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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Review: King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

Title: King of Thorns
Author: Mark Lawrence
Series: The Broken Empire, #2
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: August 7th, 2012
Edition: Kindle Edition, 458 pages
Source: Library
Purchase: Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | BAM






Synopsis:
The boy who would be King has gained the throne...
   Prince Honorious Jorg Ancrath vowed when he was nine to avenge his slaughtered mother and brother—and punish his father for not doing so. When he was fifteen, he began to fulfill that vow. Now he is eighteen—and he must hold on by strength of arms to what he took by torture and treachery.
   King Jorg is a man haunted: by the ghost of a young boy, by a mysterious copper box, by his desire for the woman who rides with his enemy. Plagued by nightmares of the atrocities he committed, and of the atrocities committed against him when he was a child, he is filled with rage. And even as his need for revenge continues to consume him, twenty thousand men march toward the gates of his castle. His enemy is far stronger than him. Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight.
   But he has found, in a chamber hidden beneath the castle, ancient and long-lost artifacts. Some might call them magic. Jorg is not certain—all he knows is that the secrets they hold can be put to terrible use in the coming battle.

Review:

So, this book took me a while to get through. Not for lacking in quality, because this book is fantastic, but life just got in the way.

Jorg, he's still kind of a shit person. He still wants revenge, but he no longer seems to think feeling remorse for things is weakness, especially after a particular loss. I also kept forgetting how young he is. This book, like the first, is told in alternating timelines set four years apart. So it's split between when he's 15 and when he's 19.

While not as fast-paced as book one, this book had a lot of great worldbuilding that really fleshed out the world, making it more obvious that this was some kind of post-post-apocalyptic world where humanity has gone back to a time before we used modern technology. I found that part really interesting and made me wonder what exactly happened that brought humanity to that point.

I think what I like most about this book though are the characters. Even though 90% of them are morally grey, at best. They are all such interesting characters and very different from each other.

I really enjoyed that the other perspective we got in the form of journal entries from Katherine, it added some context to certain scenes. That ending has me very curious/excited/nervous about the final book.

There's just not much more I can say about this book that doesn't spoil things.

If you like characters with questionable morals and motives, where nobody is a hero, with interesting worldbuilding. Then this is a series to read. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Book Beginning | Friday 56 | Friday 50/50 | Blogger Hop | Blood Heir (Blood Heir Trilogy #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao || Favorite/Least Review You've Written

Please join us over at RoseCityReader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.


This is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice
These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.




I am so happy that I finally got this, that wait list at the library felt like forever. I plan on buying this book, and I will once I have finished all my unread owned books. But I couldn't wait that long to read this. 

Synopsis
  In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.
  When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.
  A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.


Book Beginning:
The prison bore a sharp resemblance to the dungeons of Anastacya's childhood: dark, wet, and made of unyielding stone that leaked grime and misery.



Friday 56:
You are not a monster, sistrika.
She had so, so desperately waned to believe that.





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50/50 Friday is a new weekly link-up hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts' blogs.


This week's topic is Favorite and Least favorite review I've written.

Favorite
Not really sure with this one. I try to make all my reviews as discussion-y as possible, so I kind of like all my more recent reviews. Anything in the past, 2 years I am pretty proud of. Unless it's a book that I was really 'meh' for I put a lot of effort into. And the books that I don't feel one way or another for I don't put the review on my blog, I just put it on Goodreads.


Least
All of my early reviews, before I "knew how" to review. I have deleted them almost all of them, I kept the more coherent ones, so they no longer exist because they were that bad.


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Book Blogger Hop
Click Here to add your link


Q: Do you think that readers make better employees, as opposed to non-readers? Why or why not? 

A: Not really. It really depends on the kind of work you are talking about, and whether or not that job allows the kind of free time to read, and not everybody finds enjoyment from reading. Most people I know read to relax and if reading isn't relaxing to a person then reading won't help them become a better employee. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Discoveries I Made In 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish,
Now, hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl 
To take part, just pick your top ten, and add the link here.

I could only think of five...

Revelations
1. I like GrimDark fantasy. I never would have thought I would like this sub-genre, but I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. I do like morally grey characters.

2. YA has lost some of its appeal for me. I still read YA, but I have started to enjoy more adult fantasy over YA-fantasy. Adult fantasy has less angst in it, and the angst that a lot of YA has, has started to annoy me. 


Authors
3. Jay Kristoff. I have heard of him, it's hard to be part of the bookish community and not have heard of him, but I had never read a book by him until this year when I binged the Nevernight trilogy. 

4. Mark Lawrence. Another author where I binged a series by this year (Book of the Ancestor). And I am currently reading another series by him (Broken Empire).

5. Kristin Jacques. Not a debut author. She actually has a few books/short stories under her belt. But her book Marrow Charm was one of the best books I read last year.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Music Monday: Swingrowers

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to Music Monday! This weekly meme was created by Lauren @Always Me. Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately! If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up

Went on a search for more EletroSwing this weekend. I discovered that I actually heard the Butterfly song on a Spotify Mix. 



Saturday, January 11, 2020

Book Beginning | Friday 56 | Friday 50/50 | Blogger Hop | The Ranger of Marzanna (The Goddess War #1) by Jon Skovron || Best/Worst Read of 2019

Please join us over at RoseCityReader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.


This is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice
These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.



I know it's Saturday. The smol one was sick this week and I forgot to post.




Synopsis:
   When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths—one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it—in this thrilling new Russian inspired epic fantasy from Jon Skovron.
   Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.
   When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.
   But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he's fighting for the empire.




Book Beginning:
 "Of all the enemies I have faced during my many years of loyal service to the empire, none have equaled the Rangers of Marzanna in sheer unflinching savagery. It was said they had sacrificed their very humanity in exchange for power, and that they worshipped Death itself."
  - General Matteo Fontanelli, 
 Memoirs of a Humble Servant to the Empire, Vol. 8


Friday 56:
"Death hungers for Life, and Life requires Death to give it meaning. To step outside this endless cycle is to finally know the gods in all their capricious cruelty."
 - Translation of ancient Uaine text, author unknown.




(The odd capitalizations are what's in the book)



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50/50 Friday is a new weekly link-up hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts' blogs.


Best and Worst Read of 2019. Narrowing down the best might be a challenge.

Best
It was really hard to pick.

Worst
This world was not explained very well, unless I missed something.


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Book Blogger Hop
Click Here to add your link

Q: Do you have a reading challenge for 2020?

A: I'm aiming lower this year, at 52 books.