Books · Review

BEST Book of the Year?! | Book Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

*Thank you to Netgalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are my own.

TW/CW: Death of parent/grief, Cancer

Synopsis:

He doesn’t believe in happy endings.
She’s lost her faith that they exist.
But could they find one together?


January is a hopeless romantic who likes narrating her life as if she’s the heroine in a blockbuster movie.
Augustus is a serious literary type who thinks true love is a fairy-tale.
January and Augustus are not going to get on.

But they actually have more in common than you’d think:

They’re both broke.
They’ve got crippling writer’s block.
They need to write bestsellers before the end of the summer.

The result? A bet to see who can get their book published first.
The catch? They have to swap genres.
The risk? In telling each other’s stories, their worlds might be changed entirely… 


My Thoughts:
This was INCREDIBLE.
I loved every moment of this book!! The characters, the story, the romance – everything. I was fully captivated by it all! I was hooked from the moment I started it. I haven’t been invested in a book like this in a while! I have been in an almighty slump for m o n t h s. I think this cured it! I read this in less than 48 hours, which is a miracle because everything has been taking me weeks to read.

This is the perfect romance, for me personally. I am not a fan of cheesy/cringy romance, I like cute and feels without suffering from secondhand embarrassment – which this novel did perfectly. I found myself swooning (and squealing) and rooting for the romance – it didn’t annoy me in the slightest. There was angst and a bit of slow burn, which I adore! If I’m not dying for the couple to kiss/touch then what’s the point?!

Not only is this a romance novel but there is so much more substance than that – there’s love and loss, friendship, illness/cancer & family secrets. It was very well intertwined with the romance plot, everything flowed flawlessly. Nothing felt forced or out of place, it all worked amazingly well together.

I loved the sarcasm and witty writing style – it was such a breeze to read. I didn’t want to put this down, I was GLUED to this book. If I didn’t have other things to do I would’ve read the whole thing in one go. I had to know what happened and I NEEDED to get to the romancey parts.

I literally have nothing bad to see, I had no faults with this book. It was PERFECTION!

Characters:
January: I really liked January, she was a great protagonist, she was funny and relatable and very realistically written. She was easy to attach to, emotionally. I was instantly connected to her and was fully invested from the first chapter.
Her friendship was also lovely to see, there was no drama or pettiness, just genuine girl/girl platonic love. It was so lovely to see!

Gus: I LOVED Gus!! He was so adorable. His chemistry with January was undeniable from the beginning. Their relationship fits the enemies/rivals to friends to lovers trope perfectly! I loved the banter between Gus and January, it all felt very real and funny – nothing was over the top or unrealistic.

Overall, definitely a new fave! I will be buying a physical copy because I will definitely reread this in the future. I will be recommending this to EVERYONE. It’s my favourite read of 2020 so far!
If you’re going to read one summery romance this year, make sure it is this one!

Rating: 5 Stars

Books · Favourites

The BEST Books I Read This Summer | 2019

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Hey Guys!
Summer’s over. Sadly. Onto the best season of the year: Autumn!
I always do my best reading in A/W – no idea why but summer sucks for reading for me! It doesn’t make sense because I’m free of uni and have so much free time. Alas, I did manage to read a few AMAZING books this summer! Yay.

Onto the books, in no particular order:

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

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This series is everything!! I loved every moment – a new favourite series.
I honestly have no idea why I didn’t read this sooner. I knew I would like it, as a lot of people with the same taste do, but I never expected to love it as much as I do.
I binged this whole series, I was seriously OBSESSED. I could not put it down. None of the books took me longer than 2 days to read. I got through this series seriously fast, I drank it up. I highly recommend binging these books. I loved every single second of it.

