Review: Vincalis the Agitator by Holly Lisle

Vincalis the Agitator by Holly Lisle is the prequel to The Secret Texts trilogy, consisting of Diplomacy of Wolves, Vengeance of Dragons and Courage of Falcons. It’s been a while since I read the trilogy, but I remember I enjoyed it, and Vincalis the Agitator had been on my TBR list for a while.

Plot:

Two boys from very different backgrounds meet and become friends. Unbeknown to them, their friendship will change the very world they inhabit, which can be felt even 1000 years in the future. Their names? Wraith and Solander.  One is immune to magic, and one has the ambition to become the ruling authority on magic. Together they set forth to do good, but trigger something much bigger than themselves.

Opinion:

This book was an entertaining one; I was never forcing myself to read it, but there was something missing for me. Maybe it felt like that because the writing is a bit aloof, distant. Although we are always in the heads of the characters, good and bad, we aren’t in their hearts. We understand their feelings, but don’t feel their feelings. Still, it didn’t keep me from reading it.

Wraith and Solander are both compelling characters, and I like how Holly never forgets how they met and why Solander decides to let Wraith into his life. He has a use for him, and even when they forge their strong bond, that is always in the background. Solander is always studying Wraith, and Wraith lets him. Wraith has lofty dreams of freeing the Warreners, who are being kept as literal fuel for the magic of the Dragons. The ruling class of the Empire, to which Solander and egotistical Luercas both belong. Even when they were growing apart, I could still imagine them coming through for each other. And they did, in more ways than one.

Jess was….well…at first I disliked her infatuation with Wraith a lot. I mean, I never came around to her LOVE for him, but she did try, at least when she was older, to be a good friend to him. And I like that she had a period of growth, that she came to see his dream of saving the Warreners as not just a pipe dream, but a necessity. Velyn on the other hand, man. I liked her at first, but as soon as she showed more and more of her real self, I couldn’t help but want her to disappear of the stage. Not dying or something like that, because I did feel some empathy for her plight – suffering abuse in a marriage you can’t escape – but just going into hiding for all eternity or something. She got on my nerves the way she just kept blaming Wraith for all the bad things in her life when it’s literally all her own damn fault.

The Hars Empire was a good reflection of what would happen when society decides that comfort and security are more important than the lives of “undesirables”. To use not just innocent people’s bodies, but also their souls, to power magic to keep your subjects’ lives comfortable? It evoked the painful history of our world, in which certain peoples were seen as lesser, as subhuman, as not worthy of life itself. Hell, there are still people who believe that about others who don’t look, sound or think like them.

This prequel can be read as a standalone; you need no previous knowledge of The Secret Texts trilogy. But because I missed a certain spark, I don’t rate this book as highly as I might’ve otherwise. There were times where I almost didn’t dare read on, because I didn’t think there was going to be a good ending, but it kept calling me back. So it’s not a bad book. Just not as good as I hoped it would be. Either way, it was still an entertaining read.

Rating:

7.8/10 

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Review: Uncharted – Thief’s End

I like the Uncharted games. I don’t necessarily love them as much as I love, for instance, The Witcher III or God of War, but I will happily devote some hours of my time playing as Nathan Drake. So it was only natural that I bought the final instalment (featuring Nate at least).

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Review: Kellanved’s Reach by Ian. C. Esslemont

Kellanved’s Reach is the final instalment of the Path to Ascendancy trilogy by Ian C. Esslemont, and I remember pre-ordering it as soon as I heard it was coming out.

Plot:

Kellanved, Dancer and Surly have great plans for Malaz Island, and Kellanved has even greater plans for the future. The city states of Quon Tali are warring amongst each other, too busy to care much about the upstart Dal Honese mage scheming behind the scenes. But they should take him more seriously, as should everyone who serves him, or call him his ally. Kellanved cares little about politics or war. He is looking to uncover a mystery, one much darker and more dangerous than anyone could imagine. The Army of Dust and Bone. Continue reading

Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

I had The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly on my shelf for a long time, but a few weeks ago I finally decided to jump in. I’m glad that I did.

Plot:

David is a twelve-year-old boy reeling from his mother’s death during WWII. He mourns her deeply, even as his world starts to change around him. His father remarries, and has a new son, and the worst part of it is that he has little to no time anymore for David. David also suffers from mysterious fainting spells, and hears the whispers of books all around him. A strange man sniffs around his bedroom. But his life is turned completely upside down when he sees a German bomber fall from the sky and speed towards him. Escaping through a hole in the sunken garden, David finds himself in a world not his own, ruled by an absent king, who has in his possession the one thing that can help David get home. The Book of Lost Things.

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Review: Aquaman

I’ll be honest, I’m not really interested in DC content. Probably because I grew up with Marvel related things a lot more. I didn’t read the comics, but I did love the Animated X-men series and knew about more of the characters of the Marvel universe than I did about the DC universe. Sure I knew who Superman and Batman were, and I remember watching Smallville for a few episodes before I missed another few and didn’t know what the hell was going on when I got back to it. But the DC universe just never really had any pull on me. But the trailer for Aquaman caught my interest, so I decided, why not?

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