Two fantastic fantasies

>> Tuesday, October 16, 2018

TITLE: The Thief
AUTHOR: Megan Whalen Turner

A scruffy thief called Gen is brought out of jail by the King's advisor for a mission: stealing an object that will change the fate of kingdoms. Together with the advisor himself, a couple of apprentices and a soldier, Gen travels to the kingdom of Attolia, where the mysterious object is.

I don't want to say too much, because the best thing about this book are the constant surprises. There are some great twists and turns I never saw coming. Nothing is quite what it looks like with Gen. I guessed one thing, but definitely not everything, and even as things not quite right kept happening, which should have been clues that more surprises were coming, I kept gliding right over them.

Hmm, actually, the best thing about the book was probably Gen himself. He's irreverent and hilarious, but he's got an extremely honourable core, and you come to care for him quite deeply.

The setting is also wonderful. It's sort of reminiscent of Ancient Greece, with a very well-developed history and mythology. Just excellent all around.

MY GRADE: An A-.

TITLE: Bitterblue
AUTHOR: Kristin Cashore

WARNING: SPOILER FOR CASHORE'S GRACELING AHEAD!

Bitterblue is the third book set in this particular universe. We were introduced to the evil Leck in Fire, and then got a look at his reign as King of Monsea in Graceling, where we also saw him get killed. He left behind a traumatised kingdom and a very young daughter, Bitterblue, who ascended to the throne.

Bitterblue is now older, and ready to take over responsibility for her kingdom from her advisors. It's not a tale of action and adventure and derring-do, but a quiet, somewhat somber tale of a serious young woman seeking to become a good queen and help her kingdom finally heal from the trauma inflicted by her father. I found this extremely touching. It's hard, with some moments that are very uncomfortable to read, but it also feels cathartic.

The book is also a bit of a mystery, as we find out more about what exactly happened during Leck’s reign. It’s a really great mystery, as well, especially because at first it doesn’t seem like there’s a mystery at all. It all comes out really slowly and gradually, and the reasons things were still hidden make sense.

MY GRADE: An A-.

6 comments:

Sun,  16 October 2018 at 03:42  

I had no idea that you haven't read The Queen's Thief Series! It's a great time to start the series too. The final book is coming out next year so you don't have to wait years and years for the next books like us.

The tone of Book 2 and 3 is so different from Book 1. Can't wait to read your thoughts on them. Enjoy!

Rosario 16 October 2018 at 04:22  

Hi Sun, I've read 2 and 3 now and loved them as well. I need to write those reviews soon. Only book 4 left. I'm almost reluctant to start it and finish the series!

Marianne McA,  16 October 2018 at 19:15  


There are five, I think. Maybe I'm confused.

If I haven't read Graceling can I start at Bitterblue?

Rosario 17 October 2018 at 04:22  

Marianne: Oh, so there are. There were 4 when I bought them all, and I seem to have missed the latest release. Excellent news, thanks! :)

And yes, you should be fine reading Bitterblue without reading Graceling. I read it quite a while afterwards, and hardly remembered the details. There's more than enough in Bitterblue to understand the past.

Marianne McA,  20 October 2018 at 00:05  


Okay, thanks.'Quiet, somewhat somber' sounds exactly what I'm in the mood for.

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