Recommendations: Military Fantasy

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. You guys should all know by now that I love fantasy and one of my favourite sub-genres is military fantasy, so I thought I’d share some recommendations. This sub-genre has a heavy emphasis on military life in a fantasy world and the main characters are generally part of the military. Tactics, strategies and epic battles also play a big part of this sub-genre. Let’s get started

 

Codex Alera series / 6 books / Jim Butcher / ★★
Furies of Calderon, Academ’s Fury, Cursor’s Fury, Captain’s Fury, Princep’s Fury and First Lord’s Fury
This is a coming of age, military fantasy series that chronicles the life of a young man called Tavi in the realm of Alera. The world is Carna but the series is mainly set in the realm of Alera, which shares similarities with the empire of Rome, except with elemantal spirits called Furies that can be used by the Alerans (or humans). The first book has very little military elements but from the second book onwards it plays a large part within the series. I love these books and would highly recommend checking it out. I have a full review of this series which you can check out here.

 

Powder Mage trilogy / 3 books / Brian McClellan / ★★
Promise of Blood, The Crimson Campaign and The Autumn Republic
This is a flintlock, military fantasy trilogy with multiple perspectives and a unique magic system. Quite a few characters are part of the military and tactics play a big part throughout. There is also a sequel trilogy, Gods of Blood and Powder, that is well worth reading after you’ve read the Powder Mage trilogy. I love both of these trilogies and again would highly recommend checking these out.

 

Legend / book 1 of the Drenai saga / David Gemmell / ★★★

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This is a first book in a military fantasy series. The premise of this book is basically a legendary warrior coming out of retirement to help defend the fortress of Dros Delnoch against the conquering Nadir. The military elements of this book are so well done and the world building is good. While I enjoyed this book, the one thing that frustrated me was the representation of women. This was first published in the 80’s so it is dated in terms of women representation. Overall though this was a great read and I would recommend checking it out.

 

 

That’s it for today. Despite this being one of my favourite sub-genres I actually haven’t read a lot of books within it. I definitely hope to read a lot more in the future, so if you have any recommendations for me please leave them in the comments. What’s your favourite fantasy sub-genre? I’d love to know. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Myths in Books

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can tell from the title, today I’m going to be talking about myths in books. I saw this post over on the lovely Karina’s blog (Karina Reads) and liked it so much I thought I’d borrow the idea :). You can check out her post here. Basically I am going to be sharing books that are influenced by myths or are myth retelling. Let’s get started.

 

The Winternight trilogy / Katherine Arden / Russian folklore / ★★★★.5 / my review
This is an adult historical fantasy trilogy set in a medieval Russian village and is influenced by Russian folklore. So far two books are out – The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower. The third book, The Winter of the Witch, is set to be released on 10th January 2019. I have loved the first two books and would highly recommend checking this trilogy out. The setting is fantastic, the characters are so well written and the plot is compelling.

 

The Songs of Achilles / Madeleine Miller / Greek mythology / ★★
This is a rendering the Trojan War that focuses on the love affair between Achilles and Patroclus. I have always been interested in Greek mythology so I loved the setting, but this can also be enjoyed by people who have little to no prior knowledge of mythology. It was definitely a little slow at times and it did dragged for me at times, but overall I enjoyed this book.

 

The Penelopiad / Margaret Atwood / Greek mythology / ★★★ / my review
This is a retelling of Odyssey from the perspective of his wife, Penelope. I loved that this was told from Penelope’s perspective and found it so interesting to read a familiar story from a different angle. I love Atwood’s writing and I love how she has brought Penelope to life. Basically I think this is a fantastic book and well worth a read.

 

Daughter of the Forest / Juliet Marillier / the Children of Lir and the Six Swans / ★★★ 
Now I don’t actually know much about this particular legend, but this book is loosely based on the legend of the Children of Lir (Irish mythology) and the Six Swans (German legend)  – please correct me if I’m wrong. This is one of my all time favourite books and that is partly due to the fantastic setting. The writing is fantastic, the plot is compelling and there is a wonderful cast of characters. I highly recommend checking this book out.

 

Fudoki / Kij Johnson / Japanese mythology / ★★★ / my review
This book was inspired by Japanese mythology and one perspective is set during 11th century Japan. I am unsure whether this is based on one particular myth – it may just be that Japanese mythology was used as inspiration. This is one of my all time favourite books and I cannot say enough good things about it. It is a fantastic mix of fantasy and historical fiction.

 

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The Terracotta Bride / Zen Cho / Chinese mythology / ★.5
This is 51 page novella set in the Chinese afterlife. It’s such a unique and compelling setting with an intriguing plot and well written characters. I had never read anything by this author before but I definitely plan on reading more from her.

 

 

That’s all I have for today. I hope to do another post like this in the future, once I’ve read more books inspired by myths. I really enjoy books like these so I enjoyed putting this post together. What is your favourite myth retelling/books inspired by myths? I’d love to know if you have any recommendations for me. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

If you liked this… try this…

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title I going to be sharing some recommendations in the form of a if you liked this… try this post. I’ve never done one of these before but I thought I’d try it out today. No surprise that all the books I’m going to be talking about are fantasy books, so let’s get started.

 

If you liked Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay then I think you may like the Initiate Brother duology by Sean Russell
Both of these books have East Asian influences as well as political intrigue, a fantastic cast of characters and a compelling plot. If you enjoy slower paced fantasy that are character driven then you need to check out both of these books.

 

If you liked LOTR by J. R. R. Tolkien then I think you may like the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon
Although the Pellinor series is very much its own series, you can clearly see the influences from Tolkien. I have to admit I did find LOTR quite dense but I still really enjoyed it. The Pellinor series is one of my all time favourites and want to recommend it to as many people as possible.

 

If you liked Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier then I think you may like The Bear and the Nightingale by Katharine Arden.
Both of these books have a distinct fairy tale feel to them as well as a great female protagonist. I loved both of these books. Each of them contains a compelling story, fantastic writing and a great cast of characters.

 

If you liked the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan then I think you may like the Greatcoats series by Sebastien de Castell.
Both of these fantasy series are full of humour and are just so entertaining to read. I love both of these series and would highly recommend them if you are looking for a fun, fast read. Both of these series are so good.

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. I quite like doing a recommendation post in this format. Have you read any of these books? Or would you recommend any other books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Recommendations: More Fantasy

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s been a while since I’ve done a recommendations post so I thought I’d share some more fantasy favourites with you guys. I’ve written quite a few of these already so if you think any books are missing then check them out too – I’ve linked them all below. You guys should know by now that I read a lot of fantasy and I love sharing it with you all :). Let’s get started.
Fantasy recommendations: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6

 

Under Heaven / Guy Gavriel Kay / ★★★★★
This was my first five star read of this year so of course I want to recommend it to you guys.  Everything about this book was fantastic – the writing, the characters, the world, the plot etc. I’d been meaning to try something by this author for a while before reading this and now I want to read all of his books. I love this book and would recommend to everyone who loves fantasy too. I will have a full review of this book up sometime next month.

 

Traitor’s Blade / Sebastian de Castell / ★★★★
This is the first book in the four book fantasy series, the Greatcoats. I’ve not finished this series yet but I have loved the three books I’ve read. This is such an entertaining fantasy series with a great cast of characters and compelling plot.

 

Forgotten Beasts of Eld / Patricia A. McKillip / ★★★★★
If you enjoy fantasy with a fairy tale feel to it then I highly recommend checking out this fantastic book. This was my first book by this author so I didn’t really know what to expect but I loved this book. The writing is fantastic, the plot is compelling and the characters are so well written.

 

The Initiate Brother duology / Sean Russell / ★★★★
This is a fantastic two book fantasy series inspired by East Asian. If you enjoy fantasy with political intrigue then this is well worth checking out. It can be a little slow at times but I found this to be a very compelling read and I thought the writing was great. The world is detailed and interesting with a range of well written characters.

 

 

There are so many fantastic fantasy books out so I will definitely be doing more recommendations in the future. I’d love to know if you guys have any recommendations for me. Have you guys read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Favourite Books of 2017

Hi guys I hope you are all well. It’s the first day of the new year and so I thought I would share my favourite books of the past year. I’d been wondering whether to post before the year was ended but decided to at the start of the year. These are my favourite books from everything I read in 2017. I did full reviews of a lot of these books so I will link to any of them for you to check out if you so wish. I’m not going to go into detail about these books but just know that I loved all of them and would highly recommend checking them out. Let’s get started.

