Review | A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

Title: A Feast for Crows (2005)
Author: George R.R. Martin
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Read: 19th April – 3rd May 2017
Genre: fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

In this fourth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, the sheer weight of political machinations and the implications of several key deaths in Westeros slowly begin to take their toll on the houses of the kingdom as a more subdued, but nonetheless bloody, war dawns just as it seems the War of the Five Kings is coming to an end.

“History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging.
What has happened before will perforce happen again.”

Warning; if you have not read the first three books in the series, probably don’t read this review as the first section synopsis alone will spoil the events of the previous books. You have been warned.

Continue reading

T5W | Books as Event Themes

It’s going to be a quick one from me today, folks, mainly because I’m tired but also because it’s Bout of Books this week and I’d like to dedicate most of my free time to reading for that – I think that’s an acceptable excuse, right? That being said, I had to participate in this week’s Top 5 Wednesday because it’s such a fun topic! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books as Event Themesit’s party season, whether that is high school prom, weddings, or summer holiday events. What books would make a good party/event theme? I’m definitely not much of one for parties or a party-planner (and I think it shows), but I’ve tried nevertheless because, hey, it’s just a bit of fun after all!

Continue reading

T5W | Books That Took The Longest To Finish

top 5 wednesdayWelcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books That Took The Longest To Finish. As Sam specified “These are the books that you had on your nightstand “in progress” for months or years. The books that you took weeks to read because they put you in a slump. Those books that were an uphill battle. These are books you started and actually read, not books you’ve just had on your shelf the longest.”

So there might be a few reasons for a book taking for-ev-er to read: it’s rather long and difficult to read, it’s not your cup of tea and you put off reading it, or you don’t want it to be over so you take your sweet time reading it. My Top Five for this week feature a mixture of these reasons but, one thing is for sure, these books took much longer for me to read than they realistically should have.

Continue reading

Friday Reads | 30th September

Well, it’s that time of the week again – the time when I realise I haven’t done quite as much reading as I would like in these past few days and so I foolishly try to claim I’m going to make up for it by reading, reading, reading this weekend. I inevitably won’t but, hey, good intentions are the best kind of intentions. Or so I hear.

Today and into this weekend might potentially be very busy with very boring tasks – the arduous process of unpacking the rest of my belongings which are being brought over to my new abode by my parents this evening. They’ll only be staying with me tonight and they’re off early tomorrow morning so whilst I doubt that will dissuade me from reading, I probably should immediately unpack the (many) boxes they bring with them rather than procrastinating that task by reading. Still, if I get that done early then I’ll have a lot of the weekend for reading… whilst I’m waiting for the coats of paint I’m painting my room with to dry. Fun, fun, fun.

Yesterday I finished my re-read of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, a re-read which I did because I had fallen into kind of a funk with only reading (YA) fantasy recently. I picked up a book I was sure to love and wouldn’t be too hefty to carry with me on the train to/from work. I really enjoyed the change of pace/tone that reading this classic this week provided – but now I’m hoping to try to get back to the fantasy I’m in the middle of with some kind of renewed vigor.

So, in the same vein I intend to read some of the following:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I’ve been re-reading this one in preparation for picking up A Torch Against the Night which has arrived since I started the re-read but I have yet to get to it because I seem to be taking forever to read the first book! I intend to remedy that this weekend. I even made a start on the train this morning since I happened to have my Kindle with me which, luckily, had An Ember in the Ashes loaded onto it. I hope to continue reading on my train journey home and maybe I’ll pick up the physical copy again this weekend. I really want to try to finish it asap so I can move onto the sequel!

A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin

I’ve been reading this one for waaaay too long. I was meant to have it finished this month, as part of the #readasoiaf readalong. I highly doubt that will be happening, since I have some 600 pages to read and the end of the month is today! Still, I hope to finish it sometime next week so I’m not too far behind with the readalong – we’re meant to be moving onto A Dance With Dragons in October. I really don’t want to crash and burn out of the readalong since I’ve got this far and I know if I tried to pick up the series again sometime next year instead, I would have to re-read the volumes I’ve already read because I undoubtedly would have forgotten what had happened. I don’t have time for that, so I need to continue. Yes, it’s a need.


So there we have it, that was my Friday Reads.
Do you have any books lined up for today and into this weekend?
What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!


Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Top Ten Tuesday | Books On My Fall TBR

toptentuesday

Another Tuesday, another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to. This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR. As those who have seen my latest TBR efforts might recall, I’ve ditched monthly TBRs in favour of seasonal TBRs – i.e. see my Summer TBR Review and Autumn TBR post. So this week’s topic is fairly easy for me to choose – it’s less easy to actually follow through with but shhh…

Without further ado, let’s see this list…

10. Cogheart – Peter Bunzl (x)

I fell head over heels for this book when I saw it displayed in Waterstones as their Childrens’ Book of the Month – I’m such a sucker for a good display. This book looks beautiful and includes “Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure” – I mean why wouldn’t I want to read it?

9. The Girl of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave (x)

Once again, I’m pretty sure Waterstones showcased this book at some point and it arrived on my radar because of that. This book is, visually, stunning. Seriously, illustrated borders, french-flaps, beautiful chapter headings, every inch of this book has been designed with care and detail… so I can only assume the words which accompany it are equally beautiful (and I’m pretty sure they must be!). As the blurb teases: “When [Isabella’s] closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.” Cartography and adventures and stars – yes, please!

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday | All-Time Favorite Fantasy Books

toptentuesdayAnother Tuesday, another Top Ten Tuesday. For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the book bloggers and list lovers, The Broke and the Bookish, and each week they post a topic for bloggers to respond to. This week’s theme is a tough one if you’re as indecisive as myself, it is: Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books Of X Genre and my chosen genre is Fantasy. Now, I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious here, but something has to be said for any book/series that immediately jumps to mind when faced with this theme.

Without further ado, let’s see this list…

10. The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

I can’t stand the author or The Mortal Instruments series, the writing isn’t the most masterful thing ever, and I cringe at times, but I adored the world-building, setting, and character development throughout Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and, especially, Clockwork Princess. If you’re into books set in Victorian London but would like a little bit of supernatural creatures too, then these are definitely worth a read. I can forgive occasionally terrible writing when Jem Carstairs exists.

9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

It’s Neil Gaiman so obviously it comes highly recommended. If that isn’t enough of a reason then let me just say this: it might be a children’s book, technically, but the story of Nobody Owens being raised in a graveyard by its resident ghosts is eccentric, is charming, is chilling, but most of all is beautiful.

Continue reading

Friday Reads | 9th September

Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today! Here I’ll share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead but, as we all know, I rarely follow through on reading plans once I document them here. However, I’m hoping this one sticks since I have the house all to myself this weekend and therefore absolutely zero distractions… well apart from watching Gilmore Girls of course, which is a pretty sizeable distraction in itself. I must resist!

A Feast For Crows – George R.R. Martin (x)

As I’ve mentioned countless times, I’m participating in the #readasoiaf readalong where we read a book from the A Song of Ice and Fire series every month. This month’s book is the fourth in the series – A Feast For Crows – and after the slog that was the first part of A Storm of Swords last month I’m so excited to get to this book. I’ve heard this book is very political and scheming-focused and I’m actually really looking forward to that because that element is my favourite part of the series.

Continue reading

Review | A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

asoscoverTitleA Storm of Swords (2000)
published as Part 1: Steel and Snow, Part 2: Blood and Gold 
Author: George R.R. Martin
Read:  Part 1: 18th July – 17th August | Part 2: 21st August – 29th August
Genre: fantasy
Rating: Part 1: 3.5 out of 5 stars | Part 2: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The third book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga, A Storm of Swords takes the feuding kings and lords of Westeros into a territory fondly know as ‘shit meets fan’ and leaves the series in grittier and darker places than ever before. All the political manoeuvring and scheming to this point, and throughout the course of this book, tips the narrative over a precipice from which it can never return, not to mention many of its principle characters.

” ‘Woman?’ She chuckled. ‘Is that meant to insult me? I would return the slap, if I took you for a man.’ “

Opening in the aftermath of the Battle of Blackwater Bay, A Storm of Swords sees a retreating Stannis Baratheon’s plans pitted against the “rightful” claim of his nephew, King Joffrey, to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. The Young Wolf, Robb Stark, proclaimed King of the North, continues to rule over territory through a mixture of wars and alliances whose cracks truly begin to splinter and show. Meanwhile, on the edges of the picture, exiled Daenerys Targaryen makes her way across the Dothraki Sea accompanied by the remaining paltry excuse for a khalasar and her three growing dragons, heading for Slaver’s Bay and its army of slave soldiers in the hope of gathering more men behind her. And the fringe threat of the barbaric wilding army also appears, roaring, on the horizon of the Seven Kingdoms, promising terror and blood.

Continue reading

#readasoiaf | Progress Update

Well, since we’re over halfway through August I thought it was high time to share my progress in the #readasoiaf readalong challenge.

readasoiafprogFor those unaware, I’ve been meaning to read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series for years at this point and, whilst I was at university, the TV show blew up in a huge way and it seemed like I was the only one not watching it. (It’s kind of a running joke between me and one of my ex-housemates that I still haven’t “caught up” yet with the TV show, despite numerous occasions and plenty of time to do so.) Whilst I really want to watch the TV show (and I have a boxset of the first 4 seasons to get me going) I also feel like everyone ever says they will read the series at some point. I was one of those people… until I realised that if I didn’t just commit to the challenge, I would never actually get round to it. So, enter the #readasoiaf readalong, which came at the perfect time for me.

The concept is simple. Read a book a month, until October. It started back in June with Game of Thrones, then came A Clash of Kings in July, and in August we’re reading A Storm of Swords before we’ll move onto A Feast for Crows in September and A Dance with Dragons in October. Continue reading

T5W | Literary Fathers/Father Figures

top 5 wednesday

Welcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’. We all know how this show goes… but, for those who are unaware, Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Basically, every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 books based on a given topic – because who doesn’t love a good list?

This week’s topic is in honour of Father’s Day which, remember kids, is this coming Sunday (you’re welcome), and it’s the Top 5 Literary Fathers or Father Figures. It will surprise no one to learn that my mind immediately jumped to some of my favourite books, but I was mildly taken aback to realise how difficult it actually was for me to come up with 5 fathers/father figures who I thought were worthy of being included. Either there are a lot of absent fathers in the books I read or they just aren’t that great… I don’t know whether I should be concerned about that realisation! Minor crisis aside… let’s get back to the literary dads:

Continue reading