Book Review: The Way of Kings

Hello dear readers, I have technically reviewed this book before on my blog, but I did the entire series in one review.

Now that the fourth book in the series; Rhythm of War (order through the link), is coming out in the fall, I knew I had to give each book the proper review it deserved.

Because of that, it’s time to review the first book in the series, The Way of Kings. I hope you enjoy because this book series is in my top three of all time.

Title: The Way of Kings
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Rating: ★★★★.5☆
Buy: The Way of Kings
Pre-order: Rhythm of War

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed…

They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won.

Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself – and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne.

On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight.

What happened deep in mankind’s past?

Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?


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Sanderson Magic System

It’s no surprise that Brandon Sanderson is my favourite author. I love the way he can craft such beautiful worlds based off of a simple thing like a magic system.

I would say that The Way of King’s is the best of his magic systems. Not only does it affect how some of the heroes fight, which magic systems are almost always used for, but it also affects the important details of the world; money, light sources, societal class, and scientific advancement.

I love a well developed magic system when all it does is allow characters to fight, but when it literally runs the way the world works, it becomes so much more interesting.

What’s the most beautiful about this magic system is that it is simple. Yes it can be built upon and developed the more we learn about the story, but the core principles of it are as simple as 1 + 1.


A Fraction of the World

I love exploring new worlds in books. It’s one of the reasons I love reading so much.

A lot, if not all, stories have a sliver of our world in them. That might be an inspiration of a name, a location, or even an event.

There’s plenty of that in The Way of Kings, and that’s why I love it. There’s class issues, slavery, issues related to the death and punishment, women’s place in the world, and plenty more.

The fact that a story can deal with issues like that while telling an epic tale amazes me.

What’s even more wonderful is that we are only discovering a fraction of the world. We get MAYBE a tenth of the entire story, and so much is left as a mystery to us.


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Mental Health is Important

Maybe I read a very narrow scope of books that don’t talk about mental health issues (other than books specifically about it).

It’s not an issue that is common in the books I read, but The Way of Kings touched it in a nice subtle way. It doesn’t outright state that one of the main characters has any mental health issues, but you see it in the way he interacts with the world and how his mind sees everything he does.

I don’t think there’s a perfect way to tell those stories, because it is a different experience for everyone. What is important is getting the idea out there, so that other people know that it is normal, even if it isn’t the same experience that they have.


Final Thoughts

The only thing I didn’t like about The Way of Kings was that I had a bit of a hard time following along at first. It had moments later on where I literally jumped out of my seat when I was reading, but it took me a while to understand the story.

Because of that, it took me a while to really commit myself to reading it, but when I did I was hooked.


What did you think of The Way of Kings?? If you love epic fantasy it needs to be on your TBR radar. The series just continues to get better. Make sure to follow me on social media for more book reviews!
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Book Tour + Review: Crossing in Time by D.L Orton

Hello dear readers, I hope you are doing well on this fine day. Have you ever been so in love, that the love transcends time itself?

Maybe you have, but likely you haven’t time travelled yet which is too bad.

Today’s book was given to me by The Write Reads and D.L Orton in exchange for an honest review.

I’m sure you’ve seen this book floating around a bit lately, and its deserved because this book is a quick and fun read.

If you enjoy this review, make sure to follow my blog and social media so you can get more!
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Title: Crossing in Time
Author: D.L Orton
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Buy it here

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Is This What Romance is Like?

Romance is not my forte. I don’t often read books with romance in them, and when I do they are often the side stories. I find that romance in any storytelling is often forced or the effects of traumatic experiences together, and that’s not real romance in my opinion.

I found that Crossing in Time‘s romance was definitely rushed. The two love interests had some chemistry it seemed, but we only got pieces of it. Days, weeks, or even months would pass by and we just had to assume that a the relationship has no issues.

I don’t like that concept, but it is the way it is written. It seems sloppy to me, but my bigger issue is with the romance when we do get to see it.

It’s forced and seems more lustful than romantic. It just does not come off as a relationship that would actually work in the long run.


The Time Travel Paradox

I hate time travel as a story telling device, but I figured I would give this book a shot anyways. I find it is lazy, there are too many “rules” that people follow, and they almost always break those rules whenever they claim what they are.

Crossing in Time is mostly about building up to time travel and the scientific discovery of how to do that.

I am mostly fine with that, but unfortunately we do get a bit of time travel itself and I didn’t like it. It opens up doors for terrible storytelling that makes little sense and yet things always work out well.

The parts that were before the time travel were good. They were pretty fast paced, and at times graphic, but overall they were good.


Audiobook or eBook?

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I was about a third of the way through Crossing in Time when I got an audiobook version of it, and it was a life saver.

Listening to it was a lot more fun and interesting than I was expecting, and I think that is why I enjoyed this book more than a 1 or 2 star review.

