All posts by Linda Wright

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Mistborn Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book Three of Mistborn
Publisher: Tor Fantasy; First Edition edition (April 28, 2009), 784 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 9780765356147, ISBN-13: 978-0765356147

Vin finds and releases the power from the well of ascension into the world with some interesting consequences.  The final search for the The Hero of Ages unfolds with some unique and surprising results.

The Hero of Ages is the second book in the Mistborn trilogy. A sequel, The Alloy of Law was subsequently released and takes place 300 years after the conclusion of the trilogy. This is a high fantasy book that takes place on the world of Scadrial. A land that is plagued by constant ash falls and overwhelming mists which prevent the growth of vegetation. The book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters.

In this world that is covered in ash, with the mysterious mist that appears to be harming people, more back story is revealed to explain this and the true purpose of the mist is revealed. Vin and company spend the majority of the book uncovering the puzzling clues left by the Lord Ruler. There is an unexpected and interesting twist to the story we have been following concerning the Hero of Ages, I will not say anymore here so as not to give out any spoilers!! We learn more about the Evil God Ruin as well as the Good God of Preservation with their fight for the balance of power between them.

The ending to this story is a bit sad and certainly unique and definitely not what we were expecting, but certainly satisfying in its own way. I am anxious to see where this series is going and I am looking forward to reading the final book in the trilogy.   I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading high fantasy revolving around the struggle between good and evil utilizing interesting characters.

To Purchase: “The Hero of Ages” click here or on picture above

Mistborn:The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Mistborn Series

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book One of Mistborn
Publisher: Tor Fantasy (July 31, 2007), 672 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 9780765350381, ISBN-13: 978-0765350381

 


Mistborn: The Final Empire is an unusual premise for a fantasy novel. The magic system is unique and comes from the consumption of alloys which gives the user various abilities depending on the alloy. The social structure is also unusual. The majority of the world is comprised of slaves who are known as Skaa. They have no rights and the nobility has ensured that none have Allomanic abilities. The balance of the world is the Nobility of which some have Allomanic abilities and they are referred to as mistborn. Ultimately the series plotline concerns a battle of good versus evil.

I really enjoyed this book and I liked all the characters. We meet Vin, the main protagonist, and watch her grow from an insecure thief to a very successful mistborn.  Kelsier and his crew are also introduced and the story unfolds with the joining of these people. Together they are planning a big job (theft) from the Lord Ruler. In the process, as part of the job, Vin plays the part of nobility, even though she is a Skaa. I really enjoyed watching Vin’s transformation to a lady.

Mistborn: The Final Empire is the first book in the Mistborn series. Currently there are three books with the fourth book to be released November 2011. This is a high fantasy book that takes place on the world of Scadrial. A land that is plagued by constant ash falls and overwhelming mists which prevent the growth of vegetation. The book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters.

The book is interesting with the main plot line surrounding the plan to steal from the Lord Ruler. But it also introduces all the characters showing good development and growth for most of the players. The story is told in an exciting manner, exploring an interesting social structure and a new twist on an unusual magic system. I found the ending to be extremely exciting as well as interesting.

The book can stand on its own since it comes to a good conclusion. Yet it still left plenty of room for the story to continue in the next book, which I quickly picked up and read.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading high fantasy revolving around the struggle between good and evil utilizing interesting characters.

To Purchase: “Mistborn : Final Empire” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

2 Treasure Boxes

An unusual premise for fantasy novels. The magic system is unique and the social structure is also unusual, with the majority of the world being Skaa, slaves with no rights and no supposed Allomanic abilities and the balance of the world is the Nobility who do have Allomanic abilities. Although the series it is still ultimately a battle of good versus evil.

The main protagonist is a girl by the name of Vin who goes through a great transformation from skittish imp to the strongest  and bravest Allomancer in this world. She learns from her mentor Kelsier, who is the leader of an underground gang.

There are several other characters in the book who work with Vin to try to bring an end to the thousand year rule of the evil Lord Ruler.  During the series we come to know and understand the Lord Ruler and to see how he came to be what he is, although we still do not necessary believe what he did was right.

There is magic in the form of Allomancers, certain few individuals who can burn metals, that enhance various mental and physical abilities.  That is they ingest small amounts of various metals and depending on the individual and metal, they obtain special powers until the metals burn out of their system.  Mistborns can burn all the metals and Mistings can only burn one specific metal.  One of the most interesting abilities is an Allomancer who can burn Steel, this allows the individual to push and pull on any metal object around them, thereby giving them the ability to almost fly.  A method of travelling by a Coinshot (the name given to an Allomancer who is burning steel,) is to thrown coins down and then push against the coin to fly up.

The other form of magic is Feruchemy, that is where certain people can store various mental or physical attributes in different metals that they wear.  For example thousands of books can be read while wearing a copper bracelet and thus store the books in that bracelet.  Or good health can be stored in a gold bracelet, the only challenge with this is that in order to store up the good health, one must spend time in a reduced feeling of health to save up his health in the metal for later use.

All three novels were interesting and the final really explains how the world came to be with a different kind of conclusion.  I thought the ending was a bit sad and maybe just a little too simplified, but on the whole the series was great.

Book One: Mistborn: The Final Empire, Book Two: The Well of Ascension, Book Three: The Hero of Ages

The Day Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series The Night Watch

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Second Book in the Night Watch Series
Publisher: Miramax; 1st edition (March 21, 2007), Paperback: 453 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 1401360203, ISBN-13: 978-1401360207


This is a highly entertaining modern fantasy novel that is written in an unique manner. The main protagonist is Anton Gorodetsky, a light magician, who is a member of the Night Watch and as such it is his job to solve problems that occur in the supernatural community, although he does not really appear in the first story. This book looks deeply at the relationship between the Night Watch and the Day Watch and shows what happens when there is not a balance in the level of power between the two groups.

This is the second book written in the Night Watch Series or Watch Series. Sergei Lukyanenko has written numerous short stories, book series and novels. All his books were originally written in Russian and several including this series have been translated to English as well as several other languages. This book is in the contemporary fantasy genre since it takes place in modern times but still involves supernatural beings known as Others. These “Others” include Witches, Magicians, Enchantress/Sorceress, Vampires, Werewolves, etc. The book is told in three different stories each one seemingly stand alone, yet tied to each other and in combination completing a larger story. These stories are told using the third person narrative, mostly from Anton’s point of view but also from the view of other characters in the book.

The first story is concerning a dark witch and a light mage who have both lost their powers, they meet at a children’s camp where they are both recuperating and while neither has any powers they fall in love, with some interesting consequences. The next story introduces a mysterious new character who seems to be growing in power in an unusual manner. Anton is also involved with the individual and the Day Watch’s top boss is trying to manipulate Anton, through all of this there are some interesting scenes and discoveries. The final story is an investigation by the inquistors (the Day Watch and the Night Watch police*) into the first two stories and ultimately shows the relationship between them  and shows some interesting conclusions.

This is the best book in the series. An enjoyable book with the introduction of a number of new interesting concepts.This story again shows the power struggle between both the Night Watch and the Day Watch with both sides trying to manipulate people and events to swing power their way as much as possible.  It also shows that the Others are trying to ensure that the power between both sides stays about equal to ensure that balance is maintained in the world.

The world that Mr. Lukyanenko has created is intriguing and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.  This is a stand alone book that comes to a satisfying, if somewhat sad conclusion. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary fantasy with a likeable male protagonist.  The best things about this series are the uniqueness of the story concept, plot structure and the characters.

*See my blog on the Night Watch series

 

To Purchase: “Day Watch” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Twilight Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series The Night Watch

Book Review: 2 Treasure Box
The Third Book in the Night Watch Series
Publisher: Miramax (June 13, 2007), Paperback: 416 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 1401360211, ISBN-13: 978-1401360214


This is a highly entertaining modern fantasy novel that is written in an unique manner. The main protagonist is Anton Gorodetsky, a light magician, who is a member of the Night Watch and as such it is his job to solve problems that occur in the supernatural community. This book deal primarily with the concept of a book which will turn all humans into others, it looks at what would happen if this happens and the story is Anton’s search for this book.

