Book Review: A Crown of Swords

Book Review: A Crown of Swords

I just finished up A Crown of Swords just last week, and since I am morally obligated to review any book I finish recently as soon as I can, here it is.

Every time I open up a Wheel of Time book, I get a bit nervous about what’s coming for me.

I mean there are 14 books in the series, some of them are bound to be a bit more dull than the others.

Game of Thrones suffered from some dull moments, and there are less than half the amount of Wheel of Time books. So far, I haven’t been disappointing. For the most part, Wheel of Time books have a lot of moments that are spectacular, and some that are dull, but necessary.

A Crown of Swords fit that description, but one thing I will give it, that I don’t remember happening to me in any of the previous books, was that the events in the book seemed to fly by.

I’ll probably do a bad job at explaining it, but when I was reading it, I would sometimes find myself chapters further in the book, and twenty minutes had gone by.

You know the old saying, Time flies when you’re having fun. That fit perfectly when I was reading this one, and I don’t think I had experienced it in any other Wheel of Time book.

I think what made the book fun for me was Mat. As of now he is my favourite character, and he was heavily prominent in this segment of the series. That, mixed with other character plots and setting up future events in the series really made me enjoy the book a lot more than I was hoping for.

But, as much as I liked A Crown of Swords, it was not perfect. In fact, there were some classic Robert Jordan moments in it that get on my nerves whenever they happen.

Jordan likes to have an overarching villain throughout the series, which is fine, and give him some Lieutenants that sort of do his dirty work while we wait to get to the main villain.

I don’t mind the concept. In fact I’d prefer it because we can sort of see the main characters grow and become stronger over time, defeating more and more bad guys.

A problem that Jordan has though, is that he will introduce some bad guys, fleshing them out three or four books before they become relevant again, and then in a snap of your fingers, the main characters win against him/her.

Nynaeve’s conflict against Mogedhien was completely relevant. We know there’s a grudge there, and we know that the two of them fighting in some way was going to happen.

Rand and Sammael had a conflict brewing, and we knew the fight between them would happen eventually, but to me it sort of seems their fight this book was rushed and unnecessary.

Rand is scheming all the time, and I understand that, but he literally wakes up from nearly dying a few days earlier, and instantly he brings some allies to go kill Sammael.

I know the battle needs to happen, but the second after he wakes up after being passed out for a few days, and against an opponent that I don’t think was mentioned more than once in the book previously.

Rand has a lot of wasted time in this book, so giving him a few chapters to better set up the conflict between himself and Sammael would have made a lot more sense.

And the battle itself ends in almost an instant. Rand shoots off some Baelfire, and BAM, fights over. Rand doesn’t even confirm that Sammael died, he just assumes that nobody could survive that attack and leaves it there.

As annoying as this was, I am excited for what Jordan did for Mat at the end of the book.

In his last chapter, Mat is searching Ebou Dar for Olver, as the city is being attacked by the Seanchan Empire. Mat basically gets thrown and crushed by rocks as they attack the city, and that’s where it stops.

I hope that the book continues from there, or not long after. I know in The Path of Daggers, he isn’t present because of his injuries in the attack, which was the same as Perrin earlier, but Mat’s storyline is one of my favourite ones in the books, so I am excited to see where he goes from his present situation.

overall, A Crown of Swords is a great book. I’d put it in the upper half of the Wheel of Time books I’ve read so far.

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Ask Me Anything + The Sunshine Blogger Award

Ask Me Anything + The Sunshine Blogger Award
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Thank you to Joanna Nicole for nominating me for this award! If you haven’t checked out her blog – The Geekish Brunette, I highly suggest checking it out! My content pales in comparison to hers, so do me a favor and follow her blog too!

Last week I also posted an Ask Me Anything, so it was perfect timing that these two events ended up on the same day. I’ll throw in my AMA questions and answers in at the end of the tag.

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WHAT IS THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
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Questions from Joanna Nicole @ The Geekish Brunette:

1.) What book has had the biggest impact on your life?

This is a really tough answer, because I don’t really know. It might sound a bit silly, but the books that have had the biggest impact on my life have probably been The Magic Treehouse series. They were some of the first books I ever remember reading, and I think they made me fall in love with reading when I was a young kid.

2.) What was your last book hangover?

Great. First two questions and I have a hard time answering them. I’m not really sure what to say for this because I am always reading at least two different books at one time, so there’s never really a chance for me to take a break from reading…I may be misunderstanding what book hangover means though.

3.) Favorite book quote and why?

Life before Death
Strength before Weakness
Journey before Destination.
It’s a quote from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive, and there is so much meaning behind each of those phrases that it really means a lot to me. The way I think of the quote is a little different than what Sanderson’s characters do, but I think he made it so that it can be interpreted differently. If it means anything I’m thinking of getting a tattoo of that quote.

4.) What is your favorite color and what book cover best shows it off?

Blue. Not even a question. Maybe I am just a stereotypical guy who likes the “boy” color. In terms of what book cover, I’d probably say what I’m reading now. A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan.

