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Book Review: Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames

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My Rating: 10 out of 5 stars

Live fast, die young.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

THIS BOOK IS BLOODY BRILLIANT. Everything about it, from the characters to the jokes to the subtle, yet deft music references is absolutely perfect. Bloody Rose definitely jumps onto the list of my favorite reads in 2018.

This story follows Tam Hashford, who leads a somewhat boring life compared to those who patronize the local bar she works at. Seeing the bands of mercenaries that come to town is the most excitement that Tam gets on most days. But everything changes when the band Fable comes to town. By a brush of luck and her own determination, Tam lands the gig as the new bard for Fable.

The adventurous journey that she embarks upon is even more exciting than the stories and songs she’s heard. The band tackles everything from monsters to love, loss, and facing death head on. This isn’t just a story about a bunch of bad ass mercenaries, it’s a story about following your passion and your heart, wherever it may lead you. It’s a story about family, loyalty, and doing whatever it takes to protect the ones you love.

This one gets two thumbs up from me. If I had more thumbs, I’d stick those up, too.

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Fiction

First Impression Friday: Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames

Happy Friday folks! It was another short work week for me, as I took off today to take Boyfriend to get Lasik surgery later. This morning I’m getting my word count on at my favorite coffee shop. Days off are perfect for writing. 🙂

It’s also time for another First Impression Friday! (For those who are unfamiliar, FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading. Share you impressions, predict what you think will happen, say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.)

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Live fast, die young.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.

I freaking LOVE this book already. The way the author takes the concept of a musical band and turns them into a group of touring, fighting mercenaries, then throws in handfuls of 80s music references without it being even slightly cheesy is an utter delight.

At first I found Tam to a strange choice for a protagonist. Compared to the other characters in the story she’s the least experienced and most normal of the bunch. After a little while I changed my mind. Seeing the story through her perspective made much more sense, since she’s a bit of a blank slate. Plus, she’s the bard. She’ll be telling the story of Fable for years to come.

It’s obvious some crazy shit is going to happen in this story. I’m guessing that despite their lack of participation in chasing after the Horde, they’ll end up right in it’s path at some point. Tam will also, most likely, end up joining in the fight and become more than just a bard. Maybe she’ll figure out that she has some kind of magical music gift than allows her to lull monsters to sleep! (Or not.)

Whatever happens, I already know it’s going to be amazing.

 

Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

Mini Book Reviews

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb – This was such a great read! I loved Fitz and his ability to connect with animals. My heart broke for poor Fitz in this story, as he was the victim of shitty circumstance after shitty circumstance, simply for being born a bastard. His courage and perseverance were admirable given all the difficulties he faced. Burrich, Chade, King Shrewd, and the Princes are all fascinating characters and play a major role in Fitz’s character development throughout the story. At the same time, I hated every single one of them for worrying more about the poor kid’s loyalty than his well-being. I look forward to reading the other books in the series to see what happens to Fitz and see how his skills develop.

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare – I didn’t love this book as much as the first three books in the series. There was nothing bad about it, but compared to the previous books it felt a little slower. One thing that I did love was that more of the story was told from Simon’s point of view. He’s such a great character! As predicted, there was lots of drama/tension between Clary and Jace, which is starting to get a little old. I understood the need for it in the other books, but now it’s just starting to feel redundant. I did like the introduction of new characters in the story and the bigger role that some of the minor characters played.

Adult · Books · Fantasy

First Impression Friday: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

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It’s Friday! And a special one, at that, as I am currently high up in the sky, on my way to Portland, Oregon! I’m SO excited. 😀

Since it’s Friday, it’s also time for another First Impression Friday post. (For those who are unfamiliar, FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading. Share you impressions, predict what you think will happen, say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.)

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In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

This has been on my shelf for way too long. This is actually my first book by Robin Hobb, which is kinda weird, considering that I’ve heard so many good things about all of her books.

I’m about a third of the way into this one and I’m already hooked. I love Fitz and his naive, yet bold behavior. It’s easy to feel sympathy for him, as he is the product of some really shitty circumstances. I’m really hoping that by the end of the book Fitz learns to take control of his own life and doesn’t continue letting everyone make decisions for him. I’m eager to learn more about his gift with animals! So far there’s just  been a handful of references to it, but I need to know more

So, Fitz is training to become an assassin. I’m wondering if he’ll end up  being an assassin for the royal family, as planned, or eventually use his assassin skills to go off on his own and be his own assassin. That would be kinda cool. I don’t have many predictions, but I am eager to see what happens and learn more about the magic system in Fitz’s world.

I apologize for keeping this post somewhat brief, but I’m just too excited to post much right now. Talk to you guys when I get back!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media: Twitter Instagram Goodreads

Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Favorites

Book Review: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done

This book. Oh, this book. If you thought the first book, Vicious, was a sick, twisted little treat, just wait until you get your hands on Vengeful. The game is vengeance (duh), but Victor and Eli are no longer the only players. In this book, we’re introduced to Marcella Riggins, a mob wife who wants to take her husband and the rest of the world down in a blaze of corruption and fame. We’re also introduced to June, an EO shape shifter who has her eyes on Sydney.

Of course, our old favorites were there, too. Victor, Mitch, and Sydney are still together, moving around as they track down more EOs. Victor’s characters undergoes some major changes that affect him and his powers. I was happy to see that Sydney is finally growing into her own and isn’t just a little girl anymore. Eli, stuck in a jail cell, has a very different role this time around, as well. It was interesting to see how much everyone’s characters changed from the first book to the second!

The story occurs over the span of five years. Despite the way it jumps around throughout the timeline, it seamlessly picks up where the last book left off. I loooved the new characters introduced. Marcella’s character was especially fun to follow because she was so over the top. She’s an excellent villain and the perfect match for both Victor and Eli.

The only thing that drove me nuts was June. Even by the end of the story, I still can’t figure out what her motives are or what her relationship to Sydney is.

Definitely add this one to your TBR list!

Adult · Books · Fantasy

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

In last week’s First Impression Friday post, I mentioned that Spinning Silver was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I absolutely adored Uprooted back when I read it and I couldn’t wait to see what Novik came up with this time around. Having finished it, I am very happy to report that Spinning Silver did, indeed, live up to my expectations.

For those unaware, Spinning Silver, is an adaptation on the Rumplestiltskin story. I hate to even phrase it that way, because a lot of people will roll their eyes and say “Oh great, another fairy tale re-telling.” This book, like Uprooted, is incredibly unique in its interpretation and is a much looser re-telling than a lot of the counterparts out there. The story and characters the author has created can stand entirely on their own as a modern fairy tale.

The story is steeped with Jewish history and lore, fiercely strong characters, and gorgeous imagery. I loved the three women that the story followed: Miryem for her ruthlessness, Wanda for her strong will, and Irinia for her bravery. I loved the way the three women’s stories wove together, despite all the unexpected curves thrown at them.

Spinning Silver is more than a fairy tale re-telling, it’s a beautiful story about perseverance, family bonds, and things more valuable than gold.

Adult · Books · Fantasy

Anticipated Releases (Pt. 1)

If there’s one topic that book bloggers never tire of discussing it’s the ever-increasing TBR lists that we have. (For those of you who aren’t up on your bookish lingo, TBR stands for “to be read.”) Mine has been steadily increasing each year, no matter how hard I try to keep it under control. There are just too many amazing books out there and not enough time to read them all! *sad face* It feels like every time I finish a book I end up adding at least 3 more to my list.

The struggle is real.

It’s fine. I just accept it for what it is. I mean, what’s the alternative? To stop adding books to the list? To stop reading altogether? Pfffft.

Check out some of the books on my TBR list that are coming out soon that I can’t wait to read:

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Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Scwab – I already pre-ordered my copy!

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

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Bloody Rose by Nicholas Earnes – Okay, so technically this one came out last week. I haven’t gotten it yet though, so I’m still allowed to put it on the list.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.

Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…