Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #21

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Review

From the Library:

The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde
Long ago, magic began to fade, and the underemployed magicians of Kazam Mystical Arts Management have been forced to take any work their sixteen-year-old acting manager, Jennifer Strange, can scare up. But things are about to change. Magical power is finally on the rise, and King Snodd IV, of the Ununited Kingdoms know that he who controls magic controls everything. Only one person stands between Snodd and his plans for a magic-grab - and that's Jennifer.

Yet even smart and sensible Jennifer would have trouble against these powers-that-be. The king and his cronies will do anything to succeed - including ordering a just-might-be-rigged contest between Kazam and iMagic, Kazam's only competitor in the magic business. With underhanded shenanigans afoot, how can Kazam possibly win?

Whatever happens, one thing is certain: Jennifer Strange will not relinquish the noble powers of magic without a fight.

Projection by Risa Green
When 13-year-old Gretchen Harris's mother is murdered at Gretchen's 8th Grade graduation party, everyone in the town of Delphi, California, suspects a power struggle within the Oculus Society: Delphi's version of the Junior League. Gretchen's best friend, Jessica Shaw, might even hold the key to finding the culprit with The Plotinus Ability: the Oculus Society's jealously guarded secret power to trade souls, which hinges on a kiss. Gretchen's hope at finding the murderer ends in tragedy when Ariel Miller - the class outcast - stalks Gretchen and Jessica and surreptitiously films them exchanging a kiss to test if the Plotinus Ability is real, not knowing their motives. The ensuing YouTube video ("Popular Girls = Secret Lovers") goes viral, Gretchen's and Jessica's lives are further shattered, and they vanish from Delphi.

Flash forward two years later: Ariel is suddenly the most popular junior in town, but wracked with guilt over what she did to Gretchen and Jessica. When both girls reappear after their mysterious absence, Ariel finds herself pawn, suspect, and key player in their scheme to bring the murderer to justice.

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequininos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground and last. Or so he thought.

Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus that kills all humans it infects, but which the pequininos require in order to become adults. The Starways Congress so fears the effects of the descolada, should it escape from Lusitania, that they have ordered the destruction of the entire planet, and all who live there. The Fleet is on its way, and a second xenocide seems inevitable.

Bought:

City of Flowers by Mary Hoffman
Everything changes for Sky when he finds a perfume bottle that whisks him away to the city of Giglia, an ancient city similar to Florence. This may be the beautiful City of Flowers, but things that seem beautiful might also be deadly. As a new Stravagante - someone who can travel through space and time with the help of a talisman - Sky finds himself caught up in a deadly feud between Giglia's two ruling families. Now, the Stravaganti must do all they can to avoid further bloodshed as politics, conspiracy, and espionage unfold.

The Falconer's Knot by Mary Hoffman
Sixteen-year-old Silvano da Montacuto has wealth, good looks, a new hawk - and an infatuation with a merchant's wife. When a man is murdered in his town, Silvano's bloody dagger is found, and he is accused of the crime. For his own protection, he is sent to a Franciscan House, where he poses as a novice, or a young monk. There, he lays eyes on Chiara, a lovely novice at the nearby Abbey of the Poor Claires. Both Chiara and Silvano are put to work mixing paint pigments for a nearby basilica. But murder seems to have followed Silvano, and soon several other dead bodies turn up. Who is committing the crimes? Will a young man accused of multiple murders be able to clear himself? And what about the girl he adores?

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

The Ballad of Dir Dinadan by Gerald Morris
Young Dinadan has no wish to joust or quest or save damsels in distress or do any of the knightly things expected of him. But he was born to be a knight, and knights, of course, have adventures. So after his father forces his knighthood upon him, he wanders toward King Arthur's court in the company of a misguided young Welsh lad named Culloch. There Dinadan meets Sir Kai and Sir Bedivere, and the three find themselves accompanying Culloch on the worst sort of quest.

Along the way, Dinadan writes his own ballads, singing of honor, bravery, loyalty, and courtly love - and learns that while minstrels sing of spectacular heroic deeds, honor is often found in simpler, quieter ways.

The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff
Violence and unrest are sweeping through Roman Britain. Justin and Flavius find themselves caught up in the middle of it all when they discover a plot to overthrow the Emperor. In fear for their lives, they father together a tattered band of men and lead them into the thick of battle, to defend the honor of Rome. But will they be in time to save the Emperor?

The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff
Instead of leaving with the last of the Roman legions, Aquila, a young officer, decides that his loyalties lie with Britain, and he eventually joins the forces of the Roman-British leader Ambrosius to fight against the Saxon hordes.

Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton
In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snow-covered streets. The chest, covered in images of mythical beasts, can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent's-head clasp taste blood.

Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something pierce his finger. The volume is blank, wordless, but its paper has fine veins running through it and seems to quiver, as if it's alive. Words begin to appear on the page - words no one but the boy can see. And so unfolds a timeless secret . . .

Montmorency: Thief, Lier, Gentleman? by Eleanor Updale
When a petty thief falls through a glass roof while fleeing from the police, it should have been the death of him. Instead, it marks the beginning of a whole new life. Soon he has become the most successful - and elusive - burglar in Victorian London, plotting daring raids and using London's new sewer system to escape. He adopts a dual existence to fit his new lifestyle, taking on the roles of a respectable, wealthy gentleman named Montmorency and his corrupt servant, Scarper.

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Cecilia knows that she is not just another peasant girl; she is actually the true princess, in hiding until the evil forces that killed her parents are vanquished. A commoner named Desmia is on the throne as a decoy.

As she gets older, Cecilia finds it harder to study statesmanship and palace protocol secretly at night and then pretend that she has nothing on her mind other than scrubbing the gruel stains out of her best apron by day.

Cecilia knows that it is time to take charge. Along with her best friend, Harper, she flees to the capital city, determined to reclaim her throne and face the danger head on. When Harper and Cecilia reach the famed Palace of Mirrors, they discover complications: Princess Desmia believes an entirely different version of the story.

Dragon's Milk by Susan Fletcher
"You must go to the dragon. You must leave tonight."

Before she even hears the words, Kaeldra already knows what she must do. She must search out the mother dragon who draclings have just hatched and somehow get some of her precious milk. It's the only way to save her foster-sister's life. Kaeldra would rather not go. It's much too terrifying, much too dangerous. But Kaeldra knows that she's the only one who can do it. For she is the only one who can actually communicate with dragons.

But little does Kaeldra know what she's getting into. She's about to begin a journey that will entwine her fate with that of three little draclings and one would-be dragonslayer. A journey that will become a struggle for life.

The Quest of the Fair Unknown by Gerald Morris
On her deathbed, Beaufils's mother leaves him with a quest and a clue: find your father, a knight of King Arthur's court. So Beaufils leaves the isolated forest of his youth and quickly discovers that he has much to learn about the world beyond his experience. Beaufils's innocence never fails to make his companions grin, but his fresh outlook on the world's peculiarities turns out to be more of a gift than a curse as they encounter unexpected friends and foes.

Babylonne by Catherine Jinks
Early thirteenth-century Languedoc is a place of valor, violence, and persecution. At age sixteen, Babylonne has survived six bloody sieges. She's tough, resourceful, and - not that her strict aunt and abusive grandmother intend to marry her off to a senile old man - desperate. Disguised as a boy, Babylonne embarks on an action-packed adventure that amounts to a choice: trust the mysterious Catholic priest - a sworn enemy to her Cathar faith - who says he's a friend of her dead father, Pagan. Or pursue a fairy-tale version of her future, one in which she'll fight and likely die in a vicious war with the French.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts - and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany - where she finds herself woefully under prepared - not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death's vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Sybella arrives at the convent's doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Shylock's Daughter by Mirjam Pressler
As the beautiful daughter of a wealthy moneylender, Jessica leads a relatively privileged life in the Jewish Ghetto. But during her rare walks through the main streets of Venice, she has caught glimpses of the colorful, exciting world outside. Then, by chance she meets a handsome aristocrat named Lorenzo who has, it seems, everything that Jessica longs for, and who promises to make her his wife. There is one painful condition, however: She must convert to Christianity. Will Jessica follow her desires, even if it means leaving behind everyone she loves, and abandoning her religion? Will her father, Shylock, survive this betrayal?

Blood Red Horse by K. M. Grant
You need three things to become a brave and noble knight: A warhorse. A fair maiden. A just cause. Will has a horse - a small chestnut stallion with a white blaze in his brow. Ellie is a fair maiden, but she's supposed to marry Will's older brother, Gavin. And as for the cause, King Richard is calling for a Crusade. The Knights of England must go to the Holy Land to fight. Will and Gavin will go. Blood will be shed. Lives will be taken. But through it all, two things will be constant - Ellie, and a blood-red horse called Hosanna . . .

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girl's bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone - or something - starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects . . . Harry Potter himself.

Won:
(ARC)
Rags & Bones by Melissa Marr
Literature is filled with sexy, deadly, and downright twisted tales. In this collection, award-winning and bestselling authors reimagine their favorite class stories, ones that have inspired, awed, and enraged them; ones that have become ingrained in modern culture; and ones that have been too long overlooked. They take these stories and boil them down to their bones, and then reassemble them for a new generation of readers.


October 28, 2013 - Monday
October 29, 2013 - Tuesday
October 30, 2013 - Wednesday
October 31, 2013 - Thursday
November 1, 2013 - Friday
November 2, 2013 - Saturday

6 comments:

  1. Awesome haul! Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph is awesome, especially Dark Triumph, it was one of my favourite reads for 2013! I love all the knightly/fantasy tales.

    Bookmunchies' Sunday Post & STS
    ps. you're hedgehog is very cute!

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    1. Oh, I know - DARK TRIUMPH has got to be one of my favorites, too! I just couldn't put off buying it any longer. :) Gerald Morris's books are amazing if you're looking for good Arthurian retellings.

      Aw, thank you! Hedgie will be very pleased to hear it. :)

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  2. Ooh, you did get a ton of good ones at Powell's! =D And you get to read "Song of the Quarkbeast" too =)

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    1. Yeah, I got a lot - and most of them helped complete a few of my series, so I was very pleased. I know! I'm so looking forward to SONG OF THE QUARKBEAST!

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  3. Projection looks really interesting. Hope you enjoy them all. My STS.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! :) I hope I do, too. I have high hopes for PROJECTION.

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