I guess it was okay. It wasn’t the best book I have read nor was it the worst either. Apart from it being mostly about Asian fantasy, there was quite little which was redeemable about the book. 

Although I do like the whole world and the details spent on making it quite like Ancient China, which was rather true then to never marry after your husband’s death. And despite the supernatural twist, it didn’t really move me much. 

One thing I did like was how it was not too focused on the romance. The romance here has a bittersweet ending as to how it ends. And Skybright mourns him and takes upon a new role here. 

It wasn’t really anything groundbreaking or even mind blowing. But it was a pretty accurate portrayal of Ancient China and its customs, beliefs and such. But other than that the plot didn’t really seem bright, it was like a straight line for me. Despite everything coming together. And the characters still are rather flat, and maybe too kind. 

So, the only thing which surprised me had been the ending which still failed to make me care much about Kai Sen. 

Overall, I guess apart from the great portrayal of Chinese culture, this book needs a lot more than that. A decent sequel but not fantastic in the least. 

Rating: 3 out of 5


The Hero Of Ages

I would say one the best books ever. And ended on a more which will make me remember for a long, long time. This book revealed everything and all was inevitable in fact how it ended was what I should have expected. 

This talked about the mists, about preservation and ruin. About Allomacy, Kandra, Koloss and about everything the Lord Ruler created and used. And about how Lord Ruler was someone intelligent and logical, just that he eventually grew consumed with the power. He is one of the villains who end up still having a heavy impact even two books after his death, and is a villain with two sides. 

As for Vin, I really was glad to see her becoming more mature here and trusting Elend. And I always had shipped them, just that their ending has been one which I would never expect to see. 

As for the characters, here is also where they struggle more, they start to doubt themselves even more. Against so many people, such as Yomen, the Survivor and many other things. To even preservation and ruin, who all play a part here. And digging deeper to the legends that was here, and how the world once was.

As well as finally revealing the origins of Kandra, Inquisitors, Koloss which I have never expected and should have guessed. If Lord Ruler created such creatures, he must have devised his own way of controlling them and making them weak to something. And the second book had revealed that bit which allowed Vin to take control. 

I would have the say that Allomacy here is basically foolproof, with weakness with strengths and a huge lot of secrets behind it. And the decreasing strength of all Allomancers because of breeding. Here the questions are all answered about how Elend really got it, how it had weakened itself and some pretty surprising twists at the end regarding this. 

So, I would say this book is basically perfect for a fantasy reader. And for once providing me with great entertainment about religion, and even intrigue here. All the while giving questions which have never been answered to the readers all settled here. I would say, it ended on a sad note but I do wonder how does Sanderson write a sequel for this. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

On Writing Description 

I would say is something that I use to dread but now I really enjoy writing description. It’s where I can tell and even show, and also give hints about the world and how it goes. 

But description should not be just about the surroundings, it can include worldbuilding, emotions and even more than just about the surroundings. And in fact if you describe too much, it might be taken for purple prose. 

Purple prose is when it is just useless details which has almost no value in the story, as it doesn’t serve a purpose. Good description is focusing on thing that matrer, maybe little on the actual building itself, but more on the emotions during a particular scene, how does it affect them, and their mindsets. It can also be a way to foreshadow through mentions, and bringing focus and hinting upon a particular aspect that is written in the novel. 

Description isn’t just about appearance, neither is it just about the concrete. But also at the same time, how does your character perceive it? Descriptions should be written in the characters voice as it’s what makes it original. It should also cover how they feel about being in such a place, the give it gives. 

It is also a way to show how your character perceive the world, and even how their personality is and how would they think. Using description is also a chance to show how did they grow up and their environment. 

I enjoy writing description because it offers me a chance to get more intimate with my character, all the while use foreshadowing about possible events and at the same time, include worldbuilding. 

What do you think is important when writing description? Please leave what you think below and thank you for reading this post. 

Newt’s Emerald

Not the best book but nonetheless enjoyable, since I have been quite the sucker for regency lately. More than the Victorian era of course. 

I would say the language is very English and definitely feels so, with the entire background rather well researched and the magic being interestingly placed. And reminding me of Sorcerer Royal in many ways I guess. 

As for Truthful, thankfully she places the Emerald above all else, even chasing boys and everything. Which I say is better characterization and agency, seeing how important it was to her father she just chose to become a man and help him. She is a rather relatable and good heroine in that form. 

As for Charles, who really was rather surprising seeing how he impersonated someone, and is more or less a rather interesting man given who he is and the lengths he goes to. 

As for Lady Badgery, I should have seen that coming once she suggested Truthful should dress as a man and even helps her find a way to do so. Even scouring an identity for her. But nonetheless still a great side character who is rather good, and even managed to do that for six years. Which I won’t spoil, that was my favourite moment of the book. 

This was enjoyable though not managing to hit too many beats, and having some shortfalls as being mostly romance with mystery and magic, but it’s mostly enjoyment which is not wrong and this provided me entertainment. But it just simply doesn’t put it quite high, since I really couldn’t find anything that really made me want to remember it or extremely defining. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Keeping A Notebook

I would say this is vital to almost every writer that there is some place where you can just put all your ideas. It is rather important for me, and I end up buying three to four notebooks each year just for this. Sometimes for ideas, other times just for outlining and sometimes for details. As it can be very very easy to forget an idea. Thus it is rather important to keep one on hand, as it serves a very useful purpose of just being a place where you can jot down ideas before you forget them. 

For me, there are a few tips to keeping a notebook around: 

#1 Keep a notebook in both reality and on the inernet

It is rather important to keep both, in case there are times where writing in front of a person makes you feel uncomfortable. Most of the time I keep the real notebooks to be mostly containing just a bunch of really silly ideas or some random quotes, or developments which I want to keep in mind. While the digital notebook is a little more developed, and where I back everything up. And sometimes also write a bunch of scenes which often more than not have no place in a scene. 

#2 Shelve it where you can find it easily 

This is also rather important as well, to shelve in places where you can easily reach it and look back at old ideas. Or if you are the more secretive, a safe place. I don’t feel comfortable revealing what I write yet to my family, as such this is important that most things remain secret. And also, not to lose it, it can get really frustrating that months of hard work went to waste. 

#3 Keeping them small

This is important as you do not want to end up having to bring a rather big notebook around, a digital notebook is easier, if it is also available on your phone, but for a real notebook, I would say keep them small and easy to carry around. Maybe the size where you can fit it into your smallest bag would be advisable, as some of my notebooks tend to be big and I do not bring them out often. 

#4 remember to bring a pen along 

I do think that this should be important, since it can happen anytime at all. As a writer, without a pen to jot down notes or even a phone to type on once I get an idea is just frustrating as I need to constantly remind myself to not forget a fresh new idea. 

A Darker Shade Of Magic 

I really enjoyed this book, it was pretty much a really interesting kind of epic fantasy. One that actually fascinated me for once. And I have taken a huge step away from such fantasy, it usually bored me. 

And instead of just having only one London or some crazy worlds, instead it is alternate versions of London, and like Lila said, “Black London, Creepy London, Kell London and Dull London.”

I would say Kell is an interesting protagonist, where he’s quite a shade different from most and decided to mess around and ended up blundering quite badly. And his relationship with Rhy, that was really a good relationship where both adoptive brothers just care for each other deeply. 

Lila, is actually one of the better heroines in the story, she is really interesting so far. And she’s just a thief who is actually good at what she does, though in the end it led her to leave her own London and decide to come live here. And how she and Kell meet is definitely just a series of coincidences and that it’s also not on romance here. As for her ending, I think it was the best seeing as how she wanted to see all Londons at the same time. 

As for the villains, they are quite interesting seeing as how Kell stole something from them, and all they want is to get it back and punish him for it. Astrid has a totally different view of it when compared to Athos, and yet they still are both monarchs. But they do make quite an interesting pair, and what they want is quite normal for them to want and crave a better London. 

I would say the most well done had been the worldbuilding and magic system, which actually really intrigued me and made a lot of sense often. And how all the Londons came together as one, and also how magic worked and even the difference in language in all Londons. 

And making all of them quite distinct despite it being in colours, with language, the nature of monarchs and how it affected them. I would say the worldbuilding was the best of the book and genuinely intrigued me on that point. 

Overall, I would recommend this book for people who wish for a different kind of fantasy, this is quite different from the usual epic, where it takes place through alternate dimensions which are similar but also very very distinct. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

Third Person or First Person

This can be a headache or a breeze for some, but really for me I think it goes down to one thing. How far does your scope go? Is the characters going to be present in all the important scenes? Or will they not be completely so? 

As how big your scope is can decide how you are going to choose a point of view and whether your character is more than enough to narrate the story. If he or she is not, then consider third person limited, it offers almost the same closeness as first person, just in third person format. Third person limited is not just narrating through one characters point of view, you can switch if it’s necessary and far easier to do so in third than first, and if you want two narrators as there isn’t much of a need to have two separate voices, one would suffice.  

While first person is limiting them to narrating through one person, hence the word ‘I’. It can be difficult if you have two narrators, you need to ensure that those two voices are distinct enough to tell the story and can be told from each other. Which even published authors struggle with, I haven’t really read a book which managed to make both the narrators even remotely different, they often sound the same.

Or if it’s really large, and sometimes you just don’t want to get that close to the characters and their perspectives, rather than seeing through their eyes. It is told from an all seeing narrator hence the name omniscient because the narrator here knows all, which can be quite hard to pull off seeing as you might need to keep a balance between keeping the narrator as truly omniscient and also not revealing too much to the reader. 

As for me, I mostly write in third person, it’s just easier for me, even though I would extend to learning to write from first person with one book. But it’s mostly third, due to the nature where it tends to have characters which cannot be in all places at once. But I still want to have some intimacy with them, as such third person limited is the best choice for me, as it gives me the ability to switch if I want to, and also show worldbuilding as it’s not telling through the characters eye, and also allows me to be able to show a little voice here and there. 

There are fewer limits with third person limited, than first person, where it’s just really through one characters eye and what the protagonist does not know, the protagonist cannot tell.  As such, there are quite a few advantages to it, and despite what people say first person is hard, you have to keep in mind of their own knowledge and limits, and also the age of the narrator. It is almost impossible for a child narrator to be able to describe something well, they have plenty of limits even with great reading ability. 

As such, mostly it’s up to you. Some writers prefer first, other prefers third, I just mostly prefer the latter, even though I would experiment with first in a future series, where it seems that first would suit it more than third.