Tag: fantasy

Sunday Summary – 9th October 2022

Hello everybody and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. I don’t know about you, but it is a very dreary evening here. It is the kind where you just want to snuggle in with blankets, candles and all the cosy things about you. I have done just that.

This week… has been a long week. I can’t say it particularly went to plan. In terms of my blog, this week’s posts went out as usual. On Monday, I shared my reading list for October 2022. This list is considerably more manageable than last month’s TBR! I’ve deliberately kept the number of books on the list towards the shorter end. Whilst I may be reading fewer books, the ones I am picking up are also on the chunky side! If you want to find out what I’m reading and haven’t taken a look at that post yet, there is a link above as always.

On Friday I shared a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I feature a book that I purchased a copy of originally… not realising it was part of a wider series. This particular book caught my mum‘s eye on my blog, and she has gone on to read some of these books even before I have touched any of them! She has really enjoyed them so far, and I can’t wait to try them for myself.

As for the rest of the week, well, it ended up being busy in every aspect that I didn’t expect. Long story short, I ended up doing overtime on a project for work. As a result, my usual blog post scheduling, and a lot of my reading, just didn’t happen. I’ll leave it at that. The good news is, we got the project done. However, I was working some fairly long days towards the end of this week.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I had just finished reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. That was the last book on my September TBR that I managed to pick up.

This week, I started my October TBR, but not with my one ‘fixed read’ of the month. I decided to pick up one of my mood reads. It was one that I had wanted to pick up sooner, however, I couldn’t justify picking it up in September as I had a large quantity of books to try and read. I have been really enjoying the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb, and so I have picked up Assassin’s Quest, the final book of that trilogy.

As I mentioned above, I ended up working a lot this week and so this limited the amount I was able to read. However, as of this Sunday Summary update, I am 183 pages into this 800-and-something epic. I am really enjoying where this book is going so far, and so I’m optimistic that I will be able to make a good amount of progress next week! I am very heavily invested already, meaning I want to pick it up at every opportunity I’m given!

One of my ongoing reads from my previous Sunday Summary post was Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer. As of that last post, I only had 45 minutes of listening time left of my audiobook. I will admit that I only picked up and finished this audiobook this morning. However, I’m really glad I did. I have mentioned quite a few times that this is a really interesting book, albeit sad. I have really enjoyed this listen and I have learned things about the events of 9/11 that I didn’t know before. This book will work really well to read (in print or kindle) or as an audiobook. The narrative flows really well, and I think I would have flown through this in either case!

 

Books Discovered

I suppose I have technically added a book to my TBR this week, although it was always going to be on there. As I am enjoying my current read of Assassin’s Quest, I decided to pick up the next book in the Realm of the Elderlings series – the first book of The Liveship Traders series.

Ship of Magic is every bit as chunky as the rest of the series has proven to be so far. This excites me; this book/series shifts its focus from the main character we have seen so far, FitzChivalry Farseer, into the wider realm. It’s an opportunity for me to dig into world-building from a different perspective.

 

Coming Up…

Normally I would have next week’s post already lined up for you. However, this week I don’t as yet.

I have been trying to work out a plan of attack and I have decided that this week I will be reducing my posting schedule from three posts (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday) to two posts. Instead, I am going to share my take of The Cozy Autumn Book Tag on Wednesday this week.

I’ve taken that decision because I am already going to have my usual full ‘blog workload’ in drafting and scheduling posts for the week after next. I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I effectively doubled my workload, at a time when I’m just recovering from having an increased workload! So, I hope the change of schedule and the slightly lighter topic isn’t too much bother for anybody, and I’ll be back to my usual posting days from the week after.

In addition to my post on Wednesday, I will of course be back for another Sunday Summary update at the end of the week. Naturally, I’m hoping for a lot more progress in terms of reading – but I will let you know next week’s Sunday Summary.

That’s all from me folks! There isn’t too much in the way of updates from me this week, but I hope you can understand why.

What have you been reading?

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly TBR – October 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly TBR for October! How are we in the final quarter of the year? Already, this year is absolutely flying by, and before we know it I’ll be talking about the books I read in 2022 in total! But, enough of that now. Today’s post is all about the books I intend to read during October. This month I am toning things back down and not taking part in any readathons. Instead, I have gone back to my previous model of setting a small number of fixed books to read in the month, but the rest being mood reads that I can chop and change at will.

So, let’s dive into my October TBR!

