Popular Books That I’ve Read Never #2

So, it’s a week or so later than I wanted to post another one of these, but life has just been nuts for the past two weeks or so. But welcome back to Popular Books That I’ve Read Never!

(And yeah, I know I worded it a bit odd, but you can probably still figure out what this post is about, lol.)

Now, as I’ve said before, it’s not that I only read unpopular books, it’s that I don’t only read the popular books. I also don’t read hardly any of the really popular books, because those are usually nonfiction or memoirs (which I don’t usually like), or they have a TON of romance (which I also don’t usually like).

This post is primarily going to focus on SFF novels, mostly because SFF is primarily what I read. It’s gonna be of five books, because I don’t want it to get too long. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!


Crave by Tracy Wolff

Crave by Tracy Wolff

SERIES: Crave (Book #1)

LENGTH: 571 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Romance, YA, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen

RELEASE DATE: 7 April 2020


My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.
Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally–as the bait.


Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

SERIES: Iron Widow (Book #1)

LENGTH: 394 pages

GENRES: Science Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, YA, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Penguin Teen

RELEASE DATE: 21 September 2021


Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA readers.

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

SERIES: Legacy of Orisha (Book #1)

LENGTH: 531 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, YA, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Henry Holt & Company

RELEASE DATE: 6 March 2018


They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.


From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

SERIES: From Blood and Ash (Book #1)

LENGTH: 613 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Romance, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Blue Box Press

RELEASE DATE: 30 March 2020


A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.


The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle Jensen

The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle Jensen

SERIES: The Bridge Kingdom (Book #1)

LENGTH: 354 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Romance, Fiction


RELEASE DATE: 13 August 2019


What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy?

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

So that’s it for Popular Books That I’ve Read Never. For now at least. You can bet that it’ll return again, though. I haven’t read nearly enough popular books for that to be the case.

As always, thank you so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Books I’ve Read with Legend of Zelda Vibes

Books I've Read Like the Legend of Zelda, with a beautiful backdrop of Hyrule Castle during a sunset

Sooo… This is kinda out of left field. A bit of an oddball post, too. But, um, I’ve got something to confess to everyone.

I. Am. A. Huge. Geek.

There, I said it! Whew! So glad I finally got that off my chest. I mean, I’m sure it was pretty obvious, from the kinds of books I read, but I wasn’t completely sure.

Anyway, I’m a geek, and The Legend of Zelda is like my favorite thing ever. Ever. And there’s a new game coming out tomorrow – Tears of the Kingdom. So I thought, what better way to pay tribute to the franchise that I love the most, than to connect it to books in some way and post about it on my blog. (Where everyone can see it.) (Cuz the internet is forever.)


So yeah, I’m bursting with excitement. These last 24 hours or so are gonna be hell. But I’m still riding the high of the hype train nonetheless.

But I’m heading towards a tangent. Let’s get back to books with Legend of Zelda vibes. Here’s five books (or series really, they’re all series) that I’ve read that reminded me of Zelda.

If you’re interested in any of the books/series on this list, click on the corresponding images if you want to learn more information. I got ’em linked.

#1: The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I thought I’d get the obvious one out of the way first. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is the progenitor of modern fantasy. Not just of books either. Of a lot of fantasy stuff.

Elf-like beings? Check. An epic quest to save the land from dark lord? Check. Magic and swords? Check. There’s a lot of similar vibes between these two series. Particularly if you watch the Peter Jackson movies and then play Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess.

#2: The Inheritance Cycle

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

So, I’m totally aware that The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is a bit of an homage/ripoff of a lot of the fantasy that’s come before it. (And Star Wars.) But I haven’t read any of those books (except for part of The Lord of the Rings), so Eragon and its sequels are going on this list.

Farmboy is upended from his normal life and set on the path to defeating a dark lord? Check. Dragons? Check. Magical blue swords? Check. Magic sentient trees? Check. And, last but not least, elves? Check.

#3: The Seven Realms

The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima is a bit of the odd-man-out in this list, but I still felt a ton of Legend of Zelda vibes while reading these books.

A kingdom in turmoil? Check. Very atmospheric and immersive? Check. A male and female lead, one a mage and one a warrior? Check.

#4: The Chronicles of Prydain

The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

Of this list, I’m probably the least familiar with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain. But I’ve seen The Black Cauldron movie that Disney made, and I’ve read the first book (and most of the second, I think), so I know enough.

Orphan boy upended from his quiet life to go defeat a dark lord? Check. A quirky companion or two? Check. A beautiful princess with a complicated relationship with said orphan boy? Check.

#5: Deltora Quest

Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda has a special place in my heart. I didn’t really read them until I was in middle school – and even then I didn’t get very far because I thought I was too old for them and got embarrassed – but I did like what I read.

Then, in high school I found the anime adaptation (yes, there’s an official, licensed, anime adaptation) and watched it. And I absolutely adored it, even though the voice acting was… not the best. I loved the world and the story so much though, and I hope to read through the entire thing for the first time soon, and then share it with my children when they exist.

(Also, its similarities to a quest in a videogame are deliberate. Rodda saw his much her kids enjoyed games and wanted to write a book/series that reflected them.)

Oh, almost forgot. An epic quest to defeat the dark lord? Check. Swords and magic? Check. Locating magical stones to unlock a McGuffuin of sorts? Check.

BONUS: The Legend of Zelda Mangas

The Legend of Zelda Mangas (Legendary Edition) by Akira Himekawa

This is cheating a little, but I just couldn’t help it. I absolutely HAD to plug the Zelda manga. Mangas. They’re just so wonderful – the kind of supplemental material that fans love. And they have gorgeous artwork and they follow the base plot extremely well, even if a lot of stuff is cut to meet the page count.

The Legendary Editions of the mangas are also fantastic. I love how colorful and distinct they are, not to mention their omnibus forms makes them a bit more convenient to shelve and store.

And I can’t talk about the LOZ manga without mentioning the crème de la crème.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (The Manga) by Akira Himekawa

The Twilight Princess manga adaptation is absolutely amazing. Dare I say, nearly perfect. (And that’s not just cuz it’s my favorite game in the series and I’m biased. Nuh-uh.)

The art is beautiful, just like the other mangas, which is not at all surprising. (They’re all written and drawn by the same author, Akira Himekawa (which is an alias for a mangaka duo).) But this time, the mangakas were allowed to adapt the game at a more sedate pace. So, instead of doing the entire game in a volume of two, they had eleven volumes to tell the story. And it makes a glorious difference.

But yeah, I gotta stop gushing or else I’ll just keep going on. Forever.*coughs awkwardly*

So, these are the books with Legend of Zelda vibes. Have you played any of the games? Have you read any of these books/series on my list? What did you think of them?

Anyway, as always, thank you so much for reading, and have a really, really, awesome day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Popular Books That I’ve Read Never #1

Happy Sunday everyone! This is a new post that I’ve decided to do, most likely bimonthly. It’s called Popular Books That I’ve Read Never!

(And I know I worded it a bit odd, but you can probably still figure out what this post is about, lol.)

Now, it’s not that I only read unpopular books, it’s that I don’t only read the popular books. I also don’t read hardly any of the really popular books, because those are usually nonfiction or memoirs (which I don’t usually like), or they have a TON of romance (which I also don’t usually like).

This post is primarily going to focus on SFF novels, mostly because SFF is primarily what I read. It’s gonna be of five books, because I don’t want it to get too long. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

SERIES: Throne of Glass (Book #1)

LENGTH: 432 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Romance, YA, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Publishing

RELEASE DATE: 2 August 2012


Lethal. Loyal. Legendary.

In a land without magic, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She has no love for the vicious king who rules from his throne of glass, but she has not come to kill him. She has come to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three murderers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she will be released from prison to serve as the King’s Champion.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. And a princess from a faraway country will befriend her. But something rotten dwells in the castle, and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying mysteriously, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival-and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

LENGTH: 438 pages

GENRES: Urban Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Romance, Fiction


RELEASE DATE: 6 October 2020


A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

SERIES: Alex Stern (Book #1)

LENGTH: 496 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books

RELEASE DATE: 20 October 2020


Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

LENGTH: 369 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Folklore, Romance, Fiction


RELEASE DATE: 6 March 2012


Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.


A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

SERIES: Married to Magic (Book #1)

LENGTH: 338 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Romance, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Silver Wing Press

RELEASE DATE: 6 November 2020


The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.

The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.

So that’s it for Popular Books That I’ve Read Never. For now at least. You can get that it’ll return, though. I haven’t read nearly enough popular novels for that to be the case.

As always, thank you so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

Spring Reading 2023

Happy Spring everyone! 🌱🌈🌞🏵️ March 20th was the spring equinox this year, so I wanted to get this post out before the end of the day. So, Spring Reading 2023, here we come!

With this post I’m gonna start a new thing here. It’s a thing that I made up, but is inspired by this post, where I talk about the books I feel like reading depending on the season. And what better one to start with than spring, the season of new life?

So without further ado, let’s jump right in!

The Kinds of Books I Like to Read During Spring

In general, I’ll just read all kinds of different stuff throughout the year. I read different genres and stuff sometimes depending on the season, but I’m not a seasonal reader in the way that you’re probably thinking.

I’ll read fantasy books of all sorts throughout the year, regardless of the way different times of the year “feel” to me. But in spring, I start getting in the mood for some weird sci-fi, post apocalyptic, and dystopian fiction for whatever reason. Actually, no scratch that, it’s probably because of that thing that happened in March 2020. So yeah, that’s what I love reading in spring.

A Few Random Things From My TBR That I’d Like to Read This Spring (From Soonest to Not Soonest of When I’ll Read It)

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve decided to finally finish the ACOTAR series, after starting it years ago. I got my mom into it, and we’re currently buddy reading A Court of Wings and Ruin, which I’ll most likely finish by tomorrow night.

It’s a long series full of long books though, so depending on how I feel after I finish A Court of Frost and Starlight, I might put off A Court of Silver Flames a couple of weeks and read other stuff. My mom will need time to catch up anyway. (She’s a slow reader and she spends a lot of her free time during the day doing other stuff she likes.)

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

This was a book series that I absolutely devoured about fifteen years ago. But I was young, and I lost interest in the political machinations going on, so I lost interest after Brisingr. Thus, I never read Inheritance when it came out in… 2011?

But yeah, I absolutely loved Eragon when I first read it – so much so that I read it a second time just a few months later in the same year that I first read it! I rather liked Eldest too, and I love the setting that Paolini created. (Parts of it make me feel the same way I do when I play Legend of Zelda games, and I love it.) So I’m gonna finish it this time – the whole dang series!

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The Locked Tomb series is still on my TBR!! I just… keep getting distracted by other books that I want to read, unfortunately. But I’m definitely still interested in it! I already have the first two books, waiting on my shelf, ready to be read. Plus lesbian necromancers in space!! How can I not try reading that?!

Also, it’s a weird science-fantasy, possibly post apocalyptic, and definitely dystopian series of books. So yeah, absolutely gotta read it now!

In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune

This is one of the books coming out this year that I’m ridiculously excited for. (Other books I’m excited for include: everything that Martha Wells is publishing this year and Murtagh by Christopher Paolini.) In the Lives of Puppets is another book that falls into that weird sci-fi category that I love. And it has found family to boot! (I love the found family trope.)

The End

So yeah, these are some of the things I’m planning on definitely reading in the immediate future. I’m looking forward to all of them. (To a degree. I’m looking at you, ACOTAR series.)

It’s not as weird science-y and post apocalyptic as you might think, but as I said: I’m not really a seasonal reader. Half of the list here is though, so I say it’s enough to be a thing.

As always, thanks so much for reading and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar