Top Ten Tuesday #4 - Top Ten Books I HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf Unread

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  

Ten Books I HAD to Buy... But Are Still Sitting on My Shelf Unread:

These are pictures of all my TBRs:

The main shelves:  
(please ignore/excuse the mess around it. o__o)

The 'up soon as review schedule will allow' desk stack:

 and the book tour (with more on the way!) stack:

And don't even get me started on my Nook (216 books unread), and Kindle (134 books bought but unread) piles. All told, I have 490 books that I have bought but have yet to get to. My mom worries I am a book hoarder. I say I am just building a library and if I find a book deal, be it ebook or deadtree version, I buy it.

For this list, I am drawing only from physical copies.

Once she was Adrienne Satti. An orphan of Davillon, she had somehow escaped destitution and climbed to the ranks of the city’s aristocracy in a rags-to-riches story straight from an ancient fairy tale. Until one horrid night, when a conspiracy of forces—human and other—stole it all away in a flurry of blood and murder.

Today she is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon’s underbelly with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshippers but Widdershins herself. It’s not a great life, certainly nothing compared to the one she once had, but it’s hers.

But now, in the midst of Davillon’s political turmoil, an array of hands are once again rising up against her, prepared to tear down all that she’s built. The City Guard wants her in prison. Members of her own Guild want her dead. And something horrid, something dark, something ancient is reaching out for her, a past that refuses to let her go. Widdershins and Olgun are going to find answers, and justice, for what happened to her—but only if those who almost destroyed her in those years gone by don’t finish the job first.

I heard of these, and the cover artist (Jason Chan - also behind Lisa Mantchev's Theatre Illuminata series covers and Pip Ballantine's Geist series) is amazing. So I bought these two, and they are very pretty, and they sit and stare at me from my TBR bookshelf.

#2. Lily of the Nile and Song of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter series) by Stephanie Dray

 With her parents dead, the daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony is left at the mercy of her Roman captors. Heir to one empire and prisoner of another, Princess Selene must save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers…

In the aftermath of Alexandria’s tragic fall, Princess Selene is taken from Egypt, the only home she’s ever known. Along with her two surviving brothers, she’s put on display as a war trophy in Rome. Selene’s captors mock her royalty and drag her through the streets in chains, but on the brink of death, the children are spared as a favor to the emperor’s sister, who takes them to live as hostages in the so-called lamentable embassy of royal orphans…

Trapped in a Roman court of intrigue that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, Selene can’t hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her flesh. Nor can she stop the emperor from using her for his own political ends. Faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to honor her mother’s lost legacy. The magic of Egypt and Isis remain within her. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win or die?

I don't feel as bad over these, as I only bought them at the end of February when they were on sale for $6 each. Still, they've been in my TBR for a while, the author is a lovely person and I adore Egyptian historical fiction when it's done right coughMichelleMorancough. I also have the author's short novella (The Princess of Egypt Must Die) waiting on my Kindle for even more pressure. All I can say is: soon. I hope. Or at least once the final book, Daughters of the Nile is published this year.

 In 1937, Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, a city of great wealth and glamour, the home of millionaires and beggars, gangsters and gamblers, patriots and revolutionaries, artists and warlords. Thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father’s prosperous rickshaw business, twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Though both sisters wave off authority and tradition, they couldn’t be more different: Pearl is a Dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true Sheep, adorable and placid. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree . . . until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth and that in order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides.

As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. In Los Angeles they begin a fresh chapter, trying to find love with the strangers they have married, brushing against the seduction of Hollywood, and striving to embrace American life even as they fight against discrimination, brave Communist witch hunts, and find themselves hemmed in by Chinatown’s old ways and rules.

At its heart, Shanghai Girls is a story of sisters: Pearl and May are inseparable best friends who share hopes, dreams, and a deep connection, but like sisters everywhere they also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. They love each other, but each knows exactly where to drive the knife to hurt the other the most. Along the way they face terrible sacrifices, make impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are–Shanghai girls.

After reading and loving Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, I just HAD to have these. I found them, bought them, and then got caught up in another series. They're high on my "read soon" list, but I just went crazy on edelweiss ARCs, so it'll be a while. Again.

#4. Empire in Black and Gold and Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt series) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Seventeen years ago Stenwold witnessed the Wasp Empire storming the city of Myna in a brutal war of conquest. Since then he has preached vainly against this threat in his home city of Collegium, but now the Empire is on the march, with its spies and its armies everywhere, and the Lowlands lie directly in its path. All the while, Stenwold has been training youthful agents to fight the Wasp advance, and the latest recruits include his niece, Che, and his mysterious ward, Tynisa. When his home is violently attacked, he is forced to send them ahead of him and, hotly pursued, they fly by airship to Helleron, the first city in line for the latest Wasp invasion.

Stenwold and Che are Beetle-kinden, one of many human races that take their powers and inspiration each from a totem insect, but he also has allies of many breeds: Mantis, Spider, Ant, with their own particular skills. Foremost is the deadly Mantis-kinden warrior, Tisamon, but other very unlikely allies also join the cause. As things go from bad to worse amid escalating dangers, Stenwold learns that the Wasps intend to use the newly completed railroad between Helleron and Collegium to launch a lightning strike into the heart of the Lowlands. Then he gathers all of his agents to force a final showdown in the engine yard . . .

This was highly recommended to me by a fellow fantasy fan, so of course I had to have it.   It sounds original and interesting, I just always seem to say "next time" when I look at it on my shelves.

#5. The Curse of the Mistwraith, The Ships of Merior and Warhost of Vastmark (The first three of the Wars of Light and Shadow series) by Janny Wurts

 The world of Athera lives in eternal fog, its skies obscured by the malevolent Mistwraith. Only the combined powers of two half-brothers can challenge the Mistwraith’s stranglehold: Arithon, Master of Shadow and Lysaer, Lord of Light.

Arithon and Lysaer will find that they are inescapably bound inside a pattern of events dictated by their own deepest convictions. Yet there is more at stake than one battle with the Mistwraith – as the sorcerers of the Fellowship of Seven know well. For between them the half-brothers hold the balance of the world, its harmony and its future, in their hands.

My dad bought these for me since he and I read logn fantasy series together, and I totally plan on getting to them. Soon. Ish. I've read a few Janny Wurts standalones (To Ride Hell's Chasm being the best) and have high hopes for her most famous series.

#6. Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows, and Child of the Prophecy (first three in the Sevenwaters series) by Juliet Marillier

Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with six sons: Liam, a natural leader; Diarmid, with his passion for adventure; twins Cormack and Conor, each with a different calling; rebellious Finbar, grown old before his time by his gift of the Sight; and the young, compassionate Padriac.

But it is Sorcha, the seventh child and only daughter, who alone is destined to defend her family and protect her land from the Britons and the clan known as Northwoods. For her father has been bewitched, and her brothers bound by a spell that only Sorcha can lift.

To reclaim the lives of her brothers, Sorcha leaves the only safe place she has ever known, and embarks on a journey filled with pain, loss, and terror.

When she is kidnapped by enemy forces and taken to a foreign land, it seems that there will be no way for her to break the spell that condemns all that she loves. But magic knows no boundaries, and Sorcha will have to choose between the life she has always known and a love that comes only once.

I have a Juliet Marillier problem. I buy her books, anticipate them so much that I feel I've overhyped them to myself. So I wait to read them. And then I get distracted and forget, only to see Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows, Child of the Prophecy, Wildwood Dancing and Cybele's Secret looking neglected and mournful.

#7. Tithe, Valiant and Ironside by Holly Black (Modern Faerie Tales series) by Holly Black

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms -- a struggle that could very well mean her death.
Newcomer Holly Black's enormously powerful voice weaves teen angst, riveting romance, and capriciously diabolical faerie folk into an enthralling, engaging, altogether original reading experience.
I picked this series up upon finishing and loving Black's White Cat. Since then I've learned it's generally regarded as weaker than her Curseworkers' series, but I still plan to get to them. Eventually. Maybe after I've bought and read Black Heart.

#8. Darkborn, Lightborn, and Shadowborn (The Darkborn series)by Alison Sinclair

For the Darkborn, sunlight kills. For the Lightborn, darkness is fatal. Living under a centuries-old curse, the Darkborn and the Lightborn share the city of Minhorne, coexisting in an uneasy equilibrium but never interacting. When Darkborn physician Balthasar Hearne finds a pregnant fugitive on his doorstep just before sunrise, he has no choice but to take her in. Tercelle Amberley’s betrothed is a powerful Darkborn nobleman, but her illicit lover came to her through the daytime. When she gives birth to twin boys, they can see, something unheard of among the Darkborn. When men come for the boys, Balthasar is saved by the intervention of his Lightborn neighbor—and healed by the hands of his wife, Telmaine. Soon he finds himself drawn deeper into political intrigue and magical attacks, while Telmaine must confront a power she can no longer keep sheathed in gloves, a power she neither wants nor can control.

