BOOK OF THE MONTH | NOVEMBER

Hello Book Folk!

It is that time again where I talk about the books I have read. I would usually say this month, but it is now December because I’m a little late with this post.

I have read eight books in November along with one or two little rereads but I don’t count them. The books I have read this month have been pretty chunky books so I am super pleased with this months reads, I definitely put Lockdown 2.0 to good use.

Oh my lord!! I have just worked it out and I read a whopping 4,656 pages in total this month across my eight books, but only ONE of those books can claim BOOK OF THE MONTH!

I have a feeling this month is going to be so hard! My hardest month yet I do believe, so many of these books have been such incredible reads each with their own strengths! Check out below to see what books I have read and understand the struggle I face…

WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?

LEGACY OF ASH by MATTHEW WARD

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: RTC

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book, the audiobook was great and it made for a really good listen. Legacy of Ash is pretty big in scope and has a lot going on with a number of characters but it had me from the beginning. I’m all about the hook and this book hooked me straight away!

It is a brilliant epic fantasy and one that the veterans of the genre will love!

BOOK 1 & 2 OF THE BLOOD AND ASH SERIES

by JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: NO REVIEW INTENDED.

My Thoughts:

Well, what can you say about these books? They are typical to the genre they are in, and are easy fun read. They are absolutely riddled with issues and honestly I could complain to the high heavens about them but you always end up wanting to read more.

THE BLADE ITSELF by JOE ABERCROMBIE

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: RTC.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed my experience with this book. I had actually started this book before but stopped reading but I am really glad I picked it back up. I started it again from the start and really enjoyed it. The characters are great and are totally worthy of the praise they get from the book community and the world was great too!

Abercrombie shows his talent as a writer numerous times in this book and I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite being significantly slower in the plot department.

BOOK 1 & 2 OF THE LAST WAR TRILOGY by MIKE SHACKLE

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Links: We Are The Dead | A Fool’s Hope

My Thoughts:

Oh my days! What an incredibly journey it was to read these books. I read them back to back and thoroughly enjoyed my time in Shackle’s world. He is such a talented writer. These books showcase bloody violence, incredible characters and outstanding world building. They are books NOT TO BE MISSED!

VOICE OF WAR by ZACK ARGYLE

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: Voice of War Review

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book and can happily tell you the audiobook is phenomenal too! Zack has given us an incredibly beautiful and well thought out world in Voice of War and one with an even cooler magic system! The characters are fab and the plot is one that has you always reading more!

THE STONE KNIFE by Anna Stephens

Check it out on Goodreads

Review Link: The Stone Knife Review

My Thoughts:

I really truly loved this book, it is inspired by the mesoamerican history and was utterly refreshing to read. I love the topic of mesoamerica so I was chuffed to find this gem on NetGalley! Anna does not disappoint, her characters are brilliant and she has created an utterly realistic and well grounded world in which they reside ming for an incredible read.


Ok, so the bit of the post you actually wanted to read…

You know, I said that this month was going to be hard, and I guess in a sense it is because this month was an epic month of reading for me. Some of the books I have read have been incomparable and are winners in their own right. If I could, I would name more than one Book of the Month…but I can’t!

Although, in terms of a winner…any books of the same series will be counted as one seen as though that is the way I have set them up in this post!

Todays winner is going to be chosen based off of which one got an immediate response from me, a response that was stronger than the other books, you know? No, ok…

Well, while I was writing my thoughts for each one of these books, only one had me excited all over again just thinking about how I could describe what a joy this book was. I will always find several enthusiastic words to describe this author and their writings! There is no caveat with todays winner, I would recommend it to everyone, even people who don’t read the genre!

So, without further ado, this months BOOK OF THE MONTH goes to..

BOOK 1 & 2 OF THE LAST WAR TRILOGY BY MIKE SHACKLE


Well that’s is fellow book friends! Thank you for reading, feel free to comment here or on Twitter if you have read and loved/hated any of my reads this month. Also, let me know what your favourite read was this month.


BOOK TOUR REVIEW | TRISTAN’S FOLLY BY MARCUS LEE

Good Evening Bookish Folk!

How are we all doing today? I hope you are all freaking awesome.

Today I am thrilled to be one of the many incredible bloggers coming together this week to talk to you about Marcus Lee’s second book Tristan’s Folly. This tour is hosted by Storytellers on Tour, who I have had the pleasure of working with on a few previous occasions, so definitely check out their site!

I would also like to take this time to thank Marcus for sending me a physical copy of this book!

A few facts about Tristan’s Folly

  • Title: Tristan’s Folly
  • Author:  Marcus Lee
  • Series: The Gifted and the Cursed (Book Two)
  • Published by Marcus Lee
  • Pages: 331

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Tristan’s Folly is the stunning sequel to the acclaimed Kings and Daemons, and the second in The Gifted and the Cursed trilogy.

Tristan’s Folly. An ageing fortress built over fifty years ago to repel the invading hordes of the Witch-King, an invasion that never materialised – until now.

Now it’s a crumbling reflection of its former self and set against Daleth’s savage horde of a hundred thousand men are a mere fifteen hundred defenders, who are surely doomed to fail.

As Kings and Daemons face one another, there is but one shining light that pushes back the darkness, but even her flame might be extinguished thanks to Tristan’s Folly.

In this epic tale of a battle against the odds, the best and worst of humankind will show itself … sacrifice, honour, bravery and love, set against depravity, betrayal, greed and hatred.

Before I get to the review I want to share with you the generous giveaway Marcus and the Storytellers are offering…

It’s both books and is open internationally, so don’t miss out!

CLICK HERE OR ON THE PICTURE FOR THE GIVEAWAY PAGE…

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from Tristan’s Folly:

  • A dark fantasy with a sprinkling of romance;
  • A visually stunning magic system;
  • Seige warfare;
  • A dystopia world filled with cracking characters; and
  • A unique and refreshing fantasy story!

On to the full review…

Today is day four of this book tour and thus my day, along with Rowena at Beneath A Thousand Skies, to share our thoughts on Tristan’s Folly. It still has another day to run, so head over to the Tour Schedule page to check out all amazing reviews already posted!

As I have said Tristan’s Folly is the second book of The Gifted and the Cursed series by Mr Marcus Lee, and it picks up right where Kings and Daemons left off. Tristan’s Folly does not mess around either, it is straight into the thick of it with so much to lose and even more to win! It is a great second instalment and I was not disappointed.

I praised the magic system in my review of Kings and Daemons and I will praise it again. It is such a lovely magic system. It gives your such a great level of variety throughout the book. It did feel very convenient at times but worry not Lee combats this superbly. One of our characters, Taran, was able to know the truth of an enemy’s words through his gift and that alone could have made many events within this book feel anti-climatic but it didn’t! It didn’t because Lee would always have other and more enjoyable sequences at play. Lee managed to create even more tension where Taran’s ability could have taken it away, the character’s reactions and the way they dealt with these revelations and truths after the fact was brilliantly done. To be honest it was refreshing, too often do you read a book that makes you just sit there and be like really, yes obviously take the bad guy at his word. There is no room for that in this book, so not only is the magic fun it’s a brilliant writing mechanism that shows Lee’s skill at changing the direction and bringing the tension that such events usually warrant a different way. 

While Lee is a new writer with only two books out there for the world to see he shows such promise! This is his second book and it is already brilliant. I honestly think he can only get better as he goes on, and I for one am incredibly excited to see his style grow!

I found myself during this read constantly thinking ’oh you clever, clever man’. Again, Lee shows us he is a talented writer. At some points I was like ’mmmm well what happened then?’ because a POV would change and so would the tide of the battle. I swore I had just missed something at first only to soon see Lee reveal it in a far more spectacular way, one in particular point I was so smug and satisfied because of the way Lee wrote the sequence of events was just brilliant! As much as I would love to tell you in detail what and how Lee did this, I won’t because…SPOILERS! And you need to experience the joy of unravelling the events of this book yourself!

Having already met most of the characters in book one it was amazing to see the still growing and progressing. They didn’t plateau and were a joy to read.

I found that I liked Maya a lot more in this book, not that I didn’t like her before but you know how it is!

Now, I have said before but I shall say it again; a main character is only as good as those that surround them in my opinion. If you have a strong character but their interactions are with subpar characters they don’t shine, bu thankfully Lee doesn’t need to worry about this. Maya was such a good character to read because she was so layered and well rounded. She had deep and thought provoking conversations with Astren, but then she was soft and loving with Taran and yet comical and fiery with Drizt and Trop. IT was great to see how she changes with each person she is with!

I also really liked Daleth, I actually really likes his POV’s in book one and he doesn’t disappoint. He is a truly great character because you kind of like him. He is filled with manipulation and deceit (not so different to another character who is in the good side might I add 🤔) and yes its bad to manipulate those who serve him, yet he knows all the names of his men, he gifts them and treats them well. Yes, a good deal of their fire is based off a lie but that isn’t all they are fighting for, they are fighting for Daleth! He doesn’t lead by fear alone but through admiration and they respect and choose to follow him. He is such a brilliantly complex character that brings out much thought from the reader and not only from his own character but what he represents. Which is definitely another strength of Lee’s writing style. He shows you that not everything is as it seems, no one person is wholly bad or good!

Tristan’s Folly is a fast paced book, as I said it picks up right where it left off and it does not stop! This story is filled with action sequences and siege warfare and has you turning to the next page. Lee continues to raise the stakes in this book and sets up for what I expect is going to be a dramatic conclusion to this story. There is so much going on, though not cluttered and incoherent, and we see a lot more internal strife and deception in this book!

I really enjoyed this book as I did the first and I am excited to see Lee grow as a writer and what he has in store for us in book three!


You know the drill, On to the rating…

THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

I am happy to say that Tristan’s Folly is a BUY THE PAPERBACK! Yayyy

  • As I said in my review, this book is delightfully written, with its plot twists and refreshing way of writing! I am super happy to have this book on my shelves and will look forward to having the final book when it is out to make the set complete!

You can get this book from Amazon.Co.UK OR Amazon.com. It is also FREE with Kindle Unlimited.


ABOUT MARCUS LEE…

What Marcus Lee has to say…

Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me…but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.  

As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.

Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book.  Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.  

So, here we are.  The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.

However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be my first of many.  I genuinely hope so.

Who knows, now these creative juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.

Epic fantasy has been my favourite genre since I first read The Odyssey and the Illiad as a seven-year-old.  Now it’s my turn to see if I can bring another world to life in the imagination of others. 

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

Head on over to Marcus’ website where you can see his upcoming books, other reviews, artwork and more,

Marcus’ Twitter:

Go and follow Marcus, he is a great contributor to the Book Twitter community and is great to engage with too!

Marcus’ Facebook:

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | A FOOL’S HOPE BY MIKE SHACKLE

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

It is Monday, and thankfully I am not in work until tomorrow so I can write up my review of Mike Shackle’s second book to The Last War series: A Fool’s Hope!

I am absolutely thrilled to be able To read and review this book, it is a dark and sensational follow up to the first book: We Are The Dead!

A Fool’s Hope is due to release on 3rd December 2020, and you can pre-order from any of the below places…

AMAZON.CO.UK £15.19 | WHSMITH £15.19 | WATERSTONES £18.99 |

**Prices as shown on 30/11/20**

A few facts about A Fool’s Hope:

  • Title: A Fool’s Hope
  • Author: Mike Shackle
  • Series: The Last War (Book Two)
  • Published by Gollancz
  • Pages: 594

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

War takes everything.

From Tinnstra, it took her family and thrust her into a conflict she wanted only to avoid. Now her queen’s sole protector, she must give everything she has left to keep Zorique safe.

It has taken just as much from Jia’s revolutionaries. Dren and Jax – battered, tortured, once enemies themselves – now must hold strong against their bruised invaders, the Egril.

For the enemy intends to wipe Jia from the map. They may have lost a battle, but they are coming back. And if Tinnstra and her allies hope to survive, Jia’s heroes will need to be ready when they do.

The sequel to the darkly fantastic WE ARE THE DEAD: with more unflinching action, A FOOL’S HOPE sees Jia’s revolutionaries dig in their heels as they learn that wars aren’t won in a day.

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from :

  • WAR;
  • Epic battles filled with bloody desperation;
  • An excellently written masterpiece that doesn’t pull punches or pussy-foot around;
  • Fascinating, compelling and generally amazing characters; and
  • A great middle instalment to a sure to be exquisite trilogy!

First off I would like to thank the folks at Gollancz & NetGalley who accepted my request to read this book early! I also have to laugh because my instant response to this book was “Holy shit – this book” and that is what is quoted on Gollancz website! So, I see no other way to start my review…

On to the full review…

HOLY SHIT – THIS BOOK!

There, that is my review.

I joke, I joke. While accurate I think I can muster up some more words to do this book its justice.