Spoiler-free Review here | Spoilery Discussion here

Purchase the series here: Amazon UK


Saga Vol 1 by Brian Vaughan + Fiona Staples

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My first ever graphic novel and I ADORED it. It was so entertaining! I was instantly hooked by the story and invested in the characters. So well done.
I was seriously surprised by this, I never expected to be so in love and taken by this comic.
Review here

Purchase on Amazon UK: Physical | Kindle


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Another surprise! I don’t read a lot of adult contemporary/romance/chick lit but I saw this floating around and was intrigued. The premise had me interested and once I started reading I was HOOKED. I was so invested in the characters and the story, it was funny and sad in places and so well written! AMAZING debut novel.
Review here.

Purchase on Amazon UK: Hardback | Kindle

 

*Purchase links in this post are affiliate


chat

How was your reading over the summer? Any new favourites?

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Books · Reread Review

Reread Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

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Synopsis:
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world…


Plot:
This book is probably my favourite in the series. I inhale read this, I managed to read 410 pages in one day and finished the rest the next day. I read over 600 pages in less than 48 hours. I need help. 
The story is fast pace, so much going and non-stop action. So much happens in this book, it’s insane. After rereading Heir of Fire and not liking it as much as the first time, I was worried this would disappoint. It didn’t. It was epic and everything I love.

Characters:
Celaena/Aelin: 
She’s so much better in this book! This is the character I love, not the mopey person she was in Heir of Fire. I love her friendships with everyone.
Her reunion’s with Aedion and Rowan, the feels. So adorable.

Chaol: *sigh* 


Manon: 
I still hate Manon. I’ll never like her, I just can’t warm to her. I like her when she’s with Elide and she definitely improves character-wise in this book.

Elide: 
I LOVE ELIDE! She’s one of my favourites from the whole series, so I have been waiting for her to show up! She makes Manon so much more tolerable and I think their friendship is cute.

Aedion:
I’m so neutral about Aedion that I’m not sure what to say. I don’t love him but I don’t dislike him either. He and Rowan’s ‘territorial’ ways with Aelin are so funny to read, I love that there’s a slight rivalry.

Rowan: 
I love Rowan in this book, after forgetting he was an ass in Heir of Fire it was such a shock for me to dislike him when I reread it. However, he is so so so much better in this one. I love his and Aelin’s relationship, adorable.

Dorian: 
So sad Dorian was barely apart of the story due to wearing a collar and the Valg Prince trying to take over him. It was SO sad to read, even though I knew what happened.


Rating: 5 AMAZING Stars!

 


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Books · Review

Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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“When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”
Victoria Schwab, Vicious


Synopsis:
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?


I am super late to the V.E. Schwab bandwagon, this is my first book by her and I was not disappointed!

Plot:
The plot is slow but interesting, it wouldn’t be my usual type of book. I usually go for more fast paced, action packed books, however, this was really intriguing.
The story jumps back and forth past and present, with various characters, in the past, Eli and Victor are roommates working on their thesis, Eli’s being on EO (ExtraOrdinaries). Eli believes EO’s are real and wants to figure out how. Victor steps in due to being jealous of Eli and wanting some of the credit.
Flash forward to the present, Victor wants revenge on Eli, so we know something bad happens between them.

V.E. Schwab’s writing was so compelling and intriguing, I just had to keep reading to know what happened between Eli and Victor and obviously, how Victor was going to get revenge. I loved the characters, I love the little trio that formed between Victor, Mitch and Sydney.

This book is basically X-Men, serious Charles/Eric (Prof X/Magneto) vibes – which I absolutely love. If you’re a fan of villains + X-men, go ahead and pick this up because you will love it!

Characters:
Victor: I loved Victor as the main character! He was so interesting and complex, I instantly took to him and I loved reading from his perspective. His friendship with Eli was cool, to begin with, but their rivalry was much more interesting.

Eli: I didn’t mind Eli, at first. Something always felt a bit off with him, I didn’t take to him as easily as I did with Victor. I definitely didn’t expect him to be such an arse,

Sydney: She was such a nice touch to the story, I love that she brought out the softer side of Victor and Mitch. She also added some sympathy, I felt so sorry for her, she’s so young yet been through a lot. She’s basically alone in the world and I love that she found Victor and Mitch.

