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TBR Spotlight: How to be a Hero by Cat Weldon

Mondays come around fast! Today’s random number pick is book #358 from my TBR, How to be a Hero by Cat Weldon!

A no-good viking thief. The worst-ever trainee valkyrie. An ungodly case of mistaken identity.

When failing trainee valkyrie Lotta mistakes an unconscious viking thief, Whetstone, for a fallen hero and takes him triumphantly to Valhalla, things are definitely not turning out to be epic or glorious. Having lost a precious talking cup, Whetstone is also desperate to cover up his mistake and the two embark on a quarrelsome journey to find it and regain their heroic status. But Loki the trickster God is desperate to get his hands on the cup with a plan to unleash chaos across the nine worlds. Can Whetstone prove himself a hero after all when it matters most?

The first in a hilarious and fast-paced trilogy about how to be brave, what it means to be a hero and just how confusing the Norse Gods really are. Fully illustrated throughout, Cat Weldon’s How to Be a Hero is perfect for fans of How to Train Your Dragon and Who Let the Gods Out.

This is the first physical book I’ve turned up on the random number generator! I bought this earlier this year from my local indie bookshop, who were offering free bike delivery in the area – what better excuse to get books than if they come to you? I really liked the sound of this fun Viking story, and I thought it might fill a gap in my shelves, as there’s very little middle grade I like with a male protagonist (as you know, I often find them a bit too reliant on zaniness and not enough on emotions!), but I want to find some before my son starts asking for them (in, like, eight years). I’ve got my fingers crossed that the dual lead in this book will be a good way to ease into it for me! Plus, the dragon on the cover was very tempting.

Have you read this one? I’d love to know if you enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: More Fabulous Flaps!

We’re still absolutely loving interactive board books chez Cup of Tea, so here’s a little round up of some of the newest flappy favourites on our shelves! All of these books were sent to me for review, but that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Where’s Mrs Car? by Ingela P Arrhenius

The latest book in the Felt Flaps series is another winner! These are so simple, but so well-executed, with five large and tactile flaps that babies will love to grab. This one, as you can probably guess, features an array of cute vehicles, and the mirror at the end is a particular favourite. Definitely a series to get your hands on if you need to entertain a little one!

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TBR Spotlight: The Prince of Secrets by AJ Lancaster

It’s Monday so it’s time to shine another spotlight on a random book from my TBR, and this week, it’s book #138, The Prince of Secrets by AJ Lancaster!

Well-bred women should not be seen kissing their butlers. Even when the butler in question is secretly a fae prince.

Wyn knows falling for Hetta Valstar is a bad idea. She’s not only human but the new magically bonded ruler of Stariel Estate. If their relationship gets out, it’ll cause a scandal that could ruin their attempts to sort out the estate’s crumbling finances.

And it doesn’t help that Stariel has decided it doesn’t like him.

But more than jealous sentient estates and Hetta’s good name are at stake. Wyn’s past is coming back to bite him. Ten years ago, he broke an oath and shattered the power of his home court, and the fae have been hunting him ever since. Now they’ve found his hiding place, they won’t rest until he’s dead or the debt is repaid–and they don’t play nicely. 

The Prince of Secrets is Book 2 in the Stariel Quartet.

I own an ebook copy of this book, and it was sent to me by the author for review. I really need to get to this one soon! It’s been long enough since I read (and loved!) The Lord of Stariel, which I reviewed here, that I’d quite like to reread it before plunging back into the series, but this is a fabulous cosy gaslamp fantasy with a touch of romance that ticked basically all my boxes, so even though I’ve been slow to get to it, I’m very excited to continue the story. I loved Wyn, so I’m looking forward to more of him in this book!

Have you read this one (or the first book)? I’d love to know if you enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Animal Books!

I realised the other day that a lot of the books we’ve been reading recently have had an animal theme, so here’s a little round up! All of these books were sent to me for review by Little Tiger Books, but that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Sea by Patricia Hegarty and Britta Teckentrup

This book is full of gorgeous underwater scenes and enchanced with cool cut-outs that reveal different creatures on each page, which makes it feel full of depth and mystery! It’s accompanied by rhyming text that tells you a bit about each of the fish and animals, and has an overt moral about keeping the sea clean to protect ocean life, which is very important. All the sea creature favourites are here, from sharks to manatees, and kids will love spotting them in the detailed background as well as when they’re the focus. A very pretty read!

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Tags and Fun

TBR Spotlight: The Ninth Sorceress by Bonnie Wynne

I’m always thinking about my TBR. Way before I ever even had an acronym to use, back in the mists of time before my first ever blog, even, I’ve had more books on my ‘to be read’ shelf than I could handle! I was always the girl that would max out every library card or spend hours deciding how best to maximise a book token for the most possible books – and I still am that girl, I just have much less time to read now.

If you’ve been keeping up with my monthly TBR Check In posts (here’s this month’s!) you’ll know I’m trying to drag my TBR down from the 500-book mark (and it’s been higher than that). But even with my best efforts, it’s going to take me a good long while, and in the meantime, these books are languishing! So here’s where this post comes in: every Monday, I’m going to randomly pick a book from my TBR to tell you a little bit about. So without further ado, here’s the very first spotlight!

This is book #441, The Ninth Sorceress by Bonnie Wynne. I own an ebook copy, and it was actually a birthday present from the lovely Paige at @lostinthepaiges!

In the blackest dungeon of the Clockwork City, a prisoner lies bound in silver shackles. Who is she? And why are the wizards so afraid of her?

Seventeen-year-old Gwyn has no family and no past. Apprenticed to a half-mad herbalist, she travels the snow-blasted High Country, hawking potions in a peddler’s wagon. Her guardian hides her from the world like a dark secret, and she knows better than to push for answers.

But when she discovers she is hunted by the goddess Beheret, Gwyn is drawn into a deep and ancient tale: of chained gods and lost magic, of truths long buried and the rising of a war she never could have imagined.

Wizards and their magic-sniffing hounds pursue her – as does a stranger in a smiling mask, who calls her by an unfamiliar name… 
But what really terrify her are the dangerous gifts she’s spent her life suppressing. Now, Gwyn must step out of the shadows and take charge of her destiny – even if the price is her own soul.

I first came across this book on Twitter – it caught my eye because of its unusual, intricate cover, and when I read the blurb, I couldn’t resist adding it to my wishlist. I love books with young women learning to understand their power (both magical and personal!) and throwing in potions and forgotten gods makes this sound very much up my street. The Goodreads reviews include comparisons to The Name of the Wind in terms of style, so I’m keen to see if it is in a similar vein!

Have you read this one? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Book Reviews

Blog Tour: Master Artificer by Justin Call

You might be wondering what’s going, on, since I already raved to you about how much I loved this book back in February. But today I’m excited to be helping my pal Nikki at Books and Lemon Squash wrap up the blog tour to celebrate the UK publication of Master Artificer!

And just look at that beautiful cover!! This series has some seriously amazing design going on – the foil is so lovely! This finished copy was sent to me by Gollancz for the blog tour, and it’s huge in person (far bigger than it felt reading the ebook!).

As I mentioned above, I reviewed Master Artificer back in February, because Justin was kind enough to let me read an extra-early ARC! You can find my review here, and in fact, if you need to go back further to refresh your memory, you can find my review of the first book in this series, Master of Sorrows, here. This series is fun, exciting coming-of-age fantasy that really plays with traditional fantasy tropes: from the chosen one to the magic academy, this book may seem like a familiar story, but it twists and turns everything into something really fresh and clever – and dark! Do head to my reviews to read more!

What I have for you today is a little extra treat on top of my review. I thought about asking Justin to do an interview with me, but as we chatted, we actually ended up talking way more about the concept of interviews, and how they can not only benefit readers by revealing the answers to things we want to know, but can also benefit authors… and so, I present to you a meta-interview! (Oh, and he did end up answering one very vital question for me, so make sure you read to the end for that!)

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Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Ancient History

Just a few books today, but they all ended up on a historical theme! These are all perfect for slightly older readers as they have more delicate and intricate flaps and plenty of interesting historical info to learn – so let’s take a look! All of these books were sent to me for review, but that doesn’t affect my opinions.

Find Tom in Time: Ancient Rome by Fatti Burke

I’ve already said I’m a huge fan of this series (my review of Tom’s adventures in Ming Dynasty China is here, and Ancient Egypt is here), and I was really looking forward to the Ancient Rome book as that’s my area of expertise! This Where’s-Wally-esque book is a fabulous peek into the past, covering loads of different areas of Roman life in bright, chaotic detail with the added fun of looking for Tom and his cat Digby! You could pore over this for hours to find all the fun little tidbits hidden in the scenes – it’s a great addition to the series!

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