Monday Books & Games – Broken Hearts and a Romp Through Sengoku Japan

I’ve seen Sionna (Books in Her Eyes) and Lisa (Way Too Fantasy) doing Monday updates forever now, talking the books they have lined up for the current week, and I was always on the sidelines going, “Huh, I should join them someday.”

Well, someday is now, apparently, and as my creatively-lacking title suggests, I’m expanding the concept to include video games!

I’ve also smooshed it with the Sunday Post (instead of doing a separate Sunday Post, because I have something else planned for Sundays), so I’ll also be talking about stuff I read and played in the previous week.


⚔️= Fantasy; 🚀= Scifi; 👻= Paranormal; 🔍= Mystery; 🌺= Contemporary; 🗝️= Historical; 🌈= LGBTQIAP+


Last Week – Books


Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver: 🔍🗝️
I loved Paver’s Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series when I was a teen but never tried her adult books, so I thought “why not?” Well, I went into this expecting gothic chills and witchcraft and got a really boring coming-of-age story instead, so I guess that’s why not.

Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley: 🌺🌈
This one trampled all over my heart and hung me up like wet laundry. It’s a queer YA in the vein of Adam Silvera with grey characters and exploration of religion and sexuality, all of which are handled beautifully.

The Mortal Sleep (Hollow Folk 4) by Gregory Ashe: 👻🔍🌈
*hysterical laughter*
*uncontrollable sobbing*
(Full review to come)



Ancestral Night (White Space 1) by Elizabeth Bear: 🚀
(DNF @ ~30%)
I like Bear’s fantasy stuff but her first foray into space opera just…didn’t work out for me.

Upon a Burning Throne by Ashok K. Banker: ⚔️
(DNF @ ~20%) It’s criminal how gorgeous that cover is, and it’s even more criminal just how awful the content is in comparison. So, so disappointed by this, but I’m glad I DNFed early because from the reviews I’ve read, it apparently gets worse.


Last Week – Games

Between hating on Epic Games exclusives and being busy with a dozen other things, I didn’t have time to play much last week. I did get a chance to finish Eastshade, though!


Developed by Eastshade Studios, Eastshade is a RPG/walking sim/artist sim where you play as a painter exploring a fantastical island full of anthropomorphic animals. You meet people, help them with their troubles, and paint whatever you want of the world.

It’s got its share of issues and some parts definitely feel unpolished, but overall it’s…wholesome. And strangely charming and beautiful. Most importantly, I can’t stop thinking about it. And that’s a win in my book. Full review possibly to come!



This Week – Books


We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett: ⚔️
This has been blurbed as a fantasy Code Name Verity, with a focus on female friendships, so of course I’ll be checking it out. Look out for the blog tour post on Thursday!

Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett: ⚔️🌈
A queer pseudo-sequel to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Enough said.

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine: 🚀
I’m having a hard time with this one. I love, LOVE the setting but I just…can’t get into the writing style. Hopefully it’ll grow on me by the end.


This Week – Games


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Developed by FromSoftware, the brains behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Sekiro is a brutal action game set in 1500s Japan. I’ve heard mostly good things about this one which is awesome. And it’s apparently different from the Souls series which is even better because I want something new and fresh from the studio, not another Souls game dressed up in a different outfit.



What do you have planned for this week?


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Tammy April 1, 2019 - 5:36 am

Wow, you look busy! I’m trying to finish Wicked Saints before my blog tour stop on Wednesday. I’d better hurry up! Then I’m starting a SF called Titanshade.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 4, 2019 - 6:03 pm

Ooh I’ve been curious about Titanshade! It sounds super creative and I always need more fantasy noir in my life. 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your thoughts on it!

