Limitless Praise for Limited Wish!

*Received from Netgalley in exchange for review, but the infinite gushing is all me*

 

Well hello there! No, you’re not getting déjà vu, I am wearing the same outfit that I did when I reviewed One Word Kill, but that’s not cos I time travelled from an alternate reality, it’s cos I’m here to review the sequel! (plus I didn’t want it to go to waste 😉)

Reading the recap, I was immediately reminded how complex Lawrence’s creation is. With more time travelling fun, this sequel has the added benefit of dual timelines, hinging on multiple choices.

From the outset, there were even more laugh out loud moments and perfectly balanced descriptions. Each sentence had a careful equilibrium, making me appreciate the writing in new ways. With unbelievable skill, Lawrence showed us maths through the eyes of the protagonist, making it more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.

This all works to create a world that is both vivid and a little mind-boggling. What I especially like about it is the way there’s a supernatural strangeness to the story. And of course, I love the characters that populate this world.

I was blown away by the characterisation here. For instance, when Sam introduces himself as Sir Algeron, we instantly know what he is about. All of them are made from an intelligent blend of chaotic and orderly traits, making sense on the surface and yet having enough incongruities so that they feel astoundingly realistic.

This not only equates to a fascinating window into human nature, it also allows the reader to be fully immersed in the story. And what a fantastic story it is! There’s no middle book syndrome here, as we’re thrown straight back into the narrative. Remarkably, the ideas are just as sophisticated as the last. I particularly loved the idea of Nick being a “statistical anomaly” and the clever consequences that produced. I did guess who Eva was, but that didn’t subtract from my enjoyment in any way, though I will say I was more impressed by how D&D was entwined with the plot again! If you do pick this up, you can expect non-stop action and excitement. And, miraculously, Lawrence managed to pull all this off, whilst also managing to end on a sweet note yet again!

The sum total of all this is I enjoyed the heck out of this sequel!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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So have you started the Impossible Times series? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

One Word Kill *SLAYED ME*

*Received from Netgalley in exchange for review, but the limitless gushing is all me*

Me a month ago: “wow, the book of the ancestor was probably Lawrence’s best series.”

Mark Lawrence: HOLD MY BEER!

one word killThis is one of those pieces you just have to stand back and marvel at. All the exquisite intricacies, the intriguing ideas and the time-bending concepts come into view. And even with the full picture you are blown away.

Let’s back up a minute. This is a book where dungeons and dragons playing teens get embroiled in mystery and high stakes drama. It’s a book so deliciously dorky and endlessly entertaining- plus it made me want to plan more D&D 😉 I enjoyed every second, from beginning to end- not least the heartstoppingly cute last line!

But, if you think it’s just fun and games, don’t be fooled! This is Lawrence’s most sophisticated work. Something about this book switched the lights on in my brain and wouldn’t let me switch them off again. For all its seeming simplicity, there are resonant messages beneath the surface and an abundance of genius to keep a reader preoccupied. Forgive me, I am lost for words: this book was simply brilliant, beautiful and meaningful.

And that’s to say nothing of the writing. It was sharper than ever and witty to boot. The descriptions were incredible and the thoughts insightful. It was so gorgeous that I highlighted way too much and consequently had a difficult time going through my notes 😉

While there is a sense of pervasive sadness to the mood, given that the main character is deathly ill, I was amazed at how often there is light to offset the darkness. The atmosphere is ever-present and yet not overwhelming. Thanks to the distinctive voice, the reader can see both the beauty and the humour, even when all seems lost.

Personally, it was this main character that drew me into the story. Unlike so many figures in fiction, he has a toughness that is all the more admirable, because it doesn’t form in his fists. Not that I don’t appreciate that- but is characterisation hit me hard, because it rests on mind over matter. This protagonist, together with an incredible cast, makes it impossible to not to get heavily invested.

Ultimately, if I could give more than 5 bananas I would… *hang on a minute*… Let me work some magic…

dungeons and dragons orangutanOk I called over some more monkey mes from a parallel universe so we could pool our resources- this should do the trick…

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So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments! 

Bless me: Holy Sister is *Glorious*!

Hallelujah! Holy Sister is here and damn it delivered. *Look upon it in wonder*

Thank you so much to the author who sent me a copy in exchange for review!

The prologue shines, from the pov of an empath, meaning you can feel the intensity from the get-go. And that, my friends, is nothing- because there is so much more emotion to come!

From there the plot goes at breakneck speed, never letting up, dropping bombshell after bombshell. Hell, Holy Sister is jam-packed with action!! Flashing back and forth, from past to present, layer upon layer of intrigue is added. The twists and turns keep coming, the story gains a breathless-pace, until all I had left to say was: wow. Lawrence certainly knows how to write explosive endings- cos this is certainly a fantastic series finale.

It certainly helped that Nona Grey’s characterisation was wicked strong here. I loved the idea that Nona felt the loss of her shadow- it showed the high cost of magic and also gave her something to strive for. What I especially liked was the theme of learning to be a little more human, rather than superhuman, and the journey of a hero to perhaps live beyond their saga. I also appreciated how this arc was presented in contrast to Zole- the characters being two sides of the same coin and yet Nona is learning to embrace her demons, to be imperfect and to rely on others.

Which was wonderful, because this has always been a series about the threads that bind us. Sisterhood and friendship are strong motifs- but sharp characters like Glass cannot be forgotten- pulling the strings from behind the scenes. In a cast of vivid characters, she still manages to shine.

Beyond this, I loved the descriptions and enjoyed the acute aphorisms like “We are never more vulnerable than when we are giving chase”. It was an effortlessly quotable read and the world building felt so real (even if it’s the kind of all-out fantasy you can revel in 😉). I was awed by how complex the magic system was and carried away by the powerful atmosphere. All in all, it can come as no surprise that I gave this:

5/5 bananas

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Oh and I also couldn’t resist getting all dressed up in celebration of this series- although I’m not going to claim my costume is book accurate, I reckon I make a pretty killer nun! 😉

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So what do you think? Have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

Bound to Love Bound

*Received from the author, but all gushy opinions are my own*

bound lawrenceGotta admit: this review is coming a little sooner than I planned. Basically I’m procrastinating on a review of a book that made me less-than-happy with one that made me all warm and fuzzy inside. Makes sense, right?

This novella, which takes place between Grey Sister and Holy Sister, packed *a lot* into the tight space. It was entertaining, emotional and even a little funny. The dialogue had a witty punch to it; the writing was assured and effective. It’s intricately plotted and manages to come full circle in a delightful way.

More importantly, it’s an incredibly sweet tale. There are moments of atmospheric tension, however, above all this is a romantic tale- and you guys know how I love my romance! This was a simply lovely story woven from a seemingly insignificant point. As you might be able to tell, I’m struggling not to give anything away and will only say that this is a narrative that shows us there is nothing more dangerous than a kiss.

What I especially liked was how it felt like a necessary edition to the series- yet is also a delectable treat that whets the appetite for more. As someone that already adores the characters, I was obviously invested, but this gives a little bit more when it comes to going behind the scenes and developing relationships. Bound brings you straight back into the world of Book of the Ancestor, whilst easily being its own thing. In short, it does exactly what a story of this length should do!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Evidently, I’m having a lot of luck with novellas recently! Has anyone else read this? And do you have a novella you’ve enjoyed lately? Let me know in the comments!

Emperor of Thorns Was a Sharp One

*No spoilers!*

emperor of thornsI’m an endings person. I’ve mentioned this before- I’ve always thought there’s no point starting well and ending badly. That cathartic chord of a well struck conclusion is where it’s at for me. And I’m not the only one that thinks this- series are often judged on their endings- so there was a lot of pressure for this book, the last in a so-far excellent series, to deliver that perfect final note.

And boy- what an ending this was! To say that the tempo was raised in this book would be an understatement. So far the journey had been mental, but even then there was no way to see where the road was heading. The direction it took was on another plain (quite literally- it is fantasy after all). With more than one twist of the knife, this story skewered my heart and dragged it up through my throat. Every wild turn gave me palpitations. Lawrence said in the afterword that he wanted to end this series on a high- and by god did he do that. (And by high I mean: mind-blowingly, soul-crushingly good)

As you all know by this stage, I love Jorgy. But what was a marvellous addition to this book was having sections dedicated to the villainous Chella. Yes, that’s right, this book has villains to offset its anti-heroes. It added another dimension to the book.

And like always, it was amazingly well written:

“The scars of the briar mark me, a calligraphy of violence a message blood-writ, requiring a lifetime to translate”

“Careless words scattered like broken glass for the Brettan to pick a path through. Chella came to Kai’s aid before he cut himself”

“I’m only an echo and I feel only an echo of the love he would have had for you. But it’s a very loud echo.”

I mean that just speaks for itself!!

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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Do you like this series? Are you planning on picking it up? And which book do you reckon ended especially well? Let me know in the comments?

King of Thorns is Another Stinging Blow for Fantasy!

king of thornsWell this was a show stopper make no mistake! Although I shouldn’t be surprised because this is what I’ve come to expect from a Mark Lawrence book! This book was absolutely chockablock with the non-stop excitement!

Jam packed with action, a great plot and character development, especially from Katherine, this was a wholly satisfying read. Also, while I’m on the subject of character, MORE JORG is always welcome in my life. And Lawrence doesn’t let up in his characterisation- I mean just look at this:

“Genealogy can work for me or I can cut down the family tree and make a battering ram”

How stonkingly good is that writing? How perfectly balanced is that double entendre? It’s a thing of beauty.

Like the first one, I thought it was excellently structured (which I somehow missed out in my review). I loved how it flicked between time periods and found the way the story folded in on itself. It was masterfully done.

And in terms of the construction of this book, I have to talk a moment about the world building. I’ve mentioned before how I love the ominously dystopic elements in this series- but the true magic and ingenuity is in the details like Fexler- no spoilers, but it’s awesome!

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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Have you read this series? Do you like it? Let me know in the comments!

Holy Moly- Red Sister was Divine!

*I received this on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

red sisterEvery so often a book comes along that reminds you why you fell in love with your favourite genre. This was one of those books for me. If you are in any way a fantasy lover, then this book will be right up your street!

Utterly absorbing and wonderfully crafted, the world building in this was outstanding. I really admired the dystopic, end of the world feel, combined with high fantasy elements. It was both unique and reminiscent of the best of the genre.

I also loved the writing style. The sumptuous storytelling was nothing short of gorgeous- the kind that is like warm, thick blankets you can wrap around yourself and get totally lost in. Tucked up with such a story, there’s no doubt I felt like I had come home.

And you have to love the characters!! True to form with what I’ve experienced so far of Mark Lawrence’s characters, the whole cast is richly drawn and intriguingly complex. I mean they’re killer nuns for goodness sakes- need I say more? Most importantly of all though, the protagonist, Nona Grey is as sharp as a knife’s edge and one serious badass!

Now while the pacing does change tempo in a lot in places, the ending is so exhilarating that all you are left with is a feeling of “I want more!!”

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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This is out in two weeks on 4th April- so be sure to snag a copy!!

Will you be reading this? What book reaffirmed your love of your favourite genre? Let me know in the comments!