Review: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Alanna The First AdventureAlanna: The First Adventure
by Tamora Pierce
Series: Song of the Lioness #1
Publication Date: 01 September 1983
Simon Pulse, Mass Market Paperback, 274 pages
Source: Library

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From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins – one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.

Rating: ★★★★

I started Alanna: The First Adventure expecting something really different from YA books nowadays and I can gladly say I’m far from disappointed. In case you didn’t know, this book had first been published in 1983, definitely the oldest novel I’ve read in the past 2 years (don’t judge, I’m currently not into classics). Magical, well-paced and filled with wonderful characters, this entire book had been one exciting adventure! Continue reading “Review: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce”

Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest MindsThe Darkest Minds
by Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Publication Date: 18 December 2012
Disney Hyperion, Hardcover, 488 pages
Source: Library

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When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her-East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Rating: ★★★★

Disclaimer: I was rather busy and hence distracted when I read this book you might want to take my opinions with a pinch of salt.

I had been really looking forward to reading The Darkest Minds because I’ve seen so many amazing reviews about it on Goodreads and it has been some time (about 4.5 months?) since I last read a dystopian novel. It was a pretty good book with the exception of one rather glaring issue—Ruby.

Ruby was such a hot and cold character; one moment you would admire her courage and intelligence yet the next her pushover attitude might make you want to yank your—or her—hair out. Although some may see her bravery mixed with bouts of cowardice as something that made her more ‘real’, I found the clash of personality traits too inconsistent and jumbled, and was left grasping at wisps of random characteristics, wondering who exactly is Ruby? Continue reading “Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken”

Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling KingdomsFalling Kingdoms
by Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
Publication Date: 11 December 2012
Razorbill, Hardcover, 412 pages
Source: Library

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In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

Rating: ★★★

If someone had asked me to describe Falling Kingdoms in 4 words while I had still been reading the first 150 pages of it, I wouldn’t have hesitated to say, “YA Game of Thrones”. For the record, I’ve not read or watched Game of Thrones but the atmosphere and general vibe of this novel at the start was exactly how I thought GoT for a younger set of audience would be like—numerous diverse characters, an exciting storyline, and ruthlessly shocking deaths. Yes, it’s a definite compliment.

Unfortunately, that all ended as the book progressed. Which I would touch on later, after listing down the better qualities of Falling Kingdoms. Continue reading “Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes”