Top 5 Wednesday – 2019 Releases that I Didn’t Care About But Am Now Tentatively Anticipating

“Top 5 Wednesday” is a weekly meme currently hosted on Goodreads by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes in which you list your top 5 for the week’s chosen topic.

Oh boy oh boy. It feels like I haven’t done one of these in forever.

So, this week’s prompt was “2019 releases that I don’t care about.” But apathy is something that I actively try to fight off on a regular basis (thanks, depression), so dedicating an entire post to talking about things I don’t care about felt…I don’t know, counter-productive.

So I’m doing what I do best, which is complicating simple things, and changing it to “2019 releases that I didn’t care about but am now tentatively anticipating.” Now it starts off negative but ends on a sort-of positive note. 😀


The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

priory of the orange tree.jpg

This one has been hyped to hell and back and for good reason. It’s thick, it’s got dragons and intrigue and possibly-interesting female characters, all wrapped up in a stupidly good-looking cover.

All of which made me shrug and think, “Yeah, this is too good to be true.”

But. It’s a door-stopper epic fantasy written by a female author with feminist themes, and I could stand outside my local mall all day holding up a sign that says “WE NEED MORE OF THOSE.” Plus I feel like it’d be a crime not to try out any book with that as a cover.


The Wicked King by Holly Black

wicked king.jpg

Okay, to be fair, this one had the “I don’t care” stamp before I’d read The Cruel Prince. And now that I have read it, while I’m not bouncing-off-the-walls excited (my anticipation levels for this book are about as lukewarm and kind-of-there-kind-of-not as Cardan), I am mildy curious to see how things pan out for Cardan and Jude.


Sherwood by Meagan Spooner


I adore the original Robin Hood legend. My love hasn’t really been reciprocated in the past decade or so, however (not until recently with a certain series which I will most definitely ramble about in a separate post). Every adaptation that comes along swearing that it’s giving RH a fresh and interesting look is 1) neither of those things, or 2) something so weird and outlandish that it shouldn’t even have the “Robin Hood” title (looking at you, 2018 film).

While Sherwood isn’t the “gender-bent Robin Hood falls in love with Maid Marian” story that I was hoping for–it’s got Maid Marian taking the Robin Hood mantle while Robin’s off doing God knows what–I’m willing to give it a try.


Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes

seven blades in black.jpg

While I do love Sam Sykes as a person, I just couldn’t get into his Bring Down the Heaven series. There’s something about his writing that didn’t click with me. So Seven Blades in Black initially went in the “maybe I’ll try it one day” pile. 

I don’t remember why I moved it to the “anticipated” stack (probably because I caved into Sam’s Twitter charms), but it’s there now and hopefully I’ll take to it better than his previous books.


The Familiars by Stacey Halls


I turned my nose at this one because the cover made me think it was a fable-y, magical realism story featuring witches and their familiars, but then I found out it’s actually about a woman dealing with pregnancy in the 17th century (with a witch hunt backdrop), which was decidedly less interesting to me.

But I do enjoy historical feminist stories, and there’s something super magnetic about that cover, so I’ll give it a shot!



Are there any 2019 books that you’ve had a change of heart about?

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0 comment

Tammy January 9, 2019 - 3:09 pm

I’ve seen The Familiars on two other blogs today, so it must be a sign 😁 As for the Sam Sykes book, I’m sorry to say that cover is terrible and I will not read it because of that. I know, shallow of me, but it seriously needs a redesign😐

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 8:30 am

Hahaha that cover IS kind of an eye-sore. 😂 And I’ve totally avoided books because of their cover too, so no judgment! 😛

Diana @fortunatelythebook January 9, 2019 - 3:24 pm

I have the same opinion for Robin Hood! I love the original story, but I read a couple of retellings that weren’t good. I’m interested in Sherwood, btw!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 8:26 am

Fingers crossed it works out for both of us! <3

acquadimore January 9, 2019 - 3:49 pm

I feel the same way about The Wicked King. I will probably read it at some point because I want to know what happens, but I didn’t feel strongly about the first book, so that won’t happen anytime soon.
And The Priory of the Orange Tree seriously looks too good to be true. It may be because I’m always hesitant to try anything longer than 500 pages, though. Anyway, it’s gay, it has dragons and a pretty cover, of course I’m going to try it at some point

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 8:25 am

There was SO MUCH hype around The Cruel Prince (and later The Wicked King) and I felt like there had to be *something* special about it, but it ended up being super underwhelming. So I’m expecting more of the same for book 2 😛

And I’m so with you on book length! I feel like I have so little patience for books over 500 pages since I started reviewing, which is kind of a shame.

