Toru: Wayfarer Returns

Now to me, this was what I hoped to read about and it’s representation. Setting it in the Edo era as an alternate history, during the times when Japan is indeed struggling to modernize itself or keep to their ideals.

And I do really like how it handles female characters here. Masuyo is just more than the love interest, I do feel her strength and also her love for her family. Besides, she outsmarts her father but still will try to abide by his wishes when he insists. As well as being truthfully loyal, and never wavering from her beliefs. And her favourite moments were with the Lady Tomatsu as she is a woman who thinks survival is above all, and her ask to just have her denounce her own father. Although it does show her tenacity, but I find Lady Tomatsu to be a more sensible character than anyone else.

As for Toru, he was indeed middle ground. He dreams and wishes to see, and doesn’t like people taking advantage of his country. Strong patriotism, nice personality. But to me, he doesn’t really have much of an arc and his identity is just there and under utilized when it could have added more tension and is it just me but it does seem that he has no noticeable flaws. The one who I did feel was stuck a little more in between and still someone who will dream is Masuyo. And that he doesn’t seem to have much of any character arc apart from that.

The setting is basically perfect, I mean who wants to be overthrown in their lives. Their fear was real, and unless the whole bakufu power really weakened until the Meiji restoration which allowed it implant changes. Otherwise, I can see why almost anyone who was rich back then really wanted to keep their power. Same thing with the need to keep up with them, since they were facing plenty of threats from outside. And I do like the way that it does, although the Meiji restoration is still far away but nonetheless a step to the Japan we know of today. Although the other complaint is that it doesn’t make sense how industrialization can happen over the span of a couple months, not really believable if you ask me.

So, overall I just like this book due to the Japanese culture which was authentic. The way that it generally was for Masuyo did feel real, but she still overcame those boundaries. And last but not least, that this tale was satisfying overall, as my complaints was as above. But otherwise, it was pretty much enjoyable.

Rating: 3 out of 5


Cold Summer

This book was rather touching, at least in the way I never thought it was. With a time travel story, but centering around all the problems and rift between friends and family here, was the best way it could go.

Kale being a world war II veteran, and the entire idea of him being a time traveler but not completely about the idea of his family, and the problems left by it. It is so real that his constant time travelling created all these problems and fighting in a war really took its toll on him.

Harper, I did like her. Something about her worked, and how she dealt with her issues was important. Poignant, but at the same time willing to give another chance to her own mother. But her coming back here, and getting together with Kale again is a nice idea too, which I think began to really change the whole course of the story.

As for the ending, about the way it was. Open, but I have always liked such an ending. And that Kale does eventually learn how to control, although only to a certain extent. And Harper had simply accepted his unique situation and went ways to help him, that to me is more or less a sort of love. Although I would have liked it that Kale did get some time knowing Harper’s situation, but in this context it is fine since they have known each other since childhood.

But overall, this was a really touching tale. Talking about time travel, war and eventually romance. I think it handles the balance, and it doesn’t try to be too much. It is simply Kale finding his way home, Harper opening a new chapter in her life. And at the end, a simple romance which still has a long way to go.

So, in my opinion I will whole heartedly recommend this.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Death At The Emerald

I really like this book as it was an interesting deviation from the usual mystery I have read.

And with a twist that I never really seen coming. Most importantly, was that Frances was an entertaining detective. She is focused and definitely breaks most norms, and naturally is not afraid of the really dirty part of detective work.

The time is in the Edwardian era, with Frances being a suffragist. And surprisingly, there is very little but Frances is portrayed as strong and capable, as well as talented. Not to mention, that the mystery surrounds mostly women, and the relationship Frances has with her maid is definitely interesting.

The mystery is not just simple, but also really hits home. A girl who runs away when she was twenty-one because she didn’t want to be married or rather sold to anyone. And eventually managed to make a life for herself. That to me took guts, and that she may have been naive, but with time she really showed wisdom with her choices. And I really adored Louisa, the way that she simply had the courage to pursue what she wanted. She fought, she never gave up. Her story is told through here, and she was my favourite character. Even though she really doesn’t appear much.

As for all the things she really went through is quite a lot, and yet the ending to me is rather satisfactory. At least it will be something hopeful, amidst all the investigation.

As for Frances, she may be a suffragist but she does not spenf all her time talking about feminism. Or even about it. It does not have much of a place but I think that she leads it by example. She is talented, strong and at the same time not beyond emotions. And really, she is fighting by being herself and doing what she is good at. And that really, she doesn’t feel the need to prove herself to men is a nice welcome.

So, to me, this mystery really worked in my favour of the way that it really kept me guessing. It really is like a character study, since it is about a disappearance not a death. To investigate what happened to her, I believe that understanding her background is the most important.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Fallen Kingdom

A satisfying end to the series. Really, I have to admit it. The ending was rather perfect, with plenty of hard sacrifices which Aileana have to make and eventually resolve quite nicely to give a good ending. All the while, making this world a breath of fresh air in its worldbuilding and take on fairies.

By the way, Aithinne is my favorite out of the series. The more I read her, the more she grows on me, and the more she makes me smile. Quite sad to see this end really.

And I really appreciate how Aileana has to make a difficult decision, and nothing did indeed come easy for her. And everything has its price, and really it was enjoyable to see her finally get an ending that I find was satisfying.

The ending was rather nice and fulfilling. And it did go in a way I never really expected it too, seeing as how it went back to what we knew. But in a way I never thought it will, and surprising me but at the same managing to have all the characters survive and some with unknown ending too.

But finally, the author is willing to make the difficult decisions and the characters really do suffer. Although at times I was rather bored, and at times the pacing was really fast and the pages were flying. But to me, this series is good. It is unique when compared to most, with its own folktales and beliefs. And also, it does take what we know and doesn’t go down the usual route. So, I find it rather refreshing and do recommend you to check it out. Naturally, start from the Falconer.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The River And The Ravages

I really enjoyed the book for what it was, a gorgeous romance which I fell in love with somehow. As well the topics that it discussed in the way that I wanted it to.

I like Aaliya in the way that she is rather real, and makes an effort to make romance works. And Maddalena, even if she did have a remarriage, there is some form of ambition with her. And well with me, I like a woman witj ambition and hopes. Aaliya is rather different than that, but nonetheless I enjoyed her. Although still cannot be compared to Maddalena. To me she was the one who I not only liked but loved the most.

As for the intrigue, I found it really interesting and also really interesting. The writing gave it an added edge which made me love it even more, when it flows nicely and all the while making a lot of interesting situations.

Overall, the world is rather interesting and the way that despite this being a male dominated society. There is a lot of nuance to these characters presented here and to me they felt vivid and even complicated. As for the mature parts of the novel, I believe that it is handled well and even presented in a way that I enjoy it.

Overall this was a very interesting and even enjoyable novel. In a way that the characters were well rounded and real, with the ending being rather well done in the way that I enjoyed this. For me, I will recommend this.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Impostor Queen

An absolutely surprise for me to have really enjoyed this book. I mean, really it takes the trope we all know as it was and twist it. It takes a very common type of magic we all know and completely twist it. What more can I ask for?

The entire book did begin slow, but the pacing really picked up closer to the end and eventually made me hooked to the book and it became impossible to put down.

Elli, who was a flawed person, although I do admit that she was so incredibly selfless and hard working. But I saw it as a trait that came from her upbringing, not her natural character. And she does have huge moments where she does show her insecurities and vulnerabilities. Especially after she has no magic, it was like taking the whole chosen one trope and twisting it. But I found a fondness for Elli, since she seriously goes through a lot in this book.

As for the romance, I really like Oskar. It had been so long where I have been satisfied with the romance, and this is a small enough part but touching for me to read.

As for Sig, he is so incredibly vulnerable and brutal at the same time. And well, there is a lot more complex characterization when it comes to him, and what he had been through. The same with almost all the other characters. But when it comes to rather twisted pasts, and interesting perspectives. Sig, you’re my favourite.

As for the world, where do I begin. It starts with elemental magic before it all spirals into a completely different sort of world. One which I feel was so incredibly real, and so incredibly rich. All the while hiding so much underneath, and that it isn’t all too nice too. Which is perfectly fine with me, since it really made me question things. And really found plenty of the questions believable and the world even more rich to me. The world is complex, with many contractions, traditions and of course power struggles.

As for the plot, it blew me. The pacing to my taste, was almost perfect. Apart from the beginning where it dragged, but otherwise it basically had me hooked and I just could not stop. And the twists, how much do I wish to be able to not predict the outcome. And well, this is again one of the rate books which took me for a ride. One which I doubt I will find again soon.

So, I recommend this book for defying most expectations. The world is far from perfect, and definitely hides dark secrets. The main character, Elli had struggles which felt so real to me. As she found out more and more, I really enjoyed that she wasn’t stupid to not see but not outright deny. Well, read this if you are tired of the usual tropes and stories. This will will be different, trust me.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Medievalist

I will say that this was surprising, despite it being a time travel tale but set out to tell the tale of one of Britain’s most perplexing mystery that has raged for five hundred years.

Many will say that he killed his nephews and recently many will disagree. Well, I won’t take a stand here but it does fascinate me how such a mystery still is such a huge mystery today, and that we are nowhere closer. Although this book gives a slightly fictional but plausible ending for the Princes in the Tower, and a slightly more sympathetic light to King Richard III.

Although Jayne was originally really okay, I never found her to really stand out but she really had much connection with me and was a suitable narrator for this extremely perplexing mystery and although a little biased. But this is fiction, so, I can’t say that she was wrong and there is still no hard evidence that she was right.

But the tale is in the 15th century, and that the narrators being from different times does set it out. Jayne is still rather modern, while Richard takes a older style which is what I will expect of him since he is a medieval figure and here is where I feel that the time does set them apart.

As for the plot, it is how history unfolds but the ending is a nice twist and final end to this. I do like that closure was found in the modern world, and Jayne was right. And that this is fiction although she can never say that he did it and neither can anyone say that he did not, the princes merely dissaapeared there was no bodies of them, no definite evidence that they were certainly dead by the hand of his uncle.

But this is simply a take on the whole mystery, deviating from the usual. However this will be prove to be interested and even entertaining sometimes heartwarming sometimes rather clever. But I guess I’ll just leave it as it is.

Rating: 4 out of 5