A Fool’s Hope is an incredible story and it begins right back to where it left you, there is no irritating missing period that you always want to know about, you are straight back to it! Many say the second book is often the worst one, it is the calm before the epic climax of book three and can often be filled with a lot of filler. Well, Shackle shit’s all over that statement! This book just keeps getting better, it stands on equal footing with book one and is damned incredible.

Having read Shackle’s first book in this series, I am somewhat familiar with his writing style and yet A Fool’s Hope still managed to amaze me. Over my last few review’s I have been talking a little bit more about how coherent a book is, its dialogue and other general but crucial writing elements.

While reading A Fool’s Hope I saw nothing but a faultless piece of work! Shackle’s ability to weave a story is brilliant, no sentence is wasted, and no dialogue out of place. Everything just seemed to fit so well, and when a book is a fast paced as these books are it is often easy for it all to become a little jarring and feel all over the place. This was not the case in A Fool’s Hope despite the different locations and characters.

Shackle’s writing isn’t like anything I have read before, it is so tight-knit and compact you feel the punch of every word. His battle scenes are diverse and not repetitive and they all feel so real, because of Shackle’s incredibly world building you have more than brief explosions of imaginative action, you have a damn movie playing before your eyes! I felt the vibrations of every explosion and I felt raw from the sights that war brings, the people you cant help, the desperation. You are quite simply plunged into a world so deeply you are there for it all.

As with book one, We Are The Dead, you will be constantly driven to turn the next page, I read this book in three or four days. It is so addictive.

We Are The Dead introduced us to a good amount of the characters in this series but I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to some more in A Fool’s Hope. We continue to see these incredible and flawed characters grow, we see their relationships grow deeper and their level of progression is fantastic. No character really remains the same, war changes them irrevocably, and it was such a rush seeing them deal with the events that unfold within this book. Nothing about this book feels rushed and you will, as surely as I did, become wholly invested in the outcome of these characters journey!

A Fool’s Hope is darker in nature, the stakes are higher and it is filled with the grim realness of a country under siege. Shackle holds nothing back and is not afraid to throw everything he can at his characters but this book is also so much more than that.

I can say so much more about this book, and I really do want to, but to do so walks into the realms of the spoilers and that is no place I dare tread. All I can say is that everything you expect to happen in this book will not happen, the direction you think this book will go in…yeah, it is going to rage a battle so vicious in the complete opposite direction and it is all done with such incredible finesse it leaves you wanting!

I would definitely say to those who plan on reading this book to avoid anything even remotely spoiler’ish, avoid any review that goes into detail about the relationships and the characters who feature or well anything really! I don’t think my review falls into those categories but many I imagine will so please be careful. In my opinion, you should go into this blind beyond the first book to really experience this spectacular book!

I read A Fool’s Hope straight after We Are The Dead without sight of a single review and I enjoyed it so much more. Each event I came upon was shockingly brilliant, I had no idea which direction it would turn and what an experience it was.


On to the rating…

THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

A Fool’s Hope unfortunately is not being published in hardback I don’t believe, though that does not change this books rating of BUY THE HARDBACK!

Instead I purchased the signed Paperback (Twitter Link Here) from Matt, he is a bookseller at Waterstones so definitely message him to see if he has any left!

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 WINTERY BOOKS THAT MATCH THE COLD OUTSIDE…

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk! You might need your duvet for these books…

I hope you have had a nice and relaxing weekend. I will be returning to work on Tuesday after Lockdown 2.0 just as it is getting icy, perfect for a girl who rides a motorbike. NOT! Hopefully, it won’t get too bad and I don’t have to worry.

Winter technically doesn’t start until 21st December, but I walked the hound a few nights ago and there wasn’t a single puddle that wasn’t iced over so I’d say its pretty wintery about now!

I don’t know about any of you but come winter I am all about nights in with my fire all but roaring and a book in hand. Both autumn and winter seem to be the seasons to read in my opinion. Also, they say we read for escapism so why not find a book with the white winter wonderland we all dream of having!

So, in order to satisfy my need for a white winter I am going to share with you seven books that will show you lands in which the snow sparkles like crushed crystals and leaves you wanting to grab an extra blanket and fill up your cup of tea!

TO THE BOOKS…

THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE BY KATHERINE ARDEN

Here we have Russian folklore, demons, a frost king and so much snow filled winter goodness!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

THE WITCH’S HEART BY GENEVIEVE GORNICHEC

A norse inspired story with a banished witch, norse gods and more wintery woods…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age

A GAME OF THRONES BY George R. R. MARTIN

Winter is coming.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne. 

COLD COUNSEL BY CHRIS SHARP

The longest winter, a drive to conquer more, revenge, trolls and ravaging elves and obviously a cold a snow filled mountain!

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Slud of the Blood Claw Clan, Bringer of Troubles, was born at the heart of the worst storm the mountain had ever seen. Slud’s father, chief of the clan, was changed by his son’s presence. For the first time since the age of the giants, he rallied the remaining trolls under one banner and marched to war taking back the mountain from the goblin clans.

However, the long-lived elves remembered the brutal wars of the last age, and did not welcome the return of these lesser-giants to martial power. Twenty thousand elves marched on the mountain intent on genocide. They eradicated the entire troll species—save two.

Aunt Agnes, an old witch from the Iron Wood, carried Slud away before the elves could find them. Their existence remained hidden for decades, and in that time, Agnes molded Slud to become her instrument of revenge.

For cold is the counsel of women.

BEARTOWN BY FREDRIK BACKMAN

I couldn’t not put this on having recently talked about it and finding out is has a cracking audio narration…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Overeturns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

FROZEN RAGE BY STEVE MCHUGH

A fast paced murder mystery novella filled with intrigue and great characters, what’s not to love? Oh and its in a snowy magical realm…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Realm of Dreich is a getaway for the rich and powerful, a medieval-inspired town in the middle of a vast frozen wilderness. Now it’s the site of a wedding, intended to join two feuding families who have spent centuries in an uneasy truce with each other.

When Tommy Carpenter asks his best friend, Nate Garrett, to help him with the security of the wedding, Nate reluctantly agrees, knowing that it will be a long weekend of work and, in all probability, treachery.

It is only a matter of time before members of each family are found murdered and it is up to Nate and Tommy to find the killer before more bodies fall, potentially reigniting a war.

ANCILLARY JUSTICE BY Ann Leckie

On a remote, icy planet…

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Once, she was the Justice of Toren – a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

There you have it, seven books that I have found that are lovely and cold!

Thanks for reading.


BOOK REVIEW | VOICE OF WAR BY ZACK ARGYLE & NARRATED BY ADAM GOLD

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk! I hope you are all having a good weekend.

This week I am in a bid to get up to date with some of my reviews so here is another, and today I am super happy to talk to you about Zack Argyle’s book Voice of War.

I would firstly like to thank Zack for sending me a copy of this book. We partnered up for a giveaway and not only did Zack gift more than one copy in celebration of me reaching 1,000 followers on Twitter he sent me a copy too! So a HUGE thank you!

A few facts about Voice of War:

  • Title: Voice of War
  • Author: Zack Argyle
  • Narrated by: Adam Gold
  • Series: Threadlight (Book One)
  • Published by Zack Argyle
  • Pages: 380
  • Narration Length: 12 hours 32 minutes

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Listen To the Audiobook Sample:

“Voice of War is a perfect blend of magic, family, and chaos that will leave you begging for the next installment. Fans of Brandon Sanderson will love this.”

Chrys Valerian is a threadweaver, a high general, and soon-to-be father. But to the people of Alchea, he is the Apogee—the man who won the war.

When a stranger’s prophecy foretells danger to Chrys’ child, he must do everything in his power to protect his family—even if the most dangerous enemy is the voice in his own head.

To the west, a sheltered girl seeks to find her place in the world.

To the south, a young man’s life changes after he dies.

Together, they will change the world—whether they intend to or not. 

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from Voice of War :

  • Epic fantasy;
  • A stunning and imaginative magic system;
  • An amazing world;
  • Loveable characters; and
  • A self published gem!

The Audiobook…

While I did read some of this book, I consumed most of it by way of audiobook and what an audio narration it is. I knew instantly I loved the sounds of Adam Gold’s voice and bought the eBook a few seconds into the sample! Though, once I listened to the whole sample I got a little worried, I thought ‘ahhh everything this guy is saying sounds like its a question’. So I was going to just read it instead and maybe tackle some audio when I was running out of reading time!

I’m so glad I opted to go the opposite way.

Adam Gold gave a stellar performance, his characters are distinctive and he doesn’t sound like everything was a question as I worried! So if you get that same feeling worry not, it is not an issue.

Gold has such a seductive voice, it is deep and a little husky and really worked with this book. He really brought the characters and the world to life.

I would STRONGLY recommend you get this audiobook, it is phenomenal!

On to the full review…

I think I will start this review with the magic in Voice of War, I found the magic in this to be really refreshing. It stays clear of your spell based magic and to me felt more natural, or as natural as the manipulation of gravity determined by ones eyes colour can be! I have heard a few people mentioned its likeness to Sanderson’s works, but I haven’t read them so I cant comment. To me, it was a wholly new magic system and one I loved. It is so well integrated into the life of these characters and it truly added something special to this story!

Straight of the bat I loved the characters in this book, I started this book with the intention of getting a bit of a feel for it and when I stopped I was over 30% of the way through it! The characters, in my opinion, are solid. I wanted to keep reading and reading and reading because of them, and I did…each chance I got.

Zack gave each of his characters a distinctive and well rounded feel, each one had their own motivations for their actions and I really enjoyed experiencing the characters individual journey. Even better is each character is from fairly different worlds. Zack does incredibly well at really drawing you into this world. We see its underbelly, its lush forests and also its main city! Each world you visit it so well written and filled with amazing things from the amazing chromawolf, photospores, necrolytes and so much more!

I think one of the reasons this book is so easy to read and listen to is that it is really well paced and coherent, it smoothly moves along in its plot making it really easy to progress.

Now, this next point is not something I think I have ever mentioned before in a review, but I have found myself picking up on it more and more lately. I don’t know what changed or if I am just seeing a broader spectrum of it in my recent reads and that is dialogue! Voice of War has no issue with this though, its actually quite a strength in this book! I laughed at some, I felt saddened by some and all the conversations and bits of dialogue all fit. The tone of the characters is consistent too and I didn’t feel at any point that the characters veered away from themselves for the sake of progressing the story.

Zack is a great writer and I really enjoyed his writing style, I especially enjoyed the battle scenes. They had just enough action woven in with the use of magic, it was great to see the way in which such a cool magic system could be used in a fight. I also really want to talk about the Apogee but that walks into spoiler territory and I’m not about that life, yanno?! So, just know it is a fantastic element to an already incredibly book!

Voice of War is, as I said above, a self published gem. It is epic fantasy and one I am so glad I read. Voice of War is such a good start to the Threadlight series and leaves you wanting the next book!

ALSO! It is currently a finalist for the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off and boy does this book deserve a place there!!


On to the rating…

THE RANKS:

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

Voice of War is a great book and I would definitely pick up a physical copy. I would BUY THE PAPERBACK! Though, I will say GRAB THE AUDIOBOOK! It is so good.

  • This is such a good book, I really enjoyed it and I will read this again. I will definitely listen to it again Adam Gold’s voice is great.
  • This is one of those books that as you review it you realise how much more you liked it, it has so much going for it while staying so well glance and utterly enjoyable.

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK REVIEW | THE STONE KNIFE BY ANNA STEPHENS

Good Afternoon Bookish Folk!

Today I am really happy to be sharing with you my review of Anna Stephens ‘The Stone knife‘ and on its day of publication no less!

YAYY!! Happy Publication Day!

Firstly, I would like to thank HarperVoyager for approving my NetGalley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A few facts about The Stone Knife:

  • Title: The Stone Knife
  • Author: Anna Stephens
  • Series: Songs of the Drowned (Book One)
  • Published by Harper Collins Publishers
  • Pages: 608

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

A fantasy epic of freedom and empire, gods and monsters, love, loyalty, honour, and betrayal, from the acclaimed author of GODBLIND.

For generations, the forests of Ixachipan have echoed with the clash of weapons, as nation after nation has fallen to the Empire of Songs – and to the unending, magical music that binds its people together. Now, only two free tribes remain.

The Empire is not their only enemy. Monstrous, scaled predators lurk in rivers and streams, with a deadly music of their own.

As battle looms, fighters on both sides must decide how far they will go for their beliefs and for the ones they love – a veteran general seeks peace through war, a warrior and a shaman set out to understand their enemies, and an ambitious noble tries to bend ancient magic to her will.

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from The Stone Knife :

  • Gods and mysterious monsters;
  • Love, loyalty and family;
  • Bloody battles;
  • Political intrigue;
  • Darker scenes and swift melodic brutality; and 
  • Mesoamerican vibes.

