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Book review: Akarnae, The Medoran Chronicles #1 by Lynette Noni

Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles, #1)Akarnae by Lynette Noni

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Akarnae is a fantastical tale that goes by the rote for the most part. A debut novel by Lynette Noni. Call it a poor man’s Harry Potter, where he’s a girl, out of reach of his parents, thrust into a whole new magical world from the Muggle Mundania of Privet Drive. True to the Harry Potter script, you’ll come across Noni’s version of Ronnie Weasley and Hermione Granger (Bear and Jordan, albeit with the roles switched). You got yourself a Voldemort-calibre supervillain (Aven), a whimsical all-knowing Dumbledore (Head Master Marselle). You got your slave master Snape (Karter). As someone who kept a copy of A Philosopher’s Stone with me as my own security blanket wherever I went, I can go on and on with similarities which don’t end here. But this is where I’ll stop. I believe I got my point across.

This likeness to Harry Potter isn’t coincidental. Neither is it a turnoff as such. J.K Rowling’s superb book series is one of the most influential the world over and it’s largely shaped how many authors plot out and write fantasy. Continue reading “Book review: Akarnae, The Medoran Chronicles #1 by Lynette Noni”

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Book Review: The Core, The Demon Cycle #5 by Peter Brett

The Core (The Demon Cycle, #5)The Core by Peter V. Brett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Believe or not, but I have been reading The Demon Cycle for the better part of a decade. The intermittent wait as Peter Brett penned the next volumes in the series was the worst. I literally stalked the guy for crying out loud, checking daily to see if something new had hit the shelves. For this reason, I am glad The Core wraps things up.

I have always found it hard to review The Demon Cycle, mostly because a bizarre transition (In my opinion) between chapters mars Brett’s first-rate plot and writing style. Brett’s fluidity obviously gets much much better the more he writes. I gave the last two books in the series 5 stars in appreciation for this reason. Continue reading “Book Review: The Core, The Demon Cycle #5 by Peter Brett”

Book Review: The Pillars of Creation #7 Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth, #7)The Pillars of Creation by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Book summary in one word: Incredulous.

If you told me that Terry Goodkind, being the good, kind guy that he is, let his hormonal 14-year-old nephew take the lead in writing this book, I’d believe you! Yeah, it’s that bad! And I am not saying this with malice, you’d have to read it to believe it.

Richard and Kahlan are reunited, but with an army occupying their homeland, they must venture into a desolate land. But their quest turns to terror when they become the hopeless prey of a tireless hunter. Bah! This book synopsis just won’t do the book any justice. Our two heroes, the premise under which we embarked on this volume, at best simply make a cameo appearance at the end, before they get overpowered and captured like novices.

Onto the next one: What wags its tail like a dog and excitedly follows you around like a dog? A goat of course! (Don’t argue!) Who acts all knowing and insanely intelligent in strategy much like a dream walker we knew in past volumes only to act impotent and dumb as fuck in Pillars of Creation? Jagang of course. (Believe it!) Continue reading “Book Review: The Pillars of Creation #7 Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind”

Book Review: Faith of the Fallen #6, Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6)Faith of the Fallen by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Your life is yours alone, rise up and live it.”

The quote above is perhaps at the heart of this incredible tale. After the depressing ending in Soul of the Fire (which I didn’t like as much), Kahlan is hanging onto her life by a thread, having been beaten to within an inch of her life by the thugs in Anderith. Richard, being Richard, the humble woods guide, and not the all-powerful Lord Rahl, Emperor of D’Hara and the Midlands, takes Kahlan to the only place he believes she can be safe; back home to Hartland. Cara, Richard’s invaluable Mordsith, and personal friend tags along, as only wild horses would keep her away from him.

You might ask why can’t Richard just tap into his awesome one-of-a-kind War Wizard Additive and Subtractive magic and heal Kahlan? Well, the sorceress who initially tracked Kahlan at the behest of Dalton Campbell, placed a nasty magic trap for anybody who attempts to heal Kahlan through magical means. Painful as it was for Richard, he is forced to let Kahlan heal at her own pace. Continue reading “Book Review: Faith of the Fallen #6, Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind”

Soul of the Fire: Sword of Truth #5 by Terry Goodkind

Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth, #5)Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sigh! Soul of the Fire was definitely an awkward read. The plot arcs just didn’t mesh well as you’d expect. Of the main arcs, the Anderith plot was the mostly terribly executed, while the Emperor Jagang/Prelate Annalina was for all intents and purposes, a stub. The arcs are not evenly developed or spaced and that’s as annoying as it sounds.
The author went all out describing Anderith, offputtingly so. Another death by over description. Before Soul of the Fire, I had no idea so many meats could be served at a single ceremony. Continue reading “Soul of the Fire: Sword of Truth #5 by Terry Goodkind”

Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini

ScaramoucheScaramouche by Rafael Sabatini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

André-Louis confessed to himself that had he been cursed with such a hangdog countenance he would have worn his hat in precisely such a manner, so as to conceal as much of it as possible. If M. Leandre appeared to be wearing, in part at least, the cast-offs of nobleman, the newcomer appeared to be wearing the cast-offs of M. Leandre.

Rafael Sabatini’s Scaramouche has by far one of the most moving climaxes of any classic I’ve ever read. Matter of fact I’ve rehashed the ending a couple of times since I finished reading this brilliant retelling of events preceding the explosive French Revolution and what happens after.

Our unlikely hero and protagonist is André-Louis Moreau. He is a parentless young lad, housed and educated in Paris under the auspices of the Quintin de Kercadiou, the Lord of Gavrillac, who is rumored to be his biological father. André-Louis’s childhood friends include his best friend Vilmorin and Kercadiou’s niece, the beautiful quick-witted Aline to conclude the trio. Continue reading “Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini”

The Last Mortal Bond: The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #3 by Brian Staveley

The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #3)The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brian Staveley’s tale finally comes of age in The Last Mortal Bond. I guess the imminent climax coerces the author to finally align his disturbingly mind-boggling sorry arcs to converge at the center of Annur where it literally all begun.

Our dark Prince, Valyn hui’Malkeenian, long forgotten and thought dead by everybody, including his Wing, now headed by the red-headed Gwenna Sharpe, finally meet, although it’s not the heart to heart I was gunning for. He also meets the other last remaining Kettral Wing under the legendary Flea, who has been terrorising the Urghul before disappearing into the night like ghosts. Not to end there, Valyn comes face to face with his treacherous sister, Adare hui’Malkeenian who stabbed him and left him for dead in the previous installment. You know, it’s with complete satisfaction that I write this. Continue reading “The Last Mortal Bond: The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne #3 by Brian Staveley”

The Providence of Fire: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #2 by Brian Staveley

The Providence of Fire (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #2)The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not sure whether I’ve used this analogy already but permit me exorcise its ghost one jolly good time. Like lots of guys into anime, I watched the spectacularly thrilling Last Air Bender and it was total Bliss! It came as no surprise that when I got wind of a movie adaptation in the works, I was beside myself with Glee. Must I remind you, that’s around the time Avatar, the sci-fi mega Blockbuster see in the otherworldly Pandora hit the cinemas. A momentary disappointment was cast aside as I watched Avatar with disbelief at the magic of it all.
You must be wondering when I’ll bloody get to the meat of this story. Well, here it is: When the Last Air Bender finally came, it was a colossal disappointment. It was complete torture watching the benders rouse the elements to do their bidding. The stance and movements did not convincingly correlate with the fire/air/water/earth. It was a painful constipated wait where in the anime, the elements cooperated in real time.

Anyway, reading The Providence of Fire feel a lot like that to me. Such a marvelous tale set in a breathtaking universe, only for the delivery to colossal underwhelm. Continue reading “The Providence of Fire: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #2 by Brian Staveley”

The Emperor’s Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1 by Brian Staveley

The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #1)The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disjointed: This is what I felt when I read the 3-pronged narrative (From the perspectives of the three children of the murdered Emperor Sanlitun: Kaden, Adare, and Valyn). The Annurian Emperor sent his heir-apparent, Kaden to some mysterious monks at the edge of the world to learn God-knows-what which may or may not help him when his time to rule comes. The other son, Valyn, in contrast, has been sent off to become one of the select few warriors who are undoubtedly the most skilled in ways to kill in the entire empire, even more than the badass Royal Guards, the Aedolians. By virtue of her nature, Sanlitun’s only daughter Adare stays behind with her father and her role, at first glance is not as pronounced as her brothers’. Continue reading “The Emperor’s Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1 by Brian Staveley”

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