The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

thewayofkingscoverTitle: The Way of Kings
Series: The Stormlight Archive #1
Stand-alone: Yes
Author(s): Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Original Release Date: August 31st 2010
Pages: 1258
Genre(s): Fantasy
ISBN13: 9780765365279


I heard a lot of things of Brandon Sanderson through the grapevine. It was only a question of time till I did my due diligence and dug through his work. The instant I found out about The Stormlight Archive, I knew it was a series I had to check out. It had this pronounced aura glowing, growing and flickering relentlessly. Its irresistible lust chained me to a desire to pick it up and get caught up in the creativity and ingenuity that is often attributed to the man and his work.

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Cruel Prince by Holly Black : Seductively Wicked

HI GUYS!! Sorry for a big hiatus, had the busiest days of my life </3 and the most exhausting ones too, but I’m ready to be back with a new book review that I recently finished. I’ll go on some blog hopping these next few days 😀

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Cruel Prince is Holly Black’s new book and it was amazing ! The only problem I have with this book is the pace. It started very slowly but it was necessary to build up the world of Faerie and the characters introduction so I can understand.  My reaction changes dramatically depending on different parts of the books.

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Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Grant_IntoDrowningDeep-HCTitle: Into the Drowning Deep
Series: Rolling in the Deep #1
Stand-alone: Yes
Author(s): Mira Grant
Publisher: Orbit
Format: ARC
Release Date: November 14th 2017
Pages: 512
Genre(s): Horror, Science-Fiction, Fantasy
ISBN13: 9780316379403


Reminiscent of Alien and Jurassic Park, Into the Drowning Deep is Mira Grant’s exploration of mermaids in their most natural and wicked form. Author of Feed and Parasite, she is also known for Rosemary and Rue and Every Heart a Doorway, under the name of Seanan McGuire. While I haven’t yet had the pleasure to read all her well-praised series, this new book part of the Rolling in the Deep series has definitely sealed the deal and proved Mira Grant’s ability to make horror stories as thrilling as they can ever be.

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Jade City by Fonda Lee

Jade-City-final-cover-e1495648519644Title: Jade City
Series: The Green Bone Saga #1
Stand-alone: Yes
Author(s): Fonda Lee
Publisher: Orbit
Format: ARC
Release Date: November 7th 2017
Pages: 444
Genre(s): Fantasy
ISBN13: 9780316440868


If anyone had told me that they would publish a book that would blend The Godfather with magic in an Asian setting, I would have probably been skeptical and overlooked it without second-guessing my decision. Fonda Lee brings shames to doubters with her latest novel part of The Green Bone Saga series, Jade City. Maybe it is my love for anything related to organized crime (Goodfellas, The Sopranos, The Godfather, etc.) that helped me enjoy this more than I thought I would, but the author strives to deliver a brilliant story that stands tall and proud with its detailed world-building.

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Seventh Decimate by Stephen R. Donaldson

seventhdecimatecoverTitle: Seventh Decimate
Series: The Great God’s War #1
Stand-alone: Yes
Author(s): Stephen R. Donaldson
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: November 14th 2017
Pages: 320
Genre(s): Fantasy
ISBN13: 9780399586132


Stephen R. Donaldson returns with a new trilogy that fails to break new grounds, but remains a typical and captivating adventure that will decide the fate of countless people. Seventh Decimate merely sets the table to a potentially exciting sequel as we follow Prince Bifalt and his arrogant self into treacherous grounds.

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The Book of Swords by Gardner Dozois (Editor)

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“From now on, if you wanted to tell those kinds of stories, you were going to have to have to do it in fantasy.”

— Gardner Dozois, The Book of Swords

    I’ve always thought that short stories were so much more harder for authors to nail. To be able to compress a whole narrative within 30 to 100 pages seemed like a task only a God could manage. Only a few authors are able to find an idea, foreshadow it and deliver a stunning ending that will make you realize just how clever those last couple of pages were. In fact, being able to deliver a clever narrative is what I also look for in all my stories, whether they are long or short. The Book of Swords is my first venture into the world of anthologies and I can tell you all that this was such a splendid experience. I won’t be reviewing each story one by one—which would be a bloody crazy idea with the number of authors featured and the number of things I might or might not be able to say about them—but this compilation of short stories was a fantastic break of the usual long and traditional literature that I’m used to embrace. I’m pretty glad to have read this one as it opened me to the idea of always having an anthology, or even short stories, ready on my bookshelves to pick up whenever I’m looking for something short and sweet to indulge.

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Blackwing by Ed McDonald

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“I don’t like things that don’t make sense. Not until I’ve put a knife in them.”

— Ed McDonald, Blackwing

    It would be a mistake to overlook this book. Ed McDonald’s debut novel, the first book in The Raven’s Mark series, is a phenomenal piece of literature. It glows with fiery passion and an inhuman mastery of creativity. There wasn’t a single moment to take a breath as it held a tenacious grip on my attention to the point of chocking me with fast-paced action. Blackwing is a beautiful and sinister fantasy story. Its ability to create a wonderful and unique world is astonishing and bleeds with a desire to seduce you into the mind of Ed McDonald. Reading this felt like the work of a genuine mastermind who’s penmanship has went through hell and high water. Forget about soft clouds and pretty rainbows. Blackwing will show you misery and demise melded around hope, reason and humanity. This novel deserves so much praise and absolutely needs everyone’s attention. So what are you waiting for?

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Most Anticipated Releases in October

Hi everybody ! Trang’s back with another listopia posts 😀 I’ve spent a few hours reading about all the books coming out this month (so I can ask my family what books I want for my birthday *muahhha*) and I wanted to share with you my most anticipated releases ! So if you are looking to read some new books coming out this month, this post might help you 😉

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The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman : The author of Golden Compass returns for a trilogy prequel to Northern Lights series.  “La Belle Sauvage, is set 10 years before the events of His Dark Materials, and the rest of the story takes place 20 years after that: in fact, 10 years after Lyra comes home to Jordan College after her adventure in the Arctic at the end of The Amber Spyglass.” – Penguin Random House

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng: Thanks to my fellow bloggers for making me discovering this new book with an extremely original book cover (SEE PICTURE BELOW). Reviews are calling it a gothic fantasy tale.  This is one of the time where the cover completely thew me off and making me want to read the book ! Continue reading

Frostblood by Elly Blake

MY RATING : ★★/5

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

I enjoyed this story so much! I saw a lot of negative reviews on Goodreads and a lot of them were complaining about how the plot and story is a stereotypical YA Fantasy.

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I mean, aren’t they all…?! They say that the plot is very similar to Red Queen but then again, Red Queen was very similar to other books as well but we don’t mention that huh ;P At least here we don’t find some Fifty Shades of Grey vibe where the main character falls for some jerk who likes to torture her…

Anyways,  I guess this is one of the times I have to disagree with the overall opinion and give this book a good rating 😉  I actually like Ruby for who she is: smart, rebel and likes to question everything.  Yes there is some insta-romance but her relation with Arkus is pretty enjoyable to watch. Since the day he starts to train her, they actually have to struggle and deal with their differences. Doubts, trust issues that are realistic.   Continue reading

The Sandman (Volume 1) Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

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“What power would hell have if those imprisoned here would not be able to dream of heaven?”

— Neil Gaiman, The Sandman (Volume 1) Preludes & Nocturnes

    This definitely showcases the broadness of Neil Gaiman’s imagination. It’s boundless, colourful, enigmatic and complex. It’s simply impossible to reproduce, and infinitely beautiful. I do want to be that guy who raves and raves about this first volume of The Sandman, but then I wouldn’t be honest with myself. Preludes & Nocturnes introduces readers to Morpheus, Lord of Dreams, and transports us on an intimate journey alongside this mythical and mysterious being as he explores worlds like none other. The story is ignites when an occultist attempts an uncalled-for ceremony in the dishonest and mischievous intention of capturing Death, and then to bargain for eternal life. It is by accidentally capturing Death’s younger brother Dream that things go haywire and leaves Dream imprisoned for over 70 years. Being captured and stripped of his powers for countless decades, you can only imagine what his desire for revenge drives him to do as soon as he finds himself free of his predicament. Driven to recover his precious belongings that behold his powers, The Sandman (Volume 1) Preludes & Nocturnes brings fans to explore dream lands and hellish landscapes in all of its glory.
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The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

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“Why we march and why we die, and what life means… it’s all a lie. Death! Death! Death!”

— Anna Smith Spark, The Court of Broken Knives

    It’s always refreshing to dive into a pool of murky grimdark water after a long thriller swim. With fantasy books, the world alone transports you to unimaginable places filled with impossible people and creatures. Set in environments that take a life of its own, you’re bound to find yourself chained to the details of the land and to lurk in the shadows of its people. Anna Smith Spark brings us a new and gripping debut story that swears to have everything you’d want, from blood and betrayal to magic and dragons. The Court of Broken Knives, book one in the Empires of Dust series, offers us four different and unusually fascinating point of views to tell a story filled with back-stabbing decisions and rightful ownership. Although each character (mercenary captain, mercenary recruit, politician and high priestess) all have their own goals and slowly discover the harsh reality of the decisions they are to make, Marith, the latest recruit to the company of soldiers, remains the center of attention as his uncommon background resurfaces and takes a hold of his life.

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Vault of Dreams by Luke Taylor

MY RATING: ★/ 5  

Emerald hills and ice blue lochs, bordered by Nørds raiders and the haughty monarchs of South Angle, each dynasty eager to seize lands weakened by a civil war in which a usurper has risen to seize the cloven throne.

why4starsCapture d_écran 2017-07-15 à 18.35.50Meet Six Of Crows and Lord of The Rings, my friends 😀  It was so mesmerizing to being able to read once again, a novel from one of my favourite author (that I’m happy to call friend !) I’ve praised Luke Taylor prose before in his novel The Quiet Kill , a psychological thriller. He came back this time with a total different genre. A prose that was elegantly displaying in a psychological but when turns into fantasy, I find a little too much.  That’s the reason why I removed a star from my rating. Some people will find this extremely beautiful to read and enjoy, but personally when there’s an excessive descriptions I just find it confusing as it takes away from the main story. Continue reading

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

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“Give to the god the one who made your mind and body sing with love.”

— Brian Staveley, Skullsworn

    Skullsworn is a stand-alone story set in the same universe as The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne written by Brian Staveley. Although having failed to get around to read the original trilogy that laid the foundation to Staveley’s popularity, I can still confidently confirm that Skullsworn remains a beautiful introduction to a great talent in the fantasy world and can easily be read without worrying about the potential references it could have to The Emperor’s Blades, The Providence of Fire or The Last Mortal Bond. This new tale features Pyrre as the main protagonist and recounts her Trial to officially arise as a priestess of Ananshael, God of Death. Presented with a song that unveils the very requirements to become a priestess, Pyrre embarks on an adventure in her hometown of Dombâng in hopes of completing the challenge under the eyes of two Witnesses, long time priestess and priest of Ananshael: Ela and Kossal. While the song instructs Pyrre to bestow death upon seven specific individuals, Skullsworn exposes us to the ramifications of love, and the deadly edge to it.
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The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood

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“A dragon handler with her head in the clouds is cursed. Those were my mother’s last words to me.”

— Todd Lockwood, The Summer Dragon

    Illustrator Todd Lockwood has decided to jump into the story-telling business with this debut novel featuring the one thing he’ll never fail to draw magnificently: dragons. Known for his artistic talent and his artwork in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series, The Summer Dragon is his first venture in the fantasy world. This novel is marketed as a a high fantasy novel with dragons and deadly politics but I’d rectify that and say it felt a lot more like a young adult fantasy novel with dragons and a discourse on the foundation of religion. There’s nothing wrong with that, as even adults can find this debut novel engrossing, but a warning beforehand would definitely have been highly welcome! Todd Lockwood delivers a very fluid, straight-forward and easy-to-picture story that puts Maia, a young women who will do anything for what she believes is right for her aerie, in the center stage. The plot develops very smoothly and never falters, diving here and then in questions of belief and faith with a unique dragon lore/mythology to envelop Todd Lockwood’s world.
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Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (ARC)

MY RATING: ★ /5

Blurb from Goodreads: Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.
And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.
As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

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Fairytale retellings are one of my favourite genre these past years and the concept of the book is original and authentic. It’s built on two sisters, each of them is struggling with a lack of sensory feelings. Aurora can’t feel anything she touches nor can she speak and  her sister, Isbe, is blind.

The worldbuilding is very intriguing, as you read, you are dying to know more about the characters and their surroundings. I love how the romance is not the typical a princess falls for the prince type of clichés. Nowadays, fairytale retellings would focus more about women empowerment and other forms of love than romantic ones. The fact that the author has made her characters with disabilities amplify the struggles that they are having but also fortify their loves for each other.  Continue reading

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

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“It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size.”

— Mark Lawrence, Red Sister

    Dear Mr. Lawrence—can I call you Mark? I’ve heard a lot about you and the books you’ve written. The Broken Empire trilogy as well as the Red Queen’s War trilogy have known nothing but praise. It’s hard for someone to look away from something that shine’s like a diamond on a sunny day, even if it’s miles away. While I’m itching to dive right into them, I also managed to get my hands on your latest masterpiece. Yes, I must say it is a masterpiece. I’m not one to boost the ego of people just because I can, but Red Sister is the beginning of something extraordinary. I might not have read everything you’ve written yet, but boy can you write. Your book has the power to steal a reader’s soul and compel it to follow a path filled with peace, patience and serenity. It brings readers to transcend time and space in order to live a whole new life through the eyes of a child. This isn’t just a story that offers you the choice to go somewhere far and beyond our imagination. This is a story that imposes you to welcome its world and all of its elegance. Walking into the worlds you write makes us glow with bliss and forget about our own stresses, problems and responsibilities. This is a story that makes you feel warm, invited and belonging to a convent. Mark, you’ve given us an epic fantasy story that will enthrall its readers to characters, settings and a lore that have never been done so meticulously, and with so much perfection. Red Sister is the next book that anyone and everyone should read.
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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”

— Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

    Hold on to your hats, my friends, The Night Circus is coming to town and it has brought its magic along with it. I started this book without the slightest clue of what I was dipping my toe into. It didn’t take me long to realize that my whole mind was submerged in a star-filled mystical world where anything is possible if you hold your arms wide open and let the enchantment embrace your mind and body. Erin Morgenstern’s novel is a visual experience that will haunt your imagination like none other books have done so yet. Its intricate attention to details stimulates your senses into believing you’re a rêveur who’s been up all night until the arrival of Le Cirque des Rêves. It holds onto your gaze like a star-filled night and bestows upon you the desire to smile, to discover, to vow your life to a circus that took form through written words. The Night Circus is the story of Celia and Marco. These two individuals who have been bound to a challenge forced upon them by their masters since a very young age, will soon go face to face as the circus serve as their venue, their battlefield. It is their ignorance of how the victor is decided that the tale shifts from a competition to a collaboration, one that will lead them into an unexpected love story set in a magical ambience.
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Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

MY RATING: ★

It started out great. The world building seemed good, the characters seemed lovable and not getting on my nerves. But then it suddenly shifted to something else entirely. I decided to finish the book because I had hope it would get better but it didn’t and I’m pretty disappointed.

Throughout the story you expect to understand the plot holes. But nope. You don’t get to. We never really understand why Denna was bethroned first, the wars between kingdoms how did it start? I think these information and so many other can contribute to a greater world building. Continue reading

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King

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“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

— Stephen King, The Gunslinger

    This is my first experience of Stephen King’s work. I am myself surprised that it isn’t one of his pure horror stories, but I also had a feeling I was going to end up exploring the Dark Tower universe before anything else. With an adaptation in the work, starring both Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba—two formidable actors, might I add—I vowed I’d get my hands on this series before indulging the movie. The first book in this series, The Gunslinger, introduces us to two mysterious figures. While their motives and their personalities remain ambiguous right from the beginning, you quickly get a grasp of who you’re dealing with as you tag along in their cruel and enchanted adventure. One thing ultimately drives this story forward and it all lies in the gunslinger pursuing the man in black through a desolate universe. Poetic and enigmatic, the first book in the Dark Tower series is a character-driven story that lays out a world that has yet to be fully understood.
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