Tag: fantasy

First Lines Friday – 19/03/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s first First Lines Friday post for a number of months!

It has been a long time since I posted this series in any regularity and that is something I’m looking to change. I really enjoy featuring these posts as they great fun to write (I confess they’re also quite easy to write!) But most of all give me the opportunity to allow the featured book to speak for itself!

For me, the first impression of a book comes from the opening pages. More important than the cover, the blurb and even the author who wrote it; the opening paragraph will make or break a book for me. I can’t get on with the narrative voice that’s a significant problem. I’m open to trying a lot of new things and so it’s all the more reason why the first impression counts.

Today’s featured book really does speak for itself and paves the way for a fantastic series I have come to love. I’m sure there are many people out there who also will have read and loved the series, but if you haven’t, it’s a pleasure to introduce you. So, without further ado, here are the opening lines to today’s featured novel.

 

People often shit themselves when they die.

Their muscles slack and their souls flutter free and everything else just… slips out. For all their audience’s love of death, the playwrights seldom mention it. When our hero breathes his last in his heroine’s arms, they call no attention to the stain leaking across his tights, or how the stink makes her eyes water as she leans in for her farewell kiss.

I mention this by way of warning, oh, my gentlefriends, that your narrator shares no such restraint. And if the unpleasant realities of bloodshed turn your insides to water, be advised now that the pages in your hands speak of a girl who was to murder as maestros are to music. Who did to happy ever afters what a sawblade does to skin.

She is dead herself, now – words both the wicked and the just would give an eyeteeth smile to hear. A republic in ashes behind her. A city of bridges and bones laid at the bottom of the sea by her hand. And yet I’m sure she’d still find a way to kill me if she knew I put these words to paper. Open me up and leave me for the hungry Dark. But I think someone should at least try to separate her from the lies told about her. Through her. By her.

Someone who knew her true.

A girl some called Pale Daughter. Or Kingmaker. Or Crow. But most often, nothing at all. A killer of killers, whose tally of endings only the goddess and I truly know. And was she famous or infamous for it at the end? All this death? I confess I could never see the difference. But then, I’ve never seen things the way you have.

Never truly lived in the world you call your own.

Nor did she, really.

I think that’s why I loved her.

 

Do you recognise this intro at all? If not, here are the details of the book! 

 

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff 

Nevernight

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff | Goodreads

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

 

I hope you enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday feature! Have you read Nevernight? If not, does this intro make you want to pick up the book? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Spring 2021 TBR

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post is all about my Spring 2021 TBR.

If I’d have been writing this post this time last year, I would’ve been picking the ten books that I absolutely would be reading during spring. However, now I have changed to a more relaxed approach, today’s list is my top ten books that I will be choosing from rather than just reading the lot. It could well be subject to change. If there’s one thing I am enjoying this year it’s having the freedom to choose what I read when I want rather than setting rigid reading lists that I didn’t always stick to.

So, which ten books on likely to appear on my Spring 2021 TBR? Read on below to find out!

 

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Easter is around the corner and the daffodils are out in force, despite the cold weather persisting. So, I suppose I should count now as spring and in that vein, I am featuring my current read on this list. I’m about halfway through The Book Thief right now and I’m really enjoying it so I hope to have it finished soon!

 

Fire and Blood – George R. R. Martin

Fire and Blood is also a current read. I’m a couple of hundred pages in at the moment and I’m intending on picking this up again as soon as I have finished The Book Thief. It’s a heavy read in case you haven’t seen it before. If you have you’ll know it weighs in at about 700 odd pages. It’s a big one but you know me – I love the realm of Westeros and all the history that goes with the Game of Thrones series.

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K Rowling

I’ve read the first couple of Harry Potter books this year to date. If you follow my blog you’ll know that I committed to doing a re-read of the series this year! The first couple of books have been really easy to pick up and get back into the story from the start. I haven’t read these books since I was a teenager so going back to them is truly a blast from the past. I’m keen to keep up the momentum with this and so I’m fully intending on reading this next instalment very shortly!

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling

And following on from my last book on this list, depending on how quickly I get around to reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I may just get around to reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire before the summer. Maybe, we’ll see.

 

A Clash of Kings – George R. R. Martin

Similar to my featuring The Book Thief and Fire and Blood, it’s only fair that I feature my current audiobook as well. I really love the Game of Thrones series (as I’m sure I have established by now) and so I have been listening to this audiobook as a way to touch base with the series. This is also a long one and so I don’t really expect to get this listen to too much. I don’t want to commit to it just in case I don’t!

 

The Psychology Book

This book is one I have picked up previously and made a degree of progress with, however, I ultimately ended up putting it down and I haven’t read it in its entirety. It has been on my TBR for a number of years now and so I want to set aside the time to pick this up. As a former psychology student, I do find the content quite interesting and I like the diversity within this book!

 

Dune – Frank Herbert

I was gifted a copy of Dune years ago for my birthday by work colleagues and I think it’s about time that I get around to giving it a go! I love the sound of the premise and given that I’ve been reading more science fiction in recent years, I’m hoping that I really get on with this one. Only time and picking up the book itself will tell, but I’m optimistic.

 

Silverthorn – Raymond E. Feist

I first read Magician, the first book of the series, as a teenager. A couple of years ago I revisited this first book in an attempt to make a more serious go off reading the series. As with my first attempt, however, I didn’t really follow through and pick up this next book. I do plan on doing the shortly though, although I won’t be picking up the first book a third time – at worst I will have to try and recap the events of the first book online.

 

Words of Radiance – Brandon Sanderson

I am a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and a reading list wouldn’t feel right without a book of his on it somewhere. I read The Way of Kings, the first book of this series (that is ultimately going to be around ten books long), a couple of years ago. Since then I have been deliberately putting off delving into this series further, despite the fact I really want to do having loved the first book. Brandon Sanderson has only published four of the ten at the moment I don’t want to be disappointed by catching up and having to wait for the last few to be published. As it stands book five scheduled for publication in two and a half years time! With that in mind, I think I have left at a decent time to be able to pick up the next book and halve another break before the next; it gives him a chance to keep writing the series so I don’t catch up before he finishes it!

 

If We Were Villains – M. L. Rio

I’ve owned a copy of this book for quite a few years now and it’s one of the older books on my TBR. So, this is another book that I intend to read shortly. Realistically, being at this end of the list, it is more likely being a summer read. That’s not the end of the world though, as it’s quite a nice manageable length it could make for quite an easy light read! Maybe in the garden –  although thoughts like that whilst it’s a tropical 8°C currently feels a little optimistic…

 

So, these are my top ten books I’ll likely be choosing from for my Spring 2021 TBR! Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments. 

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 14th March 2021

Would you believe it is Sunday again, and not just any old Sunday – but Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day to all the mum’s out there, but more importantly (to me at least), my own mum. I couldn’t spend the day with her like I had wanted to today but I will to make it up to her once lockdown 3.0 here on the Island is over. Unlike the UK we don’t have a ‘bubble’ arrangement and households can’t mix.

Instead I have spent the day doing a bit of cleaning, washing and building some furniture of all things. Again not what I imagined I would be doing today but at least it was productive!

As for the rest of this week I’ve been keeping busy as well. In terms of blogging I have shared two posts with you this week. I’m actually happy that I stuck to publishing both posts that I committed to in last week’s Sunday Summary post. I haven’t been the best at that lately but in the circumstances I think I can be forgiven. I’ve certainly forgive myself for it so, hey. My review of Head On by John Scalzi was published on Thursday and my Shelf Control post went live on Friday. If you haven’t checked out either of those post yet please do so using the links above!

 

Books Read

I have definitely swayed more in the direction of audiobooks again this week. As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I was listening to The Toll by Neal Shusterman and I had a few hours left to go. I finished that a few days ago and whilst I was really satisfied with the ending, I had that feeling that good book series leaves; I didn’t know what to pick up next because I was worried it wouldn’t live up to it!

In the end I decided to go to an old favourite to avoid the disappointment. I am carrying on my Game of Thrones binge as I have started listening to A Clash of Kings, the second book in the series. I’m a few chapters in at this point but they are very long so it’s going to take me a while to get through it. Since I won’t be going anywhere I shouldn’t think it will take as long to get through as it would under normal circumstances!

I have also been making more progress with The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak this week. I’m now near halfway through the book rather than a third – given that it’s a long one I’m happy with that result!

