wrap-ups

books I rated 5 swords in 2020

28/12/2020

Hoohoo, guys!

It’s time to start the yearly wrap-up posts. Let’s start with my 5 swords reads! This list is quite long, I know. But I give 5 swords a lot. That just proves my taste in books is immaculate. No, just kidding. I guess I just know my taste pretty well and when it comes to good books, I had a really, really good reading year. So grab a cup of tea and get comfy, because this list does have a lot of books.

2020 was also the year I read books in German again. Actually quite a few of them, so don’t be surprised to find German books on here is well. I realized that I rarely blog in German anymore, mostly because I don’t read that much German. But it has changed this year and I have to say that I quite liked reading in my native language again.

Anyways, let’s go have a closer look at the books, shall we?



neon birds by marie grasshoffNeon Birds by Marie Grasshoff

Künstliche Intelligenz, Supersoldaten, Kriegerinnen, der Kampf zwischen Moral und Ethik und schnellen Lösungen von Problemen. Coole Charaktere und eine spannende Story mit actionreichem Plot. Das Buch steht hier stellvertretend für die ganze Trilogie, die mir unheimlich gut gefallen hat. Lest gerne meine Rezension hier.

Ein Supersoldat, der seine glorreichen Tage hinter sich hat.
Ein Träumer mit einem düsteren Geheimnis.
Ein Untergrundkämpfer mit Todeswunsch.
Eine Jägerin mit Verbindung zu einer dunklen Macht.
Es ist das Jahr 2101. Ein außer Kontrolle geratener technischer Virus verwandelt Menschen in hyperfunktionale Cyborgs, die dem Willen der künstlichen Intelligenz KAMI gehorchen. In Sperrzonen eingepfercht, werden sie von Supersoldaten bekämpft, die man weltweit als Stars feiert. Doch die Mauern beginnen zu bröckeln. Sekten beten KAMI als Maschinengott an. Und während der Kampf zwischen Menschlichkeit und Technologie hin und her wogt, versuchen vier junge Erwachsene, den Untergang ihrer Zivilisation zu verhindern. (goodreads)

die verschwundenen vom Mondscheinpalast von Christelle DabosDie Verschwundenen vom Mondscheinpalast by Christelle Dabos
Die Spiegelreisende #2 | Les Disparus de Clairedelune

Ich liebe die ganze Reihe, aber der zweite Teil war mein liebster. Die Welt war einfach super beschrieben und Ophelia und Thorn kommen einander endlich näher. Das war wunderschön zu lesen. Außerdem wird endlich klarer, wohin die Geschichte gehen soll.

Ophelia wurde gerade zur Vize-Erzählerin am Hof von Faruk erkoren und glaubt sich damit endlich sicher. Doch es dauert nicht lange, und sie erhält unheilvolle anonyme Drohbriefe: Wenn sie ihre Hochzeit mit Thorn nicht absagt, wird ihr Übles widerfahren. Und damit scheint sie nicht die Einzige zu sein: Um sie herum verschwinden bedeutende Persönlichkeiten der Himmelsburg. Kurzerhand beauftragt Faruk Ophelia mit der Suche nach den Vermissten. Und so beginnt eine riskante Ermittlung, bei der es Ophelia nicht nur mit manipulierten Sanduhren, sondern auch mit gefährlichen Illusionen und zwielichtigen Gestalten zu tun bekommt. Am Ende steht eine folgenschwere Entscheidung.
Vom glamourösen Hof der Himmelsburg in das abgründige Universum der Sanduhren und Orte, die gar keine sind – um ihr Leben sowie das ihrer Familie zu retten, muss Ophelia an ihre Grenzen gehen. Und das in einer Welt, in der sie so gut wie niemandem trauen kann, womöglich nicht einmal ihrem zukünftigen Ehemann Thorn? (goodreads)

das mädchen mit dem perlenohrring von tracy chevalierDas Mädchen mit dem Perlenohrring by Tracy Chevalier
Girl with a Pearl Earring

Dieses Buch war anders als alles,was ich so in letzter Zeit gelesen habe. Die Geschichte ist sehr Charakterfokussiert und die zwischenmenschlichen Beziehungen spielen eine große Rolle.

