If you haven’t noticed, this blog has kinda been taken over by a lot of bookish content. It’s not going to completely convert to being a book blog, but I go through phases where I want to write about one thing, and do one thing more than other things. Right now, that’s reading, so sorry to anyone who sticks around for the anime and television reviews. I want to work on doing a bit more opinion pieces and editorials also, just have to get some scheduling and organizing out of the way for that.
But I figured I’d like to get some reviews out of the way for some books that I didn’t feel like I wanted to write a full blown review for. I honestly don’t have enough comments about these books to say more than a paragraph or two’s worth of things about them, so in enters my first edition of Bite Sized Book Reviews!
Uprooted By Naomi Novik
I was so excited about the premise of this book, and when I read the free preview of it on Amazon, it got me hooked enough to buy it and read it the same night. The beginning of the book I really enjoyed, and the mystery set up about The Wood I found super fascinating and gripping. However, as the story progressed, we stepped further and further away from this mystery and only returned to resolving it at stories end, and that left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. The main character wasn’t very…intelligent, rather naïve, and her failure to use common sense in a lot of the sections in the middle of the book really started to get on my nerves and detracted from the story for me. When we got back to the actual interesting plot about The Wood, the reveals for said plot just felt really out of left field, and wasn’t the payoff I expected overall for the story. I enjoyed aspects of this book, the beginning and the end I think make up for the slog in the middle. But at the same time, you can just feel the potential of what the story could have been if we stuck with the story set up in the beginning, which was what is up with this haunted wood? It didn’t make me dislike the author at all: her writing style is gripping, and there’s only so much you can expect from a fairy tale retelling. It just didn’t quite hit the mark I was hoping it would, but overall was enjoyable, and I do plan to check out the author’s other books because of the really captivating writing style.
The Tahaerin Chronicles Series By J. Ellen Ross
This is for a trilogy of books: An Oathbreaker’s Vow, The Heretic’s War, and Fear and Bitter Thorns. I’m not gonna lie, while I don’t classify things as “guilty pleasure reads” this would totally go into that sort of a category for me. It’s fantasy romance at its finest, full of drama, fluffy lovey-dovey romance, straight up good vs evil conflicts, and interesting enough plots to keep you reading. There’s a certain charm to this series that while I was rolling my eyes at how tropey and predictable it was, at the same time it was an easy to read page turner where I wanted to continue reading. Each book is episodic in nature, and while you’ll get something more out of reading them in order, you also don’t have to to get what goes on in each story. It’s more of a trilogy because all 3 books are set in the same universe with the same characters, not because it’s a story arc carried over 3 books.
The characters are engaging enough, the relationships both romantic and platonic are really well done, and you root for every one of the good guys to wind up with their happy endings. Just don’t expect this series to subvert any tropes or be some super enriching experience, because it’s nothing more than light hearted fantasy fun. If you can predict it, it’ll happen, and the good guys always win the day no matter how tough the situations may become: But I super enjoy reads like that, and used these books to lighten the mood after a more somber read I had previously. As much as I shook my head at how all 3 of these panned out, I still was rooting for the characters, and was happy when things turned out right for them. But these I feel are a highly acquired taste, so I’d suggest only reading if romance novels and soap opera style stories are your thing – which, I’m totally into so enjoyed these immensely.
The Queens of Innis Lear By Tessa Gratton
And this is the read that I love to pieces to the point where it can do no wrong and I would throw it at people to read. A fantasy retelling of King Lear, it crafts this beautiful world, engaging characters, and the writing is just so lyrical and beautiful and heart-wrenching, that I couldn’t tell if dialogue was lifted from Shakespeare or not half the time. It’s a beautiful tale of 3 sisters and their Father, and not letting “destiny” rule you. Not letting peoples expectations for you define who you are, making sure your self and identity are sound enough in your mind so you can live a life satisfactory to how you want to live it. It’s just so perfect, I felt for every character in this book and honestly, I want this to be the new cannon version of King Lear. A great standalone fantasy I’d highly recommend reading for one of those life altering sort of experiences, just can’t sing the praises about this book enough.
And that’s my first round of bite sized reviews! If you have read any of these books, or decide to, let me know how you feel about them in the comments!