Tag: fantasy

Audiobook Review: Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Hi guys and welcome to today’s review of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Crooked Kingdom is the second book of the Six of Crows duology. If you haven’t yet read my thoughts on the first book, Six of Crows, you can find a link to that here!

And now without further adieu, here are my thoughts on the second instalment of 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…

Crooked Kingdom is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to, to date. A charismatic cast accentuates brilliantly-written characters, who together attempted one of the most daring and epic heists of all time in Six of Crows and won. Life should be cosy in this sequel, with all their newfound riches, and yet they find themselves back in the deep end almost immediately. The result? Another exciting, action-packed fantasy novel full of betrayal, backstabbing, and the usual shenanigans we can expect from Kaz and his crew.

I listened to Six of Crows back in 2019, finishing the audiobook in September. I then moved on to Crooked Kingdom reasonably quickly. I’m not a big listener of audiobooks, however, completing crooked kingdom within six months of listening to the first audiobook is quite speedy for me. It’s not my main way of reading! I enjoyed the first book so much that I wanted to jump into this sequel and experience the action and adventure I knew I could expect, and I wasn’t disappointed!

As in the first book, I enjoyed the narrative being broken down into chapters narrated by different characters. This gives variety to the story and provides different perspectives at different times to add depth to the narrative. Each character has their own distinctive personality, quirks and traits. Some are definitely better (as individuals) than others but this is also something else I enjoyed. More often than not, fantasy novels are littered with altruistic characters. So, to come across some more devious, nefarious or just downright out for themselves is a refreshing change. Many of the characters have developed since the first instalment of this series. Some who have grown on me most include Kaz, Mattias and Nina. Each character has their flaws, but this makes them all the more relatable to us as listeners.

The dynamic between sets of characters adds intrigue to an already tense situation. They have already pulled off the impossible and yet further trouble looms; rising tensions and conflict between them threaten to jeopardise their lives.

You know me, I am a huge fan of magic systems within fantasy novels, and Crooked Kingdom did not disappoint in this respect either. Crooked Kingdom is my second read by Leigh Bardugo, and I sense that there is a whole range of novels also set in the same universe as this book. Despite not having read these, I didn’t find it made any difference to my understanding of the universe and the magic systems involved in this series. If anything, it has made me want to pick these up all the more!

I really enjoyed listening to this duology, and I have high expectations about reading other books by Leigh Bardugo. Sometimes that can be a risk if the books don’t live up to expectation, however, from my experience of the six of crows trilogy I don’t think I have any reason to doubt her writing style and the stories not working for me. This is why it is good to listen to recommendations and try new authors. These are the first two books I have read/listened to by this author and I am very grateful to have had the chance to read other reviews before taking the plunge. I hope others can find my review useful and please, if you have not read these books already, you won’t regret it!

 

 

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Book Review: City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett

I read City of Stairs at the beginning of the year and I am only just getting around to my review now in November. That’s pretty bad, isn’t it? I think it is because I have taken part in a lot of blog tours and such this year, as these books get priority reviews. Oh well! It is what it is! I haven’t done myself any favours and made notes, so today’s review is completely from memory.

 

City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett

Goodreads – City of Stairs

The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions — until its divine protectors were killed. Now, Bulikov’s history has been censored and erased, its citizens subjugated. But the surreal landscape of the city itself, forever altered by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it, stands as a haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched — along with her terrifying “secretary”, Sigrud — to solve a murder.

But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem, and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.

A tale of vast conspiracies, dead gods, and buried histories, City of Stairs is at once a gripping spy novel and a stunningly original work of fantasy.

 

My Thoughts…

I hadn’t picked up any books by Robert Bennett Jackson before reading City of Stairs, so he was a completely new author to me. Whilst I enjoy re-visiting favourite authors, I enjoy the variety of new ones too. My read of City of Stairs at the beginning of the year was long overdue. I added the book to my TBR way back in 2015… it was about time I got to it really!

Fantasy is my all-time favourite genre. I read a lot of it, and so I’ve got pretty firm ideas about what themes within fantasy novels I really enjoy. The first thing I always look to is the world-building and development of the setting of the story. City of Stairs certainly didn’t disappoint in this sense. Before the story even really begins, the author sets up the political divides and complex relations that are pivotal to the narrative. I personally love this sort of thing in fantasy books, but even if you don’t, it isn’t so overwhelming as to be difficult to read.

I’m also a huge fan of magical elements in fantasy novels, and there is plenty of it in City of Stairs. I think it is really cleverly woven into what is a spy thriller/mystery novel. They aren’t genres I would have thought to put together, but I really think the risk of doing it paid off because, in my opinion, it worked really well.

The main characters in this book have been written very well. I got on very well with Shara and felt for her being in the awful position of navigating treacherous ground in search of the truth. She’s complemented by a host of minor characters that come together to create a world fizzing with tension and intrigue.

At 450 pages, City of Stairs is a solid fantasy novel, although not an epic compared to plenty of other fantasy novels I know and have read. There is plenty of content and the story unfolds at a good pace. It keeps you interested in finding out what happens next but doesn’t drag on either. It suited me well at least. If you like fantasy but the idea of committing to 700-800 page novels, this book gives you all the great elements of those books… but with fewer pages.

 

 

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Book Review: Shadows of Self – Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favourite all-time authors, and today’s post is all about the 5th book in his Mistborn series, Shadows of Self. The Mistborn series is enough of a reason to fall in love with his writing, but I have also dabbled in a few other books of his now and they have all lived up to the excellent standard! I’ve read a total of nine of his books now (granted, six are Mistborn) and he hasn’t put a foot wrong with me yet. I also have a few more books on the TBR to try in the near future.

 

Shadows of Self – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – Shadows of Self

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they’ve been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.

 

My Thoughts…

Where The Alloy of Law is reasonably separate from the previous Mistborn books (events in those books are now history/legend), in Shadows of Self we see little elements tie back into the original series. I really loved this! Whilst I would have been happy for each book mini-series to go their own way, I like that the narrative is going back to its roots. It has been a long time since I read the first three books, but even so, I could keep track of what was going on and recognise some friendly old faces.

I really enjoy how Brandon Sanderson has modernised the series from the original books. The concept was a stroke of literary genius anyway, but being willing to adapt the intricately built world to allow for technological advancements and such to up the ante on the magic is just something else. Most authors would be frightened to mess with such a core element to the novel, but not Sanderson. And boy, am I glad he did! It makes an already intricately detailed world all the more plausible – and you know how much I love my world-building!

I wasn’t sure where the Steris/Wax engagement was going to go, or what I thought of it, but the pair has really grown on me in this book. The pair couldn’t be more opposite in their ways, yet strangely they complement each other in ways I didn’t expect them to. I do feel a bit sorry for Marasi though – I feel she has been cast aside a little in this book. It’s a shame because she’s brilliant, but she still manages to shine where she can regardless.

Wayne is, at this point, my favourite character in the series. He is very funny, has a skewed view of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not all and gets away with it too! He doesn’t have the best moral compass in the world (completely opposite to Wax) but regardless of what he does, his heart is in the right place. As a character, he is very easy to warm to.

If you love Brandon Sanderson’s other books or have read and enjoyed earlier books in the Mistborn series then I highly recommend reading Shadows of Self (and any other book in the series really)! I have also read and loved The Bands of Mourning, the sixth book in the series. Sharing my thoughts on that instalment is being saved for another day though.

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s review of Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. Apologies I haven’t posted for a few days. You may remember in my Sunday Summary post last weekend I mentioned that I was sitting an exam yesterday and that I wouldn’t be posting for a few days whilst I focussed on my exam revision for a couple of days. Well, the good news is I passed and so the hard work paid off. So sorry, not sorry for the brief wait for today’s post.

Given that circumstantially my posting schedule is light this week I wanted to fit in another review I have on my list to write. The next on my list is Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. Also, coincidentally, it has been nearly three months to the day since I shared a review of an audiobook! I’m being really careful in this review to be very general and therefore not spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet.

If you haven’t checked out my previous reviews, now might be the time to go and check those out before today’s review.

Anyway, enough preamble… shall I get into it?

 

Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff

Goodreads – Darkdawn

The epic conclusion to the internationally bestselling Nevernight Chronicle from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?

New York Times and internationally bestselling author Jay Kristoff’s writing has been praised by critics and readers alike and has won many awards, including four Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, and David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards.

 

My Thoughts…

I had no idea how Jay Kristoff was going to round off what had already become an epic series, but Darkdawn didn’t disappoint! I’m not generally in the habit of pre-ordering titles before they are released, but I happened to see the book available to pre-order on Audible with only a couple of months to wait until its release. So, needless to say, I spent that credit without a second thought!

I am a huge fan of the series – the narrative, the characters… the whole package! It is unlike anything else I have read or listened to and I absolutely want to read it again. Since I listened to the audiobooks and love the series so much, I would like to get a paperback copy of the series to read for myself next time. Maybe that’s a Christmas present idea!

It’s a small thing to enjoy, but I like how the narrative has footnotes to clarify some points. As I listened to the audiobook, reading these little notes is mandatory, but I suppose if reading the book for yourself you could not read them if you weren’t interested. I don’t see why you wouldn’t be though – a lot of the author’s humour and own narrative voice shines through in these sections, as well as provides the necessary background information to events in and around the narrative. Regular readers will know that I love fictional worlds with a lot of history and detail, so this is a big plus for me as a reader!

As can be expected in this epic conclusion, all our favourite characters are back and more determined than ever to upend the Republic as we know it. Mia is her usual dark, hell-bent, sarcastic self and I loved every second of it. She is a unique character, if nothing else because she defies the trope of being the “Chosen One”. She isn’t looking out for anyone’s interest but her own. She is everything a hero isn’t and it’s refreshing to read something so unlike a lot of modern fantasy.

This audiobook was everything I was hoping and expecting it to be. As the conclusion drew closer I found myself listening to it every second I could, whilst simultaneously hoping it would never end. Of course, all good things come to an end and once I finished this, I had no idea what I could read next. The book hangover was real. Nothing could live up to what I had just listened to then, and even now I think I will struggle to find anything just as good!

If you haven’t read this series yet, please, please do! I don’t think you will regret it for one second.

 

 

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First Lines Friday – 09/10/2020

Happy Friday everyone and thank you for joining me in today’s First Lines Friday post! On Sunday I promised a spectacular feature in today’s post and I hope you won’t be disappointed. I for one think this could be one of the best books on my TBR right now.

This book is affiliated with a main, well-known series that I talk about a lot here on Reviewsfeed. If I had to choose one book series to read for the rest of my life, this would be it! So, am I biased about how good this week’s book is? Yes. Do I care? Not one bit! My blog and my rules, right?!

So, without further adieu, here is this week’s extract: –

 

The maesters of the citadel who keep the histories of Westeros have used Aegon’s Conquest as their touchstone for the past three hundred years. Births, deaths, battles, and other events are dated either AC (After the Conquest) or BC (Before the Conquest).

True scholars know that such dating is far from precise. Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms did not take place in a single day. More than two years passed between Aegon’s landing and his Oldtown coronation… and even then the conquest remained incomplete, since Dorne remained unsubdued. Sporadic attempts to bring the Dornishmen into the realm continued all through King Aegon’s reign and well into the reigns of his sons, making it impossible to fix a precise end date for the Wars of Conquest.

 

 

If you know me or recognise those names you probably have a good idea as to what today’s book is!

 

Fire and Blood – George R. R. Martin

Goodreads – Fire & Blood

With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally bestselling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

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 and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

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 game of thrones, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.

 

I love everything A Game of Thrones (aka A Song of Ice and Fire) and if you are a regular reader, you may know that I completed my re-read of the published books in the series earlier this year. Now with the TV series over too I need to get my fix of fire and blood somewhere!

I am a huge fan of novels and series’ with detailed backstories to the current narrative. The main series itself is rich in detail to the events that lead up to the wars/struggles we read in those books. I always thought the history of the world was so detailed that it could be a story in its own right… and now it is!

This book has over 600 pages of the history of Westeros to dive into, and judging by the synopsis Fire and Blood goes into more detail about events that are only ‘comparatively’ touched on in the series, such as the Doom of Valyria. I can’t wait to read this – I hope it’s every bit as good as the rest of the books. I don’t have any real reason to doubt why it wouldn’t be!

 

What did you think of today’s First Lines Friday post? As always, I would love to hear from you!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 4th October 2020

Hello everyone and welcome to another weekly update from me! This Sunday Summary post is probably going to be quite a quick one as I have a book to finish and another blog post to write tonight (more on that later).

I only shared one blog post this week – my reading list for October. I didn’t want to take on too much this week, particularly as I knew I had a blog tour with a short reading deadline coming up and an exam to study for. My reading list was published on Friday. If you haven’t had the chance to have a skeet at what I’m reading yet, head on over and take a look!

 

Books Read

I think I have only made marginal progress on Rags of Time this week. I’ve read a chapter or two at most, but that’s okay. Aside from reading, I’ve been going over material for an exam I have in a few weeks and this has taken priority.

What has also taken priority over the last day or two is reading Limelight by Graham Hurley. I have an imminent blog tour post and I’m sharing a review of the book as part of the tour. I’ve mostly read this book over this weekend, and currently, I have about half an hour left of reading until the end of this particular book before I can start writing my review. No prizes for guessing what I’m doing straight after this post goes live!

I haven’t read anywhere near as much as I have historically for a few weeks now, but picking up Limelight has been a dream. I’ve enjoyed this slower-paced (but far from dull) mystery, the writing and world-building are fantastic and a refreshing change. It’s what I needed I think and it might just be what I needed to get back into reading a bit more again.

 

Books Discovered

This has to be the longest streak for me not adding books to my TBR, but that’s honestly what I need right now. It’s already miles too long and giving myself a chance to catch up with it is a step in the right direction to taming it!

 

Coming Up…

As I have mentioned, I am taking part in a blog tour tomorrow for Limelight by Graham Hurley. I can’t wait to share my thoughts on this brilliant mystery – and I’m saying that having not even finished the book yet! I can’t wait to read to the end and properly get my thoughts together.

Later in the week, I’m going to share another First Lines Friday post with you. It has been a while since I last featured this on my blog, but I’m looking forward to bringing it back to you along with a great book to feature. As to what that book is, I haven’t decided yet – but I promise it’ll be a good one!

That’s going to be all from me in today’s post! Have a good week and I’ll catch you for another update in next week’s Sunday Summary post.

Take care!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 27th September 2020

I can’t believe I’m sat here writing another Sunday Summary post already. This week has been busy and seems to have flown by!

I shared a couple of posts with you earlier this week. My first post was a review of a book I read and adored earlier this year. The fact that I went on to read the rest of the series published to date in around a couple of months speaks volumes! If you haven’t checked out my review of The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, please take a look.

Friday saw the return of my regular feature post, Shelf Control. It has been over a month since I last shared one of these posts. It was good fun to have another look at my TBR and feature the next book on the list and share why I want to read it.

 

Books Read

I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading this week, but not as much as usual. Work has been quite busy and on top of that I’m stepping up with studying for my exam next month. I don’t count that towards my blogging (I’m sure a textbook on how securities are settled across the global financial market would bore you all half to death), but probably half of my reading time was spent on this over the course of the week.

When I wasn’t studying, I picked up Rags of Time by Michael Ward and picked up where I left off last week. I had only really just started this as of last week’s Sunday Summary update, so I’ve probably read around 40% of the book this week. Not the best, but not worst either. Honestly, I’ve been feeling a little burned out over the last week and I haven’t read as much as normal, purely because I didn’t want to. I can’t force myself to and I won’t. I read for fun – if it becomes a chore then it’s time to stop.

During one particular day when I was feeling burned out, but also slightly guilty for it, I turned to the faithful audiobook by way of compromise. I said I wanted to keep going with Jack the Ripper: Case Closed and I have. I sat and listened to more of this whilst working on a knitting project I’ve started. Even though I was doing two things at once, I felt like I could switch off a bit more. It helped me wind down a bit, but also feel more motivated to get back into reading again. Around 15% of my progress reading of Rags of Time was done this morning after that night – put it that way!

 

Books Discovered

Again, I haven’t added a single book to my TBR this week. In fairness, I have been doing other things (blogging, studying, knitting etc)so I haven’t really been looking at books…

 

Coming Up…

Since I am stepping up the studying and trying to catch up on my TBR, I’m only going to share next month’s reading list mid next week. I also have a blog tour early in October that I will need to do the reading for (pretty sharpish) so I’m not going to overburden myself with too many posts.

