“Eldest” by Christopher Paolini

Goodreads summary:

Darkness falls…Despair abounds…Evil reigns…

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the Dragon Rider.

It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn’t sure whom he can trust. Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall — one that puts Eragon in even graver danger. Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I was so bored by this novel that it took me 5 months to complete it.

Eldest is the second novel in Christopher Paolini’s epic fantasy series, the Inheritance Cycle, about a farm boy named Eragon who learns that he’s a dragon rider. In this installment, we mostly watch Roran on his journey to Surda and observe Eragon as he learns to be a dragon rider, i.e., learn the ways of the elves.

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“The Way of Shadows” by Brent Weeks

Ah. Here’s another novel that’s difficult to review. I don’t even know how to start. Whenever I mention it to others, I babble and gush and hardly make sense because all I’m thinking is “DURZO BLINT! DURZO BLINT! DURZO BLINT!!!” 😆

(If you were wondering who my favorite character in this book is, well, you know now.) Durzo Blint! 😀 (I don’t think he would approve of all these emoticons.)

You’re probably wondering why I decided to read this novel; or not.

Well, the Tome Topple Readathon was held last month and I decided to participate though I doubted I’d do well. My plan was to read Nicholas Eames’s Kings of the Wyld, but since that novel isn’t exactly a 500+ page tome (It’s over 400 pages and reaches 500 because of the extra stuff in the back), I decided to read something on my e-reader — this, The Way of Shadows.

The novel was a total surprise. I didn’t expect to like it. It’s dark and its grittiness smacks you in the face as soon as you start reading. I could handle it, but I wasn’t in the mood for that sort of novel. Luckily the pace picks up after a few pages in, and I became so hooked that I sped through the book.

My thought upon completing the novel: “Fuuucckkk!! I need to read that shit again!”

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“The Apprentice Witch” by James Nicol

The Apprentice Witch is a debut middle-grade fantasy novel that was recently published on July 25. Back in June, I believe, I saw an ARC giveaway in one of the many bookish newsletters I’m subscribed to and entered not expecting that I would be granted a copy of the novel.

The eye-catching cover called to me and I began reading the book soon after receiving it. I was immediately hooked. It’s the sort of fantasy story I’ve been searching for. It’s sweet and simple and set in a quirky village that makes me long for the fantasy novels I read and enjoyed as a kid.

Goodreads summary:

A special middle grade debut of magic and courage in a world of witches, written with the charm and enchantment of Circus Mirandus and The Apothecary.

Arianwyn has flunked her witch’s assessment: She’s doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch — much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma.

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“Caraval” by Stephanie Garber

caravalI didn’t like it. I went into this one with HIGH expectations because I was told that it’s like Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, which I read at the beginning of 2016 and loved. With that in mind, I started Caraval expecting an engaging story that would keep me at the edge of my seat, making me fall in love with its characters and prose. Unfortunately, that’s not what I got.

Goodreads summary:

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

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“Ship of Magic” by Robin Hobb

ship-of-magicAfter completing the Farseer trilogy, I was eager for more stories by Robin Hobb, so I bought the first novel in the Liveship Traders trilogy, Ship of Magic, and read it with Emily at Embuhlee liest.

Goodreads summary:

Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships—rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown’s oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia.

For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her—a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim. For Althea’s young nephew Wintrow, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard ship, Vivacia is a life sentence.

But the fate of the Vestrit family—and the ship—may ultimately lie in the hands of an outsider. The ruthless pirate Kennit seeks a way to seize power over all the denizens of the Pirate Isles…and the first step of his plan requires him to capture his own liveship and bend it to his will.  Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1)

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“Eon” by Alison Goodman (re-reviewed)

EonOne of the best ways to see how much you’ve changed over the years is to return to a book you’ve read and see how much your opinions of it has changed. I read this book 3 years ago and though my opinions of it aren’t drastically different now, they have altered and developed and some new ones have sprouted.

I read this for the Authorathon readathon back in April. My plan was to read Eon and immediately start on its sequel, Eona, but I had so many thoughts when done with Eon that I was unable to move on to Eona until I’d jotted down my thoughts. I debated posting a review since I don’t always review books I reread if I’ve already posted a review of it on here, but there are many things I want to point out and hopefully encourage others to read this book that I decided to post a new review. I’ll leave my old one up because I like revisiting my old thoughts.

The summary here is the same that I used in my old review:

Eon is about a girl masquerading as boy so that she can train in the arts of dragon magic. Set in a culture similar to the Chinese, Eon must work to become apprentice to one of the eleven Dragoneyes (masters) that are connected to the dragons: Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat. There are twelve dragons, each for a particular cardinal point, but the Dragon dragon has not been seen for several years and is believed to have disappeared. There is no Dragoneye for the Dragon dragon.

Only men are allowed to train to become an apprentice and gain the title of Dragoneye, hence Eon’s disguise as a boy. At the time when Eon decides to compete for the position of apprentice, the Rat dragon is in ascendant. This occurs at the beginning of the year and the Dragoneye connected to the ascending dragon will be most powerful for that entire year. As luck would have it, Eon is almost picked as apprentice for the Rat dragon, but things do not go as planned and something unexpected occurs.

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“The Last Days of Magic” by Mark Tompkins

The Last Days of Magic2I requested an ARC copy of this novel earlier this year because the premise sounded interesting. It seemed to be a mixture of religion and fantasy with some political intrigue thrown in and it was. The story is interesting with lots of facts throughout that history buffs might love.

Quick summary:

From Goodreads:

An epic novel of magic and mysticism, Celts and faeries, mad kings and druids, and the goddess struggling to reign over magic’s last outpost on the Earth

What became of magic in the world? Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons? Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co-exist as they had for centuries.

Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and — with her twin, Anya — unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots. But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden.

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