The Lost Metal [Mistborn #7] [Mistborn Era 2 #4]

Mate, it ain’t violence if it’s religion.

And so it ends. The second era of one of the more ambitious ideas in fantasy: take a fantasy world with a hard/scientific magic system (or three), tell a crazy story in that world, and then advance a few hundred years so that the first story becomes the myths and religions of the world. Not only that, but (specifically in the Lost Metal), take that same idea and expand it across a shared universe of fantasy worlds, each with their own feel and magic and start really bringing things in from other worlds, mashing them together and seeing just what sort of madness pops out.

read more...


The Unwritten, Vol. 11: Apocalypse

It all comes together in the end. Pullman. Madame Puppeteer. Tom and Tommy. Savoy, Wilson, Lizzie. The Rabbit. Everyone.

And of course, for the biggest story: the Grail (and the other stories based on it and based upon it). Or is it a drum? A trumpet? The Trumpet?

And… the End.

Ish.

It’s a weird conclusion to a weird story. Fitting that way.

Worth the read.

read more...


The Unwritten, Vol. 10: War Stories

In the beginning…

And it only gets weirder from there…

A good choice of story though.

Yup. That’s Aslan.

Of course it’s going to take quite a story to get back to the ‘real’ world from Fables… But in a good way. I’m glad to see a few older characters and more Levithan. Feels like things are really finishing off.

read more...


Nettle & Bone

The trees were full of crows and the woods were full of madmen.

The pit was full of bones and her hands were full of wires.

Well that was a delightful surprise–in a dark fairytale kind of way. I’ve not read any T. Kingfisher before, but I’ll have to remedy that.

In a nutshell, Nettle & Bone takes the idea of a fairy godmother’s blessing at birth and twists it, bringing in the politics of unequal neighboring kingdoms; fae, their bargains, and all the twists that go with that; and a touch of demons and death magic. It’s a fun world to build a foundation on.

On top of that, it’s a wonderful cast of characters. I love seeing Marra, third-born princess, sent to a religious order (sort of), and originally on her own to solve the world’s problems. Only for her to collect a motley band of strange and wonderful allies, each in their own ways: a witch, a reluctant godmother, a night, a dog made of bones, and a demon made of chicken. (It makes sense). They’re all great and I love the found family dynamic as they’re off to save the world–or at least some tiny corner of it.

As if that weren’t enough, I love the prose and wordplay. It’s written like a fairytale writ large. It just fits the story so well.

Overall, One of the best books I’ve read this year and more than worth giving it a try.


The Unwritten, Vol. 9: The Unwritten Fables

Wait… that Fables. Confused for a bit. Those people all sounded familiar… but not from Unwritten.

Not at all what I expected, but most appreciated. It’s great to see a number of old faces again, it’s been a while since I read Fables. They fit together about as strangely as you’d imagine.

Onward!

read more...


A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians

Well that’s fascinating bit of historical fantasy. Take revolutionary era France, introduce various relatively ‘common’ classes of magicians (fire, water, weather, mind control, etc), and see what shakes out. It’s an era of history I’m probably not as familiar with as I should be and, while with the introduction of magic things are slightly different, the events actually shake out more or less the same way (as I looked up later). It’s interesting to read about people such as William Pitt and Maximilien Robespierre … and then read about them again in real history.

read more...


Call of the Bone Ships

The Bone Ships introduced us to the world–where the bones of gigantic sea dragons once provided the building materials for ships, with hints of something even darker and more interesting going on in the background.

Call of the Bones Ships takes up that up another level, really digging more into the often twisted politics and future of the world. It manages to give us quite a bit more insight into Joron Twiner, who is forced rather handedly to come into his own–with whatever that ends up meaning–and torturing him rather much along the way. We also get a lot of more of the gullaime (and the Gullaime specifically). There’s still a lot more to unpack there, so I’m looking for the third.

It ends up being rather a darker book, which fits even better as the successor to the series.

Overall, wonderful worldbuilding, a darker tone, fascinating characters, and worth the re-read. Onward!


The Unwritten, Vol. 7: The Wound

So very bonkers. At times, I’m pretty sure I have no idea what’s going on, which makes me feel bad for the characters. :D It’s still a wonderful fever top of a story though.

Onward!

read more...


The Starless Sea

Far beneath the surface of the earth, hidden from the sun and the moon, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. Stories written in books and sealed in jars and painted on walls. Odes inscribed onto skin and pressed into rose petals. Tales laid in tiles upon the floors, bits of plot worn away by passing feet. Legends carved in crystal and hung from chandeliers. Stories catalogued and cared for and revered. Old stories preserved while new stories spring up around them.

The Starless Sea is an unfortunate sort of book.

On one hand, the prose is beautiful. There are some really wonderful passages and smaller stories that really sing on the pages. On top of that, there’s a lot of delightful visuals described from the book. Often times, I don’t really picture what’s going on in a lot of stories, I more… absorb them. But this, this really needs and thrives on the visuals. Especially leaning on the sights and smells of books and libraries and doors, it’s the sort of book a physical book lover (not a lover of stories, one of the actual physical books themselves) could really get into.

On the other hand… even after reading through the entire book, I’m not sure what in the world was going on /¬†what the point of anything was. A book doesn’t have to have a point–I do love a good slice of life story–but this felt like it was trying to go for something. But with the absolute pile of characters (major, minor, versions of the same) jumping around all the time, it was hard to figure anything out. The prose and settings almost do enough to overcome that… but not quite enough.

So… I suppose it’s a book that was almost really really good… but didn’t quite stick the landing for me. It’s probably worth a try, but if you bounce off the first few chapters, consider that it doesn’t really change that much before the end.

read more...