Traitor To The Throne

A rather surprising sequel, after the last time I read this was maybe last year in November. But one which did surprise me in many ways.

Amani goes through quite a lot here, and well learning to be in the palace and trying to survive and escape there was much more interesting really. As she slowly navigates, tries to figure out and also gets to know the Sultan. Which to my surprise, she is still the same as ever before but with a better sense of politics. At the end of it, she certainly does seem a lot more grown than before.

As for the Sultan, again he is a very good convincing villain. He isn’t perfect but he is the one who kept the throne for who knows how many years, and is truly ruthless. Not kidding, which makes me even more interested in him. Since he is like many of history’s kings, benevolent ones were more the rarity rather than the norm, an tyrants were relatively uncommon. But the Sultan to me is pragmatic, he does know that winning his people over is an important thing. No king can rule without popular favour even when their countries are all in favour of having brothers kill each other for the throne. But again, I still like him.

As for the romance, honestly it doesn’t bring anything to table and I don’t really feel much for Jin, who is just there. Well, he doesn’t want to lead, but will still do plenty to things to save Amani. But nothing else. So, not really interested.

As for Ahmed, on some levels yes he does have some good points. On others, well his father was correct about him. He is a good leader, but not necessarily someone who can hold onto power. Well, I do hope captivity changes him quite a little bit.

As for the plot, it really focused on the right bits. Rebellions have a lot of politics in it finding allies and armies who will support you is extremely important. You are seen as a threat when you can compare to them, not when your rebels can be squashed. So, yeah I like when the book is focusing on the plot of fighting against the Sultan, which requires a fair bit of political intrigue.

As for the tales, I frankly loved them. But not much apart from that, and the whole djinns being responsible for humans creation and Dmenji being unable to tell a lie. That was all so nice, and the opening was always my favourite as of now.

So, you can say that I simply fell in love with this book. It may have been rather okay in the first book, now, I am waiting for the sequel like no other. Verdict: recommended.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Mad Hatters And March Hares

DNF

I really tried to get myself to read this anthology. Sadly, nothing worked. My interest just kept on waning and waning with each story. And some of them are rather unique but just failed to retain my attention.

I am fascinated about the short stories regarding Alice In Wonderland. But nothing was to my taste, and well you can say that was why I ended deciding to just abandon it. It just didn’t work out.

I won’t review individual stories because as a collective whole, I just didn’t like any of them and none of them really kept my eye at all.

Perhaps it might be for you, but it just wasn’t for me.

Walk The Earth A Stranger

The strongest point of this whole book is the main character. I found her strangely believable, and able to keep to herself make sensible choices and try to escape when things get terrible for her. Girl is definitely a brave one, and what she does is rather classic of almost any other girl in such a system. Dress as a boy.

I just found her strangely relatable, since she doesn’t bitch about her life, neither does she seem like a hypocrite. And that there are some interesting female relationships here.

As for her uncle, I really hate him. Yes, the author succeeded in making me hate him as a person with a passion. Trust me, I will like to see him conveniently fall off a cliff so that he will no longer haunt Lee. Well, that is the one thing which I will like about them.

However the plot is for lack of better word nonexistent. Yes, it is nonexistent. And I found myself asking where this was going where in actual reality it is just setting up the next book. There is a lot of things that happen to Leah on the road, it just doesn’t seem that impactful if you ask me.

The writing flows very well, and I really could feel Leah as a character. Perhaps another reason why this worked so well for me, but sadly it lacked a lot of details on the plot or anything inventive which will really buy me.

Overall, I did find this okay if a little underwhelming. Leah is a good character, Hiriam is a good enough villain that I do hate him. But the rest of it, honestly could use some work.

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Macedonian

I will say that this proved surprising to me. Although most ancient books tends to be a miss with me, this isn’t. It really makes me feel something for it.

It is about Phillip, who is the father of Alexander and a king in his own right. He does deserve respect and his portrayal was definitely one that will keep you on sympathetic.

The most good thing was that Philip remains the centre of all this, which is important given that I have read a lot of books with many characters but simply weren’t interesting at all.

As for the background was excellent and well fleshed out, given that this is Ancient Greece, and everything is more or less up to speculations since there is little that we know about them. The author filled in the gaps well enough and I enjoyed this story very much.

I did like some of the more complicated relationships, such as that of Phillip and his mother. It certainly felt real to me, all the while having some side characters who really won by sympathy. As well as a fair bit of villains.

Overall, this was really enjoyable for me. Interesting and definitely full of flavour.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Beneath The Skin

Something about this just didn’t work with me, it wasn’t about the book. It just wasn’t to my taste.

It is about werewolves with a hint of romance. But I found it really uninteresting to be reading about, it just wasn’t what I expected or even knew wanting to read at all.

Although the werewolf part was really interesting and even well explored, however I just felt the plot was heading nowhere and neither was it really intriguing me.

At the end of the day, I just didn’t enjoy this and this just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 1 out of 5

In The Shadows

The only good thing was the graphics. It was beautiful and even gorgeous if you ask me, while the prose was absolutely dry and dull.

I loved the art, as I flipped back to enjoy the pictures. However the writing seemed to be so lifeless and didn’t expand on the worldbuilding at all, not really tried to connect the stories together.

And that the plot, doesn’t feel so connected. With the romance being boring, in a way that I just couldn’t stand it. The character being so gorgeously bland that it could have been better. Even the art version of it was more tolerable than the words.

And that’s saying something when it comes to me. So, look at the art which tells a story so well. It does so enough without needing to do too much, with plenty of mystery and showing the characters in a good way. Well, this will have worked without the prose well enough.

And there is where I say, this book told a good story using the pictures but a terrible one using words.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

The Watchmen

Well, I found this entire book to be rather intriguing and even interesting. Even though my interest waned from time to time depending on how much I enjoyed the characters who were narrated.

The entire setting in Roman Britain is definitely well explored and even interesting in a sense. I do feel that a lot was done to set me in the story and ensure that I knew it. All the while not being too descriptive, but enough to convey emotion.

However I will prefer if there was slightly more on the focus on the main character. But this is a historical fiction so I can understand however I do believe that a little more could have been done. I found myself more or less floating around in the book wondering where I was with the exception of some characters.

Overall, I do like the book for the setting and the writing. However, I do believe that something more to make me feel emotion for the main characters, some did make me read it carefully but otherwise it just bored me.

Rating: 3 out of 5