Kylar and Elene have escaped with Uly and are trying to set up a new life in a nearby country. Elene is trying to break Kylar away from his old murderous life as a “wetboy” assassin. Kylar is desperately trying to become a new person while dealing with the guilt of having killed his master, Durzo, and abandoned his best friend Logan. His inate skills are augmented by the magical ka’kari and he struggles to abandon his former ways for good.
The residents of the Warrens are struggling under the oppression of the conquering armies of Khalidor and revolution is brewing. Led by Kylar’s friends Jarl and Momma K they manage to consolidate their forces and raise an army to oppose the God King. However, they still need a champion and a leader to rally around.
Logan didn’t die in the first book but escaped into the dreaded prison known as the Maw and the Hole. He’s desperately clinging on to life among the dregs of society that have been reduced to worse than animals in a constant battle to survive.
Jarl comes to Kylar with the news that Logan still lives and now he must choose between his love for Elene and his debt to Logan.
Throw in the beautiful and ruthless assassin Vi, who has been offered freedom if she delivers Jarl and Kylar into the hands of the God King, and you have a complicated but gripping story of magic, evil, betrayal and love.
Rand al’Thor and his companions set out to retrieve a powerful magical artifact from The Dark One’s Shadowspawn.
For centuries, gleemen have told the tales of The Great Hunt of the Horn. So many tales about each of the Hunters, and so many Hunters to tell of…
Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages.
And it is stolen.
In pursuit of the thieves, Rand al’Thor is determined to keep the Horn out of the grasp of The Dark One. But he has also learned that he is The Dragon Reborn—the Champion of Light destined to stand against the Shadow time and again. It is a duty and a destiny that requires Rand to uncover and master magical capabilities he never imagined he possessed.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The second instalment is described as following on directly from the first but some time has obviously passed. The story starts with Rand and company reasonably settled in Fal Dara and Rand having enough instruction from Lan to become at least a competent swordsman. Overall with all the characters there is a feeling that they have all grown up a bit since the last time we saw them.
***SPOILERS AHEAD*** A lot happens in this book. The main focus is Rand coming to terms with his destiny, accepting that he can channel and that he is the Dragon Reborn. How he goes from denial and rejecting this to giving in to the forces of the Pattern and finally accepting his fate is really well done with a powerful ending that sets the scene for the next book.
Another important strand gives us our first insights into Aes Sedai society and politics both within Tar Valon and outside, how the different Ajahs work together while still striving to be in control. This is just a first glimpse of what is to come. We also get first impressions of the process whereby girls in training pass through the different stages and the trials this involves.
Finally we meet The Seanchan. They seem like the real wild card with nobody in the Westlands knowing anything about them or that they even existed. They come with strange customs, armour and beasts and with a determination to reclaim the world of Artur Hawkwing for the Seanchan Empire. Part of this strategy is to capture and enslave all women who can channel thereby threatening the entire social structure of the Westlands just as it appears The Last Battle is approaching.
Overall this book widens the scope of the story tremendously with many new strands introduced. When I first read this series the first book intrigued me but it was this one that really hooked me and returning to it now I can see why.
Inextricably bound to the fate of the land, Nevyn, Rhodry and Jill struggle to unite the humans of Deverry with the mysterious and once-hostile race of Elves. But the evil and powerful sorcerers of Annwn know that any alliance between the two races will threaten their own dominion.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
It sounds like it should be confusing having multiple stories being told in 3 different time lines with the same characters reincarnated but it somehow managed to work. The three stories very much focus around Jill and her former lives this time and we see her portrayed as three very different people.
Add in the Dark Dweomer and this book is very interesting and a great read.
For such an easy going type of story there is a lot of sexual violence including sexual assault and systematic abuse and rape. There’s also the typical violence of a medieval setting and subsequent battles. However, despite all the violence and evil magic it somehow manages to escape being a dark story.
