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review 2019-12-12 16:14
REVERIE BY: RYAN LA SALA
Reverie - Ryan La Sala

I was so excited about the premise of this book, and with a tag line like "Inception meets The Magicians" I was like I NEED THIS NOW. I was pumped to receive an ARC from Netgalley. While I did overall enjoy this book, it ended up being more of a mixed bag for me.

 

I really loved the idea of the reveries! Definitely a very cool, imaginative idea. They were often vivid and beautifully described. On the flip side I thought there were some aspects of them I wish was a little more fleshed out as I felt like the concept of them was an idea that was brought to life only 85% conceived. I'm not quite sure if this was intended as a standalone book or part of a series where it is intended to expand on the idea more thoroughly in the future.

 

The characters are another element that I really liked in a lot of way but felt like something was missing. They were 100% fabulous but I also found myself struggling to connect with them. Like a beautiful painting that's just a smidge too far away to fully appreciate. I loved the idea of them having powers too and how this ragtag team of wildly different people shared one important thing in common, being misunderstood and not really knowing where they fit in this world. I only wish that would have been expanded on more as the thing that brought them together. It felt like maybe the author was unsure on how to make that happen more organically and so it is just stated vaguely later that their powers were magically bestowed to them without them really understanding why or how. I think doing this another way could have helped connect me to them more. I wanted to see how they became a team, see the struggle to adjust to this wild thing happening to them and all around them, and see those connections and bonds being forged rather than just being told it was so because...magic.

 

All in all I think this is a unique imaginative story that is a lot of fun but missing a few pieces that would have really made it amazing.

 

I received an ARC of this book from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley and this is my honest review.

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review 2019-12-12 16:11
Review: The Pirates of Moonlit Bay (The Paladin Princess #1) by Samaire Provost (DNF)
The Pirates of Moonlit Bay - Samaire Provost

The Pirates of Moonlit Bay
The Paladin Princess #1
Samaire Provost
Epic Fantasy
Black Raven Books
July 1, 2019
eBook
408
Kindle Unlimited

 

Princess Charlotte's 18th birthday vacation is about to take a turn toward adventure.

 

 

Off the northwest coast of Alkebulan, far from her home of Swerighe, Charlotte and her maid Caroline are kidnapped, spirited away on a pirate ship pulled by giant manta rays, and sold as slaves to a reclusive sheikh.

 

But Charlotte is having none of that. How dare they treat her like this? The determined northlander and her servant are soon joined by Khepri, a healer in the employ of the sheikh, and Christianne, a fellow slave, in a daring plot to regain their freedom.

 

But so much stands in their way, from marauders and a deadly manticore, to a mysterious oasis that holds secrets they can't begin to fathom. The odds are against Charlotte and her companions surviving and making their way back home.

 

Alkebulan can be a dangerous place for a foreign princess. Charlotte will be forced to make some major adjustments if she and the others are to survive this journey.

 

Just when Charlotte thinks she's home free, she discovers the real reason she was kidnapped. Dark deceit and ancient prophecy swirl around her and threaten to swallow her whole.

 

Caught between two warring factions, Charlotte is pulled into a world of supernatural alchemy and unearthly magic where nothing is as it seems and even the simplest of sights cannot be trusted. She will have to have to shed her old paradigm and completely re-invent herself if she is to survive.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

 

 

The Pirates of Moonlit Bay is book one in The Paladin Princessseries by Samaire Provost.

 

What captured me was the cover for this book and the others in the series. Unfortunately, I was having a difficult time getting into the story. It just wasn’t capturing me and keeping my attention. This could be that I wasn’t in the mood or it could be the book. I ended up stoping at 25%. I feel that 25 to 30 is a good point to stop if the story isn’t grabbing you. It means I gave it a good try.

 

When we start Charlotte is mad at her parents and is out for a walk which leads to her being kidnapped by Pirates and sold into slavery. Charlotte is rather irritating, spoiled, and gets herself into more trouble then is necessary. She can’t keep her mouth shut. I wasn’t connecting to her and I really wanted her to be older and more mature.

 

The world-building was lacking to me. I wanted more in this area. Maybe we get more the farther along we go, but it just didn’t feel like it. We do see at least one mythical creature and when I stopped our heroine and gang where stuck in a magical oasis.

 

The Pirates of Moonlit Bay was not the book for me. If the blurb intrigues you, I urge you to give it a shot. Just because it did not work for me does not mean it won’t for you.

 

Rated: DNF 25%

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

Challenge(s) (2019):

 

 

 



 

  

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2019/12/review-the-pirates-of-moonlit-bay-the-paladin-princess-1-by-samaire-provost
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review 2019-12-12 08:02
Einmal um die halbe Welt
Königsjäger: Roman - Joe Abercrombie,Kirsten Borchardt

Bereits als Joe Abercrombie den dritten Band seiner „First Law“-Trilogie schrieb, „Königsklingen“, wurde ihm bewusst, dass er sich in Sachen Gleichberechtigung nicht mit Ruhm bekleckert hatte. Nicht nur ist das „First Law“-Universum ein striktes Patriarchat, er hatte auch vergleichsweise wenig weibliche Charaktere in die Geschichte integriert. In seiner „Shattered Sea“-Trilogie wollte er das ändern. Da Gettland eine von den Wikingern inspirierte Gesellschaft darstellt, konnte er Frauen wichtige Aufgaben übertragen: finanzielle Entscheidungen, Handel und Haushaltsführung liegen ganz in weiblicher Hand. Dennoch gibt es sogar in Gettland Ausnahmen. Eine dieser Ausnahmen ist die Protagonistin des zweiten Bandes „Königsjäger“, Dorn Bathu.

 

Alles, was Dorn Bathu je wollte, ist, für ihr Land und ihren König zu kämpfen. Sie ist nicht wie andere Mädchen: weder kann sie nähen, noch kochen und sie versteht auch nichts von Haushaltsführung. Sie versteht sich nur auf den Gebrauch eines Schwertes. Leider hat ihr Ausbilder etwas dagegen, dass eine Frau die Truppen Gettlands verstärkt und stellt ihr während ihrer letzten Prüfung eine unmögliche Aufgabe. Dorn scheitert – mit fatalen Folgen. Geächtet und verzweifelt erwartet sie das Urteil ihres Königs. Doch als sich ihre Zelle öffnet, steht dort nicht der Vollstrecker, sondern Vater Yarvi. Der Gelehrte bietet ihr an, sie rauszuholen, im Austausch für ihre Dienste. Sie soll ihn auf eine völlig verrückte Reise um die halbe Welt begleiten, als Mitglied der seltsamsten Crew, die jemals ein Schiff bemannte. Vater Yarvis undurchsichtige Pläne sind Dorn ein Rätsel. Aber was hat sie schon zu verlieren?

 

Ja! Ich fand „Königsjäger“ deutlich besser als den ersten Band „Königsschwur“! Ich habe mich während der Lektüre beobachtet: ich freute mich viel mehr aufs Lesen und wollte meist nicht unterbrechen, hatte ich einmal angefangen. Das war mit dem Trilogieauftakt nicht der Fall und ist ein unmissverständlicher Hinweis darauf, dass mich die Geschichte des zweiten Bandes verstärkt fesselte. Einerseits lag meine positivere Leseerfahrung sicher daran, dass ich mich mit Joe Abercrombies konzeptioneller Herangehensweise an „Shattered Sea“ bereits abgefunden hatte und mich die erneut auftretenden Zeitsprünge weniger störten. Diese gestalteten sich teilweise abermals recht abrupt, ich hatte allerdings seltener das Gefühl, dass dadurch entscheidende Entwicklungen ausgelassen wurden. Andererseits konnte ich mich mit Dorn als Protagonistin wesentlich besser anfreunden als mit Yarvi in „Königsschwur“. Wo Yarvi intrigant und verschlossen ist, ist Dorn gradlinig und direkt. Sie handelt nicht immer sympathisch, doch es fiel mir leichter, ihre Entscheidungen, Motivationen und Prioritäten nachzuvollziehen, wodurch ich eine tiefere Verbindung zu ihr aufbauen konnte. Außerdem empfand ich es als hilfreich, dass Abercrombie Dorns kompromissloser Härte die sanfte Güte ihres Ruderpartners Brand gegenüberstellt, der Yarvi ebenfalls auf seiner Reise in seiner offiziellen Funktion als Gelehrter begleitet. Gemeinsam krempeln sie Gettlands Geschlechterrollen auf links, denn beide verkörpern jeweils genau das Gegenteil dessen, was gesellschaftlich von ihnen erwartet wird. Trotz der höheren Präsenz weiblicher Figuren in „Königsjäger“ wäre es ein Trugschluss, anzunehmen, das Universum der „Shattered Sea“-Trilogie sei feministisch. Es existiert keine wahre Gleichberechtigung, weil „männliche“ und „weibliche“ Domänen sehr klar abgesteckt sind und Übertretungen der Grenzen durchaus Folgen haben, die Dorn und Brand am eigenen Leib erfahren. Ebenso erleben sie die Auswirkungen einer prekären politischen Situation, auf die sie selbst keinen Einfluss haben. Dieser indirekte Blickwinkel gefiel mir hervorragend, weil „Königsjäger“ dadurch überraschend politisch ist, ohne diejenigen zu fokussieren, die die Machtströmungen der Bruchsee konkret repräsentieren, sondern die daraus resultierende, greifbare Realität für das einfache Volk. Demzufolge empfand ich auch die Kampfszenen als mitreißender, denn im Gegensatz zu Yarvi sind Dorn und Brand mittendrin. Dennoch faszinierte es mich, Yarvi diesmal von außen zu betrachten, zu studieren, wie er auf andere wirkt und welchen Ruf er sich in seiner relativ kurzen Zeit als Gelehrter bereits erarbeitete. Er ist wirklich ein verflixt gerissener Intrigant, der weitreichende Pläne verfolgt. Er beeindruckte mich, obwohl ich finde, dass seine Absichten und Strategien recht gut lesbar sind, hat man erst verstanden, wie er tickt. Deshalb bin ich sicher, dass Yarvi mit der Bruchsee noch nicht fertig ist. Sein Konflikt mit dem Hochkönig und dessen Gelehrter Großmutter Wexen ist noch nicht gelöst. Ich bin gespannt, was er sich im Finale „Königskrone“ einfallen lässt, um diesen beiden endgültig ihre Machtpositionen zu entreißen.

 

Meiner Meinung nach entspricht „Königsjäger“ eher dem unverwechselbaren Stil, den Fans (wie ich) von Joe Abercrombie gewohnt sind. Der zweite Band der „Shattered Sea“-Trilogie führt die Geschichte um Yarvi zwar konsequent weiter, bedient sich dafür jedoch anderer Charaktere, die viel mehr an die Figuren der „First Law“-Romane erinnern und deren Profile die Handlung actionreicher und schwungvoller gestalten. Ich mochte Dorn und Brand sehr, weil sie für mich nahbarer waren als der reservierte Yarvi, der sich so ungern in die Karten schauen lässt. Ihre Reise um die halbe Welt greift erneut den Coming of Age – Aspekt auf, konfrontiert sie – manchmal unangenehm – mit ihrer Selbstwahrnehmung und stellt sie vor die Wahl, was für Menschen sie künftig sein wollen. Ganz nebenbei lernte ich das Universum des Dreiteilers dadurch besser kennen und begriff, dass der Bruchsee Krieg bevorsteht. „Shattered Sea“ ist nicht nur die Geschichte des Racheschwurs eines einzelnen Mannes – es ist die Geschichte einer Welt im Wandel und somit doch ganz typisch Abercrombie.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/12/joe-abercrombie-konigsjager
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review 2019-12-11 20:27
The Black Hawks
The Black Hawks - David Wragg

[I received a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

A decent fantasy story, although not what I was led to believe it would be—scratch that as another victim of the Misleading Blurb? (What I mean is that, if you sell me fantasy as “hilarious”, I’ll expect something that’ll really make me laugh, like Discworld. Which is not what we have here.) So, yes, please, people who write blurbs, stop doing that; you’re doing these books quite a disservice.