Mitch: I thought Mitch was a cool side character, I love the friendship/partnership between him and Victor. I also love the little team him, Victor and Sydney make.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

*Review of Vengeful coming soon*


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Books · Reread Review

Reread Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

 

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Synopsis:
She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.


Plot:
Okay, so. This was probably the most disappointing reread, it was so slow. I don’t remember this book being to slow and boring the first time I read it. It was so hard to get into and it took me so long to read, which is not like me with SJM’s books.
The first 200 pages were so painful to get through, the majority of the book felt like filler and definitely needed cutting down. I am all for big books but this just had too much of nothing. I kept putting down this book, I felt really unmotivated and disinterested, which made me not want to read on.

It didn’t help that this book introduced new characters, who I didn’t like the first time around and certainly didn’t like this time either.
The last 200 pages were the best part of the story, it had better pacing and more going on than the majority of the rest of the book. The ending was so much more enjoyable and that’s when I found myself gripped the most. I am actually shocked by my dislike of 50% or more of this book. I even changed my rating because I was that disappointed.

Characters:
Celaena:
I get that this book was about Celaena finding herself and training to use and control her powers and being able to shift but it was boring. She wasn’t as exciting or interesting in this book, maybe it’s just me but I couldn’t get into her story in this one.

Manon: Unpopular opinion: Manon is OVERRATED! I have literally never been able to figure out what everyone loves about Manon. She’s horrible and not in an entertaining, fun way. She’s just crap. I don’t like her. I like Abraxos though, which makes her chapters more bearable.

Dorian: As I keep saying; I love him. His character development is great, he’s such a genuinely good person and I am so sad for him after this book. His chapters were the most enjoyable in this book.

Chaol:
As much as I don’t like Chaol, his friendship and love for Dorian is great. They have a great bromance. Even though they’re struggling with their friendship it is so nice to see Chaol doing whatever he can to help Dorian.

Rowan: 
He starts off as an intolerable asshole, for about 50% of the book I hated him. He does start to get better throughout the book and eventually realises what Celaena has been through and understands her better and vice versa.

 

Rating: 3 Stars – Knocked off a Star from my previous rating. 


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Books · Review

Release Day Review: Soulbinder by Sebastien De Castell (Spoiler free!)

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Synopsis:
Kellen and his murderous squirrel cat, Reichis, are on their own. They’ve heard rumour of a mythical monastery, known as the Ebony Abbey. It’s a place that outsiders can never find – but Kellen is getting desperate. He’s been told that the monks inside the Ebony Abbey know more about the Shadowblack than anyone else and that they even know how to cure it.

Then Kellen and Reichis are separated and for the first time, Kellen must face the world alone – and venture deeper into shadow magic than he ever knew he could.


*There will be spoilers for the previous books, Spellslinger, Shadowblack and Charmcaster. If you haven’t read the series you can read my spoiler-free review of Spellslinger here. I also have a review for book #3: Charmcaster here.

Plot:
All of the Spellslinger books are so amusing. They actually make me laugh out loud. The humour is so perfectly me, I love it. These books are so enjoyable, they just never fail to make me smile. This was no different, I enjoyed the storyline and characters but none of the books compares to the first book for me, that remains my favourite. I can’t help but enjoy all these adventures and troubles Kellen seems to find himself in.

Cursed with the Shadowblack, Kellen is desperate to find a cure for his curse and of course, once he hears about the Ebony Abbey, he and reichis go in search of it to get the cure. As always, things don’t go smoothly for Kellen, he always finds himself in trouble with someone trying to kill him.

Side note: I listen to the first two as audiobooks, they are so good! The narrator is brilliant, I highly recommend listening to them if audiobooks are your thing. 

Characters:
Kellen: I love Kellen as a protagonist. He is so funny, hopeless and relatable. I love that Ferius is still apart of him, despite the fact he left her. He’s still getting himself into sticky situations by not keeping his witty comments to himself!