 

Fixed Reads

Blink of the Sun

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 488

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Lunar Triumvirate

Publication Date: 30 Jun 2022

 

 

Goodreads – Blink of the Sun

My one and only fixed record of the month is Blink of the Sun. I have agreed to review this book on BookSirens, and the review is due towards the end of this month. This particular fantasy caught my eye, and as I’m always trying to explore new authors (especially indie authors), I fancied giving it a go. I can’t wait to see you how it compares with a number of other fantasy books I’ve read, and what makes it stand out if anything.

 

Mood Reads

Assassin’s Quest

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 838

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 27 Mar 2014

 

 

Goodreads – Assassin’s Quest

I have been wanting to pick up this third book in the Farseer trilogy for the last couple of months. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to read this as part of a monthly TBR in September with the way Bookoplathon went. However, I have every intention to pick this up this month whilst the events of the first two books are fresh in my mind. I am also really enjoying this series, but I’m partly kicking myself that I didn’t try it earlier. Better late than never though, as they say.

 

Carrie

Genre: Horror

Pages: 322

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Anchor

Publication Date: 24 Jun 2008

 

 

Goodreads – Carrie

I didn’t get chance to read Carrie in September. This was a poll pick as part of Bookoplathon, but as it was one of the last rolls in the game, I just didn’t get to it. However, October is a perfect month to pick up a book like this! It would be rude not to have a Stephen King novel as a Halloween read, and whilst I already had this one on a TBR, I figured it made sense to carry it forward. This is a mood read, however, and I have plenty of other Stephen King books on my bookshelf. I could always change my mind and pick up The Shining, or Outsider, or even Sleeping Beauties if I fancy a change.

 

Babel

Genre: Fantasy / Dark Academia

Pages: 545

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 23 Aug 2022

 

 

Goodreads – Babel

I received my copy of this book just over a month ago now, and I have been looking forward to reading it ever since! I haven’t really read much in the way of dark academia to date, however, I feel like this is a perfect seasonal read. This book begins with a child in a plague-ridden house. A sinister setting if ever we saw one. From there the story really comes into its own. I’m also really interested to see the take on language and translation that is an integral part of the plot. I can be a little bit of a nerd when it comes to language… particularly English. This isn’t a usual plot device or theme of a book, so I want to see how this works.

 

Queen of Our Times

Genre: Non-fiction

Pages: 690

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Publication Date: 05 Apr 2022

 

 

Goodreads – Queen of Our Times

With the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II last month, I have been inspired to pick up a book about her life. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that she reigned for over 70 years as the British monarch. Most people don’t work for that long in their lives. I have to say, when it comes to the British monarchy, I am fairly in the dark. I can’t say I know very much about it, and it is for this reason that I want to pick up Queen of Our Times. I want to fill that gap, and in reading this book, honour the woman who gave her life to her job, to her duty.

 

That is my monthly TBR for October 2022! Compared to last month, it is not remotely adventurous, but that’s a good thing! Last month’s reading list ended up being far too long, but that wasn’t really my fault. It was just bad luck. This month I’m aiming for a smaller list but with good quality books that I’m really going to enjoy.

Have you read any of the books on my October Monthly TBR? Have any of them caught your eye? Let’s have a chat in the comments! 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 2nd October 2022

Hello, and welcome to another Sunday Summary update post! It is the end of yet another week, and the autumnal vibes are really kicking in. The tree in my front garden has turned a vibrant shade of red. The nights are starting to draw in earlier and I’ve been cosying in with candles lit everywhere. Can you tell this is my favourite time of year?

This week I’ve been a busy bee. In terms of blog posts, I shared a book review for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Tuesday, and my Monthly Wrap-Up post for September, yesterday.

I had been meaning to continue reviewing my re-read of the Harry Potter series for some time. I knew I wanted to share another review before we got into the swing of the month-end and then posting the following month’s TBR. If you haven’t checked out that review already, I’ve provided a link above, so you can go and take a look.

Typically I post on a Friday, however, with that being the end of the month I decided to push my usual Friday post out to Saturday. That meant I could provide you with a full monthly wrap-up for the whole month. I didn’t get anywhere near finishing my September TBR, but, I expected it. That said, I still enjoyed most of the reads I picked up in the month. Again, if you haven’t checked out that post yet, there is a link above.

 

Books Read

This week I have been continuing with Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. As of my last Sunday Summary update, I was only 20% through this book. I was already enjoying it from what I had read so far, and I’m pleased to say that the book only gets better from there!

It is every bit the science-fiction thriller I was promised. I really enjoyed the twisty narrative and how the ending came together. If you enjoy stories that deal with parallel universes, this is something you will enjoy! I have been making progress with this book for most of the week and I finished it this morning. It is the last book on my September TBR that I got to. It’s good that it hasn’t taken me long to finish, because it means I can move on to my October TBR in earnest.

