The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (Review)

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

Blurb

The Forsaken are loose, the Horn of Valere has been found and the Dead are rising from their dreamless sleep. The Prophecies are being fulfilled – but Rand al’ Thor, the shepherd the Aes Sedai have proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn, desperately seeks to escape his destiny. 

Rand cannot run forever. With every passing day the Dark One grows in strength and strives to shatter his ancient prison, to break the Wheel, to bring an end to Time and sunder the weave of the Pattern.

And the Pattern demands the Dragon. 

Review

I will be honest the first time I read this book in 2015 I did not find it as enjoyable as the the first book in the series but this time round that has changed and I enjoyed it a lot more maybe even more than the first book. 

I found this book a lot faster paced than the first which I enjoyed more and found myself more likely to pick up the book and not put it down for ages. 

This book introduces us to new enemies such as the Seanchan, who I really did not like but I’m not entirely sure they are the bad guys entirely. We also learn more about The White Cloaks, Padan Fain and The Forsaken. We also learn more about The Age of Legends which I really hope we learn more about in future books as I find it fascinating. 

The characters from the previous book are further developed in this book. Rand gets more depth but I do still find him slightly annoying at times but not as much as Mat. I always feel frustrated with Mat. I know it is not entirely his fault but it is clear he does not have the goodness inside him like Perrin and Rand. Perrin is still my favourite character. He is loyal to his friends, caring and you can tell he is someone who is dependable and will always try to do the right thing. 

We also get to know Min and Elayne more in this book which is good even though Elayne is another one of those annoying characters for me but I suspect she is being portrayed to be annoying in comparison to the other female characters such as Min and Egwene. 

This book has so much going on it, it really is packed. Moiraine and Lan are dealing with their own adventures as well as trying to help Rand, Perrin and Mat. Egwene, Elayne, Min and Nynaeve have their own storyline but in the end they all converge together again.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could not put it down and I look forward to reading the next book in the series because although I have read it before I can’t really remember much. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

Purchase Links

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(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James Oliver Rigney Jr. (1948-2007) was an American author of epic fantasy who wrote under the pen name Robert Jordan. Jordan also wrote historical fiction under the name of Reagan O’Neal, a western as Jackson O’Reilly, and dance criticism as Chang Lung. 

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The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (Review)

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Blurb

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

Review

This is the third time I have read this book because I have tried to read The Wheel of Time series on more than one occasion and sadly never finished it. However, I am determined that this time I will finish the series. 

Every time I have read this book I have loved it and this time round was no exception and I found that I had in fact forgotten a few parts of the story that made a nice surprise. As a massive Tolkien fan I realise that The Wheel of Time series is heavily influenced by Tolkien’s Middle Earth but that does not put me off. After all hasn’t all literature from as far back as Homer and Virgil done the same thing?

This book introduces us to some main characters that are clearly going to be important in future books. Five young villagers from the village of Two Rivers have to flee after a Trolloc attack on their village. By fleeing they hope to save their beloved village from any further attack and to do this they are helped by Moraine and her warder Lan. The fiver villagers are Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene and the village wisdom Nynaeve. Nynaeve is slightly older than the other four but not by much. Nynaeve is also the character that at times I find quite annoying, she is very stubborn and is always questioning and second guessing Moraine which at times just gets boring. Mat is rather a spineless character who you know is not going to be good news for the group of friends. Perrin is my favourite character out of the five as he is down to earth, caring and patient. Rand is rather bland at the moment but you can see he will develop as a character. 

As the adventure continues the group meet new people who help them on their journey but they also learn that no one can be trusted because anybody could be a dark friend. One of these new friends is the Ogier named Loial who is also one of my favourite characters. Loial is never hasty and likes to think everything through, he also loves reading and always has a pile of books with him which is just like me when I go anywhere. 

The world of Aes Sedai is fascinating and I can’t wait to learn more about it all and I also have so many questions regarding what happened in the past that made the Aes Sedai’s power start to dwindle. I really hope I get my answers in the following books. I really enjoyed the book and have already started book two. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James Oliver Rigney Jr. (1948-2007) was an American author of epic fantasy who wrote under the pen name Robert Jordan. Jordan also wrote historical fiction under the name of Reagan O’Neal, a western as Jackson O’Reilly, and dance criticism as Chang Lung. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Christmas Pig By J. K. Rowling (Review)

The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling

Blurb

Jack loves his childhood toy, Dur Pig. DP has always been there for him, through good and bad. Until one Christmas Eve something terrible happens – DP is lost. But Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life… even toys. And Jack’s newest toy – the Christmas Pig (DP’s annoying replacement) – has a daring plan: Together they’ll embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known…

Review

As a big Rowling fan I had this book on preorder for ages and read it pretty quickly after receiving it but I am only just starting to catch up on my book reviews. I do love Christmas books so I was really pleased to read this one. 

