Top 10 Underrated Books of 2018

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title I’m going to share 10 underrated books I read this year. All of these books have under 5,000 ratings on Goodreads and that is how I picked the books. I’m not going to go into any details about these books, otherwise this will be a very long post; just know that I really enjoyed all of these books and would recommend them. In no particular order, let’s get started.

That’s it for today. I really enjoyed these books and would definitely recommend checking them out. My absolute favourite out of this list would definitely be The Beast Player. What was your favourite underrated read from 2018? 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. Today I have part 2 of the if you liked this then you should try this recommendation post. I really enjoyed putting the first one together and you guys seemed to quite like it too. It actually takes me a while to put together these posts, because my mind goes blank when I come to write it :). Anyway. let’s get started.

 

If you liked the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb then you may like the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

These books both contain a classic coming of age fantasy story and are fantastic examples of the epic fantasy genre. Both series are character driven with a well written world and compelling plots. If you are a big reader of fantasy then both of these series are well worth checking out.

 

If you liked Twelve Kings by Bradley Beaulieu then you may like The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

Both are considered Silk Road fantasy and are fantastic introductions to their respective series. Each contains a wonderfully written and unique world, as well as compelling stories and incredible characters. These series are both unfinished but I’ve loved everything I’ve read so far of each series. I highly recommend both of these books.

 

If you liked The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood then you may like Circe by Madeleine Miller

These books give us a new look into a familiar Greek myth, Odyssey.  If you are interested in Greek mythology then both of these books are well worth a read. Each of these books are very well written and contain compelling stories.

 

 

That’s all I have for today. I am definitely planning on doing more of these posts, so keep an eye out in the future for them. Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you guys are having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

 

Pippa

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

TTT: Binge-worthy TV/Films

TTT-Big2 (1)
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.This weeks topic is binge-worthy TV shows and films, but I’ve decided to focus on TV. I love all of these shows and would highly recommend checking them out. I’ve tried to provide the genre of each, as well as the format I saw it on. Let’s get started.

 

  • Mr Sunshine / Korean historical romance drama / Netflix
  • The Good Place / American comedy programme / Netflix
  • The West Wing / American political programme / DVD
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine / American police comedy programme/ TV
  • Queereye / American make over programme / Netflix

  • Stranger Things / American sci-fi horrow programme / Netflix
  • Orphan Black / Canadian sci-fi thriller programme / Netflix
  • Suits / American law programme / Netflix
  • Luther / British crime programme / Netflix
  • Pride and Prejudice / British period drama (1995 BBC version) / DVD

 

 

Clearly I watch a lot of American TV :). All of these programmes are fantastic, although Mr Sunshine hasn’t been completed yet. I like wide range of TV shows and I’m always on the lookout for new ones to check out. Have you seen any of these? I’d love to know your thoughts. What are your favourite TV shows? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

5 reasons to read North and South by E. Gaskell

Title / North and South
Author / Elizabeth Gaskell
Publication Date / 1855
Page no. / 544
Overall Rating / 
It’s time for another 5 reasons to read style review and today I wanted to talk about one of my all time favourite classics, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I first read this back in secondary school and it’s remained a favourite of mine since then. Let’s get started.

  • The writing is fantastic and I personally found it to be quite an easy classic to read. I think this would be a great book to read if you are new to classics and want to start reading them.
  • There is a great cast of characters and I love Margaret as the protagonist. All of them are well written from a range of backgrounds, which gives the reader a better look at society as a whole at the time. Some of my favourite characters include Bessy and Nicholas Higgins but I love all of them really.
  • It’s such an interesting look into society at the time and what the British landscape looked like at the time. It was so interesting to see the differences between the countryside and towns, and how our protagonist adapts to these changes.
  • If you are a big fan of reading classics and/or have enjoyed books by Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters etc then I think you will love this book.
  • As already mentioned it’s one of my favourites, so of course I’m taking this opportunity to recommend it. Also the BBC adaptation starring Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage is fantastic and well worth checking out too.

 

 

That’s all for today. Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you thought of it. 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