Book review

Heartstone by Elle Katherine White – book review

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So I’ve been away from blogging land and social media for awhile and now it’s time I caught up on some reviews. Starting with, Heartstone by Elle Katherine White. This was introduced to me as a buddy read hosted by @litetally.ruth.mitchell on Instagram (way back in February, oops). She said, “If you like Lord of the Rings and Jane Austen this book is for you” and boy was she right. This book is a Pride and Prejudice retelling in a fantasy/ medieval-ish setting, with talking dragons, little hobgoblins and other fantastical creatures. So it basically its P&P in a LotR’s world and I’m here for it! It really feels like it’s own story and I don’t feel it is immediately recognisable as a Pride and Prejudice retelling (although it’s been a long time since I read P&P).

The world building in this is quite good. There is a bit of name droping and info dumping at the beginning but it’s not entirely complicated. It’s full of action, talking dragon’s and of course some romance.

The relationships and the dialogue are strong in this. Daired and Aliza really worked towards getting their happy ending. However while the relationships were strong, there were a few small things that I feel were missed out on. One of these were Daired’s sister, Julienna, and her dragon, Mar’esh. I loved this character. A strong young woman, who’s a little bit sassy and her equally strong dragon that she took an oath for and who she continued to stand beside, even after he was injured. Loved her.

Another character I would have loved to have read more about was Tobble and the other hobgoblins. He’s so much fun. There is a good few funny parts in this book.

All in all, I love this book. And although the following two books in this series have mixed review’s, I will certainly be picking up the next one soon.

Well that’s all from me today. Don’t forget to, Read You Fools 😉
Charlie

audio book · Book review · dnf

Dnf – Rise of the Dragons by Morgan Rice – audiobook

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Rise of the Dragons (Kings and Sorcerers–Book 1)

From #1 Bestselling author Morgan Rice comes a sweeping new epic fantasy series: RISE OF THE DRAGONS (KINGS AND SORCERERS—Book 1).

Kyra, 15, dreams of becoming a famed warrior, like her father, even though she is the only girl in a fort of boys. As she struggles to understand her special skills, her mysterious inner power, she realizes she is different than the others. But a secret is being kept from her about her birth and the prophecy surrounding her, leaving her to wonder who she really is.

Just as Kyra is coming of age, the local lord comes to take her away. Her father wants to wed her off to save her. Kyra, though, refuses, and she quests on her own, into a dangerous wood, where she encounters a wounded dragon—and ignites a series of events that will change the kingdom forever.

15 year old Alec, meanwhile, sacrifices for his brother, taking his place in the draft, and is carted off to The Flames, a wall of flames a hundred feet high that wards off the army of Trolls to the east. On the far side of the kingdom, Merk, a mercenary striving to leave behind his dark past, quests through the wood to become a Watcher of the Towers and help guard the Sword of Fire, the paranormal source of the kingdom’s power. But the Trolls want the Sword, too—and they prepare for a massive invasion that could destroy the kingdoms forever.

With its strong atmosphere and complex characters, RISE OF THE DRAGONS is a sweeping, romantic saga of knights and warriors, of kings and lords, of honor and valor, of magic, action, adventure, destiny, sorcery, monsters and dragons. It is a story of love and broken hearts, of deception, of ambition and betrayal. It is fantasy at its finest, inviting us into a world that will live with us forever, one that will appeal to all ages and genders.

Synopsis from Google Books.

Dnf stands for did not finish and I most certainly did not finish this book. I tried. I tried so hard to listen to this but I just couldn’t. I got through a few chapters at the start but that was it. Maybe I’m just not an audio book type of person. It can be kind of hard to listen to an audio book when there are kids shouting and making a tonne of noise, the t.v. is on full blast and other general ‘home’ noises (my washing machine seems to be on constantly lately). So it could be that I just prefer the more traditional aspect of going off to a quite(ish) corner to read by myself. Atleast then I can just drop and run if there’s any disasters (usually spilled milk-sigh). Or maybe it’s because I can block out the noise better when I’m reading.

I feel bad about not being able to give this story a fair go but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. From the few chapters I got through, the story was alright but I can’t tell if it was because it was an audio book or if I actually just didn’t like the story. Maybe I’ll try it again if my house ever gets quieter (or is that wishful thinking).

Did you listen to this book? What did you think? Or what do you think of audio books in general?

You can get it for free (currently) on Amazon, here: Rise of the Dragons (Kings and Sorcerers–Book 1).

Well that’s all from me today. Don’t forget to, Read You Fools 😉

Charlie

Book review

The Watchmaker’s Daughter (Glass and Steele Book 1) by C.J. Archer – book review

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure page for more information.

I found this book for free on Google books but you can get it here
(for free at time of writing this) on Kindle from Amazon.

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer, book review by Read You Fools

After the death of her father, India Steele finds herself without a fiance, a job and a home. As she looks for employment as a shop assistant in the other watch shops in the town, she finds Mr. Glass who is searching for a very specific person to fix his watch for him. So India finds herself a job as being his assistant in his search, but she knows something is not quite right about Mr. Glass and his special watch.

She then starts to think that Mr. Glass is the american outlaw that the newspapers have been talking about. All the evidence is pointing directly at him. Is she after putting herself in danger?

She then meets other employees (or are they friends?) of Mr. Glass, that live with him. They are also American and India thinks that they act quite weird. I quite liked the character Willie. A brash female with a male dress sense and a gun at her waist.

But then there’s his watch. Did you see the purple light? Or was she imagining things?

There are inconsistencies through out the story. For example India is first described as a plain looking girl who wouldn’t catch a fella to marry her for her looks. Then near the end she its described as a beauty that is too pretty to get a governess job. Unless this was how she saw herself? That when she recieved some attention she liked, she started to see the beauty in herself, maybe? Also the way Mr. Glass was healed or rejuvenated by his watch seems to take different amounts of time.

I also didn’t like the way her corset was written about. As I was someone who used to waist train and wear corsets daily for a few years. And who also has a love for researching historical dress/fashion. It pained me to then read the very stereotypical view, that corsets are a work of the devil and no-one could breath in them, or run, or move and they would require someone else to get you in and out of them. If you can’t breath in your corset then your not wearing the right corset for you. I could really get stuck into debating about them but this is not that post. Instead, I will just say, that I skimmed over the few mentions of her corset in this book. They didn’t add anything to the story anyways except for an excuse for a brief romance building section.

Even with the odd inconsistencies though, this book caught me, hook, line and sinker. Victorian-esque london? Yes historical fiction. Watches, clocks, cogs and gears? Yes please. A steampunk sounding watch with a bit of purple magic? You got me. I will more than likely be purchasing the next book in this series to see what adventures do Glass and Steele get up to next. I wonder will it explain more of the magic systems? I hope so.

The Watchmaker’s Daughter (Glass and Steele Book 1)

Well that’s all from me today. Don’t forget to, Read You Fools 😉

Charlie

Round up

Charlie’s Round-up January 2021

Charlie’s Round-up January 2021 – Read You Fools

I’m a tiny bit late but here is my monthly round-up for January 2021. My first full month of being a book blogger is complete. I’m slowly getting the hang of this blogging thing. I still have lots to learn but I’m really enjoying the journey and everyone in this community are wonderful and so welcoming.

To be read 2021 – Read You Fools

My first post of the month of January was my tbr (to be read) list of 2021. You can read it here. So far I have read 1 of them and have started 2 more so I feel that I am making good headway with it.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – book review – Read You Fools

My next post was my first book review. Neverwhere is an urban fantasy by Neil Gaiman and it was 1 of the books from my tbr list. You can read what I thought of it here.

20 Questions Tag – Read You Fools

My last post of January was the 20 questions tag. This was a fun little tag I did as a sort of introduction to myself. I love reading tags and I really enjoyed answering the questions. You can check it out here.

So that was all my posts for January 2021. I hope you enjoyed reading them. I’m looking forward to reading more books and writing new posts for February.

Well that’s all from me today. Don’t forget to, Read You Fools 😉

Charlie

Uncategorized

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – book review

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure page for more information.


Ok, let’s kick this new year and new blog off with Neil Gaimans Neverwhere.

I first started this book ages ago, by listening to an audio book version that was read by Mr. Gaiman himself. However, I only ever managed to get a third of the way through. So I restarted reading this story from the very beginning. The version I have, is an e-book version and is ‘The Author’s Preferred Text’. I’m not sure if this version differs much from any others but I thought it important to point out. Also, I never knew this book was based on the story of a T.V. series he wrote for the BBC, and I now want to get my hands on it somehow. Although I will try not to include any spoilers, I will warn readers that there might be the odd spoiler here or there.

London Above, London Below, rats, rat-speakers, doors; the world building in this is phenomenal. It’s very immersive and captivating. You are fully pulled into the city of London and then dragged down into the Underside. The contrast between the two is apparent. London Above is the London that we would be accustomed to. It’s described as a sort of dull, dreary, almost lifeless place. Whereas the Underside or, London Below, seems to be a more vibrant and colourful place even though it’s based in underground railway systems, sewers and other strange places. There seems to be more life in London Below.

There is a good few chatacters in this story but not too many that you’d get confused or overwhelmed with. I thought that Mr. Vandemar and Mr. Croup were described very well. They sound like a right slimey amd nasty pair, that you wouldn’t want to run into in the dark of night. I also liked the Old Bailey. That even though his character is associated with the London Below, he prefers to be up on the roofs.

I’m so glad with Richards redemption arc. I was really worried it was just going to end with him as back in London Above, back to the exact same life as before he met Door. Thankfully it didn’t end there.

I do feel that Richard’s character was lacking in places. I just wanted a bit more of him, or for him to be more prominent in some scenes. Also I realy wished that Door’s powers with doors (haha, Door’s doors,) was explored more. What’s it’s limits? Why does she have them? Is it hereditary? Do other families have these or similar powers? I want to know more. Give me all the magical systems!

I really like this story, the characters are good, the world building is amazing and the magic is really interesting. It is definitely encouraging me to go read some more by Gaiman. Now I just have to decide which one to read next.

Charlie

Uncategorized

Why am I here? An introduction to me.

Hiya, my name is Charlie and this is the exciting start of my book blogging adventure.

I was always reading as a child. I consumed and devoured books in the same way that some people eat chocolate (ok, in the same way I eat chocolate). I’d read and re-read books in bed every night before going to sleep. I loved going to the tiny bookshop in my nearby town, looking at all the pretty covers. Or going to the library, where at one stage, I was eventually allowed to read from the older section as I had read through all of my age group.

To be honest, I’m starting this blog as an excuse to begin reading again. Which sounds silly really, who needs an excuse to read? Just grab a book and dive in. But over the years I fell out of reading fiction. I just don’t make reading a priority anymore.

I used to read so much. For instance, I remember when a new Harry Potter book would come out and as soon as I could get my hands on it I would read it fully in one sitting. Just to take in the story. Then I would start to re read it the next day but slower and not all in one day, so i could appreciate and soak up all the little details.

So now as we are nearing the end of a crazy year I have decided to begin this brand new enterprise. To start this blog. To read new books and old ones. To write reviews and other book related posts. I have never blogged before. I have never run a website before. I have never sat down and wrote book reviews before. Oh this will be so much fun (she says, sarcastically). But in all seriousness, I really want to pursue this endeavour and give it a good shot.

As you might have figured out from the name I chose for this blog, I love fantasy. Read You Fools, is derived from a quote from one of my favourite books and favourite films, The Lord of the Rings, ( The Fellowship of the Ring, to be exact) by J.R.R. Tolkien. Whereas in the book its “Fly you fools” but in the film I remember it being “Run you fools” (although it seems its dubbed over in the dvd?). So I took it, and changed it to “Read You Fools “, as I see myself a fool for having to go to these lengths to get myself to do something I love to do, which is read.

Since I clearly have a great fondness for reading fantasy books, my posts will no doubt be mainly fantasy based. However I don’t want to limit myself either, if a book from a different genre picks my fancy, then I’m going to read it (or at the very least add it to my to be read pile). So don’t be alarmed if there’s the odd, random (insert a genre) flung into the mix. I’m here to broaden my horizons, discover new things and rediscover my love for books. To lose myself in a world, to get caught up in a story, to fully immerse myself into someone’s creation.

So now I just need to get off my phone, grab a book, and read, you fool.

Charlie.