Reviews

Marvelous Storytelling- The Name of the Wind

Overall Enjoyment: 4.5/5

Characterization: 5/5

Worldbuilding: 5/5

Diversity: 1/5

Goodreads summary:

MY NAME IS KVOTHE
You may have heard of me. 
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. 

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature–the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.”

Review

I read this book because one of my friends has been bugging me to read it for a long time now. He even let me borrow his copy. The summary sounded interesting, but I was pretty ambivalent. It’s the usual European-inspired fantasy world that has been classically done. But, I gave it a shot and while there is really no diversity to speak of in my opinion the worldbuilding; especially, the magic system was so good that I thought I’d share this book with you all anyway.

Characters are relatively few in this book when it comes to the ones we hear about more than once and I really appreciated it. Kvothe is fully developed with his whole back story playing out for us to read so that we really get to know who this man is and why. The other characters while not anywhere near as closely explored still manage to seem unique with their own personalities and habits. Truly enjoyed them!

The worldbuilding while maybe nothing new in the sense that it is Euro-centric is very detailed. There is a magic system that is created and describe that I’ve never read something similar to before. The lore of this world is truly beautifully done. I’m a sucker for well-written lore and world history.

Diversity is basically nonexistent in this book which is pretty disappointing. There may have been some brief mentions/alluding to gay men and perhaps some characters of color, but you’re following around a white, red haired man for the book.

Overall, if you’re looking for some diverse fantasy this is not the book for you. It’s Euro-centric and follows a white man. If you don’t mind that on occasion though I would say this is definitely a fantasy book you would enjoy!


Have you read this book? Have you heard of it? What do you think?

Reviews

Stunning- How Long ‘Til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin

Overall Enjoyment: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

World building: 5/5

Diversity: 4/5

Goodreads Summary: In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow south must figure out how to save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.

Review

I chose this book mainly based on the summary, but also because I’ve heard such great things about N.K. Jemisin’s writing, but was having a hard time committing fully to reading one of her full length novels. I’m generally not a fan of short stories, but Jemisin really impressed me. She has an amazing ability to pull you straight into a world in a very short amount of written words. She definitely introduced a lot of new ideas in fantasy and syfy that I hadn’t considered or thought about before, but really enjoyed. There was a large mix of stories and topics that were covered in this anthology. Most I really enjoyed though there were a few in the mix that I didn’t care for.

Characterization: I can’t go into detail about all the characters because there are so many for them, but even though most of these stories are no more than 10-ish pages I still felt drawn into all the characters lives that were exposed to me. These stories contained so much detail and at times emotions that it is hard not to root for most of the characters.

World building: Jemisin just throws you into her worlds with really no build up. When most authors do this it leaves me confused and left to muddle through it until everything is slowly revealed which I personally find frustrating. But, not here! Jemisin has talent to not only throw you into multiple different worlds through her stories, but also the skill to have it all make sense with little to no explanation. A mastery of the craft.

Diversity: This book focused mostly on characters of color with a variety of thoughts and sexualities. I would say we definitely had a lot of different enjoyable viewpoints.

Overall: I would say its definitely worth the read even if, like me, you’re not a fan of short stories. These stories have left me satisfied with their completeness as well as uniqueness.


Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? Let me know what you think!

Book Haul

My January Book Haul

So, I’ve seen many blog posts floating around about people’s book hauls. I’m always super curious about what other people are buying and reading so I’ve decided to share my own. I’ve gone a little crazy this month so I’ve got a lot to share!

Here are most of my books, but this is mainly just to show off my bearded dragon, Smaug.

My Physical books

Below are the books that I mostly purchased this much, with one exception that I borrowed from the library.

The Wicked King by Holly Black. I’ve been a huge Holly Black fan since high school and I continue to really enjoy her work. This is the sequel to The Cruel Prince and wow. Strong female characters and court intrigue. I love it!

Evermore by Sara Holland. So, I purchased this book not realizing that it was a sequel. Oops, but the plot just sounds so intriguing. I’ve read mixed reviews though so we’ll see how it turns out. Maybe I’ll read the first book first.

Girls Write Now by a whole lots of ladies. As someone who works in education I’m forever looking for way to empower young girls and women. This book is an anthology written by young women about the personal experiences. Very excited about this!

The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty. This is the sequel to The City of Brass. I loved the first book and I was very excited to read the second one. I’ve heard some rumors about the content though and while it sounds just as brilliant as the first it also seems to end on a sad note which makes me a bit hesitant to read it.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman. Dragons? Count me in!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I’ve only read the first couple pages so far, but I’m already in love with it.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Read this book! It’s wonderfully done. It’s a long read, but well worth your time.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I’ve been meaning to read this books since it’s come out. I finally have in my hands.

The complete Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. This book series has won so many awards that I can’t wait to see what it’s all about.

NetGalley eARCs

Fury by Will O’Shire. I requested this book, because of the cover and it looked interesting. It was short fic. It had potential, but I wasn’t very impressed.

Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant. An lgbt novel that has fantasy elements. It’s a nice entertainment read, but I would have liked more world building.

No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll. I requested this book because of the title and the description. It’s a series of short stories. The author was very heartfelt.

Wild Country by Anne Bishop. I was so excited to see this coming out. I love this series.


Those are the books I received/ bought this month! Have you purchased any of these books too? What other books have you purchased this past month?

Reviews

Speechless- A Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi Review.

Overall Enjoyment: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

World building: 4/5

Diversity: 3/5

My Personal Summary: Zélie is a girl who grew up on pain; watching her mother die and her people suffer. A chance meeting in the market begins a series of events that could change the whole of Orisha. But change doesn’t come for free and if you want freedom you have to be willing to pay the price.

Review

I’ve been interested in this book for awhile now and have, for the longest time, been putting it off, but I’ve finally read it. This book is not for the faint of heart. If you want something light and fluffy look elsewhere. Tomi Adeyemi had an idea when she wrote this novel and she definitely succeeded. While this is a fantasy book if you at all keep up with current events you’ll see very quickly that there is social relevance written all over the pages. This book will hit you where it hurts and make you think. Let’s start with the characters.

The characters were amazing! Zélie isn’t perfect, but she’s strong and she has so much history and pain. She’s driven and she’s rash and she’s pushing for change. Then Amari, she experiences so much growth throughout the book. Inan, breaks my heart yet I want to throttle him too. If you want to read a cast of complex, believable characters then this is a great book for you.

The world building was phenomenal as well. This story is loosely based in Africa, based on Adeyemi’s background I’m going to guess West Africa. The world has a history, a religion, and all the little details that really make a fantasy world spring to life for me. I really loved reading it.

Diversity. This book was based in a fantasy Africa and with that the whole cast of this book are people of color which is awesome. This book also had kickass women which I obviously very much enjoyed. Racial diversity was fantastic.

Overall, it was a game-changing book that I would highly recommend. As I mentioned before it’s not a light and fluffy read, but it’s a powerful read. I highly recommend you check it out here.

ARC, Reviews

ARC Review- Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant

Release Date: February 25th

At a Glance

Overall: 3/5

Characterization: 4/5

World building: 2/5

Diversity: 2/5

Note: I received this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Personal Summary: Finn, an all American boy from a small town in Iowa, who has powers beyond his control.

Roark, the prince of the unseelie court, struggling to be true to himself under the weight of the thrown.

Roark and Finn both attend Mather’s School of Magick together and have been uneasy roommates for several years. Finn, is constantly being targeted for his powers and Roark is constantly helping him. This is both their final year at Mather’s and tensions are running high. There’s a war brewing and their growing feelings for each other could be what saves them or the very thing that destroys them both.

Review

I have mixed feelings about this book. I love the premise of the book. I was highly intrigued by the idea of Finn having a power that was a bit beyond his control. What a flaw, right? I loved the characterization of Roark and Finn. They were obviously very different people with different dialogue and tone patterns which is something a lot of books I’ve been reading recently sometimes struggle with. So, I was very pleased with that. I think their behaviors also speak well to their backgrounds and personal histories. But, the world building was sorely lacking. There’s fae and even other patheons all at Mather’s, but it didn’t really play into the story in any major way that I was hoping for. I wanted a lush fae culture that somehow managed to stay hidden in the human world with the help of magic, but if you took out the fact that Roark was a fae and made him human it wouldn’t make much of a difference to his character. He was basically a human with powers. Now, there were tiny bits of world building in the novel with the concept of the knight of the winter court. I thought that was a really interesting idea. The pacing of this book is kinda shaky, but the end of the book the plot definitely picks up and things start falling into place. I enjoyed the last part of this novel way more than I enjoyed the beginning so if you pick up this book I recommend sticking with it until the end. With a note to diversity, our main diversity in this book is the two main characters are gay, but that’s all the diversity we get. Both characters are young white males.

In conclusion, it was an enjoyable, light fantasy read with two enjoyable main characters, but if you’re looking for something new spin on the fae and/or a deep, gritty story then this is not the book for you. If you would like to check out The Prince of Air and Darkness you can find it here.


Has anyone else read this book? Is it on anyone’s TBR? What do you think?

wonder wednesday

Wonder Wednesday

Welcome to Wonder Wednesday! This idea came into being when I was wondering how to interact more with all of you. I’m a bit more an introvert so I thought the best way to get to talk with you all was to dedicate a post a week to a question for us all to discuss if you’re interested. These questions will usually be related in some way to books, reading, or writing since that’s what we’re all here for.

My first wonder is, what is your favorite fantasy book or book series? And what do you enjoy about it? Is it the characters? The plot? The wonderful world that you just want to be a part of?

I personally have a really hard time with this question, because I have lots of books I have enjoyed reading. I would say right now though that it is The Others series by Anne Bishop. It’s five books long. I love the characters, plot, and the world though based on ours is fascinating. Has anyone read this series? I look forward to hearing from you!

Anticipated Reads

2019- My Top 15 Anticipated Fantasy Reads

There are some great fantasy and paranormal reads coming out this year! I originally started with a top ten list, but there were just too many great books coming out for me to narrow it down. Each of these books has at least one element of diversity in it, some even more. I have organized this list according to when each book is released.

1. The Wicked King (The Folk of Air #2) by Holly Black

Release Date: January 8th

2. The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S.A. Chakraborty

Release Date: January 22nd

3. King of Scars (Nikolia Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: January 29th

4. The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Release Date: January 29th

5. Black Leopard, Red Wolf (Dark Star Trilogy #1) by Marlon James

Release date: February 5th

6. Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1) by Nicki Pau Preto

Release Date: February 12th

7. Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Release Date: February 26th

8. The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee

Release date on March 1st

9. Once & Future (Once & Future #1) by Amy Rose Capeeta and Cori McCarthy

Release Date: March 5th

10. Wild Country (World of the Others) by Anne Bishop

Release Date: March 5th

11. The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

Release Date March 12th

12. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

Release Date: April 23rd

13. Heartsong (Green Creek #3) by TJ Klune

Book Cover currently unavailable. Release Date: September 2019

14. Brothersong (Green Creek #4) by TJ Klune

Book Cover currently unavailable. Publish Date: December 2019

15. Bayden’s Alpha (Werewolves & Dragons #2) by Kim Dare

Book cover currently unavailable. Publish Date: last part of 2019