Review: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

I absolutely loved the Studio Ghibli version of Howl’s Moving Castle, but I wanted to read the original by Diana Wynne Jones and see which things were different and which were the same. The r/fantasy bingo gave me the excuse I needed to buy it.

Plot:

Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three, and therefore knows that she is destined to be unsuccessful; everyone in the town of Market Chipping knows that the eldest fails horribly when leaving home to seek their fate. While her younger sisters Lettie and Martha leave home, she works in the hat shop of her late father and stepmother. But then the Witch of the Waste curses Sophie for reasons unknown to her, and turns her into an old lady. To break the curse, Sophie must deal with the heartless wizard Howl who lives in a moving castle, a fire demon and their magical antics.

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Review: Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski

Lady of the Lake is the last book in the Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski. I’ve heard that there’s another book, Season of Storms, which will come out (translated in English) in 2018, but I think that one’s a short story collection.

Plot:

Ciri escaped the torturing arms of her pursuer, and fled into the Tower of Swallows. It transported her to a world of Elves, but not the Elves she knows. She is a prisoner, and they will only let her go if she agrees to do one thing. One terrible thing. Meanwhile Geralt is looking for Ciri back in their world with his companions, trying to save her from those who wish to harm her, or control her. Yennefer has been put in chains, and tortured, by people who want to get their hands on her surrogate daughter. And the Emperor of Nilfgaard too has his eye on the prize.

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Review: Master of Whitestorm by Janny Wurts

I initially bought Master of Whitestorm because I’m trying to read more female fantasy authors, and on r/fantasy Janny Wurts came highly recommended. Rather than jump into a series, I decided to try one of her standalones first. Coincidentally, this book also qualifies for the r/fantasy Underrated square, so that’s two birds caught with one stone!

Plot:

Korendir, Master of Whitestorm, is no ordinary man. Enslaved by the Murghai as a boy, now grown into a man he frees himself and Haldeth, his partner on the oars of the slave ship. But if Haldeth thinks Korendir will live out his days in relative safety, peace and freedom, he is sorely mistaken. For Korendir has other plans.

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Review: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

Foxglove Summer is the fifth book in the PC Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch, and I believe the first book in which Peter spends the majority of his time not in London.

Plot:

As the events of the last book have left Peter shaken, he jumps at the chance to spend some time outside of London. Unfortunately, the case he’s assisting on is a dark one: two pre-teen girls have gone missing in rural Herefordshire. There’s no indication that there might be magic involved, but that doesn’t stop for Peter from worrying. Time is running out.

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Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes is book number four in Ben Aaronovitch’s PC Peter Grant series. This book differs from the previous three in structure; Peter is working on several cases at once, and they’re not all related. In fact, there’s only two that are truly related to the magical parts of London.

Plot:

PC Peter Grant is called in when the cops find blood they can’t account for at a traffic accident. Their prime suspect is one Robert Weil, one of the apprentices of the original Faceless Man. There’s blood, but where’s the body? A man jumps in front of a train, but the circumstances are odd. Jaget Kumar shows Peter the footage, and they agree there was magical interference. Meanwhile, a stolen book on magic turns up, but hasn’t been reported stolen. It used to belong to Erik Stomberg, a German architect who happened to design one of the most infamous landmarks in London people have been trying to demolish for years. A grandfather injures himself during his granddaughter’s birthday party, while trying to create a werelight. Very few of these cases seem to be related, yet Peter can’t help but feel the Faceless Man has come back into play.

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Review: The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander

The Castle of Llyr is the third book in the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.

Plot:

Princess Eilonwy travels to the Isle of Mona, where she will be fostered by the kind king and queen of Mona, with Taran and Gurgi to see her off. She must learn what it means to be a lady, even though she doesn’t want to. But when they get to Mona, it is revealed to Taran that Eilonwy is in danger. For the evil enchantress Achren is after her, and her talents. Continue reading

Review: Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch

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Whispers Underground is the third book in the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. I devoured this book in little more than a day.

Plot:

PC Peter Grant is called to the Underground while pursuing a lead about the wizard who’d tried to kill him during his previous adventure, and when he gets there he’s greeted by the terrible sight of a man stabbed to death. Though he doesn’t pick up any magical residue from the body, he does from what they assume to be the murder weapon. A shard of some kind of ceramic. With the help of his mentor Nightingale, his now fellow student PC Lesley May whose face is still ruined, the Murder Team and a strange bloke named Zach who is more than he lets on, Peter descends into the tunnels of the London underground and the sewers. All while being followed by a pesky FBI agent who has pegged him as suspicious.

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