Tome Topple is a two-week readathon created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes all about reading some of the longer books on our TBR! Any book that’s 500 pages or longer counts (although if a book is 498 pages, I don’t think that matters) and if there’s one thing I’m guilty of, it’s being intimidated by the longer books on my TBR.
You can find out all about the readathon and its challenges here!
I’ve never participated in Tome Topple before, but it’s back for two weeks this month, from 16th-29th November, and while I’m already
supposed to be doing NaNoWriMo, Non Fiction November and Sci-Fi Month, I couldn’t resist creating a TBR just in case I find myself with time to cross a longer book off my TBR.
I own plenty of books over 500 pages, but my TBR consists of three books I’m in the mood to choose from right now:
Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi
Zelie remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.
Zelie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orisha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zelie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy.
It’s CRAZY that I still haven’t read this because it sounds like everything I’d love, which I think is why I’ve been so nervous to pick it up in case I’m the one person who doesn’t like it.
I love stories about kingdoms in which magic is banned and magic-users are rising up, I’ve been so into fantasy this year and I love novels set in Nigeria, so an African-inspired fantasy novel about oppressed magic-users written by a Nigerian-American writer should be my dream book. I’m determined to get to this one before the end of the year!
The Poppy War
by R.F. Kuang
When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.
But surprises aren’t always good.
Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.
For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .
Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.
Carrying on with the non-European fantasy, I was sent a copy of The Poppy War via NetGalley earlier this year and still haven’t read it because I’m The Worst™. I’ve heard this one is brutal, which you’d expect from a book about war, and Dread Nation has put me in the mood for more books about warrior girls. This is another one that’s just over 500 pages, but I’d love to cross it off my TBR before the end of the year.
The Queens of Innis Lear
by Tessa Gratton
A kingdom at risk, a crown divided, a family drenched in blood.
The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.
The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.
Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.
This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, and it’s a bit of a beast, and yet I still haven’t picked it up. I’ve fallen in love with fantasy again this year, though, so I’m eager to pick this one up at some point, and this one also excites me because I think it’s a standalone which feels practically unheard of in the realms of fantasy.