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.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Review: Mark of Destiny

Mark of Destiny Mark of Destiny by Azrael James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mark of Destiny was a great introduction to what promises to be a gripping fantasy series. It may not have been perfect, but like many first books in a series it does enough to ensure the readers will be coming back for more.

From the start, we’re pulled into a new and wonderful world. Anyone who loves fantasy series where magic plays an important role will adore this book. Honestly, I love new and interesting magical systems – and this one certainly left a mark. In fact, magic is at the very centre of the story. Two warring magical systems, the world locked into a rigid set of beliefs about the magic of the world. I really do not want to say too much – already I’m feeling spoilers coming on as I think about how wonderful the magic systems are – but know the magic building is wonderful. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say the magic of the world was the strongest aspect of the book. It seems so simple at times, and yet it is always elegant. Without a doubt, magic lovers will find themselves invested in the magical story.

Fear not, fantasy lovers, there is more to the story than a simple tale of magical systems butting heads. As you would expect from any epic fantasy, we have a journey throughout the story. It’s the classical questing story, where our heroes head out on very specific missions that result in the unveiling of very important information. Throughout, the world slowly develops. Whilst we do get a lot of knowledge about the world and the inhabitants, we still have plenty of questions by the end of the book. These questions will leave you wanting more, they will leave you wanting further details on the history of the world, they will leave you wanting more details about the societies of the world, and they will leave you wanting more of the little things we’re introduced to throughout the story.

Whilst I did have a lot of fun with this aspect of the story, the whole journey throughout the book aspect, I did find that it wasn’t quite the edge of your seat read I had been anticipating. Although the story was constantly moving, although I was invested in where things were going, I feel as though my heart was never quite pounding in the way it should have been for a story of such velocity. As stated, I was invested in the story, yet it didn’t impact me in the way that other stories have. I wanted to know what happened next, yet my emotions weren’t pulled in quite the way I had hoped they would be. It was one of those cases where I was simply reading the story, rather than living it. I enjoyed it, yet I hadn’t slipped in quite as much as I had expected to.

I think the biggest reason for this is due to my lack of emotional connections to the characters. They were interesting, I liked watching their stories progress, yet I didn’t feel them in the way I had hoped I would. They existed, yet they did not become a part of me. They could have done with a bit more history. Whilst they did develop throughout the story, whilst I did see changes in them between the first chapter and the last, it wasn’t as great as it could have been had I been given more of their history. They popped into existence and changed, rather than developing throughout a lifetime both before and during the story. Don’t get me wrong, I did like the characters – they simply could have done with a bit more development to ensure I was connected to them in the way I had hoped to be.

Overall, it was an interesting read. The ending certainly left me with questions, and I’m curious to see where the next book will take the story.

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