So now that I’ve dropped back from publishing 3+ posts a week over the past few months, I can confirm that there is a drop in daily visitors to this book blog.
I find this interesting because I have over 2000 posts published so far and have been doing this for ten years. I have a ton of content. But apparently if I’m not consistently publishing 3x a week my organic reach drops drastically.
I’m trying not to let it bother me. I get that a bunch of my readers would only visit this site if I have a new post and have no other reason to visit, especially since my book reviews all are found on Goodreads and it’s easier to compare to what other people are saying on that site as well.
And it’s not like I’m making money from this. I don’t run ads and I have never used affiliate links.
To the contrary, since I turned to self-hosting in 2014, I’ve invested over $1,500 in hosting fees alone.
The only benefit I got, the only compensation for running a book blog, was receiving ARCs for review instead of buying all my books (again, losing money). I recently requested my first ARC since since 2020, which was 2 years ago for those of you visiting from far in the future and have no idea what year this was originally published.
However, stepping back from posting multiple regular weekly content has freed up my time for some other hobbies, and has also appeared to free up space in my brain. I’m having a blast with my other hobbies, and it feels so weird to not have books rule my life for once.
I’m still reading when I have the time (which I don’t really), and I am really enjoying my audiobooks that I can listen to while I do other things.
And my ARC request got approved!
Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews and hosted by Reading Reality.
It’s all about sharing the books we’ve picked up for the week, whether they are bought, borrowed, gifted, galleys, physical or virtual.
Share your shelves and remember to visit Reading Reality to find more great books!
Silver in the Mist by Emily Victoria
Eight years ago, everything changed for Devlin: Her country was attacked. Her father was killed. And her mother became the Whisperer of Aris, the head of the spies, retreating into her position away from everyone… even her daughter.
Joining the spy ranks herself, Dev sees her mother only when receiving assignments. She wants more, but she understands the peril their country, Aris, is in. The malevolent magic force of The Mists is swallowing Aris’s edges, their country is vulnerable to another attack from their wealthier neighbor, and the magic casters who protect them from both are burning out.
Dev has known strength and survival her whole life, but with a dangerous new assignment of infiltrating the royal court of their neighbor country Cerena to steal the magic they need, she learns that not all that glitters is weak. And not all stories are true.
I love assassin/spy fantasy stories and I’m really into LGBTQA+ characters at the moment so this I’m really looking forward to reading this ARC.
Thanks to Edelweiss and Inkyard Press/HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book for review.
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller
As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.
How do you kill a god?
An eighteen-year-old chieftain’s daughter must find a way to kill her village’s oppressive deity if she ever wants to return home in Warrior of the Wild, the Viking-inspired YA standalone fantasy from Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King
I actually already listened to this on audio and really enjoyed it, and I wasn’t particularly looking to own this book, but I saw it in a book shop and whaddaya know, the next thing I had paid for it and it was in my stack.
Books are hard to resist.
Crier’s War by Nina Varela
From debut author Nina Varela comes the first book in a richly imagined epic fantasy duology about an impossible love between two girls—one human, one Made—whose romance could be the beginning of a revolution.
Perfect for fans of Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse as well as Game of Thrones and Westworld .
After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.
Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.
Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.
Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.
I knew about this book at time of release, but I wasn’t feeling it then. Since it was published in 2020 (and I don’t blame anyone who didn’t read anything in 2020, it was a Bad Year) I am actually more interested in reading Sapphic YA. So I picked this one up as well.
A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
The Cruel Prince meets City of Bones in this thrilling urban fantasy set in the magical underworld of Toronto where four queer teens race to stop a serial killer before their crimes expose the hidden world of faeries to humans.
Choose your player.
The half-fae outcast, desperate for acceptance.
The tempestuous Fury, exiled and hellbent on revenge.
The dutiful prince, determined to earn his place.
The brooding guardian, burdened by a terrible secret.
Each holds a key to solving a series of ritualistic murders that threaten to expose faeries to the human world. But they cannot do it alone. To track down the killer, they will have to form a tenuous alliance, putting their differences – and conflicts – aside.
Failure risks the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. And time is running out.
Time to roll the dice.
OK, this is where I confess that Twitter made me buy it.
I’m not interested in either of the comp titles, in fact I run screaming in the opposite direction any time Cassandra Clare is mentioned, and I dislike Holly Black by association. I’ve never read any books by either of them.
I don’t even like Fae books.
So this book shouldn’t appeal to me in the least.
But like I said with the previous book, I’m kind of on a queer YA thing at the moment, and this was one of the biggest titles I saw on Twitter in 2020-21 – though that may have been because I followed its author, Ashley Shuttleworth, before its announcement, so it was all over my feed.
Anyway, Twitter works. Marketing works. If you see something enough times, you may just end up buying it because you recognise it.
That’s the same marketing tactic Coke uses.
Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
Bone Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.
Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.
Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.
Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Burning Glass but depending on the experience, I’m sometimes willing to read a newer book by an author to see how far they’ve come. That’s why I’ve borrowed Bone Crier’s Moon from my local library on audio.
Bone Crier’s Dawn (Bone Grace #2) by Kathryn Purdie
Love is a matter of life and death.
Bone Criers have been ferrying the dead into the afterlife for centuries, a dangerous duty only possible with the powers they gain from sacrificing their amourés the men destined to love them and die. But Bone Criers Ailesse and Sabine—along with Ailesse’s love, Bastien—are working to chart their own course and rewrite the rules of the afterlife. If they don’t break the soul between Ailesse and her amouré, she could die—just as Bastien’s father did.
Sabine struggles to maintain her authority as matrone of her famille—the role always destined for her sister—even as she fights to control the violent jackal power within her.
Bastien is faced with a new dilemma as the spirits of the Underworld threaten the souls of his friends—and his father.
Ailesse attempts to resist her mother’s siren song as she’s drawn into her own version of the Underworld. How will she save her friends once she’s cut off from their world?
This pulse-pounding follow-up to Bone Crier’s Moon is a story of love, sisterhood, and determination as three friends find the courage and power to shatter the boundary between the living and the dead
When I finished Bone Crier’s Moon I immediately borrowed the sequel to read as well.
Night Spinner by Addie Thorley
A must-read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, transforming The Hunchback of Notre Dame into a powerful tundra-inspired epic.
Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.
Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.
Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.
A female-lead fantasy inspired by or retelling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame certianly sounds interesting to me!
Monthly Wrap Up
- Number of books read: 3
- Finished a series: Bone Grace by Kathryn Purdie – if a duology counts as a series!
- Started a series: Bone Grace by Kathryn Purdie – if a duology counts as a series!
- New to me authors: None
- Favourite book: Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie (Bone Crier’s Dawn’s review is coming soon!)
Other Blog Posts You May Have Missed:
- [11 May] Are Tropes Just Lazy Marketing?
- [27 May] Game Review: Shelter aka ANXIETY THE GAME
- [31 May] May Wrap Up + Stacking The Shelves