The Legion of Flame / Anthony Ryan

Title / The Legion of Flame
Author / Anthony Ryan
Publication Date / 2017
Overall Star Rating / ★ 

 

Goodreads synopsis: For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood—and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed—to fuel and protect its empire. But now, a fearsome power has arisen—a drake so mighty that the world will tremble before it. Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and ironship captain Corrick Hilemore embark upon perilous quests to chase down clues that offer faint hopes of salvation. As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few are the last hope for the empire and for all of civilisation.

 

This is the second book in the Draconis Memoria series (the first being The Waking Fire) and it was one of my most anticipated book release of 2017. I am pleased to report that this is just as good as the first, possibly even better. I have to admit I did take me a little while to get into the flow of things again, but I think I should have reread the first book to refresh my memory. Having said that it’s so easy to get into these books. This series is set in a world inhabited by humans, drakes (dragons) and Blood Blessed, who take power from the blood of the drakes. Each type of dragon (Red, Blue, Green and Black) gives the drinker different powers. The magic system is such an interesting and unique one. One of my favourite things about these books is the world. I have to admit that I felt there were a few things were missing from the world building in book 1 (specifically about the white drake) but I love how the world was expanded upon on this sequel – we get some more history about this world and so there is a better understanding of everything that’s going on. Speaking of everything that’s going on, the plot is fantastic. It picks up pretty much straight after the events of the first book and throws you straight back into the action packed story. I love where the plot goes in this book. There were multiple times where I stayed up quite late reading this because I just needed to know what was going to happen next. Ryan does a wonderful job of weaving together the plot and character arcs, and the pacing of it is also done so well. I think at times the first book felt very much like a set up book but with this book it has very much settled into the flow of the story and the characters.

 

The characters in this book are fantastic. For me characters and their development is such an important element of books and so I am glad to say that it is really well done so far in this series. We get to continue on with some familiar characters from the first book but we also get to meet new ones too. Although it does have multiple perspective we mainly follow three characters – Claydon Torcreek, Lizanne Lethridge and Captain Corrick Hilemore. Each has a distinctive voice, are well written and fantastic character arcs. I definitely found Corrick’s perspective a little less engaging but I did still really enjoy his chapters. These books seriously have an amazing cast of characters. The addition of the perspective close to the White drake added so much to the tension (and creepiness) of the book. It reminded us of the stakes the characters are going against.  I will say there are a couple of times where I felt it was a little drawn out. Personally I didn’t have an issue with this, but it is perhaps something to be aware of. Generally I found that even if it dragged a little the writing and the world building pulled it through. The writing itself is great and as mentioned so easy to get into. Basically if you can’t tell already I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think it expanded on the first book so well and the ending makes me so excited for the next book. Before I finish this review, I wanted to mention the steampunk elements of this series. I haven’t read a lot of steampunk books but I really enjoy how it is incorporated in these books. If you are a fan of steampunk, then I would definitely check this one out.

 

Overall this is a fantastic sequel that really expands on the characters and world of the first book. As I mentioned it is perhaps a little drawn out at times, but I was hooked from very early on. I think this is going to be a trilogy, which means this series will be concluded in the next book, but I’m not completely sure that is the case. Either way I am very excited for the next book, although a little sad about the wait. I would highly recommend checking this series out, especially if you are a fan of fantasy and dragons/drakes. Quick side not before I go, I love the UK covers for this series! Have you guys read the first book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Checking In: 2017 Resolutions

Hi guys, how are you? Since we’re about halfway through the year I thought I would check back with my 2017 resolutions.  To be completely I can tell you right here that I am not doing great with them :). Hopefully I can still complete some of these.

 

My first goal was the Goodreads reading challenge which I set at 100 books. I’ve had Goodreads telling me over the last couple of months that I am behind schedule. At the time of writing this I am 2 books behind schedule but I’m hopeful that I can still complete this challenge. I’ve read over 100 books for the last two years so I know that I can definitely do it, it’s whether I can do it this year. My aim to read 12 classics is going pretty well – I’ve currently read 6. I’ve basically been reading one a month. So that’s going well :).  I think I could do better on the diversity front as I haven’t really tried out a load of different authors, genres etc. I’ll try to work on that in the second half of the year. I’m happy to say I’ve been trying more fantasy and science fiction books and will continue to throughout the rest of the year. Unfortunately I haven’t finished many series (only 2 I think) and I’ve actually started a few more so I’m too doing terribly well with this goal. I think I can finish a few more series by the end of the year. The last goals I had were to read Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens and The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth – I have not read either of them. Maybe by the end of the year…

 

Basically it’s pretty mixed but I have some work ahead of me with these goals :). I think it’s still realistic for me to complete these but I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself. If I complete the goals then great, if I don’t then it’s not the end of the world. How have you guys been doing with your resolutions? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

TTT: Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

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It is that time of the week for another Top Ten Tuesday. It is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This weeks topic is your top ten series I’ve been meaning to start but haven’t. I hope to get to at least some of these series at some point but there are so many books to read :)… Let’s get started.
As I’ve said hopefully I will start these series at some point. I’m hoping to get to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soon but I don’t know when I’ll get to the others yet. Have you guys any read of these series? What series have you meant to start but haven’t? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Best Books of 2017 So Far

Hi guys how are you all? Today I thought I would share some of my favourite books I’ve read so far this year. I’ve read 39 books so far and I’ve picked 8 of my favourites to share. No surprises that alot of these are going to be fantasy books :).

 

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Do Not Say We Have Nothing / Madeleine Thien / ★.5 / full review

 

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Ninth Rain / Jen Williams / ★ / full review

 

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Sins of Empire / Brian McClellan / ★ / full review

 

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The Bear and the Serpent / Adrian Tchaikovsky / 

 

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Red Sister / Mark Lawrence / ★ / full reivew

 

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The Moon in the Palace / Weina dai Randal / ★ 

 

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Knight’s Shadow / Sebastien de Castell / ★ 

 

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Daughter of the Forest / Juliet Marillier / ★ 

 

Honourable mentions: Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan, Sons of the Shadow by Juliet Marillier and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

 

I have definitely read some fantastic books so far this year and I’m hoping to read more in the next half :). There are just so many books to read. What are some of your favourite books you’ve read this year? I hope you are all having wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

2 Mini Series Review

Hi guys, how are you all? I hope you are have a nice weekend ahead of you. Anyway I have 2 mini series reviews to share today. I quite like doing these mini series reviews as it think it’s a great way to share my thoughts with you guys. To be honest I don’t really have much else to say so I’m just going to start with the reviews.

 

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom  / Leigh Bardguo / ★★★.5
This is a YA fantasy duology following a group of criminals. I am sure you guys have at least heard of these books as they have been pretty popular in the bookish community – alot of people love this series. While I definitely enjoyed these books, I didn’t love them. I had been debating whether or not to read the first book for a while – I wasn’t a huge fan of the Grisha trilogy and there was quite a lot of hype around it. I was pleasantly surprised by this. The plot of the first book is not really a heist story – it’s more of a rescue story. The plot of both books were engaging, although I think overall the story could have been a bit shorter. It is quite slow at times and I did find it dragged a bit. To be honest they were also some plot holes throughout. One thing I will quickly say about the plot of the second (without spoiling anything) is that one major event is completely pointless, in my opinion. For those who’ve read it, you’ll know the event I’m talking about. It was so out of nowhere and out of place, I just don’t understand why it happened. The best thing about this duology is definitely the characters. I love the diverse cast and their relationships with each other – Inej is a new favourite of mine. I think they were all well written, although perhaps a little underdeveloped. I will say that the narration style did leave me feeling a bit disconnected from the characters though. I would say none of the characters act their age – Kaz is supposedly 16/17 and I just really don’t see it. They all seem like their in the 20s or 30s. Generally these are enjoyable reads and I am definitely in the minority here. A lot of people adore this series.  For me the first book was probably better than the second but they were both good.

 

Theft of SwordsRise of the Empire and Heir of Novron / Michael J Sullivan / ★★★★
This is a six book high fantasy series that has been published in three volumes. We follow Royce (a thief) and Hadrian (a mercenary) who end up running for their lives when they are framed for killing the king. I absolutely love this series – it is so fun, entertaining and enjoyable. The characters are fantastic and so well written. The relationship between Royce and Hadrian is one of my favourite things about this series. They have this amazing friendship which makes the books so fun to read. The world building is another good thing about these books. I will say it’s probably not the best in fantasy books that I’ve read but it is still well done. The writing is great, which makes it so easy to get into. I was hooked from very early and always wanted to continue reading once I’d picked it up, if that makes sense. The pacing is also done well. Sullivan is great at creating tension and keeping you guessing at the plot. It’s pretty traditional in terms of the fantasy genre, but it does it very well. Overall I think this is a fantastic series.  If you are a fan of high fantasy and are looking for a new series to start, than I highly recommend checking this series out. I think this is also a really good place to start with reading fantasy, as it is a pretty light fantasy series – it’s not dense like the Lord of the Rings trilogy for example. I also really enjoyed the prequel series, the Riyria Chronicles.

 

That is all I have for you guys today. I’m sure you’re not surprised that I’m talking about more fantasy books for these reviews :). If you’ve read these books, I’d love to know what you thought of them. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

More Bookish Facts About Me

Hi guys, how are you? As you can see from the title I’ve come up with some more bookish facts.  I don’t know if you guys really care, but the last post seemed to do quite well so… Let’s get started.
  1. I do go through periods of not reading anything and that’s fine
  2. I have no problem in not finishing books but I like to give it at least 100 pages before I DNF it
  3. Hype around a book kind of puts me off
  4. I rarely laugh out loud or cry at books
  5. When I was younger I used to listen to a tape of The Secret Garden before bed
  6. I never thought I’d have the courage to have this book blog 🙂
  7. The longest book I’ve read is either War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy or The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, I think.
  8. I don’t like movie editions of books
  9. Although I love fantasy, I’ve never had much luck with urban fantasy
  10. I like graphic novels, but I haven’t read alot of them
  11. I love to reread books, although I haven’t done any so far this year
  12. I want to read more non fiction
  13. I organise my bookshelves by author, format (hardback or paperback) and height… I like to have all the books of the same height all together
  14. I very rarely use our local library… I really need to go there more
  15. We’ve kept alot of our children’s books and there is one (I think of Thomas the Tank Engine) that have my teeth marks in… just to clarify I was a child when I bit the book :).

 

There you have it – 15 more bookish facts about me. I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to post today and this seemed like a good idea. It was a little tricky coming up with 15 more facts though :). I hope you are all having a wonderful and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

Recommendations: Science Fiction

Hi guys I have some science fiction recommendations. It’s only in the last year or so that I’ve become more interested in reading sci-fi and I’ve been really enjoying reading the genre more, so it stands to reason I have more to recommend to you guys :). I’m excited to try out even more sci-fi books in the future. Let’s get started.

 

Ready Player One / Ernest Cline / ★ 
To be honest it’s been a couple of years since I’ve read this but it was great book and unlike anything else I’ve read. Looking back now its probably a 3.5 star read but I rated it 4 stars after I finished it. I did find it took me a little while to get into it but after a couple of chapters it was fine. I did find that the writing is a little too descriptive at times though. The characters are well written and their development throughout the book is good. The 80’s references dotted throughout the book are great, although I think alot of them went over my head. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment.  Overall it is a little too long and too detailed at times, but it is a pretty enjoyable book and I would recommend it, especially if you are a science fiction fan.

 

The Abyss Beyond Dreams / Peter F. Hamilton / ★ 
This was a great book. Now I haven’t read any of the other books set in this world – I think there is a series attach to this book, but I didn’t find it detracted too much from the story. There were times I was a little confused as it is a pretty dense read, so perhaps it’s best to have read the other books to get a better understanding. It’s definitely not necessary though. The characters are well written, the writing is good and the plot is mostly engaging. It is a bit slow towards the middle but it does pick up.  The main thing I love about this book is the concept – it is just so interesting. I think at times it didn’t quite work in practice. Having said all that I did end up enjoying this and I will definitely be checking out the sequel when it comes out in paperback.

 

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The Southern Reach trilogy / Jeff Vandermeer / ★ 
Made up of AnnihilationAuthority and Acceptance. This is a fantastic and creepy trilogy. For me, one of the best things about these books is the atmosphere. Everything seems so vague and mysterious, so through the three books there is quite a creepy atmosphere.  The characters are intriguing, the writing is good and it is unlike anything I’ve read before. The second book was a weakest in opinion as it did drag a little at times but it was still good. This will definitely not be to everyone’s tastes, probably due to it’s writing style. I really enjoyed it though and I really want to try out Vandermeer’s latest book, Borne.

 

Fuzzy Nation / John Scalzi / 
This was my first book by this author and I’ve slowly been making my way through his other books ever since. It is such an entertaining and enjoyable read. I really enjoyed the characters, the concept was great and the humour was done quite well. This was one of those books I really enjoyed and I would highly recommend it.

 

I’m definitely getting more into science fiction recently but I still don’t read alot of it. I hope to try out more this year and I hope you guys like my recommendations. I really enjoyed each of these book so I thought I’d share them with you. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa