Glamour in Glass

Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette KowalGlamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal is the sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey so if you have not read that one yet, it might be wiser not to read this review as it might contain spoilers. This novel picks up not long after Jane and Vincent are wed and follows them as they travel for their honeymoon to Binché, Belgium where Vincent’s good friend and fellow glamourist, M. Chastain, lives.

Once there, their honeymoon is anything but. Jane finds herself in a situation where she is unable to perform glamour and fears that her husband’s persistent absences and shortness with her are signs that he does not love her without her glamour ability. When Jane discovers the real reason for his actions, she learns that they are not safe with Napoleon on the march.

This was a nice sequel. I enjoyed getting to delve a little deeper into Vincent’s character even if I didn’t particularly like him in the first half of the story. I didn’t think he treated Jane well at all, no matter what secrets he was keeping from her. I did enjoy Jane’s growth as a character. The author put her in an interesting situation, and I liked watching Jane figure out how she would handle it.

I do enjoy the author’s writing. She able to seamlessly weave in just the right amount of humor to alleviate some of the more serious situations so that things do not become too heavy.

This is an extremely quick and easy read for those who want something a little lighter when just the right amount of magic mixed in!

Shades of Milk and Honey

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette KowalShades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal is Jane Austen-esque book with a little magic twisted throughout. Jane Ellsworth is practically a spinster at eight-and-twenty and lives in the shadow of her younger sister’s beauty. The only thing Jane believes she has going for her is her music and knowledge of glamour, the art of twisting the ether into tableaux. She delights in bringing life to paintings, rooms, and her music.

Jane finds herself at odds with her sister Melody who is not always the most sensitive with her comments. As a result, Jane finds herself becoming close friends with Miss Elizabeth Dunkirk and firmly in the sights of her brother Mr. Dunkirk. While Jane finds her feelings for Mr. Dunkirk growing deeper, she is not sure if he can look past her too sharp nose to the woman she is beneath.

And let us not forget the mysterious and sullen Mr. Vincent, a famous glamourist who has been hired by the Ellsworths’ neighbors to create a grand glamural. Mr. Vincent and Jane seem to bump heads at every meeting, and Jane can not understand what she has done to so offend the man.

I thought this was a nice light read. I wish I would have gotten a little more out of Mr. Vincent by the end of the novel. I felt his character was somewhat flatter than I would have liked. I liked the play of glamour throughout the novel. It added a nice hint of whimsy to the story and was something I much needed!

A Game of Thrones

WARNING: This post might contain spoilers for the books and TV series.

I thought I’d write a post about this series since the season finale for season 2 of Game of Thrones just aired this past weekend. I’ll talk about the books first and then go into my thoughts on the TV show.

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. MartinI first started reading George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Ice series about a year and a half ago. I was staying with my aunt and uncle in Indiana when my uncle suggested I check out this series. He and my cousin had been having a discussion about what the Seven Kingdoms are (still have no idea….no can seem to agree on anything), and I became intrigued. My uncle lent me the first book, and I was through it pretty quickly. It was easy to get drawn into the story. There’s so much going on, and each chapter focuses on a different character so you get to see a bit of everyone.

Certain characters started to stand out to me, and those were the chapters I looked forward to the most. These characters (Arya, Jon, and Tyrion) have remained my favorite through the series although I feel as if a couple of them have become lost to me in the latest book which is really frustrating, but I’ll come back to that a little later.

The plots are engaging and being able to see the “bad” people having good qualities, and the “good” people having some pretty major faults makes it so that each person is incredibly dynamic. There are a few people that you want to shoot in the head that I don’t see having many if not any redeeming qualities.Arya Stark A Game of Thrones

I flew through the second and the third books, loving every moment. And then I got to the fourth book. I could barely get through the fourth book. I had to push myself to read it as George R.R. Martin thought it would be useful to not only introduce a million more plots but a million more characters. For those of you who don’t know, there are already too many characters to keep track of as there is. I found myself forgetting who people were, especially those whose names changed…. I didn’t much like that.

Then the fifth book came out, and I was excited because I would get to read about all the characters I loved which were completely left out of the fourth book. This is where I got a bit angry. My favorite characters started losing Tyrion Lannister A Game of Throneseverything that made me like them in the first place. By the time I finished this book, I had barely anyone I was rooting for anymore. Some strange stuff went down in the fourth and fifth books, and I couldn’t trust anything I read anymore. People came back from the dead, and people suddenly had different names, and it was a bit of a mess. My uncle has decided that he can’t read them anymore because he’s just so disappointed, and I don’t blame him. I’m on the fence myself. We shall see when the next book comes out if I feel like it will be worth reading or if I will just be left disappointed.

Now that the TV series has just finished its second season on HBO, I thought I’d give my thoughts on how it compares to the books. I think the character portrayals are done very well. The cast is excellent. There were a few characters I pictured differently such as Sir Jorah whom I pictured as being older and less good-looking. I think the show does the books justice considering the large amount of information in the books. I do think they could Jon Snow A Game of Throneshave left out the sex and the gore and been fine. Some things they left out of the series which are fairly significant later on so I don’t know how they are going to adapt that. The books also give more information behind some things that I know people who haven’t read them are confused about. For example who burns Winterfell? In the books it’s clearly stated that Roose Bolton does it, but with the show the burning comes out of nowhere and with no culprit.

A lot of things were changed from the books that will make things that are supposed to happen later on much more difficult. That’s a bit frustrating to me. Especially the Jon/Halfhand killing scene. I thought that was poorly done. Very poorly.

Regardless of all this, I will continue to watch until I can’t anymore (either by choice or because George R.R. Martin hasn’t completed the next book).

What are your thoughts on the matter? Have you read the books? Seen the series? Both? I really want to know what you think!

Wizard’s First Rule

Wizard's First Rule by Terry GoodkindWizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind is the first novel in the series The Sword of Truth. Richard Cypher is an ordinary woodsman until he saves a beautiful woman in white. From that moment onward, Richard’s life is going to change forever. Richard finds out that Zedd the man who has mentored him his entire life is actually a wizard, a very powerful one at that, who soon names Richard the next Seeker of Truth. Along with Zedd, Kahlan (the woman in white), and his loyal friend Chase, Richard sets out to cross the boundary that separates Westland from the Midlands where Kahlan is from to stop the evil Darken Rahl from finding all three boxes of Orden which would allow him to rule all life.

On their way, Richard encounters countless creatures and people he could never have dreamed existed. He also finds himself falling in love with Kahlan who knows that there can be nothing between them.
I first decided to read this book after watching The Legend of the Seeker, the television series which is based off of this book series. I enjoyed the show which led me to believe that I would enjoy the books. I wasn’t wrong. I enjoyed this book a lot, even if the show and it differ greatly in some respects. I thought the relationship between Kahlan and Richard developed more realistically in the novel. There were some parts in the book that I thought were entirely unnecessary and make me ill to think about them. Because of them, I would not recommend it to someone who has not reached high school.
I haven’t read a fantasy book in a while and was not disappointed. I have the next two books and will read them after a few other books I have in mind, only because the book is long and some parts gruesome. I need something lighter first before I delve back into the life of the Seeker.
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