Must-Have Edition of the Month: Poison, by Sarah Pinborough

Hello, there! Welcome to a two-Fridays-late-post, haha! It’s Must-Have Edition of the Month time and I chose one that has caught my eye now for over a year: the hardcover edition of Poison, by Sarah Pinborough!

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poison paperback

This is the Gollancz edition from 2013, from UK, with 209 pages and a hardcover without a dust jacket ❤ I already own Beauty, the third book of the same series, in this hardcover edition and IT IS SO STUNNING! Look:

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And that’s Lady sleeping, as usual ❤

Now just imagine a red book like this. I can’t. I needed to look for it and just look the picture that Kate N, from the MagicKitten* Blogs, took from her copy:

poison - picture from Kate N MagicKitten blogs
This picture belongs to Kate N and it’s here used with illustrative purposes only.

I NEED TO BUY THIS BABY!!! But after almost three months of book buying ban I need to buy lots of books, haha!

That’s it, thanks so much for reading! Have you ever read this series from Sarah Pinborough?

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BOOK BLITZ: The Fairest Poison, by Lauren Skidmore

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Hi, there! Welcome to the second and last book blitz of the day! I am beyond excited with this new release that YA Bound Book Tours is promoting *–* The Fairest Poison, by Lauren Skidmore, IS A SNOW WHITE RETELLING! *—*

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The Fairest Poison
by 
Lauren Skidmore
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: May 10th, 2016


summary

Princess Bianca returns to her court to find it poisoned from the inside out. Faced with mysterious sicknesses, power disputes, and whispers of impending death, Bianca turns to an unlikely ally—a former assassin—to find the antidote that will save her kingdom. But Bianca quickly realizes that she might not even be able to save her own life in this Snow White story.

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You can find The Fairest Poison in both paperback and ebook formats!

AmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositorySigned copy @ The King’s English

book trailer

excerpt

GUESS WHAT?! YA Bound Book Tours allowed us to post the FULL FIRST CHAPTER of the book in this blitz! *–* Enjoy!

Chapter One 

My parents were sick.

That was the first news I received when I returned to the palace after nearly six months away. I was Venesia’s princess, and so its ambassador. I was happy to serve . . . but not if it meant coming home to this.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, shedding my cloak and shaking it out before handing it to a servant. It was still damp with seawater from the journey. It hadn’t exactly been a peaceful trip.

“Are they up to visitors now?”

The two handmaidens that had greeted me exchanged glances. “You should rest from your journey first, princess. It’s late, and the details can wait until the morning.”

I frowned. “No. You cannot welcome me back by saying my return may aid my parents’ recovery and then refuse to tell me what’s wrong.”

“We don’t want to worry you, princess,” the other one said, throwing a nervous glance at her companion. She’d been with the palace longer and knew I would not be easily dissuaded from getting what I wanted.

“It’s too late for that.” I sighed. “Where is my brother?”

“Prince Aiden went to speak to the Guard about the successful capture of that Chameleon. He was eager to see the killer in person.”

I braced myself. Aiden was in for a surprise on that front. “Maybe I will go rest after all,” I said, brushing a dark curl behind my ear and adjusting the purple mask I wore across the upper half of my face. I would miss the freedom of not wearing my full Venesian mask while I was away from court. “But don’t think it’s because you dissuaded me from seeing the king and queen tonight. Surely, if they were seriously ill, they’d have ordered you to take me to them right away. I won’t disturb their sleep.”

“Of course, princess.” They both curtseyed.

“Bianca!”

I cringed. Aiden.

“You’re dismissed,” I said quickly to my handmaidens. I didn’t need spectators for this.

They scurried away—though I’m sure to only just around the corner so they could eavesdrop—and I turned to face my elder brother. He came barreling down the dimly lit corridor, his half-cloak billowing out behind him. He wore the emerald green mask he favored when he was out of the palace so no one would bother him as the prince. The pure white masks of the royal family tend to stand out in a sea of blues and green.

“Where is he?” he demanded. The head guard and a young woman in a green mask were just a few steps behind him. Looks like we were going to have an audience after all.

