Top 15 Friday | The Best of British (Authors)

fish_and_chips


Today is National Fish and Chips Day, which is all about celebrating this iconic British dish, as well as everyone who works hard to get it from the sea to the table. Fish and chips is a staple takeaway food in my house (I’ll certainly be having it tonight!) and I started thinking of what other British greats make my life as enjoyable as my delicious battered cod. As always, my thoughts turn to books. This post was initially going to be my Top 5 British authors but I simply couldn’t whittle it down to that small number. So, here are my Top 15 British Authors instead…
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Top 5 Friday | Favourite Fantasy Trilogies

They say bad things come in threes, but some novels are proof that very good things can as well. Book trilogies are quite commonplace these days, especially in fantasy. It seems like a three-book arc is simply what’s needed to cover the scope of world-building and character development. Yet, this is not always the case… sometimes they can suffer from ‘Middle Book Syndrome’, which means the second book has no real story of its own and merely serves as a link between the first book and the last.

Well, here are my top 5, which I believe are solid gold the whole way through…
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BOOK REVIEW | The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb (4 stars)

DragonKeeper-UKVerdict: Intriguing, well written and emotionally provocative. A great and enjoyable fantasy book.

I’ll be honest, it feels really strange to be writing a Robin Hobb book review and not being in a state of complete emotional trauma. I have long associated Hobb with tears, lengthy, horrified rants and exclamations that I will never again open myself up to such literary heartache (ha!). The Dragon Keeper by comparison was… pleasant. I thoroughly enjoyed my return to Bingtown and the Rain Wild; it welcomed me like an old home and it was like I’d never left. I have no real criticisms of the book at all. Although, at a stretch, I’d say that I only gave it 4 out of 5 stars because it lacked the emotional depth and investment to be able to traumatise me, and didn’t have a fantastic ‘grey area’ villain like Captain Kennit… but then, that is true of most books! Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW | Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (3.5 stars)

Howl's moving castleVerdict: Fun, easy and humorous read with an unfortunately vague ending.

Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three, which in Ingary means she’s nothing special. She’ll never go on adventures or achieve greatness but, being shy and humble to a fault, she’s resigned to her fate. Yet, when Sophie falls foul of The Witch of the Waste, her boring future is turned upside down as she’s forced to seek help from the fearsome Wizard Howl.


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Assassin’s Fate is out! | Meeting Robin Hobb

hobb signingLast night, I headed over to Shaftesbury Avenue for a Robin Hobb book signing. It was pouring with rain but trivial things like terrible weather have never stopped me celebrating my geekdom. Robin Hobb, for me, is the Holy Grail of fiction writers and apparently I’m not alone in thinking that. When I got there, the queue was very long. Fortunately my friend Maria had arrived in plenty of time to save a space for us. S.E. Berrow rocked up a short while later, bringing clear skies with her, and the door to Forbidden Planet opened.  Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW | A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (3.5 stars)

conjuring-of-lightVerdict: A neat end to a great story, definitely worth the read but lacking the magnetism of the previous two novels. 

The novel picks up where A Gathering of Shadows ended; our heroes are in a bad place and the odds are stacked high against them. Osaron, the piece of magic who would be king, the piece of magic who thinks its a god, is free, and all surviving Londons – White, Red and even Grey – could pay the ultimate price. Continue reading

Top 10 Tuesday: Children’s stand-alone novels

Last Sunday was International Children’s Book Day, so this week’s Top 10 Tuesday is, of course, about children’s books. There are lots of excellent series out there for children but sometimes stand-alone novels get left in the dust. Several publishers and editors have commented on the difficulty of selling a stand-alone novel due to lack of ‘shelf-presence’, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less worthwhile.

Here are ten of my stand-alone recommendations for children: Continue reading