Friday 31 July 2020

The Magic of Terry Pratchett by Marc Burrows - A Review

Today's review is about The Magic of Terry Pratchett by Marc Burrows which was published yesterday July 30th and I had the pleasure to read an early copy thanks to the publisher Pen & Sword and Netgalley.

The Magic Of Terry Pratchett is the first full biography of Sir Terry Pratchett ever written. Sir Terry was Britain's best-selling living author, and before his death in 2015 had sold more than 85 million copies of his books worldwide. Best known for the Discworld series, his work has been translated into 37 languages and performed as plays on every continent in the world, including Antarctica.
Journalist, comedian and Pratchett fan Marc Burrows delves into the back story of one of UK's most enduring and beloved authors, from his childhood in the Chiltern Hills to his time as a journalist, and the journey that would take him - via more than sixty best-selling books - to an OBE, a knighthood and national treasure status.
The Magic Of Terry Pratchett is the result of painstaking archival research alongside interviews with friends and contemporaries who knew the real man under the famous black hat, helping to piece together the full story of one of British literature's most remarkable and beloved figures for the very first time. 

To be honest the only work of Terry Pratchett that I have read is Good Omens (co-authored with Neil Gaiman), but after reading The Magic of Terry Pratchett by Marc Burrows I want to read everything and thankfully there are a lot. 
In my mind Terry Pratchett is attached to Discworld but he has written many more with many children's books among them. 

In this book Marc Burrows does a brief analysis and description of the books while giving background information on them, which is very interesting and informative at the same time. I also learned many things about his personal life that made Terry Pratchett even more interesting than before. 
The book mostly focuses on his work and his books. It is very well-written and it's an easy read. I also liked the fact  that the notes were included in the chapters and not at the back, making reading easier. 

If you are a Terry Pratchett fan you will love this biography, but even if like me you haven't read many of his work you will be fascinated by it. 

Rating: 4 Stars

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!

You can buy this book from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)

Monday 20 July 2020

The Lost City (The Omte Origins #1) by Amanda Hocking - A Review - Blog Tour

Today we are talking about a book that I had the pleasure to read before its publication date thanks to the publisher, who send me an eARC.

The Lost City by the bestselling author Amanda Hocking is the first book in a new trilogy called The Omte Origins. While this is a new series by the author it takes place within the same world from her Trylle series. It is a YA fantasy and it was released on July 7th. 

Synopsis of the book

Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of The Kanin Chronicles, returns to the magical world of the Trylle Trilogy with The Lost City, the first novel in The Omte Origins—and the final story arc in her beloved series.

Twenty years ago, a woman sought safety from the spinning ice and darkness that descended upon a small village. She was given shelter for the night by the local innkeepers but in the morning, she disappeared—leaving behind an infant. Now nineteen, Ulla Tulin is ready to find who abandoned her as a baby or why.
Ulla knows the answers to her identity and heritage may be found at the Mimirin where scholars dedicate themselves to chronicling troll history. Granted an internship translating old documents, Ulla starts researching her own family lineage with help from her handsome and charming colleague Pan Soriano.
But then Ulla meets Eliana, a young girl who has no memory of who she is but who possesses otherworldly abilities. When Eliana is pursued and captured by bounty hunters, Ulla and Pan find themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game where folklore and myth become very real and very deadly—but one that could lead Ulla to the answers she’s been looking for.

My Review

I really enjoyed reading The Lost City. It's the first time I read a book with trolls as main characters and I liked it. The book is fast-paced and the writing style suits me perfectly. 
Despite the fact that the book takes place in the world of the author's previous books, you don't need to have read them to understand what is going on. Everything is explained really well. I am intrigued to read them though. 
The world is a very interesting one full of a different kind of magic that I want to know more of. 
I really liked Ulla, she is a strong character and I want to know more about her past. Pan is so sweet and I loved the way his relationship with Ulla is evolving. 
The book is full of mysteries that need to be solved, like what is going on with Ulla and Eliana and who is the man Ulla runs into all the time? I hope book two has the answers for us.

Rating : 4 Stars


Author bio

AMANDA HOCKING is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book

Q&A with Amanda Hocking 

1. There's been so much excitement and anticipation for more books in the world of the Trylle and Kanin.  What made you decide to revisit those worlds now in The Omte Origins trilogy? 

I knew as soon as I wrote Ulla as a small character in Crystal Kingdom (the final book of the Kanin Chronicles) that I was going to write a trilogy about her, but it was just a matter of when. After the Kanin Chronicles, I wanted to take a little break from that world and visit others – which I did with Freeks and the Valkyrie duology. By then, I was so ready to dive back into the world and answer some lingering questions I had left for the Trylle and Kanin.   

2. Why make this the final trilogy? 

With the Omte Origins, I feel like I’ve been able to say everything I want to about the worlds. Through the three trilogies, I spent time with all five tribes. Wendy’s mother is Trylle and her father is Vittra, and her story has her visiting both kingdoms. Bryn’s mother is Skojare and her father is Kanin, and her trilogy shows life in the Kanin and Skojare cities, as well as travelling to others beyond that. I won’t say who exactly Ulla’s parents are (that would be spoiling the story) but her journey takes her through the troll kingdoms, with interesting detours through the Omte, Trylle, and Kanin tribes. 

3. What are the most challenging aspects of writing a new trilogy that can be read independently, but is set in a world--the Trylle and Kanin--that you've written about before?   

The hardest challenge is getting new readers caught up with the world and the lingo without feeling repetitive and boring to longtime fans of the series. I try use this an opportunity to show characters and situations from different angles. The Wendy the audience meets at the beginning of Switched is vastly different Wendy than the that Ulla knows in the Omte Origins. So for new readers, they get introduced Wendy as she currently is, and for repeat readers, they can see who Wendy has become and who she appears to be through the eyes of an average citizen with Ulla. 

4. What’s the most fascinating thing you researched while writing The Lost City? 

With the Omte Origins, I really looked back at the course of troll history, and their past has dovetailed with the Vikings and other artic peoples. So I did a lot research on early Vikings and indigenous arctic people, primarily the Inuit and the Sami. My favorite parts were reading their folklore. I even got an Inuit cookbook, and I attempted to make Bannock (a traditional Inuit bread). It did not turn out well, but I blame that entirely on my cooking skills (or lack thereof) and not the recipe. 

5. The "Glossary" and "Tribal Facts" sections at the end of the book are fascinating and really help create a layered, fleshed out world.  Was putting those together as much fun as writing the novel?   

It was so much fun. It’s been over ten years and nine books (and several short stories), so I have spent a lot time of thinking and doing world-building. I honestly have enough information for a history book about the worlds of the Trylle, but I don’t know there’s a demand for fictional textbooks. The Tribal Facts were actually one of the first things I wrote for the Omte series, because I went through and get myself reacquainted and made sure I had all my important facts straight. 

6. Was your writing routine affected by the stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic?   

My routine itself hasn’t been too affected, since I write from home, but I would say that the stress has a negative impact on me, the way it has for many of us that work in creative fields – or any field at all, honestly. My husband has been working from home, and my stepson had been doing long distance learning before summer break, but that hasn’t really changed too much for me. I usually work after they go to bed and stay up late into the early morning hours. 

7. Were there any favorite songs or music you listened to while writing this book?   

Yes, definitely! I listen to so much music when I write, and I even have curated playlists to go along with my books on Spotify. Some of my favorite songs to write to were “Ella” by Myrkur, “Wild World” by Cat Stevens, and “Delicate” by Taylor Swift. I also listened to a lot of Wardruna, who are this Norwegian band who make traditional Nordic music with historically accurate instruments. For the soundtrack to the Omte Origins, I wanted it be a blend of traditional Nordic music, mellow seventies folk to go with the trolls delayed pop culture tastes, and pop music that gets through with the trendier younger generations of trolls. 

8. Do you think the music you listen to has an influence on the stories?  Or do the stories influence the music you choose? 

I think it’s both, honestly. When I’m picking songs for the playlist, I definitely choose them based on the kind of emotions I want to feel and the tone I want to set for whatever I’m writing. Sometimes I’ll put particularly romantic songs on repeat when writing a love scene or an angry fast-paced instrumental for a fight scene. 

9. What books or authors are you reading or excited to read lately? 

I’m super excited about Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy. It comes out the same day as The Lost City, and it’s about a plus-size teenage girl who discovers that she can fly. I recently read A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Rosanne Brown, and I’m counting down the days until The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna and The Project by Courtney Summers. 

10.  Any hints you can share about what's coming next after The Omte Origins Trilogy? 

I’m currently working on a stand-alone fantasy inspired by Greek mythology, but I don’t know when it will be out yet. I’ve got ideas for dozens of projects after that, and I’m working hard (and having fun) getting through them all.


Buy Links:



Barnes & Noble



Social Links:

 Author website

Twitter @Amanda_Hocking


Author Blog




See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!


Wednesday 15 July 2020

The Spy by Paulo Coelho - A Review

Today we talk about a book I read last year and I really enjoyed. The book in question is The Spy by Pauo Coelho.

It is a historical fiction about the life of the famous Mata Hari. When she arrived in Paris she was penniless. Soon she was feted as the most elegant woman in the city. A dancer who shocked and delighted audiences; a confidant and courtesan who bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men.
But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. Until, in 1917 she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees and accused of espionage.
Told through Mata's final letter, this book tells the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to break the conventions of her time, and paid the price.

This book is a portrait of Mata Hari and combines perfectly the real historical facts about her with the fictional ones the author introduced to the story. I liked it because I learned more things about this mysterious woman. After all, I always liked the way Paulo Coelho wrote.
It's a small little book with a lot of information inside, it's fast paced and you cannot put it down easily.

Rating: 4 Stras

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!

You can buy this book from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)

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Saturday 11 July 2020

Or What You Will by Jo Walton - A Review

Today's review is about a very unique, in my opinion, book. I am talking about Or What You Will by Jo Walton. The book was released this Tuesday (July 7th) and thanks to Netgalley and Tor Books I read an eARC of it. 

While reading the synopsis of this book I was intrigued. It sounded very interesting and it has a unique premise. To be honest I don't know how to describe it. You have to read the book for yourself . The truth is that I really liked it. It's a novel about how stories are brought forth. 

First of all, it takes place in Florence which is one of my favourite places. It also reads like a non-fiction book at some parts, like a biography.

The story is told by the voice inside the author's head. "He" is the spark of an idea in 73-year-old award winning novelist Sylvia's mind and he has been many things throughout her books. But he is also very aware that Sylvia is getting old, and when she dies, so does he. But he has an idea how they could gain immortality, together, if she will just listen. This voice tries to save her by getting her into the fantasy world of her books where there is no death. 

It is a very different book from what I have read before and that is another reason I really liked it.
The writing is excellent and the descriptions made me want to be in Thalia  /  Firenze too. There are also elements from some of Shakespeare's plays like The Tempest.

Also this book is the reason I want to read more from Jo Walton.

I highly recommend it, if you want to read something different and unique.

Rating: 4 Stars

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!

You can buy this book from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants #2 - Tomb of the Khan by Matthew J. Kirby - A Review

The Assassin's Creed universe is one of my favourites. I love reading the books in the series.

This review is about Assassin's Creed Last Descendants #2 - Tomb of the Khan by Matthew J. Kirby. The Last Descendants is a kind of spin-off trilogy where we see the story taking place in our time with the necessary Animus simulations of course. 

This one is book number two, so if you want you can check out my review for book number one here.

Let's get back to book two now. It centers around the history of Genghis Khan and his descendants. I like the writing and the story but it's not one of my favourites. It is of course better then the first one, in my opinion. The characters are spot-on and I am curious to see what comes next for them.

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In "Last Descendants," Owen and a group of other teens located the first piece of an ancient and powerful relic long considered a legend-the Trident of Eden. This piece was sought by the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order, but before either organization could take the piece, it was stolen by an unknown, third party. The tenuous relationship between Owen and the teens fractured, with some taking sides with the Templars, and others with the Assassins.
"Last Descendants" book 2 picks up weeks after the events of book 1. There are still two pieces of the Trident of Eden to find, and both groups are determined to not repeat their mistakes. The next piece is said to have been buried with Mongol Warlord Genghis Khan, whose tomb has never been found. Now the teens on either side of the conflict will have to go deep into simulations in war-torn Mongolian China in a race against time to discover the next piece, and ensure their safety, before the others.

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!


You can buy this book from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)

Tuesday 7 July 2020

New Releases: July 2020

Well, it's time for another New Releases post. 
This time we are talking about books being released in July. As I said before this list is of course incomplete as it includes only books that I am interested in and the majority of them are in the Fantasy genre.

So without further ado let's jump into the books. As always the titles are linked to Goodreads. 

July 7th

Genre: YA / Fantasy /  LGBTQ+
Publisher: Flatiron Books

Genre: YA / Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Genre: YA / Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen

Genre: YA / Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books

Genre: YA / Fantasy
Sequel to: The Beautiful
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA / Fantasy
Sequel to: The Storm Crow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: YA / Fantasy
Sequel to: Spin the Dawn
Publisher: Knopf

July 21st

Genre: Fantasy / Anthology
Sequel to:  The Big Book of Classic Fantasy
Publisher: Vintage

Genre: YA / Contemporary Romance
Sequel to:  When Dimple met Rishi
                   There's something about Sweetie
Publisher: Simon Pulse

July 28th

Genre: YA / Fantasy
Sequel to: The Merciful Crow
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

July 30th

Genre: Non Fiction = Biography
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books

These are some of the new releases of July 2020.
Are you excited about them?
Do you have other ones on your radar that I should know of?

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!


Wednesday 1 July 2020

Big Ideas for Little Philosophers... by Duane Armitage (Series Review)

Hello everyone!!

You will have probably figured out by now that I like to read children's books and especially picture books. They hold a special place in my heart and I see it also as a research for my little one. 

Browsing the catalogs of Edelweiss + for books I stumbled across this picture book series. It's a non-fiction series with the very interesting title Big Ideas for Little Philosophers. It is written by Duane Armitage and illustrated byMaureen McQuerry & Robin Rosenthal. It is published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers and so far the series has four picture books. The books will release on July 7th 2020.

It's an exciting board book series that asks deep questions in a wonderfully accessible way. Even little children have big questions about life and these books try to answer them is a simple and understandable way. Also the illustrations accompanying the books are very beautiful.  

The four titles in the series are:

Truth with Socrates

Socrates believed being truthful and asking questions about the world can make us wise, and Truth with Socrates brings his philosophy to the youngest thinkers. From the importance of being honest even if it's hard or makes you scared to always asking questions to understand more about everything around you, this book will lead to inspiring conversations about human dynamics between people of all ages.

Equality with Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir focused much of her work on the concept of equality, insisting that girls and boys and women and men should have the same opportunities to be happy. Everyone should have the right to be themselves and be treated with respect no matter what. Kids will come away from this book encouraged to think about how the same things can make girls and boys happy or sad or excited, and everyone should listen to who they are on the inside and respect that in others. 

Happiness with Aristotle

Finding happiness is a lifelong goal and Aristotle thought deeply about it. Why are we here? What is the best way to live a happy life? Having friends who are fun and adventurous is important, but it's also important to have true friends who will help us be good people and tell us when we're straying from that. He also believed we have to love ourselves in order to love others and be happy. This book will prompt readers to concentrate on what makes them happy and how they can be a good friend to others and themselves.

Imagination with Rene Descartes

Imaginations are unique to every human on earth and Rene Descartes believed that is what makes every person their own true self. By thinking about what we imagine and how all people imagine differently, kids can work on understanding others' perspectives and points of view and become more empathetic. Imagination with Rene Descartes will help them see how using your imagination makes you "you" and understanding the same about friends and family is an important part of getting along in a community.

I highly recommend to check those picture books out. They are perfect for every little reader out there!

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!