‘Book Haul’: 6/28

Sup bitmunchers!  I realize that today is our music day, but due to technical difficulties on my end, I am lacking in some resources right now, and for the forseeable future.  So what did I do today?  Yeah, I bought some books.  xp

There is a discount book store outlet where my sister works, so after dropping her off, I wandered over there and spent an hour in their fantasy section.  I found three books, so lets talk about it!

1. Heaven’s Net Is Wide, Lian Hearn

Paperback, Historical Fantasy20160628_160344

                As the story opens, the young Shigeru, heir to the clan, is eager to assert his authority and to face down treachery from within his own family and hostility from the far corners of the Three Countries.  As his youthful determination pushes the Otori inexorably toward war with the rival Tohan Clan – and their ruthless, scheming warlord, Iida Sadamu – fate appears to have some difficult lessons in store for Shigeru.

     – from the back of the book

It seems that this book is chronologically first while being canonically last.  I pick books based on cover first, description second, so I liked the cover on this one.  The story also takes place in Japan which I find super interesting.  It reminded me a bit of The Tale of Genji, but less intimidating.  One day I will read it.  I have never read anything from the Tale of the Otori series, so this will be my introduction.

2. THE DIVINER, Melanie Rawn

Hardcover, Fantasy20160628_160238

                It begins with Azzad al-Ma’aliq, lone survivor of the vicious treachery that destroyed his entire clan.  Saved by the mysterious desert healers known as the Shagara, Azzad must look beyond the haven they offer, driven by his burning need for vengeance.  For though the Shagara keep him safe from the seemingly endless stream of assassins his enemy sends after him, Azzad is convinced that the only way he will rid himself of this thread is by claiming the blood deb t owed his family.  Yet what Azzad cannot foresee is the price he and future generations will be forced to pay in their drive for revenge.

                For it is not until the time of Azzad’s great-grandson Qamar that this blood feud may finally come to an end.  Qamar has both the determination of the al-Ma’aloq and the inborn magic of the Shagara, and it is he who has the ability to fulfill his ancestor’s oath to avenge the slaughter of his family.  Because of his dual heritage, Qamar feels doubly trapped by destiny, until he encounters a beautiful young woman named Solanna Grijalva and a group of renegade Shagara.  Living in exile, these Shagara have abandoned desert tradition and developed a daring and unique type of magic.

                But will Qamar finally succeed in doing what generations of al-Ma’aliq men have failed to do?  Or will he bring into being an even greater threat than the one he is determined to eradicate?

     – from the book jacket

This is arguably the book I’m most excited about reading out of these three, and the one I did the least amount of screening for.  The cover reminded me of classic Dragon Lance books, especially those written by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.  When I picked this up I was trying to fill a sale pre-req, but ended up foregoing the sale.  Besides, this guy just looks so BA, I mean, dang son.  That sassy pose.

3. The Silvered, Tanya Huff

Hardcover, Steampunk Fantasy20160628_155929

                It began with the prophecy made by the Imperial Soothsayer, a prophecy that had Emperor Leopald’s army bent on conquering the small kingdom of Aydori.  For Aydori was ruled by the Hunt Pack – shape changers who took the form of wolves – and the Mage-pack – masters of the six disciplines: air, fire, water, earth, metals, healing.

                With its allies defeated, nothing stood between Aydori and the invading Imperials but its own troops, led by the Hunt Pack and aided by mage-craft.  What no one could have anticipated were the emperor’s new weapons – from hot air balloons, to highly destructive long-range rockets, to guns loaded with the silver bullets so deadly to the Pack.

                Even as his troops wreaked havoc on a broad front, the emperor sent a small group deep into Aydori territory to capture the six pregnant mages of the prophecy, using ancient magical devices that could nullify their powers, leaving them helpless prisoners.

                It should have been a foolproof scheme.  Captain Sean Reiter and his squad of Imperial soldiers easily captured five women of the Mage-pack, including the wife of the Pack Leader.  Yet the prophecy said they needed six mages.  So, while the majority of the squad head back to the capital with their prize, Captain Reiter and a smaller group continued the search.  And they came across Mirian Maylin.

                The daughter of a well-to-do banker and a social-climbing mother, Mirian had scored incredibly high in the testing, which won her a place at the mages’ university.  Yet after a year there all she had accomplished was to qualify at first level in five of the six disciplines when she should have been achieving mastery in one.  She hadn’t even informed her parents that she’d been told not to return for further schooling.  But when she witnessed the enemy capturing five women of the Mage-pack, Mirian had no choice but to head for the battlefront to report the kidnapping to the pack leader.

                On the way, she fell prisoner to Reiter and his men.  And it was only thanks to the intervention of the Pack Leader’s younger brother Tomas Hagen that Mirian escaped.  Tomas brought devastating news – news that sent the two of them on a desperate race to rescue the captured mages before they reached the capital.

                But even as they perused the squad, they were being perused by Captain Reiter.  While Mirian and Tomas journeyed through progressively more hostile lands, she worked relentlessly to improve her mage-craft and achieve control over her spells, leaving an all-too-obvious trail of incidents that could not be ignored.

                The Mage-pack captives themselves were doing everything they could to escape before the emperor could implement his horrific plans for them and their unborn children, but time was running out.  And even if Mirian and Tomas reached the capital before it was too late, what chance did they have against an ancient magic, the latest scientific advances, and a mad emperor’s entire army?

     – from the book jacket

While I edited the other two for length, I’ll just leave this whole thing here.  I may have been a little lax in my screening process.  The cover looked interesting, of course, and the wolf on the cover reminded me of my favourite misunderstood wolf protagonist Fell from The Sight, and Fell by David Clements-Davies (I highly recommend ALL his books, they’re amazing).  I read the first page or so and it made a good impression but I obviously did not read the jacket carefully enough, cause girl, that is just too much.  This is about werewolves vs Victorians (I’m only assuming that last part) which isn’t really my style, but hey, you gotta try new stuff, right?

Well, that’s all for today’s book haul.  I hope you all look forward to reading my reviews of these books whenever I read them and if you would like me to read one of these for my next Book Club series, let me know in the comments!

This has been According to Hatchet,

Thanks for being here x33

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