Book Haul #5 (March/April 2022)

So, while at the beginning of the year I did mention I was limiting my spend on books. Only buying books that fufill challenges like sequels etc. well while I have definitely scaled back I haven’t compeltely managed to keep to my restriction.

  • Title: The Killings at Kingfisher Hill
  • Author: Sophie Hannah
  • Series: New Hercule Poirot Mysteries #4
  • Genre: Murder Mystery

Plot: Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate, where Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. But there is a strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there. The coach is forced to stop when a distressed woman demands to get off, insisting that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. Although the rest of the journey passes without anyone being harmed, Poirot’s curiosity is aroused, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered with a macabre note attached… Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And if Helen is innocent, can Poirot find the true culprit in time to save her from the gallows?

I am currently reading this book and I am really enjoying it!

  • Series Title: The Stormlight Archives
  • Author: Brandon Sanderson
  • Genre: Fantasy

Plot for Book 1, Part 1: Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain. Mystical swords and suits of armour that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars are fought for them and won by them. One such war is about to swallow up a soldier, a brightlord and a young woman scholar.

This was a series I have wanted to read for ages but didn’t know when I would get round to it. Then earlier this year, Sanderson’s publishers announced these collector’s editions and I knew I had to get my hands on them. As of now, I own all of the Way of Kings and all of Words of Radiance. I should get Oathbringer by June. I don’t know if Rhythm of War will get this fancy collector’s edition.

  • Title: The Dragon Republic
  • Author: R.F. Kuang
  • Series: The Poppy War #2
  • Genre: Fantasy

Plot for Book 1: When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising. But surprises aren’t always good. Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school. For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

  • Title: The Republic of Thieves
  • Author: Scott Lynch
  • Series: Gentleman Bastard #3
  • Genre: Fantasy

Plot for Book 1: An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.

  • Title: The Secret of Haven Point
  • Author: Lisette Auton
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Fantasy

Plot: Washed up as a baby beside a remote lighthouse and raised by a mermaid, Alpha Lux was the first foundling at Haven Point. Now the lighthouse is a ramshackle home for any disabled person who needs somewhere to belong. Looting from passing ships to make a living, they call themselves the Wrecklings, and for the children of Haven Point life is spent adventuring on the wild shore (and getting into trouble with the grown-ups). But when Alpha spots a strange light up on the headland, she realizes that her beloved family are in danger of being discovered by Outsiders. With their home under threat, the Wrecklings must decide what kind of future they want . . . and what they’re willing to do to get it.

These next books were given to me by the publisher.

  • Title: Her Majesty’s Royal Coven
  • Author: Juno Dawson
  • Series: Her Majesty’s Royal Coven #1
  • Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager UK
  • Release Date: May 2022

Plot: At the dawn of their adolescence, on the eve of the summer solstice, four young girls–Helena, Leonie, Niamh and Elle–took the oath to join Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, established by Queen Elizabeth I as a covert government department. Now, decades later, the witch community is still reeling from a civil war and Helena is now the reigning High Priestess of the organization. Yet Helena is the only one of her friend group still enmeshed in the stale bureaucracy of HMRC. Elle is trying to pretend she’s a normal housewife, and Niamh has become a country vet, using her powers to heal sick animals. In what Helena perceives as the deepest betrayal, Leonie has defected to start her own more inclusive and intersectional coven, Diaspora. And now Helena has a bigger problem. A young warlock of extraordinary capabilities has been captured by authorities and seems to threaten the very existence of HMRC. With conflicting beliefs over the best course of action, the four friends must decide where their loyalties lie: with preserving tradition, or doing what is right.

  • Title: Portrait of a Thief
  • Author: Grace D. Li
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  • Release Date: Out Now

Plot: History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now. Will Chen plans to steal them back. A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes an artist, the eldest son who has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a mysterious Chinese benefactor reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago. His crew is every heist archetype one can imag­ine—or at least, the closest he can get. A con artist: Irene Chen, a public policy major at Duke who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering major who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down. Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted at­tempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.

  • Title: A River Enchanted
  • Author: Rebecca Ross
  • Series: Elements of Cadence #1
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager
  • Release Date: Out Now

Plot: Enchantments run deep on the magical Isle of Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armour, and the smallest cut of a knife can instil fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that live there find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home, but that mischief turns to malevolence as girls begin to go missing. Adaira, heiress of the east, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, enticing them to return the missing girls. But there’s only one bard capable of drawing the spirits forth by song: her childhood enemy Jack Tamerlaine. He hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university, but as Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than first thought and an older, darker secret lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.

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