I’ve been in a YA fantasy kind of mood recently.
I succumbed to the lure of the FairyLoot subscription box a few months back. It was their May Save the Kingdom theme that persuaded me, and how could I resist their June Rebels in Ballgowns box? Having had two of their boxes now, I probably wouldn’t buy another – while I like the book exclusives, the design of the accompanying products are on the too-dramatic side for me (they photograph well though, and I suspect I’m in the minority!).
So the May and June FairyLoot boxes had Mindee Arnott’s ONYX AND IVORY and Tracy Banghart’s GRACE AND FURY respectively – I found the former a bit middling and predictable, while the latter was more satisfying character and relationship-wise, but had a “to be continued…” kind of ending.
A recent bookstore visit then yielded an impulse buy of Erin Beaty’s THE TRAITOR’S KISS and when I closed the book, I immediately one-clicked the sequel, THE TRAITOR’S RUIN, which had just come out. Hurrah for serendipitous release schedules! These books aren’t perfect (too much angsting, some confusing history, and gosh, Sage & co come across as being either way too young or incredibly mature for their ages depending on what they’re doing), but they’re addictive reads. Plus despite being part of a trilogy, bonus points for each book being relatively self-contained.
Melissa Caruso’s THE DEFIANT HEIR was another recent read. I was not overly-enthused about the previous book in this series despite the hype (or perhaps because of!), but I felt she hit her stride here. I could do without the love triangle (and Amalia’s wishy-washiness on that front), but that aside, it had some vividly-imagined set pieces and twists, and was full of tension and drama at the right moments.
And the most recent book I’ve finished is Sarah Tolcser’s THE SONG OF THE CURRENT. I can’t remember who rec’d it now, but it was solid. The romance was a bit on the insta-love side (yes, I know – I am hyper-critical of romance subplots), but I liked the world-building and the complicated family dynamics. I am totally up for the sequel.
So any YA fantasy recs for me, ideally those without insta-love or love triangles or cliffhanger endings? I don’t ask for much obviously…