Welcome to 2019, everyone! As this is my first video of the new year, I’d just like to say…
Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for a week, and that’s because I have been off on a holiday. In Dorset, England, seeing Durdle Door and Corfe Castle for the nosier ones of you!
Anyway, with that all done. Here is what I am reading this month. Hopefully!
The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French
Jackal is proud to be a Grey Bastard, member of a sworn brotherhood of half-orcs. Unloved and unwanted in civilised society, the Bastards eke out a hard life in the desolate no-man’s-land called the Lots, protecting frail and noble human civilisation from invading bands of vicious full-blooded orcs.
But as Jackal is soon to learn, his pride may be misplaced. Because a dark secret lies at the heart of the Bastards’ existence – one that reveals a horrifying truth behind humanity’s tenuous peace with the orcs, and exposes a grave danger on the horizon.
On the heels of the ultimate betrayal, Jackal must scramble to stop a devastating invasion – even as he wonders where his true loyalties lie.
I know, I know. This one was on my December TBR. I didn’t finish it, but I don’t have much left. Perhaps a hundred pages left. I’m not going to give anything away now; I’ll write a review later on!
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her.Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.
I’m struggling to keep my expextations low for this one. Not because I think it will be bad, but because I haven’t heard anything bad about the book yet and I don’t want to be disappointed. It will, almost unbelievably, also be my first Brandon Sanderson book. If I like this one, I will of course seek out more as he has quite the reputation.
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
One girl can make a difference… Moscow is in flames, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to blame.
Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic. Then a vengeful demon returns, stronger than ever. Determined to engulf the world in chaos, he finds allies among men and spirits.
Mankind and magical creatures alike find their fates resting on Vasya’s shoulders. But she may not be able to save them all.
This one comes out soon, the 10th January here in the UK. Having loved the two previous novels in the series – The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower – and having read some really positive reviews of it, it is safe to say I am very excited for this one. Fingers crossed it lives up two the rest of the series!
On the Trail of Genghis Khan by Tim Cope
The relationship between man and horse on the Eurasian steppe gave rise to a succession of rich nomadic cultures. Among them were the Mongols of the thirteenth century – a small tribe, which, under the charismatic leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Inspired by the extraordinary life nomads still lead today, Tim Cope embarked on a journey that hadn’t been successfully completed since those times: to travel on horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine to the Danube River in Hungary.
From horse-riding novice to travelling three years and 10,000 kilometres on horseback, accompanied by his dog Tigon, Tim learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians.
Along the way, he was taken in by people who taught him the traditional ways and told him their recent history: Stalin’s push for industrialisation brought calamity to the steepe and forced collectivism that in Kazakhstan alone led to the loss of several million livestock and the starvation of more than a million nomads. Today Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang precariously in the balance in the post-Soviet world.
This is the only book I got for Christmas, and while it may not be my usual read, it does look interesting. It seems to be part-history/part-travel book and follows our authors journey across Central Asia and into Eastern Europe, following in the footsteps of Genghis Khan’s Mongol conquests. Plus, as I said, it is a bit different from my usual reads and so will be refreshing hopefully.
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Have you read any of these books or are going to read them this month? Let me know if you’re excited for them or, even better, really enjoyed them!