Posted in Book Review

Book Review and Spoiler Talk: The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

“Raisa ana‘Marianna huddled in her usual dark corner at the Purple Heron, picking at her meat pie.”

First line in The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Published: January 1st 2011

Genre: YA Fantasy

My rating: 1 star

Hi, guys and welcome to my third post about the Seven Realms series, reviewing The Gray Wolf Throne. I debated whether to write this post or not because as you can tell from my rating, I did NOT like this book. This review is therefore going to be a little ranty but I’ll try to keep it brief. 

Having liked the first two books in the series, I was expecting this third book to be even better as we’re nearing the end. Now that I’m done, I’m struggling to find something positive to say about it. 

My main issue is probably the pacing. This book was waaaay to slow. Too much time was spent leading up to and preparing for significant events (which there were very few of). The dialogue went in circles. The characters would talk and talk and talk but they were having the same arguments with slightly different wording every time. They also spent a lot of time feeling sorry for themselves and it got pretty sickening after 300 pages. 

Basically, a lot of this book was not necessary for the plot or the character development. Important parts of this book would probably only take up about 100 pages (out of 517) and so I wonder whether this book should have ever existed. 

Another issue for me was the cringey and out-dated romance tropes. There have been a few of those in the previous books but not enough the make me annoyed. In The Gray Wolf Throne, however, they were just piled on top of each other and took up most of the book. I’m not going to describe them here because that would take forever and be kind of spoilery. I go into some of them in my spoiler section if you’re interested. One I want to call out though. The book trying to be “feminist” but then you have female characters hating other female characters purely because they like the same guy. No. Other. Reason. Stop it! The way that it is done in this one is making me especially angry. 

Okay, I’m going to stop this here. I’m still going to read the last book in the series because I might as well. This next part is going to be all about spoilers so stop reading if you don’t want to know more. 

seperator

Spoiler Talk

  • Very slow start. Did we need to spent this much seeing them travel? It could easily have been condensed. 
  • Why was Crow’s identity revealed at the beginning? Without a spectacle? We got the information and then “oh let’s move on.” There was a build up for a reveal by the end of book 2 so why didn’t we get it there? I’m wondering why he was completely ignored in the last half of the book. They spent to much time talking about him before that. 
  • The dialogue is going in circles. Everybody trying to take the blame for something riddiculus and then feel bad for themselves. 
  • It was such a shock to me that the queen just died! I mean, I expected it to happen at some point but I guess I thought it would actually happen on the page. Not for it to be something we’re just told about. It was expected because we obviously need Raisa to be queen so Marianna had to go. 
  • Not gonna lie… I’m a little creeped out by the Mellony/Micah thing. 
  • Why is it that Raisa hasn’t punched Nightwalker yet? And why is she humoring him? He’s such a jerk and needs to be told. Same really goes for Micah. It’s really the trope of “the guy is hot so it doesn’t matter how he behaves” and it’s frustrating. Also don’t understand why Raisa would accept a kiss from Nightwalker 5 minutes after she’s reminded that he’s still with Night Bird.
  • There was no ending? Like… nothing happened. It just faded out with the coronation. I expected something to go wrong there as there hadn’t been a climactic moment. Did anything happen in this book? I felt like I was waiting and waiting and waiting. Then I came to the end to find out that I was waiting for nothing. Disappointed. 

seperator

That was my thoughts on The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima. Not exactly a good reading experience but I haven’t lost hope for the series. I want to see how it ends. Let me know what you thought of it if you’ve read it. 

first-line-reader-hvid-baggrund-2

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – February 26th 2020

“Raisa ana’Marianna huddled in her usual dark corner at the Purple Heron, picking at her meat pie.”

First line in The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

Hi, guys. It’s Wednesday! Here you have my weekly update on my reading 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?

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima and I might hate it. At least I couldn’t find any reason to give it more than 1 star. My review of it will be up on Friday but the short version is that I don’t think this book should have existed. 

15707327

What are you currently reading?

I’m not working this week (yay!) so I don’t exactly have a commute book. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not reading two books anyway. I’m slowly making my way through Infinity Son by Adam Silvera and I’m currently at 26%. It’s alright, I guess. I’m not sure I understand everything because important world building aspects are sort of just mentioned in passing. So it hasn’t exactly hooked me yet but I’m not hating it by any means. 

I’m also 20% into The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith and oh have I been looking forward to this one! A library in Hell with characters coming to life to look for their authors? Um.. Yes please! I’m really liking it so far. A little confusing beginning because the world is quite complex so there was a lot to learn. However, this is definitely the book I’m prioritizing this week. 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Last week I put The Crimson Crown here which is the next book in the Seven Realms series but I haven’t actually gotten it yet. Which I don’t mind… I’ll still read it but I think I need something in between. So if I start anything within the next week it’ll be A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden.

41347040._SY475_

Posted in Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I'd Follow on Social Media

“Abandon all hope ye who enter here…”

First line in American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Hi, guys and welcome to my Top Ten Tuesday post for the week. This week’s topic is so awesome: Characters I’d follow on social media. I had way too many options for this but I managed to narrow it down to 10. 

I’ve picked characters from worlds that don’t have social media (mainly fantasy books) and tried to imagine them in our real life world. For each character I’ve specified on which platform they have their account and what kind of content they post. Hope you enjoy!

seperator

Wit (The Stormlight Archive)

Social media: Twitter

Type of content: Comedic outbursts that are often offensive. Somtimes, some profound saying that you don’t completely understand but will make you question everything you thought you knew.

Nikolai Lantsov (The Grisha Verse)

Social media: Instagram

Type of content: Mostly selfies (and who would complain) but also pictures of friends caught in embarrasing situations. The occasional political statement.

Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games)

Social media: YouTube

Type of content: Baking tutorials. Learn how to bake bread with Peeta. Also, cake decorating.

Dandelion (The Witcher)

Social media: YouTube

Type of content: Singing his own songs, often about some dude named “Geralt”. Very intriguing stuff. He also tells stories (but be aware that he will go off on a tangent quite a lot).

Magnus Bane (The Shadowhunter Chronicles)

Social media: YouTube

Type of content: A lifestyle channel. He talks about fashion, gossip and home life. Expect all kinds of guests (seriously, ALL kinds) but espcially family members. Among his followers there has for some reason been a huge demand for a specific video: The Boyfriend Tag.

Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)

Social media: Blog

Type of content: Her own detailed life experiences. Very relevant if you’ve ever wanted to become a governess. Her blog also has a special feature called “This Month’s Creepy Marriage Proposal” (also referred to as TMCMP).

Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)

Social media: Twitter

Type of content: Words of wisdom is the main thing you can expect from him. However, sometimes he will post something that doesn’t make sense. Not even to him.

Haymitch Abernathy (The Hunger Games)

Social media: Twitter

Type of content: Random exclamations that makes you wonder whether he was sober or not when writing it (he wasn’t). Most of them are fun but you’ll also see him question those in power in a way he probably shouldn’t.

Fred and George Weasley (Harry Potter)

Social media: YouTube

Type of content: Pranks on friends, family members and strangers. A lot of the pranks involve people eating something weird (the twins never really explain what) and then they have funny reactions. Well, fun for the people watching at least.

Tyrion Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire)

Social media: Twitter

Type of content: Roasting people he doesn’t like. He gets very creative with his insults. He mixes it up with some serious political statements and proposals once in a while. Those are mostly ignored.

There you have my post for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun putting a post together. Now I’m just sad that none of these accounts actually exist. But oh well, I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know your favorite and who you’d follow in the comments.

first-line-reader-hvid-baggrund-2

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – February 19th 2020

“Jasnah Kholin pretended to enjoy the party, giving no indication that she intended to have one of the guests killed.”

First line in Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Hi, guys. It’s Wednesday! Here you have my weekly update on my reading 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?

Two books! First I finished Autoboyography by Christian Lauren which I gave 4 stars. I really loved it! The subject matter was kind of new to me so it kept me hooked all the way through. A little disappointed with the ending though but it’s still a book I’d recommend if you’re looking for a fluffy contemporary that isn’t all fluff. I could see myself reading another book by Christina Lauren.

Then… I finished Words of Radiance!! It was so awesome. Some of those last scenes had me completely transfixed. The writing was so good that I had no problem picturing these epic scenes even though they were so unique. I ended up giving the book 4.5 stars which is half a star less than the first book, The Way of Kings. The reason for this is that I don’t particularly like Shallan and the way she is written. She has a big role in this one so it diminished my enjoyment just slightly. Everything else was perfect!

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m 35% through my commute book, The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima. It hasn’t exactly been a great start to this third book in the series. The start was very slow and I feel like the first 150 pages could have been condensed to 50 pages and we wouldn’t have missed anything. I sense we’re over that part now so I expect to start liking it again. 

I’ve also just started Infinity Son by Adam Silvera. It’s too soon for me to have an opinion on anything. However, I don’t think I’ve read a single truly positive review of this one so my expectations aren’t very high. 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima. 

8069828

Posted in Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Caused A Book Hangover

“When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”

First line in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

seperator

Hi, guys. I’m doing a Top Ten Tuesday for once. Today the topic is: The last ten books that gave me a book hangover. If you don’t know what a book hangover is, it’s basically that feeling you have after reading an amazing book and you’re convinced that you’ll never find such a good book again. At the same time you just want more of what you just read so you frantically search for similar reads but it will never be the same. 

IMG_E0119

(When you read in public as much as I do, this happens quite frequently)

I’m not someone who experiences very serious book hangovers. Some people find they can’t read another book for a while but I can easily do that. That means that it was a little bit of a struggle for me to find 10 books for this list but I managed. Some of them are pretty old though. 

Half Lost by Sally Green (Final book in The Half Bad Trilogy) 

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (First book in The Stormlight Archive)

The Binding by Bridget Collins

 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (Final book in the Winternight Trilogy)

 

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (Second book in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Yes, all of them)

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

 

(And last but certainly not least)

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

22822858

There you have 10 books that had such a huge impact on me that I couldn’t think about anything else for days and sometimes weeks or months (looking at you, A Little Life). Do you experience book hangovers often? If so, what was the book that caused the worst one? Hope you’ve had a good start to the week. Bye!

first-line-reader-hvid-baggrund-2

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – February 12th 2020

“Go ahead, binge.”

First line in Binge by Tyler Oakley

Hi, guys. It’s Wednesday! Here you have my weekly update on my reading 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?

Nothing… The last book I finished is still The Exiled Queen which I talked about last week. I have a review up for it now, however, if you’re interested. 

What are you currently reading?

My commute book is Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I only have about 150 pages left so I’ll finish in a couple of days. I plan to take a short break from the series after this one because I’m dreading the situation where I don’t have a Stormlight book left to read. I really want to take my time with the series but it’s going to be hard. They are just so damn enjoyable to read. 

I’m also reading Autoboyography by Christina Lauren which I’m 70% through. So almost done with that one as well. It has seriously captured by attention by being so much more than what I expected. I assumed it was just going to be a cute contemporary but I actually find myself thinking and learning while reading. Can’t wait to read the ending to see whether this will become a new favorite of mine. 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima. Book 3 in the Seven Realms series, because why stop when you’re on a roll. 

15707327

 

Posted in Book Review

Book Review and Spoiler Talk: The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

“Lieutenant Mac Gillen of the Queen’s Guard of the Fells hunched his shoulders against the witch wind that howled out of the frozen wastelands to the north and west.”

First line in The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Hi, guys. I’m back with another review of a book in the Seven Realms series!! We’ve made it to book 2: The Exiled Queen. As in my post for the first book, I’m going to give my overall thoughts of the book first and then transition into a spoiler-section in the end. However, be aware that there will be spoilers for The Demon King in my overall thoughts. 

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Published: September 1st 2010

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Seven Realms, Book 2

My rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean that danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden’s Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

Everything changes when Han and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

Goodreads

Spoiler-free Review

The Exiled Queen starts off right where we left the characters in The Demon King with both Han and Raisa travelling towards Oden’s ford with their respective groups. I gotta say that this made me a little worried I wouldn’t like the book. It’s clear that our characters are going to travel a while and then enter a school setting at Oden’s ford. A long travel and a school setting are two of my least favorite things to read about so I was not set up to like this book. However, it worked out really well. 

The first half of the book is the strongest in my opinion. It’s very action packed while at the same time expanding the world and teaching you about the different realms. Those are both things I wanted more of from this book compared to the first. 

The latter half is spent more on character development which was also needed but the story dragged a little bit because of it. Maybe it’s just me and that school setting not getting along but the story was more or less put on hold while the characters were learning stuff. The positive outcome of this, however, is that I like the our main characters more after reading this. Especially Han’s character came together for me and I now appreciate him a lot more. Raisa is a character I’m not completely sure I love yet. She has moments where I can tell she has the potential to become my favorite character… but then she also has moments where she’s the stereotypical annoying female character so I’m not sure what to think of her. 

The last thing I just want to mention in this part of the review is the book’s commentary on racism. It’s very subtle but nonetheless effective which I think is completely intentional. None of our two main characters are the subject of the discrimination so they don’t experience the problem in the same way as someone like Dancer. Very much a real-life representation of privilege I would say. 

Now, let’s move on to the spoiler section. 

Spoiler Talk

I’ve made a list because I love lists. This is in no particular order and is just a list of random thoughts I had while reading. Enjoy. 

  • Very cool that we started with a chapter from the POV of Mac Gillen. I love these kinds of insights into the mind workings of the bad guys.
  • I normally don’t enjoy long ‘travel sequences’ in books but this is an exception. First of all because action is happening all the time!! Second of all because I really like how Chima uses the characters’ journey as a way of showing off the world. And not just the scenery. We get little insights into the culture and political situation of the different areas and it’s so cleverly done. I love it!
  • That first scene with the Henri Tourant guy… I appreciate it when an author can make me despise a character in just a couple of pages. He was so obnoxious and so realistic too. I’ve definitely been in arguments with people like him who don’t check their “facts”.
  • For some reason I find it hilarious that Han is such a ladies man. And that we actually see it! We’re just not told about some relationships in the past (although we get that too), but we also see him unapologetically turning around to look at some girl’s legs while he’s talking to Dancer. It’s not that he’s a “bad boy” because of it, well,… he is but in a good way, you know. I really just think it’s refreshing to see this character trait in a male MC.
  • I’m sad to say that I find Raisa annoying. Especially in that scene when Amon tells her why they can’t be together. She keeps interrupting him because she just assumes that she must have all the information. Just listen to him for a second! When she suggested that they try kissing anyway, I almost rolled my eyes to the back of my head. He’s just told her it’s going to put him in excruciating pain and she just wants to try it out? Great solution.
  • I wish Han would interact more with his friends Dancer and Cat. We barely saw his friendship with Dancer in the first book and I had hoped this would be rectified when they actually went to school together. It didn’t exactly. It gives me the feeling of being told about a friendship instead of seeing it but of course it’s a minor detail.
  • Gotta admit… I assumed Dancer was gay. But okay, he’s with Cat now. We don’t know much about their relationship as of yet so not sure if I ship it yet. We did get a female/female romance in here though which I appreciated. They are some seriously minor characters though so I hope to see some other queer elements later on.
  • The ending was fine without being amazing. I’m not sure it gave that many answers (who the hell is that Crow-guy?!?) but instead worked to set us up for the third book.

There you have my thoughts on The Exiled Queen which I hope you either found entertaining or insightful. Maybe not, but still, let’s chat in the comments if you’ve read it. What did you think of this second installment in the Seven Realms?

first-line-reader-hvid-baggrund-2