Brent Weeks - Beyond the Shadows

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lesson: Don't judge a book by its cover!

The 3rd book of the Night Angel trilogy continues the momentum of the 2nd book ending. Vi is training to be a mage, Logan is (STILL!!) not king and serving rival Terah Graesin, and Kylar is trying to deal with all these people. But for now Kylar and the mainstream storyline takes a step back as other things are happening.

There is a new Godking: and it is a familiar character! I thought this was a very interesting development, and unfortunately this person kind of got more and more screwed up so that instead of maybe helping to bring down the Khalidorian government like I thought might happen, he really didn't do anything at all.. and instead became enamored with a woman.

Another new character is introduced, one Lantano Garuwashi. The man personifies this extremely kickass name. Lantano is a BAMF. Just sayin'. He is like Kahl Drogo from GRRM's books. The thing is, even though he's immensely powerful, Lantano can never be a king because he was born with an iron sword (a symbol of your place in society). Feir gets involved with him and he gets his hands on Curoch (actually this happens in the previous book, this is what happens when I don't update). I loved reading the Lantano chapters and he eventually comes into a sort of alliance with Logan.

Kylar's storyline takes a sharp turn when he allows himself to take criminal punishment because he knows he will come back from the dead. However, he soon learns that there is actually a horrible payment he has to make every time he dies, and he was never aware of it. Kylar dealing with this knowledge and his carelessness in letting himself be killed brings around some huge character development.

The final battle in this book is epic on a grand scale, but I think I preferred the "final battles" of the other two books more. What was really tear jerking about the ending was what happens between Elene and Kylar. It was sad and beautiful.

This series has ended, but I definitely feel like Weeks could return and write more about Midcyru. I would love to hear about Durzo's history most of all.


Brent Weeks - Shadow's Edge

So I made the mistake in not updating this blog for a while, and subsequently have finished this entire trilogy. I think it would be wrong for me to lump this book with the 3rd and review them together, so I'm going to do them both separately.

The 2nd book in the Night Angel trilogy opens with the lull, or short peace between storms, after the aftermath of the 1st book ending. Kylar tries to live peacefully and put down his assassin's ways for love - but he just can't seem to do it. This struggle persists for a while and we ALL know that Kylar is going to come back and save the world.. so it was just difficult to get through this part. More interesting is Logan's story. He has some major character development going on as his current situation in life is .. let's say, less than ideal (MUCH less) >_<

Around this point a bunch of new characters are being introduced (Sister Ariel). I feel like Weeks has somewhat of a problem with this since the introductions are awkward and the characters don't feel real until a few more chapters in. Of course, Sister Ariel later turns out to be one of my favorite characters! We hear more about Dorian/Solon/Feir who all seem to have their own complicated storylines, but these characters are not yet explored as fully as I would like. They still seem like part of an awkward backdrop.

Now, once the story finally gets moving - WOW! Some awesome stuff happens. Some ridiculous mind bending stuff happens involving Vi who I NEVER imagined would become one of the major characters here. We're left with a cliffhanger ending after a pretty epic battle scene where some people know things others don't including that some people who they thought are dead are actually alive. It leaves me thinking.. there are going to be a lot of interesting developments to come.


Brent Weeks - The Way of Shadows

Friday, November 26, 2010

I. Could. Not. put this book down. I did not know what to make of the book before reading it. The cover is very different from most fantasy books and I kind of didn't like it. But when I started reading it, I knew this was the real deal. Overall this book reminded me a lot of Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy - the reluctant boy in training to become an assassin, not able to use his magical talent due to blocks. Other than this theme though, the two books are different.

The book gives us only hints about the setting, focusing mainly on what's happening Cenaria City, but I have a feeling that the rest of the series will offer a much larger scope.

There are a lot of adult themes in the book (cursing, rape, general violence) despite its young-adult like pace. I swear that every chapter of the book ended in a cliffhanger.. and there were almost 70 chapters!!! This resulted in me reading it very quickly.

I really liked how Weeks dealt with Kylar/Azoth, Blint, and Momma K's emotions and worries. They really seemed like real people at times even though they committed a lot of crimes. I see a lot of foreshadowing, especially Kylar's friendship with Logan.

This is a book worth reading!


Kate Forsyth - The Heart of Stars

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Since The Shining City ended with such a cliffhanger, I had to start the next book right away!

It seems a lot of people are disappointed that the book didn't focus so mainly on Rhiannon, but that was ok with me because the story is a lot more interesting this way. Plus, I'm still kind of annoyed at how much Lewen loves her... Luckily, there is other romance in the novel that works besides Lewen and Rhiannon, which feels so artificial to me. Mostly Felice/Owein and Isabeau/Dide.

My favorite part has to be the beginning when Isabeau and her group go back in time to rescue Donncan. This is very well done and I loved this storyline. The Lord Malvern and Rhiannon storyline was less exciting. This is where it feels like the author kind of forced things to happen so that there could be a happy ending. It does seem like people were killed off and the timing was moved JUST so the author could get the ending she wanted. She made it work, but I feel like this might not have been the best resolution for this particular plot.

I really enjoyed this series and if it wasn't for the corny romance and Lewen it would probably be 5/5 =P In the future I am definitely going to read her Witches of Eileannan series occurs before this trilogy.


Kate Forsyth - The Shining City

Monday, November 8, 2010

For most of this entire book, Rhiannon (the main character in the first book) is kind of in the background - She is a prisoner awaiting trial. There is a mixup of other characters who make up the points of view in this book: Lewen, Olwynne, Felice, Isabeau, Nina... I actually don't mind it since they are all interesting characters and have different points of view to add to the story. Felice really became one of my favorite characters, she's just so mature and overall awesome. I also like Bronwen a lot even though all the other characters think she's a whore =P

One thing that bothers me in the book is how much everyone cares about Rhiannon. For example, Nina forgets about her son being kidnapped to beg that Rhiannon is pardoned. I mean, she DID kill one of the king's guards, it's not like she's innocent. I guess I just don't understand why they care about her to the extent that they do in the book.

Another thing that bothers me is Lewen. He is too freaking perfect. I still don't really understand how he fell head over heels in love with Rhiannon in the first place.

My favorite part of the book was in the beginning when Olwynne walks her nightmares. It was so mysterious and well put together, Forsyth really handles the supernatural better than any other fantasy author I've read.

The book had a huge cliffhanger ending and luckily I have the next one already! (make sure you do too when you read this!)


David Eddings - Enchanter's End Game

Monday, October 25, 2010

The conclusion to the classic Belgariad series! Overall I enjoyed these books but there wasn't too much depth to them. Good for kids, but it wasn't a really deep and meaningful read.

There is a long drawn out part of this book where Ce'Nedra and the kings are attacking the eastern kingdoms. I liked the part where Ce'Nedra got some character development (Adara being injured) but other than that it was boring.

The ending was very sweet, but childish. Durnik and Polgara hook up but there really hasn't been much development of their relationship throughout the books. It was still adorable though.. same with Garion and Ce'Nedra. Though honestly I can't picture Garion as a young man.. just no. =P He still is a child when I picture him. I wish he had matured more in the series. Belgarath is still the most kick-ass character.

I am interested in reading the Malloreon, but no time soon. I'm going to get some heavier reading done first ;)


Robert Jordan - The Path of Daggers

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Omg another WoT book.. what to say about it.. Well, I think I actually liked it more than CoS. Let's try to explain why.

Although not many important things happened, there were some cliffhangers at the end of the book. A lot of point of views are getting ready to do some really important things: Elayne coming back to Camelyn, Rand getting mysteriously attacked at the end, Egwene coming to Tar Valon (though this could have maybe been done better as this plot didn't move quite as much as the others), and Faile being attacked. There were even some interesting things happening back at the white tower. So in all it ended on a good note for me.

I get the impression that overall there was less bickering between Elayne and Nyneave which might have made all the difference as to why I enjoyed it more than CoS. I just couldn't stand that, especially while listening to the audiobook.

I'm looking forwards to reading Winter's Heart now - apparently some important things actually happen ;)