September: Wrap-Up

Here are the books that I read in the month of September along with some reviews linked. I read… less than I wanted, but with school, a bout of food poisoning and work I didn’t have much time. Hopefully I’ll be able to read more come October. What did you read this month? Did you enjoy them?

Darkdawn- Jay Kristoff

Find my review here.

The Poppy War- R.F Kuang

Find my review here.

Serpent and Dove

Find my review here.

The Final Empire- Brandon Sanderson

Review to come soon!

The Greatest Show on Earth- Richard Dawkins

Currently Reading

The Well of Ascension

Currently Reading

The Future of Humanity- Michio Kaku

Currently Reading

WWW Wednesday- September 25th, 2019

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

This is a re-read for me. I love Brandon Sanderson and all of the books I’ve read from him. This is such an interesting concept. This is a story that has loss, love, despair and hope. It has everything that I love. The characters are dynamic and well fleshed out. I’m also planning on re-reading the second book in the series, The Well of Ascension, very shortly after I finish this one.


Recently Finished Reading

Okay, this is a book that I was super excited to read and I was not disappointed! This is a story of a witch and a witch hunter who are forced into holy matrimony and the chaos that ensues.

I really enjoyed this book. I felt like the development of characters and their romance was developed well. It was definitely not insta-love and I found myself rooting for them at the end. Some of the twists were a little out of nowhere, but I still enjoyed myself while reading.


Reading Next

This is the sequel to the book I’m currently reading. This will also be a re-read for me, but I don’t remember any of it. I’m excited to continue immersing myself in the world. I will be reading the third book, Hero of Ages, for the first time and I’m excited to see what the conclusion to this trilogy is.

What are you reading? What did you just finish reading? What are you planning on reading next?

I hope you have a wonderful day, and as always, happy reading.

~Cam

Book Review: Serpent and Dove


Rating: 5 out of 5.

  • Author: Shelby Mahurin
  • Genre: YA, Fantasy
  • Page Count: 528
  • Date Started: August 9th
  • Date Finished: August 14th

A Brief Description

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Goodreads || Amazon


My Review

Alright. This is late. This is VERY late. Now that the semester has finally started to pick up some steam, I’ve been very busy with school and work, please bear with me.

Okay, so on to the review. I loved this book. This book started with Lou, a feisty, strong willed witch who is living in the city of Cesarine, which is the main hub for Chasseurs, or witch hunters. She is currently in hiding from… someone. Who that is, is a spoiler and you’ll have to read it to find out who that is. I love Lou. She’s a strong, foul-mouthed female character who knows what she wants and will not let others get in her way. In a time when women are not given the same opportunities as men and expected to fit into the small box of being a wife and a mother (and nothing else), Lou is different. She fights to be an independent woman at the risk of being burned at the stake.

Reid, the love interest and the witch hunter, is a cinnamon roll disguised as a prickly man. At first I didn’t like him, but once him and Lou start to warm up to each other I realized that he was a total softie on the inside. At first he is offended by Lou’s cursing and her independence. He has never been exposed to anything else and is shocked to see a woman who isn’t quiet and submissive. Once they are forced into holy matrimony, they hate each other. They fight and are at ends with each other at all times. Soon their romance blossoms and let me tell you, I wasn’t a fan of enemies to lovers before, but I sure am now!

The world was well built, and the witches in this were truly terrifying. There were different kinds of witches, Blanche witches and Red witches. Each had a different kind of magic and utilized it differently. White witches were a kind of elemental witch that felt for connections in the world around them. Using magic required a balance, so there were times that if Lou used magic she would become sick due to this. Red witches used blood magic and many times needed to use their own blood to use magic. I enjoyed the magic system and thought it was well thought out. I extremely appreciated the fact that it was a “hard magic system” that had limits for the user.

The twist at the end was… unexpected and I didn’t really see it coming. There was no foreshadowing and it seemed rather out of nowhere, but I still enjoyed the story nonetheless. Have you read this? Have you enjoyed it?

Let me know in the comments below! Have a wonderful day, and as always, keep reading! 🙂

~Cam

Book Review: The Poppy War


Rating: 5 out of 5.

  • Author: R.F. Kuang
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Page Count: 544
  • Date Started: August 29
  • Date Finished: September 10
  • Spoilers? No, no spoilers ahead.

A Brief Description

A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

Goodreads || Amazon (US)


Chaos does not discriminate…

R.F. Kuang

My Review

This book was a ride. I was drawn in by the first 50 pages. This book is about Rin who gets in to Nikara’s most prestigious school, Sinegard. Here she trains to be a warrior, but it’s so much more than that. This book was dark, gritty and political aspects of a world at war. This also dealt with some hard hitting topics, such as addiction, the consequences of war and how relationships struggle to survive with both of these aspects in play.