A new twist on vampires, I bought these almost a year ago. And then I just got so tired of ANYTHING vampire, and just shoved them to the bottom shelf of my TBR. Still, I am intrigued and will read them one day.

#9.The Crown and the Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau

An aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father—and preserve the Catholic faith from Cromwell’s ruthless terror. The year is 1537. . . Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the sacred rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London.

The ruthless Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, takes terrifying steps to force Joanna to agree to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may hold the ability to end the Reformation. Accompanied by two monks, Joanna returns home to Dartford Priory and searches in secret for this long-lost piece of history worn by the Saxon King Athelstan in 937 during the historic battle that first united Britain.

But Dartford Priory has become a dangerous place, and when more than one dead body is uncovered, Joanna departs with a sensitive young monk, Brother Edmund, to search elsewhere for the legendary crown. From royal castles with tapestry-filled rooms to Stonehenge to Malmesbury Abbey, the final resting place of King Athelstan, Joanna and Brother Edmund must hurry to find the crown if they want to keep Joanna’s father alive. At Malmesbury, secrets of the crown are revealed that bring to light the fates of the Black Prince, Richard the Lionhearted, and Katherine of Aragon’s first husband, Arthur. The crown’s intensity and strength are beyond the earthly realm and it must not fall into the wrong hands.

With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must now decide who she can trust with the secret of the crown so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England’s past.

In my defense, I was sent The Chalice as part of the blog tour, and I can't read the second without first reading its predecessor!  Since I have a fixed date for my review of The Chalice, this is one series I can guarantee that I will get to in the next month.

#10. Inda and The Fox (the first two in the Inda series) by Sherwood Smith

Acclaimed author Sherwood Smith's first adult fantasy novel, set in the bestselling world of Crown Duel.

 Indevan-Dal is the second son of the Prince and Princess of Choraed Elgaer, destined to become his elder brother Tanrid's Shield Arm-his military champion. Like all second sons, he is to be privately trained at home by Tanrid, the brother whose lands he will one day protect.

When the King's Voice comes to summon Inda to the Military Academy, he might well feel foreboding, or even fear-war is imminent-yet youthful Inda feels only excitement. But there are things that Tanrid hadn't prepared him for, and Inda will soon learn that the greatest threats to his safety will not come from foreign enemies, but from supposed allies within his own country.

This is another author I've head a lot about. I also own the Crown Duel series (unread), so when I found these for $2.50 each I grabbed them.

Link me up to your Top Ten Tuesdays!


  1. I can't believe how many books you own! I counted mine when I set up the new bookcase and I have less books total than you have bought and unread! (This is jealousy on my part, not chastisement.)

    I've been trying to organize and read my books in order of how long I've had them, but it's not going so well.

    1. I know it's insane. I really do spend more money on books than anything else. I'm lucky to have a boyfriend who is alright with my taking over an entire room and half of our bedroom with my collection.

      And that sounds like a lot of work! Let me know how that goes.

      And if you ever wanna do a Top Ten Tuesday or a waiting on Wednesday post, just let me know. I would love to know what you would pick.

    2. I'm the last person still using LiveJournal and I just keep lists of ARCs, dead tree, and ebooks in order of purchase and I add to it whenever I get something new, so it's not too much work. Staying in order, now that's the trick. New toys are so much better than old toys.

      And I'll definitely keep an eye out for TTT or WoWs. I love making a list!

  2. Dray and Bilyeau are sooooooooooooo worth it -- I hope you love them as much as I love them!

    1. Your love for Dray was why I added them to my TBR! I was so happy to find them on sale, too. Bonus!

      And I have high high hopes for Bilyeau -- also, I love the covers for that series!

  3. I so want to make time for the Juliet Marillier series. Why do I keep requesting ARCs when I have so many lovely books at home to read? It's like a disease. lol I should really try out that other Holly Black series. I loved her Curse Worker's series SO MUCH. :)

  4. I read most of the physical books I bought and since I got an ereader I stopped buying them so most of my unread books are ebooks. I think the number is close to 500 and that's if I do not count Kindle freebies... But how can I resist when 'The Curse of the Mistwraith' was 0.99$? And it sounds so good I know I am going to read it soon. Right? :D
    I have most of these somewhere on my Kindle, although I did not read them. I dedicated my TTT to sequels to series I highly anticipated and then failed to read...


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