Sionna (Books in Her Eyes) January 9, 2019 - 3:50 pm

I love how you switched up the prompt 🙂 all those books are ones I’m looking forward to as well haha

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 8:08 am

Thank you! Hope the books work out for both of us 😀

Kaya @ afictionalbookworm January 9, 2019 - 7:30 pm

I’m currently reading Sherwood and it’s INCREDIBLE.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 8:02 am

AHHH YESS! I’m actually REALLY happy to hear that!! Thanks, Kaya. Now I’m excited <3 😀

Kaya @ afictionalbookworm January 13, 2019 - 3:05 pm

You’re welcome! I hope you love it!!!🤗

Vera January 9, 2019 - 7:45 pm

I’m looking forward to reading The Wicked King but currently have so many books to read that I won’t be buying it anytime soon. It’s anticipated but not super eagerly. 😊

To be honest, I am quite oblivious to new releases and even if I hear of them, I promptly forget about them five minutes later. I usually let the book come to me whenever the time is right.

Great list though, tentative anticipation is the best! 😊

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 8:05 am

These days I try to keep my hype for new books at a moderate to low level. I feel like I’ve been burned WAY too many times in the past. 😛

I’m trying to keep a spreadsheet for all the new releases and actually commit to it because I started one last year and never updated it after the first month LOL

MetalPhantasmReads January 9, 2019 - 7:47 pm

I seriously can’t wait to read Sherwood. I haven’t read any robin hood retellings so I have a clean slate to go on. I’m with you on Wicked King; I have never cared to read this series despite the hype. I also read a sample of Priory and it was so so confusing that I’m not optimistic anymore :/ awesome list!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 8:01 am

Ohh I’ve been debating if I should try the Netgalley sampler for Priory or not. But that’s definitely not an optimistic start. 🙁

MetalPhantasmReads January 13, 2019 - 11:37 pm

I think the sample could help you gauge what you really think of it for sure 🙂

bookbeachbunny January 9, 2019 - 7:54 pm

Priory of the Orange Tree is one that I’ve been tentatively anticipating as well. On the one hand dragons and Queens but on the other hand why is it so long? You drop that sucker and you may break a foot! And I’m just plain old excited about Sherwood 🙂

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 7:58 am

I actually use the large books I have in my library as paperweight (for watercolour paper), so I’m pretty sure this one’s going to join the ranks. 😀

Lili Star Reads January 9, 2019 - 8:08 pm

Sherwood looks so good, I haven’t read any Robin Hood retellings and would love to get into it!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 7:56 am

I’ve been hearing good things about the author’s previous book, so fingers crossed Sherwood works out for both of us! <3

Aurora Librialis January 9, 2019 - 8:20 pm

I relate a lot to not wanting to willingly spend time on apathy, so I really appreciate your spin on this topic! 💕 I have similar feeling about Priory of the Orange Tree, it’s so hyped and in my face it’s having the opposite effect and it’s kind of blurred into the background for me. But the cover is wonderful and now that I’ve actually learned what it’s about (thanks for that) I definitley want to give it a try! I’m really excited about The Wicked King, cause even though The Cruel Prince wasn’t my favorite, I really liked the ending and I want to know what happens next. I’m definitley disappointed The Familiars isn’t witchy magical realism, not gonna lie! Lovely post!

