The Stone Sky

Now this was a very satisfying conclusion. I was in love with the first book and the same for the second happened. Here, is where it truly ends.

But it isn’t just about the moon returning, but also about Essun’s tale of motherhood and need for her children. She starts by searching for her daughter, only to be changing the world instead. Here is no different, except that she has to catch the moon.

Most importantly, the most important character was the narrator. It makes sense why it was written in second person, since there will be a final narrator. Who will sum everything up. This tale is one of completeness at the end, where all the lost ties are wind up. And delivering one of a mother finding her daughter, and eventually her past catches up with her and in the midst of a season too.

The writing was the one which drew me in, as did the worldbuilding for its uniqueness. The way that a season was created and functioned, that at the end, a new world will work and function.

The ending, was open enough that I like it. Hopeful, and working towards a better world. Essun reunited with Nassun at last, and their relationship. Nassun has taken revenge on her own father, since Essun trained her. All the while, also changing. But the ending, was how I believe that it should end, one where the world can be changed rather than seeing it become a miracle.

After a tale of loss for mostly Essun, and eventually discovering and having to deal with one obstacle after another. I really feel for her, as she goes through all this with only one intention: find her daughter. And that she had to do all that to be reunited with her own daughter.

And finally, this trilogy is not suitable for everybody. However, it is a worthwhile tale overall. And that I will be continuing with the author’s other works.

5 out of 5

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The Wolf Of Oren-Yaro

This was a strangely enticing book. It isn’t about a young Queen or a king. It is a middle aged woman who had a son, and well frankly I really liked how the author portrayed her.

She wasn’t portrayed as perfect, but full of flaws and weaknesses. And she constantly ran into all sorts of obstacles because she was stubborn or didn’t know how thing worked there. I really enjoyed how her personal character is rather interesting, uncompromising but never brutal. All the while she has many personal flaws which takes her to interesting places.

The intrigue to me was the best of this all. It was how conspiracies, every country looking to her as some sort of stepping stone to ruling Oren-Yaro. Even when she already has an heir. This takes the intrigue of it to a really dark level, with plenty of villains here turn out to be fascinating people, and the machinations all well done.

It is between Rayyel, who has some reasons why he wanted to know about and is opposing Taleyian. And the Prince Yueback, who is an intriguing villain nonetheless.

I will also fall in love with Khine, who is a mix of con artist and semi good person. Again, I just cannot turn back but become enamoured by him and I completely understand why Taleyian will fall in love with him. I will too, if you ask me.

Overall, this was just enjoyable to this extent. The intrigue, the setting which I say is very Asian inspired given the names. And last but not least, the main character who is a queen, but has her own flaws, struggles to control her court. I really enjoyed reading this tale for all it gave me, and I will recommend it to those who have a love of intrigue with characters who are likely to put power first.

Rating: 5 out of 5

A Column Of Fire

I was really interested in this tale, where I was sucked in completely. To the time of Tudors, which is to say my most favourite time of all under Queen Elizabeth (who is also my favourite if you ask me).

As for the story which begins in 1558 but ends in 1606, about Ned and his life while helping Elizabeth all the way. Serving as her spy and helping her to quell rebellions. I did enjoy how Elizabeth was portrayed here, as a rather intelligent and sensible Queen. Besides, she saw the time of having a Queen who was dethroned. And she still managed to rule extremely well, there had to be a reason. And I think the book did do her justice in how she was portrayed.

And the intrigue in my view was very well done, and did feel real as I cared for Ned. As well as all the characters in the novel, but mostly for Ned. I just really liked him as he constantly worked for the crown, and as a protestant had some logical views about tolerance. It was the most acceptable part of him.

Although I could see why so many was divided or wished the Queen took a side, or perhaps even wanted her gone. Nothing is easy in those times, and for Elizabeth who wanted religious tolerance which likely was impossible in those times.

And this is where I fell in love with the book, for I am a history buff to the core. And that this kind of stuff, will always have a dear place in my heart. So, if you love history then yes, I will recommend this.

Rating: 5 out of 5

The Queen Of Blood

This was a huge surprise. I never really thought I will enjoy this so much, but it was a pleasent surprise to be reading something so different.

The world to me was beautiful, gorgeous and rich. Where the title of Queen was always a burden, and always not really something that is given nor earned. And the world isn’t sexist, not at all.

I really Daleina due to the fact that she may not be the most talented, she is one of the worst. The last candidate. She just works hard, really hard to get where she is. And that is where I think she really won me over. Not because of her skill or even talent, where it will be the classic of the YA fantasy trope. Here, hard work trumps all. Daleina is bright, and rather brilliant. She didn’t much talent, but never let it get to her.

As for the way that Queen Fara was, it indeed was different. Rather different from what I expected. And even a complicated layer was added to her. Her character determined what kind of Queen she was. And her character having that flaw, meant a horrible tragedy was waiting to happen.

As for all the questions about how many lives should be used to save the greater good, about how much must be sacrificed for the sake of others. Whether it is lives for lives, or for glory. This makes the need to tackle all this questions. And really, it makes it a whole lot deeper than it seems.

So, as you can see this epic fantasy made me love it. Made me for once, passionate about this genre again. Daleina isn’t what anyone would expect of an Heir, she lacks talent but makes up for it in character and perseverance. Which is unlike the usual kind of fantasy I read, and a nice change for once. And the world is full of darkeness and light, spirits kill and build. It all really makes it feel rich to me.

And finally, this was a worthwhile read.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Heartless

I loved this book. Whether it was just an origin story of the Queen Of Hearts, or whether it brought me back to Wonderland together with a new character. And one that I so immensely liked.

For such a long time, I was really feeling agony for Catherine. She didn’t choose to be like that. She simply wanted to open a bakery, marry and hope that her parents would agree. In which they were just bloody clueless parents who ended up screwing their own daughter(I really wished I could see when they started to realise that if they just approved, she wouldn’t have ended up being the Queen Of Hearts.) And that is a tragic end, the one where I really hoped Catherine would have managed to convince them. But she didn’t, and they weren’t interested in her. And well, that is where just makes me want to have them realise that they were the reason why Catherine became the Queen of Hearts as we knew of today. And this is where I believe that it is the saddest part of the book, knowing that there were so many ways this could have turned out right but never did.

Catherine is never a heroine we should be rooting for, she is a little too passive I would say. She dreams and dreams, she wants but doesn’t fight for it. Yet, there was some charm about her. Slowly, towards the end, where she becomes what we knew of her. I could relate her. And for some reason, I absolutely liked her, loved her even. When her story was a downward spiral, I guess I would always find some way to love them. Once again, Meyer had managed to do it. Except that it is a lot darker than The Lunar Chronicles. And who the person she was at the end, just as what I thought she would be. The ending line was perfection.

As for the world, this is Wonderland. There isn’t much of anything else we need to do. I loved the way that it was handled, and the way that it introduced so much. Be it the Mad Hatter, or Jest. I really like them all. This book is where we see where they would become and eventually end, why there isn’t another character.

I did love a great deal of female friendships here. Even if it is rather rocky like how everything serves a purpose. Like Mary Ann who was her supporter, but also has a great deal of problems. Of Margaret, and her unattractiveness and self righteousness. Something about them just clicked.

As for interesting characters, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and Jest. They were my absolute favourite and their interactions have always lightened up the mood when I really needed it. And especially do give some very interesting dialogue, one which will be memorable for a long time.

If I would to say whether this retelling is like any other, consider this. It is like Maleficent, a book about the origin story of a villain, and one that no one can ever forget. And one that doesn’t serve to disappoint. It makes enough references to the original story, but it is the story of the Queen Of Hearts. And I guess this is where I will always like her retellings, they contain enough references to make it work yet be so completely different. And this is exactly the same.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Shadow Of The Raven

For once, I really like this work for the tale it tells. Although far from complete and it would take a lot more than that, but I really like the research the author puts into this. As well as the way that it was written, understandable and really enjoyable in the way it was written. The style basically can be summed up in one word: timeless.

I barely have any idea about the Vikings, and I really like how this was immersed into us, and well the transition smooth and easy for me to get into despite having very little idea about the time period.

As for the main character, Eardwulf(old English Names just aren’t my thing) is a really relatable character. As he slowly moved through the entire ordeal of being a thrall(a slave basically) and seeing more tragedies unfold before him, and eventually managing to find his way out.

And well, I really like this work for how it made it bite sized and to me it was one which I went deep and connected with Ulf(his eventual name but it’s just way easier to spell than above which I’m not too sure what the spelling is.)

Although there is some romance in this book during Ulf’s time as a thrall, and eventually it resolved by the end. Which I did like given that Freyis is kind and gentle, although not as interesting as a character however I did like it when she did try to pursue something and when her dreams were crushed she simply didn’t just accept it.

As for Morwenna, she is by far the best woman here. The other princess of Wessex doesn’t really stand out. But I do like Morwenna for when she became a concubine she just stayed there until she found her eldest son and even had another. I do really like her character and her strength, which translates to her decisions and actions.

As for the ending, well it will lead you somewhere and it will suggest something a bit more. I definitely look forward to where it heads and most definitely where it will go.

In my opinion should you consider reading this: yes.

I voluntarily requested a copy of this book on Netgalley.

Rating: 5 out of 5

My Lady Jane

This was the right sort of hilarious, it made me laugh within fifty pages of the book and the rest of the time giggling to myself(like a bit of a lunatic, can’t help myself since I also talk a lot to myself). I guess a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously is right up my alley (now where can I reserve a copy of The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue).

Well, instead of the religious divide we have in Tudor England during the region of Edward the Sixth, what we have instead is a divide between people who can turn into animals, and people who cannot. And that the cast is full of animal, we have a kestrel, a fox, a cat, a ferret and of course a horse(now I can’t stop laughing at the mention of one.)

This was just so enjoyable, and you know making me laugh. I read this with rarely any skimming, because I really didn’t want to miss a joke, since it made me laugh out loud for the first time with a book(which had never happened in the year and a half that I continuously read books). Let me just say, when these three authors come together to write a comedy, count me in and I’ll forever be a willing supporter of their humor.

And I enjoyed the fact that for the first half history was there, for the second half it was thrown out the window quite literally. But for a book like this, who cares, you’re in for a silly fun ride regardless of whether it follows history or not. Trust me, just go with the flow, I suppressed my skepticism and gave myself up(though it was easy to do since it made me laugh out loud to resist all disbelief.)

As for the ending, it follows history. There won’t be any great changes to history, with some exceptions of course. And well, everyone does get a happy ending. And for an animal reference, a cat and mouse exists in here, which would prove to be the dynamic of the two characters in history(it’s easy to guess who, since they were cousins and one had the other’s head chopped off).

And not to mention the cast being as diverse as it was, and making a great joke out of Henry the Eighth in the first 10%.

I guess I have said too much, any longer and I’ll have to change this to a recap of the book, which isn’t what intend. So, I’ll end here. The rest is up to you dear reader of this review whether you want to read it or not(but I highly recommend you to like really recommend you to, this book it worth it.)

Rating: 5 our of 5