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Monthly Archives: November 2013

“Masques” – P. Briggs

masques.patricia.briggs

This is a review of “Masques” by Patricia Briggs.

Aralorn fled the life of a noble lady in order to live life as a mercenary and spy, but her latest mission will test her in ways unimagined. With a dangerously charismatic sorcerer gaining power, Aralorn will have to join the rebellion in order to fight him. But with a mysterious wolf as a companion and an enemy who uses illusions, how can she know whom to fight or where the enemy will strike next?

The world building is nice and clear, not too much and not too little. Aralorn is a tough cookie and she knows what she’s doing, she is even likable. Wolf, her companion, is a mysterious black wolf that she rescued. There is even a hint of future romance that was done very nicely and at an appropriate pace that I found really enjoyable. The story even had a few twists and situations that I didn’t expect, and that was good.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I had expected it to be much worse than it was. Of course, it is still quite stereotypical and predictable. The characters were okay but not gripping, the story was simple enough, and Aralorn hovers dangerously on the edge of becoming a true Mary Sue of Anita Blake proportions. Luckily she manages to avoid that and I’m grateful for that. The story of Wolf was revealed a bit too early in the story for my taste, I would have liked to have wondered about him for longer, but that is just a pet peeve I suppose.

I also like that in this edition the author herself had written an introduction where she admitted how badly written she thought the book to be. She says that she has improved since then, but I haven’t read any of her other work so I can’t agree or disagree. This book is a fair try for a debut it has to be said.

All in all, it is an okay read, but not good enough to tempt me into reading the two sequels right away. Perhaps in the far off future I might pick them up, but it is doubtful.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in Books

 

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“Ranger’s Apprentice book 1: The Ruins of Gorlan” – J. Flanagan

Ranger's apprentice

This is a review of “Ranger’s Apprentice book 1: The Ruins of Gorlan” by John Flanagan.

The Rangers have always scared Will in the past, with their weird cloaks and mysterious ways. There are even whispers of magic amongst the villagers, and Will wants nothing to do with them. He wants to become a knight like his father was. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. He is about to learn that Rangers aren’t just the scary stories told around the fireplace, they are so much more. At the same time the exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied…

When I first picked up this book I thought that it would be a stereotypical, bad mix between “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings”, and I have never been more glad to be proven so wrong. This is an excellent start to an excellent series and there is absolutely nothing stereotypical about this.

The characters are varied and excellent. Will is a good lead character, and he is believable. Horace develops into one of my favourites as the series continue, Halt is excellent and all the other characters around them are just as good. There is real character growth and development in even this first book which doesn’t always happen in a series.

The world they inhabit is beautiful and strange and yet familiar, with recognisable details from our own history. All the archery they talk about in the book is well written and you can see that the author has real knowledge and experience and passion in and for the subject rather than just having read up on it for the sake of the story, and it doesn’t stick to just archery either.

I highly recommend this series for everyone!

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Books

 

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