The Fantasy Tropes Tag

Happy Thursday, you guys! I hope the New Year has been treating you well so far!

Today, I’ll be sharing a brand new tag with you guys, the Fantasy Trope Tag. This tag was created by Arwa @ onespeculiar, and it’s all about fantasy, so, of course, I’ve been pretty excited to do it!

So, without any further ado, the Fantasy Tropes Tag!


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An Incredible Sequel to a Stunning Fantasy Story

Girl in the Tower
Buy it from Amazon, or through the publisher!

Title: The Girl in the Tower
Author: Katherine Arden
Type: YA Fantasy
Length: 363 pages
Published by: Del Ray
Pub date: Dec 5, 2017
Format: e-arc
Source: I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: ★★★★★

See other ratings and reviews on Goodreads, then check out the author’s website!


The short version: While I enjoyed the first book a bit more, I am still 100% in love with Arden’s writing, and I can’t wait to read the last book in the trilogy!

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Top 5 Books That Have Been on my TBR the Longest

Happy Tuesday all you awesome people! Last week was a little crazy, so I missed Top 5 Tuesday (again!) hosted by the amazing Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm, but now I’m back! This week’s Top 5 Topic is books that have been on my TBR the longest.

All of the books on this list have been on my TBR for well over a year, and these are the ones on my TBR that I want to get to soonest. To be honest, I’m not proud of a few of these; some of them are books I probably should have read ages ago! But I’m sure I’ll get to them… eventually.

Without any further ado, here are some of the manymanymany books on my TBR.


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A Stunning Story I’d Recommend to any Fantasy Fan!

The Bear and the Nightingale
Buy it from Amazon, or direct from the publisher!

Title: The Bear and the Nightingale
Author: Katherine Arden
Type: YA Fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Published by: Del Ray
Pub date: Jan 10, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Fun story: I thought I had this one on my Kindle, so I requested it’s sequel from Netgalley. When my request was accepted, I thought, “Great, better start reading, then.” ONLY I DIDN’T ACTUALLY HAVE IT ON MY KINDLE! So, I kind of panic-bought a copy from Barnes and Noble, even thought the sequel doesn’t come out till December.

My Rating: ★★★★★

See other ratings and reviews on Goodreads, then check out the author’s website!


The short version: This story is original, lyrical, and darkly enchanting. I devoured this book in one sitting!Read More »

Under-Developed Characters Left me Wanting More

 

29960675
Buy it from Amazon, or direct from the publisher!

Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Type: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 352
Published By: Sourcebooks
Pub Date: August 29, 2017
Format: e-book
Source: A digital copy of this book was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: ★★⭑☆☆ (I was torn between 2 and 3 stars…)

See other ratings and reviews at Goodreads, then check out the author’s website!


The short version: As much as I wanted to love this book, it fell a short of my expectations. But I still plan on finishing the duology.Read More »

Another Great Addition to a Great Series

28260587
Buy it from Amazon, or from the Publisher

Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 693 pages
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing
Pub Date: Sept 6th, 2016
Format: Harcover
Source: I purchased this book for myself via Amazon.

See other ratings and reviews on Goodreads, then checkout the author’s website!


*This review will contain unmarked spoilers for the rest of the series (otherwise, everything would be a spoiler)

**One quick disclaimer: I would definitely recommend reading the novellas before this book. A lot of the favors called in and many of the people visited are introduced in the novellas, and having read them will definitely make this book more enjoyable.**

The short version:
I LOVED this book. There are very few things I would change, and I think it makes a great addition to the Throne of Glass family.Read More »

Miserable MC Ruined it for Me

31338831
Buy it from Amazon, or from the publisher

Title: Quests of the Kings
Author: Robert Evert
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA; Fantasy
Length: 280 pages
Published by: Diversion Publishing
Pub Date: March 14, 2017
Format: Digital
Source: A digital copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

See other rating and reviews on Goodreads, then checkout the author’s website!


The short version: This book wasn’t as good as I was hoping. For me, when the main character is a flop, so is the book.

The long version:
My Summary: The kings of the realms in this world, instead of gaining influence through war, have decided to send knights and adventurers on a “King’s Quest,” a quest all the kings agree on, but only one can win.

