Book reviews, Uncategorized

Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson (Book thoughts in 300 words and 3 gifs)

Four ‘Malefict’ stars 🐼🐼🐼🐼

‘Sorcery of Thorns’ is the first Margaret Rogerson book I read – and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It features a fantastical world of books that have feelings, fearsome magic and easy to like characters.

I loved the setting. The idea of books that are alive and libraries as dangerous places because a book could bite you was original and I’m all for it. Beautiful details of this world are mixed with a plot constantly pushed forward by action. The novel is paced well and grips the reader from the first few pages. There is tension, romance and mystery sprinkled throughout. It’s a perfect YA fantasy to get lost in.

The only reason I did not give this book five stars are the characters. Protagonist Elisabeth was active, smart and strong in many ways. She was written well – but it was when I was introduced to Nathaniel and his personal demon Silas that I started to disconnect from this book.

Everything was strangely reminiscent of Black Butler. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should check it out right now. It’s a manga with incredible art and writing. And it also happens to feature a young boy with a personal demon. There were a lot of parallels I could draw from the two, the most strange I found was the name connection between Elisabeth and the secondary female character Lizzie from the manga. Thankfully, they were nothing alike in character because Lizzie is insufferable. Nevertheless, the whole thing made me wonder if Ms Rogerson had drawn strong inspiration from the work of Toboso Yano.

The writing style is good. It’s simple and easy to read. The only thing that bothered me was the overuse of adverbs and dialogue tags. But that is a personal preference and might work well for other readers.

I would be interested to check out the author’s previous book ‘An Enchantment of Ravens’, following ‘Sorcery of Thorns’s bittersweet ending. I need more magic in my life!

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An ARC of this book was kindly given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for a fair review. All views are my own.

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Book reviews, Uncategorized

Kingdom of Ash – Sarah J Maas (Book thoughts in 300 words and 3 gifs)

Three and a half ‘Forged’ stars 🐼🐼🐼🐼

‘Kingdom of Ash’ is the epic conclusion to the seven-piece fantasy series ‘Throne of Glass’ by Sarah J Maas. It follows the journey of Aelin and her impressive amount of allies. Can’t say much more without spoiling the story.

The world of Erilea is well-developed and the readers have a good idea of what the stakes are for each character; and how their story fits within this massive universe, which is no small feat considering how many POV characters there are.

The plot is nothing new – the end goal, as with many fantasy series, is to save the world. There is magic and war. What I found interesting is how the Gods were depicted – far from being angelic, their presence reminds the reader that not all that is supposed to be good and fair actually is. And with how our own world is, this point hits home.

I liked the pacing, which is one of Ms Maas’s strong points as a writer – there is good mix of action, romance and reflection time, all of which flow nicely from one to the next, making the story coherent and incredibly easy to read.

The characters are definitely my favourite thing about this book and the series as a whole. I had so many favourite ships I could build a whole armada. Elide and Lorcan – yes, please. Aedion and Lysandra? Please just be together already. Dorian and Manon? HOT. Despite the relationships following a rather repetitive cycle of ‘like-get together for a bit-fight-dislike-like again-be super happy-have a baby’, I still found them enjoyable to read.

Aelin herself is an interesting character, who was both strong and refreshingly weak and anxious at times, showing readers that even super powerful queens with a thousand titles can have a bad day and need a warm bath to make it a bit better.

The only issue I have with this book, and the others in the series, is the writing. It is repetitive (how many times can one cringe??) and too overdramatic sometimes. There is lots of purple prose in the descriptions and while I enjoyed some of them, I found myself scanning paragraphs and skipping ahead, which is never good. The language is conversational and easy to read. YA readers would have no problem with this book. Their parents, however, might not approve of some of the graphic sex scenes inside.

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