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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-05 20:57
Great villains, annoying heroes
Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes,Michelle Rowen

***Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned***

 

I rather enjoyed this one. Somewhat. The characters are really what drives this book (some of them that is) and while the plot moves at a medium pace, it’s understandable as this introduces you to the setting, the characters and what’s in store for us as readers.

 

World building is straight forward and there’s a handy guide in the beginning so you can figure out who is who and from which Kingdom (there are three). It pretty much centralizes on a small group that are central to the main plot and it’s easy to figure out who is who as you quickly start developing favorites :)

 

And this is where it starts getting interesting. I notice this happens sometimes with fantasy books. The good characters are downright annoying, nauseating (even more so when the love factor is involved) and induce eye rolling moments while reading. The not so nice characters are  more interesting to read, you quietly cheer for them and hope they turn out for the better because you don’t want them going down that path because most likely, they’ll end up being gone and you’ll have nothing else to read but the good guys.

 

I tried to like Cleo. I really did. However all I see is a little naive twit who’s annoying and I don’t really see her worth in this book and I wonder why Magnus just doesn’t end her so she can join good ol dependable Theon. I am hoping she turns out better in the later books but so far she’s not looking so good and her romance with Theon was so eye rolling inducing it’s characters like these that make or break the novel.

 

Thankfully, I love the Magnus story arc. He’s turned into a jerk but it’s not really his fault as dad isn’t really nice. The thing with Lucia is creepy and although they’re not blood related it still gives moments of queasiness (dude, you have like so many girls in the Kingdom come on). That being said though, I love reading about Magnus and Lucia. Their story lines are interesting, they have faults, and they deal with it (albeit, perhaps not in an all too healthy manner).

 

The story arc with Jonas was also interesting and I wish more was written about him (I think Cleo’s got way too much time in spotlight) as he’s gone through so much to get his revenge and only to find out it just opened a giant Pandora’s box and we’re heading towards more epic battling.

 

The latter third of the book gets really interesting. I’m only hoping there’s going to be a good outcome for everyone and I really hope Cleo’s character improves because she’s really what could make or break my desire to continue onto this series. Sometimes it takes that one character to ruin it all. That being said, I think it’s off to a great start and I’m ready for some more! Great for those into YA fantasy.

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review 2018-03-05 21:38
Good Introductory Book Comparing Secular Humanism vs. Christianity
Kingdoms at War - Ron Jenson,Bill Bright

I really liked this book and feel it is a must read for anyone of the Christian faith. It has an extensive bibliography for further study and several appendixes and footnotes section. Kingdoms At War is a wonderful introduction and food for thought comparing secular humanism with Christianity. Even though written in 1985, it is still very relevant for today as the differing world views are even more evident in daily life and in the media, education, business and politics. Each chapter ends with study questions for the reader-- not so much question/ answer stuff, but more for reflection on what the reader personally thinks. Each chapter also summarizes with a table comparing secular humanism viewpoints with Christianity. This book has definitely sparked my interest in the subject and wish to seek out more of the books mentioned for further reading.

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review 2018-01-31 14:51
want more
Shadow and Flame: Book 4 of the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga - Gail Gaymer Martin

I had almost forgotten how much I liked Blaine and Kestrel and Connor.  How much they've grown through the series and taken on mantels they didn't want but realise within themselves that they are the best people for those jobs.  I realise that this is a conclusion to the series and the major annoyances have been dealt with (somewhat with a deus ex but it still took effort) and I want to know what the bargain will mean for Connor and how his relationship with the Wraith Lord will go over time.

 

Again actions have consequences and they have to learn to live in a world post-magical apocalypse.

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text 2018-01-16 22:44
Reading progress update: I've read 6%.
The Goblin King (A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms) (Volume 1) - Michael Card

Out of the slush.

 

Looks like one of those hidden gems. I wonder how many others have been lurking around my kindle for years.

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review 2018-01-07 22:26
Sea of Wind finished! First book of 2018
The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind - Fuyumi Ono,小野 不由美,Akihiro Yamada,山田 章博,Elye J. Alexander,Alexander O. Smith

I'm not going to write a full review for this, since I've already done that a couple times and don't have much new to say. Instead, here's this quick thing:

 

Just finished my most recent reread of this book. It's both one of my top favorite books in this series and one of my favorite books period. I consider it a comfort read, even though the "comfort" is a little muffled by the knowledge that the book's happy ending turns sour really quickly in the series' timeline. During this reread, I realized that I really connect with Taiki's feelings of self-doubt. I also found myself more angry at Gyoso than I was during past readings of this book.

Not long after admitting to the oracles that he was worried about Taiki's future since Taiki was so riddled with self-doubt and couldn't consciously access his tremendous power, he decided he'd give up his sagehood, leave Tai, and become a mercenary. He was too ashamed of the fact that he hadn't been declared the new king to stick around, even though he'd have been a great help to Taiki and his future king.

(spoiler show)

  Taiki had some serious weaknesses, but I'd argue that Gyoso did too, even though they weren't as obvious.

 

What my reading dates look like for this book so far:

 

 

Lol. I haven't checked, but I suspect that 2015 might have been the year I reread my hardcover copy rather than this one, my paperback copy, so it's pretty much been a reread a year for a while. (As usual with these Tokyopop editions, I highly recommend reading the paperback versions if you can, because there are fewer errors. If I remember right, this is the book where they accidentally used the wrong pronouns for one of the kirin.)

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