Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Magician's End

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Voyager for giving me this book to review.

This is the final book of the series, in which the Kingdom of the Isles has been plunged into civil war by the death of King Gregory and the reluctance of the Congress of Lords to appoint his successor. Hal, Duke of Crydee, and his brothers Martin and Brendan, along with Jim Dasher Jamison and his grandfather Lord James are trying to prevent hostilities breaking out. At the same time Pug, Marcus, Nakor, as reincarnated by Belog, and Miranda, as reincarnated by Child, have been caught in a trap by the Adversary, and have been transported to a higher realm, and may not be able to return to save Midkemia.

Magicians End is a fitting finale to this epic fantasy series, which has spanned 30 years and 30 books consisting of series, collaborations and even a game tie-in series. The epilogue will be appreciated by those who have read and enjoyed the first book Magician. Magician’s End is a very hard going book and feels much longer than it actually is; however, if you are a fan of the series DO NOT miss this book, as it ties up all the loose threads from throughout the rest of the series, whilst leaving the ability for a sequel series if Raymond E. Feist decides to.

My favourite characters are Pug and Thomas, as we have seen them grow and develop throughout the whole series, from youth’s entering into apprenticeship, to the Greater Path magician Milamber and Ashen-Shugar, to the Duke of Stardock and consort of the Elven Queen, to what they are today.

I would only recommend Magician’s End to those who have read and enjoyed the rest of the series, but would recommend this series to those who enjoyed King’s Blades by Dave Duncan, and the Belgariad by David Eddings.

Dark Triumph

4 Stars/5

Sybella, one of the daughters of Death, has only been seen as a tool to be used by the convent of St Mortain, since she was taken in by them and they brought her back from the brink of madness. Now, after years of training to be the best assassin she can be, Sybella has been ordered back to the life that almost drove her mad with grief and despair, with the only hope she has to cling to is that the abbess has promised that she will be able to assassinate the man who raised her d,Albret. After months of fearing that d,Albret will discover her secret, Sybella has finally received orders from the convent, but instead of allowing her to kill him, she has been ordered to rescue the fearsome knight, Beast, from torture and certain death. Is Sybella able to do this without d,Albret finding out and without losing her heart.

Dark Triumph is the second novel in the His Fair Assassin series, which is very good although I felt not as enjoyable as Grave mercy. This may be because it is very dark and deals with some serious issues, however, that being said I could not stop reading as I had to find out what was going to happen next.

Sybella is a very strong character as she has been through so much and yet she is still a sane and confidant. I also liked that we got to see characters that we met in the last book especially Ismae and Duval as it really links the two books together. However, even though I really like Sybella and Beast, I did not enjoy the romance as much as the last book, because, the moment they met you knew they were going to end up together.

Dark Triumph is a really good historical fantasy book but I feel it is more of a New Adult book than the last one and I therefore would not recommend it to younger readers. However, I would recommend Dark Triumph to people who liked the first book, Grave Mercy. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

The Girl with the Iron Touch

4 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for giving me this book to review.

Ever since coming back from America, Griffin has been distant from the group and seems to be tormented by something to do with the Aether and this is starting to worry the group of misfits, especially Finley who is worried that he does not tell her because he does not care about her as much as she does. However, they have to put their worry aside when Emily is kidnapped by automatons and find out how to save her before she is harmed. Emily finds out that she was kidnapped to resurrect their thought dead enemy into a unique automaton who is more human than machine.

The Girl with the Iron Touch is an enjoyable third book in the steampunk chronicles and is the standard of book you have come to expect from Kady Cross, although it did seem to be missing something compared to the other books. I found the blurb a bit misleading but it has non-stop action and also a good romance plot. One thing I found annoying is that the characters do not speak like turn of the century people from London, one example is a characters refers to “p*ssed off” as meaning angry but I am fairly sure this is a resent usage of this word which comes from America.

The characters are the same people we have grown to love from the first 2 books in the series who are totally different from each other but you can relate to each of them. I did miss Griffin’s point of view in this book as I missed knowing what he was thinking, however, I did like that Jack was back in this book unlike the last.

I really liked this book and I can’t wait to see what happens next to Finley and the group of misfits. I would recommend The Girl with the Iron Touch to people who enjoyed the first 2 books in this series or YA steampunk novels.

Monday, 22 April 2013

The Rose Throne

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Egmont USA for giving me this book to review.

Ailsbet has always been ignored by the court and her father the King, as she has no magic, and who’s only loves music and she wishes it is more appreciated in Rurik, which favours the aggressive magic Taweyr. However when she discovers that she has a dangerous secret, Ailsbet has to use all the skills she has learn at her father’s court to keep it hidden and her alive. In Weirland, princess Issa is happy with her responsibility looking after the Neweyr in her land; however when Lord Kellin offers the hand of the prince of Rurik as an alliance between the two islands. With a prophecy about a child of the two countries reuniting the islands are either of the princesses’ part of the prophecy and are they able to marry for love.

The Rose Throne is an OK YA fantasy book which I just could not get into and enjoy. Part of the problem is that the magic system of Taweyr and Neweyr is not really explained very well.

Even though both Issa and Ailsbet are described as being very different, I always had to check whose point of view it was at the beginning of the chapter, otherwise I could not tell each of their chapters apart. All of the characters, even the main ones, I could just not connect too and I did not care about what happened to them even when some of them died.

I am not planning on reading the rest of the series as I just do not care about what happens next. I would only recommend The Rose Throne to people who have liked other books by this author.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Winter Queen

5 Stars/5

After the Shyle and there ally clan Argon are attacked by another clan the Tyron, 17 year old Ilyenna is mortally wounded by the Tyron’s Clan Chief’s son Darrien, but she is healed by the winter fairies and is offered the ability to become the Winter Queen. Unwilling to leave her family she declines this offer only to sacrifice herself as an Tiam, practically a slave, to Darrien to save her clan, along with other women of her and Argon clan and the some of the Argon men, including her brother’s best friend Rone.  While in captivity Darrien tries everything to break her mind, body and soul, however she discovers that the attack was part of a bigger plan to overthrow all the clans. Now Ilyenna has to decide if she is willing to sacrifice her humanity and warmth to become Winter Queen to save her people and those she loves.

Winter Queen is an incredible and magical YA fantasy book which I love by Amber Argyle. Even though this is darker and more grown up than the Witch Song series, it still has all the elements I love in a fantasy book, romance, adventure, magic and a strong heroine.

I really like Ilyenna as she is loyal to her people and no matter what happens to her, she is strong, kind and selfless. All the other characters are well written, even the bad guys, and there are so many characters that I have enjoyed getting to know.  I really like the romance in this book as it is mature but at the same time sweet and tender.

Even through the story did not go the way I thought it would when I read the blurb, it is more unique than I could have imagined especially the fairies as they play a very important part in this book but it is in a subtle way. I like the depth of this book and how the magic worked as the idea of the Balance is such a simple idea but is also very clever and complex.

I am not sure if the next book Summer Queen is a continuation of Ilyenna story or someone else’s from this world, but either way, I cannot wait to see what Argyle will do next and I hope it is released as soon as possible. I would recommend Winter Queen to everyone, but especially to people who like YA fantasy novels such as books by Maria V Snyder or Trudi Canavan.


3 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Langdon Street Press for giving me this book to review.

Victoria Warrick has always known she is different from everyone at her school but when a boy takes his bullying to far, she somehow but them both in hospital. On her 17th birthday she is given a journal that belonged to her grandmother which tells her about an ancestor of hers and discovers that she is a witch with dangerous blood powers. Victoria does not know who to trust her familiar or the mysterious Christian, and she has to find a way to control her bloods desires before it destroys all that she is and whose who she cares about.

Bloodspell is a likable YA paranormal novel with has witches, vampires and warlocks, however it did seem at times that it was trying too hard to be like Twilight as there are quite a few similarities between them.

The characters are all well rounded especially Victoria as she comes as a normal and friendly girl. However it was very annoying how Victoria and Christian would back and forth between wanting to be together and thinking they cannot as it would be too dangerous, this happens awful lot in this book.  

While Bloodspell was very predictable, it is an enjoyable book which I would recommend to people who like Twilight and Evermore. 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Blood of Dragons

3 Stars/5

Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Voyager for giving me this book to review.

The young dragons and their misfit keepers are finally settling into Kelsingra, along with Alise and her lover, Captain Leftrin. Reyn and Malta are traveling down river with their sickly baby to see if the Dragons can help, whilst worrying about the welfare of Malta’s brother Selden who has not been seen since setting off on a voyage.  Tintaglia is struggling after receiving wounds from the Chalcedeans who are under orders to bring back Dragons blood in his quest for immortality.  Alise’s estranged husband, Hest has also been caught up in the Dukes quest through his greed for profit at any cost.  We also get to follow the ongoing story of the Keepers of the Birds in Bingtown and Cassarick.

Blood of Dragons is the final book of the Rain Wild Chronicles series and I like this book because I enjoy Robin Hobb’s writing style and stories.  This book follows the steady pacing of the previous books in the series, though it didn’t feel like the final book in the series as there still seemed to be quite a lot of threads left unfinished and I felt that it needs another book after this one to conclude it all.

The author is very good at exploring the characters’ thoughts and motivations, though they tend to be either good or bad, not much in the way of middle ground.  You end up with quite an in depth understanding of each of them, and how they justify their actions.  One minor niggle was as the convenient way in which Hobb dealt with Hest.

I really hope Robin Hobb writes more books set in this universe and especially ones where we find out more about Selden and the Chalcedean Duchess and Malta’s baby’s as he grows up.  I would recommend Blood of Dragons, and the rest of the Rain Wild chronicles to people who have enjoyed Robin Hobb’s other series, and people who like the Earthsea Quartet by Ursula LeGuin.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Black Swan Rising

2 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Bantam for giving me this book to review.

