In my reading roundup for 2nd August I read Mark Lawrence’s King of Thorns, which I read on Kindle and listened to on Audible. As I mentioned last week, I’d been convinced to give this series another try despite not really being engaged in the first book, and I’m very glad I did. I think it helped that I both read and listened to it. James Clamp is competent as a narrator (check out a sample), but I suspect I perhaps missed a lot in the first book (which I only listened to on Audible) due to my dislike of the main character. Yes, Jorg is still a bloodthirsty, vengeful character, but he is maturing and is capable of thinking of others from time to time. The concept of the “memory box” and what I means for Jorg as well as the part it plays in the story is very well done.
I gave King of Thorns four stars out of five. This is an improvement on the three stars I gave the first book Prince of Thorns. Perhaps Emperor of Thorns will make five stars.
I also was fascinated by the references to our own world. I’m not certain if there were more of them, and more explicit – a “No Overnight Parking” sign in a world where the main form of transport is a horse? I really look forward to seeing where Lawrence is going with this. I’m hearing rave reviews for the final book Emperor of Thorns, so I will certainly be preordering it.
Through Netgalley I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of Scott Lynch’s Republic of Thieves, the third in his Gentleman Bastards series. As expected, I’m loving it – I’m about two thirds of the way through. A full review will be coming shortly, so I won’t say too much.
Another book I read – the author provided me a free copy – was Four Small Stones by Gary Taaffe. This is a sweet story of an Aboriginal boy in Outback Australia and his relationship with his family. It explores their love and closeness and the main character Billy’s attempts to outwit his older brothers. I felt the author did an excellent job of describing Aboriginal culture and their daily lives. Although I have lived a short time in Australia, I did not come into much contact with Aboriginal culture – my main experience was as a tourist in Alice Springs. This, of course, is hardly an accurate insight into the culture. I also came into contact with Aborigines during an overnight stop in a small town the back of beyond called Tennant Creek – the type of town where people asked “why the heck are you stopping there?” Sadly, what I saw of the Aborigines there was very saddening. Most of them seemed to have no money, no job and no hope. I was delighted then to read this book which gave a much more positive (to my mind at least) view of these fascinating people.
I also enjoyed the character of Billy and how this young underdog managed to get the best of his brothers using his wits. it was fun to see his preparations come together, and also how he gained more respect in his family through this. The strong family relationships shown in the book also made this a very heartwarming story. I will probably pick up the other books in this series at some point once I’ve got through my current TBR list.
Upcoming new releases
Amazon released a preview of upcoming new releases and there are a couple I’m very excited about for August.
Added to my library this week
I put Emperor of Thorns on preorder from Amazon.
Given all the hype about J.K. Rowling’s secret book, I gave in and ordered The Cuckoo’s Calling from Amazon
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones, which I picked up on both Amazon and Audible formats
Incidentally, in case some of you were wondering what that graphic up there means, it means the book is Whispersync for Voice ready. This is where your audiobook and your Kindle book keep your place for you. It’s pretty amazing – check out Amazon’s page on it.