Tuesday 30 January 2018

Blood and Sand, C. V. Wyk

She wanted to run and run until her breath was spent, until the ashes of her bones mingled with those of her people

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...

* * 
2 / 5 

In answer to the age-old gladiatorial question: "are you not entertained?", the answer is "only a little bit". I have a fondness for books set in Ancient Rome - The Eagle of the Ninth, for example, or virtually anything by Simon Scarrow - and Blood and Sand promised not only the tale of a gladiator who strives for freedom, Xanthus, but also that of a warrior princess of Thrace, Attia! It sounded awesome and I eagerly began reading this book, only to discover that it is dominated by a poorly plotted romance and a lack of exciting action. 

Saturday 27 January 2018

Valley Girls, Sarah Nicole Lemon

They looked like they had always been and would always be in Yosemite
Determined to make up for her screw-up and create a stable new home for herself, Rilla charms her way into a tight-knit group of climbers. She sets her sights on climbing El Capitan, one of the most challenging routes in Yosemite, and her summer becomes one harrowing and ecstatic experience after another.
But becoming the person Rilla feels she was meant to be jeopardizes the reasons why she came to Yosemite—a bright new future and a second chance at sisterhood. When her family and her future are at odds, what will Rilla choose?

* * 
2 / 5 

I really, really wanted to love Valley Girls - it promised rock climbing adventures featuring a stubborn, ill-advised teen set against the stunning background of Yosemite. Valley Girls delivered in the sense that the rock climbing aspects were detailed and immersive and the scenery sounded breathtaking and filled me with wanderlust. It failed in that the main character, Rilla Skidmore, is exceedingly annoying with barely any redeeming and endearing qualities. 

Thursday 25 January 2018

[article] AtlasRisingBooks Turns One!

A Year in the Life of a Book Blogger

AtlasRisingBooks Turns One!

Or, I successfully manage to run this circus for a year

When I take up a new hobby I do try very hard to stick to it. But I don't always manage it; previous failed hobbies include crocheting, digital artwork, kung fu, yoga, and learning to code. These lasted a couple of months at best, taken up at a moment of passion and then soon given up, but writing book reviews has, somehow, managed to last an entire year! I'm super proud of myself and I'm going to reflect a little bit on my year of book blogging, including some blogging tips!

Saturday 6 January 2018

[article] Another Year Bites The Dust, 2017

First read of the year! But let us look to the past

Another Year Bites The Dust, 2017

Or, I survive a busy year of reading and blogging & the rest of my life

Another year come and gone and it's time for the first yearly summary of my blog! Hurrah! I can't believe how many reviews I've written (almost a hundred) or how many books I've read (more than ever before), or how I've actually managed to post on this blog pretty much every three days! Well done me. What have I achieved?? Presenting a short bullet point list:

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Rosemarked (Rosemarked #1), Livia Blackburne

It's just the two of us this time; the rosemarked healer and the soldier with no fear of her disease. Together, somehow, we are to steal Ampara's secrets
When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

* * * *
4 / 5

Soft and almost melodic, Rosemarked is a lengthy, slow-burn YA fantasy novel. We follow two lovely characters: Zivah, a gentle healer who loves her people but must be quarantined due to a plague, and Dineas, a young warrior who serves his people, the Shidadi, in resisting the onslaught of the Empire. Rosemarked wasn't the most fast-paced, exciting, or even believable book I've read recently, but it was fun and enjoyable and eloquently written and made me feel things, which was all just what I needed.

Monday 1 January 2018

[article] December Round-Up

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/holidays!

December Round Up

I'll keep this one short and sweet because, as we all know, we are at the end of the year! And that means a yearly round up, featuring some questions asked and answered. I'm going to take a look at what I've done this year book-wise and hopefully feel quite good about myself, so keep your eyes out for a post like that in early January!