Elena bears the mark of the wit’ch upon her palm, the crimson stain that testifies to the awesome power of unimaginable potency: wild seductive, and difficult to control. Only a mistress of blood magick can stand against the foul minions and all-corrupting evil of the Dark Lord. But Elena is not yet the mistress of her magick. Protected by an ageless warrior and a band of renegades, she quests for a lost city where prophecies speak of a mystic tome that holds the key to the Dark Lord’s defeat. But if the Dark Lord finds her first, Elena will become his most fearsome weapon.
A different form of power touches Sy-wen, girl-child of an ocean-dwelling clan that bonds-mates to the terrible and majestic sea dragons. But bonds more ancient still tie Sy-wen to the land she does not know, to a man she has never seen…and to a legend asleep in stone deep beneath A’loa Glen-a legend beginning to wake.
Now, as Elena and Sy-wen converge on A’loa Glen from land and sea, will the forces they unleash lead to a future of freedom-or an eternity under the Dark Lord’s yoke?
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This picks up directly from the first book and after the first quarter I was starting to wonder how the story was going to last through 5 books without getting repetitive and potentially boring. Then there is a massive injection of new characters and storylines that really ramp up the complexity. Particularly liked how everything was brought together at the end of this chapter and looking forward to seeing how it develops further through the rest of the books. Although I read this series a long time ago I remember very little about the story except that it was good.
The section of the story with the Swamp Wit’ch reminded me quite a lot of Shota and Richard from the Sword of Truth series. The characters and stories are different but it just felt very familiar for some reason.
Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment
Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can’t pay his rent. He’s alienating his friends. He can’t even recall the last time he took a shower.
The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.
And just when it seems things can’t get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can’t refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him–and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen’s right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen’s name.
It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case. No pressure or anything..
My Rating: ⭐⭐
Although I managed to get to the end I really struggled with this book. The storyline just didn’t work for me. The blend of fantasy and crime investigation just didn’t work, it was just too outlandish and unbelievable. The fantasy element was way off the scale and the frenetic pace of the story hampered my ability to get to grips with anything that was going on. I was just reading it on auto pilot most of the time!
According to Goodreads reviews the series improves a lot from the fourth book so I will keep going with it but after this I would be tempted to give it up.
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.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Having recently watched and enjoyed the Amazon TV adaptation of The Wheel of Time I was inspired to go back and read the original books for probably the 5th time! It has been a long time since I’ve read the earliest ones though and I’m finding details now that I missed before.
Starting this series is a serious investment of time as there are 12 instalments in total and each is well over 10 hours reading time.
Some of the themes and characters of this story are simplistic and dated by now but this is the start of one of the most epic stories in the fantasy genre. To me it is a brilliant blend of many different themes and story elements from the best that fantasy has to offer. I’m going to enjoy reading them all again, even the difficult ones!
Even as a young girl, Jill was a favorite of the magical, mysterious Wildfolk, who appeared to her from their invisible realm. Little did she know her extraordinary friends represented but a glimpse of a forgotten past and a fateful future. Four hundred years-and many lifetimes-ago, one selfish young lord caused the death of two innocent lovers. Then and there he vowed never to rest until he’d righted that wrong-and laid the foundation for the lives of Jill and all those whom she would hold dear: her father, the mercenary soldier Cullyn; the exiled berserker Rhodry Maelwaedd; and the ancient and powerful herbman Nevyn, all bound in a struggle against darkness. . . and a quest to fulfill the destinies determined centuries ago. Here in this newly revised edition comes the incredible novel that began one of the best-loved fantasy series in recent years–a tale of bold adventure and timeless love, perilous battle and pure magic. For long-standing fans of Deverry and those who have yet to experience this exciting series, Daggerspell is a rare and special treat.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have been a bit nervous about reading this book and have been putting it off for a while. Following on from my recent review of “Into The Out Of” this was the series of books that convinced me in my mid-late teens that Fantasy was the genre for me. I read the first 3 stories many times and followed the series all the way to the 9th book before losing track of it for some reason. I see now that it’s up to 15 stories with more to come.
