The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Su19161852mmary (from http://www.goodreads.com):

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.
A season of endings has begun.
It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.
It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.
It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.
This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

Review:

This is my first time reading anything by N.K. Jemisin, and while I already owned the book, it was a recommendation from a friend (a true bibliophile) that I made me open the book and read it.

The premise of the story is what hooked me. It’s a brand new world where Orogenes are able to control the power of the earth (still volcanoes, cause earthquakes) and their power is harnessed and controlled by Guardians and the Fulcrum. It’s a world like nothing I have read before (and I’ve read a fair bit of fantasy).

Apart from the incredible world building by Jemisin, the characters are compelling, especially the female ones. They are strong in every sense of the word, but are also flawed and ambitious and caring and revolutionaries. The male characters are not too bad, either.

Overall, this is a wonderful addition to the fantasy canon and I can’t wait to start on the second book in the series, The Obelisk Gate!

Review: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

imageSummary (www.goodreads.com):

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage – Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

Review:

Oh my goodness! This is my second reading of the novel, and it’s even more amazing than the first time. The world building – Luthadel (the capital city) and the Empire itself is dark, grimy, treacherous and masterfully done. The characters, everyone from Kelsier and Vin to the crew of Allomancers, are fully developed – complex and multidimensional.

If you’re a fan of fantasy that is well written and complex, in the vain of Patrick Rothfuss and George R.R. Martin, then you must read this one. Sanderson is a master!

Review: Boy by Roald Dahl

Boy by Roald Dahl

Summary (from Goodreads):

Twenty-five years ago in “Boy,” the world’s favorite storyteller recollected scenes from his youth–some funny, some frightening, all true. “More About Boy” is the expanded story of Roald Dahl’s childhood, with his original text augmented by never-before-seen material from behind the scenes, and some of the secrets that were left out. Dahl’s adventures and misadventures during his school years are crowded with people as strange and wonderful as any character he created and are as exciting and full of the unexpected as his celebrated fiction. This special keepsake hardcover edition is filled with personal memorabilia such as family photos, letters, report cards, plus dozens of illustrations by Quentin Blake, as well as a quiz to test the knowledge of Dahl aficionados of all shapes and sizes.

Review:

Every now and then I experience the absolute need to read a Roald Dahl novel. Don’t ask me where this need comes from, but when it does, I pick up either a much-loved, much read novel of his or one that I had not read before (which tend to be his autobiographical work).

This particular novel, Boy, was suggested to me by a colleague who had used it with her grade seven students and she could not contain herself when she told me how much the students had loved it. So, to make a long story short, I read the novel.

And loved it! The novel focuses on Dahl’s education and his experiences at the different British boarding schools (his father insisted that his children receive a “British” education) he attended before finishing secondary school. While most of his experiences (friends, photography, writing) appeared to have been positive, he seemed to have had a terrible time with principals and teachers, especially when it came to discipline.

The most touching part of story was the number of letters Dahl wrote his mother every time he was away from home – from the first time he went away to school as a young boy to the times when he traveled for work, and then for war. Mrs. Dahl kept every letter the young Dahl wrote her, which I find touching and unspeakably sad.

This is a wonderful novel, and although most teachers are painted as horrors, it was nice to spend time with and get to know the boy behind the legendary author. Recommended.

Review: Prince Ombra by Roderick Macleash

Summary (from Goodreads):

The World has found its new hero.

The problem? Bentley Ellicott is only a kid.

Bentley has secret powers. And he’s going to need them. Bentley is a hero – the thousand and first to be exact – in a long line of heroes that has stretched all the way back to antiquity. Heroes like Arthur and Hercules.

And now: Bentley.

That’s because there is an evil in the world that never dies. Its name is Prince Ombra. When Prince Ombra arises a hero is called upon to battle him. One day when Bentley is grown he will be that hero.

What Bentley doesn’t know is that his “one day” is today.

Review:

This is a beautifully written story, with richly developed characters, a plot that is engaging and difficult to let go, and a heart-warming, bitter-sweet relationship between Bentley and Slally, and also with the pure evil, Prince Ombra.

I cannot do justice in explaining the beauty and wonder that is held between the covers of this book, so you will have to read it and see for yourself.

I have been changed, and will remember the thousand and first time Prince Ombra battled the borrowed heart in the warrior of heaven.

I don’t say this often, but I will this time … READ THIS BOOK!