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review 2017-08-30 15:26
Dark period in time but enjoyable tale
Conquests: Hearts Rule Kingdoms - Emily Murdoch

This was hard to stop listening to at times. The characters of Avis and Melville and their stories, struggles, etc., pulled me in, and I wanted everything to work out. There were times when I had tears and times when I smiled. The history of this time period is one of my favorites, and I enjoyed the bits of history thrown in. I recommend this story and look forward to more.

I received a copy of this audiobook as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2017-08-22 23:56
Crystal Storm
Crystal Storm: A Falling Kingdoms Novel - Morgan Rhodes

I figured I would leave one long review about the entire series since I've read all of the books that have currently been published as a whole so here we go.

First of all, I love this series, like despite everything that I'm going to complain about, I love this series to the point where I went in search of fanfiction for it. Like it makes me want to scream and cry and throw stuff in frustration, mostly because of Magnus and Cleo. That being said, I still have a couple of issues with it.

 

Concept of Time and Theon Ranus
I've come to realize that my biggest problem with this series is the concept of time. You know when you read a novel and it's like oh it's December, it's September, it's Monday or Friday etc. Okay well that doesn't exist here. Like I get that in Mytica they wouldn't have the same month names and stuff but like I need some form of indication that time is actually passing because everything felt like it was happening in a matter of weeks instead of months. And it's this reason that I've come to realize is why I was so irritated with the whole Cleo/Theon love line throughout the book.

I never got the sense that Theon and Cleo actually knew each other for a very long time so to me it seemed like insta love even if they did know each other over the course of a few months. And on top of that, Cleo kept going on and on about him and dangling him over Magnus's head like four books after Theon died, like hun, get over it. And it just frustrated me to no end, because Magnus literally did so many kind things for Cleo and again and again all she did was throw in his face that he killed Theon and like stomp all over his heart. But like props to Magnus for sticking by his guns.

Cleon and Magnus
Look I love Cleo and Magnus, I really do, I could spend hours reading fanfiction about the two of them being together, and I would if there was any for me to read. That being said, it drives me crazy when these two fight because the arguments that they have with each other stopped being valid like by book three or four because by that point you could tell that they were in love with each other. They literally get into fights over the dumbest shit like get over it and move on. Half the time I'm convinced that the two of them are literally just trying to start shit with each other just for the sake of it like there's literally no reason to fight at all.

And Cleo spends half her time being like "Thank you for reminding me of who you truly are Magnus" like bitch what? He saved your life like three times literally what the fuck are you talking about? Like sure he was a dick at the beginning of the book but he's literally kind to her and compliments her and basically gives her whatever she wants like all the time like Cleo what are you talking about? I mean sure he killed Theon but Theon had the personality of like a cardboard box and it wasn't even that deep to begin with like who cares?

Literally every time Cleo tried to start shit with Magnus and vice versa this was the only reaction I could come up with

Like why can't y'all just love each other like regular people. And then Cleo had to be all dramatic when that thing happened to Nic in this book and blamed it on Magnus. Like, Magnus didn't kill Nic, he was just holding him responsible for something that Nic did, he was being perfectly reasonable, I mean yeah, he threatened Nic but like Cleo knows perfectly well that Magnus wouldn't have laid a finger on her. Like she literally threw such a fit when Magnus didn't do anything wrong.

And honestly yeah, I'm bitter that Magnus and Cleo didn't bone as often as they should have, I'll fully admit that but I'm still holding out hope for Immortal Reign so fingers crossed y'all.


Jonas
Jonas is great and all but he's literally terrible at everything he does and I appreciate the fact that it's acknowledged throughout the books like honestly how is he not dead yet is a mystery but he's cool I guess.

Nic
I love Nic as well but he needs to loosen up on Magnus like Magnus tried to save Mira's life, there's literally nothing he could've done that would've saved her, let it go and hate on Gaius stop this nonsense.

Also not gonna lie, Lucia is interesting and all and her journey as she grows as a person is also interesting but like I also don't really care that much for some odd reason like I appreciate it, but it's like irrelevant to me. I'm very neutral towards her entire character.

Also the way that the book is written is in a kind of telling you instead of showing you kind of way which I know is a problem with like a lot of people and like I wasn't crazy about it but it didn't bother me or hinder my enjoyment of the book, it was just kind of glaring me in the face as I read through the books is all. Like I just couldn't help but notice it.

I can appreciate how cut-throat Amara and Gaius are though, like they drive me crazy but I can appreciate their schemes to take over the world using the Kindred.

Sometimes I felt like the books were going in circles or stalling for some reason, because quite a few of the scenes felt repetitive and like they just didn't need to be there, like some of the stuff definitely could've been cut out and either replaced with different scenes or allow for other scenes and like plot points to be expanded on even more.

