Continuing on from what I started last week, here are all the books I’ve read in the past seven days!
What I Read
The Girl The Sea Gave Back
For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.
For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again – a home.
I didn’t like this book as much as the first one in the series, as I felt no investment in the plot. The war between the two sides of the Svell seemed abstract as we had no point of view characters invested in the outcome. The two people that we follow can have a satisfactory ending without the main plot happening. I finished the book feeling like it didn’t need to be written or that the characters could have had a different story to bring them together.
Measly Middle Ages
Anna Karenina seems to have everything – beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky.
I really enjoyed listening to this book, and was confused as to how the everyday lives of Russian aristocracy could be so interesting! The characters were well written and their lives covered a lot of issues from farming and communism to women’s rights, marriage and death. I really enjoyed this book until the end where I felt some parts were really rushed and others dragged out. I would however, still recommend it to anyone who has thought about reading it.
Slave, Warrior, Queen
17 year old Ceres, a beautiful, poor girl in the Empire city of Delos, lives the harsh and unforgiving life of a commoner. By day she delivers her father’s forged weapons to the palace training grounds, and by night she secretly trains with them, yearning to be a warrior in a land where girls are forbidden to fight. With her pending sale to slavehood, she is desperate.
18 year old Prince Thanos despises everything his royal family stands for. He abhors their harsh treatment of the masses, especially the brutal competition—The Killings—that lies at the heart of the city. He yearns to break free from the restraints of his upbringing, yet he, a fine warrior, sees no way out.
When Ceres stuns the court with her hidden powers, she finds herself wrongfully imprisoned, doomed to an even worse life than she could imagine. Thanos, smitten, must choose if he will risk it all for her. Yet, thrust into a world of duplicity and deadly secrets, Ceres quickly learns there are those who rule, and those who are their pawns. And that sometimes, being chosen is the worst that can happen.
I wasn’t particularly impressed with this book, as I felt that it was quite rushed. In the space of this book, we see all of the plot points that are normally used in an entire trilogy. I think that it would have been better if the characters were better known and the world more thoroughly developed before all of the plot points happening. There needed to be more time dealing with the consequences of actions and not just jumping from theat-or-execution or not-an-issue-at-all for similar events that happen in a close amount of time.
What I’m Currently Reading
How To Be An Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America–but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
In this book, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Ever since he made his first appearance in A Study In Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes has enthralled and delighted millions of fans throughout the world. Now Audible is proud to present Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, read by Stephen Fry. A lifelong fan of Doyle’s detective fiction, Fry has narrated a striking collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, including four novels and four collections of short stories. And, exclusively for Audible, Stephen has written and narrated eight insightful, intimate and deeply personal introductions, one for each title.
He writes: “Popular fiction offers different kinds of superheroes to save the world by restoring order to the chaos, confusion and criminality of our times. Heroes with remarkable gifts are as in vogue now as they have been since they first appeared, perhaps even more in vogue. But although the very first one was launched in serial published form just like his masked and body-suited successors, it was not in DC or Marvel comic books that he made his appearance; rather it was in the sedate and respectable pages of Mrs Beeton’s Christmas Annual in the mid-Victorian year 1887