April 2020 Reading Recap

April2020RR

Good-bye April, the shortest month this year. I have gone through a lot of sudden changes, but there are always more books to read. I even discovered two new favorites this month, which feels exciting.

This month, I also interviewed Aleksandra Ross to celebrate the release of her debut novel, Don’t Call the Wolf and I had outlined a plan to improve my craft. I will be saving the craft reads for their own post.

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ARC Review: RACE THE SANDS by Sarah Beth Durst (2020)

Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Year Release: April 2020
Source: Edelweiss ARC

Read an ARC acquired via Edelweiss

This standalone fantasy has everything: political intrigue,  a death-based magic system, invented religion, and demon racing. In the desert world of Becar, people are reincarnated upon death and the worst of the worst are reincarnated as kehoks, or demons that are the dream spawn of Simic monster hybrids (see examples here). Tamra Velras is a down-on-her-luck trainer of kehoks, and buys one with the intent to fix her reputation after an accident the previous racing season. Raia is a young woman on the run from her controlling family and sees a chance for freedom in becoming a rider. But a conspiracy is brewing and their kehok may have all the answers.

The world of this novel has so many details. It feels lived in, with its own traditions and a tightly wound belief system which ties into the magic. The kehoks are alluring and terrifying, and it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of the races. In addition, their existence opens up an in-book quandary about whether we live for the today or hope for better lots in the future.

Which leads us to the characters. I loved them all. Everyone had a fully fleshed out backstory, with Tamra fiercely protecting the life she’d built and Raia’s search for the family she never had. Even the politicians and augurs (priests) had such intricately woven machinations, I could not wait to see what happened next in either story line. The way these two different threads came together in the very end is a plotter’s envy. I dropped my jaw on several occasions.

A thrilling and enthralling stand alone which hits the right notes for any fantasy lover with expertly placed plot twists and a heart rooted in destiny vs. choices and in found family.

March 2020 TBR

In March, I have an almost-literal mountain of library books to read, not counting audiobooks.

Hard Copies

  • The Age of Ice by J.M. Sidorova (Library Borrow)
  • Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer (Library Borrow)
  • The Fortress by S.A. Jones (ARC)

Kindle

  • Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst (ARC)
  • Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1) by R.J. Theodore
  • When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey (ARC)

Audiobooks

  • Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb
  • The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
  • Ruse (Want #2) by Cindy Pon
  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

One book to beta read this month, and my own to steadily write throughout the month.

February 2020 TBR

Here are my intended reads for February.

Hard Copies

  • Conspiracy of Ravens (The Shadow #2) by Lila Bowen (Library Borrow)
  • The Fortress by S.A. Jones (ARC)
  • Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey (ARC)

Kindle

  • Finna by Nino Cipri (ARC)
  • Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst (ARC)
  • Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1) by R.J. Theodore
  • Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal (ARC)
  • Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold (ARC)

Audiobooks

  • Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith
  • The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Plus two books I offered to beta read. Wow, this month is busy.

January 2020 TBR

I am going to start announcing the books I intend to read per month, starting with January 2020.

Hard Copies

  • Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
  • The Fortress by S.A. Jones (ARC)
  • The Never-Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
  • Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim (ARC)

Kindle

  • Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (Library Borrow)
  • Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (Library Borrow)
  • Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani (ARC)

Audiobooks

  • Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (Library Borrow)
  • Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Library Borrow)