Top 10 of 2015 | Best Books I’ve Read in 2015

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I found out about this week-long event in late November, and I knew I just had to participate. It seemed to me like the perfect way to wrap up my year in books, and highlight my favorites. It’s hosted by a group of book bloggers and you can find out all about on Rachel’s blog here.

Day 1’s topic is “The Best Books I’ve Read in 2015.” It just so happened that I read 10 books this year that I rated a full 5 out of 5 stars. So, here are the lucky books that won my love in 2015!

  1. Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott
  2. Volition by Lily Paradis
  3. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
  4. Girl Underwater by Claire Kells
  5. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  6. Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
  7. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
  8. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
  9. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  10. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

All of the titles link to my reviews, so you can read why I thought these books were the best of the best!

What are your favorite books you read in 2015?

xo

Review: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 18th, 2015
Series: Blood of Gods and Royals, #1
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre(s): Alternate History, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

my rambles

Special thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

First of all, can we take a moment to appreciate that incredible cover and amazing synopsis? Just from looking at the cover and then reading that blurb I had a feeling Legacy of Kings was going to be a new favorite of mine, and I was right! After reading this book I’m not going to lie, I’ve become significantly more interested in Alexander the Great and all of the history surrounding him and the other real historical characters that Eleanor Herman was sure to incorporate in the book.

Like many other historical fiction and fantasy books, Legacy of Kings is filled with clever, sly, intelligent and sometimes evil characters that lead to one of my favorite things lately in books: POLITICAL INTRIGUE! The book switches to the stories of many different characters, allowing the reader to view all sides of the action, and see how characters who haven’t even met will become intertwined. While there are many different characters’ stories happening throughout the course of the book, Eleanor Herman did a wonderful job of keeping them completely distinct and creating personalities for these characters that are entirely their own.

While I would have been totally happy with just the “normal” conflicts and action that ensues in a historical fiction book, Eleanor Herman adds fantasy and superstition which was the icing on the cake for me! Legacy of Kings begins to delve into the different kinds of Blood magic that some characters have been gifted with, but also the effects that the said magic has on everyone in the kingdom, and abroad. The main conflict of the book is a major result of magic, and I am eager to learn more about it and see how the battles will end in future books!

I can’t forget the romance, because there is definitely a complicated and tangled web of relationships. Just when you think you like a couple together — think again! But there are some super steamy scenes that I did enjoy!

When I got to the end of Legacy of Kings, I didn’t even realize it, which is my only complaint! I could have kept reading on and on. There are a bunch of characters who we don’t see as much toward the end of the book, which left me hanging and desperately wanting to know what happened to them!

I could go on gushing about just how detailed and incredible Legacy of Kings was. Fans of high fantasy and historical fiction will be extremely pleased by the action, intrigue, romance, and characters that Legacy of Kings brings to the table. A fantastic and must read!

xo

I’ll have some political intrigue with a side of sexual tension, please!

historical fiction and fantasy recs

I wanted to start out this post by noting that I recently finished Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman, which is the book that sparked the idea for me to write this post. After I finished it I realized that I read a lot of historical fiction and fantasy books, and a common thread in all of them that I just adore is political intrigue and romance with sexual tension. I’m pretty much a sucker for that combination. I really needed to gush about Legacy of Kings, but since it’s still a bit to early for me to post my full review (check back August 18th!) I wanted to write a recommendation post of sorts, with some of my favorite books that include this perfect combination!


Be sure to check back on August 18th for my full review of Legacy of Kings, and pick up your copy as soon as it’s released on AUGUST 25th! You won’t regret it!!

About the Book:

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.


9 Books to read while you wait for Legacy of Kings

1. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Grave Mercy is set in France and is filled with not only tons of political intrigue and sexual tension, but also has lots of fantastical aspects that are amazing! I talk about this book all the time, and it’s one of my go-to recommendations for those seeking an incredible historical read. Like Legacy of Kings, Grave Mercy incorporates real historical figures into the mix, which is really cool too!

2. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
While this one isn’t a historical novel, it definitely reads like one. It’s filled with wonderful fantasy aspects, an amazing and unique female lead, and everything you could ever ask for in a high fantasy book!

3. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
For the amount that I talk about this book, you should already know about it and have read it (shame on you if you have not)! I feel like I’m always talking about this book, but The Winner’s Curse totally deserves every recommendation I make. It’s the epitome of a clever and ingenious book. Again, not really a historical but it reads just like one. [Read my review]

4. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Gosh, this book was awesome. Again, not historical (okay, maybe I should have thought of a different title for this post…) but it reads like one. The Kiss of Deception is the epitome of political intrigue AND the sexual tension. I couldn’t put this one down, despite for its size. [Read my review]

5. Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Alternate history with salem witch trial reminiscent themes? I think yes! Such a cool and unique historical fantasy, but let’s not forget the loads of sexual tension with a totally hot and swoony love interest… [Read my review]

6. The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter
This one is adult, but I found it to read like a rich and beautifully written YA. I can’t say enough good things about this book. It’s definitely a less action, but great characters and storyline! [Read my review]

7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
A no-brainer recommendation from me. I’m reading the second book in the series right now and I could see lots of similar and amazing characters traits that were in Celaena and the girls in Legacy of Kings. Start here! [Read my review]

8. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
I feel the same way as I do with Throne of Glass in regard to the same kind of tone as Legacy of Kings. There’s a similar mysterious aspect with magic, and you see the story from many character’s perspectives as well! [Read my review]

9. Rook by Sharon Cameron
SO MUCH POLITICAL INTRIGUE GOODNESS. That is all. 😛 [Read my review]

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