Book Review: The Way of Kings

Rating: 5 out of 5.

  • Author: Brandon Sanderson
  • Genre: High Fantasy
  • Page Count: 1254
  • Date Started: January 2nd
  • Date Finished: February 9th
  • Spoilers? No

A Brief Description

I long for the days before the Last Desolation. Before the Heralds abandoned us and the Knights Radiant turned against us. When there was still magic in Roshar and honor in the hearts of men.

In the end, not war but victory proved the greater test. Did our foes see that the harder they fought, the fiercer our resistance? Fire and hammer forge a sword; time and neglect rust it away. So we won the world, yet lost it.

Now there are four whom we watch: the surgeon, forced to forsake healing and fight in the most brutal war of our time; the assassin, who weeps as he kills; the liar, who wears her scholar’s mantle over a thief’s heart; and the prince, whose eyes open to the ancient past as his thirst for battle wanes.

One of them may redeem us. One of them will destroy us.

Goodreads || Amazon

A story doesn’t live until it is imagined in someone’s mind.

Brandon Sanderson pg 1005

A Brief Review

Brandon Sanderson has woven a complex high fantasy tale set in a rich and detailed world with equally morally grey and complex characters.

This story follows a myriad of characters, at least 5 or 6 main characters throughout the course of this tome, this is an epic fantasy after all. The characters start off in very separate places and story lines, but they eventually collide into one final endgame. Some of the story lines are more interesting than others but in the end, I loved each and every character.

Kaladin Stormblessed, is probably my favorite character that Brandon Sanderson has written to date, if not ever. He’s a compassionate, compelling man who has been forced to join Bridge Four as a bridgeman. This means that he and the rest of his Bridge crew carry a bridge on their backs so that the army can cross the caverns and ravines that criss-cross the Shattered Plains. Kaladin aims to become an inspiration to those around him, to lift them from their despondant depression. To shake them into rising above themselves and to becoming more, and he succeeds. I loved the camaraderie that exists in Bridge Four and how close they all get. His development and the strength of his character arc made him one of my favorite characters to read about.

Shallan, a young girl who is visiting Kharbranth, a city of knowledge and learning, to seek an object that can save her family from destitution. She is an artist, with a photographic memory. There are parts of the story that offer some of her drawings and sketches and this only added to my enjoyment of the book, as it added so much world-building and information for the reader effortlessly. She will stop at nothing to get this. She gets herself into some pretty sticky intrigue and political plots. I liked this plot, but I know it’s not as popular as the others in this book. I really liked her character and how she would stop at nothing to get her family what they needed. I will say that this particular character arc felt distant from the character arcs of those at the Shattered Plains, but it certainly offered much-needed insight.

Dalinar, a respected highprince who is a legendary general and warrior is one of the other POVs. He has a very interesting story line. He feels guilty about an earlier failure that leaves him feeling burdened with guilt and doubt. Not to mention that he gets these strange and very real visions that befall him every highstorm (more on those later). He struggles with honor duty to his nation.

Adolin, son of Dalinar… (More on his story line later)

Roshar, the world that this story takes place in is unbelievably complex and detailed. There are highstorms that sweep the land. These are these very high powered storms that are infused with Stormlight, which is a magical element in this world. Humans need to hide everytime one of these storms sweeps the land. The plants and life in Roshar has adapted to these powerful storms, and the landscape changes as well.

The magic system was not explained as much, but I can imagine that more will come to light (ha, get it?) in the sequels. As far as I can tell, there are magical things called Shards that can be used to craft shardblades and shardplate, these are magically infused weapons and suits of armor that make the wearer and user incredibly powerful. There are not as many of these suits of armor and swords around, so the highprinces and nobles are fighting for these, as they will make their armies more powerful.

As far as the plot, there were moments where it dragged, but that seems to be the same for most high fantasy stories. The last 150 pages or so had me on the edge of my seat, and the conclusion of this left me needing more.

All of that being said, I can’t wait to read Words of Radiance and continue these characters stories.

Have you read this? What did you think?



Books I Want to Read in 2020

Ahh, a new year. A new year means that we have a whole year of new releases and exciting new titles ahead of us. But, to be honest, there is never enough time for me to read all of the books that I want to read. I have sooooo many titles that I’ve been excited to read on the back-list. These are a few titles that I’m interested in reading that are not new releases! There are a few titles from as far back as 2016 or so that I have been meaning to get to.

Way of Kings- Brandon Sanderson
The Savior’s Champion- Jenna Moreci
Rebecca- Daphne du Maurier
House of Salt and Sorrows- Erin A. Craig
Elantris- Brandon Sanderson
The Eye of the World- Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time Bk1)
An Unkindness of Magicians- Kat Howard
Velocity Weapon- Megan E. O’Keefe
The Well of Ascension- Brandon Sanderson
The Anatomy of Story- John Truby
Starsight- Brandon Sanderson
Foundryside- Robert Jackson Bennett

I have a lot of different reasons for not having gotten to these books sooner. Some of those include, I don’t have the time, my reading moods just didn’t align with the genre and some of these have more pages than I can handle at a given time. I do plan on getting to these this year (hopefully)

Whatever my reasons for not getting to these, I am going to try my absolute hardest to get to these and make them my priority this year. What are you planning on reading? What are some books that you have put off reading until 2020?

Happy New Year, and Happy Reading!


January TBR

Happy New Years! Here are some of the books that I am planning on reading in January of 2020! I think I have a pretty broad selection here, so my hope is that I can find some brand new loves.

Vicious- V.E. Schwab
The Magicians- Lev Grossman
Velocity Weapon- Megan E. O’Keefe
The Starless Sea- Erin Morgenstern
Starsight- Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Kings- Brandon Sanderson
Radiance- Catherynne M. Valente
The Anatomy of Story- John Truby
The Savior’s Champion- Jenna Moreci

There are a few books here that I’ve been meaning to read for a very very long time, so I know that those will be the priority, but I feel like I have a really good spread here for books I want to get through. I’m hopeful to find some new favorites this year. What are you reading first in 2020?


WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is pretty simple, every week you dedicate a post to the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

What am i currently reading?

I am LOVING this book. It’s probably going to be another favorite of the year. The premise of magic as an illness is such an interesting concept. To boot, this story has some activism regarding immigrants and the rights that they should have in nations that they live in. I’m truly loving it. I highly recommend it. It also has some LGBTQ rep that is healthy! Go read The Fever King by Victoria Lee!

What have I just finished reading?

Oh boy. Okay, so I finished reading this one a few days ago, and let me tell ya, I was somewhat disappointed. I gave this a 2.5 stars and you can see my more in depth thoughts on my review. I was disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I was expecting to. I’m also not really big on dystopian to begin with. There were some good messages in this story, I just thought that they were executed in a very strange manner. That being said, please feel free to read it, let me know your thoughts if you have/decide to read this.

What am i reading next?

I’ve been really craving a sci-fi lately, so I’m going to read this one. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what this novel is about. I know it has a ship, and a girl whose brother leaves their family to fight a useless war. The thing that drew me to this book was the cover. I love the bright colors on it and am really excited to start it once I finish the book I am currently reading!

What is you WWW Wednesday? Link it in the comments below, or just let me know! I’m interested to discuss them.

Have a great day, and as always keep reading!


Book Review: The Grace Year

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

  • Author: Kim Liggett
  • Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
  • Page Count: 404
  • Date Started: December 4th
  • Date Finished:
  • Spoilers?: Yes. Sort of?

A Brief Description


No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

Goodreads || Amazon

My Review

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett is pitched as a pinch of The Handmaid’s Tale, a bit of Hunger Games and a feminist Lord of the Flies. While I see all of these elements, I feel like it falls a little bit short of being “feminist”, at least for me.

I’m conflicted, because I really wanted to love this story, but parts of it fell flat for me.

In Garner County, girls who turn 16 are thought to possess the magic to entice grown men and make older women jealous, so to combat this, they are sent to an isolated camp to release their magic into the wild for a year. Some will return, and when they do they are considered purified and ready for marriage.

The story follows Tierney James, a girl from Garner County during her grace year. Tierney is known as “Tierney the Terrible” in her group of grace girls. She has never really fit in, and in Garner County this can be incredibly dangerous. Women are only seen as possessions, property to their husbands. Right before being sent off for their grace years, many of the young girls are married off to other men in the community. Many times, these men are significantly older than the young girls they are marrying. The girls also have no say in -who- they marry. All is chosen by the men in the county and their fathers. Not only that, but being “veiled” is seen as the upmost priority. If you are not veiled you will return to the county and work in indentured servitude in other areas of the county, which is seen as ‘less-than’ when compared to being a wife.

So we have a very oppressive government, filled with men who seem to believe that they own the women around them. Women are not allowed to do anything without the permission of their husbands. Husbands are allowed to accuse their wives of indecencies, use of magic, of anything really, and condemn them to death if they see fit. All of this done in the name of religion. Women in the county must be pure and subservient above all else.

You get the picture.

Tierney, not really liked by the girls in the county has one male friend named Michael. On her “veiling day” she does not expect to get a veil, but does, from Michael, who of course has always loved her. She takes offense to this, as it is not what she wants. She even -told- Michael that she did not to be a wife and had resigned herself to never getting married. Tierney was a little bit bone-headed and didn’t really think of things before she did them. She would think “maybe I shouldn’t do this thing” and then she would do the thing, and wonder why it blew up in her face.

