These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Review: Wise Phuul

Wise Phuul Wise Phuul by Daniel Stride
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Necromancy and black-market liquor: this fantasy debut seemed right up my street.

Somehow, despite all I’d hoped for, the story didn’t quite reach the expectations I had of it. It was a fun read, I cannot deny that, and yet I was left wanting something a bit more than I was given. A part of me believes this is my own fault, though. I always have extremely high expectations of fantasy novels, especially with the start of a series that has such promise, and yet more often than not I’m not as in love with the first book as I would like to be. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but mostly I feel a general feeling of ‘okay’ with the first book in such series. As is the case with this one, though, it is enough to leave me interested in reading more.

Mostly, I feel towards this one the way I felt towards The Blade Itself. The first book in Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy left me with a general feeling of ‘meh’. I loved the world, I was interested in the characters, and yet the story didn’t quite give me all that I had wanted of it. However, I went on to really enjoy the series. Such is how I feel towards this book, and how I imagine I will feel towards any future Phuul books.

At first, I found the story a little bit difficult to get into. With fantasy novels, I like to know the world we’re thrown into before the story gets going. That is not to say I want it all set out at the start without any development throughout, but I do like some knowledge before the story gets going. With this one, the story is moving from the very start. Building an image of the world took a bit of time, and I felt as though events were progressing at a real rate before I truly understood the world. For me, personally, I would have liked to know a little bit more about the world before the story really started to move.

When the world finally came together in my mind, however, I really enjoyed it. The world is really complex, and there is a lot of fun to be had. It has the feel of many fantasy novels that you see on the market – the whole north-south divide – with plenty enough to make it unique. Honestly, it’s such a refreshing world. Enter expecting more than the classic dragons and sword fighting, as this one gives us something else entirely. We have a magical system that’s entirely unique; we have religions that make for a lot of fun; we have political movements that will leave you questioning everyone and everything. Overall, there is so much fun to be had.

My favourite aspect, however, has to be our main character. He was so refreshing. I loved watching Teltö Phuul navigate the world. He felt like so few main characters that we see today, giving us a real breath of fresh air. His actions and reactions, his views of the world, even his likes and dislikes worked to make him a very real character, one you will quickly grow to enjoy.

Overall, I did have fun with this one. The three star rating reflects how I wasn’t pulled in as much as I had hoped to be. It was one of those stories that whenever I put it down I would find it difficult to get back into the story. When I was able to sit and read a good chunk at once I had a lot of fun, it was just the getting into it that I found hard. Now that I’ve been pulled into the world, now that I have an understanding of characters and events, I feel as though I will quickly be pulled into future books. Without a doubt, I’m interested to see where this series will head.

As a final note, I would like to thank the publisher for contacting me regarding a review. I had fun with this one, and I’m excited to see where things go from here!

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