Being brutally honest about books

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Top Ten Bookish Events in a Bookworm's* Life

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Bookworm Delights. 
*bookworm = me

1. Finishing a book. 

As a student, finishing a book, no matter how much you enjoyed or disliked it, is a huge achievement that gives you a great amount of satisfaction.

2. Receiving a gift voucher for a bookshop. 

Not only does the person giving you the voucher know that you love reading, but they know better than to try and choose a book for you. It means a lot. 

3. Finishing a series that has a satisfying conclusion.

Need I say more?

4. Loving a book that you bought with your own money.

Buying books is risky, so it's always great when there's a positive outcome.

5. Getting helpful writing advice from an author.

Whether it's addressed to you personally, or to the crowd at an author appearance, the result is the same - you will take that advice and use it.

6. Finding a really cheap copy of a book you really wanted to own or at least read.

An unexpected delight. (When I say "really cheap", I mean $3 or less.)

7. Finding a book on the library shelf that you'd given up on looking for.

Sometimes, enough is enough and it seems to be fated that you'll never read that book. But finding the book at last is exciting!

8. Rating a book 5 stars.

A rare event indeed, and one to treasure for the next year or two until the next time it occurs.

9. Understanding a pop culture reference in a novel.

Especially if I know the referenced material very well. Because yay, the characters are aware of their own setting!

10. Understanding a Classical reference in a novel.

Two years of Classics (the study of Ancient Greece and Rome) in high school has its benefits! And it's nice to know that plenty of other people know Classics well enough to make these references.

What about you guys? Do you share the same bookworm delights? Do you have any others?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The good, the bad, and the ugly: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)
Finished reading on: 20 April 2016
Clickbait summary: Misandrist in Medieval Brittany joins cult that kills men, falls in love with man.

The Good

  • The red dress on the cover 
  • The weapons (main character Ismae is an assassin, so she's got a couple)
  • Medieval setting and all it entails (dresses, castles, mistresses, court politics, etc etc)
  • Believable worldbuilding 
  • Realistic and sympathetic portrayal of women for the setting
  • Interesting, or rather, intriguing politics! I never used to care for the political aspects in fiction, but recently I've found myself getting into it.
  • Theme of loyalty  
  • Decent characters (not brilliant, but better than average, I think)
  • Good writing  
  • A real page-turner 
  • Language slightly old-fashioned to match setting

The Bad

  • Is this a feminist story or not? I don't know! In some ways, yes; in others, no.
  • Would've liked to see more of Ismae's gal pals Annith and Sybella (apparently the next two books in the series are about them, which is great, but I can't cope with more assassins falling in love)
  • A bit long at 550 pages 
  • Misleading summary - Ismae doesn't fall in love with a man she's meant to kill, she gets orders to kill the man she loves, and it's not as big a plot point as it sounds. 
  • [Spoiler] Healing by sex?! Soooo convenient.

The Ugly

  • Low-born girl falls in love with nobleman. Really? AGAIN?!
  • Why the romance? Why? They could've just been friends or allies! (I need my romances to grow over a couple of books, if they have to exist at all, because I find it super boring once the characters are properly together. That's just me, though.)
  • I thought the protagonist had been set up as a man-hating lesbian assassin... and then she fell in love with a guy. (Where are all the medieval wlw? Not in this book, apparently. I'm going to have to write the wlw assassin historical fiction myself.)
  • Okay, clearly my main problems with this book are the romance and the lack of diversity. The rest was pretty good.

The Summary

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Add it on Goodreads

I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.