Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2017 (Hardcover)
Length: 700 pages
Genre: Adult/Young Adult; Fantasy
Started: August 14, 2017
Finished: August 22, 2017
From the inside cover:
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to being Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit - and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords - and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book of the Court of Thorns and Roses series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.
Have I mentioned how much I love this series? After reading A Court of Thorns and Roses and positively losing my mind over how freaking good A Court of Mist and Fury was (a book that definitely does not suffer from "bridge book syndrome"), I definitely enjoyed A Court of Wings and Ruin, but honestly, A Court of Mist and Fury was good to the point where I don't think anything could've topped it, and I was right.
A Court of Wings and Ruin starts out a bit slow but picks up rather quickly. Feyre is back in the Spring Court, pretending to have been abducted and controlled by Rhysand all these months in order to obtain information on Tamlin's alliance with the king of Hybern and their responsibility for the attack on Velaris. When Tamlin becomes violent and Ianthe uncovers her true motives, Feyre and Lucien escape back to the Night Court, where she and Rhys plan to meet with the other High Lords to arrange for an alliance against Hybern. But with the king of Hybern controlling the Cauldron, Prythian forces need all the help they can get; the only question is how far Feyre and company are willing to go to save their homeland.
If you're a fan of this series already, the same things you enjoy are still here. The writing is good, the banter between characters is hilarious, the existing relationships are fleshed out and new ones are introduced, and you will be put through the wringer emotionally throughout the entire book (but damn, you will enjoy it).
Go read the first two books if you hadn't already discovered this amazing series. This instalment is good, but can't measure up to the awesomeness of the second book, but is still a fitting conclusion to this particular arc. The series is set to continue in the next few years, but I'm not sure what the future books will focus on, since Feyre's story is more or less concluded at the end of this book (here's hoping for character side-arcs!).
Thoughts on the cover:
I like the continuation from the first two covers, this time with Feyre front and centre instead of off to the sides. Also, the red, blue, and now green colour schemes for the respective books look really nice together on a shelf.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Author: Michel Hellman
Publisher: Pow Pow Press, 2017 (Paperback)
Length: 150 pages
Genre: Adult; Graphic Novel, Realistic Fiction
Started: August 20, 2017
Finished: August 21, 2017
From the inside cover:
"Do you know what constitutes a typical Inuit family? A man, a woman, two children...and an anthropologist!" Follow Montreal author Michel Hellman on a trip to Nunavik as he discovers he's the punchline to that joke.
This was an interesting selection that popped up when I was browsing through new library books. Nunavik is the northern part of Quebec, sparsely inhabited by Inuit peoples, where Montreal artist/author Michel Hellman travels to for inspiration for his new graphic novel. The end result reads like a travelogue rather than an actual story, showcasing both the beauty of the North as well as its challenges.
The art style is simple, but conveys much, and it's an interesting detail that the artist decides to portray himself as a bear but truthfully depict everyone else. I liked how the author does explain the issues that Nunavik faces, but there's no real reflection on them, they're just presented with no follow up. This would make for a good discussion prompt for a classroom or a bookclub, though.
A welcome look into a part of Canada rarely explored.
Thoughts on the cover:
The cover ives you a good idea of the artistic style.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Author: Grace Draven
Publisher: Grace Draven, 2015 (Paperback)
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Adult; Fantasy
Started: August 2, 2017
Finished: August 7, 2017
From the back cover:
The Prince of No Value
Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.
The Noblewoman of No Importance
Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn't just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she's known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.
Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.
I needed some light summer reading lately, kind of like a beach read (but not since I don't do beaches), and this is what I ended up picking. I honestly didn't have huge expectations going into it, but I have to say I was honestly surprised that I ended up actually enjoying it.
Brishen and Ildiko are both of royal blood, but aren't very important in the overall scheme of things, and as such are married off to each other for a political alliance. Brishen's people aren't human (but conveniently enough share the same anatomy with only some slight differences), so both partners find the other ugly and repulsive from the get-go, and are honest about it. While Ildiko gets used to her role as the Hercegese, she and Brishen are attacked by a neighbouring kingdom trying to take advantage of the newfound alliance.
The one thing that stands out in this novel is the dialogue. Brishen and Ildiko are brutally honest with each other from their first meeting, and this leads to some really hilarious dialogue between the two which was quite refreshing to read. Their romance is very much a slow burn that takes time to develop, and I was just thankful it wasn't another case of insta-love that I see way too frequently for my liking. There were a few things that bugged me on the other end of the spectrum. Considering Brishen and Ildiko both consider the other to be ugly (and to an extent unsettling), they are overly kind to each other at the beginning. In my experience, people who find others ugly to the point of looking like a corpse aren't exactly going to show a great degree of respect towards that person. Also, it was way too easy for Ildiko to adjust, she just fit right in to Kai society socially, her appearance being the exception. I'll buy that growing up in a courtly environment would prep her for the verbal sparring sessions, but I'd expect her to struggle with at least a couple things (like the Scarpatine, her adjustment to that was a blip on the radar for something that's described as something coming out of Alien).
Worth the read in my opinion, it'll make you laugh at the very least. There is also a sequel to this that I'll be tracking down as well.
Thoughts on the cover:
The pose fits the mood of the book, but I like how Brishen is posed in such a way as to avoid really illustrating his eyes and teeth (the main descriptors that stood out while reading).