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

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The Chiron Confession

I guess this was okay, nothing particularly special about the mystery which really drew me in at all.

However, I do feel that this is well researched and the writing clear but rather old too. It did fit the ancient time of the story. However, I just really didn’t care about any of the characters.

Or any of the plot at all. Something about the Chiron, something about a conspiracy, but nothing really intriguing me. Since it was all centered around Athanasius having to prove himself.

But really, I don’t really care about him at all. There was absolutely nothing interesting which will have intrigued me in this book. I don’t understand why is it all so important at all.

And really, it just wasn’t written in a way that will interest me. The writing was really just dull and the real reason why I just could not enjoy the story. Along with the fact that most of the characters don’t feel real to me, they don’t jump out of the pages or made me care for them.

And there is where I think that this book just didn’t meet my expectations, however it is something for those who love Roman history. Which I have a very poor understanding of, and at the same time need a good solid character to be able to really care about this book.

2 stars

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

Ash And Quill

This was rather decent. Although the book did have plenty of character development and even moving the plot forward in a way that I expected it would.

Such as the building of the printing press, and also finally making deals with his father. Jess’ family is truly unique to be reading through, and when he is on I really like the interactions between the Brightwell family, it is fascinating to figure out the dynamics. As well as certain reveals with the other characters, Dario’s illustrious family and also, Thomas getting some development and being a little more common. Expected after what he had been through.

Although it didn’t really thrill me in a way that I hoped it will, noe did it work as well as the first book did, but it is similar to the second book in nature and development. Slow, but eventually it will catch up on its pace and I think from it it will get a lot more faster paced.

The ending was indeed a surprise to me, but it was rather fine and did serve as to why Jess will have a younger brother. Apart from the fact that his younger brother is dangerous and different than Jess, and his father is always in for a good deal. It stays rather consistent throughout. And I’m a sucker for family dynamics which are messed up.

So, overall this was a solid sequel. Although not stunning nor outshining the first book, but I do believe that the unique concept and also rather dark world, will be something that many will enjoy.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Fierce Winds Rising

DNF @68%

I just couldn’t keep on reading, it was rather boring as the pace never seemed to pick up. And really, I really only saw things being told to me. That was going to happen but probably never will, at least at the pace it is going at.

Also, not to mention that not even a single character related to me. I really didn’t find anything interesting about the characters, the world was told to me like any other. The kind you will find in any epic fantasy. Nothing dark as of yet, or nothing horrible is happening.

And that to me, is always boring. And also, an absolute recipe for disaster. Which was what this book proved to me. Nothing really kept me reading, the writing was readable enough for me to give it many chances. But by the two thirds, nothing interesting has happened.

And this is where I say, “I’m out.”

Rating: 1 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

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