, especially if you love high fantasy and rooting for a blooming romance!
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
Summary: Two sisters. One brutal murder. A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself… And an intoxicating romance. Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden. Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
My thoughts: I loved this book. I loved the characters, I loved the writing, and I loved the dark atmosphere of witches and demons. Kerri Maniscalco is a very talented writer and I am going to read her other works, including the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I highly recommend this book! When I heard it was the Bookish Box’s October book of the month, I was stoked. It’s signed by the author and I am so happy about it! I recommend checking out the Barnes and Noble exclusive edition, linked here!
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Summary: The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
My thoughts: This is the first poetry collection I ever purchased, and I’ve had it for a couple of years. I’ve leafed through it before, but this is my first time reading it cover to cover in order of the poems. I’m enjoying it so far and want to put more effort into reading poetry and other essays! You can find the paperback here on Amazon or the Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition right here.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Summary: Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe. Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
My thoughts: This is my second time rereading this during 2020! I’m rereading the Cruel Prince series in anticipation of the release of How the King of Elfhame Learned How to Hate Stories, which is dropping on November 24th. I really enjoy this series and the characters (Cardan is my absolute favourite) and I’m happy to be rereading it again. I highly recommend this series, especially for anyone who adores high fantasy! You can find the Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition of The Cruel Prince right here.
The Wicked King by Holly Black
Summary: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring. The first lesson is to make yourself strong. After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished. When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.
My thoughts: This is my favourite book of The Cruel Prince series. I love the politics in this book and how nuanced everything is. I am such a fan of this series and highly recommend it to everyone. Jude is such a badass protagonist, I think everyone should read her! You can find the Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition of The Wicked King right here! It’s been sold out for almost a year, but I was able to snag a copy last week! The Barnes and Noble edition contains a deleted scene that I can’t wait to read.
The Lost Sisters by Holly Black
Summary: Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes… While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke. Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.
My thoughts: I love novellas, especially when they offer a deeper dive into the world of the book and explain things! This was a nice background story that fleshed out the characters. I highly recommend reading, you can find the kindle version of The Lost Sisters right here.
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
Summary: After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world. When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal. When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world. This Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition features an alternate jacket and contains letters from Cardan.
My thoughts: A perfect finale to a beautiful trilogy? I think so. I loved the character development of everyone within the books and how it finished. I am such a fan of Holly Black’s writing and Jude and Cardan have one of the most interesting dynamics I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I don’t think I could say one poor thing about the series in its entirety! I highly recommend it! You can find the Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition of The Queen of Nothing right here.
How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black
Summary: Once upon a time, there was a boy with a wicked tongue. Before he was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone . #1 New York Times bestselling author, Holly Black reveals a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame’s enigmatic high king, Cardan. This tale includes delicious details of life before The Cruel Prince, an adventure beyond The Queen of Nothing, and familiar but pivotal moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy, told wholly from Cardan’s perspective. This new installment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humor, and drama that enchanted readers everywhere. Each chapter is paired with lavish and luminous full-color art, making this the perfect collector’s item to be enjoyed by both new audiences and old. This Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition features an alternate jacket and contains bonus art and sketches with commentary from the author.
My thoughts: This book is gorgeous. The story is beautiful. It’s everything I wanted, and more than that, what I didn’t know I needed. I love Cardan and this was a great way to delve back into the world of the The Cruel Prince. I was lucky enough to snag the Barnes and Noble Exclusive edition on the day of release, and have linked it for you right here!
the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace
Summary: An all-new foreword by the author enhances this exclusive hardcover edition of the princess saves herself in this one (Winner of the 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Poetry), a collection of poetry about resilience. It is about writing your own ending.
From Amanda Lovelace, a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration. the princess saves herself in this one is the first book in the “women are some kind of magic” series.
My thoughts: I have been wanting to expand my reading material, especially into the realm of poetry. I think there is something so beautiful about how words can be strung together to create something so wonderful. While reading this, I have found some poems that I adore and some that make me realise how different our lives can be sometimes. I think poetry is good for opening up our minds. You can find the Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition of the princess saves herself in this one right here!
These are all of the books that I have read in November! I was so excited to read some new books and also reread some old favourites in anticipation for the release of a new book in the series. November was a great month for books! How many books did you read this month? Have any recommendations? Let me know down in the comments. And, as always, thank you so much for reading!