Rin, and all the other characters in this book are incredibly, un-apologetically morally gray. Rin, a war orphan, was raised in a provincial town, adjusts to the culture of Sinegard, where the children or generals and war lords are accepted. She struggles with feeling inadequate and grows into her new life.

The ending was tragic and unexpected. I became incredibly attached to the characters (and there are A LOT of characters) I am very excited to pick up the next book in the series “The Dragon Republic.”

One thing I’m going to note is that this book is very heavy on the plot, politics and characters. In addition, this book does not shy away from gore (there’s a lot of gore). It also does not shy away from the hard hitting topics, such as abuse, addiction, war, violence etc. If you aren’t interested in reading a book that has a lot of these topics and themes throughout, I would skip this one.

Have you read this one? What did you think? If not, do you think you’ll be picking it up soon! Let me know in the comments. I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and as always, keep reading 🙂


~Cam

WWW Wednesday- September 4th, 2019

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

I FINALLY have Darkdawn in my hands. I have been waiting for this book since I finished Godsgrave in August. I don’t know how those who had to wait a whole 2 years for this book did it! I’m not very far into it, but I’m LOVING it. I know that I’m going to fly through it. I’m definitely trying to avoid any spoilers online and have been successful with this so far!

I’m also reading The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. I’m a little bit over halfway through this one, and I’m enjoying it. I definitely love the characters in this, and the world building is amazing! I don’t want to say much else on this one until I review it, so stick around for that soon! 🙂


Recently Finished

I had some very mixed feelings about this one. I gave this one three stars, and while I enjoyed it, I had some qualms with some of the characters and the way the story was written. I think I will still be reading the sequel so I can find out what happens, but it’s going to be on the back burner for now. Check out my review for The Cruel Prince by Holly Black here.


Reading Next

Okay, this is another book that I have been super excited to read. This is a story of a witch and a witch hunter who are forced into holy matrimony and the chaos that ensues. I am so excited to read this one, and I have MAJOR cover love for it as well. It’s even more gorgeous in person! I’ll probably pick this up after I finish reading what I’m currently reading.

What are you reading? What did you just finish reading? What are you planning on reading next?

I hope you have a wonderful day, and as always, happy reading.

~Cam

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Tropes


***Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018, where Jana posts topics in advance for other bloggers to make posts about. ***


Heists

Heists, thieves and sneaking around? Come on, what’s not to love? Six of Crows and The Lies of Locke Lamora have to be two of my faves fantasies out there, so it comes as no surprise that this is on my list.


Hard Exterior/Gooey Interior

I love a character who exhibits the rough around the edges, “tough boy/girl” exterior while inside they truly do care about others strongly and deeply. I always love a character who tries to project that they don’t care, but fails due to how they empathize /sympathize with those around them.


Strong Female Character

Do I really need to elaborate on why I need this trope in my life?


Non Linear Timeline

Alright alright, hear me out: I love non linear timelines. I love to see the juxtaposition between past and present, present and future etc. I love to see the how things were and how they are now. I love to theorize how they got that way, or why. My favorite example of this is The Handmaid’s Tale . It leaves a lot of room for theories and twists.


Hidden Royalty

I love a “you’re actually a queen/princess/prince/king story” I love to see how the person changes after they find out they’re a royal. To be honest, I love stories that include royalty in general.


Found Family

I love found family. As someone who doesn’t have a “traditional family” I feel found family in a very profound way. There’s nothing more heartwarming than finding unconditionally supportive friends who are closer than family, especially in books.


SPACE

If you couldn’t tell by my theme, and my blog’s name, I love anything space. I find the topic of space so fascinating and so brilliant that I am always drawn to science fiction and books set in other galaxies, planets, worlds etc.


Quests

I love a well built world, I love the mystery and intrigue of trying to figure out how to solve a world shattering problem. Quests allow me to explore a world, while also having some major problem solving take place.


Intrigue/Politics

I love a world that has intrigue, politics, backstabbing, oh the drama! I love a character who feels like a fish out of water navigating the courts of some far off kingdom as they try to hide their identity and fit in. I love it all. It’s just very entertaining to read, and I love to read about the politcal strife that kingdoms/countries undergo and how our characters react to it.


Hard Magic Systems

I love a magic system that has rules. I love a magic system that limits our character to a certain extent so they have to use their problem solving skills to come up with a solution to defeat whatever villain they are up against.


What about you? What some of your #TopTenTuesday tropes? Do you share any of mine? Do you dislike any of mine? Let’s discuss below! I hope you have a wonderful day, and remember to keep reading. 🙂

~Cam