Review: The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts

Posted in Reviews at 1:49 pm by Fiona

The Curse of the Mistwraith (Wars of Light & Shadow, #1; Arc 1, #1)The Curse of the Mistwraith by Janny Wurts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reading this book was like eating an artichoke for me. Just as I really like artichokes, I liked the story and the characters, but, getting to the heart of the story took forever. Just like the elusive heart of an artichoke, the story was buried under layers and layers of prose.

Janny Wurts is a master craftsman at arranging words on a page, but to me the words often got in the way of the story’s progression. I like to think I possess a pretty good vocabulary yet I found myself seeking out a dictionary on several occasions. I also found myself re-reading sentence after sentence and paragraph after paragraph trying to figure out what she was on about. This made reading this book somewhat of a chore at times. I can usually manage to complete an 800-1000 page book in well under a month, The Curse of the Mistwraith took me nearly two of extremely dense reading.

I don’t eat artichokes every meal, but I do enjoy one every now and then. I will read more of Janny’s books, but I’m actually relieved my advance copy of Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings has arrived so I can read something by my comfortable old friend for a while and rest my brain.


Review: Elantris

Posted in Reviews at 10:38 am by Fiona

Elantris Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How refreshing to find a book where the heroine isn’t any of stereotypes. She’s not an orphan, she’s not petite, but what she is is wonderful! And the hero takes so many twists and turns from the stereotypical path to becoming the hero that you’re not entirely sure if he’ll make it or not. It is hard to believe this was Sanderson’s first book because it is so perfect in so many ways. The system of magic is elusive throughout most of the book, to the point where, f it weren’t for the history told therein, you’re not sure if anyone will ever be able to perform it. The villains are menacing, yet one villain’s journey makes him endearing in the end. I have to be careful what I say, because I don’t want to spoil this for anyone. I have to say that this is my most favorite of all Sanderson’s books. Mostly because I identified with Sarene so much, I felt as though Sanderson knew me when he wrote this book and fashioned her after me. So now you’ll know how I see myself, just read Elantris. I am Sarene.


Review: The Emerald Storm by Michael J. Sullivan

Posted in Reviews at 7:38 pm by Fiona

The Emerald Storm  (The Riyria Revelations, #4) The Emerald Storm by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
All I can say is wow! This story keeps getting better and better! Just when I think Michael cannot fool me, he twists the story when I least expect it. This is the first book of the series that really leaves the reader with a huge cliffhanger. There is so much I want to talk about but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’ll reserve my spoiler discussions for the Riyria Revelations group at Goodreads.com.

What I will say is I was a skeptical reader when I read the first book of the series (The Crown Conspiracy), but it made me interested enough to read the second book (Avempartha) which really hooked me on the story, then came Nyphron Rising and I was sunk hook, line and sinker! Each book gets better and better and I’m quite certain I won’t want it to end! C’mon Michael! Can’t you stretch this out to 12 books like the Wheel of Time? Pretty please?


Review: The Wheel of Nuldoid by Russ Woody

Posted in Reviews at 3:18 pm by Fiona

The Wheel of Nuldoid (Volume 1) The Wheel of Nuldoid by Russ Woody
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I quite enjoyed my trip to Nuldoid. Russ Woody has a most intriguing imagination with a good dose of sentimentalism thrown in. The story reminded me in parts of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series and I could definitely see other stories about Nuldoid come from Woody. I liked the way he didn’t talk down to a YA audience and used some pretty big words. It’s good to introduce YA’s to vocabulary, especially when the Nuldoid-speak is such a grammatical mess! But by the end of the book I could practically speak Nuldoid myself, which really scares me.

All in all, I think The Wheel of Nuldoid was a very nice foray into the YA market and look forward to where Russ Woody goes from here with it.


Review: Airman by Eoin Colfer

Posted in Reviews at 2:02 pm by Fiona

Airman Airman by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely LOVED this book! I’ve read most of the Artemis Fowl series and have found them entertaining, but somewhat lacking in dramatic structure so I was somewhat dubious. but Airman is loaded with dramatic structure! It is full of twists and turns. The characters are endearing, particularly the Airman, Conor Broekhart, and his friend Linus Wynter, the blind musician spy. I found myself wanting to stay up way later than I should to see what was going to happen next and how that will fit in to the overall story. Colfer really hit a home run with this wonderful story and I really hope he finds his way to continue the story of Conor and his lady love, Queen Isabella!


Review: Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon

Posted in Reviews at 2:23 pm by Fiona

Lord John and the Hand of Devils Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Not really Gabaldon’s greatest work, but an easy read if you want to have the complete story of Lord John Grey. This really isn’t a novel, but rather a short story and two novellas. Lord John and the Succubus, one of the novellas was a rather amusing look at the germanic lore of the era. Where Lord John and the Soldier’s Ghost had some interesting insights into the harsh religious practices of the 1700’s Methodists, not to mention the politics! Not really much of a ghost story though. The ghost only made a brief cameo appearance and was never mentioned again! Actual fact, none of these stories are really essential to either the Lord John or the Outlander series. You can easily give them a miss and not feel like you’re missing a thing!


Review: Nyphron Rising by Michael J. Sullivan

Posted in Reviews at 1:23 pm by Fiona

Nyphron Rising (The Riyria Revelations, #3) Nyphron Rising by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am really invested in this series now! Each part keeps being better than the previous one. Michael’s further development of Arista, Hadrian and Royce is enticing. In this book there is one OMG! moment with Arista that had me shouting out loud it was so amazing. Michael introduces us to an adorable new character in this part of the story, Amilia. She is the servant girl who ends up being the lady in waiting for Modina (the Empress formerly know as Thrace). I am still waiting for the promised reappearance of my favorite little monk, Myron, to reappear.

So now the agony starts as I join the others who, like me, cannot wait for the next three parts of this series to become available. I knew I should have waited till they were all out to read!!


Review: Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan

Posted in Reviews at 11:14 pm by Fiona

Avempartha (The Riyria Revelations,#2) Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read the first book in this series because I wanted to help out a new author, and our Goodreads Fantasy Book Club was reading it. I enjoyed the first book, but was somewhat ambivalent about it. I was interested in giving the series more of a chance so I nominated this book a couple of times and the rest of the group voted for something else. THEIR LOSS!! Avempartha is fantastic! It builds on the story set out in The Crown Conspiracy yet really takes off. I had a hard time putting it down and going to sleep each night I so wanted to find out what happened next. I felt Michael’s storytelling just blossomed. I loved the new characters and how they were introduced into the story. I love how he keeps peeling away new layers to the main characters, Hadrian and Royce, like an onion. I’m so glad I have Nyphron Rising so I can tear right into it and have a feeling it’s going to be agonizing to wait for book 4, but I’m hanging on to this wild ride all the way to the end.


Review: An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Posted in Reviews at 8:00 pm by Fiona

An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7) An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have long been a fan of this series by Diana Gabaldon so having another chance to visit with Jamie and Claire and Brianna and Roger was wonderful. I was, however, rather disappointed that my visit was continually interrupted by Lord John Gray, his son, and numerous new characters introduced in this book as well as characters brought into the Outlander series from the Lord John books. If you haven’t read the Lord John books, you might want to consider doing so before reading this one. I would have been completely confused by who and what Percy was all about had I not read them prior to An Echo in the Bone.

If you are a big fan of continuity you will find yourself in a great deal of discomfort with An Echo in the Bone. Gabaldon jumps all over the place! One minute you are in 1777 Fort Ticonderoga with Jamie and Claire, the next chapter you could be in 1980 Scotland with Briana and Roger followed by a chapter in 1777 with William. Then just when you get used to that, the book just stops! No ending, no resolution to half a dozen story threads she had going, no hint of what’s to continue on in the next book it just stops like hitting a brick wall. For these reasons I have rated it the lowest of all seven Outlander books. I will still continue to read this series because I have so much already invested in these characters, but I really hope the quality of writing in future books goes back up to Gabaldon’s previous standards.


Review: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Posted in Reviews at 3:31 pm by Fiona

Warbreaker Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4.75 of 5 stars
The more I read Brandon Sanderson, the more I like his work. He invents such interesting systems of magic and fantasy worlds! He writes wonderful female heroines with their own inner conflicts that are so believable. I’m really anxious now to read The Gathering Storm and the other final installments of the Wheel of Time that he is finishing from Robert Jordan’ notes. Harriet McDougal did an excellent job of choosing Sanderson to be the guy to do it.

Warbreaker captivated me from the very first page and kept me held till the very end. In the final 50 pages I was trying to figure out how he was going to wrap this story up in the next few pages, but he managed to do it without seeming rushed at all. It ended right when it should have.

Sign me up for the Brandon Sanderson fan club because this is one author whose books I will buy every time a new one comes out!

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