Tag Archives: magic

The Ugly Princess by Henderson Smith

Cover of The Ugly Princess by Henderson Smith
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Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review

3.5/5 stars

I love The Ugly Princess for its message and for having a truly ugly heroine. It’s message, that beauty is only skin deep, came through strong, right from the first page. I especially loved how happy the heroine, Olive, was to be ugly in exchange for her other gifts and how she rejoiced in every new boil and wart.

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Altaica by Tracy M Joyce

Cover of Altaica, by Tracy M Joyce
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I’d been hanging out to read Altaica ever since I saw the cover art (yes, I know, I’m shallow) and once I had my hands on it, I devoured it (in the literary sense). The storyline was engaging, the plot kept rolling along and there was never a moment when I was bored or tempted to put the book down.

At the start, I did have a little trouble with the frequent changes in point of view – which sometimes happened three or four times within the same scene – but I quickly became used to the head jumping.

My only quibble was, because there were so many characters to keep up with, I didn’t have the chance to connect with any of them. There were a few scenes (the one with the horses and the river springs to mind – you’ll know it when you read it) that weren’t as heart-stopping as they could have been because I hadn’t REALLY connected to the characters and didn’t care enough about their plight. Maybe if one or two of the minor characters hadn’t had their own point of view, I’d have had more time to get to know the others and those moments would have been as gut wrenching as I know they could have been.

Will I buy the sequel? YES! Despite my quibble, I enjoyed Altaica and I’m looking forward to what Ms Joyce springs on us next.

Fade to Black on Teaser Tuesday

The cover of Fade to Black by Francis Knight
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I have finally, finally, gotten around to reading Fade to Black by Francis Knight (Goodreads link). I borrowed it from the library, and I’ve been so busy (with second drafts and work and, you know, stuff) that I’ve had to renew it twice. Crazy.

So far, apart from a few cases of info-dumping at the start, it’s pretty good.

Where am I at? Page 53.
Feels like a steampunk version of The Big Sleep.
What’s awesome about it?

  • The cover
  • The combination of steampunk and magic
  • A city that just goes up and up and up… or down and down and down, depending upon your point of view.

What’s not-so-awesome? The repetition of various facts. Ms Knight, I get it already!

The Teaser Tuesday bit

This girl had a powerful desire not to go home. Having met her parents, I could sympathise, but a paying job is a paying job, and once I took one on it was hard not to follow through.

~ page 4, Fade to Black by Francis Knight

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Find out how you can play along!