So it's been a decade since the last novel in the world of Fitz and the Fool. In preparation for FOOL'S ASSASSIN, I reread the Farseer trilogy, the LiSo it's been a decade since the last novel in the world of Fitz and the Fool. In preparation for FOOL'S ASSASSIN, I reread the Farseer trilogy, the Liveship Traders trilogy, and the Tawny Man trilogy, enjoying each of them (though the Tawny Man series is never as exciting for me as the Farseer books, or even the Liveship books, mainly because of the lack of Nighteyes). FOOL'S ASSASSIN picks up a few years after the events of the Tawny Man series, and spends most of its plot following Fitz and his beloved Molly as they take some well-deserved retirement of sorts at Withywoods. Although I suppose new readers wouldn't be too confused picking this book up, I definitely recommend reading the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies before this one; there are plenty of background details that will slide right past new readers, while veterans of Robin Hobb will be pierced to the heart (especially if you just reread the series like I did).
Normally a Hobb book takes me days to get through; they're big fat fantasy novels, which make my heart go pitter pat. However, I sped through FA in a couple of days, which surprised me (it clocked out at 818 pages in my e-reader, but certainly didn't seem like it was that long). As much as I was excited to find out what happened to some of my favorite tortured characters, and we do find out, I found myself a little unsatisfied at the end. I'm reasonably certain I had the big twist figured out years (literally) before Fitz did. Hobb is good at playing with your emotions, making you feel exactly what the main characters are feeling, then turning the story on its head and making you realize how wrong you were. Sometimes this is a remarkable feeling. In this case, I pretty much just wanted the Fool to show up (you know, the other half of the series title?). Oddly enough, I feel like the next book in the series might have a little more action and a few more questions answered. I'm not going to abandon the series after this book, but I'm not sure I'll be quite as excited if the pace is as slow as this one. BOO CLIFFHANGER.
Received as a free digital ARC via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
Kevin Hearne hasn't lost his touch with TRAPPED. It was an odd decision to skip forward in the series timeline 12 years, but it works here. And there'Kevin Hearne hasn't lost his touch with TRAPPED. It was an odd decision to skip forward in the series timeline 12 years, but it works here. And there's the possibility of more novellas like TWO RAVENS AND ONE CROW to tell us what happend during those years of Atticus' training his apprentice. In TRAPPED, Atticus just keeps running into enemies (which isn't surprising given his age!), which seriously hampers his ability to introduce a second Druid into the world (and work out the nice romantic angst between the two of them). There is still plenty of humor and action, just like the other books in the series. We also get to see the Norse god Loki in this book, and I wonder how much trouble Hearne is having separating his version of Loki from the Marvel movie one. He's certainly going a different way with it! I can't help but picture Tom Hiddleston when Loki shows up in TRAPPED, and it's a bit jarring. But it doesn't take away from my appreciation of the book. I like how Hearne makes the druidic ceremony meaningful and not instantaneous; it's an important undertaking and even though it's magical, it should take time. It was weird to read it and say, twelve years have passed, but Hearne handles it well. I'll be looking forward to more books in this series.
I was thrilled to receive this from Netgalley, as I'd seen it in several giveaways before but never gotten a win. My mother works with flowers often,I was thrilled to receive this from Netgalley, as I'd seen it in several giveaways before but never gotten a win. My mother works with flowers often, so I'm familiar with the language of flowers, but not fluent in it. This book uses the Victorian custom of attributing meanings to flowers in an interesting way, both as floral arrangements for brides and parties, to actually communicating with other people in a mostly-secret language.
The book is well written, told from the perspective of a woman who has aged out of the foster care system. She feels like her life is a series of failures, when really it could have just been a series of awful miscommunications. I wonder if the author tried to write the MC as slightly autistic, because it seemed like Victoria was actually quite gifted, but hardly ever given a chance to show it, outside of her flowers. I sometimes had a hard time relating to her, because my family situation was never so harsh as Victoria's had been, but all her motives were clearly spelled out. My biggest problem with understanding Victoria was when she decided to (view spoiler)[leave her baby's father and have the baby on her own (hide spoiler)]. Victoria lacks social support, so her decisions are based on her own, mostly faulty, logic. She's intelligent enough to run her own business, but won't let anyone close to her, so she thinks that she has to take on every problem on her own, and has no one to ask when she gets confused. The strong dissonance between the MC's choices and what I would choose pulled me out of the novel somewhat, but the writing is strong enough that I still wanted to know what would happen.
This could almost be labeled a romance, because there's enough hope at the close of the book to qualify it as a happy ending. I did figure out the event that caused Victoria's disastrous last chance at a family when she was still in foster care before it was explained in the text, so I read that part with a little dread. But again, the writing is strong, the characters so clear, that I read it anyway.
There's a handy glossary of the language of flowers at the back of the book, for those of you who would like to revive the old custom. But as the author writes in the book, there are several meanings for some flowers, so be careful which ones you pick, because you might not be saying what you think you are.
I received this as a digital ARC from Netgalley....more
This is a pretty interesting addition to the Dresden Files. Thank goodness the huge cliffhanger in Changeswas picked up. The premise of Dresden beingThis is a pretty interesting addition to the Dresden Files. Thank goodness the huge cliffhanger in Changeswas picked up. The premise of Dresden being a ghost and solving his own murder was a nice way to explore what he might be like without magic, but of course he figures out how to get around that. And if you know anything about the whole series, you know that Dresden is going to get out of his current predicament, since there are plenty of books left that Butcher wants to write. There is a twisty ending, and sometimes there are things that show up just in time to save Harry's bacon, but the story is set up that way, so move along. Hopefully Butcher can get back to his regularly scheduled April release dates, so we won't have to wait too long to see what's in store for the new Winter Knight.
This book is awfully long, but pretty good for all that. I have a few problems with a certain character that is introduced and suddenly very importantThis book is awfully long, but pretty good for all that. I have a few problems with a certain character that is introduced and suddenly very important, and of course there are several storylines just sitting there unresolved, but I never wanted to stop reading. I did gripe about how I would get to page 300 or 400 and realize there was the equivalent to another book still waiting to be read. GRRM better get on his writing horse and get the next book out to us soon! (Sooner than the wait between this and the previous book, please?)...more
This book is a MONSTER fantasy. On one hand, I love the detail that Brandon Sanderson goes into with the worlds, the magic system, the people. On theThis book is a MONSTER fantasy. On one hand, I love the detail that Brandon Sanderson goes into with the worlds, the magic system, the people. On the other hand, sometimes it's SO MUCH that you get lost in it instead of the story. There are a lot of characters in this one, which is to be expected in a book that has more than 1000 pages. I don't doubt this took BS ten years to write--it shows. The story is there, sometimes buried underneath the detail, and usually it's quite a good story. I have to say I liked Kaladin's sections much better than Shallan's, but both stories receive a kick in the pants by the end of the book, and will make you want to know what will happen next.
The presentation of this book is spectacular. You don't see a lot of fantasy with illustrations nowadays, but this book not only has color endpapers, it has sketches and maps throughout. They really did a good job with the design.
I took a long time with this one, with a few long breaks between sessions--but not because it was slow reading. I just had other things I had to read first (like books from the library, with a due date). I got back into it just fine, though someday I'd like to reread it and appreciate how the story fits together.
If you have a fondness for epic fantasy at all, you'll like this book.
First read over several months, September 23, 2010-January 10, 2011....more
I was really excited to pick this one up, and Butcher doesn't disappoint. Lots of dangling plot threads are picked up in this novel, and I was alwaysI was really excited to pick this one up, and Butcher doesn't disappoint. Lots of dangling plot threads are picked up in this novel, and I was always cheering for Tavi. It's fast paced (I finished it in a day, while working and watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3) and emotional, and a reward of sorts for those who really liked the series before. Definitely a read for Butcher fans. Better than 1&2, maybe even 3. I've reread most of it already since I got it on the 4th (three days ago). (Originally posted on etoiline.com just after original release date)...more
I read a book yesterday. Now, before you say, oh, that's boring, she does that every day (which is true enough), realize that I read an entire book yeI read a book yesterday. Now, before you say, oh, that's boring, she does that every day (which is true enough), realize that I read an entire book yesterday. Specifically, Jim Butcher's new Dresden Files book, White Night. Oh, Jim. How do you do it? There are only a few authors out there that can make me forget everything that I'm supposed to be doing and read. Admittedly, it's easy for me to get wrapped up in a book, but I don't finish very many books in a day any more. Though last week I read two books in four days. He's got tight pacing. His characters are very human, no matter that they've got magical powers. His world is real, and I can see it. You care about what happens. And you know what? He actually answers questions that the series had posed earlier. Thank you, so much. I read it fast enough that I can't remember all of it, which is a failing of mine, but I don't mind that much because it makes it easier to re-read ;) Thank you for the funnies and the heart-pounding moments, thank you for Toe-moss and Marcone and Lash. (from my site: http://etoiline.com/coronach/2007/04/...)...more