Book Reviews

Book Review: The Wicked King, by Holly Black (2019).

The Wicked Kng by Holly Black is the second book in the Folk of the Air series, and an absolutely fantastic read. The all mortal Jude has managed to crown her enemy Cardan High King of Faerie and convinced her sister Vivi to take their younger brother Oak to give him a chance at the childhood her and her sisters never had. What isn’t commonly known is that Cardan has fallen prey to a trick of Jude’s and in fact she has him under her complete control.

This book continues Jude’s quest to rule faerie using Carda until such time as Oak comes of age and is able to take over the throne. but things are so far from what they appear to be, and Jude finds a variety of challenges set in her path. Such threats include those old and new, like the threat from the Undersea and the feelings she finds herself developing unavoidable for Cardan.

As always the Faerie is full of tricks and tragedies, but also excitement and daring. Jude is atthe centre of all of these things and she manages to survive with the majority of her dignity intact. Even though those such as Locke would love nothing more to make her feel irrelevant.

Again, this book is elegantly written with prose befitting the faerie. The characters are well written and its easy to follow and understand, givin readers an opportunity to create images of them in their minds eye. The storyline remains unique and has had me wishing there wa s’more time to read!

Overall, I believe this book is a brilliant 2nd novel in the series. It is a great read and highly recommend it to anyone interested in the fantasy genre, especially if you like the idea of the faerie and all thy they entail. I give this book a rating of 9.5/10 stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black (2018).

The beginning of this book had me totally dumbfounded. It is the first novel that I have read authored by Holly Black, and so I was very unsure of what to expect. Jude and Taryn, twin human girls, along with their oldest sister Vivienne, are witness to a great atrocity that changes their mortal lives forever.

June and Taryn find themselves living in the world of faerie, and show readers just how difficult it is for them as mortals to fit in with the folk of faerie. Fortunately, through a strange twist of fate, Vivienne fits in flawlessly.

June becomes the central character, who wishes to become a knight and earn her place amongst the high court fold. Her twin sister decides that marrying a member of the high court would e her way of finding her place amongst the folk.

The book itself is well written and fun to read. The prose is distinguishable as the beauty of the way the faerie speak. It’s lovely to read and to listen to, and I feel gives the book a lot of character. The storyline itself is full of adventure and magic. Something I always enjoy in my books especially when told the way this one has been.

Overall I have enjoyed reading this book very much and I am eager to read the next instalment to what looks to be a very interesting series. The book has left with many questions and wondering about what will happen to my favourite characters. Recommend this book to anyone interested in the faerie. I understand that this book may not be everyone’s cup of tea although they enjoy the fantasy fiction genre. However, I do believe this book will peal to the majority I give this book a rating of 9.5/10 stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Shadowless, by Randall McNally (2017).

This is most definitely a fantastically original novel by an intriguing author. Shadowless is a clever an inventive story based on the idea that Gods are quite evil and have committed so very horrific crimes on the humans over which they preside. One heinous act is to rape mortal women, bringing about children born with magic in their blood, abilities and skills of the God who fathered them. All this bit minus the very important Shadow.

The novel is written in a way that I found to be quite confusing. In a way, it comes across as several different stories only coming together much later in the book. I am honestly unsure if this what caused my attention to drift or if I was merely confused with each tale not constantly coinciding with the last. But once the characters finally meet and unite under a single goal things start to get interesting. Amrodan may not be as genuinely good as he so fantastically portrays.

I found the storyline itself to be exciting and action packed with a number of twists that easily shocked and surprised at each turn. Ultimately the story is original and unique and so is the way it is delivered to readers. I feel that there is much more to this story and there will likely be some great tales to follow on.

Overall I enjoyed this book Shadowless and would recommend it to readers who enjoy fantasy and action. Something a little different to the gods of old. I give this book a rating of 8.5/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Eldest, by Christopher Paolini (2005).

After many dangerous feats, Eragon Shade Slayer is now able to continue his journey to finish his training as a Dragon Rider. But even though he has seemingly one the last battle there is still a war brewing. It is time for the Varden and it’s allies make a plan.

I found this second novel of the Inheritance series to be a little more confusing than the first. Especially with the storyline glittering between Eragon and his cousin Roran. Although with some re-reading it was possible to wrap my mind around the storyline. I feel that perhaps I has expected the storyline to be different to what was on the page which made it seem lacking.

I found that both Eragon and Saphira unable to find the romantic relationships they had hoped for. Although they both grow in wisdom from the experience, and become closer to one another because of it, doesn’t take away the loneliness of the storyline. But I am sure there is a reason for this to be revealed much later in the story.

Overall I found this to be an entertaining read even though I did spend some of my time confused. I recommend this book to anyone who has a love of Dragons and fantasy novels. I give this book a rating of 8.5/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Eragon, by Christopher Paolini (2002).

My love of Dragons is what ultimately made my decision to read this novel. It has been on my must read list for a long time, and has been set aside many times for other purposes. However, it is definitely a book that should have been read much sooner! Eragon is most definitely a novel worth reading, delighting readers with adventure and a beautiful story about the relationship between a boy and his Dragon.

The story begins with Eragon, a somewhat average boy on the verge of entering manhood, whom had been raised by his uncle alongside his cousin Roran. However, Eragon’s quiet life quickly changes once he comes in contact with a Dragon’s egg. Deciding to keep the egg, Eragon’s hides and raises Saphira, and soon learns he has been chosen by his dragon the bece a fabled Dragon Rider. It isn’t long before what was first thought to be simply an old storyteller, turns out to be an especially proficient ally. Brom is able to tell Eragon a lot of what he had wondered and not had anyone to ask before.

It isn’t long before the introduction of Urgels and Shades make the adventure begin and our hero’s are driven into a journey that doesn’t necessarily hold their best interests at heart. Frrought with danger at every corner, Eragon, Saphira and Brom attempt feats few have manage to succeed in the past.

What I found to be fascinating in the “warm and fuzzy” realm would have to be the close relationship that is quickly founded between Dragon and rider. There is a deep connection that I feel neither of them truly understand in the beginning but blossoms into something great. I especially love the way Saphira endears him with the title “little one”. It’s double meaning really makes me giggle.

Overall, I feel that this is one of the lighter feel books on terms of Fantasy novels but absolutely worth the read. I have enjoyed this book and recommend this book to anyone who has a love for Dragon’s. I give Eragon by Christopher Paolini a rating of 9/10 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Ship of Destiny, by Robin Hobb (2001).

Ship of Destiny is the final novel in the fantastic Liveship Traders Trilogy. This is an amazing finally for the Serpents and Liveships. Even if it is nothing like what readers are expecting. In this novel, readers find most of the answers they have hoped for, although there are a number of new questions that emerge. Perhaps there is still hope for more books!

The Paragon and the Vivacia, two of the beloved Liveships who have been main characters throughout all three novels finally learn the complete truth of what they are and what they have become. They also learn and then decide how they will live out the ret of their lives. Families, thought to be lost forever are finally reunited. They find a way against all odds to find one another. One of my utmost favourite storyline’s has to be the one of Reynolds’s and Malta. In book one I really found it difficult to like Malta’s character. She was selfish, immature, vindictive and manipulative. As the novels continue her character grows and it is here in the final novel that she emerges as a woman with knowledge and purpose. She has finally grown-up. Her reuniting with Reyn, with the help of Tintaglia is just a perfect ending to their story.

Another favourite character and storyline would have to e that of Amber and Parragon. The relationship between both the carpenter and the figurehead is a strange one. Their developing a bond and eventually Paragon allowing Amber to re-carve most of his body and completely rework his face, is an intriguing story of its own. The thrilling part of being that Paragon is able see with his new eyes, after years of bitter blindness.

The story of Kyle Haven is a tragic one and something I kind of hadn’t really expected. It wasn’t a shock that he had been beaten and poorly treated, so much as how badly his mind had adled and death would most likely have been more of a kindness than living as he was. I didn’t believe they would find him at all, and if he was, he would be returned to Keffria, even if he was less than whole. His death is somewhat ironic, and a kindness for everyone.

Obviously Althea and Brashen’s love story looks set to have their happily ever after. But it doesn’t seem the case for Wintrow and Etta. Their story is the one that remains up in the air. Will they become a couple? Will there really be a child born as Kennit Heir? And exactly what will this chill be heir to?

Overall, I have to admit to loving this novel is paced nicely with strong characters that capture hearts and storyline’s that dazzle the mind. I would recommend this novel as well as the rest of the series, to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre, from the ages of young adult and older. I give this book a rating of 10/10 stars.

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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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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