Posts Tagged With: fantasy

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

book review | “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” by British Library, Author Collective

history of magic harry potter jk rowling book coverAuthor: British Library, Author Collective
Title: Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 256
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve no clue where I even got the “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” by authors collective. But I’ve read it, and it was quite nice.

About the Book: Any author, especially any aspiring one, should read this book, just to see how books earning millions to billions are constructed. And how books, in general, the good ones, get written. What it takes, what an overwhelming web it can be. But how it absolutely can be done.

This book describes the basics of how the whole Harry Potter world was created. From the symbolics surrounding the characters, characters that were in our history, to places, buildings, potions, magic beasts…

My Opinion: As an aspiring author I have found a lot of good in this book. Many authors, of course, if not each one, have their own strategies. The key is to find one fitting you. R.R. Martin somewhere wrote he’s the kind who plants a seed and watches it grow, meaning he starts writing and sees where it goes. While Rowling had this whole month-by-month sheet of data, scribbles and scrabbles, several ideas for a single scene, and so on. But as a reader… As a reader who grew up with Harry Potter, loving that world of hope and magic, I found this book full of repeated information. “And this relates to that, and this is equivalent of that in real life, and that means this…

Either way, the book is fun. I’d say it’s unnecessary for a reader, but might be good for an author, but definitely a fun read either way. So I give it a 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Other Fiction, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Fever King by Victoria Lee | Feverwake 1

the fever king victoria lee book cover lgbt fantasy young adultAuthor: Victoria Lee
Title: The Fever King
Series: Feverwake 1
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT literature
Pages: 375
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

This is a very strange and interesting tale I’ve just read. “The Fever King” by Victoria Lee is the first book in duology. And I am eagerly awaiting the second one.

About the Book: In this broken world magic comes as contagious virus. To most it’s a death sentence, for there is no cure, just experiments little to none can afford. And those who survive often wish they’d be dead anyway. For in the wake of magical virus taking over blocks before government contains it, it destroys communities, families. If you survive, you’re all alone, a thing called Witching, a weapon in the hands of an oppressive government in a brutal war, with no real power to help anyone in honest need.

Noam wakes up in the hospital, left among the dead, for he was supposed to be dead soon enough too. What are the chances someone from the slums would survive the magical fever anyway…

My Opinion: Let’s start with the bad things. First, the style. It’s a bit tough, at times even demanding. There were moments where I had to re-read entire pages, because something essential slipped by among minor details or got burdened with other things, or wasn’t described well enough to understand right away. Second bad thing, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I needed more world building here, some origin stories or whatever. Yes, I understand most these things can be answered in the second book, but that only means I’ll pick up second one feeling as confused as I was picking this one up. There’s way more good things though. For one, this is a very standard love story, but with very non-basic characters. Jewish, colored, gay or bi, they’re both amazing guys, and their tale is familiar from your regular white-and-straight YA fantasy romances, so this was funny and great, and I loved it. The whole magic thing was amazing too, nothing I’ve ever read before, and the book is worth being read for that alone. Truly, a unique piece of literature.

At times the lack of background, and the boldness of a brand new story reminded me of tales like Guns of Dawn. It’s just that that one was so thick it eventually told us everything, while this one has a second book coming up. I’ll still give it a strong 4 out of 5, and, as I said, will grab myself the second one as soon as it’s out.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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