Monday 4 April 2016

Gorgeous Covers

Whilst you're never supposed to judge a book by its cover, I have a terrible tendency to do so, so whenever particularly gorgeous cover art comes along I'm even more eager to get a book into my hands.

Over the last few days there have been a slew of beautiful cover releases, to whet our appetites for when the books eventually grace our shelves later in the year.

First up is the second illustrated Harry Potter, due out on October 4th. I loved the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and I think that Chamber of Secrets will more than keep up with the high standard its predecessor set. I can't wait to see more of Jim Kay's illustrations bringing Harry's world to life in this new and beautiful way. Apart from the spiders. I hate the spiders.

Next up, Laini Taylor's forthcoming novel "Strange the Dreamer" which, let's face it, is going to be gorgeous. Which makes the release of this stunning cover all the more exciting. Laini has a way of bringing stories to life, and twisting prose into its most stunning forms. I adored her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and the short story in 'My True Love Gave to Me', and I cannot wait to read her next full novel due out this September. It's going to be beautiful.

And finally we have a cover reveal for Deanna Raybourn's next Veronica Speedwell mystery "A Perilous Undertaking", and a cover redesign for the series.

Cover redesign's tend to vex me, because they inevitably mean that series don't match and I end up with multiple copies of the same book on my shelf in an effort to make my covers match up properly. Not actually that terrible, but that involves waiting until the second book is out in paperback to match the first book only being released in paperback... Such are the trials of a book lover. 
Regardless, I'm so excited about the covers, they're gorgeous and a lot closer to the UK cover that was released originally for the first book.

So there you have some of my favourite cover releases from the last few days, and a few more books that I cannot wait to get on my shelves when they're released later in the year!

Now talk to me! How do you feel about cover redesigns mid series? Particularly when they end up being such beautiful new covers! 

Friday 1 April 2016

Books I'm Squeeing About in April

It's April! Already! I had a brief moment of panic this morning on looking at my calendar and realising we were starting another month - this year is racing by and I barely feel like I'm hanging on.
However, there is one bonus to the days racing past, and that is some of my most anticipated books of the year are being released this month! Take my money! I need these books!

5th April - Tell The Wind & Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. 
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Anytime Sarah Rees Brennan releases a new book, I run to the bookstore. Actually, it's usually more that I camp outside with my nose pressed against the glass waiting longingly for it to be released... I adore her books. They're smart and funny and brilliantly imaginative, peopled with snarky, brilliantly developed characters. I've been antsing to get my hands on this Tale of Two Cities re-telling ever since Sarah announced she was writing one, and now it is finally HERE. Almost.

12th April - Masks & Shadows by Stephanie BurgisThe year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress--a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.

Gorgeous cover - check. Fascinating blurb - check. Spies, historical setting, magic - check. Count me in please. The cover caught my eye, but the blurb has me thoroughly intrigued. I cannot wait to see if this one lives up to my expectations.

26th April - The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

I am not even close to emotionally ready for the end of this series, but I also cannot wait to read it. I've fallen in love with Blue and her boys, with the magic and the woods and the gorgeous, gorgeous prose. I come back to them again and again, and I whilst it is likely to break my heart, I want to finally learn how their stories end. Get the tissues ready guys, this one will be beautiful and devastating.

April 26th - The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.
Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.
The Star-Touched Queen is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.

This book showed up randomly on my recommendations and I am so glad it did. Anytime a young adult book veers away from the stereotypical 'UK' or 'US' settings, I get excited. Add in some fantasy and a thoroughly intriguing blurb and beautiful cover and I cannot wait to get reading.

There you have the books I cannot wait to get my hands on over the next thirty days! Are there any you can't wait to read? Any you feel I've missed? Or any you're curious to pick up? Let me know in the comments below!