A Time of Dread | John Gwynne | a review

A Time of Dread

First of all, a huge thank you to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for allowing me to read this in advance. It was brilliant. Exactly the kind of fantasy I live for.

Now before I get started, I must confess that this is my first John Gwynne novel. His debut, Malice , was next on my pile to read when I was approved for this beauty so I thought I’d start here. Although I don’t regret it, I do feel like I have missed a lot of cool references to characters of his first series, The Faithful and the Fallen. For that reason, I found the first half of the book fairly slow, as new characters are introduced, the world explained and tales of the original heroes are told. There are a lot of talks and hints about previous characters which I am sure long time readers of Gwynne will love, I just wanted to get started with the new ones. Saying that, the slow start was necessary to making this book (and presumably, series) readable for those who are new to Gwynne and this world, me included. Now I don’t mind a slow pace so this did not put me off reading, but I wasn’t as glued to the story as I thought I might have been after the amazing reviews Gwynne already has for his work. However, I did just read the last 50% in one sitting this morning, so I can say with some certainty that this changes. Continue reading

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Tigana | Guy Gavriel Kay | a review

Tigana

This is a hard book to review, I am feeling all the feels after that ending. Although not the first Guy Gavriel Kay book I have bought, it is the first of his that I have read after seeing such great reviews from trusted sources on goodreads. And I thought Tigana was excellent. Really, really excellent.

The Peninsula of the Palm comprises of 9 provinces that, after an invasion, are ruled by two rival sorcerers: Brandin, King of Ygrath and Alberico, a warlord from Barbadior. In revenge for the death of his beloved son, Brandin curses the province of Tigana so that no-one remembers its history, culture or can even speak its name, save for those born there before the curse. He also sacks it, renames it and imposes heavy taxes in order to cripple its economy just for good measure. Tigana follows the story of several characters who all desire to see the end of one, or both, of these tyrannical invaders.

Sometimes stand alone fantasy stories Continue reading

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop | Annie Darling | a review

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop

If you’re looking for a fun, romantic read without a simpering heroine or a controlling alpha male and with an Austen-esque twist, this one’s for you.

Verity only needed one bad relationship to prove that love was overrated and she was perfectly happy on her own. If only her friends could see that. Cue Peter Hardy, oceanographer, Very’s fictional boyfriend whose existence is only necessary to get her out of unwanted social obligations. After a misunderstanding in an Italian restaurant, Very ditches one fake boyfriend for another, although this one is very much alive. Johnny also needs someone on his arm to prevent dreary evenings spent at the singles table as he’s desperately in love with a woman he cannot have. Faking a relationship is their perfect solution.

I really enjoyed this novel, I was quickly sucked in by the humour of the first few chapters and enchanted by the well developed side characters. They all felt very real, from Very’s sisters to Continue reading

Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag

book pile, bookish, book tag

best book you’ve read so far in 2017

Without a doubt, Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier. This is the second book in the Sevenwaters series and I loved everything about it. It was atmospheric, tragic, magical and both upsetting and up-lifting. It is just wonderful.  Continue reading

Kings of the Wyld | Nicholas Eames | a review

Kings of the Wyld, Nicholas Eames“Go get the boss,” says one guardsman to another.

“This bunch looks like trouble.”

I generally avoid super hyped books for fear of disappointment, but Kings of the Wyld is definitely an exception. Who’d have thought a fantasy quest story featuring a ragtag bunch of ageing mercenaries who all have better things to do would be so engrossing?! Despite hearing nothing but rave reviews about it, I was a bit skeptical – surely it can’t be that good? But it is, my friends, it is.

Continue reading

Murder on the Orient Express | Agatha Christie | a review

agatha christie, Murder on the Orient Express

Is there anything more perfect to pick up on wet, windy, grey days than a cosy Agatha Christie Poirot novel? I’m not new to Christie, I read And Then There Were None last year and thoroughly enjoyed it so I thought it was about time I picked up another one of her classics. Despite being one of Christie’s most loved works, I did not start with over-hyped expectations and felt that I could give it an objective read, although after liking ATTWN so much I did expect to enjoy it, which luckily I did. I must state right at the beginning though, Continue reading

Traitor’s Blade | Sebastien de Castell | a review

Traitor's Blade, Sebastien De Castell, Fantasy Fiction Paperback

“The first rule of the sword is – put the pointy end in the other man”

Traitor’s Blade is excellent. I picked this up as I’d seen it doing the rounds on Instagram and Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting. I am so glad I did.

We follow Falcio Val Mond in a first person narrative as he Continue reading

Reading Different Genres – The Story of my Book Slump

 

 

So for the first time in an age, I’m in a bit of a reading slump. I’m very much a mood reader and normally, once I’ve started a series I will binge read all the available sequels in a row but at the moment, I’m really struggling to commit to anything. In the past, if I’ve ever had a slump I just change genre and I get all excited about reading again. This isn’t really working for me this time and it’s making me feel a bit lost. I love to have a book on the go so I can just turn off, escape into a different world and forget reality for a while, and the knowledge that I have that escape at the end of my fingertips is calming. So it’s weirdly uncomfortable not knowing where to go next.  Continue reading

To Be Read Book Tag

The lovely Pippa over at thelittlebookowl posted this tag the other day and I enjoyed her answers so much that I thought I’d share mine as well.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Most of the books I want to read are listed in my Goodreads To Read shelf but I tend to only Continue reading

My 2016 Reading Round Up

 

2016 has been a great reading year for me. I’ve always been a reader but this has been the first year since leaving full time education that I’ve found my groove. I now know that fantasy fiction is my genre but that I also enjoy historical fiction, crime and YA. I’ve found it much easier to find new books to read since actively using Goodreads  and following more blogs/bookstagrams that enjoy reading similar works. I managed to read a total of 141 books this year which smashed my target of 52  and discovered several new series that I know I’ll reread and love for a very long time. Highlights include Continue reading