And we're back with another book tree! Last month was slower than January, but still a good month in material. Out of 12 books, 9 of them made the tree list!
The month started off fast enough as I plowed through a series I started in January. I also devoured my first classic challenge book. After that, I hit a slow patch that had everything to do with attention span, other things calling my name, a crazy shift in weather(I am not kidding, mid-February we were getting 50-60 degrees in MICHIGAN), and a general restlessness.
It's not about the quantity though, it's about enjoying what you read, so a slow month by no mean equals a bad one! I'm sure as summer creeps closer it'll get even slower.
- Where Carpets Fly - An Arabian flair brought this exotic story to life as restless teenager, Elina, moves to the big city in order to take magic lessons. A deeper mystery runs around some of her new acquaintances, but Elina doesn't have time to figure it out before a simple visit to see her father's ship lands her and her new friend, Kara, in danger. Swept up in events beyond their control, the girls soon find themselves in a foreign country that's ripe with turmoil. Disaster strikes and now it's up to Elina to save the day, but she won't be doing it alone.
- Tower of Thorns - I've recently decided I need to catch up on series I've already started and after loving the first book of this series, there was no doubt that Tower of Thorns had to make it on my pile for February. Blackthorn is a healer recently freed from the worst of prisons. Her rescuer's conditions? That she must say yes to every request for aid and not leave the country he sends her to . . . for seven years!
As a former mother, wife, and rebel who tried to gain justice for her murdered husband and son, plus the dozens of women harmed by the local warlord, Blackthorn's attempts landed her in that ghastly prison for a year and now that she's out the only thing she wants it justice in the form of the man's death. Being trapped for seven years by the deal that keeps her free is frustrating to the tenth degree.
Grim, another resident of the prison of horrors, is also freed upon Blackthorn's request that his release be added to the deal. Both are fighting the nightmares of the past, both are a little less than personable, and both are some of the most real characters I've ever read. Their struggles, their personalities, their inner demons make them easy to relate to.
In book 2, Blackthorn goes to the aid of a strange lady who tells a chilling tale of something stuck in a tower on an island covered in thorns. Whatever is in there cries from dawn to dusk, a sound so terrible that it brings people's worst memories to the forefront of their minds and causes both people and animals no short amount of terror often leading to depression and suicide.
- The Ultimate Prince Charming - Book five in the series I couldn't stop once I started, this story took top prize. Though I enjoyed the whole series, one book had to walk away with favorite status and it was this one hands down.
Prince George isn't like the other princes from Charming Academy, oh no, he's the ULTIMATE prince charming. After the death of his princess, George begins to see flaws in the system. Namely that there are any number of princesses who don't get rescued for whatever reason. These princesses sit, and wait, in their cursed situation either until they die(from old age or circumstances) or a random person rescues them.
George rightly things this isn't something that should just be "okay" with everyone. He then makes it his personal mission to find as many of the Lost Princesses as he can and rescue them. What a guy! The fairies from the school try to throw a wrench in his plans by assigning him a new princess and trying to push for him to just save her and that's it. George, the prince of awesome, he's not about to be pushed around. So he does his own thing and begins the ultimate quest to do what no other prince has done before.
Meanwhile, Leticia(the princess assigned to him) has lost her original prince and has no idea who's coming for her or if someone even is. But she's got two of the coolest dragons for company while she waits.
- Prince Charming's Search - This was book 3 in the Charming Academy series(the one I spam read). This followed the story of Clarissa and Jacobi on their Cinderella inspired tale. Really loved the twists given to Cinderella's half of the story.
- Oliver Twist - I have a classic challenge this year for five books, and this is the one I finished first. Great read with lots of sarcasm and wit. There's this revealing insight into an unfamiliar world that was probably way too familiar at the time. It's easy to hate or love these characters in their turn as they're so deeply defined that you can't help feeling like they're real and wishing them good or ill.
The climax at the end was really WOW and I read it twice, the second time aloud, so that I could really get the full effect of it. Great way to start off this challenge.
- Becoming Prince Charming - Book 4 of the Charming Academy series brings us to Beauty and the Beast where the focus is more on the Beast than Beauty, an interesting twist in itself. Kaelan's unique curse has forced him to look like a Beast, but now it's trying to take over his mind as well.
With only an old fairy and a handful of servants, Kaelan's wait for his recuser is fraught with inner battles and growing danger outside of the castle walls.
- Ella Dethroned - A novella that leads into a series that takes place over a hundred years later. Very interesting beginning and did its job of making me want to read more. Powefully descriptive writing (and that cover!) that hooked me and did it quickly, not easy for a novella to do.
Ella's on the run as after being removed from her throne by an enemy, her life is now in danger as the allegiance of everyone around her is shifting. Everyone except for one of her trusted guard who is determined to save her.
The story follows their winter escape, the pursuit that follows, and Ella's discovery of what her role is now that she's no longer Luminary.
- Prince Charming's Quest - The final book in the Prince Charming series. This brought the series to a satisfying end with the long awaited quest from the main character from the first book. Lucian's quest hasn't been easy. Of course, quests never are, but his has been extra difficult thanks to a dragon's grudge. While he battles through obstacles(and a lot of dragons), Moira's fighting off horrible nightmares that are a bit too real for comfort, and they don't want to let her go.
The only thing that could've made this book better is if it ended with the dissolution of the prince/princess match-up and quest system which seemed to put a lot of people in danger(even to the point of severe injury or death) and ran all over the lives of everyone in the quest's path without so much as an excuse me.
- A Study in Scarlet - Book 3 in my classic challenge(we won't speak of the horror that was book 2). A Study in Scarlet was a quick read, but engrossing all the same. The first half is dedicated to Sherlock and Holmes meeting and then solving their first case together. The second half went back to show the motivation of the killer in a very indepth sense that was definitely interesting, though the tactic of pulling me away from the current storyline was not one I enjoyed. Since both stories were equally interesting, I'm not sure what I would've preferred, but it did feel like I was reading two separate stories that barely tied in to each other.
And that's how my February went! What was your favorite read of the month? Any good romances that went along with Valentine's Day?