Posts Tagged With: fantasy

book review | Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | Simon Snow 1

rainbow rowell carry on simon snowAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Title: Carry On
Series: Simon Snow 1
Genre: Fantasy; LGBT
Pages: 522
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Good time and good place. Picked up “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell, and it was just the distraction I needed.

About the Book: There’s a dark entity eating up magic, leaving only dead spots behind itself, where no magic exists anymore. But there’s also hope, and it all lies on Simon Snow’s shoulders, the worst and greatest magician to ever live. He has power enough for an army, especially when he learns to pour it out into people. But he’s just very bad at casting it. And yet, The Mage, greatest authority of the magical world, claims Simon save them all… No pressure.

My Opinion: Not gonna lie, it felt a bit like a Harry Potter fanfiction if Draco was a vampire and he and Harry fell in love. On top of that, while this is the first book, at times it felt like I was dropped mid-series. But. After the slow warm up towards boiling, it picked up and filled up with dark magical scheming, dangerous secrets, plot twists, heroic vampire boyfriends, and just good stuff. Bonus: amusing magical system.

Great distraction. A 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin | Earthsea Cycle 1

a wizard of earthsea ursula k le guin fantasy bookAuthor: Ursula K. Le Guin
Title: A Wizard of Earthsea
Series: Earthsea Cycle 1
Genre: Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 183
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Needed to break the sci-fi cycle I fell into, and also wanted something short. So picked up “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula K. Le Guin.

About the Book: Ged, now known as Sparrowhawk, showed talent and power since childhood. Due to which and added want for knowledge, no matter who taught the young boy, the arrogance remained rooted. To a point where he believed he could do more if only his tutors taught him more, greater things. Which led Sparrowhawk, in a moment of heated argument, to summon a being unnatural to this world, tipping the fragile Equilibrium. For this the wizard, powerful or not, will pay with his life, if not with the whole world. That is, if he cannot find the way to undo his stupid mistake. And so his journey begins, running there, chasing here. A journey that’ll hopefully teach him of fear, life, wisdom and humility.

My Opinion: The book has almost adventure-like quality to it, what with the constantly changing surroundings, a need to find something or outrun something. But it’s very linear, and doesn’t even try to be any less predictable. It’s a straight line up the hill, then down the hill, and up it again. To add to that, since the book was originally released in 1968, behind the veils of dragons and spells, there peeks the inequality that seemed normal to authors of the day, but which feels bothersome today.

It’s a well written poor idea. But then, I wonder, if I fully respect the basis of old fantasy, could it get better now that the first book and thus the foundation of the hero is built? I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5 due to sheer respect for what it is from a philosophical standpoint, and probably will give it another shot.

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

book review | The Marked Prince by M.A. Grant | Fantasy lit.

the marked prince m.a. grantAuthor: M.A. Grant
Title: The Marked Prince
Series: The Darkest Court 2
Genre: LGBT+ Literature; Fantasy
Pages: 305
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

Ah well, I couldn’t wait any longer, so I’ve read the second book in The Darkest Court series by M.A. Grant, “The Marked Prince“. It wasn’t as good as the first, but it wasn’t too bad either.

About the Book: Sebastian, on the eve of War between the Courts has to return to the Summer, one he was born into, but long as not considered home. He expected hostility, possibly even imprisonment, but still risked it all, for that was the only way to help his friends, Phineas and Roark, with whose Court lies his heart. Sebastian has to find Roark’s brother and return him home, by kidnapping or even murder if that’s what it takes. But standing before the King of Summer Court he is greeted as a long lost family member, a prince… And while that gives him hope to come closer to the target, it also puts one on his back, for there already is an heir to the throne, and she is not so happy to see him.

My Opinion: The theme of the book was a lot alike Captive Prince with the, well, captive prince falling in love with the opposing kingdom’s prince. And while it wasn’t as well written as Pacat’s work, it was still not bad, so I will continue with the series.

Yeah, so this one gets a 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 3

ruin and rising leigh bardugo book coverAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Ruin and Rising
Series: Grisha Trilogy 3
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 422
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

It’s nice when books are so enthralling. Finished the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo with the book “Ruin and Rising” and it was great. Definitely among the best fantasy tales out there.

About the Book: To win against the Darkling Alina requires the third amplifier. It would change everything! Her power would be immense, she’d be the first Grisha to wield three, and… But to find it she needs to uncover long buried past, and untangle secrets that proved too much even for Darkling, hundreds of years old grisha, so unique in his power the title hardly fits. Besides, some secrets are buried for a reason. Alina has no idea how painful they can be.

My Opinion: Darkling is one of the best villains ever written. This book digs a lot into the past, so we get to know his too, of what he was, his childhood, and what could have nudged him onto the path he is on now. Yet my favorite remains Nikolay. I’ve read that the “King of Scars” is about him, so I assume I’ll need to read all of the books in Grisha world. As for the story itself, it was good, sometimes a bit slow, but otherwise – twisting, turning, and throwing surprises out and about.

A good book that finished the trilogy well, with my favorite kind of ending, one that covers a little bit of life after the war. I give it a 5 out of 5, and can greatly recommend it to those seeking not too complex a web in a fantasy, but one that’ll keep you captivated.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark 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 | 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

fantastic emporium | Moods of Life | Elven Jewelry

20190618_160446.jpg

A piece of elven glass (epoxy resin) in which bits of nature have been eternally encased, so that Summer and Summer Winds never leave them or you.

BLACKWOOD | IG

Categories: Artwork, Creations, My Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Stable Boy by Megan Derr

the stable boy megan derrAuthor: Megan Derr
Title: The Stable Boy
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy; LGBTQIA+
Pages: 37
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes I can’t fall asleep. And, sometimes, I’m too lazy to turn the tablet back on. So I searched for something short to spend the dark dawn hours with and not do too much damage upon the phone battery. The Stable Boy by Megan Derr served very well!

About the Book: Prince Diggory wakes up with a stab wound, a nasty curse, and even nastier memories of a fight. His own bodyguard has stabbed him with a cursed blade, and then thrown him into the river. He intends to take Diggory’s place, marry his prince, his fiance, and rule this new foreign kingdom in Diggory’s stead. But since prince is alive, he doesn’t intend to give up just yet. So, unable to tell anyone about the curse in fear it might still kill him if he did, he starts working as a stable boy in the royal stables, keeping an eye on his gorgeous fiance, and setting a plan in motion of taking his life back.

My Opinion: This is a very cute, sweet little tale of fairy tale curses that have rules of breaking unknown to even those suffering it. If you seek something adorable and fast paced, this is the book. Other than the people killed, who didn’t get so much of a fairy tale ending.

I’m living through a better version of my childhood, with books on princes marrying princes in happily ever after settings, with magical curses and, sometimes, dragons (not in this book). This one gets a 4 out of 5, very firm, a minus only on the definitely-too-short basis.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.S. Pacat’s new YA fantasy trilogy! | Dark Rise

Not even a full week ago one of my favorite authors, C.S. Pacat, has teased us with a little image of DR on her Twitter, saying they have some huge news for us. Not gonna lie, remembering, vaguely, that Laurent signed his name as “Laurent R.“, I was thinking in terms of Damianos and Laurent’s marriage. I promise, eventually I’ll abandon hope for more of those two.

dark rise c s pacat fantasy trilgoy ya

Original Tweet: here

And as of… Yesterday? What day’s today? Oh well. We learned that it’s her new Young Adult fantasy trilogy that we can expect in 2021, which seems unbelievably far away, to be honest. But hey, we’ll be playing Cyberpunk 2077, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, and eating news on upcoming games, like possibly Dragon Age 4, which has a teaser, but no news as of yet.

The books are set in an alternate London <…>, [where] the heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war who are being reborn, ushering in a dangerous new age of magic.”

More about it can be read in Publishers Weekly, and here’s the original tweet by C.S. Pacat themselves.

I’m looking forwards, yes, even if I can’t deny the little tingle of disappointment that there’s really no more of Lamen, I mean Damen! and Laurent anymore. But hey, rereads are a thing, and might just really help with the wait too!

C.S. Pacat is one of my favorite authors, together with such magic-writers as K.J. Charles, V.E. Schwab, and a few honorable mentions there and here. Keep that in mind when in search for that good stuff.

Categories: About Msg2TheMing, book facts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia | 1

we set the dark on fire tehlor kay mejia book coverAuthor: Tehlor Kay Mejia
Title: We Set the Dark on Fire
Series: We Set the Dark on Fire 1
Genre: Fantasy; LGBT literature
Pages: 384
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

For once it was not IG that lured me into reading a book blindly, that I didn’t like all that much. I saw “We Set the Dark on Fire” by Tehlor Kay Mejia on Twitter. It was sadly too light, too simple for my liking, so it’s not my cup of tea.

About the Book: Medio School for Girls prepares the most prestigious brides for those in power who can afford such luxurious set. For it isn’t easy to get into this school either. Such girls as Dani shouldn’t even be here. Born on the wrong side of The Wall, she’s an illegal. But her parents have found a way, and so here she is, about to marry one of the most powerful politicians, together with her worst rival, a girl who made her life here – hell. And taught her to never trust anyone.

But not even out of school yet, there’s signs of Resistance. Poor people, pushed to the very edge, are desperate to draw attention to their cause with protests and even riots. They’re starving. They die of simple illnesses for which there’s easy medicine they can’t afford. But all they get is disdain and bullets. And Dani’s heart bleeds for them.

My Opinion: The plot, at times, barely, just very barely with the best of wishes made it through a spin and turn without being completely lacking. Some events hang by the thread of hopes and dreams, so to speak. And the plot is a bit thin, simple: poor people are criminalized, rich people are overloaded. Resistance is recruiting brides from schools to be spies. And that’s all.

I’m sure this book will be loved by many, and I hope author will never see my review or any other negative one for that matter. For I do wish her all the best, there’s definitely potential there. This book, from me, by my personal opinion meant only for other readers, gets 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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