Alex Logan April 1, 2019 - 6:19 am

I also loved The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series! I had no idea Paver had also written for adults but it looks like that may have been a good thing haha

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 2, 2019 - 2:20 am

I swear, you read every favourite book/series of mine! <3 And yeah, she wrote a couple of adult ghost stories. And I think I might give them a try one day? Despite how this one turned out? Because they've both got snowy, cold settings and I'm sucker for those. 😛

mybookworld24 April 1, 2019 - 6:21 am

The covers and images look stunning!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 2, 2019 - 2:16 am

They really are, aren’t they? <3

mybookworld24 April 2, 2019 - 2:21 am


waytoofantasy April 1, 2019 - 7:39 am

Looking forward to Miranda in Milan myself! If I get through this week’s books it may be on my list for next week.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 4, 2019 - 6:01 pm

Woot! I hope we both enjoy it!

@lynnsbooks April 1, 2019 - 7:52 am

I love that cover for Miranda in Milan so will anxiously await your thoughts and feelings.
Lynn 😀

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 2, 2019 - 2:12 am

Me too! It’s just so quirky and charming and really fits the original play (what I remember of it, anyway)

Bailey April 1, 2019 - 8:40 am

Miranda in Milan sounds absolutely brilliant, I’ll have to pick up a copy for myself. I know I won’t be playing Sekiro, but I’m sure I’ll get to see a lot of it since my boyfriend is currently playing through it. The artwork is really quite beautiful!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 2, 2019 - 2:15 am

I’ve been in love with Miranda in Milan ever since the cover reveal. I hope you enjoy it! And ooh, how is he liking it?

Bailey April 2, 2019 - 8:57 am

He seems to be pretty enthralled. I’ve only good things about Sekiro so far, except it looks a bit difficult. I mostly stick to games like Stardew Valley though, so I’m a poor judge of that sort of thing! 🙂

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 2, 2019 - 6:29 pm

Yay, that’s good to know! And I love Stardew Valley! Though I’ve been avoiding it lately because once I get sucked in, I get sucked in hard and end up spending like 400+ hours on it. 😛

Bailey April 2, 2019 - 6:35 pm

I have the exactly the same problem. I start taking care of my farm and then all of a sudden it’s midnight!

Aurora Librialis April 1, 2019 - 1:31 pm

I’m so sad Upon a Burning Throne isn’t any good, it should be illegal for bad books to have beautiful covers. It’s bad for…the economy? the environment? moral? something, for sure.
We Rule the Night sounds wonderful, I need more female friendships in fantasy in my life 😊

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 2, 2019 - 2:26 am

Haha all of the above?? And aside from oh-so-lovely things like misogyny and info-dumping and bad characterization, it’s also apparently a terrible rehash of an ancient Indian epic, so it’s really got *nothing* going for it aside from that cover. Which is…kind of an accomplishment.

jennifertarheelreader April 2, 2019 - 4:47 am

This looks like a nicely packed schedule, Kathy! I loved reading about what you’ve been up to and your plans for the week. That, and I’m so happy to see you! ♥️ xo

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 4, 2019 - 6:01 pm

Aww thanks, Jennifer! I hope this week’s been treating you well. And always, ALWAYS wonderful to be talking to you! <3

jennifertarheelreader April 4, 2019 - 6:12 pm

♥️ ♥️ Same, Kathy! Always! It’s been a monster of a week and the next two more probably will be too, but I’ll get through it! I am sending love to you, my friend! ♥️

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 5, 2019 - 8:22 pm

And sending all the positive and healthy vibes back *your* way! <3

jennifertarheelreader April 6, 2019 - 12:02 pm


Maryam (@thecurioussffreader) April 2, 2019 - 6:13 am

I’m planning on reading Miranda in Milan this week as well, the cover is gorgeous and I love The Tempest!
I hope you’ll have the time to have a lot of reading (and gaming!) done, have a great week! 🙂

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 4, 2019 - 5:59 pm

Same to you, Maryam! And I hope we both enjoy Miranda in Milan! My memory of The Tempest is rather blurry so I’m curious to how that’ll pan out. 🙂

Norrie April 4, 2019 - 7:18 am

OMG, Eastshade is beautiful! I’ve been looking for some games to play for the past few months, but nothing really tickled my fancy. This is such eyecandy though, i need to check it out better 😀

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 5, 2019 - 7:47 pm

It’s SUPER pretty. Doesn’t have a whole lot of action going on, but it’s really soothing. And you can go camping and brew tea and stuff!


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