Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme by That Artsy Reader Girl.This feature gives a weekly Top Ten list. We all love lists, right?
This week’s theme is Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsBlack Wolves (Black Wolves, #1) by Kate Elliott
Also by this author: Black Wolves (The Black Wolves Trilogy, #1)
Published by Orbit on November 3, 2015
Pages: 780

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For readers of Brent Weeks and fans of Netflix's Marco Polo comes a rich and inspired fantasy tale of warriors and nobles who must take the most desperate gamble of all: awaken allies more destructive than the hated king they hope to overthrow. Kate Elliott's new trilogy is an unmissable treat for epic fantasy lovers everywhere.

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father's fate.

Combining the best of Shogun and Netflix's Marco Polo, Black Wolves is an unmissable treat for epic fantasy lovers everywhere.


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsThe Lyre Thief (Hythrun Chronicles: War of the Gods, #1) by Jennifer Fallon
Also by this author: The Lyre Thief
Published by Tor Books on March 8, 2016
Pages: 448

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Ten years have passed since the events of the Demon Child books that left the god Xaphista dead, the nation Karien without a religion or king and the matriarchal country of Medalon ruled by men. But it is in the kingdoms of the south that things really heat up. When Princess Rakaia of Fardohnya discovers she is not of royal birth, she agrees to marry a much older Hythrun noble in a chance to escape her 'father's wrath. Rakaia takes nothing but her jewels and her base-born half-sister, Charisee, who has been her slave, handmaiden and best friend since she was six years old. And who can pass as Rakaia's double.

These two sisters embark on a Shakespearean tale of switched identities, complicated love triangles...and meddlesome gods. Rakaia is rescued on the road by none other than the Demon Child, R'shiel, still searching for a way to force Death to release her near immortal Brak. Charisee tries to act like the princess she was never meant to be and manages to draw the attention of the God of Liars who applauds her deception and only wants to help.

Then there is the little matter of the God of Music's magical totem that has been stolen...and how this theft may undo the universe.

Powerful magics, byzantine politics, sweeping adventure, and a couple of juicy love stories thrown in for good measure, The Lyre Thief is classic Fallon that is sure to appeal to her fans.


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsThe Last Witness by K. J. Parker
Also by this author: The Folding Knife
Published by Tom Doherty Associates on October 6, 2015
Pages: 141

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I've been told I have a forgettable face. Ironic, really.

I have a gift; I can browse through the library of your mind and remove individual memories. You'll never know I was there, and you'll never miss what was taken. Useful for grieving widowers, moreso for ambitious politicians.

But I'm holding so many memories I'm not always sure which ones are actually mine.

Some of them are sensitive; all of them are private. And there are those who are willing to kill to access the secrets I'm trying to bury...


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsThe Shards of Heaven (The Shards of Heaven #1) by Michael Livingston
Also by this author: The Shards of Heaven
Published by Tor Books on November 24, 2015
Pages: 416

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The beginning of an epic historical fantasy that rocks the foundations of the ancient world

Julius Caesar is dead, assassinated on the senate floor, and the glory that is Rome has been torn in two. Octavian, Caesar’s ambitious great-nephew and adopted son, vies with Marc Antony and Cleopatra for control of Caesar’s legacy. As civil war rages from Rome to Alexandria, and vast armies and navies battle for supremacy, a secret conflict may shape the course of history.

Juba, Numidian prince and adopted brother of Octavian, has embarked on a ruthless quest for the Shards of Heaven, lost treasures said to possess the very power of the gods—or the one God. Driven by vengeance, Juba has already attained the fabled Trident of Poseidon, which may also be the staff once wielded by Moses. Now he will stop at nothing to obtain the other Shards, even if it means burning the entire world to the ground.

Caught up in these cataclysmic events, and the hunt for the Shards, are a pair of exiled Roman legionnaires, a Greek librarian of uncertain loyalties, assassins, spies, slaves . . . and the ten-year-old daughter of Cleopatra herself.

The Shards of Heaven reveals the hidden magic behind the history we know, and commences a war greater than any mere mortal battle.


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsThe Facefaker's Game by Chandler J. Birch
Also by this author: The Facefaker's Game
on November 1, 2016
Pages: 464

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For fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch, a picaresque fantasy about a clever young beggar who bargains his way into an apprenticeship with a company of thieving magicians and uses his newfound skills in a vendetta against a ruthless crime lord.

Ashes lives in Burroughside—the dirtiest, most crime-ridden district in the huge city of Teranis. His neighbors are gangs of fellow orphans, homeless madmen, and monsters that swarm the streets at nightfall. Determined to escape Burroughside, Ashes spends his days begging, picking pockets, and cheating at cards. When he draws the wrath of Mr. Ragged, Burroughside’s brutal governor, he is forced to flee for his life, only to be rescued by an enigmatic man named Candlestick Jack.

Jack leads a group of Artificers, professional magicians who can manipulate light with their bare hands to create stunningly convincing illusions. Changing a face is as simple as changing a hat. Ashes seizes an opportunity to study magic under Jack and quickly befriends the rest of the company: Juliana, Jack’s aristocratic wife; William, his exacting business partner; and Synder, his genius apprentice. But all is not as it seems: Jack and his company lead a double life as thieves, and they want Ashes to join their next heist. Between lessons on light and illusion, Ashes begins preparing to help with Jack’s most audacious caper yet: robbing the richest and most ruthless nobleman in the city.

