Book Reviews

Book Review (Re-edit): A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin (1996). Book 1 in the Game of Thrones Series.


The novel, A Song of Ice and Fire, begins with an encounter with supernatural beings; this may give a false impression as to what will come. As the story begins to unfold, the theme moves strongly into the area of political intrigue and this forthcoming war that will happen as a result. The fantasy element, while always there plays only a minor role in the majority of the rest of the book. A game of Thrones is not your usual fare, it is hard-hitting and bad things do happen to good people. Two families take centre stage in a battle for Throne; the Starks and the Lannister’s. The Stark family living in the cold hard north, Winterfell is the seat of their domain. We are, using chapters headlined with the family names introduced to the Stark family. Once we have familiarised ourselves with the Stark’s King Robert and his family visit them at Winterfell. King Robert is married to a Lannister, Queen Cersei. The King’s main reason for visiting is for Eddard Stark the honour of becoming his Hand (most trusted advisor). Eddard unhappily accepts and he must move to Kings Landing in the South.
Eddard Starks’s young son Bran is injured during the King’s visit, whilst this is originally thought to be an accident that occurred when he was climbing it becomes apparent that the Lannister’s played a part in this tragedy.

In an interesting sub-plot Jon-Snow, Eddard’s bastard son, joins the “Black” or the “Night’s Watch”, a company of men whose role is to guard a huge Hall of Ice in the far North. He is accompanied there by Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf. Although they do not become friends they end up with a grudging respect for each other. Once Jon has pledged himself to the “black” he must forsake friends, family, marriage and children and his whole life will be spent in the protection of Land. With Eddard now in place as the King’s Hand, tensions rise between himself and the Lannister’s. Then, as the Lannister are drawn into a battle for the throne.

It’s not until the end that the fantasy element once again returns and we left looking forward to the second instalment. With the promise of Dragons and deepening plots the first novel, A Song of Ice and Fire, authored by George R, R, Martin is a fantastic beginning to an amazing series. I have to admit I have enjoyed it immensely, and I have given it a rating of 9.5/10.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare. Book 6 of the Shadow Hunters series. 


The final instalment of this series has yet again given readers another thrilling novel, following the party of supernaturals in their attempts to stop Sebastian and his evil plans of destruction. Definitely a page turner, with constant action and surprises in the storyline. 
The Institutes are being invaded and attacked by Sebastian and his followers which causes Shadow Hunters to flee to Alicante. Sebastian threatens to destroy all they hold dear if Clary and Jace are not sent to him. With council representatives captured and mass betrayal by the Seelie Queen, it is up to Clary and her friends to make things right. But as usual it is easier said than done. Jace continues to struggle controlling the heavenly fire, which causes relationship issues for him and Clary. Izzy realises her true feelings for Simon who continues to be a terrible vampire! As for Alec, well he learns where his heart should be. 

Overall this episode has to be one of my favourites purely for the storyline between Alec and Magnus. Even though Clary and Jace are the main characters with the epic love story, I felt the intimate moments between the two were becoming more and more frequent as well as repetitive. By the end, I have to admit I was beginning to roll my eyes and sigh when I reached those sections of the book. In the beginning when they thought they were brother and sister it was suspenseful and intriguing. But once they realised that they weren’t I feel like it should have moved forward somehow instead of what seemed more like a stalemate through at least 3-4 books only moving on in this final book. However, in saying that I give the novel a rating of 6/10 stars and recommend this book for mid teens and up. 

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As a series I feel that the storyline was dragged out too long and the whole Jace and Clary saga is what ended up turning me off. Overall I rate the series 4.5/10 stars

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Book Reviews

Book Review: City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare 2012. Book 5 in the Shadow Hunter series.


Jace has managed to get himself bonded to Sebastian and along with mark of Lilith, is causing him to behave very unlike himself. So much so that Clary, Simon, Alec, Izy, Magnus, Maia, and Jordan to find a way to rescue him. In this, the 5th episode in the Shadow Hunter series, the author has presented a thrilling suspenseful storyline that keeps readers wanting to turn the page to see what happens next. 
Clary joins Jace and Sebastian in their hidden apartment and tries to learn Sebastian’s plans are. She realises Jace has been “brainwashed” so to speak, and the only way to save him is to sever the bond between the two boys without hurting Jace. In their attempts to help, Magnus raises a Demon, and struggles with his relationship with Alec who is finding it hard to deal with Magnus’ immortality. Izy has realised she has deep feelings for Simon, and does her best to implicate this, however Simon just doesn’t seem to catch on the way she hoped. Izy isn’t Simon’s only worry, he also is forced to deal with his family who are either unaware of his vampirism, along with being a part of Clary’s plan so she could stay in contact with the others. 

Cassandra Clare has come up with another fantastic novel in ~ City of Lost Souls. The storyline remains fresh and unique, although I did find the plot easy to guess compared to the first 4. As all good stories come to an end, perhaps this series is nearly at that point. Overall I felt the book was great and recommend it to mid teens and up, and give it a rating of 5/10.

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