Self-indulgent, angsty, emo, depressive, and manic can all be qualities to illustrate Lev Grossman’s The Magician King, a series that is an allegory for figuring out life as a 20’s something, self-centered adult. Here’s the thing about this book and the series as a whole, you can’t take it too seriously. Once you take it too seriously, the outlook on life brings you down. This is not a happy series even though I’m hoping it’ll end with some redemption and sacrifice. I have to say that Quentin is gradually changing, becoming more adult, even though things keep happening to him randomly that propels him through the character growth. In the end, I think that is the thing that bugs me about this story, yes life just happens to a lot of people in their 20’s without their control, but to structure an entire story around happenstance quests makes the characters feel like passengers in a sinking ship they have no control over.
The Riyria Revelations series was a series I knew I was going to like before I even tried to read it. The series didn’t fail to live up to my expectations. The only issue with this series is the way that the books ended up being packaged in the end. Wintertide, the first book within this omnibus that includes books 5 and 6, was a phenomenal read, easily a 5 star read. Wintertide was so good that I had a serious problem getting into Percepliquis. I took a long break from this book, over a month long because I just couldn’t get into book 6 at all. Finally, once I came back to it and was in the mood for it, I finished it up and it was a great read. If I had one thing to suggest to people reading this for the first time, I would say, give yourself a small break between Wintertide and Percepliquis because it is definitely what I should have done. I cannot wait to read more of Hadrian and Royce in the chronicles.
The Lie Tree reminded me a lot of the Marie Brennan The Memoirs of Lady Trent series. Both series have strong female protagonists but what makes The Lie Tree so special is that the protagonist is a younger teenage girl with a love for science instead of a woman. Throw in some Nancy Drew-like mystery and a little bit of gothic atmosphere and you get this wonderful book by Frances Hardinge that is just a really well written young adult book without any stupid YA romance tropes that dominates the genre.