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review 2018-02-21 01:55
Not Bad
Spells, Swords, and Storms: Short Stories - Nicole J. Sainsbury

Disclaimer: The author sent me a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  We are GR friends, though I didn't realize she had published until the offer.


                Spells, Swords, and Storms is a three-story collection, one story for each word in the title.  The first story, “Spellbound” is a pretty story about a love spell.  Sainsbury plays with the idea of what happens after the love spell works and love is gained.   It’s a delicate balancing job to write a story like this, especially when a reader factors in the questions of will.  It is to Sainsbury’s credit that she handles the balancing act just fine.  The sense of guilt, love, and shame that Jenna feels are palatable.


                “Aislinn’s Raven” is the second story, and draws on the knights surrounding King Arthur.  In fact, this story has been on my TBR shelf.  While it is a good story, it is the weakest of the three.  The story centers around Gareth, filling in his backstory, in particular where he would learn such skill at arms if his mother kept him tied to her skirts (as the story goes).  While the central protagonists are well drawn (Gareth and his teachers), their opposites are not, at least not in the same way.  The theme of a class of culture and powers is interesting and the description of time and setting is well done.  However, one villain’s behavior doesn’t fully make sense.   Perhaps this is all to do with bullies being “piss and wind”, but something more is hinted at, making the ending a bit too open ended.  The reader wants a sequel and a bit more answers.


                The best story is the last, “Winter Flood” which isn’t so much a fantasy, as a study of growing up and grief.  Rachel, a college student, suffers a break up with her long-term boyfriend, and meets someone who is strangely familiar.  While not, technically, the fantasy that the other stories are, it contains, at its heart, a quiet and beautiful magic.  In some ways, it reminded me of Jim C Hines’ Goldfish Dreams – a more quiet, real story that is fantastic in tone and deals with real life and serious real-life problems directly.


                All three stories deal with the theme of friendship, loyalty, and love.  All feature strong women, though strong in different ways.   Each story also focuses on questions of love and loyalty.  They are not overly sentimental and quite magical.

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text 2018-02-08 02:04
Loving Shawl's work, and question about Ken Liu?
Everfair - Nisi Shawl
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories - ... The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories - Ken Liu
The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty) - Ken Liu
The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynast... The Wall of Storms (The Dandelion Dynasty) - Ken Liu
Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi The Legends of Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: the Last Jedi) - Ken Liu,J.V. Jones

So I'm loving Shawl's Everfair.   It's a steampunk alternate history of Belgium's colonization of the Congo, and it's a period I know nothing about.   It's also written by an African American women, which is nice: last year Readercon had a woman guest of honor and an African American woman who was a guest of honor. 


This year, it's an African American woman and an American man of Chinese descent.   (Liu was born in China, in fact, and immigrated at age eleven.)


I bring this up because it's nice to see diversity: Readercon has been fairly committed to diversifying it's guest and panelist pool, and so far I think these guests have been living up to that.   (I've also met a diverse mix of authors in general, although I think we always have to keep vigilant and work at keeping that diversity.   But it's nice to see it working a bit.)


Anyway, I've been staying away from most of Liu's stuff, because I feel like he's most well known for longer fantasies, which I'm usually not a fan of.   Novik's stuff worked for me because of the wit and the fair amount of action.   


So... have you read Liu?   Liked it?   And should I start with his Skywalker/Star Wars young adult collection?   But, then again, I never liked Luke all that much, so I've been hesitating. 


Anyone who's read him and has an opinion?   I'd love to hear it.   Or on Shawl's work, but I feel like she might be less well known.   (And I'll probably continue to love Everfair, but, yeah, I'd like to hear from you guys!)

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review 2017-11-26 13:05
Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5 ) by Sarah J. Maas
Empire of Storms - Sarah J. Maas

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?


If you have not read any of the previous book you should not read this review, it will spoil things for you ;) Thus book. OMG is all I can say. Over and over again. It now has been over a week since I finished the book and I still not sure how to feel, except sad and heartbroken and I want the next book. This book is absolutely amazing and super emotional, plus we get tons of nonstop action, paired with some sexy times and of course humor. But it would not be a SJM book if she wouldn’t tear out our hearts and feed them to the vlag plus there are some pretty epic plot twist that I never saw coming. Well some of them other things have been foreshadowed. Each book gets longer and longer but that is totally fine with me. But that being said, this book is massive and so much happens that there is no way I can cover everything and keep it spoiler-free. So I will TRY to make it short and just touch on some of the main events and characters. Maeve…. Yup still evil and even more so than even thought and her plan will come to light at end of the book. We meet Rolfe and I have to say I kind of liked him in a way. He is also pretty important to Aelin and the crew. Lorcan I really not sure what to think of him yet, but on the other side I like him or more like what he could be if not for Maeve.Only at the end of the book do we know whos side he is really on and even then we can’t be sure Elide, more about her come to light and she has quiete the journey, like most females in the series I like her. Strong and interdepend, never gives up. Manon, Oh my, At the very first time we meet her I was bored with her and her 13 but now I love her. LOVE HER so much. I love where it has taken her and we learn some pretty vital and interesting things about her and her family. Some pretty heartbreaking things are also happening. I just love her whole storyline and cannot get enough of her. Lysandra, she is another one who snuck into my heart fairly quick the last book, She really has come into her own and makes some pretty heavy sacrifices to help end the war. Dorian, I was never a huge fan of him but I must say he is winning me over more and more. The things he does and says are awesome. He also finds very unlikely partner. I wasn’t convinced at first but ended up cheering for them. It was funny, sexy and a bit kinky but yeah overall it worked. Aedion, I also loved him and where this all is going with him. He meets long lost family and I love his reaction, it was true and it was him. It just came natural. But I think I would like to see this resolved in the next book, well the book after Tower of Dawn. Okay now before we get to Rowan and Aelin I like to say that we do not get to see my boy Chaol and I must say would I have not known that Tower of Dawn is about him and Nesryn on the other end of the world, I would have been pretty mad. But luckily I was late to the series and knew that, though I still kind of missed him. Rowan, oh my favorite fae warrior prince, I just loved everything about him in this book. He is sweet, super funny and pretty freaking steamy. Oh my. But also lethal and will stop at nothing to protect Aelin .The tension between and Aelin are super high until the hit the beach and even after. They are one hell of a power couple and make a feared enemy. Aelin keeps to herself a lot in this book and it made no sense at first but it makes all perfect sense at the end. The end where we get one bombshell after the next and a mother-load of new information. I was on the edge of my seat, I was shocked, I was heartbroken and beaten and I could not believe all the things we just learned. All that to just let is hanging there… I think of all the endings of her books this one was the most cruel and heartbreaking of all, even more so that I know I have to wait forever to find out what will happen next. We also have some new and interesting couples in this book some I’m not sure about other I can totally see. But the steam factor goes up in this book for sure. Overall EPIC book, I cannot say enough how much I recommend this entire series. They just keep getting better and better. I rate this a full 5 ★ again .


Some of my favorite quotes:


“You will find, Rolfe, that one does not deal with Celaena Sardothien. One survives her”




“It is not such a hard thing, is it - to die for your friends.”




“I'd walk into the burning heart of hell itself to find you.”




“War is sanctioned murder, no matter what side you're on.”




“Perhaps the Darkness was another world, another realm. Perhaps she'd gone to the hell-realm the humans so feared. She hated Death. And Death could go to hell, too-”




Available NOW 



Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.


Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon

Snoopydoo sigi

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/review-empire-storms-throne-glass-5-sarah-j-maas
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text 2017-10-26 15:02
Reading progress update: I've read 384 out of 457 pages.
The House of Storms - Ian R. MacLeod

a pity about all the typos infesting this edition (a "soldier" is not a "solider", even if you type it that way twice), and it's running about a 3.5 rating with me overall--it's dreamy, hypnotic quality is its biggest strength, but also its rather numbing weakness, but I will say that it has been fun, returning finally to something as inarguably Steampunk as this; I have an innate fondness for even the slow-moving ones. I shall solider on with this tonight, until the decks are cleared for a Crime novel of some sort.

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text 2017-10-26 03:05
Reading progress update: I've read 342 out of 457 pages.
The House of Storms - Ian R. MacLeod

couldn't resist going just a bit further with this tonight--but now, as tiredness sets in, I will have to stop reading with the knowledge that two characters have reunited--at last!--even when I feared they would never see each other again...but I shall have to wait until tomorrow morning to find out what they have to say to each other while I have a muffin and a coffee.

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