Review: Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (The Band #1)

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“They used to call us the Kings of the Wyld, remember?” “Yeah, they did. When we were twenty years younger. When our backs didn’t ache every morning and we didn’t wake up five times a night to piss. But time did what it does best, didn’t it?”

I know – I’m late to this particular bandwagon (heh). Kings of the Wyld is a book I’ve been eyeing for ages, unsure if I’d like it or not despite all the praise. I finally decided to take the plunge because of two things: 1) the ebook went on sale in my region after years of waiting and 2) I need lighter reads and this seemed perfect. And I just had to see what all the fuss was about.

Did it live up to the hype? Well…yes, but also no.

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November 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

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November has been a fairly decent month for reading, if not for reviewing. I had absolutely no luck – first I got ill and just as I started getting better, I got hit by a truckload of stress and everything ground down to a halt. I’m still not exactly well and not sure how much will I be able to update in December. And still focusing on lighter books. But!

I finished my 2019 goodreads reading challenge of 69 (heh) books 🥳🥳🥳

before December!

Books read:

  • The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells: Some of the most unique worldbuilding I’ve seen in a while and a very likable protagonist. Enjoyed it a lot. It has a bit of the stereotypical “evil species vs good species” going on, but I’m going to withhold judgement on that until the next book.
  • A Case of Possession and Flight of Magpies by K.J. Charles: Since my opinion remains unchanged from The Magpie Lord, I decided not to review them. In short, great characters, great dynamics, reads very fast…but it’s also an unfortunate fact that I simply do not like detailed sex scenes, or BDSM.
  • The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards: A shitload of fun, but what really makes it are the characters. I’m usually not much for UF, or action, but I read this in one sitting. So good.
  • Novice Dragoneer by E.E. Knight (ARC): While I got what I wanted (nostalgia distilled with dragons!), it was hindered by incredibly clumsy writing, which makes it difficult to recommend. My enjoyment was all over the place, from loving it, to nearly quitting.
  • The Duchess War by Courtney Milan: A fun, light read with a very respectful relationship and more politics than I expected (in a good way). But the plot just didn’t work for me and neither did the sex scenes. Again.
  • Magic’s Pawn and Magic’s Promise by Mercedes Lackey (reread): A review inspired me to do a reread. Very melodramatic and very dated, but still fun. Even if I wouldn’t recommend them anymore – there is far better LGBTQ+ rep out there nowadays. For example, the next book on the list!
  • The Hanged Man by K.D. Edwards (ARC): If I liked the first book, I loved the second. It’s much darker than the first overall, but the character interactions absolutely make up for that. They all care for each other so much and just, aww 😭 Would read anything the author writes. Review to come really soon, promise.

Currently reading:

  • Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (cca 70%): Pretty good, lots of fun, but at the same time it feels very long? Either way, I love that the characters are a bunch of old guys gone on one last adventure.
  • And OH WHAT SURPRISE, I still haven’t picked up and finished The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon either. I want to finish it before 2020? Hopefully?

Books read this year: 69 (+ 18 rereads)
r/Fantasy Bingo Challenge progress: 20/25 (80%)

Review: The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards (The Tarot Sequence #1)

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Once again, Sharade got me to read a book. And once again, it was fantastic. I took it with me on a train ride and finished it literally in one single sitting. It read that fast. If you’re looking for something ridiculously fun, with great characters, tarot-based magic, loads of action, LGBTQ+ rep, and plenty of banter, this is the book for you.

My name is Rune Saint John.

I am, before anything else, a survivor: of a fallen House, of a brutal assault, of violent allies and complacent enemies, of life among a people who turned their back on me decades ago.

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Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells (The Books of the Raksura #1)

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My experience with Martha Wells until now hasn’t been the most positive. I have only read The Wizard Hunters, which I found aggressively boring. But after much prodding, I decided to give her books another chance. And luckily, The Cloud Roads was a hit! I couldn’t stop reading. Unique worldbuilding, a broken cinnamon roll of a protagonist, found families…I would have never in a million years called it boring.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes

And it’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday post again! I skipped two weeks – Books I’d Give Different Titles To because I had no idea what to write, Halloween Freebie because I was simply too busy, but I’m back and hopefully able to do it more often.

I really like the idea of this week’s prompt, even if it proved harder than I thought it would be – I know lots of summer books and lots of winter books but few autumn ones.

As usual, listed as I remembered them, in no specific order.

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Review: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (Vine Witch #1)

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ARC received from the publisher (47North) in exchange for an honest review.

In some ways, this is the perfect book to read in autumn. There are witches, there is wine, there are sinister curses, romance…in short, it sounds fantastic. But even though I was suitably enchanted by the atmosphere and the concept in the beginning, the plot did not live up to its promise.

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October 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

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October was an excellent month for both reading and reviewing. Aside from this last week, it was the first time I was able to maintain always having at least one review scheduled and mostly posting three times a week. Considering that I barely managed one, maybe two posts a week before and used to be in an eternal state of massive backlog, I think I can say I’m proud of myself.

It has also been the best month for views, mostly thanks to Keikii, who kindly made me do a guest post on my favourite subgenre: Slice of Life SFF.

I finished:

  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (mini review): While I loved Tess of the Road, this wasn’t quite it – I found it very bland, slowly paced, and predictable.
  • In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan: After all Sara’s yelling, I had to give it a try and it did not disappoint. On the surface, it’s a satirical deconstruction of portal fantasy tropes, but with a lot of heart and feelings underneath. Recommended.
  • Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith (ARC): One of the most highly anticipated releases this year for me. Unfortunately, I ended up struggling. And what’s worse, I can’t even say why.
  • Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović: First book that made me feel at least halfway represented (set in Montengro, which is…eh, close enough). While it started off incredible, it slowly descended into every YA trope I hate. And the ending was last minute cliffhanger for the sake of cliffhanger bullshit.
  • My Beautiful Life by K.J. Parker (ARC): I usually love K.J. Parker’s short fiction but I just didn’t feel that one. Too much plot for a novella this length, distant narrative style, a few immersion-breaking bits…
  • All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater: Loved it. Quiet, thoughtful magical realism about a family of saints. Lovely prose. Couldn’t be more of a me book if it tried.
  • The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (ARC): Review yet to be finished, but in short, I have mixed feelings. The atmosphere and setting were wonderful, but it completely lost me on the plot and some…rather clumsily written bits. As in, a character literally says “I am dead” before dropping dead kind of clumsy.

Reviews from my backlog:

  • Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
  • A mini review post containing reviews for Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon, Half Lost  by Sally Green (DNF), and The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
  • Vita Nostra by Sergey & Maria Dyachenko (reread)
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes

Currently reading:

  • The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells, which I’m enjoying very much. A broken cinnamon roll of a protagonist, a fascinating world…whenever I pick it up, I can’t stop. I might finish it later today, or tomorrow at tha very latest.
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Perpetually. I should pick it up and finish it soon.

Books read this year: 62 (+ 16 rereads)
r/Fantasy Bingo Challenge progress: 19/25 (76%)