The Defiant

Lesley Livingston

Be brave, gladiatrix… And be wary. Once you win Caesar’s love, you will earn his enemies’ hate.

Fallon has been warned. Now she is about to pay the price for winning the love of the Roman people as Caesar’s victorious gladiatrix.

In this highly anticipated sequel to THE VALIANT, Fallon and her warrior sisters, find themselves thrust into a vicious conflict with a rival gladiator academy, one that will threaten not only Fallon’s heart – and her love for the Roman soldier Cai – but the very heart of the ancient Roman Empire.

When dark treachery and vicious power struggles threaten her hard-won freedom, the only thing that might help the girl known as Victrix save herself and her sisters is a tribe of long-forgotten mythic Amazon warriors. The only trouble is, they might just kill her themselves first.

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Iron Gold

Pierce Brown

A decade ago Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. The Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk all he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever.  A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp, and achieves a new life for herself, one that she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life. Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the Sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

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The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede, no pamphlets distributed, no sight of a train filled with equipment. It is simply there when yesterday it was not, but instead of one tent, there are many. Black and white striped tents of all shapes and sizes create a maze of draped unknown wonders. Not far away from a very peculiar clock stand the gates with a sign on the top reading Le Cirque des Rêves. The Circus of Dreams. Gates open after sunset and close after sunrise.

However, there is more going on behind the scenes. The circus has become a venue for a bet. Two unwilling magicians have been trained their entire life for a duel in which only one magician will walk out. The circus has become an inspiration for a dreamer who lives in a too small town with his too-large imagination. The circus has become a home for fortune telling tarot reader who ran away from an arranged marriage. The circus has become a responsibility for the twins born in the circus. The circus has become a distraction for a contortionist with a mysterious past. The circus has become an obsession, a myth, a masterpiece.

The Night Circus is a very interesting and sophisticated read. The sense of mystery that comes with the writing really compliments the theme of the novel, and though sometimes the book may seem confusing because of the time jumps it is all comes together in the end. This novel will leave readers entrapped in the magical 19th century anticipating and on edge. – Janki V.

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The Cruel Prince

Holly Black

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. However, many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. As civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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The Girl in the Tower

Katherine Arden

Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. However, Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.

Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.

After Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself. 

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Blood of Wonderland (Queen of Hearts, #2)

Colleen Oakes

Dinah is now in hiding, exiled from Wonderland. Her own father has framed her for the brutal murder of her brother and turned the kingdom against her. With only her war steed at her side, Dinah must choose—leave Wonderland forever, or stay and fight her father for the throne.

When a chance encounter with one of her father’s long-lost enemies brings Dinah more allies than she ever could have imagined, war starts to feel inevitable. Before Dinah can lead her people into combat, she must confront certain truths about her heart and her destiny—no matter how dark those truths may be.

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The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)

Kelley Armstrong

Maya is in grade 11 and lives a pretty ordinary life. Since she was adopted, she doesn’t know much about her biological family or how her life would be if she lived with them. The only clue she has is a paw shaped birth mark that sits on her hip. However, Maya had never really thought about her biological parents as she is happy with living with her adoptive family in a very small community on Vancouver Island until strange events start to happen in the small town. Events that for some reason make her think of her best friend Serena’s strange and ‘freak accident’ drowning. For instances, mountain lions always seem to be near wherever Maya is. And a mysterious new boy starts to slowly draw her in.

After a ‘reporter’ starts to come around the island and ask unusual and out of place questions, Maya and her best friend Daniel feel that something is off. As they investigate further, a puzzle starts to form about her biological family, the medical institute in her small community, and the incident of her best friend’s death. As she dives deeper down into this entanglement, relationships start to form, even in a way she would never expect.

‘The Gathering’ was enjoyable for me to read as I connected it to my life and my experiences. This book draws you into a web of secrets, puzzles, and questions that can only be answered by guessing and reading. My recommendation for this book would go out to people who relish in fantasy novels, as well as trying to figure out many mysterious questions and characters. – Juliana M.

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Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Leigh Bardugo

“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.’”

Kaz Brekker, known as “Dirtyhands” to many, is given an offer he can’t refuse. If he manages to complete the task of infiltrating the Ice Court, the most highly secured prison, he’ll be paid a large sum. Within the Ice Court, Kaz is supposed to kidnap a scientist who is being kept there. He will have to gather six of the deadliest outcasts known throughout Ketterdam if he wants to be able to pull this off. If he can get them to join him, they could manage to finish without a hitch. But they’ll have to learn to trust each other and work as a team, first.

Not only one of my favourite books, but one of my favourite series of all time. This book takes a group of characters from a number of different backgrounds, as well as the reader, on a journey of crime and desperation. Filled with magical realism as well as action and adventure, the characters we meet make us question what really is good versus bad in the world. Can something that we would normally see as a crime be justified for the right reasons?

Six of Crows is filled with so many incredible characters that are strong, intelligent and quick-witted. You’ll end up loving most, if not all of them.

This book is such a fun and enjoyable read, as well as very well written. I became a fan of Leigh Bardugo because of Six of Crows. – Stacie C.

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Stephanie Garber

Just reading the synopsis of this novel is enough to get you excited for what’s to come. Straight from the get go I was anticipating the world created in Caraval to be an intriguing one, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Caraval is a book you won’t want to put down.

Scarlett Dragna has lived her life without achieving her dream of visiting the annual performance, Caraval, when her father sets her up in an arranged marriage. Believing her dreams of seeing the performance are crushed, she’s elated when an invitation finally reaches her, a letter from the master of the game, Legend, after years of her writing to him. The game of Caraval is a magical one, and readers get to learn its rules at the same time as Scarlett does.

The whole mystery aspect of the novel, as well as being a world of fantasy and magic, is something that really appeals to my taste of books. While those three points are a big part of Caraval, the elements of love, romance and family are also present, and the subject of abuse is touched upon too. Combining the characteristics of the book and the important points brought up throughout it, was what sold me completely. That’s all I can tell you about this one. Stephanie Garber created the type of plot in which you end up enjoying the story more when you know less about the plot.

Fantasy fans will enjoy this one. It keeps you waiting for more, with the thrill and action of the world inside this book.– Stacie C.

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The Speaker (Sea of Ink and Gold, #2)

Traci Chee

The sequel to the critically-acclaimed The Reader. Having barely escaped the clutches of the Guard, Sefia and Archer are back on the run, slipping into the safety of the forest to tend to their wounds and plan their next move. Haunted by painful memories, Archer struggles to overcome the trauma of his past with the impressors, whose cruelty plagues him whenever he closes his eyes. But when Sefia and Archer happen upon a crew of impressors in the wilderness, Archer finally finds a way to combat his nightmares: by hunting impressors and freeing the boys they hold captive.

With Sefia’s help, Archer travels across the kingdom of Deliene rescuing boys while she continues to investigate the mysterious Book and secrets it contains. But the more battles they fight, the more fights Archer craves, until his thirst for violence threatens to transform him from the gentle boy Sefia knows to a grim warrior with a cruel destiny. Sefia begins to unravel the threads that connect Archer’s fate to her parents’ betrayal of the Guard so long ago, she and Archer must figure out a way to subvert the Guard’s plans before they are ensnared in a war that will pit kingdom against kingdom, leaving their future and the safety of the entire world hanging in the balance.


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