I loved Felix which is no surprise because he has a very Sirius Black type of vibe to him if you know what I mean. Like I always look forward to his scenes because I just know that he's gone say something funny shit and I'm just so ready for it. He didn't deserve to be used by Amara like that.

I loved Magnus so much, I don't know why but I was just digging the whole tortured soul thing throughout this book and I usually don't but like it was hitting me in the feels this time around. And especially when he bares his heart to Cleo I'm honestly like a sobbing mess in the corner of the room it really isn't pretty. He's just so soft and mushy and smol on the inside and I just want to protect him from harm. And then I cry even harder when Cleo returns the feelings and it's like the sun is suddenly shining out of his ass and Magnus is like I can't believe this is real and I'm just here screaming

Magnus better not fucking die in the last book, I swear to God, I don't know how I'm gonna deal with his death if he does die like it'll be too much for me, save my son y'all. Please, save my son from death, he doesn't deserve this suffering.

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review 2017-08-02 17:26
Die High Fantasy braucht mehr Frauen wie N.K. Jemisin
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin

Ich habe mir in den Kopf gesetzt, häufiger weibliche, erwachsene High Fantasy zu lesen. Mir ist aufgefallen, dass Frauen dieses Genres in meinem Regal völlig unterrepräsentiert sind. Gefühlt stammen alle großen HF-Romane von Männern: „Der Herr der Ringe“, „A Song of Ice and Fire“, „Das Spiel der Götter“, „First Law“. Ich glaube, dass Autorinnen, die epische Fantasy schreiben, zu wenig Beachtung erhalten. Also habe ich mir vorgenommen, diesen Umstand zumindest für mich selbst zu ändern und bewusst High Fantasy aus der Feder von Frauen zu lesen. Daher griff ich im Juli 2017 zu „The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms“ von N.K. Jemisin, der Auftakt der „Inheritance Trilogy“, der schon viel zu lange auf meinem SuB einstaubte.

 

Als Yeine Darr kurz nach dem rätselhaften Tod ihrer Mutter an den Hof ihres Großvaters Dekarta Arameri, Herrscher der Welt und Günstling des Lichtgottes Itempas, bestellt wird, vermutet sie bereits, dass an diesem Zwangsbesuch etwas faul ist. Niemals würde ihr Großvater sie zu sich befehligen, um die Familienbande aufzufrischen. Sie behält Recht. Der alte Gebieter will sie als potentielle Erbin einsetzen. Yeine ist schockiert, denn diese vermeintliche Ehre ist ein zweischneidiges Schwert. Als potentielle Erbin muss sie mit Verwandten, die sie nicht kennt und die ihr bezüglich höfischer Sitten und Intrigen weit voraus sind, um den Thron rivalisieren. Widerwillig richtet sie sich in der Himmelsfestung Sky ein und schwört, das Beste aus ihrem neuen Status zu machen. Sie begibt sich auf eine gefährliche Suche nach Antworten. Den Tod ihrer Mutter umgeben uralte, blutige Geheimnisse, die sie nur in Sky aufdecken kann, hier, in diesem Schloss im Himmel, in dem sich die Leben von Sterblichen und Göttern täglich berühren.

 

Als mir Yeine Darr, Protagonistin und Ich-Erzählerin in „The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms“, zu Beginn des Trilogieauftakts vorgestellt und beschrieben wurde, war mein erster Gedanke, wie sympathisch ich es finde, dass äußerlich gewisse Parallelen zur Autorin N.K. Jemisin bestehen. Je mehr Zeit ich mit Yeine verbrachte, desto stärker wurde mein Eindruck, dass sich Jemisin auch charakterlich intensiv mit ihrer Heldin identifiziert. Ich könnte mich irren, doch es gefiel mir, das Gefühl zu haben, eine Geschichte zu lesen, in der die Schriftstellerin die Hauptrolle spielt, vor allem, weil ich Yeine wirklich mochte. Die 19-Jährige bestach mich mit ihrer spröden, unverblümten und pragmatischen Persönlichkeit. Schade, dass sie hauptsächlich eine funktionelle Figur ist, die den Leser_innen als Anhalts- und Referenzpunkt dient, statt um ihrer selbst willen zur Geschichte beizutragen. Sie entwickelt sich im Laufe der Handlung kaum weiter, bleibt berechenbar und ist dadurch unglücklicherweise ein wenig langweilig. Sie ist ein Schlüssel, wodurch ihre Aufgabe und Daseinsberechtigung begrenzt sind. Es geht in „The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms“ nur auf den ersten Blick um Yeine, trotz ihrer fesselnden Mission, die wahren Umstände des mysteriösen Todes ihrer Mutter aufzudecken. Ihre Suche nach Antworten ist lediglich der oberflächliche Grund dafür, dass sie isoliert bleibt und niemals engeren Kontakt zu den Bewohner_innen von Sky sucht. In Wahrheit führt Yeine das Publikum an einen anderen Aspekt der Geschichte heran, weshalb Jemisin ihre Position als Einzelkämpferin um jeden Preis durchzusetzen versucht. Sie musste ihren Status als Vertraute der Götter untermauern. Yeine macht die Leser_innen mit den Göttern bekannt, die leibhaftig, versklavt und vom Lichtgott Itempas an menschliche Hüllen gekettet in Sky leben und dienen müssen. Ihr Leiden, ihre Interaktion mit dem faszinierenden, grausamen und ungerechten Universum, das Jemisin erschuf, ist der Kern von „The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms“. Was geschieht, wenn göttliche Omnipotenz in die makelbehafteten Körper von Menschen gezwängt wird? Wie viel Schaden kann eine allmächtige Seele durch menschliche Beschränkungen nehmen? Die Tiefe der göttlichen Figuren imponierte mir außerordentlich. Ihr jahrhundertealter Schmerz, ihre Trauer, die tägliche Demütigung ihrer Fesseln beschreibt Jemisin meisterhaft. Der bedeutendste unter ihnen ist Nahadoth, der Nachtlord und Bruder des Himmelsvaters Itempas. Er ist der Gott der Veränderung, des Chaos, der Dunkelheit und als selbiger die personifizierte Versuchung. Yeine kommt ihm gefährlich nahe und lässt sich auf eine riskante Beziehung zu ihm ein, die sie beide in einen Abgrund reißen könnte und die auf sexuellem Verlangen basiert. Es ist bedauerlich, dass zwischen ihnen nie eine substanziellere Verbindung erblüht, obwohl Nahadoth‘ komplexe, widersprüchliche, verletzte Persönlichkeit das Potential dazu bietet. Seine Sehnsucht nach Freiheit formt Yeines Schicksal, das Jemisin am Ende einer Wendung unterwirft, die ich zwar anhand greller Hinweise vorausgesehen hatte, aber trotz dessen toll umgesetzt fand.

 

Meiner Meinung nach spürt man die weibliche Hand hinter „The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms“. Es ist ein verführerischer, lustvoller Trilogieauftakt, der in meinem Kopf das Bild einer Rosenranke entstehen ließ, die sich langsam und unbemerkt um die Kehle eines armen Opfers legt. Stück für Stück zieht sich die Schlinge zu, drückt die Luft ab, während die Sinne des bedauernswerten Opfers von exotischen Düften berauscht sind. Besser kann ich euch die Atmosphäre dieses Buches nicht beschreiben. Es spricht eindeutig für N.K. Jemisins Schreibstil, dass ihre Geschichte eine so klare Assoziation inspirierte. Außerdem schätze ich die philosophische Ebene dieses ersten Bandes, die stark von einer aufregenden Mischung hinduistischer, christlicher und antiker Motive geprägt ist. Dadurch ergeben sich aufreizend viele Möglichkeiten für die Folgebände, die ich selbstverständlich sofort auf meine Wunschliste gesetzt habe. N.K. Jemisin macht den Frauen der High Fantasy alle Ehre. Weiter so, Schwester!

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/n-k-jemisin-the-hundred-thousand-kingdoms
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review 2017-04-15 04:49
Finished!
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

The Twelve Kingdoms series is kind of an odd one for me - I consider it a beloved series even though most of my ratings for the individual books are 3 to 3.5 stars. I think it's the world and general setup that I like the most.

 

That said, I genuinely love Sea of Wind. I was a little worried that the events of The Shore in Twilight, the Sky at Daybreak had ruined this book for me as a comfort read, but it still works, for the most part. There's just an extra helping of bittersweetness to it now.

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review 2017-04-15 00:00
The Four Legendary Kingdoms: A Jack West Jr Novel 4
The Four Legendary Kingdoms: A Jack West Jr Novel 4 - Matthew Reilly If you have twelve labours to perform do you get an energy drink sponsorship deal?

Jack West Jr was retired. The Fifth Greatest Warrior has saved the world and become a family man. But his old nemesis Iolanthe has recruited him against his will to compete in The Games. This battle to the death takes representatives from the Four Legendary Kingdoms to compete to become the champion. Oh, and that champion allows an ancient machine to stop a rogue galaxy from destroying the Milky Way. The galaxy, not the chocolate bar.

With few exceptions - The Tournament, Seven Deadly Wonders - I've loved Matthew Reilly's novels. They made by taking pure adrenaline, injected with amphetamines, and poured into a stack of paper. The stakes are always high and time is always short. This time Jack West Jr has to save the galaxy by winning a tournament. No doubt Reilly's next novel will involve saving the universe...

I was a little wary of The Four Legendary Kingdoms. While The Great China Zoo was a return to form, The Tournament was somewhat of a letdown for me. There was also the fact that Seven Deadly Wonders, the first Jack West Jr novel, was my least favourite book from Reilly. But any fears I had were well and truly stabbed in the neck. I can't wait for the next instalment in this series.
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