The Echoes of the Fall / Adrian Tchaikovsky

Title / The Tiger and the Wolf, The Bear and the Serpent and The Hyena and the Hawk
Author / Adrian Tchaikovsky
Publication Date / 2016, 2017 and 2018
Genre / Fantasy
Series or standalone / Trilogy
Page no. / 590, 446 and 433
Star Rating / ★★★★★
This is a fantasy trilogy set in a world that is divided into clans; each of which is represented by an animal. Members of these clans contain the soul of their animal and can ‘step’ into said animal’s form. So, if you are a member of the wolf clan then you can turn into a wolf and so on. While in human form many still have the mannerisms of their clans’ animal. In book 1 we meet Maniye, a young girl from the wolf clan, who happens to have two souls within her.
Although the first book primarily follows Maniye, the second two books follows multiple perspective. At first this change put me off a little but after a couple of chapters I got used to it and I appreciate that this gives a broader overview of the conflict. Basically, Maniye remains one of the main perspectives throughout the three books with other perspectives added in books 2 and 3. Each one is compelling and distinct, and Tchaikovsky does a great job at maintaining the flow of the story through these changes in perspective. I find sometimes with multiple perspectives the changes can be quite jarring but that is not the case with this trilogy. I definitely enjoyed Maniye’s chapters the most but I still really enjoyed the other perspectives. Another strength of this trilogy is the characters. There are so many amazing characters; all of whom are well written, complex and flawed. Maniye is a favourite of mine but I also love Hesprec, Loud Thunder and quite a few others. I loved their development throughout the trilogy, especially Maniye’s, and the growth of relationships was also really well done. Basically I loved the characters and would love to see more of them.
Throughout the three books, the writing is fantastic and really immerses you in the world and story. Speaking of the world, it is one of my favourite aspect of this trilogy. It is so vivid, complex and immersive. I also love the diversity of this world. There are so many different tribes and beliefs, which makes it such an interesting world. It is unlike any other fantasy setting I’ve come across, so it’s quite refreshing if you read a lot of traditional fantasy books. If you enjoy fantasy with good world building, then this trilogy will not disappoint you.The plot is compelling throughout the three books, however the first book is definitely the slowest in terms of pacing. Being the first book it has a lot of introducing the world and characters, but I never felt it dragged and I wasn’t bogged down by the information. The pacing in the second two books is more even as we are already familiar with the world and characters. Tchaikovsky does a good job at building on what we already know in each new book – only giving some things away when it is needed to further the plot. There are many twists and turns throughout the trilogy. Initially I had thought that the conclusion was a little anti-climatic but after some thought I think it’s actually a fitting end to this trilogy. I think it’s just that the build up is such a big one and then it just ends quite quickly. Personally I did still enjoy it but I think it may be an issue for some.

 

Overall I love this trilogy and want more people to read it. Within the trilogy there is a cast of fantastic characters, a compelling plot and a wonderfully written and unique world. I cannot say enough good things about it. I would love to see more books set in this world. Have you read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

 

Pippa

 

 

This is my genre tell me yours book tag

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. When in doubt in about what to post, do a tag :). So I saw this tag a couple of weeks ago on the lovely Kate’s blog (check her out – reading through infinity) and thought I’d do it. I wasn’t tagged by anyone, but I’m going to use this opportunity to talk about my favourite genre. Let’s get started with the questions.

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Rules:
  • Credit Drew at The Tattooed Book Geek as the creator of the tag. Either use the created tag name graphic or create your own and link back to his blog.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Tag as many people as you want.

 

What’s your favourite genre?
Take a guess… no surprise to anyone following my blog, it’s fantasy. My favourite subgenres include epic and military fantasy. Urban fantasy is probably the subgenre I read the least of.

 

Who is your favourite author from the genre?
I have quite a few favourites, so this may take a while :). My favourites include Robin Hobb, Guy Gavriel Kay, Brian McClellan, Ken Liu, Garth Nix, Sebastien de Castell, Nahoko Uehashi, Kij Johnson, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Juliet Marillier.

