Tag: The Relic Guild

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Book Review: The Cathedral of Known Things – Edward Cox

***I am grateful to have received a copy of this series for an honest review courtesy of Gollancz. All opinions stated are my own***

 

Goodreads – The Cathedral of Known Things

Divided, hunted and short on resources, the surviving members of the Relic Guild are in real trouble. Their old enemy, the Genii, and their resurrected master have infiltrated Labrys Town and taken over the police force.

So the Relic Guild must flee their home, and set off on a dangerous journey across the worlds of the Aelfir. One that will lead them to a weapon which might destroy the Genii. Or the whole universe…

And forty years before all this, the war which led to the fall of the Genii continues. And what happens to the Relic Guild during that conflict will change the course of their desperate flight.

 

My Thoughts…

My initial impressions of the series can be found in my review of The Relic Guild, the first book of the series. The turmoil within Labrys Town continues in this second instalment, and the Relic Guild are out of their depth.

The dual timeline between The Great War forty years ago and the present day is one of my favourite elements of the book. The circumstances have changed for both sides since the first invasion years ago. Fabian Moor has licked his wounds and learned from his mistakes. On the other hand, the Relic Guild has fewer numbers than before. The odds are stacking against them rapidly in this new attack on the Labyrinth.

It is fair to say that the narrative storyline is well developed, but isn’t hard to follow. In this second book of the series, there is far more action and plot development. It builds on the events of the first book well, so the character relations and world building are carried through. I really enjoyed the characterisation and world-building elements in the first book. Although I didn’t pick up The Cathedral of Known Things straight after the Relic Guild, it was easy to pick up again and felt familiar almost immediately. The world building and characterisation were necessary components of the first book of the series and brilliant besides. However, I am grateful to start to see the action unfold now that I have invested time into the lives of these characters.

Whilst both storylines are narrated concurrently in the book, the main emphasis I took away from it lies in the storyline of The Great War all those years ago. Could it be that the key to winning this present day war lies in events of the past? Perhaps. I’ll only know that once I read The Watcher of Dead Time later this month. I can’t wait to read it and share my thoughts with you all. With any luck though… I’ll pull my finger out and share them with you a bit sooner than three months after the reading of it…

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Book Review: The Relic Guild – Edward Cox

My review of The Relic Guild by Edward Cox feels well overdue. I mean, I read this book towards the end of August! It’s a shame in a way that I have had so many other blogging commitments, meaning I couldn’t get around to writing this before now.

Better late than never, right?

 

The Relic Guild

Goodreads – The Relic Guild

Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls a hundred feet high.

Now the Aelfir are a distant memory and the Thaumaturgists have faded into myth. Young Clara struggles to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, where eyes are keen, nights are long, and the use of magic is punishable by death. She hides in the shadows, fearful that someone will discover she is touched by magic. She knows her days are numbered. But when a strange man named Fabian Moor returns to the Labyrinth, Clara learns that magic serves a higher purpose and that some myths are much more deadly in the flesh.

The only people Clara can trust are the Relic Guild, a secret band of magickers sworn to protect the Labyrinth. But the Relic Guild are now too few. To truly defeat their old nemesis Moor, mightier help will be required. To save the Labyrinth – and the lives of one million humans – Clara and the Relic Guild must find a way to contact the worlds beyond their walls.

 

My Thoughts…

I received a copy of The Relic Guild from Gollancz in exchange for a review, so firstly, a huge thank you to the team. It was one of many exciting book-post packages I received this summer!

Aside from the synopsis, the first thing I look at when deciding if I like a book is the author’s narration style. It’s make-or-break for me; it always has been. I have a natural preference for books narrated in the third person. The narration is also clear and descriptive, balancing the action of the story with descriptions of the Great Labyrinth and Labrys Town etc. The narrative also interchanges between two time periods; the War, which took place forty years previous and the present day. Chapters for each respective time period are clearly marked, making the story easy to follow.

The Relic Guild introduced a whole new concept of magic to me. The members of the Relic Guild are some of the last able to wield magic… and they each have different abilities. These abilities are almost second nature, or like a sixth sense, to the characters. Their attitude to the power differs greatly from each other too. In addition to this: weaponry, portals and other elements of the Labyrinth draw on external forces of magic. I have never found a book that as both “types” of magic, yet Edward Cox makes them work side by side so well.

I love the idea of the Labyrinth. It’s a magical place shut off from the rest of the world. In the centre, the remaining citizens live together in Labrys Town. Out in the maze surrounding the town, danger lurks around every corner. No-one can enter nor leave. Well, so they believed. Yet forty years on from the war he lost, Fabian Moor is out for his revenge against the Relic Guild. He may not be stuck in the Labyrinth, but he is a massive threat all the same.

