Book Series I won’t finish #5

The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaneyspook

  1. The Spook’s Apprentice
  2. The Spook’s Curse
  3. the Spook’s Secret
  4. The Spook’s Battle
  5. Spook this, Spook that
  6. and so on until book 13

Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the Spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before Thomas. Somehow Thomas must learn how to exorcise ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. But when he is tricked into freeing Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the County, the horror begins..

While I think it is not bad writing or a bad idea, this series is just not for me. It couldn’t get me excited. But I think a lot of younger people would love and enjoy it. It’s a bit like Harry Potter. Without the magic school. I swear, if there was a magic school, I probably would have liked it. The whole plot was alright, it did have a solution so you are not left with an open ending. But it just made me feel indifferent. It’s one of those ‘meh’-books. And the series is super long, so nope, thanks. Give it to your kids though. 12-13 year olds will probably enjoy it!

Acacia by David A. Durhamacacia

  1. The War with the Mein
  2. The Other Lands
  3. The Sacred Band

Welcome to Acacia . . .
 
Born into generations of prosperity, the four royal children of the Akaran dynasty know little of the world outside their opulent island paradise. But when an assassin strikes at the heart of their power, their lives are changed forever.
 
Forced to flee to distant corners and separated against their will, the children must navigate a web of hidden allegiances, ancient magic, foreign invaders, and illicit trade that will challenge their very notion of who they are. As they come to understand their true purpose in life, the fate of the world lies in their hands.

This started out great. I thought the first book was really good and epic! It follows the 4 Akaran kids who are on the run after their dad got murdered and follow completely different paths. It’s fun, captivating, the world is awesome, there’s so much betrayal and backstabbing, great fighting scenes, clever plotting and lots of secrets and surprises. Also, magic. And bad guys who are more grey than black. Lots of characters you can feel for and I thought it set up nicely for the second book.

Unfortunately that was very disappointing. I wrote a review here.

Belgariad Saga by David Eddingspawn

  1. Pawn of Prophecy
  2. Queen of Sorcery
  3. Magician’s Gambit
  4. Castle of Wizardry
  5. Enchanters’ End Game

Long ago, the Storyteller claimed, in this first book of THE BELGARIAD, the evil god Torak drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.
But Garion did not believe in such stories. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved–but did not know…?

Not the right time for me to read it. I am sure I would have liked it more when I was a kid. I wrote a little bit about it here.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Anime Series

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hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I didn’t feel like giving you a list of books today. So here are my favourite Anime series. I haven’t actually watched any in years. But when I was a kid & a teenager I was much more into them. Lots of them are quite old. There you go, no particular order:

Hellsing & Hellsing Ultimate / 2001 & 2006 –> That’s how I want my animes to look like. I loved the style in both, Hellsing & Hellsing Ultimate. Then you get blood, gore, vampires, vampire hunters, vampires who kill vampires.. Throw in the church, ghouls and lots of guns, there you have it. Could have done without all the Nazi stuff in the Manga & Ultimate but teenie me  didn’t mind and found the whole thing very entertaining.

Dragon Ball & Dragon Ball Z / 1986 & 1989 –> I am still a huge Dragon Ball-fan. I read the mangas as well. And yes, I watched GT but let’s not talk about it 😉 Still have to watch DB Super. Want to give it a try.

Tales of Little Women (Ai no Wakakusa Monogatari) / 1987 –> That’s how I got introduced to the story of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

Ranma 1/2 (Ranma Nibun no Ichi) / 1989 –> So the main character is a boy called Ranma who got cursed and becomes a girl when in touch with cold water. He changes back to a boy when in touch with hot water. He’s also trained in martial arts and a lot of the series focuses on fighting. Ranma tries to find a way to change himself back throughout the series. Lots of fun characters. And also a guy who changes into a Panda ❤

Robin Hood / 1990 –> A teenager Robin Hood!! And I loved the German intro..

Sailor Moon / 1992 –> Was popular when I went to Primary School and was always on TV. I was a little girl and loved it. I even dressed up as Sailor Moon.

Attack No. 1  / 1969 –> in Germany it was called ‘Mila Superstar’. Awesome Volleyball Anime – so over the top and dramatic, I loved every second of it. Watched it several times I think.

The Vision of Escaflowne (Tenkū no Escaflowne) / 1996 –> Regular girl gets transported to another planet and finds herself in the middle of a war. Lots of fighting and magic and a bit of romancing if I remember correctly.

A Little Princess Sara (Shōkōjo Sara) / 1985 –> based on the lovely novel ‘A Little Princess’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The Rose of Versailles (Berusaiyu no Bara) / 1979 –> Did I love this? I even got the DVD Box.. Watched it all over and over. It takes place in France during the French Revolution and follows a young female Palace Guard called Oscar, who was raised to be a man by her father. So much conflict, so much drama, super sad as well!!

Others I liked: Slayers, Shin Chan, Golden Boy, The Candidate for Goddess, Cowboy Bebop, Naruto, Kickers

Do you know or like any of them?

Book Series I won’t finish #4

Ender Series by Orson Scott Cardender

  1. Ender’s Game
  2. Speaker for the Dead
  3. Xenocide
  4. Children of the Mind

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut–young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is.

I loved and hated Ender at the same time. But the fact is, I couldn’t put it down, it really fascinated me. It was so much fun to read about the combat training and especially the video games Ender was playing. As much as I enjoyed reading about Ender’s training, I hated reading about his siblings. They were both annoying and I wasn’t interested in them at all. And even Ender as a character wasn’t very likeable. I was happy that the book had an ending and can be viewed as a stand-alone. I never felt like picking up the sequel although I might read Ender’s Game again at some point..

I tried the movie but only watched 15 minutes. The actor just didn’t fit at all, I couldn’t get into it.

Did anyone finish the movie? Is it worth trying again? I mean it does have Harrison Ford….

Truth Series by Dawn Cook (Kim Harrison)first truth

  1. First Truth
  2. Hidden Truth
  3. Forgotten Truth
  4. Lost Truth

Alissa doesn’t believe in magic. Her father’s stories about the Hold, a legendary fortress where human Keepers learn magic from the enigmatic Masters, are just that stories. But her mother insists Alissa has inherited her father’s magical ability, so she must go to the Hold to be trained. On her way, she crosses paths with Strell, a wandering musician from the plains. Though Alissa is not sure she can trust a plainsman, Strell has something Alissa needs one of her father’s old maps. Traveling together, they can reach the Hold before the snow sets in. But they don’t know that the Hold is nearly empty. The Keeper Bailic has sent the Masters on a fool’s errand and systematically killed the other Keepers in his search for the First Truth, a book of magic that will give him ultimate power. And he believes that Alissa and Strell hold the secret of the book’s hiding place.

I thought I would love this. It sounded just like my book at that time. I think I read it about 8 years ago. Unfortunately it bored me to death. I don’t even remember most of the action. The only thing I have in my head is an image of the 2 main characters travelling and travelling and complaining to each other. And there was a bird.

Pellinor Saga by Alison Croggonpellinor

  1. The Gift
  2. The Riddle
  3. The Crow
  4. The Singing
  5. The Bone Queen (Prequel)

Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child when her family is destroyed in war. She is unaware that she possesses a powerful Gift, a Gift that marks her as a member of the School of Pellinor. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great Bards of Lirigon, that her true heritage and extraordinary destiny unfolds. Now she and her teacher, Cadvan, must survive a punishing and uncertain journey through a time and place where the dark forces they battle with stem from the deepest recesses of other-worldly terror.

I loved the first 2 books of the series and thought I’d finish it all. I even had all the books already. It was fun to read, just what I wanted at that time. I think it was also about 8 years ago that I read this. A cool magical journey, characters I cared about, a great teacher – student relationship. Magic I cared about. A world I cared about. And then they changed it all and made the third book about the main character’s little brother! This stopped the whole flow of the story for me! I tried it but I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t like the little brother – I didn’t want his perspective, I just wanted Maerad’s  story to go on. I was so annoyed, I didn’t even want to jump it and continue with book 4. Nope, thank you. That ruined it for me.

 

Review: The Singer of All Songs. The Chanters of Tremaris 1 by Kate Constable

The Singer of All Songssinger

304 pages
Scholastic
published in 2002

  1. The Singer of All Songs
  2. The Waterless Sea
  3. The Tenth Power

Calwyn has never been beyond the high ice-wall that guards the sisters of Antaris from the world of Tremaris. She knows only the rounds of her life as a novice ice priestess, tending her bees, singing her ice chantments, and dreaming.
But then Calwyn befriends Darrow, a mysterious Outlander who appears inside the Wall and warns of an approaching danger. To help Darrow, to see the world, and perhaps to save it, Calwyn will leave the safety of the Wall for a journey with a man she barely knows–and an adventure as beautiful and dangerous as the music of chantment itself.

When I picked up this book I was actively looking for a short fantasy novel. And that is exactly what I got. There are a few things that could have been done better, but overall I enjoyed reading it and already want to continue with the second part.

Although it is the first part of a trilogy, it can be seen as a stand-alone. There’s no cliffhanger in the end and the storyline gets a solution. There’s still room for more but no questions are left unanswered and you don’t HAVE to read on.

The story is a traditional Quest Fantasy, that focuses on a small group of people who are trying to stop an evil from enslaving the world. Heard before? Yes, me too 🙂 Magic plays a big role and can only be created by chantments. There are 9 different kinds of magic but every chanter is only able to use one. The magic system as well as the world are not very detailed, but it is enough to give me a good impression and not think it is lacking something.

Only a few characters are in the spotlight, mainly our little group of heroes. Calwyn, a 16year old priestess who knows ice chant, is our main character. She does have shades of Mary Sue but only slightly. She is somewhat special when it comes to her magical abilities but still acts like a teenager sometimes and makes stupid mistakes. All in all she is a likeable main character. The other characters include another chanter, Darrow, who can control inanimate objects, 2 of is friends who conveniently own a ship and later on a nerdy science fan and a rebellious wind singer. I liked to read about all of them and their interactions were well written and believable.

The main part of the story is basically a hunt for the evil sorcerer, Samis, who wants to learn all chantments and control the world. The characters, who are stuck on a ship for a good part of the action, clash with each other and struggle with their task. It’s not all happy times, ‘we are confident that we will defeat the evil sorcerer, yay yay!’. Lots of the characters need to be convinced to go on, not lose hope and be brave and one of them wants to run away all the time. There’s also a really nice slow burn romance. Nothing really happens in this book, so far there are only hints. I liked it a lot.

What I didn’t like was that some magical artifacts were thrown into the mix and how the group always suddenly met the mean guy in totally random spots. Like the middle of the ocean. I also don’t really know why it is so hard for normal people to master more than 1 style of chantment while it seems to come so easily to some. A bit more explanation on the magic system would have been nice. Ending was a let-down. Random, disappointing, lazy.

I will forgive the author for it because I enjoyed reading the book and will continue with the series.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Autumn TBR

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hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

A Cavern of Black Ice. Sword of Shadows 1 / J.V. Jones –> At the top of my list at the moment. I really feel like re-reading it.

Misery / Stephen King –> I bought it back in January and didn’t get to it yet.

The Waking Fire. The Draconis Memoria 1 / Anthony Ryan –> Bought it recently and am very excited – only heard very good things about it so far.

Retribution. The Lyre Thief 2 / Jennifer Fallon –> will be published in May. I hope it will cover more of the characters from the Medalon Trilogy this time. That would make it perfect.

Assasin’s Fate. Fitz & Fool 3 / Robin Hobb –> also available in May. CANNOT WAIT!

Swamplandia! / Karen Russell –> Something different for a change. I liked the sample I read.

Swan Song / Robert McCammon –> Reminds me of ‘The Stand’. A dystopian-scifi novel that has been on my wishlist for a while.

Empire Ascendant. Worldbreaker Saga 2 / Kameron Hurley –> I want to read it soon so I won’t forget what happened in the first one.

The Waterless Sea. The Chanters of Tremaris 2 / Kate Constable –> I decided to finish this trilogy when I feel like something light and easy again.

Sourcery / Terry Pratchett –> My Discworld Re-read is not doing too well..

Book Series I won’t finish #3

Codex Alera by Jim Butcher & The Cinder Spires by Jim Butcher

  1. The Furies of Calderon
  2. Academ’s Fury
  3. Cursor’s Fury
  4. Captain’s Fury
  5. Princeps’ Fury
  6. First Lord’s Fury

For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies – elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal. But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious High Lords plot and maneuver to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon.” “Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans’ most savage enemy – the Marat – return to the Valley, he will discover that his destiny is much greater than he could ever imagine.” Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave named Amara. But she is actually a spy for Gaius Sextus, sent to the Valley to gather intelligence on traitors to the Crown, who may be in league with the barbaric Marat horde. And when the Valley erupts in chaos – when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies – Amara will find Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness to be a power greater than any fury – one that could turn the tides of war.

  1. The Aeronaut’s Windlass

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity. Within their halls, the ruling aristocratic houses develop scientific marvels, foster trade alliances, and maintain fleets of airships to keep the peace.
 
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship Predator. Loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is damaged in combat, Grimm joins a team of Albion agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring his ship.
 
And as Grimm undertakes this task, he learns that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake. . . .

I read The Furies of Calderon a long time ago and actually liked it. The concept was cool, it has lots of magic and is written well. It’s a traditional Fantasy series which takes place in a world that is based on the Roman Empire. People bond with elementals and can use magic through them. It’s pretty simple but entertaining. I also liked most of the characters, for example the main character Tavi, who is kind of an outcast because he didn’t get his own fury yet and is struggling with that. I don’t remember a whole lot of the action, just that I really hated the bad guys. Which is a good sign. I wanted to continue with the series but then too much time passed and I lost interest. I probably won’t pick it up again.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass was another story… i was pretty excited about it and even took part in a Read-Along after it was released. The setting sounded awesome and I really liked the role cats were playing in it. But that’s it with positives. All in all it was very disappointing. I remember that all of the characters were either bland or annoying. The bad guy was not threatening at all in the end, some things were not explained well enough, I didn’t have a good idea on how the world looked like or how the people lived exactly on or in the mountains.. And there was too much technical ship-talk in the start. I just didn’t care and if it wasn’t for the Read-Along I wouldn’t even have finished it.

Millennium’s Rule by Trudi Canavanthiefs magic

  1. Thief’s Magic
  2. Angel of Storms
  3. ???
In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.

Elsewhere, in an land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it — should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands… and not even the people they trust.

Here is my review: Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan

This was the third trilogy by the author that I tried. I finished & liked one of them well enough but the other 2 were disappointing. Both storylines in Thief’s Magic couldn’t keep me entertained and I am not interested at all in what will happen to the characters in the sequel.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collinshunger games

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. Catching Fire
  3. Mockingjay

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

My review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I wanted to keep on reading for a while and even bought the second book. But then I found out what the sequel was about (more relationship drama) and also, the movies happened. I ended up watching Catching Fire and being bored to death. I enjoyed reading the first book though and this will have to do. I am not even interested in watching the last 2 movies even though they have Woody Harrelson. Maybe one day, if I am really, really bored.

 

Book Series I won’t finish #2

Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakkerdarkness

  1. The Darkness that Comes Before
  2. The Warrior Prophet
  3. The Thousandfold Thought

A score of centuries has passed since the First Apocalypse and the thoughts of men have turned, inevitably, to more worldly concerns…A veteran sorcerer and spy seeks news of an ancient enemy. A military genius plots to conquer the known world for his Emperor but dreams of the throne for himself. The spiritual leader of the Thousand Temples seeks a Holy War to cleanse the land of the infidel. An exiled barbarian chieftain seeks vengeance against the man who disgraced him. And into this world steps a man like no other, seeking to bind all – man and woman, emperor and slave – to his own mysterious ends. But the fate of men – even great men – means little when the world itself may soon be torn asunder. Behind the politics, beneath the religious fervour, a dark and ancient evil is reawakening. After two thousand years, the No-God is returning. The Second Apocalypse is nigh. And one cannot raise walls against what has been forgotten…

I read the first one because it always came up when I looked for stories similar to ‘The Malazan Book of the Fallen’. I really wanted to like it but in the end it just bored and confused me. And everything was so bleak! Lots of the characters are really whiny and there are too many philosophical parts. I tried, but I didn’t care for any of the characters. I didn’t understand why they acted the way they did and some of them were too powerful to believe it. It was also hard to follow and understand for me at some points. There are so many weird names, religions, places etc. It’s cool if you want to create a detailed world, but please make it a bit more accessible and don’t be so pretentious. I don’t even remember the action. There was some Holy War going on, but don’t ask me why. Very disappointing.

Rai Kirah by Carol Bergtrans

  1. Transformation
  2. Revelation
  3. Restoration

Sixteen years of slavery have left Seyonne with little sense of who he is, or who he used to be; Carol Berg’s Transformation is the story of how he gradually comes to know himself and becomes a player in the game of empires and kings.
Prince Aleksander is the heir to the Derzhi Empire and is a spoiled brat with no sense of the consequences of his endlessly rash actions. When Seyonne, whom he has whimsically bought as a secretary, realises that the obnoxious youth is in danger from demonic sorcerers, he has no option for self-preservation but to save the prince from them. Then he realises that Aleksander, by this point disgraced, on the run and cursed with shape-changing, has the spark of mystical goodness in him that his own people have been searching for for generations.

This is one of the series I actually thought I’d continue with, because I liked Transformation. The plot is far from new & innovative but I loved the characters, the former slave Seyonne and spoiled prince Aleksander. I loved to read about the development of their relationship and how they both changed throughout the story. There’s some cool shape-shifting, demons and no romance! The emphasis is on friendship instead. I chose not to read part 2 because I read a sample and didn’t like the direction of it. Will check out other books by the author though, Flesh and Spirit has been on my wishlist for a while now. I just pass on this trilogy.

Chalion Series by Lois McMaster-Bujold & The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster-Bujold

  1. The Curse of Chalion
  2. Paladin of Souls
  3. The Hallowed Hunt

A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.

But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge — an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous . . . and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.

  1. Beguilement
  2. Legacy
  3. Passage
  4. Horizon

With The Sharing Knife series, Bujold creates a brand new world fraught with peril, and spins an extraordinary romance between a young farm girl and the brave sorcerer-soldier entrusted with the defense of the land against a plague of vicious malevolent beings. Meet Fawn Bluefield and Dag Redwing Hickory in Beguilement, the first book in Bujold’s unforgettable four-volume fantasy saga, and witness the birth of their dangerous romance—a love threatened by prejudice and perilous magic, and by Dag’s sworn duty as Lakewalker patroller and necromancer.

Both were pretty much just ‘meh’-books for me. There was something missing to keep me interested. I didn’t like any of the characters particularly much, they seemed very bland and one-dimensional to me. The plot in ‘Chalion’ was okay, I definitely didn’t have to force myself to read it. The romance fell very flat unfortunately, I don’t even have an opinion on it. It was just..there. ‘Beguilement’ was awful. The romance was cringey, the plot hardly existed. We spent time with the 2 characters at farm houses or on the road and especially the dude acted like a teenager. I couldn’t take him seriously. I won’t try any more of the authors works.