Best books of 2017 part two


The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is a perennial favourite of ours in Cinders, we really enjoyed her Six of Crows series and her recent Wonder Woman story Warbringer has been hailed as one of the best ever renditions of Diana of Thymiscera. The Language of Thorns however is somehting different,  a collection of six novellas set in the Grishaverse – the fantasy world that five of Bardugo’s novels have been set in. These stories however are designed to stand on their own, suitable for fans of the novels but also for anyone who can appreciate a good fairytale. They are inspired by myth, fairytale and folklore, with haunted towns, and angry woods, mermaids and gingerbread and are gorgeously illustrated throughout. You’ll be delighted curled up with a blanket, this book and a hot chocolate.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Kristen Cashore is the fabulous author of Graceling, Fire and Bitterblue. The three fantasy novels, set in a world where people are granted magical powers in a variety of disciplines, are excellent and well worth a read. Jane, Unlimited is the latest offering from Cashore.  An odd little novel, Jane, Unlimited is no less of a powerhouse than her original trilogy. It follows Jane, newly left alone after her aunt and guardian was lost on an Antarctic expedition. Jane, is alone, has no direction and is obsessed with creating umbrellas inspired by her dreams. That is until she is swept away by Kiran Thrash who invites Jane to the glamorous and mysterious Tu Reviens, a place she always promised her aunt she would go. Soon when she arrives at Tu Reviens, Jane realises that not everything is as it seems and every choice she makes has unimaginable consequences.

Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross is more than a game. For the millions who log in everyday, it’s a lifestyle. Launched ten years before the beginning of the novel, it’s a place where people can escape their lives and even make a profit. Teen hacker Emika Chen makes a living as a bounty hunter tracking down people who are betting on the game. Needing to make some money fast Emika unintentionally inserts herself into the international Warcross Championships, and becomes an overnight hit. Instead of being hauled off by the authorities – which is what she expects – she is introduced to the game’s creator, Hideo Tanaka. He has a challenge for Emika – to be a spy within the system for him – but her investigation may not uncover everything she was expecting. Marie Lu is the acclaimed author of the Young Elites and the Legend series. Warcross has already had excellent reviews and promises to be the start of an excellent new series.

Girls made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

If you’re in the mood for fairy-tale re-imaginings, then this autumn will give you more than you could have asked for. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is the brand new Snow White retelling by Melissa Bashardoust.

Already with a starred review on Kirkus, the novel has been praised as a worthy edition to the fairytale retelling landscape.

The feminist take on the fairest of them all follows both the stepmother and Snow White herself, here named Mina and Lynet. Girls Made of Snow and Glass interweaves both of their stories in past and present. It examines the relationship of these two women, who are destined by folklore to be rivals and enemies and looks at how they can perhaps escape their fate and change their story.

A must for anyone who felt that Snow White was too thin of a story and wanted something new.

Recommended Reads: Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo and Truman Capote

First published in issue one of Cinders magazine.

Goldenhand by Garth Nix


Most of you will probably be too young to remember Sabriel and Lireal by Garth Nix but there are few more kickass, capable heroines around. Sabriel and Lireal are necromancers but instead of raising the dead, they send them back to die proper deaths. The pair return to their adventures after more than ten years in Goldenhand and are all well worth a read. You’ll be battling undead zombies in your head for the rest of the month!

Continue reading Recommended Reads: Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo and Truman Capote

Worlds Collide: When Rainbow met Leigh

This article was first published in issue one of Cinders magazine.

Two fantastic YA worlds collided when authors Rainbow Rowell and Leigh Bardugo came together for a fantastic author event in Dublin in October. Méabh McDonnell was delighted to be in the audience for the event, where she was able to bring us the low down on everything that the two authors had to say about writing, diversity and how to write the perfect kiss.

Rainbow Rowell and Leigh Bardugo are two of the biggest names in YA literature right now. If you haven’t heard of them, you need to race out to your nearest library and demand everything they’ve ever written. You won’t be sorry.

I was lucky enough to attend their recent World’s Collide event in Dublin and literally fangirl all over both of them!

The event was originally born out of NY Times bestselling author, Leigh Bardugo’s launch tour for her new novel Crooked Kingdom, the hotly anticipated sequel to Six of Crows, where she – as Dave O’Callaghan, chief children’s buyer for Easons, Dublin put it – wanted to bring a friend.

And what a friend she brought – Rainbow Rowell, author of the heart-soaring (and heart breaking) Eleanor and Park and the wonderful Fangirl to name but a few of her fantastic novels. The two friends came together in a tour that went from London to Dublin, to Edinburgh to Manchester to read, meet and discuss each of their weird and wonderful approaches to writing, the story behind Rainbow’s name, how to write the best love scenes and overcoming writers block. The evening began with the two ladies swanning onto the stage,  explaining how they met, and how Leigh wasn’t expecting to like Rainbow as much as she did.

Continue reading Worlds Collide: When Rainbow met Leigh