There are a number of characters that have a crucial role to play and they are all distinct, well-developed people. Each member of the Relic Guild has a unique relationship with one another. With the exception of Clara, all were part of the War forty years ago. Clara, a former prostitute of Labrys Town has been hiding her gift. She is the first gifted person to be identified since the War, so she is a welcome surprise when the Relic Guild rescues her from danger. There is a lot of history, grudges and camaraderie between these characters and that is reflected well throughout the book. They feel like a community, a family even, as you would expect from such a close-knit group.

The citizens are protected by the Resident, who also happens to be head of the Relic Guild. His ever-watchful eye puts them in a position to observe the danger and attempt to protect the Labyrinth as disaster unfolds. The war isn’t over.

It has only just begun.

 

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 26th August 2018

It hasn’t been a good week on the reading front; I’ll hold up my hands and be honest. I’ve been putting off writing this Sunday Summary in the hopes that I could somehow redeem myself… but no. To an extent I have an excuse – I have family visiting again, so I’ve spent pretty much the last three days with them. That doesn’t really make up for the rest of the week though. Let me tell you what I have done! I have to make this sound good somewhere…

On Tuesday I published my audiobook review of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I have been listening to the audiobook on and off for absolutely AGES. It feels good to have been able to wrap that one up at last!

Then, on Thursday, I continued my new Throwback Thursday mini-review series by featuring The Broken Empire series by Mark Lawrence. I was gobsmacked to receive thanks from the author for my review! Unless I am writing a review as part of an active request, I feel awkward tagging authors in my posts, so I don’t. It just goes to show that even so, authors can still find your work.

 

Books Read

 

Okay, so this section of my post is going to be abysmal. Sure, it looks good because there is three pictures… but its bad news. Brace yourselves.

On Sunday, after publishing last week’s Sunday Summary post, I blitzed The Relic Guild by Edward Cox. I suppose this is the one section of “good news” because finishing that equated to reading the last seventy pages or so in one sitting, quite late on. I got to bed about 1am. Aha… That’s it on the positive front.

I read one chapter of The Eye of the World, during a lunch hour last week. That equates to 3%. So much for trying to make progress on this!

Knowing that time was running short, I picked up the next book on the list. Three Bloody Pieces fared a little better in terms of reading time. I managed to read the first few chapters of this one, equating to about 10%. Still not great, I know. And I did all this in one sitting on Friday night… because I had sussed that it was a bad week at this point.

 

 

I guess I shouldn’t beat myself up. We all have bad weeks. Yes, I had a few things on, but I know I procrastinated plenty too. Try harder next time, Rebecca.

 

Books Discovered

 

I’ve not been too out of control this week, I am pleased to say. I may not have been reading enough to take books off the list, but I’ve not really added them either.

I have only purchased one book this week, and it is a copy of The Truth by Terry Pratchett. I am slowly working my way through the Discworld series, so technically, this is already on my list. It’s a few books down the line, admittedly, but I was always going to get to it. Might as well buy it when at a discounted price, right?!

 

Coming Up…

Because I have family over, the schedule is going to be a little different this week!

down the tbr holeInstead of my usual Tuesday review, I am going to allow myself some breathing space. I am so caught up on reviews, it’s scary. To that end, I am going to look at my TBR and publish the next Down the TBR Hole post. Hopefully, I’ll be able to whittle down the list a little bit more and filter out some books that I’m not so sure about anymore.

I won’t hold my breath! My posts haven’t been very good at shortening the TBR lately…

 

My next post will be published on Saturday, for a change! It’ll be the first of a new month and so it is time to publish my reading list for September! I have lots of ARCs to read and blog tours coming up, so it’s going to be a busy one!

I’ll have to get a wriggle on!

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 19th August 2018

Sunday evenings come around all too quickly! It feels like you literally blink and time has run away from you. Weekends aren’t long enough – who is with me?

If there is one thing I look forward to every Sunday though, it’s re-capping my week and catching you all up on my reading progress.

On Tuesday I shared my review of Individutopia by Joss Sheldon – a dystopian novel in which society does not exist. Individuals compete for their survival. They are expected to apply for new work every day. They cannot see their peers and are reliant on their avatars for social interaction.

On Thursday I began a new series. I wanted to find a way to incorporate books that I read prior to starting my blog into my writing. In this Throwback Thursday series, I am writing mini-reviews… and this week I kicked off with the first three books in The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss.

 

Books Read

I’ve spent this week focussing on reading The Relic Guild by Edward Cox, as I am more likely to finish this book in good time to review it. I am enjoying The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan – but it’s a heavy read, and a book that I will have to work my way through with time. I am hoping to make some progress with The Eye of the World next week though. I’ll let you know how I get on.

I also took a break from audiobooks this week. The next one I have is Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff, which will follow on from Nevernight. I’ve been very tired lately (which is unusual, because my routine hasn’t changed) but consequently, I don’t want to focus on something like an audiobook first thing in the morning. If anything, I’ll listen to music, because I don’t have to concentrate on it. I hope I can get back into it soon.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added a few books to the list this week. This section of my blog always feels like a confessional! Well, I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do a little bit. Who am I kidding, no I don’t!. So, here goes:-

Playing with Matches by Lee Strauss is a World War II novel. As this is one of my favourite historical fiction settings, it caught my eye immediately. It also has a very good average review rating on Goodreads, so I decided to get myself a copy!

When writing my Throwback Thursday mini-review post, I realised that I had given my copy of The Name of the Wind to charity! I have the rest of The Kingkiller Chronicles series on my kindle, so I bought myself an e-copy of this book too!

On the 17th August a local author, Rona Halsall, published Keep you Safe. Naturally, I want to support anyone local that I can, so I bought a copy! I have really enjoyed the thrillers I have read in the last year or so; reading one set on the Isle of Man should be even more exciting!

The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn is a book that has been on my TBR since April last year, so I feel less guilty about having finally bought this. Do I need to justify it any more than that? Nope.

 

Coming Up…

INevernight am REALLY up to date with my reviews at the moment. Whilst I finish reading The Relic Guild by Edward Cox, I’ll review the audiobook I recently finished – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. It’s been a little while since I finished and reviewed an audiobook, so I am looking forward to getting my thoughts to you on this one.

 

 

 

 

I am continuing my new series this week, with another throwback mini-review. Stay tuned to find out which book I am featuring… because I have as much of a clue as you do! Aha!

 

 

 

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 12th August 2018

It’s the end of another week friends! Have you all had a good one? It’s been a pretty good one here, I have to say. Despite it being a normal working week, I’ve had the pleasure of reading some pretty fantastic books. That’s what counts, right?

I really enjoyed writing my review for Children of Blood & Bone this week. I think the book is fantastic and I am so glad it has received such a positive reception. Interestingly, I also saw Tomi Adeyemi on BBC News… in which she said that a film was being made of the book! I’ve read the book first, so that’s license to go and watch the film when it’s out. That is if they show it here…

On Friday I also published the latest Down the TBR Hole post, with little success in clearing out the list. I only binned off one book, but at least I know I still want to read the other nine I reviewed. What can I say; I just have good taste in books!

 

Books Read

This week feels like a really productive one!

I have been reading The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan, and I will say, it is quite a dense read. Since last week I have progressed from around 20% to 47%. I’m nearly half way! It is hard going at times though. It’s not that the book isn’t enjoyable… it is just that there is a lot going on and a lot of information to process. I’ve found that I read it better when I take breaks and read something else in between chapters.

For a few days, that “something else” has been Individutopia by Joss Sheldon. I would argue that this book is more political type fiction than I would normally read, but I have enjoyed it though! I finished this last night as I listened to the rain belting against the window and the wind howling (perfect reading weather, imho). I’m going to be sharing my thoughts with you really soon, so stay tuned. Reading this book in between has also been useful as I am pretty up to date with reviews – spending too long on Eye of the World would make me struggle for content. It’s a win-win situation.

In the same vein as Individutopia, I have started reading The Relic Guild in between chapters of The Eye of the World. I am only a few chapters in so far, having only started the book last night. I’m enjoying it because it is the first physical book I have picked up in a wee while. Kindles are great for practicality, but they don’t quite replace the real thing though.

Last, but by no means least – I FUFILLED MY PROMISE TO FINISH NEVERNIGHT!!

It’s been a long time coming, but I got there in the end. I tend to listen to audiobooks when getting ready for work in the morning. Lately, I’ve not been sleeping so well – so in the morning I’m too tired to even try to follow it. I’ve done it though! Moving onwards and upwards, I’m listening to Godsgrave next!

 

 

Books Discovered

This feels pretty much like the story of my life. Remember I took one book off the TBR in Friday’s installment of Down the TBR Hole?

Yeah, well I’ve already replaced it.

As I also think I established in that post, I have a particular love for Tudor history – especially Henry VIII. I am really interested in the history of the monarch himself, and his wives, so adding this book to the list was a no-brainer. I saw that the book was on offer for £1.99 – it would have been rude not to?

I’ll tell myself that.

 

 

Coming Up…

IndividutopiaSo, as I previously mentioned, I am going to be sharing my thoughts of Individutopia with you next week! I found the book really easy to read, even though the setting and mindset of our main character was a little extraordinary. If you want to find out more, please check out my review on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

I am also going to be starting another mini-series, friends! I’ve been thinking for a little while about how many books I have read before starting my blog. It’s quite a few! Therefore, to incorporate these books on my blog, I am going to be writing mini-reviews of them! I cannot promise that they are hugely specific (as I read them a long time ago) – but it may just be enough to either introduce a new series to you all, or find other like-minded friends!

I’ll be writing my first post on Thursday!