This week I'm cheating a bit by including two books. They suit each other well title-wise, but really, well, it's just that they're both so pretty I couldn't decide between them...
So, the book releases I'm currently anticipating (i.e. impatiently waiting for) are:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Why is it "WOW"-worthy?
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
I loved Laini Taylor's creative and exquisitely written Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer. I can't wait to see what she does with a more traditional urban fantasy setting. Daughter of Smoke and Bone sounds AMAZING, and even the synopsis hints at the eloquently descriptive writing and quirky character creations I've come to attribute to this author. Karou sounds like a unique and fascinating heroine, and the fact that she purportedly has blue hair is just a bonus.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.Why is it "WOW"-worthy?
There is little that will entice me to read a book more than Tamora Pierce's endorsement. Besides being my favourite author, she almost always highlights books with magic, romance, and a strong heroine - three elements that seem to be present in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. The "Chosen One" and prophecy-fueled premise doesn't sound too unique, but the cover is very pretty. I also really like books in which the main character has to mature or transform in a significant way in order to overcome The Big Bad, and I think it's implied by the synopsis that this is the case with Elisa. Some reviews have mentioned that the fantasy world is unique and well-built, which also bodes well.