Book Review: A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

1333771513337716StarStarStarStar

General Fiction > Fantasy

(A Song of Ice and Fire #5)

n the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance — beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone — a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

Literary Awards: Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel (2001), Nebula Award Nominee (2002), Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2001), Geffen Award for Best Translated Fantasy Book (2002), Ignotus (2006)

Book 1: A Game of Thrones review

Book 2: A Clash of Kings review

Book 3: A Storm of Swords review

Book 4: A Feast for Crows review

x-x-x

I might be one of the minority who thinks that A Feast for Crows is better than A Dance with Dragons.

Jon Snow started strong in this installment. A show of strength and terror from the bastard to his fellow Brothers was remarkable.

Reek, Reek. My name is Reek, it rhymes with sneak.

My most favorite character! Oh, how tables have turned. And how cruelly fitting for a traitor like him.

Davos Seaworth‘s POV is like a seesaw, but always interesting. Either his actions are totally helping Stannis‘ cause, or ruining it. The way George R.R. Martin takes this secondary character to new heights, making Davos’ importance in line with those of the main, was awesome.

And what to make of Tyrion? A tiresome adventure for the Imp, but overall rewarding to fans like me. How far will his wits keep him alive? It is his chapters that made me nervous!

Jaime‘s chapter gave me hope. Seeing the character I came to love in A Feast for Crows was quite a relief. 🙂

Arya‘s chapters were not enough. It left me craving, craving for more. Her loneliness and despair is starting to get to me. Sigh.

Jon Snow‘s last chapter was the bomb. This is the reason why I cannot sit still for The Winds of Winter. I need to know where Jon Snow’s story will lead. The heartbreak is killing me. 😦

Daenerys? I hate her. What has become of the queen of dragons?!!! I am so indignant with the way she’s acted here. *exhales deeply*

A Dance with Dragons gave more frustration than satisfaction. And so the wait for The Winds of Winter begins. :))

x-x-x

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George R.R. Martin

Paperback, Part 1: 690 pages | Part 2: 560 pages

Published March 15th 2012 by Harper Voyager
..
4/5 stars

Advertisements

Book Review: Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

13543137StarStarStarStar

Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #10)

Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment has been a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance, unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, isolated netherworld—Tohr turns to the angel Lassiter to save his former mate. The only way to rescue her is for Tohr to love another. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vie for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past and a hot, passion-filled future. But can his heart let go and set all of them free?

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review

Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review

Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review

Book 7: Lover Avenged review

Book 8: Lover Mine review

Book 9: Lover Unleashed review

x-x-x

That’s right, buddy. Our future has come.

Blay is a user, so I love Qhuinn more.

This installment is second best to Lover Awakened. Naturally, Tohr is the next favorite brother, following Z.

Tohr is actually nice, and kind. Given the possessiveness of vampires in this series, I think he growled just once, and wasn’t that a joy! His true worth as a male has already been displayed in Lover Unleashed, and Lover Reborn is an extension of that. It was sad, seeing him torture himself over the loss of his shellan. It was sadder, seeing him fall in love with someone else but he cannot admit it because he cannot let go of Wellsie.

No’One was a surprise, but given her history with Tohr (and I love their back story!), it made sense. Her quiet strength unhinged Tohr, her submission wholeheartedly given to the male was something to be admired. But when push comes to shove, I am happy that she stood up and held her ground against that jerk.

John and Xhex are all over this book, as if I couldn’t get enough of their drama in their installment. Still, John bore witness to Tohr’s downfall, and it only goes to show that not all of the mating goes well once their installment has concluded.

But of all the pairings J.R. Ward has done, Layla and a very unlikely male is probably my least favorite. Meaning, whoever opposes Wrath and the Brotherhood, will never be in my favor, ever. Ha.

No threats of lesser here. Wrath is so badass, I’m liking him more and more as this series continues!

