Tag Archives: epic fantasy

Truthwitch – Book Review

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Published Date: January 5, 2016

Publishing Co.: Tor Teen

Pages: 416

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Perseverance. It’s worth the effort to trudge through the first one hundred pages of the convoluted mess that is the beginning. The introduction to the world is a little sloppy, but after awhile the characters crawl under your skin and things get more interesting and things are explained better.

The synopsis of this novel gives you a very good run down of the story line, so I won’t be repeating it. What I will do is talk about how refreshing it was to finally read about a solid female friendship. Sometimes, I feel like my best friend and I are the only ones in a sea of women who don’t constantly fight with their supposed BFFs. How we treat each other is always at the forefront of both of our minds, we constantly lift each other up and we never abandon each other for anyone else. (In fact, I told my now husband when we were dating that the stupidest thing he could ever do was try to become between her and I. We’ve been together 11 years now so he clearly listened.)

I don’t read YA that often anymore but I would consider this a good read and something I would definitely pass along to any teens I know. (Especially any girls so that they know what a healthy friendship looks like.) I enjoyed myself and will check out the next installment to the series.

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The Crimson Campaign – Book Review

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Published Date: May 6, 2014

Publishing Co.: Orbit

Pages: 596

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

War is all the more complicated when gods walk the earth and choose sides.

We follow three points of view after war has broken out between two countries. A god assists on each side and bullets meet sorcery from both armies. War is fought with guns with bayonets, cannons, magic and people called powder mages who can control and use gunpowder in insanely deadly ways. Two countries fight, one tries to stay neutral and a third party is set to invade while the armies are away fighting each other.

Adamat is a private investigator desperately searching for his kidnapped family. They’ve been abducted by a ruthless gang who have no qualms about torturing anyone.

Tamas is the field marshal of the Adran army, believed to be dead after an attack by the enemy goes wrong. In reality, he’s racing his army through enemy territory, trying to get back to their homeland and save the capital city and his son, Tanial Two-Shot. The enemy is on their heels and he’s going to have to be increasingly clever to escape.

Taniel Two-Shot took out an eye of the god on the opposing team. The god is slowly going mad from the magical bullet lodged in his head and desperately wants the person responsible. But Taniel may not be 100% human anymore after a brush with death, and this god may have bitten off more than he can chew by threatening Taniel and his Bone-eye girl, Ka-poel.

I loved every second of this book. The world building, the characters, the mechanisms of war, everything. It’s clever and exhilarating.

Theft of Swords – Book Review

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Published Date: November 23, 2011

Publishing Co.: Orbit

Pages: 681

Synopsis link to Goodreads here.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Two books in one, just the first reason for a book wyrm to love this novel.

Book One: The Crown Conspiracy

Royce and Hadrian are hired for a last-minute-needs-to-be-now thieving job. Their first rule is that they don’t take same day jobs. They need time to properly research for every possible outcome and difficulty. Unfortunately for Royce, Hadrian harbors a secret heart of gold and will do just about anything to help anyone. Sometimes that means he accepts a job without talking to his partner about it first.

A job that seems cut and dry but ends with the two of them being caught and accused of the murder of a king.

Royce and Hadrian are very clever but mostly in this case, lucky. They catch a break with the princess who convinces them to kidnap her brother, the prince and keep him safe from her uncle and the church that may be trying to destroy their rule. In their quest to keep the prince safe, they help an all powerful wizard escape confinement by the church. It remains to be seen whether this wizard is good or bad. The church certainly seems to think he’s evil but we all know how much churches love to lie.

From hired to steal a sword, to saving a kingdom, Royce and Hadrian have their work cut out for them.

Book Two: Avempartha

Royce and Hadrian are once again hired to steal another sword. This one magical and locked inside an elven tower with no obvious signs of access. Did I mention guarded by a mythical beast called a Gilarabrywn? Kind of a dragon meets scorpion.

While they try to figure out this conundrum with the escaped (and Church’s most wanted) wizard, Esrahaddon, the Church is converging on the small village they are staying with all the knights and nobles of the kingdom, to present a tournament against the beast and crown whoever wins Emperor. The Church wants to crown an Emperor that they can control and do away with small kingdoms. They claim that the winner can be none other than the Heir of Novron, although in reality, they have what they believe is a magical sword that will defeat the beast with the lord they prefer to control.

Staying out of the eye of the Church is rather hard in a very small village, especially if you’re a master swordsmen like Hadrian. They just can’t believe that one wouldn’t want even the chance of being Emperor.

Overall, I really loved this whole story. From the amount of epic adventure to two protagonists that drip with sarcasm at every turn. What’s not to love? That ending left me dying to get my filthy little hands on the next book.

Bookstagram – Week 1

I know not everyone uses Instagram so I decided to attempt (I say attempt because I’m easily distracted) to do a weekly review of my awesome book related posts here on my blog. But if you DO have Instagram, you can follow me here.

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“Buried in blankets and comics trying to forget that it’s 14 degrees outside.”
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“Time to get this epic fantasy party started.”
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“First book haul of 2018!”

Winter of Epic Fantasy 2017

It has snowed and thus the time for Winter of Epic Fantasy is nigh! So wouldn’t you know, my brain decided it was a perfect time for a reading slump. D:

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Winters in Michigan last months so there is plenty of time for me to jump in but it’s not often I get into a reading slump and this year, as soon as the snow hits, my brain just says, “No.”

Not to mention that I have a metric butt-ton of epic fantasy books on my shelves just waiting patiently to be read.

Maybe tonight my luck will turn around and I’ll make a decision but for right now, I need to fill myself full of coffee and go adult at work.

