Thursday, 30 May 2013

Broken Aro

****
4 Stars/5



After her city is invaded and has fallen, 15 year old Aro wakes up on-board a slave ship and is believed to be a boy thanks to her brothers disguising her before the city fell. Some of her cell mates are one of her brother’s friends, Kei a fey who has some connection to Aro and the mysterious Prince. After the boat sinks and they make it to the shore, they think they are safe but it is not that straight forward with surviving slavers, a terrible sickness and a prophecy, Aro will do anything to protect and look after her new family.

Broken Aro is a really good YA fantasy book which has adventure, magic, mythical creatures and a hint of romance.

Aro is a likeable and believable 15 year old girl who is frightened and scarred because she is going through a really hard time but she still is trying to remain strong and confident. I also liked the other characters especially her other prisoners as they all had their own different personalities but my favourites are the caring Kei and the secretive Prince, as they are both brave and protective. However, not knowing if Aro’s brothers were alive or dead did not affect me much, as we did not get to know them as well as we could have. 

Broken Aro is a really enjoyable YA fantasy book and I am looking forward to see what happens next in Broken Prince. I would recommend this book to fans of Tamora Pierce or Amber Argyle and people who like Slumber by Samantha Young.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Pirate's Wish

**
2 Stars/5



Thanks to Netgalley and Strange Chemistry for giving me this book to review.

Ananna and Naji are still stuck on the island and have to complete the three impossible tasks to cure Naji which are, touching a starstone to his skin, create a life out of violence and have a true loves kiss. However, Ananna knows that not all the tasks are impossible as she loves him. Now with the help of fellow pirate Marjani and a manticore, they have to find a way to complete the tasks and stop the mist creatures from taking Naji away.

The Pirate’s Wish is the second and last book in the Assassin’s Curse duology and I still did not enjoy it as much as I wished I could.

I did not like Ananna and Naji in this book and especially the love/hate romance and I got bored with in from very near the beginning. However, I did like some of the secondary characters but especially the manticore (I don’t think I can spell her name) as she is funny and no-nonsense and I wanted she to eat Ananna and Naji half the time and the story to be just about her.

I would only recommend The Pirate’s Wish to people who liked The Assassin’s Curse. 

The Assassin's Curse

**
2 Stars/5



Ananna runs away from an arranged marriage with an ally pirate clan as all she wants to be is a pirate captain and not a wife. However, her would be in-laws have sent an assassin after her for shaming them and running away but when the assassin reaches her, she accidently triggers a curse meaning that the assassin Naji has to protect her. Now they have to work together and find a way to break the curse but that will be harder than either of them could have known.

The Assassin’s Curse is an ok fantasy book which I should have liked as it had an interesting concept of both pirates and assassin’s but I know most will not agree but I just could not care about the characters or what happens to them.

Ananna is meant to be a strong, independent character but she just came across as whiny and was trying too hard to seem resourceful and feisty. However, Ananna was much better than Naji, who for a main romantic (kinda) male lead as he acted like a 13 year old who was always brooding and got upset at any little thing.

While the story was ok, the main problem with it is there is a massive plot hole at the beginning, as her parents raised her to be strong and independent and yet still expected her to be ok with being married off, it just did not add up.

I would recommend The Assassin’s Curse to people who like Greta and the Goblin King or Sora’s Quest.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Hero of Ages

*****
5 Stars/5



The force and godlike being Ruin, has been released from his prison and his aim is to destroy the world. Spook is in Urteau and is sent to spy on the leader of this city, Citizen Quellion, who is killing nobility in the name of Kelsier; however after escaping death, Spook is determined to use his powers to help the people. At the other end of the land, Vin and Elend are trying to find a way to help their people, but at the same time Elend is trying to get used to being a mistborn after almost dying at the Well of Ascension and Vin is feeling guilty about accidently freeing Ruin. Now following the clues which the Lord Ruler has left, the remains of Kelsier’s crew hope to find a way to stop Ruin before it is too late.

The Hero of Ages is the Final book in the Mistborn series and it is brilliant as it has well written characters, plot and a very unique magic system. There are many twists and turns in this book and the surprises were very clever as they are unexpected yet very obvious in retrospect.

I like Vin and Elend in this book as they are the same people we have grown to care about from the last books but have matured because the world has changed and is a darker place. I also liked the secondary characters in this book especially Spook as we have seen him grow-up from a shy teenager in to a strong and brave adult. One character I did not like as much in this book compared to the last was Sazed as he was so down and pathetic, however, it did feel like his character need to work through his problems to make him grow as a character.

I will be definitely be reading Sanderson’s other books and especially The Alloy of Law. I would recommend the Mistborn series to anyone who likes fantasy or just very well written books. 

The Well of Ascension

*****
5 Stars/5



Kelsier’s crew of thieves, mistlings and talented people have done the impossible and killed the Lord Ruler, but not without cost, as the man who masterminded the job, Kelsier, died as well. Now it is up to the rest of the crew including Kelsier’s pupil and former street urchin, Vin, and the man she loves, Elend, to build and run this new world. A year has passed and not all is as good as they thought it would be. Vin seems to be the only one who can see that the mists are acting strangely and she even sees figures in it since the Lord Ruler’s death. However, this is the least of their problems as three armies are approaching Luthadel, one made up of the fearsome beasts, the Koloss, all are hoping to seize the city and find the supposed hidden atium. With the city under siege, the is only a glimmer of hope that they will survive. Vin believes that finding the Well of ascension will solve their problems, however, no one knows where it is or what power it holds.

The Well of Ascension is the second in the amazing Mistborn series, which is full of politics, action and tension. Even though it is even longer than the Final Empire this really helps the world building and we get to really feel like we are in this world with the character we have grown to love.

Vin is very conflicted in this book as she does not know who she wants to be and what she wants to do, however, she is a young woman who has had to grow up really fast so it is not annoying and come across as true to life and adds growth to her character. I also like how we got to see more of Elend in this book compared to the last and it is nice to see him grow into a better king.

When you read this book make sure you have The Hero of Ages as well as you will want to read it straight away to see what happens next. I would recommend The Well of Ascension and the Mistborn series to people who like classic epic fantasy books which are not too dark. 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Final Empire

*****
5 Stars/5



For a thousand years the Lord Ruler has reigned and during this time ash has fallen from the sky and the Skaa have been enslaved. Vin is a street urchin who makes a startling discovery that she is a mistborn, a person who can use magic by burning all types of metals, however, only those with noble blood should have it. Vin joins a group of people with unique talents, led by the charismatic Kelsier, the only other Skaa mistborn and the sole survivor of the Pits of Hathsin. This group’s aim is to overthrow the Lord Ruler and free the Skaa, but will Vin learn to trust them and master her powers in order to help destabilise the nobility and cause the chaos needed to defeat the Lord Ruler.

The Final Empire is the first in an epic fantasy series and even though it is full of clich├ęs it is still a unique and interesting book. If I had one complaint it would be that it is long but apart from that it is really good as it has all the elements you want in a high fantasy.

While I like Vin, I did feel that she is quite similar to a few other fantasy heroines, as she was a poor unassuming urchin who has a undiscovered special power, however, that being said her character is well rounded and very likable. I also liked most of the other characters in this book but especially Kelsier as at first he seems all charm and ego but as the book progresses we find out he has a lot of depth.

I really liked how Sanderson portrayed the Lord Ruler in this book as you don’t get to see him until near the end, which adds a lot of mystery to his character. I also really like the magic system in this book as it is so simple, yet really different from other fantasy books.

I really liked The Final Empire and I am hoping that I will enjoy the others just as much. I would recommend this to fans of The Black Magician trilogy and The Belgariad. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Poison

****
4 Stars/5



Kyra had a good and steady future as the master potioner; however, everything changes when she finds out that the kingdom is in danger. The only way she knows that she can save it is to kill her best friend, and heir to the throne, Ariana, but for the first time her poisoned dart misses. Now, with the help of a magical pig, she must find a way to find the princess and complete her task, but along the way she meets the handsome Fred who she cannot seem to get away from and cannot stop thinking about. Kyra now has to find a way to assassinate the Princess while hiding from those who once called her a friend all before it is too late.

Poison is a charming and sweet YA fantasy novel which has all the elements you want for a fun light read. While I thought I knew where the story was going, it surprised me with some unexpected twists which I did not see coming.

I like Kyra as she is strong, brave and is willing to do what is right even if it will cost her everything. I also like Fred as, unlike most YA love interests, he is a nice and geeky but most importantly he is a good guy, which is a change from the usual bad boy. However, my favourite character in Poison is Rosie the pig, as I wanted her myself and it adds charm and lightness to the book.

Poison is a lovely book and I wish there was going to be more books in this universe, however, sadly this is Bridget Zinn’s first and last book as she died before it was published. I would recommend this book to people who like Ella Enchanted and Brightly Woven. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Coralina

***
3 Stars/5




Coralina, also known as Coco, is the prettiest of the nine princesses and knows it, which means she can the win the heart of any man she wants no matter the consequences. With the Runa Realm facing the threat of bandits, disguised as noble men, who are attacking women and chopping off their hair, everyone is on edge except Coco. That is until when going on a walk with her latest conquest, Prince Luxley, he is attack by the carpenter Gord thinking he was saving her.  In revenge for ruining her relationship with Luxley, Coco decides to punish Gord by making him fall in love with her and then breaking his heart, but will she be able to do this without losing her own heart.

Coralina is the second novella in the Nine Princesses series and is a light and enjoyable fantasy read; however, I did not like it as much as the first novella. The reason is that I really did not like Coco as she was selfish and spoilt; however, this was improved by the growth of her character. Another thing about this novella that I liked was that the story did not go the way I thought it would, meaning there was more surprises in Coralina than in Maelyn.

Coralina is an enjoyable novella and I am looking forward to see what Anita Valle does next in Heidel. 

Maelyn

***
3 Stars/5




In the Realm of Runa , the king and queen were not able to have any children, so when the King finds a toddler, a lone survivor of a village killed off by the Red Fever, he decides to adopt a child from each kingdom for his wife, and make each of them princesses. Now the eldest Maelyn, rules over Runa, trying to live up to the life her parents wanted. However with the people thinking the princesses as imposters, their uncle up to something sinister and fraction developing between the sisters, Maelyn begins to wonder if she really is a princess or just a fraud that people think and if she is able to keep her family together.

Maelyn is the first in the Nine Princesses novellas which is a sweet light fantasy read which while predictable; it is enjoyable as it has humour, princesses and a hint of romance. However, I do think it would have been better if it was a full novel as there is much more in this book which could have been explored.

Maelyn is a character which I think most readers to identify with as she is nice, a bit bossy and loves reading. I also like the relationship between the sisters because while they did not always like each other the reader could always tell they loved each other, which makes it really realistic.

Maelyn is a nice light novella which I would recommend to people who like princess story which make you feel that all is right in the world.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Sworn to Raise

**
2 Stars/5



Thanks to Netgalley and All Night Reads for giving me this book to review.

Ciardis has grown up with the people in her small vale always looking down on her, however, after all the plans she has made begin crumbling around her, Ciardis’s luck changes as she is chosen to train at the Companions guild, a position which a lowly laundress should not be available to her. Now she must learn and discover skills to be able to attract a patron and help the prince discover what is wrong with his powers.

Sworn to Raise is an ok fantasy book that has court politics, a strong heroine and magic, however, that being said I could not get into it and it felt like there was something missing.

A big problem with this book was that I did not care about any of the characters as I could not bond to them.  Also it felt like the story was all jumbled together and did not connect making it at some points a bit confusing.

Even though Sworn to Raise should have been my type of book I just could not get into it and therefore I cannot recommend it. 

Princess of the Midnight Ball

***
3 Stars/5



Rose is the oldest of the 12 princesses of Westfalin and they have been cursed to dance for the King Under Stone every night with his 12 sons. Galen is a young solider returning home from war and while on the way to live with his only surviving relatives he helps an old woman, who in return gives him a cloak and some wool with magical qualities. Will Galen and Rose’s love for each other be able to find a way to stop the princesses going to the midnight ball, before it is too late?

Princess of the Midnight Ball is a fairy tale retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and even though this book is a sweet and nice read it is very predictable.

While there are 12 princesses each one comes across as very different and unique, and they do not blend together. While I like both Galen and Rose, I did not feel any chemistry between the two of them and as the romance was a big part of this novel it did let the book down a bit.

I would recommend Princess of the Midnight Ball to those who like fairy-tale retellings or very light fantasy. 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Lark's Quest

***
3 Stars/5



After surviving the massacre of the royal family and their servants and slaves, tiny slave girl Lark is the first person who is not a noble daughter to be trained as an Ariane, a group of magical warrior women. Lark has always known that Prince Raven has survived that night, and has made it her mission over the last 15 years to find him and restore him to his rightful throne as the King of the Silver Isle. Fifteen years ago Raven yr Griffon believed in equality for both the rich and poor, and he became the peoples champion and hero. After the night he lost almost everyone he knew, Raven, and his faithful servant Oxen, ran away to an inn where he could be left alone with his shattered beliefs. However, everything changes when Lark walks into Raven’s inn and both Lark and Raven will never be the same, but is she able to convince him to save the Silver Isle from invaders and corruption from within?

Lark’s quest is a YA fantasy book which has the 3 Deeds of the Ariane novella’s, this story is good because it has romance, action and a unique and subtle magic system. The reason I did not love this novel was because it felt like it needed more world building, as there was much more to see and explore in the Silver Isle than there was in this book.

I really enjoyed Lark’s personality as she is strong and brave and stands up against those who want her to fail. I also liked both Lark’s and Raven’s character as they both reflect the conflict felt in the Silver Isle. However, I would have liked some more scenes between Lark and Raven as I believe that the romance would have been better developed than it was in the book.

Deeds of the Ariane are a good 3 novella’s and I can’t wait to see what happens next to Lark, Raven and the Silver Isle. I would recommend Lark’s Quest to readers who like Graceling by Kristin Cashore and Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.