Delft 1664. Als der Vater bei einem Arbeitsunfall sein Augenlicht verliert, wird die junge Griet, um die Familie zu unterstützen, als Dienstmagd in den Haushalt des angesehenen Malers Johannes Vermeer gegeben. Die Schikanen von Vermeers eifersüchtiger Gattin ließen sich kaum ertragen, wären da nicht die faszinierenden Bilder des Meisters, die Griet auf magische Weise in ihren Bann ziehen. Immer häufiger ruht der Blick des Künstlers auf ihr; schließlich beginnt Vermeer, sie heimlich zu malen. Doch als er Griet bittet, einen Perlenohrring anzulegen, beschwört er damit eine Katastrophe herauf, die nicht nur für Griet ungeahnte Folgen hat … (goodreads)

ten things I hate about Pinky by sandhya menon10 Things I hate about Pinky by Sandhya Menon
Dimple & Rishi #3

I always love Sandhya Menon’s books. They’re fun, upbeat and always make me smile. This one had enemies to lovers and is also the ultimative summer book that makes you want to go outside and see something. Read my full review here.

Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rockstars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.
Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.
Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents‘ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy – who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy – to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer.
When Samir’s internship falls through, leaving him with an unplanned summer, he gets a text from Pinky asking if he’ll be her fake boyfriend in exchange for a new internship. He jumps at the opportunity; Pinky’s a freak, but he can survive a summer with her if there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never forget. (goodreads)

clap when you land by elizabeth acevedoClap when you land by Elizabeth Acevedo

I think I found my love for verse novels. And this one made me tear up, it made me angry. The two main characters are so different but they find to each other and that process of grief and anger, of (found) love was wonderful to read.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive. (goodreads)

loveless by alice osemanLoveless by Alice Oseman

When have I ever not loved an Alice Oseman book? This was no different, it is so queer and well written and I loved every single page.

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.
As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.
But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.
Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along? (goodreads)

the falling in love montage by ciara smythThe Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

Set in Ireland, sarcastic characters, a cool friend/brother, a sweet romance and a family dynamic I really enjoyed.

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.
But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.
Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real. (goodreads)

the poppy war by r.f. kuangThe Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

This book surprised me in such a positive manner. It was brutal and bloody, and the more so when you know the background of the story and the history it was inspired by. It’s so well written, the magic system so interesting and the characters a bunch of antiheroes that won my heart.

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. (goodreads)

the silvered serpents by roshani chokshiThe Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
The Gilded Wolves #2

I am in constant awe of how beautiful Roshani Chokshi’s writing is. And woven into this magical story it made a perfect mixture. the characters and their development and the plot were so good! Read my full review here.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job. (goodreads)

these violent delights by chloe gongThese Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Sign me up for 1920s Shanghai, for gangs and violence and lovers to enemies to lovers and sprinkle in a bit of magic and monsters. Combine it with beautiful writing and voilà, one of my favourite reads of the year. Read my full review here.

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang-a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns-and grudges-aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule. (goodreads)

camp by l.c. rosenCamp by L.C. Rosen

I absolutely love summer camps! And I love them even more when they’re super queer. This book was so much fun while still discussing serious topics and tackling internalized queerphobia, even within the community. Read my full review here.

Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.
This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‚Del‘ – buff, masculine and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.
But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is? (goodreads)

little black bird by anna kirchnerLittle Black Bird by Anna Kirchner

I loved this super queer, magical story set in modern day Poland. I loved the descriptions and the setting, the action heavy plot and the discussions of feminism and queerness. Read my full review here.

Magic is dying out, but it will not disappear without a fight.
Wiktoria is a seventeen year old with a secret: she has psychic powers. Her uncontrollable telekinesis hurts her and others, setting fires and throwing objects in the air, no matter how hard she tries to hold it back. All she wants to have is a peaceful, average life, but it’s difficult when you’ve been cursed to destroy the magical world.
Her carefully maintained facade of normality starts to unravel when she’s hunted down by local sorcerers and their Guardian, and accused of unleashing banished demons back into the human realm. When a murder shakes up the magical community, everyone agrees that the only way to save the world is to kill Wiktoria.
Her only ally is a boy who can read her mind, shares her dreams and makes her question her sexuality. Together, they face mythical creatures and uncover ancient legends, and they soon realize that there is no such thing as simply good or evil. Whether they break the curse or allow it to fulfil its destiny, the magical world will be forever changed. (goodreads)

the king's men by nora sakavicThe King’s Men by Nora Sakavic
All for the Game #3

The All for the Game series was my first obsession in 2020. I binged the entire trilogy in three days and it had it’s fantastic finale in The King’s Men. It’s highly addicting, even though the story and the characters are kind of fucked up. But sign me the fuck up for fictional sports, unhealthy behaviour and gay people.

Neil Josten is out of time. He knew when he came to PSU he wouldn’t survive the year, but with his death right around the corner he’s got more reasons than ever to live.
Befriending the Foxes was inadvisable. Kissing one is unthinkable. Neil should know better than to get involved with anyone this close to the end, but Andrew’s never been the easiest person to walk away from. If they both say it doesn’t mean anything, maybe Neil won’t regret losing it, but the one person Neil can’t lie to is himself.
He’s got promises to keep and a team to get to championships if he can just outrun Riko a little longer, but Riko’s not the only monster in Neil’s life. The truth might get them all killed—or be Neil’s one shot at getting out of this alive. (goodreads)

proud by juno dawsonProud, edited by Juno Dawson

This is a very queer anthology written and illustrated by queer authors. It has funny and sweet, uplifting and hopeful, sad and powerful stories and poems and art. I asbolutely loved this.

A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN.
A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.
Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White. (goodreads)

the kingdom of copper by s.a. chakrabortyThe Kingdom of Copper & The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty
The Daevabad Trilogy #2& #3

The intrigues and the new characters, the twists and turns and the wonderfully written characters really made these two books (and the entire series) one of my absolute favourites. The world building is fantastic and so is the writing. Read my review of Kingdom of Copper and Empire of Gold.

Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.
Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her familyand one misstep will doom her tribe,
Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid, the unpredictable water spirits, have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.
And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve. (goodreads)

let's talk about love by claire kannLet’s talk about Love by Claire Kann

This book was so much fun. It has a bit of insta love but I liked the way it was handled and how the relationship of the biromantic, asexual MC with the love interest was handled. I enjoyed this book so much.

Alice had her whole summer planned. Nonstop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting-working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating-no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library-employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated-or understood. (goodreads)

the life and (medieval) times of kit sweetly by jamie pactonThe Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

Modern knights! Feminism! Young people just wanting to live and to survive and do what they like. A dash of romance. Swords! Read my full review here.

Working as a wench ― i.e. waitress ― at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.
Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first. (goodreads)

bookish and the beast by ashley postonBookish and the beast by Ashley Poston
Once Upon A Con #3

I just love the entire Once Upon A Con series, the nerdiness and geekiness about it all, the references, the characters, the writing. And the bookish focus in this one. Read my full review here.

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.
On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.
When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.
But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts. (goodreads)

eclipse the skies by maura milanEclipse the Skies by Maura Milan
Ignite the stars #2

Both Ia and Knives are among my favourite characters, I love them so much. I loved the writing, the story and the journey the characters went through. Read my full review here.

Ia Cōcha never thought she’d be working for the Olympus Commonwealth. But that was before she found out her trusted brother Einn was trying to tear apart the universe. Now, Ia, the Blood Wolf of the Skies, has agreed to help the Royal Star Force on one condition: when she finds him, she gets to kill Einn herself.
Brinn Tarver has just come to terms with her Tawny identity when the public lashes out against her people, crushing her family. At her breaking point, she starts to question everything she believes in—including Ia.
After the death of his mentor, Knives Adams is doing his best to live up to a role he didn’t ask for as Aphelion’s new headmaster. Still, with each new step deeper into war, he feels torn between his duties and the pull of Ia’s radical—sometimes criminal—ideas. (goodreads)

inepu by roxane bickerInepu – Die Herren des Schakals by Roxane Bicker

Altes Ägypten, historische Ägyptologie. Für mich als Ägyptologiestudentin war es herrlich erfrischend, etwas zu lesen, das ich super verstehe und nachvollziehen kann. Dazu noch ein bisschen Mystery macht eine super Mischung. Hier könnt ihr die ganze Rezension lesen.

München, 1889: In der Glyptothek wird eine mysteriöse Maske entwendet, die den Totengott Anubis darstellt, der Kurator ermordet und wie eine altägyptische Mumie drapiert.
Der Direktor des Museums betraut Rosa und Daisy mit diesem Fall, zwei private Ermittlerinnen, ohne die Gendarmerie zu informieren. Um kein Aufsehen zu erregen, sollen sie den Mord aufklären und vor allem die Maske zurückholen. In fünf Tagen findet eine wichtige Ausstellung statt.
Ein Wettlauf gegen die Zeit beginnt, in dem die zwei Frauen schauerliche und überraschende Entdeckungen erwarten – und ein Ritual, das Opfer fordert. (goodreads)

avocado bliss by candace robinson and gerardo delgadilloAvocado Bliss by Candace Robinson & Gerardo Delgadillo

It was such a fun book with serious undertones, there was a lot of food and wonderful relationships. It’s also the first book I’ve read where a character has diabetes.

Dacre Vinson has spent the majority of his life in quite the predicament—even the surf and his books can’t erase his Type 1 diabetes. But when Dacre’s family moves to a new Mexican town, an eccentric girl obsessed with trees offers him a job on the spot, leading to what could be the perfect distraction from his problems.
Salbatora Tames has one true love, her avocado farm. Her family constantly nudges her to be more social, but Sal much prefers the dirt, the sun, and the solitude. Besides, trees listen better than people do.
For Sal and Dacre, their job won’t stay easy breezy for long, not when an avocado delivery to Palenque, Mexico pops up on their radar. Together, they embark on a road trip across the jungle, where they form a tighter bond. However, as obstacles arise, their new-found troubles may lead to more woes than bliss. (goodreads)

a crown of wishes by roshani chokshiA Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
The Star-Touched Queen #2

We have enemies to lovers! A fierce fighting princess and a whipsmart scholarly prince. Beautiful world building, the magic system is top notch. And the writing is just stunning as well.

She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire. (goodreads)

woven in moonlight by isabe ibanezWoven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

I absolutely loved the rich world building, the colours blooming in my mind, the food melting on my tongue, the politics and intrigues. I also adored the characters a lot. Read my full review here.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.
When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.
She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa. (goodreads)

foul is fair by hannah capinFoul is fair by Hannah Capin

The girl friendships in this are top tier, there is bloody revenge that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s cleverly written. Read my full review here.

Jade Khanjara and her three best friends rule their glittering LA circle. They decide how the party ends – every night but one. The night four boys spike Jade’s drink, lock her in a room and brutally attack her. The night they try to ruin her.
But they chose the wrong girl. Certain that the boys will face no consequences, Jade and her friends take vengeance into their own hands. There’s no mercy left: and now Jade won’t rest until she gets bloody satisfaction . . . (goodreads)



Have you read any of these? What did you think? And what were your 5 sword/star reads of 2020?



Until next time,

  1. i loved seeing so many of the books on here!! the poppy war is my only 5 star book of the year haha (i’m unfortunately super picky 😭), and it’s 100% one of my all-time favorites. these violent delights and clap when you land were also both amazing! and while i didn’t completely love the silvered serpents, its ending is certainly unforgettable and i am in SO much pain thinking about it! hope next year is filled with just as many 5 swords books for you <33

    1. I hope you’ll have more 5 star books next year! <3
      The Poppy War is so good and I'm so nervous to continue the series, ugh my poor heart D:

  2. Loved Proud (thanks again for the present!), LOVED Let’s talk about love and you already know that I am obsessed with AftG.
    Foul is fair and Camp are on my „read as soon as possible“ tbr so let’s see how that will go.
    And yeah I know that I said that I would continue Die Spiegelreisende soon but after counting my physical tbr I am on a book buying ban so that sadly has to wait (until easter or my birthday, because I am definitely going to put the books on my wishlists)

    1. So glad you liked Proud! <3
      AFTG <3 <3 <3 my first 2020 obsession and the first obsession I've had in a long while. Thank you for telling me to read it!
      You know... I own these books... in case you don't want to wait much longer for more Ophelia & Thorn content 😉

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