Woosh! It’s the end of another month. I know I say this every month but I can’t believe how quickly this year is going. It’s summer!
I started the month in a bit of a reading slump after my holiday. Having read so many books in such a short amount of time I was expecting it but thankfully I got over it rather quickly and by the end of the month I was speeding through books again. Thanks entirely to some amazing books that I just couldn’t put down. I read seven books this month which is massive for me especially seeing as I was expecting a slump but five of them were five stars. I guess I just picked the right books to help me through. I got an ARC of Godblind from netgalley which was exciting and I also picked up Starship’s Mage as it was the recommended book in the small bloggers book club I’m in (It’s The Monster Goddess Book Club and that’s the link to the Goodreads Group).
On to the reviews.
As always, the reviews are spoiler free and the links bring you to the Goodreads page for each book. The link to my Goodreads is at the bottom of the page as usual so if you want to add me or check out other books I like and reviewed, do click on it.
Read: 7 Bought: 7 Added to TBR: 18
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson *****
Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.
Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.
But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.
I have to admit I only really wanted to read this because I wanted to give Sanderson another go having not really like the first mistborn book that much. It was a good book but wasn’t quite for me, but Sanderson is one of the biggest names in fantasy so I wanted to try something else. The blurb for Elantris hooked me and I decided to give it a go.
I really enjoyed it but I think something you should know about it is that it’s very political. I don’t mean real world politics and such but the whole book is a chess game between multiple opponents. They all try to plot three steps ahead and out manoeuver each other. It was very well done. I normally like a bit more action in my books, I guess my high rating is a pretty good indicator of how well Sanderson weaved it all together as I was never bored and I found all of the points of view interesting. If it had just a little more action it would have been five stars for me.
We Were Liars by E Lockhart *****
We are the Liars.
We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.
We are cracked and broken.
A story of love and romance.
A tale of tragedy.
Which are lies?
Which is truth?
My heart hurts. That’s literally all I could think of to write for a very long time after finishing this book. This book ruined me. I nearly cried and i simply don’t cry reading books. But this one left me reeling. I finished it and was still lying in bed hours later staring at the ceiling thinking about this.
I bought this in a deal, like most books I buy admittedly, because I’d heard of it and thought it would be quite a good book but I was not expecting this.
To start with it has a very good portrayal of how friends disappear when you get sick. I experienced that myself and it cut a little closer to the bone when reading so I know that was spot on. I was enjoying it and then that ending…. I don’t have anything coherent to say and I don’t think you should know anymore going in to it anyway. Read it, but make sure you have tissues with you and time to hurt afterwards.
Starship’s Mage by Glynn Stewart *****
To travel across the stars you need a jump mage. Damien Montgomery has just graduated but he doesn’t have the connections other graduates does and so is desperate to find a ship to take him on before having to give up on his dream to be a jump mage. The Blue Jay is desperate for a jump mage after an accident with their previous one.
Mixing space opera and magic can be a bit dodgy so wasn’t sure what to expect but this was the recommended book in a book club I’m part of so I gave it a go and it blew me away. I loved it.
It’s written originally as novellas so there is lots of repeated info at the start of each section. Which I guess if you are forgetful then that’s helpful but as, for the majority of the book, there aren’t that many characters, I didn’t need it.
This felt like Harry potter in space. Not kids, because Damien is a young adult. Not at school, he’s already graduated. No one else on the ship has magic…. But it just felt in the same tone as harry potter to me. There was lots of exciting action, a relatable young character, a very loyal crew and someone growing and figuring out their magic along the way too. The way it was originally written helped that I think, as each section had a piece of action to build up to. I just really enjoyed it, I’ve read books that are better than this and given them four stars but for me this just felt like a five star, not because there wasn’t anything wrong or because it was the best writing ever but simply because I enjoyed it so much.
Godblind by Anna Stephens *****
The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods. Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth.
Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbors deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village.
Meanwhile, more and more of Rilpor’s most powerful figures are turning to the dark rituals and bloody sacrifices of the Red Gods, including the prince, who plots to wrest the throne from his dying father in the heart of the kingdom. Can Rillirin, with her inside knowledge of the Red Gods and her shocking ties to the Mireces King, help Rilpor win the coming war?
I felt at times, and anyone who has read the book knows specifically what times, that it was gruesome for the sake of being gruesome. This is not a Scott Lynch type of fantasy, this is an Abercrombie or Mark Lawrence dark fantasy, and if you’re fans of those books then you will love this one. Expect it dark ….. All the way through.
I’m a little annoyed that dark fantasy books like this always seem to be set in a world that is sexist and homophobic. Yes there are main characters who defy those and prove them wrong, it isn’t the tone of the book itself, But I find it annoying that this is nearly always a thing.
The second half got better in my opinion. It drifted away from these problems and I did really enjoy reading it but in the end I felt like there wasn’t enough. I was there for Crys, I liked him from the first chapter he gets. I think he’s the one we’re being made to route for. There are lots of hints at where his story is going but by the end of the book his story hadn’t actually started yet. It just didn’t feel like a full book to me. I know its part of a series but to be a book needs a little rounding off and tying up of ends rather than just stopping.
All For The Game Trilogy by Nora Sakavic *****
( The Foxhole Court + The Raven King + The King’s Men)
Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.
Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.
But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.
I’m going to do this whole trilogy as one review because I read it in six days. I saw the first book was on kindle deal for less than £1 so I bought it because I’d heard good things.
I started reading the first before bed. This was a big mistake. It’s not a particularly long book and it was the most difficult thing to put it down. The ONLY reason I did was because I’d lost so much sleep the days before already. Otherwise I totally would have finished it in one sitting, sleep Gods be damned. I picked it up as soon as I got up the next day and finished it…. And then bought the next two (also less than £1 each) and started reading number two straight away. I’m not sure how much more praise I can give it than that. I finished the first two books in 3 days and the next one in 3 days but only because, by this point, there were certain real life things I just couldn’t put on hold any longer. I put my life on hold for this series. Quote that! The characters are amazing, and complicated (so complicated), their relationships are constantly shifting and fighting with each other to see who’s in control at any given moment. I did have a little trouble at the beginning, when they all get introduced, trying to figure out who was who and what was going on but I think that’s how Neil felt in the middle of it all. There were so many conversations that I had to go back and reread just because they were so clever and harsh! These boys don’t pull their punches. As for the game itself, Exy is a made up sport that is supposedly a cross between Hockey and Lacross and, as someone who has absolutely no idea about either, I didn’t have a problem following along (There are some things I obviously didn’t understand like court positions and such but nothing that I NEEDED to understand) so don’t let the idea of this being a ‘sports’ book put you off. I loved the whole series and am sad that it’s over but so glad I picked them up and at £2.46 for the whole trilogy it was a massive bargain.
Phew, these posts are getting a little long. Too long? When I started these I was only reading 3 or 4 books a month but for some reason (and I am not complaining one bit!) I’m reading much more nowadays.
But over to you, have you read any of these or planning too? Have you read any other Sanderson books and what did you think? Have you read We Were Liars? Did it hurt you as much as me? No spoilers in the comments, please. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a sports story or a magic-on-a-spaceship story before either and it was a massive surprise how much I absolutely loved them, So if you have any book recommendations along those lines I would love to hear them.
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