Reichis:
Um, cries!? The lack of Reichis was so sad. I lived for his comment and murderous ways. I miss him. *sniff*

Ferius: I love that even though she wasn’t physically present, she was still apart of the story and part of Kellen. I seriously miss her witty, sassy comments and the banter between her and Kellen. I am praying we get more Ferius in the future (would die for a book centred around her).

Rating: 4 Stars!

*This was sent to me for review, all views are my own. Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me an ARC.


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Books · Reread Review

Reread Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

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Synopsis:
“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


Plot:
I really love the plot of Crown of Midnight, it definitely picks up the pace from the first book, which I found a bit slow, to begin with. I, again, had forgotten much of the plot and it was nice to rediscover everything I’d forgotten!
There was definitely a lot more excitement going on in this book, more twists and turns and generally just better than the last.
Again, SJM has trapped me with captivating, addictive worlds and characters. I don’t know how she writes books that are so gripping and I end up so invested in the plot and characters that I cannot stop reading.

I realise now, this might be one of my favourites in the whole series? I’ll have to wait and see after I get to Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms, as they were my favourite when I first read the series.

Characters:

Celaena: She can’t kill for the man who killed her own family and people, she’s taking a big risk when defying the king. This is where Celaena’s good character development really starts and also a big reveal about who she really is.

Dorian:
Still in love with Dorian. He’s such a sweetheart. Always will be my favourite character in this series! I love his character development, him learning new things about himself that kick-start his journey is really interesting to reread.

Chaol:
He’s so meh?! I never liked him and I definitely don’t like him after this book. Still, don’t ship Choal + Celaena, I just can’t.

Honourable mention to Fleetfoot and Mort, I love those guys.

 

Rating: 4.5 Stars


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Books · Review

Review: The Pagan Night by Tim Akers

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Synopsis:
The Celestial Church has all but eliminated the old pagan ways, ruling the people with an iron hand. Demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the warriors of the Inquisition, yet it’s the battling factions within the Church and age-old hatreds between north and south that tear the land apart.

Malcolm Blakley, hero of the Reaver War, seeks to end the conflict between men, yet it will fall to his son, Ian, and the huntress Gwen Adair to stop the killing before it tears the land apart. The Pagan Night is an epic of mad gods, inquisitor priests, holy knights bound to hunt and kill, and noble houses fighting battles of politics, prejudice, and power.


Plot:
It’s a mix of politics, religion, magic and war.
I found the plot to be quite slow and unmemorable.  It wasn’t a bad story, there’s nothing that stood out as bad, it just wasn’t super exciting.

The story is so average and unmemorable for the majority of it that I kept putting it down, it wasn’t gripping or keeping me on edge. It was just so bland, it’s just a generic fantasy story with nothing overly original.
There was good world-building, a lot of it too, it’s a pretty big book. The world isn’t anything special, it’s basically another medieval-fantasy kind of deal. The magic was interesting but again, not super unique or different.

The fighting scenes were pretty well written though, they were more engaging than the overall story. However, I feel, since it was a pretty big book, it could’ve benefited from being edited down, some parts dragged too much. I’d put this book down for ages with not a lot of desire to pick it back up, I even started reading another book.

The story is kind of like Game of Throne, there’s friction between the North and the South and an impending war. There are old gods and new ones, in this world Paganism is the ruled out religion. The North was Pagan but have taken on the new religion of the South. (Which if the name was actually mentioned, I don’t remember it.)

Characters: I didn’t really connect with any of the characters, none of stood out or were overly likeable. A few did grow on me towards the end and I am interested in seeing where their stories go so I will continue to book two.

Rating: 2.75 Stars

*Thank you to Titan Books for sending this to me in exchange for an honest review.

 


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Books · Review

Review: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

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Synopsis:
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks – and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears.

Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society.

In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart – an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests – or she’ll have to leave the city and confront her deadly fate once and for all.


Before I start, this book has been getting so much hype maybe I expected too much. So I ended up pretty disappointed. It’s an okay book but not the mindblowing story it was hyped up to be.

Plot:
Majority of the book is so slow, I didn’t find myself gripped to the story at all and I kept putting down for a while. Middle grade is usually a genre that I find fun and gripping and an easy read, I usually fly through it. I found the last 70-80 pages were the best part of the entire novel, the story picked up and was actually interesting for a bit.

The writing style is just meh? Nothing particularly great about it, the story itself was pretty flat and wasn’t very unique or creative. I don’t understand the praise surrounding this book at all…
The ending/ final trial was a complete cop-out, in my opinion. Left me pretty damn disappointed. The ‘plot twists’ were just meh, nothing shocking.

The world itself was the most interesting part, in my opinion, Nevermoor seems like such a weird and wonderful place. I am interested in knowing more about it so I really hope the next book has more worldbuilding.

Characters:
Morrigan Crow: She was an okay main character, I didn’t love her but I didn’t dislike her either; she was just average. I did feel sorry for her, being a ‘cursed’ child and having everything blamed on her but she was still a bit bland. She started off well, she was a bit feisty but she seemed to lose that trait after the first few chapters.
I did like her friend, he was quite entertaining and their friendship was quite sweet.
Jupiter North: I found him to be an interesting and amusing character but even he couldn’t save the boring plot.
I saw a lot of people mention the talking cat, Fen, but she was just boring, I don’t see the appeal, personally.

Overall:
It was an alright book. Some parts were enjoyable but a lot of it could have been better.  I am actually interested to see where the story goes so I will be continuing the series to see if it does get better!

Rating: 3 Stars


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Books · Reread Review

Reread Review: Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson

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Synopsis:
(From GoodReads) – This is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses. Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city. A world transformed by a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous as breath can only be collected one unit at a time.

On the back of the book – Warbreaker is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, a lesser god, and an immortal trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.
Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city. A world transformed by BioChromatic magic, a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous: breath can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.
But the rewards are great: by using breath and drawing upon the colour in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be performed.


Plot:
Where do I even begin with this book? I love it so much I cannot put into words how amazing this book is.
The world, the magic, the characters and the plot are all perfect?! Absolutely nothing is a let down in this story.  Anyone who has read any Brandon Sanderson novels knows his worldbuilding is incredible, I honestly have no idea how he is capable of creating new, unique and interesting each time, it’s insane.
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If you’re looking to getting into Brandon Sanderson but find his huge series intimidating, this would be a great one to start with. It is a standalone story, that eventually will have sequels but is satisfying and work by itself.

Characters: This book is one of the rare ones where I actually love every character and enjoy each POV perspective.

Vivenna: She is the oldest child of the royal family of Idris and has been raised her whole life to be the wife of the God King. Vivenna’s preparation for becoming the God King’s wife is all thrown away when her father decides to send her younger sister instead. After Siri takes her place Vivenna doesn’t know her place in the world and feels like she has no purpose, so she follows her sister into Hallandren, determined to save her from the dreaded God King.

Siri: She is the youngest child of the royal family of Idris and younger sister to Vivenna. Siri is sent in place of Vivenna to become the wife of the God King. Having never been trained to be the wife of the God King, Siri has no idea what to expect, she is thrown into a new place alone and the God King is vastly different than what she had learned.

Lightsong: He is a ‘Returned’, which is someone who died and returned as a God. Despite being a God, he doesn’t believe he is a God and doesn’t act as the other God’s do. His character is very funny and I love the little friendship he builds with Siri.

Vasher: A mysterious man with a talking sword. Despite loving Vasher, you have no idea what his intentions are or what side he’s on until the very end. Can’t talk about him much without giving away spoilers but he’s awesome!

Nightblood: I don’t know if you could class ‘him’ (?) as a character as such but it is very entertaining. I could literally read an entire book through Nightblood’s perspective. Nightblood is a talking sword, not as crazy or childish as it sounds, he’s very entertaining and of course, murderous.

Rating: 5/5 Stars!


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