Glass Sword, by Victoria Aveyard

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Reviewing sequels is always a mixed bag … especially because I realized that even though I made a marry date or dump post (remember those?) about the characters in this series last year, I never got around to reviewing it. But I had a few feels and wanted to see what other readers thought, so onward! I’ll try to keep the spoilers for the first book at a minimum, but there are some spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.

To give some basic premise the book takes place in a world with two types of people silver bloods (who all have some kind of magical super power) and red bloods (who don’t). You can guess who is in charge. When red-blooded Mare Barrow develops a power usually reserved for the Silvers chaos ensues. She’s the object of intrigue of two princes, Maven and Cale, along with her childhood best friend. She’s the object of intrigue of two armies. She’s trying to figure out how to use her powers and her fame (from the first book) to overthrow her oppressors, but as the back of the book says Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Continue reading “Glass Sword, by Victoria Aveyard”

My Recent Dive Back Into Fantasy

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You guys might have noticed from some of my recent marry date or dump choices that I’ve been getting more into fantasy lately. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in love with contemporary and I still think contemporary probably makes the most sense for me as a writer, but I’m enjoying reading books with magic and curses and powers people don’t understand a lot. There are so many good fantasy series coming out right now (or that I somehow missed in my contemporary-only binge). Here are five that I can’t stop talking about.  Continue reading “My Recent Dive Back Into Fantasy”

Marry, Date or Dump: Women from Game of Thrones

Last week, I gave you the option to marry, date or dump the men from Game of Thrones and your response was overwhelming. The comments I got were so thoughtful, witty and completely incomprehensible (since I haven’t really read the books and only watched one episode) that I knew that I needed to jump on this bandwagon. Since I learned your opinions on men last week I wanted to see what people thought when it came from the series’ ladies. You can choose from any of the women below or let me know who you would pick from my choices in the comments.

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Continue reading “Marry, Date or Dump: Women from Game of Thrones”

A Discovery of Witches: A Vampire Story for Smart People

Many reviewers, recommenders, and readers have described “A Discovery of Witches,” by Deborah Harkness as a Twilight story for academics. In fact, book reviewer, Karen Valby called the book “Twilight for the tweedy set.” This description is both apt, in that the novel combines allusions to academic subjects from obscure Renaissance authors to genetics with literal fantasy illusions (i.e. magic).

In fact, the book uses fantasy as a multifaceted theme. The fantasy is clear as this is a world where modern-day witch Diana Bishop is pursued by Daemons, other witches, and oh-so-swoon-worthy vampire Matthew Clairmont. Just as these fantasy elements require a willing suspension of disbelief so does the romantic fantasy.

The romance between Diana and Matthew, while forbidden, is also inevitable. Just like in Twilight, the fact that these two characters are soul mates, meant to be, or whatever you want to call it, is a given. When they touch there is weird electricity that runs through their fingertips. They are mysteriously able to separate out each element of each other’s sent. I mean who really smells like cinnamon, cloves, and cedar? From Romeo and Juliet to Fifty Shades of Grey, if you can accept these relationship statuses you will buy into the novel, if not there is little chance the reader will enjoy the book.

If I had a criticism of the book, it would be that despite a relatively slow pace the book is trying to accomplish too many things at once. In some parts this is a strength- there are details such as the inclusion of yoga and magic explained through DNA, which add to the believability and uniqueness of this world. However, this is also the story of woman discovering secrets from her past; and a woman’s discovery her self and her magic abilities; and a forbidden love story; and a Lord of the Rings style hunt for an ancient and powerful book; and a story about different groups of people trying to exist in the same world; and probably even more plot lines than I’m thinking of right now.

That is a lot to fit into one book, even if it is almost 600 pages. At times certain parts of these story lines are left unresolved, which can be unsatisfying. However as the book moves on the dominant plots come to the forefront (hence their classification as dominant) and I will say that these multiple variations didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.

If you think you fall into the category of people who are willing, or eager, to believe the love at first sight/meant for each other books then I definitely recommend this book. I loved it, and liked the subsequent sequel Shadow of the Night, even more.  Happy reading.