I have also been listening to more of Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfiefer this week. If I’m honest, I had expected to finish this audiobook this week. Whilst I didn’t quite get there, I only have 45 minutes of listening time to go. I’m going to make every effort to finish this tomorrow. This is another book that I have really enjoyed reading (or listening to in this case). It is naturally a difficult subject, but it has taught me things about that awful event that I didn’t know until now.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added any new books to my TV off for two weeks in a row now – I think that deserves a pat on the back!

 

Coming Up…

Next week’s posting schedule is exciting because I am sharing October’s TBR with you on Tuesday. This month’s TBR is going to be considerably shorter than the last – and it needs to be! One of the books on September’s TBR (that I didn’t get to) also makes a reappearance. Can you guess which one?

Later in the week, I am back with a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I share a book that I originally picked up on a whim, not realising it was part of a series. The good thing is, these books aren’t interlinked in a way that means you have to read them in order (they just have a certain character in common). My mum has already started on these books. I introduced them to her through my blog and still I haven’t read any of them yet! But, as preparing that post reminded me, I can’t wait to try them.

So, that’s all the gossip from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. What have you been reading? Have you read any of the books discussed in this post? As always, I would love to hear from you below.

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly Wrap-Up – September 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s monthly wrap-up post!

I typically post on a Friday, however, with that being the very last day of September, I decided to share this post today.

September’s TBR, which was put together as part of Bookoplathon, was ridiculous. I got really unlucky with my game and ended up with three more books to my TBR than I initially planned. If you want to check out what my full TBR was, and how the game was played, I’ve linked that post above.

I knew I wasn’t going to get through this TBR. Although I had tried to pick shorter books, there was still a lot on the list and if I’m honest, I felt over-faced before I even began. That said, I made a solid attempt without dropping everything else to do it. I made a good amount of progress, but I inevitably didn’t finish it.

Let’s take a look at the books I did manage to read in September! 

 

Books Read

Silverthorn

The first book of the month I read was Silverthorn by Raymond E. Feist. I have read the first book, Magician, twice. However, it has been some time since I picked up that first book – the latest being over five years ago!

Thankfully, there are enough reminders in Silverthorn for you to be able to pick it up. Quite conveniently, the edition of the book I have gives a very nice summary of what has happened before at the beginning. I was expecting to have to do some research online to catch myself up, however, this section did the job.

I really enjoyed the first book Magician, however, Silverthorn didn’t quite live up to my expectation. It was a perfectly adequate read, and it was nice to recap to some of the magical features and characters that I really enjoyed from the first book. However, it was just a little bit flat. I didn’t dislike it by any stretch of the imagination, however, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I was going to either. Being solid, three-star read – not the best start to Bookoplathon.

 

In Case You Missed It

In Case You Missed It was the one book on my TBR that I didn’t know what to expect from. It is not the kind of book I would have picked up of my own volition. I read this as my mum had accidentally purchased two copies of this book for herself, and she gave one to me as a recommendation because she really enjoys Lindsey Kelk books. I didn’t know what to expect, but I think I needed to change from my usual reading habits.

In Case You Missed It was a five-star read. I enjoyed that it was a light-hearted topic, and the humour in the narrative and between the characters is fantastic! This particular book was a pleasant surprise!

 

Treacle Walker

Treacle Walker was not on September’s TBR. It was a book that was introduced to me by the CEO of my employer, and he loaned me his copy to read. I know he was planning to loan it out again to others after me, so I wanted to read this quite quickly.

I already knew I wasn’t getting through my TBR at this point, so I decided to read it anyway. It is a very short read, so it didn’t take long in any case. It was trippy and a very strange narrative, but an enjoyable read.

 

Ordinary Heroes

I had been listening to Ordinary Heroes at the end of September – at the end of the month, I had just a couple of hours left. I wanted to pick this up as a non-fiction read (I’m trying to read at least one a month at the moment). It also conveniently fit one of my Bookoplathon prompts – the highest-rated book on my TBR.

I can see why! This is both an emotionally charged and informative read. I was only young when the twin towers fell, however, it is an event that unites the vast majority of people today.

It is often sad that people know where they were when it happened. It was obviously the most harrowing of events in modern history, and it was insightful to learn the perspective of the first fire chief on the scene. There are things I didn’t know about this book, that could be upsetting for someone to read, so I won’t mention them here. I’ll talk about them in my review of the book and fully disclose the topic in that post, so people can choose whether to read or not.

I’ve really enjoyed this listen so far. Despite the difficult topic, it is a book I would recommend anybody read or listen to. It is a nice short, one in any case, so definitely approachable for anyone to pick up!

 

Dark Matter

My last read of the month is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Dark Matter is a science-fiction, thriller in which we very quickly are starting to doubt our perspective and our sense of belonging.

It is a fast-paced, read, and with its subject matter being very different from the other books on my TBR, this has been a hit! It has been a little while since I’ve read anything like a thriller, and its combination with science fiction has gelled really well.

As of the end of the month, I made it 73% through the book. According to the calculated reading time on my Kindle, I will only take about an hour to read what is left of the book. So, I nearly finished this in September, but not quite. Still, it won’t eat into too much time in October to finish.

 

DNF’d

Red Sister

Unfortunately, I DNF’d my second read of the month – Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.

It is disappointing really because I really enjoyed a previous series by Mark Lawrence as a teenager. However, this book just wasn’t doing it for me. I didn’t outright hate it, but it wasn’t really holding my attention either.

It took several days to make it to just a third of the way through the book, and I was bored. I had grappled with myself as to whether to DNF the book earlier, but I set myself a target to get a third of the way through before making a decision. Maybe I should have stuck with my gut because I didn’t end up carrying on anyway.

However, it can’t be said that I didn’t give it a good try.

 

So, those are the books I picked up in September. Have you read any of these books? Do any of them appeal to you?

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, together with the rest of the series, holds a very special place in my heart. Firstly, I grew up with these books. I read them starting as a teenager through until becoming a newly minted adult and I loved these books! I enjoy how the story and complexity scales throughout the series. That worked really well with how I read them initially, and also how I ‘aged’ with them.

I wanted to re-read these books as an adult. Mainly, I wanted to see if my experience of the books differed now that I was reading them from a more mature perspective. For the most part, I can’t say that they did; I enjoyed them just as much as I did back then!

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 251

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 02 Jul 1998

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys had been so mean and hideous that all Harry wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange impish creature who says that if Harry returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor and a spirit who haunts the girls’ bathroom. But then the real trouble begins – someone is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects… Harry Potter himself!

 

My Thoughts…

After the magic and drama of his first year at Hogwarts, you would think that going home for the summer would be a break for Harry. However, his aunt and uncle, and their son, treat him so awfully that he cannot wait to go back. Thankfully for us, it doesn’t take too long in the narrative and we get to dive into the magic and nostalgia of going to school very quickly.

This year is a little bit different, as they are no longer the newbies. However, the events that take place at the school or even stranger than the last. Students (and Mr Filch’s cat, Mrs Norris) are found petrified in school corridors. Tension rises and speculation begins on what is happening to them. Harry himself falls under suspicion. But, as we can only expect from these books, Harry ends up getting to the bottom of the matter. Not only that, but he finds himself in danger once again.

As with the first book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a very quick read. I enjoyed the pacing of the book. It is full of action to keep the narrative moving along, but at the same time, we still get to see world-building and character development. I prefer the books towards the end of the series because I enjoy depth and complexity in my fantasy books. However, the fact that this book doesn’t necessarily fit into this category didn’t matter at all. The fact is, I knew going into it that these early books set a lot of foundation for the later books.

Whilst we don’t necessarily realise that at the time, significant events in this book or the introduction to a wider storyline come into play later on. When I think about where these events begin, it is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that immediately comes to mind. 

Whilst there is a lot of controversy around J. K. Rowling, I would recommend these books to anyone wanting to start out with reading fantasy, or anyone wanting to read a series without too much mental commitment. These books are really easy to digest. They are the kind of books that you could always get more out of with the next re-read. Equally, you can take them as you read them first time. They have a lot to give, and it is a series that I will go back and read again and again throughout my lifetime, I am sure! I know one of my friends re-reads these books regularly!

Have you read the Harry Potter series? Have you not read them? Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 25th September 2022

Good evening everyone! It’s the end of yet another week and here we are with another Sunday Summary update post. I don’t know about you, but things are starting to feel very autumnal now. It’s coming towards my favourite time of year – I can justify cozying in with a good cup of tea, a slice of cake, and a book. Not that I needed any excuse before like…

The changing of the season has come just in time. On Tuesday, I shared a Top Ten Tuesday post, in which I featured my top ten books to read in autumn. On that list, I have a number of books I have been meaning to read for some time, together with a couple of new ones. If you haven’t checked out that post already, there is a handy link above.

Later in the week, it was the turn of my Shelf Control regular feature. In that post, I featured a book that is on my September TBR. When I drafted the post, I hadn’t started the book as yet. However, I suspected that by the time it went live, I would be reading it – and I was right!

 

Books Read

I’m actually really pleased with this week’s reading progress. I’m going to be honest with you and say that when I shared my September TBR, I already felt defeated before I started. If you have seen that TBR post, you’ll know that I’m taking part in Bookoplathon. It is a game based on Monopoly, and I ended up really unlucky in my game. I ended up with three extra rolls, which means three extra books on my reading list this month. I had anticipated maybe one extra, but reading eight books in a month isn’t really achievable for me. That said, I have read quite a lot this week alone.

 

In Case You Missed It

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was on my third book of the month, and coincidentally about a third of the way through it. I had DNF’d my previous read, and my first book was nothing special either. In Case You Missed It is not the type of book that I would’ve picked up without recommendation. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to think of it, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

As you are probably aware, Monday was a bank holiday here as it was the Queen’s funeral. I ended up watching quite a bit of the funeral, but also made time for reading. I ended up finishing In Case You Missed It on Monday. I read about 250 pages alone that day! What can I say, I really got into the book. The writing style is easy to digest and the events and characters are hilarious. It was exactly what I needed and I’m really glad I picked this up – so thanks for the recommendation Mum!

 

Treacle Walker

Next, I read a very short book that was not on my September TBR. I had been loaned this book by the CEO of the company I work for. He had enjoyed reading it and he wanted to know what I thought of it. Treacle Walker is only about 150 pages, and it was a very trippy, quick read. I really enjoyed it, even though I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on all of the time. I wanted to read this quite quickly as I know that this book was going to be passed on to somebody else after me.

 

Dark Matter

Next, I moved on to the next book on my TBR, and now my current read, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This is a bit of a twisty narrative, and I have no idea what is going on, albeit for different reasons to Treacle Walker! However, I am also really enjoying this one. There is a lot to unpick and it is going to take a while for me to work out what is what.

As of this post, I am exactly 20% through Dark Matter. I cannot wait to continue reading and update you in next week’s Sunday Summary post with more of my thoughts and progress!

 

Ordinary Heroes

Lastly, I started listening to Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer. If you are unfamiliar with this book, it is the story of the first FDNY Chief on the scene of the 9/11 terrorist attack. I only started listening to this yesterday and I’m just a fraction off being halfway through already. I’m absolutely rattling through this one as it’s a really interesting read.

I quite enjoy listening to non-fiction – I find it easier to take the information in sometimes. Ordinary Heroes is a very easy listen. It is also quite a harrowing tale (but that goes with the subject). I have already learned things about the incident that I didn’t know from media coverage. As I am making very quick progress with it, I’m hoping to finish this within the next couple of days.

 

Books Discovered

No news is good news here this week. I haven’t added any books to the reading list, and I’ve actually just picked a couple off the list that I have changed my mind over. Nothing exciting to report here…

 

Coming Up…

On Tuesday, I am sharing my book review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling. Before we get into the month-end wrap-up and reading list for October, I wanted to share another review with you.

I have quite a back-list, and it was good to pin my thoughts down on this second book of the series. I decided to re-read these books as an adult to see how they differed from my initial impression of reading them as a teenager. If you want to find out my thoughts, check out that post on Tuesday!

On Saturday, I will be sharing my month and wrap-up post. Normally I would post on a Friday, but as Friday is the very last day of the month, I could make further reading progress. So, to make sure I cover the whole month in my wrap-up, I will be sharing this post on Saturday instead.

That’s everything from me in today’s Sunday Summary post!

What have you been reading this week?

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 18th September 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to… you guessed it, another Sunday Summary post! Every Sunday I share my latest bookish updates – what I have been reading and books I have added to my reading list. I also cover the posts you can expect to see on my blog in the following week.

Before diving into that though, let’s quickly recap what I have shared with you this week. I wanted to finally commit my thoughts on Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin. With the ongoing prequel series, House of the Dragon, currently airing, I thought this was perfect timing. A little fun fact for you – the events in House of the Dragon don’t begin until 340 pages into Fire and Blood. There is a lot of ground not covered in the show. It remains to be seen as to whether any of this is used either for a pre-prequel or a second season. If you want to find out my thoughts on the whole book, which spans a far greater time period the series, you can check out that post here.

Later in the week, I shared a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I shared a short and snappy introduction to a book currently sitting on my bookshelf and begging to be read. I have already read several books by this author, all part of another series he has written. However, I am yet to read anything of his set in the time period. I have read another similar book by a completely different author recently; I’m interested to see if there’s any commonality or whether it is just a certain famous character and setting that overlaps. If you want to check out what that book is, here is a link for that one as well.

 

Books Read

In last Sunday’s Sunday Summary update, I was reading Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. As I shared in that post, I wasn’t overly enamoured with the book. I made the decision that I was going to continue reading until at least 33% of the book before making a decision on whether to continue or not.

Unfortunately, my initial impression didn’t change in the additional 10% I read. I didn’t hate the book by any stretch of the imagination. However, I didn’t love it either. It just didn’t grip me or hold my interest particularly. With that in mind, I didn’t want to invest in a further 5 to 6 hours for a book that was just… meh. There are so many books out there, (God knows I have enough of them on my TBR already!). So, I really don’t need to waste my time if I know I’m not loving a book. I made it a third of the way through, I gave it a very good chance. However, this one just didn’t hit the mark. It is disappointing as I loved another series of Mark Lawrence as a teenager – The Broken Empire. Oh well, you can’t win them all!

Next, I moved on to my third read of my September TBR. I must admit I went into this not really knowing what to expect. It is not a typical read for me at all; romance isn’t really a genre I go for. However, I am really enjoying In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk! I think it’s fair to point out that this is a romantic comedy, and it’s the comedy element that really works for me. The writing style is really easy to read, and the narrative and characters are hilarious!

I think maybe this book came at a good time. Clearly, my ‘typical reads’ aren’t meeting expectations at the moment. Perhaps going for a complete change is something I needed. In Case You Missed It is providing that for me. As of today’s Sunday Summary post, I am 132 pages into the book. That equates to about a third of the way through. It’s not the most reading progress in the world, but I do plan to read more of this tonight and tomorrow.

 

Books Discovered

I have added one book to my TBR this week, and you will probably understand why. You would have to be living under a rock to not know that Queen Elizabeth II passed away by now. There has obviously been a lot of talk about her and the British monarchy. As a result, it has made me realise that I would like to learn more.

So, I have decided to pick up a biography about her, and one that was published as recently as April this year. I want to learn more about her, her life and family to truly appreciate what she has done for us over the last 70 years of her life.

 

Coming Up…

My first blog post will be a Top Ten Tuesday post next week. I had an idea in mind for a similar type of post anyway, and so I decided to take part in this week’s theme. If you want to find out what I plan to read in the next few months, check out my post on Tuesday. In that post, I will be talking about 10 books on my autumn to-read list. You may just find the one I just mentioned above on that list!

As usual, I’ll be sharing another Shelf Control post later next week. In the post, I feature a book that I may be reading this time next week, as it is on my September TBR for Bookoplathon.

That’s the latest from me. I hope you have enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary update post! Have you read anything good this week that you would like to share?

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Book Review: Fire and Blood – George R.R. Martin

I’m really looking forward to sharing today’s book review with you all for Fire and Blood. It is well documented that I am a huge fan of George R.R. Martin, and with the current airing of the prequel show, House of the Dragon, I wanted to share my thoughts on the book that inspired the series!

If you are unfamiliar with the book, Fire and Blood is the first of a two-part history of the Targaryen family line. The book begins with Aegon the Conqueror’s conquest of Westeros, and from there, history only gets, well… bloodier.

 

Fire and Blood – George R.R. Martin

Genre: Epic fantasy

Pages: 706

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 20 Nov 2018

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Fire and Blood

From the masterly imagination behind A Game of Thrones – one of the greatest fantasy epics of all time and an unmissable HBO hit series – comes a definitive history of Westeros’s past as told by Archmaester Gyldayn.

Unravelling events that led to A Song of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros. Revealing long-buried secrets and untold lasting enmity, it sets the scene for the heart-stopping series conclusion, The Winds of Winter.

300 years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, long before the schism that set the houses of Westeros at each other’s throats, one house ruled supreme and indomitable. House Targaryen, the house of the last remaining dragonlords.

After surviving the Doom of Valyria the Targaryen’s established themselves on Dragonstone. This volume traces their legendary lineage from Aegon the Conqueror to the bloody Dance of Dragons; a civil war that pitted Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra in a bitter conflict for the throne of their father, nearly wiping out the Targaryen dynasty forever.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate guide to Westeros’s past. Featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley this is an essential volume for any Game of Thrones fan’s library. For the first time the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

 

My Thoughts…

If you are watching House of the Dragon and wonder how it compares to Fire and Blood, you may be interested to learn that the events of the TV show don’t start until approximately 340 pages into the book. Those events are the passing over of Rhaenys as heir in favour of Viserys I (because God forbid a woman sits on the Iron Throne!). It was touched upon very briefly in the first few minutes of the TV show, and from there the rest unfolds.

Naturally, that means there is a good deal of history that the prequel show doesn’t even touch upon. Granted, I can see why that is the case. A significant portion of the book prior to these events covers the reign of Jaehaerys I Targaryen. By all accounts, Jaehaerys was a well-suited ruler and lived to a ripe old age. If you are unfamiliar, that’s about as rare as hen’s teeth in the Targaryen bloodline! Whilst good Kings are good for the realm, they don’t make the most interesting of stories!

My copy of this book is the illustrated hardback edition, illustrated by Doug Wheatley. The pictures are interspersed throughout the narrative and really bring the characters to life. Some of my favourite illustrations in the book are of Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters Rhaenys and Visenya, the portrait of Maegor the Cruel, as well as a number of the action scenes and dragon fights within.

I would be lying to you if I said that this first instalment of the Targaryen histories wasn’t dense. There are a lot of characters in this book. As a result, I benefited from taking a break and splitting reading the book into two. It gave me the opportunity to digest what I had read so far. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it, because I absolutely did! George R.R. Martin went to a great deal of trouble to incorporate the histories of both Westeros and Essos throughout the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I am glad that it made it into its own book(s), as the depth of detail deserves its moment in the limelight.

As I thoroughly enjoyed this first book so much, I cannot wait for the second half of this history. If it is anything like the first then there will be plenty of tension, drama, and conflict to look forward to. As we can only expect from George R.R. Martin, I am sure it will not be a short book either. There is nothing superficial about the world or characters he creates. For fans of epic fantasy like me, that leaves us a lot to dive into. These are the sorts of books to find some new detail in with every re-read.

If I had one wish about Fire and Blood, it is that it went further back in history. The book begins with the conquest of Aegon the Conqueror, which happens approximately 100 years after an event referred to in this book and the main series as the ‘Doom of Valyria’. Personally, I would like to finally understand what this mysterious event is. We don’t know what happened, other than Valyria is destroyed as a result. It is written into the lore of the world as to why we don’t know about what happened, but it’s an itch I would love to scratch one day. Surely he can come up with a loophole to finally leak the story somehow?!

Have you read Fire and Blood? Are you a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series? I would love it if you let me know and we could have a chat in the comments!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 11th September 2022

Good evening everyone and welcome to another bookish update in today’s Sunday Summary post.

Earlier this week I shared a couple of blog posts with you. I started off the week with a Discussion Post on why reading diversity matters. I am always trying to branch out and read new things, but there are still plenty of books, authors, and topics that I am still yet to explore. In that post, I made a pledge that I am going to try and pick up more of these books in the future!

Later in the week, it was the turn of my regular Friday feature, Shelf Control. In that post, I talked about a book that has been on my reading list for a number of years. Having recently re-read the synopsis, it has reminded me just why I can’t wait to pick it up.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I was halfway through Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist. I enjoyed the book overall, but if I’m entirely honest, not as much as the first book. Whilst I could follow the events from the first book, Magician, it seemed to have a different feel about it. On the one hand, this was good because it was easy to pick up, but at the same time, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting either. In the end, I gave it a three-star rating.

Next, I started my current read, Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. I’ve had high hopes for Red Sister as I previously read and enjoyed The Broken Empire trilogy by the same author. 

If I’m honest, Red Sister hasn’t grabbed me as much as I hoped it would either. It’s a tough one. I don’t know if I’m going to carry on with it or not. It’s not that I hate it because I don’t. I don’t love it either though. I’m currently 20% of the way through Red Sister and I’m going to continue a little longer. If it still hasn’t grabbed me by about a third of the way through, then I will set it aside. There are still elements in the book to be explained that we haven’t come to yet. Maybe once I’ve got a bit more of the foundation down I will be able to get into it.

I’m going to pick up Red Sister after this post goes live with a view to getting to a third of the way through the book tonight. That way, I have decided whether I’ll carry on or not and that determines what my reading week looks like next week. I will let you know in next week’s Sunday Summary post how I get on.

I have officially decided to stop listening to The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn. I’ve just had enough of it and I’m not really inclined to finish it. So, I’m not going to force myself to. Instead, I might pick up another book on September‘s TBR in audio format instead.

 

Books Discovered

The CEO of the company I work for is as much an avid reader as I am. On Friday, he gave me a couple of reading recommendations.

The first of those recommendations is Treacle Walker by Alan Garner. This is quite a short book, and I like the sound of it based on what he told me of it. It is the first I had heard of this particular book, and given that I am trying to branch out with my reading, I have added this book to my reading list.

He also gave me a second recommendation, which is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. When I read about this recommendation, I got really excited. It is set in one of my favourite periods of history, and the synopsis in my opinion is really interesting.

I can’t wait to pick this up and have a discussion with him about it!

 

Coming Up…

Next week, I plan to start the week by sharing a book review with you.

I’ve decided to share quite a topical review, particularly if you are a fan of George R.R. Martin and the A Song of Ice and Fire series (a.k.a. a Game of Thrones). You may or may not be familiar with the fact that the prequel show (House of the Dragon) is currently airing. This in fact covers some of the narrative and history of the Targaryen’s in his book, Fire and Blood. I read this book last year, and given its hot topic at the moment, I’ve decided to share my review on that.

I will be back on Friday with another regular feature post. Next week’s post will be a First Lines Friday, and I really like the sound of the book I have chosen. The opening lines set the book in motion immediately. I also read a book earlier this year in a similar setting and time period. It has also been all that I have a read number of books by, and enjoyed. I for one can’t wait to pick up his book myself– but if you’re interested to find out what that book is, don’t forget to check out my blog on Friday.

As always, You can find out all the latest updates in my Sunday Summary post next week.

For now, that’s all folks! What have you been reading?

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 4th September 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post! I hope you have had a great week!

I have had a good one myself. It has been an exciting week, as I’ve had the opportunity to talk about my reading progress in August in my Monthly Wrap-Up post. Not only that, but I have also shared my humongous TBR for September. Having taken part in the ‘spring semester’ of Magical Readathon recently, I decided I really enjoyed taking part in it.

I saw that Becca is hosting her Bookoplathon readathon for September, and so I decided to take part. The board did not treat me kindly, and I have to read no less than eight books this month! If you haven’t checked out either my August wrap-up or my September TBR yet, you can find the links above to do so.

 

Books Read

In my last Sunday Summary update post, I was most of the way through Golden Son, I was part-way through The Silence of the Girls as a break from Golden Son, and in terms of audiobook progress, I had stalled a little with The Viscount Who Loved Me.

 

The Silence of the Girls

I decided my first priority of the week was to continue reading The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. I was really enjoying this particular book, and it was just the break I needed from Golden Son. Needless to say, I made very quick progress with this book and finished it very early on in the week! I really enjoyed the contrasting perspective it offers to books around war.

It is not often we think of the lives of those living in the war camp, especially those who are not there by choice. I really enjoyed this one, and if you like Greek mythology I would strongly recommend you pick this book up to!

 

Golden Son

Having had a sufficient break, I went back to finish Golden Son by Pierce Brown. I’m glad I stuck with it in the end, as the ending picked up. It’s not that the book was boring or that there was nothing going on; in fact, the problem was quite the opposite. There was a lot going on. Maybe too much! It barely felt like we had gotten over one event before the next occurred, and the pace was a bit much for me. While this didn’t really change towards the end, I think a break allowed me time to process what has happened before and I like how the book has been left in terms of a cliffhanger.

 

Silverthorn

From there I have moved on to my first read on my September TBR – Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist.

I read the first book of the series, Magician, initially as a teenager, but then again back in 2017. My intention then was to read the book to bring me back up-to-date with events so I could continue with the series. This didn’t quite pan out as I thought. However, the addition of the book I have on kindle has an excellent summary of what has gone before in the beginning. I don’t feel like I have suffered for having not picked up the second book in a while.

I am currently around halfway through Silverthorn, and I’m really enjoying the narrative so far. In all, it is quite different from what I remember of Magician. Events have moved on significantly since that first book, although we are seeing some malign forces returning to the narrative. I hope to be able to make further progress with this read quite quickly. It is easy to pick up and follow what is going on. Since I haven’t picked up this series for a long time, this is no mean feat!

 

The Viscount Who Loved Me

I have made some further progress with The Viscount Who Loved Me, albeit marginal. I have managed to get around the cringey bee sting scene by skipping what was left all together. I’ve obviously missed one of the most significant events in the book, but it wasn’t exactly surprising given that I watched the Netflix series. It’s been easy to work around and I have listened to this a little bit more, although not much.

 

Books Discovered

I have deliberately not been looking at books out there at the moment, because I can’t really afford to add anything to my TBR. I have added a number of books of late, and I’m trying to keep the number down. My efforts don’t seem to be working!

 

Coming Up…

Early next week I am sharing a discussion post with you, talking about why it is important to pick up books from diverse authors. It’s not lost on me that I’m going to be sharing this at a time when I am reading a book by a cis white male. I cannot help the bias shown in the publishing industry historically.

As much as it is important to read books by diverse authors, it is also not fair to exclude authors from your reading list based on their background. That is the point of my post, but that also includes not ruling out majority authors either.

On Friday, I will be sharing a Shelf Control post with you. The book I am featuring in that post is one I purchased a physical copy of a number of years ago. It is sat on my bookshelf waiting to be picked up, and having reminded myself of the synopsis, I can’t wait to get around to it!

As always, I’ll be back with you this time next week for my Sunday Summary update. I’m hoping to share a lot of reading progress with you, as I have a lot to read this month.

That concludes today’s Sunday Summary update. What have you been reading?

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads