5 Reasons to Read The Hobbit

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s Friday so it’s time for another review and I thought I would do another 5 reasons to read style review. I wasn’t sure what book to talk about so I decided on a classic, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I actually didn’t read it until a couple of years ago (I think). I definitely saw why it is considered a classic. Let’s get started.

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  1. It can be enjoyed by a variety of ages. Originally written for Tolkien’s children, this classic can be loved by children or adults. It is just so good.
  2. The world is vividly drawn with fantastic characters. Middle-Earth is such a wonderful fantasy world and you will become fully invested in the characters.
  3. I think this is a great place to start if you are new to the fantasy genre or if you want to try some of Tolkien’s writing. LOTR is quite dense, so I think reading The Hobbit first is a good idea as it will give you a taste of Tolkien’s writing and it’s not as dense.
  4. Although a little slow to start, the plot is compelling and is so enjoyable to read. I think the atmosphere is also great throughout the book.
  5. If you are a big fantasy genre fan then I think this is well worth a read. It’s fantastic.

 

Basically I think it’s a really great book and I would definitely recommend reading it :). Have you read it? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday…

New WoW
“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I am waiting on:
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night / Jen Campbell / Nov 2
Artemis / Andy Weir / November 14

 

I’m sure there are other exciting book releases this month but these are the two that I am interested in. I’ve actually already read Artemis but I wanted to mention it anyway. I’ll be picking up a physical copy at some point. I’m also interested in picking up The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night. I don’t know too much about it but I kind of want to keep it that way. These are two books I’m interested in so I thought I would share them with you guys today. What book are you anticipating? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

 

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October Wrap Up and November TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time to talk about all the books I read in October… When I say all, I actually only mean 3 books. I had a bit of a slow reading month but I’m pretty pleased that I managed to read some books.

 

The Loving Cup / Winston Graham / ★★★
This was another good book in this series, but it did fall a little flat for me. Maybe because it’s been a while since I read the last book, so it took me a little while to work what was going on again. It was still good though and I will definitely be continuing on with this series.

 

1984 / George Orwell / ★★★.5
I think this is quite a hard one to rate. I thought that the writing was great and the flow of it made it quite easy to become absorbed. The world building was fantastic; you really feel the oppressive nature of this world. It is also definitely a thought provoking book, although perhaps a little dated now. It did drag a little bit at times but it didn’t really affect my reading experience.  I’ve been meaning to read this for ages now, so I’m glad that I’ve finally gotten around to reading it. Overall I thought this was a great book and I would recommend reading it.

 

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Time of Dread / John Gwynne / ★★★.5
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I’ve been aware of this author’s other series for a while, so when I saw he was coming out with a new series I thought I’d give it a go. I thought this was a great introduction to this trilogy, although it did take me a little while to get into (mainly due to my reading slump). I think one of the main strengths of this book were the range of characters; all of which were well written and engaging. This is a book with multiple perspectives, so if that’s not your thing than it’s probably something to be aware of going in, but I thought it was done well. Each perspective was distinctive and compelling. Overall I thought this was great. I will have a full review up closer to the release date (January 11th).

 

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Shadowblack / Sebastien de Castell / ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I thought this was a great continuation of this series. I find this series is so enjoyable and fun to read. Although it did take me a little while to get into (due to the reading slump), I thought the plot was compelling and it was great to be back with these characters. I especially enjoy the character of Reichis. If you’re looking for a new entertaining fantasy series to read, I definitely recommend checking these books out. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

 

Mistress of the Empire / Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts / ★★★★
This was a fantastic ending to this trilogy. I was in a bit of a reading slump when I started reading this but after around 100 pages I was hooked. It was so good to be back with these characters and in this world. I think Mara is such a great female protagonist and is one of my favourite things about this trilogy. I also really enjoyed the scope of it – throughout the trilogy we see years of the characters lives and so we really see them grow. The writing is good, the plot is compelling and the characters are so well written. Overall I think this was a fantastic trilogy and I highly recommend checking it out.
I am currently reading The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, so I will definitely be finishing that soon. In November I would also love to read Monstress: Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. Other books I want to get to include The Power by Naomi Alderman, Good People by Hannah Kent and The Makioka Sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. I think I’m coming out of my reading slump so I hope to read more next month. What was your favourite book you read this month? Mine was definitely Mistress of the Empire. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Child of the Prophecy / Juliet Marillier

Title / Child of the Prophecy 
Author / Juliet Marillier
Publication Date / 2001 (first published)
Overall Star Rating / 

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Goodreads synopsis: The ancient forests of Sevenwaters are the land of lost dreams for Fainne and now she has been sent to destroy it with the magical arts she has learned since she was small.

 

This is the third book in the Sevenwaters series. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with this one. Don’t get me wrong it was still a good book, but I personally felt that it wasn’t quite as great as the previous two in this series. I loved the first two so much and I just felt that this one fell a little flat in comparison. Having said that it was still a good book and Juliet Marillier is a fantastic writer. One of the main issues I had with this book was the main character, Fainne. I didn’t find her as compelling as the previous female protagonists and I found her a little frustrating at times. There were a few occasions I was questioning her decisions – they just didn’t make any sense to me. As a result I felt quite disconnected from her character and therefore also disconnected from the story itself as well. Also the love interest was infuriating to me. Throughout the book he is constantly saying that she can’t look after herself and she needs him to look after her. No, stop being a patronising idiot. As you can maybe tell I wasn’t a fan of the love interest. I felt that the plot was also a bit less compelling than the previous two books, maybe due to the characters. Another issue I had was the length. I think this book could definitely be shorted as it dragged a few times. I have to admit that I did skim read some sections. Having said that I think each book in the series have had some issues with the pacing, but this book seemed to drag more. Due to this issues it took me longer to read it than it took me to read the previous two. As expected from Juliet Marillier, the writing was wonderful and I find it so easy to become absorbed into her worlds. Obviously with this one I was slightly less absorbed but it was still good. It’s clear to me that Marillier is a talented writer, but something about this one fell a little flat for me. I just didn’t love it as much as the other two books in the series.

 

Overall this was a good continuation of this series, but for me it is definitely the weakest book so far. I just wasn’t the biggest fan of the protagonist, but Marillier is a fantastic writer.  I did still enjoy it though and would definitely recommend checking out this series. I will definitely be checking out the next book in the series at some point. Have you read any books from this series? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

Book Haul

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some books that I’ve recently picked up, one of which was sent to me by the publisher. This way you can see what books I’m adding to my tbr pile :). Personally I quite like seeing what books people have been getting, especially if we have similar tastes. It’s a good way to find new books :). Let’s get started.

 

The Girl in the Tower / Katharine Arden
Goodreads synopsis: Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

 

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The Stone in the Skull / Elizabeth Bear / digital copy from Netgalley
Goodreads synopsis: The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms. The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from a the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort. They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire

 

A Natural History of Dragons / Marie Brennan
Goodreads synopsis: Marie Brennan begins a thrilling new fantasy series in A Natural History of Dragons, combining adventure with the inquisitive spirit of the Victorian Age. All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day. Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

 

Age of Assassins / R. J. Barker
Goodreads synopsis: Girton Club-foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But his latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder. In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire kingdom.

 

Mistress of the Empire / Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts
Goodreads synopsis: Besieged by spies and rival houses, stalked by a secret and merciless brotherhood of assassins, the brilliant Lady Mara of the Acoma faces the most deadly challenge she has ever known.  The fearsome Black Robes see Mara as the ultimate threat to their ancient power.  In search of allies who will join her against them, Mara must travel beyond civilization’s borders and even into the hives of the alien cho-ja.  As those near and dear to her fall victim to many enemies, Mara cries out for vengeance.  Drawing on all of her courage and guile she prepares to fight her greatest battle of all–for her life, her home, and the Empire itself.

 

The Book of Dust / Philip Pullman
Goodreads synopsis: Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .

 

 

I’m looking forward to reading each of these books. Have you read any of these? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Daughter of Shadow / Tyler Sehn

Title / Daughter of Shadow
Author / Tyler Sehn
Publication Date / 2015
Page no. / 534 (kindle)
Star Rating / ★★★

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Goodreads synopsis: Born with one foot in light and one in darkness, she is torn between both. Melea is the greatest warrior in the world. In service to the Lord of Light, she uses her abilities to kill for his divine vision. Shadows grow larger as the Light spreads—the world and the forces that define it are changing and Melea is caught in the center. Melea denies being a villain, refuses to be a hero, and would rather slash with the razors edge than walk along it. Fate spins, or so it is said, and Melea is cursed with the luck of the dead.

