Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs


Synopsis: Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales. 

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. The origins of the first ymbryne. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—known to hide information about the peculiar world—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar.


So I feel like I came to this book fairly expectation-free.  I’ve read the first novel in the series and I think, more importantly, I’ve read these sorts of books before, both collections of tales by various authors and those pretending to be such but really written by one author.

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Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

The Red Knight by Miles Cameron


Cover illustration by Kerem Beyit

Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.

Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men – or worse, a company of mercenaries – against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.

The Red Knight is the man to do it, and he’s determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery it’s just another job. The abbey is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with.

Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war…

‘Ware the synopsis.

Honestly I don’t know why publishers haven’t adapted the hashtag system into synopsis form, it’d do a better job.

I looked at this book months ago but for some reason didn’t go for it after looking through the first few pages.

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The Red Knight by Miles Cameron

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Synopsis: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

So Six of Crows has been much talked about online and, as usual I did some quick research and found out that this was the first book set in the same world.  I really don’t understand why people in this situation would go for Six of Crows over Shadow and Bone.

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The Mad Apprentice (The Forbidden Library #2) by Django Wexler


Synopsis: When Alice’s mysterious Uncle Geryon sends her to help capture a rogue apprentice–a boy who has the same ability Alice has to Read himself into stories–she knows to expect a wild and unpredictable trip. But even though Alice has visited the magical realms inside libraries before, this adventure is far more dangerous. Because Torment, the magic creature holding this library together, has gone mad.

But he might also have information about Alice’s missing father.

I did enjoy the first book in this series.  The plot hits the right points to hook readers in.  Before The Forbidden Library I read The Thousand Names, also by Django Wexler, which I also enjoyed.

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The Mad Apprentice (The Forbidden Library #2) by Django Wexler

Battle Magic (The Circle Reforged #3) by Tamora Pierce


Synopsis: While visiting the God-King and the First Circle temple in Gyongxe, mages Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy are invited to visit the emperor’s summer palace. Although treated like royalty when they first arrive, the mages soon discover that the emperor plans to invade Gyongxe, posing a fatal threat to the home temple of the Living Circle religion.

Accompanied by one of the emperor’s prize captives, the three mages rush to Gyongxe to warn its citizens of the impending attack. With the imperials hot on their trail, Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy must quickly help the country prepare for battle.

But even with the help of new allies, will their combined forces be enough to fight the imperial army and win the war?

I’m a fan of Tamora Pierce, though more of the Alanna and sequel series.  I actually thought I’d already read this so it was a nice surprise to be wrong.

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Battle Magic (The Circle Reforged #3) by Tamora Pierce

Goblins! A Survival Guide in Four Parts by Brian Froud and Ari Berk


Synopsis: Anyone who brings home this book will be in big trouble. Renowned artist Brian Froud and scholar Ari Berk have conducted a thorough investigation into the goblin realm. (For the uninformed, goblins, a subspecies of faery, are those maleficent creatures that cause all manner of havoc in the human realm.) The fruit of their labor, however, turned out to be a rotten apple: the book is infected with goblins.

Now, thanks largely to Froud and Berk’s continuing carelessness, the noxious, viscid, and largely nonsensical volume has been unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Among its pages are reproductions of the ancient, odoriferous Codex Goblinensis; a glossary of common goblins and their markings; and a gazetteer of goblin photographs taken with the arcane Goblin Camera. Those fearing an infestation can refer to the section detailing how to determine if you’ve “got goblins” and, if so, what you can do about it. (There is nothing you can do about it.)

Combining the folkloric approach of Faeries with the utter wackiness of Lady Cottington, this is the team’s most visually rich and outrageous opus yet.

We’ve had Faeries on the bookshelf at home ever since I can remember, next to Gnomes by Poortvliet and Huygen, Giants by David Larkin et al, and Peter Dickinson’s The Flight of Dragons.  Needless to say,

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Goblins! A Survival Guide in Four Parts by Brian Froud and Ari Berk

Of Sand and Malice Made by Bradley Beaulieu


Synopsis: Çeda, the heroine of the widely anticipated, just-released novel Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, is the youngest pit fighter in the history of the great desert city of Sharakhai. In this prequel, she has already made her name in the arena as the fearsome, undefeated White Wolf; none but her closest friends and allies know her true identity.

But this all changes when she crosses the path of Rümayesh, an Ehrekh, a sadistic creature forged long ago by the god of chaos. The Ehrekh are usually desert dwellers, but this one lurks in the dark corners of Sharakhai, toying with and preying on humans. As Rümayesh works to unmask the White Wolf and claim Çeda for her own, Çeda’s struggle becomes a battle for her very soul.

I always make a point of it (when I can) to read series in the order in which they were published, as in my experience the ability of authors to conceal what they need to conceal varies greatly.

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Of Sand and Malice Made by Bradley Beaulieu