Posts Categorized: Fantasy

5 Star Book Review: THE AFFILIATE (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde (@AuthorKALinde)

October 12, 2015 Book Review, Fantasy, Romance 0

Book Review: The Affiliate by K.A. Linde

Amazon | Goodreads

 

The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde: My Review

 

My Rating: 5 Stars

“What you seek lies where you cannot seek it. What you find cannot be found.”

As someone who loves fantasy books, when I discovered that K.A. Linde had recently released a fantasy romance, I was all over it. She’s an author I’ve enjoyed in the past, writing in a genre I particularly enjoy, so it was a no brainer. The Affiliate absolutely did not disappoint. With it’s fantastic world-building, wonderful characters, swoony romance, and intriguing storyline, it’s a great read.

This book has lots of very good characters. As the story progresses and Cyrene’s inner circle grows, the reader is rewarded with a team of characters that illustrate the value of friendship and trust. Cyrene is strong on her own, but unstoppable with her friends around her. The “good” group is easily balanced by a group of “not so good” or at least antagonistic characters. I like that many characters exist in a grey area; it’s clear they are working towards mostly for themselves, but their motivations are somewhat unclear. This makes for a richer story than a typical good vs. evil.

And Cyrene! I love, love, love that she is a clever, gutsy, strong female lead, surrounded by lots of other strong females, good and bad. She has a vulnerability, and is not immune to romance (in the form of a handsome king!) but when it really comes down to it, she’s brave, and she chooses a path that is best for her.

With her world-building, Linde expertly weaves a complex backdrop for the engaging storyline. I always had a clear picture of what everything looked like, without being bogged down. There was plenty of action as well as romance, and the two were well-balanced. I only had one small issue with the story, and it’s hardly an issue at all. It has to do with the story’s “pacing”. It moved along quickly enough, but I struggled with the reveal of key pieces of the mystery puzzle. A lot of information is revealed at the very end, which made for an exciting climax, but I wish that a few more bits and pieces of information were given throughout the story, and I think this would have been possible without spoiling anything. It would have kept me even more engaged that I already was. Keep in mind, this is a very small detail that didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of an excellent book.

I’m super excited to have a new fantasy series to anticipate, and The Ascension shows a ton of promise. Linde succeeds in writing a book that will easily please both fantasy and romance readers; if you’re a reader who generally reads straight romance, I recommend you give this one a try, and hopefully find a new genre to love.

” ‘She has this pull. When I’m with her, the throne slips away, and I’m just a man with a beautiful woman. It both intrigues and terrifies me.’ He splayed his hands before him. ‘I can never be anything but the king… but when I’m with her, I want to be.’ “

 

 

About The Affiliate

 

Book Review: The Affiliate by K.A. Linde

The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde

On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen for one of the most prestigious positions in her homeland—an Affiliate to the Queen.

Or so she thinks.

When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…

King Edric himself.

Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Also check out my review of Avoiding Responsibility by K.A. Linde!

Avoiding Responsibility by K.A. Line

 


5 Star Series Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

July 10, 2015 Fantasy, Favorite Books 0

TheMagiciansbanner

 

Hello Readers! So, I realize that I’ve been gone for a while. In January, I decided to take a month blogger break and well, one month turned in to two which turned in to six. Here’s the thing, not only was I experiencing a bit off blogger burnout, I was in a MAJOR book slump. It hard to imagine really. Here I am, surrounded by all of these fantastic books, and NOTHING could keep my attention. I picked up books and just as quickly put them back down. I decided not to push it, and figured it would happen when I was ready. I tried books of all genres and FINALLY, something stuck. I searched for something in fantasy, genre I’ve always loved. (Not the juicy, kinky, sexy fantasy, but the dragons and magic kind of fantasy.) I stumbled on The Magicians by Lev Grossman and the blurb and the reviews had me intrigued. I one-clicked, started reading, and before I knew it, I had FINISHED A BOOK. And even better, I loved it. I immediately read the rest of the series and I’m officially out of my book funk!! Check out the blurbs and my review and if this type of story is your cup of tea, I highly suggest you give it a try.

 

My Review

My Rating: 5 Stars

“It didn’t matter where you were, if you were in a room full of books you were at least halfway home.”

The Magicians series drug me kicking and screaming out of a devastating, mind-numbing reading slump. It was no easy task I assure you but these books had me hooked. I breezed through the entire and series, and when it was finished, the spell was released. I looked around, disoriented, blinking, and bleary-eyed, and realized I just read/witnessed something special. No, something magical.

I’ve heard this series described as “Harry Potter for adults”. Maybe, but that’s quite a stretch. There’s a magic school and it’s a coming of age story but that’s where the similarities stop. Perhaps if Harry Potter was darker, grittier, and more introspective. He’d also have to drink more. The Magicians has it’s own unique and realized world, many worlds really, and our cast of magical misfits moves through them, encountering adventures and wonders, horrors and heartbreak.

The Magicians begins as a coming of age story and follows as the characters move in to adulthood. Adulthood for anyone is complicated, but when you must save magical worlds, manipulate the elements, and defy the Gods of the universe, life is infinitely more difficult. It’s a story of friendship, romance, death, vice, and magic.  It’s about finding yourself, fighting your inner demons and the demons of the world, and sacrificing yourself to save the one you love. Childhood fantasies collide violently with an alternate magical reality and the result is a beautiful and imaginative series, a true fantasy gem.

“He’d been right about the world, but he was wrong about himself. The world was a desert, but he was a magician, and to be a magician was a secret spring-a moving oasis. He wasn’t desolate, and he wasn’t empty. We was full of emotion, full of feeling, bursting with them, and when it came down to it that’s what being a magician was. They weren’t ordinary feelings-they weren’t the tame, domesticated kind. Magic was wild feelings, the kind that escaped you and into the world and changed things.”

 

About the Books

 

The Magicians coverThe Magicians (The Magicians #1)

Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn’t real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn’t bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin’s yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they’d imagined. Psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians, the prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician’s Land, is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world-where good and evil aren’t black and white, and power comes at a terrible price.

Amazon | Goodreads

 

The Magician King coverThe Magician King (The Magicians #2)

Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to The New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon of 2009–The Magicians.

The Magicians was praised as a triumph by readers and critics of both mainstream and fantasy literature. Now Grossman takes us back to Fillory, where the Brakebills graduates have fled the sorrows of the mundane world, only to face terrifying new challenges.

Quentin and his friends are now the kings and queens of Fillory, but the days and nights of royal luxury are starting to pall. After a morning hunt takes a sinister turn, Quentin and his old friend Julia charter a magical sailing ship and set out on an errand to the wild outer reaches of their kingdom. Their pleasure cruise becomes an adventure when the two are unceremoniously dumped back into the last place Quentin ever wants to see: his parent’s house in Chesterton, Massachusetts. And only the black, twisted magic that Julia learned on the streets can save them.

The Magician King is a grand voyage into the dark, glittering heart of magic, an epic quest for the Harry Potter generation. It also introduces a powerful new voice, that of Julia, whose angry genius is thrilling. Once again Grossman proves that he is the cutting edge of literary fantasy.

Amazon | Goodreads

 

The Magicians Land coverThe Magician’s Land (The Magicians #3)

Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose, he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic, but he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica, and to buried secrets and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers the key to a sorcery masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, and a new Fillory–but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them he will have to risk sacrificing everything.

Amazon | Goodreads