By Candice Blackwood
As a reader who typically consumes over 100 novels, graphic novels and audiobooks each year, I’m always looking for my next read. When library branches closed back in March 2020 and browsing the shelves was no longer an option, I turned to a few different corners of the internet to discover titles I might enjoy.
Instagram made me read it:
From Blood and Ash
by Jennifer L Armentrout
This was a bit of a surprise publication in 2020 for longtime fans of Armentrout’s paranormal romance reads. I follow a lot of Bookstagramers, people who create wonderful, artsy pictures of books. From Blood and Ash came up on my Instagram feed so often that I knew I had to check it out. The story follows Poppy, the chosen maiden who will bring about a new era on her Ascension Day. Her life, much like her title and ascension, are shrouded in mystery. She’s not allowed to be touched, spoken to or seen. Her sad, solitary existence is rocked when Hawke takes over as her personal guard. Forbidden love tempts Poppy and opens her eyes to a greater evil than the violent Descenters who attack the city.
This blush-worthy title is perfect for readers who like a little bit of fantasy with their romance. All three volumes of the Blood and Ash trilogy are available as eBooks from Ottawa Public Library.
YouTube made me read it:
The Black Prism
by Brent Weeks
With all the extra time at home since the pandemic began, I was quickly drawn into the YouTube world of books, BookTube. I think its safe to say there’s a booktuber out there for whatever your preferred genre is, so try a few different channels.
The Black Prism is the first in a fantasy series where the magic system is based on the light spectrum. The more colours you can see and control, the more powerful you are. In Weeks’ world, there’s always one person, the prism, who can see and manipulate the full spectrum of colour. That is, except for the time when there were two of them. Gavin Guile won the prism war, but he still has a secret to keep and discovering he has a teenaged son won’t make that any easier.
This was probably the best book I read last year, and the series is now easily one of my favourites. I loved rooting for Gavin even when I wasn’t sure I could trust him.
The Black Prism is available in print, eBook and eAudio from Ottawa Public Library.
NoveList made me read it:
Magic for Liars
by Sarah Gailey
NoveList Plus and NoveList K-8 Plus are online resources available to everyone with an Ottawa Public Library card through our website. On NoveList, you can find recommendations based on authors and titles you’ve read, keep up to date on your favourite genres and discover new reads based on the elements or appeal factors of a book that you most enjoy. I discovered Magic for Liars while browsing NoveList for an adult fantasy book that centred around a magic school.
Magic for Liars is at heart a mystery novel. Ivy Gamble, a private detective without any magical talent, is asked to solve a murder. The murder just so happens to have taken place at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, the school where her estranged and magically gifted twin sister teaches. I really enjoyed this stand-alone novel – since it’s a little outside my typical reading, I might not have discovered it without the help of NoveList’s appeal factors.
Magic for Liars is available through Ottawa Public Library in print or as an eBook or eAudiobook.
Candice Blackwood is the coordinator at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. She enjoys reading fantasy novels for any age that are full of magic, dangerous creatures and the women who fight them.