Tag Archives: 4.5 Stars

Liar’s Moon (Thief Errant, #2)

Liar's Moon

Okay… I am seriously behind on reviews.  I have been doing reading – a fair bit of it! – but I have been absolutely TERRIBLE at posting reviews.  So I’m going to attempt to catch up, but my next few posts are going to be very short.  It has been SO LONG since I read some of these books that I don’t recall more than general impressions, plus writing shorter posts will hopefully mean that I get more done!

So, Liar’s Moon by Elizabeth C. Bunce is one of those books I read ages ago, right after I read the first one, Star Crossed (review here).

Digger is back in the city, after witnessing the start of a civil war. Continue reading

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Star Crossed (Thief Errant #1) by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Star Crossed

I’m still playing catch-up for books that I read a while ago! I’d been meaning to read Star Crossed for a while – another book that I was prompted to read by the cover / title. I’m glad I did!

In the city of Gerse, where all magic is banned, Digger is a thief and spy-for-hire. When her partner, Tegen, is killed by the Greenmen who police the city, Digger knows she must escape the city quickly. Disguising herself among a group of merry nobles, Digger finds herself swept up by their group. Becoming a lady’s maid, Digger accompanies her new mistress, Merista Nemair, to the Nemair family stronghold. Blackmailed into spying on the family, Digger is caught between loyalty and survival. Things out in the country are not so peaceful as they might seem. Rebellion is brewing, and Digger seems right in the middle of it. Continue reading

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The Icebound Land (The Ranger’s Apprentice Book #3)

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Continuing on with the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan…

Book 3: The Icebound Land

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The Burning Bridge (The Ranger’s Apprentice #2)

The burning bridge

Still loving the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan!

Book 2: The Burning Bridge

Will and Horace find themselves in neighbouring Celtica, where they meet up with a mysterious girl named Evanlyn and discover that Morgarath continues to plan against Araluen.  It’s up to these three to change the tide of the battle to come and thwart Morgarath’s plans for an ambush of the Araluen army.

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Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone

I sometimes feel that stumbling upon multiple great books in a row is a little bit like winning a raffle draw – you always hope for it, but never quite expect to win.

Shadow and Boneby Leigh Bardugo was intriguing, magical, serious, and enthralling.  I’m so happy that it’s part of a series!

Alina and Mal are both orphans, who grow up together on a Duke’s estate.  Once grown, they join the army and as part of their tour must cross the Shadow Fold.  The Shadow fold is a rift that crosses the country of Ravka, where they live.  It is a huge band of complete darkness, inhabited by terrible monsters who feast on human flesh.  There, Alina reveals a unique magical power, marking her as one of the magical elite (Grisha), which may be the key to saving Ravka from the Shadow Fold.  The Darkling, the ruler of the Grisha, quickly sweeps Alina off to be educated and trained. Ripped from her former life, Alina must learn how to unlock her power and decide her feelings for the handsome and beguiling Darkling.  Whom should she trust? And, more importantly, will she ever see Mal again?

Alina is a great character, who shows flaws and also growth during the book.  She starts as a weak girl who lacks self-confidence and slowly transforms into a strong female character.  She’s realistic and flawed, and you sympathize with her desire to belong, to be wanted and loved and to fit in.

The Darkling is a mysterious, handsome, and powerful figure.  As the realms most powerful Grisha, the Darkling provides a sharp contrast to cocky, common Mal.

The Grisha, magicians who specialize in one of three areas, are a stratified and unexpectedly commonplace bunch (in the sense that they, like regular people, suffer from snobs and social divisions).  I loved how they were viewed in different lights as the book progressed, and as Alina went from the outside to the inside of their circle.

My only criticism: the writing style was a bit simplistic, and the story was carried more by the plot, characters, and underlying themes than by the descriptions and language used.

This was definitely a gripping read, and if you’re in the mood for a young-adult fantasy book that explores power (and the struggles that inevitably arise from power) and a sprinkle of romance, this would be a great pick.

4.5/5

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The False Princess

The False Princess

The False Princess is my kind of book – light and fun with a sprinkling of intrigue, Princesses, love, and magic.

Princess Nalia is brought before her parents one day after she turns 16 only to find out that she is not the real princess Nalia, but a common-born stand in named Sinda. The real princess was hidden away in order to avoid a prophesied early death. Sinda is quickly sent to her only living relative, an Aunt, and discovers that she is ill-prepared for common life. Though she can speak 4 languages and read and draw she must learn how to cook and keep house and dye (the occupation of her aunt). She is unfortunately slow to learn the new skills expected of her and chafes in her new life. She misses her best friend, Keirnan, but knows that their stations in life are now too far.

Things change when Sinda realizes that she has magic. She leaves again for the city to find a teacher.

From Goodreads:

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever.

I really liked how Sinda went from this mousey, passive girl to someone who fights for what is right – even when driven only by morals and a desire to prove that she’s more than a simple common scribe. She fits the Strong Female Character bill (even though she does have a lot of self-doubts, especially initially).

This is the first book by Eilis O’Neil, and although I loved it, there was something just a tiny bit unpolished about it. The flow was at times just a little bit off or maybe I didn’t quite connect with the characters enough. So I won’t give this a 5, but will give it a 4.5 / 5!!

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The Steele Wolf

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Normally when I sit down to read, I try to give myself time to read it all in one go.  I started Steele Wolf on Wednesday, but have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to pick it up again until tonight.  It was hard to put it down – and even harder to WAIT to pick it up again!

This book was even better than the first (The Iron Butterfly).  I am now eagerly anticipating reading other books by Chanda Hahn.

The Steele Wolf picks up where The Iron Butterfly leaves off – with Thalia as she finds herself traveling home.  She must try to fit in with her clan, while struggling still with the loss of her memories.  Fitting in is not quite as easy as she could hope, and she finds herself facing off with some of the traditions of the Clan.

After a series of interesting events, Thalia then joins Joss (with Kael tagging along) in his search for his missing little sister, who seems to have been kidnapped by the Septori.

This book has enough romance (love triangle!) and enough action to satisfy me.   It’s a book I would describe as “juicy” but in a good way.  Thalia remains a feisty, strong female character.  I admire her stubborn tendencies and I appreciate how she still remains a strong character, despite her fears.  I like how she handles her fears – yes, she’s scared, but it doesn’t stop her from doing what she thinks is right.

My only complaint about this book, honestly, is that I now have to wait for the third.   This seems to be a rather alarming consequence of reading newer books – the series is not always finished yet!!  It is a problem for an impatient person.

I would give this book  4.5/5   Loved it!

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