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 “A Time of Dread | John Gwynne | a review”
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 “Tigana | Guy Gavriel Kay | a review”
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 “True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop | Annie Darling | a review”
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 “Murder on the Orient Express | Agatha Christie | a review”
“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 “Traitor’s Blade | Sebastien de Castell | a review”
Verity is a city split along the Seam, the dividing line between North and South, both sides on the brink of war against the other and both filled with monsters. In the North, Callum Harker reigns victorious, his citizens paying dearly for the protection of an iron medallion to keep the behemoths away. His daughter Kate is more trouble than she’s worth but after getting kicked out of numerous boarding schools over the past six years she is finally back in the city and desperate to prove her metal. In the South we have the Flynns, fighting every day to destroy the monsters lurking in the shadows and taking out those who would create them. August Flynn is the youngest of the family and is struggling to combine his monstrous needs with his good heart. Both Kate and August feel they know what is right and wrong, but after a botched assassination attempt that forces them on the run, it becomes clear that even they don’t know who the real monsters are. Continue reading “This Savage Song by VE Schwab – A Review “
Unemployed, divorced, an alcoholic; life is at an all time low for Rachel. She gets the same 08:04 train into London every weekday so her flatmate won’t know she’s been fired and looks forward to Fridays as it is more socially acceptable to drink alcohol on the train. Still in love with her ex-husband, jealous of his new wife for giving him the baby she never could and desperate for escapism, Rachel romanticises the life of a couple she sees from the train window of her commute. Jess and Jason, as she’s named them, are beautiful and madly in love. Unfortunately, the couple live a few doors down from the house she shared with Tom and now is forced to see the blinds change as he and his new wife become a family. One morning however, Rachel is witness to a shocking event outside her dream couple’s house that forces her to question her own reliability and plunges her back into the life of her ex and inevitably the life of Scott and Megan, the couple she’s watched from afar.
The Girl On The Train is journalist Paula Hawkins’ first novel and Continue reading “The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins – A Review”
Red vs White. Lancaster vs York. These words spring to mind when discussing the infamous Wars of the Roses. The name given to this turbulent period is somewhat romantic, and encourages thoughts of chivalric knights fighting for their houses, and ultimately the throne. The name however, was not used until much later, made famous by the Elizabethan playwright Shakespeare. In actuality, the battles that dominated the latter half of the Fourteenth Century were much bloodier, chaotic and family orientated than the romantic name suggests. Cousin vs cousin, uncle vs nephew, the old Plantagenet bloodlines fighting each other for the right to rule England.
Continue reading “Wars of the Roses: Stormbird | Conn Iggulden | a review”