Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (The Great Library #1)

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Original Title: Ink and Bone

Year Published: 2015

Published by:  Allison & Busby

Number of Pages: 410

First Sentence: ‘Hold still and stop fighting me’, his father said, and slapped him hard enough to leave a mark. 

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Plot:

Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.

In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.

Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar . . . but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.

Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn. . . .

My thoughts:

This was a really good book. I was pleasantly surprised that the main character was male for once. Don’t get me wrong, I love that YA gives us so many different strong female characters, but sometimes you want good male main characters as well. So this book was a welcome break.

Jess was a brilliant character and I absolutely loved him. He was clever without being a know-it-all, and an overall good guy. He does have some extra powers but it doesn’t make him a badass superhero all of a sudden (like it does in some books). Instead, he struggles with it and actually fails with it sometimes and he totally doesn’t understand it.

We are also given a group of lovely supportive characters that both add depth to the book, but also gives us hell of a lot of representation. They are from different parts of the world and therefore we have different ethnic groups, a fact which was absolutely lovely.

The plot was both clever and entertaining. I think Caine has done a brilliant job of imagining what the world might have looked like if the library of Alexandria hadn’t burnt, and what the power struggles might have been. There are some parts of the story that isn’t as interesting as others, but overall it is an entertaining and fun book to read.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, I do.

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50-day bookish challenge – Day 4: Books that need bigger fandoms?

Is there a book that you think needs a bigger fandom?

Yes! In fact, there are many books out there that deserve bigger fandoms than they got at the moment. But one (more like two) that I think needs a bigger fandom is the Harmatia Cycle by M.E. Vaughan. So far, two books in this trilogy (maybe series?) have been published and they are super good. I loved both of them from the get-go and they are definitely top ten favourite books of all time. They are the only books that I’ve read as arcs and then purchased physical copies of.

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Look! Even my little baby loves these books. They are great fantasy books with the perfect mix of adventure and humour. They also have great representation with LGBTQ characters, POCs and both men and women being absolutely badass (mostly women).

Btw, Zachary is MY baby and you cannot have him. I will have shared custody of Rufus but Zachary is all mine!

Arc Review: Highlander Redeemed by Laurin Wittig (Guardians of the Targe #3)

24202300.jpgOriginal Title: Highlander Redeemed

Year Published: 2015

Published by: Montlake Romance (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

Number of Pages: 272

First Sentence: Scotia MacAlpin pushed her dark hair out of her face with the back of her water-wrinkled hand, then looked up from the huge pot she was scouring as she had every morning and every evening for what seemed her entire lifetime, though it had only been a fortnight or a little more. 

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Plot:

Scotia MacAlpin may be only eighteen years old, but she’s no stranger to trouble. Her latest incident—which resulted in a death and forced her clan into battle—has made her an outcast among her exiled people. Scotia is tired of being ignored and overshadowed by her sister, a gifted Guardian of the Targe, and she’s become hell-bent on destroying the army out to capture the ancient Highland relic for their English king.

Duncan of Dunlairig has looked out for Scotia since she started to walk. She was as restless and reckless then as she is now—only the stakes have become higher and more perilous. While the rest of Clan MacAlpin ostracizes her, Duncan secretly helps Scotia become the warrior she yearns to be. But the real test of her skills may come when he needs her help—and her long-forgotten heart—in this thrilling and romantic Guardians of the Targe tale.

My thoughts:

I had no idea that this book was the third in a series so I was really worried that this book would be unreadable without having read the first two books. However, I had no problem grasping the story or enjoying this as a sort of stand-alone. There are some things that you miss out on of course, but it was still quite enjoyable.

At first, I found Scotia to be a little spoilt brat, but the more I read I realized that she was honestly being blamed for things she wasn’t even guilty of. It wasn’t just because of her being the main p.o.v, it became obvious even from Duncan’s p.o.v. The other people had decided that she was useless and only brought trouble and couldn’t see that she was a different person from what they thought.

Duncan was an absolute sweetheart but sadly enough he also thought that Scotia deliberately tried to cause trouble for the clan. However, he did listen to her and did try to help her when he realised that she was just misunderstood.

The plot was fairly interesting. Since I had not read the first two books some things did go over my head. But overall it was interesting and quite fun to read. The girl was actually the one to save the day, the boy did not need to come in and save her. This was quite lovely.

Do I recommend it?

Yes, I do, but I would suggest that you read the first two books first.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and Bookish

It’s been ages since I did one of these so I’m actually excited to do this one. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books on my fall TBR. Here goes:

Tada!

50-day bookish challenge – Day 2: Current read

When it comes to reading I’m not normal. I cannot read just one book at a time, I have to read several, usually around five books. At the moment I’m reading seven different books (I told ya I’m not normal).

They are, in no particular order:

  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • Tusen år av fantasy; Resan till Mordor by Bo Eriksson
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  • Defiance by C.J. Redwine
  • The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
  • Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

The reason why I’m reading seven different books is that none of them are fully managing to hold my interest for that long. I’ve been struggling with Queen of Shadows for several weeks because I’ve honestly lost interest in the series. But I’m only like 10% into it so hopefully, it might reignite my interest soon (I did love all the other books).

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #1)

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Original Title: An Ember in the Ashes

Year Published: 2015

Published by:  Harper Voyager

Number of Pages: 450

First Sentence: My big brother reaches home in the dark hours before dawn, when even ghosts take their rest.

Goodreads Rating: 5/5

Plot:

What if you were the spark that could ignite a revolution?

For years Laia has lived in fear. Fear of the Empire, fear of the Martials, fear of truly living at all. Born as a Scholar, she’s never had much of a choice.

For Elias it’s the opposite. He has seen too much on his path to becoming a Mask, one of the Empire’s elite soldiers. With the Masks’ help the Empire has conquered a continent and enslaved thousands, all in the name of power.

When Laia’s brother is taken she must force herself to help the Resistance, the only people who have a chance of saving him. She must spy on the Commandant, ruthless overseer of Blackcliff Academy. Blackcliff is the training ground for Masks and the very place that Elias is planning to escape. If he succeeds, he will be named deserter. If found, the punishment will be death.

But once Laia and Elias meet, they will find that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

In the ashes of a broken world, one person can make a difference. One voice in the dark can be heard. The price of freedom is always high and this time that price might demand everything, even life itself.

My thoughts:

This was such a brilliant book. When books are hyped up by the bookish world I get a little apprehensive, because just because a book is hyped doesn’t mean it’s actually any good. And I’m almost terrified of disliking books that pretty much everybody else seems to love. So I was really glad when I read this and loved it from the first page. The story was absolutely riveting and I loved every second of it.

Laia was a spectacular character and I absolutely adored her. She is scared and lost at the beginning of the book and still scared and lost at the end of the book. She doesn’t randomly turn into a badass soldier halfway through, instead she is the same girl we meet during the first chapter. But she shows that you can be frightened and still get things done. Don’t let fear come in your way.

Elias was awesome. I love how Tahir didn’t make him into a ruthless killer, and instead turned him into a soldier with morales. Everyone wanted him to be ruthless but he still had a good heart and questioned what he was asked to do. If he had been a ruthless killer who never thought of the people he hurt until he met Laia, he would have been a horrible person (something that a lot of male characters in ya-books are if you think about it). He has a heart and cares about the people around him despite having been trained since a kid not to. Absolutely adored him.

Thinking about it in hindsight there aren’t much happening in the book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a brilliant read and I absolutely loved it, but it is more of a setup for what is to come. That doesn’t mean that nothing happens, it’s just that there’s more character and world building in this book than in the second one (which I, of course, read immediately after this book). It sounds like I’ve lost my mind, but it is honestly a brilliant book.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, I do.