Heart’s Blood review

Heart s blood

(This scene was one of the most epic of the whole novel!!! I was not anticipating this)

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

6278019Rating: five stars 😀

  Caitirin, a young scribe from Crosswalk, fled her home. Her house and almost all her possession were taken by her evil aunt who beat her and wanted to marry her to her as evil son. She arrives in a small town where people seem to be afraid of something lurking in the nearby forest. Soon she learns that the chieftain is looking for a scribe. Caitirin has no other solution than to hide under her job but soon she discovers that the chieftain is surrounded by a dark curse.

A lot of people have been talking about Juliet Marillier’s work recently and Heart’s Blood was the story I wanted to try out first. And ho boy I am going to join the chorus to sing her praises! It was awesome! Juliet Marillier is a great storyteller because at this point I am not going to lie and call her an author, because she is much more than that, she creates an atmosphere that sucks you in and makes you read at odds hours of the night.

Her writing is flawless as is the plot. It is reminiscent of the original Beauty and the Beast story of Madame de Villeneuve (the 1st novelisation of the tale in France which dates back to 1740) much darker than the Disney version (which I also love don’t misunderstand ^^). I did want to read more Beauty and The Beast retelling this year and I started by the most fantasy esque one ;).

The atmosphere is full of ghost and Irish folklore and the world building is excellent. I absolutely adored every second of it! I cannot wait to read more Juliet Marillier’s book if you guys have any recommendation shout them in the comments. 😉

Chronicles of Prydain book 1 review

book of three

(I really imagined Taran looking like this in the first part of the story xD)

The Book of Three (Chronicles of Prydain book 1) by Lloyd Alexander

24780Rating : five stars 😀

This book is a quest of chasing a white pig. Seriously it could be summarized by that xD. Okay more seriously, Taran is a want to be hero/ assistant pig-keeper. As the horned king advance on his village, Hen Wen, the oracular pig runs away in fear. Taran goes on an adventure to find her and meets a lot of peculiar characters along the way.

It is so much different than the Disney version. To be honest I was a big fan of the movie when I was a kid (and to be honest it’s quite a scary Disney when you compare it to Frozen -_-) and now I consider it to be a complete different story than the books.

I almost have nothing to say xD I liked it so much that I have no objections for once. The world building is great as is the writing. Ho and the fact that the “main animal” is a pig is definitively a plus. I love pigs! Why are they always used as meat and not as characters in more scifi books?

Magic’s Price review

Mgic's price

(for the last review of this series I wanted to draw the coats of arm of Valdemar and a horse because I need to practice my horse drawing skills)

Magic’s Price(book 3 of The Last Herald-Mage trilogy) by Mercedes Lackey

28734Rating : four stars

This book takes place a few years after the previous one. Vanyel is still hard working and has no life at all. He is still the one everyone run to and the one who has to take care of every problems of Valdemar.  However, a new threat falls upon the heralds, an evil villain (Who has heard of a gentle villain? xDDD) is killing the herald mage of Valdemar and Vanyel has to investigate.

At this point I was really annoyed with the fact that Vanyel was a bit like the counseler of Valdemar’s court…. Only Medren seems to care really for his uncle…. By the way I love grown up Medren you can really see an evolution in his character. In fact, in this last book the characters’ evolution is way more flagrant. Of course I have to talk of Stefen, the new love of Vanyel. Honestly I would not have paired him with him because the fact that he was always described as “delicate” disturbed me. Yeah I do agree he supports Vanyel but he can’t do anything more…. I mean Tylendel could help him out and protect him, but I loved Tylendel thus why I had a hard time with Stefen…

Same as the other books the plot really takes off a third in the book and I think it is why the series as a whole will only have four stars. Mercedes Lackey takes a lot of time to explore the characters interaction with each other’s and sometimes it delays the plot and even skip important plot line. For exemple at some point Vanyel has to go somewhere for a treaty (it’s not spoiler don’t worry) and we see nothing of that episode, in the next chapter he comes back two or three months later and everything is done and went quite well. Okaaaaaaaay and? Why mention it if you’re not going to develop that point? I feel like it was slow on the plot and jump interesting parts and I had the same problems in Arrows of the Queen but I still find this series much better.

Hello everyone so after a month of job hunting/finishing university I am back with some more reviews and with a good new!!! I now work as a librarian so guess what! More books to read and more reviews to come ! I hope you will all have nice summer reads! Until next time bye!

Theft of Swords review

Hey guys! I am finally back and with a review!!! My dissertation/thesis is done,printed,  graded xD I am finally good to go back to reviewing once perhaps twice a week 😉

Theft of swords

(my version of Royce xD for the next book I will do Hadrian ;))

Theft of swords  (Book 1 of the Ryiria Revelations) by Michael J. Sullivan

10790290rating: five stars 😀

Royce and Hadrian are two thieves. Under the name of Ryiria, they are well known and used by the noble society of Essenhadon. After a difficult case of stolen letters, they are contacted by a mysterious noble. He is in a pretty pickle as one would say, since he has to face a duel against count Pickering for having looked too long at the count’s wife. The count is a well-known swordsman and has only lost one battle because he didn’t have his lucky sword. His request is as follow: Royce and Hadrian are to steel the sword of cont Pickering and make it reappear after their duel. A simple and well paid task, the thieves agreed even with the little preperation they facedd. However things get complicated once they are founded on the king’s murder scene, while seqrchong for the sword, and accused of his assassinatin.

One simple word: GREAT.

The writting is excellent. It uses every trope of a fantasy book but made them even better so you have the impression of reading something new. The world building is also amazing, just the history and myths around the main plot are very interesting. In a way it could be compared to a Game of Thrones, in the sense that history has a great role to play. The plot sounded really like your usual fantasy story, especially with thieves, but it is so much more and it gets better chapter by chapters. It twists and turns in a way you will never imagine.

But the best part of this book was the characters. I have to say I am this close to say « screw the dissertation, I need book two to read more Royce and Hadrian banter. They are hilrious together! A good team is what makes the best fantasy books. They are definitevely what moves the story and even secondary characters. Okay prince Alaric is a bastard (not in the blood/family ties way ;)) but he gets better! I do have a special love for princess Arista and Myrion the monk.

Michael J. Sullivan even uses Middle English *.* because Ezra the old magician has been in prison for thousands of years thus his speech is quite Shakesperian. Also he is an intelligent literary device to explain what happened in the past as is Myron for folklore. In a nutshell Esra is a history teacher and I can’t tell too much about him without spoilers.

I do have to warn anyone who wants to read this book, it is huge, as are the two next in the series, but you get so engrossed in the story that it passes without any efforts!

Magic’s promice review

Magic's promise

(Vanyel and Yfendes, scene taken from the book where Vanyel is hiding in the stables xD I laughed so hard when I read it)

Magic’s Promise (book two of the Last Herald-Mage series) by Mercedes Lackey

28760Rating : four stars

After I finished Magic’s Pawn I just had to dive into the next instalment of the Last Herald-Mage series by Mercedes Lackey. I really want to finish more of her series this year, I did remember really liking them as a kid but I could not remember them and there are a lot I never read.

This book takes place more than ten years after the events of Magic’s Promise so this review might spoil some events of the book. We found an older Vanyel Herald-Mage and best friend of the new king of Valdemar.  He just came back from a war zone at the borders of the kingdom, tired and battered and is going to his childhood home. He will have to face his father Withen but also new trouble arising near their lands.

I must say I had a bit of problems with Vanyel at first. He is grown up, but we did not see him grow up so it feels like we are missing something when we share his thoughts and doubts especially the ones Shavri the king’s lifebounded. At first, when Vanyel was questioning her feelings for her I fels like “WOAH! Slow down her! What was that have you forgotten Tylendel?” and in fact the explanation which is given was logical so I was reassured.

Don’t worry, I still hate Savil. She feels exactly like Dumbledor and that is not a kind description coming from me.

By the way, random historian fact time, did you guys know that Valdemar was actually the name of the king of Denmark in the 12th century? It was the historical minute of Panda xD

Something I felt a bit problematic is the fact that we don’t see Vanyel’s training or him during the war hence the very long prologue/context which is why I did not gave this book five stars. In fact the plot really kicks off about a quarter in the book but I feel like the next one will be more bouncy (in a good way).

The writing is also very good, still consistent with all the books I read from Miss Mercy (except the last book in the Heralds trilogy Arrow’s fall) it is very fluid and is not heavy which makes a fantasy book always more enjoyable.

I do hope to finish this series in May (promises, promises….) and I will have a review of the last book as well as a wrap-up of the series when the time comes ^^.

Hey everyone! So I am still very much in the process of writing my dissertation but I have hope to finish it mid-May or at the end of May until then posts will be only once a week. I hope you will all have a great week and until then bye!!!

Fanny and Stella review

Fanny Stella

(Fanny -or Stella- walking in the streets in proper Londonian society)

Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England review by Neil McKenna

16174761rating : two stars

It has been a long time since I reviewed a history book. Usually I only do medieval ones since it’s my specialty but I made an exception with this one.

I was first piqued in my historical interest because I did study Victorian England but I never heard about drag queens in those classes. I thus really wanted to read more on the subject. Secondly I was a bit put off because I know very little on historical drag queens, I only knew the Chevalier d’Eon, so I tried to read it as a history reference.

So as you all can guess this is a nonfiction book about two drag queens in Victorian England: Fanny and Stella whom were arrested because they were in drags and also accused of sodomy (which was a crime at the time). The book follows their arrest and goes back on their lives and how did a young drag queen lived in Victorian England and how.

I was very harsh in the rating, I know this book has received a good average on Goodreads, but I really could not find any more interest in the book after the first half. To be honest it was chaotic, the returns back and forth in time were really confusing and made the story look like a fiction and not a nonfiction. Of course I say so as a history student so perhaps for someone else it would lighten the story and picked the interest of the reader.

Problem is, the story itself, as interesting as it was, was quite dull. It was very slow and not like a lecture but as if the author had wanted to say too much in one book. That’s why I did not understand the amount of chapters on other people, yes it made the enquiry very thorough but it was in my point of view too much. And as a historian I was quite disappointed to see so little sources. A historian rely mainly on its sources, it’s the base of the analysis I mean even Allison Weir had at least three pages of bibliography at the end of her She-wolf. I even read a manga on Mary-Antoinette which used more references than this book….

I ended up quite bored with this book and kept putting it down yet I do find its subject to be interesting and I might look up other books.

The stars askew review

The stars a.jpg

(Scene taken from chapter 2 with Kata, Dexion and little Henry. Is it me or my background skills are somewhat better? Still perspective is not my cup of tea xD)

The Stars Askew (Caeli-Amur #2) by Rjurik Davidson

31114185Rating: five stars

This book is a sequel to Unwrapped Sky (which I already did a review on). It takes place right after the events in Caeli-Amur and things are not going so well after the revolution. Houses have retreated themselves in villas and Varenis has cut all communication and exchange with the free city. In that context, one of the leaders of the rebellion, Aceline, is murdered and Kata investigates. At the same Maximillian has awoken and learns how to deal with a not so god Aya in his head and Armand is on his way to Varenis in hope to find a way to restore peace in Caeli-Amur.

I was so excited to read this book, I really enjoyed the last one. My only critic of the last book was that we don’t know that much on the world around Caeli-Amur but this second one clearly fills in the blanks (even though they are still some). We definitely learn a lot more in this book on the history and especially on Aya’s story because it was a point that was a bit blurry in the last book. We also understand a bit better how the world work and how everything relies on Varenis and we do see more of the outside of Caeli-Amur.

The plot is centered on the assassination and how everything is linked to it (no no this is not a spoiler I swear!!!). The writing is good and fluid which is pretty amazing because some of these fantasy books out there, especially high fantasy, have very heavy writing, you know what I mean?

Okay I have to speak about Dexion. Finally! A minotaur is almost a main character!!! I really loved how he was depicted, kind of brutish but wise at the same time, it was exactly how I thought a minotaur would be! And please his interactions with Kata are just so full of wits, fun and can they just please be together in the next book? One more thing I loved is to see that Kata created a sort of ersatz of family with Dexion and Henry, at the beginning of the book that scene just melted my little heart into a bit pile of honey.

Ho and yeah I still dislike Maximilian but that is personal xD but one character I did not believe I could like is Armand. In the first book he was only a secondary character but in this one we get his point of view and a bit more info on him. And without any spoilers I was very sad to see how he evolved.

Yep I did give it five stars and it totally deserves it because it is not getting enough hype and it was great. I do hope there will be at least a third book!

Hey everyone I hope you enjoyed the review, I might have a little hectic posting calendar in the upcoming weeks because I’m fully into writing my dissertation but I will post at least once a week 😉 Until then have a lovely week!! See ya!