Book Review

Book Review: The Wiseman’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles #2) by Patrick Rothfuss

Rating: ☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 994 pages
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Publisher: DAW Books
Release Date: March 1st, 2011
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man’s Fear, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King’s Road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived … until Kvothe.

In The Wise Man’s Fear, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

THIS WAS A LOT OF BOOK.

This was my second 1,000 page book in August 2019 and whoa, I thought I might not make it. I found that with this style of writing if I commit myself to about 100 pages/day I’m a lot more interested. It’s a lot to read, and a lot happening, and it really was nice to put this down, read something lighter and come back to it. I think it allowed me to really immerse myself in reading it and taking a slower pace.

I absolutely love Kvothe and only want happiness for his poor, tortured soul. Though with the interludes during the present, I’m not sure if that will ever happen. I love the interludes and find that it adds more intrigue to the mythical-ness of the story. Kvothe has to deal with so much on a daily basis and is able to take it all in stride. I find that his ability to be pretty much great at whatever he does not as in your face as it sounds.

Denna. Denna. Denna. I’m honestly not sure where I stand with her. I know she and Kvothe are both young, so I attribute a lot of her actions and choices to that fact (and her unknown history). Sometimes she annoyed me at such an intense level that I wanted to put the book down, other times, I wanted her and Kvothe to speak to each other much more plainly. Really lay it all out there. There’s an interesting relationship brewing between the two of them that I will have to wait to decide my full opinion on.

They’re a million + 1 characters in this book that I could spend forever discussing. I really don’t have anyone that sticks out as someone I can’t stand so I loved moving from location to location getting to know everyone on an even deeper level. Speaking of location change: they’re multiple in this book! YAYAY. Love a good adventure. It was definitely needed to spice up the book. I was bored of hanging around the University.

The 4 star comes in because this book is just too long. When I compare it to other very very long novels, every page really means something or stood out to me. I thought that some pieces of this book could truly be shortened and it still would be a great read. Way super, over the top curious where the last book will take us. Especially after this crazy long wait.

Overall audience notes:

  • High fantasy
  • Language: a little throughout
  • Romance: kisses, a good handful of light detailed love scenes, nothing explicit (from some phrases you can tell the implications)
  • Violence: magic, swords, poison, knives, explosions, fires, voodoo, physical
  • Trigger warnings: physical abuse, mentions of rape (off-screen)

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Book Review

Book Review: The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 1007 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again. 

EPIC FANTASY IS RIGHT.

I am once again kicking myself for not picking up Brandon Sanderson’s novels sooner. I HAVE LOVED THEM ALL (Current total: 5). I also listened to this as a FORTY FIVE AND A HALF HOUR audio book. It admittedly took me months to get through. But, now I want them as actual books because hot dang. I love his fantasy writing.

So much world building. And it’s clever to boot. The more intricacies that are woven into the daily life of everyone astounds me. I can’t even begin to imagine how he comes up with all of this to make anything coherent. I find it fascinating and entrancing to listen to how Sanderson’s world comes together for his characters.

Speaking of characters, Kaladin. KALADIN. I am here for the greatest that this man will command. He was fearless, lovable, and I would be in his bridge crew too (but not really because that sounds awful). Dalinar was amazing too. In audio books, I know it always takes me longer to get into them because I’m trying to remember who’s who and where people are. And after that point I was heavily invested in these lives colliding. They’re so many other characters I can point out and talk about, but trust me. Everyone is well thought out, serves a purpose and makes this book what it is.

I love how I can never quite figure out where Sanderson is taking us. It’s not until the last chapters of the book where you realize where everything has been building towards. I love being on my toes and being hooked by this kind of format. There’s enough teasers along the way that keep you flipping pages (or in my case listening, but either way you have to love it to do this for 1000+ pages).

Overall audience notes:

  • Epic fantasy
  • Language: bastard used a few times
  • Romance: a kiss, some hugs
  • Violence: war and battle scenes, swords, creature battles; all fairly detailed, a bit gory & bloody

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Book Review

Book Review: Age of War (The Legends of the First Empire #3) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: High fantasy
Length: 420 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Release Date: July 3rd, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Rich in magic and adventure, Michael J. Sullivan’s soaring fantasy novels are masterworks of heroism, love, and sacrifice. Now, in Age of War, the epic battle between humankind and the cruel godlike beings who once ruled them finally ignites in all its fury.

The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile—and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron will and a compassionate heart. The arrogant Fhrey are barely held in check by their leader, Nyphron, who seeks to advance his own nefarious agenda through a loveless marriage that will result in the betrayal of the person Persephone loves most: Raithe, the God Killer.

As the Fhrey overlords marshal their army and sorcerers to crush the rebellion, old loyalties will be challenged while fresh conspiracies will threaten to undo all that Persephone has accomplished. In the darkest hour, when hope is all but lost, new heroes will rise . . . but at what terrible cost?

WHY. WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY?

From the summary alone, I knew I was going to be destroyed by this book. And I was unfortunately right, but it hurt even worse. I sat there numb after, not knowing what I was supposed to do next. How do we go on?

I love this series so much. All of these characters are absolutely stunning. Everyone has back story, desires, strengths and weaknesses, EVERYTHING. I love each one of them in their own ways. Even the antagonists have stories and reasons. It makes this push and pull so intriguing and well thought out. There’s a lot of political movements, battles, and quiet moments.

In previous reviews I mentioned that I felt it was missing a touch of romance. THIS GAVE IT TO ME. It just needed a little and this was the perfect amount. I saw some new relationships blossom (and I AM HERE FOR IT) that were tender and precious to watch. I saw some relationships strengthen and hold fast to one another in the darkest moments. I unfortunately saw some relationships ripped from my hands as I pleaded to the bookish gods to give them ONE MORE MOMENT. *walks away from review*

*deep breath*

Okay, I’m back. I clearly am still struggling with that conclusion. Age of War does not mess around and the loss that occurred throughout this book was devastating. I’m really invested in these characters y’all.

And while I love them, the world building and magic system bring it all together. This world is vast and I feel I’m only scratching the surface. It’s utterly stunning. I think the magic system is clever and actually makes sense (I know we’ve all read magic books when we sit there saying “what….?”). There’s reasoning and explanations for why things are the way they are (regardless if it should or will remain that way).

This series is fantastic and I will recommend it ALL DAY.

Overall audience notes:

  • High fantasy
  • Language: b*tch used two or three times
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: swords, elemental magic, poison, arrows, demons, physical
  • Trigger warnings: suicide ideation

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Book Review

Book Review: Age of Swords (The Legends of the First Empire #2) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 512 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Release Date: July 25th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In Age of Myth, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan launched readers on an epic journey of magic and adventure, heroism and betrayal, love and loss. Now the thrilling saga continues as the human uprising is threatened by powerful enemies from without—and bitter rivalries within.

Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhune make it all but impossible to unite against a common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess makes the Fhrey indistinguishable from gods?

The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feels nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid—a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan. There, an ancient adversary waits—an enemy as surprising as it is deadly.

HEROINES ALL OVER THE PLACE.

This is one of my new favorite high fantasy series (so far *crosses fingers*). My favorite part? THE AMAZING LADIES.

Seriously. Persephone, Moya, Roan, Suri, Arion, and Brin will rule and I will be a willing member of their clan. Holy wow, I love the emphasis that women can do more than the men say they can. They are solving all of the problems, holding down meetings, putting together war plans and taking down the enemy. Yes. If you read this for any reason, this is a big one. I can’t get over how much I love the focus on them.

There is so much action and politicking, near-death moments and all the pulls on the heart strings. The focus is much more heavily on found family and the clan that you’re part of. This is a focus on friendship. This is a book that has done that in an absolute stunning way.

Everything is so intricately being planned out. We jump through multiple POVs and different locations. I have no idea where everything is weaving towards and it makes me that much more stoked to see where it goes. The plot lines & sub-plots are so well formulated. Even better when plenty of betrayals and WHAT moments happen that cause you to continually flip pages.

The only thing I personally wanted a little more of is better developed romances. There’s mentions that so and so loves so and so, but they don’t appear to have a lot of conversations and interactions causing me to wonder where the deepness of those feelings lie? I don’t think this book needs any major romantic scenes or anything, just a little uhmph would take it over the top.

Overall audience notes:

  • High fantasy
  • Language: I believe *witch was used once, otherwise it’s clean
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: swords, arrows, creepy cave creatures, demons, dragons, physical

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