On to the full review…

You know it is always so fascinating reading the works of a new author, and no I don’t mean debut author but an author new to the reader. That is what Anna Stephens is to me, a new author. So it was a delight to dip my toe into the waters of her wonderful writing. Stephens sets up her novel really really well, it was honestly great seeing the many interpretations of the Drowned to start off this story, especially considering they are such a big part of the book. However, what made this book have such a great start was something even more skilful. It was the delicate weaving of seemingly insignificant world facts that by a few pages into your reading have you building such a well-grounded and magnificent world so efficiently and one your imagination can truly go wild with. 

Stephen’s writing as a whole is beautiful, and while I rave about her world building and more in this review that is not its only strength. Stephens prose are beautiful while remaining wholly authentic. If it is your first time reading her writing worry not, her writing is fluid, understandable and very well balanced. She is a brilliant storyteller!

“ It sounded like the sunset looks. It sounded like all the world is there just to make you gasp with wonder, to open your heart so wide that it can absorb all that beauty and hold it and be it and never lose it, no matter what.” 

And the battle and fight sequences are epic, Stephens give you all the action and the impact!

This story is a beautiful one, and inexplicably powerful. It is a bloody tale of gods, monsters, war and death but it is one of family, love, loyalty and faith. Stephens manages to authentically showcase the development of her character’s relationships, though not in a tasteless and too obvious way, and when we are shown just how far those characters have come you truly understand the depths of their actions and the significance of them. 

”She hesitated, then she licked her thumb and pressed it to his temple and he stilled, shocked, before a rush of affection and gratitude surged through him. She had gifted him a piece of her courage, her spirit, to aid him in the war. She had named him family.”

I think this is quite possibly the first book I have read that is written in such a setting too. The lush jungle (even though Goodreads says forests I see nothing but jungle soo) and wonderful cities steeped in such history and lore were beautiful to read. It really gave me Apocalypto vibes, and I would pay good money to see this as a TV series! I want to say that it based off Mesoamerican, as it greatly reminded me of the Maya civilization and/or the Aztecs but I could be wrong. 

The Stone Knife is a larger book, with a page count of 600+ but Stephens used the pages effectively. It has great focus on the worldbuilding and introducing us to this book’s incredible characters. The chapters are also a little longer, though this is actually really well done. When an authors opt for several POV’s they run the risk of not introducing them with enough depth that by the time you next see their chapter you’re not sure who they were. This is not an issue in The Stone Knife, after each introduction you are clear on who they are and where they are.

I‘d rather die fighting than die at the teeth of one of the things after years on my knees for these arrogant shits.”

I think that there are maybe seven character POV’s in this book, but don’t quote me, and each and every single one of them is a thrill to read! I really like that more books, or at least the ones I have been reading, are giving both sides POV. You still know who you are rooting for and who you want to win but all are still enjoyable. I don’t sometimes like it when I see the ”bad guys” POV because you can so blatantly dislike them and you just don’t want to listen to their shit, but Stephens does an incredible job of avoiding that. One of my favourite characters to read was definitely not good and I loved their world bubble, their family and side characters that surrounded them. I think that says a lot about Stephens ability to write outstanding characters!

Something I truly loved about this was the political manoeuvrings and intrigue, it is too often that I see some politically sly genius who always gets their way and they are infallible in their position. Everything goes in their favour until the main character somehow thwarts the attempts through chance, so it was so exciting to see the sly political genius written in a truer light. They win some and they lose some and it only amped up the tension and risk for the characters who are playing such dangerous games. 

A final note of praise for this book too is the ability of Stephens to seamlessly represent the many and not in a ’hey look my main character is deaf” way. Stephens did not need to make her writing shout about character relations or the fact that Xessa had a disability, it was just there. Natural, refreshing and REAL! 

I finished this book in two days, it made me into the biggest book sloth ever. I moved from my reading corner to eat and that’s about it. This book will inevitably grip you in some way when you start reading it and I really hope you do. I am already dying for the next book in this series. 

The Stone Knife is an incredible book. Remarkable characters, a breathtaking world and savage brutality! It is bloody and it is magnificent, so at least add it to your Goodreads!


As you are now aware I rate on a buy the hardback, buy the paperback, buy eBook or library rental/wait for a sale scale. I really need a buy the audiobook in there too now I listen to audiobooks!

Anywho back to the book in hand (mmmm see what I did there?)

RIGHT! Well, I don’t know if you could tell but I really liked this book and I am super excited to say it is definitely a BUY THE HARDBACK rated book. Even better it is also the Goldsboro Book sooo…I am way to excited to get that!

  • The Stone Knife is a world I WILL return to
  • The cover is beautiful
  • It is the first book of this type for me, or at least the first I have loved this much because if I have read any other I don’t refer them at all, so it deserves a special place on my bookshelves!
  • I want this trilogy standing proud on my shelves! I am so excited for book two and the direction it will take!

**Now, usually there would be a delicious picture of my copy (if I owned one) of this book but your girl hasn’t received her Goldsboro goodies yet!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 OF MY FAVOURITE QUOTES OR MOMENTS IN THE LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIES…

Good afternoon book folk and happy Sunday!

As some of you may know from my recent Twitter activity I have been rewatching the Lord of the Rings movies and enjoying them sooo much! So, today my post is veering away from the traditional idea of seven books for seven days of the week but I don’t care.

My blog, my rules!

There is no order to these seven, they are just the ones that came to mind while posting, and no doubt I will love any you say too because these films are EPIC! Some will be fan favourites and others you might be like righttt, that ain’t all that!

The Lord of the Rings movies are iconic and I will always be grateful for them for various reasons, some being the resurgence of fantasy as a genre and the fact that they have been the gateway film for many fantasy readers!

Here are seven of my favourite quotes and moments from the movies…

IF BY MY LIFE OR DEATH I CAN PROTECT YOU, I WILL. YOU HAVE MY SWORD. AND YOU HAVE MY BOW. AND MY AXE.

This scene always makes me squirm with excitement! It is such an heartening moment, none who attended the council meeting stood to accept the burden of the ring for their own reasons, but when Frodo does they all offer their support. Each steps up, representing their race and accepting their piece of responsibility in this war and it is the start of something great.

WHEN PIPPIN AND MERRY REALISE FRODO IS GOING TO LEAVE…

I ADORE this scene, there is just something about it that has such an impact for me. It is the moment that Pippin and Merry see Frodo and realise he is leaving and give him his distraction. They charge to the forefront and steal the attention so he can flee. They don’t question it or a beg him to change his mind. They know. The two see it on Frodo’s face, and despite not understanding it they make the decision in that moment to help. It is so selfless and it guts me every time!

And so begins the breaking of the fellowship…

I would cut off your head, Dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground. You would die before your stroke fell.

I think what I love about this moment is that it is the moment Legolas and Gimli’s relationship has a significant change, in my opinion. The two start off hating each other ,based pff the history os heir races, and yet throughout their journey a friendship blooms and it endures. They are loyal and it is in this moment that you see Legolas will, against pretty shitty odds, defend Gimli and even die for him!

THERE’S SOME GOOD IN THIS WORLD, MR. FRODO…AND IT’S WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

FULL MONOLOGUE:

“It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something

Sam is the real hero of this duo!

Gosh, in this moment Sam not only changes the heart of Faramir, but you even see Gollum listening! It is such a gut-wrenching moment. Sam who just wanted to see the elves, is the linchpin that holds Frodo together and when he can’t hold it any longer keeps carrying Frodo.

What makes this moment even more spectacular is that it was added to the movies, through much research of the books Jackson came up with Sam’s words.

SHALL I DESCRIBE IT TO YOU? OR WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO FIND YOU A BOX?

If this isn’t a fan favourite then I really don’t know what is!

Gimli and Legolas again feature because they have one of the best bromances ever! Gimli is hilarious with his one liners and moment of absolute humour but Legolas, when he isn’t just stating the obvious (A DIVERSION), holds his own in the humour department.

I AM NO MAN.

I have to stand up for the lades, right! Eowyn can be pretty annoying someitmes but she has her moment, and what a moment! And what is even more epic is the fact that this line is right from the bloody books!

MY FRIENDS. YOU BOW TO NO ONE.

David, this one is for you my friend!

Aragorn is at no point during the movies arrogant, he never sees himself as more and never underestimates those around him. So, when Merry, pippin, Sam and Frodo bow to him and he begs them stand, it is so humbling. He knows their worth, and what they have done!

Honourable Mentions…

“THE BATTLE OF HELM’S DEEP IS OVER: THE BATTLE OF MIDDLE EARTH IS ABOUT TO BEGIN.”

“A day may come when the courage of men fails… but it is not THIS day.”

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

“PO-TAY-TOES! BOIL ‘EM, MASH ‘EM, STICK ‘EM IN A STEW.”

“SO IT BEGINS.”

“FRODO WOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN FAR WITHOUT SAM.”

“I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.” 

“MY PRECIOUS.”

Ok, I’m going to stop because I could do this ALL DAY! I really could, so see you later folks!


KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK FOUR

Hey Everyone and welcome back to KEEP IT OR CUT IT!

I hope you are all doing great and have had a lovely week so far.

As you know, in a bid to maybe reduce my TBR, I am taking ten books from it and checking to see if I still want to read said book.

Ohh goodness guys any progress I made reducing my TBR, albeit minutely, has gone out the window! My Sundays Seven feature last Sunday, 7 Books Not Set In Medieval Europe, had me adding a good few more books to my TBR.

So you know…NO PROGRESS! Though, I don’t mind adding books I want to read, I do want to get rid of the ones I no longer want to read.

The Method

In order to find out if I wish to KEEP IT OR CUT IT I will do the following:

  • See if the blurb/synopsis still tickles my fancy
  • Check out the reviews
  • Maybe read the sample if I still can’t decide…

TO THE BOOKS…

BOOK #1

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Goodreads Link

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

Date Added: June 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I would literally buy this book for the cover alone. It is so pretty but thankfully many reviews suggest this books insides are as gorgeous as its outsides, so I don’t feel lo bad about that fact!
  • Also, it is a debut. I have a thing about debut books, I love seeing what it takes to be published and at what point authors start their literary journey.
  • This book is also meant to have a lot of war and court politics within its story, which I am quickly finding is one of my favourite elements in fantasy.

BOOK #2

The Witchwood Crown (The Last King of Osten Ard #1) by Tad Williams

Goodreads Link

THE WITCHWOOD CROWN continues the story of Simon, servant boy made king and his queen, Miriamele, 30 years after the events of the concluding part of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. In TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER the might of the Storm King was conquered by The League of the Scroll. Now new troubles have come to the kingdom of Osten Ard, a world where humans, Norns and the Sithi can only live in peace for a little time before war raises its head…. 

Date Added: Jun 2019

CUT IT (BY DEFAULT)

Reasons:

  • Ok, so don’t hate. This is a default cut it. As this book is the start of a series that follows the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books, I don’t always do the but I get the feeling its pretty close in timescales. It is to be removed until I have read and loved the previous books. It is the same as me removing the third book of a trilogy when I haven’t read book two.
  • If I’m wrong and this can be read without knowledge of the other series’ let me know!

BOOK #3

A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone #1) by John Gwynne

Goodreads Link

A race of warrior angels, the Ben-Elim, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands, but their peace is brutally enforced.

In the south, hotheaded Riv is desperate to join the Ben-Elim’s peacekeeping force, until she unearths a deadly secret.
In the west, the giantess Sig investigates demon sightings and discovers signs of an uprising and black magic.

And in the snowbound north, Drem, a trapper, finds mutilated corpses in the forests. The work of a predator, or something far darker?
It’s a time of shifting loyalties and world-changing dangers. Difficult choices need to be made. Because in the shadows, demons are gathering, waiting for their time to rise…

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • KEEP IT. KEEP IT. KEEP IT because John Gwynne’s debut series is one of my all time favourites, so I will be reading this. It’s funny it has come up this week because I keep eyeing it on my shelves at home, and I even went to check some of its reviews the other day and reread the synopsis as I keep wanting to read it.
  • I may very soon break my TBR and get this series done!

BOOK #4

Broken Throne (Red Queen #5) by Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads Link

Return once more to the deadly and dazzling world of Red Queen in Broken Throne, a beautifully designed, must-have companion to the chart-topping series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Aveyard.

The perfect addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series, this gorgeously designed package features three brand-new novellas, two previously published novellas, Steel Scars and Queen Song, and never-before-seen maps, flags, bonus scenes, journal entries, and much more exclusive content.

Fans will be delighted to catch up with beloved characters after the drama of War Storm and be excited to hear from brand-new voices as well. This stunning collection is not to be missed!

Date Added: Jun 2019

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • While I enjoyed this series when I read it, and I actually think if I was to read it again I would still enjoy it, I’m not really one to really tackle novellas. I don’t know why I’m just not. If I reread this series and really feel like I want more of the world I know of the book so may read it but it isn’t on my list to just pick up and read, thus this is a CUT IT.

BOOK #5

Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Goodreads Link

Age of Myth inaugurates another six-book series set in Elan.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • This sounds epic and its audio sounds great to!
  • Now, this is the same world as some of Sullivan’s other books but Sullivan said himself said that it is 3,000 years between books, so I don’t feel the need to delete this of my TBR.

BOOK #6

Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1) by Terry Goodkind

Goodreads Link

Deep in the upper Ven Forest, close to the Boundry, woodsman Richard Cypher is intent on tracking down his father’s killers. Richard has no idea of how far his quest will take him from home, nor that his world, his very beliefs, are about to be shattered… 

Kahlan Amnell, tormented by treachery and loss, is being hunted, pursued remorselessly by a bloodthirsty tyrant’s assassins. A monstrous evil is about to be unleashed upon the world and she knows her one hope of halting it is to find the last great Wizard… 

Together, Richard and Kahlan have a destiny that will not be denied, a destiny that will embroil them in a war three-millennia past… a war that is about to re-ignite with world-devouring violence.

Date Added: Jun 2019

CUT IT

  • This book just doesn’t take my fancy. I read a few reviews, which by the way are pretty split apparently it is a book you either love or hate, and I’m still not hugely bothered for it!

BOOK #7

Elantris (Elantris #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

ELANTRIS WAS A PLACE OF GLORY

The capital of Arelon, the home to people transformed into magic-using demigods by the Shaod.

But then the magic failed, Elantris started to rot, and its inhabitants turned into powerless wrecks.

And in the new capital, Kae, close enough to Elantris for everyone to be reminded of what they have lost, a princess arrives. Sarene is to be married to unite Teod and Arelon against the religious imperialists of Fjordell. But she is told that Raoden, her husband to be, is dead.

Determined to carry on the fight for Teod and Arelon’s freedom, Sarene clashes with the high priest Hrathen. If Hrathen can persuade the populace to convert, Fjordell will reign supreme.

But there are secrets in Elantris, the dead and the ruined may yet have a role to play in this new world. Magic lives. 

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I think I will try and read any of Sanderson’s books, not because everyone dies over him but because he seems like a fairly cool guy. I actually listen to his podcast Writing Excuses, and he comes out with some really great things in that and knowing how he came to some of his ideas is always interesting. So, I will give this book a go and if I love it yay, if not then meh!

BOOK #8

The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn #1) by Tad Williams

Goodreads Link

A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard. 

Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power. Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he’s ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die.

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I have this on my shelves and have every intention of reading it.
  • I love war stories, it has the good ole humble origins trope and a quest. What’s not to like?

BOOK #9

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance Trilogy #1) by N.K. Jemisin

Goodreads Link

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • Over he last few days N.K Jemisin seems to be popping up all over my radar. I saw people dying over her books on a thread on Twitter, then I featured her in my latest post and now this one. She has also popped up on my Goodreads a fair amount lately. One might argue it is a sign?
  • Guess I will have to keep it.
  • Barbarian north, mysterious deaths and courtly power struggles…I’m sold.

BOOK #10

The Wolf’s Call (Raven’s Blade #1) by Anthony Ryan

Goodreads Link

PEACE NEVER LASTS 
Vaelin Al Sorna is a living legend, his name known across the Realm. It was his leadership that overthrew empires, his blade that won hard-fought battles – and his sacrifice that defeated an evil more terrifying than anything the world had ever seen. He won titles aplenty, only to cast aside his earned glory for a quiet life in the Realm’s northern reaches. 

Yet whispers have come from across the sea – rumours of an army called the Steel Horde, led by a man who believes himself a god. Vaelin has no wish to fight another war, but when he learns that Sherin, the woman he lost long ago, has fallen into the Horde’s grasp, he resolves to confront this powerful new threat. 

To this end, Vaelin travels to the realms of the Merchant Kings, a land ruled by honour and intri
gue. There, as the drums of war thunder across kingdoms riven by conflict, Vaelin learns a terrible truth: that there are some battles that even he cannot hope to win.

Date Added: Jun 2019

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I love Anthony Ryan sooooo KEEP IT!

There it is! So, this week I have cut 3 books and kept 7.

What do you think are there any books I really should have cut or ones you cant believe I cut?

BYE, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!


SUNDAYS SEVEN | 7 BOOKS NOT SET IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE…

Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!

Todays Sundays Seven post is going to be, as the title suggests, about books that are NOT set in the typical medieval setting, and a European medieval setting to boot.

When we think of fantasy, especially epic fantasy, it is generally a struggle not to conjure up the idea of a medieval setting. Tolkien usually comes to mind along with a great number of other authors and books.

Though, saying that there has been a massive increase in none medieval settings, which is incredible but I still don’t feel like I come across ENOUGH!

I am always utterly satisfied when I have read a book that deviates from medieval Europe, don’t get me wrong I still love it but I want to read more out of it, you know?

So, here is seven fantasy books that are not set in medieval Europe…

RAGE OF GHOSTS BY ELIZABETH BEAR

SETTING: INSPIRED BY Central Asia, SILK ROAD

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking away from a battlefield where he was left for dead. All around lie the fallen armies of his cousin and his brother, who made war to rule the Khaganate. Temur is now the legitimate heir by blood to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Going into exile is the only way to survive his ruthless cousin.

Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son on a new wife. Then she was sent to be the wife of a Prince in Song, but that marriage ended in battle and blood. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards.

These two will come together to stand against the hidden cult that has so carefully brought all the empires of the Celadon Highway to strife and civil war through guile and deceit and sorcerous power.

THE KILLING MOON BY N. K. JEMISIN

SETTING: INSPIRED BY ANCIENT EGYPT

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

THE CITY BURNED BENEATH THE DREAMING MOON

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and among the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe…and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, the Gatherer Ehiru must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering innocent dreamers in the goddess’s name, and Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill – or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

JADE CITY BY Fonda Lee

SETTING: ASIAN INSPIRED

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities. 

The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.

When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.

DREAD NATION BY Justina Ireland

SETTING: 19TH CENTURY AMERICA

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

SABRIEL BY GARTH NIX

SETTING: EARLY 20TH CENTURY AUSTRALIA

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

A tale of dark secrets, deep love, and dangerous magic!

Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Charter-Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life–and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny.

THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR BY JEAN M. AUEL

SETTING: PREHISTORIC/ICE AGE INSPIRED

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge. 

TWELVE KINGS IN SHARAKHAI BY BRADLEY P. BEAULIEU

SETTING: DESSERT/Silk Road INSPIRED

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS!

Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings — cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.

Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings’ laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha’ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings’ mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings’ power…if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don’t find her first. 