 

The Bear and the Nightingale – Book Review

4 out of 5 stars

If ever there was a book to use a basic fantasy plot line (strange girl is misunderstood by the rest of the village, strange girl is the only one that can save everyone with her strange powers), it’s this one. If ever there was a book to take that plot line and madly pepper it with less common folklore, a main character who boldly ignores tradition and scraps in the dirt with the old gods, it’s this one.

At first, I wasn’t really sure that I was going to be able to get into this one, the three names per person was really throwing me. The next moment I realized that I was over a hundred pages in and deeply invested in the story. Any time my husband interrupted to “watch something and spend time together,” I was secretly irritated. I was racing for the finish line to see what would happen. Half way through I was happy that this was series, even though it would work well as a standalone.

This book rides the line between familiar and completely new in a whimsical manner. Indulging in this story while it’s snowing could only add to the experience.

Godsgrave – Book Review

Book Two of the Nevernight Chronicle

5 out 5 stars

Mia has essentially graduated assassin school and moved onto being assigned targets. Despite being on the job constantly, she’s always working on her plan to exact revenge against those who killed her family. However, the Red Church may have different plans and do not care about Mia’s agenda. Nevertheless, she’s a clever girl and will figure out a way to enact her plans. (Plus, can you really tell an assassin, “No”?)

This is a fantastic edition to the Nevernight Chronicle, not only do we have one thing we love (by we I mean me, but you should too), assassins, let’s add gladiator battles in an arena. An arena where they can make giant courses come up out of the floor to make the fight more difficult at that. The story hops back and forth between the recent past and how she came to become a gladiator and the now, her training and developing relationships with other gladiators. Why must an assassin become a gladiator to get to her target? It’s all about precise timing and taking out two enemies at once. And does it really hurt an assassin to know even more ways to murder someone?

There is only one path to vengeance and it’s paved in blood and glory.

Mia’s just here for the blood.

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The Dragon’s Path – Book Review

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3.5 out of 5 stars

The Dragon’s Path is the set up to a larger series. You may be thinking, “Well no shit, it’s book one,” but my point is, it is clearly the beginning to a more in depth story. There are a few important things missing from this first installment; a better description of the races of humanoids and more explanation of the world history. Both are dabbled with but neither is fully fleshed out, however the interest is definitely there on behalf of the reader.

As with most fantasy series, war is brewing. Here you follow the point of views of four main people and their different experiences leading to a possible world war.

Marcus, soldier turned hired mercenary. Cithrin, orphan raised in a bank. Geder, nobleman sent to battle but a laughing stock of his fellow soldiers. Dawson, nobleman working the politician angle.

After finishing, I still don’t have a clear choice on favorite character but my poor, sweet, naïve Geder, I feel bad things are heading his way. More so than the poor fool has had to deal with already. I want things to turn around and go his way but I feel that he is doomed to a darker destiny. I guess I’ll have to read the next book to find out. Regardless of a mediocre beginning, I feel good things are to come, except for Geder.

Providence of Fire – Book Review

Book Two of the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne.

5 out of 5 ‘Kent-kissing stars!

The Malkeenian empire has been usurped. Murder attempts have been made on two of the three children of the slain Emperor, both have failed. Now all three follow separate paths in their quest for vengeance and to save their homeland, Annur.

Adare must win over a religious sect, even though she recently killed their favored priest and blamed him for her father’s murder. They are the only ones with an army large enough to take on her ex-lover and general of the Annurian army.

Valyn saves his brother Kaden from the massacre of his monastery in the mountains. Their paths converge for a short time but they must separate once again to complete different tasks to the save the empire. Valyn and his wing of Kettral warriors are pursued by corrupted comrades and become stranded in barbarian tribe territory.

Kaden seeks an ancient monk sect to help him take back his throne. These monks are not what the legends tell of and easily become enemies instead of allies. With only the help of two friends, Kaden must skip through magical portals across the empire in his quest to bring allies to his side before he will have the power to challenge the usurper.

It has been three years since I read the first book in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne (The Emperor’s Blades), and I had no problem falling back into that world. I loved the second book every bit as much of the first. Why did it take me so long to pick up the sequel? I have series ADD and skip from one to the next before getting back and completing a series. I won’t make that mistake with the third book. It will be mine by Christmas at the latest.

Of the three main characters, I really only care for Valyn and Kaden. Adare seems to be a bit of a sheep currently and those are characters I always have a hard time sympathizing with. Nira, whom you will meet in this book, is probably my favorite character overall. I aspire to swear as much as she does when I’m old.

Red Sister – Book Review

3.5 out of 5 stars

I hope he comes back full of devils and they eat his heart.”

Where to begin? I hate trash talking an author I consider an auto buy but this one just didn’t quite do it for me. It was enjoyable but I felt sure that there would be a plot twist to surprise me at any moment, that there were red herrings galore and I would be dumbfounded when the truth was unveiled. These are things that I’ve come to expect from a Lawrence book. Turns out, things were pretty much exactly as they seemed.

I had a hard time believing that the older nuns were very deadly. They pretty easily overlooked an obvious villain in their midst. I had a hard time keeping their double names straight as well. I still don’t entirely understand why it’s necessary for them to have two names to begin with.

Can I complain that is wasn’t dark enough? Because it wasn’t, at least not for me. The ending didn’t quite quench my thirst either.

Okay enough bitching. There ARE reasons to read this. Despite my list of complaints, it’s still better than 90% of the garbage out there about girls in special assassin schools. The characters were great, their relationships interesting. They had good personal growth. I’m definitely interested in learning more about the world building in future books. I’m undecided if this is a distant Earth or another planet altogether. Just what kind of lives will our tiny assassins lead in the future? It was a good first installment but I’m hoping for a more fleshed out and coherent sequel.

All that is given to you is choice: meet it with open eyes and peace in your heart, go gentle to your reward. Or burn bright, take up arms, and fight the bitch.”