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

 

 

 

Blood of Assassins / R.J. Barker

Title / Blood of Assassins
Author / R. J. Barker
Publication Date / 2018
Page no. / 434
Series or standalone / book 2 of the Wounded Kingdom series
Overall Star Rating / 

36435869

Goodreads synopsis: The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists. War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.

 

*I recieved a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

This is the second book in the Wounded Kingdom series; the first being Age of Assassins. This was a good continuation of this series, although I did have a few issues with it. I enjoyed the story of this sequel, although I did find at times it was dragging a little. Some of the plot revolves around military elements and battles, which I thought were really well done. For me I thought the battle scenes were some of the most enjoyable scenes to read but they may not be the case for other people. As a whole I enjoyed the story but I didn’t love it as much as I hoped. It wasn’t that it was bad or anything; I just didn’t find it particularly compelling at times and it was quite slow to start. I think it ended quite well though. In terms of the world building I thought it was good. We learn some more about it in this sequel and I think the author did a good job at expanding on what we already learnt in the first book. I think the magic system is an interesting one, although I don’t fully understand it.

 

The main issue I had with this book was the main character, Girton Club-Foot. I found him to be quite a frustrating protagonist and consequently I didn’t enjoy the narrative as much. He’s five years older in this sequel but he still acts like a young teenager with anger issues. Seriously I wanted to smack some sense into him most of the time. He’s supposed to find out who the killer is in this book but he barely does any investigating and accuses one person mainly due to his own prejudices. I just found him to be a really frustrating character at times. I found the other characters to be well written, although a few were a little lacking in depth. I think the relationship between Girton and Merela is a really interesting one and I enjoyed seeing more of it in this book.

 

Overall I thought this was a good continuation of this series which is well paced and well written. Sorry that this review is so short but it turns it I didn’t have a lot to say :). The next book in this series, King of Assassins, hasn’t got a release date yet. Have you read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Favourite Book Covers

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. So last month I did a UK vs US cover post focusing on 2018 releases and it give me the idea to share some of my favourite covers of this years releases too. There are a lot of exciting releases this year and there are also a lot of fantastic book covers, but I’ve decided to share 8 of m favourites out of 2018 releases that I am waiting for. Two of the books mentioned I have already read and loved so I’ve put in my star rating for those ones. Let’s get started.

 

The Girl in the Tower / Winternight trilogy book 2 / Katherine Arden / 
The Bitter Twins / Winnowing Flame trilogy book 2 / Jen Williams / ★ / 08/03/18
The Hyena and the Hawk / Echoes of the Fall trilogy book 3 / Adrian Tchaikovsky / 05/04/18
Circe / Madeleine Miller / 19/04/18

 

 

The Poppy War / R. F. Kuang / 03/05/18
The Queens of Innis Lear / Tessa Gratton / 17/05/18
Wrath of Empire / Gods of Blood and Power series book 2 / Brian McClellan / 17/05/18
Age Of War / the Legends of the First Empire book 3 / Michael J. Sullivan / 03/07/18

 

I was going to try to pick a favourite right now, but I really like them all and I’m rubbish at picking favourites :). I love doings these posts so I hope you guys like them too. I don’t the names of the illustrators of these covers but these covers are all amazing. Which cover do like the most? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

5 Reasons To Read Jane Eyre

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I have a new 5 reasons to read style review and I figured I’d talk about one of my favourite books, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I’ve reread this book multiple times and decided to share my love with you guys. I know a lot of you may have already read this but I wanted to do this anyway.

 

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“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

 

  1. It is well-known and well-loved for a reason. This book deserves it and definitely lives up to the hype surrounding it. It is one of my all time favourite classics and I would recommend it to everyone.
  2. Jane is a fantastic female protagonist. I love that she sticks to her beliefs and I love her development through the book. All of the characters are so well written.
  3. It is so well written and you can tell that each word is chosen for reason. She doesn’t waste any words and this results in an immersive reading experience. Bronte does a wonderful job at creating an atmosphere through her writing, which really lends itself to the story. Basically the writing is fantastic.
  4. Despite the length of this book and the fact that when you think about it not a lot happens in this book, the plot is still compelling. I think even in the slower moments, the writing and the characters really pull you through.
  5. Now I’m not particularly big on romance but I love the romance in this book. The relationship between Jane and Mr Rochester is just so good. They are both flawed people but I think they are so well matched and I enjoyed seeing how their relationship developed.

 

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”

 

As you may be able to tell I love this book so much and I thought it was about time to share my love with you guys :). It is one of the few books that I have multiple copies of… I think I only have two other books I have multiple copies of. Anyway have you guys read it? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

T5W: Auto-buy Sci-fi and Fantasy Authors

Top 5 Wednesday was originally created and run by Lainey aka gingerreadslainey (Youtube channel) but it is now being run by Sam aka Thoughts on tomes (Youtube channel). Each week there is a different topic. You can check out the groups Goodreads page here for any more information and the future topics. This week’s topic is your auto buy science-fiction or fantasy authors. Now I don’t really have many auto-buy authors because although I love all the authors I’m going to mention, if the books synopsis doesn’t interest me then I’m not going to get it. All of the authors I am going to mention are ones that I would definitely be interested in checking out any new books though.
  1. Robin Hobb
  2. Alison Croggon
  3. Adrian Tchaikovsky
  4. Ken Liu
  5. Kij Johnson
Honourable mention to Guy Gavriel Kay. I’ve only read two books by him so far but I loved both so I want to read all of his books. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any new releases from him.