So now that I’m through with Lover Reborn, I’m so psyched for Lover at Last. Oh yeah!

x-x-x

LOVER REBORN by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 617 pages

Published October 2nd 2012 by Signet

4/5 stars

Book Review: Rebel by Amy Tintera

18667026StarStarStarStar

Young Adult > Science Fiction | Dystopia

(Reboot #2)

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn’t what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren’s instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he’s underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

Book 1: Reboot review

x-x-x

It was better than I expected! And that “off-with-his-head” moment was so awesome. 😀

I thought Rebel was better than Reboot. It could be that reading Callum‘s POV lessened my irritation towards him, because he’s an okay guy. Minimum sappiness? Check. Thank goodness!

Wren is still as badass as her number implies: One Seventy Eight. Showdowns between her and Micha were priceless :)) Her mentor Riley made his appearance in this sequel. This was the reboot who shot at her multiple times during training just so she can get over her fear of guns. He’s the reason why Wren survived HARC’s training. But Wren was confused, because now, he’s joking around her, hugging her, even! I liked him. He’s amused about Wren leaving HARC over a boy, a reboot under Sixty, no less! But in the end, he broke my heart. =(

I also like Gabe and Callum’s brother, David. These are only kids compared to the human rebels, and yet they understand more the need for humans and reboots to unite in order to bring down HARC.

Rebel is not lacking in action. Amy Tintera was not afraid to spray some blood, and break some bones. Having said that, I think Reboot series is a worthwhile read. I am glad that I gave romantic Callum another chance. Ha.

Oh, and this is a duology so, score!

Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins/HarperTeen for granting my galley request.

x-x-x

REBEL by Amy Tintera

Kindle Edition, 352 pages

Published May 14th 2014 by HarperTeen
4/5 stars

Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

16101128StarStarStarStarStar

Young Adult > Post-Apocalyptic > Science Fiction

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

x-x-x

From The Monstrumologist to this — Rick Yancey, make me a hard-core fanatic, why don’t you?

If you don’t kill all of us all at once, those who remain will not be weak. You are remaking us.
We are the clay, you are Michaelangelo. And we will be your masterpiece.


I cannot contain my happiness with The 5th Wave. It was a stellar alien book from no less than Rick Yancey!

Cassie is a very magnetic heroine, I cannot help but root for her. The determination and indomitable spirit was such a surprise. (But now that I thought about it, one of Yancey’s strengths as an author is the ability to develop engaging and worship-worthy characters.) The stark contrast of Cassie’s character to the hopeless world she lives in, it makes me want to cheer for her, that she will make it to the end. *fingers crossed*

So the moment that certified I was hooked? Zombie‘s character. When his POV was introduced, I didn’t know who he was. Imagine my ecstasy when his true identity was revealed on his first chapter, I was giddy with excitement! Leave it to Yancey to stir things up in a major way. 😀 Smooth talker, this one – and the inappropriateness of it in a post-apocalyptic world was very funny. Heh.

Evan Walker. Even without his link to Cassie, his character would still shine. The shift between morality and mortality, as Cassie perceived him, was so addictive. Every scene that Evan’s in was sweet, heartbreaking, I just want to capture each moment. *sigh*

Needless to say, the alien plot was gripping, the villain was hateful, the edge-of-your-seat element was electrifying. Woot!

With obvious strength in characters and decisive story flow, The 5th Wave deserves two thumbs up from an existing Rick Yancey fan like me. More alien conspiracy, please!

P.S. Me thinks this book will still be awesome even without the romance angle.

x-x-x

THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey

Hardcover, 480 pages

Published May 7th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile

5/5 stars

Book Review: The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore

18453573StarStarStar

Young Adult > Science Fiction > Fantasy

(Lorien Legacies #4)

The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?

John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.

But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.

The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.

And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.

The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.

Lorien will rise again.

Book 1: I Am Number Four review

Book 2: The Power of Six review

Book 3: The Rise of Nine review

x-x-x

Poor Marina. Now, I am interested on her POV in the next book.

