Review: Half a War by Joe Abercrombie
4 Stars , Reviews / July 25, 2015

Half a War is certainly a good conclusion to the Shattered Sea series. The larger story arc that spans all three books come to an intriguing ending. We also get characters and stories unique to this book. I think it is an interesting way this trilogy was done. Each book focuses on a different set of characters and their individual stories, while the bigger picture story is told through out. It brings fresh perspectives (and characters) to each book, as well as keeping in touch with many of the familiar ones. King Uthil and Grom-gil-Gorm are in open rebellion against the high king.  Yarvi and his apprentice Koll are helping to steer the tides of war. Koll becomes one of our POVs for Half a War. He’s conflicted between two obligations, of which he needs to choose and commit to one. Life as a minister, where he can help shape the world and influence kings. Or, a life with the girl he loves. We are introduced to another strong female POV in this book. While Thorn asserted her strength in a physical way, Skara’s strength is in her wits and wisdom (which seem well beyond her young years). Skara is faced with…

Stacking the Shelves – July 5, 2015
Stacking the Shelves / July 5, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature all about sharing your good luck in book acquisitions! So here’s what came my way since my last post! It’s been another couple of great weeks for book additions! Received for Review                     I am pretty sure I read Handmaid’s Tale at some point, but it’s been so long, I can’t even tell you for sure, or much about it, other than I am pretty certain I really enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to read another Atwood for a while now, and this book looks like a great choice. It sounds quite different and compelling, so I look forward to reading it. Many thanks to Double Day books for providing me a copy of this via NetGalley.     Do I need to say anything? Abercrombie. Third in the trilogy. YES! I need to read this one! Many thanks to Del Rey for providing me an eARC of this one for review.     I’ve read Frohock’s novella, The Broken Road earlier this year, and enjoyed it so much I shortly thereafter read Miserere. I quite enjoy Frohock’s prose and style and am really looking…

Tough Traveling – Chessmasters

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? CHESSMASTERS A true master knows where all the pieces are at all times. Others may think they have taken control but alas, the master knew their last move before they played it.   Little Finger (aka Petyr Baelish) from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin His nickname may come from being from being from The Fingers, but it could just have easily have come from having his fingers in everything. But he’s sneaky about it, and I think the other characters underestimate his level of chess mastery.     Varys (aka The Spider) from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R….

Tough Traveling – Evil Lairs

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? EVIL LAIRS The evil lair is where a great fantasy villain will spend the plurality of his or her time. (Topic provided by Christopher Scott Hand).   I’m probably doing this all wrong. I hear lair and I picture some dimly lit enclosed space with damp walls and a high creep factor. Maybe a rich nefarious overlord would put up some garish furnishings in an attempt to tamper the evil vibes (but really, they just add to them). But when it came to make a list, I just thought of evil people and where I was most likely to find them (or where they were most likely to be performing evil). So…

Half the World by Joe Abercrombie
4.5 Stars , Reviews / January 26, 2015

What can I say? Abercrombie continues to know how to draw me in to a story. Half the World was absolutely no exception, and it has the added bonus of having a completely kick-ass female POV. When I ended Half a King, I had thought the next book would continue to center on Yarvi. While he is a critical character in this book, Half the World does not tell his story, it focuses more on Brand and Thorn with Yarvi still visible in the background. Thorn is fascinating. I have to admit to wondering if she is similar to what Monza (from Abercrombie’s other books, particularly Best Served Cold) might have been like as a young woman. Thorn’s one of those girls that just doesn’t fit the mold of what she is expected to be. Her father was a great warrior, Chosen Shield to a King, and her spirit and drive (and not to mention temper) put her very much in his footsteps. She is also set on avenging her father’s death. Thorn knows fighting and quite honestly, not much else. She is hyper-focused on that one area that it can make her blind and incredibly naive in some ways (as…

Tough Traveling – Snarky Sidekicks

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? SNARKY SIDEKICKS Why is everyone so serious all the time?  Perhaps they need a friend that is there with a quick bit of wit to liven the day; even if the day is looking to quickly turn to blood. (Not actually found in the Tough Guide) This is a fun one, but I have to admit to finding it harder than I expected. That said, I think I could do an entire ASoIaF list, and maybe an entire list of snarky animals. Really looking forward to seeing the other lists this week as I’m sure there will some really great picks I didn’t think of. And, since snark is…

14 Favorites of 2014
Lists / December 28, 2014

I love reading Best of Lists, but making them can be quite hard. Here’s my list of favorites from 2014 broken down by subgenre. FAVORITE HORROR     FAVORITE SCIENCE FICTION   FAVORITE FANTASY   FAVORITE FANTASY DEBUT

Tough Traveling – Quest Objects

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? QUEST OBJECTS QUEST OBJECTS can be various, but are quite strictly defined by the Rules. They are: 1. Material Objects. Cups, jewels, orbs, rings, scepters, stones, and swords. 2. Places. Hidden Kingdomes, islands, old ruined cities, stones, temples, valleys and fountains. 3. Persons. Apprentices, hardship, princes. 4. Knowledge. Usually for birthright or magic or both. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I don’t care if this is Science Fiction, it is like the ultimate Quest, one that every person alive has dreamed of winning. Within the virtual playground called the OASIS a lottery ticket of sorts is hidden, just waiting for a determined gamer to find their way there….

Tough Traveling – Practice/Combat Rings

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? PRACTICE/COMBAT RINGS PRACTICE RING OR COMBAT RING is a sanded circle used for sparring and WEAPONS practice… It can be found attached to any school of weaponry, outside mercenaries’ winter quarters, and quite often on the outskirts of aggressive towns.   Hmm… I’m running a little late with this this week. But I have something. Hopefully it’s not nonsense. I have a few I feel like I can picture from reading, but I can’t for the life of me match them with books. I’m hoping when I look at the other lists I will have a couple of A-HA moments 🙂   Green Rider Series by Kristen Britain –…