Here is my delayed Reading Roundup! I put off writing it yesterday as I had procrastinated about reviewing my finished books on Goodreads and felt rather daunted by the task. This is because I have read so many books this week – four completed and well on the way with a fifth. It is a long time since I became so engrossed in a book series that I simply couldn’t stop reading! More about that series later in the post.
My first book was the last in the Duel of Sorcery series by Jo Clayton: Changer’s Moon. Here is the blurb:
The two contenders tossed the dice for the final contest. The Noris drew the Runner, the Sword, the Sorcerer, the Eye. He was pleased. The armies could march. The valley and all that was in it would be his.
The Indweller drew the Kingfisher, the Poet-warrior, the Priestess, the Magic Child. “The mix as before,” she said, “but with a change.” She pointed to the priestess. She still had a chance.
And the chance was Serroi, once the puppet of the Noris, now moving through the people like an electric current, against the patriarchs, to serve the Changer. For the Coyote was the one who could alter the rules – and make the incredible credible and the impossible possible…
Well, that is not the best blurb I have read! Anyway, here is my short review – I did enjoy reading the series, which I found on our library’s ebook catalogue:
This book nicely finished off the trilogy, although I have just seen that there are more books available that are set in this world. There was a rather odd inclusion of people from another world with newer technology. I am not sure that this was a good idea. The battle scenes were exciting enough and the ending of the book felt right to me.
I had two books on reserve at the library and collected them last week. The first of the two was the sequel to Megan Lindholm’s The Reindeer People, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, Wolf’s Brother. Here is the blurb:
The magic is strong in Kerlew. Every day it grows, reaching out to the Wolf spirit that will be his guide. But the magic in Kerlew that calls to the beasts and to the spirit world also calls to Carp, the evil old shaman, who follows Kerlew and his mother, Tillu, across the frozen wastes.
I gave the book three stars on Goodreads and wrote the following:
Like many other reviewers, I think that these two books should have been published in one volume. I really enjoyed reading about the background to the story – the author must have undertaken a vast amount of research into the life of prehistoric reindeer herders. The scene-setting is also excellent with details of the landscape, flora and fauna. Very interesting and enjoyable.
My second of the two reservations was part one of a new fantasy series. Regular library users will know the frustration of finding parts two and three of a series, but the first book being out on loan! Well, that happened to me and so I put in a reservation on our online system. And I am so glad that I did! This trilogy has had me gripped far into the evening – one of the “compensations” for being bedridden most of the week.
It was worth waiting for part one of The Wounded Kingdom series by R J Barker: Age of Assassins. This is the blurb:
Girton Club-foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But his latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder.
In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire kingdom.
I loved this book so much that I gave it the full five stars, filed it under “favourites” and wrote this rather poor review (I am struggling to express myself adequately):
Wow! What a great debut. I was so gripped by this book that I simply couldn’t put it down and I read it far into the night. The characters and world building are superb. What looks on the surface like a typical swords and sorcery fantasy is developed into a far more complex and exciting tale. There is political intrigue, and a coming-of-age theme here too. Our “hero” is flawed and makes mistakes, but is also interesting. I can’t find much more to say without spoilers! Highly recommended.
I am so lucky to have borrowed the entire trilogy at one go! Patience is not my virtue at all. This is the blurb for the second book, Blood of Assassins:
The king is dead, long live the king…
The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists.
War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.
If anything, I thought that this book was even better! Again, it was worth five stars and the following:
This is an excellent sequel to a brilliant first book. Barker will certainly be an author to watch for in the future. It is hard to write a review because of spoilers, but I will say that I like the fact that our main characters are not infallible. They make mistakes and are forced to learn from and accept their flaws. Larger scale battles and warfare are a major part of this book and the political machinations continue. Now looking forward to part three!
And here is the cover for part three, King of Assassins. I am about a third of the way through and cannot wait to return to it when I have finished writing this post.
Happy Reading to you all!