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Tag Archives: Fantasy

Sabriel by Garth Nix

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Abhorsen Trilogy
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
First Book in The Abhorsen Trilogy
Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (August 23, 1997), Paperback: 496 pages, ISBN-10: 0064471837, ISBN-13: 978-0064471831

Sabriel is a necromancer, but instead of raising the dead, she returns the dead back into the grave.

Garth Nix has written numerous young adult fantasy novels and series, including: the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom. Sabriel is the first book in the Abhorsen Trilogy and it is told in a third person narrative from the perspective of the main protagonist, a young woman who can control the dead. The story takes place in a world filled with magic that can be controlled through sound. Particularly the sound created by whistling or bells.

The story was intriguing from the first page.  The characters were all interesting and the concept of the world was unique and captivating. I was never too sure where the story was going but I was anxiously turning each page to find out what was going to happen next.  There was plenty of action during the fight scenes against the dead.

“Sabriel” is a standalone novel. There are two other books in the series, but each has its own characters and storyline, which only lightly touch each other. I recommend this book as a very good read.

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

 

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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series The Farseer Trilogy
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Assassin’s Apprentice: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Tantor Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 17 hours and 18 minutes, ASIN: B003ATP9VI

A young boy, FitzChivalry, is an outcast, because he is the bastard son of the King-in-Waiting. From the day he was dumped at court by his grandfather, he never felt connected to anyone or anything, except his little puppy. Fitz has magically bonded with the little dog, but soon learns this is an evil thing to do, and has his dog cruelly ripped away from his life. King Shrew has decided to earn Fitz’s loyalty by turning him into an assassin. During his training Fitz is faced with many different tasks and challenges, including uncovering a sinister plot that if successful will place a cruel and uncaring man into power. Meanwhile, the red ship raiders have a secret weapon that turns the captured citizens of the Six Dutchies into living, soulless beasts.

Robin Hobb is a pseudonym for Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden and she has written numerous books, primarily in the fantasy genre. Assassin’s Apprentice was written in 1995 and it was the first book in the world of the Six Dutchies and is the first book in The Farseer Trilogy. The Tawny Man Trilogy was released in 2001 and continues the story, but from a different point of view. Assassin’s Apprentice is in the epic fantasy style because in this world there is a form of magic, no modern conveniences and there is a ruling class of aristocrats, including kings and princes. The story is told in a first person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, FitzChivalry.

The magic in this fantasy novel is subtle. There is a mental type of control, called The Skill, and it is where, if one has the ability and is properly trained, a person can enter into the mind of another person. There is also another gift, a deeper, darker gift, that is considered evil or dirty, and it is the ability to join minds with an animal. The story is original and enjoyable. Fitz, even as a young boy, is a danger to the crown as the bastard son of the King-in-Waiting. For this reason, King Shrew decides to keep him close and to earn the boy’s loyalty by secretly training him to become an assassin.

Fitz is a great character, and there are other interesting characters in the book, but most of the other players are not well developed. They tend to be one-dimensional without any real depth.  Unlike most epic fantasy novels, this story does not have any real action, but it is well told and well paced with a steady stream of tension throughout.

I recommend this book as a very good read. The story was intriguing and from start to finish, I was never quite sure where it was going and I found it hard to put the book down. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Royal Assassin.

To Purchase Assassin’s Apprentice from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of The Snow Child: 2 Treasure Boxes

The Snow Child is a novel based on the Russian fairy-tale, “The Snow Maiden” and feels like a fairy-tale. Mabel and Jack are an old married couple who have never been able to have children. They escape to Alaska in 1920 to wallow in their despair and in their their misery they decide to make a snow girl. The next day a young girl miraculously appears out of nowhere in the middle of the Alaska wilderness. 

I enjoyed the story and I liked the fairy-tale qualities. All the words spoken by Faina were said without quotes and this gave the girl an ethereal quality. She really did come across as an elemental creature, yet at the same time she seemed very much alive and real. I recommend this book as a good read.

 

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Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Proven Guilty: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Eight of the Dresden Files
Publisher: Roc (February 6, 2007), Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages, ISBN-10: 0451461037, ISBN-13: 978-0451461032

There are monsters mauling and murdering people at a convention. Harry is now an unlikely warden for the White Counsel and needs to investigate, plus he is secretly exploring the anomalies within the Fae courts because there is a traitor operating on the Counsel. The war against the Red Vampire Court is not going well, and Molly, the grown daughter of Harry’s friend, Michael, a Knight of the Sword and a true fighter against evil, is in trouble. Harry has a heavy load, but in true Dresden form, he takes care of business.

Proven Guilty is the eighth book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 14 books in this series. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to High Fantasy than the Dresden Files. See my review of these books at https://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/ The Dresden Files are considered Contemporary Fantasy and sometimes are referred to as Urban Fantasy. They can also fall into the Detective genre since Harry solves a case in each book. Each book is told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point on view as we follow him through his life while he solves his current case.

Proven Guilty has plenty going on and it is spellbinding from the first to the last page. There is lots of action interspersed with the reveal of some interesting new facts. The book begins with the execution of a teenage wizard who violated the rules of magic and caused the death of his family. For Harry, this is too close to home considering his history and it also adds a sense of weight onto Molly’s illegal use of magic. Molly is a great character and she adds a fascinating new dimension to the storyline.  The depth of detail that Mr. Butcher uses to describe the scenes within the Winter court is really well executed.

This is a standalone story which builds up to a fabulous and exciting ending, but the books should be read in sequence for the best appreciation of the characters and the world that Mr. Butcher creates. I recommend this book as a very good read. I am anxiously looking forward to reading the next book in the series, White Night.

To Purchase: “Proven Guilty” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

 

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Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files

Book Review

Book Review of Dead Bead: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book seven of the Dresden Files
Publisher: Roc (May 2, 2006), Paperback: 528 pages, ISBN-10: 045146091X, ISBN-13: 978-0451460912

The word of Kemmler provides the hidden information which allows a necromancer to turn into a demi-god. Harry Dresden must discover how the word will provide such power and stop anyone from using it. Meanwhile, he needs to fight against the competing forces of evil that are all searching it out, and the deadline is Halloween, which is fast approaching. In between, Harry and his friends are facing numerous obstacles from many different directions.

Dead Beat is the seventh book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 13 books in this series with book 14 due November 2012. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to High Fantasy than the Dresden Files. See my review of these books at https://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/  The Dresden Files are considered Contemporary Fantasy and sometimes are referred to as Urban Fantasy. They can also fall into the Detective genre since Harry solves a case in each book. Each book is told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point on view as we follow him through his life while he solves his current case.

Dead Beat is the story about a modern day wizard (Harry) who is fighting against evil in the supernatural community. The story was well told and kept the suspense going right up to the end. There were a few interesting scenes concerning the fallen angel whose coin Harry holds, and there was plenty of action. We learn more about Harry, more about the war against the Red Vampires, more about BOB, and more about the supernatural world that Harry lives. A couple of my favourite characters are BOB, the air spirit and Mouse, Harry’s Tibetan Temple dog.

The story is stand alone, but should be read in sequence with the rest of the books in the series since each story builds on the one preceding it and the world it takes place in has its own unique rules which are released over time. I recommend this book as a good read. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  If you enjoy reading a good detective story encasing paranormal activities with a strong, honorable hero then give this series a try.  However, you should read the books in order as the overall story does build even if each book is stand alone.

 

To Purchase: “Dead Beat” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Keys to the Kingdom

Book Review

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Keys to the Kingdom, Book Two
Publisher: Listening Library, Audible Audio Edition, Release Date: March 31, 2004, Listening Length: 6 hours and 52 minutes (336 pages), ASIN: B0001ZZ054

Grim Tuesday, the keeper of the Second Key is threatening Arthur’s family and the only way Arthur can protect them, and himself,  is to return to the House. The House is the center of the universe and the source of all creation. Arthur has only been home a few hours, but once again he must leave earth, and with Susie’s help, he must defeat Grim Tuesday in order to save his family and stop the universe from unraveling.  In Mister Monday, Arthur defeated the holder of the First Key, became the Lord of the Lower House, and has started to repair the damage that has occurred to the House and the denizens. He left some capable and trustworthy people in charge for several years so he could return to Earth and have some time to grow up.  However, Grim Tuesday has his own plans, which include retrieving the Key and Lordship of the the Lower House.

Garth Nix has written numerous young adult books and series including: The Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the KingdomGrim Tuesday is the second of seven books in The Keys to the Kingdom series and it is a fantasy story that is told in the third person narrative primarily from the point of view of the main protagonist, a 12 year old boy named Arthur Penhaligon. This book is good for grades 5 to 8, can be considered a Young Adult fantasy, but it can also be enjoyed by adults.

I enjoyed this story, but I did not think it was as good as the first book because it followed the same format. There were some engaging characters, like Tom Shelvocke the Mariner, who is the second son of the Architect, and Suzy Turquoise Blue. Overall, the story was interesting and kept me wondering how it was all going to end. The beginning started with plenty of action and then the story progressed with steady momentum until the final conclusion. There were plenty of obstacles along the way and the ending was quite exciting. I was intrigued with the concept of nothing, where globuals of nothing floated around and destroyed whatever they touched. This nothing is also at the basis of  creation, with the concept that first there is nothing and then it turns into matter, creating whatever is required.

The story has a good and satisfying ending, but it is clearly just part of a bigger story. The end introduces Drowned Wednesday, the next book in the series as well as the holder of the Third Key.  I recommend Grim Tuesday as a good read, and I am looking forward to see where this story is going. I am planning to read the next book in the series.

To Purchase: “Grim Tuesday” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series The Kingkiller Chronicle

Book Review

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two

 Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 42 hours and 59 minutes (1120 pages), ASIN: B004QJOG2O

Kvothe was the most notorious wizard ever known and this book covers the middle portion of his tale. He is retelling his life during his later years at the University where he was learning to become an arcanist, as well as his adventures in Faerie, his time as an adviser to the Lord of Severen, and his time with the Adem where he was learning how to fight.

Wise Man’s Fear is the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles and the final book in the trilogy is expected to be released sometime in 2014. The story is told primarily in a first person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, Kvothe.  This book is a fantasy, and in this world magic, dragons, elfs, as well as the Chandrian exist.

I really enjoyed most of the story, and I found the majority of Kvothe’s adventures to be compelling.  The bulk of the story was well told, but some of it was overindulgent and boring. Some of the writing was fun and imaginative, but at times I thought there were too many phrases using simile. The part about the Lethani went on too long, but eventually I was pulled into and intrigued by this storyline. However, I thought Mr. Rothfuss devoted too much time describing the Lethani hand talk. How Kvothe decides to go and stay with Ferlurian, a faerie creature, was unbelievable.  Felurian lures mortal men into Fae which leads to their ultimate death, and Kvothe knowing this decides he must go to her because of what she could teach him. Ultimately, his adventures while in Faerie were intriguing and helped to give a better understanding of the world this story takes place.

I am not at all sure where the story is going or what will happen, but I am curious to find out how Kvothe ends up hiding as an unimposing innkeeper when he was once known as the most notorious wizard.  Most of the book was very entertaining and interesting, but Kvothe’s tale is still not finished, so I am planning to read the final book in the trilogy when it is released. I recommend Wise Man’s Fear as a good read.

 Favourite quotes:

“So yes it had flaws but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because that’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket, but to love something despite? To know the flaws and love them too, that is rare and pure and perfect.”  Track 3, Ch006b – Love

 “It’s just a figure of speech. The figures of our speaking are like pictures of names. Vague weak names, but names none the less. Be mindful of them.” Track 14, Ch050- Chasing the Wind

I invite you to leave a comment and let me know what you think of the review or the book.

To Purchase: “The Wise Man’s Fear” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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The Wizard and the Warlord by M.R. Mathias

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series The Wardstoned Trilogy

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
The Wardstone Trilogy, Book Three
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc., File Size: 593 KB, (Print Length: 425 pages), ASIN: B008E71GY00

Hyden Hawk knows he must defeat The Warlord, even if this evil creature was once his brother. The Dragon Queen was defeated but she is not gone. The Warlord can use her body as a tool to reach into the world. The Elves realize it is time to stop hiding and instead they must help the humans defeat this evil before it annihilates the world. The Warlord and his minions are extremely powerful, but can the High King and Hyden Hawk, with the help of the Elves, Giants, Dragons and Dwarves defeat this evil?

The Wizard and Warlord is the third and final installment in the Wardstone Trilogy.  Mr. Mathias has written numerous books, primarily fantasy novels, and he has also written a couple of Horror books as well. There are several protagonists in this fantasy tale and it is told in the third person narrative with the voice and thoughts of the main players.

This is the best book in the trilogy.  The story starts with the Elves and introduces their culture as well as some new characters. These new characters are skillfully brought into the storyline and connected with some of the previous players. There are numerous quests that occur which lead the characters into unique situations. Most of the characters grow and develop as the trilogy concludes. The characters are likeable and the comradery that exists between them is fun the read.

The book examines the idea of revenge and shows the undesired effects that can occur when revenge is the only motivator. Within the Warlord a small part of Gerard remains, and it is sad to see how evil power corrupted a sweet boy. Hyden Hawk hopes that he can stop The Warlord, the being who was once his brother, but he also hopes they can both still survive.

Although this book is the final in the trilogy, the story can stand on its own, however to receive the most enjoyment the previous two books should be read first.  I recommend this book as a good read. It is an exciting epic tale filled with interesting characters, lots of action and numerous adventures.

Favourite Quote:

“The snow-capped mountains literally looked to be formed of molten copper as the sun inched down behind them. Then as the sun’s glow faded and the silvery light of the stars took over, the mountains appeared frosted in crystal.”

 

To purchase: “The Wizard and the Warlord” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Mister Monday by Garth Nix

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Keys to the Kingdom

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Keys to the Kingdom, Book One
Publisher: Listening Library, Listening Length: 8 hours and 9 minutes (368 pages), ASIN: B0001ZZ04U

 

Arthur is close to death from an asthma attack when he notices two strange men who seemed to appear out of nowhere. One of the men, Mister Monday, gives Arthur a key and a small notebook because he thinks Arthur is about to die.  However, the key has healing abilities which help to restore Arthur to good health.  When Mister Monday realizes this he tries to recapture the key. Arthur does everything in his power to protect himself and the key from these evil men.

Garth Nix has written numerous young adult books and series including: the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom.  Mister Monday is part of The Keys to the Kingdom series and it is a fantasy story that is told in the third person narrative primarily from the point of view of the main protagonist, a 12 year old boy named Arthur Penhaligon.

Mister Monday sets the premise of series by introducing the characters and the world that the story revolves around. As Arthur learns about the key he received, both he and the reader learn about the Keys to the Kingdom, which are the keys to the House. The House is the center of the universe and anything outside the House, like the earth and the solar system are part of the Secondary Realms. There are seven keys for the seven territories within the confines of the house, with each key governed by a master named for a day in the week. This first book covers the Lower House and is ruled by Mister Monday. Arthur’s adventure takes place both on earth as well as in the House.

This series is great for children of all ages, starting from age 7 and it is very well written.I really enjoyed this book.  I loved all the characters and found Arthur to be a likeable protagonist, who shows compassion to those around him. Garth Nix has a great writing style, creating an interesting universe and a unique concept of creation.  The house is the center of creation and the idea of the seven days of the week each ruling one part of the house alludes back to the seven days of creation in Genesis. Throughout the book there is a big emphasis on the written word and its impact on creation.

This is a standalone book, but it is also just the beginning of a bigger story. It ends with an introduction to the next book in the series. I recommend Mister Monday as a very good read and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Grim Tuesday.

To Purchase: “Mister Monday” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Kingkiller Chronicle

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day One
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 27 hours and 58 minutes (736 pages), ASIN: B002A2BO2Y

Kvothe was the most notorious wizard ever known, but now he can no longer access magic and he is hiding out in a small town. Kvothe is retelling his life story which he claimed would take 3 days for the tale to unfold; this is day one. The story covers the first part of his life, reliving in detail the early years of his life.

The Name of the Wind is Patrick Ruthfuss’ debut novel and it is the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicles. The story is told primarily in a first person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, Kvothe.  This book is a fantasy, and in this world magic, dragons, elfs, as well as the Chandrian exist.

The story was interesting, moving back and forth through time, but it progressed at a pretty slow pace. As Kvothe tells his life story the past is replayed. Kvothe is a likeable and interesting character. The world that the story takes place in is unusual and unique with a fascinating magic system.

This is not a standalone story, but only one third of the tale, and by the end of the book, we still do not know how of Kvothe ended up as an Innkeeper. I am curious to find out what happens next, so I will be reading the next installment, Wise Man’s Fear. I recommend this book as a good read.

 

To Purchase: “The Name of the Wind” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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