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The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

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Melanie's Week in Review - June 14, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review - June 14, 2015


Well this really wasn't a week for me getting much accomplished on the reading front. I wished it had been otherwise. I was on a course which involved an exam on Friday. It meant that rather than reading all the books I have on my TBR I had to read a really boring text book.  DULLSVILLE! Keep your fingers crossed for me that I passed and I can hide the text away for another 5 years. I did get two books read. So what did I read?


Melanie's Week in Review - June 14, 2015
Lucky me. I managed to get my request for The Blood Curse by Emily Gee approved on NetGalley. This is the final book of The Cursed Kingdoms series which finishes off the epic journey of Harkeld and Innis which started back in 2011 with book 1 - The Sentinel Mage. I loved book 1 but was really disappointed with book 2 The Fire Prince as I thought that Harkeld had turned into a bit of a whiny jerk. Gee however, brings the story and the characters back to the gripping fantasy tale. Harkeld has one final stone to reach in order to stop the curse that is ravaging the kingdom. Now that Harkeld knows what Innis and the other mages are really capable of he is just a bit more than angry. He almost allows his anger to come between him and his mission to stop the curse. Close on his trail are a group of assassins who have captured Harkeld's step-sister Princess Brigitta. While they want to kill Harkeld and stop his mission Brigitta is determined to do anything possible to escape and save her brother. And finally there is the young Jaume who escaped his cursed family and then ends up in the care of the very assassins who want to stop Harkeld. Gee has captured the traditional good versus evil and wraps it up in a bloodshed and magic.

Gee restored my faith in this series with this final book. Instead of Harkeld wallowing in self pity he realises he holds the fate of the entire Kingdom in his hands. He also realises that his relationship with Innis is very important to him, despite the fact that she is a shapeshifting mage. While Harkeld 'gets his act together' Brigitta has to endure the torment of knowing she is being used as bait to capture Harkeld. I feel that Gee almost re-booted this series just through these two characters. The spoiled and pampered Harkeld and Brigitta grow up during the course of this final book despite the events of the previous two books. This is an action packed and gripping finale the series.


Melanie's Week in Review - June 14, 2015The other book I finished was The Shadow Revolution by Susan and Clay Griffith. This is the first novel in the Crown and Key series by the writing duo. I loved their Vampire Empire series and when I heard they had a steampunk/Victoriana series full of magic and mayhem I could hardly wait. However, I can't tell you what I thought as I am writing a full review. Sorry! You will just have to keep your eyes peeled for it.


That is all for me this week. I hope you have been more productive than I have been...or have a better excuse if not.  Until next week Happy Reading!


Melanie's Week in Review - August 10, 2014


Melanie's Week in Review - August 10, 2014


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You are probably thinking my WIR looks suspiciously like a full review (and the model looks suspiciously like the one from the Eddie La Crosse books by Alex Beldsoe). You are not wrong but as the saying goes 'desperate times...'. I only managed to finish one book *gasp*. I was reading other things but just couldn't make much progress. I am hoping next week is a better one for me. So what did I think of Emily Gee's The Fire Prince (Solaris, August 26, 2014)?

This is the much anticipated second novel in the The Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy and there was almost a point when I wondered if there was ever going to be another book. I was really excited when I came across The Fire Prince on NetGalley.

Small piece of advice. If it's been more than 2 years since you have read the previous book in the series, The Sentinel Mage, then go back and re-read the last few chapters at least as it took me at least until the 3rd or 4th chapter before I could start to remember who the characters were. The story starts with the young boy Jaume who fled the curse and is now traveling with The Brotherhood who are searching for Prince Harkeld. Harkeld is the key to ridding the Kingdom of a deadly curse which turns normal people into raving madmen who murder and cannibalise their victims. Harkeld is still with the mages, mainly Innis who is a healer and powerful shapeshifter. Innis and her companions are still pretending to be Justen who is Harkeld's bodyguard and friend. Harkeld is still quite peevish about being a mage even though it's his powers and those of the others that save his life over and over. We spend time with almost every lead character including Jaume, Harkeld, Innis, and also Karel who is still guarding Briggita, Harkeld's half sister. With so many lead characters you can see why it would have helped me get back into the story had I read book 1 a bit more recently. This can't be laid at Gee's door however.

I am not sure if it was the long wait for this book that made me just a bit disappointed with it. I am interested to know what other people think. I think Harkeld is a real whiny tosser who is always complaining about being a Mage even though his companions are dropping like flies trying to save him from his own father and brother. Karel is still heroic and I wanted to reach inside the book and give the young Jaume a big hug. Unfortunately the book focuses heavily on Harkeld, his hatred of all things witch related and his having both real sex and dream sex. The Briggita story is exciting and the books ends quite abruptly with a cliffhanger for 2 of the lead characters. I think one of my biggest questions is whether Gee will keep her fans waiting so long for book 3. If she does I will have to be diligent and go back for a re-read. I think The Fire Prince suffers a bit from 'book 2 syndrome' so I hope Gee doesn't leave her readers in suspense for too long as I may just forget about the series completely.

I do have some new juicy books to read so I hope to have a more productive week. Wishing you a week of Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - June 14, 2015Melanie's Week in Review - August 10, 2014

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