To add to this, it throws a gasoline on to the fire due to Michael having promised to marry one of the other girls who is a grace girl with Tierney. Her name is Kiersten, and she almost seemed like a caricature mean girl. I don’t understand why she hated Tierney, and all the other girls for that matter as much as she did. She was mean, petty and caused the death of multiple other girls, just for funsies. Kiersten was just a villain to be a villain. While Tierney was attempting to help the group of girls survive, Kiersten attempts to sabotage every single one of those attempts which just led to chaos. I just can’t fathom why this girl would destroy buckets that Tierney made for the purpose of collecting rain water. I just…


Okay…. so the story itself, the world, nothing was really explained… at all. You were thrown in and were told nothing about what time period the story takes place in, why they think women have magic, why poachers chase the young girls -yep-, or why the poachers take women apart, piece by piece, to be used as “fountain of youths” by the others in the county. I think the author was trying to add an air of mystique or mystery, but it just ended up seeming like it wasn’t fleshed out enough or like the plot itself was hazy.

The plot makes it seem like you’ll have girls rising up against this oppressive county that has been keeping them down for so long, like you’ll have women finally rising up, and like -some- revolution should be taking place. That happens, at the very end of the story, and it happened in such a way that it was entirely unexpected, but in a good way. I tacked on that extra .5 stars because of the ending if I am being completely honest. The ending was executed in a way that it all came together just right. But…here’s the thing though, the rescues that took place in the book were all by men, one man in particular.

A poacher named Ryker, who Tierney ends up in an insta-love relationship with. Half of the time that Tierney and Ryker spend together are after Ryker rescues her and nurses her back to health on a promise that he made her father a year earlier. The moment she knows she wants to “be with him” are after he sees his face. Not to mention that Ryker is a man who was literally HUNTING her and the other girls with her. He refers to her as -prey- for 100 pages of a 400 page book. And it was insta-love and had absolutely no build-up at all. It just didn’t feel like the love was ratcheted up correctly. It felt rather hazy and almost like the romance was just tacked on after the rest of the book had been written.

This book had so much potential, but it just fell flat for me unfortunately.

Have you read this? Did you like it? What were your thoughts? Let’s discuss below!


Book Review: Fountains of Silence

Rating: 4 out of 5.

  • Author: Ruta Sepetys
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Page Count: 475
  • Date Started: December 1st
  • Date Finished: December 4th

A Brief Description

A portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship.

Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more.

Goodreads || Amazon

The Review

Okay. The atmosphere in this book was pretty great. You could feel the cold hand of Franco’s reign wrapping tighter around the characters as you read this.

The story of Ana, Puri, Daniel and Rafa really sticks with you.

Daniel Matheson, son of an American oil tycoon and a Spanish immigrant is an aspiring photographer who is visiting Spain with his parents. He comes with these ideas of what Spain is, mainly what the Francisco regime has told Americans and the world what Spain is, but finds a very different Spain exists for its inhabitants. One of the inhabitants of Spain is a young girl, a maid in the hotel he is staying in, named Ana.

Ana, a girl with secrets, works at the Castellana Hilton hotel, meets Daniel when she is assigned to his family.

Rafa, Ana’s older brother seemed almost… like a caricature? He has an interesting past, and has a friend who wants nothing more than to be a torero, a matador… but again, I feel like his character was very much a caricature.

Puri, Ana and Rafa’s cousin, is a nun who works at an orphanage, who begins to uncover some very unflattering things that are being done by the Franco regime involving children.

While all the characters were given colorful histories, I felt almost as if the surrounding areas were put on the back burner. The author captured Francoist Spain very well. The juxtaposition between the “American quarter”, or what I would describe as the “tourist area” of Spain and the area where tourists visited versus the areas where Spaniards actually lived very well. The tourist areas were described very richly, and had vibrancy, while the areas where natives lived were rundown and very crowded.

The author used snippets and clips of propoganda that was used in Francoist Spain to subjugate the people. For example, the Sección Femenina, which is the Women’s Section, told women that they were inferior to men and that they belonged in the home and in the role of being a mother. This is based mainly on extremist religious and Catholic beliefs, but this is what guided Franco. No other religions were allowed to be practiced in the open. This included weddings and funerals. Any Republican (those that were aligned against Franco and his government) were tortured, imprisoned, killed, or all three.

That being said, where was the flamenco? Where was the music? Where was the bright Spain that I grew up hearing about from my mom? (Who also grew up in Franco’s Spain).

In addition, this story was slow. It took a while for the characters to get to where they needed to go and the story almost seemed to end abruptly and it left me hanging with quite a few story strands.

All of this being said, I enjoyed this story and would recommend reading this if you have any interest in Francoist Spain, or even if you just enjoy historical fiction!

Have you read this? What did you think?