Tag: epic fantasy

Soundbite Sunday – The Well of Ascension

September 7, 2014 Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Review 2 ★★★★

Soundbite Sunday – The Well of AscensionTitle: The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Source: Bought
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

 

As always, listening to a Brandon Sanderson book read by Michael Kramer was a fun experience. The character growth was, as usual, a real strength of the book. Some of the characters were a bit angstier than usual, but they always fell just short of becoming annoying. A new character, who became one of my favorite characters in the series, was introduced in this book and brought with him some interesting new hints about the world the story is set in. There was a huge twist at the end which was believable because of previous clues without being obvious or expected. My least favorite thing about this installment in the series is that it did drag a bit. There’s always the possibility with an audiobook that a story feeling slow can be attributed to the format and that might be part of it here. However, I’m also certain that the characters spending the whole book trying to achieve one goal and making very little progress also slowed the story down.

Do you find that audiobooks often seem to drag more than a book you’re reading yourself?

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Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final Empire

August 17, 2014 Audiobook 4 ★★★★

Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final EmpireTitle: Mistborn
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

 

As with Words of Radiance, I’m probably rating this book less highly because I read The Way of Kings first. Compared to The Way of KingsMistborn seemed like a younger sibling, a scaled down version perhaps intended for a younger audience. There are a lot of similarities between the two books: a world with a tyrannical ruling class; a male and a female narrator; chapters beginning with quotes from books; and similar magical combat. This is a good thing because these were strengths of The Way of Kings, but it’s also a bad thing because Mistborn felt much less novel. Mistborn also had a similarly consistent magic system and great character growth. Unfortunately, the epic scale and impressive world building of The Way of Kings were missing, but hopefully that will come as I read the next two books in the trilogy. Michael Kramer’s narration was spot on as always.

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Soundbite Sunday – Words of Radiance

August 3, 2014 Audiobook 3

9781427233080Title: Words of Radiance
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrators: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Rating (Story): ★★★★☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

This is a book I would probably give 5 stars if I weren’t comparing it to the first book in the series, The Way of Kings. The plot is similarly complex, interesting, and expansive. There is once again great character growth, with personal plots nested within the overall story. The magic and worldbuilding retain their internal consistency. However, while I wouldn’t say this suffered too much from second book syndrome, I did feel as though less happened than in the first book. Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday – The Way of Kings

July 27, 2014 Audiobook, Fantasy 7

The-Way-of-Kings-610664Title: The Way of Kings
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrators: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Rating (Story): ★★★★★
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

Many authors do one thing exceptionally well: world building, character creation and growth, or an intricate plot. Brandon Sanderson does an incredible job at all three. The world is very unique, with creatures and a magic system I never could have imagined. The world and the magical system are also notable for their internal consistency. The creatures described seem like the sort that would evolve together. The magical system follows clear, consistent rules. The world building take place through slow, constant information sharing, in parallel with both an epic, world-wide conflict and moving personal stories. The story wasn’t always straight forward or predictable and I loved the unexpected obstacles which forced every character to grow and change in order to succeed. Read more »

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Defy

January 27, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 6

17406847Title: Defy
Author: Sara B. Larson
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: The author included all the things I love in YA fantasy – gripping action, relatable protagonist, fascinating world-building – but she lost me with the annoying love triangle and pointlessly unhappy ending.

Only by disguising herself as a boy is Alexa safe from a fate worse than death. Fortunately, her impressive fighting skills quickly earn her a place in the elite prince’s guard. In that position, she’ll have to decide where her loyalties lie, with her prince or her kingdom. Her decision will influence the fate of her world. Also, there is a love triangle. Read more »

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Finnikin of the Rock

October 24, 2013 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 6

4932435Title: Finnikin of the Rock
Author: Melina Marchetta
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: It has all the elements a great epic fantasy should have without feeling cliched and the characters are impressively well developed.

Ten years ago the entire royal family of Lumatere was slain and the kingdom fell under a curse. Surrounded by an impenetrable magic barrier, half of her people remain trapped inside with an evil king and half wander the land outside as exiles. On the outside, Finnikin and his guardian Sir Topher have struggled to find a home for the Lumateren exiles, but when they meet an exile named Evanjalin who claims the heir to the throne is alive, they have to consider the possibility that they have a hope of returning home. Read more »

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A Group Read – Assassin’s Apprentice Review

August 14, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Title: Assassin’s Apprentice
Author: Robin Hobb
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: The writing in the book was good, but not great, and the plot often failed to deliver on built up excitement.

Born illegitimately to a commoner and a prince, Fitz has both the ancient ability to talk to animals and the noble Skill of influencing other’s minds. At a very young age he’s chosen and trained to be the king’s assassin. This puts him in a position to defend the kingdom both from vicious Outislander raiders and from attacks closer to home. Read more »

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