The Thorn and the Blossom – Theodora Goss

ec237e7017b493259326b656167433041414141_v5This book is in two parts – Evelyn’s story, and Brendan’s story. (I have the Kindle edition. I’d actually love to see how this works in the actual book edition.) The two meet in college in the Cornish village of Clews, and their story is a twist on Arthurian legend.

It’s really interesting reading reviews of this book – it’s polarizing. People seem to hate how ambiguous it is, but if you think about it in the frame of the legend, it really works. I like how long a period a time it occurs over, and I like being able to see both Evelyn and Brendan’s points of view. I can definitely see where it isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoyed it.


The Lord of Stariel – AJ Lancaster

cb311a8541f9c17597370487641433041414141_v5Hetta Valstar is the black sheep of the family – her father banished her from their home when she wanted to practice magic, and she’s now made a pretty good living for herself in the capital city, practicing illusion magic. But her father has passed away, and she has to go home. Her family rules the land of Stariel, and the land itself will pick the heir. The two leading candidates are her older brother Marius and her cousin Jack. So of course Hetta is chosen.

This is where the story stops being predictable. Naturally, Hetta’s in way over her head, and there’s a whole bunch of fun family dynamics at play, but just to throw a monkey wrench in things, the turnover of the lordship has brought on a Fae incursion. It’s a fun story – nice take on magic, and the Valstar family dynamics are pretty well worked out. I’ll definitely be interested to see where this goes – there are two more books in the series.