“The Golden Fool” by Robin Hobb

This is my favorite book by Robin Hobb.

I’m buddy-reading the Realm of the Elderlings books with Emily from Embuhlee liest and am enjoying them so much! They are entertaining and moving reads and whenever I complete one, I have to take a break to reflect on the story before moving on.

That’s what I did with this book and because I loved it so much, it took me a longer time before I could jot down my thoughts. I couldn’t organize them. I kept jumping from scene to scene in my mind, still excited and giddy about what happened and what’s to come in the next book. So my review below will be nothing but gushing about this book and exclaiming about unexpected plot twists that I didn’t see coming.

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

October 2002

Goodreads summary:

The second book in Robin Hobb’s thrilling fantasy series returns readers to the Six Duchies and the magical world of the Fitz and the Fool.

Fitz has been persuaded back to court, posing as a servant to the decadent Lord Golden (who is the Fool in disguise). In secret, he will train Prince Dutiful in the magic known as the Skill.

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“The Oddling Prince” by Nancy Springer

It wasn’t what I expected.

I requested an ARC copy from the publisher through NetGalley because the premise sounded interesting and the cover and title were appealing.

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

May 15, 2018 by Tachyon Publications

Quick summary:

The Oddling Prince was an interesting read and a bit different from the YA fantasy novels that are popular these days. The story, set “in the ancient moors of Scotland,” focuses on Aric, prince of Calidon and heir to the throne. Aric is the only child of his parents. When the story begins, his ailing father is nearing death because of a weird ring that won’t come off his finger. The ring appeared suddenly on his finger one day while out riding. It seems to be draining the king of his vitality.

But at the moment when death is about to sweep the king away, a stranger magically appears, seemingly out of nowhere, and saves the king by removing the ring. The king is immediately healed, or so it seems, and the stranger, who seems fey in appearance, claims to be the king’s son. The king denies this. All members of the castle shy away from the fey stranger, named Albaric, because of his inhuman beauty but Aric and his mother, the queen, quickly and easily accept the stranger.

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“School for Psychics” by K.C. Archer

Not what I expected.

Genre:

Paranormal

Pubbed:

April 3, 2018

Goodreads summary:

Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.

When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.

In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.

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“Shadow Weaver” by MarcyKate Connolly

This is the second book recommended to me by the blog Sci-Fi & Scary that I’ve read and liked. SciFi & Scary described this middle-grade novel as atmospheric and haunting, which made me curious and eager to read it since I’ve read only a few middle-grade books like that. I’m glad I gave this one a try and will also read the next book in its duology.

Goodreads summary:

Emmeline’s gift of controlling shadows has isolated her from the rest of the world, but she’s grown to be content, hidden away in her mansion with Dar, her own shadow, as her only company.

Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble’s mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away.

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“The Black Tides of Heaven” by J.Y. Yang

I won’t lie, the main reason why I wanted to read this book is because it has a beautiful cover. The cover was illustrated by Yuko Shimizu and I did a post all about her design for it last year. Yea, I like it that much.

I was surprised and glad when I saw a copy of The Black Tides of Heaven chilling on the new books self at my library. I quickly grabbed it before anyone else could and ran home with it to immediately start reading. I was not disappointed.

Quick summary:

The Black Tides of Heaven is the first novella in the silkpunk fantasy series, Tensorate. It’s about a set of twins whose mother serves as Protector of their kingdom. The twins were given away to the Grand Monastery to settle a bargain the Protector had made with the Head Abbot. But when it’s discovered that one of the twins, Mokoya, has prophetic powers, the Protector takes back her child so she can use Mokoya’s powers for her own means.

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“Fool’s Errand” by Robin Hobb

It was like visiting an old friend, one I hadn’t seen in a long time. I didn’t realize how much I missed Fitz’s narration until I started Fool’s Errand. I was immediately hooked and so happy to have returned to Fitz and his companion Nighteyes.

Before I get started on this review, let me warn you that if you have not read Hobb’s Farseer trilogy or Liveship Traders trilogy, you will be spoiled for both in the summary portion below. And since it was hard to discuss this book without giving away spoilers, I didn’t bother taking them out of the “My Thoughts” section since I wanted to be specific about some things.

If you are curious about this fantasy trilogy (Fool’s Errand is the first novel in the Tawney Man trilogy), I highly recommend it to you. The trilogies I mentioned above are all part of a larger series called the Realm of the Elderlings series, so I recommend you start with the first set of books (the Farseer trilogy) and work your way through the trilogies if they interest you. I enjoyed them (of course since I’m now on third set of books) and have been buddy reading them with Emily from Embuhlee liest since 2016, I think, and we plan to continue with them through this year. But here’s what Fool’s Errand is all about.

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“The Bear and the Nightingale” by Katherine Arden

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. I was so eager to read it, but for some reason, I delayed doing so until later in the year. I was also convinced I would love it. I’d read/listened to a few interviews with Arden and loved what she said about her book and the books that have inspired her over the years. It all made me excited for The Bear and the Nightingale. But maybe I was too excited and eager because when I did read the novel, I thought it underwhelming and didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

Quick summary:

The Bear and the Nightingale is the first novel in a YA fantasy trilogy seeped in Russian history and folklore. It’s about a girl, Vasilia “Vasya” Petrovna, who was born with the fabled powers her grandmother possessed. Vasya can communicate with spirits, fey creatures who protect the hearth and home and help make her father’s lands prosperous.

Vasya’s father is a boyar, a royal who’s similar to a prince, but his lands lay in northern Russia, where winters can be hard and harsh. Though affluent, not many people live on his lands and I got the impression that he oversees a small village of people who help to maintain his lands. Vasya is the youngest of her siblings. Her mother died during childbirth, convinced that finally she has given birth to a child possessing the fabled powers of her maternal line.

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