Author: fantasyst95

Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor

In today’s review, I will be sharing my thoughts on the final book of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and honestly, I just hope I can do the book justice! I fell in love with this series the moment I started it… as you could probably have guessed based on the speed I binge-read it! If you haven’t read my reviews of the first two books, you can find my reviews of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight using these links.

Now that you’re all caught up, shall we get into today’s review?

 

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor | Goodreads

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?

The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as – from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond – humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

 

My Thoughts…

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is an epic conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I had such high expectations from the previous books; a lot was at stake. Disappointment in the conclusion would have been a bitter end…. but, of course, Laini Taylor pulled all her tricks out of the bag. The synopsis isn’t wrong in calling this last instalment stunning. It has made the series one of my favourites of all-time, and one I will read again and again!

YA, or young adult isn’t a genre I read a lot of. I’ve read a few in my time but compared to a lot of other bloggers my age it isn’t a go-to genre for me. I would say the vast majority of YA books I have read are Laini Taylor’s. I find that typically the stories have a ‘coming of age’ element to them, which is a trope I have read a lot from the fantasy books I read. Honestly, I think it’s a tad over-used, but Laini manages to incorporate it quite discreetly so that it feel s more like character development rather than the whole event the book/series is based around. It’s natural and effortless to read. Arguably, I would say that Dreams of Gods and Monsters has almost a collective coming-of-age element to the book as each character has their existence threatened, allegiances tested and a new reality.

The history between the angels and the monsters is conflicted. They have fought each other for their own survival for so long, and neither side is innocent. The gritty reality of their world and the shades of grey in the morality of their behaviour make the novel (and series) far more interesting than a black and white good vs. evil conflict. It’s something I have praised the series about in my earlier reviews and I will do so again. It is one of my favourite things about it, especially how this mindset and reality is tested to the limit in Dreams of Gods and Monsters.

Another aspect of the book that I love and want to champion (again) is the relationship between Karou and Akiva. I am not one for romance in books at all, but their relationship isn’t like most portrayed in YA novels. Yes, it’s a forbidden love and they are kept apart by the divides in their people (I think this is a common enough trope of romance from what I gather). What I like about it is that it isn’t sexualised. Karou and Akiva see the world differently from others; they don’t see the need for the divide and the conflict between their people. They dreamed long ago of a world in which they could live and be together – of companionship, free from the prejudice and discrimination that keeps them apart.

I could keep going on forever about this book, I really could! But, I have to stop rambling at some point. Honestly, if you didn’t get the vibe from the review, then all I can say is this. Read it! Read them all. I binged the whole series I loved it that much! Normally I like to take my time and savour a series, but I couldn’t with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I couldn’t wait to read the next instalment. I was gutted it ended, but I’m equally satisfied and I know I’ll be picking it up again one day.

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 14th February 2021

Hi guys – Happy Valentine’s Day and welcome to today’s weekly Sunday Summary update. I hope you’ve had a great week wherever you are? Mine has been pretty good. I’ve been kept busy at work and I’ve been spending my evening binge-watching TV (quite unusual for me, but I’ve enjoyed it!).

Aside from that, I shared an audiobook review for Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo on Tuesday. It was the review I was supposed to share last week but just needed a bit more work before I was ready to publish it. I have to confess that this was my only post this week, despite my plans to share a second review later this week. I’ll be honest with you… I just didn’t get around to it. I love Dreams of Gods and Monsters and I need to get the review right to do it justice.

 

Books Read

I’ve made some more progress with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this week. AS of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was a third of the way through the book. I’m now nearer two thirds through and I’m looking forward to finishing the re-read of this book.

I’ve also listened to a little more of A Game of Thrones since my last update. Not much, but a couple of chapters here and there makes a difference. I still have a good few hours to listen to but I’m going to start listening to my audiobooks on my commutes again. It works out at an hour a day roughly, so it all helps.

 

Books Discovered

 

I haven’t made the most progress on reading or blogging this week, but I have made up for it in other ways. This week I celebrated my birthday and I was very lucky to get a number of books gifted to me! I received the Nevernight trilogy by Jay Kristoff in paperback and also two clothbound classics – Frankenstein and Animal Farm.  I love each and every one and I can’t wait to re-read them all!

 

Coming Up…

I’m going to share the review I didn’t get around to for Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. To make sure I get the chance to do it, it’s the only review I’m planning on sharing this week.

I’ve been inspired by my current read to take part in a Harry Potter-themed book tag. I enjoyed reading the Harry Potter tag shared over on the blog All You READ Is Love and so I want to share my own answers to this! It’ll be a nice light read for you guys and fun for me to draft. I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.

 

Until next time, have a great week and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Hi guys and welcome to today’s audiobook review of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Crooked Kingdom is the second book of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology. If you haven’t read my review of Six of Crows yet, you can find a link to that here. Please note that inevitably this review may well contain spoilers for the first book. So, if you haven’t read it yet or don’t want anything to be spoiled for you, I suggest you don’t read this review until you’ve caught up with the series.

 

Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo | Goodreads

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

 

My Thoughts…

The Grishaverse is a well-established setting from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I, however, haven’t read any other books by Leigh Bardugo to date, so I went into this completely brand-new. That didn’t matter one bit however as I have really gotten into the universe the novels are set in without having any difficulty understanding what was going on and the political/societal backdrop. Everything is nicely explained and recapped without delving into too much detail. It was the perfect balance between providing the backdrop and reminding me of previous events whilst not compromising the action. 

Events in Crooked Kingdom take place immediately after Six of Crows. The gang have just completed the most epic heist ever, miraculously unscathed, but now manage to find themselves in even greater danger. Kaz’s past really comes to light in this book and shapes the current events that risk everything the group has obtained so far. Kaz so far had been a bit of a mystery, and so I enjoyed seeing how his past has shaped the man he has become. Plenty of hints were given in Six of Crows, so I enjoyed the development of his backstory. 

There are plenty of plot twists in Crooked Kingdom to keep readers on their toes. When I first picked the book up I had no idea how events would pan out. The plans of the gang oft go awry – in fact, as far away as planned, but that’s exciting. Seeing how the events play out and how the characters react in stressful situations is the bread and butter of the series. It’s also what Leigh Bardugo is good at writing. It’s chaotic, high-risk, thrilling and still cohesively written and easy for the reader to follow. 

I said it before in my review of Six of Crows, but I love how unperfect the characters are. They have all done bad things, awful things; they steal, fight and will even kill, and yet still you can’t help but find yourself rooting for them. In Crooked Kingdom especially, the odds are stacked against them. For those of you that like that sort of thing, there are also a number of budding romances between various characters of the book. I read that other people quite enjoyed this aspect, and I certainly didn’t object to it. I’m just not a very romantic person… it has to be said! Still, based on my experience of this duology, I will definitely go on to read more books by Leigh Bardugo. I have fallen in love with the Grishaverse and the characters she brings to life in her novels!

Have you read or listened to either Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom? Let me know in the comments! 

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 7th February 2021

I’m back with another weekly update in today’s Sunday Summary post! Have you had a good week? I certainly have! It’s been a long one, but worth all the effort. You may recall that I have mentioned that I have been sitting exams for work over the last year or so. Well, I sat my last exam on Wednesday and the good news is, I passed! My grade technically remains provisional until mid next week, but after that, it will be official and I will have my qualification at last! I actually sat my last exam remotely at home, which was a very strange experience… but good that it meant I knew I could sit the exam regardless of the Covid situation.

I only shared one out of my two planned blog posts this week. My January wrap-up post went live on Wednesday; naturally in the lead up to the exam my priority was revision, so this was posted afterwards. As shared in last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was supposed to share an audiobook review later this week. However, I didn’t quite finish it in time. It has been nearly a year since I finished listening to it and so it took some time to cast my mind back to the events of the book and my thoughts on it. I’m pleased to say it’s nearly ready to be published, so you can expect it soon.

 

Books Read

My main reading priority this week (aside from last-minute studying) has been Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin. It has been on my bedside for most of the week and I’ve been going up to bed with a cup of tea to read. I’ve enjoyed this over the last few nights, and I am now over a couple of hundred of pages in. Most would probably baulk at the idea of this being light, bedtime reading… but I’m enjoying it and that’s what counts!

I decided to take a different read up to bed last night for a change of pace. I’m loving reading Fire and Blood, but at over 700 pages it is an epic that will take me a bit longer to read. I also highly doubt I’ll be popping it in my backpack to take to work for lunchtime reading either, so I wanted something else for this. Instead, I chose to pick up the second book in the Harry Potter series and continue my re-read. I don’t want to stretch out the time between reading them too long either. Since about this time last night, I have read 80 pages, which is a third of the book already!

 

Books Discovered

Once again, nothing to see here, which is a miracle! I’ve been avoiding the bookshop and its temptations deliberately…

 

Coming Up…

My first plan for the week is to get my audiobook review for Crooked Kingdom (the one I was supposed to publish this week) completed and published. There isn’t too much to do so I’m looking to share that post by Tuesday at the absolute latest!

Later in the week, I’m going to share yet another review. I have a good deal to write and given that I’m still reviewing non-blog tour books that are nearly a year old so to speak, I need to get on it. With that in mind, I’m going to review Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. It’s the last book in a trilogy I absolutely adore and I can’t wait to share this one with you!

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary post and I wish you all a fantastic week to come. What are you reading?

 

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – January 2021

Hello readers and welcome to today’s first monthly wrap up post… well, ever! At the beginning of this year, I decided to change up the way I was running my blog and my reading. Previously, I was setting myself monthly reading goals at the beginning of the month with the aim of completing it by the end. That works reasonably well if you like the structure, which I did for a very long time. I like knowing what I had to read, but I had left in the month and it helped me organise my time accordingly.

However, within the last six months, I found that format not really working for me anymore. I’ve had a lot of other things on, and all in all my reading pattern and time spent on reading and blogging, in general, has declined slightly. That said, my ambitions hadn’t really changed and as a result, I was setting myself unrealistic targets when setting myself a new TBR every month. It’s a shame, but ultimately I decided I needed to change what I was doing in order to not feel bad about what I was not doing instead of celebrating what I was.

I have enjoyed the more relaxed pace this month even more than I expected. It gives me the freedom to read what I want when I want. When I read now, it’s because I want to and not because I feel I have to in order to get to the end of my list for the month. It’s definitely something I’m going to be continuing for the rest of the year.

And so onto today’s wrap-up post for January!

 

Books Read

I read a total of three books this month; these books being midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham, Harry Potter and the philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling and a remedy in time by Jennifer Macaire. In addition, I have also read just over 100 pages of fire and blood by George R.R. Martin and I have listened to around half of the audiobook for a Game of Thrones, also by George R.R. Martin.

From non-fiction to historical fiction and epic fantasy, I have enjoyed a broad range of genres in this month‘s book selection. I’m finding myself enjoying a range of genres far more so than in my younger years. Really it’s something that has come to pass within the last couple of years more than anything. Are used pretty exclusively read fantasy only, and that did come with the drawback of eventually burning out and growing bored of reading the same tropes all the time.

I’m pleased with this months progress. Whilst it isn’t anything like the amount of reading I was doing this time last year, it should be noted that I have been studying for an exam this month as well. I haven’t neglected other hobbies either; the point of taking the more relaxed stance to reading and blogging was that I could enjoy all my hobbies without feeling like I had to sacrifice one for another. I think it’s done me good!

 

Blog Posts

Since I’m going to the effort of writing a monthly wrapup post, it makes sense to take the time to summarise the posts I’ve shared within the month as well! That way, if you’ve missed anything, I can give you links to anything you might be interested in so you can go back and take a look.

Of course, my blogging year began with my goals for 2021, or the lack of as is the case this year! I published … reviews in the month, some of which have been on my list to do for some time. In addition, I also took the liberty of having some fun and sharing some more lighthearted books content, such as my Top Ten Tuesday posts.

Here are the posts I shared last month: –

 

That’s my January summed up for you! I hope you have enjoyed today’s post! If there is anything else you would like to see in my monthly wrap-ups, please let me know!

What books did you read in January?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 31st January 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update from me! I hope you are all keeping safe and well wherever you are. It has been a pretty uneventful week for me personally; I left the house once for food! Other than that, I’ve just been working from home, preparing for an exam I’m sitting next week and spending my evenings as I do; knitting, watching TV, reading etc.

On the blog, I’ve been somewhat productive. Earlier this week I shared my 25 Bookish Facts About Me post. That was both fun to write and also a bit of a challenge. Try and come up with 25 facts about you – because some of the facts are so random and for the most part unremarkable day-to-day, they’re hard to think of!

Later this week, I shared a blog tour review for A Remedy in Time by Jennifer Macaire. I have read a good deal of her books by now and I love her writing, so even though I had decided I wasn’t going to sign up for as many tours this year, I was willing to make an exception for her. Realistically I would probably have picked this up and read it at a later date, so I might as well have done now and hopefully done my part for the tour! This is the last tour I signed up for though. Nothing else is planned at the moment, although I won’t rule out reviews for other ‘regular’ names here or promo posts for tours instead.

 

Books Read

I’ve spent a lot of this week on exam preparations, so I’ve done a bit less reading than I’ve been averaging over the last few weeks. That said, I have been doing a bit of reading before bed the last few nights. I’ve made more progress with Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin. I’m really enjoying reading about the history of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond in the lead up to the events of the main story. A good deal of it is vaguely familiar as it comes up in the main series as well. And this is my idea of light reading to wind down at night… what does that say about me?! Haha!

As if Fire & Blood isn’t Game of Thrones-y enough, I’ve also made more progress listening to the audiobook for the first book in the series. I now have just less than 14 hours left to listen to, which will sound like loads – but it’s roughly the last third of the book.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added any more books to my list this week… so nothing to see here!

 

Coming Up…

You may have noticed that I didn’t set myself a reading list in January. In my pledge to get back to reading and enjoy a more relaxed pace, I’ve decided to switch things around. Instead of writing a post on what I was going to do (or at least try to) at the beginning of a month, I’m going to write a wrap-up post of what I actually did do at the end of a month instead. It’s a lot less pressure and it means I can pick and choose what I read when, as opposed to setting a restrictive list and then having to stick to it. I’ll be sharing my first wrap-up post at the beginning of the week.

Later in the week, I’ll be sharing yet another book review in my mega backlist! I’ve decided that this week’s review will be for an audiobook I listened to last year. It’s the second book in the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo, called Crooked Kingdom.

 

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post! Until next time, I hope you have a lovely week!

 

 

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Blog Tour Review and GIVEAWAY: A Remedy in Time – Jennifer Macaire

I am very excited to be taking part in today’s blog tour for A Remedy in Time by Jennifer Macaire! The reason I wanted to take part today is that I have read a number of Jennifer Macaire’s books to date. These books include four books from The Road to Alexander series and A Crown in Time as well as this latest book. I have loved every single one to date, so when I got the email about this blog tour I had to say yes! As always, thank you to Jennifer Macaire and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour.

The timing of this tour might seem funny given the premise of the book. You’ll see what I mean. And yet, despite the casual link to certain current events going on right now, this is a very different story and was an excellent read for some escapism from everything going on. If you’re intrigued and want to find out more, here are the details of the book, my full review and a chance to enter a giveaway to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate: –

 

A Remedy in Time – Jennifer Macaire

A Remedy In Time: Your favourite new timeslip story, from the author of the cult classic TIME FOR ALEXANDER series by Jennifer Macaire | Goodreads

To save the future, she must turn to the past . . .

San Francisco, Year 3377. A deadly virus has taken the world by storm. Scientists are desperately working to develop a vaccine. And Robin Johnson – genius, high-functioning, and perhaps a little bit single-minded – is delighted. Because, to cure the disease, she’s given the chance to travel back in time.

But when Robin arrives at the last Ice Age hoping to stop the virus at its source, she finds more there than she bargained for. And just as her own chilly exterior is beginning to thaw, she realises it’s not only sabre-toothed tigers that are in danger of extinction . . .

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK      Amazon US      Headline

 

My Thoughts…

A common theme throughout Jennifer Macaire’s books, and one of my favourite things about them, is the combination of science-fiction and historical-fiction genres. To an extent that’s to be expected in a novel encompassing time-travel. However, the time travel element of the book isn’t just a means of starting the story. From the act of time travelling itself, to advanced technology and having biodegradable equipment to avoid leaving any traces, the science-fiction aspect of the novel is present throughout the narrative. I love how well the two genres are blended together seamlessly!

