#RetellingAThon Wrap Up

Throughout the month of August I participated in #RetellingAThon. Each week had a different theme, and I chose to join #TeamFairyTale led by Umairah @ Sereadipity. Despite only completing two books that week, it was my second best week in terms of pages read. Go figure?

A surprising number weren’t true retellings, but were rather prequels or sequels. I’ll note that briefly for each one. My mini reviews for most of these are coming soon, so if you’re interested, watch out for them in September.

Stats

Books finished: 11

Books DNFd: 4

Books Still Reading: 2

Pages Read: 3912

Mythology

Total pages read: 876

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of the Mahabharata
  • YA Fantasy

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Features Egyptian gods and goddesses
  • YA Fantasy

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Features Mayan mythology
  • Historical Fantasy

Shakespeare

Total pages read: 1250.

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • A retelling of both Macbeth and Hamlet
  • Fantasy Satire

Ophelia Queen of Denmark by Jackie French ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Hamlet
  • YA Historical Fantasy

Illyria by Elizabeth Hand ⭐️⭐️

  • Not a retelling at all. It just featured Twelfth Night as a plot point
  • (YA) Contemporary Romance

Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Romeo and Juliet from Benvolio’s POV
  • YA Historical Fantasy
  • CW: Violence, murder of homosexual character, violence against women, blood, suicide, death, homophobia

I, Iago by Nicole Galland DNF 16%

  • Retelling of Othello
  • Historical Fiction

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton (Still Reading)

  • Retelling of King Lear
  • Fantasy
  • POC Rep

Fairytales

Total pages read: 964

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning DNF 55%

  • Backstory of the sea witch (Ursula in the Disney movie) from The Little Mermaid

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood
  • POC & Disability Rep
  • Science Fiction Dystopia

Robbergirl by S. T. Gibson ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of The Snow Queen from the Robber Girl’s POV
  • F/F romance
  • YA Fantasy

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly (Finished September 1, so it doesn’t really count) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • A sequel to Cinderella from a stepsister’s POV
  • YA Fantasy
  • Disability Rep

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Classics

Total pages read: 822

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye DNF 10%

  • A sort of retelling of Jane Eyre
  • Historical Fiction

The Collectors Society by Heather Lyons DNF 52%

  • A sequel to Alice in Wonderland
  • Fantasy

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Retelling of Peter Pan from Tiger Lily’s POV
  • YA Fantasy
  • POC & LGBT Rep

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • An imagining of Marilla Cuthbert’s backstory from Anne Of Green Gables
  • Historical Fiction
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Retelling-A-Thon TBR

Since I’m participating in the 2019 Retelling Reading Challenge, it only made sense to participate in this readathon.

It is co-hosted by Tay and Missy @ Frayed Books, Umairah @ Sereadipity, Jennifer @ Bibliolater, and Harker @ The Hermit Librarian. It runs all month, from August 1-31.

I’ve chosen to join the Fairytale team in week 3 led by Umairah, although I wish I could join them all! Anyway, here’s my TBR!

retelling-a-thon-week-3-prompts

Under the Sea: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Sweet Dreams: Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

Beware the Wolf: The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

Let Down Your Hair: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Guess My Name: Beyond the Briar (short story collection)

If the Shoe Fits: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Icy Heart: Robbergirl by S. T. Gibson

Asian Readathon Check In

It’s mid-May, so I thought I’d do a check in of my progress during Asian Readathon. So far I’ve read four books, which is a bit of a miracle really. Even though it wasn’t on my original TBR for this readathon, I’m really looking forward to reading The Candle & the Flame by Nafiza Azad, and I’m anxiously waiting for my preordered copy to arrive! Anyway, on to the list.

Conservation of Shadows by Yoon-Ha Lee 🇰🇷 (South Korea)

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Story Collection

 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

There is no such thing as conservation of shadows. When light destroys shadows, darkness does not gain in density elsewhere. When shadows steal over earth and across the sky, darkness is not diluted. Featuring an Introduction by Aliette De Bodard, Conservation of Shadows features a selection of short stories from Yoon Ha Lee.

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal 🇵🇰 (Pakistan)

Contemporary Romance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

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Seven Days by Rihito Takari & Venio Tachibana 🇯🇵 (Japan)

Manga (Graphic Novel)- Two Volumes

⭐️⭐️⭐️

It is rumored that Touji Seryou, one of the more popular boys at school, would go out with anyone who asks him out on a Monday morning. But on this particular Monday morning, the first person he meets at the school gate is no other than Yuzuru Shino, Seryou’s senpai at the archery club. On a whim, and well-aware of Seryou’s reputation, Shino asks Seryou to go out with him. Thinking that it will be treated as a joke, they’re both guys after all, imagine Shino’s surprise when Seryou takes him up on the offer! There is a catch, though. While Seryou does go out with the first girl who asks him out on a Monday morning, the other side of the coin is – by the end of the week, he will break up with that person. In essence, Seryou is a lover with a one-week expiration date. But will Shino prove to be the exception to that rule?

Currently Reading

Want by Cindy Pon 🇹🇼 (Taiwan)

YA Science Fiction

Predicted star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?

Ramadan Readathon TBR

This is my second year participating in Ramadan Readathon and I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to support Muslim authors in a more visible way. This year I’m attempting the bingo card, and I hope to complete the pillar of Hajj or the pillar of Shahada (see image below). You can find the Announcement and Sign Up page by following this link, or their official Twitter page here.

ramadan-readathon-bingo

Here’s my TBR:

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Non Western Setting: Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Science Fiction/Fantasy

In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif—the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the “Hand of God,” as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground.

When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen.

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Adult Fiction: The Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

Fantasy

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings:

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, “the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat,” just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame’s family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter’s path.

Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla’s young assistant, is a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety. But even as Raseed’s sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.

Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near-mythical power of the lion-shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man’s title. She lives only to avenge her father’s death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father’s killer. Until she meets Raseed.

When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince’s brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time—and struggle against their own misgivings—to save the life of a vicious despot. In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

Free Space/ Historical Fiction: The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

YA Fantasy

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.

Involves a Journey/Multiple Points of View: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

YA Fantasy

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

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No Romance/ Recommended to me: A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

YA Fantasy

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

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Free Space: Fire Boy by Sami Shah

Fantasy/Horror

From Sami Shah comes Fire Boy, the first of a two-part urban fantasy set in modern-day Pakistan, where djinns roam the street alongside corrupt cops, hustling beggars, and creatures from the darkest corners of Islamic mythology.

Growing up in Karachi isn’t easy. Wahid has a lot on his mind: the girl he likes, mostly, but also choosing a good university and finding time to play Dungeons and Dragons. Oh, and the fact that he can see djinns, other-worldly creatures made of a smokeless and scorching fire. After a horrific car accident kills his best friend and djinns steal his girlfriend’s soul, Wahid vows to find out why. Fortunately, he has help in finding the djinns that tried to kill him. Unfortunately, that help is from the darkest of all spirits, the Devil himself …

Fire Boy is filled with supernatural entities and high-paced action, but it also gives the reader a vivid insight into life in Pakistan.

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Non-Fiction: Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamin Ansary

We in the west share a common narrative of world history. But our story largely omits a whole civilization whose citizens shared an entirely different narrative for a thousand years.In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He clarifies why our civilizations grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe—a place it long perceived as primitive and disorganized—had somehow hijacked destiny.

Let’s Chat!

What are your favourite books by Muslim authors? Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below!

Asian Readathon TBR

I’m so excited for this because I have so so many books that are perfect for this readathon! Asian Readathon runs the entire month of May and is dedicated to reading books written by Asian authors, and books that celebrate Asian characters. You can find the announcement here, and the official Twitter page here, and finally you can find a master list of books by Asian authors here.

The Challenges are as follows:

  1. Read any book by an Asian author.
  2. Read a graphic novel featuring an Asian character or written/drawn by an Asian author (manga, manhua, manhwa, and comics count).
  3. Read a book featuring an intersectional Asian character or written by an intersectional Asian identity (i.e. queer, mixed, disabled, neurodiverse, etc).
  4. Read a book by Asian author that was originally written in their native language (translated books and graphic novels count).
  5. Read the group book: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh, which will be covered in the live show on Saturday, May 25 at 6pm EST on readwithcindy’s channel.

The twist:

  • You can combine challenges and read in any order; however, EACH book you read should feature a character or author of a different Asian ethnicity. This is to encourage cultural diversity.

Vietnamese: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao🇻🇳

This is a retelling of the rise of the evil queen from Cinderella in an Asian setting. I like villain backstories, so I’m excited to read this.

Chinese: Want by Cindy Pon🇨🇳

Set in future Taipei, this is the story of a group of friends fighting corruption in a world destroyed by pollution.

Chinese: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He🇨🇳

Set in a Chinese inspired world, Descendant of the Crane is full of twisty court politics, but at its core it is a murder mystery, and about a daughter trying to find her father’s killer.

Chinese: The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang🇨🇳

I DNF’d this book last year, but decided to give it another go after reading a blog post by the author. It’s based on the events of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Nanjing Massacre, told in a fantasy setting.

Filipino: The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco🇵🇭

The third and final instalment of The Bone Witch series, The Shadow Glass continues Tea’s story. Full of vengeance and magic and monsters, this series is quickly becoming one of my favourites. I’m almost scared to find out how it ends.

Indian: Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra🇮🇳

Markswoman is basically about an elite warrior in the Order of Kali who pledges to protect the people of Asiana, but is torn by her desire to avenge her murdered family.

Indian: A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna🇮🇳

This is pegged as an outer space retelling of the Maharabhata. What’s not to love?

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Indian: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri🇮🇳

This is a Mughal India inspired fantasy featuring a nobleman’s daughter in whose blood flows the magic of the nomadic Amrithi people. When her powers draw the attention of the Emperor’s mystics, she must resist their cruel plan, or risk waking vengeful gods.

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Pakistani: A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir🇵🇰

The third in the Ember in the Ashes series, I’ve been avoiding this book for well over six months. I was trying to wait for the final book to come out before reading it, but I don’t think I can wait any longer.

Pakistani: Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal 🇵🇰

This is a Pride and Prejudice retelling in Pakistan. Enough said.

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Singaporean: The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang🇸🇬

This has rebellion, prophecy and siblings choosing different paths that take them further away from each other.

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Japanese: The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide🇯🇵

This is a pretty slim novel which I’d probably describe as a slice-of-life meditation on the transient nature of life featuring a young couple, their neighbours, and a stray cat.

Japanese: Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi 🇯🇵

Kojiki is set in modern Japan, but explores the unseen world of spirits and monsters.

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Korean: Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee🇰🇷

Conservation of Shadows is a collection of short stories blending mythology and futuristic technology. Apparently it explores themes ranging from colonisation to the role of art to suicide.

Fairytaleathon Wrap Up

I had really hoped to have read a lot more during Fairytaleathon, but I only ended up finishing two books. Still, they were both 4 star reads, so I guess I can’t complain too much. So without further ado, these are the books I read.

Challenge 4: Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Fantasy Novella

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What I liked:

  • The magic system and world building was dark and enthralling – you can injure a person’s shadow or spirit, ghosts are used as energy to power cities etc.
  • There was huge gender diversity, and it was portrayed as normal, which was awesome (and confusing for me to start with, but I was so there for this)
  • Our two main characters, Nuawa and Lussadh, were both quite reserved, cold, strategic, and blunt, but I really quite liked both of them, and I felt they were complex and consistent. I understood their motivations, and was able to sympathise with them.

What I (sort of) disliked:

  • I did balk at the use of the term Occidental to begin with, because of the associations with Orientalism. I think perhaps it is a case of the author taking back power and agency by re-appropriating terms that were traditionally used to ‘Other’ Middle Eastern and Asian peoples, and thus oppress and dehumanise them. But that is just a guess, and I still felt a bit uncomfortable with the use of the term. I just feel that any kind of term that raises those connotations and divisions between people just perpetuates the same kind of thinking.

Challenge 3, 6, & 8: A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

YA Fantasy

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What I liked:

  • It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast!
  • Great disability representation! The main character, Harper, has cerebral palsy, and I thought it was handled realistically and sensitively.
  • The twist on the original allowed Rhen and Harper to interact with a range of people, as well as avoiding some of the more disturbing connotations that people dislike in Beauty and the Beast, like bestiality and Stockholm syndrome.
  • The side characters were awesome!
  • Rhen and Harper’s growth was well handled, and their relationship was built on respect and trust.

What I disliked: 

  • I felt it would have been better as a standalone, and wasn’t that impressed with the twist to keep the series going.
  • The main villain, Lillith, was really flat and stereotypical. I wanted a bit more than a sadistic witch with a bad temper.
  • I felt that the worldbuilding as a whole wasn’t that strong. Days later, I can’t remember much of the setting at all.

 

Let’s Chat

What are your favourite fairytale retellings? Have you read either of these books, and what did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below.

2019 Retellings Reading Challenge || TBR

Retellings are my thing this year, so yay! This is the perfect reading challenge for me! I’m so super excited I literally did a dance on the spot. It runs from January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019 and basically involves reading retellings of all kinds, from mythology to literature retellings. I’m planning to be the Fairest of them All, in which I aim to read a total of 21-25+ Retellings this year. If you’re interested in joining up, follow this link to Cornerfolds.

bingo

Beauty and the Beast: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

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Set in a Foreign Country: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (Orkney Islands, Scotland & Switzerland)

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Standalone Book: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer (East of the Sun, West of the Moon retelling)

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Wonderland: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Award Winning Book: ( I’m sure there’s something on my TBR that has won an award)

 

One Word Title: Winterspell by Claire Legrand (The Nutcracker retelling)

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Bronte or Austen: Unmarriagable by Soniah Kamal

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Native American Myth: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mayan mythology)

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2019 Release: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling)

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Egyptian Myth: (I haven’t decided this one yet)

 

Greek Myth: The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes (Oedipus & Antigone myths retold from Jocasta and Ismene’s perspectives)

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Debut Author: (Again, I’m sure there’s a debut author somewhere on my TBR)

 

Free Space: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Retelling of The Iliad)

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Shakespeare: I, Iago by Nicole Galland (Othello retelling)

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Asian Myth: The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Divakaruni (Reimagining of The Mahabharat)

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Indie Book: Here, the World Entire by Anwen Kya Hayward (Medusa myth retelling)

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Russian Folklore: Hunted by Meagan Spooner (Includes elements of The Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf from Russian folklore)

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Weapon on the Cover: Heart of Sherwood by Edale Lane (Robin Hood retelling)

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Norse Myth: Ice Land by Betsy Tobin

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Peter Pan: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Over 500 Pages: Stain by A. G. Howard

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Set in space: A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna (Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories)

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Middle Eastern Myth: The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

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Brothers Grimm: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (Little Red Cap)

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Written 10+ Years Ago: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (Published in 2005)

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What are your thoughts? Do you love retellings? 💕 Have you read any of these books yet, and what did you think of them?

Fairytale-athon TBR

I adore fairytale retellings, so it should come as no surprise that I am participating in Fairytale-athon which runs from February 1 to 10.

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Melt the Frozen Heart: A Retelling about Friendship or Family

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Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Why I’m interested: It’s a feminist retelling of Snow White.

 

Gadgets and gizmos aplenty: A Fairytale/ Retelling that’s Part of a Series.

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Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Why I’m interested: Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set at the court of Versailles.

Gaston’s Tavern: Read the group book

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Why I’m interested: Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Beware the Snow Queen: A Retelling Set in Winter or with a Wintry Word in the Title

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Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Why I’m interested: Retelling of The Snow Queen

Warm Hugs: Curl up with a Warm Beverage and Read your Favourite Retelling

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Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

Why I’m interested: Retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Mulan and Snow White

Let It Go: Read a Book You’ve Been Hesitant to Pick Up

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Magic Bitter Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

Why I’m interested: Retelling of Hansel & Gretel, The Muffin Man and Alice in Wonderland

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair: Read a Retelling that’s 500 Pages or Longer

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Stain by A. G. Howard

Why I’m interested: Retelling of The Princess and the Pea

VaLITines Readathon TBR

My first readathon of 2019 is VaLITines, which runs the whole month of February. I like longer readathons because they give me the opportunity to read more books, and it doesn’t mess with my sleep patterns. So here is my TBR. It’s pretty basic. Sorry.

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Gift that Keeps Giving: A book you received as a gift

The Diviners By Libba Bray

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Roses are Red: A book with red on the cover

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

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Forgotten Love: A book you previously DNF’d

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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Living Single: A standalone book

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

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Beautiful on the Shelf: A book with a beautiful cover

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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Five Stars: A book that someone else has given 5 stars to

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

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Skinny Love: A book under 200 pages

Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

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More to Love: A book over 400 pages

Stain by A. G. Howard

Where I go you go: Carry a book around with you

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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Happily Ever After: A fairytale retelling

Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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Black History Month: A book written by a black author

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

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Fall into Fantasy Readathon TBR

Oh look! Another readathon! Fall into fantasy is a weeklong readathon hosted by Penguin Teen. The aim is to read at least 4 fantasy books between November 18 and November 25. There are 8 challenges, and half a dozen buddy reads with ridiculously popular booktubers. I’ll leave links where applicable, and all synopses are taken from Goodreads. So, on to my TBR.

#1 A New Series- Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

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In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett.

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

#2 Been on your TBR too long- Beasts made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Buddy read on 21 November with NayaReadsandsmiles. Announcement video here.

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In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.

A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.

#3 An LGBTQ Fantasy- The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

Buddy read on 20 November with ProblemsofaBookNerd. Announcement video here.

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For Teodora DiSangro, a mafia don’s daughter, family is fate.

All her life, Teodora has hidden the fact that she secretly turns her family’s enemies into music boxes, mirrors, and other decorative objects. After all, everyone in Vinalia knows that stregas—wielders of magic—are figures out of fairytales. Nobody believes they’re real.

Then the Capo, the land’s new ruler, sends poisoned letters to the heads of the Five Families that have long controlled Vinalia. Four lie dead and Teo’s beloved father is gravely ill. To save him, Teo must travel to the capital as a DiSangro son—not merely disguised as a boy, but transformed into one.

Enter Cielo, a strega who can switch back and forth between male and female as effortlessly as turning a page in a book. Teo and Cielo journey together to the capital, and Teo struggles to master her powers and to keep her growing feelings for Cielo locked in her heart. As she falls in love with witty, irascible Cielo, Teo realizes how much of life she’s missed by hiding her true nature. But she can’t forget her mission, and the closer they get to the palace, the more sinister secrets they uncover about what’s really going on in their beloved country—and the more determined Teo becomes to save her family at any cost.

#4 A Diverse Fantasy- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

#5 Multiple POVs- The tangled lands by Paolo Bacigalupi & Tobias S. Buckell

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Khaim, The Blue City, is the last remaining city in a crumbled empire that overly relied upon magic until it became toxic. It is run by a tyrant known as The Jolly Mayor and his devious right hand, the last archmage in the world. Together they try to collect all the magic for themselves so they can control the citizens of the city. But when their decadence reaches new heights and begins to destroy the environment, the people stage an uprising to stop them.

#6 A New Fantasy- Give the Dark my Love by Beth Revis

Buddy read with Emmabooks on 22 November. Announcement video here.

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When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

#7 A Sequel- Crown of Thunder by Tochi Onyebuchi

Buddy read with NayaReadsandSmiles on 23 November. Announcement video here.

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Since this is a sequel to Beasts Made of Night, and I haven’t read it yet, I won’t copy a synopsis to this blog, I’ll just leave a link for those who are interested: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38474009-crown-of-thunder?from_search=true

#8 Booktube Recommendation- Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?