After the bad day of finding out that she is neck deep in debt, jewellery designer Garet James stumbles into an unusual antiques store. The shop keeper commissions her to use her jewellery making skills to open a silver box which has the same swan symbol that is on the deceased mother’s ring. After managing to open the silver box Garet discovers that the world is full of Fey, Vampires and fairy-tale creatures and that she is a Watchtower, a person whose job it is to keep the balance between the humans and magical creatures. Now with the help of a vampire called Will and Oberon, King of the Faeries, Garet must stop the alchemist John Dee from summoning the demons of Despair and Discord, and destroying New York and the world.

Black Swan Rising is an ok urban fantasy book with faeries and vampires, but I found it really to get into, even though there seemed to be lot of elements in it that I should have liked. That pacing of this book is really slow especially the middle as it seemed not much was happening.

I could not get on with any of the characters, even Garet, and I could not really care what happened to them or what happened next. Black Swan Rising is an ok paranormal novel but I wouldn’t recommend it as it was not as good as it could have been. 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Stolen Away

4 Stars/5

Eloise Hart had no idea that her family was connected to the world of the Faery until she was abducted by Lord Strahan, the king of the Faery, and was used as a hostage to lure his wife, Eloise’s Aunt Antonia out of hiding. Now Eloise and her best friends Jo and Devin must forge alliances with other Fae to recuse Antonia, including Lucas, a boy who has sworn to protect Eloise and Eldric, who may have feeling for Jo or may be planning to betray them all.  

Stolen Away is a new book by Alyxandra Harvey which has romance, action and Faeries. While I really liked this book, I felt there was something missing but I can’t put my finger on what.

I really like Eloise and Jo as they were both loyal and good friends but are also very different people. However I did feel the romance was lacking, very sudden and did not feel realistic, even though both of the couples had some very romantic moments.

Stolen Away is a very enjoyable YA faery story and I would recommend it to people who like the Fire Spirits series by Samantha Young or the rest of Harvey’s novels. 

Haunting Violet

5 Stars/5

Violet has never believed in ghosts and people who can see them because of helping and living with her charlatan spiritualist mother. However, when Violet, her mother and Colin, an Irish orphan who helps out her mother and Violet has been getting strange feeling for him, visit Lord Jasper’s country estate, Violet keeps seeing a drowned girl everywhere she goes. Now with the help of Colin and her friend Elizabeth have to find out who this girl is and who killed her before they strike again.

Haunting Violet is another brilliant book by Harvey with everything I have grown to love about her work but instead of vampires it has Victorian’s and ghosts. I really like the mystery in this book as it kept me guessing about who the killer was and what was going to happen next.

I really like Violet because she is nice, down to earth and very loyal even when she does not really want to be. I also like the secondary characters as I felt they all had their own individual stories especially Elizabeth and Lord Jasper. I like the romance between Violet and Colin as it is sweet, romantic and had real depth to it.

I love Haunting Violet and I hope that there is another book; I would recommend this to people who liked Alyxandra Harvey’s other books.


2 Stars/5

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, Children’s for me giving this book to review.

Kira has found a cure for RM but it is not easily accessible as it means using the partials, now she is on a search across the country with Samm, Heron and an unhinged computer expert called Afa for a cure for both the humans and partials as well as answers to who she is and who know about her. Meanwhile back on Long Island, Marcus and the rest of humanity are on the edge of war with the partials, a war which they know they cannot win, will Kira and Samm find the answers before it is too late for both races.

Fragments is the second instalment in the Partials series, which is a different but ok YA dystopia. This story does drag a bit as it focuses too much on the journey to find answers and less on the actual action.

More so in this book than the last I could not connect to any of the characters and did not really care about what happened to them. Also I did not like the love triangle developing between Kira, Samm and Marcus as I am so bored of them in YA books.

Fragments is an ok book and I hope it gets better in the next one. I would recommend this book to people who enjoyed the first book Partials. 


3 Stars/5

The human race is almost extinct, down to only tens of thousands, because of their war with the Partials, engineered organic beings, and RM, the virus which killed almost everyone and still kills every new-born child. 11 years after the war and the almost extinction the humans are living on long island but society is fracturing with no cure in sight and the mandatory pregnancy laws in the hope to produce a child that is immune. Kira is a 16 year old medic who is desperate to find a cure for RM, especially after she finds out that her adoptive sister is pregnant, but is she willing and able to go into New York and capture a living partial in time to save the human race.

Partials is a likable YA dystopian novel with an interesting plot but suffers from being rather slow as it focus a bit too much on science and not as much on the action.

While I liked Kira as she is very focused and really believes in what she is doing, I just could not feel any connect to her.  Also apart from Samm and Marcus I felt like all of the secondary blurred together. It also felt like there should be more romance in this book than there actually was.

This book has an interesting twist which I can’t wait to explore in Fragments even though it was a bit predictable. I would recommend Partials to people who like dystopian book whether adult or young adult.