Books · Review

Finally, a 5 Star Read! | Book Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns: Amazon.co.uk: Rogerson, Margaret: Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.


My thoughts:

I had low-ish expectations going into this book. I had tried to pick up it a few times but uni got too busy and I put it down.

I read An Enchantment of Ravens last year and found it seriously disappointing. I loved the writing but everything else just didn’t work for me. I’d heard great things about it and ended up not liking it. So, I was pretty nervous going into this one…

However, plot twist – I loved it. Everything.
I devoured most of this book in one evening, stay up late reading, which I haven’t done in a very long time. I even got up the next day and immediately kept reading and finished the book. I put off my uni work to finish it.

I loved the world, the characters, the writing – I personally cannot fault it. Everything that was lacking in Enchantment, was here.

The writing style – I really love her writing style. It’s the main reason I picked it up. It was one of the very few aspects I enjoyed in An Enchantment of Ravens. Rogerson writes such lovely prose, it’s beautifully written and wonderful to read.

The world – this world felt so much more developed and interesting.
I was so much more immersed in this world than I expected to be. It was perfectly described, I found it easy to imagine.
The library setting was just incredible! I mean, what book lover doesn’t love a good library?! I loved that the books talked and had personalities. It was such an interesting take on a magical library.

The characters were all amazing.
Each character was very distinctive, none were alike.
Elisabeth and Nathaniel were well written and well developed.
I loved Nathaniel’s sarcastic personality in contrast to Elisabeth’s slightly more serious personality. They had some wicked banter. I found it really funny, not even just amusing, full on laugh out loud funny. As for Silas – the best side character. I LOVED him!! Never thought I’d love a demon so much but here I am.
I was so invested in all the characters and their relationships.

Emotions – I was ridiculously emotionally invested in this. I won’t go into details because spoilers, but I almost cried at certain moments.

The only downside is that it ends. I wish there was more! It’s a standalone, which is nice but damn do I wish it was a series!! The world is amazing, the characters, I didn’t want it to end.
ALSO, that ending?? Bit odd for a standalone, it almost sets up for a sequel…

All in all, thoroughly enjoyed myself. A new fave. Will definitely be rereading in the future!
I will also be picking up Margaret Rogerson’s new book when that comes out later this year!

Rating: 5 Stars
First 5 star rating of the year (that wasn’t a reread)

Books · Discussion · TV/Film

Review/Discussion: Shadow and Bone TV Show

Shadow and Bone (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDb

I have many many many thoughts.
There will be (minor) spoilers.

Let’s talk casting first:
Alina – Decent casting. Okay actress. Wasn’t blown away, didn’t hate either. I wasn’t a fan of Alina in the books and kind of expected the same for the show but I don’t hate her…yet…

Mal – I still don’t like Mal. The casting is good. He’s more likeable in the show for sure. I still don’t buy into Mal x Alina ships. *vom*

The Darkling – Perfection. Ben Barnes is everything. His performance was incredible. So dark, evil and manipulative. He did it so well. Ben Barnes really captures the essence of the Darkling. The name change though… Kirigan. No. Just no. I get that the Darkling gives away that he’s going to be the villain but still.

Zoya – Can I just say NO. I don’t like Zoya in the books at all. But her casting was just blehhh. I didn’t like her portrayal at all.

Genya – I like her but she was done DIRTY with that wig. What an attrocity.

Now for the Dregs:

Kaz – I liked the dude playing him. He could’ve been more sadistic/morally grey. I wanted a bit more, but I overall think he was good.

Jesper – PERFECTION OMG. Like just *chef kiss*
He was amazing. I loved the portrayal. Kit Young really captured Jesper’s character and charm. I loved it.

Inej – Almost perfect. Casting on point. However, she was too soft.

Nina – Great casting, I liked her portrayal.
I understand the sadness for the lack of plus size casting. It’s not really my place to comment on that aspect as I am not plus sized. It’s a shame they had an opportunity for rep taken.

