Waiting on Wednesday: Mortal Heart and By Winter’s Light

 

WaitingOnWednesday02

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.com, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week, I could not decide between two pre-publication “can’t-wait-to reads”–so I figured, “Why not both?”

 

Mortal HeartMortal Heart

His Fair Assassins

by Robin LeFevers

11 . 04 . 2014

From Goodreads:

Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn’t mean she has…

Why I am waiting:

I stumbled upon the first book in this series, Grave Mercy several years ago, and I was just amazed by the concept.  So many books focused on the supernatural from the usualy perspective of vampire, witches and magic.  I thought the story behind this series was amazingly refreshing.  This takes place in historical France, and the fantastical part of this story comes from pre-Christian Gods and pagan practices and beliefs.  Also, I happen to be a huge Francophile, so anything that takes place in France is sure to catch my eye.

Its been a bit of a wait for this book, and we finally get to hear Annith’s story.  The second book of the series dragged a bit, but I am still excited for this next installment.  The intrigue in the French court has been building, as the precarious situation of the young ruler has become more and more tenuous.  I have a feeling that they saved the best for last!

 

And the BONUS “can’t-wait-to-read” pick is:

BY WINTER”S LIGHTBy Winter's Light

Cynster #21

by Stephanie Laurens

11 . 02 . 14

From GoodReads.com

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to romantic Scotland to usher in a new generation of Cynsters in an enchanting tale of mistletoe, magic, and love.

It’s December 1837, and the young adults of the Cynster clan have succeeded in having the family Christmas celebration held at snow-bound Casphairn Manor, Richard and Catriona Cynster’s home. Led by Sebastian, Marquess of Earith, and by Lucilla, future Lady of the Vale, and her twin brother, Marcus, the upcoming generation has their own plans for the holiday season.

Yet where Cynsters gather, love is never far behind—the festive occasion brings together Daniel Crosbie, tutor to Lucifer Cynster’s sons, and Claire Meadows, widow and governess to Gabriel Cynster’s daughter. Daniel and Claire have met before and the embers of an unexpected passion smolder between them, but once bitten, twice shy, Claire believes a second marriage is not in her stars. Daniel, however, is determined to press his suit. He’s seen the love the Cynsters share, and Claire is the lady with whom he dreams of sharing his life. Assisted by a bevy of Cynsters—innate matchmakers every one—Daniel strives to persuade Claire that trusting him with her hand and her heart is her right path to happiness.

Meanwhile, out riding on Christmas Eve, the young adults of the Cynster clan respond to a plea for help. Summoned to a humble dwelling in ruggedly forested mountains, Lucilla is called on to help with the difficult birth of a child, while the others rise to the challenge of helping her. With a violent storm closing in and severely limited options, the next generation of Cynsters face their first collective test—can they save this mother and child? And themselves, too?

Back at the manor, Claire is increasingly drawn to Daniel and despite her misgivings, against the backdrop of the ongoing festivities their relationship deepens. Yet she remains torn—until catastrophe strikes, and by winter’s light, she learns that love—true love—is worth any risk, any price.

A tale brimming with all the magical delights of a Scottish festive season.

 

Why I am waiting:

It feels like it has been FOREVER since there has been a new Cynster novel… As you can see above, there are A LOT of them.  And while the original 6 were definitely my favorites in the series, the following books were fun as well.  I love that Laurens keeps bringing the original characters back.  These books are always, quick, fun, emotional, and sweet reads.  I am ridiculously excited for one about Christmas in Scotland. It will be the perfect start to the Winter season!

 

 

 

 

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass HardcoverSo, I am a little late with this review, Throne of Glass was published last year.  However, I assume there are enough people who have not yet read this great novel–that this review is still relevant.  Especially with the sequel coming out in 11 days.

Throne of Glass  tells the story of  Celaena Sardothien.  The beautiful and deadly young woman known as the Assassin of Adarlan, is brought out of her imprisonment in the salt mines of Endovier to the glass palace.  To win her freedom, she will fight in the competition to become the champion of the king she hates.  Her struggle becomes more perilous as competitors begin to die gruesome deaths outside the arena, and as the hatred and anger she hides behind are tempered by the unexpected love and friendships that develop.

Celaena Sardothien is an excellent heroine.  Though at times the combination of her expertise as an assassin with her beauty and her other incredible skills may have you wondering who the hell this girl is, Maas mitigates her Mary Sue-ish character with believable personality flaws. She invites you to laugh at Celaena, but she also moves you to cheer for her and cry with her.  Celaena portrays a surprising complex and imperfect morality, formed in her mysterious past, that makes her a delightfully Byronic heroine.

Other characters, such as the Crown Prince and the Master of the Guard are simpler–but show the promise of more depth to come as their stories unfold.

The story itself is a classic fantasy.  The fraught environment that Maas created for her characters will lead to a great series.  However, midways through Throne of Glass, I began to wonder how Maas was going to be able to tie the story together.  She has a lot of seemingly disparate plot pieces occurring simultaneously–from the tyrant king, to political intrigues, a bloody competition,  unexplained deaths, ghosts, mysterious pasts of her characters, magic, and a love triangle all vie for your attention in the first three quarters of the book.   Maas is able to bring everything together in an exciting ending! She struck a perfect balance between giving readers the answers and conclusion they craved and leaving them wanting more.

I am eagerly awaiting the sequel Crown of Midnight, releasing on August 27th 2013.  I hope we will find out more about Celaena Sardothien before she became the Assassin of Adarlan.  I am dying to uncover the secrets around her past!

 

If you enjoyed this novel you will also enjoy:

  • The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
  • Trickster’s Choice  by Tamora Pierce