 

I first read this a similar time last year but decided on a whim to reread it in September. I initially gave it a 2.5 star rating but I bumped it up to 3.5. I will say from the start that this book isn’t perfect but I thought it had a lot of potential. The first thing I want to talk about is the plot. I personally found it to be quite compelling, although there are definitely parts of the story that do drag and are perhaps unnecessary. It is also a little confusing at times.  Due to this it was quite a slow read for me and I consider myself a relatively fast reader. However I never felt bored so it didn’t bother me too much. The relative frequent changes in perspectives wasn’t my favourite thing but I managed to keep track of what was going on with each character. If that is something that you don’t like though, it is probably something to be aware of going in. The writing is easy to get into and although the book is long it is not too dense. I think the action scenes were written well. The world is an interesting one too and I thought overall the world building was well done. There are few instances where I wanted a bit more explanation but perhaps that would come in the sequel. I would love to know more about this world. The first chapter definitely opens this book really well and I was intrigued from the start.

 

While the characters are generally well written, I think they were lacking some depth, especially Melea. I think she had so much potential to be an amazing character but in practice she just doesn’t quite live up to that potential. I think the main issue I had was that she’s frequently referred to as one of the best fighters and a ‘child of death’ but I wanted more proof of this. Yes it is clear she is a good fighter but I don’t think it’s clear that she’s supposed to be one of the best. I wanted more depth to her character. There were a few moments where I did get a little frustrated with her.  Having said that I did still really enjoy her character and I would say she is probably one of my favourite things about this book. I really like that she is not a hero but she’s also not a villain – it’s not black or white with her character. There are a few other quite intriguing characters too. I found each perspective to be engaging, although I definitely preferred Melea chapters.

 

Overall I thought this was a good start to this fantasy series, although I don’t know when or if the second book is going to be released. I would continue on with this series, however since there is no sign of a sequel I may lose interest. Hopefully it will be released soon. It’s still worth checking out if it sounds interesting to you. Sorry this is quite a short review. Have you read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Totally Should’ve Book Tag

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I figured I haven’t done a book tag in a while so that’s what I’m doing today. I’m feeling abit uninspired at the moment and feeling like what I’m producing isn’t as good as I want it to be. I don’t know… I’m just having one of those times where I’m a bit unmotivated. If you have any post requests or advice on how to improve than I would love to know. Anyway, as you can tell from the title I am going to be doing the totally should’ve book tag, which was created by emmmabooks. Let’s get started.

 

Q1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel
The first book that comes to mind is Fudoki by Kij Johnson. Part of me would love to see more of Kagaya-hime but the other part wonders whether it should just be left a standalone… I don’t know. I do love this book so it would be amazing to have more of this world.

 

Q2. Totally should’ve had a spin off series
I have two answers for this one – the Echoes of the Fall series by Adrian Tchaikovsky and the Queens of Renthia trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst. I know both of these series are unfinished right now but I would love to see more from both of these worlds.

 

Q3. An author who totally should write more books
I would love to see more books coming from Robin Hobb. The huge Realm of the Elderlings series has just been concluded and so I would love to see a brand new world from her. I still have the last trilogy to read but after that I definitely hope to see new books from her. Otherwise I’ll just have to continually reread all her books :).

 

Q4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else
To be honest, I don’t think I really have an answer for this one.

 

5. Totally should’ve ended differently
For this I didn’t exactly want it to end differently I just wanted more time to be spent with the ending and that is Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. There’s quite a big build up in this book and the ending felt quite rushed, which was a little disappointing. It’s still a good ending but it could have been done a bit better.

 

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise
The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon would make a fantastic movie franchise. I would definitely go and see that film, so I have my fingers crossed that it will happen :). Hopefully it would be done well.

 

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show
Maybe the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan. I think that could be a really fun TV show and I would love to see the relationship between Royce and Hadrian come to life. I would definitely watch that show. Also I think the Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom would make quite a good TV show.

 

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view
The first thing that comes to mind is Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan, which is the second book in the Raven Shadow trilogy. The first book there is only one perspective but in the second there are multiple perspectives. I loved the first book but found the second a little disappointed and I can’t help but wonder whether it was due to this change. Having said that, it does give a wider look into the world so I don’t know if it would have worked as just one perspective.

 

9. Totally should have a cover change
Well I’m not the biggest fan of covers of the Other series by Anne Bishop. Typically I don’t like people on the cover and they all have a woman on the cover, so I definitely think they could do with a cover change.

 

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers
I don’t really have an answer for this one, but I would definitely say that the Penguin English Library editions should have stayed with the rubberised editions. They were so much nicer than the current finish of the editions.

 

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one
Again, I don’t have an answer for this one… Sorry.

 

That’s it for this tag. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa