Review: The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Blurb

Review The Magician King NA Fantasy NovelMeet Quentin Coldwater, king of the bizarre and wonderful land of Fillory. But he is getting restless, even in heaven a man needs a little adventure. So when a steward is murdered on a morning’s hunt Quentin gets exactly that. But this quest is like no other. What starts as a glorified cruise to faraway lands soon becomes the stuff of nightmares…

I award this novel four out of five stars

Today I’m reviewing the second novel of the Magician series. A fantastic series that has been made into a TV show for the SyFy channel. It’s one of my much-loved shows, if you haven’t seen it yet, and you’re a fan of fantasy, I highly recommend it.

Feel free to check out my review of first novel The Magicians. Lev Grossman’s writing is awe inspiring. He’s easily one of my top ten favourite authors. His descriptive way of defining the ordain and extraordinary is effortless and imaginative.

I loved the journey into Julia’s life, and her harrowing route to becoming a Magician. I was fully engrossed in every chapter from her point of view. Her crippling depression was well written and I felt accurate. I could fully identify with her darkness.

I missed the terrific characters from the first novel; Alice, Janice and Eliot were hardly mentioned. This was a shame. They were well developed, complex characters, bringing a lighter touch of comedy and love for Quinten.  I didn’t fully connect with some of the others. We experienced Poppy, Josh and Penny through the Quinten’s lens. They weren’t always favourites of his, it made for comical encounters or lacklustre ones.

 

The Magicians by Lev Grossman Review Fantasy Author

I adore Quinten’s mind, his restlessness. I loved how the seemingly inconsequential threads lined up to complete Quinten’s quest. And although I routed for a happy conclusion, Que’s acceptance of his journey and the consequences made for a surprising and satisfactory ending. Leaving a beautiful hook for the next novel, whilst tying off all the loose threads.

There were parts of the novel which dragged, hence four stars instead of five. In places, Grossman’s elaborate writing slowed the plot and pace. I struggled to maintain reading, it took weeks to finish. But once the momentum of the Magician King’s quest finally took off, I was once more engrossed until the bittersweet end.


Thank you for reading. Have you read The Magician series? If so, what did you think? Or drop me a message about what you’re currently reading. Until next time, take care my friends. 🙂

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.

 

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Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

I love this author!!! My dream is to one day be as successful as her, to sign books at the same function. Ahh, did I mention daydreaming is a big deal for me. If you’re a fan of Fantasy Romance, then I strongly recommended you read this series. Check out my reviews A Court of Thorns & Roses and my personal favourite A Court of Mist & Fury. So without further delay, here is my review of the third installment of this series #ACOTAR


Blurb.

A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN FANTASY ROMANCE NOVELFeyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


I Award this Novel 5/5 Starsmy Heart and Soul with it.

My favourite quote from the novel is one that rings true in my own life.

‘If I had not met a shadowslinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair.’

Feyre is lethal and daring, a female that holds her own. Rhysand is still charming, cunning and a force to be recommend with. He makes my heart melt. He’s ruined me for real life, nothing can compare to the emotions their love invoked in me. Truth be told, I found a lot of similarities between Rhys and my hubby. Particularly the way he treats her, lets her hold her own, but is always there to turn to.

What most inspired me, was the friendships that formed into family. The dynamics of the complex characters and how they all work, sometimes don’t work, together… because that’s what a family is. This novel delves into the other characters more, we start to unravel their pasts. To see what makes them all tick.

The war fair, is gritty, catastrophic and brutal. My heart was in my throat for most of the novel. I couldn’t predict the ending and when it arrived it was spectacular, heart-breaking and beautiful.

Sarah J Maas knows how to put her readers through the wringer. The whole series is complex, rich in belief systems, diversity, races and social status. Her world building is breath-taking; she weaves a rich, lush tapestry of realms and characters.

Spoiler: I only have one Qualm with this story and its Mor’s revelation. I have no issue with her choices; it makes a lot of sense. I’m just disappointed for Azriel. Unrequited love is a hard pill to swallow. Something I’ve had to deal with. I hope brighter things are aligned for his future.

Have you read this series? What did you think? If you’re a fan of fantasy Romance, what other series did you enjoy reading?

Author Lorraine Ambers YA fantasy romance

The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Blurb

The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternThe circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads:

Opens at Nightfall, Closes at Dawn

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.

Le Cirque des Rêves – The Circus of Dreams.

Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.


I award this novel 5 stars.

My Review of Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel – The Night Circus.

The Night Circus is imaginative, dark and magical. A mix of fantasy and realism that portrays a tale of coming-of-age. The novel is thrillingly wonderfull, a delicate blend of romance and friendship. It fired up evocative images, played to my senses and delivered me into the marvellous world of The Night Circus.

I read this book when I was in Disney World. The magic and tantalising playfulness of the creation blended seamlessly with my holiday. In fact, it heightened my experience. Each caramel popcorn stall I passed reminded me of the vibrant story. The acrobats performing at the Cirque du Soleil blurred with vivid tale of The Night Circus. In the day I was transported into childlike wonder and at night Erin’s debut novel whisked me away, with the rich tapestry of her character’s lives.

I adore the book cover, with its timeless beauty, simplicity and cleverly designed intricate details. Simply stunning!

Throughout my holiday I carried the book in my heart and soul. Like the Reveres in the story, I too fell in love with the fantastical circus.

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

Have you read The Night Circus? What did you think and do you have any similar favourites? Let me know I love hearing from you.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Neil Gaiman

Review of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This fantastic book was lent to me by a wonderful bookshop owner in my home town. He has a particular fondness of fantasy novels and has dedicated a large bookshelf to that genre. I was surprised to find I’d already read a considerable amount off of that shelf. I found in his collection The Hobbit by J.R. Tolkien and snapped up the copy.

The bookshop guy didn’t have any Neil Gaiman’s books in store to sell. But he happily lent me his copy of The Ocean at the end of the lane. So, thank you kind bookshop owner. He made my day with his generosity, for lending me a novel that I’m sure will stay with me until the end of time.

Blurb.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Neil Gaiman

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond this world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

My review.

This novel is awarded 5 stars

The ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Gaiman is a flashback to a childhood of forgotten memories. It’s beautiful, gritty and evocative. Highly imaginative, with gripping tension that captured my attention from start to finish. I devoured this book within a day.

A friend of mine said, ‘I love Neil Gaiman, the only problem with his books is that they’re too short. I wish he’d write bigger books.’

I’d have to agree. The story was creative beyond my wildest imaginings but grounded with its possibilities. From myth to fable, Gaimen tips his hat to great literature and all done through the eyes of a seven-year-old.

Even though the novel is portrayed through a young character, I felt honored to recollect the vivid imaginings and scary possibilities of being vulnerable and at the mercy of adults. I think that’s what resonated most with me.

I’m set on having all of Gaiman’s novels for my collection. My local bookshop is set to become one of my favorite places. The only trouble is, where am I going to keep all my books. I’ll add a library/office to my wish list.

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

What author have you discovered that surprised and delighted you? Do you have a story of random kindness? Share them with me – I’d love to hear about it.

Hope you’re all enjoying your summer. 🙂

© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2017.
A court of Mist and Fury Fantasy Romance Author

Review – A court of Mist and Fury.

A court of Mist and Fury Fantasy Romance Author

Feyre struggles with what she endured under the mountain. Worse is Tamlin’s controlling behavior in a bid to ensure her safety and his lack of empathy for all she’s been through.

Feyre is mollycoddled, paraded like a trophy in front of the Courts but ignored. She’s suffocating in this new world. Until Rhysand arrives, calling in his end of the bargain.

Prythian is revealed in a rainbow of colors, vibrancy and life. All is not as it seemed in the spring court. With her new fae body, Rhysand helps Feyre discover her hidden powers enabling her to become whole once more.

In this novel Feyre grows from a young girl with only romantic ideas of love and begins to bloom into the woman she is truly meant to become. I love how Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship is harsh, gritty and full of teasing.

The introduction of new characters deepens the world. Enriching the story, filling it with a complex structure. The plot expands, growing seamlessly from book one without leaving unfinished business.

(Manipulating me into the next story is my pet peeve. Sure leave a subtle twist or a few teasers but for the love of god, complete the story that was set out in book one.) Thankfully Sarah J. Maas does not do that. She’s a goddess in my opinion. I’m a huge fan girl of hers.

Sarah J. Mass tore my heart out and left me grieving for her world. I was desperate for the next installment but couldn’t risk my obsessive nature. I have a tendency to live in the fantasy realm. I have a family. I’ve promised myself that once my second novel is complete, I’ll delve back into her world. I can’t wait to meet Rhysand again. He’s my all time favorite book boyfriend.

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman Review Fantasy Author

Review – The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Blurb.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman Review Fantasy AuthorIn a secret world of forbidden knowledge, power comes at a terrible price …

Quentin Coldwater’s life is changed forever by an apparently chance encounter: when he turns up for his entrance interview to Princeton he finds his interviewer dead – but a strange envelope bearing Quentin’s name leads him down a very different path to any he’d ever imagined.

The envelope, and the mysterious manuscript it contains, leads to a secret world of obsession and privilege, a world of freedom and power and, for a while, it’s a world that seems to answer all Quentin’s desires. But the idyll cannot last – and when it’s finally shattered, Quentin is drawn into something darker and far more dangerous than anything he could ever have expected …

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I award this novel 5 stars.

Review

Quinten is a mathematical genius. Though he’s the top of his class, Quinten feels as if he doesn’t quite belong, that perhaps he was meant for something else. (A feeling I’m familiar with.) Brakebells reveals a life that he was born to be part of. Inserting him in with other students of equal or better talents.

Not only is the story set in an urban fantasy setting but the novel also makes way for the introduction to Fillory. A world thought to be only an author’s creation, that later turns out to actually exist.

The magicians have a magic system with clear consequences for misuse and a unique way of performing the spells by using finger signals. I loved the distinctive performance of casting magic.

The plot drives a suspenseful and engaging momentum. Lev Grossman writes a dark and addictive fantasy, with entertaining and inspirational descriptions. A smart and gripping view of complex relationships. Whilst delving into the experiences of new adulthood. With amusing pop culture references, that bring well-developed characters to life.

The young adults experiment with the excitements of magic and life, giving into impulses and crashing into the fallout of their consequences.

The Magicians is the first in a trilogy and has been made into a successful TV series. I highly recommend bingeing on both.

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016
Review Heartless Marissa Meyer Author Lorraine Ambers Fantasy romance YA

Review Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Blurb

Review Heartless Marissa Meyer Author Lorraine Ambers Fantasy romance YALong before she was the Queen of Hearts, Catherine Pinkerton was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Author Lorraine Ambers Banner

I award this novel 4.5 stars

Review:

It was the cover that first caught my attention. It’s simply beautiful and once I’d learnt that this was a rendition inspired by my favourite classic novel ‘Alice in Wonderland’ I was sold.

Having grown up knowing what a furious character the Queen of Heart’s was. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved Catherine. She’s sweet as the cakes she makes, whilst also being loyal, brave and an avid daydreamer – like me. I started the story knowing that Cath was once a girl in love. That her heartbreak would be the catalyst to becoming the heartless Queen. I was intrigued to learn how the journey transpired. All the while, the hopeless romantic in me desperately wanted her and Jest to make it.

It’s a tale of social standing, where Cath’s wishes are disregarded for her duty. It casts a light on the heavy burden of wanting to follow your heart, over what is expected of you. Even though this novel is inspired by the Edwardian period, it still holds weight in society today.

I loved meeting my favourite characters like Hatta and Mr Caterpillar again and seeing them in a slightly different light. And getting the world introduced to me from a slightly different angle. Whilst maintaining the whimsical elements that drew me to the original.

Marissa Meyer has an extraordinary gift for regaling the original characters, I heard their voices in the same manner as when reading Lewis Carroll’s novel. Marissa interwove the tiniest details and made them key players in her story, like the pocket watch, roses and maze. Every new character was worthy of the magical realm.

Jest is charismatic, magical and mysterious, an interesting cocktail for any reader. I just loved every delicate interaction between him and Cath. Their dialogue had me on the edge of my seat with anticipation.

This made the tale bitter-sweet and intoxicating. Knowing what the outcome must be but desperately wanting to believe in the impossible, like Alice herself.

I’m glad we got to see Cath’s fall from grace. Of how her heart shattered. Because reading the pain and sorrow shapes Cath into the Queen we love to hate. The satisfying transformation to a bitter, short tempered, cold mistress who governs the realm of Hearts.

The story is positively perfect in every way.

If you’re also a fan, stop by and say hello. Or if you loved this book and know of similar romance fantasies, then please let me know. I can’t get enough of them. Thanks for reading and have a great day. 🙂

Author Lorraine Ambers YA fantasy romance
© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.
king_dragon_2_by_dezilon-Author-Lorraine-Ambers

The Dragon Within

I’m at war with a dragon,
who is deceitful and cunning.

There’s no place to hide since the beast arose,
she blurs the line between life and death.

My dragon whispers white lies, weaving her delusions.
She hides in shadows, scratching her talons in the midnight sky.

I disguise the monster, afraid others will fear her presence.
And so my mask stays in place, preventing others from shunning away.

My castle bridge is drawn and the shield’s held high,
but the courtyard’s void, with only the ghosts to keep me warm.

For the dragons taint has taken route…
finally, she sleeps. Letting me fall from her grace.

I cast off her flames, emerging battle scared and weary.
At last able to chase the fleeting moments of joy,

I thought I’d defeated her, slain the stalker and walked away victorious.
She tricked me, for her eggs have already been hatched.

king_dragon_2_by_dezilon-Author-Lorraine-Ambers

Thanks to dezilon.deviantart.com for the allowing me to use his amazing artwork – thegalaxyjumper@gmail.com

Author Lorraine Ambers YA fantasy romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.

Review – A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah.J.Maas

Review of A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah. J. Maas

Blurb

Review YA fantasty romance Sarah J Maas Author Lorraine AmbersFeyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jeweled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


This novel features heavily in my Instagram feed. As an author of YA fantasy, I’d noticed Sarah. J.Mass book’s splashed across the shelves of my local library and bookstores.

My real interest started when I researched fantasy romances to compare my work to and this novel kept popping up. Rightly so, after finishing the novel I wanted to start from scratch and immerse myself in Feyre’s world. It’s no wonder Sarah J.Maas is in the top running for best fantasy literature. It’s a pleasure to read a book and learn from an artist. But more than that, it’s a thrill to read and only see the world open before you, with no qualms over their writing. It seems that’s the unfortunate side effect of becoming an author, I judge everything I read.

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I award this novel 5 stars.

Perfect for lovers of high fantasy and swoon-worthy romance.

I was introduced effortlessly, to the world of humans, fae’s and their laws. To the forgotten faith and war that previously ravaged the lands. Feyre is forced to provide for her family. Without her hunting, her family would starve. Whilst tracking a deer, she makes a decision that will change the course of her life.

The author takes fae myth and tips it on its head. Revealing them to Feyre as mysterious and noble, but not all the stories were a lie, the lands are perilous and deadly.

The beginning of the novel had a similar storyline to Beauty and the Beast. But Feyre is no Bella. The story unfolds into a vivacious world with fantastic characters.

I loved how the story gripped me from beginning to end. So much so , that i immediately ordered the sequel and pre-ordered the third instalment of the trilogy. The plot and subplots were tied up. (You must know by now, that that is my biggest pet-peeve.) With a tantalising hint of what to expect in book 2.

And even though this book is all about Feyre and Tamlin, I must admit, I turned to the dark side for Rhysand. His charm, cunning and clear interest in Feyre was enthralling.

What I hated: The week-long book hangover that followed this masterpiece. I am officially a fan girl of Sarah J. Maas.

 Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

If you’re also a fan, stop by and say hello. Or if you loved this book and know of similar romance fantasies, then please let me know. I can’t get enough of them. Thanks for reading and have a great day. 🙂

© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.
The Iron Queen Iron Fey series Julie Kagawa Lorraine Ambers review YA fantasy romance

#Review The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey Book 3) by Julie Kagawa

Book Blurb

The Iron Queen Iron Fey series Julie Kagawa Lorraine Ambers review YA fantasy romanceIn less than twenty-four hours I’ll be seventeen. Although, technically, I won’t actually be turning seventeen. I’ve been in the Nevernever too long.

When you’re in Faery, you don’t age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I’m probably only a few days older than when I went in. In real life, I’ve changed so much I don’t even recognize myself. MY NAME IS MEGHAN CHASE. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

THIS TIME, THERE WILL BE NO TURNING BACK.

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I award The Iron Queen 5 stars

This is book 3 of the Iron Fey and my favourite out of the series. Julie’s stories are similar to my own in regards to the retelling of faery tales. The good pace and immediate action, hold the reader captivated from start to end. Her books echo the epic, fantasy element of my own work, which is what interested me in the first place.

Megan Chase is a great character with a strong internal voice that carries us through the book. In this story she learns to fight, wanting to hold her own in battle and not rely on the strength of Ash or her best friend Puck. She also needs to master her powers that are a contradiction to each other, the power of the iron and summer.

What I loved: The banter between Ash and Puck, it kept the obvious rivalry for Megan interesting and not at all tedious. In this novel, Ash and Megan’s relationship is beautifully interwoven into the story. It was the perfect blend of romance in an epic tale. Ash is silent and lethal yet his affection for Megan is genuine. I swooned over this male. Oh my!!

The worlds have an Alice in Wonderland feel. In particular the Trods and Grimalkin, who reminded me of the Cheshire Cat. Grim has realistic animal mannerisms. He exudes the aloof, smugness of a cat. Coming and going as he pleases. (Just like my Jaspurr.)

I loved the unusual and unique realms; they were beautiful and richly described. The premise of the Iron fey is original and a great concept in relation to the whimsical more traditional faery. in myth the fey are afraid of iron, Julie created a world where the iron Fey were born from the growing use of machines. Gremlins and bugs clash with the winter and summer courts, all lurking behind our world, disguised by glamour.

What I disliked: This book is too similar to book 1, The Iron King. The plot and battle are virtually identical down to the settings. Although, I think The Iron Queen is intricate and alluring. The final battle scene was melodramatic and boring. I must admit, I skipped forward a paragraph or two until the event was over.

With that being said, I actually started with book 3 and bought the whole series. That’s how invested I was in the characters and their journey. I was dying to know how Megan and Ash met and what will happen to them. I haven’t read The Iron Knight yet… So many books, so little time.

A fantastic read for fans of faerie fantasy that is firmly rooted in the realm of believably. With great characters and spectacular realms full of magic and wonder. It’s not at all like the Disney Tinkerbell movies. Yes, I’ve watched them all (with my kids).

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.