Ren Strange January 9, 2019 - 10:07 pm

I’m really excited for Sherwood because I read Hunted back in 2017 and loved it. It’s my favorite Beauty & the Beast retelling. I don’t particularly care about Robin Hood, but I’ll read anything by Meagan Spooner.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 7:53 am

Okay, that’s awesome to hear. I have high hopes for it now. 😀

waytoofantasy January 9, 2019 - 10:17 pm

Wow, The Familiars is the third book I’ve seen with a cover in a similar style…lol.
I keep forgetting about Sherwood somehow! That one does look good!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 7:51 am

The cover totally reminds me of Zen cho’s The True Queen. The same wiggly white font and blue background 😀

waytoofantasy January 13, 2019 - 12:19 pm

Yes!!! They’re both also not too far off from Theodora Goss’s Athena Club series.

Cindy January 10, 2019 - 2:34 am

I’m excited for Priory although I’m intimidated by how long it is. Sherwood sounds so good!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 7:44 am

It IS rather long! I was a bit surprised when I heard it was a standalone. I feel like we don’t get a lot of those in fantasy. 🙂

jennifertarheelreader January 10, 2019 - 2:51 am

I love how you switched the prompt around. I love and admire it actually. I have a hard time with negatively worded prompts too. Not my thing. Now I want to read all these books, Kathy. I hope you’ll read them all first and tell me more about them. ♥️

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 7:32 am

Thank you, jennifer! <3 Next week's prompt is a bit of a negative one too (disappointing books of 2018) so I'm debating if I should reword it into "disappointing books that I still appreciate for the following reasons." …It's a working title. 😂

Lisa (@TenaciousReader) January 10, 2019 - 4:39 pm

Ha, I like this. There are definitely books where I’ve felt this way, but then wound up loving. .. and love that you turned the negative theme into a positive. I’m really curious about Priory of the Orange Tree (though I don’t love the title. But the amazing cover makes up for that)

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 7:26 am

Thank you! And yeah, the title is an odd one. It doesn’t really seem to tie into the story (what little I know of it, anyway)

PerfectlyTolerable January 10, 2019 - 6:06 pm

I love your twist on this!! Haha I understand perfectly what you meant!! I also loved the 2018 Robin Hood film and thought it was delightfully cheesy and fun and over the top <3 And I am super excited for Sherwood!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 7:23 am

I haven’t read the author’s previous book with the beauty and beast retelling, but I heard it was super well done so fingers crossed Sherwood works out. 😀

Gerry@TheBookNookUK January 11, 2019 - 4:35 pm

I’m definitely looking forward to The Wicked King and am actually looking forward to The Familiars as well. I think I’m beginning to really enjoy historical fiction though – this is a new development and one I never thought would happen! I am always up for magical witchy familiar things though so I’m kind of hoping one comes along…

embuhlee January 12, 2019 - 2:50 pm

I very much like your twist on this topic. 😀 I didn’t participate this past week because I had similar feelings – felt odd making a post about ‘hey I don’t care about this, I’m gonna tell you about it… but really, I don’t care.’

So your take on the prompt was refreshing. Also, I’m very excited for the Samantha Shannon book. It just sounds so lovely!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 13, 2019 - 7:21 am

Aw thank you! Yeah, I was THIS close to not doing the prompt, but then I woke up with the idea and was like, “sure, this works” 😛

evelynreads1 January 14, 2019 - 8:46 am

Oh I’m so excited for Priory of the orange tree and the wicked king!


maddalena@spaceandsorcery January 14, 2019 - 8:28 pm

I would never have looked twice at The Cruel Prince if it had not been for some enthusiastic reviews from fellow bloggers whose tastes I trust, and now I can’t wait to read The Wicked King… 😀

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 22, 2019 - 9:10 am

I hope you enjoy it just as much as the first book! (if you haven’t gotten to it that is :D) I’m thinking I should pick it up soon while The Cruel Prince is still fresh in my mind. 🙂

Kristina January 16, 2019 - 3:18 am

The only one I have heard about before was the wicked king, but reading this post, I kinda wanna see the Sherwood one ! Though ..i’m still scared my brain couldn’t handle that much action yet XD

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky January 16, 2019 - 9:41 am

Hahaha I’ve been hearing really good things about the author’s previous book, so I think Sherwood will be a win! 😀

Marie January 21, 2019 - 7:26 pm

Oh what an interesting list, Kathy – there are so many books I had never heard of before, so thank you for sharing them! I am very curious about that Robin Hood retelling, it sounds really interesting, I’ll have to check it out! 😀


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