Tuesday, May 5, 2020

First Chapter Tuesday: Sepulchre by Kate Mosse & The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

First Chapter Tuesday is hosted every Tuesday by Vicki @ I'd Rather Be at the Beach. This is meme in which bloggers share the first chapter of a book that they are currently reading or thinking about reading soon. Join the fun by making your own post and linking up over at Vicki's blog, or simply check it out to find more new books to read!

I haven't done a First Chapter Tuesday post in ages, so I thought I'd share the beginnings of two books that I'm reading right now (and very much enjoying!). I also apparently am a rule-breaker (who knew?) and always share more than just the first paragraph because I can't help it when there's a good intro!

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse


"Wednesday, March 25, 1891 This story begins in a city of bones. In the alleyways of the dead. In the silent boulevards and promenades and impasses of the cimetière de Montmartre in Paris, a place inhabited by tombs and stone angels and the loitering ghosts of those forgotten before they are even cold in their graves. 

This story begins with the watchers at the gates, with the poor and the desperate of Paris, who have come to profit from another’s loss. The gawping beggars and sharp-eyed chiffonniers, the wreath makers and peddlers of ex-voto trinkets, the girls twisting paper flowers, the carriages waiting with black hoods and smeared glass. 

The story begins with the pantomime of a burial. A small paid notice in Le Figaro advertised the place and the date and the hour, although few have come. It is a sparse crowd, dark veils and morning coats, polished boots and extravagant umbrellas to shelter from the unseasonable March rain."

Chapter 1

"Paris | Wednesday 16 September 1891

Léonie Vernier stood on the steps of the Palais Garnier, clutching her chatelaine bag and tapping her foot impatiently. 
Where is he? 
Dusk cloaked the Place de l’Opéra in a silky blue light. 
Léonie frowned. It was quite maddening. For almost one hour she had waited for her brother at the agreed rendezvous , beneath the impassive bronze gaze of the statues that graced the roof of the opera house. She had endured impertinent looks. She had watched the fiacres come and go, private carriages with their hoods up, public conveyances open to the elements, four-wheelers, gigs, all disembarking their passengers. A sea of black silk top hats and fine evening gowns from the showrooms of Maison Léoty and Charles Worth. It was an elegant first-night audience, a sophisticated crowd come to see and be seen."

This is my first Kate Mosse book and I've been so excited about because I've heard amazing htings about her books. I actually picked up a secondhand copy at a Savers probably almost a year ago by now, so I definitely took my sweet time in getting to it, but thus far I've been really loving it.

Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
The Girl of Ink and StarsExcerpt:

Chapter 1

"They say the day the Governor arrived, the ravens did too. All the smaller birds flew backward into the sea, and that is why there are no songbirds on Joya. Only huge, ragged ravens. I’d watch them perch on the rooftops like omens, and try to squint them into the chaffinches and goldcrests Da drew from memory. If I imagined hard enough, I could almost hear them singing. 

“Why did the songbirds leave, Da?” I’d ask. 

“Because they could, Isabella.” 

“And the wolves? The deer?” 

Da’s face would darken. “Seems the sea was better than what they were running from.” 

Da would tell me another story then, about the girl-warrior Arinta, or Joya’s mythical past as a floating island, and refuse to say more about the wolves and the backward birds. But I kept asking, until the day came when I found my own answers."

This is a book I found via a friendly follower on Tumblr and it's been so interesting so far! It's middle grade and for some reason it just feels so nostalgic and adventurous, but it's also pretty heavy so far and now exactly 'happy.' (I think it partly feels nostalgic because the pages used in this binding smell and remind me so much of all the middle grade books I read as a kid!) I'm loving this one so far as well, and I actually have Hargrave's latest The Mercies out from my library (at this point I've had it nearly two months since the library is closed) that I'm still hoping to get to.

What do you think? Would you keep reading these books? (And feel free to join in and make your own post!) 

*Excerpts are taken from the novel itself; I do not claim to own any part of the excerpt.

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