Quick Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Once upon a time, Alice’s Grandma wrote a book of creepy fairy tales and then build a house in the woods and shut herself off the world. That alone sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale, right? That was purpose because in a lot of ways this is just an elaborate fairy tale dressed up as a novel. Alice and her mother for years moved from place to place, trying to outrun their bad luck that always seemed to follow them because of course they would be cursed. Then they finally settled down and well Alice’s mom got kidnapped and now Alice has to find her but she needs help from classmate and super fan of her grandmother, Ellery Finch to find her. Her mom’s disappearance has something to do with her Grandmother’s stories but Alice has never read them and they are hard to find. I won’t’ say more as to not spoil it but this was fun and kind of creepy. Like a good fairy tale should be because lets be honest. A lot of fairy tales were creepy before they Disney got a hold of them. So yeah, solid book. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

Quick Review: Blade Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

The mistake I might have made was read this right after The Priory of the Orange Tree because it’s not that it was bad or anything but the The Priory was such a well written, tightly constructed fantasy that I couldn’t help but compare them. I like this series. I think it’s fun and do love the expanding on the world building but there were times I felt it dragged. I’ve also started to be more drawn to Queen Erida more than Corayne. Corayne is still the brave kinda naive girl she was in the first. In a lot of ways she is a lot like Erida. They are both women who are living in a man’s world and have to prove themselves. While Corayne has choosen the path that will save the world and others, Erida has choosen the path of glory for herself. Her methods may be questionable but I can’t really fault her reasonings. If she was a King instead of a Queen. No one would question her ambitions or her claim to the throne. It would just be accepted. As wrong as she may be, I can’t help be drawn to her and a little sad that her story takes place so far away from the other main characters that her time is limited. A solid middle novel. It will be interesting to see where it goes next.

Quick Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

This was delightful. I like a good entertaining fantasy novel. It’s told through the narration of 4 different characters. Ead, a handmaiden from the Priory of the Orange Tree, Tane a dragonrider from the East, Dr. Roos, an alchemist from the West exiled in the east by Queen Sabran and Loth, a Lord from Queen Sabran’s court. They all tell the story of how their known world is set to fight the threat of the Nameless One. A powerful dragon that 1,000 years ago terrorized the world a but was thought to be defeated by a king but was actually defeated by 2 woman. This was a good book. All the narrators were interesting and brought a different world view to what is going on. The one thing that I did find overwhelming was the love story. I had read before starting that it was a sapphic love story, which it is but it’s not the main focal point. I guess when you only have 700 pages to tell your story and 4 narrators, romance has to wait. For fans of fantasy novels like Game of Thrones or the Lord of the Rings. This is right up you alley but better since it’s all one book so no waiting years between novels. That being said, I just read that Samantha Shannon is going to release a prequel early next year. So yes this was great book. You should read it.

What I’m Listening to Now: The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

I don’t normally listen to audio books. I’m not even sure this counts since it’s more of a radio production then anything else but I’ve been interested in this book for a while and with the Netflix series coming out soon. No time like the present to get on it.

Quick Review: Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher

This book is a fairy tale and it is a book of Revenge. Which I kinda like. Marra is the youngest princess from a small country. Her Country is always in precarious position. It has an important port that the two bigger kingdoms on either side of them want to control. Her mom, the Queen makes an arrangement with the Prince in the kingdom to the north. She marries her oldest daughter to him and in return, he promises protection from the kingdom from attacking. Unfortunately, Marra’s sister dies within a year of marrying the prince so the second oldest princess marries the prince and Marra is sent to the convent so she doesn’t marry and have an heir that potential could have a claim on the small kingdom. This is alright with Marra as she never wanted to be in the chess game of being a princess. She likes living in the convent and being herself. She learns useful skills and has the freedom she never had before. That was before her niece dies and she realizes how much her sister is suffering in her marriage. Her sister is in a constant state of pregnancy because she is less likely to be abused by the prince when she is pregnant. The prince doesn’t want to risk losing his heir but Marra worries that the constant pregnancies or the prince will kill her sister. She sets out to save her by planning to kill the prince and save her sister but she can’t do it alone. She seeks out a powerful gravewitch who agrees to help if Marra can complete 3 impossible tasks and of course she does. On the way to the North Kingdom, they build a team. A dog made of bones, a former knight, a possessed chicken and fairy godmother. They are all delightful in their own ways. If this ever gets made into a movie. I do hope that Dame Judy Dench plays the gravewitch and Dame Helen Mirren plays the fairy godmother. Anyways, Marra is a girl or no real ambition. She doesn’t want to be a princess and every time she is asked to do anything in a official capacity it chaffs at her but she doesn’t hesitate to what she needs to do save her sister. She also realizes that she can’t do it alone and seeks the help she needs. I think this is a good lesson for all of us. To know that we are not alone and help is available. Even if it is to kill a prince. So this was a fun read. I enjoyed it.