Stacking the Shelves #90

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

You might look at this book today and think ‘hang on, didn’t you buy the other copy of this a few weeks ago?!’ Guilty, I did. But I have my reasons for picking up another version!

  1. The special edition is so precious and beautiful, I knew I’d panic about damaging it if I tried to read it.
  2. How beautiful is this cover? As soon as I saw it, I knew I’d like a normal hardback at some point too.
  3. I walked into a supermarket and there it was! Supermarkets are always a great place to buy books cheaply in the UK, and I couldn’t resist.
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All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.
Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

Have you bought any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #88

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

Hi all! Today’s stacking the shelves post includes a book I could not resist but preordering. It’s the limited edition of The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare! I can’t believe I’m actually up to date with Cassandra Clare books and I can read this along with everyone else. Maybe not quite soon as I’m currently in a 16 book series but soonish!

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Goodreads | Amazon

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.
Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

Have you bought any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

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Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this paperback collection of New York Times bestselling tales, each with comic-style art.
This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.
Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print and includes a special eleventh tale, as well as eleven comic illustrations.

This book was a strange one to dive into straight after East of Eden, but like a comfort blanket of being back in the Shadow world. I wasn’t sure what to expect with The Bane Chronicles, but I ended up enjoying it so much!

It has all of the fabulous flamboyant-ness of Magnus, and made me laugh out loud so many times. The humour was definitely the most impressive part of this book. I never really laugh out loud at books. I’ll find things funny, but rarely do I actually chuckle or laugh. But this one did.

‘The universe could be a wondrous thing.’

If you love Magnus (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), you’ll definitely enjoy this. Although short stories can sometimes be difficult and hard to get right, this collection had a certain flow. It wasn’t in a complete linear order like Tales of the Shadowhunter Academy, but it had enough of a recognisable order that it didn’t feel all over the place!

The pacing was pretty spot on, too. I got through this in just over a weekend, simply because it was so easy to pick up the next story!

‘The universe had outdone herself. The universe would be getting flowers.’

Honestly, this book was a bit of fun. It’s nothing outstanding or breath taking, but any fans of Shadowhunters will enjoy it for sure. I found it so nostalgic and comforting to read about Magnus’ adventures throughout the years of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments, and the laughter was definitely a plus!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Shop Update – Singular Bookmarks Available!

Hello lovely readers! You may or may not know that a couple of months ago I embarked on something I’d wanted to do for a long time – I opened an Etsy shop. My shop sells sets of bookmarks inspired by some of my favourite books and series. You can click the image below to check it out!

For a while now, I’ve only being selling bookmark sets, but as of today you can buy singular bookmarks!

These are of course cheaper than purchasing an entire set, and some of the singles available are pictured above. I’ve also revised my pricing, and I’m very happy with where my shop is heading!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Queen of Air and Darkness (#3) by Cassandra Clare

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Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

I can’t believe that this is the longest book I’ve ever read, and yet it didn’t feel like it! It felt quicker than Lord of Shadows for sure, even though it took me over a week to get through. Honestly, the pacing and intricacy of this book made it fly by, and I think that’s definitely due to the constant switching between characters and worlds.

It would be impossible for me to write this review without mentioning how inclusive The Dark Artifices is. I was surprised to find I enjoyed reading about a polyamorous relationship (personally, I can’t see myself ever being in something like that), and we also had autism, LGBT, mental health, racial diversity and gender representation. It honestly baffles me how Clare manages to write these issues into an already complex and intense world.

“Grief can be so bad you can’t breathe, but that’s what it means to be human.”

So many characters yet again, and of course the additions of some more! But I loved them all so much and I find it amazing how each person fills a part of the story. Also, having read The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments made me love this book even more, because seeing all of the characters just warms my heart.

I have to say Clare definitely has a plot that repeats itself in many of these books. I always find them (and the endings) quite similar, and I always know I’m going to end on a big happy event. But I’ve got to say, I still love reading them so much, and I still end up with soppy tears in my eyes (or sometimes streaming down my face).

“We lose, we suffer, but we have to keep breathing.”

And I have to say I loved the illustrations throughout this book! They really added something to the story, and gave me significant places to read towards. Again, family dynamics are awesome and I love how the friendships are so valued in these books.

Overall without spoiling anything I have to say this book was a beautiful ending to such an intricate series I just fell in love with.

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Lord of Shadows (#2) by Cassandra Clare

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Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?
And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late. 

Of course I adored this book – how could I not? But I also feel as though I’ve been reading this forever. I don’t know why, but I think this is by far the longest it’s taken me to get through any Cassie Clare book. And I know it’s really long, but it surprised me how the pages didn’t seem to be flying by quite as quickly as I expected them to.

That being said, I still think this is a brilliant continuation of the Lady Midnight. It’s complex, with travels around the world (and other worlds) and contained so much depth as usual. The addition of yet more characters felt necessary and so brilliantly done. I just love how Clare can make us feel sympathy for even the most unlikely of people.

“Everyone is afraid of something. We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them.”

The variation of scenes, especially in the second half of the book, really did make some of the pages fly. I loved reading scenes set in Cornwall, then London, then Idris, then Faerie.

But…I need to talk about Faerie. I don’t know, I just feel like although my heart is absolutely bursting with love there is some small thing that didn’t click for me while I was reading it? I think that’s a lot to do with this being one of the only books I’ve ever read with Fae and the Fae lands in it, and for some reason my head just found it hard to get around (on top of being really sick at the moment).

“We fear dying because we value being alive. Don’t wish you didn’t fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn’t feel anything.”

I just feel like I’m loving this book a little bit more now looking back than I was during, and in retrospect I definitely feel like I can appreciate it just that little bit more! Overall, I thought this was a great sequel, and I’m so excited to pick up Queen of Air and Darkness. I just don’t know why it took me a while to read!

★★★★ 
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #118 / Clockwork Angel

Beautiful Quotes is a weekly meme hosted by me, where I post some of my favourite quotes. Any other bloggers are welcome to join me in this and just link my blog!

Hey everyone 🙂 So my weekly update is that I’m sick. I’ve been pretty ill the past few days (don’t worry it’s just a bug I’ll hopefully get over in a few days), but that does mean lots of time for reading and playing games! So alongside playing Stardew Valley a lot, I’ve also been reading Lord of Shadows. I love The Dark Artifices, but reading about London again has made me miss The Infernal Devices so much!

So here’s a quote from Clockwork Angel, because I’m massively nostalgic for steampunk, Victorian, Shadowhunter London.

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“Do reasons matter when there’s nothing that can be done to change things?” 
― Cassandra Clare, 
Clockwork Angel

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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