This book is where the whole story starts and for me it’s one of the perfect examples of the genre. It has everything you expect from an epic style story with fantastically developed characters and some of the best story writing I’ve come across.
I am delighted to find that it has also stood the test of time and it was an absolute delight to return to the world Katherine Kerr has created and to immerse myself in the complex story of reincarnation and magic set in a very familiar yet wonderfully different medieval Celtic society.
If you have any interest at all in the Fantasy genre then make sure you read this book!
Harry Dresden – Wizard Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.
Harry Dresden has faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago-area phone book.
But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: The spirit world has gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble – and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone – or something – is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself….
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
The previous books were very much detective stories with a little bit of a fantasy twist. This one is very much a fantasy/horror with a mystery twist. It’s pretty full on with demons, faeries, vampires and magic. I did find it very enjoyable though. I particularly like the way the author treats magic and the magical world with a certain level of contempt. There’s no perception of magic as something wondrous or other worldly, it’s just mundane, slightly above ordinary and something that’s likely to go wrong.
I really enjoyed the depiction of the vampires and especially the various “courts” and how they use different techniques to subdue and consume their victims.
Where I have a problem with this book is the character Michael and the events that brought Harry and him together. There’s a whole back story here that’s missing. I have checked at least 3 times to see if I skipped a book by accident. There is so much missing here and so much that is assumed the reader knows that it makes the story difficult to follow and creates a sense of uncertainty. It knocked at least one star off my rating.
Overall it’s a really good book, I’d just like to have been given a chance to read how Harry and Michael met and came to be working together.
For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city’s most accomplished artist.
For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.
But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
This is the author’s debut novel and it feels like one. The characters and storylines are good but they just don’t have the flow and polish of an experienced author. However, it is definitely worth a read and shows promise for more to come.
The genre is fantasy but it’s definitely modern fantasy. There’s a real dark edge with poverty, hardship and abuse and not much of it softened. We also join the story in a lull between conflicts between Cenaria (the country the story is set in) and its stronger and bloodthirsty neighbours. Not much background is given up front so you are finding stuff out as you go along. This very much reminded me of Stella Gemmell’s The City and Stephen Erikson’s series Malazan Book of the Fallen.
The author has received a number of awards for this and a second series so looking forward to seeing how his talent develops and how the rest of the story progresses.
From a brilliant new voice in fantasy comes a band of heroes, a world in peril, and an unforgettable heroine whose unexpected gift of magic awakens an ancient, slumbering evil.
On a fateful night five centuries ago, three made a desperate last stand, sacrificing everything to preserve the only hope of goodness in the beautiful, doomed land of Alasea. Now, on the anniversary of that ominous night, a girl-child ripens into the heritage of lost power. But before she can even comprehend her terrible new gift, the Dark Lord dispatches his winged monsters to capture her and bring him the embryonic magic she embodies.
Fleeing the minions of darkness, Elena is swept toward certain doom-and into the company of unexpected allies. Aided by a one-armed warrior and a strange seer, she forms a band of the hunted and the cursed, the outcasts and the outlaws, to battle the unstoppable forces of evil and rescue a once-glorious empire…
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Yet another series that I read a long time ago and have decided to revisit. I was a bit wary of doing so as although I remember the series and even the covers, I couldn’t remember anything about the story or characters. My misgivings were definitely misplaced and once I was a couple of chapters in it started to ring familiar bells and I was really enjoying it.
The quality of writing is really very good. The characters are diverse but very manageable and very well introduced. This first book is all about bringing the band of characters together, showing us their individual stories and setting them up for the main story which is also partly introduced.
This book kind of reminded me of the Dragonlance stories with its mixture of human and non-human characters and with magic at its core. However, while I found Dragonlance quite simplistic and dated this story is much more complex and definitely fits with modern fantasy writing.