Reviews

Epic Read: In This Land by Matthew Haldeman-Time

Overall enjoyment: 5/5

Characterization: 5/5

World building: 5/5

Diversity: 3/5

In This Land Summary (taken from the website):

Bade, prince of the tiny, overlooked country of Nosupolis, doesn’t have a plan for his life. His ambitious older brother Tiko, heir to the throne, seems to have everything under control without Bade or his twin brother’s help. Bade hopes to marry well and find some way to be a credit to the crown, but never in his wildest dreams does he expect an invitation to court the Pharaoh of Orina Anoris, the divine ruler of the most powerful country in the world. Bade always thought that Tiko would be the one to change their homeland for the better, but now he has a chance to wed the pharaoh, ally their two nations through marriage, and do more for Nosupolis than anyone in centuries. Suddenly whisked away by Prince Orinakin, royal diplomat and handsome purple-haired child of the gods, Bade finds himself in an exotic land that dazzles his senses and opens his eyes like never before. The people of Orina Anoris are uninhibited, expressive, flirtatious, and don’t seem to know the meaning of sexual repression. The handsome Seven Siblings are no exception. Boyfriends, lovers, harems–it boggles Bade’s mind to witness a freedom he never even imagined. But the endless parade of beautiful men pales in comparison to the Pharaoh Anosukinom. Tall, gorgeous, and physically flawless, Anosukinom’s beauty is literally perfection. And if that weren’t enough, the rumors are true: he really is both god and man. Crackling with power, intimidating yet friendly, he is as unconventional as he is traditionally Anorian. Daunted in the face of his divinity, Bade isn’t sure if he can win the heart of a deity, but at the very least he hopes to bring attention to the plight of his ignored, forgotten country. After being exposed to a vibrant, colorful new world, nights of sizzling passion, and the possibilities of true love, how can Bade face the thought of being rejected and returning home? Will he be able to win the pharaoh’s heart and finally help his people? Experience the rich, luxurious fantasy world of Orina Anoris only in Matthew Haldeman-Time’s series, “In This Land,” and watch as eight handsome brothers try to balance ruling a nation with finding true happiness. Find out what happens to Bade, Anosukinom, and the sexiest siblings in the world.

The Review

I titled this an epic read, because this is a massive ongoing web serial that is one of the best things I’ve ever read. Now, please don’t let the fact that this stories isn’t complete stop you. This story has been going on for years and its updated EVERY SINGLE Friday/Saturday depending on your time zone. Also, if you haven’t read it before then even if you binge read it’ll probably take you at least 3-4 days (probably more honestly) to be all caught up on this story. There are hundreds of chapters. It does cost $5/per month to read, but that is pocket change compared to what I feel like this story is worth. This story makes me want to be a better person. Why you might ask? Let me tell you,

Love, positivity, and acceptance are the ongoing themes of this whole series. It’s such a long series that it’s hard for me to really explain all that goes on within the story without giving away some serious spoilers and everyone hates spoilers. But, let me tell you what I can. This series is full of lgbtq+ characters and it’s not even seen as a big deal, it’s just accepted as love is love. It smashes some gender norms. There are guys in dress, there are women in men’s clothing and it’s seen as a generally acceptable way to dress. There are people of color though I will say most of the main characters are what I would describe as white. Its sex positive which means that sex is seen as a normal and healthy part of a person’s life without the slut shaming going around. I could continue gushing about it, but those are the big hitters for me. It doesn’t hit every type of diversity in the world, but the message is very clear in this story.

On that note though while I love this series I would not say that it could be categorized as fantasy or paranormal more like perhaps speculative fiction and it would obviously fall in the romance section. This is not like a George R. R. Martin book where there is lots of murder and death and political intrigue. While there are discussions about politics and the negative things that are happening in the countries outside of Orina Anoris it’s not the main focal point. This is a fairly light read in that regard, but I do believe that this book gives you things to think about and consider. There is tension and struggle within this story it’s just more personal than political.  You’re guarantee to fall in love with at least one of the brothers and each one is getting or already has their own story with them as the main focus.

This series also has well thought out and detailed world building.  As I’ve mentioned in posts before I’m a sucker for excellent world building. This series has a multitude of countries in it and they all have histories to them, different cultures, and religions. Some countries are more explored than others, but the author has spent some serious time creating unique places for us to enjoy.

With that all being said I hope you’ll check it out. You can read it here. Also, if you are completely against monthly subscriptions Matthew Haldeman-Time has published some of his series into printed books. You can buy the first one here. A word of warning though, there is a copious amount of the online story that hasn’t been published into print. The author doesn’t seem to plan on releasing printed versions in the near future either so if you want the full story then you’d need to subscribe.

Reviews

Mindblowing! – A Review: Ravensong by TJ Klune

I thought that Wolfsong was amazing, but Ravensong blows it out of the water. If you like Wolfsong you are going to fall in love with Ravensong no doubts and if you were kinda meh about Wolfsong then you should still read Ravensong, because it’s worth it! If stars are your thing 5/5 and I don’t say that lightly.

My Personal Summary: Gordo, the witch with a grudge. Gordo paid for his place in the pack with blood, but though he suffered that wasn’t enough to make the pack stay. He was abandoned and left to keep the territory safe. Now, years later the pack is back and with them Mark, the one who truly broke his heart. While the pack worked together to defeat a shared enemy that isn’t enough for Gordo to forgive and forget. There’s something coming for the pack though and when push comes to shove Gordo has a choice to make. A choice that will affect them all.

This book!!!! I was on the edge of my set the whole read and I struggled to put it down. Now, if you know anything about TJ Klune you know he’s not above making you cry and while I didn’t cry it was a near thing. This book is packed with emotion and when I say emotion I mean you will be drowning in the feels. We get a more detailed version of Gordo’s back story which really starts to make you understand why he’s kinda grouchy all the time. It also really adds to some of our previous characters. Wolfsong painted a picture of all the characters in one way and Ravensong really makes you question whether any one character is all good or all bad. It’s that depth, that grey in the characters that makes me really love them so much. Life is hard and while we might want to think that we can all be good all the time we’re human and we can’t be and neither can Klune’s characters. They do the best they can and then they will deal with the consequences whether good or bad. They’re complex.

A note on diversity. It’s still pretty basic, but there are a few tiny moves. There’s more female representation and we do learn that there is an asexual character which was nice.

Now, the plot. There’s a lot going on in this book. We meet some enemies that we knew were coming and were introduced to a new character we didn’t expect. There’s so much action, so much. I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t really go into it, but the Mark story line is really just a fraction of all that is going on though I would still say it’s the focal point. Oh, and we find out what went on in those three years that He, Joe, Carter, and Kelly were gone for. Now, I was worried about this part taking up too much of the story when I first started reading it, but it’s just enough to really explain what happened to form them into such a tight group. Klune makes you fall even more in love with all these character and don’t worry Joe and Ox along with the rest of the family and friends are still in there too!

The ending, be prepared. TJ Klune always knows how to get you when you least expect it. He leaves you wanting more and I can’t wait for the third book, Heartsong, to come out this fall! Put it on your want-to-read shelf if you’re a Goodreads fan or just save that knowledge in your brain. You won’t want to miss it. Go read Ravensong here!