I just reread this book and was really sad that it only took me a few hours, because I was so in love with it. I really enjoy the dynamic between Zane...moreI just reread this book and was really sad that it only took me a few hours, because I was so in love with it. I really enjoy the dynamic between Zane and Danica. They are the recently crowned leaders of two nations who have been warring for so long, they've forgotten why. They just keep fighting to avenge their dead, and the cycle seems to be unending. Danica is calm and collected, always. It's part of her Avian Reserve to remain in control of her body, emotions, and passions. She can't help herself, though, from walking the battlefields to quietly mourn the dead. In the book's opening, she stumbles on a wounded soldier and comforts him, even though she quickly realizes that he is a prince of the Serpiente, the opposing nation. Still, she remains with him until he dies. This touching display quickly travels back to the new king of the Serpiente, Zane. He realizes that Danica may be just the kind of new ruler that could make a play for peace. It seems that all either of them wants is an end to the war, an end to the death. They agree to meet with mediators, who propose a most shocking settlement. The nations' subjects are sure this peace is impossible, but Zane and Danica are willing to do what it takes. The questions is: could snakes and birds ever live in peace together?
For me, this kind of storytelling is about as far into fantasy as I'll go, with the characters human (mostly, which is all I need), and while there are new terms and titles to learn, there isn't a new language to keep track of. That being said, I appreciate the...what's the opposite of personification, animalization? The animalization of the nations. The birds are stiff, and quite ungraceful on two legs. I can easily imagine them walking stiffly in their human forms, and it makes sense that they are reserved in physical affection. The snakes are the opposite: fluid in either form, quick to anger and emotion, and used to living closely and passionately in den-like communities.
The first time I read these, I was in love with the first two books, but the last two weren't really my cup of tea. Regardless, I'm desperately waiting for my set to arrive so I can continue falling in love with these crazy lovers.(less)
A very good read, with about the same pacing as Terrior and Bloodhound. Beka's former "Lovers" are absent, and the book begins with the death of her b...moreA very good read, with about the same pacing as Terrior and Bloodhound. Beka's former "Lovers" are absent, and the book begins with the death of her betrothed, but he's not anyone we know, and she didn't love him anymore, so we're not sad about it. The book could seem a little slow, as it's one long Hunt, but I felt it had enough variety throughout to keep me reading. There was also a little excitement as it is revealed that someone among their party of four - Beka, Tunstall, Lady Sabine, and newcomer mage Farmer - might be betraying them. Tension rises as Beka hesitates to suspect any of her friends, whether they be old lifesavers, or new ones. The end made me very happy, because it made it very clear that it was the final book in this series, but also tied it into Beka's descendent, Rogue George Cooper. I fully appreciate how tidy it was all wrapped up.(less)
A really good book. It still had me totally engaged, which is impressive. Usually by book 12, many series lose my interest. I liked the story line, bu...moreA really good book. It still had me totally engaged, which is impressive. Usually by book 12, many series lose my interest. I liked the story line, but I wish we saw more of the characters. It was like, book 11 part 2, with part 3 coming later.(less)
Brilliant Freshman piece. Upon starting this novel, I was pretty confused. The back jacket cover says something along the lines of, 'I wasn't formed i...moreBrilliant Freshman piece. Upon starting this novel, I was pretty confused. The back jacket cover says something along the lines of, 'I wasn't formed in the body of my mother, I was formed in the mind of my father'. As the book goes on, this mentality is continued. I was thinking, "what on earth does she mean? Is she like children of Athena who are literally formed from a piece of her brain? Does her father have the mental ability to create something by thinking about it? Iamsolost." Within a few chapters, the meaning became clear. I found myself very emotionally involved with this novel. I was torn between, "he/she behaves that way because of the local culture" and "how can he be so cruel?" There were many spectacular contrasts. In the Oasis, where main character "Nenner" lives, everything is piercing, blinding shades of khaki, white and beige. The heat is penetrating, sweltering, and deadly. She lives in a world of three cubes. Then she is whisked away by her "borrowed wings" into a world of everlasting color, smell and sound. The imagery is so detailed, so vivid, but in a non-distracting way. Beautifully done, in my opinion. In some ways, this story is one we've heard before. Almost Cinderella-esque, in a way. At the same time, it is so unique and intriguing. The solution to the problem is one I never would have thought of. The villain is viler than any (view spoiler)[father (hide spoiler)] has a right to be. Heros come in unexpected places. And the romantic interest loves passionately, restrains himself diligently, respects Nenner religiously, and fights for her willingly. I gave this book five stars because of how wonderful and enchanting it was. There were one or two tiny contextual errors, but I wouldn't let them deter you. This book had me reading many passages aloud to my dear husband, and that's not something many books can brag about.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I had Bitterblue sitting on my shelf for a while. I just didn't feel the greatest pull to read it. I picked it up from B&N because I had a gift ca...moreI had Bitterblue sitting on my shelf for a while. I just didn't feel the greatest pull to read it. I picked it up from B&N because I had a gift card, and because hubby and I have Fire and Graceling when we combined our bookshelves. Fire is probably one of my favorite books. I read it multiple times and have listened to it on audiobook even more. I like it a lot more than Graceling, so I was hoping Bitterblue would be more than a sequel to one and just a companion novel to the one that, in my opinion, is better. It's safe to say that when I finished this book last night, I was happy.
We have reappearances from some of our favorite Seven Kingdomers. Bitterblue is now 18, and is running Monsea with the help of her four advisors. Po definitely receives the Best Supporting Actor award, for all he does to help Bitterblue figure everything out. Katsa, too, is involved, but she is more often than not away on Council business. Remember Helda, Katsa's nurse? She is now Bitterblue's nurse and spymaster. King Ror, king of Leinid and Po's father, (Bitterblue's uncle) also throws in his support now and then. Giddon, Raffin, and Bann are all there too, helping Bitterblue any way they can, and boy does she need help.
Bitterblue's experience as queen, at the beginning of the book, is limited to sitting at a desk in her office signing papers. She never leaves the castle, she never sees anyone really. She is simply kept incredibly busy by her advisors. Finally, in frustration, she sneaks out at night and discovers that Monsea is not recovering from Leck's reign of terror nearly as well as her advisors are leading her to believe. She meets new friends on her adventures, but keeps her identity a secret until (view spoiler)[one is arrested and sees Bitterblue as queen in court. (hide spoiler)] Trust is an issue after that.
As the book progresses, a fairly impressive tangle of lies, deceit, and unexplained oddities made even this reader's head spin. Poor Bitterblue. Those she thought she could trust have been hiding things from her. Her entire kingdom is still haunted by what Leck did to them. Bitterblue discovers that some people in the city are trying to make things better, and help restore the kingdom, but someone is killing these people off. With the help of the few people she can trust (who also trust her back), Bitterblue is able to sort through all the mess.
Just wait until you read what Katsa finds in the mountains. And what a graced boy without a grace can do. And what Po decides to do with his grace. And why you should always suspect (view spoiler)[Gracelings with only one eye. (hide spoiler)]
My poor husband. The last few chapters had me bounding off the couch at random intervals, interrupting his very difficult homework: "Oh my gosh, Sam, you'll never guess who just showed up! "(view spoiler)[Fire? (hide spoiler)]" Oh, ok fine." "No stinking way, they totally just did! But that was probably the most discreet sex scene in the history of books." "Sam, it was him! And they, and he, and oh my gosh Leck gives me the heeby jeebies and he's fiction!" "NO!" What? "He's leaving her! Why? Why is he leaving her!?"
Of course, as Sam is a champ and a bookworm himself, he didn't roll his eyes or suggest I put the book down. It's nice having someone to hug you when books make you cry.
I was given this book for my birthday, and it'd been at least a year since I read Divergent. Let me just tell you, I was pretty lost during it. There...moreI was given this book for my birthday, and it'd been at least a year since I read Divergent. Let me just tell you, I was pretty lost during it. There were a lot of characters brought up that I couldn't remember for the life of me, and I lot of events that I'd forgotten about. Aside from the fact that the author doesn't really give anything in the way of refresher courses, the book was still pretty darn good. Plot was excellent, characters believable, and generally, the book was very entertaining. I'd definitely read it again.(less)
I am speechless. This is one of those books that I have been taught to think of as "good" in higher learning classes. The kind of book that moves you,...moreI am speechless. This is one of those books that I have been taught to think of as "good" in higher learning classes. The kind of book that moves you, that leaves you sitting in place for a while after you've finished it, thinking over everything that just happened. It is deep and twisted and at times it'll make you feel sick with the events that take place. There is no rest, ever, for Ender Wiggins. I wanted to cry for him on multiple occasions. At times I almost didn't want him to succeed. I forgot, at times, that Ender is meant to be a boy, who, at six, kills another boy, and at twelve takes on an alien army.
One thing I learned is to not take childhood for granted. Encourage kids to do well in school, to be the best they can be, but also remember to let them play; to scrape their knees, make mistakes, throw fits, and learn. Nothing is important enough to destroy the few short years of pure happiness children will be allowed. Growing up will come soon enough.(less)
The plot was intriguing, but I really didn't get a feel for the characters. At all. When a book is written in first person, I expect to feel when a ch...moreThe plot was intriguing, but I really didn't get a feel for the characters. At all. When a book is written in first person, I expect to feel when a character falls on a sharp rock. Evermore simply told me that I fell. I read this book because it had become popular amongst my little sister's group of friends, and I wanted to see what their hype was about. Maybe Ms. Noel's writing style just doesn't suit me, and some of all ages may still enjoy it, but I can honestly say I have no desire to read the sequels. Aside from essentially flat characters, the editing reminded me of creative writing done by ambitious tween writers. The idea was there, it just wasn't executed well, and someone forgot to proofread it before posting it online. It wasn't what I expected from a library paperback as flimsy and grimy with use as my copy is. I really expected more. The only reason I gave this book two stars instead of one is because the plot was intriguing. I at least wanted to finish the book. That being said, I found myself flipping forward just to figure out where the author was going with the story line sometimes. A valiant effort. Thanks, but no thanks.
Parental Guidance alerts: occasional crude language (no counts of "the "f" word"), references to heavy drinking and raucous drunk behavior, references to and suggestions of sexual activity (though none occur), some thematic elements.(less)