Portents | Kelley Armstrong | a review

Karina Reads, Portents by Kelley Armstrong

I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville series and flew through the whole series very quickly earlier this year. I was simultaneously happy that the whole series was published so I could satisfactorily binge-read the whole thing, and also sad that there were no more books to come. So imagine my surprise when browsing the web to discover this collection of Cainsville tales was published at the end of July! I was so happy I practically levitated with excitement while waiting for it to be delivered. Now I very rarely get on with short story collections so I was a bit apprehensive that this book would mar my otherwise wonderful experience of this series, but luckily I adored it.

Armstrong’s writing never lets me down, I was quickly Continue reading “Portents | Kelley Armstrong | a review”

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The Parentations | Kate Mayfield | a review

The Parentations by Kate Mayfield | Karina ReadsLooking for a wonderful blend of historical fiction and the fantastical? Well, look no further. Enter: The Parentations by Kate Mayfield. This epic novel spans the centuries, from Iceland in the 1700s to modern day London, we  follow the sisters Fitzgerald and the Fowler family as their lives intertwine, sharing a deadly secret. A pool hidden deep in Iceland’s volcanic landscape grants those who drink from it eternal life – as long as they take the right dose. Gifted with sips of this magical elixir, our main characters must constantly adapt over the years, enduring the changing cultures and laws of London and the heartbreak near-immortality brings.

‘Immortality is no gift. In the absence of death, true darkness emerges…’

Continue reading “The Parentations | Kate Mayfield | a review”

Circe | Madeline Miller | a review

Circe by Madeline Miller

I am always wary of any new book that comes with lots of hype, but for once (for me!) I’ve found that Circe by Madeline Miller more than lives up to it. I was vaguely familiar with some aspects of Circe’s story (Odysseus, Aeaea, the pigs) but I found it fascinating to begin at the beginning of her story and watch her grow.

Circe suffers an awful lot in her long life and interacts with many famous faces of Greek Mythology and it was gripping to see her warped one way and then another in response to her and others’ actions. Continue reading “Circe | Madeline Miller | a review”

Promise of Blood | Brian McClellan | a review

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

‘The Age of Kings is dead… And I have killed it.’ 

So I admit that I was wary when picking up Brian McClellan’s Promise of Blood. I generally prefer my fantasy feudal with royalty, swords and plenty of sorcerous magic with little to no technology, let alone guns. As a flintlock fantasy I thought I would bore easily over the gun warfare and magic that is directly linked to said guns and gunpowder; however this series is now one huge exception. Simply, I loved it.

We follow Continue reading “Promise of Blood | Brian McClellan | a review”

The Children of Jocasta | Natalie Haynes | a review

The Children of Jocasta by Natalie HaynesIn The Children of Jocasta, Natalie Haynes expertly brings to life the overlooked females in two well known Ancient Greek tragedies: Oedipus and Antigone.

We follow Jocasta (Oedipus) and Ismene (Antigone) in alternating chapters as  Haynes weaves a wonderfully immersive and emotive story stripped of magic and focusses on Continue reading “The Children of Jocasta | Natalie Haynes | a review”

Children of Earth and Sky | Guy Gavriel Kay | a review

‘Villages or farms on a violent border divided by faith didn’t become peaceful because of pen strokes in courts far away.’

Children of Earth and Sky is inspired by Renaissance Europe and follows a range of characters: an angry woman pretending to be someone she’s not, an artist travelling to a dangerous city, a boy training to be a soldier, an apathetic merchants son  and a young woman who is out to avenge her family. These characters come together and apart to weave a wonderful tale of loss, war, love and loyalty. Kay does not disappoint.

I really took my time with this one, time to savour Guy Gavriel Kay’s sumptuous prose. Let’s not beat around the bush, Continue reading “Children of Earth and Sky | Guy Gavriel Kay | a review”

The City of Brass | S A Chakraborty | a review

I have mixed feelings about The City of Brass. I largely enjoyed it: it was refreshing to read a fantasy with a setting other than feudal Europe and I particularly enjoyed the djinn and other fantastical creatures in this story. The writing is good and it was certainly compelling enough to keep me reading all day. Sadly, there are a few things in City of Brass that I didn’t really enjoy.

Firstly, I went in expecting Continue reading “The City of Brass | S A Chakraborty | a review”