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Archive for July, 2011

Reading Round-up

I’ve been a busy little reader! Here’s a quick run-down of the stories I’ve read in the last week or two:

  • Talyn and Hawkspar by Holly Lisle
  • I really liked Talyn. It had a unique take on magic use with an interesting plot twist. Hawkspar, while interesting, was average in comparison to Talyn. The “dream style” foreshadowing she used with great success in Talyn appeared overused and tired in Hawkspar. You don’t have to read them in order, as they do stand on their own, but Talyn sets up some fairly major background concepts for the universe of Korre.

    Synopses: Talyn, a military mage, is ultimately the only person who can protect her country from a peace gone wrong, negotiated by deceitful diplomats. 15 years later, Hawkspar continues to set right the wrongs committed by those same diplomats.

  • The Furies of Caulderon, Academ’s Fury, Cursor’s Fury, Captain’s Fury by Jim Butcher (Codex Alera series)
  • I read and loved Jim Butcher’s other series, The Dresden Files. When I noticed that he had other books, I immediately picked them up. The Codex Alera series is completely different in writing style and tone than The Dresden Files. It’s refreshing to see an author who is that flexible with his writing styles. One negative about the series, though I ultimately liked it, is that the story didn’t really become compelling for me until book two.

    Synopsis: In a world where everyone has a personal elemental to perform magic, Tavi has none. Through cunning and intelligence (and not magic), he helps save the kingdom from ruin, invasion, and rebellion.

  • The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop
  • As much as I hate to say it, The Shadow Queen is a cookie-cutter Black Jewels universe novel. I loved the original trilogy (Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of Darkness) and the first stand-alone novel (The Invisible Ring), but The Shadow Queen left me unsatisfied. It felt like it would have been better suited as a short story. The novel focused on (kind-of-mostly) the main characters Cassidy, Gray, and Theran, who are trying to find a Queen who isn’t a torturing crazy-person to heal the country from the torturing crazy-person Queens’ abuses. I expected to learn more about the universe and what made this specific country and conflict unique within the context of the other novels. Unfortunately, the main plot combined elements Bishop has used in the universe’s other novels; the main characters’ plot is mostly window dressing for Daemon to make a reappearance.

    The Shadow Queen also focused on the heroes from the original trilogy: Daemon, whose fragile sanity is threatened when his wife kinda-sorta-not-even-a-little-bit acts like the torturing crazy-person Queens who tortured him for most of his life; Saetan (his father), whose sanity is threatened when he is reminded of when he was denied paternity rights to his son because the mother was a torturing crazy-person Queen; and Lucivar (Daemon’s brother) brings them all through it with insubordination and shocking language. But this story was supposed to be about Cassidy-Gray-Theran, right? In my opinion, Bishop should have written two separate stories to properly do each one justice. I think each story has merit, but the way they were published was not kind to either of them.

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