Thursday, January 21, 2021

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson



Elisabeth was raised as a foundling in a Great Library where books have magic, and they can come alive. As in they can turn into snarling murder monsters if they are let out. When someone releases the library's most dangerous book, Elisabeth is implicated and her only ally is a sorcerer named Nathaniel and his demon Silas. Only thing is sorcerers are the enemy. Now she needs to trust one to save herself. 

Elisabeth is one of those main characters I adore. She's fierce and she dives head first into any situation. She many not know what's going on, she may not be making the safest choices, but if she can save someone or stop something bad from happening, she's going to do it. 

Nathaniel is that guy. He's handsome, skilled, broody, and knows everything. Elisabeth has a hard time coming to terms with him actually trying to help her, and he puts up with her antics with a sigh and an eye roll. 

I adored descriptions of the work she does, cleaning and caring for the books. They breathe, they move, they feel. It's so weird but awesome. 

The other thing about this book is that it wasn't all spelled out at the beginning. Some fantasy books give you all the details and world building, complete with rules right at the start, but then the rest of the book turns everything on it's head. This one revealed things as it went, allowing for that natural experience of Elisabeth discovering things. 

Writing this review I've realized how much I really loved this book. I don't believe it's going to be a series, which sucks so much because it's just that good and I really want more about these characters. I loved so much about this book that if I keep writing, I'm going to spoil things too much and I really don't want to. 

This one is going to be re-read, that's for sure!

Recommendations: Read this. If you love fantasy, a strong female character, demons and books that come alive. If you love fantasy stories of main character self discovery and triumph of good over evil, this is for you.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs is the first book in a historical mystery series by Jacqueline Winspear. The series follows Maisie Dobbs, a former servant turned detective in 1929 London. 

I believe there are/will be soon 16 books in this series. You know I love a big series. When there's more than 10 books in a series in a genre that I love, I HAVE to see what the fuss is about. Knowing that so many love this series, I picked up the first one, expecting to fall head over heels for it. 

That didn't quite happen. 

The series starts with Maisie opening her own business as a detective and lands her first case. 

The writing was different than I was expecting, and in some places I found myself re-reading passages because they were just so beautifully written. I fell for the wording, time and again. 

The mystery was okay. Not as thrilling as I tend to like. It was a bit wrapped up in a lot of emotions, and caused Maisie to reflect on the war. I didn't mind it that much at first, except after a while the story moved away from the mystery and into a historical fiction story. Again, I enjoy historical fiction, but when I'm here for a mystery and I get something else, it changes how I feel about the book. 

I found it hard to connect with Maisie. I wanted more depth, more about her that goes deeper than the war. 

Overall, it was a good book, but I didn't find myself running to the store to buy up all the books. 

I think I will read another one though. I feel like this is a series that if I had come across it at the library, and accidentally picked a book in the middle of the series, I would have fallen in love with it. 

Recommendations: For those who love historical fiction with a bit of mystery. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn


This book was amazing! 

I received a digital copy from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada. I was really excited to receive this one because it's a book written by a Black author featuring a Black main character. 

I started reading it closer to the release date and I was enjoying it so much I went out and bought a copy on release day! Then I realized I had barely got a third of the way through, which was wonderful, it meant I had a lot more of the story to read! 

First off we have a super smart sixteen year old who gets into a residential school program for smart kids at a college, while trying to deal with the death of her mother. Then throw in magic, Arthurian legend, queer and non-binary characters, a Black main character and it's my favourite YA read of 2020!!

This book had everything! It was an urban fantasy that gave you reality and magic in such a way I was never bored, and completely enthralled. 

The romance was pretty darn great too. Sometimes I feel like it can be an afterthought or just a bit off when it's done in fantasy books, but this one did it well!

The character exploration and background that was added in gave so much to the story. I love the way the author incorporated genealogy and ancestry into the story. That gave it another level of greatness that I looked forward to even as much as the other magic stuff. Honestly, I don't think there was a moment in this book where I got bored or felt like it was filler to get to the main story. 

Then there was the ending!! Suffice to say I need the second book. As soon as it's released, I will have it in my hands. There isn't even a title for it yet, or a release year even. Still, I need it!! 

This will be a book I will happily re-read when the next comes out so I can experience it all again. 

Recommendations: For those who like urban fantasy, King Arthur and Merlin, and different magical systems, this is for you. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

This book is the fourth of the New Hercule Poirot Mysteries written by Sophie Hannah. I LOVED this one just as much as the other three. Any time I get to read more Poirot is a good time! 

I think Sophie Hannah does an incredible job writing in Agatha Christie's style. I feel that she brings Poirot back to life and lets us continue to experience one of the best detective characters to ever have been put down on paper. 

It's possible I'm not as critical as I could be with these novels, particularly this one. I know there has been mixed reviews, but the enjoyment I get reading a new Poirot mystery overshadows everything else and I end up having a fantastic time reading! 

This mystery did start off a bit different and I was a bit perplexed as to where it was going, but once the plot picked up, I found myself glued to the page. I guessed a bit of what was happening, but not everything. I was still surprised by the ending as usual, which I love.  

I will say that I knew I wasn't reading a story by Agatha Christie, as some of the additional characters felt a bit different, but Poirot was present and accounted for. 

Recommendations: For the lovers of a good, classic mystery. For those who love Poirot. For those who love a thrilling, twisty read.