Book Review: The Lyre Thief

25659448

4-star

Title: The Lyre Thief

Author: Jennifer Fallon

Rating: 4/5 stars

Series? Yes.

Goodreads

Book Depository


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Looking for an immersive fantasy with female centric stories, filled with court intrigues and a smattering of romance? Look no more because The Lyre Thief has got you covered. Jennifer Fallon elaborates on her existing series and adds a multitude of dimensional, relatable characters in the process with this new series.

TheLyreThief

Admittedly, The Lyre Thief is my entry into Jennifer Fallon’s expansive world. She has previously laid down a lot of worldbuilding and history with previous series like The Demon Child trilogy and The Hythrun Chronicles. If you’ve read these series in the past, there’s undoubtedly a layer of the book only long time fans can appreciate. Fortunately, I was not confused at all during the read – as Fallon did a great job of easing her reader into this vast universe. The concepts of gods and various court politics at play and introduced slowly – in fact, I did not realise I was reading a new addition to a pre-existing series until I read the blurb. Most of this is because the events in The Lyre Thief follows a fresh cast of characters and different setting to previous entries in the series. Continue reading “Book Review: The Lyre Thief”

Book Review: A Gathering Of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows Final

5star

Title: A Gathering Of Shadows

Author: V. E. Schwab

Series? Yes, 1 of 3.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads

Book Depository


This review contains spoilers for the first book of the series: A Darker Shade of Magic.

A Gathering of Shadows was one of my most anticipated release of 2016. Its predecessor, A Darker Shade of Magic, was one of the first books I reviewed on this blog and a top ten read from last year. Victoria Schwab is back in fine form in this sequel – once again giving us banter, heartstopping action, and Lila Bard – with more swagger than ever. Although I wish our main characters developed more depth, I can’t argue too much as the book was thoroughly entertaining.

AGOS-Review
Vector of the warriors by freevector.com used under CC License, graphics by me :D!

“She bent most of the rules. She broke the rest.”

It’s no secret that my favourite character in this series is Lila Bard. She’s quite the polarising figure, with reviewers either loving or hating her – and to be fair, I would find her incredibly obnoxious if we met in real life. However, as a fictional character, I love her bull-headed selfishness and penchant for showmanship. Lila Bard fights with all her extensive might to be different, to buck against everyone’s expectations, to be more. With her mix of grand ambitions, coupled with the inability to keep a low profile – Lila is quite unique amongst fantasy’s offering of noble-hearted protagonist. She speaks in one liner, she weaves songs and superstition about herself, she seems to think she’s invincible, she keeps insisting she’s ‘not like most girls’ – in other words, she’s one flawed heroine. However, Lila does it all in such style, I can’t help but be smitten. Continue reading “Book Review: A Gathering Of Shadows”

Book Review: Emperor Of The Eight Islands

28789924

4-star

Title: Emperor Of The Eight Islands

Author: Lian Hearn

Series? Yes. 1 of 2.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads

Book Depository


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Lian Hearn returns in top form with Emperor Of The Eight Islands. Once again, she seamlessly weaves Japanese myth and history into a brand new tale. This is a first in a series, and it features a sprawling epic, with much of the novel feeling like a prelude to an even grander story. I am already clamouring for more.

EmperorEightIsland

Your life is not your own. You will die to one life and rise to another, to become what you are meant to be.

Continue reading “Book Review: Emperor Of The Eight Islands”

Book Review: Passenger

20983362

3star

Title: Passenger

Author:  Alexandra Bracken

Series? Yes. 1 of 3.

Rating:  3.5/5 stars

Goodreads

Book Depository


I received a review copy of this book from HarperCollins Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Passenger and I had a good start, but the slowpacing and directionless plot lost me towards the end. Nonetheless, I could recommend this book based on the merits of the well-developed characters alone.

Passenger

Touted as one of the most awaited time travel release this year, it’s little wonder that Passenger struggled to live up to immense expectations – such is the curse of a hyped book. The mythology behind the time travel is vague, with protagonists leaping through wrinkles in time that allow them to transcend spatial temporal boundaries. There are no apparent rules which dictates where the portal are or where they may lead. Our leads haphazardly uses musical notes to locate these wrinkles in the fabric of the universe – poetic, yet admittedly unpractical. Continue reading “Book Review: Passenger”

Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

8652934-star

Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora

Author: Scott Lynch

Series? Yes

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads

Book Depository


The Lies of Locke Lamora has been on my TBR for a while, but I have always avoided it as it sounded like a bit of a sausage fest. The book does lack prominent female characters, but it somewhat makes up for it with the strength of the ladies who do feature (I need Sabetha!). What’s more, it’s dark, it’s entertaining, and it’s not afraid to stick a blade right into your heart.

Locke-Lamora

“There’s no freedom quite like the freedom of being constantly underestimated.”

While the main plot of the book features heist, treachery and more mutinies than you could shake a stick at – the heart of the novel lies in the epic bromance that is the Gentlemen Bastards. I am a huge fan of the ‘family that you choose yourself’ trope, so Locke and his gang of misfits tickled at my heartstrings. Make no mistake, they’re neither gentle or loving to one another – preferring to trade insults to niceties. Yet, through flashbacks and banter, the reader could feel the camaraderie between Locke and each of the member in his team. Morally ambiguous characters who look out for their own? Basically a set up after my own heart. Continue reading “Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora”

Book Review: Truthwitch

26802894

4-star

Title: Truthwitch

Author: Susan Dennard

Series? Yes. 1 of 4 (?)

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads

Book Depository


I have to be frank, the twitter promotion of Truthwitch had me very nervous about this book. I thought, surely, nothing is that good – my cynicism stemmed from a 2015 burned out from hype.  Nonetheless, the day it was released, I sneaked onto Kindle and snagged myself a copy.  My fears were alleviated, Truthwitch was a memorable read – filled with characteres I could root for. While I had minor issues with some of the relationships and plot points, I could see myself becoming a loyal follower of the Witchland series.

TruthWitch

The Chosen Pair

“I’ll always follow you, Safi, and you’ll always follow me. Threadsisters to the end.”

The lack of central female friendship in fiction is frustratingly prevalent. We live in an age where movies are still getting a pat on the back for passing a rudimentary Bechdel’s test, for Chrissake!  Truthwitch features a steadfast and crucial friendship between two fierce ladies, for that it won a lot of points in my book.  When it’s hinted that the Classic Chosen One trope has been tweaked in favour of a Chosen pair of friends? My heart can’t take it, where has this storyline been all my life?! Continue reading “Book Review: Truthwitch”

Book Review: The Young Elites

4-star

Title: The Young Elites

Author: Marie Lu

Rating: 4/5 stars

Series? Yes. 1 of 3.

Goodreads

Book Depository


It feels like quite some time since my last young adult fantasy, and THE YOUNG ELITES certainly hits the spot. The book gets it right with its complex cast of characters and steady momentum. Although I wish the world building was more expansive, and that we got to see more facets to Adelina’s characters – it was still a promising start to a new series.

“Some hate us, think us outlaws to hang at the gallows. Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake. Some worship us, think us children of the gods. But all know us. —Unknown source on the Young Elites”

The-Young-Elites

I felt The Young Elites played with a lot of common YA tropes, and while it successfully subverted some of them with finesse – it also stumbled on others.

The Special Chosen Ones

“I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside. It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.”

In The Young Elites, a small portion of the population has been decimated and forever changed by a blood fever several years ago. It left the survivors marked by those special Mary Sue physical traits: hair in strands of sapphire and red, colourful skin disfigurement, impossible eye colours, or in Adelina’s case: a cascade of silver hair. While in other fantasy novels, these traits may be viewed as desirable or physically attractive. In The Young Elites – the cursed are named malfettos. They are marginalised and feared. The fever also gifted a smaller portion of its survivors with special abilities: whether it’s to call upon wind or weave illusions. Continue reading “Book Review: The Young Elites”

Book Review: The Bone Season

3star

Title: The Bone Season

Author: Samantha Shannon

Rating: 3.5/5

Series? Yes, 1 of 7

Goodreads

Book Depository


While I really enjoyed The Bone Season, I felt for every single positive I could list for the book, I found another negative as well. I am just so conflicted about all my reads recently! For this review, I’ll discuss both the goods and the bads to the various factors in the book.

The-Bone-Season

There was no normal. There never had been. “Normal” and “natural” were the biggest lies we’d ever created.”

Continue reading “Book Review: The Bone Season”

Book Review: Tower of Thorns

tower-of-thorns

4-star

Title: Tower of Thorns

Author:  Juliet Marillier

Series? Yes, 2 of 3.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads

Book Depository


I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Contains minor spoilers for Dreamer’s Pool.

I am happy to announce that Tower of Thorns is a superior sequel in every way. While I enjoyed Dreamer’s Pool, I felt it was slightly different from the usual Juliet Marillier books that I’ve grown up loving. With Tower of Thorns, we go back to her roots with magic, fairy tale and true love.

Book-Review-Tower-of-Thorns

The Blackthorn and Grim novels operate on two levels. First, it focuses on the personal growth of Blackthorn, as well as her developing partnership with Grim. Secondly, there’s a monster-of-the-week type side story that head spear each book, narrated by a lord or lady that Blackthorn is assisting.

Monster in ancient tales were often a disconcerting mixture of man and creature… But in my book, the vilest and worst was the human monster.

Continue reading “Book Review: Tower of Thorns”

Discussion: How Much Realism Should We Expect From Fantasy Fiction?

Dicussion-Fantasy-Realism

Though I am an eager devourer of all fantasy, I will be the first to admit that they are not all created the same.  There are times when the logic of the world building falls short.  Other times, I find that the characters act in unbelievable ways.  Even more grating, I see inaccurate portrayals of things such as culture and history being handwaved away as ‘oh, it’s a fantasy, if there’s a dragon in here why can’t xx also happen?’  I want to know what your thoughts are on realism in fantasy books, how much can this genre push the bounds in terms of believability? Continue reading “Discussion: How Much Realism Should We Expect From Fantasy Fiction?”