reviews
William

William

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.

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy - Book Review 11, Sep


"How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?"

No Country for Old Men is a masterfully told standalone novel by Cormac McCarthy that is rife with symbolism and contemporary issues. Greed, government law, and morals are depicted differently by each character according to their perspective and as such allows the reader to reach their own conclusion.


The characters are brilliant, one of my favourite aspects of this book. Each is unique and the three PoV’s each bring unique aspects to the book. Sheriff Bell represents an older generation that is grappling to come to terms with modern culture. He was the character I liked most, as he was genuinely unselfish, and consistently placed his morals and duty in front of his life. Another is Moss. With him, the saying “Live by the sword, die by the sword” comes to mind. He enters a criminal world after an act of greed and has to face the consequences, while attempting to survive along the way. The last PoV was Chigurh, an amoral murderer tasked with catching Moss. He has no qualms about murdering innocents, fore he cares about no one. A truly terrifying villain.

“People complain about the bad things that happen to em that they don't deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things”

The prose was brilliant, with the writing of McCarthy being so unique and phrased realistically, carrying on in a style relatable to that of the trail of thought. It was some of my favourite prose that I have ever had the pleasure to read, but is hard to describe to those who have not yet encountered his style.

The actual storyline adopted a quick pace as well, with some extremely tense interactions and events between characters. This author toys with your expectations and flips them over so it appears as a realistic story, not as a romanticised novel where the good guys will all win, and order will be restored. That was so interesting as a reader and I hope to see more of it in the future.

“It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all. Or if they could I never heard of it.”

No Country for Old Men has made me a fan of this author, so I will definitely be going onto The Road when I have a chance. It is a five star rating, because of the lack of a weakness, and brilliance in every aspect. It was symbolic, but not to the extent that it took away from the story, so I will be contemplating the events that took place in these pages for a long while to come.

5/5 STARS

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb - Book Review 21, Aug

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.

5/5 STARS

The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1) by Evan Winter - Book Review 14, Aug

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.

5/5 STARS