Tag Archives: High fantasy

Favorite Books of 2013 – Mid Year Edition

16 Jul

Well, my blogging friends, we are halfway through 2013 and I’ve gotten through almost 55 books. (wootie woot woot!) With me being a wee bit over 50% of my goal of 100 book-a-roos in 2013, I think I shall have a fav books mid-year edition. Mainly because I’ve read some awesome books and haven’t been able to write reviews yet. Not sure if because I am lazy or busy with work… hmmm…

Regardless, below are my favorite Thus-Far read books that were published in 2013. This is also me book pimping these onto to you lovely readers because they are crazy good.

Favorite Book Thus Far of 2013

Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers – this is gorgeous and rich. I love LaFever’s writing and her characters in the entire His Fair Assassin’s series are breathtaking. From shy and sweet to spicy and fierce these female pro-tags became my bffl faces while I was reading.

Favorite High Fantasy Book Thus Far of 2013

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell – This was a fun book and surprised me. For having a badass female pro-tag, she’s very feminine at the same time and relatable. I feel like usually you don’t have that balance and it was nice to see. The switching narrators also allowed me to stay more engaged with the story and the fact that the romance is subtle, second to the main story, is refreshing.

Favorite Dystopian Book Thus Far of 2013

Reboot by Amy Tintera – this one is hard for me because I actually rated Prodigy by Marie Lu higher. But I think when it comes down to which book is actually better all around, Reboot wins. It’s definitely a more mature book, with more engaging characters and more thought provoking themes. Buuuut, Marie Lu’s writing, while def geared towards a younger age range, engulfs you and tears you through a fast paced storyline that has you reading it in 12 hours (guilty!). So just… read both, yeah?

Favorite Fluff Book Thus Far of 2013

The Elite by Kiera Kass – we all know this is a no-brianer and that I have a slight sickeningly obsession with The Selection series. It’s just… just… so fatabolous. I fangirl all over these books.

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The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

24 May

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Book Two in the Fire and Thorns Series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

I legitimately squealed when I finished this book. Like the high pitched annoying sounds 11 year old girls make when they see a baby penguin or something. It’s Just. That. Fabulous.

Girl of Fire and Thorns took me awhile to get into but once I was in, I was swallowed up by the beauty of Carson’s writing. I am a sucker for good world building and this baby gave me everything I wanted. To me a high fantasy book should have a world that is it’s own character. You need to know it, feel it, love it or hate it just like any other character in a story. You want to be able to relate to it and visualize it in your mind. I could actually see a map in my head of everywhere the characters went in the novel. From the water fall to the underground city it was vivid and clear and glorious. *whimsical sigh*

Not only am I once again impressed with Carson’s writing ability, but I am also ecstatic that this is a functioning, well thought-out, crucial-to-the-story installment. So many times author’s second book in a trilogy or sequel seems forced or convoluted because they are trying to build suspense and foreshadow everything that will happen in the next/last book. They forget that the readers still want to be transported to another world and see the characters grow. But Crown of Embers has it’s own flavor, story, personality that makes it just as engaging and engrossing as book one. It feels like a natural extension of the plot but it layers on so much more feeling and passion and emotional connections you just sink more and more into the story the longer the book progresses.

It’s a beautiful story with a unique, not cookie-cuter YA female pro-tag that will have you riding the wave of fantasy hard. When the book ends it takes you a second to come back to life in the real world because the story just feels so… real.

And this line.. soo romantic. Reminds me of my book boyfriend Mr. Darcy. Jane Austen would be so proud:

“I love you the way a drowning man loves air. And it would destroy me to have you just a little.”

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima – the most amazing book I have ever read.

11 Jan

The Crimson Crown

Fourth Book in the Seven Realms Series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

After finishing this book, I am attempting to write my final review for this series. This is almost painful for me because I am so passion about this book, these characters, this author, I want to do them justice. I feel like I need to hone and perfect my writing skills purely to try to make this review captures just how incredible this book is.

I have been a high fantasy lover all my life. I grew up with Harry Potter throughout childhood and went through high school with Eragon. Wizards, witches, and dragons were my mind’s companion and I adore my author’s imaginary worlds more than the bleak, sometimes colorless and cruel world we live in. This book though, has introduced my mind and soul to a completely different delicious culture of imagery.

I wish I could explain just how amazing Cinda Williams Chima‘s work is, but unlike her I lack the language to articulate the emotions she creates in me while I read. Her gorgeous world building, incredible prose, tangible character had me so invested in this series. I laughed, I cried, I hurt with Han and I was desperate with Raisa. I hated and loved right along with everyone in the book. Han and Raisa are more than just characters to me. They are living and breathing friends in my mind. They are the most wonderful, passionate, fierce people I know. They have fears, insecurities, unwavering faith in each other, and a true epic romance.

The pure brilliance of this writing literally has me wonderstruck. I am gagging on my praise because I just can’t focus my mind on one thing long enough to get out all of my swooning. I love that there is heartbreak and deaths because that what really happens in the world. People have awful things happen to them, but this fantasy novel shows that you can overcome even the most insurmountable obstacles if you trust your instincts, believe in your friends, and rely on love to power all.

Basically what I am trying to say, is this is the best series I have ever read. It’s the most beautiful, real, tragically wonderful (although it does have the best ending!) book/series of all time. Sorry, JK, your HP books have been usurped.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

27 Dec

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First Book in the Seraphina Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars (I’m stretching the three stars status)

Seraphina came to me as a recommendation. And the fact that Christopher Paolini endorsed it by having a quote from him placed on the cover I was like “yeah buddy! Score zone!”

And then I started reading and I was all:

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My issue with this book was that the world wasn’t explained enough in the beginning so I felt like my mind was whirling around plot points without actually getting a hold of them. I like the concept, I can grasp the concept, but it was too much too soon. Where was the meat and potatoes of the world building in the first chapter? I was thrust into the world, that’s very surreal and different from my own, and wasn’t given the chance to acclimate. My WSOD was accosted.

The only time I was completely on board and ingrained in this story is when the characters were having conversations. The dialogue is fantastically written. Those scenes felt less like reading and more like watching a movie. So engaging! I just wish that the rest of the book was as fascinating and griping.

With the character’s being mediocre (although Seraphina finally grows some ladyballs in the end) I was really disappointed in this book. Maybe I put it on too high of a pedestal to begin with? I don’t know. I just wanted so much more from this book. I wanted action, romance, adventure! I wanted all the amazing things in Eragon that I loved so much but it never developed into anything. It was just fluttering on the edge decent. Sad day 😦

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

19 Dec

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Third Book in the Seven Realms Series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

I can’t even put into words how much I feel for Cinda Williams Chima.  I am hovering around “obsessive love” and “complete infatuation”.

Be glad you aren’t in the room while I am writing this, otherwise you would hear my awful voice breaking out into heartfelt aria. Much like my previous reviews of the Seven Realms books (The Demon King, Book One and The Exiled Queen, Book 2) this is will be a lovesick gush fest about Chima.

Han – let’s get married and have babies. Raisa – let’s hang out and be BFFs. Please let there be a crack in reality so I can crawl into this world. I adore this book so much. I can’t write a review that can urge you enough to pick it up. If you like high fantasy AT ALL you need, must, are REQUIRED to read this series. Its beautifully written with a world so real that it the scenery has its own story and personality. I am having such a swoonfest over Han it’s embarrassing. He has become my new Mr. Darcy. And much like with Elizabeth, I want Raisa and Han to work out sooo bad my emotions are going haywire. Chima just taunts us and teases us with their relationship and makes it so tantalizing real, I feel like I am part of them.

I can even begin to explain my love for this series. It’s on par with Harry Potter by the infamous JK and the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore. Just amazingly written with characters that are so alive you forget that they are in a book.

Just do yourselves a favor and read it. For real. Read it. Please, for my sake. It will make your life so much better.

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

3 Dec

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Book Two of the Seven Realms Series

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Be prepared for another one of my swoonfests here because

I LOVE CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA.

She is one of those authors I want to watch write the outline of her book so I can just view art as it’s being created. I want her to be my coach at world building and character creation. And when some day I write my own book, she will be atop my greatest inspirations along with J.K. Rowling, Christopher Paolini and Kristin Cashore. I just want to crawl into her imagination and live there for a while. Oh wait… that’s what I do when I read her books….

Alright, so steering off the path of my lady crush, this is another incredible book by Chima. The world is tangible and real and the characters are relatable and lovely. I was disappointed that Amon didn’t get to narrate like he did in book one because  is such a dynamic character and offers a very different viewpoint then Han and Raisa. It makes the story much more rounded and complete in my mind. I also would have loved to have experienced his feelings toward his forced but not forced relationship. Although we can experience his feeling towards the situation through Raisa, I would have liked Amon to have more of a presence in this book.

Han has officially become my fantasy boyfriend. The whole bad-boy-gone-good-but-kick-ass thing is my ultimate dream man. He’s like the Edward to my Bella and the Jace to my Clary. *sigh* I just love him and love Raisa/Han make-out scenes. (I did warn you about swoon-festing right?) Raisa, like always, does female heroines proud. She’s smart and feisty and yet still a girl. She reminds me a lot of Hermione: totally badass and yet still unarguably female.

Well done, Master Chima. I would recommend this series to everyone. Romance, magic, action, passion and just a damn good story? No one could pass this baby up.

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