The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan Review 4/5

Overall Impression: FEELS. SO MANY FEELS.

(To read my review of the previous book from The The Traitor Queen by Trudi CanavanTraitor Spy Trilogy, The Rogue, click here.)

Don’t you just love how majestic and powerful this cover is? The whole thing is so slick and bold, I really love it! When life is stressful or getting a little overwhelming I always know that I can turn to Trudi Canavan to brighten my cloudy day. The Traitor Queen was no exception to this and felt like a breath of fresh air. This is the last book in the Traitor Spy Trilogy which takes place 20 years after the events in The Black Magician Trilogy. I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with how Canavan tied everything up in this last novel. Once again I find myself feeling sad because I have to say goodbye to so many of my favourite characters all over again!

Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous Black Magician Trilogy or the The Ambassador’s Mission, this review will contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from those books. However, this review will not contain any major spoilers for The Traitor Queen.

Events are building to a climax in Sachaka as Lorkin returns from his exile with the Traitor rebels.
The Traitor Queen has given Lorkin the huge task of brokering an alliance between his people and the Traitors, and Lorkin has had to become a feared black magician in order to harness the power of an entirely new kind of gemstone magic. This knowledge could transform the Guild of Magicians – or make Lorkin an outcast forever.

The Traitor Queen picks up right where The Rogue left off. Tensions within Sachaka are mounting and Lorkin has been given the difficult task of promoting communication between the Guild and the Traitors with the hopes of forming an alliance. Plans go array however  Continue reading

Quoting the Quill #29

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‘Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.’

- Dr Seuss

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First off, how is it fair that Dr Seuss has such an unlimited amount of wisdom? Everywhere I go on the internet I find fabulous quotes by him and frantically write them down. I wonder what it would be like to live in his head where all these thoughts form, and whether it would be liberating or tiring. I’ve never read any of his books so if anyone out there in virtual space has any recommendations for me, fire away!

I’ve been feeling very nostalgic this week, in a good way. I’ve found myself flicking back through old photos,  Continue reading

Rambling, Rambling, Complaining…and a Little More Rambling.

Ohh fellow WordPress friends, I feel like it has been far too long. That may sound strange since I posted a review just the other day and have been managing to keep up with Quoting the Quill but I have been struggling to find the time to fit in blogging…. or socialising….or reading…or sleep.
Anything remotely fun or essential basically.
Although I have churned out a few posts this month, my reviews of Picture Me Gone and The Lovely Bones had actually been sitting around in my draft sections for almost two months! I felt they were in need of a bit of finessing (being a perfectionist and all) and each only needed a mere 20 minutes of my attention to finish them off, yet every time I went to do so I was either too knackered or not in the mood. Consequently it has been a loooooong time since I have had the pleasure of sitting down at my laptop a writing a proper blog post, and I miss it. I guess this post is an attempt to rectify that.

Content Warning: From this point onwards this blog will contain rambling, complaining and a lack of writing quality of any kind as I attempt to update you on the general goings on in my life. If you are of frail disposition when it comes to moan-ey students and bookworms, I suggest you don’t read on. ;)

Melancholy March

This month has been an absolute soul sucker,  Continue reading

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold Review 3/5

Overall Impression: Unnerving, beautiful, bizarre and…boring?

I have come across many readers who have strong opinions about The Lovely Bones. Before even The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold1reading a page I had heard it hailed as an unforgettable tale able to reduce even the most stoical reader to tears. On the other hand, I had also spoken to others who found it a painful slog through atrocious writing.
Naturally this made me curious.
Considering this is such a well-known bestseller with over a million copies sold I am shocked that it has taken me so long to read it! It’s even famous enough to have made it onto the prestigious Rory Gilmore Book List.
I adored the movie adaptation which I saw several years ago so I will admit I had high expectations. Did it live up to them? Yes and no is the short answer.
Warning: Readers should note that this book does cover the delicate issue of rape, although this is only one aspect of the story. If this topic is a painful trigger, you may not want to read on.

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood.
Watching from her place in heaven, Susie Salmon sees her suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself.
But life is not quite finished with Susie yet…

Sebold’s writing is quite….I’m searching for the best word here. Odd? I can understand why it has divided so many readers causing both awe and frustration. The story is told from Susie’s point of view after her death and this was one of the many things that drew me into the book. It is an interesting way to write and certainly provoked thought. Throughout the entire novel I had this sense of closeness to the story. With an invisible protagonist you can go anywhere, see anything including people’s deepest darkest hidden emotions. Yet at the same time the narration felt distant, disconnected, and I think that reflected Susie’s predicament perfectly. Death gave her the ability to understand those around her better than she ever did on earth, and yet she cannot be a part of it remaining trapped and unseen by the ones she loves. The narration seemed to have no boundaries and was quite harrowing at times. Susie explained the details of her death in an unsettling, factual and calm manner. The opening scene of this book was one of most uncomfortable I have ever read and will stick with me for a long time. On this level, Sebold has done a fantastic job.

Continue reading

Quoting the Quill #28

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‘Always question where your loyalties lie. The people you trust will expect it, your greatest enemies will desire it, and those you treasure the most, will, without fail, abuse it. Some say loyalty inspires boundless hope. Well that may be, but there is a catch. True loyalty takes years to build, and only seconds to destroy.’

– Revenge Season 1 (TV show)

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Before anyone asks, no I have not been horribly slighted in any way and I am not sitting in my room plotting any evil schemes! However, I do love this quote. I have been holding on to it for a year or so to use on Quoting the Quill but have never been able to find the right moment for it. After all, I tend to Continue reading

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff Review 5/5

Overall Impression: Astoundingly honest, raw and insightful.

There’s nowt so queer as folk, as Gil the father of the main protagonist in Picture Me Gone would say, and he sure was right.
I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this novel. I had originally seen Pretty Books mention it over on her blog, and although I had never heard of the author the beautiful cover beckoned to Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff1me. A couple of weeks later my highly classified informant at my favourite second hand bookshop, knowing I had a love of YA literature, tipped me off that they had a new batch of brand new rejected review copies coming in. The YA doesn’t tend to sell as well at the shop and I also got in early, so I pretty much had the pick of the bunch. I rifled though the four or five massive boxes and found Picture Me Gone among them. I knew that it was a reasonably new release from 2013 (the current RRP is £9) and although I had plenty of other books to be getting on with I couldn’t resist. I bought it for a sneaky £2.49. It’s probably the best £2.49 I’ve ever spent. :)

Mila has a gift.
She can read a room, a person, a situation – and tell if you’re happy, or pregnant, or having an affair.
When her father’s best friend, Matthew goes missing, Mila joins in the search.
She sees clues no one else notices, facts everyone else overlooks.
But the answers refuse to line up and Matthew refuses to be found.
Is there something Mila has missed?
Something closer to home than she ever imagined?

I’m going to try hard not to give too much of this book’s plot away because I think it’s better that you go in blind, as I did. It’s YA contemporary (I wasn’t even sure of that until I started reading, the blurb is a bit elusive) and follows a young girl named Mila on a road trip across America/Canada with her father in search of his missing friend. In this way I would also class it as a mystery. The odd thing is if someone had described the storyline of Picture Me Gone to meI wouldn’t of had any interest in reading it, this is definitely one of those books you can’t prejudge. Continue reading

Quoting the Quill #27

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‘Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you’ve finished just to stay near it.’

– Markus Zusak

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I found myself enthusiastically nodding my head when I came across this quote. I always thought carrying books around after I had finished them was one of my super weird bookworm quirks, but Zusak makes it sound much more socially acceptable, LOL.  Continue reading