Featured reader reviews: Page 3

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.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

10 stars

I have just finished this during our current lock down and couldn’t have picked a better read. Normally I am left feeling disoriented and wanting more after an intense read but I was whole heartedly satisfied when I came to the end (I could easily read about this world again and again though) I fell in love with every character and their rich history. The imagery and descriptive senses enabled me to place myself with in the ever moving story. Mythology, love, deception, adventure, conflict, peace, it has everything i could have wanted.

United Kingdom

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

10 stars

Yhe Throne of Glass series is a thrilling, engaging, page-turning and adventurous novel. I highly recommend this series as it not only has amazing characters and an overall engaging plot, the series also portrays a realistic perspective on love and friendship. The main protagonist 'Celaena Sardothien' is an engaging, loveable, relatable character who (even though being an assassin) is often fond of relating and teaching readers on the hardships of life. I read the series when I was around 13 and fell in love with it, I am 15 and this series is still my clear favourite and I highly recommend to people who love fantasy, action and adventure and reading about strong female characters.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

8 stars

I first read the series when I was 10 and have decided to reread the series now at 15 and was extremely impressed with the underlying message to readers the book conveyed. The book is page-turning, absorbing, fast-paced, and adventurous whilst also giving readers a warning on how dark society can be. I highly recommend this book, especially for those who love the movie as it (as most book-based movies) was quite misleading and left out some beautiful moments highlighted in the book.


The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft

10 stars

The Hod King is the best installment so far for Bancroft and here is why, you as the reader do not know what to believe anymore about all these characters that you love. What do they truly want? What characteristics make them, them? Who is the Hod King? As someone new to fantasy novels, I started the Tower of Babel series late, with The Hod King just releasing when I purchased Senlin Ascends. However, I fell in love with the series, and The Hod King truly affirmed my affection. Senlin's character now is so vastly far from his original character traits that the reader will continue to debate if this now is his true character, or if the Tower is changing him. The ending of The Hod King officially stamps that question into our minds. Violetta and Iren's character growth erupted in this installment, and for their own reasons, the reader will be cheering, and crying for both of their own happiness and success. Finally, the three sub-plots all during the same timeline, along with how Bancroft chooses to divulge more information about the story or the Tower itself is mind-blowing amazing. You will truly see this trait in The Hod King, because you will continue reading to find out more about the previous sub-plot, but then forget the first sub-plot and put full interest into the current sub-plot you are reading. Then when more information regarding the first sub-plot comes to light, it is not a "finally" it is an "oh, I forgot about that." Everyone is working in the same timeframe, but Bancroft separates everything by sections of the novel, he can share little tibbits of information about either Pelphia, the Tower, or Luc Marat's plans sporadically throughout the whole work. The funny part is when you get one fact, you want another but you may not get it for awhile. The writing of Bancroft is truly masterful and the best I have ever seen. Usually you read books and your characters grow into more of the person you thought they would become. Here, everyone is always changing, debating their own actions, leading the reader to be just as unsure of the characters identity as the characters themselves. The reader feels like they truly are on the journey with them and I will be finishing the journey with them hand in hand in the final installment of the series.


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

10 stars

I will start by saying I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre, and have read hundreds of series, from Tolkien to Martin, Sanderson, Jordan, Butcher, Brett, Eddings, Brooks, Goodkind, etc... I'm also an avid reader of science fiction and general thrillers. But to put it simply, this is my favorite book of all time. I have never had so much of an emotional connection to a book. Not even reading LotR for the first time as a kid, nor even the finale of the Wheel of Time years later, had as much of an impact on me as this book. I cried multiple times, and I'm not much of a crier. The writing is so beautiful, and Kvothe is so relatable to me, being a musician and gifted student who also made a mess of life. The magic system is very unique and well thought out. The characters feel real, the prose is incredible, and the story is brilliant. This book is not for everyone, as a few of the reviews below me can attest. If you want huge battles and lots of action, fighting, and powerful magic spells, this isn't that book. Its a coming of age story, a story of love, loss, regret, and irony. Its a story that takes the powerful hero archetype and turns it on its head, and adds in a sobering (but ultimately beautiful) dose of reality. Its a tragedy of a gifted boy who becomes a legend but loses too much on the way. The second book was just as good, and I still hope the 3rd book will be released someday, because the biggest tragedy is not being able to read more of this story.

United States

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

4 stars

I tend to agree with Joan from Canada (no connection!). The idea for the book is very original, and the book itself well written - but I am now at page 280 (Shadow has just arrived at Lakeside) and am finding it to be a rather aimless slog. The plot is thin (man meets gods who are frayed around the edges, then zig-zags across the US for no particular reason other than his employer tells him to - nothing much happens except that he meets a few interesting characters, then moves on): as a reader I am left in the dark about almost everything. So, nice try, but can't understand what all the hype is about.


Animal Farm by George Orwell

10 stars

The book Animal Farm an engaging and educational must read. I thought it was very interesting how he portrayed the the cycle of revolution turning into tyranny. He describes how easily good intentions can be subverted into tyranny. This book indirectly describes communism and the government and how you can never make everyone happy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Orwell's writing is pessimistic and visual. I recommend this book.


Fluke by James Herbert

10 stars

There are certain books that must be read as a passage of time. I first read ‘Fluke’ when I was an 11 year old, it held me captive: the beauty, hilarity and the thoughts of a whole different world. I adored Fluke as the dog, human and book. It’s a mesmerising book - a truly wonderful read.


Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames

9 stars

I'm no wordsmith to explain how much I enjoyed this book, but I have read my fair share of fantasy. This... This was magnificent. I've read many authors from David Gemmell, R.A. Salvatore, Mercedes Lackey and many more, but the joy, sadness and attachment I have to these characters in one book is amazing. I'm 28 books into the Drizzt series and somehow I find myself more familiar and bonded to Tam and Fable than Drizzt and the Companions of the hall. I might just be an emotional guy, but knowing I have no more to read of Tam her newly acquired family of Fable is almost bringing me to tears. I will undoubtedly read this multiple times, and find more joy from each read. A masterpiece that few books have been able to replicate.


The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley

3 stars

I'm with Daryl Brown. I enjoyed The Emperor's Blades, though I largely agreed with your criticism. I also thought the first half of The Providence of Fire rather dull, though still doable. The second half caught steam again, so I was eager to begin with The Last Mortal Bond. What a disappointment. The first 40 chapters had almost all introductions that safely can be skipped: Staveley endlessly is either describing landscapes or the thoughts of the protagonists or both. The last 20 chapters I mainly read diagonally. They were not only boring but also predictable. The few attempted twists were lame. I rated the book one point lower than DarylB because at the end I didn't care about Kaden, Adare and Valyn anymore either. Their characters had changed (duh) by becoming onedimensional (bah). And never mind that we won't learn what happened with several sidekicks we learned to love.


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