Happy New Year, everyone! As you are probably aware, both Shri (@ Sun and Chai) and I love video games ; she writes reviews of games on her blog, and it’s not a secret that I mention video games whenever I can on my blog. This year, we both absolutely fell in love with Fire Emblem: Three Houses; for a while now, I’ve been thinking of a way to intertwine this game with my love for books. And when I mentioned this to Shri, we started talking about it and ultimately decided to create an End of the Year tag, Fire Emblem: Three Houses edition together. Shri posted the announcement on her blog recently and you can check it right here, with all the prompts and graphics! This tag is a fun way to look back at our year in reading through a game that was a big part of 2019 for us. And so today I wanted to share with you my answers for this tag. ✨
We hope you’ll enjoy this tag, and feel free to participate yourself (even if you have not played the game!) we would absolutely love to read your answers!
- Link back to the original creators of this tag (Shri @ Sun and Chai and Noémie @ Tempest of Books)
- Only choose your answers from books you have read this year
- For the duos category, you may choose only 2 of the 6 available prompts (or as many as you’d like to answer if you feel inspired!)
- You can use the graphics we have made in our posts
- Have fun and tag as many people as you want!
The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard
The Witchlands was a huge part of my 2019: the first book I finished at the start of the year was Truthwitch, the first novel of the series; I read the second novel and novella in February, and the third book, Bloodwitch, which also came out in February. This book series quickly became a new all time favourite, and of course I had to mention it in this post. There is a strong found family element: it starts with Safi & Iseult and expands with the people they meet during their own personal journeys throughout the books. So many of the characters have their own found family at the beginning and they all come together along the way, some of the characters were alone but build their found family during the story; and I cannot wait to see how things go in the next book!
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
The City of Brass is a book I read towards the end of the year, and it felt absolutely perfect for this prompt. I loved the novel and one of its strongest element is how unique all the characters are. Nahri, Ali and Dara all have their very own personalities, pasts, goals and way to do things; and because of that, they make a very dysfunctional cast ensemble in the best way possible. They disagree, their goals do not go together and it creates incredible tension and plot twists. I cannot wait to pick up the sequel, The Kingdom of Copper in 2020 as well as the last book of the trilogy, The Empire of Gold!
Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Many books might have that element, and it took me a while to decide the novel I wanted to mention here. I chose one book I enjoyed a lot this year: Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. This story was so engaging and I read it quite quickly because I just needed to know what happened next. The book is about a mystery and our main character, Audrey Rose, solving that mystery. She definitely defies expectations, as she is a young woman in the Victorian Era, studying forensic medicine and even solving crimes. She tries to, of course, keep that part of her life secret but also does not let anyone stop her from studying what she wants. I loved this whole novel and again, I’ll hopefully read the sequels in 2020.
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
For this prompt, the answer was obvious to me from the start: The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Adelina Amouteru, the main character, is simply perfect for this prompt: she is flawed and it is not something that is hidden in the story, and Adelina herself does not hide it from herself. She is a compelling character to follow on her journey and it made the reading experience unlike most of the books I had read in this past. Her character development is masterfully-crafted and not shied from in the two sequels in the trilogy. Adelina is herself throughout the entire trilogy, while changing as any person would. This series was complex and gripping to read and I loved it.
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan, the sequel to Girls of Paper and Fire, is the book I chose to answer this prompt. Lei, our main character, fought throughout book one to free herself but also very much to help those around her and throughout the world depicted in these novels. With her actions, she wants to deeply change things and help others; whether it is one person or a whole group, I believe she is guided by this goal and it is clear to me in Girls of Storm and Shadow. I love her character so much and this novel fit perfectly with this prompt.
Jade City by Fonda Lee
Jade City by Fonda Lee is a novel I read in 2018, but I reread it through the audiobook in 2019 so I’m counting it as a book I read 2019. Yes, rereads count. The story of Jade City is grounded in the story of the Kaul family and especially the siblings: Lan, Shae, Hilo and Anden. They are the new generation of leaders of the clan and Kaul jade business, but things are not as simple. They are all complex and the family ties and relationships that bind them together are complicated; they all have very different relationships with one another which creates a very interesting dynamic. Much of the plot is guided by what is happening in the family (I’m still crying about one thing in particular that happens, and I probably always will) and it really is a novel about family ties which I love.
Legend by Marie Lu
To me, this fits perfectly with Legend by Marie Lu, especially the series as a whole. While I thought the first book was a bit predictable, the way the whole story developed in the rest of the series was everything but predictable. The country June and Day live in, seen as terrible and flawed in every way, is put in opposition to another country that is seen as perfect and a dream. What we discover, however, is that both countries have their terrible parts and awful elements all the way down to their roots. And so the characters have to choose between two options, neither of them good, with the hope that they can bring change and make it better. The Legend series was a complete surprise for me, and I want to read the final book, Rebel, in 2020 for sure.
Dynamic Duos (Pick Two)
Here are the two prompts I decided to answer for this category, but feel free to pick any two prompts listed on Shri’s announcement post, or even more if you feel inspired!
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Alex & Henry in Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston bicker, a lot. And I love them for it. I love how their dynamic and relationship develops throughout the novel; they still keep that fun banter between each other while having strong emotional moments and a strong connection that brings them together. This novel is one of my favourites of 2019, and a whole new favourite of all time; one of the reasons why is the relationship between Alex & Henry and that’s why I chose them.
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
The Baylor Family in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews definitely has one of the best family dynamics in novels I read this year. They are all close to each other, and care about each other deeply. From the grandma, to the mother, siblings and cousins, the story brings them together and makes the family relationships central in the story and the lives of the characters. I read Wildfire this year, and it’s always a joy to get back into the story of the Baylor family, it genuinely made me happy.
These are my answers for this End of the Year Book Tag, Fire Emblem Three Houses edition! I loved working with Shri to come up with all the prompts and create this tag, we had a lot of fun; I also loved answering the prompts and thinking about all the books I read in 2019 ✨I really hope to read your answers to this tag as well, and do tag us in your posts if you do!
Until Next Time,