This book was a whole lot of insanity. Plots and betrayals. A lot of those betrayals were ones I didn't see coming. Probably, I should have. There was...moreThis book was a whole lot of insanity. Plots and betrayals. A lot of those betrayals were ones I didn't see coming. Probably, I should have. There was a hint of it, but somehow I didn't read it that way. I still can't believe he did that. One of the major events of this installment, I knew about ahead of time, but not the details. When I read it, it shook me to the core. I'm still not over it. Just thinking about it starts the waterworks. I couldn't even be happy about the other big events, though I knew it was coming, too, because the first one has just rocked me too hard. This book just kept surprising me at every turn. I felt like GRRM kept punching me in the face. So many things revealed and webs unraveled. Lovable and despicable characters alike brought low and a few raised high. GRRM definitely does not kill nicely. This book was aptly named.
The book kicks off with the realm still heavily split and Starks scattered about and battles are fought all over. The Battle of Blackwater is over and Tyrion finds himself in a new position that he does not like. Jaime and Brienne are making their way to Kings Landing, Catelyn is a prisoner at Riverrun, Arya is trying to get to Riverrun, Jon is on a near impossible mission, the Night's Watch is practically destroyed, Sansa is still stuck in Kings Landing amidst enemies, Bran is trying to get Beyond the Wall, Rickon is off somewhere with Osha, no one knows where The Hound is, Stannis is really unhappy, Dany needs an army and Sam can't seem to find the Wall. Everyone seems to be trying to win at something and lots of people are presumed dead, but aren't. Most of our characters are in a bad place at the beginning of this book and it only gets worse for a lot of them. Still, they persevered and a couple of them surprised me by not being as vile as you'd think (Jaime) and others by being utterly disloyal (view spoiler)[(Roose Bolton) (hide spoiler)].
We finally meet the outlaws Gregor Clegane and his men were looking for. It soon become evident just why there are so many differing tales as to how and where Beric Dondarrion has died. That was one of my first shocks. I actually feel bad for him. I don't think he cares much for his current condition, either, but he persists in doing his duty.
I felt so very bad for Jon because he just didn't know what to do with that mission. He was so conflicted, but he had some happiness, such as it was. (view spoiler)[At least he was getting laid regularly for a time. (hide spoiler)] Too bad that mission worked against him just as much as it served to help the Night's Watch. When he got back, he didn't find a whole lot of love. At least he had some friends behind him still. In the end, Jon ended up with a lot of responsibility. Even though he came by it by no choice of his own. What he really wanted, was something he always believed he could never have. When it was offered, he was conflicted yet again, but in the end, he did what was right by himself. I loved Jon even more by the end of his last chapter in the book. Any chapters that had Night's Watch business reminded me that I love Dolorous Edd Tollett. I love him and his pessimism. He's hilarious.
Catelyn's chapters showed us much of Robb. I had hoped for some chapters from Robb's POV, but by THAT part of the book, I was glad not to have them. I don't think I could have handled it had THAT been told from Robb's POV. It was horrible enough reading it from Catelyn's. Anyway, before THAT happened, I was feeling bad for Catelyn because she thought her entire world was gone. She practically had no family left (as far as she knew) and she was grieving fiercely. However, she kept letting her grief override her brain. I wanted her to shut up sometimes. She kept alienating her son and her brother. But as THAT happened, I didn't want what happened to her to happen. Catelyn was never a favorite of mine, but that was just awful. (view spoiler)[And what she saw them do to what she believed the only child she had left was so horrible. But even then, she was strong and did not back down. I respected her for that. (hide spoiler)]
Sansa was as strong as Sansa could be. She didn't break. She only broke down when alone. Just when she thought she might have a chance to be happy by way of the Tyrells (though they had ulterior motives for that), she ended up wedded to the second to last person she ever wanted to be married to. That whole thing was a surprise to me. Not to mention the aftermath of that big joyous event. She better stay well hidden. Though he new protector will be sure to see to that. Not that he's the slightest bit trustworthy. Especially after what was revealed in that last chapter. I knew he was a sneak, but I had no idea he was such an elaborate sneak. Sansa better keep her doors and windows locked tight at night.
I'm still not sure how I feel about Dany. I think she has a good heart, but (view spoiler)[she would have let her dragons roast Robb right along with everyone else if the Freys, Roose Bolton and Tywin Lannister hadn't killed him (hide spoiler)]. Still, she does good deeds. They don't always seem to turn out so good in the end, though. But now, she has decided that she will do better. I think she will do a good job of it, though. Especially now that she has a surprising character as her counsel and protector. I had guessed his identity, but was still a little surprised by it. Everyone wanted him on their side and he ends up in the least expected place. She started her own war, though doing what she did, so she better be careful. Especially since she sent a certain knight away from her after learning his truth. He could make for a bad enemy depending on whether or not he gets angry about what happened. I won't be surprised if he sells her out again. She should have let that silver tongued Daario kill him like he offered to.
