Tag Archive | fantasy

Review: The Way of Kings

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

Greetings Fellow Booknerds,

Every time I finish a Sanderson novel, I think to myself; “There’s no way that he’ll be able to write anything that can top this.” And every time, without fail he makes me eat my own words.

The scope of his imagination is simply astounding, as if it’s an actual living thing that grows with every story, feeding off of his creative energy until the words take on their own life. He takes you on an epic journey, one that literally knocks the wind out of you, because every time you think you’ve got things figured out, Sanderson punches you in the gut with the truth, leaving you breathless and stupefied.

 

**WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

 

51hpm256bgl__sx258_bo1204203200_Book Review: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

5-stars

The Way of Kings is just one might gut punch after another, and most of them you won’t see coming. This first installment of the Stormlight Archive is an introduction to another corner of Sanderson’s Cosmere, and when I heard that there could end up being at least ten more books in the series, I knew that I was in for a heart pounding, adrenaline pumping thrill ride. You see, when you read a Sanderson novel, there are no dull moments. There are only very brief quiets before the storm, which happen on almost every page.

Like most of his books, The Way of Kings follows the stories of several different characters, whose lives eventually become intertwined in a way you don’t see coming until it happens. A large portion of the story follows Kalladin, a former soldier turned slave who is sold off to work as a bridge man for the Alethi army, who are currently fighting a war against the Parshendi over a highly valued resource; gem hearts.

Another part of the story follows the journey of Shallan, an aspiring scholar with a secret agenda as she seeks to become a ward to Yasna, a genius in her field who is very selective when it comes to whom she is willing to teach. She’s possibly one of my favourite characters, because she starts off as a nervous, sheltered girl who has strayed far from home and into a world she doesn’t know how to navigate, and grows into a bold, witty badass.

And then you have Dalinar, high prince of Alethkar, also known as the Blackthorn on the battlefield. He does his best to aid and serve the new King of Alethkar following the assassination of his brother, Gavellar, an event which fueled the hate and need for revenge against the Parshendi.

There is just so much going on at all times in this book, that it’s next to impossible to go into much more detail without giving anything more away. So, I’ll finish by saying that this book was one of the longest books I’d ever read, and it was well worth every minute I put into finishing it. If you’ve read a Sanderson book before, then you already know more or less what to expect. If you haven’t, then be warned; once you’ve entered the Cosmere, there is no backing out.

Also, I would like to wish all of you who are participating in Nanowrimo this year the best of luck, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Advertisements

Book Review: The Law of Nines

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

There are so many defining elements that one can use to determine whether a book qualifies as being good or bad. Does it have a relatable protagonist? Is the plot of the story unpredictable? Does it abide by rules that make sense? Is it something that no one has ever done before?

Those are all  important elements that can amount to an amazing story, but to me, it doesn’t mean anything if the book doesn’t somehow engage you on an intellectual level. I want a book that makes me think; a book that gets me to question everything I thought I knew about life. I’m basically saying that I want a book that goes out of its way to mess with my mind, forcing me to see the world from perspectives I’d never even considered before.

In The Law of Nines, Terry Goodkind creates a version of our reality in which we truly are not alone, but not in the way you might think. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that the world Goodkind created in the Sword of Truth series and our world have a lot more in common than you may have thought. In this book, we get the chance to see our world from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know how it works, and is fascinated by things as simple as making tea or using a hair dryer.

Now, how much do I like it and would I recommend it? Let’s take a look!

9780515147483_p0_v1_s260x420

Review: The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind

Three stars

Synopsis:

“Turning twenty-seven may be terrifying for some, but for Alex, a struggling artist living in the Midwest, it is cataclysmic. Something about this birthday, his name, and the beautiful woman whose life he has just saved has suddenly made him – and everyone he loves – a target. A target for extreme and uncompromising violence…”

I knew absolutely nothing about this book going into it, except that it was written by one of my favourite authors. From reading the synopsis, I was able to glean that it was a story of a conspiratorial nature, that focused on a guy named Alex. Then there’s the ‘beautiful woman coming into his life and changing everything’ cliché, a rather overused premise, but one that can still hold some intrigue if done right.

I had no idea, until the main character’s last name was revealed, that this book had any connection whatsoever to the Sword of Truth series. It didn’t give that impression at all, what with the lack of seekers, confessors, magic and Gar’s. Granted, it’s been a while since I read any of the Sword of Truth books, so it’s possible that there’s something in one of the –  I want to say fifteen, although when I started reading them there was only ten, which is how you can tell it’s been a while since I read them – books that hints at some kind of connection between these two different storylines. This made it a little confusing for me once the two storylines collided, but it did succeed in making it refreshing, yet still familiar.

Designing a good female character who is the perfect balance between strength, courage & tenacity, and empathy & femininity is challenging. If they’re too much of either, I find they become immediately unlikeable, like Sansa Stark during the first season of Game of Thrones, and Cersei Lannister during… well, the entire series, really. On the one hand, you had Sansa, who very much behaved like a proper lady, and dreamt of meeting a handsome man who would sweep her off her feet and make her feel like a queen, both figuratively and literally. Now, this isn’t the bad part of her personality. The bad part comes with how incredibly naïve she is about the ways of the world, especially her inability to see that Joffrey is a sadistic creep, and the worst possible choice for a husband. Her life just keeps getting worse and worse, but you can’t help but feel that it’s her fault because of those aspects of her personality.

Cersei’s character is an example of a female character from the other end of the spectrum, one who is very strong, manipulative and understands very well how the world and the minds of men work, which aren’t bad qualities in and of themselves, but she portrays them in a way that basically make her look like a… well, you know. Not a very pleasant person, let’s put it that way.

Both characters have admirable qualities, but they lack balance, resulting in characters that you love to hate. In The Law of Nines, the female protagonist Jax is what I would consider a decent balance between the two extremes. She’s strong, vicious even when she needs to be, extremely loyal, and despite how out of place she feels being in our world, she learns quickly so that she doesn’t get taken advantage of. Jax is certainly one of the main reasons I kept reading this book, but sometimes, one reason is just not enough.

My overall impression is that it’s not a great book, but it’s still worth the read. It’s certainly an interesting side story, and there are several moments where I could feel my heart pounding against my chest when our protagonists found themselves with their backs against the wall and their lives on the line, but it was a bit of a struggle to read it through to the end. The story felt rather repetitive at times, even a little simplistic in its plot, and from start to finish, it kind of felt like I was reading two completely different stories that only sort of meshed together.

There was one part of the book that I really liked though, and I feel like that alone made it worth reading. I actually mentioned it in a previous post, which you can check out here. In short, the protagonists Alex and Jax were having a deep discussion about the similarities between magic and technology, and what our world would be like if we suddenly didn’t have access to any of our modern day technology. I find myself often saying that I’d be able to live without my phone and my computer if I had to, but I never stopped to consider it on a global scale, where the majority of humanity relies upon having access to technology to survive.

I also enjoyed the conspiratorial tone at the beginning of the book, evoking plenty of paranoia and suspense, as neither you nor Alex had any idea what was going on. I even enjoyed how they introduced Jax, this mysterious woman who comes out of nowhere, and initially gives Alex the cold shoulder following his rescue attempt.

So, not a great book, but not altogether terrible. If you want a sneak peak into the Sword of Truth series before reading it, then The Law of Nines might not be a bad place to start. I would classify it as the kind of book you read a few pages of before going to sleep every night. I don’t normally like to give a book a bad review, but I just found it too difficult to lose myself in this one. However, even bad or moderately good books have their merits and deserve to be read. You never know what you might glean from them.

What do you look for in a good female protagonist? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Dragongirl

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

 

I think what I love most about dragon myths is that regardless of whether these mythical beasts are portrayed as good or evil, they are still amazing to me. After all, what’s not amazing about a giant reptilian creature with wings that can breath fire? It’s something that could never exist in our reality, and yet they might as well be real given how much they appear in our literature, our movies and our imaginations.

I’m not sure where my own fondness for these ancient legends comes from, but it feels like something that has always been there. That’s why when I first got my hands on Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, I knew I would be hooked for good.

The first book in the original series was published all the way back in 1968, gradually giving birth to dozens of stories which took us to every intricate part of the universe McCaffrey had envisioned. The interesting thing is that I started reading the books after I played a video game that was based on the series. Admittedly, the game was nothing to write home about. It was made for the Dreamcast, and even though it had a lot of potential, the game just wasn’t as great as it could have been. That being said, I really loved it. Not for it’s graphics, or it’s dialogue, or even it’s gameplay. No, I loved it because it painted a beautiful image of the bond between humans and dragons that I’d always wished to see if dragon’s ever did turn out to be real… I guess not all childhood dreams come true, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming them.

When I discovered that the game was based on a series of books, I immediately purchased the first three and fell in love. My first surprise came when I learned that they aren’t actually classified as fantasy, but science fiction! I understood why as I began reading them. For those of you unfamiliar with the Pern universe, here is my simplified summary of it from one of my previous blog posts:

“Basically, it’s a story set in a future where most forms of advanced technology no longer exist, reminiscent of a more medieval time period where the people are governed by lords, the lands are divided into different Holds and Weyr’s, and of course there are dragonriders – hence the title – which is really all the allure you need to get into it.

Humans have colonized a planet called Pern, located in the Rukbat system, and which is under the constant threat of Thread, which is some kind of space spore given off by the another planet called the Red Star every fifty years or so. The only means they have of defending themselves during the Threadfalls, as they call it, are their dragons, an indigenous species on the planet along with fire lizards and other native and non-native organisms, who are able to produce a phosphine gas from the consumption of firestones, which is not only very flammable, but also very potent against Thread.”

 

Anne McCaffrey created a version of our future where dragons are not only a reality, but they are also the key to our very survival as a species. She had such an incredible vision, and even though she sadly passed away in 2011, I was surprised when I found out that Pern’s legacy had been passed on to her son, who has carried on the series to this day.

Dragongirl is the third book to be published with Todd McCaffrey as the sole author, and even though I didn’t read the sequels, it was written so well that it took me very little time to figure out what was going on, what had taken place prior, and the direction in which Todd is looking to take the stories. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey:

*Note: As is the case with most book reviews, there is the possibility of spoilers. I will try my best to keep it spoiler free though.*

51W+hRyELmL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Review: Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey

stars-4

If you can’t decide whether you’re in the mood for science fiction, fantasy, or romance, then you definitely want to read this book. With plenty of time travelling, epic battles between Dragon and Thread, complex love triangles and a group of memorable and loveable characters, Dragongirl is a beautiful addition to Anne McCaffrey’s legacy.

Dragongirl continues the story of Fiona, a young Weyrwoman who has travelled back to the present time after helping a group of dragons reach maturity in order to continue the long and arduous battle against the deadly Thread that continues to threaten their survival on Pern. She sought to bring hope to the hopeless, and even though most welcomed her with smiles and open arms, the hearts of some were not so easily won over.

It also didn’t help that many of the dragon’s were succumbing to a mysterious illness for which there didn’t appear to be any cure. Needless to say that things were not looking so good, and after the disaster that befall Telgar Weyr, it seemed that all hope was lost to the citizens of Pern.

A very interesting aspect of this book is the relationship that Todd McCaffrey created between Fiona, a seventeen year old Weyrwoman who is very much driven by her emotions, and Lorana, a much older and wiser former Weyrwoman and the protagonist from Dragonsblood, who suffered a great personal loss, and who has not only the ability to hear other people’s dragons, but somehow Fiona’s thoughts as well. This connection they share is both a blessing and a curse, and it makes for a very unique character dynamic between the two.

This book also explores the effects that travelling Between [aka travelling though both space and time] can have on both dragons and their riders. Time travelling, as a concept, is always a tricky thing to deal with in writing, because there are so many different variables and strains of logic that you have to take into account. For instance, if you travel to a certain point in the future and witness someone’s death, can you do something in the past that will prevent it from happening? It also addresses the issue of what kind of physical affects it can have, and how often you can travel to certain points in time.

Admittedly, it took a bit of getting used to for me. Despite his knowledge of the Pern universe and its history, and his ability to give a crucial role to every character in the story, Todd’s writing style is visibly different than his mother’s, and I feel like he has a bit more to learn about story development and pacing. Overall, though, I was very leased with his work, and I look forward to seeing what other stories he’s able to come up with in the future.

What do you look for in a good science fiction story? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blog’s Facebook page, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

So Long As We Believe, The Story Will Live On

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

 

There are hundreds upon hundreds of reasons for one to fall in love with the world and characters J.K. Rowling created in the Harry Potter series, the afore mentioned being among them. For me, these are the stories that opened my mind to the wonderful world of books, novels and novellas, making them very near and dear to my heart. Before that, I viewed books as little more than educational tools for teachers, or accumulators of dust bent on triggering my allergies every moment of the day. Upon discovering the school of witchcraft and wizardry, filled with students who almost never seem to attend actual classes after the first book, my views were completely transformed.

At least a few tears were shed as the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga came to an end. None of us wanted to believe that the stories would ever end. We all wanted to believe that someday, we would find ourselves under the sorting hat, shifting anxiously on the stool as we waited to be sorted into our desired house, and then be thrown into a life altering adventure as will no doubt ensue. Those books kept that dream alive,  despite the fact that we all knew it could be nothing more than a dream, but the great thing about dreams is that if they’re strong enough, they can create possibilities from the impossible. And that’s exactly what has happened.

Harry-Potter-Cursed-ChildIf you haven’t heard the news by now, you’d better have a seat. Are you sitting? Good, because it was recently made public that there is indeed going to be an eighth Harry Potter book. When I first hear about it, I was speechless. J.K. Rowling had made it quite clear that The Deathly Hallows was going to be the end, and that anything that happens afterwards is entirely up to our own imagination. So then why the change of heart?

Looking into it a bit more closely, I discovered that, although it is technically the eighth harry potter book, it’s not actually a continuation of the series. The book is actually based on the script for a two part play written by Jack Thorne, based on a story by J.K. Rowling. In other words, the script is going to be published in book form, but in the end it’s still a play script, and therefore not an actual sequel. Still, can’t say I’m not excited to see where this new adventure will take us.

Based on what we know so far, it takes place after the epilogue of the seventh book, whichlandscape-1445606246-harry-potter-epilogue1 depicted Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny waiving goodbye to their children as they were boarding the infamous Hogwarts Express, preparing for the start of their very own adventure. It focuses on Harry, now an Auror working for the Ministry of Magic, and his son Albus Severus Potter, who not only has to deal with being a Hogwarts freshman, but also coming to terms with the fact that he walks in the shadow of the schools greatest legacy. It’s a blend of past and present, and being a harry potter story, you know there will be plenty of moments that will tug on the heartstrings.

You can find more information on both the upcoming Harry Potter play and book at www.pottermore.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the eighth installment! Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

 

 

Book Review: Destiny of the Dead

BookNerd

It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

 

 

 

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

You know a book was written well when you haven’t read the first two books in a series for a very long time, and yet the chain of events that brought the characters to where you are fall into place almost effortlessly in the time it takes you to finish the first chapter. It was back in high school that I first got my hands on a copy of The Fate of the Fallen, the first in Iran Irvine’s The Song of Tears trilogy, and I couldn’t put it down.

The story was oddly reminiscent of the original star wars story; man becomes obsessed with power and is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to get it, he ends up at odds with his son who is torn between wanting to save his father and defeat him, and an epic battle ensues between the rebels and… well, the bad guys basically. There’s even a love interest, and no, she doesn’t turn out to be the guys sister after sharing a kiss.

A fantasy tale of epic proportions with memorable characters, locations and plenty of twists and turns at every corner, it’s definitely a book that will keep you on your toes, and those who love epic battles between humans nightmarish beasts will find this installment of the trilogy especially appealing.

 

*** WARNING: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THE FOLLOWING REVIEW ***

1914401_130527140338_ggugjgjReview: Destiny of the Dead by Ian Irvine

stars-4

This book I a fitting end to the original trilogy which began with Nish, a physically and emotionally wounded man who was on the verge of death; Maelys, the obedient yet constantly looked down upon daughter of clan Nifferlin; and Xervish Flydd, ex-Scrutator and a rather perverted old man. They are the pillar of our merry band of misfits, each with their own agenda, yet with one common goal between them: to bring down the God Emperor.

Destiny of the Dead drops us in the midst of the battle at the Range of Ruin, where Nish and his dwindling army continue to face off against the God Emperors superior forces. There doesn’t seem to be any feasible way that they can win, but they aren’t about to toss in the towel. Nish must find a way to lead his army to victory… or submit to his father [the God Emperor] so that no one else must die.

Compared to the books that came before, this one is certainly faster paced. There are very few moments when our favourite characters aren’t thrown into a life or death situation, and not to name names, but not everyone makes it out unscathed. Floods of tears and rivers of blood are shed, and if facing off against a god-like human isn’t bad enough, the shape-shifting being Stilkeen has emerged from the void to unleash a fresh hell upon Santhenar in its search for chthonic fire and its own personal revenge.

If there is one criticism I could make about this book, it would be that there are certain moments where something shocking or emotionally jarring would occur, but there would be very little reaction to it from the other characters. This is only the case a few times, and I suppose it could be argued that in the midst of battle, there’s just not enough time to grieve or be taken aback, which I can accept. It also bothered me how oblivious Maelys was when it came to Nish’s feelings for her, right up until the very end. I realize she’s supposed to have a very self-doubting and uncertain personality, but he was being pretty obvious. I do like her increased assertiveness in this book, which more than makes up for her inability to notice the obvious.

Overall, it was a brilliant ending, it tied up pretty well all of the loose ends, and what Irvine did at the very end of the book really took me by surprise, which is something I love in a good story. Obvious endings are boring, and I can honestly say that there is very little that’s predictable about this book. I would even go as far as to say that its almost on par with Branden Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy, which is a huge compliment for those of you who are familiar with Sanderson’s work.

My only regret is not reading this book immediately after finishing the previous two, which I would have if it had been available in Chapters at the time I’d gone to purchase it. Still, there mere fact that I was able to come back to the series after so much time had passed and still feel the same love for it is the mark of a truly talented writer who knows how to create an unforgettable story.

What are your greatest character pet peeves from books that you’ve read? I would love to hear about them in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, happy reading!

 

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

 

 

Book Review: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

First off, for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you were all able to enjoy it with your friend, family and loved ones, with lots of good food and anything else you do to make the occasion truly special.

Secondly, a reminder that there are only a couple weeks left until Nanowrimo, so if you haven’t registered your story online yet, you might want to add it to the top of your to do list. For those of you who don’t know what this is, in brief, the National Novel Writing Month is an event which comes around once a year in November, and it’s a chance for aspiring writers to finally yank out that idea for a story they’ve had stuck in their heads forever and get it down on paper… or on your laptop, whichever way you choose to write. For more information, visit www.nanowrimo.org.

Now, down to business. When I first picked up The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, I had zero expectations, mainly because I have actually never heard of this book before. I have been a diehard Neil Gaiman fan for a long time, but I’ve only actually read Good Omens, which was a collaborative work between him and Terry Pratchett. I had yet to read something that was purely his own, and so this book was my first taste of that. My first impression… bewildering.

ocean_the_end_laneThe Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

stars-4

Memory is a funny thing. It is often the case that two people will recall the same event in very different ways. Who knows why this happens, but it can make for some very interesting conversations as you continue to grow and share your life stories, which seem to change just a little bit with each telling.

So what if something happened to you, something that couldn’t possibly have happened, and yet you would swear up and down until the day you died that it did?

This seven year old boy, with a boundless imagination and who loves to lose himself in a good book – much like many of us, I’m sure – lived through the seemingly impossible, a monumental event which may could very well have caused the whole world to disappear, and yet he is the only one who remembers… well, him and the Hempstocks.

It is a story rife with wonder and fear, with magic and darkness, and it’s all brought together seemlessly by Gaiman’s uncanny ability to string together the english language in new and unexpected ways. He pits you against some of your worst childhood fears, but not without leaving a light of hope glowing at the end of the tunnel.

This book explores the boundaries between what we can rationally accept, and that which is beyond the comprehension of most, both of which are witnessed through the eyes of a child who, like most children, possesses an open mind and an eagerness to explore the strange and the bizarre, which is exactly what he finds. Or I suppose it would be more accurate to say that it finds him, in the form of Lettie Hempstock.

Lettie’s an eleven year old girl who isn’t actually eleven, and not really a human girl either. But that doesn’t matter to our protagonist, who only see’s a friend whom he could trust with his life. And thus, their adventure together began, taking us on a journey where nothing is as it seems; where a pond can be an ocean, and an eleven year old girl can be as old as time itself.

You will gasp, cry, cringe and smile as Gaiman invites you to see the world through the eyes of a child, and through the mind of the elderly man who used to be that child so many years ago. As a boy, he found a sense of courage and determination that he never knew was there before, and a world which existed outside his books that was both wonderful and terrifying. His life would never be the same ever again, but only if he can remember…

It truly was a delight to read. It was shorter than most of the books I’m used to reading, and yet he managed to fit so much in that small space. It kind of felt like a very mature children’s book, in that it got to the point quickly instead of dragging it out with lengthy, detailed descriptions of every little thing, and yet the content itself was very deep and complex, but without going too far over your head. It’s beautiful, and made me tear up a couple of times, which is something books rarely make me do.

You’ve probably noticed that I only gave it 4 stars. Well, I really liked it, and I don’t really have anything bad to say about it, but it’s not the kind of book that I would go out of my way to read. It’s a great book to read before going to bed, but I wouldn’t take it with me wherever I go, which is something I do with books that I just can’t put down. In short, I really liked it, but I didn’t love it, but don’t let my opinion deter you from reading it. I really did enjoy it, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it, for those of you who have read it also.

So, get yourself signed up for Nanowrimo, grab a copy of The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd   

Book Review: Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

Some may think it’s easier to write fantasy than non-fiction, because you have to pull everything – or at least most things – directly from the imagination. In fantasy literature, nothing has to follow the logic of reality… and that’s what makes it so mentally demanding. Why? You’re basically working on a clean slate, upon which you have to inscribe an entirely new foundation for the world you’re going to build upon it. This is the downside of being given too much free reign; sure, you can design the world however you see fit, but you still have an obligation to your readers to create a world that follows a certain pattern of logic. There has to be rules and regulations, so that we as the readers can understand the true implications of the characters’ actions.

It’s challenging, but it’s the challenge I relish most, especially when it comes to writing. The mark of a really good writer is one who is capable of creating a story which can continue indefinitely, without breaking away from the foundation of logic the story was initially built upon.

All of that being said, even though I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy any more books until I made it through the ones I have… well, we all know how those kinds of new years resolutions usually end up, especially if you’re someone like me who tends to collect more of something than they actually need. I can put part of the blame on a friend of mine, who used her incredible powers of persuasion (aka, she put the book in my hands and told me it was a good read), and there was just no way for me to refuse. My willpower seems to go right out the window when it comes to books 🙂 Since the damage has been done, here is this months book review.

“Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them” by J.K. Rowling

My Book Collection

Harry Potter was the series that had me falling head over heels into the fantasy genre. Rowling brought to life an entire world which co-exists with our own, complete with explanations that have many of us believing that there really could be wizards among us. She even created a series of books that cover the various dimensions of the wizarding world.

Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them is a genuinely good read. Although short in length, Rowling went surprisingly in depth when explaining how it is that, even though all of these creatures exist among us, we ‘muggles’ will most likely never set eyes upon them. My favourite part, of course, is the history created for each of these creatures, something I find quite challenging to do.

Grawldarth_by_FlorakisonThis is a creature I designed for one of my first fantasy book ideas. As you can see (hopefully), it’s a mix between a wolf, a sabre-toothed tiger, a unicorn, and several other little bits and pieces thrown in that at the times I thought looked cool. I can assure you, my drawings skills have improved since then, but the general idea is there. This is the part of creature design that I really enjoyed, because all I had to worry about at that point was what the creature looked like. When it comes to developing their story of origin, habitat and other minute details, I always find it very time consuming, and eventually I just decide to make it up in the actual story as I go along.

Rowling knows how to do it really well. She truly is a master of the quill. Of course, my favourite part of this book is the little comments written by Harry Potter himself, as though it had actually been in his possession. Even though her wizarding stories have come to an end, it makes me smile to see that the world continues to live on in other books of hers.

Now, my question for you guys…

Q: what do you find is the hardest part of writing a fantasy novel? 

  

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd