Monday, June 30, 2014

Unraveling: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Elantris
Series: Elantris Book One
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publication Date: April 1, 2005

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon's new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping -- based on their correspondence -- to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn't recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It's also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.
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My Thoughts

And Sanderson does it again! I had a rough start with the book because I was suffering from a reading slump and just could not get into anything and usually all of Sanderson's book start out slow and eventually builds up, which I like but I had to drop it for while cause I couldn't really get into it at the time.

Finally picked it back up 2 days ago and I'm so glad I did! While it was decidedly lacking in the awesome fighting scenes that I've been getting used it, Sanderson proved that he could write a very engaging fantasy with minimal fight scenes and still make amazing.

I adored everything about this book from the great, lively characters, to the world building to the intrigue. It was great. I thought I wouldn't have liked Raoden much because I'm the kind of person that just doesn't like/trust happy people, and Raoden was definitely a happy/optimistic person throughout the book, but Sanderson made it work. He wasn't just an optimistic guy, he was smart, cunning, manipulative when he had to, and he suffered from his own problems and responsibilities like everyone else.

I adored Sarene as well. All her political scheming was awesome. She wasn't afraid to take charge and put people in their places when they being idiots, sometimes she did very subtly, other she was right in your face, but always she did it for the good of Arelon and you just couldn't help but love her.

The awesome world-building that goes on in Elantris goes without saying. This is a Sanderson book, and his world building is always impeccable so it doesn't come as a surprise, I've come to expect now from all his novels and he has yet to disappoint.

Personally, rough start for me, but Sanderson delivers an amazing book as always :)


Would I Recommend it?


Other books in the Elantris series:
    1. The Emperor's Soul (Set in the same world but not needed to read in order)
  1. Elantris
    1. The Hope of Elantris

    Friday, June 27, 2014

    Upcoming Releases - Week of June 30th

    Here are the releases for the upcoming week of June 30  - July 6, 2014

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    Books I'm looking forward to:

    • Nothing :o

    I'm super late on this post, so sorry! Thought I had done it already, but I guess not lol.
    Anyway! Quite a few of the fantasies that I'm interested in are sequels so gonna have to read the first books first xD

    What books are you looking forward to?

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Unraveling: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

    Title: Ruin and Rising
    Series: The Grisha Book Three
    Author: Leigh Bardugo
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Publication Date: June 17, 2014

    The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

    Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

    Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

    Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
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    My Thoughts

    The power inside me had once seemed so miraculous, but each confrontation with the Darkling drove home the limitations of my abilities.
    This is what I had been expecting after so many friends/bloggers have raved about this trilogy. The first book was nice enough, I could see the allure. The second book was utter crap. Ruin and Rising managed to redeem the whole trilogy.

    I would have been fine if the second book had ended with both Alina and the Darkling dying, fitting ending at that point in my opinion.

    But it didn't.

    We got Ruin and Rising instead, and I have to admit I found myself fully invested in this one. There were still silly things that should have been obvious plus I'm not entirely satisfied nor sure with what happened at the end with the amplifiers, but it was definitely an engaging and solid ending (I mean whole book wise, cause the jury is still out on those amplifiers) to the trilogy.

    “We are not talking about this.”
    “You can’t just pull the covers over your head and pretend this isn’t happening.”
    “Can and will.”
    “You’re being a brat.”
    The biggest change in this book? Alina wasn't in charge and man, what a change that was. Mal and Nikolai (mainly Mal) were the ones calling the shots here and I am so grateful. One the one hand I'm disgusted that Alina couldn't think to save herself (or anyone else for that matter). She had to follow a man around to do anything worthwhile, but whatever. I'm used to YA female mcs being useless without the guy. So moving on!

    The world building and writing really shined through in this one. I was completely immersed in the story and it was near impossible to put down.

    “Maybe you’re hungry,” said Zoya. “I always get mean when I’m hungry.”
    “Are you hungry all the time?” asked Harshaw.
    “You haven’t seen me mean. When you do, you’ll require a very big hanky.”
    He snorted. “To dry my tears?”
    “To stanch the bleeding.”
    The characters in this one! So much growth! Ahh. They all grew so much here. But the ones that really come to mind are Mal, David, Zoya, Genya and Harshaw. They all became this really tight group. Zoya was always complaining and bitching but in a loving way. Genya surpassed her ordeals and shined through. David! Timid, nerdy David! So cute!! And Mal. He was okay in Shadow & Bone and he was a complete ass in Siege and Storm, but he finally started getting his act together here. He finally put his priorities straight. Saving the country first, then getting the girl. A whole nation is more important than his petty jealousy. And that made all the difference. He grew into a wonderful young man. Totally badass :)

    “Once more,” he said. “Speak my name once more.”
    The Darkling. This is a character that you really can't help but love. He has lived so long, and has had a very interesting upbringing to say the least. He always had good intentions, but he was ruthless, and yet at the same time, so very human. He broke my heart multiple times. And that ending! I actually almost cried. Had misty eyes and everything xD

    Let's talk about the plot...View Spoiler! It had it's holes, but overall, it was quite good.

    So if you were discouraged from this series because of the second book, you should give this one a chance. I doubt you'll regret it :)


    Would I Recommend it?


    Other books in The Grisha trilogy:

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    Unraveling: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

    Title: Siege and Storm
    Series: The Grisha Book Two
    Author: Leigh Bardugo
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Publication Date: June 4, 2013

    Darkness never dies.

    Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

    The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
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    My Thoughts

    There will be spoilers here so proceed with caution!

    This was just a long, long journey of watching stupidity at work.

    "The Darkling will hunt you for the rest of your days."
    "Then you and I will have something in common, won't we? Besides, I like to have powerful enemies. Makes me feel important."
    Mal crossed his arms and considered the privateer. "I can't decide if you're crazy or stupid."
    "I have so many good qualities," Sturmhond said. "It can be hard to choose."
    I'll be honest. I liked the first say 20-30% because we get introduced to Sturmhond and he is just a hell of a character. He single-handedly carried this whole book, because without him I would have DNF'd this a long time ago. He is the smart, manipulative, charming, but hardass character that I wish Alina was.

    Now on to the stupidity:

    - There was the bread crumb trail they left with the gold hair clips.
    - Made no connections about the amplifier and how she is bound to the Darkling in more than one way.
    - Again no connections about the bite and the visitations from the Darkling.
    - The firebird location was obvious. She even says the arch kinda rings a bell but doesn't figure it out till it's too late.
    - The stupid decisions she makes through out the book. (Walking into the crowd of fanatics by herself and none of her guard know where she went).
    - and the boy drama!!! OH LORD THE BOY DRAMA. I wanted to gauge my eyes out. There was a love triangle in the first book between her, Mal and the Darkling. Now it's her, Mal, Nikolai, and the Darkling, because lets be honest here. She might be willing to kill him but she still has the hots for him.

    Mal is an asshole pretty much throughout the whole book. Gets jealous at the drop of a hat and Alina keeps trying to accommodate him so he doesn't have a reason to get jealous while she herself sees every beautiful girl as a competitor. They are in the middle of mounting a war against the Darkling and she is seething with envy at how beautiful Zoya is.

    I just can't. This book was too much for me.

    "You know, for two people with a love eternal, you're awfully insecure"


    Would I Recommend it?


    Other books in The Grisha trilogy:
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