Jane and the unpleasantness at Scargrave manor review

Jane

(Recently I’ve been obsessed with figure drawing xD I really like to sketch dynamic pose)

Jane and the unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (Jane Austen Mysteries book 1) by Stephanie Barron

76712Rating : Four stars

Summary: Jane Austen is visiting her dear friend Isobel newly wedded to the earl of Scargrave. But soon the earl is murdered and Isobel is accused for his murder. Jane makes it her mission to prove her friend’s innocence.

I really admire the author for writing a mystery not only in Jane Austen’s style but also in adequacy with the era (even if some attitudes and opinions are definitively too early for that period).

I was in a cozy-mystery mood recently and this book was right up my alley!

To be honest, the writing just flowed. It was so easy to read that it was perfect for my daily commute.

I honestly have little to say about it. Actually, the only thing I might have to say is what I said before about some attitudes that are definitively not Victorian. But the author seems to know so well Jane and her environment that it is not that disturbing.

Get ready for this because you will definitively see more reviews of that series from me!

If you like Jane Austen and Agatha Christie this is for you!

Has anyone read this series? What are you reading this week?

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Silver Griphon review

Black Griphon

Silver Griphon (Mage Wars series book 3) by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon

13992Rating: four stars

Thad and Blade are the heirs of Skandranon and Amberdrake. They cannot wait to be given their chance to prove themselves and finally they are sent on a mission in an outpost in the forest. But nothing goes as planned. As usual…

I feel like I have a problem with series ending… I mean I finished three series recently and every time I thought that the end could’ve been brought quicker …

While I felt like this book was definitively better from the last one it still dragged on a quarter before the ending. I still really liked it don’t get me wrong but I have a few things to say (as always).

What was interesting was the cancellation of Thad and Blade’s mission because of unforeseen forces (I cannot be more unspoilery than this). Usually heroes go on adventure find a bit of trouble along the way but the seldom cancel the entire adventure because they are too badly hurt and lost. Usually our heroes continue on until they reach the end of their quest.

But not in this case and even if the battle was painfully long it was still a good book.

Overall, for the entire Mage Wars series I felt like there were a lot of slow moments which you do find in other Valdemar series but not that much. What I mean is that there are too much static moments where characters are either thinking of what they are going to do or what is happening and not acting. Which for a fantasy book is okay but too much is too much…

Then again Mercedes Lackey does like to be meticulous with her characters’ feelings and actions and I don’t know how her husband (Larry Dixon) writes so I cannot say if it is a trait of his as well. I guess it really depends on the characters but since Blade and Thad are “action” characters them being thoughtful and not moving was a bit a letdown.

Have you read this series or intend too?

By the way does anyone have a good recommendation for a fantasy book/series with a romance subplot?

Within the sanctuary of wings review

a natural history of dragons

Within the sanctuary of wings (Lady Trent Memoir book 5) by Marie Brennan

29939027Rating: Three stars

-The book

So after my almost disappointment of the Fourth book I was looking forward to this one.  Needless to say I was not particularly convinced by this book.

And actually my disappointment can stand in one sentence: Where is the dragon study?

Seriously they only care about Draconean ruins and even if the plot twist was interesting, in my mind it went like this “Okay so all this for that?”

The worst was the ending… It dwelt on and on and seriously I couldn’t wait to reach the end….

-The series

Overall I really enjoyed that series even if it was kind of slow sometimes especially when Sabella describes the politics of culture of one country. Even if it was interesting it was very long and kind of dull.

I also believe that the last two books completely drifted off in the series, and while I was super into the first three books the last ones where not as exiting for me.

That being said will still be reading the sequel series ^^

Did you like this series? What did you think of it?

Knights of the Black and white review

Knights of the black and white.jpg

(You know what? This horse looks weird… Dammnit! I still need to work on my horse drawing skills…)

Knights of the Black and White (Templar trilogy book 1) by Jack Whyte

151718Rating: 2 stars…

This book tells the adventures of the Templars during the First Crusade and how they came to be.

Yep that’s it. That’s the summary I can make of 548 pages…

Spoilers alert I didn’t finish the book. And it’s the first book I have not finished in three years.

Yes that bad.

I almost put a 1 star rating but I did enjoy the first part of the book, before it all went to hell… It was a complete utter nonsense historically speaking but I mean I knew it was fictional so that did not bother me. Well not that much…

Okay let’s be honest, it did not bother me as long as the book was well written and had a strong plot to it. WHICH WAS NOT THE CASE!

(Sorry for the caps… Warning rant ahead)

I mean seriously, I have never been that bored in a book about a war… Nothing happens! It takes them at least 40 pages to travel. The characters are weak and not interesting at all. The plot seriously needs a dusting and the writing is super super slow… I sincerely couldn’t believe I made it that far… Also, how can Templars be a secret order? HOW? It is not logical… I have a master’s degree in medieval history and that kind of ****** is really annoying! I mean as I said, it would have been okay if it was done well (good plot, no holes, strong characters and actual explanations) but here it doesn’t make any sense.

As you can all tell I am fairly disappointed.  I don’t think I will read anything else from this author.

These opinions are only mine, I am not saying that the author is bad at his job I am just sincerely saying what I thought about the book.

Warbreaker review

*Personal ramble skip if you’re not interested* So I took a month break from social media and blogging mainly because I won’t be able to breath for the next five months. Therefore I needed some time to prepare for everything that is going to be thrown my way ( dissertation writing, competitve exams, internships, internships reports…). Also I was feeling kind of down… Perhaps it was spring but I was just feeling blue and I just huddled playing Dragon Age during my free time (not the best way to write a dissertation… but hell with it! I needed rest!). Anyways! I am feeling better now and I start my first internship on monday, posting schedule is back on track!

Warbreaker.jpg

(I was obsessed with drawing Vivenna I thought she had a great character growth)

 

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

1268479Rating: Four stars

I feel like I am the last person in the entire fantasy community to read this book…

To be honest I was a bit reluctant to dive into Brandon Sanderson again because I read the first book in his Evil Librarian series and hated it. So I was a bit doubtful when I started this one. I did read a lot of review and some of my favorite bloggers and booktubers were raging about it and since they shared my taste in fantasy I thought why not give it a try?

Well, I did enjoy it a lot.

Now that it’s out of the way, I have a bunch of things to say xD

First the ending, I am not going to spoil anything but I am just going to say that it felt uncomplete. You’re left with the characters standing there not really knowing what will happen next… And for a book that really focus on every little thing that happened to the characters you are very much disappointed by such ending!

Now about the characters I must say they were flawless. Not in a bad way, I mean they were flawlessly designed. None were perfect, none were goody-two shoes Harry wannabees ( aka annoying characters) and all had interesting arcs.

I have to admit at first I was a bit thrown off by the pantheon (which only made sense a few chapters in the book) and the magic system. Yet, I still think the magic that is used, breath as power, is really interesting and from what I gathered from his other books he always have interesting ways of dealing with magic. It’s not only a wizard with a staff and that is refreshing.

 

Code of Honor review

Bravelands 1

Code of honor (Prideland book 2) by Erin Hunter

Rating : five stars

This book picks up right at the end of book 1 so beware spoilers!

Fearless is part of Titan pride and tries to protect his mother and his sister. Thorn has discovered that the new crownleaf is a murderer. Sky is lost after the death of Great Mother and is searching for answers. The Bravelands are facing troubled time and nothing seems to go the way it is supposed to.

I already said that the first book was pretty good, well this one is even better. I already said that after the three first series I was a bit tired with her series Warriors and I didn’t really cared about the first two volumes of Survivors to continue on. Yet, this series clearly shows an evolution in her writing.

The mythology and religious aspect is pretty important and, I cannot stress this point enough, very well defined. It is a mix of different human religion and tales but it is so well done.

It is a Middle Grade book so it is pretty fast to read but there are no boring passages, there is always something happening. Trust me, even if you thing anthropomorphic books are for children, this one has some very adult-like theme (murder, how to know who is telling the truth, how to trust someone, betrayal, religious experience).

Within the Labyrinth of drakes review

a natural history of dragons

Within the Labyrinth of drakes (Memoirs of Lady Trent book 4) by Marie Brennan

25481955Rating: Three stars

Lady Isabella has been missioned by Scirland army to try to breed dragons. She is of to Akhia with her loyal and fellow Tom. There she makes some important discoveries and is reunited with some friends….

And Lady Trent is back ! Now you all know how I have been raving about that series. BUT (*Beware rant ahead*) something was bothering me in that book.

The relationship between Suhail and Isabella. Okay let’s address this major issue, because a few fellow bloggers already mentioned that they thought 21st centuries views were applied to Victorian society in this series, and I did saw a bit of that in the other books but *kof* I was distracted with dragons…

Well the “problem” in this book was that for once dragons were not at the center, well at least that’s how I felt. I think 20% is actual dragon and dragon studies (along with other creatures), 20% is Draconean ruins 30% is politics and ethnics and the rest is Suhail and Isabella….

At least that’s how I felt.

*Spoilers warning*

So Isabella and Suhail are trying to act “as society” expect them too, mainly so that they won’t have rumors spreading. And I thought that for the first time Isabella was acting like a “normal” Victorian women. But big problem they marry. They are records of English man marrying Indian women but English women marrying Indian man is much less present (and I cannot even think of an example). But aside from that, which to be honest might be me ignoring some historical facts (but I seriously never saw that in any sources), the whole problem is the wedding itself.

Let’s go back to history classes, Victorian era marriages are the achievement of a courting period (like animals) which okay book 3 might be that as well as Isabella giving Suhail the rubbing of the Cataract stone. But the problem is that she shouldn’t see him without an escort, in this book it was mainly her brother. Now that’s the most problematic point, Andrew’s characterization. He is a soldier, educated in a respectable house therefore he should know all the rules. BUT he is the one who arranges Suhail and Isabella to meet by themselves! Moreover, Suhail never asks Andrew for Isabella’s hand. And he is totally okay with it…..

I know that Isabella is not a typical Victorian era women (with her views on gender role who are border lining feminism aka 20th century thoughts) but that part of the book really bothered me.

Also why put a love story? The interesting part of Isabella’s story is the fact that she is independent and she is considered more as a man. WHY MARRY HER AGAIN????

Okay rant over.

Besides that particular point I really enjoyed the book, a pity really because I think that if Isabella was thinking less about Suhail and how to behave around him, the book wouldn’t have any boring parts…

Now, I already talked in my last review how Mary Brennan use piece of Ancient Egypt history to build her Draconean civilization, I mean in this book they talk about the cataract stone and surprise there is such a stone in Ancient Egypt history (discovered in Semna). I could detail all the parallels one can make between Ancient Egypt and Draconeans but I don’t want to bore you guys xD

Anyways, I still appreciate a good chuck of the book so I will definitively finish this series, how about you guys? What are your thoughts on Lady Trent’s character? Do you like it when history is applied to fantasy?