Posted in Recommendations

Why You Should Read “The Queen’s Thief”

“I didn’t know how long I had been in the King’s prison.”

First line in The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Hi, guys and thanks for stopping by this post. I recently finished the fifth and last published book in The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, Thick as Thieves. I can now for sure say that it is in my top 10 of all time favorite series, and I therefore want more people to read it, of course.

It’s far from what I would call a popular series, but whenever I see a review for it, it always seems to be positive. Hence why I thought to take this opportunity to create some awareness about these amazing books. As the title says, I’ll try to highlight the specific reasons why I think you should read this series. First a little overview of the series:

  1. The Thief – published in 1996
  2. The Queen of Attolia – published in 2000
  3. The King of Attolia – published in 2006
  4. A Conspiracy of Kings – published in 2010
  5. Thick as Thieves – published in 2017
  6. Return of the Thief – expected publication: August 25th 2020

The sixth book is expected to be the last.

A synopsis for The Thief:

The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses

Now onto all the reason why you should start reading this series.

Loveable Characters

This series is filled with characters you can’t help but fall in love with. They will capture your heart with their strong sense of morality and their unbreakable friendships.

Even though we follow a different main character in almost all of the books, Turner will always draw you in and make you invested in the certain character. They each have their own struggles. Turner is amazing at making you see the character’s point of view and thereby understand them. The character development across all the books is realistic and beautiful, so you can’t help but root for them. They are certainly characters you can get behind even though they aren’t perfect. There are also so many characters in this series that I just want to give a hug so bad.

No Cliffhangers

If you’re the kind of reader who hates those cliffhanger endings that are just there to make you pre-order the next book, this is definitely a series for you. Each book essentially works as a standalone with its own set up and conclusion. It gives you the opportunity to take your time with the series and just read a book once in a while when you’re in the mood. Cliffhangers can often make you feel like you need to rush through a series just to know how it ends. At least that happens to me quite often. The Queen’s Thief is a nice divergence from that trend.

I just want to be clear: Even though I said they work as standalones, you still have to read them in publication order unless you want to be spoiled.

Mindblowing Plot Twists

The plot twists you find in The Queen’s Thief are the mind-boggling, life-altering, fall-out-of-your-chair kind of plot twists, and if that doesn’t convince you to read it, I don’t know what will. It’s the kind of plot twists that affect the entire book. You can tell it’s there all throughout the story. There’s something that don’t add up. There’s something you don’t know.

Turner even gives you the clues to figure these things out on your own, but personally I haven’t even been close to guessing where the story was going. It really takes an amazing writer to be able to do these kinds of plot twists.

It’s Short

We all have 1,000 books on our TBRs so you might be hesitant to add a six-book fantasy series to that giant mountain. I say, don’t worry about that because these books are super short. At least when you look at the standard for other fantasy books. Most of the books in this series are about 350 pages long (a little longer or shorter depending on the edition). With the first book, we’re even down to 280 pages.

Rich World Building

It’s the kind of series that starts off in a small corner of its fantasy world and with each book you get to learn more and more about the world. And I don’t mean just geographically. The amazing world building also include cultural, religious and political differences between each area. Turner has really taken her time to develop each area, and it’s wonderful to learn more with every book. It’s all very intricate.

I especially think this is a series for you if you enjoy very political fantasy books, because that is really where these books shine. Everything is so well thoughtout and there’s never a dull moment.

A Wholly Unique YA Fantasy Series

I promise you that you have never read anything like this before. I have to keep reminding myself that this is YA because it bears so little resemblance to those somewhat generic YA fantasy books you see nowadays. The Queen’s Thief almost feels like classic fantasy in its writing style and characterization. Don’t worry about coming across a page long description of a tree though, although you often find that in classic fantasy. That’s not what I mean when I call it classic fantasy. It’s just less modern with everything it does.

Mind you, the first book was published in 1996 when this resurgence we see in YA hadn’t started yet. However, the later books kept the tone of the first so don’t be afraid to suddenly have a love triangle thrown in your face.

Finally, I just want to say that of course, this series isn’t for everyone. If you consider yourself to be a 100% plot-driven reader, I think you might find this a bit boring. It’s a highly character-driven series although each book does have a plot. It just doesn’t come into play before the end of each book.

I also want to point out the first book in the series is the worst. A lot of people don’t like that one, me included, but I urge to pick up the second book even if that happens. If you find the things above intriguing, I promise you that it’s worth it to continue.

I really hope I peaked your interest about The Queen’s Thief with this post. Let me know if you intend to read it. If you’ve already read it, tell me if there’s some highlight I missed that you really love about these books.

Posted in Book Memes

WWW Wednesday – November 13th

“A girl rode a bay horse through a forest late at night.”

First line in The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Hi, guys. It’s somehow Wednesday again so my weekly update is coming right at you through WWW Wednesday. It’s a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What did you recently finish?

Since last week I’ve finished 2 books. First was The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden and that is now a new favorite of mine. I loved this second book in the Winternight Trilogy so much more than the first, and that is mainly because Vasya is the best character ever in this one.

I also finished You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman, which I gave 3 stars. It kind of felt like a worse version of Radio Silence by Alice Oseman because the themes are so similar. I would probably have given this a higher rating had I not read Radio Silence first.

What are you currently reading?

After finishing The Girl in the Tower I picked up the next book in the series, The Winter of the Witch. Storywise, it picks up right where the previous book ended which sort of makes it feel like I’ve been reading one long book and not two. I don’t mind it though, because I’m still loving it.

I’ve also started The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. I have to admit that literary fiction is a difficult genre for me. I can tell that the writing is great and all… I’m just so bored. Luckily, it’s a very short book.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Why is this always so difficult for me to answer? I don’t know what I’ll read next. I hope the library will give at least one of the books I have on hold. Both Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo and The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson seem to realistic. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll probably just pick something at random at the library.

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Authors I Need To Read

“We should start back,” Gared urged as the wood began to grow dark around them.”

First line in A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Hi to you, you lovely people. Here’s another Top 5 Tuesday post and the topic for today is authors I need to read. There are still quite a few popular authors I haven’t read anything from yet, and so this is a perfect opportunity to remind myself to get to them at some point.

Top 5 Tuesday is as always hosted by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm, so head over there if you’re interested in knowing the remaining topics for November.

Becky Chambers

I didn’t hear the name Becky Chambers until a few months ago, but since then she seems to pop up everywhere. Her Wayfarers series is on my TBR, and I’m very intrigued to see what all the fuss is about.

Francesca Zappia

Not an author who’s written that many books, but it seems like so many people has read at least one of her books. I’m definitely also planning on picking up Eliza and Her Monsters.

Christina Lauren

No, I’ve never read a single Christina Lauren book. In my defense however, I will point out that they only write contemporaries, which I don’t read much of. I really want to try out one of their books to see if they’re for me. I plan on reading Autoboyography.

Robin Hobb

I’m slowly working my way through some of the most popular fantasy authors and Hobb is definitely one of them. I’ve heard that her books are a little hard to get into so that might be why I’ve been putting them off. However, Assassin’s Apprentice is still of my TBR.

Mary E. Pearson

The Remnant Chronicles by her has been sitting on my TBR for almost 2 years now. I really want to read it, but at the same time I’m afraid I’m not going to like it. It seems like a very romance-heavy fantasy which is very much a hit or miss for me. I’m still going to read it because so many people love it so much.

Apparently I’m only going to be reading female authors in the future. That was a complete coincidence, but I’m looking forward to trying these authors out. Are these some of your favorite authors or are they also someone who want to read from?

Posted in Book Memes, Discussions

Should readers read books outside their own age range?

“Your Noise reveals you, Todd Hewitt.”

First line in The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Welcome fellow readers. I hope you’re having a great day and thank you for stopping by. Today’s post is for the weekly meme Let’s Talk Bookish, which is hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books. Each week we dicuss a different book related topic, and this week the topic is: Should readers read books that aren’t for their target age?

It’s a heavily debated topic we’re diving into today. Therefore, I’ll start with providing a light definition of these age ranges.

Middle Grade

  • Written for ages 8 to 12
  • No profanity or graphic violence
  • Romance is limited to crushes and innocent first kisses.
  • Themes often revolve around friendship, bullying and family.
  • The characters don’t do much self-reflection, but instead react to their immediate surroundings.

Young Adult

  • Written for ages 13 to 18
  • Romance and sexuality are prevalent themes although no graphic sexual content is allowed.
  • The characters are often put in new and difficult situations and the books deal with the struggles to find one’s place in the world.
  • Relies more on self-reflection than middle grade books.

Adult

  • Written for ages 18 and older
  • Anything goes.
  • A more complex story and setting is allowed although not required.

Disclaimer: these aren’t definitive explanations because those don’t really exist. They are just to give you an idea of what I’m referring to when I mention the age ranges.

Now, when discussing the topic of reading outside of one’s age range there are two sides: to read books meant for someone older and to read books meant for someone younger. Let’s start with the first one.

Reading books written for older readers

In my opinion, this is where we run into most problems. As you might have noticed when reading the definitions above, MG and YA are mainly defined by what isn’t allowed in those books. These restrictions are there for a reason, and that is mainly to protect children and teens from content they aren’t mature enough for. I’m not an expert on the minds of children, so I’m going to go much more into that here.

However, I’m also all for breaking the rules. For a middle grade reader that means the parents can allow a book meant for someone older, if they deem it appropriate for their child. They know the child best, and in such cases I don’t think age ranges should be looked at too rigidly.

With teens, I’m fairly certain they can make these decisions themselves. Also, if you tell a 15-year-old they aren’t allowed to do something, you can be certain that’s exactly what they’ll do. Instead, I think it’s more important that teens figure out their own reading tastes and that include reading something they don’t like. I highly doubt they’ll be scarred for life.

To sum up, I don’t think anyone should feel forced to read books meant for someone older, but I do believe it can very educational in terms of figuring out what one likes as a reader.

Reading books written for younger readers

As you can probably tell, I have far less issues with ‘reading down’. There’s no more worrying about not being emotionally ready for certain topics. You can just read what you want.

To more specifically answer the question of the week: should readers read books that are written for younger readers? I think you should at least give it a shot. Reading books meant for children or teens can give you a great insight into the mind workings of these age groups. We’ve all been that age, but we tend to forget what actually mattered at that point in our life. Reading MG and YA can therefore be quite benefitial if you in your day to day life surround yourself with children or teens.

However, if you’ve tried MG and YA and didn’t like it, then of course, you shouldn’t read it. Just don’t look down on other readers who do enjoy it. We’re past that, aren’t we?

To just elaborate on that – I think it’s perfectly fine for adults to read MG and YA as long as you review the book with that in mind. What is deemed great in an adult novel, isn’t necessarily deemed great in a YA novel and vice versa. The result can be a too low rating for a MG or YA novel and that might discourage someone from the target age from reading it.

This section summed up: read what you want but be aware of what you’re reading.

That was a bit of a long one, so thank you if you read all of it. I hope it made you think just a little bit. What are your thoughts on these age ranges? Do you read books that technically aren’t meant for you? Let me know in the comments.

Posted in Book Memes

WWW Wednesday – November 6th

“It was midday and the passageway quiet and cool.”

First line in Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

Hi, guys and welcome to another WWW Wednesday. It’s a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What did you recently finish?

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner which is book 5 in The Queen’s Thief series. It’s also the last published book in the series which means that I’m finally caught up. I loved the book so much however! I meant to take my time with it but it completely took over my entire Sunday. I read it as an ebook and the last 60% was just over in a flash. So now I wait for the sixth and final book in the series.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading two books as usual. My commute book is still The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, which I started last week. I have about 110 pages left. My feelings about it haven’t changed – I still can’t get enough of it. Everyday I’m hoping my 45 minute bus ride will be longer because I just want to keep reading. Yes, I’m actually wishing for more time on public transportation. That’s how much I love it.

Just last night I started You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman, so I’m only a single chapter into that. The first impression isn’t that great though. That first chapter felt incredibly rushed. I feel like I’ve already been introduced to every single character and all the plot points – both big and small. I didn’t have time to grab onto any of it, but that can change of course so crossing my fingers.

What do you think you’ll read next?

As soon as I finish The Girl in the Tower, I’m going to pick up the final book in the trilogy The Winter of the Witch (see me being good and finishing series). I’ve already picked it up from the library so it’s for sure happening.

How is your week going? Also, let me know if you’ve read The Winternight Trilogy and what you thought of it.

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Books I’m Excited to Read

“I had arrived early for my own assassination.”

First line in The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

It’s Tuesday!! I haven’t done a Top 5 or Top Ten Tuesday for a couple of weeks now, but today I’m getting back on the horse. The topic for Top 5 Tuesday this week is actually perfect: top 5 books on my TBR I’m most excited to read. I mean, have you seen how many potentially great books that are released today? If you haven’t, don’t worry. I’m going to feature some of them on this list.

First I of course have to give a shout out to Shanah from Bionic Book Worm for hosting this meme and for coming up with these great topics. Head over to her blog and check out the rest of the topics for November.

Let’s talk about books. Here are 5 books I’m dying to read.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

I finished The Way of Kings a little over a week ago, and since then I’ve been constantly checking my library app to see when I get to read this second book in The Stormlight Archive. I want more of this world!

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

I expect to see this particular book on many lists today because who hasn’t been dying to read this? And it’s one the books that’s out today! I read Thunderhead in June but I still feel like I’ve been waiting for this for forever because of that ending. I need The Toll now.

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Another book that is out today! I still can’t believe we’re getting an entire trilogy about my two favorite characters from The Raven Cycle, Ronan and Adam. However, I think that what I look forward to the most is to enjoy Stiefvater’s writing style again. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s absolutely perfect.

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith

An adult fantasy series about a library and characters escaping from their books? Seems like Hackwith knows exactly how to get my attention. It’s a pretty new release, but the reviews I’ve seen so far are all great, so I need to get my hands on this one soon.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

I’ve only read one book from Sepetys before (Salt to the Sea) and I really loved it. I’m even more excited about this one because of the setting. It takes place in Madrid in 1957. So many historical fiction novels take place during World War II, so I’m always way more excited about the books that will show me some other part of history.

I’m hoping to read these books very, very soon and I’m expecting to love them. Tell me about some of the books you just can’t wait to read.

Posted in Fun Lists

Books On My TBR: 5-star Predictions

“How did they find us so fast?”

First line in A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Hi, fellow readers. As you can probably tell from the title, this post is about the books on my TBR that I expect to rate 5 stars. It’s fairly popular in the bookish community and I always find those follow-up post very interesting. So, I figured I would do one myself.

I’ve picked out 5 books which I’m fairly confident will get a 5-star rating from me. I’ve excluded books that aren’t out yet because I want to be able to read these in the near future.

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

This is the only classic on this list of predictions. I loved the movie as a child, but I’m also prepared for the “Disney made everything nicer” thing that’s bound to occur. One of my favorite BookTubers, Merphy Napier, lists this as her favorite book. According to her, the book is a little sad which is just my thing.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

This is a bit of a chancy one. It’s still a series I don’t know very much about, but everyone who’ve read it seems to love it. I’ve read one of Chima’s books before, and I thought it was fine. It’s been a while, but I know that I didn’t hate her writing style or anything. The synopsis of this one seems interesting enough to give it a go.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

When people praise this book, they seem to praise Chambers writing style a lot, and writing style is just very important for me when rating a book. I’ve also heard that this is a good sci-fi book for people who don’t read sci-fi. The sci-fi elements apparently aren’t that prevalent or important to the story. I also love character-driven books so I have high hopes for this one.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

The safest book on the list. It’s impossible for me to imagine that the second book in The Stormlight Archive isn’t going to be a 5-star book. It’s average rating on Goodreads is 4.76 based on 170,000 ratings. That’s insane! I loved the first book so much, and I can’t wait to continue the series.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

I have no reason for this other than everyone else seems to like it. I’ve only ever read one literary fiction book in my life, but that ended up being one of my favorite books of all time (A Little Life), so I’m tentatively trying again.

I can’t wait to read these! Hopefully, I can return to this in about six months to confirm that they were all great. Have to read any of these? Or are they also patiently waiting on your TBR? Let me know in the comments.