The first 200 pages were not written well. I was bored and felt growing discomfort with the mangled Middle Eastern culture this fantasy book was premised on. At least the next 150 odd pages picked up a little in terms of plot and also storytelling, so I didn’t end up thoroughly hating Rebel of the Sands. Still, this book has so many problems, I’m relieved I didn’t order the sequels before finishing this one first.
The atmosphere of The Summer Seaside Kitchen was incredible. Even though Mure isn’t a real island but an amalgam of various islands of the Northern Isles, it completely came to life. I could picture the scenic views, the landmarks and houses so perfectly, I very nearly felt as though I had been transported to Mure myself. The more I read, the more I fell in love with the island. That’s how well Jenny Colgan detailed everything!
Spellslinger is a rather quirky book, which I enjoyed very much. A young mage who’s struggling with magic, a traveller passing through who can’t keep her hilarious social commentary to herself, and a snarky talking squirrel cat? This combination was most peculiar, making me laugh and smirk throughout.
A Gathering of Shadows is much more intense than A Darker Shade of Magic. Schwab has a way of putting words to a page that is incomparable to other authors. The wit that underpins her snarky characters is first class, and Lila is a prime example. What makes it so great is that Lila doesn’t try hard — it’s who she is. A Gathering of Shadows increased my love for her, Kell, and Rhy manifolds, and also sucked me right into the spheres of Alucard and Tieren.