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Reading Goals for 2022!

It’s almost that time, guys. It’s almost New Year’s Day, and I just honestly love this time of year. I am giddy with excitement for the start of a new year, every year, and the promise it always holds. I love making resolutions and trying like hell to stick with them. But there’s always one goal I can never seem to meet…

My reading goal. No matter how many books I set my goal at, no matter what challenges I think I’m going to be a part of, I always fall flat. This past year, I wanted to read 15 books. And I only read 7…

So, I thought, why not try and really push myself to complete a reading goal this next year? Then came the decision: what challenge or goal should I set for myself?

Well, I’m part of this Facebook group, called YA & NA Fantasy Book Lovers, and I started seeing posts for an A-Z Reading List…Challenge…Thing. And I was so intrigued by it. Basically, you take the alphabet and match the first letter of the title of a book to each letter in the alphabet, and that’s your reading goal and reading list for the year. And I thought that was super cool. So cool, in fact, that I spent nearly two days trying to track down an actual challenge or template for the list, before figuring out that the list was being created individually by each reader. So, I’ve created my list, and thought I would share it with you all!

Now, my reading goal! The challenge I’ve set for myself is pretty lofty, seeing as how I have only read 7 books so far this year. My reading goal for 2022 is a whopping 26 books, one for every letter of the alphabet! Here’s the list:

AThe Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan. Harriet Bishop descends from a long line of witches, and uses her powers to help, not only ordinary women, but other witches and women with powers, as well. When a distant cousin, Frances Allington, uses her powers for her own gain, Harriet and Frances’ stepdaughter, Annis, must join together to take her on, and combat her dark magic.

I’ve been picking up a ton of books about witches lately, be they fiction or spiritual. I’m hoping to find some awe-inspiring reads about witches, as I try and steer a bit away from the Fae worlds that I have been immersing myself in as of late, so I’m excited to give this one a read! This will be one of my first books of 2022, after I have finished House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, and before I get my hands on House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas.

BThe Book of Hedge Druidry by Joanna van der Hoeven. This book is supposed to explore the earth-based spirituality of the early people of the British Isles, namely the Celts. Its intention is to connect one with the spirits of their ancestors, spirits of place, and the gods and fair folk that these people would have communed with and worshipped. It also delves into developing your own spiritual practice, from the lens of Druidry.

I decided to get a little “Crafty” (see what I did there?) and add in some books about Paganism and Witchcraft into my reading list so that I can also get a jump start on another resolution, which is to connect with my spirituality and my Gods on a deeper level. This book is all for people called to develop their daily practices and I am so excited to start that journey!

CA Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. Prince Rhen has been cursed by an enchantress, forced to repeat his eighteenth year…but with the added bonus of being turned into a beast. In a rage, he destroyed everything, including his castle and his family. Harper also has it rough; her mother is dying, and her brother has cerebral palsy. When she tries to help a stranger in need, she’s pulled into Rhen’s world, and must now face the threats coming for Emberfall, as well as try to break the curse on Rhen.

Are you even a book nerd if you don’t like Beauty and the Beast retellings? Of course, I kid! But I, for one, love a good Beauty and the Beast retelling, which is exactly what this is! I can’t wait to get started on this one!

DA Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova. This book follows Luella, set three thousand years after humans were hunted by magical beings. Instead, the elves take a human woman to be their Queen for centuries now. Luella thought she had escaped when she was a girl, until the King comes to claim her as his new Queen. Now, wed to the cold Elf King, she learns that she may be the only one to save his world…and she has to choose between her people and the world she now lives in.

Apparently, this one is a stand-alone, and a mix between a Hades and Persephone retelling, and a…you guessed it…Beauty and the Beast retelling. Which I did not know when I picked it up, but coincidences are funny like that. Have I mentioned yet that I adore Beauty and the Beast?

EEmpire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. This story follows Gabriel de León, a member of a brotherhood called silversaints, tasked with defending the human realm from the vampires, who have started a war against humanity. When the daylight fails the humans, not even the Silver Order can stop them, and Gabriel is the last one of this order. Imprisoned, he is forced to tell his story of the search for the Holy Grail, humanity’s last hope.

The description for this one gives off major Interview with the Vampire vibes, and I am here for it, and that’s all I have to say about it. This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2021 because Manoans’ sister hyped the author up so much, but I wasn’t able to get to it this year. So it’s near the top of my list to read at the beginning of the new year.

FFrom Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Poppy is the Maiden, destined to never be touched, to never experience pleasure, or be spoken to. She is untouchable, but would rather fight against an evil that stole her family from her. All of that is about to change when Hawke, the guard sent to ensure Poppy’s Ascension, enters the picture. What ensues is a tale of a fallen kingdom destined to rise again, blood-soaked battles, and a burning longing.