Onto the story:

Firstly, what the fuck was that racism.
I found it so jarring. So unnecessary.
The show runners/makers adding diversity to the very white characters was amazing. Adding the racism, not so much. Right from the first few minutes too.
I’m super sick of fantasy worlds having racism, like it’s fantasy. The world can be anything and yet they always have racism, sexism etc. etc.
I’m not Asian so I will not commented on the use of slurs towards them, as it’s not my place. However, the ‘half breed’ slur hit me. It took me out of the story for a moment. So so gross. I don’t even know what to say. *shudder* This is not the representation mixed people want!

*deep breath*
Let’s move on.

It was an interesting decision to combine the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. I’m not really sure what to make of that aspect. It kind of worked and didn’t work for me all at the same time.

It’s no secret that I prefer Six of Crows (doesn’t everyone?) to the Shadow and Bone trilogy, I couldn’t help but be a bit more interested in the Dregs than Alina and Mal. However, I was very interested in the Darkling. Man, I wish he had more air time because *swoon*.

The story was engaging and definitely binge-worthy. I watched it over two days, but if I’d had the time I would’ve binged it in a day. I was gripped from episode one all the way to the end. I don’t think there was a bad episode. They were all really (surprisingly) good.

I had low expectations going in. I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I think I actually enjoyed this more than the books. I enjoyed Shadow and Bone, the first book, but the series went downhill from there for me. I’m excited for the potential second season of the show. (PLEASE NETFLIX) Obviously, I know where the story goes. I’m interested to see what changes they make and how the Dregs will slot into the story still…

Nina and Matthias’ story was odd, I get that’s their back story but it makes absolutely no sense to the people who’ve not read the books. I like Nina, but I feel like this could’ve been cut. It would’ve been better to have those scenes as flashbacks when Nina and Matthias have an actual part of the Six of Crow timeline.

The main problem I had (aside from the racism) was that it seemed a tad rushed. Everything seemed to happen too fast. I like fast pace, but I feel like there were areas that could’ve been a bit more developed. Such as Alina ‘training’ – that barely seemed to happen. Baghra was barely in the show. I don’t know, maybe it’s me. I feel like they could’ve added in an extra 2 episodes to develop certain parts more.

Will I watch Season Two: Hell yes!
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Chat with me!
Who was your favourite character? / What was your favourite part?

Books · Reread Review

Rereading an Old Fave | Book Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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.


My thoughts:

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!

Have you read Graceling? What did you think?

Books · Review

Conflicting Feels | Book Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson (Spoiler free)

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, 1): Amazon.co.uk: Mary E. Pearson:  9781250159014: Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


My Thoughts:

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.

Rating: 2.5/3 Stars

Review for The Remnant Chronicles

Blogmas · Books · Review

Book Review: How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black | Blogmas Day 10

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air  series) Perfect Christmas gift for fans of Fantasy Fiction: Amazon.co.uk:  Black, Holly, Cai, Rovina: 9781471409981: Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

An irresistible return to the captivating world of Elfhame.

Once upon a time, there was a boy with a wicked tongue.

Before he was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone . #1 New York Times bestselling author, Holly Black reveals a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame’s enigmatic high king, Cardan. This tale includes delicious details of life before The Cruel Prince, an adventure beyond The Queen of Nothing, and familiar moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy, told wholly from Cardan’s perspective.

My thoughts:

After loving The Queen of Nothing and warming up to Cardan, who I initially didn’t like, I was super excited for this book.

It’s nice easy read and I really enjoyed reading it!
It’s less than 200 pages of short stories about Cardan set both before and after the main series. A lot of the pages were taken up by amazing illustrations, which I really enjoyed. I just wanted more! I loved what I got but the title is almost longer than the book.

I don’t have *tons* of thoughts on this book. I enjoyed the stories about Jude and Cardan together, I liked seeing their relationship and dynamic from his perspective this time. I wasn’t super into the stories with Nicasia, I’m not a fan of her character, but it wasn’t bad.

The writing – beautiful!
I expect nothing less. Holly Black is a great writer and her short stories are as good as her novels. (And I’m not usually a short story fan!)

Art – Seriously beautiful!
I loved the art style used in the book. It was so fitting with the writing style, it reminded me of fairytale books. So pretty! Worth buying the book just for the art!

If you’re a fan of The Folk of the Air books you must read this!

Rating: 4 Stars

Books · Wrap-up

Reading Wrap Up | November 2019 +Blogmas Annoucement!

wrap-up-2019

Hey guys!
I cannot believe November is over and we’re going into the final month of the year… Crazy how time flies!
I have been in a huge reading slump, so didn’t get much reading done, unfortunately.
I am hoping to do better in December. Luckily, I hit my Goodreads goal a while ago.

 

Image result for crownbreaker audiobook

The first book I finished was the audiobook of Crownbreaker by Sebastien de Castell.
This was such a great conclusion to an amazing series. I am so sad this is the last Spellslinger book but I am looking forward to reading more from Sebastien de Castell.

Rating: 4 Stars
Review here!

 


 

Image result for emma by jane austen audiobook uk jenny
Next, I finished Emma by Jane Austen. I read and listened to this for uni. I have to say, I didn’t really enjoy this one. It was too long and boring.

 

 

 


Image result for ivanhoe penguin cover

 

Finally, after weeks of suffering,I finished Ivanhoe by Walter Scott. This is definitely something I would DNF if it wasn’t for uni. It was such a BORE. I can’t believe I even finished it, it was such a snoozefest!

 

 


Announcement!

blogmas-2019

This year I’ll be participating in Blogmas! I’ve always wanted to do it but never have made the plunge so I’m finally going to do it this year. I won’t be doing daily posts, I’ll probably post every other day. I’m excited to post some Christmasy themed posts and post more in general!
Make sure you follow my blog and stick around! There’s plenty of posts coming soon 🙂

Are you doing Blogmas?


 

Audiobooks · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Crownbreaker by Sebastien de Castell | Spellslinger Finale (Spoiler free)

Image result for crownbreaker audiobook

 

Reviews for the others: Spellslinger | Shadowblack | Charmcaster | Soulbinder | Queenslayer

Synopsis:
Kellen and Reichis are settling into their new lives as protectors of the young queen and dealing with the constantly shifting threats to her reign and to her life. For the first time in his life, Kellen feels as if he’s becoming the kind of man that his mentor Ferius had wanted him to be. Even Reichis has come to appreciate having a noble purpose – so long as no one minds him committing the occasional act of theft from the royal treasury.

But what seems to be a simple card game between Kellen and an old man is soon revealed to be a deadly game of wits in which a powerful mage has trapped the queen’s spellslinger in order to kill him.


My Thoughts:

I have no idea where to begin.
I am SO SAD this series has ended. BOY has it been good though. Although not my favourite book in the series, this is a worthy conclusion to what has been an amazing series.

Image result for dap tear gif

Side note: the synopsis does not do this book any justice nor is it completely accurate. A lot of stuff goes on, which I won’t spoil, all of which completely surprising after reading the synopsis. It’s definitely a bit misleading but if anything, the book is way better than it sounds from that description.

This book picks up immediately after Queenslayer, as per, we see Kellen causing trouble and being hunted. He’s up to his usual shenanigans, narrowly escaping death constantly with help from Reichis, his murderous Squirrelcat business partner.

This being the last book there are some returns of character, which I loved!(!!!)
Some of my favourite side-characters appear and I was delighted. This book had me on edge, I was dying to know what happened constantly. I was very emotional (I didn’t fully cry but I was super close.) – it was an emotional rollercoaster.

The post-script was amazing. 

I have loved watching Kellen grow as a character through all 6 books, it has been quite the journey! This series will forever stay in my heart and be one of my all-time favourites. These books seriously make me happy, they’re so much fun, the humour is amazing. I look forward to reading more from Sebastien de Castell in the future.

Rating: 4 Stars

*Purchase on Amazon UK: Kindle | Hardback 

The audiobook is AMAZING. The narrator makes this story truly come to life, his voice is incredible. I highly, highly recommend the audiobooks. They really are an amazing experience.
*Free trial of Audible here.


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Books I Want to See as TV Shows| Top 5 Wednesday

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!

It has been FOREVER since I did a Top 5 Wednesday; I miss it. But, alas, T5W is still on a hiatus, so no new topics; I’ll be revisiting an old one today!

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

Image result for the remnant chronicles

I read this series during the summer and it quickly became a favourite. I would die for a tv show of it! There’s so many elements to the story, it would be SO good as a tv show.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Image result for the raven boys series

I know this show is actually in development but it isn’t out and there hasn’t been any updates in a while! I neeeeeeeed this show! If done right it could be absolutely incredible.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Image result for percy jackson and the olympians

I’m pretty sure everyone knows how bad the film adaptations of PJ are. Does not do the books an ounce of justice. Rick Riordan is a GENIUS. The story is amazing. In my opinion: there’s just too much for a film, it would work so much better as a TV show! If done right, with a good writer and a good cast, it could be insanely good; I wish this would happen!


The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Image result for the lunar chronicles

This series is so incredible, it needs an adaptation ASAP. I think it would make such a fun, entertaining TV show!



The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Image result for the seven husbands of evelyn hugo

I’m not the biggest Evelyn Hugo lover. *gasp*
The story is interesting enough, I just honestly think it would work better in a visual format. It reads like it should be a documentary. I think it would work so well as a TV show, in the style of a documentary!


chatWhat book would you like to see as a TV Show?


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Books · Favourites

The BEST Books I Read This Summer | 2019

best-book-summer

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 · Review

ARC Review: Kingdom Of Souls by Rena Barron (Spoiler Free)

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Finished cover:

Image result for kingdom of souls uk cover

 

Synopsis:
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay.

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.


My Thoughts:

I really wanted to love this book, I wanted it to be a new favourite but it wasn’t. I was a little disappointed overall.

The worldbuilding – by far the biggest strength of this book. The world was AMAZING. Like seriously great to read about. I loved learning about the world, the religion/beliefs and the magic. It was so cool! Completely different from the typical Medieval Europe type worlds we typically see in fantasy, this African inspired world was so refreshing to read about.

However, the plot was non-existent, for about 200 pages nothing happened. Nothing. It was a bore. I kept hoping it would get better so I pushed myself through it. The vast majority of the book felt like filler, it could’ve been edited down so much.
This book is over 400  pages and everything that happened could’ve been done in half that. It doesn’t pick up until the last 70-80 pages. It just isn’t worth forcing yourself through 350ish pages for it.

The pacing is all over the place, it’s extremely slow and boring for the most part and then when things start to get interesting it’s over in a page or two. It was odd.

Also, I find the arc to be misleading it says: ‘My Grandmother said I will be a powerful witchdoctor someday. I cannot wait that long’ – which is completely wrong and irrelevant?? Her Grandmother never says that and it’s never implied she’s going to be a powerful witchdoctor, it’s quite the opposite? Very misleading.

The concepts and the ideas in this book were really good, I really wish it had worked out well but overall, it was just meh. I don’t know if I’ll continue on with the series or not.

I really wanted to love this. I want to love fantasy by POC authors, with POC characters but this just didn’t do it for me, sadly.

Characters:
Arrah: Bland. I honestly didn’t even remember her name for half the book. Her name is hardly mentioned and she’s such an unmemorable character. She has non-exist character development, not much of arc going on and there’s no uniqueness to her at all.
I just couldn’t connect to her, which is a shame and pretty much a deal-breaker for me.

Side characters: Meh. There were some okay ones. None particularly stand out or are memorable.

This book is another Children of Blood and Bone for me, high expectations, good concept but doesn’t play out well at all. If you liked COBAB, you’d probably like this too. I wasn’t a fan.

Trigger warnings: Blood magic, rape, violence, abusive parents, victim-blaming & trauma.

Rating: 2.75 Stars

Kingdom of Souls is out this Thursday; September 19th!

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Purchase the book here: Amazon UK  | Book Depository


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