5.) Favorite book boyfriend/book girlfriend?

I’ve never thought of this one before, but probably Clary Fray/Fairchild in the Mortal Instruments series. Don’t ask why…but if you do I’d probably answer you.

6.) Do you prefer standalone or series?

Series for the most part, but I’ve read a few standalones recently that have tipped the scales just a little bit.

7.) Who is your favorite villain and why?

It’s a tie between Napoleon from Animal Farm and Sauron from Lord of the Rings. Both very different characters, but I liked seeing Napoleon grow into the villain throughout the book, but I also like Sauron’s presence and power, but we never actually get to see HIM, so it’s an interesting type of villain.

8.) Do you like morally grey characters?

Depends on the book/series, but overall yes. I think they make books more suspenseful as a whole, and add an interesting look at the world. Straight good or bad and you know what decisions will be made, but add a touch of grey and you never know what you’ll get.

9.) What got you into reading?

Like I said, The Magic Treehouse series was the first one I remember really getting into, and it opened my eyes to the fantastical possibilities that books can bring you.

10.) Favorite book-to-movie adaption?

As much as I am not a fan of how hyped the series is, I’d say Harry Potter. They did a good job adapting the movies for the big screen.

11.) What is your least favorite book genre?

Probably romance. I don’t hate it entirely, but it’s something I’ve dipped my toes into, and I haven’t been able to go any further. I think romance and I just don’t get along too well.

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My Questions:

1.) If you could get one book quote tattooed on your body, what and where would it be? (keep it clean people)
2.) One book series you want turned into a tv show or movie?
3.) If you could live in any book world, which would it be and why?
4.) If you had the power to read something, and make the words become reality in front of you, what book would you read first?
5.) What’s one really popular book you dislike?
6.) If you could have a pint with one author, dead or alive, who would it be?
7.) Where is your favorite place to read?
8.) What book death hit you the hardest?
9.) What book has been on your TBR the longest, and why?
10.) What is one idea for a book/series you wish you could act on and write?
11.) What’s one book you love that you think everyone should read?

I don’t know 11 other book bloggers well enough to tag them, but if you’re reading this and want to participate in the Award, then consider yourself tagged. Otherwise I have a few people I’d like to tag. Enjoy!!! (If you’ve already done it please ignore me I’M SORRY)

Witty and Sarcastic Book Club Ashes Books & Bobs The Bibliophagist
Hamlets & Hyperspace Chocolate’n’Waffles

Below are the questions to my Ask Me Anything I posted last week. There weren’t many submissions, but here they are.

Question: What was the book that got you into reading?

I said it above, but The Magic Treehouse series really opened my eyes to the possibilities of worlds and imagination.

Question: What’s one book you think you’d love to read- but either you haven’t found it yet or no one has written about it yet? (For example- I’d love to find a dark fantasy based on Hawaiian folklore.)

I’d like to see a book based off of a video game I don’t remember the title of. The concept is that these 4 people were all chained together and they had to figure out their way out of this tower. I think it could be a really cool concept, having characters physically bound to each other the whole story.

Thank you guys so much for asking me these questions, and thanks again for tagging me in The Sunshine Blogger Award!

Why I Like Short Stories

Why I Like Short Stories

I’ve been interested in reading and writing since I was a little kid, and my go to type of book to read was a nice long chapter book. The thicker the better.

My philosophy was, the thicker it was, the more time and effort were put into it, therefore the book must be good right?

Well that’s not completely wrong, but it does have its faults. Just because a book is long, doesn’t mean it is good, but I would say a majority of them are.

What I didn’t realize until the last few years, is that short stories and anthology series really good. I read them in high-school and university, but they’re usually pretty bland and full of symbolism, plus schools rarely ever pick good reading material.

I didn’t mind short stories usually, but they weren’t my favorite thing, until recently. I’ve read a handful of short stories over the past few years, and I’ve really enjoyed them.

Usually a book with a more fleshed out story is better, because they have answers to all the questions and all of the story lines typically end some how.

What’s to complain about in that case? I’m getting the complete story, I should be happy about it.

That’s true, at least in my opinion, but there is another truth that goes along with it. Just because you don’t get the full story, doesn’t mean the story isn’t good.

There is some sort of magic that comes with creating your own story, or finishing a puzzle, and I think that’s something that short stories inspire in people.

They let people fill in the remaining pieces of the puzzle they started, and give people a chance to finish the story how they want it.

If a short story is done well, it tells just enough of a story to satisfy your needs, but not a complete enough story that it gives you all the answers.

It finds the fine line between mystery and answer. Giving you the steak, and you bring the potatoes.

It’s a near magical thing, creating a short story that makes the reader want more. I put the success of short stories up to a test. If a short story is done well, I imagine at least a half dozen different things that could happen in that story.

If a short story is done well, I go looking for more content from that world, author, or anything, just to help me finish it.