I’m finally jumping on this bandwagon. I know I’m late to this party, but I’m just happy to be part of it! Can you tell I’m excited for this one?

GGirls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. Eight girls are chosen, every year, to serve the King. This year, however, there are nine. This story follows Lei, a member of the most persecuted class in Ikhara, the Paper caste. The King’s interest in her beauty has been piqued, and she has been summoned to the castle, where she is trained in the skills needed to be a consort to the King. But what happens when she falls in love?

This one was gifted to me by Manoans’ sister, but, to be honest, it hasn’t ever really piqued my interest. I hear from her that there are some pretty dark and disturbing topics handled in this book, one of them being rape. I’m not sure how that will go over with me, but we’ll see. I’m hoping this one will be awesome.

HHouse of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas. This is the second book in the Crescent City series, and follows Bryce and Hunt as they try to navigate back to a semblance of normalcy. The Asteri have kept their word, and have left them alone, but when it comes time to decide whether to stay silent while others are oppressed, or to speak out, all Hel will break loose.

Can I just talk for a minute, guys, about how mad I was when I found out the publication date for this book was pushed back, from 01/25/2022 to 02/15/2022? I’m still mad about it. This is my most anticipated read for 2022, and they pushed it back! Insert a scream of frustration here, please, and let me know if you’re bummed about it, too! We’ll be upset and bereft until it comes out together!

On a side note, if you preorder this book, and then go here, you can get a print of the cover art with your preorder. I know exactly where mine is going to be going! The link for the preorder information form came from here.

IThe Iron King by Julie Kagawa. Meghan Chase discovers that she is the daughter of a faery king, and a piece in a deadly war being waged. She’ll have to face an evil that no faery dares to, and learn about herself along the way, and just how far she’s willing to go for those she cares about.

I honestly don’t have much to say about this one, other than I love faery stories, and this one sounded intriguing. I have a friend that really, really enjoyed it, but other than that, I haven’t heard too much about it. I’m looking forward to reading a less-hyped book, for sure!

JJessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey. Jessica has a plan after her senior year. But her plans are shredded into pieces when Lucius, an extremely attractive and bizarre exchange student, shows up claiming that she is a long-lost Romanian vampire princess and his fiance.

This one just sounds light, quirky, and fun. It doesn’t really sound like the type of book I usually go for, and it doesn’t seem to be super popular, so I am a little apprehensive, but overall, I’m looking forward to this one, too!

KKing of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair. From the author of A Touch of Darkness comes a new series, following Isolde de Lara as she navigates being married to Adrian Aleksander Vasiliev, vampire king…and tries to kill him, to end a long, drawn-out war. When her attempt to murder him fails, he threatens to turn her into a vampire, the thing she hates the most, if she tries it again.

Guys, I bought this one, the day it came out, without ever having read anything by this author. That is how sure I am that I’m going to enjoy this book. I love vampire stories, and I love how dark and gritty this one sounds.

LThe Last Days of Magic by Mark Thompson. This book weaves together the present and the past, to bring a tale of what happened to magic in the world. Aisling and Anya — aspects of a goddess in human form — are meant to unite the Celts and the Faeries of the Middle Kingdom. However, there are different forces in Ireland, all vying for control and the soul of the country. They all benefit from seeing magic wiped off the face of the Emerald Isle, and the war that is brewing will have repercussions for centuries to come, especially in the life of a grad student named Sara Hill.

This is my last attempt with this book, guys. I can never find enough drive to read it, even though the description piques my interest. I always get about 100 pages in and then find something else to do, and it’s killing me slowly.

MMistborn by Brandon Sanderson. For a thousand years, ash has fallen, nothing has grown, and the Skaa have slaved for the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity.” That is all about to change, as a half-Skaa prisoner named Kelsier disovers Mistborn powers in himself. He assembles a crew of the most elite criminals the world has seen, intending to take down the Lord Ruler for good, even if it seems like a long shot. Until they meet Vin, who is also half-Skaa, and also contains powers the likes of which they never dreamed possible.

Brandon Sanderson has been hyped up to me by one of my close friends for at least the past year. The whole year. So I finally caved and bought one of his books, and I cannot wait to dive into it!

NNeon Gods by Katee Roberts. Neon Gods is a Hades and Persephone retelling, following one Persephone Dimitriou, who is planning on running away from Olympus to escape the Thirteen Houses and their politics. When her mother announces that Persephone is engaged to Zeus, however, her plans take quite a turn. Hades, lord of the Underworld, offers her protection…at a price. He’s been craving revenge for so long…until he gets a taste for Persephone.

This is yet another one that I a super excited to get to, as I keep seeing it hyped up on BookTok like nobody’s business. And it’s another Hades and Persephone retelling, which does not hurt its odds that it will be towards the top of my TBR pile.

OOnce Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. Evangeline Fox has always believed in true love, until finding out that the love of her life is going to marry someone else. Desperate to stop it, she makes a deal with the Prince of Hearts, and in exchange for his help, he requests from her three kisses. To be given at the time and place of his choosing. But she soon learns that making a deal with an immortal is a dangerous game to play.

I’m starting to see this one on BookTok a bunch, which is how it caught my attention. It’s written by the same author who wrote Caraval, which definitely has me intrigued, even though I haven’t read Caraval yet. I’ve heard such good things from the people that have reviewed it, so I’m hoping it lives up to the hype!

PPractical Magic by Nikki van de Car. No, not the one by Alice Hoffman that the movie of the same name is based on. Shock? Awe? Disappointment? I know, but I’ve already read that one! This one is another Witchcraft book! It is said to provide great information for “dabblers,” especially on topics such as healing tonics, astrological charts, magic, and fortune-telling. This one focuses on three main areas — healing, magic, and fortune-telling. Said to be a perfect primer for dabblers, there’s plenty of information on things like home remedies, herbal tonics, and astrological charts.

I’m a little concerned, however, as the description mentions specifically “good witches,” and I’m not sure if that’s meant to reference being decent at the Craft, or “good” as in “good vs. evil.” While I’m definitely not a practitioner of what some would call “black magic,” I do dabble in more than just protection, healing, and love and light. So it sounds like this might be geared toward a younger audience that’s very, very new to the Craft, or maybe like it’s more geared towards Wiccans. Which I don’t have a problem with, it’s just that I don’t fall into either of those categories. I’ll let you guys know how this one goes, for sure!

QQueen of Nothing by Holly Black. This is the third installment in Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air series. This series follows twin human sisters Jude and Taryn, who are whisked away to Faerie by a Red Cap after he murders their parents. Forced to navigate Fae politics, and constantly humiliated because they are human, they must find a way to fit in where they are not wanted, and Jude is determined to hold on to any sort of power she can get.

This is another one I keep trying to get into, but it’s been difficult, partly because I keep buying other books to distract me. I haven’t heard amazing things about this one, so that’s probably part of the reason why I keep putting it off. I also love this world and the characters, and am not quite ready to say “goodbye” just yet.

RRhapsodic by Laura Thalassa. Following the tale of Callypso Lillis, a siren, and someone known only as the Bargainer, the man who can get you anything you want…for a price. Callypso has run up a massive amount of debt over the last seven years, marked by a bracelet of black beads up her wrist. The kind of debts that only death or repayment will fulfill. When the Bargainer finally comes to collect on Callypso’s debt that she owes him, it begins with a kiss, in exchange for a bead. But the Bargainer has ulterior motives…

Manoans’ sister just finished this one, and she loved it. So, obviously, I had to grab it, as well.

SSerpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin. This story is about Louise le Blanc, a witch who fled her coven, and Reid Diggory, a Chasseur — a witch hunter who abides by the rule that thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. After the two are forced into marriage, Louise is faced with an impossible choice.

Remember that book haul I posted back in…gosh, June or July? This book was on that haul list. And I still haven’t read it yet! Book nerd problems, am I right?

TA Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair. I might be a little predictable, guys…this one is another Hades and Persephone retelling. Persephone, Goddess of Spring, causes flowers to shrivel at her slightest touch ever since she was little. Deciding to leave her life as a goddess behind and disguise herself as a mortal journalist, she has a chance run in with Hades, God of the Underworld, who offers her a deal: create life in the Underworld, or lose her freedom forever.

You guessed it, this one is another BookTok book! I’ve seen it all over the place and heard such amazing things about it, so I’m really hoping that this one lives up to the hype! The problem now is to decide whether I start with this one, or if I start with King of Battle and Blood by the same author…

UUprooted by Naomi Novik. This book follows Agnieszka, who lives in a village in a mountain valley, surrounded by the Wood, a malevolent and powerful forest. A wizard, known only as the Dragon, keeps the village safe. But he requires a price: one young woman from the village must go live with and serve him for 10 years, which is a terrible fate all its own.

Just reading the description gave me vibes similar to The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, and I adored that book. I’m always on the lookout for unconventional fairy tales, and this one sounds like it’s right up my alley!

VVespertine by Margaret Rogerson. Artemisia is a Gray Sister, a nun who is charged with cleansing the bodies of the dead so that their souls can pass on, preventing them from rising to devour the living. When possessed guards attack her convent, Artemisia releases a revenant — an extremely malevolent spirit — that threatens to possess her when her guard is down. The only way to save her home, Loraille, is to discover the secrets of the long-lost Vespertine — a priestess who can wield a high relic. Turning to the revenant for clues and answers, their bond beings to grow, but she learns that, in order to save Loraille, she may have to give up on everything she’s ever been taught.

It’s no secret that I love Margaret Rogerson’s writing. I read her debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens, on audiobook last year (in 2020) and simply loved it. While I haven’t read her other novel, Sorcery of Thorns, I’m positive I’ll love that one, too. So when I heard she was coming out with yet another book, and this one is set to be in a series, I just had to grab it!

WThe Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec. The tale of Angrboda the witch is an ancient one. Her story begins with a burning, as punishment from Odin after refusing to provide him knowledge of the future. Injured and powerless, she flees into a forest and comes across a man who reveals himself to be Loki, Trickster of the Gods. The two fall in love, and produce three unusual children, whom Angrboda wants to keep at the edge of the world…and away from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But when she has a vision telling her that the life she has made is in danger, she’ll enlist the help of the Huntress Skadi, and learn to either accept the fate of her family or rise to change their future.

A not-so-known “secret” about me is that I adore mythology. Celtic, Greek, Egyptian, and Norse mythology, specifically, and not necessarily in that order. I’ve been scouring for fantasy novels written with a strong lean to or inspiration from Celtic mythology, but I’ve been having a hard time finding much. But the books inspired by Norse mythology are abundant, and this is a story I would love to know more about, both in terms of the novel itself and the actual tale in the mythology.

XXavier by Wendie Nordgren. This one follows Xavier, a genetically engineered hybrid soldier of the Parvac Empire, in his quest to capture a weapons manufacturer. Along the way, he finds a tech slave longing for escape, falls in love, and rescues her. Now, however, they’re being hunted by her cyborg master and his AI soldiers.

It seems that I am destined to read at least one seemingly super smutty book this next year. Minus, you know, Neon Gods, A Touch of Darkness, and King of Battle and Blood. Hopefully, House of Sky and Breath is delicious, as well, but the smut isn’t its main focus like it seems to be with Xavier. It sounds…well, interesting, to say the least. Here’s hoping it’ll be a good one!

YYear One by Nora Roberts. On New Year’s Eve, a sickness descends upon the world, spreading almost as quickly as the fear of the sickness itself. Then, the electrical grid fails, law and order right along with it. All of the sudden, half of the world’s population is gone. In place of science and technology, magic reigns. However, no one seems to be safe from the patrols in the streets, whether you’re immune to the sickness or gifted. Lana and Max, two lovers, attempt to make their way out of New York to head west. Along the way, they’ll encounter many different people and have to determine who is a friend and who is a foe.

I’ve already tried out a Nora Roberts novel titled Dark Witch. While I enjoyed the writing style, the main character was insufferable and had literally no internal dialogue, which made for an awkward and slightly annoying read. So, I’m honestly not too keen on reading this one, but I thought I’d give the author another chance, to see if maybe it was just a fluke. I’ll keep you guys updated once I pick this one up!

ZZodiac Academy by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti. Fashioned and marketed as an “adult version of Harry Potter,” this book tells the story of twins born in the month of Gemini, and selected to attend the Zodiac Academy, where your star sign defines your destiny. As Changelings in a world where their existence has been outlawed, the twins must navigate being bullied by the four celestial heirs, and their unheard of powers — powers to harness all four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water — which have never been seen before.

This book is the first in a currently ongoing series chock-full of werewolves, dragon shifters, vampires, and the Fae. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t have much interest in picking this book up, especially since the series still isn’t finished. At least, as far as I know, it isn’t. Truly, guys, the only reason I picked this one up is that its title started with the letter “Z.” Do you know how hard that is to find?! Nevertheless, the description has me…intrigued.

Well, there you have it! My goal is to read, at least, 26 books in 2022. For a woman who can’t seem to get into the double digits of finished books anymore, I consider this a lofty goal. But, I am so excited to try this challenge out and see how far I can get!

Tell me, what are your reading goals and New Year’s Resolutions for 2022?

3d book display image of Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

Hallowe's Cauldron Recommends

A modern Hades and Persephone retelling! Persephone, Goddess of Spring, kills the plants that she touches. Hades, God of the Dead, gambles for peoples' souls. After a chance encounter, Persephone is tasked with creating life in the Underworld, or become a permanent resident there. Can she accomplish this impossible task? And can she do it without losing her heart?

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