A dramatic adventure story full of wit, charm, and scheming rogues, The Facefaker’s Game introduces an unforgettable world you won’t soon want to leave.


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsThe Empire's Ghost by Isabelle Steiger
Also by this author: The Empire's Ghost
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on May 16, 2017
Pages: 432

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An epic fantasy debut, The Empire’s Ghost weaves together the lives of the haves and the have-nots both desperately fighting to reassemble the remains of a fallen empire.

The empire of Elesthene once spanned a continent, but its rise heralded the death of magic. It tore itself apart from within, leaving behind a patchwork of kingdoms struggling to rebuild. But when a new dictator, the ambitious and enigmatic Imperator Elgar, seizes power in the old capital and seeks to recreate the lost empire anew, the other kingdoms have little hope of stopping him. Prince Kelken of Reglay finds himself at odds with his father at his country’s darkest hour; the marquise of Esthrades is unmatched in politics and strategy, but she sits at a staggering military disadvantage. And Issamira, the most powerful of the free countries, has shut itself off from the conflict, thrown into confusion by the disappearance of its crown prince and the ensuing struggle for succession.

Everything seems aligned in Elgar’s favor, but when he presses a band of insignificant but skilled alley-dwellers into his service for a mission of the greatest secrecy, they find an unexpected opportunity to alter the balance of power in the war. Through their actions and those of the remaining royals, they may uncover not just a way to defeat Elgar, but also a deeper truth about their world’s lost history.

Isabelle Steiger has crafted a powerful and masterful debut with The Empire's Ghost, the first book in a haunting new epic fantasy series.


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsThe Bloodbound (Bloodbound, #1) by Erin Lindsey
Also by this author: The Bloodbound
Published by Ace on September 30, 2014
Pages: 368

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Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…

A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.

Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.

But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsBetween Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman
Also by this author: Between Two Fires
Published by Ace on October 2, 2012
Pages: 432

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His extraordinary debut, Those Across the River, was hailed as “genre-bending Southern horror” (California Literary Review), “graceful [and] horrific” (Patricia Briggs). Now Christopher Buehlman invites readers into an even darker age—one of temptation and corruption, of war in heaven, and of hell on earth…

And Lucifer said: “Let us rise against Him now in all our numbers, and pull the walls of heaven down…”

The year is 1348. Thomas, a disgraced knight, has found a young girl alone in a dead Norman village. An orphan of the Black Death, and an almost unnerving picture of innocence, she tells Thomas that plague is only part of a larger cataclysm—that the fallen angels under Lucifer are rising in a second war on heaven, and that the world of men has fallen behind the lines of conflict.

Is it delirium or is it faith? She believes she has seen the angels of God. She believes the righteous dead speak to her in dreams. And now she has convinced the faithless Thomas to shepherd her across a depraved landscape to Avignon. There, she tells Thomas, she will fulfill her mission: to confront the evil that has devastated the earth, and to restore to this betrayed, murderous knight the nobility and hope of salvation he long abandoned.

As hell unleashes its wrath, and as the true nature of the girl is revealed, Thomas will find himself on a macabre battleground of angels and demons, saints, and the risen dead, and in the midst of a desperate struggle for nothing less than the soul of man.


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsFlex ('Mancer, #1) by Ferrett Steinmetz
Also by this author: Flex
Published by Angry Robot on March 3, 2015
Pages: 429

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FLEX: Distilled magic in crystal form. The most dangerous drug in the world. Snort it, and you can create incredible coincidences to live the life of your dreams.

FLUX: The backlash from snorting Flex. The universe hates magic and tries to rebalance the odds; maybe you survive the horrendous accidents the Flex inflicts, maybe you don’t.

PAUL TSABO: The obsessed bureaucromancer who’s turned paperwork into a magical Beast that can rewrite rental agreements, conjure rented cars from nowhere, track down anyone who’s ever filled out a form.

But when all of his formulaic magic can’t save his burned daughter, Paul must enter the dangerous world of Flex dealers to heal her. Except he’s never done this before – and the punishment for brewing Flex is army conscription and a total brain-wipe.

File Under: Urban Fantasy

[ Magic Pill | Firestarter | Bureaucramancy | The Flex & the Flux ]


Top Ten Tuesday – Books I loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on GoodreadsBite by K.S. Merbeth
Also by this author: Bite
Published by Orbit on July 26, 2016
Pages: 376

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Welcome to the Wasteland, a post-apocalyptic world where lawlessness reigns, and around every bend is another pack of bloodthirsty raiders.
Kid is trying to survive in a world gone mad.
Hungry, thirsty and alone in a desert wasteland, she's picked up on the side of the road by Wolf, Dolly, Tank and Pretty Boy - outlaws with big reputations and even bigger guns.

But as they journey across the wild together, Kid learns that her newfound crew may not be the heroes she was hoping for. And in a world that's lost its humanity, everyone has a bit of monster within them...

For more from K. S. Merbeth, check out:Raid
The Wastelanders (Omnibus edition)


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