The Queen of The Tearling [Tearling #1] by Erika Johansen: A review

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
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Genre : Fantasy, Magic
Audience: Mature (18+)
Type : Series (Book 1)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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An incredibly intense fantasy story that is partly coming-of-age and partly magic. It has everything – adventure, thrill, mystery and a beautiful romance.

I loved this book from the first page. I just knew that any book that begins with a nice map was going to be an epic read. And I was right!

This book has all the making of the first book in a series –
1) introduces characters
2) keeps the background of characters a secret (to be revealed in book 2 and 3)
3) sets up the pre-war scenario
4) raises more questions than answers (again, to be revealed in book 2 and 3)
5) has humor

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This was not an easy read. I had to plough through chapters that spoke of some terrible things. It was definitely for mature audiences. The plot kept me at the edge of my seat because it had many unexpected and unpredictable twists. The pacing was a slow-burn. It took its own time to set-up events and introduce characters. I loved the characters especially Carlin and Barty whose characters were developed without even their presence. If that isn’t good writing then I don’t know what is! The story carried an excellent narrative that (despite its slow pace) didn’t bore me at all. There was enough history, background and mystery to keep me engaged.

My Reading Experience:

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Things I liked about the book –

1) The chemistry between Mace and Kelsea
2) The mysterious magic
3) Kelsea’s humour
4) Badass heroine
5) Badass heroine’s love for books
6) Treason (what good is a royal story without treason?)

I would say that after reading the likes of Harry Potter and The Kingkiller Chronicles, I was starved for some good magic fantasy series that isn’t fully YA and The Queen of Tearling was the perfect answer.

The Queen of The Tearling was like taking the first bite of home food after being away for so long. It satiated my hunger of magic, fantasy, historical fiction, medieval times and royalty.

Emma Watson has agreed to do a film series of the same name!! She said this back in 2013. The movie is still under works and I’m hoping it will come out soon. See what she said about this series (I couldn’t agree more)

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Scion of Ikshvaku (Ram Chandra series #1) by Amish Tripathi : A review

Scion of Ikshvaku (Ram Chandra Series, #1)Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish Tripathi
My rating: 2 of 5 stars⭐ ⭐
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Hmmm….Yeah, so I read this ‘Ramayana remake’.  Didn’t like it. Well okay….maybe I liked only tiny portions. Kinda-sorta okayish book I’d say.

Do you think otherwise? Let me know here: 

Ram is born on the day of Dhasharath’s first defeat against Raavan!(preposterous, and ridiculously twisted) This victimizes Ram in Dhasharath’s eye. The King blames his first defeat on the new born. How is a baby responsible for a king’s blunders in war? I don’t know. But it says a lot about how much we suck. As a community that buys into such idiotic beliefs, and as an audience who hasn’t raised riots for infantile injustice.

Okay. Maybe that was too strong.

The plot and sub-plot:

Ram, Lakshman (I’d like to call him Lakky from now) Bharat and Shatrugnan are brothers from different wombs. They grow up in a gurukul. They have different gurukul names, sorta like these fake reddit usernames. This is to protect the royal family from danger. Totally unnecessary if you ask me. Can’t remember any of those now.

The boys are trained under Saint Vashishta (or should I say Shady Vashishta?!) Because Vashista seems to have mysterious dealings with  the Nagas (deformed people according to Amish Tripathi) Why is Vashishta associated with the Nagas? And why are they interested in Ram and Co. ? A sub-plot arises.

The boys grow up, unawares of this other face of their guru. Over the course of 16 years, they are trained in fighting, archery and other life skills. They learn about vedhas, dharma and history.

Ram is especially interested in Dharma. Bharat is especially interesting in girls. Both of them are equally interested in politics and ruling the kingdom.

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The Crown of Ptolemy by Rick Riordan: A review

A quick Saturday pre-siesta-brunch read.

The Crown of PtolemyThe Crown of Ptolemy by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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Hilarious, as is Rick Riordan’s signature writing style. It seemed like he didn’t put any effort in the way of the plot. He took liberal references from the internet slang, like selfies and ‘Stahhp’ and made a funny story out of it. It was enjoyable and laugh-worthy.

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More 5 star-rated books:

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The Golden Compass [His Dark Materials #1] by Philip Pullman : A review

 

Ah! That feeling of reading a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping adventure. 

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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Here’s a gist -> In Lyra’s world, Daemons are the soul-projections,in animal forms, of any human being.They are companions of the soul and the separation from their Daemon could even be fatal for that human.Lyra and her Daemon, Pan, are brought up and cared for by the Scholars in Oxford, just as any other child. But she has a bigger destiny to fulfill. Unaware of this, Lyra sets out on a journey, to look for her missing friend, who is one among the many children who were kidnapped by a secret society.The rumor is that the society intends to do horrible things to children, even murder them. Lyra is intent on bringing her friend back. Her adventure takes her to the deep North, where she meets many Supernatural and powerful beings, human and non-human. In her course, Lyra learns about bigger threats her world faces and ends up in the middle of it all. How she escapes danger and fights off evil forces is the story of The Golden Compass.

What splendid narration! Philip Pullman has a way with words, it just draws the reader in. I was instantly connected to the story from the first line. The story has a beautiful flow to it; and I wondered how it would be to hear a vocal rendition of this novel, narrated in a deep baritone. Such was the enchanting narrative of the book.

I liked the premise of the book. It’s complicated but it works as a good baseline to build on. A Destiny that Lyra has to fulfill for the saving the world-as-she-knows it, but, and here’s the complicated part, she has to do it without her own knowing. Nobody can help her, and she can’t know that she is the destined savior of the world. As for the story arc, keeping us readers in the dark for more than a hundred pages was a little unfair. Until then the story only wavers about without any ‘purpose’. The direction of the plot isn’t revealed. But not to worry, it picks up fast from there and slowly the big picture is revealed.

Each of the characters were designed so well. Lyra – what a lyrical name. I loved it! Lyra – like the mythical musical instrument lyre. Lyra is a non-fussy, mature, pragmatic child. She is sensitive to others while being equally outgoing and adventure-seeking.Lord Asriel and Mrs.Coulter and Iorek and John Faa…every character was unique.

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Revealed [House of Night #11] by P.C.Cast : A review

Revealed (House of Night, #11)Revealed by P.C. Cast
My rating: 3 of 5 stars⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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The plot dragged in Revealed. People who expect action from Aurox/Heath prepare to be disappointed ‘cos the Bull somehow becomes a docile creature this book . Shaylin’s character-building was good. I just wanna read the final book and put this series to an end.

Untamed [House of Night #4] by P.C.Cast : A review

Untamed (House of Night #4)Untamed by P.C. Cast
My rating: 3 of 5 stars⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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The plot keeps thickening. I liked Stevie Rae’s amazing comeback and adorable Jack. Although Stark’s character could have had a little more build up before we all totally fall in love with the mysterious stranger. The gang finally gets bigger,better and awesome to kick some serious High-priestess ass 😉 , I mean “butt” if I am to stick with the vocab standards we are following here 😛

Chosen (House of Night #3) by P.C.Cast : A review

Chosen (House of Night #3)Chosen by P.C. Cast
My rating: 3 of 5 stars⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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The series seems to be improving. The plot thickens, yet it doesn’t make the narrative any less bearable. I like that all the characters are being dug deep, like the softer side of Aphrodite and the nefarious side of Neferet.

Betrayed (House of Night #2) by P.C.Cast : A review

Betrayed (House of Night, #2)Betrayed by P.C. Cast
My rating: 2 of 5 stars⭐ ⭐
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This book was no better than the first in terms of the writing. *oh my god, the writing totally sucked, like seriously !

I hated the narrative. Way too much repetitive and contrived elements like dead-undead-ghost-freakish-things.

And clearly the authors intended us to get shocked by Stevie Rae’s transformation , which until the very end we are to believe as one of Zoey-I-have-every-possible-power-in-the-vampyre-world “special powers” to see ghosts.

One word – Ridiculus .

Awakened (House of Night #8) by P.C.Cast : A review

Awakened (House of Night, #8)Awakened by P.C. Cast
My rating: 2 of 5 stars⭐ ⭐
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Aaaaand we are back again to the undane drama. Awakened focussed solely on Jack’s death and clearly P.C.Cast was running out of things to say in this book . Although I badly wanted Rephaim to turn away from Darkness and his dad, the moment was extremely banal and did not excite me at all. There was no real struggle to choose between love for Stevie Rae and his eternal servitude. Heath returning was obvious and completely unwanted. Won’t we have the sweet clueless boy anymore.? I have come to like the Light and Darkness personified very much. The Bulls instill a sense of fear (both the good and the bad ) and there is no denying their majestic presence . Hope the story catches pace in Destined.

Hunted (House of Night #5) by P.C.Cast : A review

Hunted (House of Night, #5)Hunted by P.C. Cast
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
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I could hardly tolerate this book. First of all calling the Raven mockers , bad bir- boys was utter nonsense. Second every female being attracted to the fallen angel was lecherous. The fact that Zoey even discusses the origins of this through her Grandma is disturbing. Finally after making such a big deal about how Zoeg is the one who can eliminate this Kalona immortal , the brandish him with poems of love ?! I mean how did the cynical Aphrodite even agree to this? This book is stupid.