"The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" is an interesting and thought-provoking take on colonialism and rebellion, and it's a story that I've...more"The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" is an interesting and thought-provoking take on colonialism and rebellion, and it's a story that I've gone back and reread several times because I adore both the storyline and the lyrical quality of the writing. One of four Hugo Award nominees, and one of my favourite stories of the group.
A must-read for all punctuation aficionados. Truss makes punctuation a fascinating topic to learn about, and she does it in a way that both funny and...moreA must-read for all punctuation aficionados. Truss makes punctuation a fascinating topic to learn about, and she does it in a way that both funny and informative. She'll teach you about the history of the various punctuation marks, about how they're used, and about what people through the ages have been saying about them (for example, did you know that in 1935 there were people--well, more like one person, actually--who insisted that the question mark was dying out? Or that someone had proposed a reverse question mark that was supposed to be for rhetorical questions only (it thankfully didn't catch on)?) And she'll do it in a way that's engaging and readable, and that will have you laughing out loud as you read along.(less)
If I had to sum up this book in a single word, that word would be "wow".
It’s a rare book that I'll start reading and then not want to stop, and it’s a...moreIf I had to sum up this book in a single word, that word would be "wow".
It’s a rare book that I'll start reading and then not want to stop, and it’s an even rarer book that I’ll want to reread immediately after finishing it the first time around. The False Prince is a deceptively simple story about an orphan teen named Sage, who along with three other boys gets pulled into a nobleman’s treasonous plot to have one of the boys impersonate the dead prince of Carthya. Sage has two weeks to learn everything he can about the prince and about the country, and in those two weeks he has to prove that he’ll make a better prince than the other boys—because whoever of them isn’t chosen as the prince will be put to death.
The story is strongly reminiscent of Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief, which has long been one of my favourites. Sage has the same quick wit that Gen had in The Thief, and his dialogue and his internal monologue had me laughing throughout the entire novel. Like Gen, Sage is a character you can relate to, and who you want to see succeed. I don’t think there was a single moment where I wasn’t rooting for him, even when he was stealing and lying and harassing his way through the novel.
Even the supporting characters are easy to root for (except the villains, of course). Everyone has a distinct personality and distinct motives, and the book feels like it’s populated by real people. Characters aren’t defined by a mere one or two traits, even though at the start of the book this seemed to be the case, but even the secondary characters are well-rounded people who are as fascinating to read about as the main character himself.
You need some measure of disbelief to swallow the idea that the nobleman, Conner, only has two weeks to turn a no-mannered orphan into a young gentleman who can not only impersonate royalty, but do it flawlessly enough that the rest of the royal court will be fooled by the act. The two weeks are filled with lessons in things like sword fighting, dancing, and horseback riding, all of which take much more than a couple weeks to become even slightly competent at, let alone skillful. You’d think Conner, having hatched up this plot far ahead of time, would know he has to set aside more than two weeks of time for him to train the kid in all these things. I mean, it’s kind of hard to imagine that this kid will last two minutes under scrutiny if he’s only had two weeks’ worth of practice in everything. But once you reconcile with the bizarre time frame, the book becomes an enjoyable read.
The similarities with The Thief made one of the plot twists very easy to figure out ahead of time; the other, however, took me by surprise. But both of the twists were equally satisfying, and this is a book I gladly recommend to anyone looking for a light, fun read.
Young readers: the book contains small amounts of death, blood, and violence. Nothing is described in much detail, but these are things that some young readers might not be comfortable with, so reader discretion may be advised.(less)
I'm glad I picked up this trilogy, because this book--and, to be honest, this entire series--is one of the better ones that I've read. I'm just sad th...moreI'm glad I picked up this trilogy, because this book--and, to be honest, this entire series--is one of the better ones that I've read. I'm just sad that it's over, and with the series consisting of three 500-page books, I didn't think it would move so quickly.
I heartily recommend the trilogy to both science fiction and fantasy (especially political fantasy) readers. You won't be disappointed.(less)
First off, a bit of a summary: The Immortal Prince is about Duchess Arkady Desean, who studies both the Crasii species (the Crasii are animal-human hy...moreFirst off, a bit of a summary: The Immortal Prince is about Duchess Arkady Desean, who studies both the Crasii species (the Crasii are animal-human hybrids who were created to be slaves) and the Crasii myths about the immortal Tide Lords, who were said to be able to use Tide magic and who were frighteningly powerful when their magic was strong (the rest of the time, when their magic receded, they didn't have any more power than normal humans). Since Arkady is an expert on the myths about the Tide Lords, she's asked to interrogate a murderer who didn't die when he was supposed to be hanged, and who claims to be a Tide Lord: specifically Cayal, the Immortal Prince.
I'm not usually a fan of romances, but I really liked this book. The dialogue was snappy and fun, and the plot and main premise were interesting. I was completely taken in by the story, and I ended up reading half the book in one sitting.
With that said, I did have a minor quibble: I wasn't thrilled with the Crasii main characters, and the chapters featuring them were a little too repetitive for my liking. It wasn't enough to put me off the book itself, but it did annoy me somewhat.
Overall, I'm giving this 4 stars out of five, and will definitely be picking up the next book some point soon.(less)
This book is emotional. It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. It will leave you breathless, hands clutching the edges of the book, unable...moreThis book is emotional. It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. It will leave you breathless, hands clutching the edges of the book, unable to stop reading because you have to know what's going to happen next. And it will leave you reveling in the beauty of the words that you read.
This is not a light read, but it's a good one.
This is not the type of book you read every day, but it's a book that should be read at least once. I can't recommend it highly enough.(less)