Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Review // The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan

Published: 7th June 2007
Publisher: Atom
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants, urchins and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no one can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they believe.

This book (well, the whole series) ended up on my shelves when my fiance and I moved in together full time and just like most readers, I instantly recognised the name. Trudi Canavan is a staple fantasy author and I was a little embarrassed that I hadn't ever read any of her books. As you can imagine I'm even more embarrassed now that it's been another 3 years on top of that before I finally picked it up. Since I've dated Alex, he's always been given the honour of choosing my first book of the year, and so 2018 was no different; the fact that I finished several graphic novels before I finished this book is irrelevant.

I've struggled for a little while on what to say in this review. Partly because it's been so long since I've actually written anything that wasn't work related but partly because I have such strong, mixed emotions regarding this book in particular. I was excited to start reading it. I didn't have any pre-conceived ideas about it other than Alex loved it (which is a rarity as he generally only relates to male lead characters). I read quite a big chunk in the first sitting, and maybe that was part of the problem? I'm not sure. Basically, it was dull. 

The first half of the book was a constant repetition of the same situation. I thought there would be action, adventure, mystery and it was largely a game of hide and seek set in what promised to be an incredible setting. Sonea was a super interesting character and I feel like there's a backstory to her that is just screaming out to be told but it wasn't achieved in the first book; and it's important to remember that this is just the first book in a trilogy. Other than Sonea though, the characters just weren't memorable. I could barely remember who was who and in the end I wrote a little note in my phone for reminders as I kept forgetting everything. 

The idea of the 'thieves' was easily more interesting than the magician's themselves or the basic storyline but no real information was given. It was almost as though everyone who wasn't Sonea was brushed over. ***PLOT TWIST*** and this was exactly when all of those issues flew right out of my head and the book REALLY began. 

Once the large scale hide and seek game began, the book completely turned into something special. Characters became more defined, emotions became more apparent and the story was the intrigue and suspense i'd been hoping for. I'm still a little disappointed that it took too long to get started but with hindsight, maybe I should have been expecting that from a fantasy novel. I power read the last third of the book one morning before work because I simply couldn't wait another day to find out what on earth was going to happen to both Sonea and other characters in the book. There's a long way to go with this series but i'm hoping it doesn't take me too long to dive back in and pick up where I left on. I see great things for this series after a rocky start and perhaps Trudi Canavan will become more than just an author's name i've heard, and one I can boast about myself.

Letters Between Friends: Dear Holly

Dearest Holly,

It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve talked, I apologise for that. Life is hectic just like yours, not always in a good way but I’m trying not to dwell on that!

I’m still avidly following your Les Mis adventures on twitter and still avidly jealous. I look forward to the future and traipsing all of your favourite spots in London. As you know, i’m from a tiny village on the coast of North Wales so even the idea of London is terrifying to me – I mean, we don’t even have a pub, a post office, a shop....anything! The nearest shop is a 20 minute walk. Honestly, i’m not complaining but the cosmopolitan life of London would be slightly overwhelming.

I’ve heard great things about Dear Evan Hansen but sadly I haven’t listened to it yet, nor have I heard Hamilton – sooo behind the times!! However I do have some theatre-esque news: I’m going to see our darling Carrie Hope Fletcher reprise her role as Beth in War of the Worlds in December and I am SO EXCITED. Plus, Jason about a childhood crush lol.

I’m pretty happy with my reading to be honest. Obviously there’s always room for improvement but I’m reading daily even if it’s only a handful of pages. It’s really quiet at work right now (other than the daily drama!) so I’ve always got a book in my bag to fill any spare time I might have.
I think we might be down your way this coming weekend for a quick visit to the in laws but we’re not sure yet – finances dependent as always. I’ve been lacking a lot in my blog again in February so I have a lot of plans in place for this weekend to get things up to date again. Scheduling is my greatest friend when it comes to blogging.

 In my last letter I said I wanted to read The Magician’s Guild, a MV novel and A Mad Zombie Party and I’m so happy that I’ve actually managed to do it. As for new things, I still haven’t purchased any new books but I did get sent my first book mail in over a year: Sunflowers in February and I’m LOVING it. Plus, as of this morning, my pre 2018 pre-order of Rachel Caine’s ‘Honor Among Thieves’ arrived and my god it’s gorgeous! So excited to get stuck into that this weekend.

As always i’ll end this with a challenge update (speaking of, how is yours going?). As of writing this I’ve completed 9/50 which is 4 more than the last time I wrote – impressive!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Shelf by Shelf #2

Welcome to week 2 of browsing through my shelves! This week brings you the shelf that brings me the most sadness. Anyone who has been reading this blog for the last few years has seen me coo over Rachel Caine. A lot. Frequently! So I hope you can appreciate how difficult it is to share this shelfie.

Firstly, some of these have actually been read. However, since reading them new books have been published and i've wanted to re-read and refresh myself on them before continuing the series. There's really no excuse though. I have been severely lacking in my reading habits. So what do we have?

Thin Air
Working Stiff
Two Weeks Notice
Devil's Bargain
Devil's Due
Ink and Bone
Paper and Fire
Ash and Quill
Stillhouse Lake
Killman Creek
Prince of Shadows
Kids of Appetite
Spy of Venice
The Princess Bride
Billy & Me 

To give you a little insight as to how long some of these may have been sitting on my shelf for; The Princess Bride was the first birthday present my fiance ever bought for me - 4 years ago. Knowing how much I devour Rachel Caine's books, on average I worked out it'd only take me 2-3 weeks to read all of her books on this shelf. So I really need to get stuck in soon!

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