Monday, 15 October 2018

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Slay by Matthew Laurence (Freya Book 2)

Slay (Freya #2)Slay by Matthew Laurence

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This a stunning sequel to the first book. It starts off not long after a volcanoe destroyed the secret base Freya escaped from. Immediately Her sassy attitude comes through and as a reader you can't help be reconnect and support her.

Now Freya may have escaped the clutches from the god manipulating agency but pretty quick a new enemy and source of danger emerged and this time it is very very very personal. For this person is the cause of Freya's fall from heavenly grace and power for over 600 years.

So Freya decides to launch her quest for overdue revenge with the Egyptian cat goddess and her friend and high priest. They set off for LA in order to make Freya a TV celebrity which will give her enough belief to become strong enough to match her enemy.

It is a real roller-coaster of action, drama, love, vengeance, secrets and surprises and the ending is a really powerful finale for both readers and characters.

I really hope we get a sequel. For Freya's story is far from finished.

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Becky Bookworm Book Review: Lancelot by Giles Kristian

LancelotLancelot by Giles Kristian

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the various films over the centuries most people will be vaguely familiar with the Authruian story of Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, Merlin the wizard, and the often forgotten love tragedy that is Guinevere betraying Arthur for Lancelot.

Now Giles Kristian is mostly known for his epic Viking novels Sigurd trilogy and Raven Blood Eye trilogy.

Well I am pleased to say that the story, setting, characters and style is 100% different but the levels of epicness page-turning heart-stopping drama and action is still as good as if not maybe a tad better than the previous books.

Giles has clearly done enough research to not just establish Lancelot as a character but as a person by giving him a whole life before the knight-to-be meets the Once and Future King which really helps the connection with the reader. Plus it also helps those who aren't familiar with the legend and the historical era that it is set in - being post-Roman century with the invasion and settlement of the Saxons much to the frustration and anger of the Anglish.

The world Giles has created from language to landscape to weather and even the essence of magic that is sprinkled throughout the story is genuine captivating and is a superb blend of war and romance.

I was particularly impressed with the way Giles retold the anticipated betrayal which is not just based on love but also circumstance and the agendas of others.

The ending was a real masterpiece.

It is Giles's 10th novel and is setting his talent bar and storytelling skill at new heights that surpass his previous books.

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Becky Bookworm Book Review: The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

The Testament of Loki (Loki, #2)The Testament of Loki by Joanne Harris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading The Testament of Loki, is a bit like going down the rabbit of hole of mythology vs reality on a roller-coaster.
Whereas The Gospel of Loki was set very much in a fantastical/alternative reality, in The Testament, the lord of cunning, manipulation and transformation manages to find a secret way through his reality, where he is trapped in The Black Fortress, into our own - a world without magic, without gods but full of minds ready to influence.
Speaking of minds - that is precisely where Loki ends up - inside the mind of a teenage girl.
From there we as a reader observe with some humour how this girl re-acts, copes and eventually accepts that she isn't going insane and that she is stuck with Loki until proven otherwise. Yet Loki proves, like he usually does, to be a blessing as well as a curse, for he ultimately shows the girl how to be honest with herself, to her family and to be 'Fabulous' despite all of society's expectations and life's challenges.
However, things get even weirder when she/Loki discover that one her close friends is in fact in the same situation she is - their mind is also possessed by one of the pantheon, but will they prove to be friend or foe? Who has the ultimate agenda/scheme/plan? Will any of them find a way to exist independently? Or is it the true fate of the Gods to merely become voices in the back of our conscious?

The twists, tuns, high rises, deep lows, secrets, betrayal, double betrayal and more are as superbly planned as they always are in Joanne's Norse series and she really reaches new levels of awe, drama, excitement, shock and even a tinge of sadness for the challenges both gods and humans face.

Loki's personality and voice is so strong that as a reader and fan I can almost imagine Loki lounging in a chair in Joanne's writing shed, proudly regaling her with the tale as she writes it down. Loki always did like an audience.

It is a brilliant stand-a-lone sequel to The Gospel and also a tie-in to Runemarks.

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

A Sacred Storm Blog Tour - The Epic New Sequel from Theodore Brun - The Wanderer Chronicles Continues

Becky Bookworm Book Review as part of A Sacred Storm Blog Tour

A Sacred Storm: An epic historical fantasy for fans of Bernard Cornwall and George RR Martin (The Wanderer Chronicles)A Sacred Storm: An epic historical fantasy for fans of Bernard Cornwall and George RR Martin by Theodore Brun

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say about a book where so much happens or worse yet doesn't happen (cue intrigue), with a seat-gripping, page-turning, heart-stopping cliff hanger within each chapter.
What can I say about a book that will keep you reading well past your usual bed time, a book that you won't be able to put down, a book that might even make you forget to eat...
What can I say about a book that weighs as much as the helmet on the cover. And just like a helmet completely absorbs you in the world it contains.
About a book that has more court intrigue, secret plots, hidden agendas and double-crossing than The Tudors and any Shakespearean Tragedy.
About a book that introduces old friends, new allies, and hidden enemies both near and far and some you don't see coming at all.
About a book that involves challenges, conflict, torture and war in both the mind, soul and body of our heroes.
About a book that weaves so eloquently old magic between the historical backdrop that it seems natural, captivating, alluring and still possess an air of danger, of the unknown.
About a book which will make you laugh out loud, gasp in shock, wince in empathetic pain and cry in sadness and relief and shout and cheer in triumph.
About a book that continues where it's series began, to shine light on a little known era of Viking/Scandinavian history and showing that sword wielding warriors can have JUST AS MUCH if not more adventure and bloodshed within their home realms, than those who went aboard across the seas.
About a book which has not only surpassed it's prequel but is a dazzling display of storytelling talent. Reaffirming Theodore as a bright new spark that shines as brightly as Bernard Cornwell, Giles Kristian or Justin Hill.
About a book that left me genuinely breathless, mind-blown and reeling from the truly epic climax of an ending and the lure of a new adventure to come in it's now greatly anticipated sequel...

What can I say about this book?
Four words really.
Buy It. Read it.
You really don't want to miss this off your bookshelf if you have read A Mighty Dawn - and if you haven't read that Order Both, Read Both. Simple.

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