Book Reviews

Book Review: The Mad Ship, by Robin Hobb (2008).

The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb is the second book in the exceptional fantasy series The Liveship Traders, in which readers are transported into a magical and sometimes cruel world where Dragon’s are ore than just a possibility. This novel takes up where the last ends with Althea returning home aboard the Liveship Ophelia, Brashen is sailing as first mate aboard the Springeve, and Wintrow remains with the Vivacia seeing to Captain Kennit’s leg.

As always, robin Hob gives readers an amazing tale of heartache and adventure. Althea returns home to find her family not doing at all as well as she had hoped. Brashen realises the Vivacia has gotten into trouble and is concerned for Althea. Paragon realises he is to have a new life, and a good life, whilst it looks like the sea serpents are way more than they first appear to be. Wintrow finds his own destiny aligning with that of his captors and begins to make more of the life he thought had been ruined completely. Readers are also graced with further knowledge of Dragons, Trehaug and the existence of the long lost Elderlings.

This well written novel continues on with this completely breathtaking story at a fast pace that keeps readers turning pages far longer than intended. With Bingtown’s existence threatened as War with the Chalcedon , readers are left with many questions answered but with many more answers yet to come. A complete page turner, I found myself exited to find out what happens next. This always being the first sign of a good fantasy series.

Overall, I feel this is a fantastic addition in the Liveship Traders series, and I enjoyed it immensely. My most favourite storyline, surprisingly being that of Malta and her evolution from spoiled child to intelligent young woman. I would recommend this novel to young adults upward. I doubt that there are many fantasy genre fans that could resist this book. I give this book a rating of 10/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb (1999).

Liveships! This novel brings the reader into a luxurious fantasy world to a place known as Bingtown. Where families of ancient lineage have fought and worked o survive in an extremely difficult time. Deals have been wrought amongst Rain Wild Traders, who have come from the Rain Wilds, and those who have made the port of Bingtown, their home. These deals and agreements must still be honoured by today’s descendants and debts must be paid, by gold or by blood. After all, a ship carved of Wizard Wood was never going to come cheaply.

Robin Hobb has indeed out done herself once again with the creation of so many wonderful characters that its difficult to decide on a favourite. Or even one that I look more than the others! Although Althea has admittedly stolen my heart. She has courage and determination and I think that is what I found most appealing about her. That and her strength living in what is predominantly a patriarchal business. Wintrow, on the other hand holds a different kind of strength, and his character is also very appealing. He has strong convictions and tries his hardest to remain true them even though he is put through so much turmoil vey young. It hard not to look at this character without a little bit of awe. Who else could withstand losing a digit without a sound?

As always, this is a well written novel with intelligent prose and amazing storyline’s. The idea that a ship can potentially have a life of its own in a way so unusual keeps readers engaged throughout. Not to mention the curiously tantalising snipits of information focused on the serpents who appear to be trailing behind most Slaving Vessels. Do they follow merely for the predictable food source or is there truly something much more?

I have to admit I have truly enjoyed this first book in the Liveship Traders Series, authored by the fabulous Robin Hobb. I would recommend it to young adult readers and older, who enjoy adventure and intrigue within their fantasy. I give this book a 10/10 star rating.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb (1997). The Farseer Trilogy Book 3.

Amazing! Utterly amazing! Yet again I have felt myself fall deeply under the spell that is FitzChivalry and Nighteyes, as they save the world from destruction. Fitz, not fully recovered from his “near-death” experience, finds himself alone but for Nighteyes, and must decide what he should now do with his life. Running with the wolf a time allows him to ponder and decide that he would rather be man than something in between , and that Regal must die at his hands. But nothing comes to Fitz as easy as he first plans it, and his attempts are thwarted by Regal and his own mistakes at underestimating his opponents. Fitz finds himself in danger yet again and it is during that this time Verity intervenes and ensures that Fitz puts his self set task aside, and bids him to “come to him”, where he is, far beyond the mountains. Unrelenting Regal makes sure that this task is most difficult for Fitz also, and is the cause of grievous injuries.

By the time Fitz begins his quest beyond the mountains he is joined by a unlikely company, consisting of Queen Kettricken, the minstrel Starling, the Fool, of course Nighteyes and a strange old woman by the name of Kettle. Together they face the Skill road and attempt to reunite with the estranged King Verity who continues his search for Elderlings to help him win the war against the Outislanders and their Red Ships and Raiders.

I fell in love with this tale during the first book. The story is written so well that as I read I feel what the characters feel, the emotions rent are so strongly infused that it’s impossible to keep a dry eye in some places. The writers style is such that everything is easy to visualise in ones minds eye. The relationship between Nighteyes and Fitz is a wonder to read, the way they communicate and the feeling engrained in the way the author writes. The series is one that remains with the reader long after the last page is turned. I recommend this book for young adults and older and give it a rating of 10/10. 

As a series, I feel that I have still yet to find better. I give it a rating of 10/10.

Thank you Robin Hobb. The Six Duchies will live forever in your readers.

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Reading Suggestions

Read All The Books: Storm and Fury, by Jennifer Armentrout (2019).

Love the look of this book. Gargoyle protectors? Just this concept in itself is enough to make want to rad it just to discover what this could possibly be!

About:

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens – gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again – but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light.

To check this out on Kindle click here

Book Reviews

Book Review: Royal Assassin, by Robin Hobb (1996). The Farseer Trilogy ~ Book 2.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, is the second novel of the Farseer Trilogy and an amazing addition. FitzChivalry Farseer, the Kings Man, and an assassin and finds himself in a whole world of trouble. King-in-waiting Verity is exhausted using the Skill to protect the Six Duchies from the r d ship raiders, and has sorely neglected his wife and Queen-in-waiting Kettricken. King Shrewd is slowly dieing of a debilitating illness which causes him horrendous pain, numbed only by potent herbs which leave his mind addled and unable to think clearly. However, when Verity and Kettricken approach the King about a mission to find Elderlings to assist in the war against such a formidable enemy, he was able to find reason not to allow it. But, Prince Regal has managed to have his hand in everything he shouldn’t, encourages the King to allow his brother attempt this quest and so he relents.

Left behind on this journey is of course Fitz who then must deal with the repercussions of such a quest. With Verity gone, he must give care for an elderly King, a compromised Queen-in-waiting, a grieving Fool, and Molly. His dearest Molly. Fitz is left to protect them all, and all the while a spoiled and vindictive Prince Regal plots to destroy him and take the crown for himself. In danger from every direction, Fitz is alone in his ventures, except for one, who never leaves his side no matter what. Nighteyes.
I have loved following FitzChivalry through the intrigue of this second series. It’s hard not to become emotionally attached to the characters as the author writes them in such a way that I am right there in the book. A fantastic book that I recommend to anyone interested in fantasy or have enjoyed books such as the Game of Thrones series. Fantastic work as always Robin Hobb. I give Royal Assassin a rating of 10/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Assassins Apprentice, by Robin Hobb (1995). The Farseer Triology – Book 1.


Robin Hobb is one of my all time favourite authors and has created an amazingly moving tale in The Farseer Trilogy. Assassins Apprentice is the story of How a young boy becomes in service to his King, being educated in the arts of killing invisibly. FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard son of Chivalry, the King-in-waiting, although is not known about until he is given over by his maternal grandfather to his fathers people to raise when he was only small. Fitz never meets his father and it is Burrich, Chivalry’s man and Royal Stable Master, who cares for him giving him a place to sleep and ensuring he was fed. King Shrewd, who is also Fitz’s uncle, deems the boy to be an asset to the crown and therefore brings him into them old early, making Fitz a sworn Kings man.
True to his word Shrewd sees Fitz is educated in the way of a prince to the dismay of his youngest son Regal, with certain elements detracted as fit for a bastard and the addition of some questionable lessons. Chade, the Kings current assassin being the main contributor of his extra curricular activities, and later Galen who teaches him the Royal magics of the Skill. Fitz also shows an affinity for something called the Wit. A gift that allows the user to communicate and form bonds with animals. It is looked upon as an evil form of magic and many ugly stories have formed about those who use it. However, this does not deter Fitz and he forms at least two memorable bonds with animals in this fantastic novel.
The characters in this novel are depicted so clearly that I can almost see them when I close my eyes. The town of Buck, with its stone paved roads and buildings the high walls of the keep, is all described so clearly and beautifully that I could almost walk the streets myself and find my way as easily as the characters in the story. An emotional rainbow is felt for each character, but I found my heart soar when Fitz does when he is running with Nosy, and my heart break when Smithy is murdered. But the ending and the last sacrifice Nosy made made heartfelt tears stream from my eyes.

I have truly enjoyed Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb. It isn’t the first time I have read this book and sunk deep into the fantasy world where the Skill and the Wit are forces of magic that exist, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels from the age group of young adult up. Fantastic read that left me aching for the loss of a dear friend. I give this book the rating of 10/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Dead Ever After, by Charlaine Harris. (Book 13 [and final] in the Sookie Stackhouse series 2013).


The book begins with background on our villains—Copley Carmichael making a deal with a devil, asking for the cluviel dor (which of course is gone), and Steve Newlin/John Glassport posting bail for Arlene and convincing her to get in touch with Sookie.
Back in Bon Temps, Sam is dealing with his almost-permanent death by locking himself in his trailer for a few days, and Eric refuses to speak to Sookie. When Eric does, secretly during the night, he doesn’t say much, but leaves his other child to guard her. Yes, Eric apparently has another vampire child named Karin Slaughter.

Back at home, Sam is studiously avoiding her. But at least Mr. Cataliades arrives to help, along with Amelia, Bob, Diantha, and Barry Bellboy. When Sookie is out to dinner with all of them, in walks Quinn. He’s here to help Sookie, but after a short (and rather unhelpful) time in Bon Temps, Quinn is called away to plan Eric and Freyda’s wedding. Ouch. Sookie does receive some good news from Mr. Cataliades. Not only did Niall bless Sookie’s land so that it is ridiculously lush and fruitful, he also left her money. Mr. Cataliades sold Claudine’s house, and Claude’s Hooligans for her, and the proceeds have been put in an annuity. For the rest of her life, Sookie will receive a check every month for $3,000.

While Sookie is working at Merlotte’s, Carmichael’s bodyguard Tyrese attacks Amelia and Barry, shooting Bob. Thank goodness Mustapha had come to get Eric’s stuff from Sookie, and escorts her home from the bar. He’s able to save her, and his friend Warren shoots Tyrese, but Sookie is still shot in the shoulder. Both Eric and Sam visit her in the hospital, and even in her foggy state, Sookie can tell something is going on between the two of them. Bill finally intervenes and informs Sookie that Sam procured her bail money. Sam tried to obtain the money in a million different ways, but in the end had to call Eric. When Eric answered, Freyda was sitting next to him. She insisted on conditions to the loan: Sookie can never visit Oklahoma, and Eric can never be alone with her again. Eric agreed, but added another condition that Sam could never tell Sookie he asked Eric for the bail money, and he could never try to court her. To save Sookie from jail, Sam agreed. When Sookie thanks Sam, he finally says, “I don’t want you grateful. I want you mine. Eric was right about that.”

So finally the Sookie Stackhouse series has concluded, with Sookie and Sam hooking up pretty soon, with Bill and Eric going on about their own lives separatley. I hate to admit it, but I really had expected more. Perhaps the ending I was expecting just isn’t possible. I thought that this book would honestly go out with a bang. But instead Charlaine Harris has given us something of a “happily ever after” sequence. For the final instalment of the Sookie Stackhouse Series, Dead Ever After, I give the rating of  5/10. 

