The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison : readalong, final week #wyrdandwonder, #TheGoblinEmperor

ReadalongGE

Today is the final week in the readalong for the Goblin Emperor and things are certainly hotting up.  This is part of the Wyrd and Wonder event taking place during the month of May.  The details of Wyrd and Wonder are here and the readalong details are here.  As always, beware of spoilers which will be lurking.

Here’s the reading schedule at a glance:

  • Week 1: Wednesday 6th May, Chapters 1 through 9
  • Week 2: Wednesday 13th May, Chapters 10 through 17 (end of part 2)
  • Week 3: Wednesday 20th May, Chapters 18 through 26 (part 3)
  • Week 4: Wednesday 27th May, Chapters 27 to End (part 4 & 5)

Lisa at DeerGeekPlace is hosting the readalong .  The questions will be posted weekly in  a Goodreads group page, and will also be tweeted out weekly from the @wyrdandwonder account using the hashtag #TheGoblinEmperor, as well as the standard #wyrdandwonder tag.  so without further ado – to the q&a

Let’s start with Maia’s grandfather! What do you think of the Avar, and his budding relationship with Maia?

I really enjoyed this aspect of this week’s reading.  It felt like they took almost shy steps to begin with but eventually their relationship developed so well and I can’t help thinking that will make such a huge difference in relationships with the goblins moving forward.  Avar was very easy to read – a real force of nature tupe character that swallows up page space as soon as he arrives on the scene.  And, finally, I loved that he left a small army contingent behind to look out for his grandson.  Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

Another plot against Maia is foiled… Were you surprised by the reveal of Tethimar as the one behind the late emperor’s murder? And what are your thoughts on this reveal, in light of the way this part of the story played out?

I wasn’t so much surprised by Tehimar’s involvement in the plot but I was surprised at his method.  It seemed a little crazy storming the dais with a knife – a death wish by any other name really.  In fact, I’d say the plots against Maia were probably, for me, the weakest part of the storyline.  I think I was expecting something with some thought or subtlety – that being said I guess Tethimar was driven a little crazy with hate.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very, very happy that neither plot succeeded but I was a bit surprised at the weakness of both attempts.

For all of the enmity that’s shown to him, our emperor has a much more hopeful nickname by the end… Looking back, are you satisfied with/pleased by the way Maia handled all of these situations in which he had to make or break relationships? Was there anything you were left questioning or that you feel should have gone differently?

Maia is the absolute star of the piece.  I love the way his character has grown during the course of the book.  I love the way he handles himself, others and situations.  He is genuinely caring and even when he lacks confidence his interactions are a joy to read about.  He’s strong when you least expect it and also forgiving.  I can’t help but notice how everyone has warmed up to him, he even turned the ‘we can’t be friends’ issue on it’s head and found a compromise.  And I especially like the ending with the bridge analogy.  The bridge became something much more than a structure.  It helped Maia achieve confidence in himself, it demonstrated his progressive attitude to change and to listen and it also worked as a comparison with the bridges he was building with others.  Even when he acknowledged that he wasn’t able to build bridges with everyone.

I went into this read not really knowing what to expect and ended up loving this.  This is not a sweeping epic drama, it’s much more character focused and Maia is a great character to read about.  I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Thanks to Wyrd and Wonder for this fantastic month long love of everything fantasy and also to Lisa for hosting this readalong which definitely gave me the motivation I needed to pick this up.

Friday Face Off : Silhouette

FFO

As the month of May is Wyrd and Wonder month I’m going to be trying to use fantasy covers for my Friday Face Offs.

The details of Wyrd & Wonder can be found here.

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IMAGE CREDITS: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono | Decorative phoenix by Tanantachai Sirival

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

Silhouette – an island, a person, anything you like

I think this week’s topic was a little easier than last week’s thank goodness and I spotted quite a few covers for this theme but I’ve gone with the first book in a series that I’ve enjoyed very much so far: Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett.  Here are the covers:

Not a lot of covers this week but the first and fourth covers both fit the theme.

My favourite:

Foundryside RD4 clean flat

I also like the fourth because of the colours but the first one is my favourite. I like the added touches around the outside of the cover, the way the character is framed and the background which is pertinent to the plot.

So, which is your favourite?

I’ll be updating the list in order to include forthcoming events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share then let me know in the comments).  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.

Next week – Flight – any type of flight – to flee, to fly

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers) (I’ve added some new themes – some of these are slightly different, in order to avoid too much repetition I’m trying to make the themes more of a suggestion that everyone can interpret how they like.  

2019

May is the month of Wyrd & Wonder and so I will be trying to focus on fantasy book covers:

5th June – Flight – any type of flight – to flee, to fly

12th June – The bodice ripper – exactly as it seems

19th June – Time – time waits for no one

26th June – Windows – windows to the soul?

3rd July – Tentacles – ‘The sea brought you.  The sea shall have you back’

10th July – Tunnel – ‘At the end of every light, is a tunnel of darkness.’

17th July – holding an object – just as it seems

24th July – Framed – more meaning than one.  A cover with a frame, a picture within a cover or a murder mystery set up??

31st July – White – a cover that is predominantly white

7th August – Action – a cover that depicts action of some sort

14th August – Glasses or spectacles – “One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon.”

21st August – Potions –  hubble bubble

28th August – Dark road – ‘the road goes ever on and on’

4th September – Cold and crisp – any cover that gives you winter vibes

11th September – A cover with a pattern

18th September – Minimalistic and lacking clutter

25th September – A very busy cover full to bursting with detail

2nd October – A standout font

9th October – Mist/fog – “A thin grey fog hung over the city, and the streets were very cold; for summer was in England.”

16th October – Spider web – “Farewell, Aragog, king of the arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you would never forget!

23th October – Ripped/torn – interpret it as you wish

30th October – Forest/jungle – ‘None of the Jungle People like being disturbed.’

6th November – Planets – “You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.”

13th November – Bright – ‘The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades’.

20th November – Words only – “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”

27th November – Modern sci fi

4th December –  Fae – or fairy??

11th December – Lake – the mysterious lake

18th December – Highly Stylised

25th December- Freebie – or day off.

 

The Court of Miracles (A Court of Miracles #1) by Kester Grant

CourtofLet me start this review by saying I really enjoyed The Court of Miracles.  At a time when my concentration has been a little lacking (at best) this book really drew me in.  I enjoyed the writing, the atmosphere and the world and it was always a pleasure to return.  All that being said I’m going to turn things on there head a little and address some of the hype and other notions that are attached to this book.

This book is being marketed as a number of things, not least a retelling of Les Miserables meets Jungle Book meets Six of Crows.  Strong comparisons indeed for some very popular works of fiction and I might also add, just to complicate the mix even more, I picked up nuances of the Hunchback of Notre Dame and even a sprinkling of Dickens with the Ghosts of the story having a strange resemblance to Fagin’s ragtag gang of pickpockets.

So, this book is clearly influenced by Les Mis but I wouldn’t call it a retelling as such and to be honest I think you could pick this up without any knowledge of this particular classic and you wouldn’t be disadvantaged at all.  For me, being a little familiar with that tale, it was interesting to hear the names and make some of the connections how they fit together but I think you could pick this up without knowing anything about Les Mis and enjoy it simply for what it is.  The Jungle Book suggestion – well, there is a rather nasty character known as the Tiger who stalks innocent young people, and there are a good number of characters named for animals – such as Loup – but that’s about as far as that goes.  Finally, Six of Crows – well, this book lives in the seedy underworld of an alternate historical Paris with all the grime, crime and suffering you would expect.  The Court of Miracles is made up of nine criminal factions, thieves, assassins, smugglers, etc, each ruled by a crime Lord – for example The Tiger is the Flesh Lord – I’m sure you can figure out his particular house.  The Lords adhere to a strict criminal code which prevents infighting and all out war between the different factions although some do bend the rules.  However, a heist, this is not. All that out of the way, lets focus on my thoughts.

As the story begins we meet Eponine (Nina).  Her sister is taken by the Tiger and this provides the fuel for the story and the motivation for most of her actions.  She becomes a daughter of the Lord of Thieves and, being young and nimble, a cat burglar of talent.  Cosette (Ettie) is Nina’s adopted younger sister and also a pawn in the longer game.  Ettie is beautiful and, in a brutal world, remains charmingly innocent – a strange combination that was always going to attract the wrong attention.

The majority of the story revolves around Nina seemingly jumping from one task to the other in pursuit of her own goals and in a desperate attempt to win friends and influence people who can help her.  At times this can lead to a slightly jumbled feeling or at least a sense that the story lacks a strong cohesive focus but I can’t deny I enjoyed all Nina’s adventures and I would say you have to keep in mind the longer picture and what it’s all working towards.

In terms of the world building.  This is an alternate version of Paris, the French Revolution failed, the Royals are still eating cake and the social divide is yawning wider than ever.  People are dying on the streets, bodies piled unceremoniously and voices of discontent are gathering behind closed doors.  Revolution is in the air but whilst young men dream of wild pursuits and overthrowing the nobility the Royals are also scheming.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing.  There is a real sense of atmosphere and I loved reading about Paris and picking up the references to various very well known places.

Criticisms.  Nothing that spoiled the read for me but perhaps worth mentioning.  Ettie seems to have no end of admirers – at least three gentlemen seem enamoured by her even though she seems completely oblivious and the Lords themselves also give her a lot of leeway.  I wouldn’t say the potential romantic element was a problem as such as this is more incidental rather than central to the plot – although it does mean that Ettie frequently seems to have assistance when she gets into sticky situations and I think I would have preferred her to use her own cunning a little more in some of these situations.  There is also an element of Ettie being unreasonably good at what she does.  I’m just going to say – go with it.  If you’re expecting explanations of why she’s so good or how she achieves such miraculous stunts then you’ll be disappointed because this isn’t part of the story.  She just is.  Enough said. Also, the fantasy elements of this, so far, are more based on the alternate history as oppose to magic, monsters or other fantastical elements.

Criticisms and slight detours aside I really enjoyed this.  It kept me fully immersed and I never had any hesitation in returning to the world.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4 out of 5 stars.

 

 

Can’t Wait Wednesday : A Deadly Education (Scholomance #1) by Naomi Novik

W&WIMAGE CREDITS: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono | Decorative phoenix by Tanantachai Sirival

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  For the month of May I will be joining up this event with Wyrd and Wonder and highlighting fantasy books.  This week my book is : A Deadly Education (Scholomance #1) by Naomi Novik and here’s why:

DeadlyLesson One of the Scholomance

Learning has never been this deadly

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

Expected publication: September 2020

Top Ten Tuesday : Opening Lines

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IMAGE CREDITS: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono | Decorative phoenix by Tanantachai Sirival

tttTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is :

Opening Lines

So, this is fairly self explanatory.  Gripping opening lines.  These are my choices:

“It’s important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size.”– Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Redsister

When I was seven, I found a door.”  The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

Tenthousand

“Dogs were with us from the very beginning.” A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by CA Fletcher

ABoy1

“Itami Cho woke to the screams of her own death. “  Never Die by Rob J Hayes

NeverDie

“Carolyn had been kidnapped twice in the past month, which was twice more than most people in a lifetime.” Sworn to the Night by Craig Schaefer

Sworn to the Night

“When a welcome to a city comes in the form of being chased through it’s streets by a bloodthirsty mob, you might assume you’ve done something wrong.” Chasing Graves by Ben Galley

ChasingGraves

“My right arm is made of metal.”  Fortune’s Fool by Angela Boord

Fortune's Fool

“Two weeks before everyone died and the world changed forever, Finnbogi the Boggy was fantasising about Thyri Treelegs.”  You Die When You Die by Angus Watson

youdie

“Of course, a sensible woman would never have accepted the invitation in the first place.” Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis

snowspelled

“The old spellmasters like to say that magic has a taste.” Spellslinger by Sebastien deCastell

Spellslinger

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