These quests never seemed to have anything to do with sixteen-year-old peasant, Natalie, whose primary focus in life is working as many jobs as she can as often as she can so she can provide for her mother and siblings. All that changes, however, when she has a run-in with a vicious adventurer and tries to deal him the justice she knows he will never see. Soon, she’s on the run, seeking help from friends and strangers alike to protect her from one of the most well-known, and blood-thirsty, adventurers.

After reading the synopsis, I requested Quests of the Kings from NetGalley, hoping that it would be a fun read. But I ended up having to force myself to focus to finish the book.

My biggest issue was the main character, Natalie. If I don’t like a main character, I have a hard time enjoying the book, and she was awful! To me, her only redeeming qualities are that she is independent and devoted to her family, and even these traits get pushed to the side later for the sake of the plot. Other than that, she comes off as incredibly selfish and whiny; through the whole story her friends are trying to take care of her and help her, and instead of being grateful, she snaps at them. For some reason, even complete strangers agree to help her when all she has done is yell and complain at them. (I honestly didn’t understand why her friends were all so loyal and forgiving?) By the end, several of the other characters were saying things like, “Wow Nat, you’re so amazing, we’d love to have you on our team!!” And all I could think was “Why would you ever want that?”

And she doesn’t just complain to other characters, she complains to the reader as well. I had to read all these little thoughts and tirades about how unfair it is being a peasant and how hard it is being a woman. The first couple of times weren’t a big deal; since the story is set in a Middle Ages-type setting, class and gender discrimination are both to be expected. But it happened at least once a chapter in just about every single chapter. At that point, whenever she brought it up, I would actually get a little angry; I get it! Move on already! Even after all her needs had been taken care of, she was still cursing and complaining about the nobility, which starts to get unbelievable, especially since the reader had only seen one adventurer (are they even nobility?) actually harm her in any way, and a knight just gave her enough money to live comfortably for the rest of her life. (I understand class structure and such, but it seemed like most of her financial problems stemmed from the fact that her father died, not just because she was a peasant, and the reader doesn’t actually see much gender discrimination, we just have to take Nat’s word for it.)

There were also a few times where she would think/say/do something, and my brain would just stop short going, “That’s not how girls think!” For example, after yelling at everyone because she doesn’t believe they’ve been helping her enough, she turns to the guy she’s been rejecting for years and basically yells “I’m afraid for my life! Doesn’t anyone care that my life is in danger?!?” And then the very next sentence, she’s telling the reader that maybe she does have feelings for him, maybe she’s been wrong this whole time. It was like emotional whiplash that kind of made it seem like the author was trying too hard to make her sound feminine.

She did seem to get better during the last few chapters of the book. (Even though a lot had to happen for her to get there.) I’m not sure if I’ll read the next book, but if I do, I’ll be interested to see if she keeps her new found sense of independence.

Despite how much I dislike Natalie, I actually did enjoy most of the other characters. Reg would definitely be my favorite! I wish we had gotten to see more of the those characters instead of focusing so much on Natalie. There was a lot of potential for some great female friendships, but once the actual adventure started, Nat was the only girl we heard about, and she was always so careless with the people around her.

(This is a very non-specific spoiler, but better safe than sorry)It really bothers me that so many of these people she cared about died and we never really see her mourn them. There’s a sentence at the very end that was like, “Oh yeah, she cried a lot.” But other than that, she doesn’t really seem affected by the deaths at all. Unfortunately, neither was I. We never actually see anyone die, so there’s very little emotion behind it. A random character will tell Natalie, and vicariously the reader, about the death(s) and then the story just plows ahead. The deaths didn’t leave a big enough impact, either as an event or as a catalyst for Nat, to really make me feel anything about them. (end spoiler)

Long story short, I thought the story had a lot of potential, and some of the characters were great, but because I disliked the main character so much, I had a hard time enjoying this story. Even though I think the story could go in some interesting directions, I’m still undecided about whether I’ll actually read books later in the series.

Overall, I gave this book 2 stars:

2-stars


Thanks for reading! If you plan on reading or have already read this book, let me know why and what you think in the comments below!

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