Tag: grimdark

Sunday Summary – 27th February 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary post for this week! It’s been a bit of a strange one and there’s plenty of bad news going around, but I hope you’ve made the best of it?

My blogging schedule for this week started off very early, as I was taking part in the blog tour for Son of Mercia by MJ Porter on Monday. Because my sister has been over visiting, I ended up drafting this post last Sunday. It was a bit of a rush to squeeze in, but it’s just the way things fell. I managed to get that out in time for the tour and I’m really glad to have been able to take part!

Later in the week I shared the Shelf Control post that should have gone live last week, but didn’t go ahead due to illness. In writing this post I actually whittled a couple of books off my TBR; having spent some time looking into them for this post, I decided that there were reasons why I no longer want to pick them up. That’s not a bad thing because the list is ever expanding.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update post I was a quarter of the way through A Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I have to say, given the current events of this week, that the timing of reading this book wasn’t the greatest. I actually finished reading this book on Thursday, the day events in Ukraine kicked off. But, it couldn’t be helped and I wasn’t going to let it stop me finishing this one. I know it sounds pretty obvious in hindsight, but it was strange how the diary just ended. I don’t know what I expected, but there you go. To mentally conclude reading the book I ended up doing some research on what happened to the Frank’s after they were discovered. Not the most pleasant reading either, but I’m glad I did. I learned from the experience at the very least!

My next mood read was pencilled in to be One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest, however when it came to it I decided I wanted something lighter. I wanted a book that I knew I was going to love and offered escapism from current events. Having recently gifted copies of The Raven’s Mark trilogy by Ed McDonald to my sister’s boyfriend for Christmas, I think this subconsciously influenced my decision-making. I decided to pick up Blackwing, the first book of the series, again on Friday and it was obviously the right choice. As of this update I am 270 pages in, which is just over 60% of the book. I’m glad I made the switch, and it goes to show that not treating my TBR too rigidly by having some time for mood reading is the right decision.

 

Books Discovered

It’s a good job that I took a couple of books off my TBR this week, because I’ve also added a couple!

I can’t remember where I discovered this, but I found out this week that the Netflix series of The Queen’s Gambit was actually based on a book. I had no idea before now! I really loved this series and so I decided to give the book a go as well!

In addition, I recently watched a video by Ashleigh at A Frolic Through Fiction on YouTube, in which she shared her favourite books of all time. In that list she talked about The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, and it caught my attention. I’ve seen and heard of it before but I don’t know why I hadn’t added it to my TBR before now. That mistake has been duly rectified!

 

Coming Up…

Somehow it’s March next week. I have absolutely no idea where this year is going, but I feel like I say that all the time. Anyway, with the new month rolling in I will be sharing a brief wrap-up for the month of February, as well as sharing my TBR for March! I hope you can join me for that post!

I’ll be back again later in the week for a First Lines Friday post. I feel like setting myself a challenge this week, and so I’ve decided that my chosen feature will be from a book I’ve added to my TBR in the last three months. Everyone knows I’ve added plenty of books of late and it still leaves enough scope in terms of genre and content. I think this is the first time I’ve set this kind of challenge before, so be interesting to take a closer look at the books on my list and be able to feature one for you!

Then, as always, I’ll be back the same time next week for another Sunday Summary update!

Until then, I hope you have a good week, pick up some fabulous books, and I will see you in the next post!

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Book Review: Crowfall – Ed McDonald

I’m really excited for today’s book review of Crowfall by Ed McDonald. Why I hear you ask? Well, only because this is my favourite read of the year!!! So far, at least.

Having read the earlier books in the series, I requested and gratefully received a copy of Crowfall from Gollancz for the purpose of reviewing this epic conclusion to the Raven’s Mark series. I can’t wait to get started, but first, you can check out my review of the previous book in the series, Ravencry using the link here. Once you are all up to date, here are the details, and my thoughts, on Crowfall: –

 

Crowfall – Ed McDonald

Goodreads – Crowfall

Crowfall is a gritty epic fantasy for fans of Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch and Daniel Polansky.

‘Dark, twisty and excellent . . . Grimdark with heart’ Mark Lawrence

A sorceress cataclysm has hit the Range, the final defensive line between the Republic and the immortal Deep Kings.

Tormenting red rains sweep the land, new monstrosities feed on fear in the darkness, and the power of the Nameless, the gods who protect the Republic, lies broken. The Blackwing captains who serve them are being picked off one by one, and even immortals have learned what it means to die. Meanwhile the Deep Kings have only grown stronger, and are poised to deliver a blow that will finally end the war.

Ryhalt Galharrow stands apart from it all.

He has been deeper into the wasteland known as the Misery than ever before. It has grown within him – changed him – but all power comes with a price, and now the ghosts of his past, formerly confined to the Misery, walk with him everywhere.

They will even follow him, and the few surviving Blackwing captains, on one final mission into the darkness.

 

My Thoughts…

You know that bittersweet feeling of wanting to finish a series to find out what happens, but then not wanting to finish it because then it’s all over? Crowfall is definitely one of those for me. The world, the magic and fantasy setting are truly unique. And the characters have to be some of my favourites. It turns out I’m a sucker for a reluctant, non-altruistic hero.

Grimdark is a genre I want to read more of as a result of this series. I have read a few other grimdark fantasy novels, namely Mark Lawrence’s The Broken Empire series and I have plenty more on my TBR. I enjoy the blurred lines around “heroes” and the amorality of the characters. As a genre, I feel it has a sense of gritty realism – uncertainty as to how events are going to pan out. Classic fantasy has a lot of overused tropes, in my opinion. I want to be worried about my favourite main characters. In dark and life-threatening situations, I don’t want to trust that a character will make it through because they are pivotal to a story. As a reader, I thrive off the danger of knowing anything could happen at any moment… that no one is safe from harm.

Ryhalt is one of my favourite fantasy characters of all time. Before the events of Blackwing and Ravencry twisted him into the man he has become in the opening pages of Crowfall, he already had a sarcastic sense of humour that I loved. He has always had a cynical, pessimistic view of life which fits in so well with the tone of the novels. Corrupted my magic born of death and devastation wrought years earlier, he is far from the ideal candidate to prevent such devastation again.

Crowfall truly is the epic conclusion to this series, and I was hooked on it. I read it from cover to cover in a matter of days and I was absorbed from start to finish! I don’t want to spoil even a single thing so I am trying to comment as little on the plot as possible. All I will say is that I don’t think you will be disappointed. I wasn’t!

Will I be re-reading this series again? Absolutely! The world captured in the pages of these books is truly unique, and one I could re-visit again and again without getting bored.

 

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