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Archive for the tag “Mistborn: The Final Empire”

The Rithmatist – by Brandon Sanderson

RithmatistBrandon Sanderson remains one of my favourite fantasy authors. His work is consistent, detailed, and engrossing. Here’s what I thought of his latest offering, his first young adult novel, The Rithmatist:

Joel knows not everyone can be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists are those chosen to defend the American Isles against the chalklings: two-dimensional chalk drawings, somehow infused with life – and with the ability to kill. But the fact that Joel isn’t one of the lucky few cannot curb his fascination with their arts.  He knows more than almost any non-Rithmatist about the subtle battle techniques, defensive diagrams, and offensive chalklings that form the basis of the Rithmatist’s craft. And when Rithmatic students start to go missing from Armedius Academy, Joel might be the only one with the right combination of knowledge and perspective (as well as a healthy dose of recklessness) to be able to get to the bottom of it. Where’s an Eraser When You Need One?:

The Lies of Locke Lamora – by Scott Lynch

imageHello there! It’s been too long – because I’m on holidays! I’m blogging from Stratford Upon Avon right now, which seemed appropriate. For the past month I’ve been gallivanting throughout Europe, and there’s a post full of bookish goodness on the way about that. But first and foremost, a review!
The Lies of Locke Lamora was recommended to me by a bookseller in London, after we’d been chatting about The Name of the Wind and the Mistborn trilogy. It’s a debut fantasy novel that’s been getting some interesting buzz, so I was excited to try it. Here’s what I thought:
Locke Lamora has an interesting problem: he thinks too big. While this may be an admirable trait, as a thief in Camorr it’s a liability. The Gentlemen Bastards, Locke’s gang, are successful because they make sure they aren’t noticed. Little thefts, little rewards. But that’s not enough for Locke – he’s in it for the challenge, and for the win. Before long, he’s accidentally infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and attracting notice from all the wrong people.

Top Ten Characters (and Literary Figures) That I’d Name My Children After

top ten

Hosted by the awesome folks as The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme celebrating all things book.

This week, it’s all about great characters with great names. Names that you like enough to potentially inflict on your children. These are the top ten characters/literary peeps that I’d theoretically name my kids after:

Let me preface this by saying I met a guy called Oberon the other day. Hem. And that’s not what I’m looking to inflict on my theoretical children. (Mostly…)

finalempire

I don’t think I could call my daughter Vin. But I love the name Elend for a boy. Although, again, probably not Kelsier for a boy. Also, have you read the Mistborn series yet? If you love high fantasy with strong characters, a plot that just keeps escalating when you don’t believe it can, and hands-down the best magic system I’ve ever seen – what are you waiting for?! SO GOOD.

Sabriel

I’ve always wanted to call a kid Sabriel. Or maybe Lirael? They’re just lovely names! And the fact that this is a less well-known series means not too many people would get the connection, and I’d just be really cool. Right?!

Crown2

In a series the size of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time there are going to be a fair few character names to choose from. For my part, I’d be happy with a girl called Egwene or Nynaeve, or even Moiraine (I actually love Moiraine!) But not so impressed with a boy called Rand. Or Perrin. Or even Lan – way too easy to tease people called Rand or Lan!

scent

Avry is an excellent name! For an AMAZING character. And I’d love it – for a girl or a boy. I also think Loren and Quain are awesomesauce names. But I don’t think I could inflict them on a child. Maybe Quain for a girl if I was a little mean…

hunger

Not so much for the Katniss factor. Everybody’s gonna have a Katniss, like all these small humans running around called Hermione. But I think Gale makes a fine boy’s name.

CityofBones

I just like the name Clary – it’s actually a normal name, especially compared to the others on this list, which makes sense as City of Bones is modern urban fantasy. (Make that, kick-ass modern urban fantasy!) Also Jace. Because Jace.

P&P

Again, Austen names are classic (see, I said this list wasn’t going to be all about inflicting childhood scars!). I’d love a Jane, or an Elizabeth, or an Anne – with the ‘e’ at the end. I insist! And I’m back and forth on whether a boy called Darcy is a bit cute or a bit awful – or a bit both…

gameboard

I’m reading the (freaking awesome) Gameboard of the Gods at the moment, and the Praetorian female protagonist, Mae, is just fantastic. Also Mae is a family name, so I could totally get away with that for real! The male lead, Justin, is pretty messed up and great too…

One Day

Because Dexter is a great name for a boy. Dammit, that’s a normal and boring reason. If it helps, I’d be reluctant to do this because of the TV show Dexter. Just a little too creepy for me…

Name of the Wind

Oh, well. Not really, I guess… But I TOTALLY want a kid called Kvothe because Kvothe and The Name of the Wind are both made of awesome and I’d like to think that’d rub off on the child lucky enough to bear his name. A girl called Kvothe might just work, don’t you think??

What names would you like to inflict on give to your future kids? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

top ten

Hosted by the awesome folks at The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme celebrating all things book.

This week, they’re asking what ten books you recommend the most. I LOVE this question! I recommend books all the time – it’s the best part of my job. We often get customers looking for their next book, or trying to find a present for someone. I have to be able to recommend books over a range of genres, and it’s a fabulous opportunity to share books I love with others, passing on the obsession. These are my go-to recommends:

peculiar

The Peculiar is my top pick for 10-15 year olds who enjoy fantasy, both boys and girls. It’s a steampunk faerie tale, and has some of the most glorious language I’ve ever seen, let alone in YA. Absolutely wonderful book.

promise

Promise was the debut crime novel of a former Australian crime reporter, Tony Cavanaugh. Smart, creepy, exciting crime set in Queensland that was good enough to distract me from the real world all day when I couldn’t quite finish it in time before having to go back to work. (The sequel’s stellar, too!)

finalempireBrandon Sanderson is amazing. His magic system in Mistborn is probably the best, most well-established that I’ve come across. And the scope of his storylines is beyond ambitious. The trilogy is complete and infinitely satisfying – this book and this series is a sure thing.

(Actually, I’ll recommend either Mistborn or The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss interchangeably as my never-fail fantasy series. At work we’ll usually have run out of one or the other because I so regularly sell them through, so whichever’s there that day gets my plug!)

This is the old-school cover, the one I have!

I see your Caelena from Throne of Glass and raise you Yelena, from Maria V Snyder’s exceptional YA Fantasy series. She’s one of the original badass heroines, kicking butt and taking names before it was a big deal that she was a woman. This series is phenomenal for YA fantasy fans of all ages, and I keep passing the obsession on.

Rosie

A new favourite, this is one I recommend to customers who like contemporary romance/chick lit but want something a little smarter and more memorable than average. The Rosie Project fits the bill and then some. There are no clichés here, and this book was such a great experience.

stars

Do I even need to explain this one? I recommend it to teens (usually 14+, given the tragic nature of the story) and make a point of telling their parents to read it too. I’ve never come across anyone who hasn’t been deeply affected by how insightful, honest, painful and simply beautiful this one of a kind book is. John Green has delivered an absolute masterpiece with The Fault In Our Stars.

watermelon

Marian Keyes is chick-lit with heart. For women (hey, not stereotyping, just basing it on who I sell this to) who want drama, heartache and for everything to be mostly okay at the end, no-one fits better than Marian. Her grasp of the complexity of human emotions make her novels stand out.

woman

Not only do I recommend this all the time, I’ve bought about five copies for family and friends. Caitlin Moran is hilarious (think Kaz Cooke, Australians!), but also intelligently articulates truths about life as a woman that we don’t necessarily pay enough attention to. The perfect gift for your best friend, or a woman you don’t know all that well but need to find something for. Clever, sarcastic, sassy, and insightful.

wolf

A memoir I recommend to customers looking for something a little different. Scott Johnson‘s dad was a spy, working for the CIA through the Cold War. How this affected Scott, and his relationship with his Dad makes for compelling reading. Added to this, Johnson’s journalistic background is evident – his writing is evocative and often unexpectedly gorgeous.

