Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed Legendborn. I don't often read YA, but I love a good King Arthur retelling and the fact that it stars a young black woman gives it a uniqueness. For Briana Matthews, a lot of things seem to come easily. She’s an excellent student, accepted to UNC Chapel Hill's Early College program at 16. She’s close with her parents and her best friend Alice, who is joining her at school. But Bree's mother dies in a car accident right before Bree left for school and after the two had had an argument. Lost in her grief and unsure of her path, Bree finds herself pulled into a secret society with members who call themselves “Legendborn”. The mysteries of this group appear to have some connection with her mother’s death, so Bree dives head-first into an organization that makes it very clear it was not made for her. The Legendborn draw on the numerous...
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Winter Wishes by Elle Adams

Winter Wishes by Elle Adams

Carol and Mercy are owners of the Holiday Haven Inn. They have a weekend celebration planned which includes carolers, a festive food menu, a theatre production, and the use of a wishing box. The wishing box disappears soon after it is delivered and things immediately start falling apart. Carol and Mercy need to find the wishing box before the whole celebration is ruined. This is a fun series. I love Holiday Haven and all of the residents. It's also fun that the stories are written by different authors and feature different characters, but all take place in the same town - and have a touch of magic. This one was not my favorite. Carol jumps to conclusions too quickly and is kind of mean about her family, who seem eccentric but harmless. Also, I didn't quite get the magic. Mercy has magic and so does Carol's mother who is a witch, but neither seems to really do anything with it....
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Candy Cane Conspiracy by Cate Lawley

Candy Cane Conspiracy by Cate Lawley

Candy Cane Conspiracy is fun and cute. I did read "Tea with a Demon" first, which is a short story telling about the book Trixie and her grandmother are updating, All Things Magical and Bumpy Things in the Night. It's also the first time Trixie meets Sylvester, a very handsome, very gentlemanly, very knowledgeable demon who plays a major role in the Candy Cane Conspiracy. Trixie has moved to Idaho to escape her magical creature problem, but of course, it's not that easy. The local furry fairies who look a lot like squirrels have been bothering her. And then one day close to Christmas, she comes out of her house one morning on her way to work to discover that her bushes and trees are filled with candy canes, thanks to the fairies. Turns out there's been a murder in town. A local witch is dead, stabbed with a candy cane just like the ones in her yard. Sylvester, newly arrived...
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Halloween Party Murder by Leighann Dobbs

Halloween Party Murder by Leighann Dobbs

Halloween Party Murder is a fun novella. Juniper Holliday throws the best parties and this year's Halloween party is gearing up to be fabulous — until the cops cut it short after a dead woman is found in the guest house. Juniper is funny and eccentric and not afraid to speak her mind. I enjoyed the tension between her and the dective on the case. There's a touch of paranormal: a few helpful ghosts, and some friendly neighborhood werewolves. It was funny, the mystery was clever, and I thoroughly enjoyed the characters. The next in the trilogy will come out just in time for Thanksgiving. ...
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In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan

In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan

In the Shadow of Lightning started with a powerful prologue, a battle scene that introduces our main character, Demir Grappo, and gives us insight into both his personality and his power. Then we skip nine years. Demir's mother has been killed and as her heir, he returns to the city to take the reigns of the family and to find out who ordered the attack. And there's a war going on, sparked by his mother's assassination. The magic is based on godglass. Different types of glass can give people enhanced abilities or cause restrictions. Wit glass for example makes one think quicker while shackle glass will allow the wearer to only tell the truth. Most everyone can use the glass, although there are some who are immune to its effects. I like that about the magic, everyone has access - if you can afford it. There are also glassdancers who can manipulate plain glass, mostly using shards of it to kill...
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Babel by R.F. Kuang

Babel by R.F. Kuang

Babel is a fantasy world of the early 1800s offering an exploration of race, historical imperialism, literature, and language. The Industrial Revolution is powered by silver working, magic involving silver and words and translation. We follow the four characters Robin, our main characters, Ramy, Victoire, and Letty. All have been pulled out of their lives and sent to Oxford's Royal Institute of Translation, known as Babel, to learn translation and silver working. Each is an outsider and they form a kind of family for each other, providing comfort and camaraderie, but also disappointments and arguments. Babel is engrossing. First, I do love words and meanings, and Kuang goes into details and long-winded interludes about language and etymology that some may rather scan past but that made the book memorable for me. The politics of language is fascinating. The characters grow and learn and reevaluate their outlooks through the book. It's hard to both love Oxford and hate the British Empire for...
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