This series is very easy to read. But now I realized that it can be contained in just 3 books. The Fall of Five‘s good stuff started on Chapter 31 (it has 37 in total). Instead of training to death in preparation for the war against the Mogadorians, Four is cuddling with Sarah (why the heck would I be interested in that?!), Four is awkward towards Six, Four just do not know what to do.

Spare me the drama, Pittacus Lore. Who cares about teenage alien/human flirtation? I need some action, so give me a battle of a lifetime between Loric and Mogs!

Good thing that besides Four’s POV, there is also Sam‘s and Marina‘s. And Adam‘s character is kind of intriguing.

One measly training session. One (almost) entertaining Capture the Flag game. The rest is just flirting, bantering, bickering. When the ultimate unexpected happened, the Garde are just about as screwed as they were in The Rise of Nine. (If only they trained on how to work together, their powers complimenting each other, then they would have never fell for that trap. They would’ve defeated that pudgy enemy in a flash. Duh.)

Is The Revenge of Seven the final book? I hope so. Because I’m starting to wonder why I am still reading this series. It’s beginning to look like I am wasting my time.

x-x-x

THE FALL OF FIVE by Pittacus Lore

Ebook, 268 pages

Published August 27th 2013 by HarperCollins

3/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

10803619StarStarStar

Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #9)

Payne, twin sister of the Black Dagger Brother Vishous, suffers a devastating injury, and brilliant human surgeon Manuel Manello is called in to save her. Their attraction is instant, and as powerful as it is dangerous. But as human and vampire worlds collide, a centuries- old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in jeopardy.

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review        Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review     Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review   Book 7: Lover Avenged review

Book 8: Lover Mine review

x-x-x

“And I say to you now, I killed my father, not yours.” Lifting her palm, she peeled back and slapped him across the face. “And do not insult my blood.”

Heh. Payne is badass. :))

Lover Unleashed featured more of Vishous than Payne. Why is that? I mean, I did not like Lover Unbound‘s ending, so I don’t want anything to do with V and Doc Jane anymore. *huffs* (Although it was here that I only realized that they were not formally mated in their book installment.)

Fine. Good thing I have patience to sustain me so I can continue reading this series.

Manello, I like. He’s funny, can stand toe-to-toe with V or Butch, and he’s undeterred by a strong female like Payne. She, on the other hand, has no inkling on worldly desires, and it’s kind of funny (for me) that she can trash Wrath, beat him to bits during their sparring sessions, and then not know what kissing was. 😀 But she’s cool. Her loyalty to her twin is scary, despite being separated for more than a hundred years.

The back story of the Bloodletter is the intriguing part. Imagine Payne who is not afraid to kill him, and now she is being hunted by the Band of Bastards that stayed loyal to him.

I was anticipating the showdown between Payne and Xcor… then nothing happens. WTH.

Lover Unleashed is all about Payne being introduced to the world other than what she was used to with the Virgin’s Scribe spiritual abode. It’s about her romance with the human surgeon, V’s drama, and a lot of non-action.

But… I feel for Qhuinn. 😦

x-x-x

LOVER UNLEASHED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 537 pages

Published November 1st 2011 by Signet

3/5 stars

Book Review: The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

17428641StarStarStarStarStar

Young Adult > Fantasy

(Seven Realms #4)

A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed-Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love. 

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she’s falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it? 

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

Book 1: The Demon King review

Book 2: The Exiled Queen review

Book 3: The Gray Wolf Throne review

x-x-x

After closing my copy, I hugged it tight. I had stars in my eyes, the biggest smile in my mouth. My husband stared at me, asking, “What is wrong with you?” and I just murmured (without looking at him) that the ending of The Crimson Crown was sooo beautiful…! Of course, he doesn’t know what I’m saying. I kept on smiling. What a fantastic way to conclude one of the best fantasy series in YA!