SabrielNew

I have to have Garth Nix in here! Whenever possible, I’ll introduce someone to my favourite author. Nix’s work is just as good for teens as adults, and I’ve read the Old Kingdom trilogy, starting with Sabriel, more than a few times. Nix’s world-building, characters and inventive magic systems make this a Fantasy/YA Fantasy crossover series that stands the test of time. Unmissable. (Also, I couldn’t be more excited about the forthcoming – 2014 – release of Clariel, the fourth book set in this universe!)

Who are your go-to authors to recommend? I’d love to know what you think of my old reliables!

The Way of Kings (Part One) – by Brandon Sanderson

Way of KingsIt’s no secret that I love a good fantasy series – emphasis on good. I’ve amassed a small handful of favourite fantasy authors, such as Patrick Rothfuss, Garth Nix, Robert Jordan, and Brandon Sanderson. The Way of Kings is one of Sanderson’s most ambitious new series, and I sank my teeth into Part One the other day.

Welcome to Roshar. A land of highstorms: storms of such terrifying intensity that the land itself has adapted. Plants withdraw into the ground, and animals and people alike hide in strongholds in the rock until the storm’s fury has passed.

Roshar is also a world with a long history. Men tell stories of those fabled warriors known as the Knights Radiant. All that is left of them are their swords and armour, Shardblades and Shardplate. A warrior bearing such tools is close to unbeatable, and the wars nations fight to obtain them are unceasing. In the Way of Kings we meet three people of these lands who are not aware that their individual quests will soon be a part of a much greater struggle. Speak Again the Ancient Oaths And Return to Men the Shards They Once Bore:

The Alloy of Law – by Brandon Sanderson

This scant 331 page novel is the follow-up to Sanderson’s exceptional Mistborn trilogy. I was thrilled to have something else to read in this universe. Here’s what I thought of The Alloy of Law:

300 years have passed in the land of Scadriel. Vin, Elend, Kelsier, Sazed and the others are little more than figures of myth or faith, but their legacy remains. Peace and prosperity are the general order of things, and as time marches on so too does progress. In the capital, Elendel, the buildings continue to rise higher, new contraptions such as horseless carriages are appearing, electricity is being used more commonly, and the guns are ever more destructive.

There are no more Mistborn – those spoken of in legend who had mastery over all the known Allomantic metals. But some few are Twinborn: that is, they have an Allomantic ability as well as a Feruchemical one. Waxillian is one of these as well as one of the finest lawkeepers the Roughs have ever seen. On the outskirts of the cities, justice is upheld by hard men who must hold firmly in their minds the line that divides them from the criminals they hunt.

When Waxillian is called by family duty back to the city he determines to leave his lawkeeping past behind – but when a flamboyant criminal gang known as the Vanishers baffles the city’s Constables with their robberies and kidnappings, Wax and his oldest friend Wayne are inexorably drawn back into the fight. Wild, Wild West(ern):

Mistborn: The Final Empire – by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is perhaps most widely known as the author hand picked by Robert Jordan to finish the Wheel of Time epic, after Jordan’s passing in 2007. The Wheel of Time is a beloved series and the task of bringing the story to a satisfactory conclusion is a challenge to say the least; and by all accounts, Sanderson is doing a wonderful job. Moreover, Brandon Sanderson’s own work has come very highly recommended by people who’ve discovered my love of Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles, namely The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear (seriously, READ THEM). Suffice to say that I had high expectations of Mistborn. This is how they were met:

More than a thousand years ago, the Lord Ruler saved the world from an evil known only as the Deepness. Since that time, he has ruled the Final Empire as Emperor and God. It is His benevolence that allows the millions of skaa to live – in poverty-stricken conditions as slaves to the noble houses. The nobility is even more blessed by the Lord Ruler; as descendants of His old friends, they are given the right to own skaa and live in luxury. Everyone knows that this is the way it has always been in the Final Empire, and the way it always shall be.

Everyone except Kelsier, the Survivor of the Pits of Hathsin. Two years ago, he became the first and only person to ever escape the Pits, and discovered powers that only a handful of people – nobles – have wielded before. It is with this power and the help of a few allies who are still willing to take a stand that Kelsier develops his insane plan: to overthrow the Lord Ruler and allow the oppressed skaa a chance at a life of more than slavery and death. And the Epic Has Only Just Begun:

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