*MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW*
The Black Prism is a multi-perspective epic fantasy novel revolving around this holy figure in this world called the Prism. He just found out that he has fathered a child 15 years ago and now must shield him from those who wish to cause him harm.
Gavin is such an interesting, multi-faceted character that just kept surprising me at every turn! He is definitely more of a morally grey character who is striving to atone for what he thinks are the sins of his past. Giving himself the seven great tasks he wants to accomplish before he looses his powers. He isn’t afraid to do what he thinks is right for the greater good of the Chromeria whilst still maintaining a kind of neutrality and level of separation from all of their rules and regulations. That twist of the stolen identities definitely surprised me, I was thinking whilst reading during their interaction, what if Dazen beat Gavin and then two minutes later what do you know. It was a fantastic revelation and set up perfectly for the reader.
Kip didn’t really capture my attention at all for the first half or so of the book. Of course I knew he was going to be integral to the story and would somehow end up making an impact later on, but it took a little while for him to get there. There is quite an emphasis put on his weight and the fact that he is a bit of a coward, but I’m glad that we see some growth from his character over the course of the plot, having to make some decisions and take action where he would of previously ran and hid.
This was the perfect amount of world building and introduction of all the characters and their backstories without being overwhelming. Granted at the start as I am with most epic/high fantasy I read I am a little lost, but I established myself pretty quickly into this world and was invested almost instantaneously with the characters. The magic system was unique and interesting and had just enough information to keep me engaged yet eager to know more.
I loved my experience reading this book and I cannot wait to binge the rest of the series and see how the world progresses and the action intensifies!!
⭐️5/5 stars Why did I wait so long???
King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul.
I really enjoyed seeing Fitz’s evolution over the course of the plot. At the start he is still more wolf than human and watching him struggle to retain his humanity was highly entertaining to read. The scenes between Fitz and Burrich during this time were incredibly poignant and touching. Burrich really displayed how much he loves Fitz and we see him step up and save Fitz time and time again. I can’t say I appreciated the way Fitz spoke to him and pushed him away but I’m glad we see him eventually move on.
I found Fitz to be a little petulant and childish for most of the book. At the start when he starts on his journey to kill Regal with no plan just his ego and his wit leading him into a trap. The fact that he even thought to himself what if Will was using the skill to coax him to Tradeford and then walk right into the trap was frustrating. He was so hell bent on killing Regal for his own gain that all of his assassin skills just went right out the window.
Nighteyes was one constant in the story that I loved. His relationship with Fitz and his simple way of life was a breath of fresh air in the plot. His dedication to Fitz and steadfast logic I think really prolonged Fitz’s survival.
Starling wasn’t a favourite character of mine. I found her to be a bit of an opportunist and didn’t really care for Fitz or his wellbeing, just wanting to us him for her own personal gain. I think the fact that she followed him so far and her song didn’t even end up being about him was ironic. Selling out Nettle to the Farseer throne was really the last straw for me with her. She never even really apologised to Fitz about it either which really grated me.
The story as a whole just really dragged and got very repetitive. I understand the book is really centered around this quest that Fitz has to undertake to find King Verity but I think a solid 400-500 pages was just Fitz travelling and making and breaking up camps. There wasn’t enough action or a real sense of adventure for me. By the end when we started finally finding out answers to all the questions that have been posed throughout the series I wasn’t really interested or invested anymore.
I story is very immersive, epic and I can respect the way Robin Hobb wove the plot in a way that makes you really delve deep into these characters, it just wasn’t the story for me.
⭐️2/5 stars Not enough happened for me to justify the length…
I mean this book is pretty well known but if you haven’t heard it’s about a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who enjoys a comfortable and quiet life. His contentment is disturbed one day when a wizard named Gandalf and a bunch of dwarves arrive on his doorstep to take him away on an adventure.
I was just in the mood for a stand-a-lone fantasy that I would be able to loose myself in and as I was perusing my shelves I realized I haven’t actually read The Hobbit. I dove straight in and found it a little bit difficult to comprehend at first. There is just something about J.R.R Tolkien’s writing that makes it difficult for me to stay focused, which was similar to my experience reading The Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well. After about the first 100 pages or so I was more familiar with his style and I was able to focus on the actual plot.
Bilbo started off quite a bit blustery and rigid. He definitely goes through a transformation over the course of the plot and we see him become a lot more forward and direct. At time he can be very selfish and I grew weary of him dwelling on his homesickness but it doesn’t stop him from moving forward.
I really wish we would have followed Gandalf and his journey in banishing the necromancer with the rest of the wizarding council. He is such an interesting character that is always weaving in and out of the story and I really would of loved a few chapters from his perspective exclusively.
All of the dwarves were interesting though none really had any depth. I found J.R.R Tolkien never really gave any of his characters other than Bilbo much substance. Their own personal history and personalities are quite shallow. I would of been a lot more invested if we are given a more in depth look into their characters and how they distinguish from each other.
The overall plot was very entertaining and interesting. There is definitely more of a focus on the world building and the establishment of the different creatures that live in Middle Earth as opposed to any character development in my opinion. There were times that the story felt a little rushed but it was exactly what I expected and needed to read at this time!
⭐️3/5 stars Enchanting, adventurous, classic!
Liked didn’t quite love.
Royal Assassin continues pretty much straight where Assassin’s Apprentice left off. Fitz is still in the mountains recuperating after his bout of poisoning at the hands of Prince Regal, ponding whether to remain for the Winter or start the trek back to Buckeep and the burden of being the bastard.
I like how this sequel we delve so much deeper into the backgrounds of a few of the characters and their reasonings behind where their loyalties lie. Which I feel was really the main focus of the book. There are various situations where Fitz finds his faith and trust for his king pushed right to its limits. He even at times I feel circumvents his oaths in a way that still isn’t treason but is better suited to his point of view. We do see some growth throughout the storyline but I feel there is still so much more that he is capable of and hasn’t shown his full potential yet.
I find Molly to be a little bit unlikable. I see the reasoning behind her character and how Robin Hobb utilised her as a way for Fitz to truly display either his love and commitment to her or to the Farseer line. I felt she went into the whole situation well aware of how she will be perceived and accepted the inevitable for what it was yet still she demanded Fitz to choose her knowing he wasn’t going to. I think it was the back and forth that bugged me the most. One day she will be accepting of Fitz’s situation and would just live for the moment and try to be happy and other days she would reject him completely and not be open to any kind of compromise.
The pacing of the story was a little off for me. There were certain sections that were very action packed with high intensity and then the plot would become stagnant and a little dry. This is a very politically driven plot with a few fantastical elements thrown in, whereas I would prefer the reverse. I felt like it was just a little too long as well, not enough happened for me to justify the book being 648 pages. I think had this book been around the 400 page mark I would of been a lot more engaged.
I want to know more about the mysterious Elderlings, I want to see Fitz utilise more of his assassin abilities and have a few more covert missions. There just wasn’t enough oomph in this for me.
⭐️3/5 stars still a solid fantasy read, just not entertaining enough for me, I’m hoping for an explosive ending!
This was epic!!!
This is the first ever novel I read of Samantha Shannon and oh my goodness it was amazing. The world is wonderfully rich and developed, the magic system is complex and highly original and the plot was suspenseful and riveting!
We follow multiple perspectives throughout this book and at first that kind of had me a little confused. There is a lot of information given right from the start and like most epic novels it takes me a while to get situated into the story. But once I had a grasp of the characters and a general scope of the premise I was hooked!
This world was once ravaged and nearly decimated by a war that was lead by a fierce dragon called the nameless one. A thousand years ago he was defeated by a saint that the kingdom now revere and his direct descendant is Queen Sabran who is ruler over this land. Ead has been charged by the Priory of the Orange Tree a sacred sect of mages to guard Queen Sabran and keep her safe.
I love that this book really centers around three totally different but complex and distinct female characters. Ead is wonderful. She is so stubborn yet staunch in her beliefs and I like that she will not cower from her duties. She will rebut and argue her point and she will always do what is necessary. Queen Sabran I didn’t really enjoy at the start of the book. I thought she was a little too pious and naïve but she really grew on me as the story progressed. I thought she handled the responsibility and obligation to her people very well. She had a lot of harsh blows dealt to her throughout the course of the book yet she remained firm and strong. I was curious about Tane and how she would fit in to the story as I continued to read. I couldn’t tell how she would connect back and make a mark on the plot but she definitely surprised me in the end. As one of the main perspectives in the book I knew she would have to make some form of impact but her storyline started out so small and kind of insignificant that I didn’t see anything coming! I love that we really see her hit rock bottom but continue to fight and strive to right her wrongs and gain some form of atonement for her actions.
Being over eight hundred pages there is a lot of action and twist that take place. The story wove together beautifully and I honestly could not predict what was going to happen next. This was a very plot heavy and character driven story that really excelled in capturing the harsh reality of the situation. The stakes were incredibly high and the anticipation kept building.
I really enjoyed this read, high/epic fantasy is without a doubt my favourite genre and this book ticked all the boxes for me!
⭐️4.5/5 Dragons, destinies and drama!!!