The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
4 Stars , Reviews / October 30, 2014

This is not an ordinary tale. But it is about Auri, so I think one should not expect a normal sort of story. We’ve had glimpses of her and the Underthing when exploring with Kvothe. But this story is something different. It’s a tale that shows the life of Auri. It’s a simple sort of story, content to be as it is. Happy even as everything is in its right and proper place. Everything is as it should be. One shouldn’t ask for more, that would be rude. Auri has always been alluring and mysterious. The elusive girl that lives beneath things and views the world in a different way. Things are not simply things to her. Inanimate objects have feelings and moods. She can gauge their disposition and interact with them accordingly. She wants to set things to right, to keep all things in life happy and as they should be. There may not be a traditional story arc in this, but it is captivating. Every day and everything Auri does is an adventure in her mind. There is conflict in the simple placement of items that needs to be righted. This is a story that could have gone…

Tough Traveling – Monsters

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin … This weeks theme? MONSTERS MONSTERS are likely to lie in waste areas, caves, and old ruined cities. You can usually detect their presence by smell.   Water Based Monsters in Irenicon by Aidan Harte Beneath the surface of a river that was forced through the city by its foes, lies unnatural creatures that will carry anyone who ventures too close to their death. And just to keep the residents on their toes, keep them from feeling too safe away from the water, occasionally, one breaks free and will walk the streets. They are kind like a water based zombie, drowning anyone who happens to cross its path.       Corelings/Demons…

Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
5 Stars , Reviews / October 27, 2014

As much as I love all of the Fitz books, I have to admit, this series feels more ‘epic’. I love love the world building in this in a way I never quite did with her other books. Not that I missed it in them, I actually quite liked the world in the other books, but in these, it seems to be more front and center and it is just something unexpected. And the number of strong female characters is applaudable! I love that their is such an array of “strong women” where they each have their unique ways of making themselves strong. They are not all tomboys or warriors. They look at their position in life, at their abilities and draw strength from where they can. It’s that independent attitude that makes me view them as strong. Ofcourse, Althea is featured most central. Her liveship that she had bonded with has been taken from her family. She must start a quest to regain what belongs to her, and to the Vestrit family. Her strength can not be questioned. She does everything she can, and breaks out of the roles expected of a woman (even if she has to dress…

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
5 Stars , Reviews / October 24, 2014

OK, if you have to pick just one audiobook to listen to with your kids (current kids, future kids, imaginary kids, young kids, old kids, or even you own innerself secret kid), you have to pick this one. I listened to it with my boys last year, and this year they both requested to listen to it again. Both. Can I just stress that? There was no disagreement between these brothers. And despite the fact they have quite different taste in books, they are firmly in agreement that this book is amazing and deserves to be listened to multiple times. So, what makes this book so deserving of their admiration? It’s fun. Pure and simple, it is just fun and imaginative, and silly. The pacing is also wonderful for this wacky adventure that all begins when a father sets out to the store in what turns out to be a quest for getting (and keeping) the milk! The amount of silliness packed into such a short story is just, well, silly. But it’s not overdone, its not a book that tries too hard in all the wrong ways. There is an amazing balance of fun and mystery and adventure that…

Tough Traveling – Elves

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin … This weeks theme? ELVES! The section in the Tough Guide for Elves looks to be about the longest one yet, but here’s the gist of it: ELVES claims to have been the first people in Fantasyland. They are called the Elder Race. They did not evolve like humans, but sprang into being just as they are now.   Elatians from Green Rider series by Kristen Britain (review of Book 5: Mirror Sight)– They are called Eletians, but basically they are elves. They have the near immortal (but not invincible) thing going on. Their race is older, wiser and more endangered than ours.       Elves from Bearers of the Black Staff duology by…

Waiting on Wednesday – The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R. R. Martin
Waiting On Wednesday / October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to let us share our excitement for books coming out soon. OK, it’s not Winds of Winter, and not a typical “waiting on” choice. And I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy the historical take as much as I enjoy the books (OK, I’m certain I won’t). But I am still really looking forward to getting my hands on more information and history for the world. And illustrations! And maps! Yes, please. Looks like something good to bide my time until WoW. The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and The Game of Thrones  by George R. R. Martin, Elio M. Garcia and Linda Antonsson Expected Publication: October 28th, 2014 THE NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN HISTORY OF WESTEROS AND THE LANDS BEYOND • WITH HUNDREDS OF PAGES OF ALL-NEW MATERIAL FROM GEORGE R. R. MARTIN If the past is prologue, then George R. R. Martin’s masterwork—the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time—warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice & Fire. This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and…

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
5 Stars , Reviews / October 20, 2014

This is my first endeavor for my Backlist Burndown. And I am quite happy with the choice as it was quite an inventive book, and Hobb once again did an amazing job with characters, stories and world building. I have read both the Farseer and Tawn Man trilogies prior to this. Yes, I know, technically out of order, but I was advised I could easily read them that way. I will say, that yes, they can be read in this order, but I can actually see a reason to read them in the published order. While there is not much overlap in characters between the two, and no huge plot giveaways, I do know something from reading Tawny Man that I would not have known otherwise. It’s not a huge detail in the grand scheme of things, but its enough of one that I will recommend other reader read them in the published order if they plan on reading all three trilogies. I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to read this for fear that I could never love it as much as love the stories involving Fitz. But, happily, that is not a problem. While I may…

Dracarys! (Backlist Burndown)
Discussions / October 14, 2014

  Backlist books. We all have them on our TBRs, many of them by favorite authors, but what percentage of those do we actually get to compared to new releases that we want to read? At least if you’re blogging? I know for me, the percentage is pretty darn depressing. When I look at some of the books I have not read yet, I really wonder what I have been doing with my reading time. It’s so easy to get pulled in to the new shiny things, the latest and greatest new releases. Especially when you can get ARCs of them from publishers in exchange for reviews and you hear other bloggers chatting about them, building anticipation. And it also doesn’t help when you notice a trend for lower traffic for previously published books (at least for me). So, it’s easy to put them off for “another day” or “after I catch up with ARCs”. Well, I think I have decided I need to change that, even if it means reading less ARCs and getting lower traffic. My blog is really about reading books I want to read, and posting my thoughts. I feel like I’ve just gotten a bit…

The Broken Road by Teresa Frohock
4 Stars , Reviews / October 8, 2014

I’ve been meaning to read something by Teresa Frohock for years, but her books have unfortunately remained in that large and looming list of books I really do want to read, but just haven’t managed to yet. When I saw she had a new novella coming out, and one that looks to be the start of a new series, I figured this was the perfect chance to finally add her to my “authors read” list. I love horror, I love fantasy and I always love when the two combine for a dark fantasy story. For those not familiar with the term that is essentially how dark fantasy is defined, the blend of horror and fantasy elements. But, as opposed to most of the popular grimdark works, this has magic as a stronger and more central feature. It is also more of a good versus evil, or good overcoming evil than a shades of grey book with lots of moral ambiguity. But it is well done and an engaging read. To give you some idea of what Frohock has managed to pack in this novella, it manages to incorporate a zombie like threat, mirror worlds, mysterious water people/souls, betrayal, magic, fallout from…

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
5 Stars , Reviews / October 6, 2014

So, after all the (much deserved) buzz and awards for Ancillary Justice, can Ancillary Sword live up to expectations? Can Leckie follow through with a book just as compelling? Yes. She absolutely can and does. Ancillary Sword is the continued pay off for time invested in Ancillary Justice. It is a highly intelligent, fast paced and intriguing story that I just could not put down. It has all of the strengths of Ancillary Justice but honestly, I found this to be a much easier and quicker read than Ancillary Justice. That’s not to say that it is a lighter book. I think Ancillary Justice introduced us to many concepts that just took a little bit of time to adjust to and learn about. That adjustment has been made, I honestly did not even think about gender in this book. The pronouns all still default to female, in the first book I started out trying to determine if a character fell into the male or female bucket. By the end I learned to let go of my desire to figure out, realizing a large part of the point it to really underscore that GENDER DOES NOT MATTER! What better way to address…