• Book Love

    Book Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

    So after how much I absolutely loved Crown of Midnight, and after what a cliffhanger it left off on, I was super excited to start Heir of Fire. Annnndddd…. It started off pretty disappointing. Where Crown of Fire seemed to hit the perfect balance between developing nuanced characters and weaving their growth in with a fast-paced, exciting, and steadily forward pushing plot, Heir of Fire, well, didn’t. It’s a Little Bit Wibbly-Wobbly. In terms of pacing, this book felt very unbalanced. It starts off slow. Very slow. And then somehow gets slower. Even as it introduces a new character who should be a thrilling addition (I mean an ancient, full-blooded,…

  • Book Love

    Book Review: Abhorsen by Garth Nix

    So, I sort of let this review linger in the “unfinished” post pile a little too long, given how hard I came down on the previous book in the series, Lirael. I read this not long afterwards, and honestly was so amazed at how much better it was than its predecessor – and how much better it made its predecessor retroactively, that I sort of struggled to put it into words. And so I put off writing this review for a while. And then I just kind of forgot about it. But I finally got the other Old Kingdom books, and so I better get my shit together and get…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    I’ll be honest, I started out not really feeling this book. I picked it up on a whim after one too many times seeing it in the bookstore and reading one too many internet reviews just raving about how good it was, but I wasn’t super excited about it. The description on the back cover of the main character, Celaena, sounded just a bit too… ugh. As described in the blurb, she sounded just a bit too much like some of the cringy Mary Sues that had dominated my middle school attempts at writing fantasy. Always blonde, always perfect, always a super-duper badass warrior and super tough, but still absolutely…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix

    So I finally got around to starting Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. Sure took me long enough. I’ve been pushed and prodded by so many people on these over the years, and after seeing them come up once again a few months ago after the publication of his latest book Clariel, I’ve finally gotten off my ass and started with Sabriel. Overall, I’ve enjoyed the ride thus far. I must admit that at first it was a little slow going. It took me a little longer than usual to get the hang of the world – the Old Kingdom, the Wall, the Charter, charter symbols, charter magic vs. free magic… I…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

    Before we left for Disney, I went into a little bit of a book panic. I was looking to figure out what I’d bring with me for the trip and realized I had absolutely nothing that wasn’t heavy and/or (mostly and) depressing. I have a VERY large book collection that is TBR, but it’s full of topics like the Holocaust, Japanese WWII POWs, Death and the Civil War, and various other horrible, heavy, awful things. Because that’s the kind of history I’m drawn to. Take that for what you will. Anyway, the point is – none of it is kid-friendly, nor does it seem like appropriate reading for a week…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Dragon Age: Last Flight by Laine Merciel

    Dragon Age: Last Flight is yet another book set in the world of the Dragon Age video games. Using a nested narrative, it provides an engaging look into the history of Thedas without becoming too much like reading a giant codex. I will start right off the bat by saying that this is, hands down, the best of the Dragon Age novels that I’ve read so far. I’ve read both The Calling and Asunder, and Last Flight comes in as most entertaining and engaging, by far. It is also, strangely enough, the only one that was not written by a member of the Dragon Age writing team. Now it’s hard…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose

    You know, it’s about time I read this. I have seen the series a bunch of times (I’ve rewatched it more than once since my last big rewatch as a historian, which you can read about here), I’ve at this point read several of the guys’ autobiographies, with more of them on my TBR list – but I never actually bothered reading the source material. I went in kind of expecting the worst to be honest. I’ve read a number of online reviews of the book that hammer hard on the fact that Ambrose didn’t really seem to use much reference material beyond the company memory books, newsletters, and interviews,…