I’ll round off the week with a Sunday Summary as usual.

 

That’s all from me until next week! Have a good one and I’ll see you around!

 

 

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Book Review: The Alloy of Law – Brandon Sanderson

I’m really excited to be sharing my review of The Alloy of Law with you today! If you are a regular reader you will know that Brandon Sanderson has become one of my favourite authors of all time. The first books/series of his I read is the Mistborn trilogy which precedes The Alloy of Law. I read those books as a teenager so it has taken me a while to get back into the series. Honestly, too long! It was worth the wait though!

 

The Allow of Law – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – The Alloy of Law

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will.

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

 

My Thoughts…

It’s natural to be dubious about how an author attempts to replicate the brilliance of a previous book or series. It’s all-to-easy to end up being disappointed because a reader’s expectations are far too high. I did have very high expectations for this additional series, but Brandon Sanderson pulled off recreating the magic of the first series and updating it to fit a whole new character base and setting. More often than not, this doesn’t work as it doesn’t have the same feel as the original, but that’s not the case with The Alloy of Law in my opinion at all.

I love the steampunk/western vibe of The Alloy of Law. It has a significantly more modern feel than the previous books; an element I really enjoyed. I loved the Mistborn trilogy and I wasn’t sure how well I would take to the jump in time period between the novels. I can hand on heart say that I think I preferred it to the original series.

There is more to this second series than the first, namely, the inclusion of Twinborn ability. I don’t remember much if any of this in the Mistborn trilogy, but it’s a huge part of this modern reboot. I think it adds a lot of depth to the magic system already established and fits with a modernisation/advancement theme. It’s a natural fit with the new storyline set in the future – more is going to be known about the ability and it will have been cultured into society as an ‘advancement’.

The dynamic between the two main characters, Wax and Wayne is hilarious. It’s one of my favourite things about the storyline as a whole. The two work together so well even though they are polar opposites as individuals. Wax, the lawman, cannot leave an injustice and always takes it upon himself to right a wrong. He can’t leave alone and walk away even if he wants to. I admire that about him – it’s one of his more altruistic points. Equally, however, he isn’t perfect at all. He despises his social stature and the expectations of society about him; he actively pushes the boundaries of propriety as well which is very funny to read.

Wayne, on the other hand, is Wayne. He is wicked with a firearm and excellent at going undercover but as a person, he is 100% more laid back than Wax. His ‘trading’ (stealing) habit is trademark to his character and it’s funny because he has a strange sense of what has value. He doesn’t steal the conventional items for the most part, but what he picks up does miraculously prove invaluable to the duo.

The biggest advocate of how much I love this book is how quickly I have gone on to read the rest of the series (published so far). I read the next two books within just over two months after finishing this one. With my reading schedule, that’s impressive! I wouldn’t hesitate to go back and read it again either – I enjoyed it that much!

I might yet do that, one day anyway…

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 20th September 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s catch up in this Sunday Summary post! I hope you have all had a good week, whatever you have gotten up to.

Mine has been a busy week! Aside from reading and blogging, I’ve spent a good deal of time on home improvements. I’ve spent a good few evenings this week re-painting my downstairs loo. I have friends coming over next week for afternoon tea, so I wanted to get the most garish room in the house dealt with before then. I’m not joking when I say it was Kawasaki green…

It’s not anymore!

Around that, I’ve been writing blog posts about my Top Ten Fantasy Novel Covers in Tuesday’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ post and on Thursday, I shared my review of The Rue Stone by Janet Stock for the book birthday blitz blog tour. Try and say ‘book birthday blitz blog tour’ quickly five times, I dare you!

 

Books Read

Although I have been doing a lot of work on the house, I’ve still managed to get a fair amount of reading done. My top priority at the start of the week was to read The Rue Stone since I was taking part in the blog tour on Thursday. The Rue Stone is an 80-page or so novella, so I actually read this in one sitting one evening. It was nice to read something short for a change and I enjoyed the storyline!

I’ve also started reading Rags of Time this week. I haven’t made huge progress as I’ve been decorating and general house bits, but I’ll dive into this properly tonight once this post goes live.

Since I haven’t really been in a position to sit and read a book, I’ve made a lot more progress with listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed. I’ve now listened to around 4-and-a-half hours this week, so I’m nearly halfway through the audiobook. I’m finished with decorating again for a little while, but I’ll definitely have to keep up with listening to this and finish it soon.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added a book to my TBR since the 5th August. For once, it’s actually starting to go down. I’m starting to think there’s something wrong with me…

I’m actually quite glad about it, to be honest – the length of it is entirely ridiculous and I need to get on top of it. It’s nice to see the number dropping!

 

Coming Up…

I want to share another book review with you this week. I have a few on my list that I need to catch up with. Next week I’ll be starting with a follow-on series to a trilogy I read years ago. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson is set in the Mistborn universe but in a completely new timeline far into the future of the previous books. I’ve gone on to read all of the published books in this second follow-on series since,  but I’ll just be reviewing the first book in the coming days. I hope you can join me and check out what will be my glowing review!

Nearly a month after I planned to share this post (I got my blog tour days/dates mixed up so I realised last minute I had to postpone), I’ll be sharing a Shelf Control post on Friday! Yes, blog tour commitments and such have meant that I haven’t shared any regular Friday features for a month now. But, Shelf Control is back this Friday and featuring a humorous non-fiction book that’s all about the psychology of the mind.

As always I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary post.

 

However, that’s all from me in this week’s Sunday Summary update! What have you been reading? I’ll catch up with you in the next one.

 

 

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Book Birthday Blitz Review: The Rue Stone – Janet Stock

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s review of The Rue Stone as part of the organised book birthday blitz blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. The Rue Stone is an entertaining fantasy novella, so if that sounds like something you are interested in, please stick around to read on. Before diving into the detail, I’ like to say a huge thank you to Rachel and the author of the novella, Janet Stock, for the opportunity to take part in the tour!

In addition to my review, today’s post also provides the opportunity for UK readers to enter a giveaway and win a paperback copy of the novella! Those details can be found later in the post! For now, though, let’s talk about what I loved about the book!

 

The Rue Stone – Janet Stock

Goodreads – The Rue Stone

The rue is a mysterious and rare being who is rarely seen, and Janna is amazed when one arrives at the inn where she works, looking for a room. The next morning, her life has changed, and she is left wondering whether she will ever see him again, but only time and the rue stone know the answer to that question.

 

Purchase Links –  Amazon UK      Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

Whether you are a regular reader of fantasy novels or are looking to explore the genre, The Rue Stone is a perfect read regardless of audience. As a fairytale-like novella, it is really easy to pick up; there isn’t a huge commitment to a long, complex storyline to invest into. I personally read The Rue Stone in one sitting, so it’s also ideal for anyone who doesn’t have much time to set aside and read.

Even though the novella is only 80 pages, there is plenty of beautiful descriptions and folklore incorporated into the narrative. The rue are mysterious, magical beings of legend. Janna has heard the stories, but she learns the truth of them when a rue walks into the inn she works in and changes her life. There is a great deal of mystery about the rue and they have plenty of potential to be explored further.

There is an element of romance in the novella, but I liked that it didn’t overshadow the plot. Regular readers of mine will know that I’m not a big romance fan, but the budding relationship in The Rue Stone isn’t too heavy.

The amount of detail in the background of the story is well proportioned with current events. I would, however, like to see more from this world and the backstory to the rue explored further. Having read this particular story from the perspective of Janna I’m intrigued to know how different the story would be from Arval’s viewpoint. There is definitely potential in this story for further stories and I would definitely be interested in seeing Janet’s fantasy world explored in more depth.

 

Author Bio

Having written all of my life, I decided to self-publish my writing when I turned 50. I have published four books since then. Two are collections of short stories; Dark & Fluffy; Dark & Fluffy II and 500 Words, which is flash fiction. My latest book The Rue Stone is a fantasy novella.

My passion is medieval fiction, and I am working on my first novel The Little Servant – The Wait’s Son, set in the 12th century, in Lincoln, where I live.

All four books are available on Amazon.

Social Media Links –

www.janetstockwriter.wordpress.com

fb Janetstockwriter

@janetstock12

 

Giveaway to Win 5 paperback copies of The Rue Stone (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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 be 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/33c69494390/