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QBD Reviews: Serpent and Dove

Set in a world of powerful women, dark magic, and off-the-charts romance, Serpent and Dove is a tale of witchcraft and forbidden love, that will leave readers burning for more. The first book in a duology it is the perfect read for lovers of Sara Holland or Brigid Kemmerer.

"This is an intriguing debut novel from Shelby Mahurin and I cannot wait to see what else she has to bring. Serpent & Dove is a captivating fantasy novel that entwines magic in such an intriguing way. Combine that with a romance that is off the charts and you are in for a ride! Serpent & Dove is such a refreshing YA fantasy and I cannot wait for the next book."

Angelique, QBD

Get your copy now. Click here.

Explore the world of The Priory of the Orange Tree with Samantha Shannon!

The first book in a new series by Samantha Shannon has hit our shelves and we're in love! With a vibrant world full of dragons, empires and action, it is unputdownable!

We are excited to have Samantha available to take us on a private tour around the world of The Priory of the Orange Tree.

"The Priory of the Orange Tree is set in a world that is both like and unlike ours. One of the books I used to research it was The Time Travellers’ Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer. In a similar vein, I’d like to help the unwary traveller orient themselves in the fractured world I’ve spent the last three years building.

In CE 1005, the Kingdom of Hróth is the only country in the region known as the North. Ruled by the House of Hraustr, which triumphed in the War of the Twelve Shields, it is a land of deep forests, magnificent glaciers, and snowbound plains. Among its exports are forest glass and sunstone. If luck is with you, you might catch a glimpse of its famous rainbow lights in the sky.

Sail across the frigid Ashen Sea and you will find the Queendom of Inys, which has been ruled by the House of Berethnet for over a thousand years. Sabran the Ninth sits on its throne. Inys is where the faith of the Virtues of Knighthood was founded, and all other countries in Virtudom owe religious fealty to it. It is said that while the Berethnet bloodline endures, the Nameless One – the enemy of humankind – can never return. Express even a hint of doubt in this belief, and you may be charged with heresy.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon OUT NOW

Inys is the northernmost nation in the West. The other two countries in this region are the Free State of Mentendon and the Kingdom of Yscalin, both situated on the continent of Edin. Mentendon is sworn to Virtudom, but Yscalin has renounced the faith and pledged allegiance to the Nameless One. King Sigoso has not been seen in public for some time, but his daughter, the Donmata Marosa, continues to hold court in the forbidding Palace of Salvation.

Mentendon is ruled by the House of Lievelyn, a relatively young dynasty that took power from the Vatten family. Aubrecht the Second is its High Prince, and its heir apparent is the eldest of his sisters, Princess Ermuna.

Travel further into Edin and you will find yourself in the warm climes of the South. The Domain of Lasia – a land of lush forests and broad, crashing rivers – and is ruled by the House of Onjenyu, the oldest of the royal dynasties. Lasia is well-known for its exquisite sculptures and copper jewellery. Somewhere in the Lasian Basin lies the Priory of the Orange Tree . . . but you will find it on no map. 

East of Lasia is the Ersyr, a desert nation, rich in skystone. Except for the occasional oasis and the Wareda Valley, which abounds with roses, the country is dry. The Tablet of Rumelabar, which contains a riddle that alchemists have endeavoured to solve for centuries, was discovered in the Sarras Mountains. A small river, the Bratar, runs from these mountains and pours into the Sea of Carmentum. Glittering on the seabed are thousands of treasures from the former Republic of Carmentum, which collapsed during the Grief of Ages.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon is available in store & online now.

To see the rest of the world, you’ll need to board a sturdy ship in Ostendeur or Drayasta and cross the dark sea called the Abyss, which teems with all manner of strange creatures. Greatsquid and baleens may bump against your ship in the dead of night. Sometimes, if you listen hard, you may hear a syren calling.

The Sepul Peninsula has been virtually lawless for centuries, with its former capital, Kawontay, overrun by pirates. However, it’s also the only place you’ll be able to disembark in the East without the authorities detaining you. To keep out the Draconic plague, the Empire of the Twelve Lakes and its closest neighbour, Seiiki, have closed their ports to all outsiders. Should you make it into Seiiki, be careful not to go astray in the Forest of the Wounded Bird, or to climb too high into the foothills of the merciless Mount Tego. Instead, consider waiting on the black sands of Cape Hisan until dusk, when thousands of tiny sea creatures light up the shore. 

In the Empire of the Twelve Lakes, prepare to be dazzled by snow-capped mountain ranges, flower-peppered meadows, and of course, the lakes themselves. Stand by one for long enough, and you may see a pair of horns break the surface – a water dragon, unfurling from the depths. "

Immerse yourself in The Priory of the Orange Tree today! Available in stores and online now.

QBD Reviews: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

As singular entry in Brandon Sanderson's growing collection of novels, Warbreaker is a fantastic addition to what some may say are some of the best Fantasy novels written to date. Impressive in scope and execution Warbreaker explores a new form of ethereal magic known as Breath. It is this form of magic that sets up the premise of the story. Breath enables the holder to not only obtain talents such as enchanced colour sight and perfect pitch, but Breath may also be used to animate objects to perform tasks unimaginable. With a power such as strong as Breath one can imagine that it is highly sought after, and you'd be right.

In this story you will follow the lives of two princesses as they lives are turned upside down on a quest to save one another from the God King, a being of untold power who's Breath is to be rumoured as unmeasureable, in the ever colourful yet unfamiliar city of Hallandren. Come explore the reasons by Breath is so powerful, yet so very dangerous in Sanderson's stand-alone novel Warbreaker. You'll love it the twists and turns, I promise!

Fans of authors such as Terry Pratchett and Patrick Rothfuss will absolutely love this novel. It would also be suitable for teenagers with a growing ability to comprehend more mature concepts found in adult sci-fi and fantasy novels.

- Liam, QBD Carousel

The Children of Blood and Bone sequel has been announced!

We're so excited the Afrofuturist fantasy about Zélie, Amari, and Inan we've all read and adored, Children of Blood and Bone, will have a sequel AND the title, release date, and official synopsis have been set free! The sequel is titled Children of Virtue and Vengeance, hitting shelves in March 2019.

Yes, we know, we're waiting like:

via GIPHY

In the meantime, join us in reading (and re-reading, analysing and hypothesising about) the synopsis!

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

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What some of our readers have been saying about Children of Blood And Bone: 

Children of Blood and Bone encapsulates everything that I love about YA fantasy. The world is amazing, the characters are so real feeling, the writing is perfect, the action is abundant, the romances are beautiful, the topics are important. This was such a fantastic read, I have no doubts that Children of Blood and Bone will make my best of 2018 list. 5 stars. - Melanie, QBD Doncaster

Blessed are the Brave. Set in the beautiful world of Orisha, you follow the story of handful of teenagers trying to write the wrongs of the past.Years after magic was taken from the diviners and all maji murdered Zelie grows up in the harsh lifestyle of being a diviner without Magic.
With the help of Amari and Tzain now is time to fight back, now is the time to rise and take back what was theirs. 3.5 stars.- David, QBD Mandurah

This book is amazing. With brilliantly fleshed out characters and excellent workd building Children of Blodd and Bone is a must read for fans of fantasy. It follows the story of Zelie as her world is burnt to ashes and she has to flea everything she has ever known to embark on a journey to save her people.
This book contains tragic backstories, intricately crafted magical lore, first love, betrayal, adventure, heart break, sword fights, magical duels, naval battles, mercenaries and it's all wrapped up in a captivating tale with more twists and heart-stirring moments than you would expect in a YA novel. Cannot wait for the next book in the series! 5 stars. - Rina, QBD Belconnen

Reviewsday: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I’ve only read a couple of Holly Black’s books before picking up The Cruel Prince and while I enjoy the books before, I adored The Cruel Prince. From the very first page, I was entranced with the Fae world that Holly created. Second, guessing everything and not knowing what was going to happen next.

The Cruel Prince follows protagonist Jude ten years after she and her sisters witness their parents murder, are kidnapped and taken to the Fae world. Now they live in the High Court of Faerie and in a world that doesn’t accept them. Jude doesn’t fit into the Fae world and the fey don’t let her forget it. With the current King ready to step down, things are about to get more dangerous in the world that Jude lives.

One of my favourite things about The Cruel Prince was Jude. While she isn’t the most likeable protagonist out there, her voice and perseverance – just made the book. Jude is such an interesting protagonist and like most characters in the book, you don’t know what to believe. She has gone through a lot. Her parents were murdered in front of her, she lives with the murdered and is taken to a foreign world.

Her strength was a really big theme of the whole book. I loved seeing Jude stand up and be strong, no matter what was throw at her. And gosh she was pushed hard. At times it was really hard to read some of the things that Jude went through. What got me through it was Jude herself. I loved seeing another strong female character not only be challenged physically but mentally.

Jude’s family. There isn’t much I can say here without spoiling anything. But what I hoped wouldn’t happen did and that broke my heart. You can see that Jude does care for her sisters and what went down was so damn hard. It’s also a really interesting concept of family. She has her sisters, yes. However, she also lives with the man that killed her parents. It was intriguing to see the dynamic of this.

The Cruel Prince is filled with unreliable characters and it was fantastic! Seriously, I didn’t know what was going to happen next, because I didn’t know who to trust. Holly Black made her characters do things that I thought she would never do. You think one character is your friend and then bam! It’s not something that you get in YA and it was different to see.

Another thing that I loved about The Cruel Prince was the world. It’s fantastic and pulls your right in. Holly Black created a lot of layers in this world, with the basics of fae laws. I really enjoy that as it’s a great way to compare and contrast to other fae worlds. While at the start of The Cruel Prince it took me a little to get into the world, it wasn’t long before I was in love.

As I’ve said before, I had no idea what was going to happen throughout The Cruel Prince. You think something is going to happen and then it doesn’t. Then you think ‘oh she won’t do this’ and it does. It takes you on a world wind of emotions.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Cruel Prince. It’s addicting, dark and messes with your emotions. It’s a world of court intrigue and the conflict between Fae and humans. It explores the notion of being human and the emotions that come with it. It’s fast-paced with many twists and turns that throw you off. The Cruel Prince has set up a fantastic new series for Holly Black.

~Angelique, QBD Chadstone