 

These five authors have written some of my favourite fantasy books, so of course I would be interested in any new releases from any of them. There are more authors I could mention but I think these are my top five at the moment. Have you read any books by these authors? Who are your auto-buy authors? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

It’s Monday… What are you reading?

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As the title of the post suggests, I am going to be sharing what I am currently reading and mention some books I want to get to soon. I have to admit that I haven’t been in the best reading mood at the moment; basically I don’t have a lot of motivation to read but I’m hoping it will pass soon. Anyway let’s talk about some books.
I’ve just started Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and I am planning on starting Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb. I really enjoyed The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins so I’m excited to read another of his books. Moonstone is known by many to be the first detective novel, which makes me even more excited to pick it up. As I said, I’ve only just started it so I’m not very far in and so I can’t comment on the book yet. I haven’t started Fool’s Quest yet but I plan to start it. Of course I fully expect to love it as it’s written by Robin Hobb. It is the second book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy; I loved the first book so I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress in this sequel. I can only really read two books at a time so that’s all that I’m reading right now. Other books I’d quite like to get to soon include Jade City by Fonda Lee, Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed and Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore.

 

 

What are you guys currently reading? Have you read any of these books? There are also a few new releases (e.g. Circe by Madeleine Miller) I’m interested in so I might get distracted by them. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

The Wolf / Leo Carew

Title / The Wolf
Author / Leo Carew
Publication Date / 2018
Series or standalone / book 1 of the Under Northern Sky series
Page no. / 512
Overall Rating / 

35838138

Goodreads synopsis: The Wolf is a thrilling, savagely visceral, politically nuanced, and unexpectedly wry exploration of power – and how far one will go to defend it. Violence and death have come to the land under the Northern Sky.The Anakim dwell in the desolate forests and mountains beyond the black river, the land under the Northern Sky.Their ancient ways are forged in Unthank silver and carved in the grey stone of their heartland, their lives measured out in the turning of centuries, not years. By contrast, the Sutherners live in the moment, their vitality much more immediate and ephemeral than their Anakim neighbors. Fragile is the peace that has existed between these very different races – and that peace is shattered when the Suthern armies flood the lands to the north. These two races revive their age-old hatred and fear of each other. Within the maelstrom of war, two leaders will rise to lead their people to victory. Only one will succeed. 

 

This was a fantastic introduction to this new epic historical fantasy. It starts out well with good pacing and throws you straight into the action. Once I’d started reading I was hooked and didn’t want to put this book down. The plot is compelling throughout, although the pacing sometimes loses its flow a little bit. I think there are a few instances where things could have been written more concisely to keep the flow of the plot. At times the writing is a little too heavy on the descriptions and repetitive, which resulted in me skim reading sections. This didn’t bother me too much but it may be something to be aware of going into this book. One thing I really enjoyed in this book are the action scenes and political intrigue. I love books that deal with political intrigue and/or military elements and this book delivered on both those things.

 

One of the main strengths of this book (for me at least) are the characters. I enjoyed seeing our main character, Roper, become a leader. At first I did wonder at how quickly he seemed to settle into the role, but I think it is partly due to the society he lives in. Yes he is only 19 but he has been groomed for this task. It is one of those instances where the character seems to settle too quickly into the role before him, but it didn’t bother me too much. There is a great cast of characters, although I did want to see more women in this book.  This is one of the main issues I had with this book. There are women present in this book, one of which is one of my favourite characters, but this is a very male orientated cast with all of the women being a wife to one of the men. This frustrated me a little, but perhaps it is supposed to indicate the type of society they live in. I still wanted to see better representation of women in this book though. Overall the characters are all well written and there are quite a few characters I want to see more from.

 

Unfortunately another issue I has is that I thought the world building was a bit lacking. I wanted to know more about the land in which these characters live and more of the history of the world. We get a very insular look into the world but we don’t really get a wider understanding of the world as a whole.  However the author did a great job at creating the cultures of this world. The author has a degree in biological anthropology and that shows in his book. In this book we have two races we focus on; the Anakim and the Sutherners. The differences between the cultures are so well done and you get a good understanding of these two groups, although I wanted to know more of the how and why these two races are what they are in this book, if that makes sense.

 

 

Overall I thought this was a solid introduction to this new series and I definitely plan to check out the sequel whenever it is released. There are a few issues with it but I still enjoyed reading this book and would recommend checking it out, especially if you are a fan of epic historical fantasy. Have you read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa