hey, hey, hey it’s Friday again and the blue skies are back! It always amazes me how much happier I feel on bright sunny days. Although we all know rainy days are the best reading days 🙂
I have 6 books to talk to you about this week, a historical romance, the first three books in a paranormal/urban fantasy series, a stand alone fantasy audiobook and the first in a different fantasy series. Busy busy busy!
I started with Eloisa James’ Wilde in Love. This was a lovely, fluffy read after the intensity of Blood Upon the Sand. Lord Alaric Wilde has been traveling the world and documenting his travels by publishing books of his adventures back home in England. Little did he know that these books had made him famous – every eligible female, and plenty of illegible ones too!, is waiting for his return with bated breath. Naturally, he hates all the attention and falls in love with the one woman who hasn’t any interest in reading his books. It wasn’t the best Regency/Georgian/Historical romance I’ve ever read, but it was a great palate cleanser and I enjoyed it for what it was.
Next up, I devoured Anne Bishop’s Written in Red, the first book in her ‘The Others’ series. People either seem to love or hate this series, but after reading and loving Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy a couple of years ago I thought I’d give it ago. I am immensely glad I did, as at the time it made me super happy and I read the whole book, cover to cover, in one sitting with a big smile on my face. I put a review up for this which you can read check out if you’d like to know more details. I enjoyed it so much I flew through the next two, and that is sadly where my love story ends. The second book, Murder of Crows wasn’t as strong as the first book but was still enjoyable, engaging, and addictive. A standard second novel. The third however, Vision in Silver, did not live up to my expectations and that is where I’ll stop. There are five books in total in The Others series and I doubt I’ll ever get round to them.
The main thing that I enjoyed from the first book (a slower pace that introduced us well to the world and complex characters) became unbearable in the third. It’s not a short book and yet the first half focussed on rehashing everything that happened in the first two. It bored me. I was reading and reading and nothing was happening! urgh! The main intrigue around the protagonist, Meg, had dissipated and the Others were changing too quickly. I liked how cruel and brutal they were in the first book, I liked that they hadn’t been humanised. By this point there’s nothing left of those characters left. They talk like they’re the same, but they’re not, they’re just not. I’m surprised at how quickly my feelings have soured for this series as Written in Red really did make me happy but ultimately I totally lost interest in the plot and the characters.
After that disappointment, I started listening to a new audiobook: Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky, narrated by Emma Newman. This was a bit of a risk as I’ve not read anything by Tchaikovsky before and it’s set in a Napoleonic Wars-esque world which is only an issue for me in the fact there are guns. I normally like my reading like I like my history – feudal and zero technology (unless it’s magic, because hello fantasy). I always consider gun warfare cheating, I find it much more interesting reading about hand to spear/arrow combat than just point and bang. There are even two pistols on the front cover – however, I am super pleased I took a chance. It’s so good! I’m still less than half way through but I am really enjoying both the narration and the writing. Emily Marshwic is the second daughter of an old family that’s lost it’s wealth. Her country is fighting a long, drawn out war against their neighbour so all the men have gone to battle and the story begins as she kills her first man on the frontline. So immediately we know she also goes to war, and we soon meet another female soldier and begin to suspect things got so bad that women were conscripted/asked to join. We then go back and discover how the war began and how much it’s affected her family and hometown up until that point. That’s where I am at now, the story has caught back up to the first page and I’m a little bit addicted. That doesn’t even begin to cover all the other fascinating events that happen to Emily before she even gets to the swamp-lands on the frontline. There is a King who has blood magic and a group of warlocks on his side, there’s a slimy yet super interesting mayor that has a strange fascination with Emily, kidnapping brigands, a ball etc… I’m really loving it and I will do a full review when I’ve finished. If it continues to be as strong as it has been so far, I’m going to adore it.
Lastly, I began A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. I was bought this for my birthday last week so I was super excited to get to it. It’s a fantasy story steeped with Greek mythology, magic, dragons, warlords, rival gods and monsters. It’s the first person narrative of Cat, a soothsayer/kingmaker (from what I can gather, she’s the daughter of at least one god and is hiding her true magical ability) as she is abducted by a magic-less warlord who wants help unifying his new Kingdom(Warlordom?). There have been lots of hints of her terrible childhood where she was tortured by her family and I’m so keen to find out why. It’s so easy to read and I am flying though it, I will need the sequel asap!
Hope you’ve all had a good week, happy reading!