Book Review: Come Close by Sappho

Thursday 30 July 2015

Come Close
Genre(s):  Classics, Poetry
Published: February 26th 2015
Pages: 64
Rating: 2.5 stars

Lyrical, powerful poems about love, sexuality, sun-soaked Greece and the gods. 

I've never been a fan of poetry, so it's a wonder what possessed me to pick up this little black classic. 

I'm greatly interested in Greek myths, and my interest has started to inch towards the literature, only to come galloping back when I look at the work. This little collection of poems is a very easy introduction Sappho's work, with numerous poems from several different topics. Some, I found confusing, and some I didn't enjoy. However, I did find a few little gems in here that I could wrap my head around and really liked.

I wouldn't say it's converted me into loving poetry - at least not ancient poetry - because nine times out of ten I had a frown on my face as I tried to work out the meaning on things.

Maybe I'm just uncultured and not well-read, or maybe Sappho is just inaccessible. For 80p, though, I don't regret it. 

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Character Tropes

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly topic created by gingerreadslainey over on Youtube. There's a Goodreads group here, where you can sign up and take part each week.

This week, the topic is our favourite character tropes. Again, I found this topic to be quite tricky, mainly due to the fact that I don't actively pay attention to tropes when I read, but I searched around and came up with my top five.

Unpopular Opinions Tag

Friday 24 July 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Side Characters Who Deserve Their Own Series

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly topic created by gingerreadslainey over on Youtube. There's a Goodreads group here, where you can sign up and take part each week.

This week, the topic is our the side characters we think deserve their own book series. This was quite tricky, I thought, but I managed to find five characters. 

Book Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Friday 17 July 2015

Falling Kingdoms
Morgan Rhodes
Genre(s):  Fantasy, Young adult
Published: January 3rd 2013
Pages: 432
Rating: 2 stars

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.

Falling Kingdoms looked to be the start of an epic young adult high fantasy when I picked it up. Unfortunately, when I started reading it I realised that that may not be the case.

From the prologue, I didn't really enjoy the writing style, and I wasn't keen on the introduction of the magic system. I'm prefer my magic to be magic for everything, that people either have or don't - like the magic in Harry Potter - not elemental magic.

I also didn't care for any of the characters and found them to be all rather similar. No one particularly stuck out, and often got confused as to who was who and where was where. And not even in a good way, it was because their voices sounded the same and everyone came across as angry. Safe to say, it was rather boring. 

Things were also very predictable. The plot twists weren't twists at all, as I saw them coming from miles away and so wasn't surprised. They felt very basic and cliché, like fantasy basics. And aside from its twists, the plot in general was just... eh. Nothing special or notable, nothing out of the ordinary, just standard - and poorly executed - fantasy fare.

The length of the chapters also bugged me. They were fairly lengthy and not a lot tended to happen in them. There were large amounts of filler and unnecessary description. It was like reading a bad combination of Cassandra Clare and Tolkein's work. I like things to be to the point, and Falling Kingdoms did not come across that way to me.

I do feel that if you are totally new to fantasy - be that young adult or high fantasy - then this might work for you. However, I'd say not to go in expecting much, and that are a lot more, much better fantasy series out there.

Top 5 Wednesday: Anticipated Pre-Orders for the Rest of the Year

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Well, that was a long title. And as you can tell from said long title, I've decided to take part in Top 5 Wednesday, a weekly topic created by gingerreadslainey over on Youtube. There's a Goodreads group here, where you can sign up and take part each week.

This week, the topic is our anticipated pre-orders for the rest of 2015. Mine are as follows:

Lions, Tigers, and Bears

Friday 10 July 2015

Not book related this week, I'm afraid, but a collection of photographs I've taken within the last month or so. I can totally share those with you, right?

Book Review: The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin

Friday 3 July 2015

The Ice Dragon
George R.R. Martin
Genre(s): Dragons, Fantasy, Young adult
Published: December 1st 2014
Pages: 128
Rating: 5 stars

In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember. 

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara's home. 

And only a winter child-and the ice dragon who loved her-could save her world from utter destruction.

Dragons, George R.R. Martin, and great illustrations? I was sold on this book before I ever picked it up. So sold, in fact, I never even checked the price of it before I decided I was going to buy it. I just had to have a copy in my hands.

Martin delivers, yet again, a fantastic story set in the richly detailed and immersive world of Westeros (a fact I did not know going in to this as I didn't read the blurb, but it makes it ten times as wonderful knowing it's set in the same world as Daenerys and Sansa and all my other favourites). As a fan of ASOIAF, I'll take anything I can get while waiting for the next book, and this was fantastic.

While I didn't really think it was connected to the main series, I liked that it was set in a familiar world as it made getting into it a lot easier, and I did feel like it gave a but more padding to the creation. If multiple stories can be spun from one idea, then it must be great. And the fact that this so heavily featured dragons - my favourite fantastical creatures, both in and out of Martin's world - made it that much more interesting to read.

The Ice Dragon is a good entry point to the world of Ice and Fire, even though there is no direct link between them, such as characters. It is an easy story to follow, made better by the stunning illustrations from Luis Royo, with depth to it that should be appreciated by all fantasy fans, young or old.
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