My reading tips this week the absolutely fabulous King Arthur and Her Knights by K.M. Shea. I totally adore this wonderful, amazing and humorous re-telling of the King Arthur legend with a twist; King Arthur is actually a woman! Now if that’s not a blurb to get you intrigued…
Modern day, twenty-something old, Britt Arthurs gets the shock of her life when she’s doing a literary tour with her friends in England and touches the famed Sword in the Stone and seconds later finds herself transported to Medieval England and the Arthurian legend. At first, thinking it’s a prank by her friends, then that she’s dreaming, she eventually accepts the fact that she has time-travelled and expected to play the role of King Arthur, who has disappeared. All the famous persons from the legend is here; Merlin, the knights, Lancelot and Guinivere… but their stories are all told from another perspective.
I absolutely adore it! K.M. Shea has managed to take this old legend and turn it into a sassy adventure, giving it a feministic touch and so much humor. It has a kind of Outlander-flair to it, in how modern day Britt has to adjust to the Medieval customs and how she does it with integrity, fighting for women’s rights and being totally bad-ass and, apparently a hell of a swords man (woman). This book has had me hooked since I read the blurb and it never let go. I binge-read all three books one late night, not able to put the story down. (The three books in this collection are kind of short though, so all three together is more the ‘normal’ size of a book.) I just love this unconventional twist, and the way K.M. Shea writes, it’s such a great take and so intriguing!
The only downturn was that I hadn’t understood that there were another collection of King Arthur and Her Knights-stories (6 books all together) so now I’m dying to get my hands on the second collection too to continue this amazing fairytale reading. And to see if my wish for a Britt-Merlin romance comes true…
All in all, I love this series and I cannot recommend it enough! A funny, sassy, magical, wonderful retelling of the King Arthur legend and a story about a strong woman and how passion, a sense of right and wrong, and a bad-ass attitude can make wonders and change the world!
Find out more about the book and the author here: K.M. Shea
Ignite Me is the wonderful third installment in the amazing and completely unique Shatter Me-series by Tahereh Mafi. I really loved the first book in the series, then the second book was a bit slower (at first, the second half was amazing!), but this third book is back at full speed. OMG the intensity, the feelings, the action!
The character developments in this book is wonderful. It’s amazing to see a character grow as much as Juliette does throughout the series. I really love this new, stronger, Juliette. And the way we get to know Warner. It’s not so much that his character develops, it’s more that he reveals his true self bit by bit. I absolutely loved all the Warner and Juliette moments. The feels, the attraction, the way they are equals and support each other, how they open up and are vulnerable and honest to each other. Not to mention the intimate scenes…. I must say that they were all so hot. Scorching hot!
This series was so unpredictable in the way Tahereh Mafi made you love the unpopular characters, such as Warner, and in the end disliked the ones you loved from the start, such as Adam. I must say that I’m a bit disappointed in the way Adam’s character developed. It seemed like he became a completely different person; mean, selfish and childish. But it was nice to see him smooth some of the worst edges at the end of the book.
Even though I love Juliette and Warner, my favorite character in the series is definitely Kenji. I love his humor, his badass attitude, his kindness.
Tahereh Mafi’s writing has changed a bit during the series, in this book there are almost no strike-throughs for example, but it still leaves you completely breathless. It’s so beautiful, raw and poetic.
It’s a bit confusing that this seems to be the end of the trilogy, but then there is a fourth book as well… But I’m not complaining, if I get to stay in this marvelous world with my beloved characters for a while longer, I’m all in! As for an ending of the trilogy this was a really satisfying one. I’m always nervous about series endings because your hopes get so high and too often your hopes are dashed. But not this time! Ignite Me is a perfect (half)ending to a completely marvelous series.
Find out more about the book and the author here: Tahereh Mafi
My reading tips this week is the fun, fast and cute Hex Hall trilogy by Rachel Hawkins. I highly recommend this series for everyone looking for an enjoyable, light fantasy read with a snarky Harry Potter-vibe.
By mistake I bought (and read) Demonglass first, thinking it would be the first book in the series, only to realize it was actually the sequel... But by then I was already so into the story, that I didn’t want to stop reading it to wait for the other books to arrive. Then I read the first book, Hex Hall, and finally the third and last book in the series, Spell Bound. I don’t know if this mess-up influenced my view on the books, but I really liked Demonglass the best. But overall I enjoyed all the books in the series much more than expected!
All three books are fun, fast-paced and easy reads. The story is told by Sophie Mercer, a 16 year old witch, who grew up not knowing about her abilities. When she finds out, she’s sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent “Prodigium” (witches, shapeshifters and fairies), only to discover that she is not only a witch, but one of the few demons in the world. And that her big crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a demon hunting squad.
So there is a lot of Harry Potter/Hogwart’s vibes of course with a boarding school for witches, and also quite a lot of Vampire Academy references with Sophie’s best friend Jenna being a vampire. But still, the world of Hex Hall comes out as new and unique. I think it’s because of the quirky, witty voice of Sophie narrating the story. I really love Sophie! She is witty, smart and bad-ass, but also kind of awkward, always speaking her mind.The narration and dialogue are delightful and easy to read in a fun, giggling kind of way!
The action and adventures in Demonglass were the best one, I thought. And the complication that Sophie is betrothed to Cal, who is one of my favorite characters in the series.
The third book, Spell Bound, was an okay conclusion to the series, but the start was a bit boring and I didn’t particularly enjoy the Brannicks parts. I so much more enjoyed it when the plot was taken back to Hex Hall again. And also, I don’t really like Sophie’s mother, didn’t she just feel false and selfish? But halfway through the book the pace really picked up and I’m satisfied with how everything was concluded in the finale.
Overall, I highly recommend this series for everyone looking for a cute and enjoyable, light fantasy read with a snarky Harry Potter-vibe.
I rate the books in the series 4 stars (Hex Hall), 5 stars (Demonglass) and 4 stars (Spell Bound).
Find out more about the book and the author here: Rachel Hawkins
The book I read this week is the much talked-about Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat. It resembles Game of Thrones quite a bit, with fights for power and dark settings, following Prince Damen who is captured by his half-brother, stripped of his identity and right to the throne, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.
I've never had this kind of mixed feelings for a book before! There were parts that I loved and there were parts that I absolutely hated. So I’m very conflicted and trying to sort out if I overall liked the story, despite all disturbing aspects of the story, or if it’s in the end is a big No for me.
I really loved Prince Damen, Erasmus and some of the other characters. This story is very character-driven and you really get invested in some of them. It’s a very fast-paced read and the writing is great, it really flows.
But, the story focuses too much on the sexual slavery and contains so many disturbing parts, that at times it was almost unbearable. All the raping, torture and abuse really put me off and made me so uncomfortable reading this book. I can never find rape and pedophilia sexy. Never.
Yet, despite the fact that this book made me so troubled, it still was so well written and addictive, with complex characters that I could not give up on it. There is something about the characters that pulls you in and makes you eagerly wanting to know what will happen to them, especially Damen. You also want to find out what the deal with Laurent really is, C.S. Pacat did a great job keeping you intrigued and in suspense about his inner feelings, about his “true” self.
If I should rate this book based on the characters with their depths and complexity, the page-turner writing style, the fantasy setting and the way you get pulled into the story, I would give it 4 stars. But if I should base my rating on how it made me feel and the fact that it contains so many disturbing parts and the fact that the whole story is about sexual slavery, it would only be a 2 star rating for me. I have therefore decided to go the middle way here and give this book a 3 star rating. It’s not a bad book, it’s just not my cup of tea. I even think I will read the next installments, to find out what happens to the characters and get to know Laurent more, but just not right away.
Find out more about the book and the author here: C.S. Pacat