Arc Review: The Girl in Red

The Girl in Red

Title: The Girl in Red
Author: Christina Henry
Series: Standalone?
Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Page Count: 300
Publisher: Berkeley
Type of Book: Arc, Physical Copy, Paperback
Received: Publisher
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5
Notes: Delightful!

I’ve been meaning to try Christina Henry for a while, since I first heard of her through CodiesBookCorner on Youtube. Codie talks about Christina Henry so highly, so I decided I had to jump on the bandwagon, and muck my way through her books. The Girl In Red was offered as an arc, so I politely asked for a copy, and was sent it almost at once. Thank you kind publishers! This shall remain a favorite on my Arcs shelf!

While I typically don’t read a whole lot of retellings, this-as I said-was recommended from a trusted BookTuber. So I went in tentatively, not knowing what to expect. What I found surprised me. While it was a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, the main heroine was not so weak, and was a strong female character (one of my favorite things to read of these days) and she was a battle ax warrior woman of the Amazons!

Not really, but it certainly seemed like it.

She goes on a quest, she has an evil enemy, she has a weapon of choice, and she doesn’t back down despite her fear of becoming a killer. The plot is intricately woven, the characters are strongly depicted throughout the book, and the story itself while based on the original Riding Hood tale, was uniquely done in that it didn’t feel like a tired repeat.

I very much enjoyed this book, enough to really want to read more Christina Henry novels. I’m not a fan of retellings, however, so it will all depend upon my mood, but I’m definitely willing to give this author another go in the near future. Perhaps I might read her Alice book for Halloween? Won’t that be fun?

Overall, a solid 4/5 stars, and a desire to see more from this author. This is definitely one that I recommend readers try, especially if they don’t generally read retellings.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Advertisements

Arc Review: Priest of Lies

Priest of Lies

Title: Priest of Lies
Author: Peter McLean
Series: Book 2
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Ace
Type of Book: Arc, Physical Copy, Paperback
Received: Publisher
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Ah, the build-up of anticipation! Now I just need the next book…

The sequel to the Priest of Bones was an excellent and much needed grimdark fantasy read at its finest. With a build up of plot, characters, and another look into the past of the world they’re in as well as what might come, I very much enjoyed this wonderful installment into the series, and thank the publisher for a copy which in no way or shape changes my review.

The characters were more fleshed out. We saw more action, more Tomas, and more war. I liked every part of this book, and it’s easily one of my most favorite grimdark fantasies that I’ve read to date. It ranks right up there with Anna Smith Spark, and Ed McDonald.

Overall, 4/5 stars, and I would very much like to have the next book in the series, ASAP.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: Eye Spy

 

Eye Spy

Title: Eye Spy
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Book 2 of the Family Spies
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Hardback, Arc
Received: publisher
Rated: 4/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: unsatisfactory ending, leaving it wide open. Mentions of assault, asexual main character, and lots of drama + danger in this latest installment
Abi’s ‘gift’ is unique in that she can sense where things are stressed and about to break apart. It doesn’t become evident until she’s on a popular bridge with her friend, the Princess Kat, and then it’s a mad dash to save everyone, including themselves from disaster. Abi’s new gift has potential, as it’s the only one of its kind. Abi’s unique as well, in that she’s asexual-she doesn’t have any interest in either gender romantically at all.

This wasn’t my favorite Valdemar book. I definitely enjoyed Perry’s story more than this one, but while it wasn’t my favorite it was still a quick and enjoyable read. There were lots of action scenes, some small spots of angst, and Mercedes Lackey tackled assault of a girl in school fairly well I thought.

It echoed current events of today; from dams threatening to break apart, assault and bullying, how asexual characters deal with their realization that they’re not interested in anybody…it all tied in very nicely with the plot, though I was unsatisfied with the ending, and now require book three to see how she handles Dudley Rump, our chief villain in this book-who seems to be a sniveling though wealthy coward determined to get his goals completed, most of which seems to make Abi miserable after she humiliated him when defending herself.

I can’t say too much more within the review, because that would give away the plot. Mags had very little appearance in here as he’s getting older, along with that of his family. I’m still entertained by Mercedes Lackey, so of course I’m definitely still going to be reading her works.

Overall, 4/5 stars for a solid reading experience, and definitely continuing onwards with book three. My thanks to the publisher for sending me an unsolicited copy, and I sincerely look forward to seeing more of Mercedes Lackey’s works.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey

The Hills Have Spies

Title: The Hills Have Spies
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Book 1 of the Family Spies
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Mass Market Paperback (it doesn’t match my book two hardback!)
Received: publisher
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: The new generation of Herald Mags.

While I’m sad we’re not getting more adventure stories from Mags point of view, Perry is still almost as interesting as that of his father. This series continues to be one of the longest ones that I’ve ever read, as it is well over 40+books and counting. I’ve started reading these books when I was in my teens, and seen many a herald come (and tearfully go) and adore this series with all my heart.

Perry’s story is interesting, though. He mindspeak-not just with Companions, but with any animal, be it magical or otherwise. I thought it a cool ‘gift’ to have, and handy as well when you’re training to become a spy and can use animals to help you escape troubling situations, overhear conversations too far out of reach, or see things beyond areas that you can’t see. Perry is a good lad, strong, capable, and determined to be just like his hero of a father, Herald Mags.

Trouble abounds, and father and son set out to go and take care of it, with lots of little interesting scenes filled along the way. Perry picks up a crow as a familiar, along with a few other animals as friends, and things progress. The story evolves quite nicely, and there’s adventure and danger at every turn.

This felt a little rushed, to be honest, in some places. However, I still enjoyed this story, and there are two more children that Mags has that I’m interested in reading about, a boy and girl each. Amily is also one I’m interested in, being Mags wife from the previous series.

Though not my most favorite of the series (that would be Vanyel), this was still a quick and exciting adventure to page through within a few hours. I’m definitely going to check out the next in the series, and probably continue reading these books as if they were candy. 5/5 stars for a lovely time in Valdemar and highly recommend for those who haven’t read the books yet.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: Choices by Mercedes Lackey

Choices Mercedes Lackey

Title: Choices
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Tales of Valdemar/Anthology
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 400
Received: publisher
Rated: 4/5 stars
Type of Book: Paperback
Notes: a collection of short stories, one of them being from Mercedes Lackey herself, tells various tales of various characters in the lands of Valdemar.

This was an interesting anthology. On the one hand, I really liked these new stories, on the other they obviously hadn’t come from Mercedes Lackey, but that’s not a bad thing. With fresh new voices as well as some familiar ones (Janny Wurts was a surprise and a treasure to read here, and the only other author that I recognized), this anthology definitely is one of my favorites.

As previously mentioned, I only recognized one name aside from Mrs. Lackey, and that’s Janny Wurts. I haven’t read anything from the author, though she’s been on my TBR pile for years, I just haven’t found her books easily. My library doesn’t have her books, and they’re outside my budget on Amazon. I may break down and see if Book Outlet carries her works, because I’ve been curious about her writing for years. “Beyond Common Sense, She Persisted” was one of my favorite short stories out of the collection, and if she writes that well all the time, then I have found a new favorite author. If you’re familiar with Janny Wurts, perhaps y’all might help me figure out where to start in regards to reading her massive list of novels.

Another favorite short story I enjoyed was “Of Crows and Karsites” by Kristen Schwengal. This was a completely new to me author, but the story was very enjoyable though I wished it could have been expanded into something more, as most short stories seems to be lately for me. The characters had a strong voice in this one, and I liked the overall feel of it as well.

My third favorite short story? “Women’s Need Calls Me” by Mercedes Lackey herself. Classic Mercedes Lackey, in that it’s got the tone, characters, and abilities down pat. I always love returning to this world, and this was no exception. I’m greatly looking forward to Volume Two of The Hills Have Spies (review for volume one next), and am eager to share with you my thoughts on those books as well.

Overall, I’m rating this a solid 4 out of 5 stars, for wonderful world-building, fabulous new authors to check out, and the latest new favorite short story from an all time favorite author.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Mystic and Rider

Mystic and Rider

Title: Mystic and Rider
Author: Sharon Shinn
Series: Book 1 of 5
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Page Count: 500
Status: DNF’d at 45%
Type of Book: Mass Market Paperback, Owned
Received: I honestly don’t remember where I got this, I got it *years* ago
Rated: 2/5 stars
Notes: Recommended for people bored and desperate to read fantasy with shapeshifters.

Perhaps my notes might be harsh, but this book did not live up to the expectations that I’ve been hearing about on Goodreads. Just another reason I don’t typically trust most Goodreads Reviews unless its from people I know and trust in regards to reviewing books.

Let me start off with the good:

The book opened up with a fascinating first chapter told from a barkeep’s point of view, as his attention is drawn towards a young nobleman, two foreigners, and his own band of thieves, not to mention his indentured slave, Cammon. He thinks that all those attending his bar that night are going to die, even if overpowered by sheer numbers. But when the young nobleman turns out to be a young noblewoman, that’s when things change. The two foreigners rescue Cammon from indentured servitude because they believe him to be a Mystic-though they didn’t originally set out to rescue Mystics they were on a quest for the King, for they are King’s Riders.

Now the bad:

I wanted the story to be from Cammon’s pov. It wasn’t. I wanted something besides hysterical fear from normal humans over Mystics power-seen that all too often in fantasy books before. I wanted something that wasn’t political intrigue between houses focused on the group that’s NOT Cammon. In fact, the half of the book that I read Cammon is barely in the story at all. There’s also shapeshifters, firestarters, and healers in this book.

Overall, while the plot was interesting it didn’t hold my attention for long. I’m giving this a 2/5 stars and moving on.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Unpopular Opinion

WHTF_JKT_2p.indd

Title: We Hunt the Flame
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Series: Book One
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Page Count: 500
Status: DNF’d at 35/40%
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Received: Library
Rated: 2.5 stars rounded up to 3/5 stars
Notes: Unpopular Opinion-this book was not meant for one such as me.

I really had high hopes for this novel. Everything from the description to the gorgeous cover sounded like my type of read. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, and I was really eager to finally dive into another 500+page epic fantasy series. Alas, that turned out not to be the case.

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

I liked Nasir but his character didn’t really *grab* me. Same with Zafira, however cool her name was, she was a bit baffling to me and I just couldn’t muster enthuasism for her character. Naasir’s story was a bit more promising…but it just fell flat, for both of them. I made it about 150 pages in, before giving up entirely.

Another issue was language. The book really should have a glossary, terminology, and character chart list at the start of the book. There’s supposedly one on the author’s website, but that doesn’t do me much good since I do not have internet at home to look it up, and rely on my phone more often than not for service. Therefore, nothing of that sort for me.

Then there was the Chapter: Boy’s POV and Chapter: Girl’s POV back and forth switch that I hate reading. I like sticking with just the one character, though there have been exceptions-such as The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, but those exceptions are few and far between. It just was frustrating-as soon as I started getting interested in that character, it would swap back to the other and I would loose interest all over again. Ugh.

The writing, admittedly, wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I was interested in the plot’s story arc, but my main complaint is the characters, strange terms, and the weird names. There’s one character whose name is Umm. Seriously? Umm.

I get this is supposedly to be otherworldly fantasy. I get this was building up to something probably epic and awesome and thrilling for all. I get that, I do. But sadly, it just couldn’t keep my attention and I want to read things that I enjoy reading and not have to reach so hard to find the parts that I like. Therefore, unfortunately for me, this is a definite DNF. Maybe I might try again in the future, but it’s highly doubtful.

Overall, 3/5 stars and I feel as though I’m being generous.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Book Review: Small Spaces

Small Spaces

Title: Small Spaces
Author: Katherine Arden
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher:
Page Count: 200
Type of Book: Hardback
Received: Library Loan
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Warning for some bullying throughout the book, theft of a book, and the main characters mother has died and she’s dealing with it.

Small Spaces was a delightfully quick book to read, apart from the long fantasies that I’ve been doing here as of late. I flew through it in less than four hours, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The kids were a bit, well, juvenile at times, but they are kids so I let it slide. There’s also a bit of questionable bullying towards one particular character, but in the end it turned out all okay anyway.

The story was delightfully creepy at times, though little to pretty much no gore in this book at all, which made me very pleased. I dislike heavy amounts of mindless gore in creepy suspense novels, for obvious reasons. The stickmen and smiling man I was familiar with in regards to mythological stories that I have read over the years, but this was a new twist to it, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Overall, this was a fun and entertaining read, with the right amount of creepy vibes and dark tones that would make for a great re-read for Halloween, or for those of you who haven’t gotten around to it yet, I highly recommend it for Halloween. You won’t regret it. 4/5 stars!

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Bookish Post: Anna Smith Spark

 

This is a bit different from the traditional book review, as I haven’t yet read these though I’m fixing to pick up book one here soon, so that I can finally dive into this trilogy of grimdark adult fantasy. As I won the second book in the series, and already own the first book thanks to Orbit sending me a finished copy, I’m eager to sink my sharp teeth into a trilogy meant for those who love grimdark fiction.

GrimdarkGif

They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we piss gold and jewels into the dust.

In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has become the true ruler, and has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The empire is on the verge of invasion – and only one man can see it.

Haunted by dreams of the empire’s demise, Orhan Emmereth has decided to act. On his orders, a company of soldiers cross the desert to reach the city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from ashes can a new empire be built.

The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Marching on Sorlost, Marith thinks he is running away from the past which haunts him. But in the Golden City, his destiny awaits him – beautiful, bloody, and more terrible than anyone could have foreseen.

-As Seen on the First Empire of Dust novel’s Description page on Goodreads

This is a trilogy, as the author has kindly informed me, and that the third book is expected to be released sometime in late July, early August, and is expected to come out this summer, of which I’m greatly looking forward too. My congratulations to the author on successfully finishing a trilogy, and I look forward to reading all three books, as well as her future writings.

You can find the author at her homepage here: http://courtofbrokenknives.org/?page_id=211, where I’m sure she will enjoy meeting new readers and fans alike. The Queen of Grimdark Fantasy is awaiting your presence.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Hardback Book Review: Song in the Silence

Song in the Silence

Title: Song in the Silence
Author: Elizabeth Kerner
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Publisher: Tom Doherty
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Hardback
Received: Library Loan
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Short review, long book.

Epic fantasy at it’s finest. Fans of Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, and Robert Jordan may enjoy this author’s writing, for the author weaves words and tales as fine as George RR Martin but in a completely different sort of landscape. There are tales within tales in this first book, and the only thing that truly vexed me was the constant character pov change, but aside from that this was a truly marvelous find and one that I didn’t expect to fall in love with so completely.

The ending of the book left things hanging wide open, of course, as there was so much crammed into the beginning that there was obviously going to need more books later. I’m unsure how long this series will be, but it’s one that I’m aiming to keep reading more of as time goes on, and even buying if I find copies of the books themselves.

And while this is a short review, the book itself is long and entertaining. I sincerely hope that y’all check this book out because it’s well worth reading. This has been on my goodreads wishlist forever, and I wish I can remember where I first saw it. A library? A bookstore? A blog? The possibilities of such are endless, much to my chagrin. Ah well. Happy discoveries make for excellent finds.

Overall, I’m giving this book 5/5 glorious stars because of dragons, strong female characters, horses, magic, mystery, and romance. A thoroughly satisfying read!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

New Release Review: Once and Future

Once and Future

Title: Once and Future
Author: Amy Rose Capetta + Cori McCarthy
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Publisher: Hatchett
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Received: Library
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: Read for the “Ancient Runes” category of my O.W.L. Exams/Read-a-Thon, for in Ancient Runes you were meant to read a ‘retelling’.

Slow to start, this built up to a cliffhanger that made me scream as I saw at the end of the book a page that read “The Sword in the Stars Coming 2020”. Noooo. I didn’t want to start another series. And did this list it as a series on Goodreads? Nope. Did it list it at the beginning of the book? Nope. Grr. But I’m heavily invested now, because oh the characters!

The storyline is definitely different from the original, and it’s not just because Arthur got turned into a girl for this plot. There was a f/f romance that I didn’t see coming-two of them. There was a back romance plot of an m/m romance that I also didn’t see coming. There were knights in shining armor, even while in space. There were dragons. There were miracles and heartache and flirting and lots of musical references. Everything from Queen to Katy Perry musical references that made me appreciate the book even more.

At points, it felt like this story dragged in the middle, but then it picked up again with a startling speed that I flipped through to the end faster than anticipated and read the book in one sitting, it was that good. I was invested in the characters, their romances, the betrayals, the deaths, the bad guys and if they were going to be defeated or not. There was so much going on, but it wasn’t a hard book to read and the authors took care not to pander or info-dump the readers with a whole lot of back story which I appreciated. There were brief bits where they explained certain things, but it went well with the story. Even if I already knew the story of Arthur and Merlin, it being one of my favorite classics to read retellings of more so than, say Beauty and the Beast.

This was a breathtaking and beautiful retelling, with its own original twists and storyline that felt fresh and new. With plenty of positive LGBT representation, this book was a lovely read and one that I didn’t expect to be in my top ten favorites list for 2019 this early in the year. There have been several others of those already, and this year is shaping up to be a great year with loads of amazing books, with this being one of them.

I’m definitely going to get the second book to the series. Because that cliffhanger was evil and unexpected and just plainly left me wanting more. My hat is off to the authors for a spectacular job well done on a new version of the tale, and I eagerly anticipate the sequel. 5/5 glorious stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

1st Promo Post: The Beast’s Heart

Greetings all,

Today dawns snow and ice on the ground and the beginning of changes here on my blog. I mentioned in my January stats post that I wanted to do more than just book reviews this year. I wanted to do promo posts for books I love, author interviews, guest bloggers. This is all a slow learning process for me but I hope it goes well. If you have advice as more experienced bloggers I would be happy to hear it!

The Beasts Heart

Today’s Promo Post is for an upcoming release called The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shellcross.  This was one of my favorite reads for the beginning of 2019, and I love how it reads, the characters, the world, all of it. I’ve a review coming up soon, but felt that it was only appropriate to do a promo post first.

A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France–and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . .

-As Seen on Goodreads

Having already read this, I can say that this is well worth buying on Amazon, and that it’s less than $10 in paperback format. Here’s the link to that, if you’re interested:

Now, please let me know if the links don’t work because I’m still figuring out how to do all of that, despite being on my blog for nearly three years. I also hope you all go and check out this beautiful work, because it’s well worth it.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book.

New Release Review: All the Wandering Light

All the Wandering Light

Title: All the Wandering Light
Author: Heather Fawcett
Series: Book 2
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count: 430
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Received: Library
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4.5/5 stars
Notes: Another sequel finished. Alas, book three is not out so now I have to wait. *cries*

River. Kazmin. Ragtooth. Azar-at. Lusha. These characters have devoured my soul within 400 pages of complicated story plot, action, adventure, treachery, royalty, and even death. There was so much going on that I lingered through the pages, and took most of a day to read, as opposed to just a few hours. I don’t know why I spent a week putting off this book, and now after having finished reading book two, I do know-I didn’t want this world to end, again, for the second time on such a drastic cliffhanger.

You can’t trust River. But then he goes and does things like saving Kazmin’s life again and again. He even saves Lusha’s life. He helps her with Azar-at. He does things that keep confusing Kazmin to no end, and towards the end of the book even River appears confused by all that he’s been lead to believe. For he isn’t quite what he thought he was.

On that mysterious note, there’s also the added fact of the group chasing down a falling star one that has the power to raise the dead. It’s powers are limitless, but that’s the power that their afraid River will use it for. Whoever has the star can command literal armies of the dead.

There’s also the added fact that Ragtooth, who had been thought dead at the end of book two, is no longer dead in this volume…but he’s also not quite himself. We learn more about him towards the end of the book, yet still mysteries carry.

The writing is so vivid and detailed within this book, that I truly hated finishing it. I know it’ll be months before I get book three, and even then the story will remain firmly etched in my mind (probably not, but it feels like it will, though we all know I’ll likely forget all that happened by the time book three rolls around).

This was my first read for Feburary. As far as first reads go, this was glorious, and I really hope the rest of the month proves to be this entertaining. I completely skipped the first week, and we’re now into the remaining three weeks of the shortest month of the year because I just couldn’t be bothered to read, and I was working on writing my own books as well, so…

Not too many reads for this month, but the one that I started out with? Absolutely perfect.

4.5/5 stars, and I definitely am getting book three as soon as it releases!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Belgariad Series

 

Title: Pawn of Prophecy/Queen of Sorcery
Author: David Eddings
Series: Yes
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher:
Page Count: 600 (300 respectively for both first books)
Review Word Count: 1000
Type of Book: Paperback
Received: I honestly don’t remember, I’ve had these books for years
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Read for 24in48, which starts tomorrow!

 

I just read through books 1 and 2 of The Belgariad, and really enjoyed both of them. Of course, this is my fifth time re-reading book 1 “Pawn of Prophecy”, but I have never finished the series, due to it taking me literal years to find and collect all the books to the series that had matching covers. I’m planning on just binge reading the entire series in the next couple of days, but there are a few things that I wanted to talk about in regards to the books.

#1: Murgo’s: From what I recall, aren’t they a main race in the Wheel of Time series? *Check into that* Did David Eddings rip off Robert Jordan, or vice versa? Are Murgo’s also part of the Tolkien franchise?

#2: Brill: he reminds me very strongly of a character in the Wheel of Time series as well. Perhaps ya’ll might remember the Peddler Padar Fane*? *check name* He also had a bad habit of showing up when not wanted, and turned out to be pretty much as evil as evil gets.

#3: Salmassra: She reminds me strongly of this scene from Outlander, when she kidnapped Jamie’s nephew Ian. Garion didn’t suffer nearly as much as poor Ian, yet the scenes ring rather similarly, for me.

#4: Aunt Pol: Garion’s words of her living for four thousand years and being a cold heartless woman ring true, yet there’s also her unexpected caring side from time to time. Still, I don’t much like her as a character. I find her to be rather manipulative and overly harsh towards others at times.

#5: Riding/Walking/Running: There’s a lot of all three going on quite a bit through these books, as they travel to fulfill the prophecy. Normally, I like reading about these parts, but sometimes it can get rather redundant.

#6: Prophecy: Most prophecy’s are annoying, and don’t live up to their full potential and I’m sure you could name several books/series that do such. I’m truly hoping that this will be one that just knocks the socks off of me, and actually has strong reasons for having a prophecy and isn’t just petty squabbling between gods and manipulations from lesser mortals.

#7: Slavery: Serfs or slaves, the books are hard hitting towards that particular subject. I do hope that the issue gets resolved towards the later end in a believable way.

#8: Bathing: I like that the characters are always concerned about bathing. Actually, that’s a lie. It seems that Pol is the only one concerned, and forces the rest of them to bath quite a bit. Unless you’re a girl, the men can’t seem to be bothered with it. It’s…quirksome.

#9: Horses: I *love* that Hettar understands the horses so. One of my favorite scenes in the first two books is how Durnik sits on a horse, and the horse sighs, and Hettar laughs and…well, you’ll just have to read it, but if you understand horses at all, you’ll find it amusing too.

And #10: The Length: The books read far too quickly. I flew through 300 pages in less than four hours, they go that fast, because they’re that fun. There’s so much rich detail, action, and conversation that it makes for an easy read. I hope that the books start getting longer, but they all appear about the same size, so probably not.
thebelgardiad

And there you have ten thoughts from me about the Belgariad Series by David Eddings. Have you read the series? If so, please don’t spoil me, I’m only just about to start book three. Chat about books 1 + 2 in the comments, if you will, because I really want to talk about them with someone whose read the series. Otherwise, 5/5 stars for both books 1 + 2, and I definitely plan on finishing the series as the week passes.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Favorite New Series: The Accidental Sorcerer

Why is this series not talked about more? Gerald is a cool character, and the first book was awesome. Full of things that go boom, a tortured hero, a princess that wears business suits and can do magic, and an intriguing plot that actually felt unique and original. Granted, the ending was rather depressing, but now that I have books two and three borrowed from the library, I plan on reading the rest of the series this week, and seeing if my opinion of the books keep up to a 5 star rating.

 

Gerald Dunwoody is a wizard. Just not a particularly good one. He’s blown up a factory, lost his job, and there’s a chance that he’s not really a Third Grade wizard after all. So it’s off to New Ottosland to be the new Court Wizard for King Lional.

It’s a shame that King Lional isn’t the vain, self-centered young man he appeared to be. With a Princess in danger, a talking bird who can’t stay out of trouble, and a kingdom to save, Gerald soon suspects that he might be out of his depth. And if he can’t keep this job, how will he ever become the wizard he was destined to be…

THE ACCIDENTAL SORCERER is the first novel in the Rogue Agent trilogy, from one of fantasy’s newest stars

~As seen in the Description on Goodreads

 

I’m really enjoying the series so far, however. The first book is 600+ pages, so it’s definitely going to feel like a long read, but each book is non-stop action from the very first chapter, so definitely well worth it. I’ll keep ya’ll updated on each book, if you’d like, and what I think as the series progresses, but so far…

5/5 stars for a rip-roaring good time!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

New Release Review: For a Muse of Fire

 

For a Muse of Fire

Title: For a Muse of Fire
Author: Heidi Higil
Series: Book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count: 500
Type of Book: Hardback, Library Loan, New Release
Received: from the library
Review Word Count: 400
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: The wait is over, the anticipation was worth it, and I have a new favorite book!

This book was compelling, fascinating, and driven by the characters. It was definitely different from anything that I’ve read before, filled with fliers for shows, wanted posters, actual three pages worth of song lyrics, poems, and told in the form of a play, as well as regular book format. It was beautifully done, and my imaginary hat goes off to the author for a fantastical job well done!

Told in various languages as well, this book features strong female characters, dancers at adult clubs, rebellion, a unique magical system, music, lyrics, and even a girl with a secret that can’t be discovered least she be killed or worse.

{Insert Goodreads Book Description}

I’ve been wanting to read this for months, and now that I have I shall take it off my Anticipated Reads page. I loved it, though will admit that it was a bit of a slow build to an epic finale, that I sincerely hope this is a book one, and that the cover art does the book justice. It’s sad, a lot of the time, but its also got drama, shadow puppets, and even death plays a major character in this novel.

I haven’t read the author’s previous series The Girl From Everywhere and now it’s soared to the near top of my list of ‘needing to read and needing to read it now’ books. The author is a new favorite of mine, and does a splendid job in capturing readers attention from the very first page. You are drawn in until the very end, and I read this all in one sitting, it was that good.

This marks yet another book that reached far beyond my anticipated reads and I know there will be many more to come despite it being almost December, for this year has been filled with favorite after favorite read.

I feel that if you love breathtaking, original fantasy stories, then you will definitely appreciate this gem of a book. 5/5 stars for a book that was well worth the wait, and I eagerly look forward to reading more by this author!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

New Release Review: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Beneath the Sugar Sky

Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: Book Three of Every Heart a Doorway
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tom Doherty
Page Count: 200
Type of Book: Hardback, Library Loan, New Release
Received: Library
Review Word Count: 400
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Now to wait for the next book to come out!

As I close the third book to Every Heart of Doorway series, all I can think about is how I’d like for all the characters to meet each other, and that I still liked the character Jack best of all. Jack would’ve liked Cora, I think. I also think that Christopher is my favorite, but I also really love Nancy, Rini, Nadya, Kade, and everyone else too. Perhaps the last book in the series just might bring all the characters together? Or so I hope, anyway.

This book tells the tale of Rini and how she’s trying to find her mother to save her Nonsense World, as well as herself, from spinning out into nothingness. Rini is, at first, a bit hard to like but towards the end of the book I really find her a nice enough character though not the story I was most interested in being told (that would be Christopher’s story).

The story itself was fast-paced, full of fascinating ideas, and had a lot of baking involved. From baking up an escape from the north tower, to baking other things, this was a wild, fun, and sometimes slightly confusing ride. I liked how it all played out towards the end, with a major twist that made me want to read book one all over again.

I can’t say much more without spoiling the book, but I will say that I want to read Christopher’s story quite badly, and I want to see how Cora fits in (I identified with both her and Jack most of all), and I want to see the Magicians making an appearance with this story too.

That last one, I doubt will ever happen, but a girl can dream.

As per usual with these books, I’m giving this a 5/5 stars, because it’s unique, awesome, and carries with it a good message for all at the end.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Paperback Review: Over Ruled

 

A Over Ruled Book

Title: Over Ruled
Author: Brittney Joy
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Author
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Paperback
Received: From the Author
Review Word Count: 300
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes:

This is a hard book to review. I spent a couple of days thinking the review over while reading other books, and wondering what to say.

The writing for this was strong, and I really loved the characters. I liked Nancy a lot more than I liked Princess Jade, but I understood Princess Jade’s character. I liked the plot, and how evil the queen was in the story. I liked the magic, and the mystery that sent tension soaring.

Two girls. One Kingdom. No way out..

Princess. Royal. Prisoner. Jade is the heir to the throne, but her mother, the Queen, isn’t willing to give up her title— ever. Queen Katrina doesn’t see her daughter as her legacy, but as a threat that has to be stopped. Jade has never left the palace, and is trapped inside its boundaries… but she wonders if the walls are meant to keep her safe, or keep her imprisoned.

Peasant. Pauper. Savior. Nova left the Kingdom of Sterling before she could crawl— now that she’s returned with her father to rescue her orphaned cousin, it’s nothing short of a nightmare. Magic is used to control the people, and the monarchy is a dictatorship. Within the kingdom, Nova is hunted for a power she doesn’t even know she has… yet.

One boy will intertwine their lives— or tear them apart. Chael is the secretive and handsome royal guard that might have the answers to save both girls, but he’s hiding something dark. An ally with questionable motives, both Nova and Jade have no choice but to trust Chael… and to fall for him.

But the lengths the Queen will employ to secure her crown are unforgivable. In the Kingdom of Sterling, the only thing more powerful than betrayal is magic

I didn’t like how the romance went for this book. I liked the characters, and I preferred Nancy over Princess Jade, but I still enjoyed all the delicious plot and twists and turns that kept on coming. I also didn’t like that cliffhanger, either, but it was a good stopping point for the book, and I can see why it ended there.

I definitely am looking forward to book two, where it shows how the characters advance from the pitfalls their in, what kind of ruling might occur, and if they find what they’re looking for. I’m giving this a 5/5 stars for a strong set of characters, and a really delightful bunch of plot twists.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Paperback Book Review: Magician Apprentice

Magician Apprentice

Title: Magicians Apprentice
Author: Raymond E. Feist
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Publisher: Bantam
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Paperback
Received: Purchased
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Why did I wait so long to read this book?

I’ve found my next favorite “Pawn of Prophecy” series. Of course, it’s not the same at all, but it feels like it tried the same epic fantasy style, the great characters, and romances. It had the same feel good feeling Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings as well.

The story opens up with Pug attempting to outrun a storm after being out and about, and instead getting ill luck by twisting an ankle after falling of some rocks by the rocky shore, and trying to get through the woods yet being attacked by a boar and being rescued by a hunter and taken to the hunter’s companion who happens to be a magician. We learn that Pug is an orphan at the castle, and that his choosing day is coming up, where he chooses what kind of career he wants-rather, which craftmaster will take him on. It’s a whirlwind of activity when later on almost no one chooses Pug, and then the magician steps forth and asks him to be his apprentice. And, lo, we get why the book is now called ‘the Magicians Apprentice’.

There’s lots of dastardly good deeds, horse and sword training, friendships and rivalries, a princess that needs saving a time or two, and even magic performed throughout this book. On the whole, it reminded me very strongly of Pawn of Prophecy, as I mentioned, and I believe its from the same era as well. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to read this book-I’ve had it sitting on my shelves for a few months now, but I’ve such a backlog that it took me a while to pick up the book and dive into yet another fabulous fantasy series that’s been around for ages.

There’s shipwrecks in this book, a dangerous journey through snowy mountains and jungles, dwarves, elves, and even another world using magic to get into this one. It’s fantastical and magical, and I highly recommend giving this series a go, especially if you haven’t read it yet!

5/5 stars for a fun few hours with Pug and his friends, and I am definitely looking forward to buying the rest of the series so that I can continue the entertaining journey of how Pug eventually gets the rank of Master Magician.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

New Release Review: The Lost Queen

The Lost Queen

Title: The Lost Queen
Author: Signe Pike
Series: Book One
Genre: Historical
Publisher: Touchstone
Page Count: 600
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Review Word Count:
Received: Library
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Vivid, creative, and utterly captivating!

I voted for this book in the Historical Section of the Goodreads Choice Awards of 2018 just a day ago, in the first round of voting, because it was well deserved (and because I hadn’t yet read any of the other books, but shhh, let’s not go there). This book was captivating, from the first page to the very last. While the ending was a sad one, it was a good one, and I am hopeful that there will be a second book to follow up on everything. Even though it had things mostly wrapped up, killing off a good number of the characters at the same time, it still had things unresolved-as history often does.

The writer is a good story-teller, weaving the tale with practiced ease. The characters are lifelike, there’s loads of things going on, and I learned a few things-such as Boudica came about again and I’m beginning to think she was a hell of a badass, nearly wiping out the Romans so. I really need to do some more information on her, because she sounds like someone worth knowing about.

That’s the main reason that I am giving this five out of five stars, because if it’s a historical book it should make me want to go out and do more research on the time period, and the people it talked about. Not only do I want to learn more about the Pendragon era, but I also want to learn more about Boudica and how she nearly wiped out the Romans-if that’s true at all, and not another wild tale by the main characters brother.

This was a fascinating story, and I loved the characters (though don’t ask me to pronounce their names aloud!) and the book itself was a delight, despite the sad ending. I’m glad to have been able to read it, and I hope to one day get my own copy to put on my shelves.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book