Can’t wait to start reading these:

The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrain Tchaikovsky, and Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.

I tried taking pictures of the backs to show what they’re about:

 

But they have teeny-tiny writing, so basically as Amazon says, the gorgeous wolfy one is about:

‘In the bleak northern crown of the world, war is coming

Maniye’s father is the Wolf clan’s chieftain, but she’s an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger and these tribes have been enemies for generations. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan’s animal form, but Maniye can take on tiger and wolf shapes. She refuses to disown half her soul so escapes, rescuing a prisoner of the Wolf clan in the process. The killer Broken Axe is set on their trail, to drag them back for retribution.

The Wolf chieftan plots to rule the north and controlling his daughter is crucial to his schemes. However, other tribes also prepare for strife. Strangers from the far south appear too, seeking allies in their own conflict. It’s a season for omens as priests foresee danger and a darkness falling across the land. Some say a great war is coming, overshadowing even Wolf ambitions. A time of testing and broken laws is near, but what spark will set the world ablaze?’

And the equally beautiful ‘Three Dark Crowns’ is about:

‘In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomach-ache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of beasts.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose . . . it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.’

I have so been looking forward to these because they just seem to be pure fantasy; do you remember when you were in that 9-12 bracket they have in bookshops like Waterstones, and every single book you picked up was complete fantasy? It was right before the angsty entrance to romance plots of the previously-named ‘teens’ section, where everything is about awkward stares and messy hair. The 9-12 was all dragons and witches and magic and HUGE plots and excitement, and most of them weren’t eclipsed by any sort of romance at all. After this term (which has been enjoyable) but which has also been exhausting, I’m looking forward to fantasy books, and although these weren’t in the 9-12 section they still seem pretty magical to me. 

These have been on my list for AGES but had to wait because I first needed to finish my “for work” books before I could start reading my “for fun” books. And, since I’m done reading Virginia Woolf’s ‘To the Lighthouse’, and since I’ve been hovering around these for ages, my wonderful friend Beth got them for me for Christmas. 

And I know, I know you aren’t meant to judge a book by its cover, but look how shiny:

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Since my wonderful-friend-Beth bought these for me I’ve been hoarding them, but now I have to relinquish them so that my-lovely-Kieran can kindly wrap them for me to put under the tree (still think it’s bad luck to do your own).

Merry Christmas!

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