Anyway. As I was saying, the story is “decent”, as in it’s not going to revolutionise fantasy for sure, but remains entertaining. The world-building is on the generic side: easy to understand, no need for pages of exposition about how magic works, etc., and the geopolitics is introduced through events and dialogues.

My problems with this novel are, firstly, the main characters. The prince is pretty much a whiner all along, and not particularly interesting; whether he opened his mouth or not, it was all the same for me. Chel had a more exciting beginning—sworn to someone who basically swindled him out of his heritage through marriage, forced to run errands rather than be an actual knight, and liable to jump into whatever he can find, probably because he’s bored to death. The issue with him, though, is that he ends up wounded fairly early in the story, and stays like that for a while, which means he’s out of commission for anything fighting- or action-related. Add this to the second problem, a.k.a. travel fantasy, which I often have with such stories, and let’s just say it really doesn’t help.

(I don’t review fantasy very often, so I’m not sure I mentioned it in a previous review, but I have a weird relationship with stories where a good deal of the plot is devoted to travelling—and that’s as a writer as well! I got introduced to fantasy precisely through this—LOTR, I’m looking at you—and I keep gravitating towards such stories, yet at the same time, they also tend to bore me easily, because apart from the occasional wolf/bandit/assassin attack in the forest/mountains, not much else is happening. Here, the fight scenes themselves are good, there’s tension and blood and people do get hurt; but what’s in between tended to bore me.)

As for the Black Hawks themselves, they did have their interesting sides as well. Some light is shed on them throughout the story, a lot more mystery remains at the end, to be developed in the next volume(s) I hope, and in general, they were of the (somewhat magnificent) bastard kind, which is something I enjoy: unlikeable as people, yet likeable when it comes to following their antics.

On the other hand, the cliffhanger at the end was not one I appreciated. The twist was surprising (perhaps a little on the cliché side), but the cliffhanger was definitely too abrupt, as if a couple of chapters were missing from the book.

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review 2019-12-11 17:49
Magic for Liars - Sarah Gailey
Magic For Liars - Sarah Gailey

I wasn't 100% convinced I was going to enjoy Magic for Liars but I knew that I'd liked stuff by this author before and the local library had a copy, so it was a win-win situation all round. Of course, unlike their previous novellas, this book doesn't contain people riding domesticated hippos (check out River of Teeth if you don't believe me) but it does address an often missed point of view from fantasy books: what do you do if you're not the magical one?

 

The basic premise of Magic for Liars is that our protagonist, Ivy, is the non-magical one of twins and this knowledge has blighted her life, impacting on her relationship with everyone in the family. The final nail in the coffin of her relationship with Tabitha, now working as a teacher in a magical school, was when their mother was diagnosed with cancer and Tabitha refused to even come home to visit.

 

Ivy is now working as a PI, making a living following scumbags who cheat on their partners, so she's more than a little surprised to be approached by the head of said school to investigate a murder. While trying to figure out who killed the school guidance counsellor in an extremely-magical manner, Ivy daydreams about what her life would have been like if she had possessed the same abilities as Tabitha. The majority of the people she meets don't know she doesn't, her sister excluded, and Ivy makes all sorts of bad choices as a result of riding that daydream as far as it will take her.

 

She also discovers, to no-one's surprise, that she's not the only one lying about who she is and what she can do. There's even a convenient Prophecy with a capital P in the mix, a Chosen One waiting in the wings to be revealed. I've tagged this as urban fantasy, though it's not the usual kind with vampires or werewolves, since it's more a situation where magic is just a part of some people's day to day lives, with all that entails. With limits too, ones that Ivy tries to understand even as she envies the very real power that magic gives the people she meets.

 

I really enjoyed Magic for Liars and am looking forward to this author's next book too - Upright Women Wanted, which is all about a post-apocalyptic delivery service.

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