The Fantasy Tropes Tag

The Fantasy Tropes Tag

Today we explore books though fantasy tropes in this tag. I was tagged by Kelly @another book in the wall.

Bluejay Feather

“The Lost Princess”

A book/series you lost interest in halfway through

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Maximum Ride

I enjoyed the first three books in this series, but after that I don’t even know what happened because everything got way too wild. The characterization didn’t even seem consistent any more.

I read this in a time where I used to finish everything, so I read up what was then the last book. There is now an additional sequel that I have no interest in reading because the last couple books made me upset and not in a good way.

“The Knight in Shining Armor”

A hyped book/series you were swept up by

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Arc of a Scythe (Scythe and Thunderhead)

Okay, this series isn’t that hyped, but it’s hyped enough that I feel like I can mention it. I love this series so much. This book is one of the most thought provoking YA novels I’ve read (though I think the author’s other series, The Unwind Dystology, may have this one beat). The world is just so captivating and the plot twists are so great that I just love this series.

I ultimately liked book two more than book one. For this reason, I featured the image of book two.

Read my review of book one here.

“The Wise Old Wizard”

An author who amazes you with his/her writing

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Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor’s prose is beautiful and poetic. I want to quote her whole books! But, that would be plagiarism, so I can’t do it. 😦

“The Maiden in Distress”

An undervalued character you wished had a bigger storyline

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Flower — Wings of Fire Series

Wings of Fire is a middle grade series told from dragons’ point of views. While I think this was the right choice for the series, I’d love for Flower, one of the dragon’s human “pets”, to have a spin-off novel devoted to her. Her point of view must be so interesting.

“The Magical Sword”

A magical item/ability you wish authors used less

Resurrection

Okay, so this applies more to certain authors who shall not be named than authors in general. In some stories, resurrection can be an effective plot device, but a lot of authors overuse it to the point of ridiculousness: I wonder if that character who has died twenty times will stay dead? Of course not!

“The Mindless Villain”

A phrase you cannot help but roll your eyes at

“S/he released a breath she didn’t know s/he was holding.”

I see this everywhere. I’ve had to put a few books down because it’s so ridiculous.

“The Untamed Dragon”

A magical creature you wish you had as a pet

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Chalklings– The Rithmatist

It would be awesome to have a moving chalk drawing (AKA Chalkling) as a pet. A nice Chalkling though; I don’t want to get eaten by chalk. Thank you very much. I’m not sure having one of these is possible due to the in-universe rules, but I don’t see that there is anything explicitly against it happening either.

“The Chosen One”

A book/series you will always root for

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The Stormlight Archives/ The Cosmere

I’m going to go with The Stormlight Archives or better yet The Cosmere, the massive collection of books The Stormlight Archives series is a part of, because I love them so much. Yes, I have already mentioned a book by this author in this post, but I’m mentioning his books again because why not?

Rules

  1. mention the creator: one’s peculiar.
  2. answer the questions.
  3. tag as many people as you like.
  4. Have fun.

I tag

Sumeet @Aspire to Inspire

Abbie @Boneseasonofglass

Anyone who wants to do this tag should consider themselves tagged too!

Bluejay Feather

Were any of my choices a surprise? Have you read any of these books? How would you answer these questions? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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November and December Wrap-Up || So Many Great Reads

Monthly Wrap-up

November and December proved themselves productive reading months, but not so much in terms of writing months.

Bluejay Feather

Reading

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The Lies of Locke Lamora

Short Synopsis

A theif named Locke tries to get out of the dangerous web in which one of the city’s other influential thieves has him ensnared.

Thoughts

I heard such great things about this book. I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it even more had my version of the audio book not had a tendency to cut off before the end of chapters.

That said, my willingness to put up with the audio book’s quality speaks magnitudes for the book itself.

Rating

4 blue jays

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Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time #2)

Short Synopsis

Thirteenth book in The Wheel of Time series.

Thoughts

I enjoyed it but, again, not enough to motivate me to finish the books in the middle of the series that I skipped.

Rating

4 blue jays

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Invictus

Short Synopsis

A group of teenagers travel through time and steal historical artifacts.

Thoughts

I enjoyed this one. See my full review for my thoughts.

Rating

4 blue jays

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Warcross

Short Synopsis

A teenage girl goes from almost homeless to completing in her timeline’s most competitive video game tournament.

Thoughts

I loved that this novel was set primarily in Japan, as there aren’t a lot of YA novels set there. The video game setting was fun, but the characters didn’t stand out in my mind as much as I would like.

Rating

4 blue jays

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The Empress (The Diabolic #2)

Short Synopsis

Sequel to The Diabolic, which followed Nemesis, a girl bred for the sole purpose of being an assassin.

Thoughts

My feelings for this book were conflicting and not helped by the fact that some of the elements that set Warcross apart from some of the other YA novels I’ve read were also present in this book.

However, I ultimately gave the book a high rating for reasons discussed in my spoiler review.

If you’re new to the series, please see my The Diabolic review.

4 blue jays

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Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)

Short Synopsis

Third book in an epic fantasy series.

Thoughts

A worthy sequel to Words of Radiance. (Which is saying something considering that the prequel is basically my favorite novel of all time.)

Its plot is less cohesive than its predecessor, but  there is still much exploration of the word of Roshar, the Knights Radiant, and Stormlight.

There will likely be a full review to come. In the mean time, those new to the series may enjoy my review of The Way of Kings. 

Rating

five blue jays

 

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The Hate U Give

Short Synopsis

Starr is the only one who knows the truth of her best friend’s death. A truth with the potential to tear her community apart.

Thoughts

It’s no secret that I don’t read a lot of contemporary books, but I make an effort to read some from time to time because there are some great ones out there.

This is one of those.

I was hesitant at first because I worried that, like a lot of books that deal with political topics, this book would be preachy. This fear proved unfounded.

The characters are well developed and the author’s world-building, and yes, I am referring to setting the scene in a contemporary novel as world-building, of Starr’s city and the division within it was fantastic. In addition, the book’s subject matter is incredibly timely.

One of the best debut novels I’ve read, and a great way to start discussions about a difficult topic.

Rating

five blue jays

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Before The Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3)

Short Synopsis

Third book in The Diviners series, which follows a group of young people with supernatural abilities.

Thoughts

Wow, this escalated quickly, but not quickly enough in some ways.

I went into this believing it was the final book in the series and not a book still in the middle of the series. This, at first, left me confused by the lack of resolution.

Rating

4 blue jays

Aether of Night by Brandon Sanderson

Thoughts

Not including a synopsis because I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to discuss the contents, but this proved one of the best unpublished manuscripts I’ve read, if not the best unpublished manuscript I’ve read.

I had some issues with it that made me see why it wasn’t published, but it was still good.

Rating

4 blue jays

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Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, And The Deep Origins of Consciousness

Short Synopsis

An exploration of octopus’s intelligence.

Thoughts

I’ve long been fascinated by octopuses, and this was an interesting exploration of their thought process.

Rating

4 blue jays

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The Soul of an Octopus

Short Synopsis

Yet another exploration into octopus intelligence.

Thoughts

No, I did not suddenly develop a desire to listen to a string of nonfiction books about octopuses.

This one was turned on in audio book form while I was traveling because one of my traveling companions mistakenly believed it to be the book I’d been reading.

We listened to it anyway.

Rating

3.5 blue jays

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Influence

Short Synopsis

Details the ways people exploit psychology to convince people to do what they don’t want to and ways to circumvent falling for their ploys.

Thoughts

Read this one in audio book form on the same trip where I read Soul of an Octopus. My traveling companion was a huge nonfiction fan.

In some ways, this book changed the way I thought of the actions of those around me. I noticed some of the practices detailed in the book being used by people even before I finished reading it.

Rating

4.5 blue jays

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Children of Eden

Short Synopsis

Rowan is a second child born in a city where the law that each couple may have only one child is harshly enforced.

Thoughts

This may well be the most unpopular opinion I have ever posted, but I have to be honest.

I read this book because it was one of the only ones downloaded on my Kindle during a time when I had no access to WiFi or cell service.

Someone else downloaded this book while they were borrowing my device. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have chosen it to begin with.

Reading it with no prior knowledge of the reviews or publisher of this book, I honestly thought that this had been self-published and would have a low average rating. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this was not at all the case.

The most positive thing I can say about the book is that it is captivating. I was able to read it in a crowded place. Beyond that, the plot felt derivative of other YA dystopian novels I have read, and I didn’t care much for the characters.

The reason I felt the book might be self-published is because of all the melodrama, (Though, to be clear, I have read many great self-published books with little melodrama.) The book reads like a debut.

I can, however, see many people who are new to the dystopian genre enjoying this book because of its captivating nature and bisexual love triangle that I hear some readers searching out from time to time.

Rating

2.5 blue jays

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Steering the Craft

Short Synopsis

A non-fiction writing craft book by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Thoughts

Okay, so I didn’t read this book during November or December, but I did read sections of it throughout 2017. I never reported the book in my wrap-ups, so I’m mentioning it now instead.

A good, brief book on writing craft.

Rating

4 blue jays

Writing

Writing wise, the only thing I accomplished was writing and revising a short story. If my attempts at publication prove fruitless I may post it to the blog because I was rather satisfied with how it turned out.

Bluejay Feather

Hope you all had a happy New Year!

Anyone read any of these books? What did you think? What did you read at the end of this year? 

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Second Liebster Award || I Fail at Shipping

Liebster Award

I’d like to thank Lyndsey @Lyndsey’s Book Blog for the nomination!

Bluejay Feather

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.
  • Answer their eleven questions.
  • Write eleven questions of your own.
  • Nominate eleven bloggers and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Lyndsey’s Questions/My Answers

If you could live in any fictional world (doesn’t have to be fantasy, just any book world) which would it be?

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I would want to live in the world of Scythe by Neal Shusterman because then I’d have the possibility of living a super long, happy life and have access to the thundercloud, which sounds awesome.

I would not, however, want to be a scythe. Wait, they make the people who don’t want to be scythes into scythes. Maybe this is isn’t the best idea after all . . .

Which fantasy creature would you love to have as a pet?

I would want a spren from The Stormlight Archive. Don’t think they’d appreciate being called pets though. They’d be more like a companion.

If you could control one of the elements (earth, air, water, fire) which would you choose?

I would choose water because it’s everywhere, and I can’t have fire because I would so burn myself by mistake.

Do you prefer tea or coffee? How do you take it?

Tea, I usually put mint in it, but no other sweeteners. I love mint too much for my own good. If I could, I’d probably put it in everything. I also like mint herbal teas a lot. Especially peppermint herbal teas.

Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

I used to say too cold, but I’ve lived in the subtropics for too long now and don’t know how to deal with the cold anymore. Now I have to say too hot.

What’s your favourite colour?

blue

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

During the time when I was into Twilight I would always answer “I don’t know” to this question. I’ve never been all that involved with shipping.

Go to your Goodreads to read list, what’s the fifth book on your list?

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Ketchup or mayonnaise?

Ketchup

Do you prefer paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks?

Lately, I prefer audiobooks because I don’t have time for much else, but if I had a choice I would choose hardcover/hardbacks.

Who would be your dream book boy/girlfriend?

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I honestly don’t know. I’m not really involved with shipping. I guess Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer because he seems nice? I think we’d get along well, and some of these perfect looking fictional boys make me nauseous thinking of their perfection. In some ways, Lazlo seems more realistic.

My Questions

  1. What is your favorite book genre?
  2. What’s the first book you remember reading?
  3. Why did you start your blog?
  4. What book did you expect to hate but end up loving anyway?
  5. What are you reading right now?
  6. Go to your bookshelf or Goodreads. Choose the first book you see. What’s the book’s title?
  7. Would you rather never read again or never write again?
  8. Open the first book you see and flip to a random page. What’s your favorite line on that page?
  9. What’s the first book blog you remember visiting?
  10. If you were going to give a free copy of one book to every person on the planet, what book would you choose?
  11. What is your favorite part about blogging?

My Nominations

Violet Daniels @a color of her own
Chelsea R. H. @an ordinary pen

The Story Sponge 

victoriaelizabethellis @Carton-Manette-Darnay
Madeline Rose @The Book Pusher

Some of you are probably wondering why there are only eight names on this list when the instructions say to nominate eleven people.

The blue jay must have eaten all the letters in those names. *shrugs* That’s the trouble with naming a blog after a bird.

Just kidding, I can’t decide who else to pick. If you’re a blogger and would like to become one of the missing names, let me know in the comments. I’ll consider adding your blog to the list.

Bluejay Feather
Were any of my answers a surprise? What would be your answers to the questions I was asked? Anything we have in common? 

 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Pastry Book Tag

I’d like to thank Windie @ Geek Apprentice for tagging me! This tag was created by @Writing on a Vintage Typewriter.

CROISSANT: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves.

The Lunar Chronicles

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I don’t love this one as much as I used too, and I wouldn’t say that everyone loves it. However a lot of people do.

Macarons: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it in the end.

Carry On

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I had a little trouble getting into this book as the beginning was so slow, but I ended up reading it very quickly as it picks up after that.

VOL-AU-VENT: Name a book that you thought would be amazing but fell flat.

The Maze Runner

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I had really high expectations for this book, but I just felt too distant from the characters to connect to the story properly.

PAIN-AU-CHOCOLAT: Name a book that you though would be one thing but turned out to be something else.

The Name of the Wind

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I wasn’t expecting this book’s plot to go the way it did. Probably going to get some hate for this, but the whole book I felt like I was waiting for a climax that never really came. So in that way the story was not what I expected.

PROFITEROLE: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention.

Unwind

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I have to agree with the one who tagged me on this one. The Unwind series does not get enough love.

CROQUEMBOUCHE: Name a book or series that’s completely complex.

The Stormlight Archive

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The fictional world where this series is set is one of the most — if not the most– complex I have ever read about.

NAPOLEON: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.

The Maze Runner

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Didn’t really like the second movie, but I enjoyed the first one more than I did the book which, as I’ve mentioned, did not live up to my expectations.

EMPANADA: Name a book that was bittersweet.

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3)

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That ending . . . This is all I can say without spoilers. Anyone who has read this book will know what I mean.

KOLOMPEH: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your own country.

The House of the Scorpion

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This book takes place in a combination of a fictional country located on what is now the border between the US and Mexico and a somewhat futuristic version of Mexico though it is called something else in the book.

PATE-A-CHOUX: Name a food from a book or series that you would like to try.

The Stormlight Archive

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I would like to try some of the foods Lift from the Stormlight Archives steals from the tables of the wealthy.

Spread The Love (of Food)

I tag Kat @book box by Kat and Chelsie @Chelsie’s Book Addiction.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson 5 stars

7235533Title: The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive Book 1)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Publication date: August 31, 2010

Genre: Adult High Fantasy

Synopsis: Kaladin Stormblessed has had many roles in his life. He’s been an aspiring surgeon, common solider, respected squadleader, and a slave. In all his roles Kaladin has tried to save people but ended up enslaved for his effort. Kaladin is about to give up hope when a mysterious spren starts speaking to him and urging Kaladin on. It would seem Kaladin is not done being a hero yet.

Shallan Davar has just arrived in the city of Kharbranth. A noble woman of a minor house, this is Shallan’s first time away from her father’s estate. Unfortunately, Shallan isn’t here for the sight seeing. Shallan’s mission is to steal one of Princess Jasnah Kholin’s most prized possessions to save her family from financial ruin.

Brightlord Dalanar Kholin and his son, Adolin, must investigate the attempted murder of Dalanar’s nephew, the king, and the mystery behind the previous King’s murder by the “Assassin in White” five years before. All the while Dalanar is having visions and needs to determine if he is going mad or has been sent messages from the Almighty whom the Alethi people worship.

Review: Even though I loved Brandon Sanderson’s original Mistborn Trilogy I was still hesitant to pick this book up. It starts with a prelude which is followed by a Prologue. As far as I know I’ve never read a book with both of those before, and lets face it, prologues are hard to get right. Then there is the matter of this book’s length. It is over a thousand pages long. Until I read this book’s sequel, Words of Radiance, this was the longest book I’ve ever read. Despite this initial hesitation all of my expectations were more than met. To put it simply, this book is amazing.

It turns out that I had actually listened to the first several chapters of this book about a year ago on a car trip where there was an audio book playing. I remember liking what I heard, but forgetting to ask what book it was we were listening to. As a result, I never finished. It wasn’t until I started listening to the book that I realized I had heard this somewhere before and made the connection.

This book is narrated from many different point of views. It is clear the focus in this book is on Kaladin, but Shallan, Dalanar, and Adolin also narrate a considerable portion of the story. Kaladin has the most drastic character development in this book. We jump between his present life as a slave, and is past life as a surgeon in training/ army squadleader. It is not revealed until late in the story how Kaladin sunk so low in society from such a respected position. Shallan, a noble girl of a minor House who is trying to steal a princess’s most valuable possession to save her family from financial ruin, also develops significantly. The focus is not on her as much as Kaladin, and the two never cross paths in this book, but I still found her story intriguing and felt no urge to skip. Dalanar and his son Adolin are members of the royal family, the current king’s uncle and cousin. Their characters took me a little warming up to, but by the end of the book I really liked them.

I could easily tell Kaladin and Shallan’s narration apart, but had difficulty when Dalanar or Adolin was narrating at first because I had trouble remembering the royal hierarchy. Brandon Sanderson did a good job keeping all of the perspectives interesting especially considering how much time the narrators spent great distances from one another.

The world building was also very well done. Every culture in Roshar appears fully developed even if only one member of that culture is featured in the story. The small details about how Roshar and it’s peoples have adapted to deal with the devastating highstorms, that destroys everything in its path and makes gemstones glow, make everything seem more realistic. Sanderson even went so far as to create his own flora and fauna illustrations of which are placed in the book. The architecture has also been modified to withstand the storm’s winds, and their currency uses glass spheres containing gemstones because the fact that they glow due to the stormlight stored within them allows a person to prove easily whether or not they’re real.

Brandon Sanderson’s writing is known for it’s magic systems, and for good reason. There is not much to say about it without spoiling anything, but it fits into the world Brandon Sanderson has created very well. Learning about how the magic system worked with Kaladin was never dull because I was so interested in how it worked.

Though this book was long, and it did take me more than a week to get through (which is an extremely long time for me when I’m reading a book I enjoyed this much) I feel there were plenty of stopping points that at time I felt like the individual “books” within The Way of Kings could have stood on their own. Anyone who didn’t want to read the book all at one could stop at one of those points, read something else, then come back and finish The Way of Kings.

What readers should know: This book is mostly free of language. The characters are at war and participate in battles so there is a lot of violence and death. This book does contain magic, but it is of a less conventional variety and there are no “witches” or “wizards,” and is so logically explained by the author it is almost as if the universe the book was written in has separate laws of physics rather than a magic system.

Rating: This book contained awesome world building, magic system, and characters. My only possible complaint is that it could have probably been edited a little shorter, but I enjoyed the reading experience so much that once I finished reading this I still couldn’t wait to pick up the sequel.

five blue jays

Monthly Wrap-up: June 2015

I read a total of eight books in June with two of them being over 1000 pages in length. Before this past month I had not read even one book over 1000 pages long so I consider this an accomplishment even if the books didn’t feel 1000 pages long because of how much I enjoyed them. Five of the books I read were YA fiction, and three were adult fiction. All fell into the fantasy genre. Five were high fantasy, and three were dystopian with a paranormal twist.

June was one of my most reading intensive months this year, if not the most so far. Sure, eight books is not the highest number I’ve read, but it’s close and some of the books I read in June were also incredibly long.

In terms of writing I didn’t post very much last month due to the fact that all I wanted to do was read. This is specifically true of my blog since I did manage to write around 5,000 words of my current work in progress, but didn’t manage to keep up my goal of posting at least once per week. Throughout July I’ll be participating in Camp National Novel Writing Month so all the reviews for the amazing books I read but didn’t write about last month may have to wait as I try to focus on finishing my current manuscript, but I do plan on reviewing at least a few more of the ones I’ve read eventually.

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Short Synopsis: Conclusion to Brandon Sanderson’s original Mistborn trilogy.

Thoughts: This was a really great end to a trilogy. I had a few minor problems with it, but those were mostly subjective. Mistborn may well become one of my favorite series depending on my thoughts of the new continuation books.

Rating:

 five blue jays

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehShort Synopsis: A man marries a new woman everyday to kill her at dawn. Shahrahzad agrees to marry him so she can kill the man and end the cycle.

Thoughts: I had a few, mostly nit-picky, issues but overall this was very enjoyable. For my full thoughts see my review.

Rating: 

4 blue jays

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirShort Synopsis: The most promising aspirant in his class tries to find a way out of doing the terrible things his empire asks of him. Meanwhile, a slave girl infiltrates the compound where he goes to school in order to save her brother.

Thoughts: I have some conflicted feelings about this book, but am giving it a relatively high rating because it was extremely addictive and left me wanting more.

Rating:

 4 blue jays

The Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonShort Synopsis: Kaladin was a prominent young squad leader in an army until one day he was sold into slavery. Now forced into the position of bridgeman, considered the worst position in the army because it has the highest death rate, Kaladin struggles to protect the lives of those around him.

Meanwhile, a girl named Shallan tries to steal one of a princess’s most valuable possessions to save her family from financial ruin and Highprince Dalinar tries to make sense of his strange visions.
Thoughts: This book was very good, but due to it’s length this is the book that took me the longest to read this month. It follows the stories of several different characters, many of whom never meet in this novel, and at times it could be a little hard to remember which perspective I was reading from, but the formatting really helped with that. The world building was some of the most unique and well developed I’ve read. Overall this book was long, but amazing and worth it.

Rating: 

five blue jays

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Short Synopsis: The second book in the Stormlight Archive and the sequel to The Way of Kings.

Thoughts: This book might have been over 1000 pages long, but I read it in about four days because I was just so invested in the story and loving the way it came together. I can’t wait for book three to be released next July.

Rating:

five blue jays

The Immortal Rules by Julie KagawaThe Eternity Cure by Julie KagawaThe Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Short Synopsis: In a dystopian future where vampires rule and humans are herded like cattle our main character must chose between true death and becoming the thing she hates most: a vampire. The entire Blood of Eden Trilogy.

Thoughts: I wasn’t expecting to like this one and actually started reading the first book because I was hoping to read something that wouldn’t distract from my writing, but ended up really enjoying it and reading the entire trilogy in three days.

Rating:

4 blue jays

(series rating)

Currently reading:

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