Monday, 27 November 2017

2017 Favourites: The Shades of Magic Series

And just like that, it is nearly the end of 2017 and the start of a new year! I haven't written a blog post in ages but with work, life and reading, I just never got around to drafting one. 

Back to my favourite topic... I have been on quite the reading marathon this year! Mainly YA fantasy, which to be honest, can be a lot faster to read. There are however so many wonderful and exciting YA fantasy series available and constantly being released, it's a wonder why I haven't run out of books to read. So I thought I would pull together my thoughts on some of my favourite books or series I have read in 2017. Here is instalment 1.

The Shades of Magic Series

The Shades of Magic Series

Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy

I started A Darker Shade of Magic last year. While I enjoyed the first book, I didn't quite love it. I felt Schwab spent a lot of this book building the world(s) and maybe the characters got lost a bit in it. I loved the concept of the different Londons and how magic has impacted each London. Character-wise, I admit Kell wasn't the perfect character, however I loved him for his conflicting emotions - part of the royal family but an outsider at the same time. Lila and Rhy bugged me though. I just could not love them. BUT... ADSoM was intriguing enough to keep me invested and I am totally glad I did.

This is truly one of those series where the next book completely surpasses the previous. A Gathering of Shadows was fantastic. Not only was it a continuation of the ADSoM, but there was much more depth in the characters. They came to life and I understood their part in the story better. The tournament and magic portrayal was fantastic. But the cliffhanger of an ending had me wanting more...

A Conjuring of Light continued right off the back of AGoS. I waited for this with anticipation and it did not disappoint. Did I mention that each book surpassed the previous?! Schwab is brilliant at creating villains. She is also brilliant at making you love or sympathise with 'bad guys'. When I started ADSoM, I never would have thought I could like Holland as much as I did by the end of AGoS. I was heartbroken in the end - he was a guy shaped by his circumstances and he had to endure a lot more than any other character.

Overall, I enjoyed this series immensely. I initially thought this was the end of the series but I believe there will be more to come and I can't wait!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Frogkisser! by Garth Nix

Frogkisser!Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother’s new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.

Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land—and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.

My thoughts
3.5 stars...
This fairytale with a twist is a wonderful tale for a younger audience. I think I would've rated this a bit higher as a younger reader because it at times felt too childish for my liking. That being said, I love Arya, the main character. I also liked the references to various fairy tales and the mild hints to diversity (the good wizard! another of my fav characters).