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Looking at the entire series, I think Charlaine Harris has done a fantastic job even if I believe there should have been something more to the ending! There is an ongoing plot that keeps the reader interested throughout and at times you find yourself rooting for the character. Overall, I rate the Sookie Stackhouse Series 6.5/10.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Deadlocked, by Charlaine Harris. (Book 12 in the Sookie Stackhouse series 2012).


Deadlocked, by Charlaine Harris begins with a young girl losing her life at a vampire party – and it looks as though her lover, Eric, might be responsible. Eric swears he didn’t do it, the police don’t believe him, and even Sookie isn’t so sure. Nor is she inclined to take his word for it, not having caught him enjoying the victim’s blood minutes before she was killed.
But something strange is going on. Why had Sookie been asked to come to the fateful party a few minutes early – just to catch Eric in the act? And why had the victim spiked her own blood before approaching Eric? Was it simply because she wanted to be irresistible, or was it something more sinister?

Sookie will have to find out but it’s the worst moment to investigate, as her Fae family are having troubles of their own and Sookie is, inevitably, drawn in. And there is one last complication. The cluviel dor her grandmother left her. It will grant her one wish, which could fulfil Sookie’s heart’s desire. The only problem is, she still doesn’t know what – or who – her heart truly desires.

Deadlocked, the second to last book of this series is full of complications and has made life so difficult for Sookie that it is becoming almost ridiculous. However, Charlaine Harris has written in such a way that readers know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel somewhere. Even if it isn’t what they hope or expect! I give Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris a rating of 7.5/10.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Dead Reckoning, by Charlaine Harris. (Book 11 in the Sookie Stackhouse series 2011).


The book Dead Reckoning, begins as Sookie is finally cleaning out the attic, like she’d planned to in the last book. And what does she find? Nothing yet, but she will. The real story begins as Sookie is working at Merlotte’s later that day. She happens to glance up, sees lights outside, and a figure moving fast towards them. She barely has time to yell “Down!” before a fiery bottle is thrown into the bar. Sookie’s apron is briefly on fire before Sam puts it out, and also her hair, as they all scramble to put out all the fires. Shortly after, Eric arrives—he could feel her panic. But he’s almost too angry that Sookie was in danger, and she knows there’s something else bothering him.

Sookie is blood-bonded and married to Eric but she shares her home with her fairy relatives – her cousin Claude and great uncle Dermot. Eric has a new boss, with whom he just can’t get along and Bill is seemingly happy holed up with Judith, an ex-lover and vampire of his bloodline who has been helping him heal from silver poisoning. However, it isn’t long before the delicate peace of Sookie life is shattered. First Merlotte’s is firebombed, then armed hoodlums hold-up the bar looking to kidnap her.
Eric is, as ever, over-protective of Sookie but even he seems distracted. He’s arguing with Pam and won’t tell Sookie what’s wrong. Sookie suspects it has something to do with Victor, Regent of Louisiana, and Eric’s new boss. It’s odd to think of vampires having such mundane problems as hating their boss but since most vampire problems tend to have violent and bloody endings it’s much more thrilling than your typical human workplace drama.

As usual Sookie Stackhouse manages to find herself in predicaments that are completley unexpected and Charlaine Harris has given readers another fabulous instalment to the series. Dead Reckoning, by Charlaine Harris has lived up to the series expectations, with mystery and drama and of course action written amongst the pages. My rating for Dead Reckoning is 8/10.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Dead in the Family, by Charlaine Harris. (Book 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse series 2010).


If you think your family relationships are complicated, think again! You haven’t seen anything like the ones in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric’s vampire sire, an ancient being, who arrives with Eric’s ‘brother’ in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie’s tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbor (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton. In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favor, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favor for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.

It’s almost just too much! How does one person continue to function normally when their world continues to be so dysfunctional?!?! Between Weres and Vampire’s Sookie is torn a thousand different directions and most of them lead her to a rock and hard place. Hopefully things will look up for her in the next installment. But for now I score Dead in the Family, by Charlaine Harris 8/10.

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