Arya is the poor little identity-less lost girl. First with this group, then with this one, then an unlikely companion and in the end on her own. What in the nine hells will she get up to where she plans on going? Whatever it is, I'm sure she will survive. She's got her Needle back and she can be a fierce little thing. Mercenary little girl. I love her, though. Valar Morhgulis.
Tyrion's fate ended up even more of a surprise. Especially what happened when he made his escape. (view spoiler)[I still can't believe he killed him on the toilet! (hide spoiler)] That final conversation with Jaime was painful to read. Tyrion was so angry and hurt. And Jaime felt so awful. I never thought I'd feel bad for Jaime, but his recent experiences have begun to change him for the better. I still can't forgive him for Bran, but I don't hate him as much as I once did. What he did for Brienne really helps with that. What he did for Tyrion, too. I hope after that conversation he had with Cersei in his room he realizes what a monstrous bitch she is. The only good thing about her is how much she loves her children. Besides that, the Others can take Cersei for all I care.
Thank goodness for what happened at that other wedding. Someone finally got what they deserved. Would have liked for him to have a worse death, but at least he was terrified and in pain when he died. It was oh so deserving.
Then there's that bitch Melisandre. She doesn't seem all that competent to me. She's a real red priestess to be sure, but I don't feel like she completely knows what she's doing. I wanted to smack her silly when she kept begging Stannis to let her burn Edric for his king's blood. (view spoiler)[Thank goodness for Davos (I love him) on that one. Thank goodness for Davos in general. (hide spoiler)] I really hope something is done about her. She's going to ruin Stannis. I have no love for him, but this woman doesn't seem the least bit good for him. If not for Davos, Stannis would still be sitting on Dragonstone and likely getting his ass handed to him by Redwyne or Tyrell. It was good of him to finally respond to the Night's Watch. At least someone is finally listening to them.
I think I've typed more than enough now. Suffice to say, the book blew me away. I can't wait to see how HBO adapts this one and I'm anxiously awaiting March 30th, 2013. I know that when I see THAT, though, I'm gonna be blubbering like a baby.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Wow! Definitely a book of the high fantasy variety, but the characters were easy to relate to. And, despite some of my issues with changes to Vin's ch...moreWow! Definitely a book of the high fantasy variety, but the characters were easy to relate to. And, despite some of my issues with changes to Vin's character that seemed to happen a little too quickly, a little too easily, I loved this book.
So much happened and I have to say that the concept of Allomancy was just so very original. I'd love to be able to do some of those things. Especially since certain metals get ingested all the time. What a way to work that into building the magic system for this world. Those battles were all the more interesting for the use of Allomancy. Especially (view spoiler)[the battle near the end where Kelsier fights against the Inquisitor (hide spoiler)].
I loved Kelsier, Vin, Sazed and Elend. Dockson, too. I loved that we got POVs from nearly all of the characters. The truth of what was really being told in those parts at the start of every chapter was so shocking. They made me want to like the Lord Ruler. I was all "wow!" over what those words really meant. When Vin whispered that name near the end and that reaction happened, I was shocked. That had actually been a possibility for me, but I thought I had to be wrong. That was still a major shock for me. Not to mention all of the other major shocks. Those last few chapters were a whole lot of "omg!"
Anyway, I will definitely have to read the other two books in this trilogy. Things are a-changing, but there were still some secrets left undiscovered and questions unanswered. Vin did something everyone, herself included, thought impossible and quite a lot of the skaa saw her do it. I can only imagine that now she will have some uncomfortable times ahead.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler - the man who claimed to be God incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand ye...moreSynopsis:
The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler - the man who claimed to be God incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years - has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.
As Kelsier's protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.
Stopping assassins may keep Vin's Mistborn skills sharp, but it's the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn't run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier's crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won't get easier with three armies - one of them composed of ferocious giants - now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler's hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.
As the siege of Luthadel tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.
I totally loved this sequel. It's been a year since I read the first book, so I was worried that I wouldn't be so excited for this, but I had difficulty putting it down. It was wonderful even with the elements that I found frustrating.
I love these characters. They are amazing and fun, but they have thing that irritate me just as much as any normal person would. Vin's insecurity over whether she deserved Elend frustrated me the most. Every time she interacted with Zane, I got a little pissed off. He manipulated her so damn easily! He made her doubt things so much and she damn near made a huge mistake with regards to Elend. Seriously, I was practically screaming at her whenever she and Zane were on the page together. He at least had the excuse of being crazy (view spoiler)[or so he thought (hide spoiler)]. I was so glad when she finally figured out that where she wanted to be was exactly where she should be. (view spoiler)[That fight scene with Zane was pretty powerful as well as pivotal (hide spoiler)]. I did enjoy seeing Vin grow more. One of my favorite parts of the book were her interactions with OreSeur (view spoiler)[what a surprise that turned out to be. Part of me just knew it. I'd certainly suspected it, but then, I dismissed it. I like what he did for her at the critical moment, though. (hide spoiler)]
Elend frustrated me a bit, too, but he seriously grew in this book. The lessons with Tindwyl, the Terriswoman that Sazed had sent to help him were a big part of it, but some of it was natural as well. It was great learning that idealist could have steel in his spine, too. What happened to him at the end was one of the biggest surprises. I'm looking forward to seeing what will come out of that. One of my favorite things that Elend did was stand up to his father. He really stood up to him. Straff Venture was a fool. Had he treated his son-well people in general-better, he may have had a better ending than what he got. I was quite satisfied with what happened to him, though. Seriously, I can't stand that guy.
I very much enjoyed the rest of the crew as well. I liked that we got POVs from most of them, especially Breeze. He's obviously not as bad as he made himself out to be.
The pacing in this one I found to be pretty much perfect. I was never bored. Even when I wanted to scream at a character. The revelation that Sazed discovered at the end... Man! That was something. I had a feeling that Vin was being misled, but for it to be so thorough... That was amazing. That I just didn't see coming at all. Talk about getting slapped in the face! I loved it, though. Even if it does make it seem like there's nothing but disaster ahead. How can they defeat what's next? Everything now is about survival. Who will be left standing in the end?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the Deepness—the lethal form...moreSynopsis:
Who is the Hero of Ages?
To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the Deepness—the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists—is back, along with increasingly heavy ashfalls and ever more powerful earthquakes. Humanity appears to be doomed.
Having escaped death at the climax of The Well of Ascension only by becoming a Mistborn himself, Emperor Elend Venture hopes to find clues left behind by the Lord Ruler that will allow him to save the world. Vin is consumed with guilt at having been tricked into releasing the mystic force known as Ruin from the Well. Ruin wants to end the world, and its near omniscience and ability to warp reality make stopping it seem impossible. She can't even discuss it with Elend lest Ruin learn their plans!
The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will leave readers rubbing their eyes in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.
This was an incredible ending to the trilogy. There were some things that were obvious, but the end result was definitely not. I knew that character was important, but who knew they would turn out to be THAT important? And another character that was previously dismissed by so many came to be a pretty damn good leader in the end. Even though a lot of that leadership stemmed from their being manipulated by a powerful outside force. But he did prove himself at the end of that ordeal. So the position he ends up in at the end of the book makes sense. Of course, then we're left to wonder what happens next, but the main story was been tied up. And it was obvious that things were always going to end up that way even if it hadn't occurred to me while I was reading.
There were some deaths that made me cry, but I think it was the right way to go for this series. It makes sense. It still made me cry, though.
But I guess I've gotten carried away. There's a lot that lead up to the end, obviously. Some of it I absolutely loved and some of it kept making me want to shake or slap the characters. I never realized just how much manipulation was going on throughout these books. Hell, characters were being manipulated ever since book one and no one even knew it! So much of what the characters did, they did because of Ruin. It was amazing the way those things tied into things that happened so long ago.
Still, Sazed frustrated me the most, but with the way things ended up, I get now why he struggled so much. That didn't make it less hard to get through some of his POVs, though. It all made sense and his predicament is not one that I found it hard to identify with, but it was just made such a big deal out of that I just kept wanting to growl. However, considering his character, for it not to have been harped on would have just been friggin' weird. That struggle and the reaffirmation and subsequent result ended up being a bit more surprising and right in part because he did agonize over his loss of faith so much.
Brandon Sanderson surprised me utterly. I just did not want to stop reading, so I didn't. I likely shouldn't have read a book this long this fast, but I was hooked. I couldn't stop until I knew how it all came to a head. My favorite characters this time for TenSoon and Elend. I loved their POVs even with all of Elend's constant worrying on whether he was turning into the Lord Ruler. Like some of the other aspects that frustrated me, it was a necessary part of the story and character development that made sense. People are going to question themselves. People with the kind of power that Elend's gained so quickly over the years should definitely question themselves. I feel very proud of that man that Elend became. He grew a lot over the course of this series and I came to love him immensely. TenSoon I just loved because he is TenSoon. He's just utterly awesome.(less)
I was so into this book, I couldn't even stop to update my status it seems.
The tone of the book was a bit different from what I expected since I read...moreI was so into this book, I couldn't even stop to update my status it seems.
The tone of the book was a bit different from what I expected since I read it directly after reading the prequels. I was not expecting so much magic. I knew it was a fantasy, but the prequels barely touch on that or magic at all. Especially not the fact that (view spoiler)[Celaena seems to have magic in her blood (hide spoiler)]. Calaena's voice sounded a bit different to me here as well. She seemed more mature. She was still arrogant, the way she was in the prequels, but she didn't lash out as much as I expected her to. Once I got to the end of the book and read Maas's bio and saw that Throne of Glass was begun a decade ago, the difference in tone made sense. I got the impression that the prequels were written after the novel, so being able to go back and make Celaena's voice a bit younger was probably not too difficult for Maas. One thing I do hope for to come up in the series eventually (view spoiler)[is for Celaena to find out that it was Arobynn who betrayed her and Sam. I want that so badly because that fourth prequel near tore me to shreds. She deserves to get her revenge (hide spoiler)]. I know that the main story has Celaena facing a much different destiny, once that looks like it could be epic, but I really want that for her.
Anyway, to the story of this book. I found it fascinating. I didn't want to stop reading. I knew who was behind the mystery. Celaena's doubts never changed my mind on that. They were a bit obvious. It appears magic is coming back to the world. Some of that stuff with the Wyrdwords and Wrydgates was confusing, but I caught on to it eventually.
I enjoyed watching Celaena interact with Chaol, Dorian and Nehemia. Those three were pretty interesting, especially Nehemia. I figure all three will feature strongly in book 2. I just hope that Chaol's friendship with Dorian doesn't turn sour. Celaena could easily come between them, though I know she doesn't mean to. Both of them are good men. I like Chaol for her, though. I like that their relationship seems to be building up more slowly. It took a while for her to notice him and for him to get past his prejudice. They so obviously care about one another, though. But I don't think Dorian will like that. He's a great guy, but with the king and Perrington around, I'm not sure about what may end up happening to him.
Just what is that king up to? Why is he so intent on conquering everything? He must have some deeper plan for something. He knows something about these Wyrdwords and I just want to know wtf he's planning.
I liked the different POVs we got in the novel. I wasn't expecting there to be more than 3, but they were easy to keep up with. I think it was good that this was told in 3rd person. That seems to work best for fantasy novels. I can't quite get a handle on whether or not this is YA, though. The novels were, but this doesn't quite seem to be. Not just because of Celaena's age, but because of her tone of voice. There were no sexual situations, the novellas had more of that then this novel did. At least, the fourth one did. However, this didn't quite feel adult, either. It's hard for me to place.
I hope we get more about Celaena's past in the next book. We got a little here right at the end, but I want more. She makes it sound like whatever happened to her prior to being found by Arobynn was something to be ashamed of. Based on what Cain was saying and the bit she told to Chaol afterward, it didn't sound shameful in the least to me. Horrifying, yes. Shameful? No. So, I hope she opens up some more about that. Hopefully, to Chaol.
I'm looking forward to book 2!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Nice intro to the characters. Celaena sure is hot-tempered! Sam seems like he's probably a sweetie. I hope she stops being so mean to him. It seems li...moreNice intro to the characters. Celaena sure is hot-tempered! Sam seems like he's probably a sweetie. I hope she stops being so mean to him. It seems like there's the possibility for something to develop there.
What I really want to know is why she goes to such lengths to hide her face. I know she looks young, but is she someone important? Rolfe was sure pissed when he saw her face. She also mentioned something about killing him since he'd seen who she was. Well, who the hell is she? Will I get to find out in the following prequels or the full novel?
This one took a little while to get going for me. Action wise, it was slow. However, this one gave us some pretty good character development for Celae...moreThis one took a little while to get going for me. Action wise, it was slow. However, this one gave us some pretty good character development for Celaena. She opened up a little emotionally. She honestly cared for Ansel quite a bit and respected the Mute Master (I really liked him). I think it was cute that Ilias liked her, but when they had a moment, she saw the face of someone else. Someone, it seems, that she has also come to care for without even realizing it. I've had a feeling he likes her more than she realizes. He's prickly with her because she's been so prickly with him. I know this, Arobynn has noticed the way Sam feels. He knew Sam would go wild to see Celaena punished like that. I can't wait to see those two together again. I hope he's okay.(less)
Ah, Celaena. I saw that one coming as soon as the mission was put forth by Arobynn.
At least she and Sam finally got to the place I knew they were hea...moreAh, Celaena. I saw that one coming as soon as the mission was put forth by Arobynn.
At least she and Sam finally got to the place I knew they were heading to. Too bad I'm pretty sure something is going to happen to him in the next novella considering he isn't in the novel, as far as I can tell.
At least she stood up to Arobynn as much as she could in the end. Too bad he out-smarted her. I love Celaena for what she did for Sam, though. (less)
Oh man. I cried. I cried terrible little tears. Chapter 8 was so hard. Chapter 9 was not much better.
But all that stuff before that was mostly so beau...moreOh man. I cried. I cried terrible little tears. Chapter 8 was so hard. Chapter 9 was not much better.
But all that stuff before that was mostly so beautiful. Celaena and Sam were so adorable. Even when they were fighting. Sucks things went that way. Sucks that she still trusted who could never be trusted. For being an assassin, Celaena was still on the trusting side. Even after everything that lead up to that. I hope that person gets theirs in the novel. Stick 'em with the pointy end, Celaena. He deserves it.(less)
In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies-elementals of earth, air, fire, water and metal, fifteen-year-old Tavi struggles wit...moreSynopsis:
In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies-elementals of earth, air, fire, water and metal, fifteen-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos-when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies-Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.
I really, really liked this. As usual, Jim Butcher had me so immersed in the world that he created that I couldn't stop reading. I had to know how things would play out and it was amazing.(less)
In "Furies of Calderon," bestselling author Butcher introduced readers to a world where the forces of nature take physical form. But now, it'...moreSynopsis:
In "Furies of Calderon," bestselling author Butcher introduced readers to a world where the forces of nature take physical form. But now, it's human nature that threatens to throw the realm into chaos.
Book two in the Codex Alera series and once again, I was completely drawn in. I would have liked knowing right from the start that two years had passed since book 1, but other than that, it was golden. Plots and danger everywhere. Jim Butcher does not like giving his characters downtime. I like that they are so capable of figuring things out when needed, though. It's always so amazing how one thing ties into another. Everything basically goes insane here. I never thought that what Tavi and Kitai did in the Wax Forest would come back to bite everyone in the ass, but boy did it ever. Not to mention everything else going on that led to decisions some characters never would have made. For now, I'm just glad everyone is still safe and in one piece. Not sure how much longer than can all hold out, though. There were some big revelations this time around, too. Mostly, they confirmed my own thoughts, but some were definitely new. That last chapter and the epilogue have me pumped, although I knew that info just from gut instinct. It was still awesome to see the information basically confirmed, even if the characters didn't come right out and say it. I'm so jumping right in to book three.(less)
The power-hungry High Lord of Kalare has launched a rebellion against the aging First Lord, Gaius Sextus, who with the loyal forces of Alera...moreSynopsis:
The power-hungry High Lord of Kalare has launched a rebellion against the aging First Lord, Gaius Sextus, who with the loyal forces of Alera must fight beside the unlikeliest of allies—the equally contentious High Lord of Aquitaine.
Meanwhile, young Tavi of Calderon joins a newly formed legion under an assumed name even as the ruthless Kalare unites with the Canim, bestial enemies of the realm whose vast numbers spell certain doom for Alera. When treachery from within destroys the army's command structure, Tavi finds himself leading an inexperienced, poorly equipped legion—the only force standing between the Canim horde and the war-torn realm.
In his acclaimed Codex Alera novels, bestselling author Jim Butcher has created a fascinating world in which the powerful forces of nature ta...moreSynopsis:
In his acclaimed Codex Alera novels, bestselling author Jim Butcher has created a fascinating world in which the powerful forces of nature take physical form. For millennia, the people of Alera have used their unique bond with these elementals for protection. Now, as enemies become allies, and friends become bitter foes, a danger beyond reckoning looms. . . .
Man, oh man do I love this series! Tavi <3 He has grown so much from that undersized 15 y/o in Furies of Calderon to where he is now. He still makes mistakes and ends up in impossible situations, but that amazing brain of his manages to get him out of some seriously sticky situations. But he never hesitates to be the first one in the fray. The things Tavi will do for the realm and his friends never fail to awe me. I can't wait for him to get even stronger.
He was pissed when he learned the truth. He was also excited and very, very afraid. And yet, when he could have continued to hide his identity, he announced himself and put a traitor in his place. I loooooovvvvvveeeeedddddd those last few chapters. I loved the whole book, but those last few chapters seriously did it for me.
While Tavi was out running around trying to save everyone, Amara and Bernard were off on an adventure with Sextus to save the people of Kalare. Only.... Things turned out to be quite different. And Amara got her heart broken. It seems this will give her a chance to be with Bernard more often. Here's hoping something good happens for those two.
The biggest thing for me was how I've come to truly love Fidelias as a character. I hated him in book one for doing what he did to Amara and for what happened at Second Calderon. He does a lot here. I know it will come back to get him and I'm afraid to read it. Maybe, just maybe, he will pull through?
I worry about what the Aquitaines will do next. Lady Aquitaine has been hanging around the First Aleran camp too much. That will likely change now, but I don't like how much she's been around. She's already been plotting against Tavi and then Crassus. Who will she plot against next? And she sure seems rather involved with her husband coming to power. He's dangerous, but I worry about her more. Most of the ideas seem to come from her. It's scary how devious that bitch is.
Tavi has managed to work something out with the Canim now. I can't wait to see what happens next, though it's going to be scary to read. I just know it.(less)
In the fifth Codex Alera novel, Tavi is the recognized heir to the throne. When armistice with the Canim ends, and he and his legions take th...moreSynopsis:
In the fifth Codex Alera novel, Tavi is the recognized heir to the throne. When armistice with the Canim ends, and he and his legions take the Canim in Alera home, they discover that the Vord, hostile to Aleran and Canim alike, have ravaged Cane, and now the former foes must fight the common enemy. Meanwhile, Alera struggles to rebuild after civil war, but that doesn’t stop intrigues among the power-players. Perhaps the Vord attacking with the Alerans’ they-thought-unique weapon, furycrafting, will. A treat for action fans and series followers.
Man, oh, man. My heart is broken and then lifted up and put back together in this one. I cannot believe what these characters survive. One has fallen, though and I will miss him. I really will.
The Vord are back and the Realm is in severe peril. Tavi has no idea about what's going on at home because he and the First Aleran are escorting Varg, Nasaug and the Free Aleran to Canea so that the Canim can go home to fight back against the Vord. Once they get there, though, things are obviously much worse than they had ever thought they would be. Upon arriving at Molvar, Tavi and the others are told by the Pack there that all of the other ranges in Canea have fallen to the Vord. All that remains is the range of Shuara. Tavi and those with him end up being taken captive by the Shuaran Warmaster, Lararl and thing get really crazy from there. Tavi manipulates Lararl into letting them go so that they can help them against the Vord. Then he, Kitai, Max, Varg, Anag and a few others set out to hunt a Vord queen. Tavi's plan doesn't go quite the way he wants it to, but man that guy is smart. I freaking love Tavi and the way he thinks, but they show that bitch what for. And make one hell of an escape from Canea-and take what's left of the Canim with them. Those were some scary scenes, but I loved reading them. Love seeing Tavi being a hero. Love seeing Kitai's love for him and Maximus's dedication. It's so amazing the faith, trust and hope they have in him. It can be daunting, but it always manages to give Tavi strength when he's feeling insecure and low.
Meanwhile, back in the Realm of Alera, shit just got real and the Vord have seriously taken over. What they're up to and the help they have in it being done is the real issue. The Vord are bad enough on their own without people to help them. I'm just glad that not all of those helpers were willing. It would be so much better if a certain High Lady wasn't one of the biggest helpers of all. I hate that woman and want her dead, but she's still one of my favorite villains.
While Sextus is trying to hit the Vord where it will hurt, he's got Isana off in Antillus trying to broker a peace between the Alerans and the icemen so that the Antillan and Phyrigan legions can march south. And he's got Amara and Bernard off on a covert mission to discover how the Vord are doing something they really shouldn't be able to do. Things seem pretty hopeless for those two, but thanks to some amazing thinking, they rescue quite a few Citizens. Seriously, that was awesome. Amara still has hard feelings towards Sextus over the events in Kalare, but the Vord are a serious threat and they accept the mission. Despite all of the death they have to witness to get their information, they do it and do even more. Serious kudos to those two. And really big kudos to Isana. It turns out that the icemen really aren't so bad after all. Isana went so very far to secure the start of the peace. The biggest obstacle was Raucus himself. The end of that duel was so awesome, man. Scary as hell, but awesome and I respect Isana so much. What Raucus told her about why he decided to believe in her was moving. I love the letters he gave her, too. Now I know why the Aquitaines turned against Gaius. At least for Attis, it was because of what happened to Septimus. Invidia it seems, was just a woman scorned. *smh*
I'm jumping right into the next book because I have to see what happens. There's a new First Lord and he seems to truly want to do what's best for the Realm, but what will happen when Tavi returns? He has no idea what's been going on at home. Just wait until they dock. Talk about coming home to a nightmare...(less)
For years he has endured the endless trials and triumphs of a man whose skill and power could not be restrained. Battling ancient enemies, fo...moreSynopsis:
For years he has endured the endless trials and triumphs of a man whose skill and power could not be restrained. Battling ancient enemies, forging new alliances, and confronting the corruption within his own land, Gaius Octavian became a legendary man of war—and the rightful First Lord of Alera.
But now, the savage Vord are on the march, and Gaius must lead his legions to the Calderon Valley to stand against them—using all of his intelligence, ingenuity, and furycraft to save their world from eternal darkness.
I have truly loved the end to this series. I've loved the series as a whole, but this was a good ending. Seriously, things just seemed so hopeless, but then another brilliant, insane construct born of Tavi's mind would work and give everyone hope. In the end, he also brings them victory and a whole lot of change. But the Realm must change in order to survive and Tavi has been learning that over the years. I think he can do it. Change the Realm and get it to regrow and prosper again, only in a different and more improved direction. Seriously, I love Tavi. Jim Butcher sure knows how to get me with the male leads he creates. Tavi is just so damned smart and unconventional. I think it was a smart move starting Tavi out down this road way back in The Furies of Calderon. I never thought it would have lead him here. But he spent his whole life using his brain to do things others had to do with barely a thought and it sooooooo paid off. Boy did it ever pay off.
So much happened in this last book. I don't want to say much because there were just so many surprises. The outcome, shouldn't be a surprise. It was the journey there that was. I really came to love many of the characters in this series and man am I going to miss them, but I will so be re-reading this series again sometime. It's too good not to. Especially considering it had me staying up every night that I was reading until 3am or later knowing damn well I had to go to sleep in order to get up and go to work in about 2-3 hours.
Big thanks to Jim Butcher for creating Tavi and allowing me to watch him come up in a world that rejected him and make so many people better than they ever imagined they could be.(less)
I found this a bit slow to start at first. Especially after we got to know the main players in the Empire and then suddenly, there was a whole new set...moreI found this a bit slow to start at first. Especially after we got to know the main players in the Empire and then suddenly, there was a whole new set in Darujhistan. I had a hard time connecting the dots at first, but then things started making sense and I just had to know how events would play out. I was very surprised by the way things turned out. I was hugely surprised the first time Whiskeyjack used that magic item and the conversation with Dujek revealed that they knew so much more than they lead their men to believe.
I loved all of the Bridgeburners. Can't wait to read about the next mess they get themselves mixed up in.(less)
Sometimes the price of destiny is higher than anyone imagined....
Dark Magic, Hidden Destiny
For three centuries a divine prophecy and a line o...moreSynopsis:
Sometimes the price of destiny is higher than anyone imagined....
Dark Magic, Hidden Destiny
For three centuries a divine prophecy and a line of warrior queens protected Skala. But the people grew complacent and Erius, a usurper king, claimed his young half sister’s throne.
Now plague and drought stalk the land, war with Skala’s ancient rival Plenimar drains the country’s lifeblood, and to be born female into the royal line has become a death sentence as the king fights to ensure the succession of his only heir, a son. For King Erius the greatest threat comes from his own line — and from Illior’s faithful, who spread the Oracle’s words to a doubting populace.
As noblewomen young and old perish mysteriously, the king’s nephew — his sister’s only child — grows toward manhood. But unbeknownst to the king or the boy, strange, haunted Tobin is the princess’s daughter, given male form by a dark magic to protect her until she can claim her rightful destiny.
Only Tobin’s noble father, two wizards of Illior, and an outlawed forest witch know the truth. Only they can protect young Tobin from a king’s wrath, a mother’s madness, and the terrifying rage of her brother’s demon spirit, determined to avenge his brutal murder....
It took no time at all for me to get sucked into this story. Once Iya and Arkoniel had had their visions, I was hooked. I had to know how this was going to play out. Especially once they were making their way with Lhel to Atyion the night Ariani was giving birth to her twins. I just knew what they were going to do, but had to see it. They may have protected the girl child like they believed, but they created something quite unexpected that night. And then left the people of the house to deal with it. That was so wrong. At least Lhel stuck around to help as much as could be helped. It still left things in quite the shambles, though.
After everything went down, Ariani was quite mad and everyone was terrified of the ghost. Tobin didn't get to be child properly because of it. He was happy enough, at first, but he was frightened of his mother, the ghost would pinch him and push him around, his father was often away and he didn't get to do things other children did. They protected him as if he were glass. The funny thing about it is that most of the people in the house had no idea as to why. The household was mostly okay despite Ariani and her weirdness. She did suddenly start acting somewhat normal again at some point, though. I never did figure out what that was all about. Why did she suddenly want to be a mother to her remaining child? I understood her madness. What was done to the boy twin was horrible. I just wish she hadn't scared and neglected Tobin so badly. By the time she'd started coming around, it was too late. The king came for a visit and suddenly she was dead. (view spoiler)[I still want to know how she went out of that window. No way she jumped on purpose. Not with the way she screamed. I do think that she was going to jump along with Tobin, but it didn't work out that way. Who pulled Tobin back inside when he was about to fall? The only other one there was Brother and at that point, no way would he have saved Tobin. (hide spoiler)]
After that, things just kept falling apart. In his grief, Rhius let things deteriorate around the house and was away even more often. That last part was the king's doing. At least it was explained as to why. It sucks what happened to Rhius, though. I felt awful for Tobin, then. Everything changed after that. Suddenly, it was time to go to Ero and join the Royal Companions. That whole experience was a mixture of fun and teenage antics. Some of those little bastards were mean and Orun isn't the least bit trustworthy. I'm not sure what I think of Korin, yet. He seems nice enough, but he's a douche when he's drunk, which he often is. A few of them seem to be pretty nice, though. The rest of them can go kick rocks. Not to mention Niryn. I hate that guy for what he's been doing to wizards. It's because of him that Tobin has to live the way he does. Whispering things in the king's ear. The man is a snake. I'm hoping something bad happens to him. He has it coming.
In the end, Tobin learns the terrible truth and learns it in the worst way possible. Why they didn't foresee this possibility is beyond me. Tobin is a girl. OF course she was going to have a period at some point! Guess they thought the magic was strong enough to block it. Silly. It drove me nuts that the book ends almost right after the truth comes out. If I'd had to wait for the next release, I'd have been mad. I wasn't planning on reading straight through, but now, I have to. I'm excited about and dreading finding what will happen now.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that p...moreSynopsis:
Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.
But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.
I do believe that this is going to be a new favorite series of mine. So many secrets and twists and turns and I have no idea who I truly want to root for. The truth about Gavin was shocking. Probably I should have seen that coming. When we first met the prisoner, I was sure I knew who it was down there. I was wrong. So that scene where we see them together for the first time nearly made me fall out of my chair. Seriously?! I can't even...
And it just goes to show how much of a mess Gavin has made for himself. Not to mention the messes that prisoner has made for him. I really wanted to dislike Gavin, but the more I saw of him, the more I began to feel he's actually a good man. A good man that has done (and still does) horrible things in order to keep his secrets, but still a good man. The only thing that I'm not certain of is why he wanted to be Prism in the first place. He doesn't even seem to like it very much. Perhaps he has some larger goal that all of this was for. If so, I badly want to know what it is. Right now, I'm betting that it's some good, selfless thing. I'm hoping so because Brent Week's has really made me believe in this guy despite the horrors he's committed in order to meet his goal.(less)
An epic fantasy exploring themes of conflict, loyalty and religious faith. Vaelin Al Sorna, Brother of the Sixth Order, has been trained from...moreSynopsis:
An epic fantasy exploring themes of conflict, loyalty and religious faith. Vaelin Al Sorna, Brother of the Sixth Order, has been trained from childhood to fight and kill in service to the Faith. He has earned many names and almost as many scars, acquiring an ugly dog and a bad-tempered horse in the process. Ensnared in an unjust war by a king possessed of either madness or genius, Vaelin seeks to answer the question that will decide the fate of the Realm: …who is the one who waits?
Raven's Shadow is the first volume in a new epic fantasy of war, intrigue and tested faith.
This was a damned amazing first book in a series. The end sure shocked the hell out of me. I cannot wait for book two. Will Vaelin go to find Frentis? What happened to everyone during those five years he was a captive? Did Caenis lose his faith in the king? What about the Prince? What state is the Order in? What state is the Realm in? Does Sherin hate Vaelin? What revenge will Lady Emeren seek against him? I want book two right now. I've got a huge crush on Vaelin. Can he truly stop the One Who Waits?(less)
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapp...moreSynopsis:
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.
Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.
And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up in a hole in the snow with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all - ideally by running away from it. But as he's discovering, old habits die really, really hard indeed...
...especially when Bayaz gets involved. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Glotka, Jezal and Logen a whole lot more difficult...
I found myself liking this quite a lot. It was incredibly easy to read and I ended up seriously liking the characters of Glokta and Logen. Jezal I didn't care so much about. He's such an ass, but perhaps love will get him to be a little less of one. Who's to know, though, considering the woman he falls so hard for isn't all that great of a person herself. I enjoyed the POVs from Major West as well. I was shocked by something he does to his sister, though. That was awful. I was feeling pretty bad for him up until then. I'd probably have wanted to hurt her, too, though. I get how she was feeling. She may as well have been invisible in Adua being that she isn't of noble blood, but she was acting a fool, too. Still, he had no right to do what he did and it was a bit of an extreme reaction, even with everything else that was going wrong in his life.
Glokta was my definite favorite. So cynical, but damned smart. I loved his inner observations. He better watch his back, though. Arch Lector Sult wants power and he'll steamroll over anyone to get it. I don't doubt that he's been setting people up left and right to get what he wants. I like that Glokta doesn't seem to be doing what he's doing out of some need to grab as much power as possible, though. Yes, he tortures people for a living. After what he went through, you'd think he would hate anyone that used torture in any capacity, but all it seemed to do was make him extremely good at his job. And good at it he is. I honestly believe the man is completely loyal to the crown (despite the fact that the king is a fat, lazy idiot), but he will look out for himself should it come to that. Hell, he doesn't even know why he tortures people. He's always asking himself "why do I do this?" and yet he continues to do it. I hope he finds an answer to his question. Also, I'd like to huggle him. He'd probably beat me with his cane if I tried, but I'd try, anyway.
Then there's Logen Ninefingers. A Named Man from the North. The book starts off with him nearly getting himself killed by Flatheads aka Shanka. He manages to survive, and believing his friends all dead, he decides to head South after speaking with some spirits and discovering that a Magus is looking for him. He goes and finds the guy and ends up traveling with him even further south to collect some more people to travel even further south. Logen is a bit out of his element during all of this, but he sticks with it. He doesn't really want to know what's going on, but it beats staying in the north where an old friend turned enemy is now calling himself a king and would likely take his head as soon as he saw him. Turns out, too, that Logen is quite the killer. Bloody-Nine he's called and I'd thought I'd seen him fighting pretty damn well earlier on in the book. Then the Practicals tried to kill him at the end and I really saw who Bloody-Nine was. A well deserved name if ever there was one...
I also found myself really liking the characters of Bayaz the First of the Magi, Dogman and Black Dow. These are some men with a lot of blood on their hands and still they're trying to help people in their way. Even if those people don't want to take them seriously.
I really enjoyed the way the storylines of the main characters converge after a while. I was wondering how they had anything to do with one another, but it seems that they do, indeed. The fact that they can't stand each other just makes for more fun reading. The writing style of this book is light and can actually be pretty funny at times. It doesn't take itself too seriously, even with the dark moments and scenes full of blood, death and torture.
I'm looking forward to continuing the series. Will Glokta uncover secrets of the Arch Lector's? Will Logen, Ferro and Jezal be able to help Bayaz put a stop to Khalul the creator of Eaters and the shadow Emperor in the south? Will Jezal be less of an asshole? Will the Union beat back the Northmen and get Bethod out of Angland? Will Dogman and the others ever learn that Logen isn't dead? So much to look forward to.(less)