Dark Eden by Chris Beckett

This book wasn’t bad, maybe I just read it at the wrong time. There were bits that were definitely interesting but other parts, I wouldn’t say I was bored, but I just didn’t care. The premise of the book was intriguing; what would a prototype society be like from a modern single woman and man? The evolution of language and changes to a stagnating society, and the effects of those changes, were solid building blocks but I felt the story lacked. I felt I’d read similar before. The characters were ok, a bit stereotypical but I related somewhat.

Perhaps one day I’ll revisit this and then understand why it won awards but at the moment it just didn’t do it for me.

Probably more 2.5 stars but rounded up to 3 out of 5.

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

I really enjoyed this book. Yes the start is slow but I thought that was good, it set the scene for what life was like before it all starts changing. The language is dense and descriptive and sometimes it seems to almost get in the way but it bothered me no more than reading Tolkien does.

Considering the age of this book I think it holds up fairly well to the modern reader, ok there were no shocking twists or whatever and you can kind of see where everything is going but I more attribute that to the amount of Fantasy novels I’ve read than the fault of the novel, and the fact that this book influenced so many modern authors. I flew through this book in 4 days which isn’t bad considering it’s a big book and am very eager to start the next. I highly recommend.

5 stars out of 5

Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb

I don’t have a lot to say about this. It was the end I kind of expected, not as I would have wished it, which I think is one of the main themes throughout all the series. It was still beautiful. Some of the smaller story-lines felt a little rushed and probably needed more time spent on them or removed altogether, however all the main ones were brought to a conclusion. Think it will be a few days before I’m able to move on to another book.

Brilliant book, brilliant series, brilliant author.

5 stars out of 5

Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb

Another amazing chapter in the Realm of the Elderlings saga. This book is much faster paced than the previous one but still manages to pack the emotional punch. I think this entry has one of my favorite moments (maybe two) in the whole series, those moments when I’ll be in that wonderful anticipation mode during re-reads: (spoiler!) Fitz finally gets recognition for what he did during the Red Ship wars in the most spectacular and wonderful public way. Also Nettle finally seems to understand her dad and why he did what he did.

Of course these moments don’t last and Fitz gets emotionally beaten up all over again. And the Fool, he is not what he once was and it is not pleasant to see but still it is great to see him again and the relationship between the two. Towards the end the world also opens up and we start to see links to the other series and that is brilliant and I’m looking forward to more of that in the last book.

On that, I know this is series is not going to end well for Fitz or the Fool, it’s been fairly obvious from around mid-point of the first book, I hope I’m wrong but I doubt it. Anyway, let’s roll on to the emotional roller-coaster of the final book.

5 stars out of 5

Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb

I have basically grown up with Fitz. I was a teenager reading the Farseer trilogy and now in my late thirties reading this. I mention this as I identify with him quite a bit even though I have lived a vastly different life. I feel for Fitz so much, he tries but makes so many mistakes, a bit too set in his ways, too introspective. I was dreading reading this, in that the Tawny man trilogy had ended so well for Fitz and Fool that I feel this can only go somewhere bad.

It’s a slow paced book, pretty much entirely set in Withywoods and the everyday life of Fitz at the estate. As so many have already said it is testament to Hobbs’ writing that she can make these mundane scenes have so much feeling and intensity. Now not everybody will feel this I’m sure, but because I know the characters and world so well, I enjoyed this quieter introduction immensely. We gradually learn where the story is going (of course Fitz doesn’t) and then it all bursts into action for the last 50-60 pages. It is all perfectly set up for book two and I am both looking forward to and dreading where it is going.

5 stars out of 5

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

So this is the last book in the Shades of Magic trilogy, and though I feel personally that each book didn’t quite match what went before I still really enjoyed this book. It was a slow start but the pace and action did increase in tempo and I feel we actually started to see some character growth in Lila. We saw a lot more of Holland, including flashbacks, which I really enjoyed as I found him the most interesting character in the series.

The showdown did feel a little rushed and I’m not totally sure what went on with Holland at the very end but overall it was a good book and a solid end to the series.

3.5 stars out of 5

Echoes of the Great Song by David Gemmell

I love this book. It has a lovely melancholic feel as you would expect from a book set just after the end of the world. It is a fast paced book as Gemmell’s usually are but as always he makes you feel for the characters in such a brief period of time. It is a standalone which is always handy in the usually epic series nature of the Fantasy genre and it provides a beautiful bittersweet end. Would thoroughly recommend.

5 stars out of 5

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Such an odd book. Almost threw it away after reading the blurb on the back but stuck with it as it was for a book club. Then nearly threw it away again after the first couple of chapters. The writing changes as the characters grow which was off putting at first as I really didn’t enjoy much the child POV’s. But as they age so does the writing which is quite impressive.

Almost two distinct books, child/adolescent and adult timelines. The latter part of the book does seem rushed and some storylines seem to go nowhere. Even now I’m not quite sure what to make of it all. 

3 stars out of 5

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Set a few months after the first book we catch up on what’s been happening with our main characters. We also get a new POV in Alucard, and Rhy is also given much more screen time. Most of the book is set around a grand magical contest which is always fun to read about and it was interesting seeing how the magic could be used.

I did not like Lila in this book really at all, not sure how we are supposed to sympathise with her. Also one of the great things about the first book was seeing the different London’s whereas in this, nearly the whole book was spent in Red London. Be warned it ends on a cliffhanger, though luckily enough the third book is out. I still enjoyed this book even with some of the mild issues I mentioned.

4 stars out of 5

Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan

I have to say I feel rather let down. I loved Blood Song as nearly everybody does. However I also really liked Tower Lord, I think because I went into it knowing that the style changed from a single, tight knit POV to a multiple sprawling POV style. I enjoyed the new POV’s and the expanding worldview even if some plots seemed to come from nowhere, and was looking forward to the conclusion. Yes there were some good bits, and I got answers but the whole thing seemed vaguely anti-climatic.

Bloodsong was 5 stars, Tower Lord 4 stars, and Queen of Fire 2.5 stars rounded down.

2 stars out of 5.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started