Robin is a really interesting main character and I enjoyed her complexity. She is far from the prime candidate to be sent off on a mission for the Tempus University, but her expertise in variants of the virus ravaging the modern-day world gives her the opportunity to prove herself. However, she finds herself in deeper waters than she imagined, and the plot that unfolds had me questioning everything I knew so far. What was really going on, and who could Robin trust? In between all the action and mystery, as if this wasn’t enough, there is plenty of humour in the book too. I was laughing out loud on several occasions whilst reading A Remedy in Time.

12,000 years into the past, danger lurks around every corner. Wild beasts and the forces of Mother Nature are new territories for Robin, and for us readers. The descriptions of the landscapes and animals Robin discovers are absolutely beautiful and vivid. It was very easy to imagine myself as the reader in Robin’s shoes and discovering this entirely different world.

The novel is well-paced and full of action to keep us readers hooked. I found it very easy to sit and read A Remedy in Time for longer stints. There is so much going on and the underlying mystery is exciting and lures you into reading the next chapter, and the next, to see what happens next! I seriously didn’t want to put it down! In between all the action and mystery, as if this wasn’t enough, there is plenty of humour in the book too. I was laughing out loud on several occasions whilst reading A Remedy in Time.

I really enjoyed reading this book, as I am sure you have gathered from this review. It is the perfect mix of genres and tone to keep you reading for hours. I cannot recommend this book enough and I hope anyone who goes on to read it as well enjoys it as much as I did!

 

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves chocolate, biking, & reading. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/jennifermacaire

https://www.facebook.com/TempusU

 

Giveaway to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494405/

 

25 Bookish Facts About Me

Hi guys and welcome to today’s post! I wanted to do something fun and share some of the more random bookish facts about me. I thought it would be a good way to help you get to know me. This is a book tag, however, I decided to take part having seen a few versions of the post online. I haven’t been tagged; I just liked the idea and decided I wanted to do it for myself! 

So, here are 25 bookish facts about me that you may, or may not have known: – 

 

1. I used to pretty much exclusively read fantasy when I was younger.

2. As a teenager, I couldn’t read more than one book at a time.

3. As a high school student I volunteered in my school library.

4. My favourite authors growing up were Jacqueline Wilson and Meg Cabot.

5. Non-fiction is my least frequently read genre (excluding those I don’t read at all!)

6. I’m not a big user or advocate of Netgalley, but thanks to blog tours and such I have a feedback ratio of 73%, which is just less than the recommended 80%.

7. My TBR is just over 200 books long – yikes!

8. The longest book I’ve read is IT by Stephen King. The edition I have is a whopping 1,396 pages and took me 2 weeks to read.

9. I don’t really have a preference in the e-reader/physical book debate. Both have their merits, and that’s why I like a healthy mix of both.

10. I have never read the Twilight series and frankly, from what I’ve heard I don’t think I ever will either. No hate, just not my thing okay?

11. Autumn is my favourite time of year to read. The nights are starting to draw in and it’s the perfect excuse to draw the curtains, lock the door and cosy in with a good book.

12. My favourite author of all time is George R. R. Martin.

13. I’ve only started listening to audiobooks in the last few years and they have really grown on me. I wasn’t sure if I’d take to them at first.

14. I have copies of all the A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka A Game of Thrones) published to date in all formats (physical, audio and e-reader).

15. I have never finished a book and rated it 1 star. If it’s that bad (in my opinion) I won’t finish it and don’t rate it.

16. I picked up my first Stephen King book (The Green Mile) only 3 and a half years ago. I haven’t looked back since!

17. I don’t borrow books from the library very often…

18. In the last four years (2017-2020) I have read 239 books.

19. My average rating on Goodreads is 4.32 stars out of 5.

20. I have never been to a book convention or literary festival.

21. Starting my blog is the reason I read as much as I do. Without it, my interest would probably have waned.

22. Book blogging is like a full-time job, but it’s a fun one!

23. I have a general rule that I will only buy and keep physical copies of books that I’m sure I’m going to read again. Otherwise, I’ll buy it on kindle or I’ll take them to a charity shop when I’m finished with it.

24. I hate cracking the spine of a paperback, so I always try to stretch it before I start reading to minimise the risk of damage.

25. Reading is my way of escaping reality. I spend more time reading than any other hobby.

 

I would like to say that this was quite an easy post, but actually trying to come up with all these facts was more challenging than I anticipated! 

What bookish facts do you have to share? 

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 24th January 2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s possibly slightly hastily written Sunday Summary update post. I’ve had a very busy weekend doing a bit more redecorating in the house. I only finished at 8 pm this evening, so apologies if this post reads a little rushed as a result. But, my hall, stairs and landing look really nice now so it was worth the effort!

My week was comparatively normal. Aside from working from home, I’ve been studying for an upcoming exam and the usual reading and blogging. I shared my first blog post of the week on Tuesday and featured the top ten reads of 2020 that I didn’t get to. My next post after that didn’t go live until yesterday, but I wanted to take my time and get my thoughts together for my review of Rags of Time by Michael Ward.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was just about to finish Midnight in Chernobyl, as I had 40 pages left. I’m pleased to say that I did go on to read those on Sunday night and so I finished this book last week.

I’ve read a second book in its entirety this week, finishing it earlier today in a break when I was waiting for a coat of paint to dry. I’m taking part in a blog tour next week and so I wanted to get the book read in plenty of time before then. I signed up to the blog tour for A Remedy in Time by Jennifer Macaire as I have read a number of this author’s books to date and I love her writing. As a rule, I’m not really signing up to review any books for blog tours, but I signed up to this at the end of last year as an exception, given that I would probably have continued to read her books anyway. It was a nice and light historical fiction read and I can’t wait to share my thoughts next week.

I’ve also listened to more of A Game of Thrones this week, but especially yesterday when starting the decorating. I just love it so much and I’ve listened to around half the audiobook now.

 

Books Discovered

I saw a tweet from an author I love talking about a book series I hadn’t heard about. Having read a bit more about it, I decided I liked the sound of it enough to give it a try. The first book of the series is called Priest of Bones by Peter McLean. I’ve added this to my TBR to try the series. I hope I’ll enjoy it as much as I think I will!

 

Coming Up…

Next week I’ll be sharing a couple of posts in addition to my usual weekly update. I want to start off the week on a lighter tone, as I’ll be sharing a review later in the week. I’ve seen a fun post idea of sharing 25 bookish facts about me, and so I want to share this with you in the next few days.

I’ll be sharing my blog tour review of A Remedy in Time on Friday, which I hope you can join me for!

Then, last but not least I’ll be wrapping up the week as usual in next week’s Sunday Summary update.

 

That’s all from me for now though – have a good one and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

 

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Book Review: Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s book review of Rags of Time by Michael Ward. I very kindly received a copy of the book in exchange for review last year and I’m looking forward to finally sharing my thoughts with you here. Before that though – here are the details of the book: –

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Rags of Time by Michael Ward | Goodreads

London.

1639.

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.

 

My Thoughts…

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and Rags of Time gave me the opportunity to try something completely new. Set in 1639, it’s a new time period of British history for me. Whilst the events of the book are fiction, the political and religious tumult within the book reflects the difficulties King Charles I experienced in his reign. This particular historical period isn’t one I’d had much exposure to before reading Rags of Time, and so I enjoyed reading something new!

I also enjoyed the more immediate action taking place in the book. Merchants are dropping like flies and Thomas Tallant finds himself prime suspect of the murders. Desperate to prove his innocence, he takes in interest in the murders in the hopes of discovering the truth to clear his name. But the Magistrates are after him, and with men of such power on his tail, he feels the walls closing in around him.

The wide array of characters within the book adds a lot of colour and intrigue to the narrative. From those trying to help Thomas clear his name to the men who set out to prove him guilty, an array of relationships build a dense web within Thomas must navigate. I think this aspect of the book is very well-written. There are a lot of moving parts in the book and so the character relationships are consistently shifting in line with the action.

There is plenty of action in the book to keep all readers entertained. In his efforts to maintain his innocence, Thomas finds himself in wild chases through the city and undertaking covert operations to uncover information. With the help of the incredibly intelligent Jane Seymour, can Thomas prove his innocence? Well, you’ll have to read Rags of Time yourself to find out because I won’t be spoiling it for you!

Thanks to the author Michael Ward for a copy of the book in exchange for a review. It was a pleasure to read!

 

 

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