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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 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 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 Review: Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence (2011).

Prince of Thorns has been an amazing whirlwind adventure, games of chance, and total madness! It’s been a thrilling opening novel to a series that is set to bring further mayhem and destruction to an already war ridden land where 100 kings and their bloodlines fought to become emperor. Jorge, honourable Prince of Ancrath, is set to be the first man to succeed.

This thrilling tale follows Jorge through his adventures from his torturous youth, to the present mayhem of teenage hood. As an adult King Jorge is set to become formidable. With his band of “brothers” Jorge sets off after the death of his mother and brother, at the ripe old age of 9, causing havoc amongst the lands with his main target the murderer lord Renar his overall game end. However, Jorge doesn’t accomplish his tasks single handed, there are many memorable characters, such as Sir Makin, and some of whom are felled along the way such as the Nuban.

Jorge manages the impossible along his journey, defeating his foes in ways that are surprising and unique, and I found myself glued to each page. There is a surprising likeness to Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, with the obvious “game of thrones” being played as an underlying storyline to the main plot. But no matter the similarities, Prince of Thorns remains unique in plot and framework, and the story itself feels much more “raw”, for lack of a better term!

Overall I have to admit to loving this novel and first of The Broken Empire series. I would recommend this novel to adults who enjoy the secrecy, plotting and battle that royal families play to remain or gain the throne. I have given this book a rating of 9/10 stars and I can’t wait to read the following title.


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Book Review: Aaru, by David Meredith (2017).

Aaru Cover

What comes after Death? It is the age-old question that has never been answered as no one has ever returned from death to tell the tale. Is there something more? Or is death the end? The novel Aaru, by David Meredith, is a book that looks at what could happen if we had the technology to be able to upload our conscience selves into a database so that in death one could live on in this virtual world. But not only are they able to continue to exist, they can also communicate with the world they have left behind. Loved ones still living their everyday lives can speak with those they have lost to death using the equipment Elysian Industries provides, in the program Aaru, while those uploaded into this virtual world live out their lives in their own ways. The concept is great, right? But if it really works, is it safe? Aaru looks at what can happen when it all goes wrong.

The novel begins with a young girl sapped of life by a terminal illness that had all but taken her precious and brief, 16-year-old life. Her sister Koren, devastated by the form her sister is reduced to, spends the final week of Rose’s life at her bedside. A new doctor visits during this time and places a strange piece of equipment on her head. And then Rose is gone. There is a funeral and a burial.

Naturally Koren, 13 years old rebels during the grieving process at the loss of her sister, and for months tries to learn to deal with life without her. At what seems to be her lowest point, she is delivered the opportunity to have her sister back alive and in her life once more. But what begins as a grand new technological advancement soon goes dreadfully wrong in ways that no one could have foreseen. Koren begins life as celebrity, the face of Aaru, the place where there is life beyond death. At 13 and a half years old she is dressed up and coached to perform in front of crowds and camera’s all in the name of promoting Aaru, which also brings in more money than her and her parents could have possibly dreamed. But no one thought about the fanatical fan response Koren would receive, least of all did they think a stalker could be a problem.

The storyline of Aaru is great. I have enjoyed the general story plotline, and I think it has its own uniqueness that sets it apart from other life after death stories. This is most likely due to the stalker plot interwoven into the story of a girl trying to deal with the physical death of her sister. I do feel however that the writing is not of the standard of the author’s last novel Reflections of Queen Snow White. It seems rushed somehow. Although admittedly the characters themselves are well thought out portrayed in a way that really appeals to the readers imagination, projecting vivid images of the scenes in the minds eye.

Overall, I enjoyed the book Aaru, by David Meredith. I would recommend it to young adults up, and give it a rating of 7/10 stars.

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Book Review: Blood Moon Magick, by S. M.Blooding (2015). Whiskey Witches series book 2.

The second book of the Whiskey Witches series authored by S. M. Blooding, is a novel that thankfully glues the first four episodes included in the first book together leaving only minimal seams. We join the infamous Witch Paige Whiskey as she returns home from her previous case in Louisiana, and is thrown sideways into yet another potential demonic cataclysm. This time Paige is not alone on the magical field and is accompanied by a demon hunter, vampire and a reaper. Not only are there Demons and Angels, but other paranormal beings that Paige had no idea existed, even though all of her memories are returned. And if this isn’t all enough Paige still has a door to hell burnt into her soul that she needs to deal with, a sister who is about to have a baby, a frightened grandmother, a psychotic mother, an unknown brother and a daughter whom she hasn’t seen for 5 years. 
Now to be brutally honest I had a difficult time getting through this book. It would seem to fluctuate in standard of writing skill so that some of the book is clearly well thought through and edited whilst other parts are in obvious need of work. For example, I found that every time I read a reference to “Jackie”, Dexx’s car, I could almost feel my teeth grinding. The style used when writing about or with the car was so corny that it became sad. The car is a reflection of the owner, and by all intents and purposes I just can’t picture Dexx as the type of guy who could mirror the car. Using a TV show reference as comparison, DexX is no Supernatural Sam or Dean! I just can’t see him being able to to pull it off.

