Quick fire fantasy tag

I wasn’t sure what to post today (I’ve posted every day this month and I want to keep up that streak!), so I saw this tag over at Literaryleisha and decided to do it. It’s basically just an excuse for me to recommend all of my faves.


5-star book

holy sister

Always going to recommend

Own it but haven’t read it yet

Would read again

In another world

127455

Back on earth

vicious

April 2019 Wrap Up

I read 7 books in April, which is not too bad especially considering I didn’t really read anything for good chunks of the month. Although one of the books I only finished in April and I didn’t really have that much left of it and most of the books I read were shorter than my usual reads.


The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

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I finally finished this book. I’d been reading it for a while and had kind of been neglecting it because I wasn’t really in the mood for it. but I finally finished it. I had maybe 150-200 pages left of it. I’ve now completed the series, I even have a series review for it. Check me out, being productive! The first book is still my favourite and I think this is actually my least favourite of the series. It’s a bit too long and I feel like it could have been streamlined a bit without anything being lost. It was still really good, I would say 3.75-4 stars.

The Martian by Andy Weir

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I had been putting this book off for so long. Every time I thought about buying it and reading it, I just didn’t really feel it. But I went with a couple of friends on a charity shop spree and I found it for like a ridiculous price. I think it was like 50p or something stupid. So I bought it. And I really wanted to read something that had no romance in it and this was the only thing that really qualified. So I picked it up and I read it in one day. It was so addictive and so much fun. I’m so glad I read it. It’s so funny, I really liked Mark, which is good cause he’s more or less the only character. I loved his ingenuity and as a scientist, I loved seeing his basically survive with science. I loved every second of it. 5/5 stars.

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

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The conclusion to this series was finally released in paperback, which is what I’d been waiting for since I have the first two books in paperback too. I absolutely loved this series, it’s probably one of the best sci-fi series I’ve read recently and I jumped into it off the back of The Martian, so I was really in a sci-fi kick. The second book is still my favourite in the series I think, but not by much. I’ve also reviewed the series, if you want to know more of my thoughts. 5/5 stars

The Dark Vault by V. E. Schwab

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This is a bind-up of The Archived and The Unbound. They were recently re-released in this format since the originals are out of print, so I finally got them and read them. I counted this as two books, because it is two books, but my edition is just one volume. This was good, it’s not my favourite Victoria Schwab book. The story concept is really cool as her stories usually are, but having read so many of her more recent books, I could tell this was one of her earlier works. It’s not as well written as some of her other books. It was still really enjoyable, I liked the characters for the most part and the plot was fast paced. I flew through all 600+ pages of it in like 2 days. There were some love triangle vibes going on, which I just hate that trope. I feel like in the case of this series, it was used more as plot device rather than to create tension, so it didn’t get too annoying, but I still just really hate that trope. 3/5 stars

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence

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This was probably my most anticipated book of the year, definitely for the first half of the year. I started it as soon as the audiobook got released. Well, I pre-ordered the audiobook. I listened to this whole series on audio and they’re amazing. The narration is so good. I found out after getting it that they almost changed the narrator for this last one, but ended up delaying the release in order to keep her and I’m so glad they did. I would have cried if they’d changed her. Anyway, this was just as fantastic as the other books in the series. I can’t even decide which is my favourite in the series, they’re all so good. This has become one of my favourite series. 5/5 stars. I also have a series review if you want to know more of my thoughts.

Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

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This was such a pleasant surprise for me. I actually only finished it yesterday, so technically I didn’t finish it in April, but I only had like 2 chapters left, so I’m counting it. I got this in a Fairy Loot and was just feeling very meh about it based on the synopsis and just the overall vibe of the book. And then I decided to try a chapter of some of my TBR books (you can check out my post about that) to see how I feel before getting rid of them. And I’m glad I did, because I ended up really enjoying this. It was fun, fast paced, there were dragons and heists and it was just a lot of fun. It was somewhat predictable, but that didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed it. 3.5/5 stars.

Overall, I had a pretty good reading month. I enjoyed all the books that I read and I read quite a lot.

Book of the Ancestor by Mark Lawrence – Series Review

Series rating: 5/5

Genre: Fantasy, grimdark

Author: Mark Lawrence

Synopsis: At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive


I just finished Holy Sister  today and this is hands down one of the best series I have ever read. There is not one thing that I didn’t love about this. Straight up, 5/5 stars for each book on the series. Also, for those of you who like audiobooks, the narration for this series is top notch. I audiobooked all of them and it was just a great experience.

I’m going to try to insert some structure into this review so, first I’ll talk about the writing style. The whole series is kind of a frame story. Each book gives a glimpse into the present, or rather to the climax that the entire series is leading to as a prologue and epilogue. And then the rest of the book fills in some of the details. And that progresses with each book, with a little more making sense. I hope that makes sense. Each book then in turn is usually told in two different timelines. It sounds confusing when I try to explain it, but it’s actually very well done. It creates this suspenseful atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times. The writing is also very evocative and this is just all around such a well written series.

The world is really cool. The books are fairly short and heavily plot and character oriented, so the world is not very thoroughly explored. At the end of the series, there are still things that I have no explanation for. But it’s done well. We learn progressively about the world as the characters learn about it and that serves as much to drive the plot and characters forward as it does to flesh out the world. It’s just masterfully written. It might be a bit frustrating if you like very clearly defined magic systems such as Brandon Sanderson’s. This series definitely has a soft magic system, though it’s not as vague as say, A Song of Ice and Fire. I personally like both soft and hard magic systems and I really loved the magic in this series. There are multiple branches or aspects of the magic and I thought they’re all really cool. I thought the world was really cool.

I read Prince of Thorns by Lawrence as well and I didn’t like it as much for one main reason. Both this series and the Broken Empire series are set in a past-apocalyptic world where the people have kind of reverted to medieval-ish levels of technology, but they live in a world that used to be inhabited by technologically advanced people and there are vestiges of that. Which is a trope seen in many fantasies and one that I really enjoy, with one caveat. I don’t like it when that world is made out to be a future of Earth. At least not if there’s magic involved. It’s for some reason very jarring for me when that happens and it takes me out of the story and I just don’t enjoy it as much. And that’s what The Broken Empire series did, and I am so glad that this series was just set on some planet called Abeth. It’s all I needed for it to not be ruined for me. Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent.

The characters in this series are the best and Nona Grey is the best of the best. I don’t remember the last time I loved a main character as much as I love Nona. She is the most precious murderous nun in the world. She’s just so loyal and values friendship, which are two things I value so much and I feel like they’re so under-explored in books. So this story was just a balm for my soul. It’s so great to see Nona grow and the relationships that she forms and how those shape her and how she shapes others and ugh! It’s really hard to talk about the characters without spoiling anything, but just… amazing! Every single character is so amazing.

The story itself is fast paced and as I said before, keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s dark. I mean it gets super dark sometimes, but it’s also ultimately such a hopeful story. And those are my favourites. I classed it as a grimdark fantasy, but I’d say it fits better with the more recently coined subgenre of ‘hopepunk’. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can google it. But just to give you a feel of what I mean, you know that scene in The Two Towers, where Sam and Frodo were captured by Faramir and on their way to Gondor, but the Nazgul attacked and Frodo almost put on the ring and then almost killed Sam when he tried to help? And then Sam talks about “the great stories of old” and what made them stick with you? And Faramir hears and Gollum hears and Frodo hears and they’re all in the middle of a battle terrified and hopeless, but Sam somehow gives them hope and it’s a super powerful scene? Yeah, it’s that feeling. That’s hopepunk. And that’s exactly what this whole series feels like.

That’s all I can really say without any spoilers, so I will close by saying that I wholeheartedly recommend this series.