 

What is it about the genre that keeps you pulling back?
I think it’s the escapism of it. I love losing myself in a good book, especially if it’s a fantastical world with unforgettable characters. I just love reading fantasy books and have for quite a few years now.

 

What’s the book that started your love for your favourite genre?
I have four series that got me into the genre – the Old Kingdoms trilogy by Garth Nix, the Magician’s Guild trilogy by Trudi Canavan, the Inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini and the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon. I first read these series in my mid teens and I attribute them to getting me into fantasy and reading as a whole. I still love each of these series and would definitely recommend checking them out.

 

If you had to recommend at least one book from your favourite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading the genre, what would you choose and why?
The first thing that comes to mind is The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I think it can be a great introduction to this genre, as it’s an entertaining read that can be enjoyed by a range of people.  I’ve done a post all about recommending fantasy books to read if you’re new to the genre, which you can check out here if interested. Other books I’d recommend include the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver, the Moribito series by Nahoko Uehashi and the Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell.

 

Why do you read?
As I mentioned earlier, it’s the escapism of it. I just love reading it.

 

Adding in a question here: What are your top TBR books from your favourite genre?

 

I tag:
That’s all I have for you today. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about my favourite genre, so I hope you enjoyed this tag. What’s your favourite genre? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Moribito series / Nahoko Uehashi

Title / Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Moribito 2: Guardian of the Darkness
Author / Nahoko Uehashi
Translator / Cathy Hirano
Publication Date / 2008 and 2009
Overall Rating / 
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: Balsa was a wanderer and warrior for hire. Then she rescued a boy flung into a raging river — and at that moment, her destiny changed. Now Balsa must protect the boy — the Prince Chagum — on his quest to deliver the great egg of the water spirit to its source in the sea. As they travel across the land of Yogo and discover the truth about the spirit, they find themselves hunted by two deadly enemies: the egg-eating monster Rarunga . . . and the prince’s own father.

 

Originally released in Japanese in the late 90’s, this is a ten book fantasy series, however only two books have been translated into English. I loved both of these books. In book 1 we meet Balsa, a thirty year old warrior for hire (she works as a bodyguard) as she is hired by the royal family to protect a young prince. I’m not going to go into the synopsis of the second book because I don’t want to spoil anything. It is a separate story line in the second book but there are things that will be spoilt if you haven’t read the first book. The plot of both books was compelling throughout and I loved the direction of it. At under 300 pages, both books are quick and thoroughly entertaining reads. Once I’d started reading I didn’t want to put the book down but I also didn’t want it to end. Another strength of these books are the action scenes. Seriously Uehashi is so good at writing action scenes. I love the way that Balsa fights; not only relying on her strength but also her wits to overcome larger and stronger opponents. Moving onto the world. The first book takes place in a region called Yogo, and the second book takes place in Balsa’s native region of Kanbal. Both of these areas are so well written. Uehashi does a wonderful job at creating a vivid world with distinct and interesting regions. There is a good balance of physical descriptions of the world, along with the history and the politics. Spirits play a big role in this world too, with the physical world referred to as Sagu and the spiritual world as Nayug. From the very beginning, I was immersed in this world and I couldn’t get enough of it.

 

There is also a fantastic cast of characters within this series. Firstly, I love Balsa as the protagonist. I cannot say enough good things about her character. Secondly, Uehashi has done a great job at creating a well developed cast that you really root for. There are so many great characters within these two books and I would love to see more from them. Balsa does also have a love interest but I love that is a just in the background – it is not the main focus. I’m not a big romance person but I thought it was so well done in this series and the love interest is fantastic. Basically I loved both books and I highly recommend checking out this author. If I’m not mistaken this series is aimed at a YA/middle grade age range, but I think this can be enjoyed by a lot of different people.

 

Overall I loved both of these books and I highly recommend checking them out. I know it’s been a while since these books have been translated but I still hope that more of the series will be translated too. Both of these books are fantastic and I would love to read more of the series. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any new translations of this author, as I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her so far. Have you read these books? I’d love to know what you thought of them. 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’d share some new books, because I have no self restraint when it comes to getting more books :). These are books I’ve picked up over the last couple of months. I’ve split it into two sections: books from Netgalley and books I’ve bought. I’m excited about all of these books so let’s get started.

 

 

Netgalley:

 

Books I’ve Bought:
  • Queen of Sorrow / book 3 of the Queens of Renthia trilogy / Sarah Beth Durst
  • Malice / book 1 of the Fallen series / John Gywnne

 

That’s all I have for today. I’m excited to get to all of these books, although the size of Vanity Fair is a little intimidating. Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Mistborn trilogy / Brandon Sanderson

Title / The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages
Author / Brandon Sanderson
Publication Date / 2009 and 2010
Genre / Fantasy
Series or standalone / Trilogy
Page no. / 672, 800 and 768
Overall Rating / ★★★★
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: In 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.

 

This is a trilogy set in a world where the bad guy won the war and has been ruling over the Final Empire for thousand of years. I loved this concept as it’s not something I see very often in fantasy. There are two main things I love about this trilogy; the world and the magic system, specifically Allomancy. The Final Empire is a region of Scadrial, a fictional planet of the Cosmere, and it is blanketed by ash. In this world plants are brown and people rarely see the sky. Throughout the three books, Sanderson does a fantastic job at building on what we already know of world. I will say that the physical description of the world are sometimes a little lacking, but overall the world building is fantastic. Next, there are three disciplines of magic in this trilogy: Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hemalugy. All three are based on metals and are used to gain specific abilities. Basically allomancers have the ability to burn metal that enables them to access a range of mental or physical enhancements. For example burning tin enables an enhancement of the five senses while burning pewter enhances physical strength. There are 8 basic Allomantic metals and each has a different affect on the allomancer. A Misting is a person who can burn one metal and a Mistborn is a person who can burn all of them. I love this magic system and the author does a fantastic job at developing it through the three books. Both of these aspects are vividly realised and well written. Be aware that the world and magic systems are quite complex and intricate, so don’t go into this expecting a light, quick read. Sanderson does a great job at writing battle scenes and political intrigue.  If you enjoy unique magic systems and world then I highly recommend checking this book out. More positives include the characters and the plot. Yes, I think at times the plot is a little predictable at times but I still enjoyed seeing how it all unfolds and although some characters lack depth overall these books contain a great cast of characters. Vin is definitely one of my favourite characters. Personally I think the first book is the best, but I did also enjoy the second and third book. Each book has a good mix of character development, world building, action and politics.

 

Now to some of the issues I have. The main thing I would say is the length of these books. Each book is over 600 pages long but they didn’t need to be. The main reason for this is the repetitive nature of the writing. Although I love the world in this book the overly long descriptions and repetitive use of words can be a little frustrating at times. There are also plot points that are repeated throughout the books, for example in the first book you are told constantly that Vin doesn’t trust anyone. We get it – she’s had a hard time and doesn’t trust easily but we don’t need to be reminded every 5 seconds or so. I was definitely more aware of this use of repetition when I reread this trilogy. I think the pacing was a little uneven at times too, especially in the second and third book. One more small complaint is that I think the romance develops a little too quickly.

 

Overall I really enjoyed this trilogy, but there are definitely some issues with it. If you are a big fan of fantasy then I think this is well worth checking out. I’ve only read the first book of the sequel series and I don’t think I plan on continuing on with it. I went through a phase of trying to read everything by Sanderson but I think I’ve grown past that now. I think I got caught up in the hype surrounding this author but now I’m not the biggest fan of his writing style. Although I will definitely check out the sequel to Warbreaker whenever it gets released. Have you read this trilogy? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Wrath of Empire / Brian McClellan

Title / Wrath of Empire
Author / Brian McClellan
Publication Date / 2018
Series or standalone / book 2 of 3
Page no. / 639
Overall Rating / 
This is the second instalment of the Gods of Blood and Powder series and follows the events of the first book, Sins of Empire, with the same three perspectives. This trilogy is set in the same world as his original Powder Mage trilogy. I would categorise this book, and his other books, as an epic military flintlock fantasy. This is a review of a sequel so there may be minor spoilers ahead, but I will not be discussing the plot in detail. It is one of my most anticipated book releases of 2018.
Once again, McClellan manages to combine action, intrigue and magic to create a fantastic fantasy book. I loved the first book, so I had high hopes for this sequel and I think this book surpassed it. Firstly, I think the perspectives were more evenly distributed between the characters – it was great to see more from Taniel and Ka-poel. The use of multiple perspectives allows the reader to see more of the world and a better understanding of the events unfolding. Each perspective is distinctive and compelling. A lot of the time with multiple perspective I find one more compelling than the others but that was not the case with this book. In terms of the plot, I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. McClellan does a fantastic job at weaving all of the threads of the plot together and keeping you guessing throughout the book. There were a few moments I thought I knew where things were headed but then new things come to light and you find out it’s going in a completely different direction. There are so many twists and turns in this sequel. The plot is intricately woven, but it never felt confusing and it never dragged for me. The build-up of tension is also really well done. One aspect of the plot that I personally love is the strategy/tactics. I find it fascinating and McClellan continues to deliver it so well. There are also some fantastic action and battle scenes. The overall pacing of this book was so well done. I found with the first book that the pacing was quite slow at times because we were being introduced to this new series. In this sequel, however, it is more fast paced. There is a lot going on and that keeps the pace moving at a good speed. Even with the faster pacing, McClellan still manages to develop the complex plot and characters without sacrificing anything. The writing continues to be great. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down.
The world building and magic system are another strength of this trilogy. In this sequel we continue to learn more about this world, mainly due to the fact that the characters are now on the move, so we get to explore more of the world. The magic system is once again fantastic. To put it briefly, there are four types of magic in this world; Knacked, Privileged, Powder Mages (Marked) and Bone eyes. The first two draw power from the Else, while a Powder Mage draws power from gun powder. Little is known of Bone eye magic, but it seems to be similar to voodoo in some ways and draws on blood magic. Obviously, these are only very brief explanations of the magic system. I think these unique systems are one of the main strengths of these books and I’m excited to see how some characters powers are developed in the next book. I can’t help but feel that a few of the characters we are only scratching the surface of their power, such as Ka-poel. Speaking of the characters, I thought their development in this sequel was fantastic. There are so many wonderful characters in this book and the trilogy as a whole so far. We get to see familiar characters as well as some new ones. Each character is complex with well thought out back stories and I am so excited to see their development in the next book. I thought McClellan also did a great job at developing their relationships with each other. It was such a pleasure to see both old and new relationships develop throughout the 600 pages.
Overall, this is an excellent continuation from book 1 and I cannot wait for the third and final book, Blood of Empire, to be released. I cannot rate this trilogy so far highly enough, although I would definitely suggest reading the Powder Mage trilogy before starting this one.  If you enjoyed the first book, then I think you will love this sequel too. If you haven’t read these books yet, then I highly recommend checking them out. At this moment, the third book has no release date or cover, but I believe it is hopefully being released some time next year (2019). Have you read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday…

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the start of the month, so I thought I’d share some exciting releases for August. There are four books in particular I’m interested in and wanted to share with you guys. No surprise that three out of the four are fantasy books :). Let’s get started.

 

  • City of Ink / book 3 of the Li Du series / Elsa Hart / 21st
  • Blood of the Gods / book 2 of the Ascension Cycle / David Mealing / 23rd
  • Foundryside / book 1 of the Founders / Robert Jackson Bennett / 23rd / ★★★.5
  • Bloody Rose / book 2 in the Band series / Nicholas Eames / 30th

 

 

That’s all for today. I’ve already read one of these but I still wanted to share it with you guys and I’m excited to get to the other three. What books are you excited for in August? I’d love to know what books you’re waiting for. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa