Book Beginnings – The Binding by Bridget Collins

Hey Booklovers! Happy Friday! Today I’m trying something a bit new, and am joining in on Book Beginnings! This is a weekly post hosted by Rose City Reader – you can find the original post here. Book Beginnings is where we share the first line or so of our current read, and then talk about our impressions so far etc.

So the book I have literally just started this morning is The Binding by Bridget Collins.

Opening Sentences 

When the letter came I was out in the fields, binding up my last sheaf of wheat with hands that were shaking so much I could hardly tie the knot. It was my fault we had to do it the old-fashioned way, and I’d be damned if I was going to give up now; I had battled through the heat of the afternoon, blinking away the patches of darkness that flickered at the sides of my vision, and now it was nightfall and I was almost finished. 

First Impressions

I’m already intrigued about the letter (although from the synopsis I already know what it is), but it still has me excited as this means the book is going to be diving in quickly to the story line – which I am all for. I am also keen to know why doing it the old-fashioned way is the MC’s ‘fault’! So far, I’m keen to see how this book pans out. I’m super excited for this book anyway as it sounds amazing!

Synopsis

For those who want to have a read of the synopsis here it is (Courtesy of Amazon):

Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Forever.

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

Now, go ahead and tell me this book doesn’t sound interesting! I dare you! I can’t wait to get stuck into this book over the weekend! I’m so excited!

As always please feel free to leave your comments below. What are the first few lines of the book you are currently reading? Are you enjoying it? Let me know.

Master of Sorrows by Justin Call Review!

Today is the release day of Justin Call’s debut dark fantasy novel Master of Sorrows – The Silent Gods #1. Are you excited? I am! I had the privilege of reading this as an arc, and oh my gosh Booklovers it gripped me something fierce! I am in love with this book, and honestly can’t wait for the rest of the community to get their mitts on it!

You can get your copy here from Amazon

Isn’t this cover amazing? I love it, it’s so beautiful. I know…we shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, but c’mon this makes you want to pick it up, and trust me the inside is just a amazing!

Anyway, I’m gushing, but let’s get on with the review! 

  • Title: Master of Sorrows
  • Author: Justin Call
  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (21 Feb. 2019
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • ISBN-10: 1473222869
  • ISBN-13: 978-1473222861
  • My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis – from Amazon

The Academy of Chaenbalu has stood against magic for centuries.

Hidden from the world, acting from the shadows, it trains its students to detect and retrieve magic artifacts, which it jealously guards from the misuse of others. Because magic is dangerous: something that heals can also harm, and a power that aids one person may destroy another.

Of the Academy’s many students, only the most skilled can become Avatars – warrior thieves, capable of infiltrating the most heavily guarded vaults – and only the most determined can be trusted to resist the lure of magic.

More than anything, Annev de Breth wants to become one of them.

My Review (non-spoiler)

I know the synopsis doesn’t give much away, that’s kind of the point, but trust me it’s better that you don’t know much going into this (which is why I’m keeping this review vague and short). This book brings you in from the very first chapter! You are introduced to a new world, and it’s religious practices from the get go. I instantly fell in love with the world, and it’s history. Justin Call has managed to create such a beautiful and complex world with it’s own religious systems and Gods.

But this book isn’t just a bunch of world building and religion; there is action, there is monsters, and there is brutality to keep you on the edge of your seat. Annev, our main character, is navigating the world along with us, as he knows only what he has been taught, and is finding out there is much more than he could have ever suspected. More than anyone is letting on.

We follow Annev as he struggles to find the right path, and makes hard decisions. We experience every emotion with him, and I honestly loved reading his inner turmoil, and outward battles. This book had me guessing all the way, and was fantastic.

Master of Sorrows is definitely a fantasy not to be missed.

Reading Update #3

Hey Booklovers! Another week, and another reading update. Sadly it isn’t as impressive as my last couple of weeks I really haven’t achieved much, but you know…it’s half term and kids are crazy!

Since the last time I updated you, I have read one book! ONE! That’s all, which sucks, but as I said above it’s half term, and I have young kids. I am currently reading a couple as well so I guess it’s not all bad.

Books I’ve finished

So, like I said, I’ve only managed to finish one book since I last updated you all and that was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor . I know I said last week I was going to read strange the dreamer, but I wanted to see what Daughter of Smoke and Bone was like before heading into Strange. I didn’t love Daughter of Smoke and Bone unfortunately; it was by no means bad, it just wasn’t something I particularly loved. In conclusion to that I have decided not to continue on with that series. Feel free to shout at me if you think I’m making a mistake!

Books I am currently reading

So, I mentioned last week I was going to read Strange the Dreamer, and I am currently about 130 pages into it, and I have to say I am enjoying it so far! I really love the writing it is just so beautiful, and I’m keen to see where Lazlo’s journey is going to take him.

I am also doing a buddy read with my friend over at – https://www.instagram.com/katsreadingcorner/?hl=en and we are currently reading The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French which, by the way, is great so far! And funny! Funnier than I thought it would be. I have been eyeballing this book for a while, so thought I’d give it a go.

Random Tidbits

On another note, I have been approved for two arcs on Netgalley; Crown of Feathers by Nick Pau Preto and Holly and Hazel by Sara C. Snider. Both sound great, and I can’t wait to read them, and share my thoughts with you all!


So, as you can see this week hasn’t been as productive on the reading front, but nevertheless at least I’m making some progress! How is your reading coming along this week? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below!

S

Reader Shaming – It has to Stop!

Hey Booklovers! Happy Tuesday, I hope you are all reading great books, and smashing that tbr! Today’s post is another (sort of) rant …I can’t help it, I’m a 5ft 2 Scottish girl, I rant! Anyway, my post today is on reader shaming – because you wouldn’t know that already clicking on this (eyeroll at myself). Without further ado, let’s get started.

So, recently on Twitter, I witnessed some really shitty , ahem I mean horrible behaviour. Basically, someone posted a picture of their shelves, as we do in this community, and others began commenting on how the shelves were full of rubbish. That the reader was immature etc, because the shelves contained YA, and some middle grade. You may have seen it? Anyway I’m here to give my thoughts on the matter!

Firstly, this is such a stupid way of thinking in my humble opinion. I mean who cares what others are reading as long as they are enjoying it, right? I just don’t understand why we still have such elitism within the reader community. It’s so damn frustrating! You should be able to display your books loud and proud without someone trying to bring you down, yet we still have people out there who think you are not a real reader if you read YA – which is just crazy. There are some who still think that YA authors, are not real authors! Pfft! I honestly think it’s hilarious that these people go out their way to voice this opinion. I read adult, I read YA, and I read middle grade sometimes – take your shot folks! I really couldn’t care what some snobby person’s opinion says about my reading tastes. I read what I damn well please!

This needs to stop! People are entitled to read what they like. Reading is a personal and individual experience which is entirely subjective to the persons tastes, so if you are a hater…pipe down; just because it isn’t something you like doesn’t mean that reader is ‘less of a reader’! I find it really sad that I even have to say that! That I have to point out that this isn’t pre-school, and we can all be respectful and nice. Surely, this makes sense? I’m not talking in some unknown intergalactic language am I? Shouldn’t we all be supportive to the readers and writers in the book community, and bring each other up instead of down? I know I can’t be the only one who finds this type of elitism annoying!

Okay, I’m done. I’ll go back to my latest YA read now!

Please let me know in the comments what you guys think of this whole crazy situation. Are you with me, and couldn’t care less about what someone reads, or are you someone who is prone to finding fault with other peoples reading choices? As always let me know in the comments below. 

Books that had me saying “WTF!”

Yep! That’s right Booklovers, today is a day for ranting, and it’s obvious from the title what I’m ranting about…books that had me like “wtf!” Books that I disliked so much I wanted to blaspheme against the book gods and throw them into a murky fast flowing river just so I never had to see them again! Am I being a bit extreme? Am I over exaggerating? Maybe just a little.

Disclaimer

This is in no way a personal attack to the authors/ readers of these books, and if you read any one of these and enjoyed/loved them it is in no way a personal attack on you. This is just my opinion! Also I should mention this will undoubtedly involve spoilers as I delve into why I didn’t like these books, so be warned!

  1. Furyborn by Claire Legrand

I received an ARC of this book, and was so hyped at the time. The premise sounded great, and I was really keen to see how it would tackle the huge time jump (1000 years I think it spans). I was also really keen to see this so-called ‘bisexual representation’ that I was told would be in there…yeah, that was a disappointment!

This book was meant to give me action, strong heroines, and a new world to explore. What did it actually give me? Two lusty females, neither of whom actually did much throughout, and literally no bisexual rep at all! It was such a let down! Looking back on it I honestly don’t know how I managed to get through it. Also – sidenote – one of the female protagonists literally felt like a under developed Celaena Sardothien; a cheap and terrible immitation which I was so not on board for!

The only thing that I did like about this book was the use of magic in the first chapter…that was it! All down hill from there. Sorry not sorry.

2. Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

Firstly, I never and I repeat never read these kinds of books (not that there is anything wrong with books in this genre, it just isn’t my thing typically). The reason, you may ask, for deciding to pick it up then? Friends, and hype. Simple as that. I heard from so many friends around the time of release that it was a great book, and I should read it ASAP. Actually, I didn’t even buy a copy, my friend pushed hers under my nose, and demanded I read it.

I don’t think I’m the only one out there who thinks “WTF!!” when encountering this book. I get there may be appeal to BDSM, sure, that’s fine, but what I don’t (and probably will never) get is the appeal to a guy who is controlling af! Excuse me if I’m missing something, please enlighten me? I get he is ‘damaged’ and has a ‘bad past’, but what right does that give him to treat her that way? Why are we making excuses for someone who is that controlling? I’m sorry, but on that basis alone I could never get behind these books. I just can’t! Maybe I’m just too strong willed, but I don’t personally think so. I think many woman on here will agree that being treating in such a manner is not a turn on. Just saying.

3. Everless by Sara Holland

I literally think I am one of the only people who doesn’t like this book! Everyone else I know gives it such good praise and hype, and I’m over here glaring like “What am I not seeing/ reading here?” Again, the premise for this book sounded great! I mean using time as currency etc, sounded cool af, and I was so ready for this book. However, I was so upset when I actually read it. It was so boring! It was so predictable! The romance? WTF?! Really, wtf was that romance? She had been pining over a guy since she was young even though her facts were all muddled, and the guy who had been there all along (as the enemy…eyeroll) was the one who she should have really been thanking etc. Yawn, bloody Yawn! I found the protagonist useless, and stupid, and if there is one thing in a book I cannot stand, it is a useless main character.

So no people, I did not pick the second book up, and neither shall I!

4. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I’ll admit when I was young and in high school I did read this whole series, but to be honest couldn’t really remember much so decided to pick it up again a couple of years ago…big mistake! The first thing I have to say about this book (because I can’t really remember the others) is that I’m shocked it managed to make it to print. No, not because of the concept, but because it looks as though it hasn’t seen a damn editor!! Obviously, when I was younger I didn’t take note of the writing, but goodness me this time it stuck out like a sore thumb.

Now, again, I’m not bashing authors here, this was a debut, and she should have had a team to help her out with the errors, but it definitely meant that I couldn’t get into the story.

The story itself was average, although I have a few issues there too, like the weird, and quite frankly creepy, notion that Bella is ‘like a drug’…bit weird. I’m not generally a fan of relationships that are so imbalanced, which to me…this one is.

5. Damsel by Elana K Arnold

I picked this book up because it has dragons. Don’t judge me, I’m dragon mad! I didn’t really know much going into it, all I needed to hear was dragons, and it was pretty much a done deal I was going to read it.

It didn’t take me long to realise that this was not a book for me…at all! Having read a lot of fantasy there seemed to be this forced effort to make the characters sound a certain way; I don’t know how to explain, but when you read George R R Martin there is a way in which he uses language to give you such a strong insight into his characters, and I felt from chapter one that this is what the author was trying to do with the prince, but for me it just felt forced. You are given this whole “I need to rescue the damsel to earn my throne” objective for the prince, and that is where the story starts. He rescues her, he acts like she is his ‘destiny’ etc, and then out of nowhere…literally nowhere, he becomes this whole other monster.

I really didn’t know how to react at all. Also – side note – what is with this whole ‘to be a bad guy I must be a sex pest and rapey asshole’? What is with that? Help a girl out here, because is it just me, or are there other ways to show a guy as being an asshole…eyeroll to this damned trope!! Now, here’s what really had me throwing the book (I am unfortunately being completely serious…I threw the book!) The prince gets the damsel back to his palace, and during the night slips into her room, and tries to force himself on her. Which believe it or not isn’t the worst part…the following day he apologises to her, but then says “But who can blame me, when a beauty such as yourself is under my roof, and so close to being my wife?” WTF!!! Dude I can blame you! Also just so you all know – the marriage in no way is her choice! She is told she is to marry him. Can you see why this is on my WTF list?

There you have it! My rant about books that had me saying ‘wtf?’ Thank you if you managed to stick with me through that lol! Are there any books you think should make the list? Let me know in the comments. 

Five Friday Faves!

I’m so excited to begin doing these posts! Friday faves is something I adore throughout the community, and wanted to participate in, so every Friday I will be posting my 5 faves – whether that be worlds, magic systems, main characters, couples etc.

In the theme of Valentines day (which, I know, I know…was yesterday) I thought I’d do my 5 fave couples in books!

This is a difficult one for me, as there are obvious choices that come to mind – such as certain characters from the classics etc, but to keep this from becoming too saturated with the ‘typical classic couples’ we all love and know, I decided to go for a list focusing on the fantasy genre in general.

This list is not in any particular order, I’m not rating one above the other particularly, I’m just giving you the generalized list of faves!

  • Serene and Raoden from Elantris – This is a couple I encountered recently, but I just adore! They are so perfect for each other, so strong willed and willing to do what it takes to achieve peace for their people! They are an awesome power couple.
  • Elide and Lorcan from the Throne of Glass Series – If you follow me on bookstagram, you will know how much I’ve previously gone on about this couple. I adore them so much, I have a weird love for brooding male types, and I just melt at this quiet yet strong woman managing to warm the heart of this immortal stern-faced male.
  • Mia Corvere and Ashlinn Jarnheim from The Nevernight Chronicle – Spoiler Alert (Sort of) – Scroll down if you have not read Nevernight or Godsgrave!! You’ve been warned! Okay so at first I struggled with this because, you know…forgiving Ashlinn, but now I’m totally on board with this power couple!
  • Patch and Nora from the Hush Hush Series – I can’t help it, I just have a thing for guys who are all dark and mysterious!! I’m not the only one!
  • Jon Snow and Ygritte from A Song of Ice and Fire – I adored this couple so much (weeps uncontrollably) Damn you George R. R. Martin! Ygritte was so good for Jon!

There you have it, my Five Friday Fave Couples! I probably have forgotten some if i’m honest, so please feel free to hit me up in the comments with those you would have added to your list, or ones that you would swap out from mine. Who is your fave couple from books?

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson Review

Hey Booklovers! Happy Valentines Day!! Since today is a day to spread some love I wanted to review a book I recently fell head over heels for, and the book of honour today is…Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson! 

  • Title: Warbreaker
  • Author: Brandon Sanderson
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (29 Dec. 2011)
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • ISBN-10: 9780575097469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575097469
  • My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis

WARBREAKER is the story of two sisters – who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, a lesser god, and an immortal trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.

Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city. A world transformed by BioChromatic magic, a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous: breath can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

But the rewards are great: by using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be performed.

My Review

Trying to put this book into words literally leaves me like “blahgergerangahallafle!!” I really don’t know how to begin gushing over this book with you all! Perhaps a fair assessment would be to say that since I gave it 5 stars I must have liked it! Well, I do, I love it! It was so much fun! So many unexpected moments occured, and there were so many vibrant characters worth falling in love with!

Another easy assessment would be to say that given this book was 672 pages long, and I managed to finish it in less than 8hrs – something must have kept me turning those pages. Yes! This book though chunky by some peoples standards was fast paced and full of “what will happen next?” moments! I literally didn’t want to put it down.

I went into this book not knowing much (that’s generally how I like to go into books these days) and I really enjoyed watching the plot unfold. The story follows two princess sisters Siri and Vivenna; the former considered an unimportant daughter of a king, and the latter has been raised to know that she will someday marry the brutal God King Susebron. Last minute plans change, and Siri who has forever believed herself to be unimportant is now tasked with marrying the God King and bearing him a child, whilst her sister is to stay safe within her kingdom.

This doesn’t go to plan…obviously, and Vivenna decides to take actions into her own hands to recover her sister from this monstrous man, but all is not as it seems, and during this book the previous roles of the sisters seem to change forever.

I loved the characters so much, each was so well constructed. Siri is so wild and unapologetically herself that I couldn’t help but love her early on, and don’t get me started on Lightsong; he is hilarious, and amazing, and gosh I love him!! Susebron was not at all how I was expecting him to be! Vivenna had an amazing arc, and I really rooted for her, Vasher was one who crept up on me, and took my breath away!

Honestly I don’t want to ruin this experience for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but damn I’m so happy I read this book, and am trying hard not to leak the spoilers!

Overall, this book was fantastic! Definitely recommend it to everyone who is a fan of fantasy…and maybe even if you aren’t! I adored this. So much of this book wasn’t what I thought it would be. I made my assumptions, and was shocked to realise they were all wrong. Warbreaker is truly a great book; one of my faves this year so far. Confessedly becoming a Sanderson Fangirl over here!