Memories of Ice (The Malazan Book of the Fallen #3) by Steven Erikson 

​…a chilling tale of sacrifice, betrayal and redemption. 


…a chilling tale of sacrifice, betrayal and redemption. 
The happenings in Memories of Ice is set parallel in timeline to those of Deadhouse Gates. The story, while as complex as ever, continues to unravel mysteries and secrets, opening up the historical background to the world even more. 
It’s much the same characters from Gardens of the Moon, with a very fine line between protagonists and antagonists. There’s an awful lot happening at the same time, so it’s easy to get carried away and be confused. However, the author helps readers (unlike the preceeding two books in the series) but providing a lot of background info on the races, particularly the T’lan Imass. 
Memories of Ice is now officially the single grimmest, bloodiest book I’ve ever read. The siege of Capustan was as macabre as it was thrilling to read. Such gore, such creative ways to kill and dismember! Such horror! Such terrible fighting odds! I felt truly sorry for the defendants. 
A lot of people hail A Song of Ice and Fire for its grimness, for the willingness of the author to kill of main characters from time to time. I think this series goes one better by not only killing off characters en masse, but also creating such memorable characters en masse as well. All of the characters are unforgettable. Even the minor ones. There’s a way the author presents his characters that makes them so endearing. I mentally shed a few tears after the wholesale slaughter at the end of the book (for someone like me, that’s a lot of emotion for a book). 
The world building as always, is excellent. I took a sneak peek at the next book in the series and saw that there’s a whole new set of characters. That the author is a able to write a single story employing every aspect of the vast world along with hundreds of seemingly unrelated characters, all the while making the entire thing so gripping and intense is a testament to his unique ability. Simply put, there’s not series quite like this one. The scattergun approach is not even supposed to work, but yet it has. And beautifully so. Just brilliant!
The plot is so convoluted, it’s hard to keep up. There are so many mysteries, so many threads all seemingly jumbled up in a thick knotted mass of strange worlds and even stranger characters. I keep thinking there’s something I missed. 
This series is not one to read in a haste. You’ll miss the juicy parts that way. Rather, it should be read bit by bit. I’m enjoying it that way, anyways. 
On to the next one! Bring on the House of Chains. See you soon, black-hearted Kallor. Your Armageddon is near!

Book Review: The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy) by S.A Chakraborty 

…City of Brass is the Arabian answer to Rick Riordan’s world of halfbloods and Greek gods. 

City of Brass is a fascinating read that stirs up just every emotion imaginable…. A truly gripping story. 
It’s official. December is now my best month for reads!

City of Brass is the best book I’ve read this year that isn’t anything from Brandon Sanderson, Steven Eriksen or Robert Jordan, and going by how I worship Wheel of Time, Malazan and Stormlight, that’s saying an awful  lot. The author does a more than brilliant job of combining mythology, history, fantasy and fiction to astounding effect. Hats off, Shannon!
For a book that is not completely fantasy, the world building is extremely well done. City of Brass is the Arabian answer to Rick Riordan’s world of halfbloods and Greek gods. The author presents the Arabian world and all of its alluring mythology in an attractive manner, all the while adding more than a dose of her own formidable epic-weaving skills. It’s the perfect recipe for a bestseller, a read that will come to be loved and treasured by all in months and years to come. 
I like to call this type of genre Mytho-Fantasy. It’s got all the elements of a well known mythology and all the wonder, charm and dark grimness of epics. 
The characters are excellently done, well fleshed out. The plot is even better. There’s a lot of mystery, a great deal of intrigue and more than enough twists to give you multiple heartaches. 
It’s a cliffhanger ending and with the sheer amount of unresolved conflict left, the next book promises to be even better than the first! 

Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising Saga #1) by Pierce Brown 

…a wonderful story that packs plenty of surprises between pages. 

It’s a great story. A few pages in, and I was reminded of Hunger Games and Divergent. Instead of Districts and Factions, there’s Colours, almost like Lightbringer. It’s a dystopian/post-apocalptic world just like the aforementioned two books. But that’s where the similarities end. It’s a better storyline than Hunger Games. It’s got better characters than Divergent. The setting is even better, being sci-fi in nature. The badass fighting is reminiscent of war video games. 

The writing is sweet. It’s suspense all through. Action packed. It’s a wonderful story that packs plenty of surprises between pages. 

The only problem I have with the book is the cover. Books that aren’t half as good have far better covers! I suppose it’s one of the reasons why I didn’t read this book for so long. Authors need to start realising the importance of a great book cover. For readers like me, it goes a long way in determining whether we’ll read the book or not. 

Highly recommended.

Book Review: Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

Think Hunger Games and Divergent mixed in one and you begin to get the larger picture of the book that is Warcross. 
In a tech empire that spans not just the entire world but the very lives of individuals as well, a young girl is caught up in a storm of life changing events that will require anwsers to questions she could never have imagined… 
The tech system is quite good. For a person who does not read a lot of sci-fi, it’s easy to understand and follow through. The idea of a virtual game that goes beyond mere gaming pleasure, extending into the very lives and thoughts of people is quite astounding. 
Writing is one area where the author has really excelled: it’s an easy read, one you can flow along with, easily taking in all or most of the detail. 
The story is quite intriguing, with a lot of extensive world building by way of the tech system/virtual gaming universe. I’d like to see more action though. The game reminds me of Quidditch, with the Architects, Thieves and all. 
The main story revolves around themes of romance, family, will, trust, and loyalty, all linked together in a web of stunning world building. 
Despite not exactly ending on as spectacular a cliffhanger as one would have hoped, the mystery that shrouds much of the finale ensures that the next book will be eagerly anticipated. 

Book Review: Where Loyalties Lie (Best Laid Plans #2)

Where Loyalties Lie is swashbuckling fantasy in the style of Sebastien De Castell featuring scum-hero pirates, uncouth women and men and plenty of whores, rum and bad ale. 
The writing style is the most striking thing about the book. It is written in a smooth, flowing, even carefree manner that allows for a lot of irregularities and freestyling. While it a fun style of writing, the best part is the concision. There are no dull moments of lengthy descriptions of places and dressing; those are replaced with witty, sarcastic, humorous and altogether more exciting bits. 
The story is one of mixed loyalties. When a lone, influential pirate embark on the nigh impossible mission of uniting all of the other bloodthirsty pirates in the Seven Isles against a bigger threat, the matter becomes less a question of survival and more a question of loyalty. When you put up naturally disloyal humans up against a threat they cannot ignore, the result will be to unite against all odds or die. But whether this unity is true unity remains yet to be seen, as mistrust, bad blood and former sins rise up from the ashes of the past to threaten the burgeoning alliance…
The plot is not complex. Instead, the volatile nature of the characters makes it very hard to predict. It makes for a suspense filled read. 
A fine new read from a brave author.

Book Review: Shadowblack (Spellslinger #2) by Sebastien de Castell 

…some of the most unlikely group of protagonists you’ll find in the genre. 

De Castell keeps finding new ways to craft good stories. 
The protagonists have their first great adventure, one that will test the limits of their beliefs and strength of character. A 16 year old outcast, a fully matured woman world-wanderer along with a violent, witty, brave but small predator turned business partner set about fighting the forces of evil- from abroad as well as from within. This book has some of the most unlikely group of protagonists you’ll find in the genre. 
The best part of the book is the way in which the author explores other avenues. He does not exactly follow the traditional path of regular Fantasy, deciding instead to focus on the results of choices, the consequences of human actions, and reasons for human behaviour; all the while on a yacht cruise of beautifully crafted writing. 

Book Review- Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen #2)

…so deep is his detailing of the world that you can’t help but get lost in the sheer vastness and awesomeness.

After about four months of half-reading this book, I’m finally done! 
Deadhouse Gates takes you to another part of the Malazan Empire, to a new set of characters, and an entirely new plot line. It’s almost as difficult to understand as Gardens of the Moon. It starts off seemingly with one major plot thread that dissolves into multiple threads somewhere in the second third of the book. All of the plotlines are incredibly complex, involving a great number of characters, twists, climaxes and other mostly confusing elements. The entire thing seems to be a well jumbled mass of totally unrelated events, seemingly, that are only resolved in the final few pages of the book. 
Events in the book are not necessarily presented in a gradually progressing manner. The writing is such that we do not follow the events per say, but rather the characters. So many things seem to be happening at the same time, which could be rather confusing.
The characters are some of the best in the fantasy genre. They have an awful amount of depth and unpredictability.
The author takes world building to another level with this series. It probably helps that he’s an archaeologist, so deep is his detailing of the world that you can’t help but get lost in the sheer vastness and awesomeness. 
Deadhouse Gates is complex, confusing even but equally thrilling, brilliant… Infact, spectacular.