Sunday Summary – 5th December 2021

Good evening and welcome to tonight’s Sunday Summary update post. As always I hope you’ve had a really good week wherever you are!

It’s been a good one here, even if it didn’t quite go to plan. Mid-week I shared my monthly wrap-up post for November 2021. In that post I talked about the books I’ve been reading and listening to over the last month, in addition to recapping the posts I shared as well. If you haven’t checked out that post already you can find a link here and find out what I’ve been up to!

I was supposed to share a Shelf Control post on Friday, but as I’m sure you guessed that didn’t quite pan out the way I intended. I was out with friends on Friday night and I ended up being out later than I expected. And we went out to pottery painting, in case you’re interested. Anyway, I didn’t get back home until well past 10 o’clock; having not started the post yet I decided that I was going to postpone it instead. I’ve spent the weekend putting up my own Christmas decorations and helping out at my parents. So it’s been a busy one without even factoring in catching up.

 

Books Read

I promised this week that I be better on the reading front and pick up more of Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. However, I have a confession to make and that is that I didn’t really. I read a few more percent of the book but that’s about all. Some reading is better than none I suppose, but it’s definitely fair to say that I’m reading a lot less than I used to. That’s okay, because I enjoy it when I do it! I will try and make more of an effort to pick this up again next week though. I keep going at this pace I’ll still be reading it next Christmas!

I’ve also been listening to more of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to this whilst I’m doing Pilates exercises in the evening. It’s a good accompaniment to doing it because it’s a great distraction from what I’m doing and so I often find I’m doing more than necessary for each exercise. In my last Sunday summary update post I was about halfway through this audiobook; now I am approximately 2/3 of the way through. It’s something I’ve gotten into the habit of doing and so I’m sure I’ll have more progress to report on this very soon.

 

Books Discovered

Once again I’ve been good and I have no new additions to my reading list or my bookshelves this week!

 

Coming Up…

This week I plan to share a book review with you. It’s been a long time since I read this book and indeed carried on with the rest of the series by this author. However, I really enjoyed reading this one and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you. The book I’m featuring is The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell.

Later in the week I’ll be back with my postponed shelf control post on Friday, and then I’ll be rounding up the week with another Sunday summary update as usual.

Until then, I hope you have a great week and I’ll see you around.

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Monthly Wrap-Up – November 2021

Good evening and welcome to today’s monthly wrap-up post!

It’s official – we are in the last month of the year! How crazy is that? Much the same as last year, this one seems to have flown even quicker than normal. I don’t exactly know how that is but I won’t question it.

However, at the end of the month means it’s time to go over what I’ve been reading and sharing with you throughout November. So, let’s get into it!

 

Books Read

At the end of my previous monthly wrap-up post I was part way through reading Million Eyes II by C. R. Berry. I had signed up for a couple of log tours that both coincided in November. Million Eyes II was the first of these tours. Given that my post was due quite early in November, I started to read this in October. Needless to say, I finished this at the beginning of November in anticipation of my blog tour review.

Next I picked up and read The Warden by Jon Richter. This is the second book I had agreed to review as part of a blog tour and this post or shared roughly a week after the first. I had a reasonably quick turnaround to get this read but honestly, it was so easy! I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of these books and even taking part in the blog tours. Some people don’t like reviewing to a deadline and whilst I don’t have it all the time, it did make a change for me. There are links to both of those posts down below if you want to find out more about the books!

Finally, I returned to Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I had started reading this prior to having to put this down in favour of my blog tour reading. But I had only just started this, mind you, so it wasn’t a hardship in the slightest. I have since gone back to this day and I have read around 20% of the book. It doesn’t seem like a lot I know… but that and equates to around 2/3 of one of the previous books again. Words of Radiance is over 1000 pages long end so you can see I have made some progress, but I also have a long way to go!

I have been far more successful in terms of listening to audiobooks this month than I am generally. As of last week’s monthly wrap-up post I only had a couple of hours worth of The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch left. I really enjoyed going back to this series (as it had been awhile since I listened to the previous one); this didn’t take long to get through!

A short time later I started to listen to Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. This is the first book I’ve picked up from this author and can I say I’m glad I have! I’m really enjoying the narrative and the audiobook is a nice easy listen. Whether I’m knitting or doing some Pilates (a reasonably new venture for me to try and improve my health a bit), I can listen to this at the same time and it is a wonderful accompaniment/distraction! I have listened to a lot of this towards the end of the month and I feel sure that in next months monthly wrap-up post I’ll be telling you that this is finished.

 

Blog Posts

I like to recap the blog posts I’ve published over the course of the month in my monthly wrap up posts. That way, if you have missed any of my content and see something you like the look of, you will find a handy link here!

That’s all from me in today’s wrap-up post for November; What have you been reading, or do you have any recommendations for me? I’d love to hear from you if you do!

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Sunday Summary – 28th November 2021

Hello and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update! It only seems like five minutes since I was sitting here this time last week sharing my update with you then. Aren’t the weeks just flying by?

This week I shared a couple of blog posts with you. On Thursday I shared a discussion post; in that post, I talked about how I manage my blog and read as well as my everyday life. Testament to the fact that you can’t control everything, that post was supposed to go live on Wednesday. However, we had an incident locally which took out my electricity for a while and so I couldn’t share this with you as planned. It does just go to show that sometimes life gets in the way!

Then on Friday, I shared a First Lines Friday post with you. In that post, I featured a book that I am listening to at the moment. I loved the introduction and I hope you do too! This is turning out to be a great listen and I hope you can check out that post to find out more about it.

 

Books Read

I’ll be the first person to hold my hands up and say that my reading progress has been pretty abysmal this week. My current read is Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. Progress this week goes as far as reading just a few pages of the book on Wednesday night, surrounded only by candlelight. Fortunately I have a Kindle with a back light, so this was how I’d planned to spend my evening if the power hadn’t come back on. But, it did, so my usual plan to FaceTime my sister went ahead and took up the rest of my evening pretty much. Then, I didn’t pick it up for the rest of the week. Terrible I know – I’ll be better next week I promise.

I have however listened to a lot more of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’m doing really well with this audiobook and it’s incredibly engaging! I have a bit of a stop/start relationship with audiobooks. I do really enjoy them, but I’m not in habit of listening to them all that much. That is, until I find one so great that I can’t stop listening to it. Traitor’s Blade is one of those books. I’m now about halfway through the audiobook and it’s a great listen. The author has done a fantastic job of juggling action in the narrative with context and backstory to the Greatcoats (the Order our main characters belong to). It’s fantastic and I can see myself progressing through this one very quickly.

 

Books Discovered

No news is good news, so they say… and I for one agree!

 

Coming Up…

Somehow we are hurtling towards the end of November, and that can only mean one thing. Later this week I will be sharing my Monthly Wrap Up for November and discuss the books I’ve read and the blog posts I’ve shared in the month.

On Friday I’ll return with a Shelf Control post. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it’s an opportunity for me to have a look at my TBR and feature the next book on my list. Not only is it a great way to get excited about the books on my list, but if I decide I’m no longer interested in a book, it comes off. 

Lastly, I’ll be sharing another Sunday Summary update for you this time next week.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, albeit there hasn’t been too much to report. Have you read Words of Radiance or Traitor’s Blade? Let me know in the comments!

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First Lines Friday – 26/11/2021

Hello and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series in which I take the opportunity to share the opening introductions of a multitude of books. These may be books I’ve already read, are looking to read, or even just a little bit intrigued about. Having taken a few weeks break from these regular features I am back once again!

For today’s post I decided to keep the featured book an open selection. Having set myself a challenge for this post recently, I thought it would be refreshing to have a clean slate to choose from.

I hope you enjoy today’s feature!

 

Pretend, just for a moment, that you have attained your most deep-seated desire. Not the simple, sensible one you tell your friends about, but the dream that’s so close to your heart that even as a child you hesitated to speak it out loud. Imagine, for example, that you had always yearned to be a Greatcoat, one of the legendary sword-wielding magistrates who travelled from the lowliest village to the biggest city, ensuring that any man or woman, high or low, had recourse to the King’s Laws. A protector to many – maybe even a hero to some. You feel the thick leather coat of office around your shoulders, the deceptively light weight of its internal bone plates that shield you like armour and the dozens of hidden pockets holding your tools and tricks and esoteric pills and potions. You grip your sword at your side, knowing that as a Greatcoat you’ve been taught to fight when needed, given the training to take on any man in single combat.

Now imagine you have attained this dream – in spite of all the improbabilities laid upon the world by the I’ll-intentioned actions of Gods and Saints alike. So you have become a Greatcoat – in fact, dream bigger: pretend that you’ve been made First Cantor of the Greatcoats, with your two best friends at your side. Now try to envision where you are, what you’re seeing, what you’re hearing, what wrong you are fighting to right –

“They’re  f***ing again,” Brasti said.

 

 

Traitor’s Blade – Sebastien de Castell

Goodreads – Traitor’s Blade

Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters. All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission.

But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…

 

My Thoughts…

I really wanted to feature this book today as I’ve recently started listening to the audiobook edition of this book and I’m really enjoying it! This is the first book I have picked up by this author and it’s fantastic. I tend to listen to audiobooks on and off. This book has got me back to listening to them again.

The narrative and backstory of Traitor’s Blade is really interesting. I’m already a third of the way through in just less than a week. That’s pretty unheard of for me. However, as I’m interested in it I’m making the effort to listen to it. Listening to audiobooks is a great companion to other hobbies I have, so it works really well for me.

Have you read or listened to Traitor’s Blade, or any other books by Sebastien de Castell? Does today’s First Lines Friday post make you want to pick it up for yourself? As always I would love to hear from you!

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Discussion Post – How I Manage my Blog

How does someone like me manage my blog, as well as all the reading that goes along with it and day-to-day life in general?

That is the subject of today’s post. If you want a blogger and you’re looking for some insight (maybe you are considering becoming a blogger yourself), or even if you do and you curious about how I manage things compared to you, then you’re in the right place! There is always something to learn and I hope today’s post can give you some insight into what it’s like to be a book blogger.

 

Time

The first piece of advice I can give anyone considering starting a blog is that you have to really enjoy your subject. Having the knowledge to share in the first place is going to take time to learn. Even if you are already well-versed in a subject, there’s always going to be changes that you have to keep on top of.

From a book blogging perspective, it means that you’re going to spend a lot of time reading. If you enjoy it and already partake in the hobby then it’s okay – it doesn’t feel like a chore. If, however, your subject is not that familiar you could end up spending a lot more time on it. If you don’t enjoy it that much then it’s definitely going to be boring. What is the point in spending your time on something you don’t enjoy? The answer is none.

Aside from reading, you also have to manage a blog and draft content on a regular basis (note that by regular I don’t necessarily mean frequency – the emphasis is more on consistency rather than how many times you post a day/week/month). That of course takes time. To give you an indication, I typically post three times a week. I would say on average I spend around an hour to an hour and a half per post. This includes drafting, compiling any relevant information, editing and finally publishing it. That in itself is a decent amount of time to be spending on one post, never mind any pre-requisite reading/research etc. It’s not a ‘quick’ hobby, per se, but it’s very rewarding.

Personally, the speed in which I can create a blog post has increased over the last year. Previously, I drafted each blog post by typing it out on my laptop. Combining the time taken to do this with the rest, I would usually spend between two and 2 1/2 hours on a blog post. Things got a little bit quicker for me when I invested in a tablet. Instead of typing out a post manually, I have employed the use of the dictation function on my tablet to be able to draft my post instead. This makes drafting a lot quicker, but there is a trade-off that a slightly heavier hand is needed on the editing side. I didn’t think I had a weird accent, but some of the word combinations my tablet comes out with suggests otherwise!

If the prospect of spending an hour to an hour and a half on a blog post was already daunting, then you should know that in certain circumstances it can take longer! Honestly, the best advice I can give to anybody is to invest in a device or software that can make use of dictation and then learn to be able to use it. It didn’t come naturally to me when I first started creating posts this way. I often had to spend a lot of time thinking about each sentence before I dictated it. There wasn’t any kind of natural flow. This is something I’ve developed over time, so realistically I can dictate a post now in about 15 minutes tops. It used to take me a LOT longer.

Being organised helps. Having a scheduling plan, even if it’s just a loose one, can help you plan out your posts effectively. Readers know when to expect content from you and it can also help your statistics, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

However, sometimes life does just get in the way. I was originally planning on sharing this post early on Wednesday evening this week. However, we had a brief power cut that ate into the free time I had and put an end to that plan. It just goes to show you can’t control everything; but doing everything in your power will help you manage your time and blog effectively.

 

Resources

Time is probably the most important consideration, but there are other factors at play that need to be considered when you start a blog. In particular reference to having a book blog, you need to have access to books! Sounds obvious I know, but this is the most basic example. Another is having access to the tools to share a blog. There are plenty of websites online that you can use for free to start a blog, but there are other options available, such as self-hosting. You will need to look into and consider in-depth if it’s something you’re interested in. There is little bit more to it than just using an online site, but at the same time I operate a self-hosted site and I’m no expert. I’ve got it set up and it works. I try not to touch any of the settings or play around with it beyond that.

Sometimes the resources you need to run a blog cost money. Whilst you can have a free blog run from a website such as WordPress, and you can access books from the library, there may be some costs need to take on. Self-hosting a blog costs money; the antispam protection costs money. And obviously, buying books cost money. What I’m saying here is that sometimes you have to be prepared to invest in your hobby; if you ask yourself that question and the answer is no, then I would really suggest you consider taking it on at all.

I hope I’ve been able to share something of interest with you and that you have learned something from today’s post. Are you considering setting up a blog? Do you have any further questions that I can help you with? Equally, are you already a blogger and have you got any tips you would like to share with others?

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Sunday Summary – 21st November 2021

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update this week! As always, I hope you’ve had a good week? I’ve had a great one! Not only have I been off work and spending time with family, but I’ve also been doing a job I’ve been dreading in the garden – cutting down my second hedge to a reasonable height. I thought taking the first one down a couple of weeks ago was bad, but this second one was a whole different ballpark. But, never mind; it has gone now, which I’m a bit relieved about!

Aside from the mundane jobs around the house, and the significantly more exciting spending time with family, I have shared a couple of blog posts with you. My first post of the week was a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s subject was Top Ten Books to Read If You Like ‘X’; I chose fantasy as my subject. As I’ve read a lot of the genre I felt it was the most comfortable topic I could talk about. Not only that, but as there are a lot of fantasy books out there, I hope that featuring my favourites helps you find your next one!

On Friday I took part in a blog tour for The Warden by Jon Richter. This is a psychological thriller novel that I agreed to review as part of the tour. If you haven’t checked out my review you can find a handy link here – no spoilers in saying that I enjoyed the book! It is an interesting take on the pandemic and a potential future concept involving technology, and what could happen if we became highly dependent on it and it goes wrong. It was fantastic and I hope you can take a look at the book for yourself!

 

Books Read

As of the beginning of this week I had 25% of The Warden left to read before I could put my thoughts together for my review on Friday. I blitzed through this last hour’s worth of reading after publishing my Sunday Summary post last week. I don’t know how I can do that when I don’t plan to do it, but when I do plan to do it (as I did the week prior) I fail miserably. Never mind – it meant that I have plenty of time to get my thoughts together and draft my review.

I have since gone back to reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I put this on hold briefly in order to do my reading for the recent blog tours I’ve taken part in (Million Eyes II and The Warden). It only equates to having read 5% of the book this week, but it’s progress. It works out at just over 50 pages, in case you’re interested. 5% doesn’t sound like much; 50 pages sounds better!

I’ve also started listening to a new audiobook this week. Whilst I was knitting the other evening I decided to start listening to Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’m currently on chapter 2 and the introduction has been great. There is plenty of action to keep me interested but also enough history to get an idea of who our main characters are and their role in society as a whole. I can’t wait to keep listening to this and find out more! All in all, a fabulous start.

 

Books Discovered

No new additions again this week. You might find this report a little bit boring, but I personally am very happy about it. It means I can *pretend* my habit is in control.

 

Coming Up…

I’m all done for blog tours for now. I haven’t signed up to very many of them this year, and while I’ve enjoyed taking part in them, I’m also looking forward to being able to post in my own time.

I’ve been having a think about what I want to share with you and the plan is to share a discussion post with you early next week. The topic I have in mind is to talk about how I juggle writing content for my blog, as well as reading and also all the other bits I like to do. For anyone who doesn’t blog, it may give insight as to how much time it takes. And, for anyone who does, I may be able to offer some time management techniques that you may take away and try to implement yourself!

Later in the week I will be back with my regular Friday feature posts. This week I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. I really enjoy sharing these and giving myself the opportunity to share a variety of books here on my blog. And for this week’s post I’m going to keep it open (as I set myself a challenge last time I shared this post). I hope you can join me and that you like the sound of the book I ultimately feature.

Then, last but not least, I’ll be back the same time next week with another Sunday Summary update for you.

In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Have you read any of the books I’m reading? Do any of them appeal to you? Let me know in the comments!

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Blog Tour Review: The Warden – Jon Richter

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour review of The Warden by Jon Richter, organised by Blackthorn Book Tours. This is the second blog tour post I’ve shared with Blackthorn, and it also happens to be the same author that I’m featuring today!

When I received the invite to read and review The Warden as part of this tour, it was a no-brainer decision! I really enjoyed reading Auxiliary: London 2039, also by Jon Richter, and I loved the sound of The Warden. Whilst it has similar themes to Auxiliary (on the technological side anyway), it’s a completely different narrative and character set. So, I don’t think you don’t have to have read any books by him previously to give this one a go based on my experience.

There are a few topics in the book that some readers may not be comfortable with reading. These are listed below so you can decide whether you’re interested in the book and also on here in my thoughts. I really hope that they don’t put you off however, because it is a fantastic book. I’m not one to shy away and I’m glad that the case, because this book was a pleasure to read!

 

The Warden – Jon Richter

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Print length: 312

Suitable for young adults? This is an adult book but suitable for mature teenagers 16-18

Trigger warnings: Covid references; homicide with some graphic violence; references to medical experimentation on humans; swearing; brief animal cruelty (goldfish left to die); references to suicide and mental illness

Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

Purchase link: http://mybook.to/theWardenJonRichter

 

Goodreads – The Warden

The year is 2024, and the residents of the Tower, a virus-proof apartment building, live in a state of permanent lockdown. The building is controlled by a state-of-the-art AI named James, who keeps the residents safe but incarcerated. Behind bricked-up front doors, their every need is serviced; they are pampered but remain prisoners.

This suits Eugene just fine. Ravaged by the traumas of his past, the agoraphobic ex-detective has no intention of ever setting foot outside again. But when he finds the Tower’s building manager brutally murdered, his investigator’s instincts won’t allow him to ignore the vicious crime.

What Eugene finds beyond the comfort of his apartment’s walls will turn his sheltered existence upside down. To unravel the Tower’s mysteries, he must confront James… and James takes his role as the Warden very, very seriously.

 

Praise for The Warden

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book set during a pandemic – but I’m so glad I did. One of my top reads of 2021 – it grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go till the fantastic ending. Part psychological thriller, part horror story, part crime novel – and there’s even a touch of romance – all brought together by superb writing. Amazon review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wow, I loved this book! Set in the year 2024, with flashbacks to 2020, it shows an alternative reality to the Covid situation we’re currently living through. The virus has become even more virulent, and people are shut inside their homes, terrified to go out. Amazon review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Massive 5 stars. Jon Richter is an author I admire – I loved his Rabbit Hole, and it was my number one book for 2020. This one is definitely in the running for being number one in 2021! It is set in Covid times, with some remarkably likeable characters who prove to be anything but… Amazon Review

My Thoughts…

I love the spin of the world and our current circumstances featured in the novel. We are all too familiar with the pandemic at this point. A number of us have had to make changes in our lives and embrace new technologies to help us through it. In this futuristic novel, Covid has advanced even further than our current circumstances. It is highly contagious and to prevent spread, people are sealing themselves inside their homes. The residents of The Tower are fortunate in that they are looked after by James, a highly intelligent AI system that delivers their daily needs, provides all the entertainment they can want and more besides. What could go wrong?

Well, there’s a question…

The thing that makes this narrative so chilling is that it has a stark resemblance to our recent circumstances. The fact that this could be our lives in the not too distant future is scary and all-too-real. We don’t need to imagine what it is like to have to isolate or stay at home. We’ve done that; The only difference is that events in the book a far more extreme than we have had to experience (thankfully!)

If you like science-fiction then this book has aspects for you as well! Alongside the current narrative in 2024, there are flashbacks to the creation of the AI, James, stemming from the beginning of the pandemic. I liked these snippets from the past as they build on the current storyline, but also they have interesting aspects in terms of The creation of the technology and how it has evolved in the few years between timelines. As someone who has read a lot more in the way of science fiction of late, this appeals to me as well.

I love books that combine different genres, and The Warden certainly does that! I enjoyed how the psychological thriller and science-fiction elements came together. They are both well-loved genres on my reading list and to find a book that melded the two together almost seamlessly was perfect. There is a good balance of both to appeal to readers of each genre; but, if like me you enjoyed both then you should love this book as much as I did!

The Warden was everything I hoped it would be. The writing style is effortless to read and the story flows nicely. Changing between the two timelines was clear and effortless to read. I also enjoyed how different chapters were written from the perspective of different characters. It adds a new dimension to any narrative and it’s one of my favourite elements of books of this kind. Each narrative voice is distinct and even if each chapter weren’t clearly labelled with whose perspective it was from, you could easily tell from the style.

All in all, The Warden was a really enjoyable read. With short chapters and a page count of just over 300 pages, it’s a novel that is great for a wide audience… especially those who enjoy their novels on the darker side…

About Jon Richter

Jon Richter writes genre-hopping dark fiction, including his three gripping crime thrillers, Deadly Burial, Never Rest and Rabbit Hole, his cyberpunk noir thriller Auxiliary: London 2039 and his new techno-thriller The Warden, as well as two collections of short horror fiction.

 Jon lives in London and is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a great story!  He writes whenever he can, and hopes to bring you many more sinister tales in the future.  He also co-hosts the Dark Natter podcast, a fortnightly dissection of the world’s greatest works of dark fiction, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcast fix.

If you want to chat to him about any of this, you can find him on Twitter @RichterWrites or Instagram @jonrichterwrites.  His website haunts the internet at www.jon-richter.com, and you can find his books available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2OXXRVP.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Read If You Love… Fantasy!

I wanted to take part in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post as I have extensive knowledge and experience in reading fantasy novels. If you read my blog you’ll know I absolutely love fantasy and I have ever since I was a teenager.

I have significantly diversified since my teenage years (partly because I read that much fantasy I got bored of the same thing over again), but it’s a genre I always go back to. It’s like a comfort blanket to me; it’s always there for me to go back to and I do so regularly.

Naturally, having read a lot of fantasy books, I have distinct favourites from genre. And today, I’m sharing those favourites with you and why they make the cut.

 

Game of Thrones series – George R. R. Martin

There shouldn’t be any surprises that this is on my list… and of course it’s on the top of my list! There are so many reasons that I think this is fantastic and if you read my blog already you’ve heard it a million times before. The narrative is great, the writing is fabulous and the characters are so tangible that it doesn’t feel like you’re reading a book. Honestly, it’s amazing, and I won’t bore you with telling you why I think so all over again

 

Mistborn series – Brandon Sanderson

This was the first series I read by Brandon Sanderson and I stand by the fact that it’s my favourite. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who has yet to try any of Brandon Sanderson‘s writing. It is a series, but it’s a very approachable one. If, like me, you love the idea of a magic system having a basis of science then this is definitely one for you!

 

The Kingkiller Chronicle series – Patrick Rothfuss

It has been so long since I picked any of these books up, and I’m still waiting for the last of the series, but I’ll never forget the impression this made on me as a teenager. For the reasons I love a Game of Thrones, I love this series as well. The characters are so detailed and know one of them perfect and they acknowledge this. The world building is also spectacular. The narrative style is also unique as the book is written as if the main character is telling the tale in recollection after the event. At the time I read this series, this was the first time I’d come across this technique. I think it really works!

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series – Laini Taylor

The reason the series is on the list is because I loved it, despite it having so many elements that I should have enjoyed. I’m not a big fan of romance, and typically YA is not my style (with a few exceptions) but I love this series so much that I read it in a matter of months. That’s unheard-of for me! Are usually drag them out for so long but I had to binge read this – it was that good!

 

The Raven’s Mark series – Ed McDonald

Blackwing

After I finished the last book of the series, Crowfall, I cried because it was over. How sad is that?! It will become apparent to you that a lot of the books on this list are designated so because the character development is far more than superficial. There’s character development, and then this character development and these books take them one step further. Ryhalt Galharrow is the kind of character you don’t want to like… but you can’t help it! Somehow addressing his faults makes him endearing to us as the reader. He is entirely human in his mistakes. He kills people, and has own selfish reasons for doing the things he does. But we also see the other human side of him – The part of him that is scarred emotionally and how he reacts to events in the book certainly demonstrates that.

Just go and read it, okay? And try not to cry like a baby like I did.

 

Gentlemen Bastards series – Scott Lynch

It’s hard to believe from reading the series that it is Scott Lynch‘s debut. The narrative is absolutely amazing and and I loved the crassness of it. It’s clever and witty and a fun read… Especially if you like characters of a less than honest nature!

Again, please go and read this. However-a word of advice: if you take offence to the swearing in the title, definitely don’t read this book. It doesn’t get any better!

 

The Broken Empire series – Mark Lawrence

I really liked The Broken Empire because again, it has a main character who from the beginning you don’t want to like but end up doing so anyway. This was the first series I read by Mark Lawrence and it’s inspired me to continue to read his works. I really liked the narrative and my teenage self really enjoyed these books. It’s series that I plan to go back and read again and that should tell you everything.

 

The Relic Guild series – Edward Cox

The narrative of The Relic Guild was so out there, and the series went on in a direction I completely didn’t anticipate from the beginning. That’s what I really enjoyed about this series. It was also very cleverly thought out and very easy to read considering the sophisticated magic and plot twists involved.

 

Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling

The Harry Potter series is one of those eat you could pick up at any age. I first started reading these in my teenage years and you may know that I have picked these up again this year. I read the first five books so far. Even going back to the beginning, I found them really easy to read, but without being babyish. The plot and themes of the box get a lot darker for further on you go, so there is stark contrast to my last experience of the series versus restarting it. However, I really enjoyed going back and experiencing this again. It has been a long time since I picked these books up (I think I last read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows over eight years ago), But I’m loving taking the time to read them. It’s a classic series that is great for everyone!

 

Discworld series – Terry Pratchett

I love the Discworld series because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. But, at the same time, Terry Pratchett is able to include some quite serious themes, including gender equality, death, fame etc in a fun way. I would never have said that I would be a huge fan of satire, however the Discworld is a bit of this and I think it’s great. Put it this way – I have read 18 books from the series so far. That reminds me, I haven’t picked one up for quite some time. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the next one!

 

Have you read any of the books listed in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post? Let me know in the comments! Or, do you have another favourite but I haven’t listed?

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Sunday Summary – 14th November 2021

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update! As always, I hope you’ve had a good week whatever you have been doing?

As for what I’ve been doing, I shared a blog tour review of Million Eyes II: The Unraveller on Wednesday this week. Having taken part in the blog tour for the first book of the series back in January 2020, I was keen to get involved and share my thoughts on this second instalment. If you haven’t yet read my review, you can find a link above. That post also links to my review of the first book of the series, so if you want to catch up from the beginning that’s the place to go. In fact, I’ll pop a handy link to that here as well.

On Friday I shared a Shelf Control post. It’s a regular series here at Reviewsfeed that gives me the opportunity to review the books on my to be read list, whittle out anything I no longer want to read and feature those that I do! This week I featured a book that’s been on my list for a few years. My sister reminded me after I shared this post, she managed to get a copy of it as part of an O2 deal. She had asked if she could read it before she handed it to me, and I never saw it. She had a laugh with me about it after my post went live, and confided that she didn’t finish it herself. However, when she comes to visit at Christmas I’ll get my hands on it!

 

Books Read

 

In last week’s Sunday Summary update I had 15% of Million Eyes II: The Unraveller left to read. I was right on those stats even though I couldn’t cross check against my Kindle. That worked out to be about an hour‘s worth of reading time, however, my plan to read it on Sunday night didn’t work out. I ended up knitting instead…

However, I did go on to read this on Monday evening and at the same time I started my blog post draft while my thoughts were fresh. The ending was very good; it ended up being quite a complex narrative with so many interlinking parts, however it was executed very well. It was a pleasure to read and I’m glad I took part in the blog tour for it!

After this, I started to read The Warden by Jon Richter. I have a read and reviewed a book by Jon Richter previously, Auxiliary: London 2039. I enjoyed this book immensely and I signed up for the blog tour of The Warden ages ago. Well, the time has finally come for me to read this book as my blog tour post for this book is due to go live next Friday.

I have to say, the book is every bit as good as I expected. It’s an action-packed psychological thriller. The majority of the narrative takes place in 2024, with flashbacks to beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus in this fictional narrative has mutated exceptionally and humans have to take more and more drastic action in order to avoid contamination. Like sealing themselves into buildings supported predominantly by an AI. But what if something goes wrong? Without going into any detail that’s the crux of the narrative and I’m really enjoying it. Naturally, anyone uncomfortable with the theme of the pandemic being the linchpin of the narrative might not choose to read this one. However, I very rarely shy away from a topic and I think it works really well!

As of this Sunday Summary update post, I am 3/4 of the way through the book. The remaining time left to read is about an hour and so I have plenty of time to get this finished before my blog tour post on Friday. I hope you like the sound of the book based on little snippets I told you and that you can check it out in full on Friday.

 

Books Discovered

Once again, I’m pleased to confirm that my TBR has not gotten any longer. Thankfully!

 

Coming Up…

I’ve decided to take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post. The topic of the post is “Books to Read If You Love ‘X’”. For this topic, I’ve decided to stick with the genre I have read most extensively, which is fantasy. If you love fantasy books as much as me then take the time to check out my list on Tuesday. In that post I will be featuring my favourite books of the genre and why I love them!

As I mentioned above, I will be sharing my thoughts in a blog tour review for The Warden by Jon Richter on Friday. That means my usual Friday feature will be taking a very short break just for this week. I can already tell that this post is going to be a good one. If you like the sound of the book based on my description above I really hope you can check out my full thoughts on Friday. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

As always, I will be rounding off the week with my next Sunday Summary update this time next week.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post and until next time, happy reading!

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Shelf Control #38 – 12/11/2021

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature here and is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

This week’s featured book is one that my sister purchased a copy of years ago. I can’t remember the exact details, but it was on some kind of offer, or student discount, that she got. Having read about it herself she quite liked the sound of it. She asked if she could read it first and then pass it on to me once she was finished. I don’t know if she ever finished it, but I certainly haven’t seen it!

Interested to find out what it is?

 

The Bone Collector – Jeffrey Deaver

Goodreads – The Bone Collector

Lincoln Rhyme was once a brilliant criminologist, a genius in the field of forensics — until an accident left him physically and emotionally shattered. But now a diabolical killer is challenging Rhyme to a terrifying and ingenious duel of wits. With police detective Amelia Sachs by his side, Rhyme must follow a labyrinth of clues that reaches back to a dark chapter in New York City’s past — and reach further into the darkness of the mind of a madman who won’t stop until he has stripped life down to the bone.

 

My Thoughts…

I really like the sound of the plot. Crime thrillers are a great read and it’s a popular genre with a lot of people. I’m intrigued by the characters, in particular the villain based on the little hints we get from the synopsis. There is something twisted about the human brain because we are intrigued by the actions and frightening intelligence of the most devious, narcissistic killers. It’s a kind of morbid fascination… but is it’s obviously a popular subject because this book has fantastic reviews. And as you will know, a lot of dramas on TV have the same kind of premise, or at least the characters.

I can’t wait to pick The Bone Collector up for myself. As I said, I’ve never actually clapped eyes on the copy of the book my sister bought. Whether that’s because she finished it and decided she wanted to keep it for herself, or that she hasn’t finished it yet, I don’t know! It doesn’t matter though. Either way, I will be getting round to this – even if I have to get my own copy!

Have you read The Bone Collector? Would you recommend it? As always I would love to know!

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