Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlngs Update 6
Book Reviews / July 31, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info title=”Ship of Destiny” author=”robin-hobb-2″] Progress: Ship of Destiny 76% complete. I made good progress today on Ship of Destiny.  In the section I read today, Amber all but stood up waving her arms and shouting “look at me, I’m Fitz’s Fool!”  At one point she says “I’ve been called a Fool and a prophet,” which is pretty clear.  Now, it’s been a while since I read the Realm of the Elderlings for the first time, but I seem to remember not picking up Amber’s true identity at this point.  I can’t remember when I did first pick up on it, but I do remember it coming as a complete shock. The subject of rape is also dealt with in this section, specifically Kennit’s rape of Althea.  The whole question of the victim’s not being believed, as well as the rapist having been raped himself.  It certainly wasn’t a comfortable passage to read. More tomorrow!

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 5
Book Reviews / July 30, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info title=”Ship of Destiny” author=”robin-hobb-2″] Progress: Ship of Destiny 58% complete. I made reasonable progress today, although I don’t have much to comment on.  The various plotlines are really starting to come together now.  I enjoyed the Kennit/Paragon interactions. More tomorrow!

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 4
Book Reviews / July 29, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info title=”Ship of Destiny” author=”robin-hobb-2″] Progress: Ship of Destiny 45% complete I made reasonable progress on my Realm of the Elderlings challenge today.  I’m now 45% of the way through book two.  In today’s reread I entered the section entitled Winter.  This is fitting as it’s the lowest point of most of the storylines in the Liveship Traders series: Dragon Tintaglia is despairing that she will be able to guide the tangle of sea serpents to the dragon spawning ground so that they can undergo their transformation.  She is doubtful if she will be able to persuade the humans to assist with redirecting the river.  The sea serpents themselves are losing hope of fulfilling their dragon destinies. Things aren’t going too well for the humans either; Bingtown is on the point of being destroyed either by Chalcedon or internal feuding, take your pick.  Reyn is distraught in his belief that Malta has perished in her flight from Tremaug with the Satrap. In actual fact, she must cater to the Satrap’s every whim in order to receive his protection necessary for her survival. Those on the Liveships Paragon and Vivacia aren’t doing that great…

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 3
Book Reviews / July 28, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”] [book-info title=”Ship of Destiny” author=”robin-hobb-2″] Progress: Ship of Destiny 27% complete So I didn’t make a lot of progress today.  Darned work keeps getting in the way! A few thoughts on what I read today. Hobb is really pushing the contrast between Ronica and Serilla.  I can’t remember how that ends up, so I’m enjoying following that Bingtown storyline. The whole issue of women’s rights in Bingtown compared to the Chalcedon states and how it impacts Malta’s storyline is also very interesting.  It also ties into the Ronica/Serilla plot with their respective attitudes to power. Both of the Liveships – Vivacia and Paragon are going a bit nuts.  I don’t think good things can come of this. More tomorrow!

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 2
Book Reviews / July 27, 2014

[challenge-overview] Progress:  Ship of Destiny 17% complete So, onto book two of my Realm of the Elderlings reading challenge, Ship of Destiny.  Ship of Destiny is the third in the Liveship Traders trilogy. I chose not to include the first two, Ship of Magic and Mad Ship in my reread for two reasons. One was time constraint to meet my deadline, the second is that I had dipped into the trilogy fairly recently (fairly recently being about 18 months ago).  I did a quick Wikipedia lookup to bring myself up to speed. So, a few thoughts. Whispersync for Voice, welcome back!  YAY!  I didn’t realise how much I missed it when I didn’t have it for Assassin’s Quest.  Sadly, I see it’s also missing from The Tawny Man.  Ah well. I miss Fitz and the Fool.  We do get to see the Fool’s alter ego, Amber and my heart just about broke when she mentioned the slave pin that had been given to her by her true love.  I’m not certain at which point we are supposed to realise that Amber is the Fool, but once you know she is, it’s hard to avoid picking up these little hints. I’m…

Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update1
Book Reviews / July 26, 2014

[challenge-overview showempty=”yes”] Progress:  Assassin’s Quest 100% complete So this weekend I powered through and finished Assassin’s Quest, the third book in the Farseer Trilogy.  As a side note, this book is not Whispersync for Voice enabled, so switching between the Kindle and audiobook versions was a hassle. I loved this book.  The two magic systems invented by Hobb – the Skill and the Wit – are tightly drawn and are used in very interesting ways. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from a history book which indicates the main theme of that particular chapter.  They tie in very nicely together. Initially the first book of the trilogy – Assassin’s Apprentice – is very slow and boring, but once the trilogy picks up, it moves along at a great pace. The Fool is one of the most intriguing characters for me in epic fantasy.  I look forward to continuing the character’s story in The Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies.  Of course now there is the prospect of even more Fool to come in the new Fitz and Fool trilogy :o) That’s all I have for tonight.  Onto Ship of Destiny!

Evelynne’s Trip through Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings – Introduction SPOILERS
Book Reviews , Miscellaneous / July 25, 2014

[challenge-overview showempty=”yes”] As you may have seen from my reading roundup this week, I have set myself a significant reading challenge for the next three weeks. Before I set off on vacation on August 15th I hope to have reread part of Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series. I hope to finish: Assassin’s Quest (848 pages/ 37 hrs and 39 mins audiobook) – I’m currently around a third of the way through this – Ship of Destiny (912 pages/33 hrs and 38 mins audiobook), Fool’s Errand (672 pages/24 hrs and 47 mins audiobook), Golden Fool (712 pages) and Fool’s Fate (936 pages). I will be mixing reading with listening to the audiobook, where one is available. I am attempting to read all this to be ready for the release of Fool’s Assassin. This is a significant challenge, and in order to complete it I’m going to hold myself responsible to you, dear readers of my blog. Instead of my usual twice or three times weekly blog posts, I will attempt to do short, daily posts with an update on where I’m at and a few quick thoughts on what I’ve read that day. There will almost certainly be spoilers…

Reading roundup – July 25th 2014
Reading Roundup / July 25, 2014

This week I have been continuing to work my way through Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series.  I am just over a third of the way through Assassin’s Quest, the third book in the Farseer Trilogy.  I hope to follow that with Ship of Destiny, the final book in the Liveship Traders trilogy before starting on the three books of The Tawny Man trilogy.  My aim is to have these all completed by August 12th when Fool’s Assassin is released – or at least by the following Friday when I leave for vacation.  Fool’s Assassin is the latest book in Fitz’s story after a publication gap of 13 years.  I really can’t wait to see what Hobb has in store next! To read all that in that period of time is a tiny bit of a challenge – they are huge tomes – but I’m aiming for it.  I have the Farseer trilogy and Liveship Traders in audiobook format as well, and I see the Tawny Man trilogy is making its way to Audible this month too, so that will help.   I find mixing listening with reading is an excellent way to enjoy books.  I have read all…

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – Review
Audiobook reviews , Book Reviews / July 22, 2014

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen is a new YA epic fantasy novel which tells the story of Kelsea Raleigh Glynn who must reclaim her birthright of the Tear throne.  To do this she must survive plots against her by her uncle, the Regent, and take a stand against the Mort Queen to protect her people.  The fantasy is quite subtle in this book, unlike HarperCollins’ publicity machine which has been seriously promoting this book.  This has been helped by the fact that Emma Watson has bought the film rights to the book and intends to play Kelsea in an upcoming movie adaptation.  In all honesty, I cannot say that the hype was justified – I had a few significant issues with the book.  But first of all let’s say what I liked. What I liked The protagonist.  From various interviews by Erika Johansen I have read it appears she has set out to create a YA protagonist who was more of an Everygirl rather than your typical YA heroine; stunningly beautiful with attractive young men fighting over her attentions while she runs a marathon and slays a few baddies before breakfast.  In that respect I believe Johansen…

Checking out Kindle Unlimited
Miscellaneous / July 18, 2014

As I anticipated in my reading roundup, this morning Amazon launched its ebook and audiobook subscription service, Kindle Unlimited.  It’s not yet available to Canadians, but I was able to use my company’s US address to sign up for the 30 day free trial to check it all out. Kindle Unlimited is competing with other ebook subscription services such as Scribd and Oyster.  I currently have a Scribd subscription, but I tend not to use it very much, mainly because it’s not tightly integrated with the rest of my ebook library.  Also, I’m not so fond of the app for Android – it doesn’t have the same options as full Kindle books. The good Like most of the Amazon ecosystem, Kindle Unlimited is very easy to use.  You can browse the titles from the Kindle Unlimited link on the homepage: When you choose a title it will say Read for Free Also you can navigate from your Kindle Fire:  a KU book will say Read for Free Note that you cannot pick up audiobooks on their own.  They must be paired with a Kindle Unlimited ebook with Whispersync for Voice.  There is a section called Listen and Take the Story…