William is from Sussex, UK.
He has a passion for literature and enjoys reading all sorts of books. His hobbies are numerous and consist of medieval/viking reenactment, writing, karate and of course reading.
Assassin's Apprentice is a wonderful start to the incredible Farseer Trilogy bt Robin Hobb. In an intricate story with beautiful prose and fantastic characters, Hobb cemented this book as one of my favourites of all time.
"Very little worth knowing is taught by fear"
I read Assassin's Apprentice late last year, and I am so glad that I did. This is the book that introduced me to my now second favourite author ever. I blitzed through three trilogies in this world in less than a month! That is how obsessed I became.
Hobb's characters are just a pure masterclass. Each has a rare depth, where every action revealed something about them, forming a vivid and interesting cast that deepened my love and connection to this book and series. FitzChivalry Farseer quickly established himself as one of my top five favourite fictional characters. I think that explains part of my adoration for this book.
The plot revolved around Fitz as he grew from a young child to a teenager. It is the first step in his incredible journey where he makes critical decisions that will change his life forever, and haunt him for the rest of his life. The storyline was executed perfectly, with effective world building that immersed me into this book, and intricate plots weaving in and out of focus, leaving me wanting to discover more, and unable to guess what would happen next.
"When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool you end up looking like a moron instead."
The prose is more descriptive-heavy than dialogue, but still has a fair amount of speech that strikes a great balance. The interactions between characters are written fantastically and on the whole, the prose is poetic and smooth and flawless. It is a literary genius in action.
If you have not read this book, or any Hobb, that needs to change! I cannot stress enough how magnificent this story is. It is a journey that will stay with me for many years, and one I shall read many times over.
The Rage of Dragons is one of the greatest books I have ever read. It is a heart-wrenching, mind-blowing tale of love and hatred, of sacrifice and inspiration. But most of all, this is an epic story of vengeance.
"On the days you do not improve, you open yourself to the blade that will gut you, the knife that will enter your heart, and the hatchet or spear that will take your life."
I finished reading The Rage of Dragons this weekend, and the fact that I read this in two days is testimony to how much I loved it!
I have never read an African-inspired fantasy novel before, so was not sure what to expect. Well, I was wrong to doubt. Winter paints the culture in a magnificent manner, quickly creating a depth to the world that I rarely encounter, and then just continued to get better and better.
Evan Winter's prose as masterful. It was an engaging, stripped back style that created a fast-paced story for over 500 pages. The subtle construction of the world and culture did not obstruct the pace or plot at all, but added an extra layer I always hope for in the novels I read.
"For it's in the crucible of hard days that potential becomes power."
Rage of Dragons is a thought provoking story that tackles issues of social hierarchy, attitude to lower classes, and the effects of war on the mind. Whenever I could not hide away to read, I found myself constantly thinking about this novel. About the challenges the characters faced, how they would cope, and what they would do next. That is the sign of a great book!
I have always loved coming-of-age stories, especially when they involve a weapons school, like Blood Song, or Red Sister, it is just awesome. Rage of Dragons has both, and executes it perfectly. The camaraderie between the members of this school was amazing, hilarious and epic!
"Life is nothing more than moments in time. To achieve greatness, you have to give up those moments. You have to give your life to your goal."
One of the greatest aspects of this novel were the battle scenes. They were vivid, immersive and fluid. I felt like I was witnessing the horror of war, and I got goosebumps during the small scale skirmishes that brought to mind the team fights in Gladiator.
The characters are brilliantly written. Within a few pages Winter managed to form a bond between me and some of the characters. He steadily built on this to make me truly love or despise them, through just a few scenes accompanying them. I do not doubt that I shall remember these characters for many years to come.
I have tried to explain my love for this book, and hope I did. It is a must read! I loved every part of it, from the first page to the last. From the prose, to characters, to plot. Just wonderful. I will struggle to wait for the sequel to be released, but I consider myself fortunate that I got to read this magnificent book.
"That is the problem with ignorance. You can never truly know the extent of what you are ignorant about."
Children of Time is my first delving into the genre of science fiction, and it served as a great introduction. When I began, I found it a bit mind-boggling because of the technical space language and sophisticated technology. But as the story progressed, I soon acclimatised to this aspect and it did not become as demanding or distracting as I first thought.
There were some wonderfully unique aspects to this book, which I have been told cannot be compared to any other sci-fi, because of how different it is. One such idea is exploring evolution, and following the journey of this natural progression with different animals, in this case a number of insect species... It was so fun and novel that it cemented itself as my favourite part of the book.
"Humanity is overated'
It took a while to get into the human PoV, who was on a spaceship that carries the survivors of humanity. This was partly due to the technical part that I mentioned earlier, and also there was not much action to begin with. But when the plot started rolling, this storyline was also fantastic, because of the cultural challenges presented, the fantastic prose, the unique ideas, and many other reasons.
There is a very small cast of characters, which is extremely different to the large scale war band worthy cast. But it served well to strengthen the bonds with the characters that were present, and added another level of depth as more page time was dedicated to these people.
"A life lived entirely at the whim of another is no life at all."
Tchaikovsky's prose is very clever, as it changes depending on what PoV he is with and the characteristics of the person whose perspective he is following. The writing with the spiders is masterful as they become more intelligent due to evolution along with the prose.
The plot cleverly intertwines and separates the PoV's with a steady development that consistently increases the tension until the pivotal climax that was completely unguessable! It was clever, made sense, was intriguing, and had many different aspects. Cannot ask for much more than that really.
So once again, Children of Time was a great introduction to the genre, and I am sure that I will continue onto its sequel at some point, along with other science fiction. So, thank you Adrian!