Goodreads Synopsis: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
I forgot how much I love this book, world and characters. This was one of the first books I read because of the online book community! I read it 4ish years ago, I was afraid rereading it would kill my fond memories, but I was wrong!
Getting back into this world was such a great experience. I remember bits of it but it had been enough time to make me forget a lot!
It’s very much a YA of it’s time. The plot isn’t revolutionary or overly original, it’s fun and engaging. It won’t blow your mind, but it’s a good ride! If YA fantasy is your thing, the plot will be pretty predictable.
The magic is probably the most unique aspect. I really like the idea of people being ‘graced’ with different abilities. It’s a very interesting concept and I loved it again upon this reread. I always wanted more books with graced characters (still do).
Characters: The characters are so great! Katsa & Po are just amazing. I love their chemistry and their relationship. Katsa has some decent character growth, it’s not huge but it’s definitely there. She’s little bit of an odd character, but I really like her strong- woman personality. It did jump on the feminist bandwagon though, it’s very in-your-face with the strong woman trope. A plus is her attitude towards sex and marriage/relationships is refreshing to see, especially for YA! Not often casual relationships are mentioned, everyone usually wants marriage and children etc. while there’s nothing wrong with that, it tends to be the main message in a lot of YA fantasy.
The first time around I gave this 4 Stars. Now I’m giving it 5 Stars purely for nostalgia and because it was a ridiculously enjoyable reread. I just adored being back in this world. I’ll be rereading the rest of the series too!
Hello everyone! Today I’m going to share some 2021 releases that are sequels, prequels and companions that I’m excited to read. I have no idea how many I’ll actually get to this year (final year uni problems) but when I can I’ll be happily diving into these!
The Way of the Argosi by Sebastien de Castell
I’m not usually super excited for prequels, but Ferius Parfax is such an amazing character, I cannot wait to explore her backstory! If you haven’t read the Spellslinger Series yet, do it! It’s one of the best YA fantasy series. It’s so fun and humorous, you’ll have a blast!
Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore
I have wanted a sequel in this world since I first read the Graceling books years ago. I’m excited to be back in this world with a new story! Graceling was one of the first series I read because of the online book community, I’m so happy to get a sequel!
Beneath the Keep by Erika Johansen
Another series I read forever ago. I loved The Queen of the Tearling trilogy, even if it did end… oddly. This is a prequel about one of the side characters, I’m curious to learn more about him and dive back into this world. I may have to reread the original books at some point too.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
I love The Brown Sisters, I cannot wait to read this! I’m super sad this is the last book but I have loved every moment of the previous two, I’m sure this will also be a favourite. If you looking for swoon-worthy romances, definitely read this series. It’s incredible!
A Dance with the Fae Rogue by Elise Kova
After reading (and loving) A Deal with the Elf King I am dying for this companion/sequel! I love a good fantasy romance and fae are my favourite! This sounds like it’ll be amazing, sadly it’s not out until the end of the year 😦
Are any of these on your TBR? What sequels/prequels/companion books are you excited for?
Recently finished: Nothing 😦 I’ve had finals to deal with but I submitted my final essay of the semester today, so I’ll be free to read! Yay!
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab
I meant to get to this book last year, but ended up being too busy. So here I am finally reading it! I’m not far in but I’m intrigued so far, I just haven’t had time to sit and read loads of it.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
This will be a reread for me. I’m studying it next semester so I thought I’d get a head start and read it now! I also have the audiobook, so I’m listening to it too. The narrator is Thandie Newton, she’s amazing!
Fire by Kristin Cashore
I reread Graceling at the beginning of the month, so I’m rereading this too! In prep for the new book, I’m a bit behind, the new book comes out tomorrow, I think.
When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.
At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.
I have no idea where to begin this review. I have such mixed feelings, I can’t quite tell whether I liked it or not.
The beginning is really good, I was surprisingly invested. It starts off interesting, an event happens and two characters are forced together – which was probably the best part. I wish that bit had been longer, once it was resolved it got pretty slow.
This book really suffers in the middle, the pace gets slow and the story gets pretty repetitive, I feel like there’s a lot of book with little going on. It would’ve benefitted being edited down a lot. The book is over 500 pages, feels longer and definitely only needed to be around 300.
The characters are by far the best part of this novel. The plot is meh, other than the enemies to lovers trope there wasn’t much else that was interesting. Unlike it’s predecessor, The Remnant Chronicles, there wasn’t any political intrigue or plot. It didn’t capture my attention like TRC did. I was invested in the characters, plot, world everything with that series. While here I struggled, I loved being back in the world and it was nice seeing glimpses of the old characters, particularly Lia. (Lia will forever be my favourite.) I don’t find this book really compared, in terms of characters or plot. I find the plot, characters and world-building so much more interesting, gripping and memorable in TRC. Dance of Thieves feels pretty bland, I don’t think it will stick with me like the first series did.
