Our Canelands team are sharing their great taste in books under our QBD Spotlight this week.
The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye:
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
If you are in the market for a new fantasy novel then I cannot recommend this book enough. I could not stop reading this book from the moment I started it! Evelyn's world-buliding was phenomenal in this novel and it is clear that she did her research, while also taking an imaginative approach into 1854 Russia. The setting is detailed and written so beautifully. The characters are strong in their own rights, with the novel being told through multiple point's of view, giving you more characters to love. - Lisa (Store Manager)
The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton:
I fell in love with Miss Marple and her sleuthing ways a long time ago, so when a customer came in asking if we stocked any Agatha Raisin books by M.C Beaton, mentioning it was similar but with a lot more bite, I knew I had to order a few of her novels in straight away. A retired middle aged amateur sleuth with a blunt, demanding, bossy personality? Count me in!
The Quiche of Death opens with Agatha, a pushy, self-made woman with an unwavering smoking habit, retiring early after selling her PR business in London. She has found herself a cozy cottage in the village of Carsely and, naturally, she has ot fitted out in 'country' style by a London designer without ever having to lift a finger.
Agatha is not what you would call a likeable woman, with no luck making friends in the city, Agatha is hopeful that things will be different out in the country. Eager to make friends and finding the country to be just a tad bit boring, Agatha decides to enter the village quiche competition. But agatha raisin does not belong in the kitchen, so naturally she buys a quiche from an upscale bakery and passes it off as her own in an effort to win over the people of Carsely. But what happened when the judge who ate her quiche suddenly drops dead? Well it's obvious, Agatha must clumsily track down the murderer, solve the mystery and clear her name, providing many laughs along the way. I highly recommend to anyone who loves a bit of mystery but also loves a good laugh. - Lauren (Store 2IC)
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes:
Firstly I want to say that the cover does not do this book justice. It gives the impression of a bland and fluffy read when in reality this is a heartbreaking story, with subject matter that may be difficult for some people.
The characters begin as likeable, yet maddeningly realistic in all their arrogance and self-absorptions. As their fears and insights are exposed, they develop in strength and purpose to reveal rich individuals who are all completely changed through the events which unfold. I enjoyed the first person POV, and the odd change in character thrown in stirred the narrative quite nicely. I would have liked to have had at least a chapter from Will's perspective, but can understand how challenging that may have been for the author. I was really happy to have read Will's letter though!
I'm left feeling so mad, sad and even, oddly, happily resigned about the ending. I can't remember when I last finished a story that had tied me up in so many emotional knots. Anyone who asks for any fiction recommendations I will definitely let them know how absolutely amazing this novel is,
I'll be chasing down more novels written by Jojo Moyes - Shannon
The Rich and the Dead by Liv Spector:
The Rich and the Dead is a fast paced and exciting book that features time travelling, murder and a fake identity. Ex-detective Lila Day is contacted years after the murders of twelve 'high-status' residents of Star Island. Sent back in time, Lila is determined to stop the elusive murderer before he's able to strike. This was a modern, inventive and funny novel that I really enjoyed reading. I couldn't put it down and numerous plot twists and cliffhangers kept me entertained the entire time. The focus on time travelling was very unique but written well and was a very good addition to the book. This is the first book in the Lila Day series and I look forward to reading the rest. - Taylor
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare:
Clockwork Angel is the first book to the stunningly acclaimed Infernal Devices trilogy. Clockwork Angel is a captivating and dangerous story that takes you on a journey back through time to the year 1878 where a young girl, Tessa Gray, descends deep into London’s dark supernatural underworld in the hopes to find her long lost brother. Soon Tessa is faced with many discoveries about her true self and her mysterious demon-slaying allies – including Will and Jem, two boys she feels deeply connected to. Together, Tessa and the Shadowhunters fight against the uprising Pandemonium Club organization, an organization armed with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures. The Club is out to rule the British Empire, and the only people who can defeat them are Tessa and her allies… - Shenae
Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper:
I’ve gone. I’ve never seen the water, so I’ve gone there. Don’t worry, I’ve left you the truck. I can walk. I will try to remember to come back.
A love story that spans fifty years, three lives, two continents and an ocean. When Etta is 82 years old, she leaves a note for her husband, Otto. Etta has never seen the ocean and she going to change this before it is too late. Etta will walk there – all 3,232 kilometres, alone. Etta’s absence forces Otto and their close friend Russell to act upon their – until then – unrealised dreams. This novel is about love, trust, memory and forgetting, twisting three incredible friend’s stories into one magnificent tale. These characters have a touching vulnerability about them, with the author creating a quiet and stunning prose that never feels out of place. As Etta makes her cross-country pilgrimage, life events that have brought Etta to this resolution surface – stories and scenes are impressionistic, as the point of view shifts between characters and time. This novel shows that sometimes one simply exists and acts because one must, and to respect that person’s need to act despite their state of mind is a gift. This is the story of Etta and Otto and Russell and James. - Emma