Book Review: Empire of Storms

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5star

Title: Empire of Storms

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 5/5 stars

Series: Yes, 5 of 6.

Goodreads

Book Depository // Amazon // Dymocks // Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Allen & Unwin/Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Needless to say, after finishing Queen of Shadows last year, Empire of Storms became one of my most anticipated books of 2016. I was over the moon when I received it, and despite its hefty size, I devoured the entire thing in three days in between working full time. Currently, I am still reeling from the emotional punches the book delivered, but I will try my best to deliver a coherent review. This will be completely spoiler-free for Empire of Storms, but will contain spoilers for its prequels.

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I keep coming back to this series time and again because Sarah J. Maas is the master of page-turning action and wringer of my heartstrings. Empire of Storms is no different, filled to the brim with engaging action, careful plot twist, and amplified emotional drama. I would highly recommend reading this book over a couple of days off, as I had troubles putting it down from beginning to end.Read More »

There And Back Again: Hobbiton Tour, New Zealand

I haven’t updated the blog in over a week, but I promise I have a good reason for it! I spent the last week in New Zealand visiting friends and family.

While I was there, I finally got to visit the Hobbiton set in Matamata. My partner and I are huge fans of the Lord of the Rings movie (we have rewatched the trilogy every year since we started dating), so it was a delight to visit The Shire. Our tour guide told us that March is one of the best time to visit – as the various flowers and foliage are in still vibrant, yet you miss the summer holiday crowd.

HobbitonTour

We booked our tour the day before via the official website. The cost of these tours are $79NZD per adult (as of March 2016). As far as we could tell, the only way to gain access to the site is via these official tours, as you cannot drive directly there.

We chose to drive into Matamata (around 2.5 hours from Auckland) and were collected by bus from the Matamata iSite (tourist information centre). The building itself was modeled to resemble The Green Dragon Inn in Hobbiton!Read More »

Audiobook Review: The Name Of The Wind

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4-star

Title: The Name Of The Wind

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Voiced by: Rupert Degas

Series? Yes. 1 of 3.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads

Audible Link


Until quite recently, I was 100% convinced that audiobooks were not suitable for me. I always found it hard to concentrate on them, and they just seemed so slow! I mean I could read The Name Of The Wind in 3-4 days, but I spent over a solid month listening to this audiobook.

Despite this length, I found that audiobooks are growing on me – I feel they’re an indulgent way to ‘read’ when you’re just too tired to use your eyes. Besides, The Name Of The Wind has a narrative that is particularly suited to audiobooks. In fact, I think I liked it more than the printed format.

TNOTW

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”

I read The Name Of The Wind when I was in high school, while waiting for the next ASOIAF book to be released. Patrick Rothfuss’s name was on everyone’s lips – and he was catapulted to stardom with this single volume. I can see why, I enjoyed his writing immensely, he writes lyrical proses that translates particularly beautiful in audiobook format. Read More »

Book Review: Falling Kingdoms

4-star

Title:  Falling Kingdoms

Author:  Morgan Rhodes

Series? Yes. 1 of 6.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads

Book Depository


I had serious doubts about this book initially as it was marketed as ‘Game of Thrones for teens’, which raises the bar ridiculously high. However, I had a lot of fun with it and think it’s a great first taste for those struggling to get into high fantasy.

fallingkingdoms

1.  Cast of Chararacters

Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. and within the most perfect champion, there is also darkness.

Like Game of Thrones, this series includes multiple POV from 5 different characters.  I always love when the author decides to do this, as I love getting into the heads of different characters.  When you can see things from someone’s POV, it’s hard to think of them as a villain – it’s also hard to think of anyone as pure and good. For me, morally gray protagonist is where the magic happens – it’s damn hard to relate to a squeaky clean saviour, just as it’s damn hard to sympathise with a moustache twirling villain.

Read More »