BUT The ending. The story almost nicely wraps up and yet there is a second book. So I am curious. I did really like the ending. The first 100 pages and last 100 pages were the best, if the middle had been shorter I think I would’ve enjoyed it more. I really wanted to love this book because it’s in one of my favourite fantasy worlds and the sequel to one of my favourite series. It was just meh. But I kind of interested to see where it will go, so I’ll likely pick up the sequel at some point.
What is your fantasy origin story? (The first fantasy novel you read)
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass in the US) Most people grew up with HP – I didn’t never read nor watched it, never will. I was a late bloomer when it comes to reading but I made my mum buy me the His Dark Materials box set when we were in The Works when I was a young teen and it made me fall in love with reading and SFF.
If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?
Ooo. Author is an easy one for me: Brandon Sanderson! I’d want to be a chosen one, so that trope. (also need cool magical powers.)
What is a fantasy you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?
I haven’t read a *ton* of fantasy this year. But I did reread The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson. I think this series is so underhyped. It’s seriously one of the best YA Fantasy series.
What is your favourite fantasy subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?
My favourite is High Fantasy, of course! I absolutely love being transported to new worlds. I haven’t really read much paranormal stuff… if that counts as a fantasy subgenre?
Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?
So that I don’t answer Brandon Sanderson for everything… I’ll go with Sarah J Maas.
How do you typically find fantasy recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram..)
Booktube, Bookstagram, Goodreads & of course, book blogs!
What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?
Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore! I’ve been dying for more Graceling books and my wish has been granted. I’m so glad the author decided to return to this world.
What is one misconception about fantasy you would like to lay to rest?
Women who write fantasy write for the YA or kid audiences…. WHY do people think women can’t write adult fiction?!
If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Who is the most recent fantasy reading content creator you came across that you’d like to shoutout? I haven’t actually come across any new ones lately… If anyone has any recs please let me know!
Hello everyone! New Year = New reading goals! I don’t really like setting resolutions, I feel like it’s too much pressure and setting up for failure. So instead I just make a few casual goals with no real pressure involved.
Goal 1/Goodreads Challenge: 52 books
In 2020 I read 53 books, while contending with uni and a reading slump! So I think 52 is definitely doable. Hopefully, I’ll read even more after uni is finished for good. I’m going into my final semester (yikes!) so my reading will slow down for this first half of the year and hopefully pick back up after finals!
Goal 2: As always, I want to read more diversely
That includes race/disability/sexuality. I made an effort last year to read more Black authors, but I pretty much neglected other kinds POC books. I want get some others in this year too. I also need to up my game with LGBT reads and something I neglect entirely is disability rep.
Goal 3: Stop forcing myself to read when I simply don’t feel like it
Last summer I forced myself to read even though I was in a slump and I think it made it even worse! It’s definitely okay not to want to read, yes even as a book blogger/instagrammer/influencer/whatever. You should only read if you actually want to. I think there’s a lot of pressure to always be reading and pumping out book content, but if you’re not enjoying it, don’t force it!
Goal 4: Get my physical tbr down
Anyone else feel like they spend more time researching and buying books than actually reading? I used to be the kind of person who would buy one or two books and read them, then buy more. Since joining the online book community I have been buying and hoarding books far too much. I have yet to count my physical tbr, but I know I have a lot of unread books sat on my shelves. My aim is to stop buying so many books and read the ones I got. I’m pretty much on a book buying ban for the foreseeable future. (Apart from uni books, I need to buy those!)
Goal 5: Read a book with over 1000 pages
Last year I completely neglected big books, I’ve randomly developed a fear of huge books? I used to demolish big books and I loved them! I want to read a big ass book and hopefully, break the fear cycle.
(I’m behind with reviews, I’ll try to have them up asap)
2020 Wrap Up
My goal for 2020 was to read 40 books, I ended up reading 53! Books per month: January – 5 books February – 3 books March – 4 books April – 4 books May – 3 books June – 4 books July – 5 books August – 2 books September – 3 books October – 9 books November – 6 books December – 5 books
Best month was October / Worst month was August
Even though summertime is free for me being a student, it’s always the time I go into a slump. How typical. That’s why August was my worst reading month, I was in a really bad slump for most of the year, honestly.
One of my goals was to read one book a month by a Black author, I ended up exceeded this and reading a total of 18 books. Which I’m very happy with!
How was your reading in 2020? Did you achieve your goals?