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.
Wow, I loved this book. I thought it would be nigh impossible to equal or surpass the enjoyment I received from Red Sister, I was wrong. Very wrong.
Grey Sister continues all the great aspects of the former book with an intriguing plot, diverse characters and a vivid world, then added a lot more consisting of larger conflicts and countless more twists along with a new group of wonderful and intriguing personalities.
The prose was once again wonderful from Mark Lawrence with a poetic edge that guided me from page to page which had me marvelling at how long I had been reading with absolute concentration on the story.
“Nothing is as cruel as a righteous man.”
The plot developed at an appropriate rate with tension consistently rising throughout and then hitting a peak which was well worth the wait as grand events coincided and the consequences of actions rose dramatically. The twists that were revealed completely shocked me and directed the book into an unguessable future which made the experience even more exciting.
The characters were once again amazing with their variety of personalities which allowed me to despise and love them and to feel their successes and failures. There were a few heart wrenching moments which truly reveal how the characters have come to matter to me.
The ending was fabulous as it produced even more adversaries for the protagonists to face in the last instalment in which I hope they deliver a large dose of deserved vengeance.
“It's when your power is taken, or given, away that you discover who your friends are, brother. There's a lesson for us all in that.”
Grey Sister is a definite five star rating just as its predecessor was. I have read and loved Holy Sister, the finale of the series, as well. Any reader of Mark Lawrence and practically any fantasy fan should read this series! One of my favourite series of all time.
The Fall of Arthur is an epic poem recounting the end of the tale of Arthur, left unfinished, but still managing to feel complete and amazing.
"Wild rode the wind though the West country.
Banners were blowing, black was the raven
they bore as blazon. Blaring of trumpets,
neighing of horses, gnashing of armour,
in the hoar hollows of the hills echoed .
Mordred was marching; messengers speeding
northward and eastward the news bearing
through the land of Logres. Lords and chieftains
to his side he summoned swift to hasten
their tryst keeping, true to Mordred,
faithful in falsehood, foes of Arthur,
lovers of treason and freebooters"
It is full of wonderful and evocative passages such as this, that gave me goosebumps, roused my blood and inspired hatred.
This epic poem is about one of my favourite subjects and legends of all time. I have always been obsessed and enamoured by the tales of Arthur, and this is no exception.
Tolkien's prose in this epic poem is purely exceptional. Inspiring, immersive, beautiful. Just so brilliant. I loved every page of it. Really cannot give it enough praise. The characters are instantly given an incredible depth that made me fall in love with them, despite the short time spent with them. A skill that Tokien appears to have across all of his works.
This is a tale of heroism and tragedy, not made boring by the context of former tales. Tokien adds his own spin and image to the tale, making it different, while containing all that is brilliant and wonderful within the stories.
To any lovers of Arthurian tales, which I imagine is most, I would recommend this poem. It is easy to comprehend, and is only short. Please read it!
So, my 20th read of 2020! La Belle Sauvage
After all the craze about the new His Dark Materials programme, I though it would be a good time to delve into The Book of Dust series, which I have had waiting on my shelf for quite a while now. And I am glad that I finally did.
La Belle Sauvage is a prequel to Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. The events of that series have faded in my mind in the past few years, so I was worried it would hinder by experience reading this, but I was wrong to do so. This would actually be a good book to read before delving into the adventure of His Dark Materials.
“Words belong in contexts, not pegged out like biological specimens.”
This goes back about a decade, when Lyra, the central protagonist of His Dark Materials, is just a baby. The main protagonist is Malcolm Polstead, an inquisitive, kind and intelligent boy. He meets the baby Lyra, and feels a purpose to protect her. I loved the character of Malcolm. His genuine kindness was heartwarming and executed believably. I hope to see more of him in the rest of this series.
I read this on audiobook, narrated by the wonderful Michael Sheen. He was brilliant! His array of accents, in particular his hyena impression, was just amazing to listen to. I felt every emotion of this journey. The laughter, the intrigue, the fear. Truly a rollercoaster of emotions.
La Belle Sauvage saw the creation of a villain whom I truly learnt to fear. They were absolutely terrifying. Whenever they were present, everyone was at risk, and nothing could be predicted. And the delivery of Michael Sheen just made this more prominent and scary. This was one of the strengths of this book in my opinion.
I don’t know how to summarise Pullman’s prose other than labelling it as lyrical. It really is just consistently smooth and wonderful. Enchanting. This aspect to the story allowed me to get through this audiobook in basically two slots, carrying me smoothly along.
“He was liked when noticed, but not noticed much, and that did him no harm either.”
Regarding the plot, La Belle Sauvage is a slow-burner. It takes quite a while to kick off, with a few important moments occurring in the first half. But the second half is where it all kicked off. After that point, there was hardly time to breath as the story swept you from one tribulation to another.
While I enjoyed the prose, characters and plot, there wasn’t the extra part that really hooked me to the story. I was invested in Malcolm, but not really the rest of the cast, and there wasn’t much that was at stake. But despite this, I still thoroughly enjoyed La Belle Sauvage, and look forward to starting its sequel, The Secret Commonwealth, soon!