BR: Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson

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Title: Warbreaker

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Adult High Fantasy

Published: 2012

Pages: 652

My Rating: 5/5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads:

This is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses. Theirs is a world in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city. A world transformed by a power based on an essence known as breath. Using magic is arduous as breath can only be collected one unit at a time.


Hello Everyone!

Welcome to my review of Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker, a High Fantasy novel dealing with politics, religion, and self-discovery. After reading the Mistborn Trilogy by Sanderson I knew that I wanted to get my hands on all of his adult books, so I decided to pick this one up and I was not disappointed. So, without further ado, let’s get into my review!

SPOLER-FREE SECTION

  • Plot: Sanderson is a master at plot development and world-building, and even though this book was a standalone, the author managed to create a complex world with a thoroughly thought-out plot. The plot twist at the end is not expected, and even though certain clues are dropped here and there, the reader will not be able to figure out exactly what is going on until the very end.
  • Characters: The characters are well developed as well. Because the entirety of this book takes place within a city, there is the space to develop the psychological and interior endeavors of the two sisters as well as the God King and the lesser god, Lightsong.
  • Writing: The writing is beautiful and evocative, as always. Sanderson has a way with writing that renders the characters very realistic without truly describing them: he manages to create real people through actions and dialogue, which I think is really hard and highly admirable.

These are all my spoiler free thoughts on Warbreaker. Please let me know if you have read it and what you thought of it! What is your favorite Sanderson book?

Until next time,

Keky

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

Where to begin? As always with Sanderson there is a plot twist at the end that completely tips the scales over. I loved learning about the politics and religion of this world, and I know it was maybe the most predictable part of the novel, but when I learned that Susebron did not have a tongue and was controlled by the priests I freaked out. After that I loved him so much he soon became one of my favorite characters. The fact that the high priests were not the bad guys was  also kind of a surprise, even though I suspected that after the conversation that happened in the garden.

I was really disappointed when the mercenaries betrayed the princes, I really was rooting for them. Especially when they brutally killed her friend, I thought to myself how stereotypes are perpetrated. I was so so sad. Overall, great read!

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!)

BR: Allora Mi Prenderò un Cappello

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Title: Allora Mi Prenderò Un Cappello

Author: Maria Cristina Benetti

Genre: Non-fiction memoir

Published: 2016

Pages: 110

My Rating: 5/5 stars


Salve a tutti,

oggi vi propongo qualcosa di diverso.

Innanzitutto questa recensione sarà scritta in italiano, la mia lingua madre. Il mio è un sito in inglese, ma questa è un’occasione speciale.

L’autrice di questo libro, Maria Cristina Benetti, mi ha contattata un mese fa chiedendomi se ero disponibile per una recensione del suo libro, Allora mi prenderò un cappello. Questo libro è una memoria della sua esperienza come donna ed essere umano durante la malattia “cancro”. Essendo stata paziente di mio padre ed avendo io vissuto l’esperienza del cancro nella mia famiglia, non potevo dire di no e così ho deciso che avrei fatto una recensione sia in italiano che in inglese per promuovere questo libro.

Date le circostanze non mi atterrò alla guida che uso di solito (personaggi, trama, scrittura) ma userò una cornice più ampia; parlerò del messaggio trasmesso e del potenziale che un’opera letteraria come questa può avere all’interno della società. Ovviamente gli ho dato 5/5 stelle. Questa è la mia recensione.

Non ho mai letto nulla di simile a questo libro. E’ diviso in capitoli, certo, ma ogni capitolo ha una sottosezione e ogni paragrafo tratta di un tema diverso. Questo libro è un excursus di tutte le emozioni ed i problemi che hanno afflitto la protagonista da quando ha avuto un tumore al seno fino a quando ha avuto, recentemente, un linfoma.

L’autrice descrive la sua esperienza in modo molto chiaro, utilizzando un linguaggio semplice ma allo stesso tempo metaforicamente elaborato, creando così un’opera intersezionale.

Questo libro può essere letto da chiunque e penso che questa sua qualità sia fondamentale.

L’autrice è stata estremamente coraggiosa a trasferire i suoi sentimenti sulla carta mostrando la sua vulnerabilità al mondo, ma il fatto di rendere la sua esperienza pubblica è anche la sua forza perché consente alle persone di riconoscersi e identificarsi con la sua esperienza.

Penso sia molto importante che più libri come questo siano scritti.

La parola cancro include concetti come paura, disillusione, morte; leggere l’esperienza di una persona che è pronta a combattere, anche se a volte perde la speranza, è fondamentale perché alla fine la speranza è sempre ritrovata. Parlare più spesso di questo tema aiuta a togliere lo stigma alla parola, ad aprire la comunicazione e a rendere la vita del paziente e della sua famiglia più semplice.

Una delle cose che mi sono rimaste impresse di questo libro è il fatto che il cancro può davvero trasformare una persona e stravolgere la sua vita. Infatti l’autrice parla della sua esperienza lavorativa in una casa di moda, comparandola con la situazione attuale in cui non si riconosce in se stessa: non può prendere il sole, non può andare in bicicletta senza che le manchi il respiro, non può fare una doccia normale e ha perso amici che vedevano la malattia prima di vedere la persona.

Alla fine, è vero, il cancro l’ha cambiata, ma ci sono altre cose positive che sono nate con la malattia. Connessioni più forti con una diversa comunità, incontrare gente nuova e, finalmente, riuscire ancora a nuotare.

La frase conclusiva del libro è:“Non ti volto le spalle, ti voglio guardare negli occhi. Uno dei due li abbasserà. Tanto vinco io”. Penso che questa espressione sia emblematica per la forza che possiede: una buona dimostrazione del fatto che non è facile accettare la malattia e che, anche se ognuno ha un modo diverso di affrontarla, l’importante è trovare un modo per combatterla.

E’ stata davvero una bella esperienza leggere questo libro, sono contenta che Cristina mi abbia contattata per scriverle una recensione.

Potete trovare la pagina Goodreads qui. Spero davvero che il messaggio sia apprezzato e divulgato.

Alla prossima,

Keky

BR: Allora Mi Prenderò un Cappello (Then I Will Get Myself a Hat)

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Title: Allora Mi Prenderò Un Cappello

Author: Maria Cristina Benetti

Genre: Non-fiction memoir

Published: 2016

Pages: 110

My Rating: 5/5 stars


Hello Everyone,

and welcome to my new book review. Today, I bring to you something a little different, and let me explain. The author of this book, Maria Cristina Benetti, contacted me about a month ago, asking me to review her debut release Allora Mi Prenderò Un Cappello, which, translate from Italian means “then I will get myself a hat”. Let me give you a little bit of background on the author and the novel. This is Cristina’a non-fiction memoir and her experience as a woman and as a human being while she went through cancer. She used writing as a therapeutic and cathartic tool in order to deal with all the troubling emotions and feelings she felt while ill, and this is the result of such reflections. Because this is a special review and because this book has grown to be dear to me, I will use a different frame than my usual one in order to review this particular work. I will talk about the importance of such work of literature within society and then about the message it gives out to people. I gave ti 5/5 stars and so, without further ado, let’s get into the review.

This book is like nothing else I have ever read. It is divided into chapter, sure, but each chapter has a headline and each paragraph has a different theme. It deals with all the inner emotion and turmoil affecting Cristina from the very first time she has breast cancer, up to when she discover to have a new one, two years later. She describes it all clearly, with a simple but at the same time metaphorically elaborate language, so that the work in itself becomes intersectional. It can be understood by all, and I deem this to be very important. The author was very courageous to put her thoughts and feeling on paper, to show her vulnerability to the world; however, this is also her strength, making her experience public, so that other people could relate to it and identify with the experience as a whole. I think it is extremely important that more works like this one are written: the word cancer implies other concepts such as fear, hopelessness, death. However, hearing the voice of someone who is ready to fight, even though sometimes she does lose hope, is fundamental, because that same hope is always found again. Talking more about these issues will help to de-demonize this sickness, and open communication will make the patient’s (and also his or her family’s) life easier.

One thing I took away from this book is that cancer really can turn someone’s life upside down. The author talks about how she worked in the fashion industry, and how now she was barely able to recognize herself. She could not stay in the sun, she could not bike around without losing her breath, she could not take a normal shower, she lost friends who saw the illness before they saw Her. However, in the end, it is true, cancer had changed her, but there were new positive things that were born. Stronger connections with a new community, meeting new people, and finally being able to swim in the water again. Her concluding lines are as follow: “I will not turn my back on you [cancer], I want to look at you in the eye. One of us is gonna give out. And I will win.” I find this final sentence to be so empowering, and a good demonstration that it is not easy to come to terms with this illness, and that even though everyone has a different way of coping with it, the important thing is to find a way to get to that point of acceptance and fight back.

Overall, it was a very good experience to read this book, and I am so glad Cristina contacted me to review it. You can find the Goodreads page here. I really hope her message will be spread and heard.

Until next time,

Keky

 

BR: Every Heart a Doorway

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Title: Every Heart a Doorway

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Published: 2016

Pages: 173

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars


Synopsis From Goodreads:

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.


Hello Everyone,

and welcome to my review of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. This is the first book I have read by this author, and I have to say I was a little disappointed. As a disclaimer, I was also reading the Well of Ascension at the same time, so that did not help! However, without further ado, here are my thoughts and feelings about this book.

SPOLER-FREE SECTION

  • Plot: The plot was really straight-forward, and I have to say, I saw the ending coming already on the second chapter. I knew who the bad guy behind all the murders was from the very beginning, so the plot was not well developed, or at least, the novel was too short to develop it properly. I have to say that I like the ending though, and I will probably read the sequel if it comes out, just to know what happens. After all, it’s a pretty quick read.
  • Characters: once again, there was no room for development. The headmaster of the school basically never appears, and there is not enough explanation about the character’s personalities. Even the main character was awkward and not developed.
  • Writing: finally something I really liked. I really like McGuire whimsical and poetic writing style, I really appreciated some of the metaphors and the phrasing in this novel. However, the world as not developed enough and it was hard to keep track of the world-building, because it was never fully explained. Another thing I really appreciated though, was the diversity in this book: the main character is a-sexual, while another is transgender. I thought that was really interesting.

Here are all my spoiler-free thoughts about this book! Please let me know if you have read it and what you thought of it. Since there is not much else to say about this book spoiler-wise, I will not have a spoiler section. The only thing I would say is that I enjoyed the ending.

Until next time,

Keky

 

BR: Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson

mistborntrilogyTitle: Mistborn (Mistborn Trilogy #1)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: High Fantasy

Published: 2006

Pages: 659

My rating: 5/5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Once, a hero rose to save the world. He failed.
For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.
Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and defeating the Lord Ruler. A new kind of uprising is being planned—one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine: a teenage street urchin named Vin.
Once, a hero rose to save the world and failed. This time, can a young heroine succeed?


Hello Everyone,

and welcome to my review of Mistborn, the Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I know I am late in the game, but, as they say better late than never right? This is the first book in a high fantasy trilogy that is quite popular, and let me tell you that it is popular for a reason. Brandon Sanderson is one of the best fantasy writers. So, without further ado, let’s get into the review.

SPOLER-FREE SECTION

  • Plot: the plot in this book is amazingly woven. Sanderson masters each small piece in order to fit it together in the end, and it works perfectly. I loved seeing the history unfold, little by little. The story is definitely mysterious: the reader learns the most through Vin’s perspective, who does not know much about the political and economic intrigues of her land, because she has been forced to live in the shadows for most of her life. The plot twist at the end I was not expecting; it tore my heart to pieces. I definitely did not see it coming.
  • Characters: the characters is what made me fall in love with this book so much. They are all so beautifully flawed, and seem so human. It was the first time in a long time that I felt so much for them, especially the protagonists. I could laugh with them, and cry with them, and the way Sanderson built their characterization is wonderful.
  • Writing: the writing is beautiful. Not always fast paced, but  when it is, you’re glued to your sit until you finish the book. I definitely think the main strength of this book is dialogue: each character has a particular way of expressing him or herself, and that is so  difficult to achieve in writing. I think here it was done very well. The only thing that I did not love were the battle scenes, due to the type of magic system; don’t get me wrong, I love the magic system, however, I think that when battle scenes come around it slows down the pace a bit.

These are all my non-spoilery thoughts about Mistborn. If you have not read it yet, do it, you will not regret it. Please let me know in the comments if you have read it and what you thought about it. I would love to discuss it!

Until next time,

Keky

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

There is not much to say that I have not already said before, however, I want to talk about how much I like Kelsier’s character. I really like him because sometimes I hated him. He is flawed, sometimes arrogant, hilarious and a great fighter. He really does care, you know. And what I loved the most is that when he seemed to go overboard and just bash at the nobility out of pure hatred, and Vin talked to him, he really listened, humbled, and was ready to question his own beliefs. When he was killed I was shocked. I did not see it coming, and it destroyed me. He will always be one of my favorite characters of all time I think.

I have now started the second book, Elend is more present in it. However, I really liked his character in the first book. Naive but full of curiosity and ambition, and I really admired it. He loves reading political and socio-economic treaties because he dreams for a better world. And not only he dreams about it, but he actually wants to do something about it too, which is great.

And the Crew. The crew was awesome. I love each and everyone of them, Breeze cracks me up, and Sazed is so cool. I love the idea of Keepers and Feruchemy, and I think we will learn some more about it in the next books. I also really enjoyed the world-building and could picture it very well in my mind. Overall, great, great book.

BR: Empire of Storms, by Sarah J. Maas

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Title: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: High Fantasy

Published: 2016

Pages: 693

My Rating: 4/5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?


Hello Everyone,

welcome to my review of Empire of Storm, by fantasy queen Sarah J. Maas! I got this book the day it came out and read it really quickly, but had to wait some time before diving into writing a review. As a warning, this review will have a short spoiler-free section just because so much happens, and so much has happened in the previous 4 (and a half) books that it is really hard not to slip. If you have read this book, please let me know what you thought about in the comments, because I definitely need to talk about it!

SPOILER-FREE SECTION

  • Plot: oh boy. The plot in this book was probably one of my favorite things. So much happens, and what I really appreciated was that Sarah really thought it out, and readers can definitely tell: so many details present in previous books are now interwoven in the bigger picture, and everything comes together beautifully.
  • Characters: some of the main characters, and other secondary characters go through such a huge development. Every character is different in his or her own way, each character has a different way of behaving towards certain situations, and I think that is great. The author definitely focused on characterization.
  • Writing: this book is very fast-paced. It kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Maas also has a beautiful way of describing situations and internal conflicts, even though the novel is written in the 3rd person singular. Very remarkable.

These are my spoiler-free thoughts. If you have not read the book, I advise you not to read further, if you have, please do and comment your own opinions about it!

Until next time,

Keky

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

Okay, I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s go by characters, otherwise it’s going to be a mess. Elide and Lorcan: I loved Elide, I think she is a strong female character and isn’t afraid of being assertive or demonstrating her points. She is also very confident. I didn’t know how to feel about Lorcan in the beginning, but then he grew on me, even though at the end I hated him. Why did he have to call Maeve? Is he stupid?!! I don’t think that Elide is going to be able to forgive him.

Manon and Dorian: I love her. She’s so badass, and I think the part where I felt the saddest was when she learnt about her heritage: she is a Chrochan, and her grandmother had her kill her own sister. That was awful. Dorian is so different now than who he used to be. I feel like he has grown so much, and he is actually becoming a man. I also liked how the relationship between the two of them is mainly based on lust, which I think is a liberal way of writing in Young Adult fiction, and I appreciate that. I am also curious to learn more about Dorian’s raw magic, and I love him so much as a character. Maybe even more than Rowan.

Aelin and Rowan: I cannot deny that the fact that Aelin schemes by herself frustrates me a bit. Yes, the ending was great with Ansel coming back into the picture, at the same time I wish she’d told the others about her plans. However, I was heartbroken in the end, when she had to go to Maeve. I have to say I was expecting that she had to die for the cause, even though I really hope it is not going to happen! I really like Rowan. Although, sometimes I think he is overshadowed by the mating bond that takes up so much space in his dialogues. I loved how he and Dorian got along though. I was really glad of that.

Aedion and Lysandra: I love them both so much! I was so scared that Lysandra was going to die at Skull’s Bay but thank god that did not happen! I love Aedion too and his encounter with Gavriel was so interesting to see! I want them to be endgame.

Overall, this book was a freaking rollercoaster! I am so scared for the next book, because it’s going to be the last one, but I don’t want anyone to die! I am just really curious to see how things are going to be wrapped up, and how the characters we love will find a way to save a broken world!