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Posts tagged fantasy

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I went to the Gollancz Festival at Waterstones this evening. It was a celebration of all things sci-fi and fantasy. Gollancz got a dozen or so of their authors together to do various readings and Q & As and the result was a one day festival with digital events during the day and a live event in the evening.

The evening was split into two rooms. The one I was in had a reading by Joanne Harris, author of The Gospel of Loki and an interview with Joe Hill. Then there was a presentation of four debut authors for Gollancz who were all being published this year. They all seemed friendly and very excited to become published authors. I particularly want to read The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick.

Next, Patrick Rothfuss gave a talk, which was basically what I was there for! The Name of the Wind is one of my favourite books so I jumped at the chance to go and see him talk. He was very funny and asked for unusual questions rather than the usual ‘what’s your inspiration?’ Q & A fare. The results were good. He is very opinionated about writing which makes for a much more interesting talk than an author who sits on the fence giving bland answers. He didn’t tell us anything about The Kingkiller Chronicle Book 3 unfortunately!

It was a really engaging event, nice to have some variation in authors and format. Great collaboration between Gollancz and Waterstones, long may it continue, I’ll look forward to next year’s!

Filed under event books fantasy sci-fi reading gollancz gollancz festival patrick rothfuss the name of the wind the wise man's fear joe hill joanne harris waterstones

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My Week Ahead in Books…#22

I’m reading Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan this week and I have high hopes. Her book The Magician’s Guild is one of my top five favourite books but I didn’t enjoy The Priestess of the White so I don’t know what this one will be like. Anyone read it already? It’s a very big book so I may start a smaller book too, just for the practicalities of carrying it around…

What’s your week ahead in books?

Filed under thief's magic trudi canavan books reading fantasy my week ahead in books

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My Week Ahead in Books…#10

I finished Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence so I will be posting a review very soon. This morning I started The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas. I’m 50 pages in, it’s one that makes you just want to turn page after page, just like her other books. I’m so excited to read this. It’s the prequel stories to Throne of Glass, the tale of Celaena Sardothien, the assassin, which was one of my favourite reads in 2013.

I hope you are similarly excited about whatever you are reading this week! What does your week ahead in books look like?

Filed under my week ahead in books books reading throne of glass sarah j maas the assassin's blade ya fantasy

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New Books

So while I was searching for more information about the new books in the Study series by Maria V Snyder, I stumbled across Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan. Very excited to hear that she’s writing a new series! It’s scheduled to be released on 27th May 2014. Canavan’s Magician’s Guild series is one of my all-time favourites and one of the first fantasy series I read.

Also if anyone hears anything more about the new Study series, please share! I couldn’t find anything on Maria’s website…

Filed under poison study maria v snyder Thief's magic trudi canavan the magician's guild books fantasy reading

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My Week Ahead in Books…#29

This week I’m finally, FINALLY, reading Game of Thrones! It’s so long but it keeps looking at me and wants to be read so I have finally bit the bullet. Only about a hundred pages in but I’m loving it. I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it because I know what happens more or less as I’ve watched the show, but it’s not the case so far.

I’m imagining this will keep me busy for a few weeks as I’ve started a new job and my reading time has gone from not much to very little! But I’m going to try and make time because I’ve wanted to read this for so long.

What are you reading this week?

Filed under game of thrones books George R R Martin fantasy my week ahead in books

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Review: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

I started this book really wanting to love it. It’s a funny way to start a book but its one of the ones that I’ve seen in the fantasy section and picked up a dozen times because it has a cool white and blue cover. Well, I finally bought it and read it!

The Final Empire introduces us to Vin, a street urchin, who discovers she has the power of a Mistborn. She is able to burn metals inside of her and use them to give her strength, enhance her senses and move about with ease, amongst other things. Luckily she meets a group of people who want to show her how she can put her powers to good use. Hence, adventures.

This is a review of two halves because I feel this is a book of two halves. Or maybe a book of a third and then two thirds. Hmmm. It’s a very slow starter which is frustrating. I liked the main characters and the world was just about set up sufficiently but not a lot happens. There is a lot of planning but not much happens for about 200 pages. If there would just have been more action at the start this would have been a really great book.

However, it gets better. I promise. If you can just get to around 200 pages in, the rest of the book is really worth your effort! The action really picks up and I found myself really interested in the two main characters. Vin and Kelsier, the man who is teaching her, are well-developed by the end of the book. I particularly like Kelsier and his backstory. Also, one thing that Sanderson does really well, is write fight scenes. When the action picks up, Sanderson is great at describing it while keeping up the pace and providing a tense read.

This is an odd book to recommend or review because I was tempted to give up early on but loved the last 150 pages or so. A mixed review for a mixed book but I’m actually tempted to read the rest of the series because I’d like to see what happens.

Rating - *** 3 and a half stars.

Filed under mistborn the final empire brandon sanderson books review fantasy

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Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

This is Rachel Hartman’s debut novel set in a fantasy world where humans and dragons have settled upon an uneasy peace. Dragons are able to appear in a human form as a saarantras but many people still fear them and wish to disturb the peace. Goredd is ruled over by a royal family and Seraphina is the music mistress at court and has secrets which must be kept hidden at all costs.

Fantasy fans will be drawn in from the first page as Hartman sets up her world well and introduces an intriguing premise. However, if it is a fast-paced book you are looking for, this is probably not for you. I found this book confusing because I was hooked at the start but then the pace slowed right down yet I did not want to stop reading. This actually took me about 3 weeks to read which is mad for a book which is less than 400 pages! I’ve been busy but still, the only way I can describe it is that it is really enjoyable to read. The writing is well-balanced in that it is not overly descriptive but it is still a really enjoyable experience to read. 

The main character Seraphina is engaging. As she tries to find her place in a society which is divided between dragons and humans,  the reader is lead through the complexities of the situation in Goredd. Other characters like Glisselda, Kiggs and Orma aren’t overly memorable but one of my favourites is Abdo as his character becomes a lot more interesting in the last 50 pages of the book.

I really feel that if you are in the mood for an easy summer fantasy read and just want to enjoy the writing style, you’ll like Seraphina. You won’t be rushing to the end to find out what happens but you’ll enjoy the journey.

Review - 3 stars ***

Filed under seraphina rachel hartman books ya dragon fantasy review 3 stars

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Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind tells the life story of Kvothe and he certainly is a man with a tale worth telling. We follow his journey through growing up in a traveling troupe, living on the streets and studying at the University. This is a story on a grand scale as we meet Kvothe when he is older and recounting his many adventures to his companions.

Rothfuss has written a book about, amongst other things, the nature of storytelling as Kvothe is a skilled storyteller himself and wants to be sure that he gets to narrate his own tale in order that people get a true version of events as his reputation is not a good one. The structure of the book is perfect for this story as the tale of Kvothe’s life is interspersed with interludes back in the present day with an older Kvothe. The way that Rothfuss weaves his tale is one that has you hooked without you even realising it. It is such easy prose to read but at the same time it is rich and descriptive without being excessive. It’s not an action packed novel but that’s not the point of it and you wouldn’t want it to be.There is a perfect balance to his writing between description and action that you can’t help but marvel at. Can you tell yet that I loved this book?

It is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. You will find yourself rooting for Kvothe completely. There is a scene where he plays a song for an audience which might not sound particularly dramatic but the description of the audience was so spot on that I was moved and I obviously couldn’t even hear the song he was supposed to be singing. That’s just the way Rothfuss writes it.

This book is quite long and the thing that always concerns me with long books is whether it will be worth my while because I’m not a particularly fast reader. This book is well worth your time. I will be buying and reading the sequel as soon as I can.

Rating - ***** 5 stars.

Filed under the name of the wind patrick rothfuss books review fantasy 5 stars the kingkiller chronicle

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Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power is the first of Maria V. Snyder’s new series about Avry, a healer in a world broken by an outbreak of a plague. The people of the Fifteen Realms are suspicious of the healers, believing they started the plague and so Avry is on the run and soon finds out she is the last healer alive, making her very valuable.

Snyder’s writing is really easy to read, not in a bad way, it’s just I find her books are always oddly relaxing to read. As with her previous three series, the main character is relatable and you’ll find yourself warming to Avry. What I like about Snyder’s books is the fact that the story just starts straight away and doesn’t bother with lots of description setting up the fantasy world. Snyder unfolds her fantasy worlds gradually and doesn’t batter you with facts as her books are very character-driven.

I really really wanted to love this book. I read Poison Study (the first in her Study series) and LOVED it. It’s one of the most original books I’ve read and it really is such a great read. However since that series I hate to say I’ve been a bit disappointed. Her books since that series (Glass series, Inside series and now this one) haven’t been able to live up to the brilliance of Poison Study in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy this book but it was only ok which was a shame. I would say it’s good for a holiday read that you don’t really have to think about. I would recemmend Poison Study instead.

Also I couldn’t decide whether to mention this but a thing that annoyed me was the fact that Avry’s love interest, Kerrick, hits her (it’s a very minor spoiler, only 50 pages in or so.) It’s not random, she’s his prisoner in the beginning - then obviously in the end, she falls in love with him which I found a little hard to believe. I get that we’re supposed to see how repentent he is and how he changes towards her etc etc but I just thought it was unnecessary. He was mean to Avry in the beginning, fair enough but… I don’t know, this fact just kind of grated on me throughout the rest of the book.

Rating - *** 3 stars

Filed under touch of power maria v snyder books review fantasy lit avry of kazan 3 stars