I was tempted to play dumb but knew that would only make him even more upset. And he had good reason to be upset; I couldn’t deny him that.

“Please hear me out,” I began slowly, my voice even and calm.

“You set him free, didn’t you?” He shook his head in disbelief. “Bianca, he killed Evie’s father.” He gestured to the woman behind him, who shifted her weight from foot to foot uncomfortably, a medium-sized brown dog with a fluffy, curled tail at her heels. “He tried to kill me.”

“I know that, but—”

“There is no excuse here! He killed and was willing to kill again. He stole masks and identities. He betrayed the trust of a kingdom who took him in. He is a criminal who needs to pay for his crimes.”

“He saved my life. I owe him,” I explained simply.

That made Aiden pause, but only for the length of a breath before retorting, “One good act does not make up for all the evil he’s done.”

“But it proves there is good in him.”

“Or he is just trying to save his own skin by having you in his debt.”

“He’s not as terrible as you think he is.”

“But you admit he is terrible.”

“Aiden.” I started to truly feel the late hour now and my shoulders drooped. “He deserves a fair trial at the very least.”

“I can’t give him a trial if he is mysteriously set free in the middle of the night.”

“You’re being dramatic.”

“I think I’m being understandably upset. I went from news of my baby sister returning home with the scum I’ve been hunting for the past three months—to finding out that the scum has vanished and has said sister to thank for it! With everything that’s been going on in court, and now with Mother and Father ill—”

“Do you know what’s wrong with them?” I interrupted, both wanting to know and hoping to change the subject. I’d bristled slightly at being called his “baby sister”—there were only two years between us, after all—but was willing to overlook it in the name of the greater good of the moment. His accusations weren’t untrue; he just didn’t know the Chameleon like I did.

I might have been part of the reason he’d been captured, but we had a history. And that history meant that I owed him his freedom.

It seemed Aiden was as tired of arguing as I was. He answered, “The doctors aren’t

sure. It’s not an illness they’re familiar with. Mother and Father are on bed rest now until a cure can be found. They can barely eat and are very weak, and they both have a pink rash all over their bodies. It happened so suddenly, but no one else in court has the same symptoms, so we don’t know where it came from.”

“How long have they been like this? Why did no one tell me?”

“They only just felt sick enough to admit it and seek a doctor, though Father mentioned to me he’d been feeling poorly for several days.”

I sighed. It was just like them to overlook any health problems until they got too serious to ignore. They didn’t want to appear weak in front of the kingdom, and to appear human was to appear weak. In the king’s eyes, at least.

“I’ll go see them first thing in the morning. We all need our rest.” I gave Aiden a meaningful look. “That means you as well.” I was sure his mask hid dark circles under his eyes, one benefit of our country’s tradition. I knew my brother, and he’d been pushing himself too hard. I’d gotten snippets of the unrest that had crept into our court from his letters while I was away, but it was another matter to see him in person.

From what I understood, the court was reluctant to accept him as their next ruler. He had no respect for tradition, they claimed. For generations, the royal family protected themselves behind pure white masks, fine clothes, and strict rules. Aiden wanted to make changes that gave him more personal freedom as well as control over the country.

“We’ll all of us go to sleep, and discuss things again after breakfast.”

“Fine,” he begrudged as he turned, offering his arm to the woman beside him, who looked as tired as I felt, plus awkward after witnessing a royal argument. Evie, he said her name was. He’d written about her. He had proposed marriage to her, and she’d said no.

I was very curious about her.

“I am glad you’re home, though. I missed you,” he said.

I smiled. “I missed you too.” My gaze shifted to Evie, and I opened my mouth to

greet her properly.

“Let’s save introductions for a less unconventional time,” he interrupted before I could say anything. He reached for her hand, tucking it in the crook of his arm. “I’d rather your official meeting be a more pleasant one. Or at least one where we’re not arguing.”

She rolled her eyes at him but offered me a shy smile.

“If you insist,” I replied with a smile for her and a raised eyebrow for him. Its effect was somewhat lessened thanks to my mask, but he knew my expressions well enough to spot it.

He chuckled and shook his head with affection in his eyes. “Until tomorrow,” he said, and we parted ways.

The halls were dim and quiet, but I could have found my way to my chambers in the dark. I rarely left the palace growing up, and walking through these halls now felt like slipping into a warm bath. I loved the palace.

Servants had already brought my trunk to my parlor. Normally, I would need help dressing for bed, thanks to the complex finery of the clothing that comes with royalty, but since I was still dressed in a simple traveling dress, I didn’t bother ringing for a handmaiden.

I’d missed my rooms. It had been a long time since I’d been alone, and my rooms were the one place I was granted my privacy.

For six months, I’d been acting as ambassador to Nishima, a neighboring country we had strong ties with. That meant that for nearly six months, I’d been constantly surrounded by people—if not by the dignitaries I was there to see, then by my own guards who never left my side. Even on the journey home, when we’d been sidetracked by the hunt for the Chameleon, I’d never been left on my own.

But in my own palace, in my own rooms, I was alone. And I felt safe.

I fell asleep almost as soon as my head touched my pillow.

The next morning, I’d barely dressed before I heard insistent knocks at the doors to my suite. I knew it was Aiden even before my handmaiden opened the door to reveal him.

“I said after breakfast, Aiden. I’m still—”

“They’ve gotten worse,” he interrupted me, his eyes grim. “Mother and Father. And another doctor, a specialist from Nishima, has examined them.”

He opened and closed his mouth several times, searching for the right words.

“Just say it. What is it?”

“Bianca . . . they’ve been poisoned.”

the author

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Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and travelling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

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That’s it, thanks for reading! Just for the record, I love Snow White retellings since I’ve read Poison, from Sarah Pinborough ❤ Sadly, I still haven’t reviewed it over here, sorry!!

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TOP 3: Fairy-tale retellings!

Hello, good Friday to you! You made it through another week, congrats ❤

Today is TOP 3 Friday and I have chosen my top fairy-tale retellings!

  1. Ever After High books, written by Shannon Hale
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from my Instagram 🙂

Goodreads’ blurb:

At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens…whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life.

As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen’s destiny is to follow in her mother’s wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven’s style. She’s starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own story? The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future.

What if Raven doesn’t sign the Storybook of Legends? It could mean a happily never after for them both.

Judge me, but I loved Hale’s book versions of the episodes! I have watched them all on Youtube and Netflix until season three – I have some catching up to do, haha! Those books were magical for me and helped me understand better the series characters and their motives. I loved Raven and Apple’s relationship even more in the book and I’m shameless to say that I ship them together. I ship a lot of different couples in this series, it’s bizarre. If you have the time, do read this series! You won’t regret it ;D

 

  1. The Swan Kingdom, from Zoë Marriot

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Goodreads’ blurb:

Shadows have fallen across the beautiful and lush Kingdom. The queen was attacked by an unnatural beast, and the healing skills of her daughter, Alexandra, cannot save her. Too soon the widowed king is spellbound by a frightening stranger – a woman whose eyes reflect no light. In a terrifying moment, all Alexandra knows disappears, including her beloved brothers, leaving her banished to a barren land unlike her own.

Alexandra has more gifts than even she realizes as she is confronted with magic, murder, and the strongest of evil forces. She is unflinchly brave and clever as she struggles to reclaim what she knows is rightfully hers.

This new voice in fantasy weaves a tale rich in visual detail, peppered with a formidable destructive force, and sweetened with familial and romantic love.

This was my first fairy-tale retelling ever and one of the first full novels that I have read in English. Obviously, very special ❤ Unfortunately, I can’t recall most of the story nowadays, a re-read is much needed. What I can say is that it’s based on the story of the princess with twelve brothers transformed into swans and I loved how Zoë did this! ❤

 

  1. Tales from the Kingdoms series, from Sarah Pinborough

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Goodreads’ blurb for the first book:

Take a wicked queen, a handsome prince, a beautiful princess and a poisoned apple… and now read the true story of Snow White, told the way it always should have been…

I know, so helpful, right? Well, along the way, Sarah re-tells us the stories of Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and some more. Those books awaken my love for fairy-tales gone bad/wrong and were a turning point on my literary tastes. THANKS, SARAH!! ❤

In February, I’ll read A Court of Thorns and Roses. Let’s see if there will be another edition of this TOP 3 along the year, haha!

That’s it, thanks for reading ❤ Do you like fairy-tale retellings?

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Match Made in Mondays: adding a book to the end of a series!

Hello, happy Monday, as would say my lovely friend Audrey, from the Forwards and Bookwords! Last week, I’ve entered her weekly meme, Match Made in Mondays. This is very fun, thanks for hosting it, sweetie!

Today’s theme is:

THIS BOOK/SERIES + one more book: What book/series are you dying to have more of, to the point of you wanting an entire book added on to the end?

I gave this a lot of thought because THERE ARE JUST SO MANY BOOKS! Honestly, it is hard to finish a good book and not wanting another after that. The end may be as perfect as possible for an ending, you will want more, even for just a second.

My hopes bets, however, are on The Tales from the Kingdoms, a series by Sarah Pinborough. It is composed by three books so far (the second is my favorite) and, on an e-mail exchange with Sarah herself some years ago, I was assured that, SOMEDAY, there would be more books to this sequel. Well, This day isn’t here yet, SO I WANT MORE NOW.


This series is about fairy tales going bad and I ship an official couple here, it would be nice to hear more about pretty much everything. Please, Sarah! I heard that 2016 will be a great year! 😦

Anyway, that’s it, haha! Thanks for reading! Do you wish to see one more book added to your favorite series??

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Avulse books or box sets: an existential doubt

If you follow me on my Instagram profile (follow me! :D) or read any of the posts in the blog, you may notice that I collect books besides reading and loving them, LOL. This collecting thing is a bit tiresome sometimes, I admit. This post is full of book lovers problems, be prepared.

My The Selection box X my Tales from the Kingdoms books
my The Selection box X my Tales from the Kingdoms books

I’m mostly unlucky with book boxes. I love them, I find them very beautiful and practical, but I usually already have all or most of the books inside of it to make it worth buying it. It’s so dammed frustrating! They take so long to release those that I already got the separate books instead.

I brought here three examples in my collection: The Selection series, Tales from the Kingdoms series and Percy Jackson main series.

The first series that I started among those three was TFTK, in my book reader. I loved it and needed it, but, short in money that I was, several months had passed before I was able to buy the printed copies as well. I bought Charm on a liquidation, then Venom at a used bookstore and then Beauty, on another liquidation. Some weeks ago, I saw a beautiful box with the three books inside at a bookstore and wanted to be dead. It was the economical edition. Dammit, guys 😦

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my babies ❤

The second series was The Selection. I also started it in my book reader after nudges from a friend and read them all in a matter of one week. A few months later, Christmas arrived and I was able to buy them all, in a beautiful box set. Points for me /o/

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my other babies ❤

The third series, Percy Jackson, was very similar to The Selection, but I didn’t buy the box, as I didn’t find any; I just bought the five books at once and, again, navigating through an online bookstore, yesterday I found the box edition.

While admiting that buying a book at time has lots of advantages, I like the boxes way better. They usually have something more inside and, even when they haven’t, like my The Selection box didn’t, they still are pretty and good for organization in the book shelf.
Unfortuantelly, here in Brazil, they take too long to publish those and I don’t usually have that patience. The only ocasions that I can manage to buy boxes is when I don’t have money for a long time, like months, and them I go and buy the box set later. Oh, and we never know when a saga/author is going to turn into a box set too ://

There’s also the issue of costs. Even when publishers do release boxes, I usuallyt don’t have the money to buy them, as they have a greater cost at once than buying books separatelly 😦

I’ll remaing in my suffer, as not years of theraphy healed my anxiety with certain topics, but I can say that I’m happy to be buying more and more boxes, even in a slow rythm: today I just ordered online a box set from Collector’s Edition with two Austen romances, one Brontë and Little Women ❤

Resuming: I will keep ranting about how boxes are great and expansive, but I still prefer them and I’m still wanting the TFTK box set, LOL.

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