Hello book lovers!
Fun fact about me: I don’t normally read historical fiction. I don’t know why, especially when I used to love history at school, but it’s just not the kind of book I find myself reaching for.
A fantasy book based around historical events, however? I’m ALL OVER THAT.
I was immensely excited when I came across Romanov, not only does it have THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COVER that basically had me stroking it every five minutes, but it is also based around the history and myth of Anastasia, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. When Nicholas II was forced to abdicate and go into exile with his family, who were later slaughtered, rumors began circulating that Anastasia had somehow survived. Alas, history has now proved this is not the case, but the story still continues to fascinate and capture the hearts of many (including mine since watching the famous animated film and studying Russian history at ALevel!)
I was so excited to see how a YA novel would take on this topic, incorporating it with magic and mysticism, especially considering the role of Rasputin in history as a family friend and holy man who had a ‘mysterious’ hold over the family.
So, did mixing history and magic make for a good read? Find out below!
It’s the end of an era. *Sniff, sniff.*
I can’t believe that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be the last new Middle Earth film I’ll ever see. Sure, I’ll rewatch them (probably numerous times) on DVD, but I’ll never feel that same rush of awe as I did seeing them the first time, nor the nervous anticipation. I felt collected when I first entered the cinema and found my seat, but half an hour in I felt a sudden, overwhelming panic about how NOT READY I was for shizz to go down, and for this to be the final part… and for all the feels about to descend…!
As the film ended and the credits began to roll to the beautiful melancholy song The Last Goodbye by Billy Boyd (mirroring his previous haunting song Edge of Night from Return of the King) my friend and I, as well as the other people in the cinema, all sat in complete silence for a good 3 minutes as if suspended in the moment, awed, with our hearts just a tad broken, not quite ready to let go of the hobbits dwarves and elves that had been our companions and friends for so many years. Continue reading
Hello all! It’s that book haul time again. You know, where I begin to hyperventilate and go completely bonkers at the sight of pretty inanimate objects.
I have to say, I think I’ve been doing pretty well on the book buying front lately, while I gave up on my naïve attempt at a book ban a while back (which everyone but me knew wasn’t going to work) I’ve still been trying to restrain myself when it comes to my bookish whims. After all, if I had my way I would buy the ENTIRE store, and my TBR pile is nearing 200. Although actually now I think about it, due to my latest escapades it’s probably over that now…whoops.
However, a couple of weeks ago my second year university results came though. I discovered that I had passed everything with flying colours, including my soul sucking statistics course which was the biggie because it’s the only module everyone has to pass in order to go onto to their third year, and it was my one weak spot. Safe to say, it was a big relief! So of course, I chose to treat myself by buying a tonne of books I had been lusting after.
So, onto the bookish goodness. 😀 Continue reading
Overall Impression: Intelligent world building and complex storytelling at its best.
I don’t normally like this phrase, but at this point I think it’s safe to say that I am one of Trudi Canavan’s ‘biggest fans’. I was first exposed to her work aged 15 Since, I have bought all of her books, visited her at an author signing and followed her general online updates with a bucket of over enthusiasm. Naturally, I was looking forward to the release of Thief’s Magic in May with a sort of excited and impatient hysteria. A new book AND a brand new series? I couldn’t wait to see what Canavan would do with a new fantasy world.
So of course I was in a state of shock when the Little, Brown Book Group offered me an ARC of Thief’s Magic, the first book in the Millennium’s Rule Trilogy in exchange for an honest review. Holding back shouts of ‘Gimme, gimme!’ I accepted, and a pretty brown package turned up the next day. I raced though the pages of Thief’s Magic quickly, once again Trudi Canavan did not disappoint!
In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.
Elsewhere, in a land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it – should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.
But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands. Not even the people they trust.
Overall Impression: FEELS. SO MANY FEELS.
(To read my review of the previous book from The Traitor 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
‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’
– J.K. Rowling (The Harry Potter Series)
~ * ~
I’m not 100% sure if this is the book or film phrasing, but it remains one of my all time favourite Harry Potter quotes. Continue reading
Overall Impression: An enjoyable meander around the world of Kyralia that lacked some of the fire of Canavan’s previous works.
(To read my review of the previous book from The Traitor Spy Trilogy, The Ambassador’s Mission, click here.)
After getting to meet Trudi Canavan, one of my long time favourite authors, I thought it was about time I settled down with the next installment of The Traitor Spy Trilogy! I was originally planning on giving this book four stars, but on reflection I have changed it to a three. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Rogue as an escape from deadlines but as heartbreaking as it is for me to say, there is nothing memorable about this novel. Already its content is beginning to fade and it has left me wondering how exactly Canavan managed to fill five hundred odd pages.
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 Rogue. Continue reading
“Books fall open,
you fall in,
you’ve never been.
Hear voices not once heard before,
Reach world through world,
through door on door.
Find unexpected keys to things,
locked up beyond imaginings…
True books will venture,
Dare you out,
Across the gloom,
to you in need
Who hanker for a book to read.”
– David McCord
~ * ~
Holy wow! I found this quote yesterday and completely fell in love with it. Continue reading
Yay, another easy question! It didn’t take much thought to come up with this one because there is one book out there that I found to have the most surprising ending AND it was also a plot twist at the same time. 🙂
Yepp, it’s that Trudi Canvan woman again. Are you sick of her yet?
If you said yes, tough, because I’m talking about her anyway! 😛 Continue reading
Okay, so I am going to look at this question as picking from one of my many favourite authors because seriously, I would be here all day otherwise! Since I have already talked about my love for J.K. Rowling, Emily Brontë, Kelley Armstrong, Tolkien and Sarah Dessen these guys are out of the running. So, can you lovely bloggers guess which author is missing? I’ll give you a clue, she’s Australian and I’ve mentioned her many times on this blog before.
I will give you another clue, Continue reading
Greetings fellow book nerds! Right now I am hyped up on lack of sleep, (I’ve noticed this usually tends to be my final wave before I conk out completely) so lets hope I complete this without my head bashing the keyboard. 😀
The first book series that enters my mind – and probably a thousand other bookworms heads around the globe is the Harry Potter series. I’ve read it at least six times and went through a stage where I reread them every summer. Originally the books always came out at this time and I would sit reading them in the garden. Once the series was finished I continued the tradition, and even now whenever I see the first rays of sun in grey old England I feel the irresistible urge to dig out the first book and start Harry’s adventure all over again. However, to me Harry Potter seems too much of an obvious choice and as much as we all love it, it is hard to say anything ground breaking or new on the subject of interest! Besides, I already rambled about Luna on day 2. 🙂
So instead I choose to give the spotlight to a less well known and under appreciated set of books that I have reread multiple times and love just as much – Continue reading
I’ve had trouble with this question and have spent much time racking my brains. There are so many characters I love, and that includes side characters. How does anyone pick their favourites? I find it especially hard when someone or something asks you on the spot, you can’t immediately recall every book you have ever read, all its characters and the reasons you love them. No doubt, after I have written this post I will think of many I should have included and be annoyed, but for now I have settled on one that came to me first off the top of my head. 🙂
This character is from a little book series called Harry Potter, perhaps you’ve heard of it? 😛 Continue reading
Overall Impression: Fantastical, suspect. Wonderful, exasperating. A whole lot of contradictory adjectives are running through my head right now.
(To read my review of the first book from the Caster Chronicles, Beautiful Creatures click here.)
I couldn’t wait to dive into Beautiful Darkness, which may seem strange when I gave the first book only three stars. It had so many rough edges and character issues, yet it is the read that has stuck with me most this year. My mind has often wondered back to the hidden Caster world embedded in the quiet southern town of Gatlin, even when I have been reading other books. So I figured it was about time I picked up the second one!
Beautiful Darkness was an improvement in many ways, and yet I am giving it the same rating as Beautiful Creatures. Why you ask? Well stick with me and find out. 🙂
Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous book Beautiful Creatures this review may contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from that book. However, this review will not contain any major spoilers about the book Beautiful Darkness. Continue reading
Overall Impression: Trudi Canavan’s writing still shines among the rubble of some awkward plotting.
Just throwing it out there that my current nail varnish matches the colour of this book, I think that’s kind of awesome considering it was coincidental. 😛
So I’ve finally finished the novel I have been eagerly anticipating for years! This is the first book in the Traitor Spy Trilogy which follows up 20 years after the events in The Black Magician Trilogy I fell in love with so swiftly. You definitely need to read The Black Magician Trilogy first as this book follows many of the old characters and helps with the background history of how the world works.
For pure enjoyment this novel would theoretically get 4 stars because I love the author’s style. However, here in sucky old reality there were a lot of issues holding this book back from being amazing that the reviewer side of my brain couldn’t shut off. This is the second book set in this world by my favourite author I’ve given 3 stars, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME TRUDI? WHHHYYYYYY?!?!
Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous Black Magician Trilogy this review will contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from those books. However, this review will not contain any major spoilers about the book The Ambassador’s Mission.
As the son of the late High Lord Akkarin, saviour of the city, and Sonea, the former street urchin turned Black Magician, Lorkin has a legacy of heroism and adventure to live up to. So when Lord Dannyl takes the position of Guild Ambassador to Sachaka, Lorkin volunteers to be his assistant in the hopes of making his mark on the world. Continue reading
I saw this title bobbing around the blogosphere a couple of weeks ago, I think it might have been for a meme but I don’t seem to be able to find it now. Either way, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun! After all, how many books have you just HAD to rush out and buy on a whim because you read a great review of it, or it was new from your favourite author or had taken the world by storm? Before you know it you get distracted by something shiny, and suddenly it’s months later and the book is still sitting on your shelf. I am definitely guilty of this, so I felt the need to participate and make my own post! 🙂
So without further ado here are ten books I absolutely had to buy that are still unread:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I decided to buy this after reading so many great reviews. Everyone was calling it a captivating, magical story about a mysterious circus that appeared at nightfall and disappeared at dawn. At first I wasn’t sure about it, I had never really been interested in circuses. But reviews from spellbound readers continued and the cover was so beautiful (Especially in hardback!) that I came to the conclusion I absolutely, positively had to buy it!
The main reason I haven’t read it yet is that I am saving it for the right moment….if that makes any kind of sense. I don’t know, I feel like I will really enjoy it but I want to wait for a day where I can appreciate it. Plus, after all the hype I’m a little scared I might not like it. :S
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time Book 1) – I got this book in 2011 for Christmas because it was on my wishlist. It’s the first in the popular Wheel of Time series known by pretty much every bookworm dedicated to the fantasy genre. I was on a fantasy kick when I first heard about it and so I automatically wanted to read it! It was a couple of months later that I started questioning whether it had been a good idea. Continue reading