Featured reader reviews: Page 4

Listed below are the latest featured reader reviews on the site. Some are positive in praise, some are negative in criticism, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are well written and explain their reasoning. We can never have enough reader reviews as they add to the quality of the site, making it ever more useful for visitors.

Shadow and Betrayal by Daniel Abraham

10 stars

I've read it twice without realizing it's part of a series, and with quite a long gap between. I loved it both times. I love the concept of the poets and the andats. The idea of hand gestures is very clever. I'm looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

Dot
UK

Death Angel's Shadow by Karl Edward Wagner

10 stars

It's a tragedy that Wagner's work has, except for a few limited run deluxe editions, died with him. Evidently there are issues regarding intellectual property rights and upfront money, but publishers are, in my view, missing a good bet with Karl's work in general and, in light of the success of _Game of Thrones_, the Kane series in particular. I pretty much agree with this reviewer's judgments, though "Cold Light" is among my favorites of Wagner's stories. The depiction of dogmatic zealotry as WORSE than simple pillage and plunder is especially relevant, I think, here in 2017, near the anniversary of Wagner's death. The action will carry you along, the brooding philosophy will hit you later.

John
USA

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

5 stars

I had a great deal of trouble getting into this book. I had heard so much about it, and there were so many more books written in this world that I was determined to give it a solid try. I will not, however, read another one. There are many great series of books that are patterned after "The Lord of the Rings"(Thomas Covenant, most notably in my opinion) This one is the worst. The characters are boring, barely differentiated from one another. Apparently the only descriptive word Terry Brooks knows how to use is "giant" to describe anyone or thing as large. He seldom referred to each character by their name, instead we constantly had to be reminded that Flick & Shea were "Valemen" Thst Mennion was "The Highlander" The two elf brothers ( did they have names?) His description of places and people are vague, not the rich tapestry I would expect from a well-known author. I did't like any of the characters (except Kelsey the rock troll) and did not care whether the world got saved with this sort of Shannara or not.

Valorie
USA

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

9 stars

One of the best books ever! Brought me to tears at the end. Very emotional book for me. Wonderful book.

Ella
Australia

Valour by John Gwynne

9 stars

Valour is a very good book. Not just fantasy wise, but in general. The battles (in which 90% of the book is people fighting, making it exciting adrenaline fuelled throughout) are breath taking and brutal in equal measure. However, there is one flaw which plagues a lot of books and tv shows, with he first 4 seasons of Game of thrones being the only thing I can think of which did not suffer this; it's the fact that Main Character do not die. What I mean by this is that writers tend to not want to kill off main or developed characters unless it's in a particularly dramatic (and sometimes predictable) way. Although Valours predecessor, Malice, managed to pull the rug out from under the reader towards the end of the book, Valour did not seem to have that same rug pull moment. There is an emotional loss that affects the reader and the characters right at the very end of the book, but mostly everyone else worthy of mention was able to dodge Deaths scythe. Saying that, I don't want all the characters to die, so maybe I'm being a hypocrite. This book is absolutely jam packed, you will be exhausted by the end by the sheer amount that happens throughout, however it's fast pace means that you're never bored. You'll never get bored of the characters too. Each has their own motivations for doing what they do and each feel fleshed out and deep, with everyone in the book going through a satisfying arc or multiple mini arcs which leave you rooting for everyone, whether they are good or evil or a mixture of both. I implore everyone to read the Faithful and the Fallen. It's rich narrative and fast exciting pace keep you glued throughout. It's a vast epic series, and John Gwynne is one of the best around. This is worthy of all the praise.

Harry
England

Fade to Black by Francis Knight

10 stars

Possibly one of the best books I've read in the past two years! I've been struggling with reading ever since my depression hit me hard and one of my joys in life was stolen from me. I picked up this book thinking nothing of it other than it might be boring. But honestly, I was so wrong. It's an amazing and really interesting plot, it really caught me off guard. The character development is great, story is well thought out, and it's worth your time.

Yvan
United States

Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

9 stars

Although I am in my fifties, I love this book! I assume YA means Young Adult, and it certainly has a different vibe from Reynold's other books, which I have read all of, but I thought it complemented the slightly steam punk landscape. It left me wanting to know more about the souls in the Quoins, Palladin's progress, Adrana's life before being rescued, and what Fura does next. I buy into the universe and would dearly love there to be a sequel. The fact that Fura suggests that she and Adrana would each write their own version perhaps provides an opportunity to close some loops and open others. My only complaint- I thought the idea of Fura writing her story on human skin was weird - wouldn't it be too thick? Finally, the suggestion another reviewer made that the book was somehow anti Semitic and that the Crawlies were based on Jewish money lenders is utterly preposterous. I hope it does not dissuade the author from continuing with the story.

Anthony
England

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

10 stars

I am 11yo and have already read this book 7 times. I have also read the whole of the Lord of the Rings twice and the Silmarillion once and loved them all. The Hobbit is my favorite book in the whole world.

Max
Aus

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

9 stars

I'm honestly amazing at some of the low reviews given here. Criticism of the decisions of Kvothe such as focus why he did certain things and forgetting that he was still at a young age when most of this story started. It is an enjoyable story, focusing on a brilliant but rash child who loses his parents suddenly. The pace of the story is slow to start but once you read through what I assume if the setup of the plotline you can't leave the book. I have already read the second book which is even better and can hardly wait for the third and final with high expectations.

Shereef
Egypt

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

10 stars

A beautiful modern fantasy novel written from the perspective of an unreliable narrator. To those who read the low reviews that use the complaint that Kvothe is too good at everything, know that these people have missed the point of the books. We are watching a man set up his own myth in his lifetime, a talented man no doubt, but a prideful liar as well. Kvothe thinks all women want him, that he is the center of the universe and his storytelling reflects this. The beautiful irony is that one of his main struggles is unearthing true information from old stories where others have done the same. This is a fantasy tale for the ages, a story about stories and those who tell them.

Jacob
USA

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