Top Ten Spring Reads


This was the theme on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and Bookish and I thought it was such a lovely one, I decided to join in – albeit two days late!

1. Blood Upon the Sand – Book 2 of The Songs of the Shattered Sands by Bradley Beaulieu
When Çeda and Emre are drawn into a plot of the blood mage, Hamzakiir, they sail across the desert to learn the truth, and a devastating secret is revealed, one that may very well shatter the power of the hated kings.
During this winter, I’ve developed a real taste for desert-based fantasy and the first book in this series – Twelve Kings – was a gripping read. I’m really looking forward to getting lost once more in this complex, well written world full of heat, sand and intrigue…


2. Mira’s Last Dance – Book 4 of the Penric and Desdemona series by Lois McMaster Bujold
In this sequel to the novella Penric’s Mission, the injured Penric, a Temple sorcerer and learned divine, tries to guide the betrayed General Arisaydia and his widowed sister Nikys across the last hundred miles of hostile Cedonia to safety in the Duchy of Orbas.
I’ve really enjoyed this series of novellas as Penric learns to adapt to the twelve demons riding him. There is plenty of action and I have particularly grown to love the unintended consequences that spring up around a good man coping with a host of chaos demons. Wonderful stuff!


3. The Ninth Rain – Book 1 of The Winnowing Flame Trilogy by Jen Williams
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.
After the storming series The Copper Cat, I was delighted to be able to get hold of this latest offering by such a talented author. Her swashbuckling energy will nicely chime with warmer days and lots of greenery appearing in the garden.


4. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible — until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars. Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war — and a system of control for the rulers of the empire. And then the Emperox dies just as a cataclysmic change threatens the stability of everything…
Scalzi is always worth reading – I particularly loved his futuristic crime thriller Lock In – so I fell upon this start to a new epic space opera when I spotted it on Netgalley. It should be full of thrills and spills, along with some interesting ideas along the way.


5. Saven Deception – Book 1 of the Saven series by Siobhan Davis
Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person—herself. Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea. Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.
While visiting other book blogs, this series kept popping up with lots of good things being said about it, so when I had the opportunity to get hold of the first book in the series and see what all the fuss was about – I grabbed it. I’m looking forward to tucking into this one and maybe getting hold of some more of the books in due course.


6. The Operator – Book 2 of The Peri Reed Chronicles by Kim Harrison
Peri Reed’s job eats her mind, but for a special task agent in hiding, forgetting the past can be a blessing. Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and the agency who turned her into the very thing she fought against, Peri abandoned the wealth and privilege of Opti for anonymity riddled with memory gaps and self-doubt.
I’ve recently finished the first book in this series, The Drafter, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Harrison delivers a twisting plot, foot to the floor action and some thought provoking questions along the way – the staple of excellent science fiction. So I’m really looking forward to seeing how this next slice of the adventure plays out.


7. My Parents Are Out of Control – Book 2 of the How To Train Your Parents by Pete Johnson
Louis doesn’t think much of it when his mum and dad ask him for tips on how to be cool. In fact, he thinks it’s pretty funny watching them bump fists and use words like ‘safe’, ‘sick’ and ‘wicked’. Until Dad turns up outside Louis’s new school dressed like a rapper, that is . . . Suddenly they’re trying to friend Louis and all his classmates on Facebook, and wearing baseball caps backwards – IN PUBLIC. Louis and his best friend Maddy are horrified. Mum and Dad have taken things too far . . . and immediate action is needed!
I read the first book in this series, How To Train Your Parents, to my granddaughter, who thoroughly enjoyed it – and so did I. We got hold of the rest of the series and I need to read it in advance, as otherwise I’m tempted to skim ahead as I’m reading aloud to find out what happens next…


8. A Crown of Wishes – Book 2 of The Star-Touched Queen series by Roshani Chokshi
Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Star-Touched Queen. Chokshi’s rich lush prose and mythological story gave this tale an epic feel that reminded me of the Arabian Nights’ stories of my youth. I’m looking forward to being transported back to a land full of wonders and danger – as well as meeting up again with a certain meat-eating horse…


9. The Tropic of Serpents – Book 2 of The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennon
Attentive readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world’s premier dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career.
I loved the first slice of this adventure and have left it far too long before revisiting this enjoyable Victorian-like world where an intrepid young woman is determined to continue studying dragons in the wild, despite the dangers and discomfort…


10. Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan
A woman with wings that exist in another dimension. A man trapped in his own body by a killer. A briefcase that is a door to hell. A conspiracy that reaches beyond our world…
When I saw this, I had to scoop it off the shelves and bring it home. Sullivan is always worth reading, here is my review of Lightborn. Her stories are invariably peopled by complex, interesting characters and her worlds always reverberate with me, to the extent that I nearly always dream about them… So I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck into this one.


And that’s part of my reading list this Spring. Are there any books here that you are also intending to read, or have already read?

20 responses »

  1. I’m a Bujold fan now!! 😀 I keep saying that to everyone who mentions her. I recently read Curse of Chalion and immediately got hooked on it. I can’t wait to read more in that series. I want to learn more about how that world works. And since you mention that Penric has 12 demons in him, I wonder how they affect his body and how did that happen in the first place.

    • Oh, that’s great, Zezee:). You need to start with the first novella – Penric and the Demon, which tells you exactly how it happened. These are a series of little gems, I think.

  2. Wonderful list! I’m just about to finish the new Scalzi and it’s quite fun! Occupy Me sounds like my kind of stories, I’m adding it to my list right now!

  3. You make them all sound like really good reads! My plans are to whittle down the stack in my TBR closet shelf. Maybe it’s time for my own little Reading Marathon…not another 24 hour one, but maybe a day-long 12 hour one. It would finish off a book or so, right?

    • That should certainly help clear the stack somewhat:). I know when I had my 24 hour cold last month I managed to power through a couple of books. And I am REALLY hoping they are good reads! I’m very fussy these days – as you’ll notice, most of these are from authors I already like and trust.

      • I have faves and will read anything they write…because I know I can trust them for a delightful or thought provoking read. I have noticed that I am selecting the latter lately (Girl in Translation/Anne Lamott etc) as my “escape reads” lately. Wonder what that indicates? I am also listening to an audio book for the first time in a looooong time while sweeping, dusting etc. Hmmmmm I certainly am enjoying it!

  4. A Crown of Wishes is definitely on my spring TBR, since I really enjoyed The Star-Touched Queen. I’m also looking forward to Laini Taylor’s Strange The Dreamer, Jordanna Max Brodsky’s Winter of the Gods, Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice, and finishing Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet. And I think I’m going to take Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven with me to Iceland. 🙂

    • That sounds like a fabulous set of books for your Spring reading, Sara! I was really sorry when my request to read Strange the Dreamer was declined, so am waiting to get hold of it. And I’m also very interested to see what you make of Assassin’s Apprentice – I loved this trilogy. I haven’t read any Tamora Pierce, but it looks like an author I should get hold of – and I did have a go at Station Eleven, but simply stalled very early on. I don’t think I was in the right mindset for it, so I’m going to give it another chance. Too many people I respect have raved about it. I am looking forward to hearing what you make of it!

    • Thank you, Dee:). ‘The Operator’ should be a cracking read if you like undercover thrillers with a timetravelling twist – there is another in the series, ‘The Drafter’ which I recently finished reading, which is the first in the series. And ‘Occupy Me’ should be great – Tricia Sullivan is always worth reading. Thank you for swinging by.

  5. I am excited to see Saven Deception on your list! I really enjoy Siobhan’s books. I am currently reading her latest one Losing Kyler and it’s really good.
    I remember reading your review for the Train your Parents book and I hope the second one is good too! I hope you can read all of these this spring and that they are good ones.

    • Yes – you were certainly one of the bloggers who piqued my interest in the Saven series:). Yes, I’m looking forward to tucking into My Parents Are Out of Control – it looks hilarious. Thank you for your good wishes towards my intended reading list, Lola – I’m hoping they all turn out to be enjoyable!

  6. Interesting list, Sarah. I’m really curious about the Twelve Kings, and Copper Promise is already on my list. (So is The Star-Touched Queen, but as it’s a YA novel, it’s going to take long before I get around to it.)

    • The Twelve Kings is a classic epic fantasy set in the middle of a desert with an amazing protagonist. The Copper Promise has a more rollicking feel with a lot more humour.

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