However, all things considered, I have enjoyed the storyline greatly. The author has a great imagination, and although there is much room for improvement in writing style, this can only develop with time. I believe there could be great things to come with not only this series but also with future novels. I have greatly enjoyed following Paige on a fast paced action packed ride to save the world from evil. There has even been the occasional pang of sorrow when she discusses her daughter. The inclusion of more supernatural beings has also been a wonderful addition, as well as the permanent of other characters other than Dexx.

Overall I feel that there is much promise in the series and have to admit that although I have issues with certain things, the book as a whole was good, and worth the read. Definitely looking forward to future work from this author. I recommend this to teens and up. I give the novel a rating of 4.5/10 stars.


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Book Review: Whiskey Witches: Ep 4 Gates of Hell, by S. M. Blooding (2014).

The final episode to the first season of the Whiskey Witches sees Paige Whiskey solving her investigation and setting things to rights in St Francisville. However not all is as it seems. She has sent Mike back through a gate and retrieve the key from Lucius only to batter it away for a life and her daughter. Sven is up to something. The question is what now?
The storyline and overall concept of these books hasn’t been too bad and the characters look to be a little more established than before. But the way it is written has me confused constantly or find that I am rereading similar information as something is repeated. The language isn’t exactly appealing either. Some of it is written to be a humerus throw off, but just doesn’t quite come out right.

Overall I think that the series has potential in that the storyline is quite interesting. I just hope that the writing settles into a more reader friendly writing. I recommend this series to adults who enjoy fantasy thrillers. I also give it a rating of 4.5/10 stars for the final episode.


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Book Review: Whiskey Witches: Ep 3 Love Bodies, by S. M. Blooding (2014).

The plot thickens in the third episode of the Whiskey Witches, with more murder and suspense, not to mention cryptic messages of love only visible to the possibly broken Demon Summoner. Paige is in deeper trouble than she first thought. Possession by Lucius is only one of her problems, and it looks like Balnore, her demonic mentor, as such, is unable to help her for fear of being compelled to possess her.

Dexx tries his best to help Paige, obviously his feelings have grown romantically toward her. We already knew he wanted to have sex with her, but he shows us that he is possibly wanting more now. And she doesn’t seem to be exactly redirecting any of his advances! Mike and Malika finally get their just deserves but I don’t think we have seen the last of them. They have taken too many lives and meddled in magic too deeply.

The storyline is interesting, but written in an erratic way since as previously mentioned this had been written in episodical format. Which is what I believe is the reason I just can’t find myself settling into the story. Perhaps. The story itself is developing at a slow rate in that in what seems like days so many strange events have occurred with no light to the in between. It has made it rather confusing. 

However, I shall perceived and finish the titles. This particular instalment I have given a 3.5/10 stars as I remain dazed and confused as to what exactly is going on with the main plot. I recommend this book to adults.


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Book Review: The Whiskey Witches: Ep 2 Possession, by S. M. Blooding (2014).

The second episode to the Whiskey Witches, sees Paige Whiskey at the centre of trouble. After a disastrous paranormal stake out which involved Paige being attacked and thrown across the room by the ghost of a young girl who isn’t exactly supposed to be there, she finds herself kidnapped and drugged by the town coven crazies, tied up and drugged with hallucinogens. 
The story continues at a fast pace and Dexx is still trying to find out who the attacking ghost could be when Paige is being kidnapped! It’s not until the possession occurs that he finally catches up with Paige who is thankfully in the care of a non-possessed Cheif White. It’s just a shame that the demon has already taken control of Paige, although not in complete control. Somehow she is still managing to fight the demon, although not entirely successful, but the question is for how long. Although the demon says he is here to help destroy the evil in their midst, can his word really be trusted?

The storyline is slowly moving forward and the plot is finally coming to the surface. I feel that the way the story is written is why it seems as though it’s being dragged out, even though they are only short stories. However the storyline is interesting enough to keep my attention thus far so I shall continue! 

I recommend this book to adults who a bit of intrigue mixed in with their fantasy! I give it a rating of 4.5/10 stars.


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Book Review: The Whiskey Witches: Episode 1 ~ Demon Show, by S. M. Blooding (2014).

Demon Show, by S. M. Blooding, is the first episode of four, that delve into a world almost mirror of our own, but where supernatural elements are more believed in and more prevalent than here. In fact, the public awareness of such knowledge is common especially concerning the Whiskey Witches. Detective Paige Whiskey is one of these such Witches, and the tale begins with her being called out to a case far from home.Paige is unaware of her own gifts in the beginning, though is noticeably well studied in the paranormal. 

Rightfully so when looking at her family. Alma, her grandmother, and earth witch. Her mother Rachel, an Angel Whisperer. Even her sister Leslie, a medium. The case she is sent upon however, sets out to put an end to her innocence and plunge her straight into the middle of a very large and complicated mess of magic and deceit.

As stated by the author at the opening, this novel has been written as a screenplay in its original state, so there is a different style to the way the book flows. Each setting and scene can be visualised separately instead of a whole. In saying that I am not sure that I enjoy reading I such a way by the storyline itself is interesting enough to continue reading! I also feel as though I have only a very minimal idea of the characters but I gather that will be addressed in the following episode. Let’s hope anyway! 

I recommend this book to adults who enjoy the fantasy genre set in a more modern era. So far so good! I give the first episode a 5/10 star rating.