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been keeping my head down this week and so there is nothing to add to my TBR this week! Given last week’s binge, I think it’s only fair…

 

Coming Up…

It has been a few weeks since I featured a Top Ten Tuesday post and so I’m going to revive it this week with the topic of Spring 2021 TBR. As you guys know I’m taking a far more relaxed stance over my reading this year, however I’d like to use this post as a casual not to some of the books that I would like to read in the near future. It’s not an absolute list, but it’s a fun opportunity to think about some upcoming reads.

Later in the week I am going to return my first line is Friday post. I really enjoyed drafting the shelf control post this week and I’d like to bring back this regular series! It’s a fun way to feature books on my blog and who knows, you might just find on the catches your eye!

Then last, but not least, I’ll be wrapping up the week with another Sunday Summary post.

But for now that’s all from me – happy reading and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 7th March 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to another weekly update Sunday Summary post! It has been… a week. If you read my post on Friday you will know that the Isle of Man is now back in lockdown again and frankly I’m thoroughly sick of it at this point. But, what can we do!? We are very lucky really so I shouldn’t complain, but I’m going to anyway!

I had planned on sharing my monthly wrap-up post earlier this week, but with the upcoming news that we were going to go into lockdown, this didn’t happen. In the end, I shared this post on Friday. I can’t say I felt particularly motivated to spend my evenings sat at a laptop when I’ve spent my entire day at home sat on another laptop for work. But, oh well, late is better than never right?

I have also started the review post I was going to share for Head On by John Scalzi, however, I got halfway through that last night and ran out of time. I promise I will get that shed early next week.

 

Books Read

I haven’t really picked up much in the way of physical reading this week. In fact the only night I picked up my kindle was last night, Saturday. I had a brief read of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and I enjoyed picking this up again as I haven’t for a brief stint.

Where I have been lacking in physical reading, I have been making up for it via audiobooks. They are very come and go for me; I won’t listen to them for ages or in any great quantity, but when I pick them up again I go hard at it. As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I had just started the toll by Neal Shusterman and as of this post, I only have a few hours left of the audiobook! To give you some context, that means I’ve listened to about 10 hours this week alone! I knew I had listened to it quite a lot, but even that figure astounds me!

 

Books Discovered

Whilst I am on an audiobook binge, I had a look at audible today as I’ve had an email about a sale they have on. I’ve been building up a few credits and I thought I’d have a look to see if anything caught my eye. You could say that!

I ended up using almost all of my credits towards the sale, with just one being used to buy the first book of a series as Books Two and Three were on sale (because that makes sense)…

So now I have audiobook copies of Heresy, Prophecy and Sacrilege by S. J. Parris, Traitor’s Blade and Knights Shadow by Sebastien Del Castell and A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie and last but not least, The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland.

I told you-when I hit the audiobooks I hit them hard! Especially now I’m going to be home for the next two weeks (minimum!) I can see myself finishing my current audiobook and moving on to more.

 

Coming Up

As I said earlier in this post, I didn’t get around to finishing drafting my audiobook review of Head On by John Scalzi. I hope to have this finished in the next couple of days. I will have to see how I get on as I’m still going to be having the battle of motivation to spend my evening is exactly as I have spent my whole day. I’ve actually done something slightly different with this post and I have done it on one-off occasions before… I’m drafting this verbally on my phone. It is a little bit of variety, it’s actually quicker than typing (even taking into account having to fix all the typos and grammar) and it reduces the amount of time I’m actually sat physically on my laptop as I only use this to edit and publish the post once it’s written. If all else fails I will try and do this next week in an attempt to keep the content coming to you guys! I have been quite unreliable over the last few weeks in getting things published when I say I’m going to.

Later in the week, I’m going to go back to an easy regular post that I shared fortnightly last year – Shelf Control. I haven’t taken a look at some of the older items on my TV are for a good few months now. Given that my goal is to get through more of these this year, it makes sense to start looking at the books on the list and to get myself excited for getting round to them!

So, that’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post! Have a good week and I’ll see you around!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 28th February 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s catch up Sunday Summary! I hope you have all had a good week as I have?

You may have noticed I was a little late sharing the posts I had planned this week. I shared my first post of the week on Friday. There’s no excuse really, as I already had most of my Harry Potter Book tag drafted last week. I just ended up doing other things, watching TV, knitting etc. My next post went live on Saturday, which was a review for Auxiliary: London 2039. I read this book towards the end of last year on request and I shared my thoughts on this fun cyberpunk thriller novel this week. If you haven’t taken a moment to read that, please do so using this link here.

 

Books Read

This week’s Sunday Summary section would be better titled ‘Books Listened To’, as I’ve not picked up a book this week. I have, however, listened to several hours of audiobooks… over 7 hours to be precise! As of last week’s update, I still had several hours of A Game of Thrones to make progress on. I finished that on the 25th and promptly moved on to The Toll by Neal Shusterman. I’ve listened to about two hours worth of that book so far and I can’t wait to see how events start to unfold given the conclusion to Thunderhead. I think that will start to happen soon, so I’ll be listening to more of this over the coming days

 

Books Discovered

Nothing to add here again this week, which honestly is not a bad thing!

 

Coming Up…

Tomorrow it’s officially March, and that’s kinda scary! Where has the time gone? I don’t know, but a new month means it’s time for my second monthly wrap-up post. I’ll be taking a look back at the books I read, the posts I shared and anything of note that I want to share with you about last month’s progress!

Later in the week, I’m going to share another review on the backlog pile at present. This week’s selected book is one I listened to via Audible last year. Head On by John Scalzi is the second book I have listened to by that author – I really enjoyed listening to Lock In and after that, I wanted to carry on the series. You can find out the details and my full thoughts on this listen in the coming days.

 

Until then friends, stay safe and well and I hope to see you around!

 

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Sunday Summary – 21st February 2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. Have you had a good week? Mine has been – I’ve enjoyed some great books, TV and even a film this week. For many years I haven’t really watched much in the way of TV, but with less pressure put upon myself to read all the time, I’m finding it on more often. It’s a funny coincidence that the film I ended up watching most of was the film edition of my current read! What a coincidence, eh?

In terms of blogging, I shared one other blog post this week. I finally put together my review of Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor; I hope it does the book/series justice. It’s one of my favourites and I hope that comes across. If you haven’t checked out that post yet, please do!

I also drafted 90% of my Harry Potter tag post, but unfortunately, I ran out of time to finish it and publish it yesterday. My laptop decided to inconveniently download and install some updates late yesterday evening. Let’s just say that it’s gotten to a certain age where downloading updates renders it practically useless in terms of doing anything else! Want to flick from a word document to a web page? Sure, but you’ll have to wait five minutes, the programs will ‘not respond’ at least twice and after all that, don’t dare to scroll the web page unless you want to repeat the whole process. So, come 10:30 pm last night I’d had enough and gave up.

 

Books Read

I’ve made progress on a number of books this week. As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I was currently reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling. I went on to finish this book this week and it was honestly as good as I remember it! I really enjoyed this second book of the re-read of the series. Thankfully the early books aren’t too long, so it didn’t take long to read at all. Once I’ve read the third one they get a bit chunkier though!

Next, I picked up my current read, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I bought this on Kindle a few years ago and I decided that it was the book I wanted to pick up next. Over the course of the week, I’ve read a quarter of the book so far. Ironically, I’m about at the point in the book where I picked up on the film on Friday night, so I know what happens. I’m still looking forward to reading it though –it hasn’t spoiled it for me at all!

Lastly, I listened to some more A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin this week. I have started listening to it when commuting as I said I was going to. I still listened to the radio a couple of times, but I think getting back into the habit of listening to audiobooks on a regular basis will help me get through more of them than I am currently.

 

Books Discovered

This week’s discovered section is going to be comparatively boring to last week’s update. There’s nothing to add here and that’s probably for the best!

 

Coming Up…

Since I’ve already written 90% of the post, it makes sense to share my Harry Potter Book tag early next week. I’ve enjoyed writing it and I hope it makes for fun reading for you!

I’ll be sharing another review with you later in the week. I have a number of reviews to catch up on, and this week’s review is for a book I read late last year that I had been asked to read in exchange for an honest review. London: Auxiliary 2039 is a cyberpunk thriller novel that I loved. The plot was interesting and I enjoyed the mystery behind the narrative. I hope you can check out my full review next week!

 

Until then, that’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post! Have a good week, happy reading and I’ll see you around!

 

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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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