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Waiting on Wednesday: Mortal Heart

Welcome back BookTasty friends!

I hope you’re all having a stress-free week so far! For today’s Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) post I chose to focus on Robin Mortal Heart by Robin LaFeversLaFever’s third book in the His Fair Assassin series, Mortal Heart.

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.

The first two books in this series are both really, really well written books that will hook you from the beginning. I adore the idea of medieval assassin nuns and LaFevers’ characters are just so captivating! I have enjoyed getting little tidbits about Annith in both Gave Mercy and Dark Triumph, so I’m excited to learn more about her story. I am wondering how she’ll fair as she attempts to be an assassin because she just seems so innocent and sweet compared to Ismae and Sybella!

I’ll have to ask for Mortal Heart for my birthday because it is scheduled to release in early November 2014, and my birthday is November 13. *hint hint nudge nudge*

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Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Art I’d Frame

Hiya!

I totally judge books by their covers! I know it’s wrong…but I don’t care! I just a sucker for a pretty cover and in the YA world there are tons of lovely covers out there, but sometimes you get some that just stand out above the rest.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Cover Art I’d Frame”. I guess if I’m thinking about book cover art as “frameable” I tend to lean towards those that are illustrated. There are probably other cover I’d consider “frameworthy” floating around out there, but here are ten that just stand out as lovely.

Serafina's Promise by Ann E BurgSerafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg

I love the muted pastel colors and the shape of the girl’s arms.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail CarrigerThe Finishing School series by Gail Garriger

These covers are just so strikingly beautiful that I’d want them hanging in a fancy dressing room, if I was wealthy enough to have a fancy dressing room, that is.

The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

When you look at this cover closely you see just how detailed and gorgeous the brush strokes are.

Chomp by Carl HiaasenAny of Carl Hiassen’s middle grades book covers

The simplicity and vivid colors of his covers just draw me in. They remind me of the paper cutouts of Matisse.

After the Snow by SD CrockettAfter the Snow by S.D. Crockett

I actually haven’t read this book, but I’ve always loved the look of these trees.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie StiefvaterThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This one is prettier without the text over it because the title is covering the horse and rider’s reflection in the water.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue ParkA Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

I love the simplicity of the silhouette and sunset.

The Lion, The WItch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (cover illustrations by Pauline Baynes)

Nothing beats classically illustrated book covers like these.

The Goose Girl by Shannon HaleThe Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (illustrated by Alison Jay)

Jay did the artwork for the first three books in this series and they’re so bulbous and beautiful!

Princess Academy by Shannon HalePrincess Academy by Shannon Hale (illustrated by Tim Zeltner)

This has always been one of my favorite covers. I just adore the touch of whimsy Zeltner’s work has. I actually like his non book covers even better than this!

Well, would you frame any of the book covers I’ve selected this week?

 

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Reading Queue: May

The Reading QueueHola!  Happy May!

It still amazes me how fast this school year is going! We’re already only a few weeks away from the start of summer break! The weather has become absolutely gorgeous and both my porch and a good book are calling out to me!

What is the Reading Queue?  The Reading Queue is a monthly meme, hosted by Book Tasty (hola!) and Books: A true story where we share our reading plans for the month. You can check out other participating blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

What I Read in April

I’ve been reading a ton of middle grade books recently and my total number of books read in April was 8! I know I didn’t stick tight to my April Reading Queue but I did read a lot, even if they weren’t the titles I originally planned.

The Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff Icons by Margaret Stohl

The Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff

Icons by Margaret Stohl

Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper Searching for Sarah Rector by Tonya Bolden Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper

Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America by Tonya Bolden (nonfiction)

Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

Alanna by Tamora Pierce The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman Doll Bones by Holly Black

The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

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My May Reading Queue

Seriously, I just want to cancel everything I’m supposed to do this month so I can sit on my porch and read! Here are the ones I hope to finish this month!

TheBoyOnTheWoodenBox My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J Freedman The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman

The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord The Last Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson The Boy Problem by Kami Kinard

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

The Boy Problem by Kami Kinard

Can You Say Catastrophe? by Laurie Friedman PrisonerB3087 by Alan Gratz Caminar by Skila Brown

Caminar by Skila Brown

Can You Say Catastrophe? by Laurie Friedman

Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz

The One by Kiera Cass

The One by Kiera Cass (My precious!!!)

Okay! I’m off to get reading! Have you read any of the books on my Reading Queue?  Please feel free to link up and join us this month! I’d love to check out your Reading Queue too!

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The Much Dreaded Curse: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Hola!

Books about kingdoms and royalty are kinda up my ally. Duh. I love them! So, it’s no surprise that I’m a fan of Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Ascendance trilogy!  Today we’re focusing book two, The Runaway King.

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly Runaway King by Jennifer A. Neilsensituation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?

The Runaway King is the second book in the Ascendance Trilogy and although still a fun read, it’s pretty clear that this installment has fallen slightly into the much dreaded “second book curse”. Did it live up to the first book? No. Was it still fun? Yes!

I think a huge part of the weakness of this book is in Jaron’s character himself and the lack of world building. Jaron/Sage is so awesomely awesome in book one – he is this snarky, secretive, competitive, stubborn and loyal boy who’s daring sarcasm kept me entertained the whole time.  In The Runaway King, it seems a little like Jaron is a bit overshadowed by the plot. There is so much going on that it’s like Jaron has forgotten to be his witty self…or, rather, Nielsen forgot to write him that way. It is almost like she wrote him so well in The False Prince, that she felt like she could take a break. Jaron is there, but he’s kind of like a much dimmer, more muted version of himself.

Since most of this story takes place out in Jaron’s kingdom of Carthya and the surrounding areas, I was really hoping to explore the region in more detail. I wanted more information about the culture of his people and how the kingdom looked. Expect for a few tiny details, there really wasn’t much to sink your teeth into. Nothing to truly make you care about Carthya. Honestly, Carthya could be any random fictional kingdom – it just doesn’t seem to have a personality of its own.

Okay, so I did say the story was still fun and it really was. All of my favorite characters were back. Yes, Imogen, Mott, Amarinda, Tobias are all back by Jaron’s side and we even see those I dislike…such as Conner for example.  It’s interesting that while Jaron’s personality seems to fade into the background a little, his supporting characters all glow a little brighter in this book, especially Imogen and Amarinda. Plus, we’re introduced to pirates! Pirates are always cool!  Also we have a lot of buildup to a cliffhanger ending, which of course always makes you crave the next book no matter what!

So, while I was slightly disappointed in The Runaway King, I did still enjoy it in the end and you might too.

Author: Jennifer Nielsen

Publisher: Scholastic Press (March 1, 2013)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 331 pages

Series: Second in The Ascendance trilogy

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: The Runaway King: Book 2 of the Ascendance Trilogy