Tag Archives: high fantasy

The Big Books of Summer | Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday all,

I’ve been quiet since my last post, but that’s because I’ve been busy with a few projects. I’m hoping to have an update up this week regarding Pirate Eyes and I’m preparing my usual end of the month wrap-up. But I am loving this new weekly TTT post because (fun fact) I LOVE making lists 😉

If you want to participate, you can find out all the information here at The Broke and the Bookish!

Today’s theme is a Summer freebie so I though I’d share with you my (wishful) summer TBR which is mostly comprised of large high fantasy tomes that could make great door stoppers or head knockers if wielded properly.

But before I jump to that list, I just want to take a moment to extend a prayer to those affected by the attack at the Manchester Arena, and to all of us really, looking for peace and love in this world.

I also want to share this tweet I posted on Twitter this morning. I was feeling really frustrated by what had happened, but then I realized a kinder truth that eased it. I hope it can help do the same for you…

Remember to stand by your values, friends, to look for the light in the dark. Standing together, holding to hope and that wish for peace, that is what will guide us through.


THE BIG BOOKS OF SUMMER | TBR

As a reader, I set aside most of my outrageously large TBR books for the summer months. Here are the top ten I hope (but know I won’t) read this sunny season…

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Coming in at 1,107 pages, this is definitely one of the largest tomes I have on my TBR, and one of my highest anticipated ones as well. I read the first book (Name of the Wind) in the series last year and fell in love with the characters and the narrative style and the setting and… oh! I just fell in love with ALL OF IT ❤️️

The only thing that’s been holding me back is the fear that all wise book readers fear — that by the next time the third book comes out I’ll have forgotten everything that happened in the first two. Of course, by the logic of this, my other fear should be if I remember everything that happened in book one… 😳

Oh well, I’ll take my chances and hope that book three comes out a year from now. Hear that Mr. Rothfuss… Please don’t be another Grr Martin. 😊

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb:

27855850When it comes to this lovely book, the truth is that I forgot I hadn’t finished the series 😅 I only realized it yesterday when I was looking through my shelves to figure out my June TBR and saw it and then the realization struck hard and fast! 😳

I loved Hobb’s first series (the Farseer Trilogy) & I jumped into her second one hoping for the same feeling. While I haven’t enjoyed it as much, mainly because there’s no character quite like Fitz in it, I do love the ocean setting and pirates (I’m writing a pirate book, so pirates are always a must for me 😉) .

Anyhoo… I intend to finish this trilogy in June. At 800 pages, it’s not too intimidating a read…

Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson:

243272In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

Counting this as three, four and five on the list.

Here’s one that’s been on my TBR for much longer than it deserves to have been. I’ve heard only amazing things about this series and I am making darn sure that this summer is the season when I finally indulge.

Whether or not this means binge reading the entire series remains to be seen. If it does then I can look forward to a whopping 2,168 pages of high fantasy epicness!

Not a bad thing in my mind. Not a bad thing at all…

The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman:

1321064The first non-fantasy on my list, this lovely book falls into my second favourite genre category: historical fiction. This will be my first Penman novel – – though she’s been on my TBR longer even than Sanderson! In the past seven months or so, I’ve stocked up on five of her books (Book Outlet had them price at 7.00 versus the normal 20.00. Steal, am I right 😉)

This particularly gorgeous tome focuses on the life of Richard III, infamous for his villainy and twisted shape. Her retelling sheds a different light on the story and I can’t wait to see how she does! In the 936 pages that she tells it in! 😅

This magnificent retelling of his life is filled with all of the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and lore of the fifteenth century, the rigors of court politics, and the passions and prejudices of royalty.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon:

685374The fourth book in the Outlander series, I have set this one aside since I read Voyager in winter 2016.  While I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as I hoped to, I loved the second one for its historical setting and did enjoy the third one as it introduced new characters and new settings to delight in.

What I really enjoy about this series is how it blends romances, history and fantasy. And Scotland. Enough said!

I really do intend to read the whole series through and if I can get through one a year that would be marvelous. So here’s hoping the summer brings an opportunity to return to Claire and Jamie (which reminds me that I still need to watch the second season of the show. Luckily, it’s now up on Netflix 😊)!

So that’s another 1,070 pages!

The Once and Future King by T.H. White:

10571Another one long on my TBR and on my shelf. I am looking forward to delving into this classic Arthurian text. It’s been too long since I read a book that deals with King Arthur and Merlin and the knights of the round table! The last was Mary Stewart’s Merlin cycle which I must highly recommend to any fellow Arthurian enthusiasts 😊

The version I have is a total 823 pages but there could never be enough pages for me to get lost in when it comes to any Arthur retelling!

Exquisite comedy offsets the tragedy of Arthur’s personal doom as White brings to life the major British epic of all time with brilliance, grandeur, warmth and charm.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:

18243Nothing like a hefty classic book to make the sun shine brighter and the long days feel longer! 😅

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy’s genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle—all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

I have been avoiding this lofty Russian tome for some time only because of the sheer size of it, but I am tired of hiding from it and this summer I shall attend to it with determination! Each summer I try to read a large classic (two years ago it was Les Miserables, before that The Count of Monte Cristo). They are among my favourite books and I have no doubt that Tolstoy will captivate me with his words.

Bring on all 1,388 pages! I’m ready to get lost!

Empress by Karen Miller:

2015492This high fantasy is one that was recommended to me by the lovely and talented Sarina Langer and I have it set to read for July. It’s another chunk of a novel coming in at 717 pages! But the story sounds oh so promising:

Her name is Hekat–
And she will be slave to no man.

In a family torn apart by poverty and violence, Hekat is no more than an unwanted mouth to feed, worth only a few coins from a passing slave trader.

But Hekat was not born to be a slave. For her, a different path has been chosen. It is a path that will take her from stinking back alleys to the house of her god, from blood-drenched battlefields to the glittering palaces of Mijak.

Honourable Mentions

On the off-chance that I finish the ten books above, I also hope to get to these books as well…

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Eye of the World by Robert Jordan



So there you have it! All in all, if I do manage to read these ten books this summer, I’ll be looking at a whopping 9009 pages to delight in! Actually, I rather like the look of that number 😍

What’s the biggest book you’re looking forward to read this summer? Let me know in the comments!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

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MAY TBR

Hi friends,

It’s May 10th, so this is coming later than it probably should, but I thought I’d share the reads I have lined up for this month.

I might be a little overambitious though…

Happy May 1st everyone 😊 It's always exciting to be starting a new month. There's a lot waiting to be done but I'm ready for the challenges. One of those challenges will be keeping up with my #bookstagram. MAYhaps this will be the month I pull it off 😅 Day 1: Here's my May TBR for #grimdragon & #bluelovesbookishmay. It's an awesome lineup if I do say so myself. 😍 #circleofbookishfriends is May flowers – using my scarf to cover that today because it's raining outside and I can't show off the budding beauties 💐 #ampersandmay17 is Mask – Using Eon for this one as it's about a girl who masquerades as a boy. #bookishearworms is Cry Me a River (sad books) – Fire Bringer is a reread for me this month and it's one of the saddest books I've ever read. What books are on your TBR this month? #readingcommunity #readersofinstagram #maytbr #bookworm #booklove #booklover #bookishlife #bookaholic #bookaddict

A post shared by Faith Rivens (@faith_therivens) on

I’ve managed to finish three of these so far:

Beauty by Robin McKinley 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
I loved this story so much! The prose was excellent and gleamed with all the potential that McKinley honed after this, her debut. Where the story lacked was in stakes and adequate development of the romance. That being said, the characterization of Beauty and Beast were phenomenal! As Beauty and the Beast retellings go, this has to be a favourite of mine.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
I have only read ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Atwood which is something I need to rectify this year. Honestly, she’s such an amazing author. This little gem is the retelling of ‘The Odyssey’ from Penelope’s perspective and the voice in it was off the charts! Humourous, witty and a compelling narrative. It’s purpose felt more thematic so the plot itself wasn’t driven by stakes or action. But a small quibble because Penelope’s characterization was phenomenal!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I finished this one two days ago and it is a new favourite of mine. I fell in love with the prose, the worldbuilding, the premise, the setting, the layered plot, the twist. All the love for this amazing fantasy book that used so many of my favourite elements. I could imagine Guillermo del Toro doing something amazing with this book if he was the one adapting it into a movie! Also, Karou has to be one of my favourite heroines too. My only problem is that I want to binge read the rest of the series but I don’t have book 2 or 3 so I have to wait. 😦

At the moment, I have about 50 pages left in Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy. If you’ve been following me long enough, you might remember that I’ve read his other series. An MG fantasy highly reminiscent of Tolkien and Lewis, it’s been one of my favourite reads this year. Well, this new series I’ve discovered is a darker urban fantasy and oh so wonderful! Set in a dystopian world with vampires and featuring a kickass (pardon my French) protagonist, Hell’s Teeth proves that Fahy is a versatile author and a master storyteller.

I’m still working my way through Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I had started this nonfiction in April after finishing early with Stephen King’s On Writing and I’m hoping to be finished it this month which will mean that I’m 5 for 5 for my nonfiction reads this year. So far, I’m really enjoying the psychological perspective that she’s applying to myths and the empowering virtues it conveys for women.

Not sure what I’ll read next. Firebringer is a reread so I turn to that. But I really want to read Nevernight and Eon soon. And I was supposed to read Norse Mythology last month but didn’t get to it. The Hatter’s Wife is a novella which promises to be fun and quick so I’ll probably save it for a light read between two big ones. And then there’s Named of the Dragon which is the only book that isn’t a fantasy on my list…. Hmm…?

Any suggestions 🙂


What’s on your TBR this month, friends? Share and let me know what you’ve been reading lately!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Week in Review | 05.02.17-12.02.17

Good evening!

Sunday is coming to a close here friends. I hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine’s been fairly productive, if not a little hectic at the same time.

Just coming to share the highlights of my week with you 🙂


Posts on My Blog

Eléonore Annoucement

REVIEW | Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle

REVIEW | Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis

My Writing Projects

I’m working on two main projects at the moment, the sequel to Eléonore – title reveal coming this week – and a new high fantasy screenplay. I’ve reached 7k in the sequel and 10 pages in my screenplay which is less than I hoped, but not shabby when all is said and done.

I’ve outlined both so I know where the story is going in each case and expecting that some changes will be coming as they always do. It’s the plantser in me.

My screenplay is one that I conceived a few years ago, but left without touching for a while. After rewatching all of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies with my sister, I felt inspired to pick it up again and try something new: to write a fantasy film without basing it on a novel. I think the story is unique and I look forward to sharing more about it as it comes.

With regards to the second book in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, I like how it’s taking shape, though I am also aware that it’s going to need a wee bit of editing once it’s done. Not worrying about that now, though. This first draft is about the writing!


Hope you’ve all had an amazing week and best of luck with the next one. Let me know what special moments have defined your life this week. Stay safe and be good to one another, friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Desert Jewel | Natalina Reis

Hello Friends,

Wednesday is dwindling, but here’s another review!

Thank you NetGalley and Hot Tree Publishing for granting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!


31123668BLURB

Rebellion brews inside Milenda’s heart as the date for the Trials approaches. As the heiress to the throne of Natale, she is forced to choose a consort from the survivors of the grueling quest across the desert.

Milenda’s heart belongs to Jaali and wants no part in the ancient and cruel ritual, but the Elders—the true rulers of Natale—will not back down.

Jaali was brought from the far North as a child slave. His only chance to be with the woman he loves is to volunteer for the Trials, no matter how dangerous or how much Milenda objects.

Together they begin their journey of discovery and rebellion against the Elders. But will their love be enough or will they lose everything they’ve fought for?

REVIEW

I requested this book initially because of the beautiful simplistic cover, the promising premise, and the diversity of the characters. I read a lot of high fantasy, but I do not read too many set outside of European-esque worlds. It’s something I working harder towards.

My thoughts in the end are conflicted. On the one hand, this was a brilliantly conceived world with visual imagery that sets the reader solidly into the world of Natale. The prose really is wonderful and manages to captivate.

When it comes to plot and characters, however, the story fails to reach its full potential. There is a lot of great substance to work with and the romance at its core between Milenda and Jaali is easy to root for, but the romance takes too much of the focus and for it, these characters suffer as individuals and the plot remains stagnant. It’s a shame too because political intrigue and issues of race are bubbling on the surface to add depth to the story. They just never come across as well as they can.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that Milenda never feels like the main character when she should. The story promises to be about her trying to make her own choice, but she does little to see it come to fruition, mostly just pining after Jaali and allowing others to tell her there’s no point in fighting.

Of course, I don’t want to be too hard on this story. It held a lot of potential, and Natalina does provide an entertaining story for people looking for romance heavy plots. I was just hoping for a bit more.

CONCLUSION

The world building is exquisite, but the plot fails to meet the potential that is promised in the premise.

RATING

m2ysolay


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink