Currently Reading

Currently reading: Simon VS the Homo-Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Crown of Feathers Blog Tour


To celebrate the UK publication of Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto, I, along with loads of other great bloggers, was invited by Ink Road Books to take part in this fantastic blog tour. From reviews, to Q&A's and extracts, this tour has everything to whet your appetite for this awesome book! Today, it's my turn and I am excited to share with you my review of the book! Let's begin!

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Now, I have been obsessed with phoenixes for YEARS! Absolutely years. I've always been fascinated and intrigued. I even have a phoenix tattoo. I love them. So imagine my excitement one day when I was scrolling through GoodReads searching for something new to add to the TBR (one of the 2019 YA lists, I believe) and this cover pops up. It's fiery, atmospheric, striking... I was obsessed. I didn't even read the blurb, I just added it to my library and couldn't wait to get my hands on it - then I read the blurb and I was even more excited. Any who, that was my first experience with Crown of Feathers, but my excitement at the cover is nothing compared to how this book made me feel.

From the very first page I was drawn in and I was hooked. I am a sucker for worlds that feel so fleshed out and alive. Yes, the book does start a little info-dumpy but trust me, it pays off big time and I really appreciated all the info we're given about the world, about the war that people are still trying to get over, about how oppression is forcing people into hiding. I am a guy who loves me some fantasy and I believe that one of the main areas that fantasy needs to excel in is world building, and this book delivered on all fronts for me. There's history and culture is rich and I loved it.

The book itself is told from three points of view. Veronica is in hiding, on the run, with her controlling sister Val. All her life she has dreamt of being a phoenix rider and will do anything to fulfil her dreams. There is Sev, a soldier, hiding his true self. And finally there is Tristan. Son of the leader of the Phoenix Riders. All three pov's brought different elements to the world and really fleshed the story out. Sometimes with a singular pop everything can seem narrow in a sense. It's what that character is experiencing and not a lot else. Normally if someone was coming into a group we get their reaction as a newbie, so to have Tristan be part of the group already it was good to see his perspective.

Along with the pov's there is also an interweaving sub-text of sorts as we learn the history of legendary Phoenix Rider, Avalkyra Ashfire. These parts were great fun for me and didn't detract from the action going on. It all just added to the sense that Nicki Pau Preto knows her world so well.

The book itself is beautifully written and was an absolute joy to read. I find myself longing for the sequel and at the same time mourning that it is only a duology because I loved this, the world, the characters, so much that I cannot bear to say goodbye already! I cannot wait to read it, but at the same time I know when the time comes I'm going to be emotional! I cannot stress enough just how much people need to read this book. It's fun, magical, dangerous, exhilarating. It has all the emotions you could ever need. 


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Thank you once again to Ink Road Books for asking me to be a part of this blog tour. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for extracts, q&a's and more reviews!



Monday, 1 April 2019

Sky In The Deep Blog Tour


To celebrate the UK release of Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young, Titan Books arranged a blog tour and I am honoured to have been asked to take part. There are some great blogs taking part alongside me so do make sure to check them and their great posts out!

Today, I bring you an an exclusive extract from the book and it's a corker...

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Iri’s voice was tired, his eyes pulled with worry. It was a look I remembered well—one that had been painted on his face many times. 
Again!  
I could hear his voice echoing in my mind. The sun was setting over the fjord and it was almost too dark to see. Our father watched from the window of our home, silhouetted in firelight.  
Again, Eelyn! 
Iri was only a year and a half older than me, but I was always much smaller. I couldn’t hold the shield well enough to fight with it. So he had taught me to fight without one, wielding my axe in my left hand and my sword in my right. He was bruised and bleeding, training me before our first fighting season.  
Again!  
That same look hung in his eyes now. He was wondering if I was strong enough.


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 So who wants to read on? I know I do!

Thank you to Titan for asking me to take part - don't forget to check out all the other great posts as part of the tour including those to come! 

Sky In The Deep is out right now and you can find it in all good bookshops and of course online!

Monday, 7 January 2019

The Fork, the Witch and the Worm Blog Tour


First off, hi... Welcome back. To me. To the blog. I've been MIA for far too long - if you've been around for a while you'll know the last few years have been pretty tumoltuous for me and blogging has taken a massive back seat... I've still been reading, sharing reviews on goodreads and on twitter and I'm also on instagram under @empireofbooks but the blog has been a bit neglected and one of my new years resolutions for this year is to change all that and get back into things well and truly... So when I was asked to take part in this blog tour, supporting one of my favourite authors new books how on earth could I resist? Hopefully this is the first of many!

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Written by: Christopher Paolini.
Published by: Penguin Random House.
Format: Hardback.
Release date: 31/12/2018.
Rating: 5/5.

Official synopsis: "It's been a year since Eragon departed Alagaësia in search of the perfect home to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. Now he is struggling with an endless sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding dragon eggs and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. Then a vision from the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors and an exciting Urgal legend offer a much-needed distraction and a new perspective. This volume features three original stories set in Alagaësia, interspersed with scenes from Eragon's own unfolding adventure. Included is an excerpt from the memoir of the unforgettable witch and fortune-teller Angela the herbalist, penned by Angela Paolini, the inspiration for the character, herself! Relish the incomparable imagination of Christopher Paolini in this thrilling new collection of stories based in the world of the Inheritance Cycle."

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When Inheritance, the fourth and final book in the Inheritance Cycle was released in 2011 I have to say I was a little upset. I couldn't believe it was all over. I adored this world, these characters so much, I wasn't ready to say goodbye. So when Paolini revealed that at some point he would return to the world of Alagesia and that we hadn't seen the last of our favourite hero and his stunning blue dragon I was delighted. And so I waited and finally the wait is over and was it worth it? You bet your dragon-loving-ass it was!

The Fork, the Witch and the Worm is short by Paolini's past standards. We have been spoiled with 700+ page tomes and whilst TFTW&TW comes in at just 270 pages it is jam-packed with magic, wonder, danger and intrigue. 

Three stories are spread out and bordered through the book, which is split into three parts, with chapters which follow Eragon himself as he is helping to rebuild the world after the fall of Galbatorix's toxic empire. Building a new home for the dragons. Trying to please everyone. Tasks which seem impossible to fulfil within the time he has. He is but one man, how much can he be expected to do?

The stories themselves were just as magical as I had hoped they would be. A story of a wanderer, a look at life through the eyes of Angela the Herbalist, written by Christopher's sister, the very inspiration for the character herself, and a story of a dragon, an Urgal woman hellbent on revenge. My favourite is the story found in the third and final part of the book, The Worm. story titled The Worm of Kulkaras. A story so intense and so all-consuming. The whole book itself was a delight, drawing me back into the world that I had loved so much as a kid when I read the series as and when it was published, but this story itself was so good and magical I found it hard to draw myself away from the page.

As always, Paolini's writing is beautiful. He knows how to pull you in and keep you there. I read the book in two short sittings. It would have been one had I not had a prior engagement, but once you start reading you'll find it had to stop.

The first book I have read in 2019, The Fork, the Witch and the Worm was an absolute delight to read - my only complaint is that there wasn't more! Christopher has said that this is just the first in planned offshoot from the main series, saying online that there'll be as many volumes in the extended Tales from Alagaesia as he can write. Music to my ears! I for one cannot wait to see what other adventures our favourite characters will get up to. TFWT&TW being so short didn't give us time to see many of our favourite characters and with this one subtitled Volume 1: Eragon, I cannot wait to see who we get to travel with next.

It has also made me determined to reread the series itself in full in 2019. It has been so long since I have read the series and I miss the world and the characters within it so, so much. And no doubt there will be things that I missed as there always are upon a first reading. My fellow tour host, Andy at The Pewter Wolf is also intending to reread the series this year... do I sense a read-along? Hmmm... I'm game. 

And can we talk about how there needs to be a Netflix series? Seriously... they've done such a good job of adapting other series. Look at A Series of Unfortunate Events. Much like the Inheritance Cycle it was a well-beloved book series with a poorly received Hollywood adaptation but Netflix have done a great job with the series and it's been a big hit. I would personally love to see this happen for the Inheritance Cycle. To see Eragon and Saphira given the true moment to shine that they deserve... Anyone want to petition? I'm sure I'm not the only one, right? Alagaesia is just such a rich, diverse and wondrous world it just needs to be explored more!

Thank you very much to EdPR for my copy and for asking me to take part in this tour when I have been missing for so long! And thank you to Christopher for once again allowing us into your world!

The Fork, The Witch and The Worm by Christopher Paolini is published by Penguin Random House Children’s and is out now.

Don't forget to look out for tomorrows stop on The Bibliophile Chronicles and of course the rest of the blog tour as it continues!