I will give credit to the narrators, they did a good job of really showing the emotions that the characters were feeling. Their voices seemed to perfectly match the idea I had for each of their characters, which I find is hard for audiobooks to do for me. Too often their voices don’t match my idea of them and it takes me some getting used to in the story.


Final Thoughts

Crossing in Time is a fun listen, and an okay read. It is relatively short read, so even if you don’t like parts of it, you can get through it pretty quickly.

I would recommend it if you are a Romance reader. It seems like it might be a good romantic book, with two lovers unable to see each other and tell each other how in love they are, but that isn’t the aspect for me.

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Book Review: Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Priory of the Orange Tree
Author: Samantha Shannon
Rating: ★★★★.5☆

Buy it here.


Hello dear readers, I am excited about today’s review. I had bought Priory a few years ago after it was blowing up all over Twitter, but I kind of forgot about it for a while.

I never really knew anything about it. I knew it had dragons and magic, but that was it.

I am angry at myself for not getting to this book sooner, because it is one of my favourite standalone books of all time!

I’m a sucker for a book series, but its not often that I find a book on its own that I love this much.

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The Worldbuilding

I will admit right off the hop the only reason this book did not receive a 5 out of 5 is because the world building left me quite confused at times.

I think Shannon did a brilliant job of creating a diverse world, with so many cultures, peoples, and customs. Some of my favourite characters in fiction come from this book, but I found it a bit tough to follow at the beginning because of it all.

There was so much history, so many character names, so many stories that I found it hard to get a grasp of it all.

Once I put the pieces of the puzzle together and started remembering the names, the relationships, and the stories, it all started coming together.

I thought Shannon built a beautiful and diverse world in Priory, and it was just the surface. We get to see several places where there is nothing but a mere chapter of information.

The world of the Priory is definitely one I would want to dive into again.


The Romance

There isn’t much romance in the beginning of the book. There is marriage and rumors of a love affair, but it doesn’t come across as romance to me.

The romance comes in the second half of the book, in two same-sex relationships.

I will admit that this is the first book I have read where there were same-sex relationships, and I think I picked a good place to start.

The romance doesn’t happen in an instant. It doesn’t even happen after a few chapters. The romance happens over chapters and chapters, between characters that I didn’t think would fall in love.

It felt so natural though. Shannon does a perfect job of taking two characters and making them fall in love. First with the small moments in life, until bigger and bigger moments occur.

It is a true fantasy love story and the realest romance of any book couples that come to mind.


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The Characters’ Change

Almost every single one of the main characters are tested throughout Priory. Whether its their beliefs, their physical capabilities, or their wits, they are tested again and again.

Too often characters from books stay the same. They don’t change throughout their stories, or they change in ways that don’t make sense. Priory is different than that.

Priory allows the characters to grow from their experiences. Shannon writes characters that adapt based off of their circumstance, and turn into smarter, better, stronger people.

They change in believable ways, whether in an instant, or more slowly.

Shannon does a lot well with Priory, but this was one of the best aspects of the story.


The Magic

Magic is both important and hidden in the background in this story. It is a secret art that is looked down upon.

Though dragons are real, and the bonds between them are common, the use of magic itself is very limited.

Even when it is used, we don’t get much of an explanation of it. There are no hard set rules, but it is explained well enough that we understand what can be done.


The Final Thoughts

I love The Priory of the Orange Tree. I love the world, the characters, and I love Shannon’s writing style.

I don’t often come across books that seem to capture the human essence so well, and because of it I have gotten a hold of the rest of the books by Shannon.


What did you think of The Priory of the Orange Tree? Let’s talk about it in the comments, and make sure to follow me on social media.

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Book Review – Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Hello dear readers, I hope you are all doing well. Today I bring you the final book in The Reckoners’ Trilogy. If you haven’t yet, check out my review for the first two books; Steelheart and Firefight.

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When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners’ leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back. . . . 

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

Title: Calamity
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Rating: ★★★★.5☆

Buy it here.


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Good Guy Gone Bad

The main storyline in this book has what’s left of the Reckoners fighting against Prof and Calamity (the epic that started it all). Prof has obviously been a good guy since the beginning, but we knew he was hiding something. There was always something mysterious about him, but Calamity finally gives us a chance to explore it more.

I like Prof’s character. I think we get a good glimpse into his descent to the dark side.

This isn’t a trope that I usually come across, but I would argue it is one of my favourite ones, when it is done well.

Sanderson does it well in this case, making Prof go bad over three books instead of just one. His turn makes readers hurt that much more. The turn becomes more painful to his allies and the reader is right alongside them with their anxieties.


Megan and David Romance

Their romance actually seems to have a bit of ground in this book. The last two books seemed like David chasing after Megan like a lost puppy dog, and she was leading him on with a piece of steak tied to a string.

In Calamity, Megan gives David a chance, and we get to explore what the relationship is like, and it actually seems like it might work.

Their romance doesn’t seem out of place. It’s natural, and helps drive the story forward.


More Superpowers

Sanderson does a fantastic job of creating new Epics. Calamity doesn’t shy away from creating new Epics this late in the story, and giving us more depth to some Epics that we already knew about.

We also get the mother of all Epics: Calamity. We learn about Calamity and how the Epics were created. We learn the truth to what creates Epics, and how they can overcome their fears and weaknesses.

I think Sanderson does a great job of exploring this new power system in such a short amount of time.


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Ties in with other works

Sanderson has confirmed that all of his books are related; they’re all a part of the same universe or something. Personally I don’t catch the small moments where the connections are made, but reading people’s thoughts, it is truly magnificent that Sanderson is able to create such a beautiful book universe.


Final Thoughts

I love the Reckoners series, it is a great YA read, and you can finish it really quickly if you’re as hooked as I was into it.

Honestly the only thing that stopped me from giving this book five stars was the David Metaphor storyline. It had its moments, but at times it was annoying and eye-roll inducing.


What did you think of Calamity? If you were in that world, what type of Power would you like to have? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media!
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Blog Tour + Review: Catalyst by Tracy Richardson

Hello dear readers, today we have another blog tour with The Write Reads today, so let’s get going.

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Title: Catalyst
Author: Tracy Richardson
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Marcie Horton has a sixth sense. Not in the “I see dead people” way, but . . . well, maybe a little. She feels a sort of knowing about certain things that can’t be explained-an intuition that goes beyond the normal. Then there was that one summer four years ago, when she connected with a long-departed spirit. But nothing that incredible has happened to Marcie since.

This summer, Marcie is spending time working at Angel Mounds, the archaeological dig her mother heads, along with her brother, Eric, and his girlfriend, Renee. The dig is the site of an ancient indigenous civilisation, and things immediately shift into the paranormal when Marcie and her teammates meet Lorraine and Zeke.

The two mysterious dig assistants reveal their abilities to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds – something Marcie knows only vaguely that her brother has also had experience with. Marcie learns how our planet will disintegrate if action is not taken, and she and her team must decide if they are brave enough to help Lorraine and Zeke in their plan to save Mother Earth, her resources, and her history. It looks like the summer just got a lot more interesting.


Following one thread

This book is relatively short, just shy of 300 pages, but I felt like it was difficult to keep myself focused on the main story.

The ideas themselves weren’t particularly bad. I actually found them to be rather interesting, but the execution just wan’t there. I don’t think Richardson did a great job of executing them properly.

I’ll give the book some credit, it throws you right into the story, but once the story got going, there wasn’t much keeping me interested.


Supernatural Environmentalism

I was expecting to read a book about superpowers and maybe some spooky things. I was not expecting a lecture on environmentalism and its harms to the earth.

I support slowing down and eventually stopping climate change, but to me, this book felt a touch preachy about it all.

With the fracking that becomes the main storyline, the science fiction element becomes a lot more prominent, and that’s where the story takes a downward slope.

There was nothing compelling about it, and I found that the longer I read, the more uninterested I was.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that is was a YA book, and I just didn’t connect with it, or maybe it just wasn’t the story for me, but I did not enjoy it much at all.


Final Thoughts

I’m not sure why, but I’ve had a lot of bad luck lately with books I’ve received through tours/NetGalley. I just haven’t really enjoyed any of them. Catalyst was no exception. Though I think it had it’s moments, they were too few, and weren’t very impactful.

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Hello dear readers, we are now more than halfway through the Harry Potter series. Obviously there are seven books in the series, and I am reviewing them once a month in order to eventually get them reviewed and never talk about them again ideally.

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: ★★★★☆

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards.

And in his case, different can be deadly.

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Second Best of the Bunch

If you don’t know by now, I do not worship at the shrine that is Harry Potter. I respect their place in society and the effect they have had on people, but they do not resinate with me the same way they do with a lot of other people.

Despite that, GoF is my second favourite book in the series, closely behind The Deathly Hallows.

GoF is the start of the end of the series in my opinion. Prisoner of Azkaban is the book that flips a switch in the series, but GoF is where it all really begins.

The stakes are much higher now that Voldemort is back, and we get a bit of world building with the TriWizard tournament.


Go to School!

What I liked best about GoF was that it felt like we were actually in school more than most of the other books.

I know that each book takes place during the school year, and some things are related to different classes or professors in the school, but GoF seems to take it further.

I would say that Philosopher’s Stone has the most “schooling” in it, but I liked that GoF had Harry struggling to learn spells and struggle with classes while managing the tournament.

A lot of the focus is on the different stages of the Tournament, but Harry can’t do it on his own and needs others to help him.

The actual schooling moments are some of the best parts in the story, and I appreciate Rowling sticking to the idea of a school year.


The Mystery

Each of the books have a lot of mystery to them. Harry and friends always have to solve some mystery in order to defeat the version of Voldemort in that book. They are usually simple mysteries, but allow the reader to learn a bit about the world.

Goblet of Fire does it even better in my opinion. While giving us a bit of information on different magical schools, Rowling manages to give us some mystery revolving around the Tournament.

Each round of the tournament has its own riddles, and the ever growing mystery happening behind the scenes always finds a way to keep the story rolling.


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Final Thoughts

There are minor issues with the book, but overall this was actually a good read. The overall mystery of the book and the background events happening helped me enjoy this book a lot more.


What were your favourite parts of Goblet of Fire? I have to say mine was probably the final round of the tournament and the events after Cedric’s death.

Let’s talk about it in the comments, and make sure to follow me on social media!
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Book Review: Heir of Ashes

Hello dear readers, I want to share a surprisingly fun read that came across my proverbial bookshelf a few weeks ago.

I was contacted by the author or Heir of Ashes about a month ago and I was asked I was interested in reading the book.

After reading the synopsis, I quickly said yes and added the book to my then small list of upcoming reads.

After I finished a few other books I was obligated to read, I opened up my Kindle App and quickly hacked away at Heir of ashes, and I am glad I did.

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Title: Heir of Ashes (The Roxanne Fosch Files Book 1)
Author: Jina S. Bazzar
Rating: ★★★.5☆☆

Roxanne Fosch had a perfectly normal life at the age of twelve. Cool, popular, pretty, smart. Her dreams of a perfect, successful and prosperous future seemed well within her grasp. 
By the time she was twenty-two she had become a commodity. A fugitive. She was being hunted. 
As Roxanne embarks on the dangerous quest to search for half-truths about her past, she discovers she’s not just an abnormal human, but a rarity even among her Fee peers. 
She is hunted by scientists, keen to exploit her extraordinary abilities, as well as other beings far more dangerous whose plans for her she cannot fathom.


Heir of Ashes (The Roxanne Fosch Files Book 1) by [Jina S. Bazzar, Elle W. Silver]

Magical Elements

I love a good magic system. Magic systems can make or break a fantasy book. They are important in creating a world that follows different rules than the ones we understand. Without the magic system, we are left with big holes in our understanding.

Heir of Ashes takes some very typical magical creatures; vampires, werewolves, faeiries, etc. and gives them a unique twist.

Though we don’t get to dive too deeply into the different creatures, we do get to a little bit, and I like the direction that Bazzar is taking it.


Setting Up a Series

Heir of Ashes is obviously the first book in the Roxanne Foshe series, and there are a lot of holes in the story. There are so many questions I have and plot lines that don’t get finished.

It doesn’t feel wrong, it feels natural. Bazzar doesn’t leave loose ends open just for the sake of a sequel, she leaves them open because it makes sense to.

There’s no time to tie up all the loose ends because of the way it is written. Bazzar does a great job of making sure the story flows nicely, allowing sequels to feel more natural and not forced.


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Non-stop Action

If I had to give Heir of Ashes credit on only one thing, it would be its intensity. There are plenty of things that I enjoy in Heir of Ashes, but I was not ready for the non-stop action.

It never lets up. There are two main parts of the story, the first is the parts where there is direct action, the second is when the action is being built up to.

The action will leave you on the edge of your seat, wracking your brain to figure out how the protagonist could possibly survive threat after threat after threat.

Jina S. Bazzar

Even when the action takes a back seat, you are bombarded with setting up the next plot line, solving any remaining issues, or giving readers tension by introducing potential threats.


Unique Take on Magic

I like a magic system that is different from others that I have read. Usually authors do a pretty good job, in my opinion, of differentiating their magic systems, but some do rely on old established principles.

Bazzar takes the older than time classics; vampires, werewolves, and what have you, and gives them a unique twist. They have hybrids, they have new magical creatures, but they had one aspect that I really liked.

Instead of giving characters the obvious designation of magical creature by showing them changed or showing certain traits, Bazzar added a nice touch that differentiated each magical creature.

She came up with the idea that each living thing had an aura. That way, she didn’t have to have out of place scenes where people were shifting or using magical powerful. Instead she can do it subtly, and focus more on character development.


Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed Heir of Ashes. It was a much faster read than I thought it was going to be, but I would say that was because of the non-stop action, and I didn’t want to wait to see what was going to happen.

If you like spy action thrillers mixed with magical creatures this is definitely a book for you.

If you have read Heir of Ashes, what did you think of it? Let’s chat in the comments, or tag me in something on social media.
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