Book Review

ARC Book Review: The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Adult fantasy romance
Length: 391 pages
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: 47North
Expected Release Date: August 20th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From ​the New York Times bestselling author comes a breathtaking fantasy of a cursed kingdom, warring clans, and unexpected salvation.

Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.

Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.

Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.

What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

I’M STILL STUNNED.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, 47North, for the e-ARC and opportunity or read The First Girl Child. All opinions are my own.

I’m sitting here trying to write this review, but I’m not even sure where to start. I absolutely love everything Amy Harmon writes. And this was no exception. TFGC was different from her usual books (generally contemporary, she does have 2 that are fantasy). It only goes to show she can write, regardless of the genre. AND I AM HERE FOR ALL OF IT.

One of the big themes I noticed was about mother’s. And all different types too. Ones who were unloved and unwanted, had their babies taken from them, ached to have a child, and more. This personally resonated with me (because I am a Mom) and struck chord after chord of the fierce love and protection mother’s have for their babes.

A lot was also focused on the true need and affect women have on the world. We are all so unique and divinely inspired and have immense amounts of talent to give to the world in various forms. It was interesting to feel what it would be like if girls did stop being born. And what an awful place that would be.

BAYR. I so deeply love this character. This book is around 400 pages and it felt long because of the intense connection that was built watching Bayr from birth to growing into a man. As he learns to speak it’s noticed that he has a stutter. The way Harmon uses his weakness as a strength was everything. There were some allegories woven in that were stunning. I cheered Bayr on in every way possible. Watching his relationship with Alba had me staring at my book contemplating what gods I was going to have to pray to for them to get a happy ending. This was a relationship built out of pure childhood love. It was so achingly sweet and precious and beautiful.

I loved so many of these side characters too. Dagmar, Ivo, Ghost, The Keepers, Dred, seriously, everyone. Dagmar was the best POV to watch Bayr grow up and his heart-shattering relationship with Ghost will bring you to your knees. It was tender and built on so many things they both needed. I loved Dred (Dagmar’s Dad, Bay’s Grandfather) because his immediate acceptance of his grandson has me feelings all the feels. I enjoyed every connection I built with these characters.

Amy Harmon is one of my favorite authors for a reason. Her ability to bring out these characters to life and create magnificent worlds filled with heartbreak and hope always leave me breathless.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult fantasy romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses to make-outs, mentions of wanting to lie with another, some vague mentions of having done so, but not descriptive
  • Violence: knives, murder, battle
  • Trigger warnings: childbirth resulting in mother’s death, suicidal thoughts, someone with a disability being referred to as an idiot and bullied

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Book Review

Book Review: The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 662 pages
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: March 27th, 2007
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

This is the riveting first-person narrative of Kvothe, a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a novel that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. 

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THIS BOOK.

Okay, first I’m going to start out by mentioning that I started this book on Audible. This was my mistake. I still gave it four stars (when I was truly contemplating three) because I really enjoyed The Name of the Wind much more reading it. My library happened to have a digital copy so I downloaded that because it took me almost two months to listen to it. There was something about the way it was done that never clicked. I didn’t love the voices and couldn’t appreciate the characters.

Now that I chugged along twice as fast with reading it I appreciated the story as a whole so much more.

Kvothe is an interesting child. I’m actually annoyed that he’s so good at everything, but maybe that’s the point? I did find it amusing how poor he was with women. I mean, the book ends and he’s barely 15/16. IT TOOK 600+ PAGES TO GO THROUGH THIS MUCH OF HIS LIFE? Talk about a slow burn build of a fantasy.

Everything was definitely explained well. The world-building was fantastic. I loved the differing characters and the romanticism of the story. He’s the amazing, warrior, kingkiller and everyone wants to know the tale. Since Kvothe takes his dang sweet time, nothing is left out. I haven’t read a book where I truly felt nothing was left out.

The book picked up once Kvothe made it to the University. More and more continued to happen and a lot more webs were being weaved. Kvothe is pushed by one thing, and one thing alone (spoiler if I say more!). His sheer determined mindset had me hoping he would get his answers.

The only thing I stand wondering now is, do I want to read book two?

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult epic fantasy
  • Language: A little
  • Romance: a kiss or two
  • Violence: knives, killing creatures, poison, physical, whipping

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