There you have it, seven books that I have found that aren’t set in medieval Europe! I had fun doing this post and added all of these (that weren’t already on my TBR) to my TBR, despite trying to reduce it!

Thanks for reading.


KEEP IT OR CUT IT | WEEK THREE

Hey Everyone and welcome back to KEEP IT OR CUT IT!

As you know, in a bid to maybe reduce my TBR, I am taking ten books from it and checking to see if I still want to read said book.

It is week three and I have removed a total of five books so far, not a lot but still…

The Method

In order to find out if I wish to KEEP IT OR CUT IT I will do the following:

  • See if the blurb/synopsis still tickles my fancy
  • Check out the reviews
  • Maybe read the sample

THE BOOKS…

Ohhh, so I have just looked at the ten books that will be in this post today, yang opening the tabs and the likes and I’m pretty impressed with the books on this weeks list, some are a instant KEEP IT for several reasons and one, maybe two, are a instant CUT IT again for certain reasons. However, I have a feeling that I will be keeping most of this weeks list.

BOOK #1

Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone #1) by Julie Eshbaugh

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

Two clans. Only one will survive.

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • I actually thought I would be keeping this at first thought, the cover is cool and the first line of the blurb was like ohhh, go on…
  • Shame it then details a tale of instalove and couple quarrels. Now don’t get me wrong I actually love romance as a genre, more fantasy romance, but I love a good romance. Though they have to be ones that are written well with a foundation and the story has other stuff going on, the blurb to this does not suggest this so alas its a CUT IT.

BOOK #2

The Wolf of the North (Wolf of the North #1) by Duncan M. Hamilton

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

It has been generations since the Northlands have seen a hero worthy of the title. Many have made the claim, but few have lived to defend it. Timid, weak, and bullied, Wulfric is as unlikely a candidate as there could be. 

A chance encounter with an ancient and mysterious object awakens a latent gift, and Wulfric’s life changes course. Against a backdrop of war, tragedy, and an enemy whose hatred for him knows no bounds, Wulfric will be forged from a young boy, into the Wolf of the North. This is his tale.

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • Oh the unsuspecting underdog of a hero…I can’t miss that up, I actually love the trope.
  • I really appreciate a shorter synopsis/blurb, its gives you just enough to be intrigued. Yes, I am aware that is what they are meant to do but when do they really? They borderline tell you the skeleton of the plot. So, yang this book wins points for that already!

BOOK #3

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

‘I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. 

My name is Kvothe.
You may have heard of me’

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I think David, Cassidee and Daniel would murder me.
  • I have actually read near half of this book but had to pause, but I plan to read this again from the start hence it being on the TBR and not reading list. I really enjoyed the what I read but alas work and deadlines meant I had to pause.

BOOK #4

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

n a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?

In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals. 

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • Again, David would murder me.
  • I have actually read this book, but I read it SO LONG ago and when I wasn’t really that into my adult fantasy, so while I read it, I don’t recall a thing about it baring the first chapter! So it is back on the TBR so I can read and enjoy it having read a lot more adult fantasy.

BOOK #5

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed . . . They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won. Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself – and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne. On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight. What happened deep in mankind’s past? Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield? 

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I have this on my shelves and have every intention of reading it. At some point. Its a chunky boy soo…time!

BOOK #6

House of Blades (Traveler’s Gate #1) by Will Wight

Goodreads Link

Date Added: March 2019

Synopsis:

Simon can only watch, helpless, as his family is killed and his friends captured by enemy Travelers—men and women who can summon mystical powers from otherworldly Territories. To top it off, another young man from Simon’s village discovers that he’s a savior prophesied to destroy evil and save the realm.

Prophecy has nothing to say about Simon. He has no special powers, no magical weapons, and no guarantee that he’ll survive. But he sets off anyway, alone, to gain the power he needs to oppose the Travelers and topple their ruthless Overlord. It may not be his destiny, but Simon’s determined to rescue his fellow villagers from certain death.

Because who cares about prophecy, really?

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • Again, a cracking blurb/synopsis, so that has me interested.
  • Also, I’m really keen to see the complete opposite of the standard heres journey vibes.

BOOK #7

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Goodreads Link

Date Added: May 2019

Synopsis:

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • This is being cut on a technicality.
  • I went through a phase of adding whole series’ to my TBR without even reading the first or second book, so throughout this I am going to delete any book that is like that. So while I read Caraval and enjoyed it, I haven’t read book two so I will remove book three and add it if I read book two. Feel me?

BOOK #8

Crier’s War (Crier’s War #1) by Nina Varela

Goodreads Link

Date Added: May 2019

Synopsis:

Impossible love between two girls —one human, one Made. 
A love that could birth a revolution.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.

Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father. 

Crier had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla.

Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • Hmmmm, this book just doesn’t take my fancy. I have read the whole revenge romance story way to many times in the past and while this is rated highly by a few people I follow I just don’t feel anything towards it. Nothing makes me want to read it.

BOOK #9

Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters

Goodreads Link

Date Added: May 2019

Synopsis:

TWO GODS-ONE CHANCE FOR MANKIND

In Victorian London, the Whitechapel section is a mechanized, steam-driven hell, cut off and ruled by two mysterious, mechanical gods-Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. Some years have passed since the Great Uprising, when humans rose up to fight against the machines, but a few brave veterans of the Uprising have formed their own Resistance-and are gathering for another attack. For now they have a secret weapon that may finally free them-or kill them all…

KEEP IT

Reasons:

  • I actually remember adding this to the TBR! I saw the cover and was like mmmmm that looks cool, then I read the blurb and I was caught by the idea of a setting in Victorian London, and Whitechapel no less. After reading the blurb again I definitely feel like I would click the good ole ‘to read’ button so yahoo…Imma keep it.

BOOK #10

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1) by Samantha Young

Goodreads Link

Date Added: June 2019

Synopsis:

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul. 

CUT IT

Reasons:

  • So, I still read romance novels, don’t judge me they are my chick flicks of the book world. I always enjoy them and they work really well when I want a little break from longer adult fantasy books.
  • Saying that I remember adding this book, I had read my first romance novel and really enjoyed it so I looked up a few of what many posts deemed the better romances and this was on it. Now, I have read a few romances and I know what I like and it very rarely falls in contemporary romance. I still need the fantasy element, a crime element or a paranormal setting and this book has none of that.

There it is! So, this week I have cut 4 books and kept 6.

So my TBR is currently sitting strong still at 536, it is still a big ass list but we are getting rid of a few each week. Who knows one day it might be manageable?

Yeah, my thought too


THANK YOU FOR READING FOLKS! HAVE A GREAT DAY