I would not have it any other way. 🙂 There are little questions in my head, but I didn’t mind them much. I am delighted with how everything fell into place, whether for better or for worse. I am utterly delighted!

The strength of the Seven Realms series lies in the tremendous amount of development that Cinda Williams Chima put into her characters. Han and Raisa were spectacular, but unbridled praise must also be given to Fire DancerNight Bird, even Micah Bayar! There is no good or bad, just the resolve to prove something or someone that they are worthy – of respect, service, and love. Woot!

The maturity of Raisa as a queen, and as Han’s partner was incredible. She’s out to get what she wants. She thereby complimented Han‘s determination to be the best person he can be. After The Gray Wolf Throne, Han now lives with conviction. He’s no longer a thief, he said. He’s resolute to make things work between him and Raisa, stands up to the challenge, just for the slimmest chance that they can be together. *happy sigh* Han was magnificent! He still have trust issues, and I loved that this is consistent with his character. He struggled with his secrets, and sharing them to people he cared the most.

Dancer‘s transformation was amazing! He was the epitome of the hope between jinxflingers and copperheads. And Night Bird was a pretty surprise. I did not like her in previous books, but now? Wow. Lord Bayar‘s fate was unsatisfying, but neatly done. Averill Lightfoot and Elena Cennestre are two of my least favorite characters. Such sneaky and insensitive Demonai warriors!

More than the superb plot, these character developments drove The Crimson Crown to the top of my favorites list. Han, Han, Han. I don’t think I will ever forget you. Swoon!!!

And that Epilogue? Oh my goodness! So uplifting, and sweet, and undoubtedly kind. =)

Similar to Lumatere Chronicles of Melina Marchetta and The Queen’s Thief series of Megan Whalen Turner in terms of epic love stories and intriguing politics, Seven Realms series is a must read for every fantasy lover. So Read. It. Now!

x-x-x

THE CRIMSON CROWN by Cinda Williams Chima

Paperback, 624 pages

Published October 1st 2013 by Disney Hyperion
.
5/5 stars

Book Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

17883441StarStar

Young Adult > Paranormal > Post-Apocalyptic

(Blood of Eden #3)

Vengeance will be hers.

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

Monster.

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions – her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost – the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

THE FINAL HUNT IS ON.

Book 1: The Immortal Rules review

Book 2: The Eternity Cure review

x-x-x

This finale was such a letdown, as I loved the first two books.

The first time I picked up The Forever Song to read, I put it down upon reaching Chapter 4. It would be weeks before I dared to continue. It was soo boring. And flat. Did I already mention boring? Julie Kagawa‘s storytelling might be growing out on me.

Allison was repetitive. Always with the hunger, the snarling, the promise of revenge against Sarren (but when the showdown was revealed, how pitiful Allie was). It was a never-ending lament on how she will destroy the lunatic vampire, and constant bickering with Jackal in-between. It really took forever to get the story into shape!

And there’s a lot of walking going on. Gah.

I asked myself: Am I getting used to JKagawa writing already? Because I found The Forever Song to be very predictable.

Zeke is still an emo boy. How come I cannot connect with him? There was no swoon factor. Kanin is the ever-efficient killing vampire, Allie is almost always fangirling about her Master. And Jackal missing the best fight of his existence? Oh, come on! Not fair! 😦

I liked The Immortal Rules, loved The Eternity Cure. I only finished The Forever Song for the sake of reading the whole series until its weary ending.

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for granting my galley request.

x-x-x

THE FOREVER SONG by Julie Kagawa

Kindle Edition, 416 pages

Published April 15th 2014 by Harlequin Teen

2/5 stars

Book Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

21401181StarStarStarStar

Young Adult > Fantasy

Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

Easy.

x-x-x

I cannot stop reading Half Bad. Brutal, hateful, but (that ending was) hopeful. Really good stuff.

The POV in Part I was very interesting. Using “you” instead of “I”, it made my reading experience unpleasantly real. It’s as if I was the one losing a hand because of some nasty acid, instead of Nathan. =) I easily adopted to Sally Green‘s cruel, magical world. A little subdued on the “magic” element, but it still worked for me.

Amidst persecution from the White Witches, Nathan persevered to live day by day. With the help of his brother Arran (I want a devoted sibling like him!), his sister Deborah, and his Gran, the Council’s oppression for a wild card like him was a bit bearable. When Nathan’s birthday draws near, and he awaits the Three Gifts that his bloodline will bestow upon him, the noose held by the Council grows tighter. Should he bear the unreasonable suffering, or should he run for his life?

I love, love Half Bad. It’s so simple – you’re different, so they fear you. But they will bully you into submission to disguise their fear into strength. But we all know that even good witches need to lose some damn steam.. like Nathan. 😀 Sally Green knows how to rile me up. I hated Kieran. I loathed Nathan’s sister, Jessica. I did not think of Mercury as a threat, though. Celia was a surprise, but a good one. And high five to Rose!

The value of a family and the strength that comes from its members are encouraged in this book. Nathan never gave up hoping that his father wants him as a child, and for an orphan like him, it’s all he has. 

The ending was good enough, the meeting between two characters in the midst of the battle was so cool, and so heartwarming!

*whispers* I haven’t read an absorbing magic-themed book like Half Bad in a while. The thrill of it!

P.S. Team Gabriel, anyone? 😀

(Attention to Jessica, Kieran, Hunters, Members of the Council… here’s me making a gesture of slashing your throats.)

x-x-x

HALF BAD by Sally Green

Ebook, 416 pages

Published March 4th 2014 by Viking Children’s

4/5 stars

Book Review: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

6520929StarStar

General Fiction > Literature | Historical Fiction

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII’s court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king’s favor and ascend to the heights of political power

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

Literary Awards: Man Booker Prize (2009)Orange Prize Nominee for Fiction Shortlist (2010)James Tait Black Memorial Prize Nominee for Fiction (2009),Costa Book Award Nominee for Novel (2009)Magnesia Litera Nominee for Translation (Litera za překladovou knihu) (2011), National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (2009), The Rooster – The Morning News Tournament of Books (2010), Walter Scott Prize (2010)

x-x-x

No comment. Hmph. Where do I start?

Chapter one opened with violence (and yes, it immediately appealed to my bloodthirsty side), but that’s pretty much it. I didn’t mind, for I was not expecting action scenes in Wolf Hall. But as the parts dragged on, it stayed flat for me for the rest of the novel. How laborious it was to finish this! Such an accomplishment-slash-disappointment rolled into one.

Frustration surfaced when Hilary Mantel‘s writing confused the hell out of me. It’s always started with a he, and given that there are many Thomases in this book, it was all so confusing. Man, the rereading I had to do (in order to secure my understanding where I’m at with the story) was not fun.

Thomas Cromwell is no hero, I get that. To each his own, knowing how Henry VIII can quickly change his mind to those who surrounds him, so Cromwell made sure he did everything to secure his household, and everyone in it. But when he started to lose his connection with his family (he went into arranging marriages for his sons as a political strategy, with no thought of how they would feel about it), I resented him until the end.

Let credit make its due to Hilary Mantel, as she did make my emotions rise – hatred for Anne Boleyn (and her family), disgust over Henry (and how he treats women), and disappointment for Cromwell. But that’s all I am giving Wolf Hall.

The idea that Thomas More as the key piece of how things will go down – I simply did not buy it. (Before you react, yes, I read this part of Tudor History, and I’m still not buying it as the height of conflict for Wolf Hall.)

Bring Up the Bodies? No, thank you. I’d rather read about Anne Boleyn’s downfall in Wikipedia.

x-x-x

WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel

Kindle Edition, 559 pages

Published April 1st 2010 by Henry Holt and Co.

2/5 stars