I was quite surprised with this book because as a children’s book I found that it had some quite adult themes. At the start of the book the effects of divorce on children is shown and how new relationships for both adults and children are explored. I found that Rowling did not hold back during this section but as usual Rowling covers it with her usual skill. The story then moves on the difficulties faced by children who find themselves with new step parents and step siblings and at this point I really felt sorry for poor Jack because he was not having things easy but thankfully he had DP to help him. 

Christmas Eve something terrible happens and DP is lost but the Christmas Pig has a plan to get DP back but it can only happen during the magic of Christmas Eve. Together Jack and the Christmas Pig go to the land of the Lost to rescue DP. 

I will be honest I found the land of the Lost a bit of a trial because it seemed to have everything in there, even the ridiculous which in my opinion are not lost. However, there were some great characters in the land of the Lost which made it worthwhile. 

The story is full of magic and the illustrations by Jim Field really add to this. However, I did find the book lacked Rowling’s usual spark for me. Ickabog was an incredible read for me and I just found The Christmas Pig lacked in comparison. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Joanne Rowling born 31 July 1965, is a British writer and philanthropist. She is best known for writing the Harry Potter series. Rowling also writes crime fiction under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The King’s Seal by Amy Kuivalainen (Review)

The King’s Seal by Amy Kuivalainen

Blurb

The search for the legendary ring of King Solomon has begun, and Penelope must sift through its long and convoluted history of lost emperors, crusaders, and other famous historical figures—including one with whom the magicians share their own complicated past— if she hopes to find it in time.

As Penelope’s magic continues to grow stronger with the coming high tide, she and Alexis will have to depend upon each other more than ever to keep everyone they care about safe from the continuing attacks by Thevetat’s priests.

When the magical high tide finally peaks, the long-awaited battle against Thevetat will begin, and Penelope, Alexis, and the magicians will have to rely on both powers of old and new if they hope to defeat their enemy once and for all.

Review

My first thought when I got this book was sadness because I did not want this to be the last book of the series. Thankfully, this book was just as good as the previous two books and I could not put it down. 

I will be honest I felt rushed with this book but that might be because I wanted a longer book. I just felt like all the answers the magicians needed suddenly arrived in quick succession. However, this might be because the magicians had the added help of Elazar and Constantine. 

Penelope and the magicians are on the trail of King Solomon’s ring and with their investigations they get some help from Constantine. Constantine is a brilliant character and really made me laugh but he is also a very thoughtful and deep thinking character. Constantine is a big help to the magicians and not because he is a good shoulder to cry on for Zo. 

Obviously the main characters are Penelope and Alexis but the secondary characters are just as strong. Zo is my favourite magician and I must admit I would have liked to see more of him in this book but at least he had a bigger part than Galenos who was barely in it. All the magicians have such fascinating pasts and are brilliant characters. I would love to have more stories about them.

The final battle came and went within a blink of an eye and I must admit was the rushed part for me and it did seem over simplified as I was expecting something big and spectacular but it was still good. I loved the book and couldn’t put it down. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Product Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.

Reviews of books in the series

The Immortal City

The Sea of the Dead

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard (Review)

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Blurb

A strange darkness grows in Allward.

Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:

A squire, forced to choose between home and honour.

An immortal, avenging a broken promise.

An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.

An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.

A forger with a secret past.

A bounty hunter with a score to settle.

Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.

Review

Wow! This is definitely my favourite book so far of 2021. I’ve never read a book by Aveyard before. I will definitely be reading her other books and future books now. I am so pleased that Waterstones sent me an email about this book and I preordered it when I saw it. Honestly, I struggled to put this down and it was only because of work and sleep that I did take breaks. This book reminded me so much of the work of Tolkien and you can see how the Lord of the Rings has influenced this book but it is not too similar. 

This book contains some fantastic characters and the relationship between these characters is brilliant. The relationship between Dom who is the immortal and Sorasa the assassin is rather amusing and there is definitely some chemistry there even though they would both fiercely deny it. Dom is a Prince of Iona who is hundreds of years old with super strength and speed. He is also my favourite character as he just reminds me of a grumpy bear at times. Sorasa has a past but we don’t learn the full extent of it but what we do know is that she is street smart, an excellent killer and is always prepared. 

Andry the squire has seen some horrors and shares these horrors with Dom. He is loyal and will do anything to protect Corayne and his mother. I also love his love of making tea. Andry has the belief that tea can make anything better and I fully agree. Charlie the forger we don’t know a lot about and he doesn’t feature hugely in this book but it is obvious he will in the next. The same applies to the bounty hunter Sigil. Sigil is a giant of a woman almost as big as Dom and she is an excellent warrior and rather an imposing character. Valtik the ancient sorceress is hilarious and I just loved her character. Valtik speaks in rhyme and riddles and regularly just disappears and reappears for no reason.

Finally we have Corayne, a seventeen year old girl whose has the fate of the Ward on her shoulders. Although she has never left the seaport where she grew up before her quest she knows most languages and is wise beyond her years. 

I loved Aveyard’s writing style and I love the Ward that she has created with all its different realms. Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view which means you get the story from lots of different angles and this really adds to your understanding of the characters, their pasts and what they think of the quest. I definitely give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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Product Link

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Victoria Aveyard (1990) is an American writer of young adult and fantasy fiction and screenplays. She is best known for her fantasy novel Red Queen. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay (Review)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

Blurb

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers, which could be valuable, dangerous — or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Review

I love the Harry Potter books and I have read them many times over but what I have always wanted to own and read is the illustrated editions by Jim Kay and finally I own the first one after my best friend bought it me for my birthday. I saved it for my December reading as I always associate the Philosopher’s Stone with Christmas for some reason.

It has been a few years since I read the first books in the series but I will be honest that it was wonderful to be back in the wizarding world again with some of my favourite literary characters that I have grown up with. It was so good to meet Dumbledore again as he is by far superior in the book to the films and he is such a funny and eccentric character in the book.

So, as you can tell I love the book and I bet most people are familiar with the Harry Potter books so I will just say reading it with the illustrations is fantastic and the only way I want to read the Harry Potter books from now on. The illustrations are stunning in this book and so well-chosen for the story, they really add to the story. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons and highly recommend it to all Potter fans.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Joanne Rowling born 31 July 1965, is a British writer and philanthropist. She is best known for writing the Harry Potter series. Rowling also writes crime fiction under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

Circe by Madeline Miller (Review)

Circe by Madeline Miller

Blurb

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Review

After reading The Song of Achilles I was really excited to read this book by Miller but I must admit I was slightly disappointed because it just didn’t seem to have the same polish to it like The Song of Achilles. 

Circe is an interesting character from the myths of ancient Greece and Miller has taken an interesting view of Circe’s story. Circe is the daughter of a Titan and the Oceanid nymph Perse, but Circe and her three siblings are not the normal offspring of a Titan and a nymph, they have abilities that Zeus fears greatly. Circe sadly is ignored by her family because she does not look or sound like a being that possesses divinity so she turns to mortals for friendship.

I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Circe in this book as she never seems to get a break and when things do start to go well something always happens for that to change. However, I do think Miller has used her literary license here to make Circe’s story rather depressing at times. As someone who is studying Classics I will be honest I was bit annoyed how Miller treated certain things like Glaucus but I will forgive her. I did like how Miller included the Golden Fleece and the Minotaur in the story and was pleased to see them included.

Circe only really acts like she does because she lacked guidance from her elders and had to make her own way in the world. As her life went on she makes decisions based on the way she has been treated and some of those are good and some are bad and some she regrets dearly. Everything she does helps her decide where she belongs in the world. 

Circe is quite often depicted as a loose woman who preys on men but Miller hasn’t gone down that route thankfully and been kinder to Circe. However, I am not too keen on some of the aspects Miller has chosen to either avoid or rewrite about Circe and that for me was a real shame. I did really enjoy the book though and give it 4 out of 5 Dragons.

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Purchase Links

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(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you)

About the author

Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. For the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students. She has also studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA, where she teaches and writes. The Song of Achilles is her first novel.