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text 2017-05-19 06:05
Friday reads
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, Book 4) - Maggie Stiefvater
A Darker Shade of Magic - Victoria Schwab
The Foxhole Court - Nora Sakavic
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review 2017-05-18 15:19
Shadow Games / Glen Cook
Shadow Games - Glen Cook

 

After the devastating battle at the Tower of Charm, Croaker leads the greatly diminished Black Company south, in search of the lost Annals. The Annals will be returned to Khatovar, eight thousand miles away, a city that may exists only in legend...the origin of the first Free Companies.

Every step of the way the Company is hounded by shadowy figured and carrion-eating crows. As they march every southward, through bug infested jungle, rivers dense with bloodthirsty pirates, and cities, dead and living, haunted by the passage of the Company north, their numbers grow until they are thousands strong.

But always they are watched--by the Shadowmasters--a deadly new enemy: twisted creature that deal in darkness and death: powerful, shadowy creatures bent on smothering the world in their foul embrace. This is the first round in a deadly game, a game that the Black Company cannot hope to win.

 

A smattering of the Black Company still remains and they have decided to head back to their beginnings, heading south to the legendary city of Khatovar.  They are in search of the lost Annals of the Company, so you may be sure that this operation is being headed by our cranky Annalist, Croaker.

 

Croaker isn’t sure that he likes being in charge, but he shows an aptitude for it, thinking up sneaky surprises for the enemies that they encounter and showing that knowing some history gives a leader a good grasp of the many things that can go wrong.  He informs the reader that “I guess I suffer from an impoverishment of the sociopathic spirit necessary to go big time.”  He is selling himself short.

 

Finally, I see why so many other readers love Lady.  She is down, but not out.  She still has the governing touch and retains buckets full of knowledge about battle, administration, and politicking.  And she’s not afraid to use it.  A peek at the next book reveals that she will take up the pen as Annalist and I can hardly wait to get her take on things.

 

Book 258 of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.

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review 2017-05-18 14:57
4 solid stars
Shadow's Curse - Jami Gray
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I was gifted my copy of this book. This is book four in the series. I STRONGLY recommend you read the other books before this one, you'll get a much better picture of how Natasha is perceived by the others. You need that, because, up to now, I did not like Natasha and you need to know why. Following the devastating events of book three, Natasha steps up, but that's not really wanted, by many. Darius arrives, with Kayn, from The Council. But not everything is as it seems and the big bad hunters of the Kyn world, the demons, find themselves being hunted. Probably my least favourite of the four books so far, but it's not because of my dislike of Natasha. Because here, she shines! Loved her here, and her demon. Loved the marked differences between their human and demon characteristics. Darius has as many layers as Natasha does too and the two spend much of the book flirting. And I loved it!! Raine and Gavin play a huge part here, so you get a bit more of those two, too. But something didn't quite work, and I *think* this is why. There is much left unresolved and I was expecting it all to be done and dusted here. We now know WHO is behind all the problems that have been hitting the Northwestern Kyn, but we don't know the WHY yet, other than they want the power. So, Ms Gray, when do I get my answers, hmmmm?? Because I saw another story unfolding in the pages of this one, and I want to know what's going on with those two, as well as that much bigger picture. Solid four stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-05-18 10:36
best of three!
Shadow's Moon - Jami Gray
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is book three. To better follow THIS book, you should at least read book two, Shadows Soul. BUT for THAT book to make sense, read need to read book one, Shadows Edge. SO basically, what I'm telling is, read books one and two before this one. And this is the best of the three!! I said to someone, just last week, I haven't had a good werewolf book in a while, and then I get two in a row! I need to take a minute, before I write this review, because I fear I will gush. And gushing does not a good review make. So, deep breath, and here we go! Xander was gravely injured in book two, fighting the Soul Stealer. To save her, Warrick, head Alpha of the North Western Kyn, bonded with her. Neither one is very happy with the idea, but as time goes on, they come around. Mostly. Warrick's wolf is dead against Xander continuing on her career path with the Wraith. When the whole of the Motoki Pack is threatened first by Bitten wolves, and then by someone much much closer to home, Warrick and Xander have to learn to work WITH their bond, not against it. Both Xander and Warrick have a say here, and that's what I missed most in books one and two. Neither is used to compromise, neither is used to having to rely on another and in places, it's truly painful reading. Warrick especially, is pushed to the very limits of his capability and he falls so beautifully, so painfully, so...oh, I can't find the right words! When Raine and Gavin soul bonded, it was so beautifully written. But when Xander and Warrick finally give in here?? I cried. I really did. These two have so much love for each other, that was there, way before they bonded, over the past year they had been together their love had grown, but neither was quite ready to admit it. You cheer when Warrick lets Xander in, then scream at him when he throws his walls up again. You totally feel for Raine when ...well,...things happen. You feel for the whole Pack when more things happen. You get an inkling of what things might be like in the future for the Wraith. For the whole of the Kyn, especially if their existence is revealed to the humans. And you get an epilogue. An epilogue that throws you totally for a loop, because you have no idea what it all means and how it fits into the next book, of even how it fits into the grand scheme of things! The head of the House of Demons has her story next. Before this one, I wasn't looking forward to that one so much, but with the way it all happened here, things are blown wide open for Natasha. Struggling not to gush, so, I'll just say this. READ. THE. DAMN. BOOK. Hell, read the series. 5 stars, but If I could give it more, I really would! **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-05-18 10:28
creeping up but still no Gavin!
Shadow's Soul - Jami Gray
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian. * A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. * Jumping straight in because the book does just that! This is book two in the Kyn Chronicles series. While it would help to have read book one, Shadows Edge, before this one, I don't think its absolutely necessary. It would, however, give you a better picture just how Raine fought against her feelings for Gavin. These books are not easy reads. They carry complicated plot lines, very long descriptive paragraphs and huge supporting casts that made ME slow my reading down. And I loved them for it! Because, let's face it, if I have to slow down to keep it can go either of two ways: I'll love it or hate it. And here it was very much the former! I skim read at the best of times, so you can imagine how long it took me to read this book, some 364 pages (according to Goodreads) Days it took, DAYS I TELL YA! Raine and Gavin's relationship continues to grow, develop, expand and get so much deeper than Raine ever expected. Gray best explains it when she describes their magic intertwined, threads of blue and silver so closely woven that to separate them might kill them both. Gavin continues to embrace the damage (for want of a better word) done by the scientist in book one, and Raine only begins to do so. Fighting the Soul Stealer takes a lot out of Raine, indeed me too, reading it, and it's Gavin who helps her get through it. Finding first Cheveyo and then Xander pushes them both past their limits. Xander's story, book three, is laid out, and you just know that she and Warrick are gonna butt heads! Creeping up in star rating a little but again, only Raine has her say! This one, absolutely, without a doubt, would have been a full five star read if Gavin had been given his voice. I needed to hear from him at keys points along the way: when he embraces his new skills and magic, when he really bonds with Raine on the most basic level, and when he thought her lost to the Soul Stealer. SO, because Gavin doesn't get a say ... 4.5 stars (but rounded UP for the blog/Goodreads/Amazon) **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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