 

Disappointing books of 2017:
  • The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera
  • Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

 

After reading some pretty fantastic books in the past year, I’m looking forward to another year of reading. What are some of your favourite books of 2017? And have you read any of my favourites? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

Winter Book Recommendations

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title of this post I’m going to be sharing some books that are great to read in the winter. These are books that are ideal to snuggle up to read on a cold day with a blanket and cup of tea, if that is what you like to do. If not then these are still great books to read.
The Bear and the Nightingale / Katharine Arden
The setting of this book makes it a great book to read in the winter time. I actually read this last winter and plan to read the sequel, The Girl in the Tower, this winter.
His Dark Materials / Philip Pullman
Of course, I recommend reading this any time but I think reading it in winter is a great idea. Basically I love these books and will take every opportunity to recommend them.
The Hobbit or LOTR / J. R. R. Tolkien
I don’t have much to say about this one other than I think settling down with a dense fantasy over winter is a good idea. Although I read fantasy year round there’s something about winter that makes me think of the fantasy genre.
Daughter of the Forest / Juliet Marillier
There’s something about books with a fairytale/folklore feel that is perfect for winter, so the Sevenwater series is perfect for that.
That’s all I have for you guys today. I have to admit that I don’t tend to read books based on the seasons but there are definitely some books that have a wintery feel to them. Are there any books that you like to read in the winter months? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

Recommendations: Historical Fiction

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some more historical fiction recommendations with you. I really enjoy this genre but I actually haven’t read a whole lot of books from it. I get easily distracted by fantasy books :). I’ve got three books to recommend today, so I’m just going to get straight into it.

 

To Capture What We Cannot Keep / Beatrice Colin / ★★★.5

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Synopsis: Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love. 

 

The main thing I enjoyed about this book was the setting. The story itself is quite romance heavy which is not normally my thing but with the back group of the construction of the Eiffel tower I think it really worked. The characters are compelling and well written, although the secondary characters could perhaps have done with a little more depth. The writing is easy to get into and I found that I was invested in the story from early on. For me this was a quick, enjoyable read with a fantastic setting. If your not a big fan of romance heavy books than this may not be for you, but otherwise I would definitely recommend this.

 

The Shadow of the Wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafon / ★★★★

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Synopsis: One cold morning in 1945, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel to a labyrinthine library of forgotten titles, hidden in the old city of Barcelona. Allowed to choose one book, Daniel pulls out The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. But as Daniel grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to discover the truth about the life and death of Julián Carax, and to save those he left behind…
This is a fantastic book. I’d been meaning to read this for quite some time before actually picking it up. From the beginning I was immersed in the story and world, although there were a few sections that did drag for me. It is a slow moving plot, so if that’s not your thing than I wouldn’t recommend it. As I’ve said before I don’t mind a slow plot but it’s probably something to do aware of. Although the characters are generally well written, they are a little flat in my opinion and could do with a little more depth. The writing is good too.  Overall this is a great book and I would definitely recommend checking it out.

 

Empress of Bright Moon duology / Weina dai Randal / ★★★★
Synopsis of book 1: A concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the Emperor’s attention. Many paint their faces white and style their hair attractively, hoping to lure in the One Above All with their beauty. Some present him with fantastic gifts, such as jade pendants and scrolls of calligraphy, while others rely on their knowledge of seduction to draw his interest. But young Mei knows nothing of these womanly arts, yet she will give the Emperor a gift he can never forget. Mei’s intelligence and curiosity, the same traits that make her an outcast among the other concubines, impress the Emperor. But just as she is in a position to seduce the most powerful man in China, divided loyalties split the palace in two, culminating in a perilous battle that Mei can only hope to survive.

 

I picked this up mainly because it is set in ancient China and I’m glad I did. These books are definitely not perfect but I found them to be very enjoyable historical fiction to read and I loved the setting. I will say I think everything is quite surface level with these books, especially in terms of the characters. I wanted more depth but it’s only a minor complaint as I still really enjoyed these books. The characters are still well written and I found the plot to be quite compelling. Once I started reading I didn’t want to be the book down. The writing is so easy to get into and it really immerses you into this world. Basically I really enjoyed these books and I’m definitely interested in more books set in ancient China.

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. I’d love to know if you guys have a favourite time period for reading historical fiction – I’m not sure about mine :).  I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa