Tag Archives: fantasy

Wolf-Speaker (Immortals #2) by Tamora Pierce

Wolf-Speaker (Immortals, #2)

It’s been over a year since I read the first book in Tamora Pierce’s Immortals quartet, Wild Magic. I remember enjoying it almost more than Pierce’s Alanna books (which will always be first in my heart, of course) but other than that, I started this book with only vague memories of the plot and characters of the previous installment.

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The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood and Co. #1)

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1)

I can’t believe I almost forgot about Jonathan Stroud. His Bartimaeus trilogy was one of my favorites when I was in middle school/high school, but I never thought I would find another one of his books, because for some reason I believed that he hadn’t written anything else after that series. It was pure chance that I learned about this book at all – I can’t remember which of my Goodreads friends put this on their to-read list, but someone did, and I happened to be looking at my feed at the exact right moment, so whoever it was, I thank you. It’s been at least ten years since I read the Bartimaeus books, and going back to Stroud’s writing was like catching up with an old friend.
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Wild Magic (Immortals #1) by Tamora Pierce

Wild Magic (Immortals, #1)

After a short break, I’ve returned to Tortall, and guys, it’s great to be back. I decided to resume my long-overdue Tamora Pierce education for two reasons: first, the Immortals quartet was completely new to me (as a kid, I had a passing familiarity with the Alanna, Kel, and Aly series, having read a few chapters of each before abandoning them); and also I found out that my sister has all four of the books in one volume, so I stole it from her. Sorry, borrowed.

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Le Morte d’Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table by Thomas Malory

Le Morte d'Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table

FINALLY finished this a few weeks ago. No exaggeration: I have been reading this book for six months. Not six continuous months, mind you. I kept the book by my bed and would try to read a little bit every night, but I could never manage to read more than twenty pages in a single sitting, and I would usually be reading another book in the meantime and forget about Le Morte d’Arthur for weeks at a time.

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Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness #4) by Tamora Pierce

Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, #4)

Having reached the end of the Alanna books, I’m really sad to be done with the series. Not just because Alanna is a fantastic heroine – seriously, I’m currently drafting legislation to make these books required reading for sixth grade girls everywhere – but also because this is one of those rare occasions where I feel like a book could have been longer, and should have been longer. The entire Alanna series has felt very rushed, since Book One when we sped through two years of knight training in about two hundred pages, and I wish that these books had been published at a time when children’s series were allowed to contain 700-page epics.

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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

After being unimpressed with Neverwhere and dismissing it as Early Gaiman, I was delighted to read Good Omens and find that even though this was written several years before Neverwhere, it’s just as good as Gaiman’s later works. Possibly this is due to Pratchett’s influence – at the end of the book, there’s a nice afterword where the two authors talk about the process of creating the story and who was responsible for writing which parts, so you can get an idea of how the story was shaped and developed. I’ve never read anything by Terry Pratchett before this and was unfamiliar with his work, but I’m very familiar with Gaiman’s writing style by this point, having read five or six of his books. That being said, I was unable to see where Gaiman’s writing ended and Pratchett’s began, which was ultimately a good thing. If two authors must insist on co-writing a book, they should at least try to mesh their writing so the reader doesn’t notice the book has two authors (I’m looking at you, David Levithan and John Green).

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The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness #3) by Tamora Pierce

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3)

 

Based on what I’ve read on Goodreads, the general fan consensus seems to be that this book is the weakest of the quartet. I enjoyed it just as much as the previous two books, but can see why people tend to list it as their least favorite. The story takes place almost entirely in a single location, as Alanna goes to live in the desert after graduating as a knight (and killing Duke Roger) at the end of Book 2. The people she falls in with are the Bazhir, who we met briefly in Book One when she and Jonathon went to the Black City, but the people and their culture is explored in much greater depth here.

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