BR: Of Fire and Stars, by Audrey Coulthurst

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Title: Of Fire and Stars

Author: Audrey Coulthurst

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published: 2016

Pages: 389

My Rating: 3/5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.


Hello Everyone,

welcome to my review of the debut novel Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst! This is a YA Fantasy novel which includes a queer relationship between two lead female characters. I had heard about male homosexual relationships in YA, but never a lesbian one, so I was curious to read this one. Especially because queer relationships are very rare in fantasy novels! I gave this book 3.5/5 stars, and if you want to know why, keep reading!

SPOLER-FREE SECTION

  • Plot: the plot of the novel was pretty straight forward. Definitely fast paced, there was intrigue and mystery, even though my suspicions from the very beginning ended up being true. Because this novel is a stand-alone, I felt that much of the world building or plot development were impeded by the restrictions of pages. If this book was a duology or even a trilogy, I think it would have so much more to offer in terms of plot and development of both social and political relations. Overall, for being a stand-alone it was well developed.
  • Characters: again, because it is only one book, the author did not have the space to well flesh-out side characters. The only two characters that were well developed were Mare and Denna, however, the prince and everyone else was just a support to the main characters.
  • Writing: The writing was good, the narration fast paced and the style proper to a YA novel. What I really appreciated was the creation of a world that is slightly more egalitarian than usual, and where homosexual relationships are almost considered equal to heterosexual ones. The diversity in the novel was its main strength, for sure.

These are all my non-spoilery thoughts about the novel. If you have read it and wish to discuss it, please do not hesitate to comment down below and let me know your thoughts and opinions. Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

Keky

**SPOILER-ALERT** SECTION – Do not read further if you don’t want to be spoiled.

I did see the plot twist coming. The fact that Coulthurst built the general to be the bad guy was too pushed, because that rendered her just a very bad general overall. I knew that the Zumordan wanted to get close to Mare just to get power. As I previously said, the world-building, plot and character development really did lack any depth, and Nils death was unnecessary to me.

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BR: Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake

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Title: Three Dark Crowns (#1)

Author: Kendrare Blake

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published: 2016

Pages: 398

My Rating: 3/5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads:

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown.


Hello everyone,

and welcome to a new book review. Today I am talking about the debut novel Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, a dark YA fantasy that deals with a rotten kingdom in which sisterhood is synonym for murder and hatred. I had high expectations for this one, probably because it was so hyped up. However, I only gave it 3/5 stars, and if you want to know why, keep on reading!

SPOLER-FREE SECTION

  • Plot: The plot was one of the main reasons why I was a bit disappointed. I found it to be extremely predictable, except in two instances. I knew what was going to happen throughout most of the book, and sometimes I also found myself being confused about certain elements, since they were not fleshed out well. Only the ending was surprising, and made me give it 3 stars instead of 2.75
  • Characters: characterization was okay. Sometimes I felt that side characters took over the protagonists (for example in Jules’ case) and other characters that had a major role in the novel were not detailed enough. Also, there was only one romance that I found to be credible, all the other ones were a bit too much of a stretch.
  • Writing: The writing is simplistic. Sometimes we get good metaphors, but it is nothing compared with some other adult or even YA fantasies (i.e. The Kiss of Deception). Overall, I found this book to be slightly mediocre, and I hope the sequel will make up for it.

These are all my non-spoilery thoughts about this book! Please let me know if you’ve read it in the comments below and what you thought of it.

Until next time,

Keky

**SPOILER-ALERT** SECTION – Do not read further if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Did you by any chance get as mad as I did about Jules’ stupidity about Joseph? I hated both of them when they were hanging out. She was so naive, and he was straight up cruel. It is obvious that the fact that Arsinoe burned the spell at the beginning of the book led him to like more Mirabella, but since it is not explicit, this still gives Joseph agency.

I knew Pyetr would throw Katharine off the mountain. I knew the bear would go crazy and Arsinoe would be blamed. I knew Katharine was not really dead. In short, the plot was very predictable to me, however I did enjoy the final cliffhanger, which leads me to think that I might read the final book of the duology. I am still not positive about it though…

BR: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

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Title: The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1)

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Genre: High Fantasy

Published: 2007

Pages: 722

My Rating: 5/5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.
The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.
A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.


Hello Everyone!

Welcome to my review of the epic The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss. Now, I know a lot of people have told me that I had to read this book, and yes, I finally have. And may I tell you how happy I am I did, because let’s be honest, this is one of a kind. I obviously gave it 5/5 stars, and so, without further ado, here are my thoughts.

SPOLER-FREE SECTION

  • Plot: Mr. Rothfuss is a genius in weaving plots. He truly is. It is very hard to describe how incredibly thought out the story is, unless you read it. It is not only a mere fantasy story, or the memoir of a hero. There is so much more in it that is worth anybody’s time.
  • Characters: Kvothe is the best. Extremely flawed, extremely clever, all around lovable. As you keep reading, you grow and learn along with him and you suffer with him. Denna is very bad ass… I still do not know how suspicious I want to be of her, and I am definitely intrigued by her past. I loved Abenthy too. Such a good man and well developed character. And then Sim and Wil.. how can you not love them? All the characters were portrayed extremely well, they felt like real people. Both likable and not, I can definitely say that Pat Rothfuss is a master when it comes to characterization.
  • Writing: The writing is probably the most beautiful part of this book. Whimsical, poetic, eloquent, but also rough, dry and severe. Every line is well crafted, and if you like amazing writing with versatility this is for you. Even though sometimes it could feel a little slow paced, the writing was so beautiful that it was a pleasure reading it nonetheless.

These are all my non-spoilery thoughts about this epic novel. If you have not read it yet, please do yourself a favor and do so. I cannot wait to read the second installment! If you have read this book please comment below so we can talk about it, I need to know what you think and if you liked it 🙂

Until next time,

Keky

**SPOILER-ALERT** SECTION – Do not read further if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Where to start… I do not even know. This novel is everything you could ever want. A memoir, historical Fantasy, a mystery, an action book. I cannot wait for Kvothe to face the Chandrian, and oh my god, when he was expelled from the University I thought, “here we go”. I knew he was going to be expelled and I was very confused when in reality they let him stay and study under Elodin. But I do know that he will be expelled once and for all in the near future and I do not want that to happen.

I am very curious to see what is going to happen with Ambrose, and some bad things are bound to come up. I also want to learn more about Denna’s past… there is something off about her, and I want to find out why. When Kvothe went into the Archives with a candle I thought how dumb he was, of course he was expelled, and argh, I need to know what is behind that door! Ari is another very interesting character and I want to get to know her better, as well as about Bast and Chronicler.

Okay guys, this is pointless I don’t even know what I am talking about anymore, it is so hard to pinpoint anything because there is so much to this story and I want it all! I will wait a bit to read the second book so that maybe it will be closer to the date when the third one comes out (which I hope will be soon!)

Semester Reads: Spring 2017

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Hello Everyone,

Today I thought I would do something a little different. I want to share with you most of the things that I am reading this semester for Uni. I say most of them because for my Classics course we have to read a lot of sections from numerous authors, but not whole books. Therefore I will only tell you which physical books I have to read this semester. I am taking a total of five classes, four English classes and the Classics one.

English 395: Contemporary African American Literature – Slavery and Postmemory.

  • The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass
  • My Bondage and My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass
  • The Known World, by E. P. Jones
  • Dessa Rose, by Shirley Anne Williams
  • The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride
  • The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

English 290: Human Values in Literature – Non-Western Voices

  • Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
  • Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys
  • The Woman Warrior, by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • No Telephone to Heaven, by Michelle Cliff
  • July’s People, by Nadine Gordimer
  • Cracking India, by Bapsi Sidhawa

Classical Studies 384: Humanist of Antiquity II – Rome

  • Ancient Rome: From Romulus to Justinian, by Thomas R. Martin
  • Miles Gloriosus, by Plautus
  • Adelphi, by Terentius
  • Thyestes, by Seneca
  • Aeneid, by Virgil
  • Pro Lege Manilia and Pro Caelio, by Cicero

English 354: Critical Theory

  • The Lazarus Project, by Aleksandar Hemon

Please let me know if you have read any of them and if you have any tips about these readings!

Until next time,

Keky

 

January Wrap-Up

Hello Everyone!

I cannot believe January is already over and we are well off into 2017! The first half of this month I have barely read anything because I was on vacation back at home, and between traveling and seeing all my family I did not have that much time.

In the second half of the month, however, I did read quite a lot and managed to finish about 11 books! Here they are:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling (5/5 stars)

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, by Frederick Douglass (4/5 stars)

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You, by Caroline Kepnes (3/5 stars)

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My Bondage and My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass (4/5 stars)

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Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur (3/5 stars)

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Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (4/5 stars)

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We Should All be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (5/5stars)

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling (5/5 stars)

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Miles Gloriosus, by Plautus (4/5 stars)

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Adelphi, by Terence (3/5 stars)

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The Name of the Wind, by Pat Rothfuss (5/5 stars, even though it should have been a million stars)

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These are all the books that I read in January 2017! Please let me know if you have read any of them, and what were your thoughts and feelings about it!

Until next time,

Keky