The Aritsar Book Tag!

Posted 13th August 2020 by Siavahda in Lists / 0 Comments

Leelynn at Sometimes Leelynn Reads created a book tag (+ gorgeous graphics!) as part of the Hear Our Voices book tour for Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko! Raybearer instantly became one of my favourite books of all time when I got to read an arc – you can check out my review here – so between that and how ridiculously cool this book tag looked? I had to pounce!

For context: Aritsar is the incredible setting of Raybearer, an empire ruled over by an Emperor and his Council – who are psychically bound to him and make him, if not immortal, then at least invulnerable. The prompts below are inspired by the roles/titles of the Emperor’s council!


  • Thank the person that tagged you and link to their post.
  • Link to the original creator: Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads! Please note that she used the artwork/graphics if you end up using them.
  • Answer the prompts to the best of your ability. No wrong answers here!
  • Tag some people you think would would have fun doing this tag.
  • Copy-paste the rules and prompts.

The Imaginary Corpse hit me like a warm fluffy blanket: it’s a story about an ex-imaginary friend, a yellow plushie triceratops detective, who solves mysteries in the realm below the human subconscious. I mean, how can you not love that???

Despite the scariness of the Big Bad, there is just something so wonderful about this story, something powerful and defiantly optimistic. It’s hopepunk at its finest, I think, whimsy matched to deep, important issues and questions. This is one of my heart-home books, for sure.

Rune Saint John

I debated giving this spot to Gideon (of the Ninth fame) or John (from Barbara Hambly’s Dragonsbane) but in the end there’s one warrior character who just wows the socks off me: Rune from KD Edwards’ Tarot Sequence.

What I love about Rune-as-warrior is how economic he is with his magic, how he uses the little he has access to to incredible effect. Because he doesn’t have the tools of other magic users of his caliber, he has to be able to adapt the spells he has on hand in ways another fighter would never consider – and he has to do it with a split second’s warning. He’s a creative, out-of-the-box thinker and reading his fight scenes is a delight.

The king of the Staryk (think faeries or elves, but living in eternal winter and ice) is probably not a character most people would put in this spot, but I’ve always been fascinated by fae who can’t lie and are bound to their promises. The Staryk king isn’t nice, gods forbid, but he’s fair even when he really doesn’t want to be – the tasks he sets are possible, even when they don’t look it, and he holds to his word above all else. His, and his people’s, sense of fairness and equal value are arguably the driving force of the story – or at least, what kicks it off.

I almost went with Diane Duane’s Middle Kingdoms (everyone is pansexual, polyamory is the norm, etc) but then I remembered Pet. The city of Lucille isn’t a perfect utopia – as the main character, Jam, discovers with the help of a being that comes out of her mother’s painting – but honestly? It’s pretty damn close. I hope we get to make it a reality within my lifetime.

Assuming this comes with the caveat of getting to pick who/what I am in the book… Then I’m definitely going with the Black Jewels series. I’m autistic and struggle way too much with social stuff; having a clear, rigid Protocol to dictate interactions between myself and strangers? A guide to social situations? Rules that make sense to me? Gimme.

Besides, Blood society could do with an introduction to nonbinary genders! I’d love to be the firecracker to start that conversation!

Since I’m probably not supposed to say Raybearer… I ended up not being able to pick just one book, but if you’d read these I don’t think you’d blame me!

Okay, this spot has to go to Princess Sun, of Kate Elliott’s Unconquerable Sun – a genderbent retelling of Alexander the Great, in space, and still very much queer. Sun is maybe a little slower to see the strategies of court intrigue, but on the battlefield (is it still a battlefield if it’s in space??? battlevoid?) she has no equal.

Like all the best Epic Fantasy, the Pellinor books are big on lusciously detailing meals and feasts – and since the main character Maerad starts the story as a slave, I think it’s fair that the foods she encounters as a free woman get so lovingly described. The feasts are far from my favourite aspect of this series, but I do remember my mouth watering as I read!

TEA DRAGONS TEA DRAGONS TEA DRAGONSSSSSSSSSS! These little beasties are adorable, beautiful, and magical in a very quiet and gentle way. And if you haven’t yet, you absolutely need to read the graphic novels about them and their keepers!

In Starless, there are – you guessed it – no stars in the night sky: because the stars are gods, all of whom were cast down to earth long ago. And wow, do I love the gods in this! They make me think a little of Peter Mohrbacher’s Angelarium series of paintings; strange, truly otherworldly. The brief encounters the main characters of Starless have with their gods are just…so much wow.

The story itself is about getting the gods – the stars – back into the sky, and it’s wonderful.

The Chimes is an incredibly creative work – a post-apocalyptic society that no one knows is post-apocalyptic, where humans can no longer make and remember memories normally, and music has become language. Technical musical terms have even become common adjectives and sort-of-slang for non-musical things. It’s one of the most out-of-the-box books I’ve ever read – which is probably why I’m struggling to review it properly…

And finally, I tag…

Kathy of Pages Beneath the Vaulted Sky

Lauren of Library of Lauren

Sara of The Fantasy Inn

Christine of Black Forest Basilisks


Whoever else wants to take part! I wasn’t specifically tagged, so I’m leaving this open for everyone who wants to give it a go!

Raybearer (Raybearer, #1) by Jordan Ifueko
Representation: Cast of Colour, Asexual, minor F/F and M/M
on 18th August 2020
Genres: Secondary World Fantasy

Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood.

That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

Preorder Raybearer Now!!!

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