Fantasy Books

book review | The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist | The Glass Books 1

x the glass books of the dream eaters gordon dahlquistAuthor: Gordon Dahlquist
Title: The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters
Series: The Glass Books 1
Genre: Mystery, Steampunk
Pages: 760
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Good grief. “The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters” by Gordon Dahlquist, first in the Glass Books series, is very excessive. And while not a bad example of Steampunk Mystery, it ain’t a very good one either.

About the Book: A dark and secret cabal is performing unearthly rituals. They’re stealing minds, knowledge, experiences, condensing them into their blue glass books to be used by others. This process enslaves people, transforms them. Or outright kills them. And it’s a tad hard to tell which is worse.

Miss Temple truly did not expect to find all this when she decided to follow her former fiance in attempts to find out if there were any other reasons for why he broke off the engagement. Nor did she expect to find allies such as foreign doctor Svenson, with his masterful ability to not only heal and cure, but make allies out of enemies; or the infamous assassin nick named Cardinal Cheng. For reasons of their own, united they fight against the evil forces, giving it all to survive.

My Opinion: Fantasy doesn’t need iron logic. It only needs it to hold water and have everything work. Here, while we get to spend most the chapters in one or another head of the character, we barely get these vague outlines of why are they doing what they’re doing. For instance, Miss Temple has these ridiculous outbursts of violence that there and here sort of were hinted to as coming from what her father used to be like. Other times she does or thinks the strangest things which then leaves me, as a reader, wonder why the hell was I subject to this. Then there’s the assassin in bright red coat. I imagine he enjoys chasing victims, for I can’t imagine people recognizing the coat to not dash.

It’s not bad, it’s just not good either. 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books, steampunk, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 2

siege and storm leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Siege and Storm
Series: Grisha Trilogy 2
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 435
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

As much as I love the classic fantasy, with elves, dwarves, archers, mages, and lands unknown; I love the unusual fantasy too. Such as Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Or Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Just finished second book in it, Siege and Storm, and it was as good as the last one, and probably better.

About the Book: Alina and Mal escaped from the Shadow Fold and from its ruler – Darkling. But such a victory is nothing if they want to continue living a life as they know it, not in utter darkness with monsters all around. Hiding their identities they make their way closer back to Ravka, hoping beyond hope to form a good enough plan for the inevitable battle against Darkling and his ever growing powers. And while fate is kind to them, generous with powerful allies, Alina loathes the price it comes with. People worship her as the Sun Queen. They worship her as one of the saints. If she learned anything from those religious books she was made to read is that saints and heroes – don’t live long.

My Opinion: The slight annoyance was the romance-drama. Mal expects Alina to read his mind, and then, when she tries to answer his questions, he just refuses to listen. But that’s just a drop in the water, not worth a point. The story is filled with turns, twists, unexpected happiness, and unexpected despair. Characters are very well written, from thieves, to mercs, to pirates, to kings. And people actually make logical decisions, they don’t just turn coats because of reasons. It was a very good read.

It’s a good book I can recommend to those who want good fantasy, but don’t want it too complicated. A 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Winter by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 4

winter by marissa meyer the lunar chroniclesAuthor: Marissa Meyer
Title: Winter
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 4
Genre: Fantasy; Sci-Fi
Pages: 827
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah, finished The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer with the last book in it: Winter. It was magical, wonderful, and oh the atmosphere. Author really knows how to write a good atmosphere.

About the Book: A common worker in an iron grip of the evil step mother Queen Levana, bombarded with constant illusions that Queen herself is delusional enough to believe, constant surveillance and threat of death, has no means to fight against oppression. But a rumor spreads like wildfire, a rumor of a long lost hope, long lost princess Selene. Rumor claims she’s here, among them. This is enough to bring a time of revolution about. This hope is enough to get them fighting. It is time for the Queen Levana to fall.

My Opinion: It’s a great book, truly. Due to everyone receiving their happy endings, story got a little long winded. But when characters are so nice and well written, it’s a pleasure to read, not a chore. There’s battles, there’s tension, there’s dangerous mind-controlling mages of sorts, and genetically engineered werewolves, and a crazy girl whose kindness melted even their savage hearts. The only true con I have for this book is the lack of motivation behind Cinder’s actions. She doesn’t remember Luna as her home, she doesn’t feel at home there, she wants to go back to Earth and not be a princess. So why did she fight so hard? Just because she wanted Levana off the throne?

Great book, great series. I highly recommend, and give it a 5 out of 5. 

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 1 | fantasy

shadow and bone leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Shadow and Bone
Series: Grisha Trilogy 1
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 358
Rate:  5/5 | Goodreads

Time to rest from all the poorly written horror literature. I’ve decided I need to lessen the unread series that I’ve got, especially the ones I got at home. And since Grisha Trilogy is being made into series (or a movie?) it only made sense to start with the first book in this trilogy, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve been recommended this book many times, by several people. I get it now.

About the Book: Ravka is being torn apart by wars and the darkness at its heart – Shadow Fold, full of monsters so fierce it’s getting hard to pass even for magic wielding grisha. Same goes for war. Magical warriors, even led by the terrifying Darkling, cannot stand against ever advancing, technologically ever improving enemy. Magic, after all, hardly helps against a bullet to the head. But upon witnessing the orphan Alina Starkov’s power – hope blooms in all the Ravka citizens hearts, including the black heart of the Darkling. For she has a power that can stop not only the enemy, but Shadow Fold itself.

My Opinion: The book is written really well, is consistent and uniform through and through. Reader is allowed some suspicions, but never enough to foresee the upcoming twist of events; which take place in this slavic country Ravka. Lithuania borders with slavic countries, making it all sound familiar. Like reading a more of a fairy tale version of The Witcher Saga (but completely different, and not really a fairy tale either), full of dark forests, magical stags, and magicians. A truly wonderful book I can recommend to those who want something they won’t be able to put down.

I hope to finish the whole trilogy this month. Maybe next month I can give Six of Crows, also by Leigh Bardugo, a chance too. We’ll see. And for now, Shadow and Bone gets 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 4

crystal shard the legend of drizzt dark elf salvatore book coverAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: The Crystal Shard
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 4
Genre: Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 344
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I keep craving classical fantasy, something like J.R.R. Tolkien, or Peter S. Beagle, or Frizt Leiber. I’d even happily read George R.R. Martin’s next book in the Song of Fire and Ice if it was out, but since it isn’t… I picked up another book by R.A. Salvatore, a fourth book in the Legend of Drizzt series in The Forgotten Realms. The Crystal Shard is the first book in the second trilogy in the Legend of Drizzt series, The Icewind Dales, and it was good, with a promise for better.

About the Book: An enthralled mage, ruled over by a demon he foolishly tried to summon now influences the minds of warring folk, and leads great armies towards the Icewind Dales, a place our dark elf Drizzt calls home. So, the moment he spots a sign of it in the horizon, he hurries to warn people. It’ll take a force of the whole united peoples to withstand this, but rulers are having hard time believing a word of a dark elf, especially since there’s no proof. They don’t wish to abandon their fishing boats and homes for an alliance that might not even be needed. And when they’ll have their proof, Drizzt fears it’ll be gravely too late.

My Opinion: The one point I took away is for the slightly forced sense of honor. While it’s a trait very common in classical fantasy, I find it bitterly annoying when people do what’s right, and not what’s logical. Still, the book was amazing! Full of great battles against barbarians, giants, orcs, mages, demons! And it ended with a note of a great adventure in the next one, so I’m really looking forwards to it.

A great book to satisfy that classic High Fantasy craving, a firm 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Fairest by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 3.5

fairest marissa meyer book coverAuthor: Marissa Meyer
Title: Fairest
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 3.5
Genre: Sci-Fi; Fantasy
Pages: 222
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Fairest by Marissa Meyer is a half book from The Lunar Chronicles series, and tells the story of Queen Levana. How a delusional girl who believed in her own lies finally became the Queen.

About the Book: Levana has learned to use glamour due to necessity. Tricked and hurt by her older sister as a child, she barely survived the fire, and was left deformed. Lonely, mocked by her older sister, secondary daughter and not the crown princess, she grew up in a world where illusion was everything, and faked emotion was as good as true. Thus, if illusion face, clear skin, is her reality, why isn’t it reality, period? Who is going to deny her that right? And if they did dare, well… She had glamour powerful enough to force their hearts to love her, and their hands to cut their own throats if she had to.

And so, stepping over broken dreams, dead bodies, and wrecked minds, she made her way up.

My Opinion: Oof, the last time I was so disgusted by a character was when I was reading fifth Harry Potter book, you guessed it, with Umbridge. Yes, there are many reasons why she grew ever crueler, but in all honesty, I think nothing broke her harder than her own lies she spun for herself. Anyway, the book serves not only to steel our hearts against the Lunar Queen Levana, but also introduces us to her stepdaughter, Winter, who is apparently going to be the hero of our next book in The Lunar Chronicles.

Marissa Meyer is unbelievably good. Truly. So this book, as many before, get a 5 out of 5 from me. Damn it was good.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | Sojourn by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 3

sojourn r.a. salvatore dark elf drow fantasy epic highAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Sojourn
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 3
Genre: High Fantasy; Epic Fantasy
Pages: 309
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

I’ve just finished the final book, Sojourn by R.A. Salvatore in the first trilogy, The Legend of Drizzt, of this wonderful series of trilogies, The Forgotten Realms. And it was beautiful, amazing, and oh so damn classic in the very best of way.

About the Book: Drizzt, now a surface dweller, has to learn to survive in these absolutely different conditions. There’s a cycle of light and dark, growing shorter or longer. There’s cycles of weather too, with cold sometimes so bitter it threatened his life a time or two, until he learned to light a fire, and keep it lit. It would be difficult to live as a vagabond, roaming from forest to forest, from cave to cave, even if the loneliness wasn’t driving him mad. For, after all, no matter what lies in his heart, Drizzt is still a Drow, a Dark Elf, and both good races and the evil ones too, see him as a threat, danger, and tend to be hostile. But Drizzt lives on, with hope. For who can know what tomorrow will bring. And there’s still much to learn and see in this strange surface world.

My Opinion: These books will sit proudly with the likes of Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, Andre Norton, Peter S. Beagle, and so on, for it is that classic adventurous high-epic fantasy, full of strange lands to explore, stranger races, people to meet, magic, dragons even! It’s classic in the best of ways, as I said.

I’m not sure how will other trilogies approach it all, for some, judging by the titles, eventually return to the Spider Queen, and Drizzt’s homeland. But I guess I’ll read it and see. This one gets a solid 5 out of 5 from me. It definitely re-stocked the little faery fire back into my elven heart.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, epic fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko | Metamorphozi 1

vita nostra marina dyachenko book coverAuthor: Marina Dyachenko
Title: Vita Nostra
Series: Metamorphozi 1
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 416
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

How does one describe a thing, a story as colossal as Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko? I said this before, and I will say this again, Slavs write very different fantasy, very big, very wast, very… It’s a lot, and it’s amazing.

About the Book: Sasha’s normal life ended that faithful summer when a strange man scared her near to death. Then sort of gave her a quest, a mission. Series of motions to perform every morning at the risk of great tragedies where she to refuse. So the girl obeyed, and every day performing – punctuated the strangeness by vomiting up a few gold coins. By the end of this ordeal she was accepted into an institute for Special Technologies, as they put it, as the strange man has put it, where professors as strange as he, as inhuman as he, teach them the oddest damn things, all the while repeating them: no one’s asking for impossible here. But is it not impossible to absorb and understand silence, differentiate between it? Is it not impossible to perceive meaning in language you never even seen, symbols you couldn’t even imagine? Is it not impossible to shed the limitations of your body, the limits of two legs, two arms? They’re all trying, of course, doing their best. For this world here, this middle-of-nowhere is ruled by fear, the same one Sasha felt that summer. To disobey, to do what you weren’t told to do, to do something you were forbidden to do, to fail, to be unprepared, all that meant bad news coming: illness, injury, misfortune, death even, among those you held dearest, you loved most. And children learned to blame themselves for it, and thus try harder very, very soon. So, it seems like Sasha’s normal life never even existed. For, what is normal in the Universe that was born out of a spark, a word, a thought, a meaning?

My Opinion: I have no clue how to describe, how to review this book. It was big, it was amazing, it was unbelievable and like nothing I ever read before. Written so well, so right, with a story so rich it becomes impossible to put it to words, these simple human words.

It’s a great book, definitely not for everyone, but a great book nonetheless. If you liked stuff by Pelevin or Max Fray, you might enjoy this one too, it’s a similar kind of mind boggling out-of-your-mind experience. A firm 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Other Fiction, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

book news | Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat – be still my feeble heart, something’s coming

laurent captive prince c.s. pacat newsAre you subscribed to C.S. Pacat‘s newsletter? Trust me, you very much should, and you should have the emails incoming marked, so you’d not accidentally delete them with other junk you kinda want, but kinda never read anyway. For today is the day C.S. Pacat teases our feeble little hearts that couldn’t let go of Captive Prince with some news:

There is some HUGE Captive Prince news coming soon.

I can’t tell you what it is.

I can’t even tell you the reveal date.

All I can tell you is that it is AMAZING, and something that readers have been asking for since the book was first published.

Stay tuned for more details as soon as I can release them.

I absolutely cannot wait. I don’t know how one’s supposed to wait. Is life all about waiting for the next thing? Next news, next release? It feels like it. I feel lost without it, but then, when I have to wait for something, I just CAN’T bloody WAIT.

Have you read the Captive Prince trilogy? The first book is a bit problematic, but in my opinion it improves further on, greatly. If you have read them, what do you think it could be? A comic? A movie? A sequel? A prequel?

Categories: book facts, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

book review | Exile by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 2

exile the legend of drizzt forgotten realms r.a. salvatore book coverAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Exile
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 2
Genre: High Fantasy; Dark Fantasy
Pages: 343
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Back in the days of MySpace, while I still had a VampireFreaks account too, if you asked anyone for book recommendations: high chances were you got R.A. Salvatore mentioned, with his Legend of Drizzt. Now that I’ve read the second one, Exile, I definitely see why.

About the Book: Drizzt roams the oppressing darkness of the Underdark, fighting for his survival and sanity. Both against monstrous beasts, and his own mind. All the while trying his best to stay a step ahead of the hunting parties his mother, now in great disfavor with her vile Spider Queen due to survival of Drizzt, keeps sending. She intends to right the wrongs and regain the favor of her goddess, else all might be lost. For such are the rules in the vicious homeland of the dark elves: Menzoberranzan.

My Opinion: This is a very unique, and yet very classic story. There’s so many new, never seen before things happening, the personalities spun, the hierarchy, the rule, the whole game, schemes, politics. But at the same time, pages are filled with battles, sword fights, and friendship that pushes characters out of their comfort zones, and against their own nature.

It’s a truly beautiful piece. I loved the emphasis on what predicaments like Drizzt’s, the utter loneliness, can do to the mind and the humanity side of a being. A strong 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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