This is the third book written in the Night Watch Series or Watch Series. Sergei Lukyanenko has written numerous short stories, book series and novels. All his books were originally written in Russian and several including this series have been translated to English as well as several other languages. This book is in the contemporary fantasy genre since it takes place in modern times but still involves supernatural beings known as Others. These “Others” include Witches, Magicians, Enchantress/Sorceress, Vampires, Werewolves, etc. The book is told in three different stories each one seemingly stand alone, yet tied to each other and in combination completing a larger story. These stories are told using the third person narrative, mostly from Anton’s point of view but also from the view of other characters in the book

The first story is where Anton is sent in disguise to solve a mystery around an Other who can supposedly make humans into Others.  This is a huge problem because if used it would cause a disasterous shift in the balance between light and dark. In the second story Anton is on vacation, but while there he discovers something amiss, which he decides to investigate.  When he is looking into this he meets an un-registered witch and then finds more clues pointing to the ability to change humans into others. Both stories once again show the manipulations of both Watches to try to swing the balance. The third story once again brings up the ability to turn humans into others with Anton as the catalyst of solving the problem.  Which he does solve, but in a very interesting and thought provoking manner.

This book reveals some interesting facts about the Day Watch and the Night Watch, it takes a good hard look at good and evil as well as intent. This story also explains that Others are actually people that have no magic in them, but can siphon magic from humans who all have varying degrees of magic but to such a small degree that they can not really do much with it. Therefore an Other who has zero magic in them has the ability to be an extremely strong mage because they can siphon unlimited amounts from the humans around them. The book also brings up the issues surrounding the light and the dark, previously the light was shown as good, even though it was just as manipulative as the dark, but the light’s methods were always without malice. But now it is realized that the light is really no different that the dark, with the power coming from siphoning off of humans, how is that any different than a vampire sucking blood? Anton is now at a crossroads, feeling disillusioned with his work in the Night Watch, but once he talks with his boss he is at peace. He sees where the members of the Inquisition come from, they are either Light or Dark Watch members who no longer differentiate between the two, but who see the need for balance.

There were a couple very interesting developments in this book, it was a good read and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. This is a stand alone book that comes to a satisfying, if somewhat sad conclusion. The book also brings forth many interesting philosophical questions.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary fantasy with a likeable male protagonist.  The best things about this series are the uniqueness of the story concept, plot structure and the characters.

To Purchase: “The Twilight Watch” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series The Night Watch

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
First Book in the Night Watch Series
Publisher: Miramax; Tra edition (July 26, 2006), Language: English, Paperback: 464 pages, ISBN-10: 1401359795, ISBN-13: 978-1401359799


This is a highly entertaining modern fantasy novel that is written in an unique manner.    This book introduces Anton and shows his induction into the Night Watch.  It also explains the world he lives as well as the premise of the Others and the Twilight.  The main protagonist is Anton Gorodetsky, a light magician, who is a member of the Night Watch and as such it is his job to solve problems that occur in the supernatural community.

This is the first book written in the Night Watch Series or Watch Series.  Sergei Lukyanenko has written numerous short stories, book series and novels. All his books were originally written in Russian and several including this series have been translated to English as well as several other languages. This book is in the contemporary fantasy genre since it takes place in modern times but still involves supernatural beings known as Others.  These “Others” include Witches, Magicians, Enchantress/Sorceress, Vampires, Werewolves, etc.   The book is told in three different stories each one seemingly stand alone, yet tied to each other and in combination completing a larger story.  These stories are told using the third person narrative, mostly from Anton’s point of view but also from the view of other characters in the book.

The Night Watch centers around the Others who are on the side of the light (good) and whose supposedly main purpose is the keep watch over the Others who are on the side of the dark (evil.) But in actuality in this book the head of the Night Watch is doing everything in his power to swing the balance more towards the light.

The first story in the book introduces our protagonist Anton Gorodetsky, who is a mage working for the Night Watch.* While he is out on a mission tracking down vampires he meets a seemingly human with a curse on her head. The second story has lots going on and is very interesting, it ends showing that both the Day Watch and the Night Watch manipulate people and events as much as possible to change the power to their side. The third story centers around the same individuals and seems to be unrelated to the first two, but it actually pulls together all the events from all three stories in a very interesting and unusual manner.

It was a good read and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.  This is a stand alone book that comes to a satisfying conclusion where Mr. Lukyanenko skillfully pulls all the threads of each story together into a well weaved story. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary fantasy with a likeable male protagonist.  The best things about this series are the uniqueness of the story concept, plot structure and the characters.

*See my blog on the The Night Series which explains more about the people and world this book takes place in.
To Purchase: “The Night Watch” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Third Robert Langdon book
Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (October 19, 2010),Paperback: 656 pages, ISBN-10: 1400079144, ISBN-13: 978-1400079148

The story centres around our favourite symbologist, Robert Langdon and quickly jumps into intrigue. He must solve a riddle concerning the Masons and a hidden portal in Washington, D.C.  The answer will leads to ancient magical wisdom, which can elevate man to the realm of the gods.

This is an exciting story and it includes a good heart stopping escape scene where  Katherine Solomon, the scientist escapes from Mal’akh, the main antagonist.  The characters were all interesting, from the crazy bad guy, the attractive middle-aged lady scientist and her brother to the government people all running around trying to solve this newest dilemma.

I really enjoyed this book, it was unpredictable, plus there was a surprising twist in the story. Mr. Brown kept us guessing right up to the end which was exciting and came to a great conclusion.

I enjoyed the references in the book to the power of the mind and the scientific proof that is out there which proves that the mind can control energy, which is something that I have always believed in. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it as a good read.

To Purchase: “The Lost Symbol” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 2 treasure boxes
Book Six in the Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (November 30, 2010), Paperback: 784 pages, ISBN-10: 0441019625, ISBN-13: 978-0441019625

Everyone is back on Aleran, fighting the Vord. The main characters are spread out, each with their own tale full of adventures.  The story continues immediately following Princeps’ Fury

This is the final book in the Codex Alera Series. Which is a high fantasy and it takes place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

First Lord’s Fury is the exciting, nail-biting conclusion to the series, although there were a few problems with the story.  There was lots of action with plenty of battle scenes, although some of these were quite gory.  One character redeemed himself, but other than that there wasn’t any character development or transformations. There was the introduction of one new character, who is quite pivotal to the plot, but the new character was not fully developed.

The story was good, although a bit predictable. Also, I thought there was a fairly big plot hole* see below.  But if you overlook that, it was a satisfying ending. And the story did come to a final conclusion.

Overall I enjoyed this series.  I liked how the world was developed and I thought that all the various different peoples and creatures was interesting.  If you enjoy reading high fantasy, then you should definitely give The Codex Alera Series a read.

 

This could be considered a spoiler, so if you haven’t read the book, then do not read any further:
*Why would the Queen vord leave her Horde to fight Tavi alone in the final battle scene

To Purchase: “First Lord’s Fury” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

Princep’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 2 treasure boxes
Book five of the Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (November 24, 2009), Paperback: 640 pages, ISBN-10: 0441017967, ISBN-13: 978-0441017966

Princeps‘ Fury is an action filled story, told in great Jim Butcher style. The story continues with the threat of the Canin greatly reduced, but Tavi is once again sent away, this time overseas with the Canin. The High Lord is hoping to protect Tavi but once they arrive, they are met with a huge surprise. In the meanwhile back in Alera the Vord have reappeared. This story takes place in both Alera and Canin.

This is the fifth of six books in the Codex Alera Series. It is a high fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

There was plenty of action, some of it pretty gory, and all coming from various different characters and different events.  I liked how they escaped the Canin homeland, I liked how more information was revealed about the Great Fury, and I liked the details provided about Tavi’s father.  There were minor developments in the characters and a bit more information about the Vord was revealed.

The story ebbed at the end with some minor conclusions, but it did not come to any real closure, so the story ended in the middle of the conflict.  I always find it annoying when a book is not a complete story with a beginning, middle and end but it did motivate me to read First Lord’s Fury.
To Purchase: “Princeps’ Fury” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

Captain’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review:2 treasure boxes
Book four of the Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (November 25, 2008), Paperback: 656 pages, ISBN-10: 0441016553, ISBN-13: 978-0441016556

Tavi, as Captain has now successfully held the Canin back for 2 years.  Due to his youth, there is an annoying political ploy to remove him and then change his successful battle strategy. Tavi also finally learns his proper heritage.  This story continues both the Canin incursion as well as the civil war conflict with Kalare and takes place about 2 years after Cursor’s Fury.

Captain’s Fury is the fourth of six books in the Codex Alera Series. This is a high fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

There are some startling developments in the story.  There are a number of exciting scenes, one where Tavi breaks out of prison, one where he breaks the leader the Canin out of prison and another is where his uncle sneaks into Kalare lands. I liked this book better than Cursor’s Fury, I thought the story was well told.

This books comes to a complete conclusion of the story, yet leaves room for the story to continue, which is the best kind of ending. I recommend this series, but you need to read the books in order since the story builds. I am looking forward to reading Princeps’ Fury.
To Purchase: “Captain’s Fury” from Amazon, click here or on picture above