The Harhn, somewhat orc-like beasts that plague the human villages, are suddenly attacking with more strategy than usual, and posing a real threat. LeThe Harhn, somewhat orc-like beasts that plague the human villages, are suddenly attacking with more strategy than usual, and posing a real threat. Led by a powerful sorceror, and allied with dark elves, the Horde marches through the Hugue, laying waste to settlements. Lucia, a Viscountess and Dragon Maiden, begins to question the motives of the Dragon Order to which she has devoted her life, as she, a warrior named Lord Beaudoin, and a brave lowborn named Gui do everything in their power to protect their homeland.
Shadows of Kings is the kind of fantasy I wish I read more of: epic battles, sorcerors battling with their minds, and people worshipping dragons. Fights that are gory without being pointlessly so. Characters that swear profusely in a realistic way. Despicable villains. A story that wraps up nicely, but still leaves you excited for the next installment.
My only complaint is that I really wish there were a dramatis personae in the front of this book! I love fantasies with lots of characters, but in the beginning, before you really get to know them, it can be quite difficult to keep track of them all. I'm a big fan of characters lists. Maybe in book 2?
I recommend this book for fans of high fantasy!
Full disclosure: Free ebook copy received from the author.
This review is copied from my blog, The Towering Pile. It was originally published here....more
This review is copied from my blog, The Towering Pile. It was originally published here.
Kayl is living the quiet life of an innkeeper with two childreThis review is copied from my blog, The Towering Pile. It was originally published here.
Kayl is living the quiet life of an innkeeper with two children when a sorceress shows up at the inn. Kayl's old life, in which she was a warrior in the Sisterhood of Stars, has finally caught up with her, and she's being called upon to finish the mission she started 15 years ago.
I enjoyed this book, because it is very high fantasy, which I don't see enough of. The characters have a mission that involves a long journey, and the purpose is to save magic. Sometimes I like stories to have a bigger purpose like that, rather than just being a very personal story.
At the same time, I did really care about the characters. Even the ever-mysterious Corrana. And I'm especially fond of Glyndon. I wish I could have seen more of some of the other species, like the Wyrds, though I suppose there might be more of them in the other books in the series. (By the way, this was actually the fourth book written in the Lyra world, but it's like the Chronicles of Narnia in that the reading order is not that important; this book has different characters than the others.)
The one minor complaint I have is that sometimes it felt like a lot of time was spent just walking and occasionally remembering things from the past. I mean, I guess that is accurate, since they were on a rather uneventful months-long journey on foot to get to where the action happens, so that's fair. And the flashbacks are important; they wouldn't have had the same impact had they been revealed in a prologue or otherwise all at once. So as I said: minor quibble.
One thing I especially liked in this book was the romance: there was hardly any! The romance was just where it should be, ie. secondary to the actual plot. I feel like way too many books these days have romance as the main plot line (and I'm not talking about romance novels here, so romance should not be the main plot line!). There were just two people who happen to fall in love while doing other things which are the actual focus of the book. So I was like "aww, how sweet!" but also not distracted. So yay this!
Overall, a very solid fantasy read. 4 stars....more
The second book in the series is every bit as good as the first. Tungdil is lovable as always, and I found myself laughing, crying, and feeling victorThe second book in the series is every bit as good as the first. Tungdil is lovable as always, and I found myself laughing, crying, and feeling victorious right along with him. I look forward to many more books from Markus Heitz....more
This book was one of the best fantasy novels I've read in a long time. I wish I'd waited a bit to read it so I could read the sequel right away! I felThis book was one of the best fantasy novels I've read in a long time. I wish I'd waited a bit to read it so I could read the sequel right away! I felt very connected to the characters, and the plot had me at the edge of my figurative seat. I highly recommend The Dwarves to fantasy lovers everywhere!...more
Tiaan is an artisan who makes controllers, delicate instruments that control huge war machines. She lives in a world defined by its war against a wingTiaan is an artisan who makes controllers, delicate instruments that control huge war machines. She lives in a world defined by its war against a winged race called the lyrinx. Everyone's job is serving the war effort, and if you aren't good enough at a skilled trade, like being an artisan, you get sent to the front lines if you're a man, and the breeding factory, where you pump out the next generation of soldiers, if you're a woman. When Tiaan is falsely accused of sabotage, she runs away, and winds up on a mission to find a man she's seen in her crystal visions, the man she loves.
I had so much hope for this book. It started out great. The world building is perfect. The writing is excellent, except for the fact that people are always described using the exact same wording in multiple places, like a final edit was never done. And in the beginning, I liked a good chunk of the characters.
Unfortunately, Tiaan soon became insufferable. She falls in love with this guy that she's only seen in these visions she has when working with a particularly powerful crystal. Seriously, she's had maybe two conversations with him when they start calling each other "lover". And when he tells her that he lives in a different world, and she needs to go to this mountain and open a gate for his people to come through, so that they can be safe from the threat on their own world, and also help Tiaan's world with their war, she doesn't even question it.
I'm going to have a spoiler section now, so I can talk about some other things that annoyed me in the story. Skip this part if you want to read the book!
(view spoiler)[ OK, so she helps a lyrinx that's injured, for some reason. Then she finds out that apparently the lyrinx have honour, and so he won't kill her, and will help her get home. She says that she doesn't want to go home; she has to go to a far-off mountain to save her lover. So off they go. He saves her life several times, and yet she is shocked when eventually he's like "my debt is repaid!". Like, you've been at war your whole life, but you so easily came to trust the enemy and think he'd just keep helping you?
As for the ending, I saw it coming way in advance. She successfully helps the people from the other world through, and though they said it would just be a few thousand people, instead an army comes through, and oh wow, they're here to take this world for themselves. Shocker. I spent most of the book just complaining about how stupid Tiaan is. (hide spoiler)]
There were characters I liked, however. Sadly, most of them die, but a few survive. Interestingly, some of the best characters were ones who started off seeming really bad, but grew as people throughout the story. They were flawed, but ultimately sympathetic.
3 stars. There were good things, but ultimately Tiaan's stupidity really affected my enjoyment of the book.
This review is copied from my blog, The Towering Pile. It was originally published here.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more