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review 2017-02-17 21:38
Sheepfarmer's Daughter / Elizabeth Moon
Sheepfarmer's Daughter - Elizabeth Moon

Paksenarrion — Paks for short — is somebody special. She knows it, even if nobody else does yet. No way will she follow her father's orders to marry the pig farmer down the road. She's off to join the army, even if it means she can never see her family again.

And so her adventure begins... the adventure that transforms her into a hero remembered in songs, chosen by the gods to restore a lost ruler to his throne.

Here is her tale as she lived it.

 

I really wanted to like this tale more than I actually did. It had moments of greatness—as when Paksenarrion fights off her father and leaves home to join the army. (Although, as the daughter of a pig farmer, I will tell you that there are worse men that you could end up married to).

I read this book while on holiday and it always seemed that I was interrupted right in mid-battle, left wondering for many hours how things would turn out! That said, the battles were certainly not gritty like those described by Glen Cook in his Dark Company series. These were battlefield-lite. And although Paks is injured several times and has bad things happen to her, she leads the charmed life of the fantasy heroine.

What was refreshing was having a female main character who was competent with a weapon and interested in tactics. Now, how much is her own doing and how much is she being assisted by somewhat magical influences? This supernatural stirring in her life puts me in mind of Joan of Arc….

Book 241 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

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review 2017-02-17 21:35
The Dragonbone Chair / Tad Williams
The Dragonbone Chair - Tad Williams

A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard.

Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power. Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he’s ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die.

 

Oh, the orphan boy with unknown talents, who under-performs until the pressure is applied—how many fantasy stories have you read with this structure? Let’s see--Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey, The Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist, The Belgariad by David Eddings, The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, even to some extent The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (substitute “hobbit” for “boy”). Maybe even the King Arthur story to some extent—until young Arthur pulls the sword from the stone. It’s a well-used idea.

At the book’s beginning, I found Simon particularly annoying. As lives go in Midieval-like settings, his lot in life isn’t so bad, although the housekeeper Rachel does make his existence somewhat miserable. However, we all have to earn our keep, so pull up your socks, laddie, and make an effort! Even when offered opportunities to learn to read and to study, he complains! Typical 14-year-old, I guess, something I wouldn’t know about, having had the reading bug ever since I learned to read. Simon doesn’t appreciate his warm bed, three square meals a day, and secure surroundings until he has to flee the castle.

Once he starts running for his life, Simon begins growing up. He becomes a much more likeable character at that point and I began to get invested in his tale. He loses some of the ADHD qualities that made him a “mooncalf” in the beginning and becomes a much more focused young man.
I also appreciated a brand new take on trolls—making them smaller, wiser, and wilier. I liked Binobik and his wolf companion a lot. The Sithi are interesting in their ambiguity—are they enlightened, ethereal beings like the elves in Tolkien? Or are they the dark enemies of mankind? The world of Osten Ard is very detailed and easy to picture in the mind’s eye.

The writing isn’t the best ever, but the story is engaging and I am waiting impatiently for volume 2 at my public library, where it is ‘on order.’ No telling how long I will have to pause before I know what happens to Simon, the kingdom, and the Storm King!

Book number 239 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

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text 2017-02-04 18:55
January 2017 Reviews

 

Most of my January reviews never ended up on Booklikes because I skipped out on the site for a while out of frustration. Thankfully, BL seems to be back to normal (and will continue to work well, I hope).

 

The most enjoyable stuff I read was probably:

 

- Mayday by Chris Strange - I loved the Maydays (aka kaiju) and ended up enjoying this despite the overly violent and misogynistic main character.

 

- Azumanga Daioh Omnibus - A reread. The final volume in the omnibus adds emotional depth to the series' general ridiculousness and still has the power to give me warm fuzzies.

 

- The Ancient Magus' Bride, vol. 1 - This shows a lot of promise so far.

 

TV watching went even better:

 

- Big Windup! - A rewatch. Although I don't like sports, I am often drawn to sports anime. Go figure. This is one of my top favorite sports anime of all time, and it boggles my mind that it didn't earn Funimation great gobs of money.

 

- Big Windup! 2 - I'm so glad Nozomi Entertainment licensed the rest of this series. I didn't think it was as good as the first season, but it was still fun, and it addressed one of the weaknesses of the first season in a way that had me wishing there were a third season or that the manga was available in English.

 

My favorite covers of the month:

 

The Second Mango - Shira Glassman 

 

Although I'm happy for the author that she got her rights back from Torquere and was able to self-publish this, I have to admit that I prefer Torquere's cover (pictured here) to the cover the author used in her rerelease. That said, I think the new covers for the rest of the series are way better than Torquere's.

 

Mayday: A Kaiju Thriller - Chris Strange 

 

This cover is one of the things that prompted me to give Mayday a closer look.

 

Rocket Raccoon Volume 1: A Chasing Tale - Skottie Young 

 

I love how gleeful Rocket looks.

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text 2017-02-04 15:13
January Roundup
The Keeper's Price - Marion Zimmer Bradley,Jacqueline Lichtenberg,Jean Lorrah,Diana L. Paxson,Kathleen Williams,Elisabeth Waters,Linda Frankel,Susan M. Schwartz,Linda MacKendrick,Patricia Shaw Mathews,Cynthia McQuillin,Penny Ziegler,Paula Crunk,Eileen Ledbetter
Affaire Royale - Nora Roberts
Bay of Sighs (Guardians Trilogy) - Nora Roberts
Silver Phoenix - Cindy Pon
One Week in the Library - W Maxwell Prince,John Amor
Murder in Montparnasse - Kerry Greenwood
Mistletoe and Murder - Carola Dunn
The Witch's Daughter - Paula Brackston
The Witches of New York - Ami McKay
An Expert in Murder - Nicola Upson

So January's books... 33 in all

 

Fiction: 

The Keeper's Price by Marion Zimmer Bradley et al. Reminded me of a lot of what I enjoyed about Darkover, I kinda want to revisit...

 

Nora Roberts featured a few times, Affaire Royale, Command Performance and Playboy Prince were actually a 3-in-one copy; Bay of Sighs is a newer book and I found it interesting. 

 

Small Gods the Graphic Novel made me want to revisit the book.

 

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon was a good read, interesting to read a story set in China.

 

The Discerning Gentleman's Guide by Virginia Heath was a good historical romance, though the title did make me snigger a little.

 

 

One Week in the library was somewhat underwhelming, I wanted more.

 

Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood was not the best Phryne Fisher story but not bad either, you learn more about Phryne's past.

 

Mistletoe and Murder by Carola Dunn, the framing story was a bit strained but an interesting murder mystery.

 

Paula Brackston's The Witch's Daughter is an interesting twist on the long-lived supernatural, for a change set in England.

 

Awakening the Shy Miss by Bronwyn Scott was an okay historical romance.

 

House of Shadows by Jen Christie was a time-travelling paranormal romance.

 

Captivating the Witch by Michele Hauf was a paranormal romance between a demon and a witch.

 

Witches of New York by Ami McKay took a long time for me to get into and then left me a little underwhelmed.

 

The Lie by C.L. Taylor was a story of learning about real friendship, and how things can go terribly wrong.

 

An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson was an interesting murder mystery featuring Josephine Tey and her friends.

 

Scarlet Widow by Graham Masterton featured some problematic sex.

 

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents: Terry Pratchett does the Pied Piper.

 

Bound by Duty by Diane Gaston was a good historical romance.

 

A-Force Presents volume 1 - the first new introductions to female superheroes. Very mixed but interesting.

 

Lucifer - Mike Carey Volume 1 - I prefer the TV series

 

Lady Emma's Revenge - Fenella J Miller - a murder mystery wrapped in a historical romance.

 

A Match for Marcus Cynster - Stephanie Laurens A man discovers that he doesn't need to belittle a woman to be strong, enjoyed this one a lot.

 

Lascar's Dagger by Glenda Larke - interesting world with a cleric discovering a dagger has a mind of it's own.

 

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart - based on fact it's an interesting read.

 

Non-Fiction:

Sink Reflections by Marla "Flylady" Cilley I found underwhelming.

 

Not my shame by T.O. Walker almost broke my heart, a woman facing up to her abuse.

 

The Awakening by Colm O'Connor was a very reflective piece and I found it made me think a lot about living.

 

Other-Wordly by Yee-Lum Mak was charming, illustrated unusual words from around the world.

 

Healing Fatty Liver Disease - exactly what it says.

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text 2017-01-31 13:26
January 2017 Reads

 

 

I hope everyone had a great first month of 2017 , mine was rather good and I got a lot of reading on. Reviewing and ARC wise I'm actually ahead of schedule for once which makes me happy :) 

January I had three awesome ARCs all by authors I really adore so that made it even better. 

February is looking rather good as well.

Here are some of the books that will be released in February that are on my TBR and or really anticipated for February: 

 King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard  , Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon, The Turn by Kim Harrison,  Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and Dare to Lie Jen McLaughlin are all coming out February 7th.

Gilded Cage by Vic James February 14th.

Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost, Till Death by  Jennifer L. Armentrout and Wait For It by Molly O'Keefe are out on February 28th.

Not sure when I will get to most of them but some of them I already am reading.  

In case you have not seen it yet or missed it, there is another Giveaway going on that you still can enter. It ends on February 15th . I will add the copter at the end of this post again.  

Anyway,here are my January reads and as always you can find the buy-links in the reviews that are linked. 

 Happy Reading and Thank you for your support :) 


 

Taking Care of the Target by Cindi Madsen

 

 

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Vince DaMarco always liked Cassie, the shy waitress who works at the restaurant that serves as a front for his mob boss uncle. Unfortunately, she witnesses a back alley hit, and while fleeing, she’s struck by a truck. Now she’s at the top of the hit list. Desperate to stop anyone who’d draw out Cassie’s death, Vince volunteers to take care of it.

Cassie Dalton has no recollection of her accident, but she’s told she’s lucky to be alive. A few years are missing from her memory, and the unsettling feeling that something isn’t right—along with the creepy sensation that she’s being watched—won’t go away.

Vince shows up right when Cassie needs him most. In a world of confusion, the rugged stranger is the one thing that makes sense. But little does she know, she’s found refuge in the arms of the very man who’s been sent to kill her.

 

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4★    

 

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Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by 

 

 

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A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

 

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4½ ★

 

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Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

 

 

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In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

 

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5★

 

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One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

 

 

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Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She’s still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

Being around Bones awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline rush of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head—wanted: dead or half-alive—means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard Cat tries to keep things professional between them, she’ll find that desire lasts forever…and Bones won’t let her get away again. Original.

 

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4 ½★

 

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Heartless by Marissa Meyer

 

 

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Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

 

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4 ★

 

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GA

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


Snoopydoo sigi

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