Myth Retellings | From Russian Folklore to Norse Mythology and the Classics

karinareads myth retellingsI love reading a good mythological retelling, from Russian folklore, to Norse mythology and the classics, I adore it all. I thought I’d put together some of my favourites in case anyone needs some recommendations. Continue reading “Myth Retellings | From Russian Folklore to Norse Mythology and the Classics”

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”

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”

The Bitter Twins | Jen Williams | a review

The Bitter Twins by Jen WilliamsHappy publication day to this beauty! I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams towards the end of last year and just reading through my notes to write this review got me excited to read it again! It certainly packs an emotional punch, so be prepared.As it is a sequel (to The Ninth Rain, in case you didn’t know – go read that first, it’s great!) I won’t dwell on the plot, I’ll just say that it continues on a little after the ending of The Ninth Rain and while we get a lot of answers, a whole host of new questions are raised. Luckily, Williams’ fantastic writing and intriguing characters still leave me with plenty to chat about.

Similar to The Ninth Rain, Continue reading “The Bitter Twins | Jen Williams | a review”

Guns of the Dawn | Adrian Tchaikovsky | a review

Guns of the Dawn by Adrian TchaikovskyFirst of all, I loved this book. It’s definitely one that I’ll reread many times and I am still thinking about it a week after finishing it.

This is going to be long, I’m not sorry. I’ll start with what I loved. (Which is pretty much everything!) This is my first Tchaikovsky and is not my usual fantasy pick. I like my fantasy feudal. Technology (including any sort of gun/grenade/canon) is normally a huge turn off for me when I’m looking to escape reality. Guns of the Dawn, obviously, contains guns. Lots and lots of guns – it is primarily a story about humanity and warfare. I am so glad I took a risk and read it as it is about so much more than that too. I would like to preface all this with saying that this is definitely fantasy lite. Yes there are warlocks who can conjure fire and the countries are imaginary, but the magic does not have a huge role in the story at all.

I won’t Continue reading “Guns of the Dawn | Adrian Tchaikovsky | a review”