If a short story isn’t done well, that’s all there is to it. The story ends at the last word. There’s no wondering what happened next, there’s no finishing the puzzle. The story lives and dies in its own pages.

You might be thinking that you haven’t read a short story that was good, or maybe you haven’t read one that was bad. Either way, everyone has their opinions.

I’ve read a few short stories that fall into both categories, but its the ones that I crave more of that made me fall in love with short stories.

Wednesday News: May 15 2019

Wednesday News: May 15 2019

Do you give writing advice to people?

Do you take writing advice to other?

Has it helped you before? Or does it all get mixed in with the endless information and tips that will “make you a better writer”.

Maybe getting writing advice isn’t the way to go. Maybe you just need to solve the problem for yourself, and figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you.

Either way, you should definitely read this article by Guy Gavriel Kay. He discusses getting writing advice, and how it may not be all it’s worked out to be.

Book Review: The Book Thief

Book Review: The Book Thief

When I think back about this book, I can honestly say that there are no happy memories that come to mind. From how I recall The Book Thief, it’s similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events–it’s just miserable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book as a whole. I thought it was fantastic, but there weren’t any moments that I genuinely remember being happy about it.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

I hadn’t heard of this book before I started reading it, but I really enjoyed the suspense and the drama that came from it. 

If you’ve ever read the book, you’ll remember that there is a very interesting narrator–Death. Yes death is the narrator of the story, and because this is World War Two, you can imagine how busy he was collecting the dead. 

Death foreshadows constantly throughout the story, so we know a bit about which of the characters will die. I think Death’s perspective adds to the building suspense through the story. 

You might assume that Death being a narrator can be sort of intimidating. I mean he’s Death, why wouldn’t his POV be dark and greusome right? 

The truth is, Death was one of the brigher parts of the story. He was a ray of sunshine through some of the darker moments. 

I do not carry a sickle or a scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold.
And I don’t have those skull-like
facial features you seem to enjoy
pinning on me from a distance. You
want to know what I truly look like?
I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.


The Book Thief is also a bit of a different view of the Holocaust, because it focuses on a little German girl, Liesel, who is living in Hitler’s birthplace.

And the character growth, in my opinion, is remarkable. There are many characters that we hate throughout the story, only to love them by the end. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you haven’t read it yet. It’s technically considered a YA book, but I think it has more impact the older you are.

I will give you a fair warning though, if you want a fast read, this book isn’t for you. It’s a bit of a grind at times. You’ll feel like your clawing your way through mud, but that slow crawl adds something to the story. It adds a sense of accomplishment and connection to the entire story. 

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I’m not one for re-reading a book, but this one is on the short list for books I plan to re-read in the future. 

I have never met someone, or found a single review that has said anything against The Book Thief. Many people state it is a modern classic. It is truly a remarkable book, and I will firmly recommend that EVERYONE should read this book if they call themselves a book lover.  

Top 10 Manga Quotes

Top 10 Manga Quotes

Since I covered a One Piece arc this week, I thought I’d give you some of the best manga quotes out there. These are just some of the ones that popped up on multiple lists I found, but they’re all good in my opinion.

I hope you enjoy them!

“Weaklings will stay weak forever. But weakness is not evil, since human beings are weak creatures to begin with. Alone, you feel nothing but insecurity; that’s why we form guilds, that’s why we have friends. We walk together in order to live a strong life. The clumsy ones will walk into more walls than the others, and it may also take them longer to get there. If you believe in tomorrow and put yourself out there, you can naturally obtain your strength. That’s how you will be able to smile and live strong.”

Makarov Dreyar (Fairy Tail)

“The true measure of a shinobi is not how he lives but how he dies. It’s not what they do in life but what they did before dying that proves their worth.”

Jiraiya (Naruto)

“I want you to be happy. I want you to laugh a lot. I don’t know what exactly I’ll be able to do for you, but I’ll always be by your side.”

Kagome (Inuyasha)

“I don’t want to conquer anything. I just think that the guy with the most freedom in this ocean is the Pirate King!”

Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)

“I want…to change things. I want to believe that anything can be changed. The moment I met you, a new world opened up for me. You see, after wandering in the darkness for so long, a light brought me happiness. It’s all thanks to you.”

Chrono (Chrono Crusade)

“If you only face forward, there is something you will miss seeing.”

Vash the Stampede (Trigun)

“We are all like fireworks. We climb, shine, and always go our separate ways and become further apart. But even if that time comes, let’s not disappear like a firework, and continue to shine forever.”

Hitsugaya Toushiro (Bleach)

“Don’t be so quick to throw away your life. No matter how disgraceful or embarrassing it may be, you need to keep struggling to find your way out until the very end.”

Clare (Claymore)

“The world’s not perfect, but it’s there for us trying the best it can. That’s what makes it so damn beautiful.”

Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist)

“Even if I die, you keep living okay? Live to see the end of this world, and to see why it was born. Live to see why a weak girl like me ended up here… And the reason you and I met.”

Sachi (Sword Art Online)

 

 

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